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Sample records for gene-rich vertebrate regions

  1. Comparative analysis of chicken chromosome 28 provides new clues to the evolutionary fragility of gene-rich vertebrate regions

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Laurie; Yang, Shan; Tran-Gyamfi, Mary; Baggott, Dan; Christensen, Mari; Hamilton, Aaron; Crooijmans, Richard; Groenen, Martien; Lucas, Susan; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Stubbs, Lisa

    2007-01-01

    The chicken genome draft sequence has provided a valuable resource for studies of an important agricultural and experimental model species and an important data set for comparative analysis. However, some of the most gene-rich segments are missing from chicken genome draft assemblies, limiting the analysis of a substantial number of genes and preventing a closer look at regions that are especially prone to syntenic rearrangements. To facilitate the functional and evolutionary analysis of one especially gene-rich, rearrangement-prone genomic region, we analyzed sequence from BAC clones spanning chicken microchromosome GGA28; as a complement we also analyzed a gene-sparse, stable region from GGA11. In these two regions we documented the conservation and lineage-specific gain and loss of protein-coding genes and precisely mapped the locations of 31 major human-chicken syntenic breakpoints. Altogether, we identified 72 lineage-specific genes, many of which are found at or near syntenic breaks, implicating evolutionary breakpoint regions as major sites of genetic innovation and change. Twenty-two of the 31 breakpoint regions have been reused repeatedly as rearrangement breakpoints in vertebrate evolution. Compared with stable GC-matched regions, GGA28 is highly enriched in CpG islands, as are break-prone intervals identified elsewhere in the chicken genome; evolutionary breakpoints are further enriched in GC content and CpG islands, highlighting a potential role for these features in genome instability. These data support the hypothesis that chromosome rearrangements have not occurred randomly over the course of vertebrate evolution but are focused preferentially within “fragile” regions with unusual DNA sequence characteristics. PMID:17921355

  2. Demarcating the gene-rich regions of the wheat genome

    PubMed Central

    Erayman, Mustafa; Sandhu, Devinder; Sidhu, Deepak; Dilbirligi, Muharrem; Baenziger, P. S.; Gill, Kulvinder S.

    2004-01-01

    By physically mapping 3025 loci including 252 phenotypically characterized genes and 17 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) relative to 334 deletion breakpoints, we localized the gene-containing fraction to 29% of the wheat genome present as 18 major and 30 minor gene-rich regions (GRRs). The GRRs varied both in gene number and density. The five largest GRRs physically spanning <3% of the genome contained 26% of the wheat genes. Approximate size of the GRRs ranged from 3 to 71 Mb. Recombination mainly occurred in the GRRs. Various GRRs varied as much as 128-fold for gene density and 140-fold for recombination rates. Except for a general suppression in 25–40% of the chromosomal region around centromeres, no correlation of recombination was observed with the gene density, the size, or chromosomal location of GRRs. More than 30% of the wheat genes are in recombination-poor regions thus are inaccessible to map-based cloning. PMID:15240829

  3. Comparative genomics of Lupinus angustifolius gene-rich regions: BAC library exploration, genetic mapping and cytogenetics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The narrow-leafed lupin, Lupinus angustifolius L., is a grain legume species with a relatively compact genome. The species has 2n = 40 chromosomes and its genome size is 960 Mbp/1C. During the last decade, L. angustifolius genomic studies have achieved several milestones, such as molecular-marker development, linkage maps, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries. Here, these resources were integratively used to identify and sequence two gene-rich regions (GRRs) of the genome. Results The genome was screened with a probe representing the sequence of a microsatellite fragment length polymorphism (MFLP) marker linked to Phomopsis stem blight resistance. BAC clones selected by hybridization were subjected to restriction fingerprinting and contig assembly, and 232 BAC-ends were sequenced and annotated. BAC fluorescence in situ hybridization (BAC-FISH) identified eight single-locus clones. Based on physical mapping, cytogenetic localization, and BAC-end annotation, five clones were chosen for sequencing. Within the sequences of clones that hybridized in FISH to a single-locus, two large GRRs were identified. The GRRs showed strong and conserved synteny to Glycine max duplicated genome regions, illustrated by both identical gene order and parallel orientation. In contrast, in the clones with dispersed FISH signals, more than one-third of sequences were transposable elements. Sequenced, single-locus clones were used to develop 12 genetic markers, increasing the number of L. angustifolius chromosomes linked to appropriate linkage groups by five pairs. Conclusions In general, probes originating from MFLP sequences can assist genome screening and gene discovery. However, such probes are not useful for positional cloning, because they tend to hybridize to numerous loci. GRRs identified in L. angustifolius contained a low number of interspersed repeats and had a high level of synteny to the genome of the model legume G. max. Our results showed that

  4. The highly recombinogenic bz locus lies in an unusually gene-rich region of the maize genome.

    PubMed

    Fu, H; Park, W; Yan, X; Zheng, Z; Shen, B; Dooner, H K

    2001-07-17

    The bronze (bz) locus exhibits the highest rate of recombination of any gene in higher plants. To investigate the possible basis of this high rate of recombination, we have analyzed the physical organization of the region around the bz locus. Two adjacent bacterial artificial chromosome clones, comprising a 240-kb contig centered around the Bz-McC allele, were isolated, and 60 kb of contiguous DNA spanning the two bacterial artificial chromosome clones was sequenced. We find that the bz locus lies in an unusually gene-rich region of the maize genome. Ten genes, at least eight of which are shown to be transcribed, are contained in a 32-kb stretch of DNA that is uninterrupted by retrotransposons. We have isolated nearly full length cDNAs corresponding to the five proximal genes in the cluster. The average intertranscript distance between them is just 1 kb, revealing a surprisingly compact packaging of adjacent genes in this part of the genome. At least 11 small insertions, including several previously described miniature inverted repeat transposable elements, were detected in the introns and 3' untranslated regions of genes and between genes. The gene-rich region is flanked at the proximal and distal ends by retrotransposon blocks. Thus, the maize genome appears to have scattered regions of high gene density similar to those found in other plants. The unusually high rate of intragenic recombination seen in bz may be related to the very high gene density of the region.

  5. Gene-rich chromosomal regions are preferentially localized in the lamin B deficient nuclear blebs of atypical progeria cells.

    PubMed

    Bercht Pfleghaar, Katrin; Taimen, Pekka; Butin-Israeli, Veronika; Shimi, Takeshi; Langer-Freitag, Sabine; Markaki, Yolanda; Goldman, Anne E; Wehnert, Manfred; Goldman, Robert D

    2015-01-01

    More than 20 mutations in the gene encoding A-type lamins (LMNA) cause progeria, a rare premature aging disorder. The major pathognomonic hallmarks of progeria cells are seen as nuclear deformations or blebs that are related to the redistribution of A- and B-type lamins within the nuclear lamina. However, the functional significance of these progeria-associated blebs remains unknown. We have carried out an analysis of the structural and functional consequences of progeria-associated nuclear blebs in dermal fibroblasts from a progeria patient carrying a rare point mutation p.S143F (C428T) in lamin A/C. These blebs form microdomains that are devoid of major structural components of the nuclear envelope (NE)/lamina including B-type lamins and nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) and are enriched in A-type lamins. Using laser capture microdissection and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analyses, we show that, while these domains are devoid of centromeric heterochromatin and gene-poor regions of chromosomes, they are enriched in gene-rich chromosomal regions. The active form of RNA polymerase II is also greatly enriched in blebs as well as nascent RNA but the nuclear co-activator SKIP is significantly reduced in blebs compared to other transcription factors. Our results suggest that the p.S143F progeria mutation has a severe impact not only on the structure of the lamina but also on the organization of interphase chromatin domains and transcription. These structural defects are likely to contribute to gene expression changes reported in progeria and other types of laminopathies.

  6. Gene-rich chromosomal regions are preferentially localized in the lamin B deficient nuclear blebs of atypical progeria cells

    PubMed Central

    Bercht Pfleghaar, Katrin; Taimen, Pekka; Butin-Israeli, Veronika; Shimi, Takeshi; Langer-Freitag, Sabine; Markaki, Yolanda; Goldman, Anne E; Wehnert, Manfred; Goldman, Robert D

    2015-01-01

    More than 20 mutations in the gene encoding A-type lamins (LMNA) cause progeria, a rare premature aging disorder. The major pathognomonic hallmarks of progeria cells are seen as nuclear deformations or blebs that are related to the redistribution of A- and B-type lamins within the nuclear lamina. However, the functional significance of these progeria-associated blebs remains unknown. We have carried out an analysis of the structural and functional consequences of progeria-associated nuclear blebs in dermal fibroblasts from a progeria patient carrying a rare point mutation p.S143F (C428T) in lamin A/C. These blebs form microdomains that are devoid of major structural components of the nuclear envelope (NE)/lamina including B-type lamins and nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) and are enriched in A-type lamins. Using laser capture microdissection and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analyses, we show that, while these domains are devoid of centromeric heterochromatin and gene-poor regions of chromosomes, they are enriched in gene-rich chromosomal regions. The active form of RNA polymerase II is also greatly enriched in blebs as well as nascent RNA but the nuclear co-activator SKIP is significantly reduced in blebs compared to other transcription factors. Our results suggest that the p.S143F progeria mutation has a severe impact not only on the structure of the lamina but also on the organization of interphase chromatin domains and transcription. These structural defects are likely to contribute to gene expression changes reported in progeria and other types of laminopathies. PMID:25738644

  7. Remnants of the Legume Ancestral Genome Preserved in Gene-Rich Regions: Insights from Lupinus angustifolius Physical, Genetic, and Comparative Mapping.

    PubMed

    Książkiewicz, Michał; Zielezinski, Andrzej; Wyrwa, Katarzyna; Szczepaniak, Anna; Rychel, Sandra; Karlowski, Wojciech; Wolko, Bogdan; Naganowska, Barbara

    The narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) was recently considered as a legume reference species. Genetic resources have been developed, including a draft genome sequence, linkage maps, nuclear DNA libraries, and cytogenetic chromosome-specific landmarks. Here, we used a complex approach, involving DNA fingerprinting, sequencing, genetic mapping, and molecular cytogenetics, to localize and analyze L. angustifolius gene-rich regions (GRRs). A L. angustifolius genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library was screened with short sequence repeat (SSR)-based probes. Selected BACs were fingerprinted and assembled into contigs. BAC-end sequence (BES) annotation allowed us to choose clones for sequencing, targeting GRRs. Additionally, BESs were aligned to the scaffolds of the genome sequence. The genetic map was supplemented with 35 BES-derived markers, distributed in 14 linkage groups and tagging 37 scaffolds. The identified GRRs had an average gene density of 19.6 genes/100 kb and physical-to-genetic distance ratios of 11 to 109 kb/cM. Physical and genetic mapping was supported by multi-BAC-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and five new linkage groups were assigned to the chromosomes. Syntenic links to the genome sequences of five legume species (Medicago truncatula, Glycine max, Lotus japonicus, Phaseolus vulgaris, and Cajanus cajan) were identified. The comparative mapping of the two largest lupin GRRs provides novel evidence for ancient duplications in all of the studied species. These regions are conserved among representatives of the main clades of Papilionoideae. Furthermore, despite the complex evolution of legumes, some segments of the nuclear genome were not substantially modified and retained their quasi-ancestral structures. Cytogenetic markers anchored in these regions constitute a platform for heterologous mapping of legume genomes.

  8. The human homolog of a mouse-imprinted gene, Peg3, maps to a zinc finger gene-rich region of human chromosome 19q13.4.

    PubMed

    Kim, J; Ashworth, L; Branscomb, E; Stubbs, L

    1997-05-01

    Peg3 (paternally expressed gene 3) is the first imprinted gene detected in the proximal region of mouse chromosome 7. Because imprinting is a trait that is generally conserved among mammals, and imprinted domains generally encompass several adjacent genes, expression patterns and chromosomal environment of the human counterpart of Peg3 are of special interest. In this study we have localized human PEG3 approximately 2 Mb proximal of the telomere of chromosome 19q, within a region known to carry large numbers of tandemly clustered Krüppel-type zinc finger-containing (ZNF) genes. Peg3 also encodes a Krüppel-type ZNF protein but one that is distinguished from other ZNF gene products by the fact that it carries two novel proline-rich motifs. Comparison between mouse Peg3 and partial human PEG3 gene sequences revealed a high level of conservation between the two species, despite the fact that one of the two proline-rich repeats is absent from the human gene. Our data demonstrate that the human gene is expressed at highest levels in ovary and placenta; mouse Peg3, by contrast, is transcribed at highest levels in the adult brain. These comparative mapping, sequencing, and expression data provide the first clues to the potential activities of PEG3, and generate new tools to aid in the analysis of structure and function of a potentially new imprinted domain located in human chromosome 19q13.4 and mouse chromosome 7.

  9. Evolution of the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome region in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Paulsen, Martina; Khare, Tarang; Burgard, Christopher; Tierling, Sascha; Walter, Jörn

    2005-01-01

    In the animal kingdom, genomic imprinting appears to be restricted to mammals. It remains an open question how structural features for imprinting evolved in mammalian genomes. The clustering of genes around imprinting control centers (ICs) is regarded as a hallmark for the coordinated imprinted regulation. Hence imprinted clusters might be structurally distinct between mammals and nonimprinted vertebrates. To address this question we compared the organization of the Beckwith Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) gene cluster in mammals, chicken, Fugu (pufferfish), and zebrafish. Our analysis shows that gene synteny is apparently well conserved between mammals and birds, and is detectable but less pronounced in fish. Hence, clustering apparently evolved during vertebrate radiation and involved two major duplication events that took place before the separation of the fish and mammalian lineages. A cross-species analysis of imprinting center regions showed that some structural features can already be recognized in nonimprinted amniotes in one of the imprinting centers (IC2). In contrast, the imprinting center IC1 is absent in chicken. This suggests a progressive and stepwise evolution of imprinting control elements. In line with that, imprinting centers in mammals apparently exhibit a high degree of structural and sequence variation despite conserved epigenetic marking.

  10. ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

    DOE Data Explorer

    Loots, Gabriela G. [LLNL; Ovcharenko, I. [LLNL

    Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. This database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a comprehensive collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes generated using multiple sources of gene annotation. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) in evolutionary conserved and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and fugu genomes. (taken from paper in Journal: Bioinformatics, November 7, 2006, pp. 122-124

  11. ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Loots, G; Ovcharenko, I

    2006-08-08

    Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. We have created a database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes entitled ECRbase that is constructed from a collection of pairwise vertebrate genome alignments produced by the ECR Browser database. ECRbase features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes presented in the database. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in all ECRs and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and two pufferfish genomes. It is freely accessible at http://ECRbase.dcode.org.

  12. Regional variation in morphology of vertebral centra and intervertebral joints in striped bass, Morone saxatilis.

    PubMed

    Nowroozi, B N; Harper, C J; De Kegel, B; Adriaens, D; Brainerd, E L

    2012-04-01

    The vertebral column of fishes has traditionally been divided into just two distinct regions, abdominal and caudal. Recently, however, developmental, morphological, and mechanical investigations have brought this traditional regionalization scheme into question. Alternative regionalization schema advocate the division of the abdominal vertebrae into cervical, abdominal, and in some cases, transitional regions. Here, we investigate regional variation at the level of the vertebrae and intervertebral joint (IVJ) tissues in the striped bass, Morone saxatilis. We use gross dissection, histology, and polarized light imaging to quantify vertebral height, width, length, IVJ length, IVJ tissue volume and cross-sectional area, and vertical septum fiber populations, and angles of insertion. Our results reveal regional differences between the first four (most rostral) abdominal vertebrae and IVJs and the next six abdominal vertebrae and IVJs, supporting the recognition of a distinct cervical region. We found significant variation in vertebral length, width, and height from cranial to caudal. In addition, we see a significant decline in the volume of notochordal cells and the cross-sectional area of the fibrous sheath from cranial to caudal. Further, polarized light imaging revealed four distinct fiber populations within the vertical septum in the cervical and abdominal regions in contrast with just one fiber population found in the caudal region. Measurement of the insertion angles of these fiber populations revealed significant differences between the cervical and abdominal regions. Differences in vertebral, IVJ, and vertical septum morphology all predict greater range of motion and decreased stiffness in the caudal region of the fish compared with the cervical and abdominal regions.

  13. Regional Variations in Shear Strength and Density of the Human Thoracic Vertebral Endplate and Trabecular Bone

    PubMed Central

    Jauregui, Julio J.; Cornish, Nathan; Jason-Rousseau, Rebecca; Chatterjee, Dipal; Feuer, Gavriel; Hayes, Westley; Kapadia, Bhaveen H.; Carter, John N.; Yoshihara, Hiroyuki; Saha, Subrata

    2017-01-01

    Background Previous studies investigated the overall mechanical strength of the vertebral body; however, limited information is available on the biomechanical properties of different regions within the vertebral endplate and cancellous bone. In addition, the correlation between mechanical strength and various density measurements has not been studied yet. Methods Thoracic (T10) vertebrae were harvested from fifteen human cadaveric spines (average age: 77 years old). Twelve cylindrical cores of 7.2 mm (diameter) by 3.2 mm (height) were prepared from each vertebral body. Shear was produced using a stainless steel tubular blade and measured with a load cell from a mechanical testing machine. Optical and bulk densities were calculated before mechanical testing. Apparent, material, and ash densities were measured after testing. Results Material density and shear strength increased from anterior to lateral regions of both endplate and cancellous bone. Endplate shear strength was significantly lower in the anterior (0.52 ± 0.08 MPa) than in the lateral region (2.72 ± 0.59 MPa) (p=0.017). Trabecular bone maximum load carrying capacity was 5 times higher in the lateral (12 ± 2.74 N) (p=0.09) and 4.5 times higher in the central (10 ± 2.24 N) (p=0.2) than in the anterior (2 ± 0.60 N) regions. Mechanical strength positively correlated with ash density, and even moreso with material density. Conclusion Shear strength was the lowest at the anterior region and highest at the lateral region for both endplate and cancellous bone. Material density had the best correlation with mechanical strength. Newer spinal implants could optimize the loading in the lateral aspects of both endplate and cancellous bone to reduce the likelihood of screw loosening and the subsidence of disc replacement devices. This study was reviewed by the SUNY Downstate Medical Center IRB Committee; IRB#: 533603-2. PMID:28377865

  14. Condensin I associates with structural and gene regulatory regions in vertebrate chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ji Hun; Zhang, Tao; Wong, Nicholas C; Davidson, Nadia; Maksimovic, Jovana; Oshlack, Alicia; Earnshaw, William C; Kalitsis, Paul; Hudson, Damien F

    2014-01-01

    The condensin complex is essential for correct packaging and segregation of chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis in all eukaryotes. To date, the genome wide location and the nature of condensin binding sites has remained elusive in vertebrates. Here we report the genome wide map of condensin I in chicken DT40 cells. Unexpectedly, we find condensin I binds predominately to promoter sequences in mitotic cells. We also find a striking enrichment at both centromeres and telomeres, highlighting the importance of the complex in chromosome segregation. Taken together, the results show condensin I is largely absent from heterochromatic regions. This map of the condensin I binding sites on the chicken genome reveals that patterns of condensin distribution on chromosomes are conserved from prokaryotes, through yeasts to vertebrates. Thus in three kingdoms of life, condensin is enriched on promoters of actively transcribed genes and at loci important for chromosome segregation. PMID:24088984

  15. Genetic analysis of vertebral regionalization and number in medaka (Oryzias latipes) inbred lines.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Tetsuaki; Shinya, Minori; Naruse, Kiyosi

    2012-11-01

    Vertebral number is the most variable trait among vertebrates. In addition to the vertebral number, the ratio of abdominal to caudal vertebrae is a variable trait. The vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal to caudal vertebrae contribute to vertebrate diversity. It is very interesting to know how to determine the vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal to caudal vertebrae. In this study, we identify differences in the vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal vertebrae to vertebral number between two inbred lines of medaka, namely, Hd-rRII1 and Kaga. To identify the genetic factor of those differences, we performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal vertebrae to vertebral number using 200 F(2) fish. Our results show a suggestive QTL of the ratio of abdominal vertebrae to vertebral number on chromosome 15, and five QTL of vertebral number on chromosomes 1, 10, 11, 17, and 23. The QTL on chromosome 15 contains hoxDb cluster genes. The QTL of vertebral number include some genes related to the segmentation clock and axial elongation. In addition, we show that the difference in vertebral number between two inbred lines is derived from differences in the anteroposterior length of somites. Our results emphasize that the developmental process should be considered in genetic analyses for vertebral number.

  16. The human vertebral column at the end of the embryonic period proper. 2. The occipitocervical region.

    PubMed Central

    O'Rahilly, R; Müller, F; Meyer, D B

    1983-01-01

    The present investigation of the cervical region of the vertebral column at eight post-ovulatory weeks is the first such study based on precise reconstructions of staged embryos. At the end of the embryonic period proper, a typical vertebra is a U-shaped piece of cartilage characterized by spina bifida occulta. The notochord ascends through the centra and leaves the dens to enter the basal plate of the skull. The median column of the axis comprises three parts (designated X, Y, Z) which persist well into the fetal period. They are related to the first, second and third cervical nerves, respectively. Part X may project into the foramen magnum and form an occipito-axial joint. Part Z appears to be the centrum of the axis. The articular columns of the cervical vertebrae are twofold, as in the adult: an anterior (atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial) and a posterior (from the lower aspect of the axis downwards). Alar and transverse ligaments are present. Cavitation is not found in the embryonic period in either the atlanto-occipital or zygapophysial joints, and is generally not present in the median atlanto-axial joint either. Most of the transverse processes exhibit anterior and posterior tubercles. An 'intertubercular lamella' may or may not be present, i.e. the foramina transversaria are being formed around the vertebral artery. The spinal ganglia are generally partly in the vertebral canal and partly on the neural arches, medial to the articular processes. During the fetal period, the articular processes shift to a coronal position and this alteration appears to be associated with a corresponding change in the location of the spinal ganglia. Images Fig. 4 Fig. 7 PMID:6833119

  17. Evolution of the vertebrate genome as reflected in paralogous chromosomal regions in man and the house mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Lundin, L.G. )

    1993-04-01

    Gene constellations on several human chromosomes are interpreted as indications of large regional duplications that took place during evolution of the vertebrate genome. Four groups of paralogous chromosomal regions in man and the house mouse are suggested and are believed to be conserved remnants of the two or three rounds of tetraploidization that are likely to have occurred during evolution of the vertebrates. The phenomenon of differential silencing of genes is described. The importance of conservation of linkage of particular genes is discussed in relation to genetic regulation and cell differentiation. 120 refs., 5 tabs.

  18. Vertebrate fossils and trace fossils in Upper Jurassic-Lower cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, C. M.; Suárez, M.

    Pterosaur, dinosaur, and crocodile bones are recorded here for the first time in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region east of Copiapó, Chile. Trace fossils produced by vertebrate animals include the footprints of theropod dinosaurs and the depressions of sandstone laminae interpreted as burrows and foot impressions. The fossils occur in the 1500-meter-thick Quebrada Monardes Formation, which consists predominantly of the aeolian and alluvial deposits of a semi-arid terrestrial environment. Vertebrate fossils are very rare in Chile. Dinosaur bones and footprints have previously been recorded at only seven locations, and pterosaur remains at only one location. The newly discovered dinosaur bones are the oldest to be described in Chile.

  19. HNK-1 immunoreactivity during early morphogenesis of the head region in a nonmodel vertebrate, crocodile embryo.

    PubMed

    Kundrát, Martin

    2008-11-01

    The present study examines HNK-1 immunoidentification of a population of the neural crest (NC) during early head morphogenesis in the nonmodel vertebrate, the crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) embryos. Although HNK-1 is not an exclusive NC marker among vertebrates, temporospatial immunoreactive patterns found in the crocodile are almost consistent with NC patterns derived from gene expression studies known in birds (the closest living relatives of crocodiles) and mammals. In contrast to birds, the HNK-1 epitope is immunoreactive in NC cells at the neural fold level in crocodile embryos and therefore provides sufficient base to assess early migratory events of the cephalic NC. I found that crocodile NC forms three classic migratory pathways in the head: mandibular, hyoid, and branchial. Further, I demonstrate that, besides this classic phenotype, there is also a forebrain-derived migratory population, which consolidates into a premandibular stream in the crocodile. In contrast to the closely related chick model, crocodilian premandibular and mandibular NC cells arise from the open neural tube suggesting that species-specific heterochronic behavior of NC may be involved in the formation of different vertebrate facial phenotypes.

  20. HNK-1 immunoreactivity during early morphogenesis of the head region in a nonmodel vertebrate, crocodile embryo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundrát, Martin

    2008-11-01

    The present study examines HNK-1 immunoidentification of a population of the neural crest (NC) during early head morphogenesis in the nonmodel vertebrate, the crocodile ( Crocodylus niloticus) embryos. Although HNK-1 is not an exclusive NC marker among vertebrates, temporospatial immunoreactive patterns found in the crocodile are almost consistent with NC patterns derived from gene expression studies known in birds (the closest living relatives of crocodiles) and mammals. In contrast to birds, the HNK-1 epitope is immunoreactive in NC cells at the neural fold level in crocodile embryos and therefore provides sufficient base to assess early migratory events of the cephalic NC. I found that crocodile NC forms three classic migratory pathways in the head: mandibular, hyoid, and branchial. Further, I demonstrate that, besides this classic phenotype, there is also a forebrain-derived migratory population, which consolidates into a premandibular stream in the crocodile. In contrast to the closely related chick model, crocodilian premandibular and mandibular NC cells arise from the open neural tube suggesting that species-specific heterochronic behavior of NC may be involved in the formation of different vertebrate facial phenotypes.

  1. Expression of growth differentiation factor 6 in the human developing fetal spine retreats from vertebral ossifying regions and is restricted to cartilaginous tissues.

    PubMed

    Wei, Aiqun; Shen, Bojiang; Williams, Lisa A; Bhargav, Divya; Gulati, Twishi; Fang, Zhimin; Pathmanandavel, Sarennya; Diwan, Ashish D

    2016-02-01

    During embryogenesis vertebral segmentation is initiated by sclerotomal cell migration and condensation around the notochord, forming anlagen of vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs. The factors that govern the segmentation are not clear. Previous research demonstrated that mutations in growth differentiation factor 6 resulted in congenital vertebral fusion, suggesting this factor plays a role in development of vertebral column. In this study, we detected expression and localization of growth differentiation factor 6 in human fetal spinal column, especially in the period of early ossification of vertebrae and the developing intervertebral discs. The extracellular matrix proteins were also examined. Results showed that high levels of growth differentiation factor 6 were expressed in the nucleus pulposus of intervertebral discs and the hypertrophic chondrocytes adjacent to the ossification centre in vertebral bodies, where strong expression of proteoglycan and collagens was also detected. As fetal age increased, the expression of growth differentiation factor 6 was decreased correspondingly with the progress of ossification in vertebral bodies and restricted to cartilaginous regions. This expression pattern and the genetic link to vertebral fusion suggest that growth differentiation factor 6 may play an important role in suppression of ossification to ensure proper vertebral segmentation during spinal development.

  2. The vertebrate ancestral repertoire of visual opsins, transducin alpha subunits and oxytocin/vasopressin receptors was established by duplication of their shared genomic region in the two rounds of early vertebrate genome duplications

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Vertebrate color vision is dependent on four major color opsin subtypes: RH2 (green opsin), SWS1 (ultraviolet opsin), SWS2 (blue opsin), and LWS (red opsin). Together with the dim-light receptor rhodopsin (RH1), these form the family of vertebrate visual opsins. Vertebrate genomes contain many multi-membered gene families that can largely be explained by the two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in the vertebrate ancestor (2R) followed by a third round in the teleost ancestor (3R). Related chromosome regions resulting from WGD or block duplications are said to form a paralogon. We describe here a paralogon containing the genes for visual opsins, the G-protein alpha subunit families for transducin (GNAT) and adenylyl cyclase inhibition (GNAI), the oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (OT/VP-R), and the L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CACNA1-L). Results Sequence-based phylogenies and analyses of conserved synteny show that the above-mentioned gene families, and many neighboring gene families, expanded in the early vertebrate WGDs. This allows us to deduce the following evolutionary scenario: The vertebrate ancestor had a chromosome containing the genes for two visual opsins, one GNAT, one GNAI, two OT/VP-Rs and one CACNA1-L gene. This chromosome was quadrupled in 2R. Subsequent gene losses resulted in a set of five visual opsin genes, three GNAT and GNAI genes, six OT/VP-R genes and four CACNA1-L genes. These regions were duplicated again in 3R resulting in additional teleost genes for some of the families. Major chromosomal rearrangements have taken place in the teleost genomes. By comparison with the corresponding chromosomal regions in the spotted gar, which diverged prior to 3R, we could time these rearrangements to post-3R. Conclusions We present an extensive analysis of the paralogon housing the visual opsin, GNAT and GNAI, OT/VP-R, and CACNA1-L gene families. The combined data imply that the early vertebrate WGD events contributed to the

  3. Efficient regeneration by activation of neurogenesis in homeostatically quiescent regions of the adult vertebrate brain.

    PubMed

    Berg, Daniel A; Kirkham, Matthew; Beljajeva, Anna; Knapp, Dunja; Habermann, Bianca; Ryge, Jesper; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András

    2010-12-01

    In contrast to mammals, salamanders and teleost fishes can efficiently repair the adult brain. It has been hypothesised that constitutively active neurogenic niches are a prerequisite for extensive neuronal regeneration capacity. Here, we show that the highly regenerative salamander, the red spotted newt, displays an unexpectedly similar distribution of active germinal niches with mammals under normal physiological conditions. Proliferation zones in the adult newt brain are restricted to the forebrain, whereas all other regions are essentially quiescent. However, ablation of midbrain dopamine neurons in newts induced ependymoglia cells in the normally quiescent midbrain to proliferate and to undertake full dopamine neuron regeneration. Using oligonucleotide microarrays, we have catalogued a set of differentially expressed genes in these activated ependymoglia cells. This strategy identified hedgehog signalling as a key component of adult dopamine neuron regeneration. These data show that brain regeneration can occur by activation of neurogenesis in quiescent brain regions.

  4. Vertebrate Dissimilarity Due to Turnover and Richness Differences in a Highly Beta-Diverse Region: The Role of Spatial Grain Size, Dispersal Ability and Distance

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Moreno, Claudia E.; Pineda-López, Rubén; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2013-01-01

    We explore the influence of spatial grain size, dispersal ability, and geographic distance on the patterns of species dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, separating the dissimilarity explained by species replacement (turnover) from that resulting from richness differences. With data for 905 species of terrestrial vertebrates distributed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, classified into five groups according to their taxonomy and dispersal ability, we calculated total dissimilarity and its additive partitioning as two components: dissimilarity derived from turnover and dissimilarity derived from richness differences. These indices were compared using fine (10 x 10 km), intermediate (20 x 20 km) and coarse (40 x 40 km) grain grids, and were tested for any correlations with geographic distance. The results showed that total dissimilarity is high for the terrestrial vertebrates in this region. Total dissimilarity, and dissimilarity due to turnover are correlated with geographic distance, and the patterns are clearer when the grain is fine, which is consistent with the distance-decay pattern of similarity. For all terrestrial vertebrates tested on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec both the dissimilarity derived from turnover and the dissimilarity resulting from richness differences make important contributions to total dissimilarity, and dispersal ability does not seem to influence the dissimilarity patterns. These findings support the idea that conservation efforts in this region require a system of interconnected protected areas that embrace the environmental, climatic and biogeographic heterogeneity of the area. PMID:24324840

  5. Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Vertebrates and Invertebrates Pacific Ocean Region. Report 5. The Parrotfishes, Family Scaridae

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-03-01

    AND ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS OF COASTAL VERTEBRATES AND INVERTEBRATES PACIFIC OCEAN REGION Report 5 THE PARROTFISHES , FAMILY SCARIDAE by R. E. Brock...necessary and Identify by block number) Parrotfishes are highly colorful species inhabiting coral reefs of the world’s trop- ical seas. They may usually be...confusion in the taxonomic literature; there are about 68 species of parrotfishes worldwide. Little is known about the life history of parrotfish

  6. Involvement of Hedgehog and FGF signalling in the lamprey telencephalon: evolution of regionalization and dorsoventral patterning of the vertebrate forebrain.

    PubMed

    Sugahara, Fumiaki; Aota, Shin-ichi; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Murakami, Yasunori; Takio-Ogawa, Yoko; Hirano, Shigeki; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2011-03-01

    Dorsoventral (DV) specification is a crucial step for the development of the vertebrate telencephalon. Clarifying the origin of this mechanism will lead to a better understanding of vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) evolution. Based on the lamprey, a sister group of the gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates), we identified three lamprey Hedgehog (Hh) homologues, which are thought to play central signalling roles in telencephalon patterning. However, unlike in gnathostomes, none of these genes, nor Lhx6/7/8, a marker for the migrating interneuron subtype, was expressed in the ventral telencephalon, consistent with the reported absence of the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) in this animal. Homologues of Gsh2, Isl1/2 and Sp8, which are involved in the patterning of the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE) of gnathostomes, were expressed in the lamprey subpallium, as in gnathostomes. Hh signalling is necessary for induction of the subpallium identity in the gnathostome telencephalon. When Hh signalling was inhibited, the ventral identity was disrupted in the lamprey, suggesting that prechordal mesoderm-derived Hh signalling might be involved in the DV patterning of the telencephalon. By blocking fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling, the ventral telencephalon was suppressed in the lamprey, as in gnathostomes. We conclude that Hh- and FGF-dependent DV patterning, together with the resultant LGE identity, are likely to have been established in a common ancestor before the divergence of cyclostomes and gnathostomes. Later, gnathostomes would have acquired a novel Hh expression domain corresponding to the MGE, leading to the obtainment of cortical interneurons.

  7. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control, and use of non-toxic fishing tackle by visitors. 

  8. FRG1, a gene in the FSH muscular dystrophy region on human chromosome 4q35, is highly conserved in vertebrates and invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Grewal, P K; Todd, L C; van der Maarel, S; Frants, R R; Hewitt, J E

    1998-08-17

    The human FRG1 gene maps to human chromosome 4q35 and was identified as a candidate for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. However, FRG1 is apparently not causally associated with the disease and as yet, its function remains unclear. We have cloned homologues of FRG1 from two additional vertebrates, the mouse and the Japanese puffer fish Fugu rubripes, and investigated the genomic organization of the genes in the two species. The intron/exon structure of the genes is identical throughout the protein coding region, although the Fugu gene is five times smaller than the mouse gene. We have also identified FRG1 homologues in two nematodes; Caenorhabditis elegans and Brugia malayi. The FRG1 protein is highly conserved and contains a lipocalin sequence motif, suggesting it may function as a transport protein.

  9. Building the Vertebrate Spine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    to scoliosis in humans. Finally, the subsequent regional differentiation of the precursors of the vertebrae is controlled by Hox genes, whose collinear expression controls both gastrulation of somite precursors and their subsequent patterning into region-specific types of structures. Therefore somite development provides an outstanding paradigm to study patterning and differentiation in vertebrate embryos.

  10. Localization of Proliferating Cells in the Inter-Vertebral Region of the Developing and Adult Vertebrae of Lizards in Relation to Growth and Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2016-04-01

    New cartilaginous tissues in lizards is formed during the regeneration of the tail or after vertebral damage. In order to understand the origin of new cartilaginous cells in the embryo and after injury of adult vertebrae we have studied the distribution of proliferating cartilaginous cells in the vertebral column of embryos and adults of the lizard Anolis lineatopus using autoradiography for H3-thymidine and light and ultrastructural immunocytochemistry for 5BrdU. Proliferating sclerotomal cells initially surround the notochord in a segmental pattern and give rise to the chondrocytes of the vertebral centrum that replace the original chordal cells. Qualitative observations show that proliferating sclerotomal cells dilute the labeling up to 13 days post-injection but a few maintain the labeling as long labeling retention cells and remain in the inter-centra and perichondrium after birth. These cells supply new chondroblasts for post-natal growth of vertebrae but can also proliferate in case of vertebral damage or tail amputation in lizards, a process that sustains tail regeneration. The lack of somitic organization in the regenerating tail impedes the re-formation of a segmental vertebral column that is instead replaced by a continuous cartilaginous tube. It is hypothesized that long labeling retaining cells might represent stem/primordial cells, and that their permanence in the inter-vertebral cartilages and the nearby perichondrium in adult lizards pre-adapt these reptiles to elicit a broad cartilage regeneration in case of injury of the vertebrae.

  11. Spinal cord compression due to vertebral hemangioma.

    PubMed

    Aksu, Gorkem; Fayda, Merdan; Saynak, Mert; Karadeniz, Ahmet

    2008-02-01

    This article presents a case of multiple vertebral hemangiomas in a 58-year-old man with pain in the dorsal region and bilateral progressive foot numbness. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed multiple vertebral hemangiomas. One hemangioma at the T7 level demonstrated epidural extension, causing spinal cord compression. After treatment with radiotherapy, the patient's symptoms improved significantly.

  12. Extracranial vertebral artery intervention.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Debabrata; Pineda, Guillermo

    2007-12-01

    Atherosclerosis is the commonest cause of vertebral artery stenosis and has a predilection for the origin and proximal section of the extracranial portion of the vessel and also the intracranial portion of the vessel. Although it has generally been thought that extracranial vertebral artery (ECVA) disease has a more benign outcome compared to intracranial vertebral artery disease, significant occlusive disease of the proximal vertebral artery is the primary cause of vertebral artery ischemia in a significant proportion of patients. We focus on the interventional management of patients with proximal ECVA disease in this article.

  13. Sequencing and analysis of the gene-rich space of cowpea

    PubMed Central

    Timko, Michael P; Rushton, Paul J; Laudeman, Thomas W; Bokowiec, Marta T; Chipumuro, Edmond; Cheung, Foo; Town, Christopher D; Chen, Xianfeng

    2008-01-01

    Background Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp., is one of the most important food and forage legumes in the semi-arid tropics because of its drought tolerance and ability to grow on poor quality soils. Approximately 80% of cowpea production takes place in the dry savannahs of tropical West and Central Africa, mostly by poor subsistence farmers. Despite its economic and social importance in the developing world, cowpea remains to a large extent an underexploited crop. Among the major goals of cowpea breeding and improvement programs is the stacking of desirable agronomic traits, such as disease and pest resistance and response to abiotic stresses. Implementation of marker-assisted selection and breeding programs is severely limited by a paucity of trait-linked markers and a general lack of information on gene structure and organization. With a nuclear genome size estimated at ~620 Mb, the cowpea genome is an ideal target for reduced representation sequencing. Results We report here the sequencing and analysis of the gene-rich, hypomethylated portion of the cowpea genome selectively cloned by methylation filtration (MF) technology. Over 250,000 gene-space sequence reads (GSRs) with an average length of 610 bp were generated, yielding ~160 Mb of sequence information. The GSRs were assembled, annotated by BLAST homology searches of four public protein annotation databases and four plant proteomes (A. thaliana, M. truncatula, O. sativa, and P. trichocarpa), and analyzed using various domain and gene modeling tools. A total of 41,260 GSR assemblies and singletons were annotated, of which 19,786 have unique GenBank accession numbers. Within the GSR dataset, 29% of the sequences were annotated using the Arabidopsis Gene Ontology (GO) with the largest categories of assigned function being catalytic activity and metabolic processes, groups that include the majority of cellular enzymes and components of amino acid, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. A total of 5,888 GSRs had

  14. Two Rare Variants of Left Vertebral Artery.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rajani

    2017-02-15

    Though the variations of vertebral artery are clinically asymptomatic yet abnormalities are of diagnostic importance either prior to vascular surgery in the neck region or in patients of intravascular diseases such as arteriovenous malformations or cerebral aneurysms. Therefore, the aim of the study is to bring out 2 variations in the configuration of vertebral artery and their clinical implication. During dissection of thorax of 2 female cadavers, 2 different variants of configurations of left vertebral arteries were observed. In 1 patient, the left vertebral artery arose aberrantly from arch of aorta between left common carotid artery and left subclavian artery. This artery then, following oblique course, abnormally entered into foramen transversarium of C4 vertebra. In the second patient, the left common stump emerged from arch of aorta in the left side of left common carotid artery and then instantly bifurcated into vertebral artery and subclavian artery. Then following the usual oblique course, the left vertebral artery anomalously entered into foramen transversarium of C3 vertebra at the level of upper border of thyroid cartilage. The knowledge of these rare variations in the origin of vertebral artery is of paramount importance to surgeons performing surgery in neck region, radiologist performing angiography to avoid misinterpretation of radiographs and to anatomists for rare variations in academics and research.

  15. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  16. Developmental control of segment numbers in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Céline; Pourquié, Olivier

    2009-09-15

    Segmentation or metamery in vertebrates is best illustrated by the repetition of the vertebrae and ribs, their associated skeletal muscles and blood vessels, and the spinal nerves and ganglia. The segment number varies tremendously among the different vertebrate species, ranging from as few as six vertebrae in some frogs to as many as several hundred in some snakes and fish. In vertebrates, metameric segments or somites form sequentially during body axis formation. This results in the embryonic axis becoming entirely segmented into metameric units from the level of the otic vesicle almost to the very tip of the tail. The total segment number mostly depends on two parameters: (1) the control of the posterior growth of the body axis during somitogenesis-more same-size segments can be formed in a longer axis and (2) segment size--more smaller--size segments can be formed in a same-size body axis. During evolution, independent variations of these parameters could explain the huge diversity in segment numbers observed among vertebrate species. These variations in segment numbers are accompanied by diversity in the regionalization of the vertebral column. For example, amniotes can exhibit up to five different types of vertebrae: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal, the number of which varies according to the species. This regionalization of the vertebral column is controlled by the Hox family of transcription factors. We propose that during development, dissociation of the Hox- and segmentation-clock-dependent vertebral patterning systems explains the enormous diversity of vertebral formulae observed in vertebrates.

  17. Developmental control of segment numbers in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Céline; Pourquié, Olivier

    2011-01-01

    Segmentation or metamery in vertebrates is best illustrated by the repetition of the vertebrae and ribs, their associated skeletal muscles and blood vessels, and the spinal nerves and ganglia. The segment number varies tremendously among the different vertebrate species, ranging from as few as six vertebrae in some frogs to as many as several hundred in some snakes and fish. In vertebrates, metameric segments or somites form sequentially during body axis formation. This results in the embryonic axis becoming entirely segmented into metameric units from the level of the otic vesicle almost to the very tip of the tail. The total segment number mostly depends on two parameters: (1) the control of the posterior growth of the body axis during somitogenesis—more same-size segments can be formed in a longer axis and (2) segment size—more smaller-size segments can be formed in a same-size body axis. During evolution, independent variations of these parameters could explain the huge diversity in segment numbers observed among vertebrate species. These variations in segment numbers are accompanied by diversity in the regionalization of the vertebral column. For example, amniotes can exhibit up to five different types of vertebrae: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal, the number of which varies according to the species. This regionalization of the vertebral column is controlled by the Hox family of transcription factors. We propose that during development, dissociation of the Hox- and segmentation-clock-dependent vertebral patterning systems explains the enormous diversity of vertebral formulae observed in vertebrates. PMID:19621429

  18. Vertebral Compression Fractures

    MedlinePlus

    ... OI: Information on Vertebral Compression Fractures 804 W. Diamond Ave., Ste. 210 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 (800) 981- ... osteogenesis imperfecta contact : Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation 804 W. Diamond Avenue, Suite 210, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 Tel: 800- ...

  19. Incidental vertebral lesions.

    PubMed

    Coumans, Jean-Valery C E; Walcott, Brian P

    2011-12-01

    Incidental vertebral lesions on imaging of the spine are commonly encountered in clinical practice. Contributing factors include the aging population, the increasing prevalence of back pain, and increased usage of MR imaging. Additionally, refinements in CT and MR imaging have increased the number of demonstrable lesions. The management of incidental findings varies among practitioners and commonly depends more on practice style than on data or guidelines. In this article we review incidental findings within the vertebral column and review management of these lesions, based on available Class III data.

  20. Vertebral-Basilar Insufficiency

    PubMed Central

    Cape, Ronald D. T.; Hogan, David B.

    1983-01-01

    Vertebral-basilar ischemia can result in giddiness, transient ischemic attacks, and drop attacks. Management involves controlling blood pressure, getting the patient to stop smoking, controlling diabetes and/or hyperlipidemia, and instituting antiplatelet therapy. Several facets of this problem remain unexplained. PMID:21283322

  1. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton.

  2. [A vertebral arteriovenous fistula diagnosed by auscultation].

    PubMed

    Iglesias Escalera, G; Diaz-Delgado Peñas, R; Carrasco Marina, M Ll; Maraña Perez, A; Ialeggio, D

    2015-01-01

    Cervical artery fistulas are rare arteriovenous malformations. The etiology of the vertebral arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) can be traumatic or spontaneous. They tend to be asymptomatic or palpation or continuous vibration in the cervical region. An arteriography is necessary for a definitive diagnosis. The treatment is complete embolization of the fistula. We present the case of a two year-old male, where the mother described it «like a washing machine in his head». On palpation during the physical examination, there was a continuous vibration, and a continuous murmur in left cervical region. A vascular malformation in vertebral region was clinically suspected, and confirmed with angio-MRI and arteriography. AVF are rare in childhood. They should be suspected in the presence of noises, palpation or continuous vibration in the cervical region. Early diagnosis can prevent severe complications in asymptomatic children.

  3. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Here again, a basic segmental plan for the head has been sought among chordates. We convened a symposium that brought together leading researchers dealing with this problem, in a number of different evolutionary and developmental contexts. Here we give an overview of the outcome and the status of the field in this modern era of Evo-Devo. We emphasize the fact that the head segmentation problem is not fully resolved, and we discuss new directions in the search for hints for a way out of this maze. PMID:20607135

  4. Viruses of lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Essbauer, S; Ahne, W

    2001-08-01

    Viruses of lower vertebrates recently became a field of interest to the public due to increasing epizootics and economic losses of poikilothermic animals. These were reported worldwide from both wildlife and collections of aquatic poikilothermic animals. Several RNA and DNA viruses infecting fish, amphibians and reptiles have been studied intensively during the last 20 years. Many of these viruses induce diseases resulting in important economic losses of lower vertebrates, especially in fish aquaculture. In addition, some of the DNA viruses seem to be emerging pathogens involved in the worldwide decline in wildlife. Irido-, herpes- and polyomavirus infections may be involved in the reduction in the numbers of endangered amphibian and reptile species. In this context the knowledge of several important RNA viruses such as orthomyxo-, paramyxo-, rhabdo-, retro-, corona-, calici-, toga-, picorna-, noda-, reo- and birnaviruses, and DNA viruses such as parvo-, irido-, herpes-, adeno-, polyoma- and poxviruses, is described in this review.

  5. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-07-07

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns.

  6. Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Laurence J; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2015-06-01

    Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) region to examine whether replacing exotic vertebrates with reintroduced native vertebrates led to changes in soil fungal communities at a reserve in arid central Australia. Soil fungal diversity was significantly different between dune and swale (interdune) habitats. Fungal communities also differed significantly between sites with exotic or reintroduced native vertebrates after controlling for the effect of habitat. Several fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) found exclusively inside the reserve were present in scats from reintroduced native vertebrates, providing a direct link between the vertebrate assemblage and soil microbial communities. Our results show that changes to vertebrate assemblages through local extinctions and the invasion of exotic species can alter soil fungal communities. If local extinction of one or several species results in the coextinction of microbial taxa, the full complement of ecological interactions may never be restored.

  7. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  8. Comparative Studies of Vertebrate Beta Integrin Genes and Proteins: Ancient Genes in Vertebrate Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Roger S.; Rout, Ujjwal K.

    2011-01-01

    Intregins are heterodimeric α- and β-subunit containing membrane receptor proteins which serve various cell adhesion roles in tissue repair, hemostasis, immune response, embryogenesis and metastasis. At least 18 α- (ITA or ITGA) and 8 β-integrin subunits (ITB or ITGB) are encoded on mammalian genomes. Comparative ITB amino acid sequences and protein structures and ITB gene locations were examined using data from several vertebrate genome projects. Vertebrate ITB genes usually contained 13–16 coding exons and encoded protein subunits with ∼800 amino acids, whereas vertebrate ITB4 genes contained 36-39 coding exons and encoded larger proteins with ∼1800 amino acids. The ITB sequences exhibited several conserved domains including signal peptide, extracellular β-integrin, β-tail domain and integrin β-cytoplasmic domains. Sequence alignments of the integrin β-cytoplasmic domains revealed highly conserved regions possibly for performing essential functions and its maintenance during vertebrate evolution. With the exception of the human ITB8 sequence, the other ITB sequences shared a predicted 19 residue α-helix for this region. Potential sites for regulating human ITB gene expression were identified which included CpG islands, transcription factor binding sites and microRNA binding sites within the 3′-UTR of human ITB genes. Phylogenetic analyses examined the relationships of vertebrate beta-integrin genes which were consistent with four major groups: 1: ITB1, ITB2, ITB7; 2: ITB3, ITB5, ITB6; 3: ITB4; and 4: ITB8 and a common evolutionary origin from an ancestral gene, prior to the appearance of fish during vertebrate evolution. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that ITB4 is the most likely primordial form of the vertebrate β integrin subunit encoding genes, that is the only β subunit expressed as a constituent of the sole integrin receptor ‘α6β4’ in the hemidesmosomes of unicellular organisms. PMID:24970121

  9. Non-contiguous multifocal vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jen Xin; Li, Jordan Yuanzhi; Yong, Tuck Yean

    2015-03-01

    Serratia marcescens is a common nosocomial infection but a rare cause of osteomyelitis and more so of vertebral osteomyelitis. Vertebral osteomyelitis caused by this organism has been reported in few studies. We report a case of S. marcescens vertebral discitis and osteomyelitis affecting multiple non-contiguous vertebras. Although Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of vertebral osteomyelitis, rare causes, such as S. marcescens, need to be considered, especially when risk factors such as intravenous heroin use, post-spinal surgery and immunosuppression are present. Therefore, blood culture and where necessary biopsy of the infected region should be undertaken to establish the causative organism and determine appropriate antibiotic susceptibility. Prompt diagnosis of S. marcescens vertebral osteomyelitis followed by the appropriate treatment can achieve successful outcomes.

  10. What's new in vertebral cementoplasty?

    PubMed Central

    Guarnieri, Gianluigi; Giurazza, Francesco; Manfrè, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral cementoplasty is a well-known mini-invasive treatment to obtain pain relief in patients affected by vertebral porotic fractures, primary or secondary spine lesions and spine trauma through intrametameric cement injection. Two major categories of treatment are included within the term vertebral cementoplasty: the first is vertebroplasty in which a simple cement injection in the vertebral body is performed; the second is assisted technique in which a device is positioned inside the metamer before the cement injection to restore vertebral height and allow a better cement distribution, reducing the kyphotic deformity of the spine, trying to obtain an almost normal spine biomechanics. We will describe the most advanced techniques and indications of vertebral cementoplasty, having recently expanded the field of applications to not only patients with porotic fractures but also spine tumours and trauma. PMID:26728798

  11. Conservation anchors in the vertebrate genome

    PubMed Central

    Aloni, Ronny; Lancet, Doron

    2005-01-01

    Genomic segments that do not code for proteins yet show high conservation among vertebrates have recently been identified by various computational methodologies. We refer to them as ANCORs (ancestral non-coding conserved regions). The frequency of individual ANCORs within the genome, along with their (correlated) inter-species identity scores, helps in assessing the probability that they function in transcription regulation or RNA coding. PMID:15998454

  12. Spermatogenesis in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pudney, J

    1995-12-15

    Spermatogenesis appears to be a fairly conserved process throughout the vertebrate series. Thus, spermatogonia develop into spermatocytes that undergo meiosis to produce spermatids which enter spermiogenesis where they undergo a morphological transformation into spermatozoa. There is, however, variation amongst the vertebrates in how germ cell development and maturation is accomplished. This difference can be broadly divided into two distinct patterns, one present in anamniotes (fish, amphibia) and the other in amniotes (reptiles, birds, mammals). For anamniotes, spermatogenesis occurs in spermatocysts (cysts) which for most species develop within seminiferous lobules. Cysts are produced when a Sertoli cell becomes associated with a primary spermatogonium. Mitotic divisions of the primary spermatogonium produce a cohort of secondary spermatogonia that are enclosed by the Sertoli cell which forms the wall of the cyst. With spermatogenic progression a clone of isogeneic spermatozoa is produced which are released, by rupture of the cyst, into the lumen of the seminiferous lobule. Following spermiation, the Sertoli cell degenerates. For anamniotes, therefore, there is no permanent germinal epithelium since spermatocysts have to be replaced during successive breeding seasons. By contrast, spermatogenesis in amniotes does not occur in cysts but in seminiferous tubules that possess a permanent population of Sertoli cells and spermatogonia which act as a germ cell reservoir for succeeding bouts of spermatogenic activity. There is, in general, a greater variation in the organization of the testis and pattern of spermatogenesis in the anamniotes compared to amniotes. This is primarily due to the fact there is more reproductive diversity in anamniotes ranging from a relatively unspecialized condition where gametes are simply released into the aqueous environment to highly specialized strategies involving internal fertilization. These differences are obviously reflected in the

  13. Opportunistic Identification of Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    Adams, Judith E

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are powerful predictors of future fracture, so, their identification is important to ensure that patients are commenced on appropriate bone protective or bone-enhancing therapy. Risk factors (e.g., low bone mineral density and increasing age) and symptoms (back pain, loss of height) may herald the presence of vertebral fractures, which are usually confirmed by performing spinal radiographs or, increasingly, using vertebral fracture assessment with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanners. However, a large number (30% or more) of vertebral fractures are asymptomatic and do not come to clinical attention. There is, therefore, scope for opportunistic (fortuitous) identification of vertebral fractures from various imaging modalities (radiographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radionuclide scans) performed for other clinical indications and which include the spine in the field of view, with midline sagittal reformatted images from computed tomography having the greatest potential for such opportunistic detection. Numerous studies confirm this potential for identification but consistently find underreporting of vertebral fractures. So, a valuable opportunity to improve the management of patients at increased risk of future fracture is being squandered. Educational training programs for all clinicians and constant reiteration, stressing the importance of the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures ("you only see what you look for"), can improve the situation, and automated computer-aided diagnostic tools also show promise to solve the problem of this underreporting of vertebral fractures.

  14. Chemical ecology of vertebrate carrion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vertebrate carrion is a nutrient-rich, ephemeral resource that is utilized by many different organisms ranging from vertebrate and invertebrate scavengers to microbes. The organisms that consume carrion play an important ecological role, as decomposition is vital to ecosystem function. Without the...

  15. Congenital abnormalities of the vertebral column in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Proks, Pavel; Stehlik, Ladislav; Paninarova, Michaela; Irova, Katarina; Hauptman, Karel; Jekl, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Vertebral column pathologies requiring surgical intervention have been described in pet ferrets, however little information is available on the normal vertebral formula and congenital variants in this species. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe vertebral formulas and prevalence of congenital vertebral anomalies in a sample of pet ferrets. Radiographs of 172 pet ferrets (96 males and 76 females) were included in this retrospective study. In 143 ferrets (83.14%), five different formulas of the vertebral column were recorded with normal morphology of vertebrae (rib attachment included) but with a variable number of thoracic (Th), lumbar (L), and sacral (S) vertebrae. The number of cervical (C) vertebrae was constant in all examined animals. Observed vertebral formulas were C7/Th14/L6/S3 (51.74%), C7/Th14/L6/S4 (22.10%), C7/Th14/L7/S3 (6.98%), C7/Th15/L6/S3 (1.74%), and C7/Th15/L6/S4 (0.58%). Formula C7/Th14/L6/S4 was significantly more common in males than in females (P < 0.05). Congenital spinal abnormalities were found in 29 ferrets (16.86%), mostly localized in the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral regions. The cervical region was affected in only one case. Transitional vertebrae represented the most common congenital abnormalities (26 ferrets) in the thoracolumbar (13 ferrets) and lumbosacral regions (10 ferrets) or simultaneously in both regions (three ferrets). Other vertebral anomalies included block (two ferrets) and wedge vertebra (one ferret). Spina bifida was not detected. Findings from the current study indicated that vertebral formulas may vary in ferrets and congenital abnormalities are common. This should be taken into consideration for surgical planning.

  16. Differential segmental growth of the vertebral column of the rat (Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Philip J; Melin, Amanda D; Russell, Anthony P

    2006-01-01

    Despite the pervasive occurrence of segmental morphologies in the animal kingdom, the study of segmental growth is almost entirely lacking, but may have significant implications for understanding the development of these organisms. We investigate the segmental and regional growth of the entire vertebral column of the rat (Rattus norvegicus) by fitting a Gompertz curve to length and age data for each vertebra and each vertebral region. Regional lengths are calculated by summing constituent vertebral lengths and intervertebral space lengths for cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and caudal regions. Gompertz curves allow for the estimation of parameters representing neonatal and adult vertebral and regional lengths, as well as initial growth rate and the rate of exponential growth decay. Findings demonstrate differences between neonatal and adult rats in terms of relative vertebral lengths, and differential growth rates between sequential vertebrae and vertebral regions. Specifically, relative differences in the length of vertebrae indicate increasing differences caudad. Vertebral length in neonates increases from the atlas to the middle of the thoracic series and decreases in length caudad, while adult vertebral lengths tend to increase caudad. There is also a general trend of increasing vertebral and regional initial growth and rate of growth decay caudad. Anteroposterior patterns of growth are sexually dimorphic, with males having longer vertebrae than females at any given age. Differences are more pronounced (a) increasingly caudad along the body axis, and (b) in adulthood than in neonates. Elucidated patterns of growth are influenced by a combination of developmental, functional, and genetic factors.

  17. Comparative anatomy: all vertebrates do have vertebrae.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Philippe

    2011-09-13

    In contrast to lampreys and jawed vertebrates, hagfishes were thought to lack vertebrae. Now, long overlooked vertebral rudiments have been analysed in hagfish, suggesting that vertebrae existed in the last common ancestor of all vertebrates.

  18. A revised metric for quantifying body shape in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Reynaga, Crystal M; Ward, Andrea B; Mehta, Rita S

    2013-08-01

    Vertebrates exhibit tremendous diversity in body shape, though quantifying this variation has been challenging. In the past, researchers have used simplified metrics that either describe overall shape but reveal little about its anatomical basis or that characterize only a subset of the morphological features that contribute to shape variation. Here, we present a revised metric of body shape, the vertebrate shape index (VSI), which combines the four primary morphological components that lead to shape diversity in vertebrates: head shape, length of the second major body axis (depth or width), and shape of the precaudal and caudal regions of the vertebral column. We illustrate the usefulness of VSI on a data set of 194 species, primarily representing five major vertebrate clades: Actinopterygii, Lissamphibia, Squamata, Aves, and Mammalia. We quantify VSI diversity within each of these clades and, in the course of doing so, show how measurements of the morphological components of VSI can be obtained from radiographs, articulated skeletons, and cleared and stained specimens. We also demonstrate that head shape, secondary body axis, and vertebral characteristics are important independent contributors to body shape diversity, though their importance varies across vertebrate groups. Finally, we present a functional application of VSI to test a hypothesized relationship between body shape and the degree of axial bending associated with locomotor modes in ray-finned fishes. Altogether, our study highlights the promise VSI holds for identifying the morphological variation underlying body shape diversity as well as the selective factors driving shape evolution.

  19. Antibody Isotype Switching in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Senger, Kate; Hackney, Jason; Payandeh, Jian; Zarrin, Ali A

    2015-01-01

    The humoral or antibody-mediated immune response in vertebrates has evolved to respond to diverse antigenic challenges in various anatomical locations. Diversification of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) constant region via isotype switching allows for remarkable plasticity in the immune response, including versatile tissue distribution, Fc receptor binding, and complement fixation. This enables antibody molecules to exert various biological functions while maintaining antigen-binding specificity. Different immunoglobulin (Ig) classes include IgM, IgD, IgG, IgE, and IgA, which exist as surface-bound and secreted forms. High-affinity autoantibodies are associated with various autoimmune diseases such as lupus and arthritis, while defects in components of isotype switching are associated with infections. A major route of infection used by a large number of pathogens is invasion of mucosal surfaces within the respiratory, digestive, or urinary tract. Most infections of this nature are initially limited by effector mechanisms such as secretory IgA antibodies. Mucosal surfaces have been proposed as a major site for the genesis of adaptive immune responses, not just in fighting infections but also in tolerating commensals and constant dietary antigens. We will discuss the evolution of isotype switching in various species and provide an overview of the function of various isotypes with a focus on IgA, which is universally important in gut homeostasis as well as pathogen clearance. Finally, we will discuss the utility of antibodies as therapeutic modalities.

  20. Mitotic chromosome condensation in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Vagnarelli, Paola

    2012-07-15

    Work from several laboratories over the past 10-15 years has revealed that, within the interphase nucleus, chromosomes are organized into spatially distinct territories [T. Cremer, C. Cremer, Chromosome territories, nuclear architecture and gene regulation in mammalian cells, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2 (2001) 292-301 and T. Cremer, M. Cremer, S. Dietzel, S. Muller, I. Solovei, S. Fakan, Chromosome territories-a functional nuclear landscape, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 18 (2006) 307-316]. The overall compaction level and intranuclear location varies as a function of gene density for both entire chromosomes [J.A. Croft, J.M. Bridger, S. Boyle, P. Perry, P. Teague,W.A. Bickmore, Differences in the localization and morphology of chromosomes in the human nucleus, J. Cell Biol. 145 (1999) 1119-1131] and specific chromosomal regions [N.L. Mahy, P.E. Perry, S. Gilchrist, R.A. Baldock, W.A. Bickmore, Spatial organization of active and inactive genes and noncoding DNA within chromosome territories, J. Cell Biol. 157 (2002) 579-589] (Fig. 1A, A'). In prophase, when cyclin B activity reaches a high threshold, chromosome condensation occurs followed by Nuclear Envelope Breakdown (NEB) [1]. At this point vertebrate chromosomes appear as compact structures harboring an attachment point for the spindle microtubules physically recognizable as a primary constriction where the two sister chromatids are held together. The transition from an unshaped interphase chromosome to the highly structured mitotic chromosome (compare Figs. 1A and B) has fascinated researchers for several decades now; however a definite picture of how this process is achieved and regulated is not yet in our hands and it will require more investigation to comprehend the complete process. From a biochemical point of view a vertebrate mitotic chromosomes is composed of DNA, histone proteins (60%) and non-histone proteins (40%) [6]. I will discuss below what is known to date on the contribution of these two different classes of

  1. Evolution of vertebrate sex chromosomes and dosage compensation.

    PubMed

    Graves, Jennifer A Marshall

    2016-01-01

    Differentiated sex chromosomes in mammals and other vertebrates evolved independently but in strikingly similar ways. Vertebrates with differentiated sex chromosomes share the problems of the unequal expression of the genes borne on sex chromosomes, both between the sexes and with respect to autosomes. Dosage compensation of genes on sex chromosomes is surprisingly variable - and can even be absent - in different vertebrate groups. Systems that compensate for different gene dosages include a wide range of global, regional and gene-by-gene processes that differ in their extent and their molecular mechanisms. However, many elements of these control systems are similar across distant phylogenetic divisions and show parallels to other gene silencing systems. These dosage systems cannot be identical by descent but were probably constructed from elements of ancient silencing mechanisms that are ubiquitous among vertebrates and shared throughout eukaryotes.

  2. Evolution of the vertebrate epididymis.

    PubMed

    Jones, R C

    1998-01-01

    This review examines the structure and function of the extratesticular sperm ducts of vertebrates in terms of their evolutionary development and adaptive significance. The primitive extratesticular duct system of Chondrichthyes is described as an example of the vertebrate archetype. Adaptations of the duct system in higher vertebrates have involved a loss of some structures and specialization of others. The duct system probably evolved as a homeostatic mechanism to facilitate fertilization and some embryological development under conditions protected from the external environment. However, it is argued that the ducts also play an important role in the competition between males to achieve paternity. In vertebrates that practise internal fertilization the ducts are involved in post-testicular maturation and storage of spermatozoa. The biological significance of post-testicular sperm maturation has not been resolved. By contrast, sperm storage is essential in most male vertebrates because of the slow rate of spermatogenesis, particularly in ectotherms. Sperm storage is also important in the competition between males for paternity as it enables a male to mate a 'partner' a number of times during an oestrus in order to reduce the prospect of being cuckolded by another male. The extent of sperm maturation and storage in the epididymis of particular vertebrates depends on the relative roles of the testis and its extragonadal ducts in the competition between males for paternity. These roles depend on a number of factors, including allometric limitations to testis size, metabolic rate and the development of endothermy, and the reproductive strategy of females of the species.

  3. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression.

  4. Recombination Drives Vertebrate Genome Contraction

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kiwoong; Ellegren, Hans

    2012-01-01

    Selective and/or neutral processes may govern variation in DNA content and, ultimately, genome size. The observation in several organisms of a negative correlation between recombination rate and intron size could be compatible with a neutral model in which recombination is mutagenic for length changes. We used whole-genome data on small insertions and deletions within transposable elements from chicken and zebra finch to demonstrate clear links between recombination rate and a number of attributes of reduced DNA content. Recombination rate was negatively correlated with the length of introns, transposable elements, and intergenic spacer and with the rate of short insertions. Importantly, it was positively correlated with gene density, the rate of short deletions, the deletion bias, and the net change in sequence length. All these observations point at a pattern of more condensed genome structure in regions of high recombination. Based on the observed rates of small insertions and deletions and assuming that these rates are representative for the whole genome, we estimate that the genome of the most recent common ancestor of birds and lizards has lost nearly 20% of its DNA content up until the present. Expansion of transposable elements can counteract the effect of deletions in an equilibrium mutation model; however, since the activity of transposable elements has been low in the avian lineage, the deletion bias is likely to have had a significant effect on genome size evolution in dinosaurs and birds, contributing to the maintenance of a small genome. We also demonstrate that most of the observed correlations between recombination rate and genome contraction parameters are seen in the human genome, including for segregating indel polymorphisms. Our data are compatible with a neutral model in which recombination drives vertebrate genome size evolution and gives no direct support for a role of natural selection in this process. PMID:22570634

  5. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Siew Fen Lisa; Agarwal, Vikram; Mansfield, Jennifer H.; Denans, Nicolas; Schwartz, Matthew G.; Prosser, Haydn M.; Pourquié, Olivier; Bartel, David P.; Tabin, Clifford J.; McGlinn, Edwina

    2015-01-01

    The Hox genes play a central role in patterning the embryonic anterior-to-posterior axis. An important function of Hox activity in vertebrates is the specification of different vertebral morphologies, with an additional role in axis elongation emerging. The miR-196 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to extensively target Hox 3′ UTRs, although the full extent to which miR-196 regulates Hox expression dynamics and influences mammalian development remains to be elucidated. Here we used an extensive allelic series of mouse knockouts to show that the miR-196 family of miRNAs is essential both for properly patterning vertebral identity at different axial levels and for modulating the total number of vertebrae. All three miR-196 paralogs, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b, act redundantly to pattern the midthoracic region, whereas 196a2 and 196b have an additive role in controlling the number of rib-bearing vertebra and positioning of the sacrum. Independent of this, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b act redundantly to constrain total vertebral number. Loss of miR-196 leads to a collective up-regulation of numerous trunk Hox target genes with a concomitant delay in activation of caudal Hox genes, which are proposed to signal the end of axis extension. Additionally, we identified altered molecular signatures associated with the Wnt, Fgf, and Notch/segmentation pathways and demonstrate that miR-196 has the potential to regulate Wnt activity by multiple mechanisms. By feeding into, and thereby integrating, multiple genetic networks controlling vertebral number and identity, miR-196 is a critical player defining axial formulae. PMID:26283362

  6. Automatic vertebral identification using surface-based registration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herring, Jeannette L.; Dawant, Benoit M.

    2000-06-01

    This work introduces an enhancement to currently existing methods of intra-operative vertebral registration by allowing the portion of the spinal column surface that correctly matches a set of physical vertebral points to be automatically selected from several possible choices. Automatic selection is made possible by the shape variations that exist among lumbar vertebrae. In our experiments, we register vertebral points representing physical space to spinal column surfaces extracted from computed tomography images. The vertebral points are taken from the posterior elements of a single vertebra to represent the region of surgical interest. The surface is extracted using an improved version of the fully automatic marching cubes algorithm, which results in a triangulated surface that contains multiple vertebrae. We find the correct portion of the surface by registering the set of physical points to multiple surface areas, including all vertebral surfaces that potentially match the physical point set. We then compute the standard deviation of the surface error for the set of points registered to each vertebral surface that is a possible match, and the registration that corresponds to the lowest standard deviation designates the correct match. We have performed our current experiments on two plastic spine phantoms and one patient.

  7. [Neural crest and vertebrate evolution].

    PubMed

    Le Douarin, Nicole M; Creuzet, Sophie

    2011-01-01

    The neural crest (NC) is a remarkable structure of the Vertebrate embryo, which forms from the lateral borders of the neural plate (designated as neural folds) during neural tube closure. As soon as the NC is formed, its constitutive cells detach and migrate away from the neural primordium along definite pathways and at precise periods of time according to a rostro-caudal progression. The NC cells aggregate in definite places in the developing embryo, where they differentiate into a large variety of cell types including the neurons and glial cells of the peripheral nervous system, the pigment cells dispersed throughout the body and endocrine cells such as the adrenal medulla and the calcitonin producing cells. At the cephalic level only, in higher Vertebrates (but along the whole neural axis in Fishes and Amphibians), the NC is also at the origin of mesenchymal cells differentiating into connective tissue chondrogenic and osteogenic cells. Vertebrates belong to the larger group of Cordates which includes also the Protocordates (Cephalocordates and the Urocordates). All Cordates are characterized by the same body plan with a dorsal neural tube and a notochord which, in Vertebrates, exists only at embryonic stages. The main difference between Protocordates and Vertebrates is the very rudimentary development of cephalic structures in the former. As a result, the process of cephalization is one of the most obvious characteristics of Vertebrates. It was accompanied by the apparition of the NC which can therefore be considered as an innovation of Vertebrates during evolution. The application of a cell marking technique which consists in constructing chimeric embryos between two species of birds, the quail and the chicken, has led to show that the vertebrate head is mainly formed by cells originating from the NC, meaning that this structure was an important asset in Vertebrate evolution. Recent studies, described in this article, have strengthened this view by showing

  8. Vestibular blueprint in early vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Straka, Hans; Baker, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Central vestibular neurons form identifiable subgroups within the boundaries of classically outlined octavolateral nuclei in primitive vertebrates that are distinct from those processing lateral line, electrosensory, and auditory signals. Each vestibular subgroup exhibits a particular morpho-physiological property that receives origin-specific sensory inputs from semicircular canal and otolith organs. Behaviorally characterized phenotypes send discrete axonal projections to extraocular, spinal, and cerebellar targets including other ipsi- and contralateral vestibular nuclei. The anatomical locations of vestibuloocular and vestibulospinal neurons correlate with genetically defined hindbrain compartments that are well conserved throughout vertebrate evolution though some variability exists in fossil and extant vertebrate species. The different vestibular subgroups exhibit a robust sensorimotor signal processing complemented with a high degree of vestibular and visual adaptive plasticity. PMID:24312016

  9. Cystic Abnormalities of the Spinal Cord and Vertebral Column.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Ronaldo C; Cook, Laurie B

    2016-03-01

    Cystic lesions of the vertebral column and spinal cord are important differential diagnoses in dogs with signs of spinal cord disease. Synovial cysts are commonly associated with degenerative joint disease and usually affect the cervical and lumbosacral regions. Arachnoid diverticulum (previously known as cyst) is seen in the cervical region of large breed dogs and thoracolumbar region of small breed dogs. This article reviews the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of these and other, less common, cystic lesions.

  10. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  11. Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Moles, Alexis; Hamel, Olivier; Perret, Christophe; Bord, Eric; Robert, Roger; Buffenoir, Kevin

    2014-05-01

    Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas during pregnancy are rare, as only 27 cases have been reported in the literature since 1948. However, symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas can be responsible for spinal cord compression, in which case they constitute a medical emergency, which raises management difficulties in the context of pregnancy. Pregnancy is a known factor responsible for deterioration of these vascular tumors. In this paper, the authors report 2 clinical cases of symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas during pregnancy, including 1 case of spontaneous fracture that has never been previously reported in the literature. The authors then present a brief review of the literature to discuss emergency management of this condition. The first case was a 28-year-old woman at 35 weeks of gestation, who presented with paraparesis. Spinal cord MRI demonstrated a vertebral hemangioma invading the body and posterior arch of T-3 with posterior epidural extension. Laminectomy and vertebroplasty were performed after cesarean section, allowing neurological recovery. The second case involved a 35-year-old woman who presented with spontaneous fracture of T-7 at 36 weeks of gestation, revealing a vertebral hemangioma with no neurological deficit, but it was responsible for pain and local instability. Treatment consisted of postpartum posterior interbody fusion. With a clinical and radiological follow-up of 2 years, no complications and no modification of the hemangiomas were observed. A review of the literature reveals discordant management of these rare cases, which is why the treatment course must be decided by a multidisciplinary team as a function of fetal gestational age and maternal neurological features.

  12. Early development of the vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Scaal, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The segmental organization of the vertebrate body is most obviously visible in the vertebral column, which consists of a series of vertebral bones and interconnecting joints and ligaments. During embryogenesis, the vertebral column derives from the somites, which are the primary segments of the embryonic paraxial mesoderm. Anatomical, cellular and molecular aspects of vertebral column development have been of interest to developmental biologists for more than 150 years. This review briefly summarizes the present knowledge on early steps of vertebral column development in amniotes, starting from sclerotome formation and leading to the establishment of the anatomical bauplan of the spine composed of vertebral bodies, vertebral arches, intervertebral discs and ribs, and their specific axial identities along the body axis.

  13. Lumbo-costo-vertebral syndrome with congenital lumbar hernia.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Lucky; Mala, Tariq Ahmed; Gupta, Rahul; Malla, Shahid Amin

    2014-01-01

    Lumbo-costo-vertebral syndrome (LCVS) is a set of rare abnormalities involving vertebral bodies, ribs, and abdominal wall. We present a case of LCVS in a 2-year-old girl who had a progressive swelling over left lumbar area noted for the last 12 months. Clinical examination revealed a reducible swelling with positive cough impulse. Ultrasonography showed a defect containing bowel loops in the left lumbar region. Chest x-ray showed scoliosis and hemivertebrae with absent lower ribs on left side. Meshplasty was done.

  14. Evolution of endothelin receptors in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Braasch, Ingo; Schartl, Manfred

    2014-12-01

    Endothelin receptors are G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) of the β-group of rhodopsin receptors that bind to endothelin ligands, which are 21 amino acid long peptides derived from longer prepro-endothelin precursors. The most basal Ednr-like GPCR is found outside vertebrates in the cephalochordate amphioxus, but endothelin ligands are only present among vertebrates, including the lineages of jawless vertebrates (lampreys and hagfishes), cartilaginous vertebrates (sharks, rays, and chimaeras), and bony vertebrates (ray-finned fishes and lobe-finned vertebrates including tetrapods). A bona fide endothelin system is thus a vertebrate-specific innovation with important roles for regulating the cardiovascular system, renal and pulmonary processes, as well as for the development of the vertebrate-specific neural crest cell population and its derivatives. Expectedly, dysregulation of endothelin receptors and the endothelin system leads to a multitude of human diseases. Despite the importance of different types of endothelin receptors for vertebrate development and physiology, current knowledge on endothelin ligand-receptor interactions, on the expression of endothelin receptors and their ligands, and on the functional roles of the endothelin system for embryonic development and in adult vertebrates is very much biased towards amniote vertebrates. Recent analyses from a variety of vertebrate lineages, however, have shown that the endothelin system in lineages such as teleost fish and lampreys is more diverse and is divergent from the mammalian endothelin system. This diversity is mainly based on differential evolution of numerous endothelin system components among vertebrate lineages generated by two rounds of whole genome duplication (three in teleosts) during vertebrate evolution. Here we review current understanding of the evolutionary history of the endothelin receptor family in vertebrates supplemented with surveys on the endothelin receptor gene complement of

  15. Cervical vertebral bone age in girls.

    PubMed

    Mito, Toshinori; Sato, Koshi; Mitani, Hideo

    2002-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to establish cervical vertebral bone age as a new index for objectively evaluating skeletal maturation on cephalometric radiographs. Using cephalometric radiographs of 176 girls (ages 7.0-14.9 years), we measured cervical vertebral bodies and determined a regression formula to obtain cervical vertebral bone age. Next, using cephalometric and hand-wrist radiographs of another 66 girls (ages 8.0-13.9 years), we determined the correlation between cervical vertebral bone age and bone age using the Tanner-Whitehouse 2 method. The following results were obtained: (1) a regression formula was determined to obtain cervical vertebral bone age based on ratios of measurements in the third and fourth cervical vertebral bodies; (2) the correlation coefficient for the relationship between cervical vertebral bone age and bone age (0.869) was significantly (P <.05) higher than that for the relationship between cervical vertebral bone age and chronological age (0.705); and (3) the difference (absolute value) between the cervical vertebral bone age and bone age (0.75 years) was significantly (P <.001) smaller than that between cervical vertebral bone age and chronological age (1.17 years). These results suggest that cervical vertebral bone age reflects skeletal maturity because it approximates bone age, which is considered to be the most reliable method for evaluating skeletal maturation. Using cervical vertebral bone age, it might be possible to evaluate maturity in a detailed and objective manner on cephalometric radiographs.

  16. Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Bradford J

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty were developed to reduce pain and improve quality of life for patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. However, the use of vertebral augmentation has been debated and questioned since its inception. This article addresses some of these issues.

  17. Active DNA demethylation at enhancers during the vertebrate phylotypic period.

    PubMed

    Bogdanović, Ozren; Smits, Arne H; de la Calle Mustienes, Elisa; Tena, Juan J; Ford, Ethan; Williams, Ruth; Senanayake, Upeka; Schultz, Matthew D; Hontelez, Saartje; van Kruijsbergen, Ila; Rayon, Teresa; Gnerlich, Felix; Carell, Thomas; Veenstra, Gert Jan C; Manzanares, Miguel; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Ecker, Joseph R; Vermeulen, Michiel; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis; Lister, Ryan

    2016-04-01

    The vertebrate body plan and organs are shaped during a conserved embryonic phase called the phylotypic stage. However, the mechanisms that guide the epigenome through this transition and their evolutionary conservation remain elusive. Here we report widespread DNA demethylation of enhancers during the phylotypic period in zebrafish, Xenopus tropicalis and mouse. These enhancers are linked to developmental genes that display coordinated transcriptional and epigenomic changes in the diverse vertebrates during embryogenesis. Binding of Tet proteins to (hydroxy)methylated DNA and enrichment of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in these regions implicated active DNA demethylation in this process. Furthermore, loss of function of Tet1, Tet2 and Tet3 in zebrafish reduced chromatin accessibility and increased methylation levels specifically at these enhancers, indicative of DNA methylation being an upstream regulator of phylotypic enhancer function. Overall, our study highlights a regulatory module associated with the most conserved phase of vertebrate embryogenesis and suggests an ancient developmental role for Tet dioxygenases.

  18. Evolution and Diversity of Transposable Elements in Vertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Sotero-Caio, Cibele G.; Platt, Roy N.; Suh, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are selfish genetic elements that mobilize in genomes via transposition or retrotransposition and often make up large fractions of vertebrate genomes. Here, we review the current understanding of vertebrate TE diversity and evolution in the context of recent advances in genome sequencing and assembly techniques. TEs make up 4–60% of assembled vertebrate genomes, and deeply branching lineages such as ray-finned fishes and amphibians generally exhibit a higher TE diversity than the more recent radiations of birds and mammals. Furthermore, the list of taxa with exceptional TE landscapes is growing. We emphasize that the current bottleneck in genome analyses lies in the proper annotation of TEs and provide examples where superficial analyses led to misleading conclusions about genome evolution. Finally, recent advances in long-read sequencing will soon permit access to TE-rich genomic regions that previously resisted assembly including the gigantic, TE-rich genomes of salamanders and lungfishes. PMID:28158585

  19. The common ancestral core of vertebrate and fungal telomerase RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Xiaodong; Li, Yang; Honda, Shinji; Hoffmann, Steve; Marz, Manja; Mosig, Axel; Podlevsky, Joshua D.; Stadler, Peter F.; Selker, Eric U.; Chen, Julian J.-L.

    2013-01-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein with an intrinsic telomerase RNA (TER) component. Within yeasts, TER is remarkably large and presents little similarity in secondary structure to vertebrate or ciliate TERs. To better understand the evolution of fungal telomerase, we identified 74 TERs from Pezizomycotina and Taphrinomycotina subphyla, sister clades to budding yeasts. We initially identified TER from Neurospora crassa using a novel deep-sequencing–based approach, and homologous TER sequences from available fungal genome databases by computational searches. Remarkably, TERs from these non-yeast fungi have many attributes in common with vertebrate TERs. Comparative phylogenetic analysis of highly conserved regions within Pezizomycotina TERs revealed two core domains nearly identical in secondary structure to the pseudoknot and CR4/5 within vertebrate TERs. We then analyzed N. crassa and Schizosaccharomyces pombe telomerase reconstituted in vitro, and showed that the two RNA core domains in both systems can reconstitute activity in trans as two separate RNA fragments. Furthermore, the primer-extension pulse-chase analysis affirmed that the reconstituted N. crassa telomerase synthesizes TTAGGG repeats with high processivity, a common attribute of vertebrate telomerase. Overall, this study reveals the common ancestral cores of vertebrate and fungal TERs, and provides insights into the molecular evolution of fungal TER structure and function. PMID:23093598

  20. Globalisation reaches gene regulation: the case for vertebrate limb development.

    PubMed

    Zuniga, Aimée

    2005-08-01

    Analysis of key regulators of vertebrate limb development has revealed that the cis-regulatory regions controlling their expression are often located several hundred kilobases upstream of the transcription units. These far up- or down-stream cis-regulatory regions tend to reside within rather large, functionally and structurally unrelated genes. Molecular analysis is beginning to reveal the complexity of these large genomic landscapes, which control the co-expression of clusters of diverse genes by this novel type of long-range and globally acting cis-regulatory region. An increasing number of spontaneous mutations in vertebrates, including humans, are being discovered inactivating or altering such global control regions. Thereby, the functions of a seemingly distant but essential gene are disrupted rather than the closest.

  1. Morphological castes in a vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    O'Riain, M. J.; Jarvis, J. U. M.; Alexander, R.; Buffenstein, R.; Peeters, C.

    2000-01-01

    Morphological specialization for a specific role has, until now, been assumed to be restricted to social invertebrates. Herein we show that complete physical dimorphism has evolved between reproductives and helpers in the eusocial naked mole-rat. Dimorphism is a consequence of the lumbar vertebrae lengthening after the onset of reproduction in females. This is the only known example of morphological castes in a vertebrate and is distinct from continuous size variation between breeders and helpers in other species of cooperatively breeding vertebrates. The evolution of castes in a mammal and insects represents a striking example of convergent evolution for enhanced fecundity in societies characterized by high reproductive skew. Similarities in the selective environment between naked mole-rats and eusocial insect species highlight the selective conditions under which queen/worker castes are predicted to evolve in animal societies. PMID:11087866

  2. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord.

  3. Vertebral osteomyelitis complicated by iliopsoas muscle abscess in an immunocompetent adolescent: successful conservative treatment.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shun-Yao; Wei, Ta-Sen; Chen, Yen-Chun; Huang, Shih-Wei

    2012-10-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis is rare in children. The lumbar spine is the most commonly involved region. Vertebral osteomyelitis occurs more frequently in the vertebral body, and involvement of posterior element is rare. Vertebral osteomyelitis results from hematogenous seeding, spread from contiguous infections, and direct inoculation from spinal surgery. Initial symptoms include low back pain, difficulty standing, limping gait, and fever. Blood cultures should be obtained for children with vertebral osteomyelitis because it is the definite guide for providing accurate treatment. Computed tomographyi-guided abscess aspiration should be considered for patients with negative blood cultures. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common microorganism in vertebral osteomyelitis, and the incidence of methicillin-resistant S aureus has increased in recent years. Plain radiographs, bone scintigraphy, and magnetic resonance imaging are useful for making the diagnosis. Antimicrobial therapy for 6 weeks is usually successful, and an early transition to oral form does not increase the risk of treatment failure. Debridement with implant removal is required, especially for late-onset infections associated with previous spinal surgery. Vertebral osteomyelitis can cause motor weakness and paralysis. Because of the involvement of spinal development, spinal deformities, including scoliosis and loss of normal lumbar lordosis, should be a concern in pediatric patients. Early diagnosis and adequate treatment for vertebral osteomyelitis are important to prevent severe complications and lifelong disabilities.This article describes the case of a 14-year-old boy with spontaneous lumbar vertebral osteomyelitis who initially presented with low back pain and was successfully treated nonoperatively.

  4. Ewing's sarcoma of the vertebral column

    SciTech Connect

    Pilepich, M.V.; Vietti, T.J.; Nesbit, M.E.; Tefft, M.; Kissane, J.; Burgert, O.; Pritchard, D.; Gehan, E.A.

    1981-01-01

    Twenty-two patients with vertebral primaries were registered in the Intergroup Ewing's Sarcoma Study between 1973 and 1977. The radiation doses to the primary tumors ranged between 3800 and 6200 rad. All patients received intensive combination chemotherapy. After a followup ranging between 14 and 62 months, 14 patients remained disease-free. All patients with primary tumor of the cervical and dorsal spine remained disease-free. Of eight patients with lesions in the distal spine, (sacrococcygeal region) six developed recurrence, in three a local recurrence was observed despite doses of 6000 rad or higher. Doses of 5000 rad or less (in addition to combination chemotherapy as used in the Intergroup Ewing's Study) appear adequate in controlling the primary tumors of the proximal segments of the spinal column.

  5. Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    L. CONCHA, MIGUEL; W. WILSON, STEPHEN

    2001-01-01

    The epithalamus is a major subdivision of the diencephalon constituted by the habenular nuclei and pineal complex. Structural asymmetries in this region are widespread amongst vertebrates and involve differences in size, neuronal organisation, neurochemistry and connectivity. In species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ, this structure projects asymmetrically to the left habenula, and in teleosts it is also situated on the left side of the brain. Asymmetries in size between the left and right sides of the habenula are often associated with asymmetries in neuronal organisation, although these two types of asymmetry follow different evolutionary courses. While the former is more conspicuous in fishes (with the exception of teleosts), asymmetries in neuronal organisation are more robust in amphibia and reptiles. Connectivity of the parapineal organ with the left habenula is not always coupled with asymmetries in habenular size and/or neuronal organisation suggesting that, at least in some species, assignment of parapineal and habenular asymmetries may be independent events. The evolutionary origins of epithalamic structures are uncertain but asymmetry in this region is likely to have existed at the origin of the vertebrate, perhaps even the chordate, lineage. In at least some extant vertebrate species, epithalamic asymmetries are established early in development, suggesting a genetic regulation of asymmetry. In some cases, epigenetic factors such as hormones also influence the development of sexually dimorphic habenular asymmetries. Although the genetic and developmental mechanisms by which neuroanatomical asymmetries are established remain obscure, some clues regarding the mechanisms underlying laterality decisions have recently come from studies in zebrafish. The Nodal signalling pathway regulates laterality by biasing an otherwise stochastic laterality decision to the left side of the epithalamus. This genetic mechanism ensures a consistency of

  6. Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions

    PubMed Central

    Bellard, C.; Genovesi, P.; Jeschke, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss have recently been challenged. Fundamentally, we must know where species that are threatened by invasive alien species (IAS) live, and the degree to which they are threatened. We report the first study linking 1372 vertebrates threatened by more than 200 IAS from the completely revised Global Invasive Species Database. New maps of the vulnerability of threatened vertebrates to IAS permit assessments of whether IAS have a major influence on biodiversity, and if so, which taxonomic groups are threatened and where they are threatened. We found that centres of IAS-threatened vertebrates are concentrated in the Americas, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The areas in which IAS-threatened species are located do not fully match the current hotspots of invasions, or the current hotspots of threatened species. The relative importance of biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss clearly varies across regions and taxa, and changes over time, with mammals from India, Indonesia, Australia and Europe are increasingly being threatened by IAS. The chytrid fungus primarily threatens amphibians, whereas invasive mammals primarily threaten other vertebrates. The differences in IAS threats between regions and taxa can help efficiently target IAS, which is essential for achieving the Strategic Plan 2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. PMID:26817767

  7. Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Bellard, C; Genovesi, P; Jeschke, J M

    2016-01-27

    Biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss have recently been challenged. Fundamentally, we must know where species that are threatened by invasive alien species (IAS) live, and the degree to which they are threatened. We report the first study linking 1372 vertebrates threatened by more than 200 IAS from the completely revised Global Invasive Species Database. New maps of the vulnerability of threatened vertebrates to IAS permit assessments of whether IAS have a major influence on biodiversity, and if so, which taxonomic groups are threatened and where they are threatened. We found that centres of IAS-threatened vertebrates are concentrated in the Americas, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The areas in which IAS-threatened species are located do not fully match the current hotspots of invasions, or the current hotspots of threatened species. The relative importance of biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss clearly varies across regions and taxa, and changes over time, with mammals from India, Indonesia, Australia and Europe are increasingly being threatened by IAS. The chytrid fungus primarily threatens amphibians, whereas invasive mammals primarily threaten other vertebrates. The differences in IAS threats between regions and taxa can help efficiently target IAS, which is essential for achieving the Strategic Plan 2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  8. Early steps in vertebrate cardiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Mohun, T; Sparrow, D

    1997-10-01

    Heart formation provides an excellent model for studying the molecular basis of cell determination in vertebrate embryos. By combining molecular assays with the experimental approaches of classic embryology, a model for the cell signalling events that initiate cardiogenesis is emerging. Studies of chick, amphibian, and fish embryos demonstrate the inductive role of dorso-anterior endoderm in specifying the cardiac fate of adjacent mesoderm. A consequence of this signalling is the onset of cardiomyogenesis and several transcription factors--Nkx2-5-related, HAND, GATA and MEF-2 families--contribute to these events.

  9. Vertebral Artery Injury during Routine Posterior Cervical Exposure: Case Reports and Review of Literature

    PubMed Central

    Molinari, Robert W.; Chimenti, Peter C.; Molinari, Robert; Gruhn, William

    2015-01-01

    Study Design Case series. Objective We report the unusual occurrence of vertebral artery injury (VAI) during routine posterior exposure of the cervical spine. The importance of preoperative planning to identify the course of the bilateral vertebral arteries during routine posterior cervical spine surgery is emphasized. Methods VAI is a rare but potentially devastating complication of cervical spinal surgery. Most reports of VAI are related to anterior surgical exposure or screw placement in the posterior cervical spine. VAI incurred during posterior cervical spinal exposure surgery is not adequately addressed in the existing literature. Two cases of VAI that occurred during routine posterior exposure of the cervical spine in the region of C2 are described. Results VAI was incurred unexpectedly in the region of the midportion of the posterior C1–C2 interval during the initial surgical exposure phase of the operation. An aberrant vertebral artery course in the V2 anatomical section in the region between C1 and C2 intervals was identified postoperatively in both patients. A literature review demonstrates a relatively high incidence of vertebral artery anomalies in the upper cervical spine; however, the literature is deficient in reporting vertebral artery injury in this region. Recommendations for preoperative vertebral artery imaging also remain unclear at this time. Conclusions Successful management of this unexpected complication was achieved in both cases. This case report and review of the literature highlights the importance of preoperative vertebral artery imaging and knowledge of the course of the vertebral arteries prior to planned routine posterior exposure of the upper cervical spine. In both cases, aberrancy of the vertebral artery was present and not investigated or detected preoperatively. PMID:26682106

  10. Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Eve R; Gracheva, Elena O; Bagriantsev, Slav N

    2016-05-01

    Evolution has endowed vertebrates with the remarkable tactile ability to explore the world through the perception of physical force. Yet the sense of touch remains one of the least well understood senses at the cellular and molecular level. Vertebrates specializing in tactile perception can highlight general principles of mechanotransduction. Here, we review cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie the sense of touch in typical and acutely mechanosensitive vertebrates.

  11. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  12. Numerical simulations of the blood flow through vertebral arteries.

    PubMed

    Jozwik, Krzysztof; Obidowski, Damian

    2010-01-19

    Vertebral arteries are two arteries whose structure and location in human body result in development of special flow conditions. For some of the arteries, one can observe a significant difference between flow rates in the left and the right arteries during ultrasonography diagnosis. Usually the reason of such a difference was connected with pathology of the artery in which a smaller flow rate was detected. Simulations of the flow through the selected type of the vertebral artery geometry for twenty five cases of artery diameters have been carried out. The main aim of the presented experiment was to visualize the flow in the region of vertebral arteries junction in the origin of the basilar artery. It is extremely difficult to examine this part of human circulation system, thus numerical experiments may be helpful in understanding the phenomena occurring when two relatively large arteries join together to form one vessel. The obtained results have shown that an individual configuration and diameters of particular arteries can exert an influence on the flow in them and affect a significant difference between flow rates for vertebral arteries. It has been assumed in the investigations that modelled arteries were absolutely normal, without any pathology. In the numerical experiment, the non-Newtonian model of blood was employed.

  13. Modeling vertebrate diversity in Oregon using satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cablk, Mary Elizabeth

    Vertebrate diversity was modeled for the state of Oregon using a parametric approach to regression tree analysis. This exploratory data analysis effectively modeled the non-linear relationships between vertebrate richness and phenology, terrain, and climate. Phenology was derived from time-series NOAA-AVHRR satellite imagery for the year 1992 using two methods: principal component analysis and derivation of EROS data center greenness metrics. These two measures of spatial and temporal vegetation condition incorporated the critical temporal element in this analysis. The first three principal components were shown to contain spatial and temporal information about the landscape and discriminated phenologically distinct regions in Oregon. Principal components 2 and 3, 6 greenness metrics, elevation, slope, aspect, annual precipitation, and annual seasonal temperature difference were investigated as correlates to amphibians, birds, all vertebrates, reptiles, and mammals. Variation explained for each regression tree by taxa were: amphibians (91%), birds (67%), all vertebrates (66%), reptiles (57%), and mammals (55%). Spatial statistics were used to quantify the pattern of each taxa and assess validity of resulting predictions from regression tree models. Regression tree analysis was relatively robust against spatial autocorrelation in the response data and graphical results indicated models were well fit to the data.

  14. A descending dopamine pathway conserved from basal vertebrates to mammals

    PubMed Central

    Ryczko, Dimitri; Cone, Jackson J.; Alpert, Michael H.; Goetz, Laurent; Auclair, François; Dubé, Catherine; Parent, Martin; Roitman, Mitchell F.; Alford, Simon; Dubuc, Réjean

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurons are classically known to modulate locomotion indirectly through ascending projections to the basal ganglia that project down to brainstem locomotor networks. Their loss in Parkinson’s disease is devastating. In lampreys, we recently showed that brainstem networks also receive direct descending dopaminergic inputs that potentiate locomotor output. Here, we provide evidence that this descending dopaminergic pathway is conserved to higher vertebrates, including mammals. In salamanders, dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum or brainstem locomotor networks were partly intermingled. Stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked dopamine release in brainstem locomotor networks and concurrent reticulospinal activity. In rats, some dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum also innervated the pedunculopontine nucleus, a known locomotor center, and stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked pedunculopontine dopamine release in vivo. Finally, we found dopaminergic fibers in the human pedunculopontine nucleus. The conservation of a descending dopaminergic pathway across vertebrates warrants re-evaluating dopamine’s role in locomotion. PMID:27071118

  15. What is the general action of ghrelin for vertebrates? - comparisons of ghrelin's effects across vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2013-01-15

    Ten years and more passed since ghrelin was discovered. Various physiological actions of ghrelin have been documented in both mammalian and nonmammalian vertebrates. Do these actions have any commonality? In this review, we focused on several effects of ghrelin, and compared the effect across vertebrates. We would like to discuss possible general function of ghrelin in vertebrates.

  16. Evolution and Functional Classification of Vertebrate Gene Deserts

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Loots, G; Nobrega, M; Hardison, R; Miller, W; Stubbs, L

    2004-07-14

    Gene deserts, long stretches of DNA sequence devoid of protein coding genes, span approximately one quarter of the human genome. Through human-chicken genome comparisons we were able to characterized one third of human gene deserts as evolutionarily stable - they are highly conserved in vertebrates, resist chromosomal rearrangements, and contain multiple conserved non-coding elements physically linked to their neighboring genes. A linear relationship was observed between human and chicken orthologous stable gene deserts, where the human deserts appear to have expanded homogeneously by a uniform accumulation of repetitive elements. Stable gene deserts are associated with key vertebrate genes that construct the framework of vertebrate development; many of which encode transcription factors. We show that the regulatory machinery governing genes associated with stable gene deserts operates differently from other regions in the human genome and relies heavily on distant regulatory elements. The regulation guided by these elements is independent of the distance between the gene and its distant regulatory element, or the distance between two distant regulatory cassettes. The location of gene deserts and their associated genes in the genome is independent of chromosomal length or content presenting these regions as well-bounded regions evolving separately from the rest of the genome.

  17. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning.

  18. Vertebral osteomyelitis in insulin-dependent diabetics.

    PubMed

    Cooppan, R; Schoenbaum, S; Younger, M D; Freidberg, S; D'elia, J

    1976-11-20

    Vertebral osteomyelitis continues to be a diagnostically and therapeutically challenging disease with a relatively high incidence in diabetics. The clinical features, investigations and treatment of 7 insulin-dependent diabetics with vertebral osteomyelitis are presented and possible aetiological factors in this group are discussed.

  19. Vertebral architecture in the earliest stem tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Stephanie E; Ahlberg, Per E; Hutchinson, John R; Molnar, Julia L; Sanchez, Sophie; Tafforeau, Paul; Clack, Jennifer A

    2013-02-14

    The construction of the vertebral column has been used as a key anatomical character in defining and diagnosing early tetrapod groups. Rhachitomous vertebrae--in which there is a dorsally placed neural arch and spine, an anteroventrally placed intercentrum and paired, posterodorsally placed pleurocentra--have long been considered the ancestral morphology for tetrapods. Nonetheless, very little is known about vertebral anatomy in the earliest stem tetrapods, because most specimens remain trapped in surrounding matrix, obscuring important anatomical features. Here we describe the three-dimensional vertebral architecture of the Late Devonian stem tetrapod Ichthyostega using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. Our scans reveal a diverse array of new morphological, and associated developmental and functional, characteristics, including a possible posterior-to-anterior vertebral ossification sequence and the first evolutionary appearance of ossified sternal elements. One of the most intriguing features relates to the positional relationships between the vertebral elements, with the pleurocentra being unexpectedly sutured or fused to the intercentra that directly succeed them, indicating a 'reverse' rhachitomous design. Comparison of Ichthyostega with two other stem tetrapods, Acanthostega and Pederpes, shows that reverse rhachitomous vertebrae may be the ancestral condition for limbed vertebrates. This study fundamentally revises our current understanding of vertebral column evolution in the earliest tetrapods and raises questions about the presumed vertebral architecture of tetrapodomorph fish and later, more crownward, tetrapods.

  20. The evolution of adaptive immunity in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Masayuki; Das, Sabyasachi; Guo, Peng; Cooper, Max D

    2011-01-01

    Approximately 500 million years ago, two types of recombinatorial adaptive immune systems (AISs) arose in vertebrates. The jawed vertebrates diversify their repertoire of immunoglobulin domain-based T and B cell antigen receptors mainly through the rearrangement of V(D)J gene segments and somatic hypermutation, but none of the fundamental AIS recognition elements in jawed vertebrates have been found in jawless vertebrates. Instead, the AIS of jawless vertebrates is based on variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) that are generated through recombinatorial usage of a large panel of highly diverse leucine-rich-repeat (LRR) sequences. Whereas the appearance of transposon-like, recombination-activating genes contributed uniquely to the origin of the AIS in jawed vertebrates, the use of activation-induced cytidine deaminase for receptor diversification is common to both the jawed and jawless vertebrates. Despite these differences in anticipatory receptor construction, the basic AIS design featuring two interactive T and B lymphocyte arms apparently evolved in an ancestor of jawed and jawless vertebrates within the context of preexisting innate immunity and has been maintained since as a consequence of powerful and enduring selection, most probably for pathogen defense purposes.

  1. Morphometric Relationship between the Cervicothoracic Cord Segments and Vertebral Bodies

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ji Hoon; Lee, Chul Woo; Chun, Kwon Soo; Shin, Won Han; Bae, Hack-Gun

    2012-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the morphologic characteristics between the vertebral body and the regions of the cervical and thoracic spinal cords where each rootlets branch out. Methods Sixteen adult cadavers (12 males and 4 females) with a mean age of 57.9 (range of 33 to 70 years old) were used in this study. The anatomical relationship between the exit points of the nerve roots from the posterior root entry zone at each spinal cord segment and their corresponding relevant vertebral bodies were also analyzed. Results Vertical span of the posterior root entry zone between the upper and lower rootlet originating from each spinal segment ranged from 10-12 mm. The lengths of the rootlets from their point of origin at the spinal cord to their entrance into the intervertebral foramen were 5.9 mm at the third cervical nerve root and increased to 14.5 mm at the eighth cervical nerve root. At the lower segments of the nerve roots (T3 to T12), the posterior root entry zone of the relevant nerve roots had a corresponding anatomical relationship with the vertebral body that is two segments above. The posterior root entry zones of the sixth (94%) and seventh (81%) cervical nerve roots were located at a vertebral body a segment above from relevant segment. Conclusion Through these investigations, a more accurate diagnosis, the establishment of a better therapeutic plan, and a decrease in surgical complications can be expected when pathologic lesions occur in the spinal cord or vertebral body. PMID:23133729

  2. Comparison of ultra-conserved elements in drosophilids and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Makunin, Igor V; Shloma, Viktor V; Stephen, Stuart J; Pheasant, Michael; Belyakin, Stepan N

    2013-01-01

    Metazoan genomes contain many ultra-conserved elements (UCEs), long sequences identical between distant species. In this study we identified UCEs in drosophilid and vertebrate species with a similar level of phylogenetic divergence measured at protein-coding regions, and demonstrated that both the length and number of UCEs are larger in vertebrates. The proportion of non-exonic UCEs declines in distant drosophilids whilst an opposite trend was observed in vertebrates. We generated a set of 2,126 Sophophora UCEs by merging elements identified in several drosophila species and compared these to the eutherian UCEs identified in placental mammals. In contrast to vertebrates, the Sophophora UCEs are depleted around transcription start sites. Analysis of 52,954 P-element, piggyBac and Minos insertions in the D. melanogaster genome revealed depletion of the P-element and piggyBac insertions in and around the Sophophora UCEs. We examined eleven fly strains with transposon insertions into the intergenic UCEs and identified associated phenotypes in five strains. Four insertions behave as recessive lethals, and in one case we observed a suppression of the marker gene within the transgene, presumably by silenced chromatin around the integration site. To confirm the lethality is caused by integration of transposons we performed a phenotype rescue experiment for two stocks and demonstrated that the excision of the transposons from the intergenic UCEs restores viability. Sequencing of DNA after the transposon excision in one fly strain with the restored viability revealed a 47 bp insertion at the original transposon integration site suggesting that the nature of the mutation is important for the appearance of the phenotype. Our results suggest that the UCEs in flies and vertebrates have both common and distinct features, and demonstrate that a significant proportion of intergenic drosophila UCEs are sensitive to disruption.

  3. Duplication and maintenance of the Myb genes of vertebrate animals.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Colin J; Guthrie, Erin E; Lipsick, Joseph S

    2013-02-15

    Gene duplication is an important means of generating new genes. The major mechanisms by which duplicated genes are preserved in the face of purifying selection are thought to be neofunctionalization, subfunctionalization, and increased gene dosage. However, very few duplicated gene families in vertebrate species have been analyzed by functional tests in vivo. We have therefore examined the three vertebrate Myb genes (c-Myb, A-Myb, and B-Myb) by cytogenetic map analysis, by sequence analysis, and by ectopic expression in Drosophila. We provide evidence that the vertebrate Myb genes arose by two rounds of regional genomic duplication. We found that ubiquitous expression of c-Myb and A-Myb, but not of B-Myb or Drosophila Myb, was lethal in Drosophila. Expression of any of these genes during early larval eye development was well tolerated. However, expression of c-Myb and A-Myb, but not of B-Myb or Drosophila Myb, during late larval eye development caused drastic alterations in adult eye morphology. Mosaic analysis implied that this eye phenotype was cell-autonomous. Interestingly, some of the eye phenotypes caused by the retroviral v-Myb oncogene and the normal c-Myb proto-oncogene from which v-Myb arose were quite distinct. Finally, we found that post-translational modifications of c-Myb by the GSK-3 protein kinase and by the Ubc9 SUMO-conjugating enzyme that normally occur in vertebrate cells can modify the eye phenotype caused by c-Myb in Drosophila. These results support a model in which the three Myb genes of vertebrates arose by two sequential duplications. The first duplication was followed by a subfunctionalization of gene expression, then neofunctionalization of protein function to yield a c/A-Myb progenitor. The duplication of this progenitor was followed by subfunctionalization of gene expression to give rise to tissue-specific c-Myb and A-Myb genes.

  4. Evolutionary Transition of Promoter and Gene Body DNA Methylation across Invertebrate-Vertebrate Boundary.

    PubMed

    Keller, Thomas E; Han, Priscilla; Yi, Soojin V

    2016-04-01

    Genomes of invertebrates and vertebrates exhibit highly divergent patterns of DNA methylation. Invertebrate genomes tend to be sparsely methylated, and DNA methylation is mostly targeted to a subset of transcription units (gene bodies). In a drastic contrast, vertebrate genomes are generally globally and heavily methylated, punctuated by the limited local hypo-methylation of putative regulatory regions such as promoters. These genomic differences also translate into functional differences in DNA methylation and gene regulation. Although promoter DNA methylation is an important regulatory component of vertebrate gene expression, its role in invertebrate gene regulation has been little explored. Instead, gene body DNA methylation is associated with expression of invertebrate genes. However, the evolutionary steps leading to the differentiation of invertebrate and vertebrate genomic DNA methylation remain unresolved. Here we analyzed experimentally determined DNA methylation maps of several species across the invertebrate-vertebrate boundary, to elucidate how vertebrate gene methylation has evolved. We show that, in contrast to the prevailing idea, a substantial number of promoters in an invertebrate basal chordate Ciona intestinalis are methylated. Moreover, gene expression data indicate significant, epigenomic context-dependent associations between promoter methylation and expression in C. intestinalis. However, there is no evidence that promoter methylation in invertebrate chordate has been evolutionarily maintained across the invertebrate-vertebrate boundary. Rather, body-methylated invertebrate genes preferentially obtain hypo-methylated promoters among vertebrates. Conversely, promoter methylation is preferentially found in lineage- and tissue-specific vertebrate genes. These results provide important insights into the evolutionary origin of epigenetic regulation of vertebrate gene expression.

  5. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  6. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided.

  7. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research

    PubMed Central

    XU, Yang; ZHU, Si-Wei; LI, Qing-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research. PMID:27686784

  8. Variation in anthropoid vertebral formulae: implications for homology and homoplasy in hominoid evolution.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A

    2012-03-01

    Variation in vertebral formulae within and among hominoid species has complicated our understanding of hominoid vertebral evolution. Here, variation is quantified using diversity and similarity indices derived from population genetics. These indices allow for testing models of hominoid vertebral evolution that call for disparate amounts of homoplasy, and by inference, different patterns of evolution. Results are interpreted in light of "short-backed" (J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol) 302B:241-267) and "long-backed" (J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol) 314B:123-134) ancestries proposed in different models of hominin vertebral evolution. Under the long-back model, we should expect reduced variation in vertebral formulae associated with adaptively driven homoplasy (independently and repeatedly reduced lumbar regions) and the relatively strong directional selection presumably associated with it, especially in closely related taxa that diverged relatively recently (e.g., Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus). Instead, high amounts of intraspecific variation are observed among all hominoids except humans and eastern gorillas, taxa that have likely experienced strong stabilizing selection on vertebral formulae associated with locomotor and habitat specializations. Furthermore, analyses of interspecific similarity support an evolutionary scenario in which the vertebral formulae observed in western gorillas and chimpanzees represent a reasonable approximation of the ancestral condition for great apes and humans, from which eastern gorillas, humans, and bonobos derived their unique vertebral profiles. Therefore, these results support the short-back model and are compatible with a scenario of homology of reduced lumbar regions in hominoid primates. Fossil hominin vertebral columns are discussed and shown to support, rather than contradict, the short-back model.

  9. Evolutionary diversification of the vertebrate transferrin multi-gene family.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Austin L; Friedman, Robert

    2014-11-01

    In a phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate transferrins (TFs), six major clades (subfamilies) were identified: (a) S, the mammalian serotransferrins; (b) ICA, the mammalian inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase (ICA) homologs; (c) L, the mammalian lactoferrins; (d) O, the ovotransferrins of birds and reptiles; (e) M, the melanotransferrins of bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals; and (f) M-like, a newly identified TF subfamily found in bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. A phylogenetic tree based on the joint alignment of N-lobes and C-lobes supported the hypothesis that three separate events of internal duplication occurred in vertebrate TFs: (a) in the common ancestor of the M subfamily, (b) in the common ancestor of the M-like subfamily, and (c) in the common ancestor of other vertebrate TFs. The S, ICA, and L subfamilies were found only in placental mammals, and the phylogenetic analysis supported the hypothesis that these three subfamilies arose by gene duplication after the divergence of placental mammals from marsupials. The M-like subfamily was unusual in several respects, including the presence of a uniquely high proportion of clade-specific conserved residues, including distinctive but conserved residues in the sites homologous to those functioning in carbonate binding of human serotransferrin. The M-like family also showed an unusually high proportion of cationic residues in the positively charged region corresponding to human lactoferrampin, suggesting a distinctive role of this region in the M-like subfamily, perhaps in antimicrobial defense.

  10. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Knobloch, H. Sophie; Grinevich, Valery

    2014-01-01

    The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians), magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing homologs of oxytocin reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds, and mammals) into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei (AN) between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots. PMID:24592219

  11. Evolutionary Diversification of the Vertebrate Transferrin Multi-gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.; Friedman, Robert

    2014-01-01

    In a phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate transferrins (TFs), six major clades (subfamilies) were identified: (1) S, the mammalian serotransferrins; (2) ICA, the mammalian inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase (ICA) homologs; (3) L, the mammalian lactoferrins; (4) O, the ovotransferrins of birds and reptiles; (4) M, the melanotransferrins of bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals; and (5) M-like, a newly identified TF subfamily found in bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. A phylogenetic tree based on the joint alignment of N-lobes and C-lobes supported the hypothesis that three separate events of internal duplication occurred in vertebrate TFs: (1) in the common ancestor of the M subfamily; (2) in the common ancestor of the M-like subfamily; and (3) in the common ancestor of other vertebrate TFs. The S, ICA, and L subfamilies were found only in placental mammals, and the phylogenetic analysis supported the hypothesis that these three subfamilies arose by gene duplication after the divergence of placental mammals from marsupials. The M-like subfamily was unusual in several respects, including the presence of a uniquely high proportion of clade-specific conserved residues, including distinctive but conserved residues in the sites homologous to those functioning in carbonate binding of human serotransferrin. The M-like family also showed a unusually high proportion of cationic residues in the positively charged region corresponding to human lactoferrampin, suggesting a distinctive role of this region in the M-like subfamily, perhaps in antimicrobial defense. PMID:25142446

  12. Compartmentalization of vertebrate optic neuroephithelium: external cues and transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyoung-Tai; Kim, Jin Woo

    2012-04-01

    The vertebrate eye is a laterally extended structure of the forebrain. It develops through a series of events, including specification and regionalization of the anterior neural plate, evagination of the optic vesicle (OV), and development of three distinct optic structures: the neural retina (NR), optic stalk (OS), and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Various external signals that act on the optic neuroepithelium in a spatial- and temporal-specific manner control the fates of OV subdomains by inducing localized expression of key transcription factors. Investigating the mechanisms underlying compartmentalization of these distinct optic neuroepithelium-derived tissues is therefore not only important from the standpoint of accounting for vertebrate eye morphogenesis, it is also helpful for understanding the fundamental basis of fate determination of other neuroectoderm- derived tissues. This review focuses on the molecular signatures of OV subdomains and the external factors that direct the development of tissues originating from the OV.

  13. Hox genes control vertebrate body elongation by collinear Wnt repression.

    PubMed

    Denans, Nicolas; Iimura, Tadahiro; Pourquié, Olivier

    2015-02-26

    In vertebrates, the total number of vertebrae is precisely defined. Vertebrae derive from embryonic somites that are continuously produced posteriorly from the presomitic mesoderm (PSM) during body formation. We show that in the chicken embryo, activation of posterior Hox genes (paralogs 9-13) in the tail-bud correlates with the slowing down of axis elongation. Our data indicate that a subset of progressively more posterior Hox genes, which are collinearly activated in vertebral precursors, repress Wnt activity with increasing strength. This leads to a graded repression of the Brachyury/T transcription factor, reducing mesoderm ingression and slowing down the elongation process. Due to the continuation of somite formation, this mechanism leads to the progressive reduction of PSM size. This ultimately brings the retinoic acid (RA)-producing segmented region in close vicinity to the tail bud, potentially accounting for the termination of segmentation and axis elongation.

  14. The Vertebrate Genome Annotation browser 10 years on.

    PubMed

    Harrow, Jennifer L; Steward, Charles A; Frankish, Adam; Gilbert, James G; Gonzalez, Jose M; Loveland, Jane E; Mudge, Jonathan; Sheppard, Dan; Thomas, Mark; Trevanion, Stephen; Wilming, Laurens G

    2014-01-01

    The Vertebrate Genome Annotation (VEGA) database (http://vega.sanger.ac.uk), initially designed as a community resource for browsing manual annotation of the human genome project, now contains five reference genomes (human, mouse, zebrafish, pig and rat). Its introduction pages have been redesigned to enable the user to easily navigate between whole genomes and smaller multi-species haplotypic regions of interest such as the major histocompatibility complex. The VEGA browser is unique in that annotation is updated via the Human And Vertebrate Analysis aNd Annotation (HAVANA) update track every 2 weeks, allowing single gene updates to be made publicly available to the research community quickly. The user can now access different haplotypic subregions more easily, such as those from the non-obese diabetic mouse, and display them in a more intuitive way using the comparative tools. We also highlight how the user can browse manually annotated updated patches from the Genome Reference Consortium (GRC).

  15. Anterior endoderm and head induction in early vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    de Souza, F S; Niehrs, C

    2000-05-01

    Early work on the formation of the vertebrate body axis indicated the existence of separate head- and trunk-inducing regions in Spemann's organizer of the amphibian gastrula. In mammals some head-organizing activity may be located in anterior visceral (extraembryonic) endoderm (AVE). By analogy, the equivalent structure in the Xenopus laevis gastrula, the anterior endoderm, has been proposed to be the amphibian head organizer. Here we review recent data that challenge this notion and indicate that the involvement of AVE in head induction seems to be an exclusively mammalian characteristic. In X. laevis and chick, it is the prechordal endomesoderm that is the dominant source of head-inducing signals during early gastrulation. Furthermore, head induction in mammals needs a combination of signals from anterior primitive endoderm, prechordal plate, and anterior ectoderm. Thus, despite the homology of vertebrate anterior primitive endoderm, a role in head induction seems not to be conserved.

  16. Phylostratigraphic profiles in zebrafish uncover chordate origins of the vertebrate brain.

    PubMed

    Šestak, Martin Sebastijan; Domazet-Lošo, Tomislav

    2015-02-01

    An elaborated tripartite brain is considered one of the important innovations of vertebrates. Other extant chordate groups have a more basic brain organization. For instance, cephalochordates possess a relatively simple brain possibly homologous to the vertebrate forebrain and hindbrain, whereas tunicates display the tripartite organization, but without the specialized brain centers. The difference in anatomical complexity is even more pronounced if one compares chordates with other deuterostomes that have only a diffuse nerve net or alternatively a rather simple central nervous system. To gain a new perspective on the evolutionary roots of the complex vertebrate brain, we made here a phylostratigraphic analysis of gene expression patterns in the developing zebrafish (Danio rerio). The recovered adaptive landscape revealed three important periods in the evolutionary history of the zebrafish brain. The oldest period corresponds to preadaptive events in the first metazoans and the emergence of the nervous system at the metazoan-eumetazoan transition. The origin of chordates marks the next phase, where we found the overall strongest adaptive imprint in almost all analyzed brain regions. This finding supports the idea that the vertebrate brain evolved independently of the brains within the protostome lineage. Finally, at the origin of vertebrates we detected a pronounced signal coming from the dorsal telencephalon, in agreement with classical theories that consider this part of the cerebrum a genuine vertebrate innovation. Taken together, these results reveal a stepwise adaptive history of the vertebrate brain where most of its extant organization was already present in the chordate ancestor.

  17. Contribution of the vertebral artery to cerebral circulation in the rat snake Elaphe obsoleta

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zippel, K. C.; Lillywhite, H. B.; Mladinich, C. R.; Hargens, A. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Blood supplying the brain in vertebrates is carried primarily by the carotid vasculature. In most mammals, cerebral blood flow is supplemented by the vertebral arteries, which anastomose with the carotids at the base of the brain. In other tetrapods, cerebral blood is generally believed to be supplied exclusively by the carotid vasculature, and the vertebral arteries are usually described as disappearing into the dorsal musculature between the heart and head. There have been several reports of a vertebral artery connection with the cephalic vasculature in snakes. We measured regional blood flows using fluorescently labeled microspheres and demonstrated that the vertebral artery contributes a small but significant fraction of cerebral blood flow (approximately 13% of total) in the rat snake Elaphe obsoleta. Vascular casts of the anterior vessels revealed that the vertebral artery connection is indirect, through multiple anastomoses with the inferior spinal artery, which connects with the carotid vasculature near the base of the skull. Using digital subtraction angiography, fluoroscopy, and direct observations of flow in isolated vessels, we confirmed that blood in the inferior spinal artery flows craniad from a point anterior to the vertebral artery connections. Such collateral blood supply could potentially contribute to the maintenance of cerebral circulation during circumstances when craniad blood flow is compromised, e.g., during the gravitational stress of climbing.

  18. Heterogeneity of vertebrate brain tubulins.

    PubMed Central

    Field, D J; Collins, R A; Lee, J C

    1984-01-01

    We have examined the extent of brain tubulin heterogeneity in six vertebrate species commonly used in tubulin research (rat, calf, pig, chicken, human, and lamb) using isoelectric focusing, two-dimensional electrophoresis, and peptide mapping procedures that provide higher resolution than previously available. The extent of heterogeneity is extremely similar in all of these organisms, as judged by number, range of isoelectric points, and distribution of the isotubulins. A minimum of 6 alpha and 12 beta tubulins was resolved from all sources. Even the pattern of spots on two-dimensional peptide maps is remarkably similar. These similarities suggest that the populations of tubulin in all of these brains should have similar overall physical properties. It is particularly interesting that chicken, which has only four or five beta-tubulin genes, contains approximately 12 beta tubulins. Thus, post-translational modification must generate at least some of the tubulin heterogeneity. Mammalian species, which contain 15-20 tubulin DNA sequences, do not show any more tubulin protein heterogeneity than does chicken. This suggests that expression of only a small number of the mammalian genes may be required to generate the observed tubulin heterogeneity. Images PMID:6588378

  19. Rotations in a Vertebrate Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Gin

    2003-05-01

    Rotational movements of the head are often considered to be measured in a single three dimensional coordinate system implemented by the semicircular canals of the vestibular system of the inner ear. However, the vertebrate body -- including the nervous system -- obeys rectangular symmetries alien to rotation groups. At best, nervous systems mimic the physical rotation group in a fragmented way, only partially reintegrating physical movements in whole organism responses. The vestibular canal reference frame is widely used in nervous systems, for example by eye movements. It is used to some extent even in the cerebrum, as evidenced by the remission of hemineglect -- in which half of space is ignored -- when the vestibular system is stimulated. However, reintegration of space by the organism remains incomplete. For example, compensatory eye movements (which in most cases aid visual fixation) may disagree with conscious self-motion perception. In addition, movement-induced nausea, illusions, and cue-free perceptions demonstrate symmetry breaking or incomplete spatial symmetries. As part of a long-term project to investigate rotation groups in nervous systems, we have analyzed the symmetry group of a primary vestibulo-spinal projection.

  20. Semaphorin Signaling in Vertebrate Neural Circuit Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Yutaka

    2012-01-01

    Neural circuit formation requires the coordination of many complex developmental processes. First, neurons project axons over long distances to find their final targets and then establish appropriate connectivity essential for the formation of neuronal circuitry. Growth cones, the leading edges of axons, navigate by interacting with a variety of attractive and repulsive axon guidance cues along their trajectories and at final target regions. In addition to guidance of axons, neuronal polarization, neuronal migration, and dendrite development must be precisely regulated during development to establish proper neural circuitry. Semaphorins consist of a large protein family, which includes secreted and cell surface proteins, and they play important roles in many steps of neural circuit formation. The major semaphorin receptors are plexins and neuropilins, however other receptors and co-receptors also mediate signaling by semaphorins. Upon semaphorin binding to their receptors, downstream signaling molecules transduce this event within cells to mediate further events, including alteration of microtubule and actin cytoskeletal dynamics. Here, I review recent studies on semaphorin signaling in vertebrate neural circuit assembly, with the goal of highlighting how this diverse family of cues and receptors imparts exquisite specificity to neural complex connectivity. PMID:22685427

  1. The evolutionary history of vertebrate cranial placodes II. Evolution of ectodermal patterning.

    PubMed

    Schlosser, Gerhard; Patthey, Cedric; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2014-05-01

    Cranial placodes are evolutionary innovations of vertebrates. However, they most likely evolved by redeployment, rewiring and diversification of preexisting cell types and patterning mechanisms. In the second part of this review we compare vertebrates with other animal groups to elucidate the evolutionary history of ectodermal patterning. We show that several transcription factors have ancient bilaterian roles in dorsoventral and anteroposterior regionalisation of the ectoderm. Evidence from amphioxus suggests that ancestral chordates then concentrated neurosecretory cells in the anteriormost non-neural ectoderm. This anterior proto-placodal domain subsequently gave rise to the oral siphon primordia in tunicates (with neurosecretory cells being lost) and anterior (adenohypophyseal, olfactory, and lens) placodes of vertebrates. Likewise, tunicate atrial siphon primordia and posterior (otic, lateral line, and epibranchial) placodes of vertebrates probably evolved from a posterior proto-placodal region in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor. Since both siphon primordia in tunicates give rise to sparse populations of sensory cells, both proto-placodal domains probably also gave rise to some sensory receptors in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor. However, proper cranial placodes, which give rise to high density arrays of specialised sensory receptors and neurons, evolved from these domains only in the vertebrate lineage. We propose that this may have involved rewiring of the regulatory network upstream and downstream of Six1/2 and Six4/5 transcription factors and their Eya family cofactors. These proteins, which play ancient roles in neuronal differentiation were first recruited to the dorsal non-neural ectoderm in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor but subsequently probably acquired new target genes in the vertebrate lineage, allowing them to adopt new functions in regulating proliferation and patterning of neuronal progenitors.

  2. Toward understanding the evolution of vertebrate gene regulatory networks: comparative genomics and epigenomic approaches.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Morales, Juan R

    2016-07-01

    Vertebrates, as most animal phyla, originated >500 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion, and progressively radiated into the extant classes. Inferring the evolutionary history of the group requires understanding the architecture of the developmental programs that constrain the vertebrate anatomy. Here, I review recent comparative genomic and epigenomic studies, based on ChIP-seq and chromatin accessibility, which focus on the identification of functionally equivalent cis-regulatory modules among species. This pioneer work, primarily centered in the mammalian lineage, has set the groundwork for further studies in representative vertebrate and chordate species. Mapping of active regulatory regions across lineages will shed new light on the evolutionary forces stabilizing ancestral developmental programs, as well as allowing their variation to sustain morphological adaptations on the inherited vertebrate body plan.

  3. Automatic segmentation of vertebral arteries in CT angiography using combined circular and cylindrical model fitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Min Jin; Hong, Helen; Chung, Jin Wook

    2014-03-01

    We propose an automatic vessel segmentation method of vertebral arteries in CT angiography using combined circular and cylindrical model fitting. First, to generate multi-segmented volumes, whole volume is automatically divided into four segments by anatomical properties of bone structures along z-axis of head and neck. To define an optimal volume circumscribing vertebral arteries, anterior-posterior bounding and side boundaries are defined as initial extracted vessel region. Second, the initial vessel candidates are tracked using circular model fitting. Since boundaries of the vertebral arteries are ambiguous in case the arteries pass through the transverse foramen in the cervical vertebra, the circle model is extended along z-axis to cylinder model for considering additional vessel information of neighboring slices. Finally, the boundaries of the vertebral arteries are detected using graph-cut optimization. From the experiments, the proposed method provides accurate results without bone artifacts and eroded vessels in the cervical vertebra.

  4. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    PubMed

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-09

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern.

  5. A Case of Aerococcus Urinae Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Jerome, Michael; Slim, Jihad; Sison, Raymund; Marton, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Aerococcus urinae is an aerobic, alpha hemolytic gram positive coccus bacterium that grows in pairs or clusters. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to A. urinae. This has not been previously reported in the literature. PMID:26069429

  6. Sleep and orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Volkoff, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Although a precise definition of "sleep" has yet to be established, sleep-like behaviors have been observed in all animals studied to date including mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates. Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that are involved in the regulation of many physiological functions, including feeding, thermoregulation, cardiovascular control, as well as the control of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. To date, the knowledge on the functions of orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates is still limited, but the similarity of the structures of orexins and their receptors among vertebrates suggest that they have similar conserved physiological functions. This review describes our current knowledge on sleep in nonmammalian vertebrates (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and the possible role of orexins in the regulation of their energy homeostasis and arousal states.

  7. [Vertebral osteomyelitis associated with epidural block].

    PubMed

    Carrillo Esper, R; Cruz-Bautista, I

    2001-01-01

    Infectious complications after epidural anesthesia are infrequent and the most common are epidural and subdural abscess. We report one rare case of vertebral osteomyelitus associated with an epidural catheter and review the literature.

  8. [Osteocyte-network in various vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Akira

    2012-05-01

    Since aquatic and land vertebrates live in different habitats,the morphology and function of bone might be greatly affected by the habitats of each vertebrate. We histologically investigated the bones of various vertebrates including teleost fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Teleost fishes exhibited either bones contained many osteocytes (cellular bone) or bones have few osteocytes (acellular bone) . The development of osteocyte lacunocanalicular system in the cellular bone of the fish is poor compared to those in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Bones in Xenopus laevis, a freshwater species, exhibited well-developed lacunocanalicular systems as well as those in reptiles and mammals. These studies indicates that the osteocyte lacunocanalicular system differs between teleost fishes and land vertebrates, but this is not directly related to aquatic habitat.

  9. Cervicobrachialgia with congenital vertebral anomalies and diastematomyelia.

    PubMed

    Roosen, N; De Moor, J

    1984-05-01

    A case of diastematomyelia in an adult female patient is reported. The relationship of the cervicobrachialgia, which was the presenting sign, to the diastematomyelia and the congenital vertebral anomalies is discussed.

  10. Update of vertebral cementoplasty in porotic patients

    PubMed Central

    Masala, Salvatore; Muto, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Vertebroplasty (VP) is a percutaneous mini-invasive technique developed in the late 1980s as antalgic and stabilizing treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral fracture due to porotic disease, traumatic injury and primary or secondary vertebral spine tumors. The technique consists of a simple metameric injection of an inert cement (poly-methyl-methacrylate, PMMA), through a needle by trans-peduncular, parapeduncular or trans-somatic approach obtaining a vertebral augmentation and stabilization effect associated with pain relief. The technique is simple and fast, and should be performed under fluoroscopy or CT guidance in order to obtain a good result with low complication rate. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the utility of VP, the indications-contraindications criteria, how to technically perform the technique using imaging guidance, and the results and complications of this treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral compression fracture. PMID:26015527

  11. RFamide Peptides in Early Vertebrate Development

    PubMed Central

    Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Hodne, Kjetil; Haug, Trude Marie; Okubo, Kataaki; Weltzien, Finn-Arne

    2014-01-01

    RFamides (RFa) are neuropeptides involved in many different physiological processes in vertebrates, such as reproductive behavior, pubertal activation of the reproductive endocrine axis, control of feeding behavior, and pain modulation. As research has focused mostly on their role in adult vertebrates, the possible roles of these peptides during development are poorly understood. However, the few studies that exist show that RFa are expressed early in development in different vertebrate classes, perhaps mostly associated with the central nervous system. Interestingly, the related peptide family of FMRFa has been shown to be important for brain development in invertebrates. In a teleost, the Japanese medaka, knockdown of genes in the Kiss system indicates that Kiss ligands and receptors are vital for brain development, but few other functional studies exist. Here, we review the literature of RFa in early vertebrate development, including the possible functional roles these peptides may play. PMID:25538682

  12. Concomitant and previous osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Lenski, Markus; Büser, Natalie; Scherer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Background and purpose Patients with osteoporosis who present with an acute onset of back pain often have multiple fractures on plain radiographs. Differentiation of an acute osteoporotic vertebral fracture (AOVF) from previous fractures is difficult. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of concomitant AOVFs and previous OVFs in patients with symptomatic AOVFs, and to identify risk factors for concomitant AOVFs. Patients and methods This was a prospective epidemiological study based on the Registry of Pathological Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures (REPAPORA) with 1,005 patients and 2,874 osteoporotic vertebral fractures, which has been running since February 1, 2006. Concomitant fractures are defined as at least 2 acute short-tau inversion recovery (STIR-) positive vertebral fractures that happen concomitantly. A previous fracture is a STIR-negative fracture at the time of initial diagnostics. Logistic regression was used to examine the influence of various variables on the incidence of concomitant fractures. Results More than 99% of osteoporotic vertebral fractures occurred in the thoracic and lumbar spine. The incidence of concomitant fractures at the time of first patient contact was 26% and that of previous fractures was 60%. The odds ratio (OR) for concomitant fractures decreased with a higher number of previous fractures (OR =0.86; p = 0.03) and higher dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry T-score (OR =0.72; p = 0.003). Interpretation Concomitant and previous osteoporotic vertebral fractures are common. Risk factors for concomitant fractures are a low T-score and a low number of previous vertebral fractures in cases of osteoporotic vertebral fracture. An MRI scan of the the complete thoracic and lumbar spine with STIR sequence reduces the risk of under-diagnosis and under-treatment. PMID:28056595

  13. Vertebral osteomyelitis: clinical features and diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Eren Gök, S; Kaptanoğlu, E; Celikbaş, A; Ergönül, O; Baykam, N; Eroğlu, M; Dokuzoğuz, B

    2014-10-01

    We aimed to describe clinical and diagnostic features of vertebral osteomyelitis for differential diagnosis and treatment. This is a prospective observational study performed between 2002 and 2012 in Ankara Numune Education and Research Hospital in Ankara, Turkey. All the patients with vertebral osteomyelitis were followed for from 6 months to 3 years. In total, 214 patients were included in the study, 113 out of 214 (53%) were female. Out of 214 patients, 96 (45%) had brucellar vertebral osteomyelitis (BVO), 63 (29%) had tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis (TVO), and 55 (26%) had pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis (PVO). Mean number of days between onset of symptoms and establishment of diagnosis was greater with the patients with TVO (266 days) than BVO (115 days) or PVO (151 days, p <0.001). In blood cultures, Brucella spp. were isolated from 35 of 96 BVO patients (35%). Among 55 PVO patients, the aetiological agent was isolated in 11 (20%) patients. For tuberculin skin test >15 mm, sensitivity was 0.66, specificity was 0.97, positive predictive value was 0.89, negative predictive value was 0.88, and receiver operating characteristics area was 0.8. Tuberculous and brucellar vertebral osteomyelitis remained the leading causes of vertebral osteomyelitis with delayed diagnosis. In differential diagnosis of vertebral osteomyelitis, consumption of unpasteurized cheese, dealing with husbandry, sweating, arthralgia, hepatomegaly, elevated alanine transaminase, and lumbar involvement in magnetic resonance imaging were found to be predictors of BVO, thoracic involvement in magnetic resonance imaging and tuberculin skin test > 15 mm were found to be predictors of TVO, and history of spinal surgery and leucocytosis were found to be predictors of PVO.

  14. Percutaneous Vertebral Body Augmentation: An Updated Review

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    There are many medical conditions like osteoporosis, tumor, or osteonecrosis that weaken the structural strength of the vertebral body and prone it to fracture. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation that is usually applied by polymethylmethacrylate is a relatively safe, effective, and long lasting procedure commonly performed in these situations. In this paper, we updated a review of biomechanics, indications, contraindications, surgical techniques, complications, and overall prognosis of these minimally invasive spinal procedures. PMID:25379561

  15. Cervical vertebral fusion with anterior meningocele

    PubMed Central

    Chavredakis, Emmanuel; Carter, David; Bhojak, Manesh; Jenkinson, Michael D; Clark, Simon R

    2015-01-01

    We present the first described case of cervical vertebral fusion associated with anterior meningocele and syringomyelia. A 45-year-old woman presented with minor trauma, and plain cervical spine radiographs highlighted a congenital deformity of the cervical vertebral bodies. She had a normal neurological examination; however, further imaging revealed a meningocele and syringomyelia. This case highlights the importance of thorough imaging investigation when presented with a congenital deformity in order to detect and prevent development of degenerative spinal cord pathologies. PMID:25923673

  16. Radiotherapy in the treatment of vertebral hemangiomas

    SciTech Connect

    Faria, S.L.; Schlupp, W.R.; Chiminazzo, H. Jr.

    1985-02-01

    Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas are not common. Although radiotherapy has been used as treatment, the data are sparse concerning total dose, fractionation and results. The authors report nine patients with vertebral hemangioma treated with 3000-4000 rad, 200 rad/day, 5 fractions per week, followed from 6 to 62 months. Seventy-seven percent had complete or almost complete disappearance of the symptoms. Radiotherapy schedules are discussed.

  17. Role of Transpedicular Percutaneous Vertebral Biopsy for Diagnosis of Pathology in Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Nadkarni, Sunil; Hardikar, Sharad Moreshwar; Hardikar, Madan Sharad

    2016-01-01

    Study Design Retrospective observational study. Purpose To identify the role of percutaneous vertebral biopsy in histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures and to identify the frequency of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fractures. Overview of Literature Vertebral compression fractures are common in the Indian population. Magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging have some limitations in the diagnosis of definitive pathology of vertebral compression fractures. Therefore, histological confirmation is necessary for definitive diagnosis and to plan appropriate management for patient. Methods A retrospective observational study was conducted involving 84 patients who underwent percutaneous vertebral biopsy between 2010 and 2014. We performed C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular core vertebral biopsy of vertebral compression fractures under combination of local anesthesia and intravenous conscious sedation. Results Sufficient biopsy material was obtained in 79 of the 84 cases. In the other five cases, biopsy material was not sufficient for reporting. Out of the 79 cases, osteoporotic pathology was detected in 69 patients, malignancy was detected in 8 patients and no pathology was found in 2 patients. Two patients with distant metastases to vertebra were identified. Primary spinal malignancy was detected in 6 patients (1 unsuspected plasmacytoma, 5 diagnosed malignancy preoperatively). So, the frequency of unsuspected malignancy of this study was 1.19% (1/84). None of the patients had any complications. Conclusions C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular vertebral biopsy is useful in obtaining definitive histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures, especially in differentiating malignant and non-malignant vertebral compression fractures and helping plan appropriate management of patients. The rate of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fracture was 1.19%. PMID:27790322

  18. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Rolf; Knight, Robert; Johanson, Zerina

    2013-01-01

    Muscles of the vertebrate neck include the cucullaris and hypobranchials. Although a functional neck first evolved in the lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) with the separation of the pectoral/shoulder girdle from the skull, the neck muscles themselves have a much earlier origin among the vertebrates. For example, lampreys possess hypobranchial muscles, and may also possess the cucullaris. Recent research in chick has established that these two muscles groups have different origins, the hypobranchial muscles having a somitic origin but the cucullaris muscle deriving from anterior lateral plate mesoderm associated with somites 1–3. Additionally, the cucullaris utilizes genetic pathways more similar to the head than the trunk musculature. Although the latter results are from experiments in the chick, cucullaris homologues occur in a variety of more basal vertebrates such as the sharks and zebrafish. Data are urgently needed from these taxa to determine whether the cucullaris in these groups also derives from lateral plate mesoderm or from the anterior somites, and whether the former or the latter represent the basal vertebrate condition. Other lateral plate mesoderm derivatives include the appendicular skeleton (fins, limbs and supporting girdles). If the cucullaris is a definitive lateral plate-derived structure it may have evolved in conjunction with the shoulder/limb skeleton in vertebrates and thereby provided a greater degree of flexibility to the heads of predatory vertebrates. PMID:22697305

  19. Vertebral deformities identified by vertebral fracture assessment: associations with clinical characteristics and bone mineral density.

    PubMed

    Jacobs-Kosmin, Dana; Sandorfi, Nora; Murray, Heather; Abruzzo, John L

    2005-01-01

    Whether vertebral fractures identified on radiographs are painful or not, they are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Vertebral fractures on X-rays correlate with low bone mineral density (BMD) at the spine and hip in addition to several clinical characteristics. Evidence suggests that vertebral deformities detected by X-ray and by vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) show good agreement. We examined the relationship between VFA-detected vertebral deformities and patient characteristics as well as BMD by analyzing the records of 432 patients who had undergone dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans with VFA. Patients' demographic data and T-scores were obtained from patient questionnaires and DXA scans. We categorized vertebral deformities by type and severity. Patients with vertebral deformities were significantly older and more likely to report a history of fracture after childhood. Significantly more estrogen use was reported in patients without deformity. Those with deformities had significantly lower T-scores at the femoral neck and total hip but not at the spine. Increased severity and number of deformities correlated with lower T-scores at the total hip and femoral neck but not the spine. In conclusion, vertebral deformities detected by VFA, like those on X-ray, correlate with both clinical characteristics and reduced bone mass at the hip. These relationships, in addition to rapid performance, convenience, and minimal radiation exposure, indicate VFA-detected vertebral deformities are a valuable adjunct in identifying patients in need of additional evaluation and treatment.

  20. Evolution and development of interhemispheric connections in the vertebrate forebrain

    PubMed Central

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Gobius, Ilan; Richards, Linda J.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal connections between the left and right sides of the brain are crucial for bilateral integration of lateralized sensory, motor, and associative functions. Throughout vertebrate species, forebrain commissures share a conserved developmental plan, a similar position relative to each other within the brain and similar patterns of connectivity. However, major events in the evolution of the vertebrate brain, such as the expansion of the telencephalon in tetrapods and the origin of the six-layered isocortex in mammals, resulted in the emergence and diversification of new commissural routes. These new interhemispheric connections include the pallial commissure, which appeared in the ancestors of tetrapods and connects the left and right sides of the medial pallium (hippocampus in mammals), and the corpus callosum, which is exclusive to eutherian (placental) mammals and connects both isocortical hemispheres. A comparative analysis of commissural systems in vertebrates reveals that the emergence of new commissural routes may have involved co-option of developmental mechanisms and anatomical substrates of preexistent commissural pathways. One of the embryonic regions of interest for studying these processes is the commissural plate, a portion of the early telencephalic midline that provides molecular specification and a cellular scaffold for the development of commissural axons. Further investigations into these embryonic processes in carefully selected species will provide insights not only into the mechanisms driving commissural evolution, but also regarding more general biological problems such as the role of developmental plasticity in evolutionary change. PMID:25071525

  1. Quantitative vertebral compression fracture evaluation using a height compass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Jianhua; Burns, Joseph E.; Wiese, Tatjana; Summers, Ronald M.

    2012-03-01

    Vertebral compression fractures can be caused by even minor trauma in patients with pathological conditions such as osteoporosis, varying greatly in vertebral body location and compression geometry. The location and morphology of the compression injury can guide decision making for treatment modality (vertebroplasty versus surgical fixation), and can be important for pre-surgical planning. We propose a height compass to evaluate the axial plane spatial distribution of compression injury (anterior, posterior, lateral, and central), and distinguish it from physiologic height variations of normal vertebrae. The method includes four steps: spine segmentation and partition, endplate detection, height compass computation and compression fracture evaluation. A height compass is computed for each vertebra, where the vertebral body is partitioned in the axial plane into 17 cells oriented about concentric rings. In the compass structure, a crown-like geometry is produced by three concentric rings which are divided into 8 equal length arcs by rays which are subtended by 8 common central angles. The radius of each ring increases multiplicatively, with resultant structure of a central node and two concentric surrounding bands of cells, each divided into octants. The height value for each octant is calculated and plotted against octants in neighboring vertebrae. The height compass shows intuitive display of the height distribution and can be used to easily identify the fracture regions. Our technique was evaluated on 8 thoraco-abdominal CT scans of patients with reported compression fractures and showed statistically significant differences in height value at the sites of the fractures.

  2. Risk of vertebral compression fractures in multiple myeloma patients

    PubMed Central

    Anitha, D.; Thomas, Baum; Jan, Kirschke S.; Subburaj, Karupppasamy

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a finite element (FE) model to predict vertebral bone strength in vitro using multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) images in multiple myeloma (MM) patients, to serve as a complementing tool to assess fracture risk. In addition, it also aims to differentiate MM patients with and without vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) by performing FE analysis on vertebra segments (T1–L5) obtained from in vivo routine MDCT imaging scans. MDCT-based FE models were developed from the in vitro vertebrae samples and were then applied to the in vivo vertebrae segments of MM patients (n = 4) after validation. Predicted fracture load using FE models correlated significantly with experimentally measured failure load (r = 0.85, P < 0.001). Interestingly, an erratic behavior was observed in patients with fractures (n = 2) and a more gradual change in FE-predicted strength values in patients without fractures (n = 2). Severe geometric deformations were also observed in models that have already attained fractures. Since BMD is not a reliable parameter for fracture risk prediction in MM subjects, it is necessary to use advanced tools such as FE analysis to predict individual fracture risk. If peaks are observed between adjacent segments in an MM patient, it can be safe to conclude that the spine is experiencing regions of structural instability. Such an FE visualization may have therapeutic consequences to prevent MM associated vertebral fractures. PMID:28079810

  3. Vertebral degenerative disc disease severity evaluation using random forest classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz, Hector E.; Yao, Jianhua; Burns, Joseph E.; Pham, Yasuyuki; Stieger, James; Summers, Ronald M.

    2014-03-01

    Degenerative disc disease (DDD) develops in the spine as vertebral discs degenerate and osseous excrescences or outgrowths naturally form to restabilize unstable segments of the spine. These osseous excrescences, or osteophytes, may progress or stabilize in size as the spine reaches a new equilibrium point. We have previously created a CAD system that detects DDD. This paper presents a new system to determine the severity of DDD of individual vertebral levels. This will be useful to monitor the progress of developing DDD, as rapid growth may indicate that there is a greater stabilization problem that should be addressed. The existing DDD CAD system extracts the spine from CT images and segments the cortical shell of individual levels with a dual-surface model. The cortical shell is unwrapped, and is analyzed to detect the hyperdense regions of DDD. Three radiologists scored the severity of DDD of each disc space of 46 CT scans. Radiologists' scores and features generated from CAD detections were used to train a random forest classifier. The classifier then assessed the severity of DDD at each vertebral disc level. The agreement between the computer severity score and the average radiologist's score had a quadratic weighted Cohen's kappa of 0.64.

  4. CRDB: Database of Chemosensory Receptor Gene Families in Vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaoli; Zhong, Yang

    2012-01-01

    Chemosensory receptors (CR) are crucial for animals to sense the environmental changes and survive on earth. The emergence of whole-genome sequences provides us an opportunity to identify the entire CR gene repertoires. To completely gain more insight into the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates, we identified the nearly all CR genes in 25 vertebrates using homology-based approaches. Among these CR gene repertoires, nearly half of them were identified for the first time in those previously uncharacterized species, such as the guinea pig, giant panda and elephant, etc. Consistent with previous findings, we found that the numbers of CR genes vary extensively among different species, suggesting an extreme form of ‘birth-and-death’ evolution. For the purpose of facilitating CR gene analysis, we constructed a database with the goals to provide a resource for CR genes annotation and a web tool for exploring their evolutionary patterns. Besides a search engine for the gene extraction from a specific chromosome region, an easy-to-use phylogenetic analysis tool was also provided to facilitate online phylogeny study of CR genes. Our work can provide a rigorous platform for further study on the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates. PMID:22393364

  5. Upstream ORFs are prevalent translational repressors in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Johnstone, Timothy G; Bazzini, Ariel A; Giraldez, Antonio J

    2016-04-01

    Regulation of gene expression is fundamental in establishing cellular diversity and a target of natural selection. Untranslated mRNA regions (UTRs) are key mediators of post-transcriptional regulation. Previous studies have predicted thousands of ORFs in 5'UTRs, the vast majority of which have unknown function. Here, we present a systematic analysis of the translation and function of upstream open reading frames (uORFs) across vertebrates. Using high-resolution ribosome footprinting, we find that (i)uORFs are prevalent within vertebrate transcriptomes, (ii) the majority show signatures of active translation, and (iii)uORFs act as potent regulators of translation and RNA levels, with a similar magnitude to miRNAs. Reporter experiments reveal clear repression of downstream translation by uORFs/oORFs. uORF number, intercistronic distance, overlap with the CDS, and initiation context most strongly influence translation. Evolution has targeted these features to favor uORFs amenable to regulation over constitutively repressive uORFs/oORFs. Finally, we observe that the regulatory potential of uORFs on individual genes is conserved across species. These results provide insight into the regulatory code within mRNA leader sequences and their capacity to modulate translation across vertebrates.

  6. Complete Sequence of a Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon Marinus) Mitochondrial Genome: Early Establishment of the Vertebrate Genome Organization

    PubMed Central

    Lee, W. J.; Kocher, T. D.

    1995-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of a sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mitochondrial genome has been determined. The lamprey genome is 16,201 bp in length and contains genes for 13 proteins, two rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and two major noncoding regions. The order and transcriptional polarities of protein-coding genes are basically identical to those of other chordate mtDNAs, demonstrating that the common mitochondrial gene organization of vertebrates was established at an early stage of vertebrate evolution. The two major noncoding regions are separated by two tRNA genes. The first region probably functions as the control region because it contains distinctive conserved sequence blocks (CSB-II and III) common to other vertebrate control regions. The central conserved domain observed in other vertebrate control regions is not found in the lamprey, suggesting that it is a recently evolved functional domain in vertebrates. Noncoding segments are not found in the expected position of the origin of replication for the second strand, suggesting either that one of the tRNA genes has a dual function or that the second noncoding region may function as the second-strand origin. The base composition at the wobble positions of fourfold degenerate codon families is highly biased toward thymine (32.7%). Values of GC-and AT-skew are typical of vertebrate mitochondrial genomes.genomes. PMID:7713438

  7. Complete sequence of a sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mitochondrial genome: Early establishment of the vertebrate genome organization

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.J.; Kocher, T.D.

    1995-02-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of a sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mitochondrial genome has been determined. The lamprey genome is 16,201 bp in length and contains genes for 13 proteins, two rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and two major noncoding regions. The order and transcriptional polarities of protein-coding genes are basically identical to those of other chordate mtDNAs, demonstrating that the common mitochondrial gene organization of vertebrates was established at early stage of vertebrate evolution. The two major noncoding regions are separated by two tRNA genes. The first region probably functions as the control region because it contains distinctive conserved sequence blocks (CSB-II and III) common to other vertebrate control regions. The central conserved domain observed in other vertebrate control regions is not found in the lamprey, suggesting that it is a recently evolved functional domain in vertebrates. Noncoding segments are not found in the expected position of the origin of replication for the second strand, suggesting either that one of the tRNA genes has a dual function or that the second noncoding region may function as the second-strand origin. The base composition at the wobble positions of fourfold degenerate codon families is highly biased toward thymine (32.7%). Values of GC- and AT-skew are typical of vertebrate mitochondrial genomes. 38 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs.

  8. Homeotic effects, somitogenesis and the evolution of vertebral numbers in recent and fossil amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Johannes; Scheyer, Torsten M.; Head, Jason J.; Barrett, Paul M.; Werneburg, Ingmar; Ericson, Per G. P.; Pol, Diego; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2010-01-01

    The development of distinct regions in the amniote vertebral column results from somite formation and Hox gene expression, with the adult morphology displaying remarkable variation among lineages. Mammalian regionalization is reportedly very conservative or even constrained, but there has been no study investigating vertebral count variation across Amniota as a whole, undermining attempts to understand the phylogenetic, ecological, and developmental factors affecting vertebral column variation. Here, we show that the mammalian (synapsid) and reptilian lineages show early in their evolutionary histories clear divergences in axial developmental plasticity, in terms of both regionalization and meristic change, with basal synapsids sharing the conserved axial configuration of crown mammals, and basal reptiles demonstrating the plasticity of extant taxa. We conducted a comprehensive survey of presacral vertebral counts across 436 recent and extinct amniote taxa. Vertebral counts were mapped onto a generalized amniote phylogeny as well as individual ingroup trees, and ancestral states were reconstructed by using squared-change parsimony. We also calculated the relationship between presacral and cervical numbers to infer the relative influence of homeotic effects and meristic changes and found no correlation between somitogenesis and Hox-mediated regionalization. Although conservatism in presacral numbers characterized early synapsid lineages, in some cases reptiles and synapsids exhibit the same developmental innovations in response to similar selective pressures. Conversely, increases in body mass are not coupled with meristic or homeotic changes, but mostly occur in concert with postembryonic somatic growth. Our study highlights the importance of fossils in large-scale investigations of evolutionary developmental processes. PMID:20080660

  9. Evolution of the structure and function of the vertebrate tongue

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Shin-ichi

    2002-01-01

    Abstract Studies of the comparative morphology of the tongues of living vertebrates have revealed how variations in the morphology and function of the organ might be related to evolutional events. The tongue, which plays a very important role in food intake by vertebrates, exhibits significant morphological variations that appear to represent adaptation to the current environmental conditions of each respective habitat. This review examines the fundamental importance of morphology in the evolution of the vertebrate tongue, focusing on the origin of the tongue and on the relationship between morphology and environmental conditions. Tongues of various extant vertebrates, including those of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, were analysed in terms of gross anatomy and microanatomy by light microscopy and by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Comparisons of tongue morphology revealed a relationship between changes in the appearance of the tongue and changes in habitat, from a freshwater environment to a terrestrial environment, as well as a relationship between the extent of keratinization of the lingual epithelium and the transition from a moist or wet environment to a dry environment. The lingual epithelium of amphibians is devoid of keratinization while that of reptilians is keratinized to different extents. Reptiles live in a variety of habitats, from seawater to regions of high temperature and very high or very low humidity. Keratinization of the lingual epithelium is considered to have been acquired concomitantly with the evolution of amniotes. The variations in the extent of keratinization of the lingual epithelium, which is observed between various amniotes, appear to be secondary, reflecting the environmental conditions of different species. PMID:12171472

  10. Development and evolution of the vertebrate primary mouth.

    PubMed

    Soukup, Vladimír; Horácek, Ivan; Cerny, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The vertebrate oral region represents a key interface between outer and inner environments, and its structural and functional design is among the limiting factors for survival of its owners. Both formation of the respective oral opening (primary mouth) and establishment of the food-processing apparatus (secondary mouth) require interplay between several embryonic tissues and complex embryonic rearrangements. Although many aspects of the secondary mouth formation, including development of the jaws, teeth or taste buds, are known in considerable detail, general knowledge about primary mouth formation is regrettably low. In this paper, primary mouth formation is reviewed from a comparative point of view in order to reveal its underestimated morphogenetic diversity among, and also within, particular vertebrate clades. In general, three main developmental modes were identified. The most common is characterized by primary mouth formation via a deeply invaginated ectodermal stomodeum and subsequent rupture of the bilaminar oral membrane. However, in salamander, lungfish and also in some frog species, the mouth develops alternatively via stomodeal collar formation contributed both by the ecto- and endoderm. In ray-finned fishes, on the other hand, the mouth forms via an ectoderm wedge and later horizontal detachment of the initially compressed oral epithelia with probably a mixed germ-layer derivation. A very intriguing situation can be seen in agnathan fishes: whereas lampreys develop their primary mouth in a manner similar to the most common gnathostome pattern, hagfishes seem to undergo a unique oropharyngeal morphogenesis when compared with other vertebrates. In discussing the early formative embryonic correlates of primary mouth formation likely to be responsible for evolutionary-developmental modifications of this area, we stress an essential role of four factors: first, positioning and amount of yolk tissue; closely related to, second, endoderm formation during

  11. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tuzigoot National Monument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, E.W.; Halvorson, William Lee; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, P.; Docherty, K.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary From 2002 to 2004, we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tuzigoot National Monument (NM) and adjacent areas in Arizona. This was the first effort of its kind in the area and was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to our own surveys, we also compiled a complete list of species that have been found by previous studies. We found 330 species, including 142 that had not previously been recorded at the monument (Table 1). We found 39 species of non-native plants, 11 non-native fishes, three non-native birds, and one non-native species each of amphibian and mammal. Based on our work and that of others, there have been 597 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. The bird community at the monument had the highest species richness of any national park unit in central and southern Arizona. We found all other taxa to have intermediate species richness compared to other park units in the region. This extraordinary species richness observed for birds, as well as for some other taxa, is due primarily to Tavasci Marsh and the Verde River, two critical sources of perennial water, which provide habitat for many regionally rare or uncommon species. The location of the monument at the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert and at the southern edge of the Mogollon Rim also plays an important role in determining the distribution and community composition of the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our findings, we believe the high number of non-native species, especially fish and plants, should be of particular management concern. We detail other management challenges, most notably the rapid increase in housing and associated commercial development near the monument, which will continue to impact the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our data and a review of past studies, we believe the

  12. Spatially Explicit Trends in the Global Conservation Status of Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Brooks, Thomas M.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N.

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) – Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries – most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar – performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries – United States and Australia – fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts. PMID:25426636

  13. Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana S L; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) - Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries - most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar - performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries - United States and Australia - fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts.

  14. Vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm treated by internal trapping via the contralateral vertebral artery: A case report

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    A 42-year-old man with a history of sudden onset of severe headache followed by consciousness disturbance was brought to our hospital. Radiological examinations revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage, associated with rupture of a left vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm. Initially, internal trapping was attempted via the ipsilateral vertebral artery. However, the microcatheter could not be navigated through the true lumen to the distal side of the vertebral artery. Subsequently, therefore, the guiding catheter was placed in the right vertebral artery, and the microcatheter was retrogradely navigated successfully through the lesion to the proximal side of the left vertebral artery. Finally, the lesion was completely embolized with electrodetachable coils without complications. However, the patient died after the operation because of deterioration of the general condition. The postmortem examination revealed how an intimal flap had interfered with the antegrade navigation of the microcatheter in the lesion. The present case showed that endovascular treatment for a vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm via the contralateral vertebral artery may be a useful option in cases where antegrade navigation of the microcatheter via the ipsilateral vertebral artery is found to be difficult. PMID:26116649

  15. Vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm treated by internal trapping via the contralateral vertebral artery: A case report.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Atsuhiro

    2015-10-01

    A 42-year-old man with a history of sudden onset of severe headache followed by consciousness disturbance was brought to our hospital. Radiological examinations revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage, associated with rupture of a left vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm. Initially, internal trapping was attempted via the ipsilateral vertebral artery. However, the microcatheter could not be navigated through the true lumen to the distal side of the vertebral artery. Subsequently, therefore, the guiding catheter was placed in the right vertebral artery, and the microcatheter was retrogradely navigated successfully through the lesion to the proximal side of the left vertebral artery. Finally, the lesion was completely embolized with electrodetachable coils without complications. However, the patient died after the operation because of deterioration of the general condition. The postmortem examination revealed how an intimal flap had interfered with the antegrade navigation of the microcatheter in the lesion. The present case showed that endovascular treatment for a vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm via the contralateral vertebral artery may be a useful option in cases where antegrade navigation of the microcatheter via the ipsilateral vertebral artery is found to be difficult.

  16. Spinal dermoid sinus in a Dachshund with vertebral and thoracic limb malformations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Dermoid sinus is an uncommon epithelial-lined fistula that may be associated with vertebral malformations. In humans, Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a rare condition characterized by congenital cervical vertebral fusion and may be associated with other developmental defects, including dermoid sinus. The present case report describes an adult Dachshund with cervical and cranial thoracic vertebral malformations as well as thoracic limb malformations resembling KFS with a concurrent type IV dermoid sinus. Case presentation A 1.5 year-old Dachshund with congenital thoracic limbs deformities and cervical-thoracic vertebral malformations presented with cervical hyperesthesia, rigidity of the cervical musculature and tetraparesis. Neurologic, radiographic, and computed tomography (CT) (2D, 3D, CT fistulography) examinations revealed skeletal anomalies, a dermoid sinus in the cranial thoracic region and epidural gas within the vertebral canal. Surgical resection and histopathological evaluation of the sinus tract were performed and confirmed a type IV dermoid sinus. The clinical signs progressively recovered postoperatively, and no recurrent signs were observed after 6 months of follow-up. Conclusions Cervical vertebral malformations associated with limbs anomalies have not been reported in dogs and may represent a condition similar to KFS in humans. KFS can occur concurrently with other congenital conditions including dermoid sinus and should be included among the complex congenital anomalies described in dogs. PMID:24593884

  17. Traumatic vertebral artery injury: detailed clinicopathologic and morphometric analysis of 6 cases.

    PubMed

    Lee, Carol K; Gray, Laurel; Maguire, John

    2009-06-01

    Traumatic vertebral artery injury is frequently fatal from what may often be mild trauma to the head and neck. Detailed examination of vertebral arteries is not frequently undertaken at autopsy: the structural and histologic changes that may be relevant to the development of the injury are not well known. We sampled vertebral arteries bilaterally from 6 forensic autopsies (age = 26-50 years; 3 of 6 suffered from alcohol toxicity) with documented intradural vertebral artery injuries, and 4 nonvertebral-artery-injury-related autopsies (age = 19-70 years). Intradural, dural, and extradural components from each artery were submitted for paraffin-embedded tissue processing. Multiple serial sections and special stains (hematoxylin and eosin, alcian blue pH 2.5, reticulin, Congo red) were independently examined by 2 pathologists. All 6 of 6 injured samples and 4 of 4 control samples showed degenerative changes (intimal fibrosis, focal disruption of the internal elastic lamina, and medial calcification). However, microscopic adventitial hemorrhages were only observed around peripheral nerves adjacent to the injured samples. These may be due to tracking of blood along perineural loose connective tissue regions of reduced resistance, and may be a useful finding that points to underlying vertebral artery injury. Thus, careful dissection and gross and microscopic, examination of the vertebral arteries, with particular attention to the intracranial segments, is recommended in all cases of fatal traumatic head and neck injuries.

  18. Evolution of innate and adaptive immune systems in jawless vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kasamatsu, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Because jawless vertebrates are the most primitive vertebrates, they have been studied to gain understanding of the evolutionary processes that gave rise to the innate and adaptive immune systems in vertebrates. Jawless vertebrates have developed lymphocyte-like cells that morphologically resemble the T and B cells of jawed vertebrates, but they express variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) instead of the T and B cell receptors that specifically recognize antigens in jawed vertebrates. These VLRs act as antigen receptors, diversity being generated in their antigen-binding sites by assembly of highly diverse leucine-rich repeat modules. Therefore, jawless vertebrates have developed adaptive immune systems based on the VLRs. Although pattern recognition receptors, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and Rig-like receptors (RLRs), and their adaptor genes are conserved in jawless vertebrates, some transcription factor and inflammatory cytokine genes in the TLR and RLR pathways are not present. However, like jawed vertebrates, the initiation of adaptive immune responses in jawless vertebrates appears to require prior activation of the innate immune system. These observations imply that the innate immune systems of jawless vertebrates have a unique molecular basis that is distinct from that of jawed vertebrates. Altogether, although the molecular details of the innate and adaptive immune systems differ between jawless and jawed vertebrates, jawless vertebrates have developed versions of these immune systems that are similar to those of jawed vertebrates.

  19. Enhancer turnover and conserved regulatory function in vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Domené, Sabina; Bumaschny, Viviana F.; de Souza, Flávio S. J.; Franchini, Lucía F.; Nasif, Sofía; Low, Malcolm J.; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in regulatory regions including enhancers are an important source of variation and innovation during evolution. Enhancers can evolve by changes in the sequence, arrangement and repertoire of transcription factor binding sites, but whole enhancers can also be lost or gained in certain lineages in a process of turnover. The proopiomelanocortin gene (Pomc), which encodes a prohormone, is expressed in the pituitary and hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates. We have previously described that hypothalamic Pomc expression in mammals is controlled by two enhancers—nPE1 and nPE2—that are derived from transposable elements and that presumably replaced the ancestral neuronal Pomc regulatory regions. Here, we show that nPE1 and nPE2, even though they are mammalian novelties with no homologous counterpart in other vertebrates, nevertheless can drive gene expression specifically to POMC neurons in the hypothalamus of larval and adult transgenic zebrafish. This indicates that when neuronal Pomc enhancers originated de novo during early mammalian evolution, the newly created cis- and trans-codes were similar to the ancestral ones. We also identify the neuronal regulatory region of zebrafish pomca and confirm that it is not homologous to the mammalian enhancers. Our work sheds light on the process of gene regulatory evolution by showing how a locus can undergo enhancer turnover and nevertheless maintain the ancestral transcriptional output. PMID:24218639

  20. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vavrek, Matthew J

    2016-09-01

    During the Mesozoic (242-66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species-area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity.

  1. Vertebrate extracellular preovulatory and postovulatory egg coats.

    PubMed

    Menkhorst, Ellen; Selwood, Lynne

    2008-11-01

    Extracellular egg coats deposited by maternal or embryonic tissues surround all vertebrate conceptuses during early development. In oviparous species, the time of hatching from extracellular coats can be considered equivalent to the time of birth in viviparous species. Extracellular coats must be lost during gestation for implantation and placentation to occur in some viviparous species. In the most recent classification of vertebrate extracellular coats, Boyd and Hamilton (Cleavage, early development and implantation of the egg. In: Parkes AS (ed.), Marshall's Physiology of Reproduction, vol. 2, 3rd ed. London: Longmans, Green & Co; 1961:1-126) defined the coat synthesized by the oocyte during oogenesis as primary and the coat deposited by follicle cells surrounding the oocyte as secondary. Tertiary egg coats are those synthesized and deposited around the primary or secondary coat by the maternal reproductive tract. This classification is difficult to reconcile with recent data collected using modern molecular biological techniques that can accurately establish the site of coat precursor synthesis and secretion. We propose that a modification to the classification by Boyd and Hamilton is required. Vertebrate egg coats should be classed as belonging to the following two broad groups: the preovulatory coat, which is deposited during oogenesis by the oocyte or follicle cells, and the postovulatory coats, which are deposited after fertilization by the reproductive tract or conceptus. This review discusses the origin and classification of vertebrate extracellular preovulatory and postovulatory coats and illustrates what is known about coat homology between the vertebrate groups.

  2. Anatomy and biomechanics of the vertebral aponeurosis part of the posterior layer of the thoracolumbar fascia.

    PubMed

    Loukas, Marios; Shoja, Mohammadali M; Thurston, Todd; Jones, Virginia L; Linganna, Sanjay; Tubbs, R Shane

    2008-03-01

    There is significant paucity in the literature regarding vertebral aponeurosis. We were able to find only a few descriptions of this specific fascia in the extant medical literature. To elucidate further the anatomy of this structure, forty adult human cadavers were dissected. Both quantitation and anatomical observations were made of the vertebral aponeurosis. The vertebral aponeurosis was identified in 100% of specimens. This fascia was identified as a thin fibrous layer consisting of longitudinal and transverse connective tissue fibers blended together deep to the latissimus dorsi muscle. It attached medially to the spinous processes of the of the thoracic vertebrae; laterally to the angles of ribs; inferiorly to the fascia covering the serratus posterior inferior muscle (superficial lamina of the posterior layer of thoracolumbar fascia); superiorly it ran deep to the serratus posterior superior and splenius capitis muscles to blend with the deep fascia of the neck. At the level of the serratus posterior inferior muscle, the vertebral aponeurosis fused to form a continuous layer descending toward the sacrotuberous ligament covering the erector spinae muscle. Morphometrically, the mean length of the vertebral aponeurosis was 38 cm and the mean width was 24 cm. The mean thickness was three mm. There was no significant difference between left and right sides, gender or age with regard to vertebral aponeurosis length, width, or thickness (P > 0.05). During manual tension of the vertebral aponeurosis, the tensile force necessary for failure had a mean of 38.7 N. In all specimens, the vertebral aponeurosis was capable of holding sutures placed through its substance. We hope that these data will be of use for descriptive purposes and may potentially add to our understanding of the biomechanics involved in movements of the back. As back pain is perhaps the most common reason patients visit their physicians, additional knowledge of this anatomical region is important.

  3. Computer-assisted analysis of cervical vertebral bone age using cephalometric radiographs in Brazilian subjects.

    PubMed

    Caldas, Maria de Paula; Ambrosano, Gláucia Maria Bovi; Haiter Neto, Francisco

    2010-01-01

    The aims of this study were to develop a computerized program for objectively evaluating skeletal maturation on cephalometric radiographs, and to apply the new method to Brazilian subjects. The samples were taken from the patient files of Oral Radiological Clinics from the North, Northeast, Midwest and South regions of the country. A total of 717 subjects aged 7.0 to 15.9 years who had lateral cephalometric radiographs and hand-wrist radiographs were selected. A cervical vertebral computerized analysis was created in the Radiocef Studio 2 computer software for digital cephalometric analysis, and cervical vertebral bone age was calculated using the formulas developed by Caldas et al.17 (2007). Hand-wrist bone age was evaluated by the TW3 method. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Tukey test were used to compare cervical vertebral bone age, hand-wrist bone age and chronological age (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found between cervical vertebral bone age and chronological age in all regions studied. When analyzing bone age, it was possible to observe a statistically significant difference between cervical vertebral bone age and hand-wrist bone age for female and male subjects in the North and Northeast regions, as well as for male subjects in the Midwest region. No significant difference was observed between bone age and chronological age in all regions except for male subjects in the North and female subjects in the Northeast. Using cervical vertebral bone age, it might be possible to evaluate skeletal maturation in an objective manner using cephalometric radiographs.

  4. Vertebral Development in Paleozoic and Mesozoic Tetrapods Revealed by Paleohistological Data.

    PubMed

    Danto, Marylène; Witzmann, Florian; Fröbisch, Nadia B

    2016-01-01

    Basal tetrapods display a wide spectrum of vertebral centrum morphologies that can be used to distinguish different tetrapod groups. The vertebral types range from multipartite centra in stem-tetrapods, temnospondyls, and seymouriamorphs up to monospondylous centra in lepospondyls and have been drawn upon for reconstructing major evolutionary trends in tetrapods that are now considered textbook knowledge. Two modes of vertebral formation have been postulated: the multipartite vertebrae formed first as cartilaginous elements with subsequent ossification. The monospondylous centrum, in contrast, was formed by direct ossification without a cartilaginous precursor. This study describes centrum morphogenesis in basal tetrapods for the first time, based on bone histology. Our results show that the intercentra of the investigated stem-tetrapods consist of a small band of periosteal bone and a dense network of endochondral bone. In stereospondyl temnospondyls, high amounts of calcified cartilage are preserved in the endochondral trabeculae. Notably, the periosteal region is thickened and highly vascularized in the plagiosaurid stereospondyls. Among "microsaur" lepospondyls, the thickened periosteal region is composed of compact bone and the notochordal canal is surrounded by large cell lacunae. In nectridean lepospondyls, the periosteal region has a spongy structure with large intertrabecular spaces, whereas the endochondral region has a highly cancellous structure. Our observations indicate that regardless of whether multipartite or monospondylous, the centra of basal tetrapods display first endochondral and subsequently periosteal ossification. A high interspecific variability is observed in growth rate, organization, and initiation of periosteal ossification. Moreover, vertebral development and structure reflect different lifestyles. The bottom-dwelling Plagiosauridae increase their skeletal mass by hyperplasy of the periosteal region. In nectrideans, the skeletal mass

  5. Vertebral Development in Paleozoic and Mesozoic Tetrapods Revealed by Paleohistological Data

    PubMed Central

    Danto, Marylène; Witzmann, Florian; Fröbisch, Nadia B.

    2016-01-01

    Basal tetrapods display a wide spectrum of vertebral centrum morphologies that can be used to distinguish different tetrapod groups. The vertebral types range from multipartite centra in stem-tetrapods, temnospondyls, and seymouriamorphs up to monospondylous centra in lepospondyls and have been drawn upon for reconstructing major evolutionary trends in tetrapods that are now considered textbook knowledge. Two modes of vertebral formation have been postulated: the multipartite vertebrae formed first as cartilaginous elements with subsequent ossification. The monospondylous centrum, in contrast, was formed by direct ossification without a cartilaginous precursor. This study describes centrum morphogenesis in basal tetrapods for the first time, based on bone histology. Our results show that the intercentra of the investigated stem-tetrapods consist of a small band of periosteal bone and a dense network of endochondral bone. In stereospondyl temnospondyls, high amounts of calcified cartilage are preserved in the endochondral trabeculae. Notably, the periosteal region is thickened and highly vascularized in the plagiosaurid stereospondyls. Among “microsaur” lepospondyls, the thickened periosteal region is composed of compact bone and the notochordal canal is surrounded by large cell lacunae. In nectridean lepospondyls, the periosteal region has a spongy structure with large intertrabecular spaces, whereas the endochondral region has a highly cancellous structure. Our observations indicate that regardless of whether multipartite or monospondylous, the centra of basal tetrapods display first endochondral and subsequently periosteal ossification. A high interspecific variability is observed in growth rate, organization, and initiation of periosteal ossification. Moreover, vertebral development and structure reflect different lifestyles. The bottom-dwelling Plagiosauridae increase their skeletal mass by hyperplasy of the periosteal region. In nectrideans, the skeletal

  6. Three Distinct Glutamate Decarboxylase Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a widely conserved signaling molecule that in animals has been adapted as a neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate by the action of glutamate decarboxylases (GADs). Two vertebrate genes, GAD1 and GAD2, encode distinct GAD proteins: GAD67 and GAD65, respectively. We have identified a third vertebrate GAD gene, GAD3. This gene is conserved in fishes as well as tetrapods. We analyzed protein sequence, gene structure, synteny, and phylogenetics to identify GAD3 as a homolog of GAD1 and GAD2. Interestingly, we found that GAD3 was lost in the hominid lineage. Because of the importance of GABA as a neurotransmitter, GAD3 may play important roles in vertebrate nervous systems. PMID:27461130

  7. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tang, W Joyce; Fernandez, Javier G; Sohn, Joel J; Amemiya, Chris T

    2015-03-30

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi and is an important structural molecule [1, 2]. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin; however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology.

  8. The origin of the vertebrate skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivar, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over the ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D'Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. However, no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented. This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton, based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

  9. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Joel J.; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2015-01-01

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi, and is an important structural molecule. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin, however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. PMID:25772447

  10. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Shaun P.; Davies, Wayne L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.

    2009-01-01

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these ‘living fossils’, we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land. PMID:19720654

  11. Complex osteotomies vertebral column resection and decancellation.

    PubMed

    Obeid, Ibrahim; Bourghli, Anouar; Boissière, Louis; Vital, Jean-Marc; Barrey, Cédric

    2014-07-01

    Pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) is nowadays widely used to treat sagittal imbalance. Some complex malalignment cases cannot be treated by a PSO, whereas the imbalance is coronal or mixed or the sagittal imbalance is major and cannot be treated by a single PSO. The aim of this article was to review these complex situations--coronal imbalance, mixed imbalance, two-level PSO, vertebral column resection, and vertebral column decancellation, and to focus on their specificities. It wills also to evoke the utility of navigation in these complex cases.

  12. Scenarios for the making of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Holland, Nicholas D; Holland, Linda Z; Holland, Peter W H

    2015-04-23

    Over the past 200 years, almost every invertebrate phylum has been proposed as a starting point for evolving vertebrates. Most of these scenarios are outdated, but several are still seriously considered. The short-range transition from ancestral invertebrate chordates (similar to amphioxus and tunicates) to vertebrates is well accepted. However, longer-range transitions leading up to the invertebrate chordates themselves are more controversial. Opinion is divided between the annelid and the enteropneust scenarios, predicting, respectively, a complex or a simple ancestor for bilaterian animals. Deciding between these ideas will be facilitated by further comparative studies of multicellular animals, including enigmatic taxa such as xenacoelomorphs.

  13. Renal-vertebral index in normal children.

    PubMed Central

    Bacopoulos, C; Papahatzi-Kalmadi, M; Karpathios, T; Thomaidis, T; Matsaniotis, N

    1981-01-01

    The renal-vertebral index is a simple method of evaluating the renal length in children and is convenient for everyday clinical work. The results of 822 normal children aged between 3 days and 14 years are reported. Infants of up to 1 year were found to have an index of about 4 to 5, pre-school children are an index of 3 1/2 to 4 1/2, and schoolchildren an index of 3 1/2 to 4. There was no significant difference in renal-vertebral index between boys and girls. Images Fig. 1 PMID:7259261

  14. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation for painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Anselmetti, Giovanni C; Tutton, Sean M; Facchini, Francis R; Miller, Larry E; Block, Jon E

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Vertebral metastases are associated with significant pain, disability, and morbidity. Open surgery for fracture stabilization is often inappropriate in this population due to a poor risk-benefit profile, particularly if life expectancy is short. Percutaneous vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are appealing adjunctive procedures in patients with malignancy for alleviation of intractable pain. However, these patients have higher risk of serious complications, notably cement extravasation. Described in this report is a case of a painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis that was successfully treated by a novel percutaneous vertebral augmentation system. Case presentation A 42-year-old Caucasian female presented with a history of metastatic lung cancer unresponsive to radiation and chemotherapy with symptoms inadequately controlled by opiates over the previous 6 months. Magnetic resonance imaging and spiral computed tomography with two-dimensional reconstruction showed an osteolytic vertebral metastasis with complete involvement of the T10 vertebral body, extending to the cortical vertebral wall anteriorly and posteriorly. The patient was treated with percutaneous vertebral augmentation (Kiva® VCF Treatment System, Benvenue Medical, Inc, Santa Clara, CA) utilizing a novel coil-shaped polyetheretherketone implant designed to minimize the risk of cement extravasation. After the minimally invasive procedure, bone cement distribution within the vertebral body was ideal, with no observed cement extravasation. No complications were reported, pain completely resolved within 24 hours, and use of intravenous narcotics was progressively diminished within 1 week. Complete pain relief was maintained throughout 4 months of follow-up. Conclusion The Kiva System represents a novel and effective minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from severe pain due to osteolytic vertebral metastasis. PMID:23754917

  15. Repeated vertebral augmentation for new vertebral compression fractures of postvertebral augmentation patients: a nationwide cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Cheng-Loong; Wang, Hao-Kwan; Syu, Fei-Kai; Wang, Kuo-Wei; Lu, Kang; Liliang, Po-Chou

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Postvertebral augmentation vertebral compression fractures are common; repeated vertebral augmentation is usually performed for prompt pain relief. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and risk factors of repeat vertebral augmentation. Methods We performed a retrospective, nationwide, population-based longitudinal observation study, using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) of Taiwan. All patients who received vertebral augmentation for vertebral compression fractures were evaluated. The collected data included patient characteristics (demographics, comorbidities, and medication exposure) and repeat vertebral augmentation. Kaplan–Meier and stratified Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed for analyses. Results The overall incidence of repeat vertebral augmentation was 11.3% during the follow-up until 2010. Patients with the following characteristics were at greater risk for repeat vertebral augmentation: female sex (AOR=1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–2.36), advanced age (AOR=1.60; 95% CI: 1.32–2.08), diabetes mellitus (AOR=4.31; 95% CI: 4.05–5.88), cerebrovascular disease (AOR=4.09; 95% CI: 3.44–5.76), dementia (AOR=1.97; 95% CI: 1.69–2.33), blindness or low vision (AOR=3.72; 95% CI: 2.32–3.95), hypertension (AOR=2.58; 95% CI: 2.35–3.47), and hyperlipidemia (AOR=2.09; 95% CI: 1.67–2.22). Patients taking calcium/vitamin D (AOR=2.98; 95% CI: 1.83–3.93), bisphosphonates (AOR=2.11; 95% CI: 1.26–2.61), or calcitonin (AOR=4.59; 95% CI: 3.40–5.77) were less likely to undergo repeat vertebral augmentation; however, those taking steroids (AOR=7.28; 95% CI: 6.32–8.08), acetaminophen (AOR=3.54; 95% CI: 2.75–4.83), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (AOR=6.14; 95% CI: 5.08–7.41) were more likely to undergo repeat vertebral augmentation. Conclusion We conclude that the incidence of repeat vertebral augmentation is rather high. An understanding of risk factors predicting repeat

  16. Percutaneous ethanol embolization and cement augmentation of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas at two adjacent vertebral levels.

    PubMed

    Cianfoni, Alessandro; Massari, Francesco; Dani, Genta; Lena, Jonathan R; Rumboldt, Zoran; Vandergrift, William A; Bonaldi, Giuseppe

    2014-10-01

    This report describes a case of successful percutaneous direct-puncture ethanol embolization, followed by vertebroplasty, of an aggressive vertebral hemangioma (VH) involving two adjacent thoracic vertebral levels. In this case, the 78-year-old male patient presented with a 6-month history of progressive paraparesis due to spinal cord compression by a T8-T9 VH with an extensive epidural component. Follow-up demonstrated epidural component shrinkage with complete regression of symptoms at 3 months. This case suggests that exclusive percutaneous treatment may be considered for symptomatic VH even when two adjacent vertebral levels are affected.

  17. Three neuropeptide Y receptor genes in the spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, support en bloc duplications in early vertebrate evolution.

    PubMed

    Salaneck, Erik; Ardell, David H; Larson, Earl T; Larhammar, Dan

    2003-08-01

    It has been debated whether the increase in gene number during early vertebrate evolution was due to multiple independent gene duplications or synchronous duplications of many genes. We describe here the cloning of three neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptor genes belonging to the Y1 subfamily in the spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, a cartilaginous fish. The three genes are orthologs of the mammalian subtypes Y1, Y4, and Y6, which are located in paralogous gene regions on different chromosomes in mammals. Thus, these genes arose by duplications of a chromosome region before the radiation of gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates). Estimates of duplication times from linearized trees together with evidence from other gene families supports two rounds of chromosome duplications or tetraploidizations early in vertebrate evolution. The anatomical distribution of mRNA was determined by reverse-transcriptase PCR and was found to differ from mammals, suggesting differential functional diversification of the new gene copies during the radiation of the vertebrate classes.

  18. Vertebrate Pest Control. Sale Publication 4077.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stimmann, M. W.; Clark, Dell O.

    This guide gives descriptions of common vertebrate pests and guidelines for using some common pesticides. The pests discussed are rats, mice, bats, moles, muskrats, ground squirrels, and gophers. Information is given for each pest on the type of damage the pest can do, the habitat and biology of the pest, and the most effective control methods.…

  19. Mast cells in nonmammalian vertebrates: an overview.

    PubMed

    Baccari, Gabriella Chieffi; Pinelli, Claudia; Santillo, Alessandra; Minucci, Sergio; Rastogi, Rakesh Kumar

    2011-01-01

    Mast cells are best known as multifunctional entities that may confer a benefit on immune system. This review presents the known facts on mast-cell system and breakthroughs in mast-cell biology in fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. As compared to mammals, there are relatively few data available on mast cells in many nonmammalian vertebrates. Nevertheless, like in mammals, mast cells in nonmammalian vertebrates contain a wide range of bioactive compounds including histamine, heparin, neuropeptides, and neutral proteases. In bony fishes, these cells secrete antimicrobial peptides as well. Mast cells have a widespread distribution in the brain, endocrine glands, intestine, liver, kidney, skin, tongue, and lungs, the highest concentration occurring in different tissues in the different taxa. Currently, researchers are grappling with the nature of scientific support to substantiate the functional importance of mast cells in nonmammalian vertebrates. Ultimately, the origin and evolution of vertebrate mast cell is of great interest to comparative immunologists seeking an underlying trend in the phylogenetic development of immunity.

  20. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  1. Ancestral vertebrate complexity of the opioid system.

    PubMed

    Larhammar, Dan; Bergqvist, Christina; Sundström, Görel

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of the opioid peptides and nociceptin/orphanin as well as their receptors has been difficult to resolve due to variable evolutionary rates. By combining sequence comparisons with information on the chromosomal locations of the genes, we have deduced the following evolutionary scenario: The vertebrate predecessor had one opioid precursor gene and one receptor gene. The two genome doublings before the vertebrate radiation resulted in three peptide precursor genes whereupon a fourth copy arose by a local gene duplication. These four precursors diverged to become the prepropeptides for endorphin (POMC), enkephalins, dynorphins, and nociceptin, respectively. The ancestral receptor gene was quadrupled in the genome doublings leading to delta, kappa, and mu and the nociceptin/orphanin receptor. This scenario is corroborated by new data presented here for coelacanth and spotted gar, representing two basal branches in the vertebrate tree. A third genome doubling in the ancestor of teleost fishes generated additional gene copies. These results show that the opioid system was quite complex already in the first vertebrates and that it has more components in teleost fishes than in mammals. From an evolutionary point of view, nociceptin and its receptor can be considered full-fledged members of the opioid system.

  2. Stakeholder participation in management of invasive vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ford-Thompson, Adriana E S; Snell, Carolyn; Saunders, Glen; White, Piran C L

    2012-04-01

    Stakeholders are increasingly involved in species conservation. We sought to understand what features of a participatory conservation program are associated with its ecological and social outcomes. We conducted a case study of the management of invasive vertebrates in Australia. Invasive vertebrates are a substantial threat to Australia's native species, and stakeholder participation in their management is often necessary for their control. First, we identified potential influences on the ecological and social outcomes of species conservation programs from the literature. We used this information to devise an interview questionnaire, which we administered to managers of 34 participatory invasive-vertebrate programs. Effects of invasive species were related to program initiator (agency or citizen), reasons for use of a participatory approach, and stakeholder composition. Program initiator was also related to the participation methods used, level of governance (i.e., governed by an agency or citizens), changes in stakeholder interactions, and changes in abundance of invasive species. Ecological and social outcomes were related to changes in abundance of invasive species and stakeholder satisfaction. We identified relations between changes in the number of participants, stakeholder satisfaction, and occurrence of conflict. Potential ways to achieve ecological and social goals include provision of governmental support (e.g., funding) to stakeholders and minimization of gaps in representation of stakeholder groups or individuals to, for example, increase conflict mitigation. Our findings provide guidance for increasing the probability of achieving ecological and social objectives in management of invasive vertebrates and may be applicable to other participatory conservation programs.

  3. Why can't vertebrates synthesize trehalose?

    PubMed

    Argüelles, Juan-Carlos

    2014-10-01

    The non-reducing disaccharide trehalose is a singular molecule, which has been strictly conserved throughout evolution in prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), lower eukaryotes, plants, and invertebrates, but is absent in vertebrates and-more specifically-in mammals. There are notable differences regarding the pivotal roles played by trehalose among distantly related organisms as well as in the specific metabolic pathways of trehalose biosynthesis and/or hydrolysis, and the regulatory mechanisms that control trehalose expression genes and enzymatic activities. The success of trehalose compared with that of other structurally related molecules is attributed to its exclusive set of physical properties, which account for its physiological roles and have also promoted important biotechnological applications. However, an intriguing question still remains: why are vertebrates in general, and mammals in particular, unable (or have lost the capacity) to synthesize trehalose? The search for annotated genomes of vertebrates reveals the absence of any functional trehalose synthase gene. Indeed, this is also true for the human genome, which contains, however, two genes encoding for isoforms of the hydrolytic activity (trehalase). Although we still lack a convincing answer, this striking difference might reflect the divergent evolutionary lineages followed by invertebrates and vertebrates. Alternatively, some clinical data point to trehalose as a toxic molecule when stored inside the human body.

  4. Did Language Evolve Like the Vertebrate Eye?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, Rudolf P.

    2002-01-01

    Offers a critical appraisal of the way in which the idea that human language or some of its features evolved like the vertebrate eye by natural selection is articulated in Pinker and Bloom's (1990) selectionist account of language evolution. Argues that this account is less than insightful because it fails to draw some of the conceptual…

  5. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  6. The Evolution of LINE-1 in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sookdeo, Akash

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and diversity of the LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposon differ greatly among vertebrates. Mammalian genomes contain hundreds of thousands L1s that have accumulated since the origin of mammals. A single group of very similar elements is active at a time in mammals, thus a single lineage of active families has evolved in this group. In contrast, non-mammalian genomes (fish, amphibians, reptiles) harbor a large diversity of concurrently transposing families, which are all represented by very small number of recently inserted copies. Why the pattern of diversity and abundance of L1 is so different among vertebrates remains unknown. To address this issue, we performed a detailed analysis of the evolution of active L1 in 14 mammals and in 3 non-mammalian vertebrate model species. We examined the evolution of base composition and codon bias, the general structure, and the evolution of the different domains of L1 (5′UTR, ORF1, ORF2, 3′UTR). L1s differ substantially in length, base composition, and structure among vertebrates. The most variation is found in the 5′UTR, which is longer in amniotes, and in the ORF1, which tend to evolve faster in mammals. The highly divergent L1 families of lizard, frog, and fish share species-specific features suggesting that they are subjected to the same functional constraints imposed by their host. The relative conservation of the 5′UTR and ORF1 in non-mammalian vertebrates suggests that the repression of transposition by the host does not act in a sequence-specific manner and did not result in an arms race, as is observed in mammals. PMID:28175298

  7. The Evolution of Line-1 in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Boissinot, Stéphane; Sookdeo, Akash

    2016-10-19

    The abundance and diversity of the LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposon differ greatly among vertebrates. Mammalian genomes contain hundred of thousands L1s that have accumulated since the origin of mammals. A single group of very similar elements is active at a time in mammals, thus a single lineage of active families has evolved in this group. In contrast, non-mammalian genomes (fish, amphibians, reptiles) harbor a large diversity of concurrently transposing families, which are all represented by very small number of recently inserted copies. Why the pattern of diversity and abundance of L1 is so different among vertebrates remains unknown. To address this issue, we performed a detailed analysis of the evolution of active L1 in 14 mammals and in three non-mammalian vertebrate model species. We examined the evolution of base composition and codon bias, the general structure, and the evolution of the different domains of L1 (5'UTR, ORF1, ORF2, 3'UTR). L1s differ substantially in length, base composition and structure among vertebrates. The most variation is found in the 5'UTR, which is longer in amniotes, and in the ORF1, which tend to evolve faster in mammals. The highly divergent L1 families of lizard, frog and fish share species-specific features suggesting they are subjected to the same functional constraints imposed by their host. The relative conservation of the 5'UTR and ORF1 in non-mammalian vertebrates suggests that the repression of transposition by the host does not act in a sequence specific manner and did not result in an arms race, as is observed in mammals.

  8. Insect-transmitted vertebrate viruses: flaviviridae.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, G V; Iacono-Connors, L C

    1993-04-01

    The Flaviviridae include almost 70 viruses, nearly half of which have been associated with human disease. These viruses are among the most important arthropod-borne viruses worldwide and include dengue, yellow fever, and Japanese encephalitis viruses. Morbidity and mortality caused by these viruses vary, but collectively they account for millions of encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, arthralgia, rash, and fever cases per year. Most of the members of this family are transmitted between vertebrate hosts by arthropod vectors, most commonly mosquitoes or ticks. Transmission cycles can be simple or complex depending on the hosts, vectors, the virus, and the environmental factors affecting both hosts and viruses. Replication of virus in invertebrate hosts does not seem to result in any significant pathology, which suggests a close evolutionary relationship between virus and vector. Another example of this relationship is the ability of these viruses to grow in invertebrate cell culture, where replication usually results in a steady state, persistent infection, often without cytopathic effect. Yields of virus from insect cell culture vary but are generally similar to yields in vertebrate cells. Replication kinetics are comparable between insect and vertebrate cell lines, despite differences in incubation temperature. Both vertebrate and insect cell culture systems continue to play a significant role in flavivirus isolation and the diagnosis of disease caused by these agents. Additionally, these culture systems permit the study of flavivirus attachment, penetration, replication, and release from cells and have been instrumental in the production and characterization of live-attenuated vaccines. Both vertebrate and insect cell culture systems will continue to play a significant role in basic and applied flavivirus research in the future.

  9. Improved Prediction of Non-methylated Islands in Vertebrates Highlights Different Characteristic Sequence Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Vingron, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Non-methylated islands (NMIs) of DNA are genomic regions that are important for gene regulation and development. A recent study of genome-wide non-methylation data in vertebrates by Long et al. (eLife 2013;2:e00348) has shown that many experimentally identified non-methylated regions do not overlap with classically defined CpG islands which are computationally predicted using simple DNA sequence features. This is especially true in cold-blooded vertebrates such as Danio rerio (zebrafish). In order to investigate how predictive DNA sequence is of a region’s methylation status, we applied a supervised learning approach using a spectrum kernel support vector machine, to see if a more complex model and supervised learning can be used to improve non-methylated island prediction and to understand the sequence properties of these regions. We demonstrate that DNA sequence is highly predictive of methylation status, and that in contrast to existing CpG island prediction methods our method is able to provide more useful predictions of NMIs genome-wide in all vertebrate organisms that were studied. Our results also show that in cold-blooded vertebrates (Anolis carolinensis, Xenopus tropicalis and Danio rerio) where genome-wide classical CpG island predictions consist primarily of false positives, longer primarily AT-rich DNA sequence features are able to identify these regions much more accurately. PMID:27984582

  10. The Acre vertebrate fauna: Age, diversity, and geography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cozzuol, Mario Alberto

    2006-07-01

    The vertebrate faunal assemblage associated with the Neogene deposits in the Acre region (southwestern Amazonia) is secured as Late Miocene on the basis of a correlation with the 'Mesopotamian' faunal assemblage from the Paraná region of Argentina and Uruguay. Both assemblages occur in the time span of the Huayquerian South American Land Mammal Age (SALMA). The Acre, 'Mesopotamian' (Argentina and Uruguay), and Urumaco (Venezuela) assemblages are considered faunistically correlated and contemporaneous on the basis of their shared amniote taxa. The Laventan assemblage from Colombia has important faunistic affinities with the previous three but is older. A paleogeographic scenario is proposed to explain the long-distance correlation among those assemblages. On the basis of data from geology, field observations, fauna, and palynology, the validity of the Ucayali unconformity as a time marker along all of western Amazonia is rejected.

  11. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats.

    PubMed

    Free, C L; Baxter, G S; Dickman, C R; Lisle, A; Leung, L K-P

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning.

  12. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Free, C. L.; Baxter, G. S.; Dickman, C. R.; Lisle, A.; Leung, L. K.-P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  13. Whole Genome Duplications Shaped the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Repertoire of Jawed Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brunet, Frédéric G.; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) gene family, involved primarily in cell growth and differentiation, comprises proteins with a common enzymatic tyrosine kinase intracellular domain adjacent to a transmembrane region. The amino-terminal portion of RTKs is extracellular and made of different domains, the combination of which characterizes each of the 20 RTK subfamilies among mammals. We analyzed a total of 7,376 RTK sequences among 143 vertebrate species to provide here the first comprehensive census of the jawed vertebrate repertoire. We ascertained the 58 genes previously described in the human and mouse genomes and established their phylogenetic relationships. We also identified five additional RTKs amounting to a total of 63 genes in jawed vertebrates. We found that the vertebrate RTK gene family has been shaped by the two successive rounds of whole genome duplications (WGD) called 1R and 2R (1R/2R) that occurred at the base of the vertebrates. In addition, the Vegfr and Ephrin receptor subfamilies were expanded by single gene duplications. In teleost fish, 23 additional RTK genes have been retained after another expansion through the fish-specific third round (3R) of WGD. Several lineage-specific gene losses were observed. For instance, birds have lost three RTKs, and different genes are missing in several fish sublineages. The RTK gene family presents an unusual high gene retention rate from the vertebrate WGDs (58.75% after 1R/2R, 64.4% after 3R), resulting in an expansion that might be correlated with the evolution of complexity of vertebrate cellular communication and intracellular signaling. PMID:27260203

  14. Prevalent Vertebral Fractures among Children Initiating Glucocorticoid Therapy for the Treatment of Rheumatic Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Huber, A.M.; Gaboury, I.; Cabral, D.A.; Lang, B.; Ni, A.; Stephure, D.; Taback, S.; Dent, P.; Ellsworth, J.; LeBlanc, C.; Saint-Cyr, C.; Scuccimarri, R.; Hay, J.; Lentle, B.; Matzinger, M.; Shenouda, N.; Moher, D.; Rauch, F.; Siminoski, K.; Ward, L.M.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Vertebral fractures are an under-recognized problem in children with inflammatory disorders. We studied spine health among 134 children (87 girls) with rheumatic conditions (median age 10 years) within 30 days of initiating glucocorticoid (GC) therapy. Methods Children were categorized as follows: juvenile dermatomyositis (juvenile DM, N=30), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA; N=28), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and related conditions (N=26), systemic arthritis (N=22), systemic vasculitis (N=16), and other conditions (N=12). Thoracolumbar spine radiograph and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry for lumbar spine areal bone mineral density (LS BMD) were performed within 30 days of GC initiation. Genant semi-quantitative grading was used for vertebral morphometry. Second metacarpal morphometry was carried out on a hand radiograph. Clinical factors including disease and physical activity, calcium and vitamin D intake, cumulative GC dose, underlying diagnosis, LS BMD Z-score and back pain were analyzed for association with vertebral fracture. Results Thirteen vertebral fractures were noted in 9 children (7%). Six patients had a single vertebral fracture and three patients had two to three fractures. Fractures were clustered in the mid-thoracic region (69%). Three vertebral fractures (23%) were moderate (Grade 2); the others were mild (Grade 1). For the entire cohort, mean (±SD) LS BMD Z-score was significantly different from zero (−0.55±1.2, p<0.001) despite a mean height Z-score that was similar to the healthy average (0.02±1.0, p=0.825). Back pain was highly associated with increased odds for fracture (OR 10.6, 95% CI 2.1 to 53.8, p=0.004). Conclusions In pediatric rheumatic conditions, vertebral fractures can be present prior to prolonged GC exposure. PMID:20391507

  15. Whole Genome Duplications Shaped the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Repertoire of Jawed Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Frédéric G; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-06-03

    The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) gene family, involved primarily in cell growth and differentiation, comprises proteins with a common enzymatic tyrosine kinase intracellular domain adjacent to a transmembrane region. The amino-terminal portion of RTKs is extracellular and made of different domains, the combination of which characterizes each of the 20 RTK subfamilies among mammals. We analyzed a total of 7,376 RTK sequences among 143 vertebrate species to provide here the first comprehensive census of the jawed vertebrate repertoire. We ascertained the 58 genes previously described in the human and mouse genomes and established their phylogenetic relationships. We also identified five additional RTKs amounting to a total of 63 genes in jawed vertebrates. We found that the vertebrate RTK gene family has been shaped by the two successive rounds of whole genome duplications (WGD) called 1R and 2R (1R/2R) that occurred at the base of the vertebrates. In addition, the Vegfr and Ephrin receptor subfamilies were expanded by single gene duplications. In teleost fish, 23 additional RTK genes have been retained after another expansion through the fish-specific third round (3R) of WGD. Several lineage-specific gene losses were observed. For instance, birds have lost three RTKs, and different genes are missing in several fish sublineages. The RTK gene family presents an unusual high gene retention rate from the vertebrate WGDs (58.75% after 1R/2R, 64.4% after 3R), resulting in an expansion that might be correlated with the evolution of complexity of vertebrate cellular communication and intracellular signaling.

  16. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  17. The ancestral role of nodal signalling in breaking L/R symmetry in the vertebrate forebrain.

    PubMed

    Lagadec, Ronan; Laguerre, Laurent; Menuet, Arnaud; Amara, Anis; Rocancourt, Claire; Péricard, Pierre; Godard, Benoît G; Rodicio, Maria Celina; Rodriguez-Moldes, Isabel; Mayeur, Hélène; Rougemont, Quentin; Mazan, Sylvie; Boutet, Agnès

    2015-03-30

    Left-right asymmetries in the epithalamic region of the brain are widespread across vertebrates, but their magnitude and laterality varies among species. Whether these differences reflect independent origins of forebrain asymmetries or taxa-specific diversifications of an ancient vertebrate feature remains unknown. Here we show that the catshark Scyliorhinus canicula and the lampreys Petromyzon marinus and Lampetra planeri exhibit conserved molecular asymmetries between the left and right developing habenulae. Long-term pharmacological treatments in these species show that nodal signalling is essential to their generation, rather than their directionality as in teleosts. Moreover, in contrast to zebrafish, habenular left-right differences are observed in the absence of overt asymmetry of the adjacent pineal field. These data support an ancient origin of epithalamic asymmetry, and suggest that a nodal-dependent asymmetry programme operated in the forebrain of ancestral vertebrates before evolving into a variable trait in bony fish.

  18. Mid-Wisconsinan vertebrates and their environment from January Cave, Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, James A.

    1991-01-01

    January Cave, in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta, has yielded vertebrate remains from a coprocenosis of mid-Wisconsinan-age. Taphonomic analysis indicates accumulation by raptors, mostly owls, and mammalian carnivores. The vertebrate record, together with pollen analysis, indicates that cool, dry conditions prevailed in an extensive tundra-like environment, with prairie elements in the valleys below. Thirty-four mammalian taxa have been recovered from January Cave. Today, some of these species (e.g., Lemmus sibiricus and Dicrostonyx torquatus) do not coexist with others (e.g., Cynomys sp., Mustela nigripes, Vulpes velox, and Lagurus curtatus). Therefore, the January Cave local fauna represents a "nonanalog" mammalian community characteristic of the late Pleistocene. It suggests that the region enjoyed an equable climate, with reduced climatic extremes but still cool, further supporting a mid-Wisconsinan age estimate for the fauna. It is the first major, small vertebrate fauna of its age to be reported from Alberta.

  19. Phylogenetic analysis and positive-selection site detecting of vascular endothelial growth factor family in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    He, Wenwu; Tang, Yanyan; Qi, Bin; Lu, Chuansen; Qin, Chao; Wei, Yunfei; Yi, Jiachao; Chen, Mingwu

    2014-02-10

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), known to play an important role in vascular homeostasis, vascular integrity and angiogenesis, is little known about the evolutionary relationship of its five members especially the role of gene duplication and natural selection in the evolution of the VEGF family. In this study, seventy-five full-length cDNA sequences from 33 vertebrate species were extracted from the NCBI's GenBank, UniProt protein database and the Ensembl database. By phylogenetic analyses, we investigated the origin, conservation, and evolution of the VEGFs. Five VEGF family members in vertebrates might be formed by gene duplication. The inferred evolutionary transitions that separate members which belong to different gene clusters correlated with changes in functional properties. Selection analysis and protein structure analysis were combined to explain the relationship of the site-specific evolution in the vertebrate VEGF family. Eleven positive selection sites, one transmembrane region and the active sites were detected in this process.

  20. Treatment of iatrogenic V2 segment vertebral artery pseudoaneurysm using Pipeline flow-diverting stent

    PubMed Central

    Shakir, Hakeem J.; Rooney, Patrick J.; Rangel-Castilla, Leonardo; Yashar, Parham; Levy, Elad I.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Iatrogenic injury to the vertebral artery is a rare but potential complication of cervical spine surgery. Previous authors have commented on the use of flow-diverting stents for treatment of aneurysms of the V3 segment of the vertebral artery. Case Description: Here, we report a case in which injury occurred at the V2 segment of the vertebral artery with the development of a pseudoaneurysm, which was found on angiography. After decompressing the spinal cord from an epidural hematoma, the pseudoaneurysm was treated by deploying two Pipeline flow-diverting stents (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN). Obliteration of the pseudoaneurysm was noted on follow-up angiography 4 days after the treatment. Conclusion: This case highlights a unique treatment at a region which, to our knowledge, has not been mentioned in the literature. PMID:28168090

  1. Evolution of vertebrate mechanosensory hair cells and inner ears: toward identifying stimuli that select mutation driven altered morphologies.

    PubMed

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Among the major distance senses of vertebrates, the ear is unique in its complex morphological changes during evolution. Conceivably, these changes enable the ear to adapt toward sensing various physically well-characterized stimuli. This review develops a scenario that integrates sensory cell with organ evolution. We propose that molecular and cellular evolution of the vertebrate hair cells occurred prior to the formation of the vertebrate ear. We previously proposed that the genes driving hair cell differentiation were aggregated in the otic region through developmental re-patterning that generated a unique vertebrate embryonic structure, the otic placode. In agreement with the presence of graviceptive receptors in many vertebrate outgroups, it is likely that the vertebrate ear originally functioned as a simple gravity-sensing organ. Based on the rare occurrence of angular acceleration receptors in vertebrate outgroups, we further propose that the canal system evolved with a more sophisticated ear morphogenesis. This evolving morphogenesis obviously turned the initial otocyst into a complex set of canals and recesses, harboring multiple sensory epithelia each adapted to the acquisition of a specific aspect of a given physical stimulus. As support for this evolutionary progression, we provide several details of the molecular basis of ear development.

  2. Evolution of vertebrate mechanosensory hair cells and inner ears: toward identifying stimuli that select mutation driven altered morphologies

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Among the major distance senses of vertebrates, the ear is unique in its complex morphological changes during evolution. Conceivably, these changes enable the ear to adapt toward sensing various physically well-characterized stimuli. This review develops a scenario that integrates sensory cell with organ evolution. We propose that molecular and cellular evolution of the vertebrate hair cells occurred prior to the formation of the vertebrate ear. We previously proposed that the genes driving hair cell differentiation, were aggregated in the otic region through developmental re-patterning that generated a unique vertebrate embryonic structure, the otic placode. In agreement with the presence of graviceptive receptors in many vertebrate outgroups, it is likely that the vertebrate ear originally functioned as a simple gravity-sensing organ. Based on the rare occurrence of angular acceleration receptors in vertebrate outgroups, we further propose that the canal system evolved with a more sophisticated ear morphogenesis. This evolving morphogenesis obviously turned the initial otocyst into a complex set of canals and recesses, harboring multiple sensory epithelia each adapted to the acquisition of a specific aspect of a given physical stimulus. As support for this evolutionary progression, we provide several details of the molecular basis of ear development. PMID:24281353

  3. New insights into the complex structure and ontogeny of the occipito-vertebral gap in barbeled dragonfishes (Stomiidae, Teleostei).

    PubMed

    Schnell, Nalani K; Britz, Ralf; Johnson, G David

    2010-08-01

    In all stomiid genera there is an occipito-vertebral gap between the skull and the first vertebra bridged only by the flexible notochord. Morphological studies from the early 20th century suggested that some stomiid genera have 1-10 of the anteriormost centra reduced or entire vertebrae missing in this region. Our study reviews this previous hypothesis. Using a new approach, we show that only in Chauliodus, Eustomias and Leptostomias gladiator vertebral centra are actually lost, with their respective neural arches and parapophyses persisting. We present results from a comparative analysis of the number and insertion sites of the anteriormost myosepta in 26 of the 28 stomiid genera. Generally in teleosts the first three myosepta are associated with the occiput, and the fourth is the first vertebral myoseptum. The insertion site of the fourth myoseptum plays an important role in this analysis, because it provides a landmark for the first vertebra. Lack of association of the fourth myoseptum with a vertebra is thus evidence that the first vertebra is reduced or absent. By counting the occipital and vertebral myosepta the number of reduced vertebrae in Chauliodus, Eustomias and Leptostomias gladiator can be inferred. Proper identification of the spino-occipital nerves provides an additional source of information about vertebral reduction. In all other stomiid genera the extensive occipito- vertebral gap is not a consequence of the reduction of vertebrae, but of an elongation of the notochord. The complex structure and ontogeny of the anterior part of the vertebral column of stomiids are discussed comparatively.

  4. Loss of col8a1a Function during Zebrafish Embryogenesis Results in Congenital Vertebral Malformations

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Ryan S.; Wilm, Thomas; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M.; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L.; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-01-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1,000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles (m531, vu41, vu105) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. PMID:24333517

  5. Spatial memory and hippocampal pallium through vertebrate evolution: insights from reptiles and teleost fish.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, F; López, J C; Vargas, J P; Broglio, C; Gómez, Y; Salas, C

    The forebrain of vertebrates shows great morphological variation and specialized adaptations. However, an increasing amount of neuroanatomical and functional data reveal that the evolution of the vertebrate forebrain could have been more conservative than previously realized. For example, the pallial region of the teleost telencephalon contains subdivisions presumably homologous with various pallial areas in amniotes, including possibly a homologue of the medial pallium or hippocampus. In mammals and birds, the hippocampus is critical for encoding complex spatial information to form map-like cognitive representations of the environment. Here, we present data showing that the pallial areas of reptiles and fish, previously proposed as homologous to the hippocampus of mammals and birds on an anatomical basis, are similarly involved in spatial memory and navigation by map-like or relational representations of the allocentric space. These data suggest that early in vertebrate evolution, the medial pallium of an ancestral fish group that gave rise to the extant vertebrates became specialized for processing and encoding complex spatial information, and that this functional trait has been retained through the evolution of each independent vertebrate lineage.

  6. A reporter assay in lamprey embryos reveals both functional conservation and elaboration of vertebrate enhancers.

    PubMed

    Parker, Hugo J; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Bronner, Marianne; Elgar, Greg

    2014-01-01

    The sea lamprey is an important model organism for investigating the evolutionary origins of vertebrates. As more vertebrate genome sequences are obtained, evolutionary developmental biologists are becoming increasingly able to identify putative gene regulatory elements across the breadth of the vertebrate taxa. The identification of these regions makes it possible to address how changes at the genomic level have led to changes in developmental gene regulatory networks and ultimately to the evolution of morphological diversity. Comparative genomics approaches using sea lamprey have already predicted a number of such regulatory elements in the lamprey genome. Functional characterisation of these sequences and other similar elements requires efficient reporter assays in lamprey. In this report, we describe the development of a transient transgenesis method for lamprey embryos. Focusing on conserved non-coding elements (CNEs), we use this method to investigate their functional conservation across the vertebrate subphylum. We find instances of both functional conservation and lineage-specific functional evolution of CNEs across vertebrates, emphasising the utility of functionally testing homologous CNEs in their host species.

  7. Cellular automata segmentation of the boundary between the compacta of vertebral bodies and surrounding structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egger, Jan; Nimsky, Christopher

    2016-03-01

    Due to the aging population, spinal diseases get more and more common nowadays; e.g., lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture is 40% for white women and 13% for white men in the United States. Thus the numbers of surgical spinal procedures are also increasing with the aging population and precise diagnosis plays a vital role in reducing complication and recurrence of symptoms. Spinal imaging of vertebral column is a tedious process subjected to interpretation errors. In this contribution, we aim to reduce time and error for vertebral interpretation by applying and studying the GrowCut - algorithm for boundary segmentation between vertebral body compacta and surrounding structures. GrowCut is a competitive region growing algorithm using cellular automata. For our study, vertebral T2-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans were first manually outlined by neurosurgeons. Then, the vertebral bodies were segmented in the medical images by a GrowCut-trained physician using the semi-automated GrowCut-algorithm. Afterwards, results of both segmentation processes were compared using the Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) and the Hausdorff Distance (HD) which yielded to a DSC of 82.99+/-5.03% and a HD of 18.91+/-7.2 voxel, respectively. In addition, the times have been measured during the manual and the GrowCut segmentations, showing that a GrowCutsegmentation - with an average time of less than six minutes (5.77+/-0.73) - is significantly shorter than a pure manual outlining.

  8. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Pron, Gaylene; Holubowich, Corinne; Kaulback, Kellee

    2016-01-01

    Background Cancers that metastasize to the spine and primary cancers such as multiple myeloma can result in vertebral compression fractures or instability. Conservative strategies, including bed rest, bracing, and analgesic use, can be ineffective, resulting in continued pain and progressive functional disability limiting mobility and self-care. Surgery is not usually an option for cancer patients in advanced disease states because of their poor medical health or functional status and limited life expectancy. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous image-guided vertebral augmentation techniques, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, for palliation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures. Methods We performed a systematic literature search for studies on vertebral augmentation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures published from January 1, 2000, to October 2014; abstracts were screened by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Owing to the heterogeneity of the clinical reports, we performed a narrative synthesis based on an analytical framework constructed for the type of cancer-related vertebral fractures and the diversity of the vertebral augmentation interventions. Results The evidence review identified 3,391 citations, of which 111 clinical reports (4,235 patients) evaluated the effectiveness of vertebroplasty (78 reports, 2,545 patients) or kyphoplasty (33 reports, 1,690 patients) for patients with mixed primary spinal metastatic cancers, multiple myeloma, or hemangiomas. Overall the mean pain intensity scores often reported within 48 hours of vertebral augmentation (kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty), were significantly reduced. Analgesic use, although variably reported, usually involved parallel decreases, particularly in opioids, and mean pain-related disability scores were also significantly improved. In a randomized controlled

  9. Parathyroid hormone-related protein in lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ingleton, P M

    2002-05-01

    The genes for parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) have been cloned in two teleost fishes, cDNA of sea bream (Sparus aurata) and genomic DNA of puffer fish (Fugu rubripes). The gene sequences show that there is significant conservation of amino acid identity, with specific domains most highly conserved. The N-terminus, responsible for bone matrix lysis in mammals and chickens, is present in the fish genes with 52% sequence identity to higher vertebrate PTHrP peptides; the nuclear transporter region shares 73% identity, and the RNA-binding sequence is 65% identical. However, the peptides are shorter then mammalian PTHrP, lacking the C-terminus responsible for inhibition of osteoclast lytic activity, but they have an additional inserted sequence between amino acids 38 and 54 that is not present in higher vertebrate PTHrPs. The N-terminus 1-38 Fugu PTHrP proved to be hypercalcaemic in larval Sparus, suggesting that it may be a physiological regulator of calcium homeostasis in fish. Using homologous nucleotide probes for in situ hybridisation and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of extracted RNA, PTHrP gene expression has been widely found in both developing and adult fish. Antiserum to the fish insert sequence demonstrated transcription of PTHrP in all stages of Sparus development, and also detected the same epitope in tissues of developing frog (Rana temporaria), indicating that this has been retained during evolution of the amphibia.

  10. The vertebral column of the Regourdou 1 Neandertal.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Couture-Veschambre, Christine; Madelaine, Stéphane; Maureille, Bruno

    2013-06-01

    The Regourdou 1 partial skeleton was found in 1957 in level IV of the eponymous site located in Montignac-sur-Vézère (Dordogne, France) and until now it has been only partially published. The ongoing revision of the faunal remains from the site has yielded additional fossils that pertain to this skeleton. Here we study the vertebral column of this individual, providing for the first time detailed descriptions for all of the fossils and reassessing the anatomical position of all of the fragments. The vertebral column of Regourdou 1 is one of the most complete in the Neandertal fossil record with at least 20 pre-sacral vertebrae (seven cervicals, nine thoracic and four lumbars), a partial sacrum and a fragmentary first coccygeal vertebra. When compared with modern humans, the vertebrae of Regourdou 1 display significant metric differences, and fit well within the range of Neandertal variability. A preliminary analysis of the most complete thoracic vertebrae of this individual indicates that Neandertals displayed significant differences from modern humans in the thoracic spine, which adds to the differences already observed in the cervical and lumbar regions. Finally, we have also observed mild signs of osteoarthrosis, albeit to a lower degree of that present in other Neandertals such as La Chapelle-aux-Saints, La Ferrassie 1 or Shanidar 3. This is consistent with the younger adult age for Regourdou 1.

  11. Major African contributions to Palaeozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate palaeontology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durand, J. F.

    2005-10-01

    Over more than two centuries, Africa has been an important source of knowledge with regard to the origins, evolution and distribution of important animal taxa. Not only did Africa south of the Sahara contain a second zoogeographical region virtually unknown four centuries ago, but also gave the world the first insight into the palaeontological wealth and the existence of Gondwana. The section on Agnatha includes a discussion on conodonts from South Africa, considered to be the some of the oldest and best-preserved vertebrate fossils in the world. The section on the Gnathostomata includes a very brief overview of the most important fish taxa from the Palaeozoic to Mesozoic of Africa. The section on the Tetrapoda includes an overview of the major taxa found in the fossil record of the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic of Africa. The Permian and Triassic tetrapod fossils that indicate the evolution and radiation of the parareptiles, eureptiles and synapsids are highlighted. The most important vertebrate fossils from Africa that contributed to our understanding of the radiation of evolutionary important groups such as the fish, tetrapods, tortoises, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs and mammals are discussed. The Jurassic and Cretaceous assemblages containing dinosaur and mammal remains, deposited after the break up of Gondwana, are discussed. Finally a perspective on the importance of Africa as fossil repository and the limitations of palaeontological endeavour in Africa is given.

  12. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans

    PubMed Central

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  13. Population momentum across vertebrate life histories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koons, D.N.; Grand, J.B.; Arnold, J.M.

    2006-01-01

    Population abundance is critically important in conservation, management, and demographic theory. Thus, to better understand how perturbations to the life history affect long-term population size, we examined population momentum for four vertebrate classes with different life history strategies. In a series of demographic experiments we show that population momentum generally has a larger effect on long-term population size for organisms with long generation times than for organisms with short generation times. However, patterns between population momentum and generation time varied across taxonomic groups and according to the life history parameter that was changed. Our findings indicate that momentum may be an especially important aspect of population dynamics for long-lived vertebrates, and deserves greater attention in life history studies. Further, we discuss the importance of population momentum in natural resource management, pest control, and conservation arenas. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Robert Lynn

    1997-04-01

    This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.

  15. Dynamic epithelia of the developing vertebrate face.

    PubMed

    Choe, Chong Pyo; Crump, J Gage

    2015-06-01

    A segmental series of endoderm-derived pouch and ectoderm-derived cleft epithelia act as signaling centers in the developing face. Their precise morphogenesis is therefore essential for proper patterning of the vertebrate head. Intercellular adhesion and polarity are highly dynamic within developing facial epithelial cells, with signaling from the adjacent mesenchyme controlling both epithelial character and directional migration. Endodermal and ectodermal epithelia fuse to form the primary mouth and gill slits, which involves basement membrane dissolution, cell intercalations, and apoptosis, as well as undergo further morphogenesis to generate the middle ear cavity and glands of the neck. Recent studies of facial epithelia are revealing both core programs of epithelial morphogenesis and insights into the coordinated assembly of the vertebrate head.

  16. Acute compressive myelopathy due to vertebral haemangioma.

    PubMed

    Macki, Mohamed; Bydon, Mohamad; Kaloostian, Paul; Bydon, Ali

    2014-04-28

    A 47-year-old woman with a history of anaemia presented to the emergency room with an acute onset of leg weakness. Physical examination of the bilateral lower extremities was significant for 0/5 muscle strength in all muscle groups with decreased pinprick and temperature sensation. A sensory level at the umbilicus was appreciated. Fine touch and proprioception were preserved. Bowel and bladder function were intact. CT revealed several thoracic, vertebral haemangiomatas. An MRI was suggestive of an epidural clot at the T8-T10-weighted posterior epidural space. At the level of the lesion, the cerebrospinal fluid space was completely effaced, and the flattened spinal cord exhibited signs of oedema and compressive myelopathy. The patient immediately underwent surgical decompression of the spinal cord. An epidural clot and vessel conglomeration were identified. A postoperative spinal angiogram confirmed the diagnosis of vertebral haemangioma. At 1-month follow-up, the patient regained strength and sensation.

  17. Miocene vertebrates and North Florida shorelines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, S.J.

    1968-01-01

    Vertebrate fossils from ten localities, spread across northern Florida, give evidence of shorelines and deltas that have previously been established on geologic evidence or invertebrates alone. Terrestrial mammal remains, in association with shallow-water forms, indicate a deltaic assemblage and in several instances specific animals suggest restricted water depths at the time of sediment deposition. Fortunately diagnostic fragments of Miocene horses, Merychippus and Parahippus, are present in these beds, allowing for a rather close age evaluation of these sediments. Adequate fossil material has been collected from these localities to suggest the past environment and ecological conditions for the forms represented. By utilizing a suggested course of experiments with stream table apparatus it is possible to use the orientation of the fossil vertebrate remains as aids in determining past conditions of sediment accumulation. ?? 1968.

  18. Molecular basis of vertebrate limb patterning.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Cheryll

    2002-10-15

    Mechanisms of limb development are common to all higher vertebrates. The current understanding of how vertebrate limbs develop comes mainly from studies on chick embryos, which are classical models for experimental manipulation, and mouse embryos, which can be genetically manipulated. Work on chick and mouse embryos is often complementary and has direct implications for human limb development. Analysis has moved to the molecular level, which allows direct links to genetics. Even though genes involved in limb development have been discovered by basic scientists through different routes to that taken by clinical geneticists, many of the same genes have been identified. Thus, the fields of embryology and clinical medicine increasingly converge. The next challenge will be to go back to animal models to begin to dissect how particular gene mutations lead to specific limb phenotypes.

  19. The importance of loading the periphery of the vertebral endplate

    PubMed Central

    Sutterlin, Chester; Dabirrahmani, Danè; Appleyard, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Background Commercial fusion cages typically provide support in the central region of the endplate, failing to utilize the increased compressive strength around the periphery. This study demonstrates the increase in compressive strength that can be achieved if the bony periphery of the endplate is loaded. Methods Sixteen cadaveric lumbar vertebrae (L1–L5) were randomly divided into two even groups. A different commercial mass produced implant (MPI) was allocated to each group: (I) a Polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) anterior lumber inter-body fusion (ALIF) MPI; and (II) a titanium ALIF MPI. Uniaxial compression at a displacement rate of 0.5 mm/sec was applied to all vertebrae during two phases: (I) with the allocated MPI situated in the central region of the endplate; (II) with an aluminum plate, designed to load the bony periphery of the endplate. The failure load and mode of failure was recorded. Results From phase 1 to phase 2, the failure load increased from 1.1±0.4 to 2.9±1.4 kN for group 1; and from 1.3±1.0 to 3.0±1.9 kN for group 2. The increase in strength from phase 1 to phase 2 was statistically significant for each group (group 1: P<0.01, group 2: P<0.05, paired t-test). There was no significant difference between the groups in either phase (P>0.05, t-test). The mode of failure in phase 1 was the implant being forced through the endplate for both groups. In phase 2, the mode of failure was either a fracture of the epiphyseal rim or buckling of the side wall of the vertebral body. Conclusions Loading the periphery of the vertebral endplate achieved significant increase in compressive load capacity compared to loading the central region of the endplate. Clinically, this implies that patient-specific implants which load the periphery of the vertebral endplate could decrease the incidence of subsidence and improve surgical outcomes. PMID:27757430

  20. Transmission of ranavirus between ectothermic vertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Brenes, Roberto; Gray, Matthew J; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wilkes, Rebecca P; Miller, Debra L

    2014-01-01

    Transmission is an essential process that contributes to the survival of pathogens. Ranaviruses are known to infect different classes of lower vertebrates including amphibians, fishes and reptiles. Differences in the likelihood of infection among ectothermic vertebrate hosts could explain the successful yearlong persistence of ranaviruses in aquatic environments. The goal of this study was to determine if transmission of a Frog Virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus was possible among three species from different ectothermic vertebrate classes: Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) larvae, mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis), and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). We housed individuals previously exposed to the FV3-like ranavirus with naïve (unexposed) individuals in containers divided by plastic mesh screen to permit water flow between subjects. Our results showed that infected gray treefrog larvae were capable of transmitting ranavirus to naïve larval conspecifics and turtles (60% and 30% infection, respectively), but not to fish. Also, infected turtles and fish transmitted ranavirus to 50% and 10% of the naïve gray treefrog larvae, respectively. Nearly all infected amphibians experienced mortality, whereas infected turtles and fish did not die. Our results demonstrate that ranavirus can be transmitted through water among ectothermic vertebrate classes, which has not been reported previously. Moreover, fish and reptiles might serve as reservoirs for ranavirus given their ability to live with subclinical infections. Subclinical infections of ranavirus in fish and aquatic turtles could contribute to the pathogen's persistence, especially when highly susceptible hosts like amphibians are absent as a result of seasonal fluctuations in relative abundance.

  1. The Timing of Timezyme Diversification in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2′paralogs, the 2′ isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  2. The timing of Timezyme diversification in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2'paralogs, the 2' isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence.

  3. Making digit patterns in the vertebrate limb.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Cheryll

    2006-01-01

    The vertebrate limb has been a premier model for studying pattern formation - a striking digit pattern is formed in human hands, with a thumb forming at one edge and a little finger at the other. Classic embryological studies in different model organisms combined with new sophisticated techniques that integrate gene-expression patterns and cell behaviour have begun to shed light on the mechanisms that control digit patterning, and stimulate re-evaluation of the current models.

  4. Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chin, Diana D; Lentink, David

    2016-04-01

    More than a million insects and approximately 11,000 vertebrates utilize flapping wings to fly. However, flapping flight has only been studied in a few of these species, so many challenges remain in understanding this form of locomotion. Five key aerodynamic mechanisms have been identified for insect flight. Among these is the leading edge vortex, which is a convergent solution to avoid stall for insects, bats and birds. The roles of the other mechanisms - added mass, clap and fling, rotational circulation and wing-wake interactions - have not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of vertebrate flight. Further challenges to understanding bat and bird flight are posed by the complex, dynamic wing morphologies of these species and the more turbulent airflow generated by their wings compared with that observed during insect flight. Nevertheless, three dimensionless numbers that combine key flow, morphological and kinematic parameters - the Reynolds number, Rossby number and advance ratio - govern flapping wing aerodynamics for both insects and vertebrates. These numbers can thus be used to organize an integrative framework for studying and comparing animal flapping flight. Here, we provide a roadmap for developing such a framework, highlighting the aerodynamic mechanisms that remain to be quantified and compared across species. Ultimately, incorporating complex flight maneuvers, environmental effects and developmental stages into this framework will also be essential to advancing our understanding of the biomechanics, movement ecology and evolution of animal flight.

  5. The immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-11-24

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more "conventional" mammalian species.

  6. Modular evolution of the Cetacean vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A

    2007-01-01

    Modular theory predicts that hierarchical developmental processes generate hierarchical phenotypic units that are capable of independent modification. The vertebral column is an overtly modular structure, and its rapid phenotypic transformation in cetacean evolution provides a case study for modularity. Terrestrial mammals have five morphologically discrete vertebral series that are now known to be coincident with Hox gene expression patterns. Here, I present the hypothesis that in living Carnivora and Artiodactyla, and by inference in the terrestrial ancestors of whales, the series are themselves components of larger precaudal and caudal modular units. Column morphology in a series of fossil and living whales is used to predict the type and sequence of developmental changes responsible for modification of that ancestral pattern. Developmental innovations inferred include independent meristic additions to the precaudal column in basal archaeocetes and basilosaurids, stepwise homeotic reduction of the sacral series in protocetids, and dissociation of the caudal series into anterior tail and fluke subunits in basilosaurids. The most dramatic change was the novel association of lumbar and anterior caudal vertebrae in a module that crosses the precaudal/caudal boundary. This large unit is defined by shared patterns of vertebral morphology, count, and size in all living whales (Neoceti).

  7. Fungal osteomyelitis with vertebral re-ossification

    PubMed Central

    O′Guinn, Devon J.; Serletis, Demitre; Kazemi, Noojan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction We present a rare case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis secondary to pulmonary Blastomyces dermatitides. Presentation of case A 27-year-old male presented with three months of chest pains and non-productive cough. Examination revealed diminished breath sounds on the right. CT/MR imaging confirmed a right-sided pre-/paravertebral soft tissue mass and destructive lytic lesions from T2 to T6. CT-guided needle biopsy confirmed granulomatous pulmonary Blastomycosis. Conservative management with antifungal therapy was initiated. Neurosurgical review confirmed no clinical or profound radiographic instability, and the patient was stabilized with TLSO bracing. Serial imaging 3 months later revealed near-resolution of the thoracic soft tissue mass, with vertebral re-ossification from T2 to T6. Discussion Fungal osteomyelitis presents a rare entity in the spectrum of spinal infections. In such cases, lytic spinal lesions are classically seen in association with a large paraspinous mass. Fungal infections of the spinal column may be treated conservatively, with surgical intervention reserved for progressive cases manifesting with neurological compromise and/or spinal column instability. Here, we found unexpected evidence for vertebral re-ossification across the affected thoracic levels (T2-6) in response to IV antibiotic therapy and conservative bracing, nearly 3 months later. PMID:26692163

  8. Nestedness of Ectoparasite-Vertebrate Host Networks

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Sean P.; Hassan, Hassan K.; Burkett-Cadena, Nathan D.; Guyer, Craig; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2009-01-01

    Determining the structure of ectoparasite-host networks will enable disease ecologists to better understand and predict the spread of vector-borne diseases. If these networks have consistent properties, then studying the structure of well-understood networks could lead to extrapolation of these properties to others, including those that support emerging pathogens. Borrowing a quantitative measure of network structure from studies of mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators, we analyzed 29 ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks—including three derived from molecular bloodmeal analysis of mosquito feeding patterns—using measures of nestedness to identify non-random interactions among species. We found significant nestedness in ectoparasite-vertebrate host lists for habitats ranging from tropical rainforests to polar environments. These networks showed non-random patterns of nesting, and did not differ significantly from published estimates of nestedness from mutualistic networks. Mutualistic and antagonistic networks appear to be organized similarly, with generalized ectoparasites interacting with hosts that attract many ectoparasites and more specialized ectoparasites usually interacting with these same “generalized” hosts. This finding has implications for understanding the network dynamics of vector-born pathogens. We suggest that nestedness (rather than random ectoparasite-host associations) can allow rapid transfer of pathogens throughout a network, and expand upon such concepts as the dilution effect, bridge vectors, and host switching in the context of nested ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks. PMID:19924299

  9. The Immunoglobulins of Cold-Blooded Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more “conventional” mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  10. Can infant malnutrition cause adult vertebral stenosis?

    PubMed

    Clark, G A; Panjabi, M M; Wetzel, F T

    1985-03-01

    Does infant malnutrition produce smaller adult spinal canals? Lumbar and thoracic vertebrae (n X 1073), from a prehistoric American Indian population (15-55 yrs of age), were measured for anteroposterior (AP) and transverse (TR) vertebral canal sizes, nerve root tunnel (intervertebral foramen) widths (NRT), vertebral heights (VH), vertebral osteophytosis (VO), and tibial lengths. They underwent a dietary change from hunting-gathering, protein rich (PR), to maize agriculture, protein deficient (PD), between 950 and 1300 A.D. Multivariate analyses controlled for age, sex, culture, NRT, VH, VO, and wedging. Canal size was significantly smaller in the PD. AP diameters were generally and highly correlated with NRT, and thus both spinal stenosis and sciatica may have a developmental basis. Canal size was independent of statural components. Consequently, canal size is a most powerful tool in assessing the presence infant malnutrition. Moreover, perhaps the association between canal size and low-back pain (LBP) found in living populations has been underestimated, and this component of LBP is preventable.

  11. Medical Treatment of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Langdahl, Bente Lomholt; Harsløf, Torben

    2011-01-01

    A vertebral fracture is a serious symptom of osteoporosis. Vertebral fractures cause moderate-to-severe back pain for a shorter or longer duration, increase the risk of a subsequent vertebral fracture approximately four-fold, reduce quality of life significantly and are associated with increased mortality. In order to choose the optimal treatment for the patient, the severity and type of osteoporosis should be investigated. Prevention of new osteoporotic fractures can be accomplished through treatment with both antiresorptive and anabolic treatments. The antiresorptive treatment modalities comprise calcium, vitamin D, bisphosphonates, hormone therapy, selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), strontium ranelate, receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL) antibody and calcitonin. The anabolic treatments comprise teriparatide and parathyroid hormone [(PTH)-(1–84)]. Adherence with treatment of osteoporosis is generally poor and therefore once the choice of treatment has been made and the patient has been instructed properly, long-term adherence to the treatment should be secured through information and regular control visits. PMID:22870463

  12. Common normal variants of pediatric vertebral development that mimic fractures: a pictorial review from a national longitudinal bone health study

    PubMed Central

    Jaremko, Jacob Lester; Siminoski, Kerry; Firth, Gregory; Matzinger, Mary Ann; Shenouda, Nazih; Konji, Victor N.; Roth, Johannes; Sbrocchi, Anne Marie; Reed, Martin; O’Brien, Kathleen; Nadel, Helen; McKillop, Scott; Kloiber, Reinhard; Dubois, Josée; Coblentz, Craig; Charron, Martin; Ward, Leanne M.

    2015-01-01

    Children with glucocorticoid-treated illnesses are at risk for osteoporotic vertebral fractures and growing awareness has led to increased monitoring for these fractures. However scant literature describes developmental changes in vertebral morphology that can mimic fractures. The goal of this paper is to aid in distinguishing between normal variants and fractures. We illustrate differences using lateral spine radiographs obtained annually from children recruited to the Canada-wide STeroid-Associated Osteoporosis in the Pediatric Population (STOPP) observational study, in which 400 children with glucocorticoid-treated leukemia, rheumatic disorders, and nephrotic syndrome were enrolled near glucocorticoid initiation and followed prospectively for 6 years. Normal variants mimicking fractures exist in all regions of the spine and fall into two groups. The first group comprises variants mimicking pathological vertebral height loss, including not-yet-ossified vertebral apophyses superiorly and inferiorly which can lead to a vertebral shape easily over-interpreted as anterior wedge fracture, physiologic beaking, and spondylolisthesis associated with shortened posterior vertebral height. The second group includes variants mimicking other radiologic signs of fractures: anterior vertebral artery groove resembling an anterior buckle fracture, Cupid’s bow balloon disk morphology, Schmorl nodes mimicking concave endplate fractures, and parallax artifact resembling endplate interruption or biconcavity. If an unexpected vertebral body contour is detected, careful attention to its location, detailed morphology, and (if available) serial changes over time may clarify whether it is a fracture requiring change in management or simply a normal variant. Awareness of the variants described in this paper can improve accuracy in the diagnosis of pediatric vertebral fractures. PMID:25828359

  13. Two novel gene orders and the role of light-strand replication in rearrangement of the vertebrate mitochondrial genome.

    PubMed

    Macey, J R; Larson, A; Ananjeva, N B; Fang, Z; Papenfuss, T J

    1997-01-01

    Two novel mitochondrial gene arrangements are identified in an agamid lizard and a ranid frog. Statistical tests incorporating phylogeny indicate a link between novel vertebrate mitochondrial gene orders and movement of the origin of light-strand replication. A mechanism involving errors in light-strand replication and tandem duplication of genes is proposed for rearrangement of vertebrate mitochondrial genes. A second mechanism involving small direct repeats also is identified. These mechanisms implicate gene order as a reliable phylogenetic character. Shifts in gene order define major lineages without evidence of parallelism or reversal. The loss of the origin of light-strand replication from its typical vertebrate position evolves in parallel and, therefore, is a less reliable phylogenetic character. Gene junctions also evolve in parallel. Sequencing across multigenic regions, in particular transfer RNA genes, should be a major focus of future systematic studies to locate novel gene orders and to provide a better understanding of the evolution of the vertebrate mitochondrial genome.

  14. New forensic anthropological approachment for the age determination of human fetal skeletons on the base of morphometry of vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Kósa, F; Castellana, C

    2005-01-17

    The anthropometrical study was carried out on 107 human fetal/newborn skeletons (54 male, 43 female, and 9 of unknown sex). The age of the individuals ranged from 4 to 10 lunar months. Each fetal or newborn vertebral region (cervical, thoracal and lumbar) has its own distinguishing features that are easily identifiable even in fragmentary bones. With our large sample size and extension of the age range studied, we are able to determine the fetal age with a considerable degree of accuracy from measurements defined in the vertebral ossification centers using regression equations. A simple rapid method for the identification and classification of fetal vertebral column bones has been contributed. The identification and classifications were carried out using discriminant functions. Knowledge of changes in vertebral column bones during fetal development is important in applied contexts of forensic and anthropology researches.

  15. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Viren S; Chi, John H; Groff, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Vertebral hemangiomas are common tumors that are benign and generally asymptomatic. Occasionally these lesions can exhibit aggressive features such as bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Surgery is often recommended in these cases, especially if symptoms are severe or rapidly progressive. Some surgeons perform decompression alone, others perform gross-total resection, while others perform en bloc resection. Radiation, embolization, vertebroplasty, and ethanol injection have also been used in combination with surgery. Despite the variety of available treatment options, the optimal management strategy is unclear because aggressive vertebral hemangiomas are uncommon lesions, making it difficult to perform large trials. For this reason, the authors chose instead to report their institutional experience along with a comprehensive review of the literature. METHODS A departmental database was searched for patients with a pathological diagnosis of "hemangioma" between 2008 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, and these cases were reviewed in detail. RESULTS Five patients were identified who underwent surgery for treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas during the specified time period. There were 2 lumbar and 3 thoracic lesions. One patient underwent en bloc spondylectomy, 2 patients had piecemeal gross-total resection, and the remaining 2 had subtotal tumor resection. Intraoperative vertebroplasty was used in 3 cases to augment the anterior column or to obliterate residual tumor. Adjuvant radiation was used in 1 case where there was residual tumor as well. The patient who underwent en bloc spondylectomy experienced several postoperative complications requiring additional medical care and reoperation. At an average follow-up of 31 months (range 3-65 months), no patient had any recurrence of disease and all were clinically asymptomatic, except the

  16. How to build a vertebrate hindbrain. Lessons from genetics.

    PubMed

    Schneider-Maunoury, S; Gilardi-Hebenstreit, P; Charnay, P

    1998-10-01

    During vertebrate embryogenesis, the hindbrain is the site of a segmentation process which leads to the formation, along the anterior-posterior axis, of 7-8 metameres called rhombomeres. This phenomenon plays an essential role in early hindbrain regionalisation and in the specification of the pattern of developing structures in this region of the brain. Data accumulated during the last 10 years have also shown that rhombomeres are units of gene expression and of cell lineage. Hence, a number of regulatory genes are expressed according to segment-specific patterns in the hindbrain and have been implicated in the pattern formation process. In this review, we focus on the analysis of the function and regulation of these genes along the different steps of hindbrain segmentation, from segment delimitation to acquisition of positional identity. On this basis, we propose a model for the control of early hindbrain development.

  17. Radiation effects in wild terrestrial vertebrates - the EPIC collection.

    PubMed

    Sazykina, Tatiana; Kryshev, Ivan I

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents data on radiation effects in populations of wild vertebrate animals inhabiting contaminated terrestrial ecosystems. The data were extracted from the database "Radiation effects on biota", compiled within the framework of the EC Project EPIC (2000-2003). The data collection, based on publications in Russian, demonstrates radiation effects in the areas characterized with high levels of radionuclides (Kyshtym radioactive trace; "spots" of enhanced natural radioactivity in the Komi region of Russia; territories contaminated from the Chernobyl fallout). The data covers a wide range of exposures from acute accidental irradiation to lifetime exposures at relatively low dose rates. Radiation effects include mortality, changes in reproduction, decrease of health, ecological effects, cytogenetic effects, adaptation to radiation, and others. Peculiarities of radiation effects caused by different radionuclides are described, also the severity of effects as they appear in different organisms (e.g. mice, frogs, birds, etc.).

  18. Vertebral fracture assessment in patients presenting with a non-hip non-vertebral fragility fracture: experience of a UK Fracture Liaison Service.

    PubMed

    Reniu, Aina Capdevila; Ong, Terence; Ajmal, Syed; Sahota, Opinder

    2017-12-01

    Twenty-five percent of patients with a non-hip non-vertebral fragility fracture have an undiagnosed vertebral fracture detected by vertebral fracture assessment during bone densitometric assessment. The prevalence of an undiagnosed vertebral fracture is higher in older people, and they are more likely to have multiple vertebral fractures.

  19. A Hox regulatory network of hindbrain segmentation is conserved to the base of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Parker, Hugo J; Bronner, Marianne E; Krumlauf, Robb

    2014-10-23

    A defining feature governing head patterning of jawed vertebrates is a highly conserved gene regulatory network that integrates hindbrain segmentation with segmentally restricted domains of Hox gene expression. Although non-vertebrate chordates display nested domains of axial Hox expression, they lack hindbrain segmentation. The sea lamprey, a jawless fish, can provide unique insights into vertebrate origins owing to its phylogenetic position at the base of the vertebrate tree. It has been suggested that lamprey may represent an intermediate state where nested Hox expression has not been coupled to the process of hindbrain segmentation. However, little is known about the regulatory network underlying Hox expression in lamprey or its relationship to hindbrain segmentation. Here, using a novel tool that allows cross-species comparisons of regulatory elements between jawed and jawless vertebrates, we report deep conservation of both upstream regulators and segmental activity of enhancer elements across these distant species. Regulatory regions from diverse gnathostomes drive segmental reporter expression in the lamprey hindbrain and require the same transcriptional inputs (for example, Kreisler (also known as Mafba), Krox20 (also known as Egr2a)) in both lamprey and zebrafish. We find that lamprey hox genes display dynamic segmentally restricted domains of expression; we also isolated a conserved exonic hox2 enhancer from lamprey that drives segmental expression in rhombomeres 2 and 4. Our results show that coupling of Hox gene expression to segmentation of the hindbrain is an ancient trait with origin at the base of vertebrates that probably led to the formation of rhombomeric compartments with an underlying Hox code.

  20. Comparative morphometric study of the australopithecine vertebral series Stw-H8/H41.

    PubMed

    Sanders, W J

    1998-03-01

    Lower spinal structure correlates well with positional behavior among mammals. Nonetheless, the functional morphology of the axial post-crania of australopithecines has received less attention than their appendicular skeletons. This paper presents a detailed description and comparative morphometric analysis of the australopithecine thoracolumbar vertebral series Stw-H8/H41, and examines spinal mechanics in early hominids. Stw-H8/H41 is an important specimen, as the australopithecine vertebral sample is small, and vertebral series are more useful than isolated elements for the interpretation of spinal function. Results of the study support the interpretation that australopithecine species are highly sexually dimorphic. The study also reveals a considerable amount of morphometric variation other than size among australopithecine vertebrae, though the sample is too small and incomplete to ascertain whether this indicates significant interspecific differences in spinal function. Most importantly, structural and metric observations confirm that the morphology of the lower spine in australopithecines has no modern analogue in its entirety. Aspects of zygapophyseal structure, numerical composition of the lumbar region, and centrum wedging suggest that the australopithecine vertebral column was adapted to human-like intrinsic lumbar lordosis and stable balance of the trunk over the pelvis in sustained bipedal locomotion. However, relative centrum size in australopithecines indicates that either they had a different mechanism for channeling vertical forces through the vertebral column than humans, or differed behaviorally from humans in ways that produced smaller increments of compression across their centra. These findings have important implications for hypotheses of australopithecine positional behavior, and demonstrate that larger samples and more complete vertebral series are needed to improve our understanding of australopithecine spinal function.

  1. Alternative approaches for vertebrate ecotoxicity tests in the ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The need for alternative approaches to the use of vertebrate animals for hazard assessing chemicals and pollutants has become of increasing importance. It is now the first consideration when initiating a vertebrate ecotoxicity test, to ensure that unnecessary use of vertebrate organisms is minimised wherever possible. For some regulatory purposes, the use of vertebrate organisms for environmental risk assessments (ERA) has even been banned, and in other situations the numbers of organisms tested has been dramatically reduced, or the severity of the procedure refined. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve replacement of vertebrate organisms to generate environmental hazard data. The development of animal alternatives is not just based on ethical considerations but also to reduce the cost of performing vertebrate ecotoxicity tests and in some cases to provide better information aimed at improving ERAs. The present focus paper provides an overview of the considerable advances that have been made towards alternative approaches for ecotoxicity assessments over the last few decades. The need for alternative approaches to the use of vertebrate animals for hazard assessing chemicals and pollutants has become of increasing importance. It is now the first consideration when initiating a vertebrate ecotoxicity test, to ensure that unnecessary use of vertebrate organisms is minimised wherever possible. For some regulatory purposes, the use of vertebrate organi

  2. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C.; Davies, Wayne I. L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Collin, Shaun P.; Hunt, David M.

    2016-01-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  3. Vertebral Body Growth After Craniospinal Irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Hartley, Katherine A.; Li Chenghong; Laningham, Fred H.; Krasin, Matthew J.; Xiong Xiaoping; Merchant, Thomas E.

    2008-04-01

    Purpose: To estimate the effects of radiotherapy and clinical factors on vertebral growth in patients with medulloblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors treated with craniospinal irradiation (CSI) and chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: The height of eight individual or grouped vertebral bodies (C3, C3-C4, T4, T4-T5, C6-T3, T4-T7, L3, L1-L5) was measured before and after CSI (23.4 or 36-39.6 Gy) in 61 patients. Of the 61 patients, 40 were boys and 21 were girls (median age, 7 years; range, 3-13 years), treated between October 1996 and October 2003. Sagittal T{sub 1}-weighted magnetic resonance images were used for the craniocaudal measurements. The measurements numbered 275 (median, 5/patient; range, 3-7). The median follow-up after CSI was 44.1 months (range, 13.8-74.9 months). Results: Significant growth was observed in all measured vertebrae. Excluding C3-C4, the growth rate of the grouped vertebrae was affected by age, gender, and CSI dose (risk classification). The risk classification alone affected the growth rates of C3 (p = 0.002) and L3 (p = 0.02). Before CSI, the length of all vertebral bodies was an increasing function of age (p <0.0001). The C3 length before CSI was affected by gender and risk classification: C3 was longer for female (p = 0.07) and high-risk (p = 0.07) patients. Conclusion: All vertebrae grew significantly after CSI, with the vertebrae of the boys and younger patients growing at a rate greater than that of their counterparts. The effect of age was similar across all vertebrae, and gender had the greatest effect on the growth of the lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. The effect of the risk classification was greatest in the lumbar spine by a factor of {<=}10.

  4. DEVELOPMENTAL PALEOBIOLOGY OF THE VERTEBRATE SKELETON

    PubMed Central

    RÜCKLIN, MARTIN; DONOGHUE, PHILIP C. J.; CUNNINGHAM, JOHN A.; MARONE, FEDERICA; STAMPANONI, MARCO

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the development of organisms can reveal crucial information on homology of structures. Developmental data are not peculiar to living organisms, and they are routinely preserved in the mineralized tissues that comprise the vertebrate skeleton, allowing us to obtain direct insight into the developmental evolution of this most formative of vertebrate innovations. The pattern of developmental processes is recorded in fossils as successive stages inferred from the gross morphology of multiple specimens and, more reliably and routinely, through the ontogenetic stages of development seen in the skeletal histology of individuals. Traditional techniques are destructive and restricted to a 2-D plane with the third dimension inferred. Effective non-invasive methods of visualizing paleohistology to reconstruct developmental stages of the skeleton are necessary. In a brief survey of paleohistological techniques we discuss the pros and cons of these methods. The use of tomographic methods to reconstruct development of organs is exemplified by the study of the placoderm dentition. Testing evidence for the presence of teeth in placoderms, the first jawed vertebrates, we compare the methods that have been used. These include inferring the development from morphology, and using serial sectioning, microCT or synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to reconstruct growth stages and directions of growth. The ensuing developmental interpretations are biased by the methods and degree of inference. The most direct and reliable method is using SRXTM data to trace sclerochronology. The resulting developmental data can be used to resolve homology and test hypotheses on the origin of evolutionary novelties. PMID:26306050

  5. Evolution of vertebrate forebrain development: how many different mechanisms?

    PubMed Central

    FOLEY, ANN C.; STERN, CLAUDIO D.

    2001-01-01

    Over the past 50 years and more, many models have been proposed to explain how the nervous system is initially induced and how it becomes subdivided into gross regions such as forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain and spinal cord. Among these models is the 2-signal model of Nieuwkoop & Nigtevecht (1954), who suggested that an initial signal (‘activation’) from the organiser both neuralises and specifies the forebrain, while later signals (‘transformation’) from the same region progressively caudalise portions of this initial territory. An opposing idea emerged from the work of Otto Mangold (1933) and other members of the Spemann laboratory: 2 or more distinct organisers, emitting different signals, were proposed to be responsible for inducing the head, trunk and tail regions. Since then, evidence has accumulated that supports one or the other model, but it has been very difficult to distinguish between them. Recently, a considerable body of work from mouse embryos has been interpreted as favouring the latter model, and as suggesting that a ‘head organiser’, required for the induction of the forebrain, is spatially separate from the classic organiser (Hensen's node). An extraembryonic tissue, the ‘anterior visceral endoderm’ (AVE), was proposed to be the source of forebrain-inducing signals. It is difficult to find tissues that are directly equivalent embryologically or functionally to the AVE in other vertebrates, which led some (e.g. Kessel, 1998) to propose that mammals have evolved a new way of patterning the head. We will present evidence from the chick embryo showing that the hypoblast is embryologically and functionally equivalent to the mouse AVE. Like the latter, the hypoblast also plays a role in head development. However, it does not act like a true organiser. It induces pre-neural and pre-forebrain markers, but only transiently. Further development of neural and forebrain phenotypes requires additional signals not provided by the hypoblast. In

  6. Limbus lumbar and sacral vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Mendez, Jorge S; Huete, Isidro L; Tagle, Patricio M

    2002-03-01

    We evaluated the fractures of the lumbar and sacral vertebral limbus by disc impingement at the peripheral ring apophysis in 23 adults associated with trauma in 16 of them. Lumbalgia, radicular pain and narrow canal symptoms are the presenting forms of this underdiagnosed pathology. CT is the best method of examination, while plain roentgenograms and MR are usually negative. Accurate diagnosis and surgical technique with larger exposure are needed to resect the fractured fragments and protruded disc material for decompressing the roots and the dural sac. Our results were very good on the majority of cases.

  7. Quaternary vertebrates from Greenland: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennike, Ole

    Remains of fishes, birds and mammals are rarely reported from Quaternary deposits in Greenland. The oldest remains come from Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene deposits and comprise Atlantic cod, hare, rabbit and ringed seal. Interglacial and interstadial deposits have yielded remains of cod, little auk, collared lemming, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. Early and Mid-Holocene finds include capelin, polar cod, red fish, sculpin, three-spined stickleback, Lapland longspur, Arctic hare, collared lemming, wolf, walrus, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. It is considered unlikely that vertebrates could survive in Greenland during the peak of the last glaciation, but many species had probably already immigrated in the Early Holocene.

  8. Intracranial Vertebral Artery Dissections: Evolving Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Ali, M.S.; Amenta, P.S.; Starke, R.M.; Jabbour, P.M.; Gonzalez, L.F.; Tjoumakaris, S.I.; Flanders, A.E.; Rosenwasser, R.H.; Dumont, A.S.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Intracranial vertebral artery dissection (VAD) represents the underlying etiology in a significant percentage of posterior circulation ischemic strokes and subarachnoid hemorrhages. These lesions are particularly challenging in their diagnosis, management, and in the prediction of long-term outcome. Advances in the understanding of underlying processes leading to dissection, as well as the evolution of modern imaging techniques are discussed. The data pertaining to medical management of intracranial VADs, with emphasis on anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, is reviewed. Surgical intervention is discussed, including, the selection of operative candidates, open and endovascular procedures, and potential complications. The evolution of endovascular technology and techniques is highlighted. PMID:23217643

  9. A standard system to study vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar

    2009-06-12

    Staged embryonic series are important as reference for different kinds of biological studies. I summarise problems that occur when using 'staging tables' of 'model organisms'. Investigations of developmental processes in a broad scope of taxa are becoming commonplace. Beginning in the 1990s, methods were developed to quantify and analyse developmental events in a phylogenetic framework. The algorithms associated with these methods are still under development, mainly due to difficulties of using non-independent characters. Nevertheless, the principle of comparing clearly defined newly occurring morphological features in development (events) in quantifying analyses was a key innovation for comparative embryonic research. Up to date no standard was set for how to define such events in a comparative approach. As a case study I compared the external development of 23 land vertebrate species with a focus on turtles, mainly based on reference staging tables. I excluded all the characters that are only identical for a particular species or general features that were only analysed in a few species. Based on these comparisons I defined 104 developmental characters that are common either for all vertebrates (61 characters), gnathostomes (26), tetrapods (3), amniotes (7), or only for sauropsids (7). Characters concern the neural tube, somite, ear, eye, limb, maxillary and mandibular process, pharyngeal arch, eyelid or carapace development. I present an illustrated guide listing all the defined events. This guide can be used for describing developmental series of any vertebrate species or for documenting specimen variability of a particular species. The guide incorporates drawings and photographs as well as consideration of species identifying developmental features such as colouration. The simple character-code of the guide is extendable to further characters pertaining to external and internal morphological, physiological, genetic or molecular development, and also for other

  10. A Standard System to Study Vertebrate Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Werneburg, Ingmar

    2009-01-01

    Staged embryonic series are important as reference for different kinds of biological studies. I summarise problems that occur when using ‘staging tables’ of ‘model organisms’. Investigations of developmental processes in a broad scope of taxa are becoming commonplace. Beginning in the 1990s, methods were developed to quantify and analyse developmental events in a phylogenetic framework. The algorithms associated with these methods are still under development, mainly due to difficulties of using non-independent characters. Nevertheless, the principle of comparing clearly defined newly occurring morphological features in development (events) in quantifying analyses was a key innovation for comparative embryonic research. Up to date no standard was set for how to define such events in a comparative approach. As a case study I compared the external development of 23 land vertebrate species with a focus on turtles, mainly based on reference staging tables. I excluded all the characters that are only identical for a particular species or general features that were only analysed in a few species. Based on these comparisons I defined 104 developmental characters that are common either for all vertebrates (61 characters), gnathostomes (26), tetrapods (3), amniotes (7), or only for sauropsids (7). Characters concern the neural tube, somite, ear, eye, limb, maxillary and mandibular process, pharyngeal arch, eyelid or carapace development. I present an illustrated guide listing all the defined events. This guide can be used for describing developmental series of any vertebrate species or for documenting specimen variability of a particular species. The guide incorporates drawings and photographs as well as consideration of species identifying developmental features such as colouration. The simple character-code of the guide is extendable to further characters pertaining to external and internal morphological, physiological, genetic or molecular development, and also

  11. Vertebrate Endoderm Development and Organ Formation

    PubMed Central

    Zorn, Aaron M.; Wells, James M.

    2010-01-01

    The endoderm germ layer contributes to the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and all of their associated organs. Over the past decade, studies in vertebrate model organisms; including frog, fish, chick, and mouse; have greatly enhanced our understanding of the molecular basis of endoderm organ development. We review this progress with a focus on early stages of endoderm organogenesis including endoderm formation, gut tube morphogenesis and patterning, and organ specification. Lastly, we discuss how developmental mechanisms that regulate endoderm organogenesis are used to direct differentiation of embryonic stem cells into specific adult cell types, which function to alleviate disease symptoms in animal models. PMID:19575677

  12. [Comprehensive therapy of symptomatic vertebral haemangiomas].

    PubMed

    Hrabálek, L

    2010-04-01

    Vertebral haemangiomas (VH) are usually asymptomatic and are often found incidentally at spinal examination by imaging methods. Nevertheless, some haemangiomas can be clinically manifested by various degrees of axial pain and neurological deficit. The aim of this report is to show that this is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach to its treatment. The author reports on three patients with aggressive forms of cervical and lumbar VH treated by radiation therapy or vertebroplasty and hemilaminectomy with resection of the intraspinal thoratic component of a tumour. He discusses his findings in relation to the scarce data found on this topic in the literature.

  13. Vertebrate gravity sensors as dynamic systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    This paper considers verterbrate gravity receptors as dynamic sensors. That is, it is hypothesized that gravity is a constant force to which an acceleration-sensing system would readily adapt. Premises are considered in light of the presence of kinocilia on hair cells of vertebrate gravity sensors; differences in loading of the sensors among species; and of possible reduction in loading by inclusion of much organic material in otoconia. Moreover, organic-inorganic interfaces may confer a piezoelectric property upon otoconia, which increase the sensitivity of the sensory system to small accelerations. Comparisons with man-made accelerometers are briefly taken up.

  14. Vertebral pathology in the afar australopithecines.

    PubMed

    Cook, D C; Buikstra, J E; DeRousseau, C J; Johanson, D C

    1983-01-01

    Ten vertebral elements from the AL-288 partial hominid skeleton and 11 elements from the AL-333 collection are described. The AL-288 column presents a marked kyphosis at the level of thoracic vertebrae 6 through 10, with pronounced new bone formation on the ventral surfaces of these vertebrae. These features, associated with narrowed disc space and minor osteophytosis, resemble Scheuermann disease in the human. Even though this diagnosis is consistent with a basically human, bipedal locomotor repertoire, the presence of Scheuermann disease suggests that lifting, climbing, or acrobatic activities may have been important in early hominids.

  15. Growing models of vertebrate limb development.

    PubMed

    Towers, Matthew; Tickle, Cheryll

    2009-01-01

    The developing limb has been a very influential system for studying pattern formation in vertebrates. In the past, classical embryological models have explained how patterned structures are generated along the two principal axes of the limb: the proximodistal (shoulder to finger) and anteroposterior (thumb to little finger) axes. Over time, the genetic and molecular attributes of these patterning models have been discovered, while the role of growth in the patterning process has been only recently highlighted. In this review, we discuss these recent findings and propose how the various models of limb patterning can be reconciled.

  16. Life-long accumulation of 137Cs and 40K in the vertebral column of a cow.

    PubMed

    Pichl, Elke; Rabitsch, Herbert

    2013-01-01

    We have investigated the accumulation of (137)Cs and (40)K in all the tissues and organs of an adult slaughtered Austrian "mountain pasture cow". In this paper we present measured (137)Cs- and (40)K-activity concentrations in different tissues of the vertebral bodies, in their other bony components and in all the vertebrae forming the vertebral column. Data are also given for activity concentrations of adherent tissues, and for activities of both the components and the whole vertebral column. The dairy cow was born in a highly contaminated region of Styria, Austria, at the time of the radioactive fallout following the Chernobyl accident. Both radionuclides were incorporated during life-long ingestion and their accumulation in all the vertebrae up to the day of slaughtering was determined by high-purity germanium detectors. Our results show considerable variations of (137)Cs- and (40)K-activity concentrations in the components of a certain vertebra, within vertebrae of a particular region, and between vertebrae of different regions of the vertebral column. Particularly, the courses of (137)Cs- and (40)K-activity concentrations in trabecular bone, cortical bone and intervertebral discs of thoracic vertebral bodies are subdivided by a strong drop into two sections. Mean values of (137)Cs-concentration in vertebral bodies of these subsections vary by a factor 4. Compared with corresponding quantities for the skeleton, total mass, as well as total (137)Cs- and (40)K-activities of the whole vertebral column came to 14%, and approximately 38% for each (137)Cs and (40)K, respectively.

  17. Comparative cytogenetic mapping of Sox2 and Sox14 in cichlid fishes and inferences on the genomic organization of both genes in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Mazzuchelli, Juliana; Yang, Fengtang; Kocher, Thomas D.; Martins, Cesar

    2011-01-01

    To better understand the genomic organization and evolution of Sox genes in vertebrates, we cytogenetically mapped Sox2 and Sox14 genes in cichlid fishes and performed comparative analyses of their orthologs in several vertebrate species. The genomic regions neighbouring Sox2 and Sox14 have been conserved during vertebrate diversification. Although cichlids seem to have undergone high rates of genomic rearrangements, Sox2 and Sox14 are linked in the same chromosome in the Etroplinae Etroplus maculatus that represents the sister group of all remaining cichlids. However, this genes are located on different chromosomes in several species of the sister group Pseudocrenilabrinae. Similarly the ancestral synteny of Sox2 and Sox14 has been maintained in several vertebrates, but this synteny has been broken independently in all major groups as a consequence of karyotype rearrangements that took place during the vertebrate evolution. PMID:21691861

  18. A hotspot of gene order rearrangement by tandem duplication and random loss in the vertebrate mitochondrial genome.

    PubMed

    San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Zardoya, Rafael; Wilkinson, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Most reported examples of change in vertebrate mitochondrial (mt) gene order could be explained by a tandem duplication followed by random loss of redundant genes (tandem duplication-random loss [TDRL] model). Under this model of evolution, independent loss of genes arising from a single duplication in an ancestral species are predicted, and remnant pseudogenes expected, intermediate states that may remain in rearranged genomes. However, evidence for this is rare and largely scattered across vertebrate lineages. Here, we report new derived mt gene orders in the vertebrate "WANCY" region of four closely related caecilian amphibians. The novel arrangements found in this genomic region (one of them is convergent with the derived arrangement of marsupials), presence of pseudogenes, and positions of intergenic spacers fully satisfy predictions from the TDRL model. Our results, together with comparative data for the available vertebrate complete mt genomes, provide further evidence that the WANCY genomic region is a hotspot for gene order rearrangements and support the view that TDRL is the dominant mechanism of gene order rearrangement in vertebrate mt genomes. Convergent gene rearrangements are not unlikely in hotspots of gene order rearrangement by TDRL.

  19. Axial allometry in a neutrally buoyant environment: effects of the terrestrial-aquatic transition on vertebral scaling.

    PubMed

    Jones, K E; Pierce, S E

    2016-03-01

    Ecological diversification into new environments presents new mechanical challenges for locomotion. An extreme example of this is the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic lifestyle. Here, we examine the implications of life in a neutrally buoyant environment on adaptations of the axial skeleton to evolutionary increases in body size. On land, mammals must use their thoracolumbar vertebral column for body support against gravity and thus exhibit increasing stabilization of the trunk as body size increases. Conversely, in water, the role of the axial skeleton in body support is reduced, and, in aquatic mammals, the vertebral column functions primarily in locomotion. Therefore, we hypothesize that the allometric stabilization associated with increasing body size in terrestrial mammals will be minimized in secondarily aquatic mammals. We test this by comparing the scaling exponent (slope) of vertebral measures from 57 terrestrial species (23 felids, 34 bovids) to 23 semi-aquatic species (pinnipeds), using phylogenetically corrected regressions. Terrestrial taxa meet predictions of allometric stabilization, with posterior vertebral column (lumbar region) shortening, increased vertebral height compared to width, and shorter, more disc-shaped centra. In contrast, pinniped vertebral proportions (e.g. length, width, height) scale with isometry, and in some cases, centra even become more spool-shaped with increasing size, suggesting increased flexibility. Our results demonstrate that evolution of a secondarily aquatic lifestyle has modified the mechanical constraints associated with evolutionary increases in body size, relative to terrestrial taxa.

  20. Two forms of adaptive immunity in vertebrates: similarities and differences.

    PubMed

    Kasahara, Masanori; Sutoh, Yoichi

    2014-01-01

    Unlike jawed vertebrates that use T-cell and B-cell receptors for antigen recognition, jawless vertebrates represented by lampreys and hagfish use variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) as antigen receptors. VLRs generate diversity comparable to that of gnathostome antigen receptors by assembling variable leucine-rich repeat modules. The discovery of VLR has revolutionized our understanding of how adaptive immunity emerged and highlighted the differences between the adaptive immune systems (AISs) of jawed and jawless vertebrates. However, emerging evidence also indicates that their AISs have much in common. Particularly striking is the conservation of lymphocyte lineages. The basic architecture of the AIS including the dichotomy of lymphocytes appears to have been established in a common ancestor of jawed and jawless vertebrates. We review here the current knowledge on the AIS of jawless vertebrates, emphasizing both the similarities to and differences from the AIS of jawed vertebrates.

  1. The characters of Palaeozoic jawed vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brazeau, Martin D; Friedman, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils from the Silurian and Devonian periods are beginning to challenge embedded perceptions about the origin and early diversification of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). Nevertheless, an explicit cladistic framework for the relationships of these fossils relative to the principal crown lineages of the jawed vertebrates (osteichthyans: bony fishes and tetrapods; chondrichthyans: sharks, batoids, and chimaeras) remains elusive. We critically review the systematics and character distributions of early gnathostomes and provide a clearly stated hierarchy of synapomorphies covering the jaw-bearing stem gnathostomes and osteichthyan and chondrichthyan stem groups. We show that character lists, designed to support the monophyly of putative groups, tend to overstate their strength and lack cladistic corroboration. By contrast, synapomorphic hierarchies are more open to refutation and must explicitly confront conflicting evidence. Our proposed synapomorphy scheme is used to evaluate the status of the problematic fossil groups Acanthodii and Placodermi, and suggest profitable avenues for future research. We interpret placoderms as a paraphyletic array of stem-group gnathostomes, and suggest what we regard as two equally plausible placements of acanthodians: exclusively on the chondrichthyan stem, or distributed on both the chondrichthyan and osteichthyan stems. PMID:25750460

  2. TRPM7 regulates gastrulation during vertebrate embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wei; Su, Li-Ting; Khadka, Deepak K.; Mezzacappa, Courtney; Komiya, Yuko; Sato, Akira; Habas, Raymond; Runnels, Loren W.

    2010-01-01

    During gastrulation, cells in the dorsal marginal zone polarize, elongate, align and intercalate to establish the physical body axis of the developing embryo. Here we demonstrate that the bifunctional channel-kinase TRPM7 is specifically required for vertebrate gastrulation. TRPM7 is temporally expressed maternally and throughout development, and is spatially enriched in tissues undergoing convergent extension during gastrulation. Functional studies reveal that TRPM7’s ion channel, but not its kinase, specifically affects cell polarity and convergent extension movements during gastrulation, independent of mesodermal specification. During gastrulation, the non-canonical Wnt pathway via Dishevelled (Dvl) orchestrates the activities of the GTPases Rho and Rac to control convergent extension movements. We find that TRPM7 functions synergistically with non-canonical Wnt signaling to regulate Rac activity. The phenotype caused by depletion of the Ca2+- and Mg2+-permeant TRPM7 is suppressed by expression of a dominant negative form of Rac, as well as by Mg2+ supplementation or by expression of the Mg2+ transporter SLC41A2. Together, these studies demonstrate an essential role for the ion channel TRPM7 and Mg2+ in Rac-dependent polarized cell movements during vertebrate gastrulation. PMID:21145885

  3. Vertebrate helentrons and other novel Helitrons.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Russell T M; Goodwin, Timothy J D; Butler, Margaret I

    2003-08-14

    Helitrons, a novel class of eukaryote mobile genetic elements, are distinguished from other transposable elements by encoding a 'rolling circle' replication (RCR) protein (Rep) and a helicase. Helitrons have recently been described from Arabidopsis, rice and the nematode Caenorhabditis. We now report the discovery of Helitron-like elements in vertebrates, specifically in the genomes of the fish Danio rerio and Sphoeroides nephelus. We also describe Helitrons from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and from the Anopheles genome. Many of the fish Helitrons have an uncorrupted open reading frame encoding both the RCR Rep protein and a helicase. These fish elements are of particular interest because they also encode, within the single open reading frame, an apurinic-apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease most closely related to those of certain non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons. As they invariably carry an endonuclease and also form a very distinct clade, we have named these vertebrate elements 'helentrons'. It is likely that these helentrons are still active.

  4. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes.

    PubMed

    Sibley, Christopher R; Emmett, Warren; Blazquez, Lorea; Faro, Ana; Haberman, Nejc; Briese, Michael; Trabzuni, Daniah; Ryten, Mina; Weale, Michael E; Hardy, John; Modic, Miha; Curk, Tomaž; Wilson, Stephen W; Plagnol, Vincent; Ule, Jernej

    2015-05-21

    It is generally believed that splicing removes introns as single units from precursor messenger RNA transcripts. However, some long Drosophila melanogaster introns contain a cryptic site, known as a recursive splice site (RS-site), that enables a multi-step process of intron removal termed recursive splicing. The extent to which recursive splicing occurs in other species and its mechanistic basis have not been examined. Here we identify highly conserved RS-sites in genes expressed in the mammalian brain that encode proteins functioning in neuronal development. Moreover, the RS-sites are found in some of the longest introns across vertebrates. We find that vertebrate recursive splicing requires initial definition of an 'RS-exon' that follows the RS-site. The RS-exon is then excluded from the dominant mRNA isoform owing to competition with a reconstituted 5' splice site formed at the RS-site after the first splicing step. Conversely, the RS-exon is included when preceded by cryptic promoters or exons that fail to reconstitute an efficient 5' splice site. Most RS-exons contain a premature stop codon such that their inclusion can decrease mRNA stability. Thus, by establishing a binary splicing switch, RS-sites demarcate different mRNA isoforms emerging from long genes by coupling cryptic elements with inclusion of RS-exons.

  5. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras

    PubMed Central

    Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L.; Egaña, José T.

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  6. Identifying Synonymous Regulatory Elements in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Nobrega, M A

    2005-02-07

    Synonymous gene regulation, defined as driving shared temporal and/or spatial expression of groups of genes, is likely predicated on genomic elements that contain similar modules of certain transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). We have developed a method to scan vertebrate genomes for evolutionary conserved modules of TFBS in a predefined configuration, and created a tool, named SynoR that identify synonymous regulatory elements (SREs) in vertebrate genomes. SynoR performs de novo identification of SREs utilizing known patterns of TFBS in active regulatory elements (REs) as seeds for genome scans. Layers of multiple-species conservation allow the use of differential phylogenetic sequence conservation filters in the search of SREs and the results are displayed as to provide an extensive annotation of genes containing detected REs. Gene Ontology categories are utilized to further functionally classify the identified genes, and integrated GNF Expression Atlas 2 data allow the cataloging of tissue-specificities of the predicted SREs. We illustrate how this new tool can be used to establish a linkage between human diseases and noncoding genomic content. SynoR is publicly available at http://synor.dcode.org.

  7. High-altitude adaptations in vertebrate hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Weber, Roy E

    2007-09-30

    Vertebrates at high altitude are subjected to hypoxic conditions that challenge aerobic metabolism. O(2) transport from the respiratory surfaces to tissues requires matching between the O(2) loading and unloading tensions and the O(2)-affinity of blood, which is an integrated function of hemoglobin's intrinsic O(2)-affinity and its allosteric interaction with cellular effectors (organic phosphates, protons and chloride). Whereas short-term altitudinal adaptations predominantly involve adjustments in allosteric interactions, long-term, genetically-coded adaptations typically involve changes in the structure of the haemoglobin molecules. The latter commonly comprise substitutions of amino acid residues at the effector binding sites, the heme-protein contacts, or at intersubunit contacts that stabilize either the low-affinity ('Tense') or the high-affinity ('Relaxed') structures of the molecules. Molecular heterogeneity (multiple isoHbs with differentiated oxygenation properties) can further broaden the range of physico-chemical conditions where Hb functions under altitudinal hypoxia. This treatise reviews the molecular and cellular mechanisms that adapt haemoglobin-oxygen affinities in mammals, birds and ectothermic vertebrates at high altitude.

  8. Gene expression throughout a vertebrate's embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Describing the patterns of gene expression during embryonic development has broadened our understanding of the processes and patterns that define morphogenesis. Yet gene expression patterns have not been described throughout vertebrate embryogenesis. This study presents statistical analyses of gene expression during all 40 developmental stages in the teleost Fundulus heteroclitus using four biological replicates per stage. Results Patterns of gene expression for 7,000 genes appear to be important as they recapitulate developmental timing. Among the 45% of genes with significant expression differences between pairs of temporally adjacent stages, significant differences in gene expression vary from as few as five to more than 660. Five adjacent stages have disproportionately more significant changes in gene expression (> 200 genes) relative to other stages: four to eight and eight to sixteen cell stages, onset of circulation, pre and post-hatch, and during complete yolk absorption. The fewest differences among adjacent stages occur during gastrulation. Yet, at stage 16, (pre-mid-gastrulation) the largest number of genes has peak expression. This stage has an over representation of genes in oxidative respiration and protein expression (ribosomes, translational genes and proteases). Unexpectedly, among all ribosomal genes, both strong positive and negative correlations occur. Similar correlated patterns of expression occur among all significant genes. Conclusions These data provide statistical support for the temporal dynamics of developmental gene expression during all stages of vertebrate development. PMID:21356103

  9. Sensing and surviving hypoxia in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Jonz, Michael G; Buck, Leslie T; Perry, Steve F; Schwerte, Thorsten; Zaccone, Giacomo

    2016-02-01

    Surviving hypoxia is one of the most critical challenges faced by vertebrates. Most species have adapted to changing levels of oxygen in their environment with specialized organs that sense hypoxia, while only few have been uniquely adapted to survive prolonged periods of anoxia. The goal of this review is to present the most recent research on oxygen sensing, adaptation to hypoxia, and mechanisms of anoxia tolerance in nonmammalian vertebrates. We discuss the respiratory structures in fish, including the skin, gills, and air-breathing organs, and recent evidence for chemosensory neuroepithelial cells (NECs) in these tissues that initiate reflex responses to hypoxia. The use of the zebrafish as a genetic and developmental model has allowed observation of the ontogenesis of respiratory and chemosensory systems, demonstration of a putative intracellular O2 sensor in chemoreceptors that may initiate transduction of the hypoxia signal, and investigation into the effects of extreme hypoxia on cardiorespiratory development. Other organisms, such as goldfish and freshwater turtles, display a high degree of anoxia tolerance, and these models are revealing important adaptations at the cellular level, such as the regulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in defense of homeostasis in central neurons.

  10. The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    The proteins that mediate the analgesic and other effects of opioid drugs and endogenous opioid peptides are known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors consist of a family of four closely-related proteins belonging to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three types of opioid receptors shown unequivocally to mediate analgesia in animal models are the mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor proteins. The role of the fourth member of the opioid receptor family, the nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptor (ORL), is not as clear as hyperalgesia, analgesia, and no effect was reported after administration of ORL agonists. There are now cDNA sequences for all four types of opioid receptors that are expressed in the brain of six species from three different classes of vertebrates. This review presents a comparative analysis of vertebrate opioid receptors using bioinformatics and data from recent human genome studies. Results indicate that opioid receptors arose by gene duplication, that there is a vector of opioid receptor divergence, and that MOR shows evidence of rapid evolution. PMID:19273128

  11. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  12. Two anatomic variations of the vertebral artery in four patients.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Meixiong; Xiaodong, Xie; Wang, Chaohua; You, Chao; Mao, Boyong; He, Min; Zhang, Changwei

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we present four cases of rare anomalous aortic arch and vertebral arteries and discuss the possible embryologic etiologies. These include two cases in which the right vertebral artery originated from the right common carotid artery associated with an aberrant right subclavian artery originating from the middle of the aortic arch and two cases in which the left vertebral artery had a double origin from the left subclavian artery and aortic arch.

  13. Lumbo-costo-vertebral syndrome with posterior spinal dysraphism.

    PubMed

    Kumar, G Samson Sujit; Kulkarni, Vaijayantee; Haran, R P

    2005-09-01

    Lumbo-costo-vertebral syndrome, which includes abnormalities of the vertebral bodies, ribs and trunk musculature, is very rare and only few cases have been reported. We report a case of 18-month-old female child with absent ribs, hemivertebrae, superior lumbar hernia (features of lumbo-costo-vertebral syndrome) and posterior spinal dysraphism, which to our knowledge is the first case in the English literature with such a combination of defects. Embryology and management of the case is discussed.

  14. The cat vertebral column: stance configuration and range of motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macpherson, J. M.; Ye, Y.; Peterson, B. W. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    This study examined the configuration of the vertebral column of the cat during independent stance and in various flexed positions. The range of motion in the sagittal plane is similar across most thoracic and lumbar joints, with the exception of a lesser range at the transition region from thoracic-type to lumbar-type vertebrae. The upper thoracic column exhibits most of its range in dorsiflexion and the lower thoracic and lumbar in ventroflexion. Lateral flexion is limited to less than 5 degrees at all segments. The range in torsion is almost 180 degrees and occurs primarily in the midthoracic region, T4-T11. Contrary to the depiction in most atlases, the standing cat exhibits several curvatures, including a mild dorsiflexion in the lower lumbar segments, a marked ventroflexion in the lower thoracic and upper lumbar segments, and a profound dorsiflexion in the upper thoracic (above T9) and cervical segments. The curvatures are not significantly changed by altering stance distance but are affected by head posture. During stance, the top of the scapula lies well above the spines of the thoracic vertebrae, and the glenohumeral joint is just below the bodies of vertebrae T3-T5. Using a simple static model of the vertebral column in the sagittal plane, it was estimated that the bending moment due to gravity is bimodal with a dorsiflexion moment in the lower thoracic and lumbar region and a ventroflexion moment in the upper thoracic and cervical region. Given the bending moments and the position of the scapula during stance, it is proposed that two groups of scapular muscles provide the major antigravity support for the head and anterior trunk. Levator scapulae and serratus ventralis form the lateral group, inserting on the lateral processes of cervical vertebrae and on the ribs. The major and minor rhomboids form the medial group, inserting on the spinous tips of vertebrae from C4 to T4. It is also proposed that the hypaxial muscles, psoas major, minor, and quadratus

  15. Insight into the primordial MHC from studies in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Flajnik, M F; Ohta, Y; Namikawa-Yamada, C; Nonaka, M

    1999-02-01

    MHC classical class I and class II genes have been identified in representative species from all major jawed vertebrate taxa, the oldest group being the cartilaginous fish, whereas no class I/II genes of any type have been detected in animals from older taxa. Among ectothermic vertebrate classes, studies of MHC architecture have been done in cartilaginous fish (sharks), bony fish (several teleost species), and amphibians (the frog Xenopus). The Xenopus MHC contains class I, class II, and class III genes, demonstrating that all of these genes were linked in the ancestor of the tetrapods, but the gene order is not the same as that in mouse/man. Studies of polyploid Xenopus suggest that MHC genes can be differentially silenced when multiple copies are present; i.e. MHC 'subregions' can be silenced. Surprisingly, in all teleosts examined to date class I and class II genes are not linked. Likewise, class III genes like the complement genes factor B (Bf) and C4 are scattered throughout the genome of teleosts. However, the presumed classical class I genes are closely linked to the 'immune' proteasome genes, LMP2 and LMP7, and to the peptide-transporter genes (TAP), implying that a true 'class I region' exists in this group. A similar type of linkage group is found in chickens and perhaps Xenopus, and thus it may reveal the ancestral organization of class I-associated genes. In cartilaginous fish, classical and non-classical class I genes have been isolated from three shark species, and class II A and B chain genes from nurse sharks. Studies of MHC linkage in sharks are being carried out to provide further understanding of the putative primordial organization of MHC Segregation studies in one shark family point to linkage of classical class I and class II genes, suggesting that the non-linkage of these genes in teleosts is a derived characteristic.

  16. From cyst to tubule: innovations in vertebrate spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Shosei

    2016-01-01

    Although vertebrates share many common traits, their germline development and function exhibit significant divergence. In particular, this article focuses on their spermatogenesis. The fundamental elements that constitute vertebrate spermatogenesis and the evolutionary changes that occurred upon transition from water to land will be discussed. The life-long continuity of spermatogenesis is supported by the function of stem cells. Series of mitotic and meiotic germ cell divisions are 'incomplete' due to incomplete cytokinesis, forming syncytia interconnected via intercellular bridges (ICBs). Throughout this process, germ cells are supported by appropriate microenvironments established primarily by somatic Sertoli cells. In anamniotes (fish and amphibians) spermatogenesis progresses in cysts, in which developing germ cell syncytia are individually encapsulated by Sertoli cells. Accordingly, Sertoli cells undergo turnover with germ cells that they nourish. This mode of cystic spermatogenesis is also observed in nonvertebrates as insects. In amniotes (reptiles, birds, and mammals), however, Sertoli cells do not turn over but comprise a persistent structure of seminiferous tubules. Sertoli cells nourish different stages of germ cells simultaneously in distinct regions of their surface. This function of Sertoli cells is spatiotemporally orchestrated, and the seminiferous epithelial cycle and spermatogenic wave make the seminiferous tubules a high-throughput factory for sperm production. Furthermore, contrary to the organized differentiating cells, undifferentiated spermatogonia that comprise the stem cell compartment exhibit active motion over the basal layer of seminiferous tubules and the frequent breakdown of ICBs. Thus, amniote seminiferous tubules represent a typical facultative (or open) niche environment without a stem cell tethering anatomically defined niche. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:119-131. doi: 10.1002/wdev.204 For further resources related to this article

  17. Functional significance of the taper of vertebrate cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hárosi, Ferenc I.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptors are commonly distinguished based on the shape of their outer segments: those of cones taper, whereas the ones from rods do not. The functional advantages of cone taper, a common occurrence in vertebrate retinas, remain elusive. In this study, we investigate this topic using theoretical analyses aimed at revealing structure–function relationships in photoreceptors. Geometrical optics combined with spectrophotometric and morphological data are used to support the analyses and to test predictions. Three functions are considered for correlations between taper and functionality. The first function proposes that outer segment taper serves to compensate for self-screening of the visual pigment contained within. The second function links outer segment taper to compensation for a signal-to-noise ratio decline along the longitudinal dimension. Both functions are supported by the data: real cones taper more than required for these compensatory roles. The third function relates outer segment taper to the optical properties of the inner compartment whereby the primary determinant is the inner segment’s ability to concentrate light via its ellipsoid. In support of this idea, the rod/cone ratios of primarily diurnal animals are predicted based on a principle of equal light flux gathering between photoreceptors. In addition, ellipsoid concentration factor, a measure of ellipsoid ability to concentrate light onto the outer segment, correlates positively with outer segment taper expressed as a ratio of characteristic lengths, where critical taper is the yardstick. Depending on a light-funneling property and the presence of focusing organelles such as oil droplets, cone outer segments can be reduced in size to various degrees. We conclude that outer segment taper is but one component of a miniaturization process that reduces metabolic costs while improving signal detection. Compromise solutions in the various retinas and retinal regions occur between

  18. Vertebral microanatomy in squamates: structure, growth and ecological correlates

    PubMed Central

    Houssaye, Alexandra; Mazurier, Arnaud; Herrel, Anthony; Volpato, Virginie; Tafforeau, Paul; Boistel, Renaud; de Buffrénil, Vivian

    2010-01-01

    The histological study of vertebrae in extant squamates shows that the internal vertebral structure in this group differs from that of other tetrapods. Squamate vertebrae are lightly built and basically composed of two roughly concentric osseous tubes – one surrounding the neural canal and the other constituting the peripheral cortex of the vertebra – connected by few thin trabeculae. This structure, which characteristically evokes that of a tubular bone, results from a peculiar remodelling process characterised by an imbalance between local bone resorption and redeposition; in both periosteal and endosteo-endochondral territories, bone is extensively resorbed but not reconstructed in the same proportion by secondary deposits. This process is particularly intense in the deep region of the centrum, where originally compact cortices are made cancellous, and where the endochondral spongiosa is very loose. This remodelling process starts at an early stage of development and remains active throughout subsequent growth. The growth of squamate centra is also strongly asymmetrical, with the posterior (condylar) part growing much faster than the anterior (cotylar) part. Preliminary analyses testing for associations between vertebral structure and habitat use suggest that vertebrae of fossorial taxa are denser than those of terrestrial taxa, those in aquatic taxa being of intermediate density. However, phylogenetically informed analyses do not corroborate these findings, thus suggesting a strong phylogenetic signal in the data. As our analyses demonstrate that vertebrae in snakes are generally denser than those of lizards sensu stricto, this may drive the presence of a phylogenetic signal in the data. More comprehensive sampling of fossorial and aquatic lizards is clearly needed to more rigorously evaluate these patterns. PMID:21039477

  19. Placoderms (Armored Fish): Dominant Vertebrates of the Devonian Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Gavin C.

    2010-05-01

    Placoderms, the most diverse group of Devonian fishes, were globally distributed in all habitable freshwater and marine environments, like teleost fishes in the modern fauna. Their known evolutionary history (Early Silurian-Late Devonian) spanned at least 70 million years. Known diversity (335 genera) will increase when diverse assemblages from new areas are described. Placoderms first occur in the Early Silurian of China, but their diversity remained low until their main evolutionary radiation in the Early Devonian, after which they became the dominant vertebrates of Devonian seas. Most current placoderm data are derived from the second half of the group's evolutionary history, and recent claims that they form a paraphyletic group are based on highly derived Late Devonian forms; 16 shared derived characters are proposed here to support placoderm monophyly. Interrelationships of seven placoderm orders are unresolved because Silurian forms from China are still poorly known. The relationship of placoderms to the two major extant groups of jawed fishes—osteichthyans (bony fishes) and chondrichthyans (cartilaginous sharks, rays, and chimaeras)—remains uncertain, but the detailed preservation of placoderm internal braincase structures provides insights into the ancestral gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) condition. Placoderms provide the most complex morphological and biogeographic data set for the Middle Paleozoic; marked discrepancies in stratigraphic occurrence between different continental regions indicate strongly endemic faunas that were probably constrained by marine barriers until changes in paleogeography permitted range enlargement into new areas. Placoderm distributions in time and space indicate major faunal interchange between Gondwana and Laurussia near the Frasnian-Famennian boundary; closure of the Devonian equatorial ocean is a possible explanation.

  20. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Coronado National Memorial

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Swann, Don E.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted inventories for amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals; and summarized past inventories for vascular plants at Coronado National Memorial (NM) in Arizona. We used our data as well as data from previous research to compile species lists for the memorial, assess inventory completeness, and make suggestions on future monitoring efforts. There have been 940 species of plants and vertebrates recorded at Coronado NM (Table 1), of which 46 (5%) are non-native. The species richness of the memorial is one of the highest in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units, third only to park units that are two and one-half (Chiricahua National Monument), 19 (Saguaro National Park) and 70 (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument) times larger in area. The high species diversities are due to the large elevational gradient, overlap of bigeographical regions, wide range of geology and soils, and diverse vegetation communities present at the memorial. Changes in species composition have occurred at the memorial over the last 20 years in all major taxonomic groups. These changes are likely due to increases in grassy plant species (both native and non-native) at the lower elevations of the memorial. We suspect that grassy plant cover has increased because of changes in grazing intensity, introduction of some non-native species, and a recent fire. All recent vertebrate inventories have yielded grassland obligate species not previously recorded at the memorial. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa, except bats, is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will likely be added with additional survey effort.

  1. Vertebral artery dissection related to basilar impression: case report.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, L D; Tuite, G F; Colon, G P; Papadopoulos, S M

    1995-04-01

    A 50-year-old man with myelopathy secondary to basilar impression developed bilateral vertebral artery dissection after undergoing treatment with 8 pounds of cervical traction. The vertebral artery dissection resulted in vertebrobasilar insufficiency and posterior circulation stroke. In this report, the current management philosophies in the treatment of basilar impression are discussed, and the pertinent neurovascular anatomy is illustrated. This report suggests that vertebral artery injury may result from attempted reduction of severe basilar impression. Regardless of the cause of cranial settling, the risk of vertebral artery injury with cervical traction should be considered in patients with severe basilar impression.

  2. Candidal Vertebral Osteomyelitis in the Midst of Renal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anil; Rao, Srivatsa Nagaraja; Kumar, Krishna; Karim, Shamsul

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis also known as discitis/pyogenic spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebral disc space. It is commonly seen in men and adults more than 50 years of age. Fungal osteomyelitis is a rare scenario compared to its bacterial counterpart. Spinal epidural abscess is a dangerous complication associated with vertebral osteomyelitis. Here, we report two cases of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Candida tropicalis in patients with renal disorders (stage 5 chronic kidney disease and nephropathy). One of the case discussed here presented with spinal epidural abscess. Both the patients were started on antifungal therapy. One patient responded to treatment while the other was lost to follow up. PMID:27190806

  3. Facts and fancies about early fossil chordates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Philippe

    2015-04-23

    The interrelationships between major living vertebrate, and even chordate, groups are now reasonably well resolved thanks to a large amount of generally congruent data derived from molecular sequences, anatomy and physiology. But fossils provide unexpected combinations of characters that help us to understand how the anatomy of modern groups was progressively shaped over millions of years. The dawn of vertebrates is documented by fossils that are preserved as either soft-tissue imprints, or minute skeletal fragments, and it is sometimes difficult for palaeontologists to tell which of them are reliable vertebrate remains and which merely reflect our idea of an ancestral vertebrate.

  4. Nervous systems and scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Nicholas D.

    2016-01-01

    Older evolutionary scenarios for the origin of vertebrates often gave nervous systems top billing in accordance with the notion that a big-brained Homo sapiens crowned a tree of life shaped mainly by progressive evolution. Now, however, tree thinking positions all extant organisms equidistant from the tree's root, and molecular phylogenies indicate that regressive evolution is more common than previously suspected. Even so, contemporary theories of vertebrate origin still focus on the nervous system because of its functional importance, its richness in characters for comparative biology, and its central position in the two currently prominent scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition, which grew out of the markedly neurocentric annelid and enteropneust theories of the nineteenth century. Both these scenarios compare phyla with diverse overall body plans. This diversity, exacerbated by the scarcity of relevant fossil data, makes it challenging to establish plausible homologies between component parts (e.g. nervous system regions). In addition, our current understanding of the relation between genotype and phenotype is too preliminary to permit us to convert gene network data into structural features in any simple way. These issues are discussed here with special reference to the evolution of nervous systems during proposed transitions from invertebrates to vertebrates. PMID:26598728

  5. Expression and evolution of Tiki1 and Tiki2 genes in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    FEISTEL, KERSTIN; BRITO, JOSE M.; AMADO, NATHALIA G.; XU, CHIWEI; ABREU, JOSE G.; HE, XI

    2015-01-01

    Tiki1 is a Wnt protease and antagonist specifically expressed in the Spemann-Mangold Organizer and is required for head formation in Xenopus embryos. Here we report neighbor-joining phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate Tiki genes and their mRNA expression patterns in chick, mouse, and rabbit embryos. Tiki1 and Tiki2 orthologues are highly conserved, and exhibit similar but also different developmental expression patterns among the vertebrate/mammalian species analyzed. The Tiki1 gene is noticeably absent in the rodent lineage, but is present in lagomorphs and all other vertebrate/mammalian species examined. Expression in Hensen’s node, the equivalent of the Xenopus Organizer, was observed for Chick Tiki2 and Rabbit Tiki1 and Tiki2. Mouse Tiki2 was detected at low levels at gastrulation and head fold stages, but not in the node. Mouse Tiki2 and chick Tiki1 display similar expression in the dorsal spinal cord. Chick Tiki1 expression was also detected in the surface ectoderm and maxillary bud, while chick Tiki2 was found in the anterior intestinal portal, head mensenchyme and primitive atrium. Our expression analyses provide evidence that Tiki1 and Tiki2 are evolutionary conserved among vertebrate species and their expression in the Organizer and other regions suggests contributions of these Wnt inhibitors to embryonic patterning as well as organogenesis. Our analyses further reveal mis-regulation of TIKI1 and TIKI2 in human cancer and diseases. PMID:25354456

  6. Vertebral column deformities in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Bertulli, Chiara G; Galatius, Anders; Kinze, Carl C; Rasmussen, Marianne H; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul; Vedder, Elisabeth J; Sánchez Contreras, Guillermo J; Sabin, Richard C; Watson, Alastair

    2015-09-17

    Five white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris with outwardly vertebral kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis or lordosis were identified during a photo-identification survey of over 400 individuals (2002-2013) in Faxaflói and Skjálfandi Bays, Iceland. In addition, 3 stranding reports from Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK were analysed, providing both external observation and post mortem details of axial deviations of the vertebral column in this species. Two of the free-ranging cases and 2 of the stranded specimens appeared to have an acquired disease, either as a direct result of trauma, or indirectly from trauma/wound and subsequent infection and bony proliferation, although we were unable to specifically identify the causes. Our data represent a starting point to understand vertebral column deformations and their implications in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic. We recommend for future necropsy cases to conduct macro- and microscopic evaluation of muscle from both sides of the deformed region, in order to assess chronic or acute conditions related to the vertebral deformations and cause of death.

  7. Nervous systems and scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition.

    PubMed

    Holland, Nicholas D

    2016-01-05

    Older evolutionary scenarios for the origin of vertebrates often gave nervous systems top billing in accordance with the notion that a big-brained Homo sapiens crowned a tree of life shaped mainly by progressive evolution. Now, however, tree thinking positions all extant organisms equidistant from the tree's root, and molecular phylogenies indicate that regressive evolution is more common than previously suspected. Even so, contemporary theories of vertebrate origin still focus on the nervous system because of its functional importance, its richness in characters for comparative biology, and its central position in the two currently prominent scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition, which grew out of the markedly neurocentric annelid and enteropneust theories of the nineteenth century. Both these scenarios compare phyla with diverse overall body plans. This diversity, exacerbated by the scarcity of relevant fossil data, makes it challenging to establish plausible homologies between component parts (e.g. nervous system regions). In addition, our current understanding of the relation between genotype and phenotype is too preliminary to permit us to convert gene network data into structural features in any simple way. These issues are discussed here with special reference to the evolution of nervous systems during proposed transitions from invertebrates to vertebrates.

  8. Early Chordate Origin of the Vertebrate Integrin αI Domains

    PubMed Central

    Chouhan, Bhanupratap Singh; Käpylä, Jarmo; Denessiouk, Konstantin; Denesyuk, Alexander; Heino, Jyrki; Johnson, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Half of the 18 human integrins α subunits have an inserted αI domain yet none have been observed in species that have diverged prior to the appearance of the urochordates (ascidians). The urochordate integrin αI domains are not human orthologues but paralogues, but orthologues of human αI domains extend throughout later-diverging vertebrates and are observed in the bony fish with duplicate isoforms. Here, we report evidence for orthologues of human integrins with αI domains in the agnathostomes (jawless vertebrates) and later diverging species. Sequence comparisons, phylogenetic analyses and molecular modeling show that one nearly full-length sequence from lamprey and two additional fragments include the entire integrin αI domain region, have the hallmarks of collagen-binding integrin αI domains, and we show that the corresponding recombinant proteins recognize the collagen GFOGER motifs in a metal dependent manner, unlike the α1I domain of the ascidian C. intestinalis. The presence of a functional collagen receptor integrin αI domain supports the origin of orthologues of the human integrins with αI domains prior to the earliest diverging extant vertebrates, a domain that has been conserved and diversified throughout the vertebrate lineage. PMID:25409021

  9. Ontogenetic cell death and phagocytosis in the visual system of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Francisco-Morcillo, Javier; Bejarano-Escobar, Ruth; Rodríguez-León, Joaquín; Navascués, Julio; Martín-Partido, Gervasio

    2014-10-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD), together with cell proliferation, cell migration, and cell differentiation, is an essential process during development of the vertebrate nervous system. The visual system has been an excellent model on which to investigate the mechanisms involved in ontogenetic cell death. Several phases of PCD have been reported to occur during visual system ontogeny. During these phases, comparative analyses demonstrate that dying cells show similar but not identical spatiotemporally restricted patterns in different vertebrates. Additionally, the chronotopographical coincidence of PCD with the entry of specialized phagocytes in some regions of the developing vertebrate visual system suggests that factors released from degenerating cells are involved in the cell migration of macrophages and microglial cells. Contradicting this hypothesis however, in many cases the cell corpses generated during degeneration are rapidly phagocytosed by neighboring cells, such as neuroepithelial cells or Müller cells. In this review, we describe the occurrence and the sites of PCD during the morphogenesis and differentiation of the retina and optic pathways of different vertebrates, and discuss the possible relationship between PCD and phagocytes during ontogeny.

  10. Evolutionary study of vertebrate and invertebrate members of the dystrophin and utrophin gene family

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, R.G.; Nicholson, L.; Bobrow, M.

    1994-09-01

    Vertebrates express two members of the dystrophin gene family. The prototype, dystrophin, is expressed in muscle and neural tissue, and is defective in the human disorders Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD, BMD). The dystrophin homologue utrophin is more generally expressed but has not yet been associated with a genetic disorder. The function of neither protein is clear. A comparison of human utrophin with the known dystrophins (human, mouse, chicken, Torpedo) suggests that dystrophin and utrophin diverged before the vertebrate radiation. We have used reverse-transcript PCR (RT-PCR) directed by degenerate primers to characterize dystrophin and utrophin transcripts from a range of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Our results suggest that the duplication leading to distinct dystrophin and utrophin genes occurred close to the point of divergence of urochordates from the cephalochordate-vertebrate lineage. This divergence may have occurred to fulfill a novel role which arose at this point, or may reflect a need for separate regulation of the neuromuscular and other functions of the ancient dystrophin. Our data include sequences of the first non-human utrophins to be characterized, and show these to be substantially more divergent than their cognate dystrophins. In addition, our results provide a large body of information regarding the tolerance of amino acid positions in the cysteine-rich and C-terminal domains to substitution. This will aid the interpretations of DMD and BMD missense mutations in these regions.

  11. Gravity, blood circulation, and the adaptation of form and function in lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Lillywhite, H B

    Gravitational force influences musculoskeletal systems, fluid distribution, and hydrodynamics of the circulation, especially in larger terrestrial vertebrates. The disturbance to hydrodynamics and distribution of body fluids relates largely to the effects of hydrostatic pressure gradients acting in vertical blood columns. These, in turn, are linked to the evolution of adaptive countermeasures involving modifications of structure and function. Comparative studies of snakes suggest there are four generalizations concerning adaptive countermeasures to gravity stress that seem relevant to lower vertebrates generally. First, increasing levels of regulated arterial blood pressure are expected to evolve with some relation to gravitational stresses incurred by the effects of height and posture on vertical blood columns above the heart. Second, aspects of gross anatomical organization are expected to evolve in relation to gravitational influence incurred by habitat and behavior. Third, natural selection coupled to gravitational stresses has favored morphological features that reduce the compliance of perivascular tissues and provide an anatomical "antigravity suit." Fourth, natural selection has produced gradients or regional differences of vascular characteristics in tall or elongated vertebrates that are active in high gravity stress environments. Consideration or awareness of these principles should be incorporated into interpretations of structure and function in lower vertebrates.

  12. Control of Vertebrate Skeletal Mineralization by Polyphosphates

    PubMed Central

    Omelon, Sidney; Georgiou, John; Henneman, Zachary J.; Wise, Lisa M.; Sukhu, Balram; Hunt, Tanya; Wynnyckyj, Chrystia; Holmyard, Douglas; Bielecki, Ryszard; Grynpas, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Skeletons are formed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and compositions of organic and mineral components. Many invertebrate skeletons are constructed from carbonate or silicate minerals, whereas vertebrate skeletons are instead composed of a calcium phosphate mineral known as apatite. No one yet knows why the dynamic vertebrate skeleton, which is continually rebuilt, repaired, and resorbed during growth and normal remodeling, is composed of apatite. Nor is the control of bone and calcifying cartilage mineralization well understood, though it is thought to be associated with phosphate-cleaving proteins. Researchers have assumed that skeletal mineralization is also associated with non-crystalline, calcium- and phosphate-containing electron-dense granules that have been detected in vertebrate skeletal tissue prepared under non-aqueous conditions. Again, however, the role of these granules remains poorly understood. Here, we review bone and growth plate mineralization before showing that polymers of phosphate ions (polyphosphates: (PO3−)n) are co-located with mineralizing cartilage and resorbing bone. We propose that the electron-dense granules contain polyphosphates, and explain how these polyphosphates may play an important role in apatite biomineralization. Principal Findings/Methodology The enzymatic formation (condensation) and destruction (hydrolytic degradation) of polyphosphates offers a simple mechanism for enzymatic control of phosphate accumulation and the relative saturation of apatite. Under circumstances in which apatite mineral formation is undesirable, such as within cartilage tissue or during bone resorption, the production of polyphosphates reduces the free orthophosphate (PO43−) concentration while permitting the accumulation of a high total PO43− concentration. Sequestering calcium into amorphous calcium polyphosphate complexes can reduce the concentration of free calcium. The resulting reduction of both free PO43− and free

  13. Expression of temperature-sensitive ion channel TRPM8 in sperm cells correlates with vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Majhi, Rakesh Kumar; Saha, Somdatta; Kumar, Ashutosh; Ghosh, Arijit; Swain, Nirlipta; Goswami, Luna; Mohapatra, Pratyush; Maity, Apratim; Kumar Sahoo, Vivek

    2015-01-01

    Transient Receptor Potential cation channel, subfamily Melastatin, member 8 (TRPM8) is involved in detection of cold temperature, different noxious compounds and in execution of thermo- as well as chemo-sensitive responses at cellular levels. Here we explored the molecular evolution of TRPM8 by analyzing sequences from various species. We elucidate that several regions of TRPM8 had different levels of selection pressure but the 4th–5th transmembrane regions remain highly conserved. Analysis of synteny suggests that since vertebrate origin, TRPM8 gene is linked with SPP2, a bone morphogen. TRPM8, especially the N-terminal region of it, seems to be highly variable in human population. We found 16,656 TRPM8 variants in 1092 human genomes with top variations being SNPs, insertions and deletions. A total of 692 missense mutations are also mapped to human TRPM8 protein of which 509 seem to be delateroiours in nature as supported by Polyphen V2, SIFT and Grantham deviation score. Using a highly specific antibody, we demonstrate that TRPM8 is expressed endogenously in the testis of rat and sperm cells of different vertebrates ranging from fish to higher mammals. We hypothesize that TRPM8 had emerged during vertebrate evolution (ca 450 MYA). We propose that expression of TRPM8 in sperm cell and its role in regulating sperm function are important factors that have guided its molecular evolution, and that these understandings may have medical importance. PMID:26500819

  14. Cost minimization by helpers in cooperative vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Russell, A F; Sharpe, L L; Brotherton, P N M; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2003-03-18

    When parents invest heavily in reproduction they commonly suffer significant energetic costs. Parents reduce the long-term fitness implications of these costs through increased foraging and reduced reproductive investment in the future. Similar behavioral modifications might be expected among helpers in societies of cooperative vertebrates, in which helping is associated with energetic costs. By using multivariate analyses and experiments, we show that in cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, helping is associated with substantial short-term growth costs but limited long-term fitness costs. This association forms because individual contributions to cooperation are initially condition dependent, and, because when helpers invest heavily in cooperation, they increase their foraging rate during the subsequent nonbreeding period and reduce their level of cooperative investment in the subsequent reproductive period. These results provide a unique demonstration that despite significant short-term costs, helpers, like breeders, are able to reduce the fitness consequences of these costs through behavioral modifications.

  15. Control of segment number in vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Céline; Ozbudak, Ertuğrul M; Wunderlich, Joshua; Baumann, Diana; Lewis, Julian; Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-07-17

    The vertebrate body axis is subdivided into repeated segments, best exemplified by the vertebrae that derive from embryonic somites. The number of somites is precisely defined for any given species but varies widely from one species to another. To determine the mechanism controlling somite number, we have compared somitogenesis in zebrafish, chicken, mouse and corn snake embryos. Here we present evidence that in all of these species a similar 'clock-and-wavefront' mechanism operates to control somitogenesis; in all of them, somitogenesis is brought to an end through a process in which the presomitic mesoderm, having first increased in size, gradually shrinks until it is exhausted, terminating somite formation. In snake embryos, however, the segmentation clock rate is much faster relative to developmental rate than in other amniotes, leading to a greatly increased number of smaller-sized somites.

  16. Planar cell polarity in vertebrate limb morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Gao, Bo; Yang, Yingzi

    2013-08-01

    Studies of the vertebrate limb development have contributed significantly to understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying growth, patterning, and morphogenesis of a complex multicellular organism. In the limb, well-defined signaling centers interact to coordinate limb growth and patterning along the three axes. Recent analyses of live imaging and mathematical modeling have provided evidence that polarized cell behaviors governed by morphogen gradients play an important role in shaping the limb bud. Furthermore, the Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway that controls uniformly polarized cell behaviors in a field of cells has emerged to be critical for directional morphogenesis in the developing limb. Directional information coded in the morphogen gradient may be interpreted by responding cells through regulating the activities of PCP components in a Wnt morphogen dose-dependent manner.

  17. The molecular regulation of vertebrate limb patterning.

    PubMed

    Butterfield, Natalie C; McGlinn, Edwina; Wicking, Carol

    2010-01-01

    The limb has long been considered a paradigm for organogenesis because of its simplicity and ease of manipulation. However, it has become increasingly clear that the processes required to produce a perfectly formed limb involve complex molecular interactions across all three axes of limb development. Old models have evolved with acquisition of molecular knowledge, and in more recent times mathematical modeling approaches have been invoked to explain the precise spatio-temporal regulation of gene networks that coordinate limb patterning and outgrowth. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of vertebrate limb development, highlighting the signaling interactions required to lay down the pattern on which the processes of differentiation will act to ultimately produce the final limb.

  18. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle

    PubMed Central

    HAINES, LYNN; CURRIE, PETER D.

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  19. Salmonella Typhi Vertebral Osteomyelitis and Epidural Abscess

    PubMed Central

    Chua, Ying Ying; Chen, John L. T.

    2016-01-01

    Salmonella vertebral osteomyelitis is an uncommon complication of Salmonella infection. We report a case of a 57-year-old transgender male who presented with lower back pain for a period of one month following a fall. Physical examination only revealed tenderness over the lower back with no neurological deficits. MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine revealed a spondylodiscitis at T10-T11 and T12-L1 and right posterior epidural collection at the T9-T10 level. He underwent decompression laminectomy with segmental instrumentation and fusion of T8 to L3 vertebrae. Intraoperatively, he was found to have acute-on-chronic osteomyelitis in T10 and T11, epidural abscess, and discitis in T12-L1. Tissue and wound culture grew Salmonella Typhi and with antibiotics susceptibility guidance he was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone for a period of six weeks. He recovered well with no neurological deficits. PMID:27034871

  20. Magnetic Susceptibility in the Vertebral Column

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schick, F.; Nagele, T.; Lutz, O.; Pfeffer, K.; Giehl, J.

    1994-01-01

    A magnetic resonance method is described which provides good-quality field-mapping images of the spine, although the in vivo signals from red bone marrow of the vertebral bodies exhibit similar fractions of lipid and water protons with their chemical-shift difference of 3.4 ppm. The susceptibilities of bone marrow and intervertebral disks were examined in 20 cadaveric human spines, 9 healthy volunteers, and 9 patients with degenerative disk alterations. The influence of geometrical properties was studied in cylindrical spine phantoms of different size and contents with different susceptibility. The measurements reveal interindividual differences of the susceptibility of the intervertebral disks in healthy subjects. Three out of nine degenerated disks with low signal in T2-weighted spin-echo images showed irregularities of the field distribution within the nucleus pulposus.

  1. [Aggressive vertebral hemangiomas: optimization of management tactics].

    PubMed

    Kravtsov, M N; Manukovskiĭ, V A; Zharinov, G M; Kandyba, D V; Tsibirov, A A; Savello, A V; Svistov, D V

    2012-01-01

    Today vertebral hemangioma is not completely understood entity, neither its pathogenesis nor optimal treatment is determined. Nowadays in majority of clinics in this country ineffective radiotherapy remains the first-line treatment. We analyzed results of treatment of 205 patients (286 lesions) with aggressive hemangiomas operated in Department of Neurosurgery of Military Medical Academy and Department of Nuclear Medicine of of Russian Scientific Center of Radiological and Surgical Technologies (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) since 1999 till 2009. Percutaneus vertebroplasty was performed in 167 lesions, radiotherapy was applied in 119 aggressive hemangiomas. Vertebroplasty is more effective for treatment of aggressive hemangiomas in comparison with radiotherapy. Signs of hemangiomas aggression, indications for surgery, and tactics of management were determined. Use of percutaneous vertebroplasty for treatment of aggressive hemangiomas resulted in fast recovery of the patients. This procedure is minimally invasive, it reduces hospital stay and duration of recovery.

  2. Planar Cell Polarity in vertebrate limb morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Bo; Yang, Yingzi

    2013-01-01

    Studies of the vertebrate limb development have contributed significantly to understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying growth, patterning and morphogenesis of a complex multicellular organism. In the limb, well-defined signaling centers interact to coordinate limb growth and patterning along the three axes. Recent analyses of live imaging and mathematical modeling have provided evidence that polarized cell behaviors governed by morphogen gradients play an important role in shaping the limb bud. Furthermore, the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway that controls uniformly polarized cellular behaviors in a field of cells has emerged to be critical for directional morphogenesis in the developing limb. Directional information coded in the morphogen gradient may be interpreted by responding cells through regulating the activities of PCP components in a Wnt morphogen dose-dependent manner. PMID:23747034

  3. Estrogen receptor signaling during vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Bondesson, Maria; Hao, Ruixin; Lin, Chin-Yo; Williams, Cecilia; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2014-01-01

    Estrogen receptors are expressed and their cognate ligands produced in all vertebrates, indicative of important and conserved functions. Through evolution estrogen has been involved in controlling reproduction, affecting both the development of reproductive organs and reproductive behavior. This review broadly describes the synthesis of estrogens and the expression patterns of aromatase and the estrogen receptors, in relation to estrogen functions in the developing fetus and child. We focus on the role of estrogens for development of reproductive tissues, as well as non-reproductive effects on the developing brain. We collate data from human, rodent, bird and fish studies and highlight common and species-specific effects of estrogen signaling on fetal development. Morphological malformations originating from perturbed estrogen signaling in estrogen receptor and aromatase knockout mice are discussed, as well as the clinical manifestations of rare estrogen receptor alpha and aromatase gene mutations in humans. PMID:24954179

  4. Kinesin-2 family in vertebrate ciliogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chengtian; Omori, Yoshihiro; Brodowska, Katarzyna; Kovach, Peter; Malicki, Jarema

    2012-01-01

    The differentiation of cilia is mediated by kinesin-driven transport. As the function of kinesins in vertebrate ciliogenesis is poorly characterized, we decided to determine the role of kinesin-2 family motors—heterotrimeric kinesin-II and the homodimeric Kif17 kinesin—in zebrafish cilia. We report that kif17 is largely dispensable for ciliogenesis; kif17 homozygous mutant animals are viable and display subtle morphological defects of olfactory cilia only. In contrast to that, the kif3b gene, encoding a heterotrimeric kinesin subunit, is necessary for cilia differentiation in most tissues, although exceptions exist, and include photoreceptors and a subset of hair cells. Cilia of these cell types persist even in kif3b/kif17 double mutants. Although we have not observed a functional redundancy of kif3b and kif17, kif17 is able to substitute for kif3b in some cilia. In contrast to kif3b/kif17 double mutants, simultaneous interference with kif3b and kif3c leads to the complete loss of photoreceptor and hair cell cilia, revealing redundancy of function. This is in agreement with the idea that Kif3b and Kif3c motor subunits form complexes with Kif3a, but not with each other. Interestingly, kif3b mutant photoreceptor cilia differentiate with a delay, suggesting that kif3c, although redundant with kif3b at later stages of differentiation, is not active early in photoreceptor ciliogenesis. Consistent with that, the overexpression of kif3c in kif3b mutants rescues early photoreceptor cilia defects. These data reveal unexpected diversity of functional relationships between vertebrate ciliary kinesins, and show that the repertoire of kinesin motors changes in some cilia during their differentiation. PMID:22308397

  5. Evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements in vertebrate Hox gene clusters.

    PubMed

    Santini, Simona; Boore, Jeffrey L; Meyer, Axel

    2003-06-01

    Comparisons of DNA sequences among evolutionarily distantly related genomes permit identification of conserved functional regions in noncoding DNA. Hox genes are highly conserved in vertebrates, occur in clusters, and are uninterrupted by other genes. We aligned (PipMaker) the nucleotide sequences of the HoxA clusters of tilapia, pufferfish, striped bass, zebrafish, horn shark, human, and mouse, which are separated by approximately 500 million years of evolution. In support of our approach, several identified putative regulatory elements known to regulate the expression of Hox genes were recovered. The majority of the newly identified putative regulatory elements contain short fragments that are almost completely conserved and are identical to known binding sites for regulatory proteins (Transfac database). The regulatory intergenic regions located between the genes that are expressed most anteriorly in the embryo are longer and apparently more evolutionarily conserved than those at the other end of Hox clusters. Different presumed regulatory sequences are retained in either the Aalpha or Abeta duplicated Hox clusters in the fish lineages. This suggests that the conserved elements are involved in different gene regulatory networks and supports the duplication-deletion-complementation model of functional divergence of duplicated genes.

  6. Evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements in vertebrate HOX gene clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Santini, Simona; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Axel

    2003-12-31

    Due to their high degree of conservation, comparisons of DNA sequences among evolutionarily distantly-related genomes permit to identify functional regions in noncoding DNA. Hox genes are optimal candidate sequences for comparative genome analyses, because they are extremely conserved in vertebrates and occur in clusters. We aligned (Pipmaker) the nucleotide sequences of HoxA clusters of tilapia, pufferfish, striped bass, zebrafish, horn shark, human and mouse (over 500 million years of evolutionary distance). We identified several highly conserved intergenic sequences, likely to be important in gene regulation. Only a few of these putative regulatory elements have been previously described as being involved in the regulation of Hox genes, while several others are new elements that might have regulatory functions. The majority of these newly identified putative regulatory elements contain short fragments that are almost completely conserved and are identical to known binding sites for regulatory proteins (Transfac). The conserved intergenic regions located between the most rostrally expressed genes in the developing embryo are longer and better retained through evolution. We document that presumed regulatory sequences are retained differentially in either A or A clusters resulting from a genome duplication in the fish lineage. This observation supports both the hypothesis that the conserved elements are involved in gene regulation and the Duplication-Deletion-Complementation model.

  7. Aquatic vertebrate assemblages of the upper Clear Creek Watershed, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, L.R.; May, J.T.

    2007-01-01

    We sampled streams in the Upper Clear Creek Watershed in northwestern California in fall 2004 and fall 2005 to document assemblages of aquatic vertebrates and to provide resource managers with information on the importance of these assemblages in terms of regional biodiversity. We used single-pass backpack electrofishing to sample 15 sites in fall 2004 and the same 15 sites plus 4 new sites in fall 2005. We captured 10 fish taxa and 2 species of larval amphibians. Seven of the fish taxa were native species. Of the exotic species, only brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) occurred at more than 1 site. Ordinations by nonmetric multidimensional scaling indicated a gradient from sites with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), and tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) to sites dominated by riffle sculpin (Cottus gulosus), California roach (Hesperoleucas symmetricus), and Sacramento sucker (Catostomus occidentalis). The gradient in species composition was associated with changes in elevation, gradient, discharge, and substrate. The Upper Clear Creek Watershed represents a unique area of overlap between the North Coast California amphibian fauna and the Central Valley fish fauna with a notable paucity of exotic fishes and amphibians. Preservation of the integrity of native aquatic assemblages is an important goal for aquatic resource management in the region; our results provide a critcial baseline to gauge future management actions.

  8. Prostaglandin E2 regulates vertebrate haematopoietic stem cell homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    North, Trista E.; Goessling, Wolfram; Walkley, Carl R.; Lengerke, Claudia; Kopani, Kamden R.; Lord, Allegra M.; Weber, Gerhard J.; Bowman, Teresa V.; Jang, Il-Ho; Grosser, Tilo; FitzGerald, Garret A.; Daley, George Q.; Orkin, Stuart H.; Zon, Leonard I.

    2009-01-01

    Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) homeostasis is tightly controlled by growth factors, signalling molecules and transcription factors. Definitive HSCs derived during embryogenesis in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region subsequently colonize fetal and adult haematopoietic organs1,2. To identify new modulators of HSC formation and homeostasis, a panel of biologically active compounds was screened for effects on stem cell induction in the zebrafish aorta-gonad-mesonephros region. Here, we show that chemicals that enhance prostaglandin (PG) E2 synthesis increased HSC numbers, and those that block prostaglandin synthesis decreased stem cell numbers. The cyclooxygenases responsible for PGE2 synthesis were required for HSC formation. A stable derivative of PGE2 improved kidney marrow recovery following irradiation injury in the adult zebrafish. In murine embryonic stem cell differentiation assays, PGE2 caused amplification of multipotent progenitors. Furthermore, ex vivo exposure to stabilized PGE2 enhanced spleen colony forming units at day 12 post transplant and increased the frequency of long-term repopulating HSCs present in murine bone marrow after limiting dilution competitive transplantation. The conserved role for PGE2 in the regulation of vertebrate HSC homeostasis indicates that modulation of the prostaglandin pathway may facilitate expansion of HSC number for therapeutic purposes. PMID:17581586

  9. Ranking terrestrial vertebrate species for utility in biomonitoring and vulnerability to environmental contaminants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Golden, N.H.; Rattner, B.A.

    2003-01-01

    The measurement of contaminant tissue concentrations or exposure-related effects in biota has been used extensively to monitor pollution and environmental health. Terrestrial vertebrates have historically been an important group of species in such evaluations, not only because many are excellent sentinels of environmental contamination, but also because they are valued natural resources in their own right that may be adversely affected by toxicant exposure. Selection of appropriate vertebrates for biomonitoring studies frequently relies on expert opinion, although a few rigorous schemes are in use for predicting vulnerability of birds to the adverse effects of petroleum crude oil. A Utility Index that ranks terrestrial vertebrate species as potential sentinels of contaminants in a region, and a Vulnerability Index that assesses the threat of specific groups of contaminants to these species, have been developed to assist decision makers in risk assessments of persistent organic pollutants, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, petroleum crude oil, mercury, and lead shot. Twenty-five terrestrial vertebrate species commonly found in Atlantic Coast estuarine habitat were ranked for their utility as biomonitors of contamination and their vulnerability to pollutants in this region. No single species, taxa or class of vertebrates was found to be an ideal sentinel for all groups of contaminants. Although birds have overwhelmingly been used to monitor contaminants compared to other terrestrial vertebrate classes, the non-migratory nature and dietary habits of the snapping turtle and mink consistently resulted in ranking these species excellent sentinels as well. Vulnerability of Atlantic Coast populations of these species varied considerably among groups of contaminants. Usually a particular species was found to be at high risk to only one or two groups of contaminants, although a noteworthy exception is the bald eagle that is highly vulnerable to all five of the

  10. Variability and constraint in the mammalian vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Asher, R J; Lin, K H; Kardjilov, N; Hautier, L

    2011-05-01

    Patterns of vertebral variation across mammals have seldom been quantified, making it difficult to test hypotheses of covariation within the axial skeleton and mechanisms behind the high level of vertebral conservatism among mammals. We examined variation in vertebral counts within 42 species of mammals, representing monotremes, marsupials and major clades of placentals. These data show that xenarthrans and afrotherians have, on average, a high proportion of individuals with meristic deviations from species' median series counts. Monotremes, xenarthrans, afrotherians and primates show relatively high variation in thoracolumbar vertebral count. Among the clades sampled in our dataset, rodents are the least variable, with several species not showing any deviations from median vertebral counts, or vertebral anomalies such as asymmetric ribs or transitional vertebrae. Most mammals show significant correlations between sacral position and length of the rib cage; only a few show a correlation between sacral position and number of sternebrae. The former result is consistent with the hypothesis that adult axial skeletal structures patterned by distinct mesodermal tissues are modular and covary; the latter is not. Variable levels of correlation among these structures may indicate that the boundaries of prim/abaxial mesodermal precursors of the axial skeleton are not uniform across species. We do not find evidence for a higher frequency of vertebral anomalies in our sample of embryos or neonates than in post-natal individuals of any species, contrary to the hypothesis that stabilizing selection plays a major role in vertebral patterning.

  11. Collection & Processing of Vertebrate Specimens for Arbovirus Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sudia, W. Daniel; And Others

    Described are techniques used by the National Communicable Disease Center in obtaining blood and tissues from man and other vertebrates for arbovirus isolation and antibody studies. Also included are techniques for capturing and handling vertebrates; banding and marking; restraining and bleeding; storing of specimens to preserve antibody and…

  12. Insights into vertebrate evolution from the chicken genome sequence

    PubMed Central

    Furlong, Rebecca F

    2005-01-01

    The chicken has recently joined the ever-growing list of fully sequenced animal genomes. Its unique features include expanded gene families involved in egg and feather production as well as more surprising large families, such as those for olfactory receptors. Comparisons with other vertebrate genomes move us closer to defining a set of essential vertebrate genes. PMID:15693954

  13. Cooperative Learning as a Tool To Teach Vertebrate Anatomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koprowski, John L.; Perigo, Nan

    2000-01-01

    Describes a method for teaching biology that includes more investigative exercises that foster an environment for cooperative learning in introductory laboratories that focus on vertebrates. Fosters collaborative learning by facilitating interaction between students as they become experts on their representative vertebrate structures. (SAH)

  14. Vertebrate Osmoregulation: A Student Laboratory Exercise Using Teleost Fish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boily P.; Rees, B. B.; Williamson, L. A. C.

    2007-01-01

    Here, we describe a laboratory experiment as part of an upper-level vertebrate physiology course for biology majors to investigate the physiological response of vertebrates to osmoregulatory challenges. The experiment involves measuring plasma osmolality and Na[superscript +] -K[superscript +] -ATPase activity in gill tissue of teleost fish…

  15. Origin and Evolution of Retinoid Isomerization Machinery in Vertebrate Visual Cycle: Hint from Jawless Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Stearn, Olivia; Li, Yan; Campos, Maria Mercedes; Gentleman, Susan; Rogozin, Igor B.; Redmond, T. Michael

    2012-01-01

    In order to maintain visual sensitivity at all light levels, the vertebrate eye possesses a mechanism to regenerate the visual pigment chromophore 11-cis retinal in the dark enzymatically, unlike in all other taxa, which rely on photoisomerization. This mechanism is termed the visual cycle and is localized to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a support layer of the neural retina. Speculation has long revolved around whether more primitive chordates, such as tunicates and cephalochordates, anticipated this feature. The two key enzymes of the visual cycle are RPE65, the visual cycle all-trans retinyl ester isomerohydrolase, and lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT), which generates RPE65’s substrate. We hypothesized that the origin of the vertebrate visual cycle is directly connected to an ancestral carotenoid oxygenase acquiring a new retinyl ester isomerohydrolase function. Our phylogenetic analyses of the RPE65/BCMO and N1pC/P60 (LRAT) superfamilies show that neither RPE65 nor LRAT orthologs occur in tunicates (Ciona) or cephalochordates (Branchiostoma), but occur in Petromyzon marinus (Sea Lamprey), a jawless vertebrate. The closest homologs to RPE65 in Ciona and Branchiostoma lacked predicted functionally diverged residues found in all authentic RPE65s, but lamprey RPE65 contained all of them. We cloned RPE65 and LRATb cDNAs from lamprey RPE and demonstrated appropriate enzymatic activities. We show that Ciona ß-carotene monooxygenase a (BCMOa) (previously annotated as an RPE65) has carotenoid oxygenase cleavage activity but not RPE65 activity. We verified the presence of RPE65 in lamprey RPE by immunofluorescence microscopy, immunoblot and mass spectrometry. On the basis of these data we conclude that the crucial transition from the typical carotenoid double bond cleavage functionality (BCMO) to the isomerohydrolase functionality (RPE65), coupled with the origin of LRAT, occurred subsequent to divergence of the more primitive chordates (tunicates, etc

  16. Computer Based Assessment of Cervical Vertebral Maturation Stages Using Digital Lateral Cephalograms

    PubMed Central

    Dzemidzic, Vildana; Sokic, Emir; Tiro, Alisa; Nakas, Enita

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study was aimed to investigate the reliability of a computer application for assessment of the stages of cervical vertebra maturation in order to determine the stage of skeletal maturity. Material and methods: For this study, digital lateral cephalograms of 99 subjects (52 females and 47 males) were examined. The following selection criteria were used during the sample composition: age between 9 and 16 years, absence of anomalies of the vertebrae, good general health, no history of trauma at the cervical region. Subjects with lateral cephalograms of low quality were excluded from the study. For the purpose of this study a computer application Cephalometar HF V1 was developed. This application was used to mark the contours of the second, third and fourth cervical vertebrae on the digital lateral cephalograms, which enabled a computer to determine the stage of cervical vertebral maturation. The assessment of the stages of cervical vertebral maturation was carried out by an experienced orthodontist. The assessment was conducted according to the principles of the method proposed by authors Hassel and Farman. The degree of the agreement between the computer application and the researcher was analyzed using by statistical Cohen Kappa test. Results: The results of this study showed the agreement between the computer assessment and the researcher assessment of the cervical vertebral maturation stages, where the value of the Cohen Kappa coefficient was 0.985. Conclusion: The computer application Cephalometar HF V1 proved to be a reliable method for assessing the stages of cervical vertebral maturation. This program could help the orthodontists to identify the stage of cervical vertebral maturation when planning the orthodontic treatment for the patients with skeletal disharmonies. PMID:26862247

  17. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  18. Evolutionary Genomics and Adaptive Evolution of the Hedgehog Gene Family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog – Shh; Indian hedgehog – Ihh; and Desert hedgehog – Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots. PMID:25549322

  19. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jarvis, Erich D; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots.

  20. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  1. Management of Vertebral Stenosis Complicated by Presence of Acute Thrombus

    SciTech Connect

    Canyigit, Murat; Arat, Anil Cil, Barbaros E.; Sahin, Gurdal; Turkbey, Baris; Elibol, Bulent

    2007-04-15

    A 44-year-old male presented with multiple punctate acute infarcts of the vertebrobasilar circulation and a computed tomographic angiogram showing stenosis of the right vertebral origin. A digital subtraction angiogram demonstrated a new intraluminal filling defect at the origin of the stenotic vertebral artery where antegrade flow was maintained. This filling defect was accepted to be an acute thrombus of the vertebral origin, most likely due to rupture of a vulnerable plaque. The patient was treated with intravenous heparin. A control angiogram revealed dissolution of the acute thrombus under anticoagulation and the patient was treated with stenting with distal protection. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no additional acute ischemic lesions. We were unable to find a similar report in the English literature documenting successful management of an acute vertebral ostial thrombus with anticoagulation. Anticoagulation might be considered prior to endovascular treatment of symptomatic vertebral stenoses complicated by the presence of acute thrombus.

  2. The generation of vertebral segmental patterning in the chick embryo.

    PubMed

    Senthinathan, Biruntha; Sousa, Cátia; Tannahill, David; Keynes, Roger

    2012-06-01

    We have carried out a series of experimental manipulations in the chick embryo to assess whether the notochord, neural tube and spinal nerves influence segmental patterning of the vertebral column. Using Pax1 expression in the somite-derived sclerotomes as a marker for segmentation of the developing intervertebral disc, our results exclude such an influence. In contrast to certain teleost species, where the notochord has been shown to generate segmentation of the vertebral bodies (chordacentra), these experiments indicate that segmental patterning of the avian vertebral column arises autonomously in the somite mesoderm. We suggest that in amniotes, the subdivision of each sclerotome into non-miscible anterior and posterior halves plays a critical role in establishing vertebral segmentation, and in maintaining left/right alignment of the developing vertebral elements at the body midline.

  3. Nuisance arthropods, nonhost odors, and vertebrate chemical aposematism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldon, Paul J.

    2010-05-01

    Mosquitoes, ticks, and other ectoparasitic arthropods use chemoreception to avoid vertebrates that are known or presumed to be dangerous or otherwise unprofitable hosts. Nonhosts may belong to a species that is regularly unaccepted or one that includes both accepted and unaccepted individuals. A diverse array of qualities including immunocompetence, vigilant grooming behavior, mechanical inaccessibility, and toxicity have been proposed as the features that render vertebrate chemical emitters unsuitable as hosts for arthropods. In addition to advantages accrued by ectoparasitic arthropods that avoid nonhosts, vertebrates that are not accepted as hosts benefit by evading injurious ectoparasites and the infectious agents they transmit. The conferral of advantages to both chemical receivers (ectoparasitic arthropods) and emitters (unpreferred vertebrates) in these interactions renders nonhost odors aposematic. Chemical aposematism involving ectoparasites selects for vertebrates that emit distinctive odors. In addition, chemical mimicry, where vulnerable organisms benefit when misidentified as nonhosts, may be accommodated by duped ectoparasites.

  4. Segmentation of the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images.

    PubMed

    Berton, Florian; Cheriet, Farida; Miron, Marie-Claude; Laporte, Catherine

    2016-05-01

    Spinal ultrasound imaging is emerging as a low-cost, radiation-free alternative to conventional X-ray imaging for the clinical follow-up of patients with scoliosis. Currently, deformity measurement relies almost entirely on manual identification of key vertebral landmarks. However, the interpretation of vertebral ultrasound images is challenging, primarily because acoustic waves are entirely reflected by bone. To alleviate this problem, we propose an algorithm to segment these images into three regions: the spinous process, its acoustic shadow and other tissues. This method consists, first, in the extraction of several image features and the selection of the most relevant ones for the discrimination of the three regions. Then, using this set of features and linear discriminant analysis, each pixel of the image is classified as belonging to one of the three regions. Finally, the image is segmented by regularizing the pixel-wise classification results to account for some geometrical properties of vertebrae. The feature set was first validated by analyzing the classification results across a learning database. The database contained 107 vertebral ultrasound images acquired with convex and linear probes. Classification rates of 84%, 92% and 91% were achieved for the spinous process, the acoustic shadow and other tissues, respectively. Dice similarity coefficients of 0.72 and 0.88 were obtained respectively for the spinous process and acoustic shadow, confirming that the proposed method accurately segments the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images. Furthermore, the centroid of the automatically segmented spinous process was located at an average distance of 0.38 mm from that of the manually labeled spinous process, which is on the order of image resolution. This suggests that the proposed method is a promising tool for the measurement of the Spinous Process Angle and, more generally, for assisting ultrasound-based assessment of scoliosis

  5. Presentation--HABITAT DISTRIBUTION MODELS FOR 37 VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN THE MOJAVE DESERT ECOREGION OF NEVADA, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thirty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species in the Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) were previously modeled through the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP), using a deductive approach. To increase the applicability of such habitat models ...

  6. The lamprey: a jawless vertebrate model system for examining origin of the neural crest and other vertebrate traits.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephen A; Bronner, Marianne E

    2014-01-01

    Lampreys are a group of jawless fishes that serve as an important point of comparison for studies of vertebrate evolution. Lampreys and hagfishes are agnathan fishes, the cyclostomes, which sit at a crucial phylogenetic position as the only living sister group of the jawed vertebrates. Comparisons between cyclostomes and jawed vertebrates can help identify shared derived (i.e. synapomorphic) traits that might have been inherited from ancestral early vertebrates, if unlikely to have arisen convergently by chance. One example of a uniquely vertebrate trait is the neural crest, an embryonic tissue that produces many cell types crucial to vertebrate features, such as the craniofacial skeleton, pigmentation of the skin, and much of the peripheral nervous system (Gans and Northcutt, 1983). Invertebrate chordates arguably lack unambiguous neural crest homologs, yet have cells with some similarities, making comparisons with lampreys and jawed vertebrates essential for inferring characteristics of development in early vertebrates, and how they may have evolved from nonvertebrate chordates. Here we review recent research on cyclostome neural crest development, including research on lamprey gene regulatory networks and differentiated neural crest fates.

  7. Inhomogeneity of human vertebral cancellous bone: systematic density and structure patterns inside the vertebral body.

    PubMed

    Banse, X; Devogelaer, J P; Munting, E; Delloye, C; Cornu, O; Grynpas, M

    2001-05-01

    In the spine, cancellous bone quality is usually assessed for the whole vertebral body in a transverse central slice. Correct identification and assessment of the weakest parts of the cancellous bone may lead to better prediction of fracture risk. The density and structural parameters were systematically investigated inside the thoracic (T-9), thoracolumbar (T12-L1), and lumbar (L-4) vertebral bodies of nine subjects. On both sides of the median sagittal plane, anterior and posterior 8.2 mm vertical cores were harvested in the thoracic vertebra. In the thoracolumbar and lumbar vertebrae, external samples were also cored. Peripheral quantitative computed tomographic (pQCT) density analysis of the 136 cores was performed at four different levels, from the lower to the upper endplate. The relatively thin slice thickness (300 microm) and small pixel size (70 microm x 70 microm) was considered sufficient to investigate the structural parameters on the four transverse slices and in the sagittal and coronal planes (total of 816 images). Using a constant threshold a binary image was generated and the morphometric data were extracted. The binary image was further skeletonized and classical strut analysis was performed. Cancellous bone density was 20% higher in the posterior cores than in the anterior and external cores. Moreover, clear vertical inhomogeneity was noted because the lowest half of the vertebral body presented lower density than the upper half (differences ranging from 25% to 15%). All structural parameters were strongly dependent on the location of the measurement. Structural differences between anterior, posterior, and external areas were mild and followed the density patterns. On the other hand, vertical inhomogeneity of the structural parameters was important. For example, in the thoracolumbar and lumbar vertebrae, the numbers of nodes or node-to-node struts were almost twofold higher in the inferior half than in the superior half (p < 0.01), whereas

  8. Investigation of biomechanical behavior of lumbar vertebral segments with dynamic stabilization device using finite element approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deoghare, Ashish B.; Kashyap, Siddharth; Padole, Pramod M.

    2013-03-01

    Degenerative disc disease is a major source of lower back pain and significantly alters the biomechanics of the lumbar spine. Dynamic stabilization device is a remedial technique which uses flexible materials to stabilize the affected lumbar region while preserving the natural anatomy of the spine. The main objective of this research work is to investigate the stiffness variation of dynamic stabilization device under various loading conditions under compression, axial rotation and flexion. Three dimensional model of the two segment lumbar spine is developed using computed tomography (CT) scan images. The lumbar structure developed is analyzed in ANSYS workbench. Two types of dynamic stabilization are considered: one with stabilizing device as pedicle instrumentation and second with stabilization device inserted around the inter-vertebral disc. Analysis suggests that proper positioning of the dynamic stabilization device is of paramount significance prior to the surgery. Inserting the device in the posterior region indicates the adverse effects as it shows increase in the deformation of the inter-vertebral disc. Analysis executed by positioning stabilizing device around the inter-vertebral disc yields better result for various stiffness values under compression and other loadings. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  9. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  10. Habitat or matrix: which is more relevant to predict road-kill of vertebrates?

    PubMed

    Bueno, C; Sousa, C O M; Freitas, S R

    2015-11-01

    We believe that in tropics we need a community approach to evaluate road impacts on wildlife, and thus, suggest mitigation measures for groups of species instead a focal-species approach. Understanding which landscape characteristics indicate road-kill events may also provide models that can be applied in other regions. We intend to evaluate if habitat or matrix is more relevant to predict road-kill events for a group of species. Our hypothesis is: more permeable matrix is the most relevant factor to explain road-kill events. To test this hypothesis, we chose vertebrates as the studied assemblage and a highway crossing in an Atlantic Forest region in southeastern Brazil as the study site. Logistic regression models were designed using presence/absence of road-kill events as dependent variables and landscape characteristics as independent variables, which were selected by Akaike's Information Criterion. We considered a set of candidate models containing four types of simple regression models: Habitat effect model; Matrix types effect models; Highway effect model; and, Reference models (intercept and buffer distance). Almost three hundred road-kills and 70 species were recorded. River proximity and herbaceous vegetation cover, both matrix effect models, were associated to most road-killed vertebrate groups. Matrix was more relevant than habitat to predict road-kill of vertebrates. The association between river proximity and road-kill indicates that rivers may be a preferential route for most species. We discuss multi-species mitigation measures and implications to movement ecology and conservation strategies.

  11. Do lower vertebrates suffer from motion sickness?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lychakov, Dmitri

    The poster presents literature data and results of the author’s studies with the goal to find out whether the lower animals are susceptible to motion sickness (Lychakov, 2012). In our studies, fish and amphibians were tested for 2 h and more by using a rotating device (f = 0.24 Hz, a _{centrifugal} = 0.144 g) and a parallel swing (f = 0.2 Hz, a _{horizontal} = 0.059 g). The performed studies did not revealed in 4 fish species and in toads any characteristic reactions of the motion sickness (sopite syndrome, prodromal preparatory behavior, vomiting). At the same time, in toads there appeared characteristic stress reactions (escape response, an increase of the number of urinations, inhibition of appetite), as well as some other reactions not associated with motion sickness (regular head movements, eye retractions). In trout fry the used stimulation promoted division of the individuals into the groups differing by locomotor reaction to stress, as well as the individuals with the well-expressed compensatory reaction that we called the otolithotropic reaction. Analysis of results obtained by other authors confirms our conclusions. Thus, the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals, are immune to motion sickness either under the land conditions or under conditions of weightlessness. On the basis of available experimental data and theoretical concepts of mechanisms of development the motion sickness, formulated in several hypotheses (mismatch hypothesis, Traisman‘ s hypothesis, resonance hypothesis), there presented the synthetic hypothesis of motion sickness that has the conceptual significance. According to the hypothesis, the unusual stimulation producing sensor-motor or sensor-sensor conflict or an action of vestibular and visual stimuli of frequency of about 0.2 Hz is perceived by CNS as poisoning and causes the corresponding reactions. The motion sickness actually is a byproduct of technical evolution. It is suggested that in the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals

  12. Fully automated cellular-resolution vertebrate screening platform with parallel animal processing

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Tsung-Yao; Pardo-Martin, Carlos; Allalou, Amin; Wählby, Carolina; Yanik, Mehmet Fatih

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish larva is an optically-transparent vertebrate model with complex organs that is widely used to study genetics, developmental biology, and to model various human diseases. In this article, we present a set of novel technologies that significantly increase the throughput and capabilities of previously described vertebrate automated screening technology (VAST). We developed a robust multi-thread system that can simultaneously process multiple animals. System throughput is limited only by the image acquisition speed rather than by the fluidic or mechanical processes. We developed image recognition algorithms that fully automate manipulation of animals, including orienting and positioning regions of interest within the microscope’s field of view. We also identified the optimal capillary materials for high-resolution, distortion-free, low-background imaging of zebrafish larvae. PMID:22159032

  13. Calcium-binding sites on sensory processes in vertebrate hair cells.

    PubMed Central

    Moran, D T; Rowley, J C; Asher, D L

    1981-01-01

    Vertebrate lateral line and vestibular systems center their function on highly mechanosensitive hair cells. Each hair cell is equipped with one kinocilium (which resembles a motile cilium) and 50-100 actin-containing stereocilia (which resemble microvilli) at the site of stimulus reception. This report describes electron-microscopic localization of calcium-binding sites on the sensory processes of vertebrate hair cells. Using the Oschman-Wall technique for calcium localization [Oschman, J. L. & Wall, B. J. (1972) J. Cell Biol. 55, 58-73] together with electron-probe x-ray microanalysis of thin sections, we observed: (i) calcium- and iron-containing deposits in the region of the ciliary necklace in goldfish lateral line hair cells, (ii) calcium deposits upon the surface of stereocilia of hair cells of the bullfrog inner ear, and (iii) calcium deposits upon stereocilia of hair cells of the guinea pig vestibular system. Images PMID:6973762

  14. Gravity and the Adaptation of Form and Function in Lower Vertebrates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillywhite, Harvey B.

    1994-01-01

    Comparative data emphasizing lower vertebrates will be used to justify the following generalized conclusions or expectations: 1) Gravitational stress produces adaptive increases in arterial pressure. 2) Gravitational stress produces adaptive reorganization of anatomy. 3) Natural selection favors small body size in high G-stress environments. 4) Gravitational stress produces low-compliant perivascular tissues (morphological antigravity suit). 5) Gradients or regional zonation of vascular characters evolve along the length of elongate vertebrates living in high G-stress environments. Presentation of information will include new data gathered by the author and Dr. Alan Hargens while the author was a NRC Senior Research Associate at NASA Ames Research Center. While there is no published abstract provided at the meeting, a symposium manuscript will be published in a special volume of Journal of Experimental Zoology.

  15. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku, and additional specimens identified by the present author. The checklist includes 170 tapeworm species from 151 host species, comprising 447 parasite species/host species combinations. Thirty of the tapeworm species and 96 of the parasite/host species combinations have not been previously reported from Finland. The total number of tapeworm species in Finland (170 spp.) is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for the Iberian Peninsula (257 spp.), Slovakia (225 spp.) and Poland (279 spp.). The difference between Finland and the other three regions is particularly pronounced for anseriform, podicipediform, charadriiform and passeriform birds, reflecting inadequate and/or biased sampling of these birds in Finland. It is predicted that there are actually ca. 270 species of tapeworms in Finland, assuming that true number of bird tapeworms in Finland corresponds to that in other European countries with more comprehensive knowledge of the local tapeworm fauna. The other main pattern emerging from the present data is the seemingly unexplained absence in (northern) Fennoscandia of several mammalian tapeworms that otherwise have extensive distributions in the Holarctic region or in Eurasia, including the northern regions. Previously unknown type specimens, that is, the holotype of Bothrimonus nylandicus Schneider, 1902 (a junior synonym of Diplocotyle olrikii Krabbe, 1874) (MZH 127096) and the syntypes of Caryophyllaeides fennica (Schneider, 1902) (MZH 127097) were located in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. PMID:26668540

  16. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland.

    PubMed

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku, and additional specimens identified by the present author. The checklist includes 170 tapeworm species from 151 host species, comprising 447 parasite species/host species combinations. Thirty of the tapeworm species and 96 of the parasite/host species combinations have not been previously reported from Finland. The total number of tapeworm species in Finland (170 spp.) is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for the Iberian Peninsula (257 spp.), Slovakia (225 spp.) and Poland (279 spp.). The difference between Finland and the other three regions is particularly pronounced for anseriform, podicipediform, charadriiform and passeriform birds, reflecting inadequate and/or biased sampling of these birds in Finland. It is predicted that there are actually ca. 270 species of tapeworms in Finland, assuming that true number of bird tapeworms in Finland corresponds to that in other European countries with more comprehensive knowledge of the local tapeworm fauna. The other main pattern emerging from the present data is the seemingly unexplained absence in (northern) Fennoscandia of several mammalian tapeworms that otherwise have extensive distributions in the Holarctic region or in Eurasia, including the northern regions. Previously unknown type specimens, that is, the holotype of Bothrimonus nylandicus Schneider, 1902 (a junior synonym of Diplocotyle olrikii Krabbe, 1874) (MZH 127096) and the syntypes of Caryophyllaeides fennica (Schneider, 1902) (MZH 127097) were located in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History.

  17. Unveiling the Impact of the Genomic Architecture on the Evolution of Vertebrate microRNAs

    PubMed Central

    França, Gustavo S.; Hinske, Ludwig C.; Galante, Pedro A. F.; Vibranovski, Maria D.

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes frequently exhibit interdependency between transcriptional units, as evidenced by regions of high gene density. It is well recognized that vertebrate microRNAs (miRNAs) are usually embedded in those regions. Recent work has shown that the genomic context is of utmost importance to determine miRNA expression in time and space, thus affecting their evolutionary fates over long and short terms. Consequently, understanding the inter- and intraspecific changes on miRNA genomic architecture may bring novel insights on the basic cellular processes regulated by miRNAs, as well as phenotypic evolution and disease-related mechanisms. PMID:28377786

  18. A unified anatomy ontology of the vertebrate skeletal system.

    PubMed

    Dahdul, Wasila M; Balhoff, James P; Blackburn, David C; Diehl, Alexander D; Haendel, Melissa A; Hall, Brian K; Lapp, Hilmar; Lundberg, John G; Mungall, Christopher J; Ringwald, Martin; Segerdell, Erik; Van Slyke, Ceri E; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Westerfield, Monte; Mabee, Paula M

    2012-01-01

    The skeleton is of fundamental importance in research in comparative vertebrate morphology, paleontology, biomechanics, developmental biology, and systematics. Motivated by research questions that require computational access to and comparative reasoning across the diverse skeletal phenotypes of vertebrates, we developed a module of anatomical concepts for the skeletal system, the Vertebrate Skeletal Anatomy Ontology (VSAO), to accommodate and unify the existing skeletal terminologies for the species-specific (mouse, the frog Xenopus, zebrafish) and multispecies (teleost, amphibian) vertebrate anatomy ontologies. Previous differences between these terminologies prevented even simple queries across databases pertaining to vertebrate morphology. This module of upper-level and specific skeletal terms currently includes 223 defined terms and 179 synonyms that integrate skeletal cells, tissues, biological processes, organs (skeletal elements such as bones and cartilages), and subdivisions of the skeletal system. The VSAO is designed to integrate with other ontologies, including the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO), Gene Ontology (GO), Uberon, and Cell Ontology (CL), and it is freely available to the community to be updated with additional terms required for research. Its structure accommodates anatomical variation among vertebrate species in development, structure, and composition. Annotation of diverse vertebrate phenotypes with this ontology will enable novel inquiries across the full spectrum of phenotypic diversity.

  19. Fatal Vertebral Artery Injury in Penetrating Cervical Spine Trauma.

    PubMed

    Tannoury, Chadi; Degiacomo, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Study Design. This case illustrates complications to a vertebral artery injury (VAI) resulting from penetrating cervical spine trauma. Objectives. To discuss the management of both VAI and cervical spine trauma after penetrating gunshot wound to the neck. Summary of Background Data. Vertebral artery injury following cervical spine trauma is infrequent, and a unilateral VAI often occurs without neurologic sequela. Nevertheless, devastating complications of stroke and death do occur. Methods. A gunshot wound to the neck resulted in a C6 vertebral body fracture and C5-C7 transverse foramina fractures. Neck CT angiogram identified a left vertebral artery occlusion. A cerebral angiography confirmed occlusion of the left extracranial vertebral artery and patency of the remaining cerebrovascular system. Following anterior cervical corpectomy and stabilization, brainstem infarction occurred and resulted in death. Results. A fatal outcome resulted from vertebral artery thrombus propagation with occlusion of the basilar artery triggering basilar ischemia and subsequent brainstem and cerebellar infarction. Conclusions. Vertebral artery injury secondary to cervical spine trauma can lead to potentially devastating neurologic sequela. Early surgical stabilization, along with anticoagulation therapy, contributes towards managing the combination of injuries. Unfortunately, despite efforts, a poor outcome is sometimes inevitable when cervical spine trauma is coupled with a VAI.

  20. Fatal Vertebral Artery Injury in Penetrating Cervical Spine Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Tannoury, Chadi; Degiacomo, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Study Design. This case illustrates complications to a vertebral artery injury (VAI) resulting from penetrating cervical spine trauma. Objectives. To discuss the management of both VAI and cervical spine trauma after penetrating gunshot wound to the neck. Summary of Background Data. Vertebral artery injury following cervical spine trauma is infrequent, and a unilateral VAI often occurs without neurologic sequela. Nevertheless, devastating complications of stroke and death do occur. Methods. A gunshot wound to the neck resulted in a C6 vertebral body fracture and C5–C7 transverse foramina fractures. Neck CT angiogram identified a left vertebral artery occlusion. A cerebral angiography confirmed occlusion of the left extracranial vertebral artery and patency of the remaining cerebrovascular system. Following anterior cervical corpectomy and stabilization, brainstem infarction occurred and resulted in death. Results. A fatal outcome resulted from vertebral artery thrombus propagation with occlusion of the basilar artery triggering basilar ischemia and subsequent brainstem and cerebellar infarction. Conclusions. Vertebral artery injury secondary to cervical spine trauma can lead to potentially devastating neurologic sequela. Early surgical stabilization, along with anticoagulation therapy, contributes towards managing the combination of injuries. Unfortunately, despite efforts, a poor outcome is sometimes inevitable when cervical spine trauma is coupled with a VAI. PMID:26640731

  1. Evolution of adaptive immune recognition in jawless vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Saha, Nil Ratan; Smith, Jeramiah; Amemiya, Chris T

    2010-02-01

    All extant vertebrates possess an adaptive immune system wherein diverse immune receptors are created and deployed in specialized blood cell lineages. Recent advances in DNA sequencing and developmental resources for basal vertebrates have facilitated numerous comparative analyses that have shed new light on the molecular and cellular bases of immune defense and the mechanisms of immune receptor diversification in the "jawless" vertebrates. With data from these key species in hand, it is becoming possible to infer some general aspects of the early evolution of vertebrate adaptive immunity. All jawed vertebrates assemble their antigen-receptor genes through combinatorial recombination of different "diversity" segments into immunoglobulin or T-cell receptor genes. However, the jawless vertebrates employ an analogous, but independently derived set of immune receptors in order to recognize and bind antigens: the variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs). The means by which this locus generates receptor diversity and achieves antigen specificity is of considerable interest because these mechanisms represent a completely independent strategy for building a large immune repertoire. Therefore, studies of the VLR system are providing insight into the fundamental principles and evolutionary potential of adaptive immune recognition systems. Here we review and synthesize the wealth of data that have been generated towards understanding the evolution of the adaptive immune system in the jawless vertebrates.

  2. Isolation of a Drosophila homolog of the vertebrate homeobox gene Rx and its possible role in brain and eye development

    PubMed Central

    Eggert, Tanja; Hauck, Bernd; Hildebrandt, Nicole; Gehring, Walter J.; Walldorf, Uwe

    1998-01-01

    Vertebrate and invertebrate eye development require the activity of several evolutionarily conserved genes. Among these the Pax-6 genes play a major role in the genetic control of eye development. Mutations in Pax-6 genes affect eye development in humans, mice, and Drosophila, and misexpression of Pax-6 genes in Drosophila can induce ectopic eyes. Here we report the identification of a paired-like homeobox gene, DRx, which is also conserved from flies to vertebrates. Highly conserved domains in the Drosophila protein are the octapeptide, the identical homeodomain, the carboxyl-terminal OAR domain, and a newly identified Rx domain. DRx is expressed in the embryo in the procephalic region and in the clypeolabrum from stage 8 on and later in the brain and the central nervous system. Compared with eyeless, the DRx expression in the embryo starts earlier, similar to the pattern in vertebrates, where Rx expression precedes Pax-6 expression. Because the vertebrate Rx genes have a function during brain and eye development, it was proposed that DRx has a similar function. The DRx expression pattern argues for a conserved function at least during brain development, but we could not detect any expression in the embryonic eye primordia or in the larval eye imaginal discs. Therefore DRx could be considered as a homolog of vertebrate Rx genes. The Rx genes might be involved in brain patterning processes and specify eye fields in different phyla. PMID:9482887

  3. Phylogenomic analyses of KCNA gene clusters in vertebrates: why do gene clusters stay intact?

    PubMed Central

    Hoegg, Simone; Meyer, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Background Gene clusters are of interest for the understanding of genome evolution since they provide insight in large-scale duplications events as well as patterns of individual gene losses. Vertebrates tend to have multiple copies of gene clusters that typically are only single clusters or are not present at all in genomes of invertebrates. We investigated the genomic architecture and conserved non-coding sequences of vertebrate KCNA gene clusters. KCNA genes encode shaker-related voltage-gated potassium channels and are arranged in two three-gene clusters in tetrapods. Teleost fish are found to possess four clusters. The two tetrapod KNCA clusters are of approximately the same age as the Hox gene clusters that arose through duplications early in vertebrate evolution. For some genes, their conserved retention and arrangement in clusters are thought to be related to regulatory elements in the intergenic regions, which might prevent rearrangements and gene loss. Interestingly, this hypothesis does not appear to apply to the KCNA clusters, as too few conserved putative regulatory elements are retained. Results We obtained KCNA coding sequences from basal ray-finned fishes (sturgeon, gar, bowfin) and confirmed that the duplication of these genes is specific to teleosts and therefore consistent with the fish-specific genome duplication (FSGD). Phylogenetic analyses of the genes suggest a basal position of the only intron containing KCNA gene in vertebrates (KCNA7). Sistergroup relationships of KCNA1/2 and KCNA3/6 support that a large-scale duplication gave rise to the two clusters found in the genome of tetrapods. We analyzed the intergenic regions of KCNA clusters in vertebrates and found that there are only a few conserved sequences shared between tetrapods and teleosts or between paralogous clusters. The orthologous teleost clusters, however, show sequence conservation in these regions. Conclusion The lack of overall conserved sequences in intergenic regions

  4. Observer agreement in pediatric semi-quantitative vertebral fracture diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Siminoski, Kerry; Lentle, Brian; Matzinger, Mary-Ann; Shenouda, Nazih; Ward, Leanne M.

    2013-01-01

    Background The Genant semi-quantitative (GSQ) method has been a standard procedure for diagnosis of vertebral fractures in adults, but has only recently been shown to be of clinical utility in pediatrics. Observer agreement using the GSQ method in this age group has not been described. Objective To evaluate observer agreement on vertebral readability and vertebral fracture diagnosis using the GSQ method in pediatric vertebral morphometry. Materials and methods Spine radiographs of 186 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia were evaluated independently by three radiologists using the same GSQ methodology as in adults. A subset of 100 radiographs was evaluated on two occasions. Results An average of 4.7% of vertebrae were unreadable for the three radiologists. Intraobserver Cohen’s kappa (κ) on readability ranged from 0.434 to 0.648 at the vertebral level and from 0.416 to 0.611 at the patient level, while interobserver κ for readability had a range of 0.330 to 0.504 at the vertebral level and 0.295 to 0.467 at the patient level. Intraobserver κ for the presence of vertebral fracture had a range of 0.529 to 0.726 at the vertebral level and was 0.528 to 0.767 at the patient level. Interobserver κ for fracture at the vertebral level ranged from 0.455 to 0.548 and from 0.433 to 0.486 at the patient level. Conclusion Most κ values for both intra- and interobserver agreement in applying the GSQ method to pediatric spine radiographs were in the moderate to substantial range, comparable to the performance of the technique in adult studies. The GSQ method should be considered for use in pediatric research and clinical practice. PMID:24323185

  5. Gut Melatonin in Vertebrates: Chronobiology and Physiology.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Sourav; Maitra, Saumen Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin, following discovery in the bovine pineal gland, has been detected in several extra-pineal sources including gastrointestinal tract or gut. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) is the key regulator of its biosynthesis. Melatonin in pineal is rhythmically produced with a nocturnal peak in synchronization with environmental light-dark cycle. A recent study on carp reported first that melatonin levels and intensity of a ~23 kDa AANAT protein in each gut segment also exhibit significant daily variations but, unlike pineal, show a peak at midday in all seasons. Extensive experimental studies ruled out direct role of light-dark conditions in determining temporal pattern of gut melatoninergic system in carp, and opened up possible role of environmental non-photic cue(s) as its synchronizer. Based on mammalian findings, physiological significance of gut-derived melatonin also appears unique because its actions at local levels sharing paracrine and/or autocrine functions have been emphasized. The purpose of this mini review is to summarize the existing data on the chronobiology and physiology of gut melatonin and to emphasize their relation with the same hormone derived in the pineal in vertebrates including fish.

  6. Gut Melatonin in Vertebrates: Chronobiology and Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Sourav; Maitra, Saumen Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin, following discovery in the bovine pineal gland, has been detected in several extra-pineal sources including gastrointestinal tract or gut. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) is the key regulator of its biosynthesis. Melatonin in pineal is rhythmically produced with a nocturnal peak in synchronization with environmental light–dark cycle. A recent study on carp reported first that melatonin levels and intensity of a ~23 kDa AANAT protein in each gut segment also exhibit significant daily variations but, unlike pineal, show a peak at midday in all seasons. Extensive experimental studies ruled out direct role of light–dark conditions in determining temporal pattern of gut melatoninergic system in carp, and opened up possible role of environmental non-photic cue(s) as its synchronizer. Based on mammalian findings, physiological significance of gut-derived melatonin also appears unique because its actions at local levels sharing paracrine and/or autocrine functions have been emphasized. The purpose of this mini review is to summarize the existing data on the chronobiology and physiology of gut melatonin and to emphasize their relation with the same hormone derived in the pineal in vertebrates including fish. PMID:26257705

  7. Multiscale models for vertebrate limb development.

    PubMed

    Newman, Stuart A; Christley, Scott; Glimm, Tilmann; Hentschel, H G E; Kazmierczak, Bogdan; Zhang, Yong-Tao; Zhu, Jianfeng; Alber, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Dynamical systems in which geometrically extended model cells produce and interact with diffusible (morphogen) and nondiffusible (extracellular matrix) chemical fields have proved very useful as models for developmental processes. The embryonic vertebrate limb is an apt system for such mathematical and computational modeling since it has been the subject of hundreds of experimental studies, and its normal and variant morphologies and spatiotemporal organization of expressed genes are well known. Because of its stereotypical proximodistally generated increase in the number of parallel skeletal elements, the limb lends itself to being modeled by Turing-type systems which are capable of producing periodic, or quasiperiodic, arrangements of spot- and stripe-like elements. This chapter describes several such models, including, (i) a system of partial differential equations in which changing cell density enters into the dynamics explicitly, (ii) a model for morphogen dynamics alone, derived from the latter system in the "morphostatic limit" where cell movement relaxes on a much slower time-scale than cell differentiation, (iii) a discrete stochastic model for the simplified pattern formation that occurs when limb cells are placed in planar culture, and (iv) several hybrid models in which continuum morphogen systems interact with cells represented as energy-minimizing mesoscopic entities. Progress in devising computational methods for handling 3D, multiscale, multimodel simulations of organogenesis is discussed, as well as for simulating reaction-diffusion dynamics in domains of irregular shape.

  8. Mathematical modeling of vertebrate limb development.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Tao; Alber, Mark S; Newman, Stuart A

    2013-05-01

    In this paper, we review the major mathematical and computational models of vertebrate limb development and their roles in accounting for different aspects of this process. The main aspects of limb development that have been modeled include outgrowth and shaping of the limb bud, establishment of molecular gradients within the bud, and formation of the skeleton. These processes occur interdependently during development, although (as described in this review), there are various interpretations of the biological relationships among them. A wide range of mathematical and computational methods have been used to study these processes, including ordinary and partial differential equation systems, cellular automata and discrete, stochastic models, finite difference methods, finite element methods, the immersed boundary method, and various combinations of the above. Multiscale mathematical modeling and associated computational simulation have become integrated into the study of limb morphogenesis and pattern formation to an extent with few parallels in the field of developmental biology. These methods have contributed to the design and analysis of experiments employing microsurgical and genetic manipulations, evaluation of hypotheses for limb bud outgrowth, interpretation of the effects of natural mutations, and the formulation of scenarios for the origination and evolution of the limb skeleton.

  9. Earth orbital variations and vertebrate bioevolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclean, Dewey M.

    1988-01-01

    Cause of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition mammalian extinctions at the end of the last age is the subject of debate between those advocating human predation and climate change. Identification of an ambient air temperature (AAT)-uterine blood flow (UBF) coupling phenomenon supports climate change as a factor in the extinctions, and couples the extinctions to earth orbital variations that drive ice age climatology. The AAT-UBF phenomenon couples mammalian bioevolution directly to climate change via effects of environmental heat upon blood flow to the female uterus and damage to developing embryos. Extinctions were in progress during climatic warming before the Younger Dryas event, and after, at times when the AAT-UBF couple would have been operative; however, impact of a sudden short-term cooling on mammals in the process of adapting to smaller size and relatively larger S/V would have been severe. Variations in earth's orbit, and orbital forcing of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, were causes of the succession of Pleistocene ice ages. Coincidence of mammalian extinctions with terminations of the more intense cold stages links mammalian bioevolution to variations in earth's orbit. Earth orbital variations are a driving source of vertebrate bioevolution.

  10. Delayed coupling theory of vertebrate segmentation.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Luis G; Ares, Saúl; Herrgen, Leah; Schröter, Christian; Jülicher, Frank; Oates, Andrew C

    2009-01-01

    Rhythmic and sequential subdivision of the elongating vertebrate embryonic body axis into morphological somites is controlled by an oscillating multicellular genetic network termed the segmentation clock. This clock operates in the presomitic mesoderm (PSM), generating dynamic stripe patterns of oscillatory gene-expression across the field of PSM cells. How these spatial patterns, the clock's collective period, and the underlying cellular-level interactions are related is not understood. A theory encompassing temporal and spatial domains of local and collective aspects of the system is essential to tackle these questions. Our delayed coupling theory achieves this by representing the PSM as an array of phase oscillators, combining four key elements: a frequency profile of oscillators slowing across the PSM; coupling between neighboring oscillators; delay in coupling; and a moving boundary describing embryonic axis elongation. This theory predicts that the segmentation clock's collective period depends on delayed coupling. We derive an expression for pattern wavelength across the PSM and show how this can be used to fit dynamic wildtype gene-expression patterns, revealing the quantitative values of parameters controlling spatial and temporal organization of the oscillators in the system. Our theory can be used to analyze experimental perturbations, thereby identifying roles of genes involved in segmentation.

  11. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and clusters them into biodiversity metrics that relate to ecosystem service-relevant categories. Metrics, such as species and taxon richness, have been developed and integrated with other measures of biodiversity. Collectively, these metrics provide a consistent scalable process from which to make geographic comparisons, provide thematic assessments, and to monitor status and trends in biodiversity. The national biodiversity component operates across approximatel

  12. Myosin filament structure in vertebrate smooth muscle

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    The in vivo structure of the myosin filaments in vertebrate smooth muscle is unknown. Evidence from purified smooth muscle myosin and from some studies of intact smooth muscle suggests that they may have a nonhelical, side-polar arrangement of crossbridges. However, the bipolar, helical structure characteristic of myosin filaments in striated muscle has not been disproved for smooth muscle. We have used EM to investigate this question in a functionally diverse group of smooth muscles (from the vascular, gastrointestinal, reproductive, and visual systems) from mammalian, amphibian, and avian species. Intact muscle under physiological conditions, rapidly frozen and then freeze substituted, shows many myosin filaments with a square backbone in transverse profile. Transverse sections of fixed, chemically skinned muscles also show square backbones and, in addition, reveal projections (crossbridges) on only two opposite sides of the square. Filaments gently isolated from skinned smooth muscles and observed by negative staining show crossbridges with a 14.5-nm repeat projecting in opposite directions on opposite sides of the filament. Such filaments subjected to low ionic strength conditions show bare filament ends and an antiparallel arrangement of myosin tails along the length of the filament. All of these observations are consistent with a side-polar structure and argue against a bipolar, helical crossbridge arrangement. We conclude that myosin filaments in all smooth muscles, regardless of function, are likely to be side-polar. Such a structure could be an important factor in the ability of smooth muscles to contract by large amounts. PMID:8698822

  13. Facultative parthenogenesis discovered in wild vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Warren; Smith, Charles F.; Eskridge, Pamela H.; Hoss, Shannon K.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Schuett, Gordon W.

    2012-01-01

    Facultative parthenogenesis (FP)—asexual reproduction by bisexual species—has been documented in a variety of multi-cellular organisms but only recently in snakes, varanid lizards, birds and sharks. Unlike the approximately 80 taxa of unisexual reptiles, amphibians and fishes that exist in nature, FP has yet to be documented in the wild. Based on captive documentation, it appears that FP is widespread in squamate reptiles (snakes, lizards and amphisbaenians), and its occurrence in nature seems inevitable, yet the task of detecting FP in wild individuals has been deemed formidable. Here we show, using microsatellite DNA genotyping and litter characteristics, the first cases of FP in wild-collected pregnant females and their offspring of two closely related species of North American pitviper snakes—the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Our findings support the view that non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis, such as FP, are more common in squamates than previously thought. With this confirmation, FP can no longer be viewed as a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution. Future research on FP in squamate reptiles related to proximate control of induction, reproductive competence of parthenogens and population genetics modelling is warranted. PMID:22977071

  14. Cilia in vertebrate left-right patterning.

    PubMed

    Dasgupta, Agnik; Amack, Jeffrey D

    2016-12-19

    Understanding how left-right (LR) asymmetry is generated in vertebrate embryos is an important problem in developmental biology. In humans, a failure to align the left and right sides of cardiovascular and/or gastrointestinal systems often results in birth defects. Evidence from patients and animal models has implicated cilia in the process of left-right patterning. Here, we review the proposed functions for cilia in establishing LR asymmetry, which include creating transient leftward fluid flows in an embryonic 'left-right organizer'. These flows direct asymmetric activation of a conserved Nodal (TGFβ) signalling pathway that guides asymmetric morphogenesis of developing organs. We discuss the leading hypotheses for how cilia-generated asymmetric fluid flows are translated into asymmetric molecular signals. We also discuss emerging mechanisms that control the subcellular positioning of cilia and the cellular architecture of the left-right organizer, both of which are critical for effective cilia function during left-right patterning. Finally, using mosaic cell-labelling and time-lapse imaging in the zebrafish embryo, we provide new evidence that precursor cells maintain their relative positions as they give rise to the ciliated left-right organizer. This suggests the possibility that these cells acquire left-right positional information prior to the appearance of cilia.This article is part of the themed issue 'Provocative questions in left-right asymmetry'.

  15. Vertebrate Host Susceptibility to Heartland Virus

    PubMed Central

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M.; Calvert, Amanda E.; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Tom; Bird, Brian H.; Bowen, Richard A.; Muehlenbachs, Atis; Zaki, Sherif R.

    2016-01-01

    Heartland virus (HRTV) is a recently described phlebovirus initially isolated in 2009 from 2 humans who had leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. Serologic assessment of domestic and wild animal populations near the residence of 1 of these persons showed high exposure rates to raccoons, white-tailed deer, and horses. To our knowledge, no laboratory-based assessments of viremic potential of animals infected with HRTV have been performed. We experimentally inoculated several vertebrates (raccoons, goats, chickens, rabbits, hamsters, C57BL/6 mice, and interferon-α/β/γ receptor–deficient [Ag129]) mice with this virus. All animals showed immune responses against HRTV after primary or secondary exposure. However, neutralizing antibody responses were limited. Only Ag129 mice showed detectable viremia and associated illness and death, which were dose dependent. Ag129 mice also showed development of mean peak viral antibody titers >8 log10 PFU/mL, hemorrhagic hepatic lesions, splenomegaly, and large amounts of HRTV antigen in mononuclear cells and hematopoietic cells in the spleen. PMID:27869591

  16. Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease: Vertebrate Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yunjong; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2012-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex genetic disorder that is associated with environmental risk factors and aging. Vertebrate genetic models, especially mice, have aided the study of autosomal-dominant and autosomal-recessive PD. Mice are capable of showing a broad range of phenotypes and, coupled with their conserved genetic and anatomical structures, provide unparalleled molecular and pathological tools to model human disease. These models used in combination with aging and PD-associated toxins have expanded our understanding of PD pathogenesis. Attempts to refine PD animal models using conditional approaches have yielded in vivo nigrostriatal degeneration that is instructive in ordering pathogenic signaling and in developing therapeutic strategies to cure or halt the disease. Here, we provide an overview of the generation and characterization of transgenic and knockout mice used to study PD followed by a review of the molecular insights that have been gleaned from current PD mouse models. Finally, potential approaches to refine and improve current models are discussed. PMID:22960626

  17. Evolution and development of the vertebrate ear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.

    2001-01-01

    This review outlines major aspects of development and evolution of the ear, specifically addressing issues of cell fate commitment and the emerging molecular governance of these decisions. Available data support the notion of homology of subsets of mechanosensors across phyla (proprioreceptive mechanosensory neurons in insects, hair cells in vertebrates). It is argued that this conservation is primarily related to the specific transducing environment needed to achieve mechanosensation. Achieving this requires highly conserved transcription factors that regulate the expression of the relevant structural genes for mechanosensory transduction. While conserved at the level of some cell fate assignment genes (atonal and its mammalian homologue), the ear has also radically reorganized its development by implementing genes used for cell fate assignment in other parts of the developing nervous systems (e.g., neurogenin 1) and by evolving novel sets of genes specifically associated with the novel formation of sensory neurons that contact hair cells (neurotrophins and their receptors). Numerous genes have been identified that regulate morphogenesis, but there is only one common feature that emerges at the moment: the ear appears to have co-opted genes from a large variety of other parts of the developing body (forebrain, limbs, kidneys) and establishes, in combination with existing transcription factors, an environment in which those genes govern novel, ear-related morphogenetic aspects. The ear thus represents a unique mix of highly conserved developmental elements combined with co-opted and newly evolved developmental elements.

  18. Microtubules, polarity and vertebrate neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cearns, Michael D; Escuin, Sarah; Alexandre, Paula; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2016-07-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are key cellular components, long known to participate in morphogenetic events that shape the developing embryo. However, the links between the cellular functions of MTs, their effects on cell shape and polarity, and their role in large-scale morphogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, these relationships were examined with respect to two strategies for generating the vertebrate neural tube: bending and closure of the mammalian neural plate; and cavitation of the teleost neural rod. The latter process has been compared with 'secondary' neurulation that generates the caudal spinal cord in mammals. MTs align along the apico-basal axis of the mammalian neuroepithelium early in neural tube closure, participating functionally in interkinetic nuclear migration, which indirectly impacts on cell shape. Whether MTs play other functional roles in mammalian neurulation remains unclear. In the zebrafish, MTs are important for defining the neural rod midline prior to its cavitation, both by localizing apical proteins at the tissue midline and by orienting cell division through a mirror-symmetric MT apparatus that helps to further define the medial localization of apical polarity proteins. Par proteins have been implicated in centrosome positioning in neuroepithelia as well as in the control of polarized morphogenetic movements in the neural rod. Understanding of MT functions during early nervous system development has so far been limited, partly by techniques that fail to distinguish 'cause' from 'effect'. Future developments will likely rely on novel ways to selectively impair MT function in order to investigate the roles they play.

  19. Facultative parthenogenesis discovered in wild vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Booth, Warren; Smith, Charles F; Eskridge, Pamela H; Hoss, Shannon K; Mendelson, Joseph R; Schuett, Gordon W

    2012-12-23

    Facultative parthenogenesis (FP)-asexual reproduction by bisexual species-has been documented in a variety of multi-cellular organisms but only recently in snakes, varanid lizards, birds and sharks. Unlike the approximately 80 taxa of unisexual reptiles, amphibians and fishes that exist in nature, FP has yet to be documented in the wild. Based on captive documentation, it appears that FP is widespread in squamate reptiles (snakes, lizards and amphisbaenians), and its occurrence in nature seems inevitable, yet the task of detecting FP in wild individuals has been deemed formidable. Here we show, using microsatellite DNA genotyping and litter characteristics, the first cases of FP in wild-collected pregnant females and their offspring of two closely related species of North American pitviper snakes-the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Our findings support the view that non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis, such as FP, are more common in squamates than previously thought. With this confirmation, FP can no longer be viewed as a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution. Future research on FP in squamate reptiles related to proximate control of induction, reproductive competence of parthenogens and population genetics modelling is warranted.

  20. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

  1. A sewing needle in contact with the cervical dura mater and vertebral artery

    PubMed Central

    Fumihiro, Arizumi; Shinichi, Inoue; Toshiya, Tachibana; Keishi, Maruo; Shinichi, Yoshiya

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Rationale: Although cervical foreign bodies have been previously reported, the report of a needle in the cervical spinal cord is rare. Herein, we report a rare case of a sewing needle in contact with the cervical dura mater and vertebral artery. Patients concerns: A 47-year-old man presented with discomfort in the posterior region of his neck. Approximately 2 years before admission, he suffered a stiff neck and had stabbed the posterior region of his neck with a sewing needle. The sewing needle had deeply entered his neck, and he left it alone because it could not be identified or removed. On examination, the patient had a full range of neck motion, but was experiencing discomfort. Cervical spine radiographs revealed a metal foreign body oriented from between the C2 and C3 spinous processes to the anterior cervical spine. Diagnosis: Computed tomography (CT) myelogram and CT angiogram revealed that the sewing needle was penetrating into the foramen transversarium and was in contact with the cervical dura mater and the right vertebral artery. Interventions: The sewing needle was removed under general anesthesia. Outcomes: Cerebrospinal fluid leakage occurred immediately after removal of the needle. Symptoms of discomfort disappeared without any complications. Lessons: This is the first report of a sewing needle that entered the cervical spinal canal while avoiding the cervical spine and the vertebral artery. Although no symptoms occurred for nearly 2 years, surgical removal of a foreign body near the cervical spinal cord and vertebral artery should be performed as soon as possible, before the occurrence of symptoms. PMID:28033295

  2. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  3. The retinal mosaics of opsin expression in invertebrates and vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Rister, Jens; Desplan, Claude

    2011-01-01

    Colour vision is found in many invertebrate and vertebrate species. It is the ability to discriminate objects based on the wavelength of emitted light independent of intensity. As it requires the comparison of at least two photoreceptor types with different spectral sensitivities, this process is often mediated by a mosaic made of several photoreceptor types. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the formation of retinal mosaics and the regulation of photopigment (opsin) expression in the fly, mouse and human retina. Despite distinct evolutionary origins, as well as major differences in morphology and phototransduction machineries, there are significant similarities in the stepwise cell-fate decisions that lead from progenitor cells to terminally differentiated photoreceptors that express a particular opsin. Common themes include i) the use of binary transcriptional switches that distinguish classes of photoreceptors, ii) the use of gradients of signaling molecules for regional specializations, iii) stochastic choices that pattern the retina and iv) the use of permissive factors with multiple roles in different photoreceptor types. PMID:21557510

  4. Wnt proteins can direct planar cell polarity in vertebrate ectoderm

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Chih-Wen; Sokol, Sergei Y

    2016-01-01

    The coordinated orientation of cells across the tissue plane, known as planar cell polarity (PCP), is manifested by the segregation of core PCP proteins to different sides of the cell. Secreted Wnt ligands are involved in many PCP-dependent processes, yet whether they act as polarity cues has been controversial. We show that in Xenopus early ectoderm, the Prickle3/Vangl2 complex was polarized to anterior cell edges and this polarity was disrupted by several Wnt antagonists. In midgastrula embryos, Wnt5a, Wnt11, and Wnt11b, but not Wnt3a, acted across many cell diameters to orient Prickle3/Vangl2 complexes away from their sources regardless of their positions relative to the body axis. The planar polarity of endogenous Vangl2 in the neuroectoderm was similarly redirected by an ectopic Wnt source and disrupted after depletion of Wnt11b in the presumptive posterior region of the embryo. These observations provide evidence for the instructive role of Wnt ligands in vertebrate PCP. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16463.001 PMID:27658614

  5. Checklist of the terrestrial vertebrates of the Guiana Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2005-01-01

    Distributions are given for 1850 species of terrestrial vertebrates in the Guiana Shield region of northeastern South America, with introductory text by the authors of each section. Distributions cover the three Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana), and the states of the Venezuelan Guayna (Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro), and in some cases the states of the Brazilian portion of the Guiana Shield (Amazonas, Roraima, Para, and Amapa), and the Colombian portion of the Guiana Shield. The first section is a checklist of amphibians of the Guiana Shield, by J. Celsa Sefiaris and Ross MacCulloch, detailing the distribution of 269 species. The second section is a checklist of the reptiles of the Guiana Shield by Teresa C. S. de Avila Pires, detailing the distribution of 295 species. The third section is a checklist of the birds of the Guiana Shield, by Chris Milensky, Wiltshire Hinds, Alexandre Aleixo, and Maria de Fatima C. Lima, detailing the distribution of 1004 species. The fourth section is a checklist of the mammals of the Guiana Shield, by Burton K. Lim, Mark D. Engstrom, and Jose Ochoa G., detailing the distribution of 282 species.

  6. DiGeorge syndrome with vertebral and rib dysplasia

    SciTech Connect

    Puno-Cocuzza, C.; David, K.; Kogekar, N.

    1994-09-01

    DiGeorge syndrome results from defect in the development of the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches, and is characterized by conotruncal heart defects, aplasia or hypoplasia of thymus and parathyroid glands resulting in immune deficiency and hypocalcemia. Other associated abnormalities include renal, thyroid and diaphragmatic defects, oral clefting, etc. Etiologically, it is heterogeneous, with a microdeletion of 22q11 present in over 80% of cases. Our patient was born following a pregnancy complicated by insulin dependent gestational diabetes. There was truncus arteriosus type 2, absense of thymic shadow on CXR with severe deficiency of T cell function, and persistent hypocalcemia with low parathormone. Right kidney was absent. Dysplastic ribs including fused and bifid ribs were noted. Hypoplastic vertebrae and hemivertebrae were present through thoracic and lumbar regions. Chromosome analysis was normal, and metaphase FISH analysis with probe N25 representing locus D22S75 did not show any deletion of 22q11.2. The skeletal findings similar to these have not been previously reported in association with DiGeorge syndrome to our knowledge. Vertebral and rib abnormalities are known to occur with pregestational maternal diabetes. Maternal diabetes has also been suggested to be a possible etiology in a very small proportion of DiGeorge syndrome cases. It is possible that these findings occured together on account of gestational maternal diabetes in our case.

  7. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions.

  8. Evolution of vertebrates: a view from the crest

    PubMed Central

    Bronner, Marianne E.

    2016-01-01

    The origin of vertebrates was accompanied by the advent of a novel cell type: the neural crest. Emerging from the central nervous system, these cells migrate to diverse locations and differentiate into numerous derivatives. By coupling morphological and gene regulatory information from vertebrates and other chordates, we describe how addition of the neural crest specification program may have enabled cells at the neural plate border to acquire multipotency and migratory ability. Analyzing the topology of the neural crest gene regulatory network can serve as a useful template for understanding vertebrate evolution, including elaboration of neural crest derivatives. PMID:25903629

  9. Comprehensive management of symptomatic and aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Acosta, Frank L; Sanai, Nader; Chi, John H; Dowd, Christopher F; Chin, Cynthia; Tihan, Tarik; Chou, Dean; Weinstein, Philip R; Ames, Christopher P

    2008-01-01

    Conservative surgical strategies are appropriate for most symptomatic hemangiomas causing cord compression without instability or deformity. Even so, complete intralesional spondylectomy following embolization of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas with circumferential vertebral involvement can be safely accomplished. Such a spondylectomy can also prevent recurrence of hemangiomas. Transarterial embolization without decompression is an effective treatment for painful intraosseous hemangiomas. Vertebroplasty is useful for improving pain symptoms, especially when vertebral body compression fracture has occurred in patients without neurological deficit, but is less effective in providing long-term pain relief.

  10. Evolution of vertebrates as viewed from the crest.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephen A; Simoes-Costa, Marcos; Bronner, Marianne E

    2015-04-23

    The origin of vertebrates was accompanied by the advent of a novel cell type: the neural crest. Emerging from the central nervous system, these cells migrate to diverse locations and differentiate into numerous derivatives. By coupling morphological and gene regulatory information from vertebrates and other chordates, we describe how addition of the neural-crest-specification program may have enabled cells at the neural plate border to acquire multipotency and migratory ability. Analysis of the topology of the neural crest gene regulatory network can serve as a useful template for understanding vertebrate evolution, including elaboration of neural crest derivatives.

  11. Potential of vertebrate studies for assessing past climate variations

    SciTech Connect

    Livingston, S.D.

    1994-12-31

    Vertebrate remains are commonly recovered in the course of archaeological and paleontological investigations. They are routinely used as a source of data from which to reconstruct subsistence practices and environmental factors perceived as important to past people. But this source of information has not been recognized as relevant to estimation of late Quaternary climate changes in the Great Basin until recently. In this paper I summarize three ways that environmental information is encoded in prehistoric vertebrate assemblages and provide examples of evidence that vertebrates do reflect changes of interest for climatic studies.

  12. Amphioxus and ascidian Dmbx homeobox genes give clues to the vertebrate origins of midbrain development.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tokiharu; Holland, Peter W H

    2004-07-01

    The ancestral chordate neural tube had a tripartite structure, comprising anterior, midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) and posterior regions. The most anterior region encompasses both forebrain and midbrain in vertebrates. It is not clear when or how the distinction between these two functionally and developmentally distinct regions arose in evolution. Recently, we reported a mouse PRD-class homeobox gene, Dmbx1, expressed in the presumptive midbrain at early developmental stages, and the hindbrain at later stages, with exclusion from the MHB. This gene provides a route to investigate the evolution of midbrain development. We report the cloning, genomic structure, phylogeny and embryonic expression of Dmbx genes from amphioxus and from Ciona, representing the two most closely related lineages to the vertebrates. Our analyses show that Dmbx genes form a distinct, ancient, homeobox gene family, with highly conserved sequence and genomic organisation, albeit more divergent in Ciona. In amphioxus, no Dmbx expression is observed in the neural tube, supporting previous arguments that the MHB equivalent region has been secondarily modified in evolution. In Ciona, the CiDmbx gene is detected in neural cells caudal to Pax2/5/8-positive cells (MHB homologue), in the Hox-positive region, but, interestingly, not in any cells rostral to them. These results suggest that a midbrain homologue is missing in Ciona, and argue that midbrain development is a novelty that evolved specifically on the vertebrate lineage. We discuss the evolution of midbrain development in relation to the ancestry of the tripartite neural ground plan and the origin of the MHB organiser.

  13. Early Vertebrate Evolution of the Host Restriction Factor Tetherin

    PubMed Central

    Heusinger, Elena; Kluge, Silvia F.; Kirchhoff, Frank

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Tetherin is an interferon-inducible restriction factor targeting a broad range of enveloped viruses. Its antiviral activity depends on an unusual topology comprising an N-terminal transmembrane domain (TMD) followed by an extracellular coiled-coil region and a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. One of the two membrane anchors is inserted into assembling virions, while the other remains in the plasma membrane of the infected cell. Thus, tetherin entraps budding viruses by physically bridging viral and cellular membranes. Although tetherin restricts the release of a large variety of diverse human and animal viruses, only mammalian orthologs have been described to date. Here, we examined the evolutionary origin of this protein and demonstrate that tetherin orthologs are also found in fish, reptiles, and birds. Notably, alligator tetherin efficiently blocks the release of retroviral particles. Thus, tetherin emerged early during vertebrate evolution and acquired its antiviral activity before the mammal/reptile divergence. Although there is only limited sequence homology, all orthologs share the typical topology. Two unrelated proteins of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum also adopt a tetherin-like configuration with an N-terminal TMD and a C-terminal GPI anchor. However, these proteins showed no evidence for convergent evolution and failed to inhibit virion release. In summary, our findings demonstrate that tetherin emerged at least 450 million years ago and is more widespread than previously anticipated. The early evolution of antiviral activity together with the high topology conservation but low sequence homology suggests that restriction of virus release is the primary function of tetherin. IMPORTANCE The continuous arms race with viruses has driven the evolution of a variety of cell-intrinsic immunity factors that inhibit different steps of the viral replication cycle. One of these restriction factors, tetherin, inhibits the

  14. Design principles of insect and vertebrate visual systems.

    PubMed

    Sanes, Joshua R; Zipursky, S Lawrence

    2010-04-15

    A century ago, Cajal noted striking similarities between the neural circuits that underlie vision in vertebrates and flies. Over the past few decades, structural and functional studies have provided strong support for Cajal's view. In parallel, genetic studies have revealed some common molecular mechanisms controlling development of vertebrate and fly visual systems and suggested that they share a common evolutionary origin. Here, we review these shared features, focusing on the first several layers-retina, optic tectum (superior colliculus), and lateral geniculate nucleus in vertebrates; and retina, lamina, and medulla in fly. We argue that vertebrate and fly visual circuits utilize common design principles and that taking advantage of this phylogenetic conservation will speed progress in elucidating both functional strategies and developmental mechanisms, as has already occurred in other areas of neurobiology ranging from electrical signaling and synaptic plasticity to neurogenesis and axon guidance.

  15. A Common Fold Mediates Vertebrate Defense and Bacterial Attack

    SciTech Connect

    Rosado, Carlos J.; Buckle, Ashley M.; Law, Ruby H.P.; Butcher, Rebecca E.; Kan, Wan-Ting; Bird, Catherina H.; Ung, Kheng; Browne, Kylie A.; Baran, Katherine; Bashtannyk-Puhalovich, Tanya A.; Faux, Noel G.; Wong, Wilson; Porter, Corrine J.; Pike, Robert N.; Ellisdon, Andrew M.; Pearce, Mary C.; Bottomley, Stephen P.; Emsley, Jonas; Smith, A. Ian; Rossjohn, Jamie; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Voskoboinik, Ilia; Trapani, Joseph A.; Bird, Phillip I.; Dunstone, Michelle A.; Whisstock, James C.

    2008-10-02

    Proteins containing membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domains play important roles in vertebrate immunity, embryonic development, and neural-cell migration. In vertebrates, the ninth component of complement and perforin form oligomeric pores that lyse bacteria and kill virus-infected cells, respectively. However, the mechanism of MACPF function is unknown. We determined the crystal structure of a bacterial MACPF protein, Plu-MACPF from Photorhabdus luminescens, to 2.0 angstrom resolution. The MACPF domain reveals structural similarity with poreforming cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) from Gram-positive bacteria. This suggests that lytic MACPF proteins may use a CDC-like mechanism to form pores and disrupt cell membranes. Sequence similarity between bacterial and vertebrate MACPF domains suggests that the fold of the CDCs, a family of proteins important for bacterial pathogenesis, is probably used by vertebrates for defense against infection.

  16. Clinical Differences Between Monomicrobial and Polymicrobial Vertebral Osteomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Issa, Kimona; Pourtaheri, Sina; Stewart, Tyler; Faloon, Michael; Sahai, Nikhil; Mease, Samuel; Sinha, Kumar; Hwang, Ki; Emami, Arash

    2016-11-11

    Little literature exists examining differences in presentation and outcomes between monomicrobial and polymicrobial vertebral infections. Seventy-nine patients treated for vertebral osteomyelitis between 2001 and 2011 were reviewed. Patients were divided into monomicrobial and polymicrobial cohorts based on type of infection. Various characteristics were compared between the 2 groups. The 26 patients with a polymicrobial infection were older and had a higher mortality rate, lower clearance of infection, larger infection, more vertebral instability, higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate at presentation, and longer mean length of stay. There were no significant differences in Oswestry Disability Index scores at final follow-up, but there were differences in presentation and clinical outcomes between monomicrobial and polymicrobial vertebral osteomyelitis. Patients may benefit from counseling regarding their disease type and potential prognosis. [Orthopedics. 201x; xx(x):xx-xx.].

  17. Experiment K307: Vertebral body strength of rat spinal columns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazarian, L. E.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of space flight on vertebral body bone strength excised were investigated. Comparative biomechanical investigations of vertebral body strength for flight, synchronous, and vivarium rats following spacecraft recovery (R+0), at R+6 and R+29 days post flight recovery are presented. Statistical analyses are presented for the mechanical properties of stiffness, ultimate load, displacement to ultimate load, and energy to ultimate load. At R+0 all of the above properties show that the vertebral body exhibits an increasing susceptibility to fracture. The reduction of bone strength is inhomogeneous and dependent on vertebral level. The R+6 recovery data was inconclusive since it varied above and below the R+0 data. At R+29 ultimate load values showed a statistically significant increase in bone strength approaching that of the vivarium or control group.

  18. A Creative Teacher's Innovative-Mind-Expanding Vertebrate Project Ideas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winters, Faye H.

    1981-01-01

    The article provides a collection of teaching ideas about vertebrate animals. Ideas include making a poem book about a group of animals, rhyming words with animal names, and finding animal names in a puzzle. (DB)

  19. DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF INSECT AND VERTEBRATE VISUAL SYSTEMS

    PubMed Central

    Sanes, Joshua R.; Zipursky, S. Lawrence

    2010-01-01

    A century ago, Cajal noted striking similarities between the neural circuits that underlie vision in vertebrates and flies. Over the past few decades, structural and functional studies have provided strong support for Cajal’s view. In parallel, genetic studies have revealed some common molecular mechanisms controlling development of vertebrate and fly visual systems and suggested that they share a common evolutionary origin. Here, we review these shared features, focusing on the first several layers - retina, optic tectum (superior colliculus) and lateral geniculate nucleus in vertebrates, and retina, lamina and medulla in fly. We argue that vertebrate and fly visual circuits utilize common design principles, and that taking advantage of this phylogenetic conservation will speed progress in elucidating both functional strategies and developmental mechanisms, as has already occurred in other areas of neurobiology ranging from electrical signaling and synaptic plasticity to neurogenesis and axon guidance. PMID:20399726

  20. Modified posterior vertebral column resection for Kümmell disease

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Feng-Yu; Huo, Li-Shuang; Liu, Sen; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Li-Jun; Yang, Da-Long; Ding, Wen-Yuan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Rationale: Kümmell's disease is defined as delayed traumatic vertebral collapse disease in which patients develop a kyphosis after asymptomatic minor spinal trauma. Both anterior approach and posterior approach have been reported, however, there is no standard treatment for Kümmell's disease. Patient concerns: We described a successful modified posterior vertebral column resection in a patient with Kümmell's disease. A 65-year-old woman reported persistent back pain for almost three months. Diagnoses: Kümmell's disease was diagnosed based on computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Interventions: Modified posterior vertebral column resection combined with short-segment fixation was designed to treat this disease. Outcomes: The procedure was successful without any complications. Patient reported that symptoms were obviously improved in one week after operation. Lessons: Modified posterior vertebral column resection combined with short-segment fixation is an effective treatment option for Kümmell's disease. PMID:28151882

  1. Case Study: Giant Cell Arteritis with Vertebral Artery Stenosis

    PubMed Central

    Daniel Chomlak, R.; Ghazanfari, Farshad; Datta, Mineesh

    2016-01-01

    In giant cell arteritis (GCA), involvement of the vertebral arteries is rare with reported rates of 3%–4% for ischemic events secondary to vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion for those patients with GCA. This case study describes a patient who initially presented with acute onset of vertigo but was also found to have transient, side-alternating upper limb neurological findings. While initial imaging showed no vascular abnormalities, it was not until GCA was eventually confirmed with a temporal artery biopsy that the initial scans were shown to have bilateral narrowing of the vertebral arteries. While rare, vertebral artery involvement is an important complication to consider in the setting of GCA due to the high rate of associated mortality, despite immunosuppressive therapy. PMID:27279753

  2. The 'Tully monster' is a vertebrate.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Victoria E; Saupe, Erin E; Lamsdell, James C; Tarhan, Lidya G; McMahon, Sean; Lidgard, Scott; Mayer, Paul; Whalen, Christopher D; Soriano, Carmen; Finney, Lydia; Vogt, Stefan; Clark, Elizabeth G; Anderson, Ross P; Petermann, Holger; Locatelli, Emma R; Briggs, Derek E G

    2016-04-28

    Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the 'problem of the problematica', particularly the 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309-307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years.

  3. Treatment of Ruptured Vertebral Artery Dissecting Aneurysms

    PubMed Central

    Hamasaki, Osamu; Ikawa, Fusao; Hidaka, Toshikazu; Kurokawa, Yasuharu; Yonezawa, Ushio

    2014-01-01

    Summary We evaluated the outcomes of endovascular or surgical treatment of ruptured vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms (VADAs), and investigated the relations between treatment complications and the development and location of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). We treated 14 patients (12 men, two women; mean age, 56.2 years) with ruptured VADAs between March 1999 and June 2012 at our hospital. Six and eight patients had Hunt and Hess grades 1-3 and 4-5, respectively. Twelve patients underwent internal endovascular trapping, one underwent proximal endovascular occlusion alone, and one underwent proximal endovascular occlusion in the acute stage and occipital artery (OA)-PICA anastomosis and surgical trapping in the chronic stage. The types of VADA based on their location relative to the ipsilateral PICA were distal, PICA-involved, and non-PICA in nine, two, and three patients, respectively. The types of PICA based on their development and location were bilateral anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA)-PICA, ipsilateral AICA-PICA, extradural, and intradural type in one, two, two, and nine patients, respectively. Two patients with high anatomical risk developed medullary infarction, but their midterm outcomes were better than in previous reports. The modified Rankin scale indicated grades 0-2, 3-5, and 6 in eight, three, and three patients, respectively. A good outcome is often obtained in the treatment of ruptured VADA using internal endovascular trapping, except in the PICA-involved type, even with high-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage. Treatment of the PICA-involved type is controversial. The anatomical location and development of PICA may be predicted by complications with postoperative medullary infarction. PMID:24976093

  4. Vertebrate head development: segmentation, novelties, and homology.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Lennart; Ericsson, Rolf; Cerny, Robert

    2005-11-01

    Vertebrate head development is a classical topic lately invigorated by methodological as well as conceptual advances. In contrast to the classical segmentalist views going back to idealistic morphology, the head is now seen not as simply an extension of the trunk, but as a structure patterned by different mechanisms and tissues. Whereas the trunk paraxial mesoderm imposes its segmental pattern on adjacent tissues such as the neural crest derivatives, in the head the neural crest cells carry pattern information needed for proper morphogenesis of mesodermal derivatives, such as the cranial muscles. Neural crest cells make connective tissue components which attach the muscle fiber to the skeletal elements. These crest cells take their origin from the same visceral arch as the muscle cells, even when the skeletal elements to which the muscle attaches are from another arch. The neural crest itself receives important patterning influences from the pharyngeal endoderm. The origin of jaws can be seen as an exaptation in which a heterotopic shift of the expression domains of regulatory genes was a necessary step that enabled this key innovation. The jaws are patterned by Dlx genes expressed in a nested pattern along the proximo-distal axis, analogous to the anterior-posterior specification governed by Hox genes. Knocking out Dlx 5 and 6 transforms the lower jaw homeotically into an upper jaw. New data indicate that both upper and lower jaw cartilages are derived from one, common anlage traditionally labelled the "mandibular" condensation, and that the "maxillary" condensation gives rise to other structures such as the trabecula. We propose that the main contribution from evolutionary developmental biology to solving homology questions lies in deepening our biological understanding of characters and character states.

  5. Transradial approach for vertebral artery stenting

    PubMed Central

    Tekieli, Łukasz; Kabłak-Ziembicka, Anna; Paluszek, Piotr; Trystuła, Mariusz; Wójcik-Pędziwiatr, Magdalena; Machnik, Roman; Pieniążek, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Introductuion Symptomatic severe vertebral artery (VA) stenosis may be treated safely with stent supported angioplasty via femoral access. There is limited clinical data on transradial approach for VA angioplasty in case of peripheral artery disease. Aim To evaluate the safety and efficacy of transradial angioplasty of symptomatic VA stenosis. Material and methods Fifteen patients (age 66 ±7.4 years, 73% men, with VA > 80% stenosis, 11 right-side, all symptomatic from posterior circulation (history of stroke, TIA, or chronic ischaemia symptoms)) with peripheral artery disease (PAD) or unsuccessful attempt via femoral approach were scheduled for VA angioplasty by radial access. Clinical and duplex ultrasound (DUS) follow-up were performed before discharge and 1, 12, and 24 months after VA angioplasty. Results The technical success rate was 100%. In all cases VA angioplasty was performed with the use of single balloon-mounted stent (9 bare metal stents, 6 drug-eluting stents). The mean NASCET VA stenosis was reduced from 85.3% to 5.3% (p < 0.001). No periprocedural death, stroke, myocardial infarction, or transient ischaemic attack occurred. During 24-months follow-up, in 12 of 15 patients chronic ischaemia symptoms release was observed, and no new acute ischaemic neurological symptoms were diagnosed in all patients. One patient died 20 months after intervention from unknown causes. There was one symptomatic borderline VA in-stent stenosis 12 months after angioplasty. Conclusions Transradial VA stenting may be a very effective and safe procedure, and it may constitute an alternative to the femoral approach in patients with symptomatic VA stenosis. PMID:25848368

  6. Vertebrate phylogeny of hydrogen sulfide vasoactivity.

    PubMed

    Dombkowski, Ryan A; Russell, Michael J; Schulman, Alexis A; Doellman, Meredith M; Olson, Kenneth R

    2005-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) is a recently identified endogenous vasodilator in mammals. In steelhead/rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Osteichthyes), H(2)S produces both dose-dependent dilation and a unique dose-dependent constriction. In this study, we examined H(2)S vasoactivity in all vertebrate classes to determine whether H(2)S is universally vasoactive and to identify phylogenetic and/or environmental trends. H(2)S was generated from NaHS and examined in unstimulated and precontracted systemic and, when applicable, pulmonary arteries (PA) from Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stouti, Agnatha), sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus, Agnatha), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus milberti, Chondrichthyes), marine toad (Bufo marinus, Amphibia), American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, Reptilia), Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus, Aves), and white rat (Rattus rattus, Mammalia). In otherwise unstimulated vessels, NaHS produced 1) a dose-dependent relaxation in Pacific hagfish dorsal aorta; 2) a dose-dependent contraction in sea lamprey dorsal aorta, marine toad aorta, alligator aorta and PA, duck aorta, and rat thoracic aorta; 3) a threshold relaxation in shark ventral aorta, dorsal aorta, and afferent branchial artery; and 4) a multiphasic contraction-relaxation-contraction in the marine toad PA, duck PA, and rat PA. Precontraction of these vessels with another agonist did not affect the general pattern of NaHS vasoactivity with the exception of the rat aorta, where relaxation was now dominant. These results show that H(2)S is a phylogenetically ancient and versatile vasoregulatory molecule that appears to have been opportunistically engaged to suit both organ-specific and species-specific homeostatic requirements.

  7. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc).

  8. Predicting chemical impacts on vertebrate endocrine systems.

    PubMed

    Nichols, John W; Breen, Miyuki; Denver, Robert J; Distefano, Joseph J; Edwards, Jeremy S; Hoke, Robert A; Volz, David C; Zhang, Xiaowei

    2011-01-01

    Animals have evolved diverse protective mechanisms for responding to toxic chemicals of both natural and anthropogenic origin. From a governmental regulatory perspective, these protective responses complicate efforts to establish acceptable levels of chemical exposure. To explore this issue, we considered vertebrate endocrine systems as potential targets for environmental contaminants. Using the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT), hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG), and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes as case examples, we identified features of these systems that allow them to accommodate and recover from chemical insults. In doing so, a distinction was made between effects on adults and those on developing organisms. This distinction was required because endocrine system disruption in early life stages may alter development of organs and organ systems, resulting in permanent changes in phenotypic expression later in life. Risk assessments of chemicals that impact highly regulated systems must consider the dynamics of these systems in relation to complex environmental exposures. A largely unanswered question is whether successful accommodation to a toxic insult exerts a fitness cost on individual animals, resulting in adverse consequences for populations. Mechanistically based mathematical models of endocrine systems provide a means for better understanding accommodation and recovery. In the short term, these models can be used to design experiments and interpret study findings. Over the long term, a set of validated models could be used to extrapolate limited in vitro and in vivo testing data to a broader range of untested chemicals, species, and exposure scenarios. With appropriate modification, Tier 2 assays developed in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program could be used to assess the potential for accommodation and recovery and inform the development of mechanistically based models.

  9. Microtubules, polarity and vertebrate neural tube morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cearns, Michael D.; Escuin, Sarah; Alexandre, Paula; Greene, Nicholas D. E.; Copp, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules are key cellular components, long known to participate in morphogenetic events that shape the developing embryo. However, the links between the cellular functions of microtubules, their effects on cell shape and polarity and their role in large-scale morphogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, we examine these relationships with respect to two strategies for generating the vertebrate neural tube: bending and closure of the mammalian neural plate, and cavitation of the teleost neural rod. The latter process has been compared to ‘secondary’ neurulation that generates the caudal spinal cord in mammals. Microtubules align along the apico-basal axis of the mammalian neuroepithelium early in neural tube closure, participating functionally in interkinetic nuclear migration which indirectly impacts on cell shape. Whether microtubules play other functional roles in mammalian neurulation remains unclear. In the zebrafish, microtubules are important for defining the neural rod midline prior to its cavitation, both by localizing apical proteins at the tissue midline and by orienting cell division through a mirror-symmetric microtubule apparatus that helps to further define the medial localization of apical polarity proteins. Par proteins have been implicated in centrosome positioning in neuroepithelia as well as in the control of polarized morphogenetic movements in the neural rod. Understanding of microtubule functions during early nervous system development has so far been limited, partly by techniques that fail to distinguish ‘cause’ from ‘effect’. Future developments will likely rely on novel ways to selectively impair microtubule function in order to investigate the roles they play. PMID:27025884

  10. Catalog of microRNA seed polymorphisms in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Zorc, Minja; Skok, Dasa Jevsinek; Godnic, Irena; Calin, George Adrian; Horvat, Simon; Jiang, Zhihua; Dovc, Peter; Kunej, Tanja

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNA that plays an important role in posttranscriptional regulation of mRNA. Evidence has shown that miRNA gene variability might interfere with its function resulting in phenotypic variation and disease susceptibility. A major role in miRNA target recognition is ascribed to complementarity with the miRNA seed region that can be affected by polymorphisms. In the present study, we developed an online tool for the detection of miRNA polymorphisms (miRNA SNiPer) in vertebrates (http://www.integratomics-time.com/miRNA-SNiPer) and generated a catalog of miRNA seed region polymorphisms (miR-seed-SNPs) consisting of 149 SNPs in six species. Although a majority of detected polymorphisms were due to point mutations, two consecutive nucleotide substitutions (double nucleotide polymorphisms, DNPs) were also identified in nine miRNAs. We determined that miR-SNPs are frequently located within the quantitative trait loci (QTL), chromosome fragile sites, and cancer susceptibility loci, indicating their potential role in the genetic control of various complex traits. To test this further, we performed an association analysis between the mmu-miR-717 seed SNP rs30372501, which is polymorphic in a large number of standard inbred strains, and all phenotypic traits in these strains deposited in the Mouse Phenome Database. Analysis showed a significant association between the mmu-miR-717 seed SNP and a diverse array of traits including behavior, blood-clinical chemistry, body weight size and growth, and immune system suggesting that seed SNPs can indeed have major pleiotropic effects. The bioinformatics analyses, data and tools developed in the present study can serve researchers as a starting point in testing more targeted hypotheses and designing experiments using optimal species or strains for further mechanistic studies.

  11. Functionally conserved enhancers with divergent sequences in distant vertebrates

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Song; Oksenberg, Nir; Takayama, Sachiko; ...

    2015-10-30

    To examine the contributions of sequence and function conservation in the evolution of enhancers, we systematically identified enhancers whose sequences are not conserved among distant groups of vertebrate species, but have homologous function and are likely to be derived from a common ancestral sequence. In conclusion, our approach combined comparative genomics and epigenomics to identify potential enhancer sequences in the genomes of three groups of distantly related vertebrate species.

  12. Spontaneous Bilateral Vertebral Artery Dissection During a Basketball Game

    PubMed Central

    Mas Rodriguez, Manuel F.; Berrios, Rafael Arias; Ramos, Edwardo

    2016-01-01

    Spontaneous vertebral artery dissection accounts for 2% of all ischemic strokes and can occur as a consequence of sports events. We present an unusual case of spontaneous bilateral vertebral artery dissection in a 30-year-old male patient during a basketball game. He developed severe dysphagia, right hemiparesis, and balance dysfunction. We also present a review of the pathology, diagnosis, symptomatology, treatment, prognosis, and occurrence of this entity in sports. PMID:26733592

  13. Programming and inheritance of parental DNA methylomes in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ci, Weimin; Liu, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    5-Methylcytosine (5mC) is a major epigenetic modification in animals. The programming and inheritance of parental DNA methylomes ensures the compatibility for totipotency and embryonic development. In vertebrates, the DNA methylomes of sperm and oocyte are significantly different. During early embryogenesis, the paternal and maternal methylomes will reset to the same state. Herein, we focus on recent advances in how offspring obtain the DNA methylation information from parents in vertebrates.

  14. Persistence, entrainment, and function of circadian rhythms in polar vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Williams, Cory T; Barnes, Brian M; Buck, C Loren

    2015-03-01

    Polar organisms must cope with an environment that periodically lacks the strongest time-giver, or zeitgeber, of circadian organization-robust, cyclical oscillations between light and darkness. We review the factors influencing the persistence of circadian rhythms in polar vertebrates when the light-dark cycle is absent, the likely mechanisms of entrainment that allow some polar vertebrates to remain synchronized with geophysical time, and the adaptive function of maintaining circadian rhythms in such environments.

  15. Diabetic foot complicated by vertebral osteomyelitis and epidural abscess

    PubMed Central

    Trombetta, Maddalena; Imbriaco, Chiara; Rigolon, Riccardo; Mingolla, Lucia; Zamboni, Federica; Dal Molin, Francesca; Cioccoloni, Dario; Sanga, Viola; Bruti, Massimiliano; Brocco, Enrico; Conti, Michela; Ravenna, Giorgio; Perrone, Fabrizia; Stoico, Vincenzo; Bonora, Enzo

    2016-01-01

    Summary Vertebral osteomyelitis (or spondylodiscitis) is steadily increasing in Western countries and often results from hematogenous seeding, direct inoculation during spinal surgery, or contiguous spread from an infection in the adjacent soft tissue. We present the case of a 67-year-old white patient with type 2 diabetes who went to Hospital for high fever, back pain, and worsening of known infected ulcers in the left foot. Despite intravenous antibiotic treatment and surgical debridement of the foot infection, high fever and lower back pain continued. Bone biopsy and two consecutive blood cultures were positive for Staphylococcus aureus. A spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed, revealing serious osteomyelitis in L4 and L5 complicated by an epidural abscess. Contiguous or other distant focuses of infection were not identified. In this case, diabetic foot could be considered as a primary distant focus for vertebral osteomyelitis. Clinicians should consider vertebral osteomyelitis as a ‘possible’ diagnosis in patients with type 2 diabetes complicated by foot infection that is associated with fever and lower back pain. Learning points Vertebral osteomyelitis is increasing in Western countries, especially in patients with type 2 diabetes. The primary focus of infection is the genitourinary tract followed by skin, soft tissue, endocarditis, bursitis, septic arthritis, and intravascular access. Diabetic foot could be a rare primary focus of infection for vertebral osteomyelitis, and, however, vertebral osteomyelitis could be a serious, albeit rare, complication of diabetic foot. Clinicians should keep in mind the many potential complications of diabetic foot ulcerations and consider vertebral osteomyelitis as a “possible” diagnosis in patients with type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers associated with nonspecific symptoms such as lower back pain. Early diagnosis and correct management of vertebral osteomyelitis are crucial to improve clinical outcomes

  16. Amphioxus FGF signaling predicts the acquisition of vertebrate morphological traits

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Stephanie; Camasses, Alain; Somorjai, Ildiko; Belgacem, Mohamed R.; Chabrol, Olivier; Escande, Marie-Line; Pontarotti, Pierre; Escriva, Hector

    2011-01-01

    FGF signaling is one of the few cell–cell signaling pathways conserved among all metazoans. The diversity of FGF gene content among different phyla suggests that evolution of FGF signaling may have participated in generating the current variety of animal forms. Vertebrates possess the greatest number of FGF genes, the functional evolution of which may have been implicated in the acquisition of vertebrate-specific morphological traits. In this study, we have investigated the roles of the FGF signal during embryogenesis of the cephalochordate amphioxus, the best proxy for the chordate ancestor. We first isolate the full FGF gene complement and determine the evolutionary relationships between amphioxus and vertebrate FGFs via phylogenetic and synteny conservation analysis. Using pharmacological treatments, we inhibit the FGF signaling pathway in amphioxus embryos in different time windows. Our results show that the requirement for FGF signaling during gastrulation is a conserved character among chordates, whereas this signal is not necessary for neural induction in amphioxus, in contrast to what is known in vertebrates. We also show that FGF signal, acting through the MAPK pathway, is necessary for the formation of the most anterior somites in amphioxus, whereas more posterior somite formation is not FGF-dependent. This result leads us to propose that modification of the FGF signal function in the anterior paraxial mesoderm in an amphioxus-like vertebrate ancestor might have contributed to the loss of segmentation in the preotic paraxial mesoderm of the vertebrate head. PMID:21571634

  17. Ancient deuterostome origins of vertebrate brain signalling centres.

    PubMed

    Pani, Ariel M; Mullarkey, Erin E; Aronowicz, Jochanan; Assimacopoulos, Stavroula; Grove, Elizabeth A; Lowe, Christopher J

    2012-03-14

    Neuroectodermal signalling centres induce and pattern many novel vertebrate brain structures but are absent, or divergent, in invertebrate chordates. This has led to the idea that signalling-centre genetic programs were first assembled in stem vertebrates and potentially drove morphological innovations of the brain. However, this scenario presumes that extant cephalochordates accurately represent ancestral chordate characters, which has not been tested using close chordate outgroups. Here we report that genetic programs homologous to three vertebrate signalling centres-the anterior neural ridge, zona limitans intrathalamica and isthmic organizer-are present in the hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii. Fgf8/17/18 (a single gene homologous to vertebrate Fgf8, Fgf17 and Fgf18), sfrp1/5, hh and wnt1 are expressed in vertebrate-like arrangements in hemichordate ectoderm, and homologous genetic mechanisms regulate ectodermal patterning in both animals. We propose that these genetic programs were components of an unexpectedly complex, ancient genetic regulatory scaffold for deuterostome body patterning that degenerated in amphioxus and ascidians, but was retained to pattern divergent structures in hemichordates and vertebrates.

  18. The origin of conodonts and of vertebrate mineralized skeletons.

    PubMed

    Murdock, Duncan J E; Dong, Xi-Ping; Repetski, John E; Marone, Federica; Stampanoni, Marco; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2013-10-24

    Conodonts are an extinct group of jawless vertebrates whose tooth-like elements are the earliest instance of a mineralized skeleton in the vertebrate lineage, inspiring the 'inside-out' hypothesis that teeth evolved independently of the vertebrate dermal skeleton and before the origin of jaws. However, these propositions have been based on evidence from derived euconodonts. Here we test hypotheses of a paraconodont ancestry of euconodonts using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy to characterize and compare the microstructure of morphologically similar euconodont and paraconodont elements. Paraconodonts exhibit a range of grades of structural differentiation, including tissues and a pattern of growth common to euconodont basal bodies. The different grades of structural differentiation exhibited by paraconodonts demonstrate the stepwise acquisition of euconodont characters, resolving debate over the relationship between these two groups. By implication, the putative homology of euconodont crown tissue and vertebrate enamel must be rejected as these tissues have evolved independently and convergently. Thus, the precise ontogenetic, structural and topological similarities between conodont elements and vertebrate odontodes appear to be a remarkable instance of convergence. The last common ancestor of conodonts and jawed vertebrates probably lacked mineralized skeletal tissues. The hypothesis that teeth evolved before jaws and the inside-out hypothesis of dental evolution must be rejected; teeth seem to have evolved through the extension of odontogenic competence from the external dermis to internal epithelium soon after the origin of jaws.

  19. Audiological findings in patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum.

    PubMed

    Sleifer, Pricila; Gorsky, Natalya de Souza; Goetze, Thayse Bienert; Rosa, Rafael Fabiano Machado; Zen, Paulo Ricardo Gazzola

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum, also referred to as Goldenhar syndrome, is a condition characterized by alterations involving the development of the structures of the first and second branchial arches. The abnormalities primarily affect the face, the eyes, the spine, and the ears, and the auricular abnormalities are associated with possible hearing loss. Objective To analyze the audiological findings of patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum through liminal pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry test. Methods Cross-sectional study conducted on 10 patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum and clinical findings on at least two of the following areas: orocraniofacial, ocular, auricular, and vertebral. All patients underwent tonal and vocal hearing evaluations. Results Seven patients were male and three were female; all had ear abnormalities, and the right side was the most often affected. Conductive hearing loss was the most common (found in 10 ears), followed by sensorineural hearing loss (in five ears), with mixed hearing loss in only one ear. The impairment of the hearing loss ranged from mild to moderate, with one case of profound loss. Conclusions The results show a higher frequency of conductive hearing loss among individuals with the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum phenotype, especially moderate loss affecting the right side. Furthermore, research in auditory thresholds in the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum is important in speech therapy findings about the disease to facilitate early intervention for possible alterations.

  20. Audiological Findings in Patients with Oculo-Auriculo-Vertebral Spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Sleifer, Pricila; Gorsky, Natalya de Souza; Goetze, Thayse Bienert; Rosa, Rafael Fabiano Machado; Zen, Paulo Ricardo Gazzola

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum, also referred to as Goldenhar syndrome, is a condition characterized by alterations involving the development of the structures of the first and second branchial arches. The abnormalities primarily affect the face, the eyes, the spine, and the ears, and the auricular abnormalities are associated with possible hearing loss. Objective To analyze the audiological findings of patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum through liminal pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry test. Methods Cross-sectional study conducted on 10 patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum and clinical findings on at least two of the following areas: orocraniofacial, ocular, auricular, and vertebral. All patients underwent tonal and vocal hearing evaluations. Results Seven patients were male and three were female; all had ear abnormalities, and the right side was the most often affected. Conductive hearing loss was the most common (found in 10 ears), followed by sensorineural hearing loss (in five ears), with mixed hearing loss in only one ear. The impairment of the hearing loss ranged from mild to moderate, with one case of profound loss. Conclusions The results show a higher frequency of conductive hearing loss among individuals with the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum phenotype, especially moderate loss affecting the right side. Furthermore, research in auditory thresholds in the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum is important in speech therapy findings about the disease to facilitate early intervention for possible alterations. PMID:25992144

  1. The origin of conodonts and of vertebrate mineralized skeletons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murdock, Duncan J.E.; Dong, Xi-Ping; Repetski, John E.; Marone, Federica; Stampanoni, Marco; Donoghue, Philip C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Conodonts are an extinct group of jawless vertebrates whose tooth-like elements are the earliest instance of a mineralized skeleton in the vertebrate lineage, inspiring the ‘inside-out’ hypothesis that teeth evolved independently of the vertebrate dermal skeleton and before the origin of jaws. However, these propositions have been based on evidence from derived euconodonts. Here we test hypotheses of a paraconodont ancestry of euconodonts using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy to characterize and compare the microstructure of morphologically similar euconodont and paraconodont elements. Paraconodonts exhibit a range of grades of structural differentiation, including tissues and a pattern of growth common to euconodont basal bodies. The different grades of structural differentiation exhibited by paraconodonts demonstrate the stepwise acquisition of euconodont characters, resolving debate over the relationship between these two groups. By implication, the putative homology of euconodont crown tissue and vertebrate enamel must be rejected as these tissues have evolved independently and convergently. Thus, the precise ontogenetic, structural and topological similarities between conodont elements and vertebrate odontodes appear to be a remarkable instance of convergence. The last common ancestor of conodonts and jawed vertebrates probably lacked mineralized skeletal tissues. The hypothesis that teeth evolved before jaws and the inside-out hypothesis of dental evolution must be rejected; teeth seem to have evolved through the extension of odontogenic competence from the external dermis to internal epithelium soon after the origin of jaws.

  2. A central role for the notochord in vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Keynes, Roger; Tannahill, David

    2004-02-01

    The vertebrates are defined by their segmented vertebral column, and vertebral periodicity is thought to originate from embryonic segments, the somites. According to the widely accepted 'resegmentation' model, a single vertebra forms from the recombination of the anterior and posterior halves of two adjacent sclerotomes on both sides of the embryo. Although there is supporting evidence for this model in amniotes, it remains uncertain whether it applies to all vertebrates. To explore this, we have investigated vertebral patterning in the zebrafish. Surprisingly, we find that vertebral bodies (centra) arise by secretion of bone matrix from the notochord rather than somites; centra do not form via a cartilage intermediate stage, nor do they contain osteoblasts. Moreover, isolated, cultured notochords secrete bone matrix in vitro, and ablation of notochord cells at segmentally reiterated positions in vivo prevents the formation of centra. Analysis of fss mutant embryos, in which sclerotome segmentation is disrupted, shows that whereas neural arch segmentation is also disrupted, centrum development proceeds normally. These findings suggest that the notochord plays a key, perhaps ancient, role in the segmental patterning of vertebrae.

  3. Facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates: reproductive error or chance?

    PubMed

    Lampert, K P

    2008-01-01

    Parthenogenesis, the development of an embryo from a female gamete without any contribution of a male gamete, is very rare in vertebrates. Parthenogenetically reproducing species have, so far, only been found in the Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). Facultative parthenogenesis, switching between sexual and clonal reproduction, although quite common in invertebrates, e.g. Daphnia and aphids, seems to be even rarer in vertebrates. However, isolated cases of parthenogenetic development have been reported in all vertebrate groups. Facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates has only been found in captive animals but might simply have been overlooked in natural populations. Even though its evolutionary impact is hard to determine and very likely varies depending on the ploidy restoration mechanisms and sex-determining mechanisms involved, facultative parthenogenesis is already discussed in conservation biology and medical research. To raise interest for facultative parthenogenesis especially in evolutionary biology, I summarize the current knowledge about facultative parthenogenesis in the different vertebrate groups, introduce mechanisms of diploid oocyte formation and discuss the genetic consequences and potential evolutionary impact of facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates.

  4. Relationship between spinal osteoarthritis and vertebral fractures in men older than 50 years: data from the Camargo Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Pariente, Emilio; Olmos, José M; Landeras, Rosa; Nan, Daniel; González-Macías, Jesús; Hernández, José Luis

    2017-01-01

    Spinal osteoarthritis has been suggested as a risk factor for vertebral fractures. However, results are conflicting: most of the data are focused on the lumbar region, and referred to postmenopausal women, whereas data for men are scarce. The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between spinal osteoarthritis and vertebral fractures in men over 50 years of age. We conducted a cross-sectional study, nested in a prospective population-based cohort, including 507 community-dwelling men, 93 of them with at least one vertebral fracture. Vertebral fractures, osteophytosis, and disc space narrowing (DSN) were assessed by lateral thoracic and lumbar radiographs. Anthropometric, clinical, and densitometric variables were also analyzed. A multiple logistic regression model was performed. Eighty-five percent of vertebral fractures were located at the thoracic spine. Osteophytosis and DSN showed a bimodal distribution, with major frequency peaks at mid- and distal lumbar spine. The three distributions overlapped around the T9 vertebra. We did not find any relationship between lumbar osteoarthritis and vertebral fractures. Nevertheless, thoracic osteophytosis (OR, 1.84; 95 % CI, 1.05-3.17; p = 0.03) and DSN (OR, 2.52; 95 % CI, 1.43-4.46; p = 0.001) were found to be independently associated with prevalent vertebral fractures, after adjusting for confounders. Our results suggest a positive relationship between radiologic osteoarthritic changes at the thoracic spine and prevalent vertebral fractures in men more than 50 years of age. Osteoarthritis may act as a local risk factor, in addition to other mechanical factors, resulting in a greater propensity to fracture, especially at the mid-thoracic region.

  5. Cis-regulatory programs in the development and evolution of vertebrate paired appendages

    PubMed Central

    Gehrke, Andrew R.; Shubin, Neil H.

    2017-01-01

    Differential gene expression is the core of development, mediating the genetic changes necessary for determining cell identity. The regulation of gene activity by cis-acting elements (e.g., enhancers) is a crucial mechanism for determining differential gene activity by precise control of gene expression in embryonic space and time. Modifications to regulatory regions can have profound impacts on phenotype, and therefore developmental and evolutionary biologists have increasingly focused on elucidating the transcriptional control of genes that build and pattern body plans. Here, we trace the evolutionary history of transcriptional control of three loci key to vertebrate appendage development (Fgf8, Shh, and HoxD/A). Within and across these regulatory modules, we find both complex and flexible regulation in contrast with more fixed enhancers that appear unchanged over vast timescales of vertebrate evolution. The transcriptional control of vertebrate appendage development was likely already incredibly complex in the common ancestor of fish, implying that subtle changes to regulatory networks were more likely responsible for alterations in phenotype rather than the de novo addition of whole regulatory domains. Finally, we discuss the dangers of relying on inter-species transgenesis when testing enhancer function, and call for more controlled regulatory swap experiments when inferring the evolutionary history of enhancer elements. PMID:26783722

  6. Simultaneous Mendelian and clonal genome transmission in a sexually reproducing, all-triploid vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    Stöck, Matthias; Ustinova, Jana; Betto-Colliard, Caroline; Schartl, Manfred; Moritz, Craig; Perrin, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Meiosis in triploids faces the seemingly insuperable difficulty of dividing an odd number of chromosome sets by two. Triploid vertebrates usually circumvent this problem through either asexuality or some forms of hybridogenesis, including meiotic hybridogenesis that involve a reproductive community of different ploidy levels and genome composition. Batura toads (Bufo baturae; 3n = 33 chromosomes), however, present an all-triploid sexual reproduction. This hybrid species has two genome copies carrying a nucleolus-organizing region (NOR+) on chromosome 6, and a third copy without it (NOR−). Males only produce haploid NOR+ sperm, while ova are diploid, containing one NOR+ and one NOR− set. Here, we conduct sibship analyses with co-dominant microsatellite markers so as (i) to confirm the purely clonal and maternal transmission of the NOR− set, and (ii) to demonstrate Mendelian segregation and recombination of the NOR+ sets in both sexes. This new reproductive mode in vertebrates (‘pre-equalizing hybrid meiosis’) offers an ideal opportunity to study the evolution of non-recombining genomes. Elucidating the mechanisms that allow simultaneous transmission of two genomes, one of Mendelian, the other of clonal inheritance, might shed light on the general processes that regulate meiosis in vertebrates. PMID:21993502

  7. Deep learning for automatic localization, identification, and segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzani, Amin; Rasoulian, Abtin; Seitel, Alexander; Fels, Sidney; Rohling, Robert N.; Abolmaesumi, Purang

    2015-03-01

    This paper proposes an automatic method for vertebra localization, labeling, and segmentation in multi-slice Magnetic Resonance (MR) images. Prior work in this area on MR images mostly requires user interaction while our method is fully automatic. Cubic intensity-based features are extracted from image voxels. A deep learning approach is used for simultaneous localization and identification of vertebrae. The localized points are refined by local thresholding in the region of the detected vertebral column. Thereafter, a statistical multi-vertebrae model is initialized on the localized vertebrae. An iterative Expectation Maximization technique is used to register the vertebral body of the model to the image edges and obtain a segmentation of the lumbar vertebral bodies. The method is evaluated by applying to nine volumetric MR images of the spine. The results demonstrate 100% vertebra identification and a mean surface error of below 2.8 mm for 3D segmentation. Computation time is less than three minutes per high-resolution volumetric image.

  8. Two Rounds of Whole Genome Duplication in the AncestralVertebrate

    SciTech Connect

    Dehal, Paramvir; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-04-12

    The hypothesis that the relatively large and complex vertebrate genome was created by two ancient, whole genome duplications has been hotly debated, but remains unresolved. We reconstructed the evolutionary relationships of all gene families from the complete gene sets of a tunicate, fish, mouse, and human, then determined when each gene duplicated relative to the evolutionary tree of the organisms. We confirmed the results of earlier studies that there remains little signal of these events in numbers of duplicated genes, gene tree topology, or the number of genes per multigene family. However, when we plotted the genomic map positions of only the subset of paralogous genes that were duplicated prior to the fish-tetrapod split, their global physical organization provides unmistakable evidence of two distinct genome duplication events early in vertebrate evolution indicated by clear patterns of 4-way paralogous regions covering a large part of the human genome. Our results highlight the potential for these large-scale genomic events to have driven the evolutionary success of the vertebrate lineage.

  9. Bilateral apical vertebral derotation technique by vertebral column manipulation compared with vertebral coplanar alignment technique in the correction of lenke type 1 idiopathic scoliosis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Widely used rod rotation and translation techniques for idiopathic scoliosis (IS) are effective in correcting spinal coronal deformity. Bilateral apical vertebral derotation technique by vertebral column manipulation (VCM) and vertebral coplanar alignment (VCA) technique are two strategies for three-dimensional (3D) correction for IS. The purpose of this study is to compare the post-surgical results and technical features of the bilateral apical vertebral derotation technique by VCM against the VCA technique in patients with Lenke type 1 IS. Methods Forty-eight patients with Lenke type 1 IS were enrolled in the present prospective clinical assay. They were divided into groups A (bilateral apical vertebral derotation technique by VCM, n=24) and B (VCA technique, n=24). Radiographic parameters measured before and after surgery included the Cobb angle, thoracic kyphosis, and apical vertebral rotation. Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 scores were evaluated during the final follow-up. The differences in the demographics, surgical details, and radiographic measurements between the two groups were determined using a T test. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to evaluate the differences in the SRS-22 scores. A value of P<0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results In the coronal plane, a significant difference was found in the correction rate of the major curve (group A: 84.8%, group B: 78.4%; P=0.045) and in the Cincinnati Correction Index between two groups (group A: 2.21, group B: 1.98; P=0.047). In the sagittal plane, no difference was found in the postoperative thoracic kyphosis between the two groups (P=0.328). In the transverse plane, no difference was found between the two groups in the correction rates of the rotation angle sagittal (P=0.298), rib hump (P=0.934), apical vertebral body-to-rib ratio (P=0.988), or apical rib spread difference (P=0.184). Patients underwent follow up for an average of 21.9 and 22.2 months in groups A and B

  10. Interferon regulatory factor 10 (IRF10): Cloning in orange spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides, and evolutionary analysis in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bei; Jia, Qin Qin; Liang, Ying; Huang, Wen Shu; Nie, P

    2015-10-01

    IRF10 gene was cloned in orange spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides, and its expression was examined following poly(I:C) stimulation and bacterial infection. The cDNA sequence of grouper IRF10 contains an open reading frame of 1197 bp, flanked by 99 bp 5'-untranslated region and 480 bp 3'- untranslated region. Multiple alignments showed that the grouper IRF10 has a highly conserved DNA binding domain in the N terminus with characteristic motif containing five tryptophan residues. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of IRF10 was responsive to both poly(I:C) stimulation and Vibrio parahemolyticus infection, with a higher increase to poly(I:C), indicating an important role of IRF10 in host immune response during infection. A phyletic distribution of IRF members was also examined in vertebrates, and IRF10 was found in most lineages of vertebrates, not in modern primates and rodents. It is suggested that the first divergence of IRF members might have occurred before the evolutionary split of vertebrate and cephalochordates, producing ancestors of IRF (1/2/11) and IRF (4/8/9/10)[(3/7) (5/6)], and that the second and/or third divergence of IRF members occurred following the split, thus leading to the subsets of the IRF family in vertebrates.

  11. DNA Editing of LTR Retrotransposons Reveals the Impact of APOBECs on Vertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Knisbacher, Binyamin A.; Levanon, Erez Y.

    2016-01-01

    Long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR) are widespread in vertebrates and their dynamism facilitates genome evolution. However, these endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) must be restricted to maintain genomic stability. The APOBECs, a protein family that can edit C-to-U in DNA, do so by interfering with reverse transcription and hypermutating retrotransposon DNA. In some cases, a retrotransposon may integrate into the genome despite being hypermutated. Such an event introduces a unique sequence into the genome, increasing retrotransposon diversity and the probability of developing new function at the locus of insertion. The prevalence of this phenomenon and its effects on vertebrate genomes are still unclear. In this study, we screened ERV sequences in the genomes of 123 diverse species and identified hundreds of thousands of edited sites in multiple vertebrate lineages, including placental mammals, marsupials, and birds. Numerous edited ERVs carry high mutation loads, some with greater than 350 edited sites, profoundly damaging their open-reading frames. For many of the species studied, this is the first evidence that APOBECs are active players in their innate immune system. Unexpectedly, some birds and especially zebra finch and medium ground-finch (one of Darwin’s finches) are exceptionally enriched in DNA editing. We demonstrate that edited retrotransposons may be preferentially retained in active genomic regions, as reflected from their enrichment in genes, exons, promoters, and transcription start sites, thereby raising the probability of their exaptation for novel function. In conclusion, DNA editing of retrotransposons by APOBECs has a substantial role in vertebrate innate immunity and may boost genome evolution. PMID:26541172

  12. The interrelationship of estrogen receptor and GnRH in a Basal vertebrate, the sea lamprey.

    PubMed

    Sower, Stacia A; Baron, Michael P

    2011-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary system is considered to be a vertebrate innovation and seminal event that emerged prior to or during the differentiation of the ancestral agnathans. Lampreys are the earliest evolved vertebrates for which there is a demonstrated neuroendocrine system. Lampreys have three hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRHs; lGnRH-I, -II, and -III) and two and possibly three pituitary GnRH receptors involved in mediating reproductive processes. Estradiol is considered to be a major reproductive steroid in both male and female lampreys. The purpose of this study was to investigate estrogen receptor (ER) expression in the lamprey brain in adult sea lampreys. Expression of ER mRNA was confirmed in the adult lamprey brain using RT-PCR. Using digoxigenin (DIG)-labeled probes, ER expression was shown to yield moderate, but distinct reaction products in specific neuronal nuclei of the lamprey brain, including the olfactory lobe, hypothalamus, habenular area, and hindbrain. Expression of ER in the hypothalamic area of the brain provides evidence of potential interaction between estradiol and GnRH(s), and is consistent with previous evidence showing estrogen feedback on GnRH in adult lamprey brain. Earlier studies have reported that there is a close distribution of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD; GABA-synthesizing enzyme) and lamprey GnRH in the preoptic region in adult lampreys. The establishment of a direct estradiol-kisspeptin-GABA-GnRH interaction in lamprey has yet to be determined and will require future functional and co-localization studies. The phylogenetic position of lampreys as a basal vertebrate allows lampreys to be a basis for understanding the molecular evolution of the neuroendocrine system that arose in the vertebrates.

  13. Emergence of an Ancestral Glycoprotein Hormone in the Pituitary of the Sea Lamprey, a Basal Vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Sower, Stacia A; Decatur, Wayne A; Hausken, Krist N; Marquis, Timothy J; Barton, Shannon L; Gargan, James; Freamat, Mihael; Wilmot, Michael; Hollander, Lian; Hall, Jeffrey A; Nozaki, Masumi; Shpilman, Michal; Levavi-Sivan, Berta

    2015-08-01

    The gnathostome (jawed vertebrates) classical pituitary glycoprotein hormones, FSH, LH, and TSH, consist of a common α-subunit (GpA1) and unique β-subunits (Gpβ1, -2, and -3), whereas a recently identified pituitary glycoprotein hormone, thyrostimulin, consists of GpA2 and GpB5. This paper reports the identification, expression, and function of an ancestral, nonclassical, pituitary heterodimeric glycoprotein hormone (GpH) consisting of the thyrostimulin A2 subunit with the classical β-subunit in the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, a jawless basal vertebrate. Lamprey (l) GpA2, and lGpHβ were shown to form a heterodimer by coimmunoprecipitation of lGpA2 with FLAG-tagged lGpHβ after the overexpression in transiently transfected COS7 cells using a bipromoter vector. Dual-label fluorescent in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry showed the coexpression of individual subunits in the proximal pars distalis of the pituitary. GnRH-III (1μΜ) significantly increased the expression of lGpHβ and lGpA2 in in vitro pituitary culture. Recombinant lamprey GpH was constructed by tethering the N terminal of lGpA2 to the C terminal of lGpHβ with a linker region composed of six histidine residues followed by three glycine-serine repeats. This recombinant lamprey GpH activated the lamprey glycoprotein hormone receptor I as measured by increased cAMP/luciferase activity. These data are the first to demonstrate a functional, unique glycoprotein heterodimer that is not found in any other vertebrate. These data suggest an intermediate stage of the structure-function of the gonadotropin/thyroid-stimulating hormone in a basal vertebrate, leading to the emergence of the highly specialized gonadotropin hormones and thyroid stimulating hormones in gnathostomes.

  14. Implications of Scientific Collaboration Networks on Studies of Aquatic Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Salinero, María Celeste; Michalski, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region. We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80% took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the

  15. Distances from the atlantal segment of the vertebral artery to the midline in children.

    PubMed

    Tubbs, R Shane; Smyth, Matthew D; Wellons, John C; Oakes, W Jerry

    2003-12-01

    There are scant data in the literature regarding distances from the midline to the suboccipital segment of the vertebral artery, and to our knowledge, none addressing this measurement in the pediatric population. This study seeks to establish age-related distances (Y) from the laterally placed vertebral artery to the midline at the level of the posterior arch of the atlas in children. Measurements from the midline to the most medial portion of the vertebral artery at the level of the posterior arch of the atlas were made in 50 children who underwent CT imaging of the cervical spine. For all left sides, Y = 12-23 mm (mean 17 mm). For all right sides, Y = 10-25 mm (mean 17.5 mm). For girls, Y = 12-16 mm (mean 12.7 mm) for left sides and Y = 12-25 mm (mean 18.5 mm) for right sides. For boys, Y = 12-20 mm (mean 16 mm) for left sides and Y = 10-21 mm (mean 16.7 mm) for right sides. We have found that the most medial portion of the vertebral artery from the midpoint of the posterior arch of the atlas for all ages was approximately 17 and 17.5 mm for left and right sides, respectively. This distance was generally less for left sides, except in the 16-19 years age group. However, as a group, this distance did not vary more than 2.8 mm between left and right sides. These data should assist the neurosurgeon who operates in the suboccipital region in children.

  16. Transluminal angioplasty for arteriosclerotic disease of the distal vertebral and basilar arteries.

    PubMed Central

    Terada, T; Higashida, R T; Halbach, V V; Dowd, C F; Nakai, E; Yokote, H; Itakura, T; Hieshima, G B

    1996-01-01

    effective procedure to treat vertebrobasilar ischaemia secondary to high grade arteriosclerotic disease affecting either the distal vertebral or basilar artery regions that do not respond to medical treatment. Images PMID:8774399

  17. The nature of cumulative impacts on biotic diversity of wetland vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Larry D.

    1988-09-01

    There is no longer any doubt that cumulative impacts have important effects on wetland vertebrates. Interactions of species diversity and community structure produce a complex pattern in which environmental impacts can play a highly significant role. Various examples show how wetlands maintain the biotic diversity within and among vertebrate populations, and some of the ways that environmental perturbations can interact to reduce this diversity. The trophic and habitat pyramids are useful organizing concepts. Habitat fragmentation can have severe effects at all levels, reducing the usable range of the larger habitat generalists while threatening the genetic integrity of small, isolated populations. The complexity of trophic interactions, and the propensity, or necessity, of vertebrates to switch from one food source to another—something we know little about—makes using food chain support as a variable for predicting environmental impacts very questionable. Historical instances illustrate the effects of the accumulation of impacts on vertebrates. At present it is nearly impossible to predict the result of three or more different kinds of perturbations, although long-range effects can be observed. One case in point is waterfowl; while their ingestion of lead shot, harvesting by hunters during migration, and loss of habitat have caused waterfowl populations to decline, the proportional responsibility of these factors has not been determined. Further examples show multiplicative effects of similar actions, effects with long time lags, diffuse processes in the landscape that may have concentrated effects on a component subsystem, and a variety of other interactions of increasing complexity. Not only is more information needed at all levels; impacts must be assessed on a landscape or regional scale to produce informed management decisions. I conclude that a system of replicate wetland reserves that are allowed to interact naturally with the surrounding landscape will

  18. Implications of Scientific Collaboration Networks on Studies of Aquatic Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Salinero, María Celeste; Michalski, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region. We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80% took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the

  19. An experimental and morphometric test of the relationship between vertebral morphology and joint stiffness in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    PubMed

    Molnar, Julia L; Pierce, Stephanie E; Hutchinson, John R

    2014-03-01

    Despite their semi-aquatic mode of life, modern crocodylians use a wide range of terrestrial locomotor behaviours, including asymmetrical gaits otherwise only found in mammals. The key to these diverse abilities may lie in the axial skeleton. Correlations between vertebral morphology and both intervertebral joint stiffness and locomotor behaviour have been found in other animals, but the vertebral mechanics of crocodylians have not yet been experimentally and quantitatively tested. We measured the passive mechanics and morphology of the thoracolumbar vertebral column in Crocodylus niloticus in order to validate a method to infer intervertebral joint stiffness based on morphology. Passive stiffness of eight thoracic and lumbar joints was tested in dorsal extension, ventral flexion and mediolateral flexion using cadaveric specimens. Fifteen measurements that we deemed to be potential correlates of stiffness were taken from each vertebra and statistically tested for correlation with joint stiffness. We found that the vertebral column of C. niloticus is stiffer in dorsoventral flexion than in lateral flexion and, in contrast to that of many mammals, shows an increase in joint stiffness in the lumbar region. Our findings suggest that the role of the axial column in crocodylian locomotion may be functionally different from that in mammals, even during analogous gaits. A moderate proportion of variation in joint stiffness (R(2)=0.279-0.520) was predicted by centrum width and height, neural spine angle and lamina width. These results support the possible utility of some vertebral morphometrics in predicting mechanical properties of the vertebral column in crocodiles, which also should be useful for forming functional hypotheses of axial motion during locomotion in extinct archosaurs.

  20. Comparison of acid mucin goblet cell distribution and Hox13 expression patterns in the developing vertebrate digestive tract.

    PubMed

    Theodosiou, Nicole A; Hall, Daniel A; Jowdry, Andrea L

    2007-07-15

    The digestive tract of vertebrates is a complex organ system required for the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients. The colon evolved as a water absorption organ essential for vertebrates to survive on land. In contrast to land vertebrates, the Chondrichthyes (sharks, skates and rays) are nearly iso-osmotic with their ocean environment and do not reabsorb water from food waste. To understand the origin of the vertebrate colon, we examined the distribution of sulfated and sialyated mucus-producing cells in the little skate, Raja erinacea, as an indication of water absorption function in the chondrichthian digestive tract. The percentage of acid mucin producing goblet cells was analyzed in the spiral valve and hindgut of little skate and the small intestine and colon of mouse embryos. Levels of acid mucins in the hindgut of the little skate was comparable to that of the small intestines of terrestrial vertebrates, whereas the distal region of the spiral valve contained high levels of acid mucin producing cells similar to the colon of mouse and chick. The low numbers of acid mucins in the little skate hindgut confirms that a functional colon for water absorption is absent in the Chondrichthyes. Interestingly, the presence of high levels of acid mucins in the posterior spiral valve provides evidence for a possible primordial water-absorbing organ in the elasmobranchs. Hoxd13 patterns acid mucins in the colons of terrestrial vertebrates. Expression of Hoxd13 and Hoxa13 in R. erinacea suggests conserved roles for Hox genes in patterning the early hindgut.

  1. Environmental contaminant exposure data and monitoring priorities for wild terrestrial vertebrates at national parks in coastal and estuarine habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.; Eisenreich, K.M.; McKernan, M.A.; Harmon, David

    2006-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses the exposure and effects of environmental contaminants on select species and habitats in the United States. One of the many BEST Project activities entails the development of decision-support tools to assist in the identification of chemical threats to species and lands under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior. Although there are many ecotoxicological monitoring programs that focus on aquatic species and habitats, there are currently no large-scale efforts that are focused on terrestrial vertebrates in the United States. Nonetheless, organochlorine contaminants, metals, and new pollutants continue to pose hazards to terrestrial vertebrates at many spatial scales (ranging from small hazardous-waste-site point sources to entire watersheds). To evaluate and prioritize pollutant hazards for terrestrial vertebrates, a ?Contaminant Exposure and EffectsTerrestrial Vertebrates? (CEE-TV) database (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/contaminants-online) was developed. The CEE-TV database has been used to conduct simple searches for exposure and biological effects information for a given species or location, identification of temporal contaminant exposure trends, information gap analyses for national wildlife refuge and national park units, and ranking of terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological information needs based on data density and water quality problems. Despite widespread concerns about environmental contamination, during the past decade only about one-half of the coastal National Park units appear to have terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data. Based upon known environmental contaminant hazards, it is recommended that regionalized monitoring programs or efforts focused on lands managed by the Department of the Interior should be undertaken to prevent serious natural resource problems.

  2. Effects of reconstruction of a pre-European vertebrate assemblage on ground-dwelling arachnids in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Silvey, Colin J; Hayward, Matthew W; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-06-01

    Species loss can result in changes in assemblage structure and ecosystem function through ecological cascades. Australian vertebrate assemblages changed significantly following European colonisation, which resulted in the establishment of invasive vertebrates and the loss of native marsupials, many of which consume invertebrates. Conservation focusses on the removal of invasive carnivores and the reintroduction of regionally extinct species to fenced sites, resulting in what could be considered a reconstruction of pre-European vertebrate assemblages. In semi-arid Australian spinifex mallee ecosystems, we asked: (1) what is the effect of reconstructed pre-European vertebrate assemblages on native arachnid assemblages? and (2) what direct or indirect mechanisms (predation, disturbance and/or competition) could plausibly be responsible for these effects? We compared sites with reconstructed vertebrate assemblages with paired control sites. Arachnids were sampled using pitfall trapping and direct searching. Hypotheses regarding mechanisms were tested using scat analysis (predation) and by comparing burrow depth (disturbance) and scorpion mass (competition) between control and reconstructed sites. The dominant dune scorpion, Urodacus yaschenkoi, was less abundant and a wolf spider (Lycosa gibsoni species group) more abundant in reconstructed sites. Differences in spider assemblage composition were marginally non-significant. Scat analysis confirmed native vertebrate predation on scorpions and we found no evidence that competition or disturbance affected scorpions. We, thus, suggest that changes in spider assemblages may have resulted from ecological cascades via decreases in dune scorpions. The loss of omnivorous mammals and other changes associated with the invasion of carnivores may, therefore, have had broad-reaching consequences for native arachnid assemblages in Australian ecosystems.

  3. Vertebrate DNA in Fecal Samples from Bonobos and Gorillas: Evidence for Meat Consumption or Artefact?

    PubMed Central

    Hofreiter, Michael; Kreuz, Eva; Eriksson, Jonas; Schubert, Grit; Hohmann, Gottfried

    2010-01-01

    Background Deciphering the behavioral repertoire of great apes is a challenge for several reasons. First, due to their elusive behavior in dense forest environments, great ape populations are often difficult to observe. Second, members of the genus Pan are known to display a great variety in their behavioral repertoire; thus, observations from one population are not necessarily representative for other populations. For example, bonobos (Pan paniscus) are generally believed to consume almost no vertebrate prey. However, recent observations show that at least some bonobo populations may consume vertebrate prey more commonly than previously believed. We investigated the extent of their meat consumption using PCR amplification of vertebrate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) segments from DNA extracted from bonobo feces. As a control we also attempted PCR amplifications from gorilla feces, a species assumed to be strictly herbivorous. Principal Findings We found evidence for consumption of a variety of mammalian species in about 16% of the samples investigated. Moreover, 40% of the positive DNA amplifications originated from arboreal monkeys. However, we also found duiker and monkey mtDNA in the gorilla feces, albeit in somewhat lower percentages. Notably, the DNA sequences isolated from the two ape species fit best to the species living in the respective regions. This result suggests that the sequences are of regional origin and do not represent laboratory contaminants. Conclusions Our results allow at least three possible and mutually not exclusive conclusions. First, all results may represent contamination of the feces by vertebrate DNA from the local environment. Thus, studies investigating a species' diet from feces DNA may be unreliable due to the low copy number of DNA originating from diet items. Second, there is some inherent difference between the bonobo and gorilla feces, with only the later ones being contaminated. Third, similar to bonobos, for which the

  4. Molecular signatures that are distinctive characteristics of the vertebrates and chordates and supporting a grouping of vertebrates with the tunicates.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Radhey S

    2016-01-01

    Members of the phylum Chordata and the subphylum Vertebrata are presently distinguished solely on the basis of morphological characteristics. The relationship of the vertebrates to the two non-vertebrate chordate subphyla is also a subject of debate. Analyses of protein sequences have identified multiple conserved signature indels (CSIs) that are specific for Chordata or for Vertebrata. Five CSIs in 4 important proteins are specific for the Vertebrata, whereas two other CSIs are uniquely found in all sequenced chordate species including Ciona intestinalis and Oikapleura dioica (Tunicates) as well as Branchiostoma floridae (Cephalochordates). The shared presence of these molecular signatures by all vertebrates/chordate species, but in no other animal taxa, strongly indicates that the genetic changes represented by the identified CSIs diagnose monophyletic groups. Two other discovered CSIs are uniquely shared by different vertebrate species and by either one (Ciona intestinalis) or both tunicate (Ciona and Oikapleura) species, but they are not found in Branchiostoma or other animal species. Specific presence of these CSIs in different vertebrates and either one or both tunicate species provides strong independent evidence that the vertebrate species are more closely related to the urochordates (tunicates) than to the cephalochordates.

  5. Spatial scale and cross-taxon congruence of terrestrial vertebrate and vascular plant species richness in China.

    PubMed

    Qian, Hong; Kissling, W Daniel

    2010-04-01

    In ecology and biogeography it is often recognized that the species richness of different groups of organisms is spatially congruent (and thus positively correlated). However, ecological phenomena are often scale dependent and can change with spatial scale (i.e., grain size and extent). Because species richness gradients are also correlated with environmental gradients and plant species richness is thought to influence animal species richness, the relative roles of environment and plant richness in influencing cross-taxon congruence of animal richness at different spatial scales remain poorly explored. In this study, we examine the spatial concordance in species richness among terrestrial vertebrates and vascular plants at two spatial grain sizes (local and regional) across China. We hypothesize that (H1) cross-taxon richness relationships are weaker at the local scale; (H2) climatic predictors of species richness are stronger at the regional scale; (H3) effects of habitat heterogeneity on species richness are stronger at the local scale; (H4) plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects; and (H5) the plant-vertebrate richness relationship is weaker at the regional scale. We found significant and positive correlations between species richness of the groups, with correlations being stronger at the regional scale than at the local scale (supporting H1). Climate has weaker effects on species richness at the regional scale than at the local scale (rejecting H2), and for vertebrates (but not for plants) effects of habitat heterogeneity are stronger at the local scale (supporting hypothesis H3). Plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects (supporting H4), but the effect is stronger for the two endothermic groups (mammals and birds) than for the two ectothermic groups (reptiles and amphibians). In contrast to hypothesis H5, the effect of plant richness on species

  6. Back pain caused by a pseudo-tumorous vertebral collapse: atypical presentation of primary vertebral hydatidosis

    PubMed Central

    Mrabet, D; Rekik, S; Khiari, H; Mizouni, H; Meddeb, N; Cheour, I; Elleuch, M; Mnif, E; Mrabet, A; Sahli, H; Sellami, S

    2011-01-01

    Hydatidosis, also known as echinococcosis, is a rare but serious parasitic disease in endemic areas. Primary spinal location is extremely rare. This case report describes a rare instance of hydatid cyst that caused severe and progressive low-back pain and neurologic dysfunction. Spine MRI showed a unique vertebral collapse of Th12 body with multicystic lesions filling the spinal canal. In addition, hydatidosis serodiagnostic test was positive at 1/725. Treatment depended on the actual surgical removal of the cysts. Surgery consisted in excision and extirpation of the cysts, associated with decompressive laminectomy. The diagnosis was confirmed on the basis of histological results. No coincidental hydatid visceral involvement was found. Antihelminthic drugs (Albendazole) were promptly given before surgery for a long period. The outcome was satisfactorily marked by total regression of the motor deficit and sphincter disorders. PMID:22699469

  7. Vascular calcifications, vertebral fractures and mortality in haemodialysis patients

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-García, Minerva; Gómez-Alonso, Carlos; Naves-Díaz, Manuel; Diaz-Lopez, Jose Bernardino; Diaz-Corte, Carmen; Cannata-Andía, Jorge B.

    2009-01-01

    Background. Vascular calcifications and the bone fractures caused by abnormal bone fragility, also called osteoporotic fractures, are frequent complications associated with chronic kidney diseases (CKD). The aim of this study was to investigate the association between vascular calcifications, osteoporotic bone fractures and survival in haemodialysis (HD) patients. Methods. A total of 193 HD patients were followed up to 2 years. Vascular calcifications and osteoporotic vertebral fractures (quoted just as vertebral fractures in the text) were assessed by thoracic, lumbar spine, pelvic and hand X-rays and graded according to their severity. Clinical, biochemical and therapeutic data gathered during the total time spent on HD were collected. Results. The prevalence of aortic calcifications was higher in HD patients than in a random-based general population (79% versus 37.5%, P < 0.001). Total time on any renal replacement therapy (RRT) and diabetes were positively associated with a higher prevalence of vascular calcifications. In addition to these factors, time on HD was also positively associated with the severity of vascular calcifications, and higher haemoglobin levels were associated with a lower prevalence of severe vascular calcifications in large and medium calibre arteries. The prevalence of vertebral fractures in HD patients was similar to that of the general population (26.5% versus 24.1%). Age and time on HD showed a positive and statistically significant association with the prevalence of vertebral fractures. Vascular calcifications in the medium calibre arteries were associated with a higher rate of prevalent vertebral fractures. In women, severe vascular calcifications and vertebral fractures were positively associated with mortality [RR = 3.2 (1.0–10.0) and RR = 4.8 (1.7–13.4), respectively]. Conclusions. Positive associations between vascular calcifications, vertebral fractures and mortality have been found in patients on HD. PMID:18725376

  8. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    species richness. Plant species richness should be included with other variables such as area and climate when considering strategies to manage and conserve species in US National Parks. It is not always appropriate to draw conclusions about analyses of taxonomic surrogates from one area to another. Two patterns evident from the linear regressions were the increase in species richness with the increase of park area and with increase of vascular plant species richness. To test whether there were differences in these patterns among networks, we used analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Differences among networks were detected only in bird species richness versus plant species richness and for all taxa except mammals for vertebrate species richness versus park area. Some of these results may be due to small sample size among networks, and therefore, low statistical power. Other factors that could have contributed to these results were differences in average park area and habitat heterogeneity among networks, latitudinal gradients, low variation in mean annual precipitation, and different use of vegetation by migratory species. Based on these results we recommend that management of biodiversity be approached from local and site specific criteria rather than applying management directives derived from other regions of the US. It is also recommended that analyses similar to those presented here be conducted for all national parks, once data become available for all networks in the US, to gain a better understanding of how vascular plant species richness, area, and vertebrate species richness are related in the US.

  9. Replication of vertebrate mitochondrial DNA entails transient ribonucleotide incorporation throughout the lagging strand

    PubMed Central

    Yasukawa, Takehiro; Reyes, Aurelio; Cluett, Tricia J; Yang, Ming-Yao; Bowmaker, Mark; Jacobs, Howard T; Holt, Ian J

    2006-01-01

    Using two-dimensional agarose gel electrophoresis, we show that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication of birds and mammals frequently entails ribonucleotide incorporation throughout the lagging strand (RITOLS). Based on a combination of two-dimensional agarose gel electrophoretic analysis and mapping of 5′ ends of DNA, initiation of RITOLS replication occurs in the major non-coding region of vertebrate mtDNA and is effectively unidirectional. In some cases, conversion of nascent RNA strands to DNA starts at defined loci, the most prominent of which maps, in mammalian mtDNA, in the vicinity of the site known as the light-strand origin. PMID:17066082

  10. Mermaid: a family of short interspersed repetitive elements widespread in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Shimoda, N; Chevrette, M; Ekker, M; Kikuchi, Y; Hotta, Y; Okamoto, H

    1996-03-07

    We have discovered a family of short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs) that are present in the genomes of fish, amphibian and primates. The family of the SINEs, designated mermaid, is distinctive in each species except for a conserved region of approximately 80 bp. Some members of the mermaid family were found in transposon-like repetitive elements, including Tcl-like elements which were also distributed in the genomes of fish and amphibian. This raises the possibility of horizontal transfer of the mermaid family between vertebrates via transposons.

  11. Caribbean biogeography: molecular evidence for dispersal in West Indian terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, S B; Hass, C A; Maxson, L R

    1992-01-01

    The geological association of the Greater Antilles with North and South America in the late Cretaceous led to the hypothesis that the present Antillean biota reflects those ancient land connections. Molecular data from diverse West Indian amphibians and reptiles and their mainland relatives support a more recent derivation of the Antillean vertebrate fauna by overwater dispersal. The catastrophic bolide impact in the Caribbean region at the close of the Cretaceous provides a proximate cause for the absence of an ancient West Indian biota. PMID:11607282

  12. Evolutionary origins for social vocalization in a vertebrate hindbrain-spinal compartment.

    PubMed

    Bass, Andrew H; Gilland, Edwin H; Baker, Robert

    2008-07-18

    The macroevolutionary events leading to neural innovations for social communication, such as vocalization, are essentially unexplored. Many fish vocalize during female courtship and territorial defense, as do amphibians, birds, and mammals. Here, we map the neural circuitry for vocalization in larval fish and show that the vocal network develops in a segment-like region across the most caudal hindbrain and rostral spinal cord. Taxonomic analysis demonstrates a highly conserved pattern between fish and all major lineages of vocal tetrapods. We propose that the vocal basis for acoustic communication among vertebrates evolved from an ancestrally shared developmental compartment already present in the early fishes.

  13. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  14. Enteric neural crest cells regulate vertebrate stomach patterning and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Faure, Sandrine; McKey, Jennifer; Sagnol, Sébastien; de Santa Barbara, Pascal

    2015-01-15

    In vertebrates, the digestive tract develops from a uniform structure where reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions pattern this complex organ into regions with specific morphologies and functions. Concomitant with these early patterning events, the primitive GI tract is colonized by the vagal enteric neural crest cells (vENCCs), a population of cells that will give rise to the enteric nervous system (ENS), the intrinsic innervation of the GI tract. The influence of vENCCs on early patterning and differentiation of the GI tract has never been evaluated. In this study, we report that a crucial number of vENCCs is required for proper chick stomach development, patterning and differentiation. We show that reducing the number of vENCCs by performing vENCC ablations induces sustained activation of the BMP and Notch pathways in the stomach mesenchyme and impairs smooth muscle development. A reduction in vENCCs also leads to the transdifferentiation of the stomach into a stomach-intestinal mixed phenotype. In addition, sustained Notch signaling activity in the stomach mesenchyme phenocopies the defects observed in vENCC-ablated stomachs, indicating that inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway is essential for stomach patterning and differentiation. Finally, we report that a crucial number of vENCCs is also required for maintenance of stomach identity and differentiation through inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway. Altogether, our data reveal that, through the regulation of mesenchyme identity, vENCCs act as a new mediator in the mesenchymal-epithelial interactions that control stomach development.

  15. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Alves, Maria Alice S.; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M.

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world’s megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  16. A full lifespan model of vertebrate lens growth

    PubMed Central

    Šikić, Hrvoje; Shi, Yanrong; Lubura, Snježana

    2017-01-01

    The mathematical determinants of vertebrate organ growth have yet to be elucidated fully. Here, we utilized empirical measurements and a dynamic branching process-based model to examine the growth of a simple organ system, the mouse lens, from E14.5 until the end of life. Our stochastic model used difference equations to model immigration and emigration between zones of the lens epithelium and included some deterministic elements, such as cellular footprint area. We found that the epithelial cell cycle was shortened significantly in the embryo, facilitating the rapid growth that marks early lens development. As development progressed, epithelial cell division becomes non-uniform and four zones, each with a characteristic proliferation rate, could be discerned. Adjustment of two model parameters, proliferation rate and rate of change in cellular footprint area, was sufficient to specify all growth trajectories. Modelling suggested that the direction of cellular migration across zonal boundaries was sensitive to footprint area, a phenomenon that may isolate specific cell populations. Model runs consisted of more than 1000 iterations, in each of which the stochastic behaviour of thousands of cells was followed. Nevertheless, sequential runs were almost superimposable. This remarkable degree of precision was attributed, in part, to the presence of non-mitotic flanking regions, which constituted a path by which epithelial cells could escape the growth process. Spatial modelling suggested that clonal clusters of about 50 cells are produced during migration and that transit times lengthen significantly at later stages, findings with implications for the formation of certain types of cataract. PMID:28280571

  17. Vertebral stress of a cervical spine model under dynamic load.

    PubMed

    Sadegh, A M; Tchako, A

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this study is to develop cervical spine models that predict the stresses in each vertebra by taking account of the biodynamic characteristics of the neck. The loads and the moments at the head point (Occipital Condyle) used for the models were determined by the rigid body dynamic response of the head due to G-z acceleration. The experimental data used were collected from the biodynamic responses of human volunteers during an acceleration in the z direction on the drop tower facility at Armstrong Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Three finite element models were developed: an elastic local model, viscoelastic local model and complete viscoelastic model. I-DEAS software was used to create the solid models, the loadings and the boundary conditions. Then, ABAQUS finite element software was employed to solve the models, and thus the stresses on each vertebral level were determined. Beam elements with different properties were employed to simulate the ligaments, articular facets and muscles. The complete viscoelastic model was subjected to 11 cases of loadings ranging from 8 G-z to 20 G-z accelerations. The von Mises and Maximum Principal stress fields, which are good indicators of bone failure, were calculated for all the cases. The results indicated that the maximum stress in all cases increased as the magnitude of the acceleration increased. The stresses in the 10 to 12 G-z cases were comfortably below the injury threshold level. The majority of the maximum stresses occurred in C6 and C4 regions.

  18. Is nitrate an ecologically relevant endocrine disruptor in vertebrates?

    PubMed

    Guillette, Louis J; Edwards, Thea M

    2005-01-01

    The last three decades have brought clear recognition that many populations of animals are experiencing severe declines or local and global extinctions. Many examples have become common knowledge to the general public, such as worldwide declines in amphibian populations and extensive loss of coral reefs. The mechanisms underlying these and other changes are poorly understood. However, a growing literature indicates that a wide array of chemical contaminants have the potential to disrupt normal cell-to-cell signaling mechanisms. A global pollutant of most aquatic systems, nitrate has the potential to be an endocrine disrupting contaminant. This paper reviews studies performed on vertebrates demonstrating that nitrate and/or nitrite have the potential to alter endocrine function. Further, a retrospective study of our work on alligators from various lakes in Florida suggests that nitrate could contribute to some of the altered endocrine parameters previously reported in juvenile animals. We propose hypotheses suggesting that nitrate could alter steroidogenesis by 1) conversion to nitrite and nitric oxide in the mitochondria, the site of initial steroid synthesis, 2) altering Cl(-) ion concentrations in the cell by substituting for Cl(-) in the membrane transport pump or 3) binding to the heme region of various P450 enzymes associated with steroidogenesis and altering enzymatic action. Future studies are needed to examine the endocrine disruptive action of this ubiquitous pollutant. A growing literature indicates that all biologists studying natural systems, whether they choose to or not, must now consider contaminant exposure as a direct influence on their studies. That is, ubiquitous global contamination has the potential to alter the endocrine, nervous and immune systems of all organisms with resulting changes in gene expression and phenotypes.

  19. Nme protein family evolutionary history, a vertebrate perspective

    PubMed Central

    Desvignes, Thomas; Pontarotti, Pierre; Fauvel, Christian; Bobe, Julien

    2009-01-01

    Background The Nme family, previously known as Nm23 or NDPK, is involved in various molecular processes including tumor metastasis and some members of the family, but not all, exhibit a Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinase (NDPK) activity. Ten genes are known in humans, in which some members have been extensively studied. In non-mammalian species, the Nme protein family has received, in contrast, far less attention. The picture of the vertebrate Nme family remains thus incomplete and orthology relationships with mammalian counterparts were only partially characterized. The present study therefore aimed at characterizing the Nme gene repertoire in vertebrates with special interest for teleosts, and providing a comprehensive overview of the Nme gene family evolutionary history in vertebrates. Results In the present study, we present the evolutionary history of the Nme family in vertebrates and characterize the gene family repertoire for the first time in several non-mammalian species. Our observations show that vertebrate Nme genes can be separated in two evolutionary distinct groups. Nme1, Nme2, Nme3, and Nme4 belong to Group I while vertebrate Nme5, Nme6, Nme7, Nme8, and Nme9 belong to Group II. The position of Nme10 is in contrast more debatable due to its very specific evolutionary history. The present study clearly indicates that Nme5, Nme6, Nme7, and Nme8 originate from duplication events that occurred before the chordate radiation. In contrast, Nme genes of the Group I have a very different evolutionary history as our results suggest that they all arise from a common gene present in the chordate ancestor. In addition, expression patterns of all zebrafish nme transcripts were studied in a broad range of tissues by quantitative PCR and discussed in the light of the function of their mammalian counterparts. Conclusion This work offers an evolutionary framework that will pave the way for future studies on vertebrate Nme proteins and provides a unified vertebrate Nme

  20. High Serum SHBG Predicts Incident Vertebral Fractures in Elderly Men

    PubMed Central

    Vandenput, Liesbeth; Mellström, Dan; Kindmark, Andreas; Johansson, Helena; Lorentzon, Mattias; Leung, Jason; Redlund‐Johnell, Inga; Rosengren, Björn E; Karlsson, Magnus K; Wang, Yi‐Xiang; Kwok, Timothy

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Previous prospective cohort studies have shown that serum levels of sex steroids and sex hormone‐binding globulin (SHBG) associate with nonvertebral fracture risk in men. The predictive value of sex hormones and SHBG for vertebral fracture risk specifically is, however, less studied. Elderly men (aged ≥65 years) from Sweden and Hong Kong participating in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) study had baseline estradiol and testosterone analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC‐MS) and SHBG by immunoradiometric assay (IRMA). Incident clinical vertebral fractures (n = 242 cases) were evaluated in 4324 men during an average follow‐up of 9.1 years. In a subsample of these men (n = 2256), spine X‐rays were obtained at baseline and after an average follow‐up of 4.3 years to identify incident radiographic vertebral fractures (n = 157 cases). The likelihood of incident clinical and radiographic vertebral fractures was estimated by Cox proportional hazards models and logistic regression models, respectively. Neither serum estradiol (hazard ratio [HR] per SD increase = 0.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.80–1.08) nor testosterone (1.05, 0.91–1.21) predicted incident clinical vertebral fractures in age‐adjusted models in the combined data set. High serum SHBG, however, associated with increased clinical vertebral fracture risk (1.24, 1.12–1.37). This association remained significant after further adjustment for FRAX with or without bone mineral density (BMD). SHBG also associated with increased incident radiographic vertebral fracture risk (combined data set; odds ratio [OR] per SD increase = 1.23, 95% CI 1.05–1.44). This association remained significant after adjustment for FRAX with or without BMD. In conclusion, high SHBG predicts incident clinical and radiographic vertebral fractures in elderly men and adds moderate information beyond FRAX with BMD for vertebral fracture risk prediction. © 2015 The

  1. Corticotropin-releasing hormone: Mediator of vertebrate life stage transitions?

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yugo; Grommen, Sylvia V H; De Groef, Bert

    2016-03-01

    Hormones, particularly thyroid hormones and corticosteroids, play critical roles in vertebrate life stage transitions such as amphibian metamorphosis, hatching in precocial birds, and smoltification in salmonids. Since they synergistically regulate several metabolic and developmental processes that accompany vertebrate life stage transitions, the existence of extensive cross-communication between the adrenal/interrenal and thyroidal axes is not surprising. Synergies of corticosteroids and thyroid hormones are based on effects at the level of tissue hormone sensitivity and gene regulation. In addition, in representative nonmammalian vertebrates, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) stimulates hypophyseal thyrotropin secretion, and thus functions as a common regulator of both the adrenal/interrenal and thyroidal axes to release corticosteroids and thyroid hormones. The dual function of CRH has been speculated to control or affect the timing of vertebrate life history transitions across taxa. After a brief overview of recent insights in the molecular mechanisms behind the synergic actions of thyroid hormones and corticosteroids during life stage transitions, this review examines the evidence for a possible role of CRH in controlling vertebrate life stage transitions.

  2. Development of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S

    2005-11-15

    Compared with birds and mammals, very little is known about the development and regulation of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates. The development and regulation of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles) should provide insight into the evolution of these mechanisms. One useful model for examining the development of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates has emerged from studies with the North American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). A major advantage of bullfrogs as a comparative model for respiratory rhythm generation is that respiratory output may be measured at all stages of development, both in vivo and in vitro. An emerging view of recent studies in developing bullfrogs is that many of the mechanisms of respiratory rhythm generation are very similar to those seen in birds and mammals. The overall conclusion from these studies is that respiratory rhythm generation during development may be highly conserved during evolution. The development of respiratory rhythm generation in mammals may, therefore, reflect the antecedent mechanisms seen in ectothermic vertebrates. The main focus of this brief review is to discuss recent data on the development of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates, with particular emphasis on the North American bullfrog (R. catesbeiana) as a model.

  3. Vertebrate extinctions and survival across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buffetaut, Eric

    1990-01-01

    A critical analysis of the fossil vertebrate record across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary shows that the available evidence is far less accurate than that concerning invertebrates and microfossils. Far-reaching conclusions have been drawn from generalisations about vertebrate extinctions in the continental realm based on the local record from western North America, but little is known about patterns of terminal Cretaceous vertebrate extinctions in other parts of the world, and even the western North American record is ambiguous. Despite this unsatisfactory record, it clearly appears that terminal Cretaceous vertebrate extinctions were highly selective, with some groups (e.g. dinosaurs) becoming completely extinct, whereas others seem to be virtually unaffected. This argues against devastating catastrophes of the kind postulated by some recent impact scenarios. However, the survival of groups known to be sensitive to climatic deterioration (such as crocodilians and other non-dinosaurian reptiles) indicates that alternative hypotheses involving gradual but fairly important climatic changes on a world-wide scale are not convincing either. The pattern of extinction and survival among vertebrates across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary may be explained as a consequence of the disruption of some food chains following a crisis in the plant kingdom, which itself may have been the result of the atmospheric consequences of unusual extraterrestrial or internal events.

  4. Contribution of the live-vertebrate trade toward taxonomic homogenization.

    PubMed

    Romagosa, Christina M; Guyer, Craig; Wooten, Michael C

    2009-08-01

    The process of taxonomic homogenization occurs through two mechanisms, extinctions and introductions, and leads to a reduction of global biodiversity. We used available U.S. trade data as a proxy for global trade in live vertebrates to assess the contribution of trade to the process of taxonomic homogenization. Data included all available U.S. importation and exportation records, estimation of extinction risk, and reports of establishment outside the native range for species within six vertebrate groups. Based on Monte Carlo sampling, the number of species traded, established outside of the native range, and threatened with extinction was not randomly distributed among vertebrate families. Twenty-eight percent of vertebrate families that were traded preferentially were also established or threatened with extinction, an unusually high percentage compared with the 7% of families that were not traded preferentially but that became established or threatened with extinction. The importance of trade in homogenization of vertebrates suggests that additional efforts should be made to prevent introductions and extinctions through this medium.

  5. Amines from vertebrates guide triatomine bugs to resources.

    PubMed

    Otálora-Luna, Fernando; Guerin, Patrick M

    2014-12-01

    Most triatomine bugs (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) are nest-living insects that require vertebrate blood or invertebrate haemolymph to complete their life cycle. Vertebrates accumulate excretory products in or near their nesting sites and we hypothesize that triatomines use emanations from such host wastes when searching for resources. Here we recount how triatomine bugs increase upwind locomotion on a servosphere in response to volatile amine constituents of vertebrate excretions. Fresh chicken faeces is strongly attractive to Rhodnius prolixus nymphs. Ammonia induces attraction and an increase in both speed and total path length by R. prolixus on the servosphere. Whereas ethylamine and dimethylamine attract R. prolixus, Triatoma infestans and Panstrongylus geniculatus, other amine constituents of vertebrate excretions such as isobutylamine and hexylamine induce R. prolixus nymphs to walk faster and for a longer period. These amines are derived from generally occurring metabolites of vertebrates and from gut flora metabolism. We conclude that amines and other products associated with nesting hosts serve as signals for foraging triatomines.

  6. Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavin, L.; Tong, H.; Boudad, L.; Meister, C.; Piuz, A.; Tabouelle, J.; Aarab, M.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Dyke, G.; Hua, S.; Le Loeuff, J.

    2010-07-01

    Fossils of vertebrates have been found in great abundance in the continental and marine early Late Cretaceous sediments of Southeastern Morocco for more than 50 years. About 80 vertebrate taxa have so far been recorded from this region, many of which were recognised and diagnosed for the first time based on specimens recovered from these sediments. In this paper, we use published data together with new field data to present an updated overview of Moroccan early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. The Cretaceous series we have studied encompasses three Formations, the Ifezouane and Aoufous Formations, which are continental and deltaic in origin and are often grouped under the name "Kem Kem beds", and the Akrabou Formation which is marine in origin. New field observations allow us to place four recognised vertebrate clusters, corresponding to one compound assemblage and three assemblages, within a general temporal framework. In particular, two ammonite bioevents characterise the lower part of the Upper Cenomanian ( Calycoceras guerangeri Zone) at the base of the Akrabou Formation and the upper part of the Lower Turonian ( Mammites nodosoides Zone), that may extend into the Middle Turonian within the Akrabou Formation, and allow for more accurate dating of the marine sequence in the study area. We are not yet able to distinguish a specific assemblage that characterises the Ifezouane Formation when compared to the similar Aoufous Formation, and as a result we regard the oldest of the four vertebrate "assemblages" in this region to be the compound assemblage of the "Kem Kem beds". This well-known vertebrate assemblage comprises a mixture of terrestrial (and aerial), freshwater and brackish vertebrates. The archosaur component of this fauna appears to show an intriguingly high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous taxa, which may indicate a peculiar trophic chain, although collecting biases alter this palaeontological signal. A small and restricted assemblage, the

  7. Climate change and the ecology and evolution of Arctic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Gilg, Olivier; Kovacs, Kit M; Aars, Jon; Fort, Jérôme; Gauthier, Gilles; Grémillet, David; Ims, Rolf A; Meltofte, Hans; Moreau, Jérôme; Post, Eric; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Yannic, Glenn; Bollache, Loïc

    2012-02-01

    Climate change is taking place more rapidly and severely in the Arctic than anywhere on the globe, exposing Arctic vertebrates to a host of impacts. Changes in the cryosphere dominate the physical changes that already affect these animals, but increasing air temperatures, changes in precipitation, and ocean acidification will also affect Arctic ecosystems in the future. Adaptation via natural selection is problematic in such a rapidly changing environment. Adjustment via phenotypic plasticity is therefore likely to dominate Arctic vertebrate responses in the short term, and many such adjustments have already been documented. Changes in phenology and range will occur for most species but will only partly mitigate climate change impacts, which are particularly difficult to forecast due to the many interactions within and between trophic levels. Even though Arctic species richness is increasing via immigration from the South, many Arctic vertebrates are expected to become increasingly threatened during this century.

  8. Early chordate origins of the vertebrate second heart field.

    PubMed

    Stolfi, Alberto; Gainous, T Blair; Young, John J; Mori, Alessandro; Levine, Michael; Christiaen, Lionel

    2010-07-30

    The vertebrate heart is formed from diverse embryonic territories, including the first and second heart fields. The second heart field (SHF) gives rise to the right ventricle and outflow tract, yet its evolutionary origins are unclear. We found that heart progenitor cells of the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis also generate precursors of the atrial siphon muscles (ASMs). These precursors express Islet and Tbx1/10, evocative of the splanchnic mesoderm that produces the lower jaw muscles and SHF of vertebrates. Evidence is presented that the transcription factor COE is a critical determinant of ASM fate. We propose that the last common ancestor of tunicates and vertebrates possessed multipotent cardiopharyngeal muscle precursors, and that their reallocation might have contributed to the emergence of the SHF.

  9. Evolutionary perspectives on clonal reproduction in vertebrate animals.

    PubMed

    Avise, John C

    2015-07-21

    A synopsis is provided of different expressions of whole-animal vertebrate clonality (asexual organismal-level reproduction), both in the laboratory and in nature. For vertebrate taxa, such clonal phenomena include the following: human-mediated cloning via artificial nuclear transfer; intergenerational clonality in nature via parthenogenesis and gynogenesis; intergenerational hemiclonality via hybridogenesis and kleptogenesis; intragenerational clonality via polyembryony; and what in effect qualifies as clonal replication via self-fertilization and intense inbreeding by simultaneous hermaphrodites. Each of these clonal or quasi-clonal mechanisms is described, and its evolutionary genetic ramifications are addressed. By affording an atypical vantage on standard vertebrate reproduction, clonality offers fresh perspectives on the evolutionary and ecological significance of recombination-derived genetic variety.

  10. Vertebrate palaeontology of Australasia into the twenty-first century

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Jacqueline M. T.; Molak, Martyna; Black, Karen H.; Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; Travouillon, Kenny J.; Ho, Simon Y. W.

    2011-01-01

    The 13th Conference on Australasian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics (CAVEPS) took place in Perth, Western Australia, from 27 to 30 April 2011. This biennial meeting was jointly hosted by Curtin University, the Western Australian Museum, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia. Researchers from diverse disciplines addressed many aspects of vertebrate evolution, including functional morphology, phylogeny, ecology and extinctions. New additions to the fossil record were reported, especially from hitherto under-represented ages and clades. Yet, application of new techniques in palaeobiological analyses dominated, such as dental microwear and geochronology, and technological advances, including computed tomography and ancient biomolecules. This signals a shift towards increased emphasis in interpreting broader evolutionary patterns and processes. Nonetheless, further field exploration for new fossils and systematic descriptions will continue to shape our understanding of vertebrate evolution in this little-studied, but most unusual, part of the globe. PMID:21715395

  11. Enzymic oxidation of some alkylbenzenes in insects and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chakroborty, J; Smith, J N

    1967-02-01

    1. Oxidation rates of alkylbenzenes have been measured in 10000g supernatants of vertebrate livers, locust fat bodies and housefly abdomens. 2. Activity per g. of insect was greater in fly than locust preparations but both were of the same order as a range of vertebrate species. 3. Methyl groups of toluene and p-nitrotoluene were oxidized more rapidly than the side chains of higher homologues. 4. In the higher homologues hydroxylation occurred most readily at the alpha-methylene group and less readily at penultimate methylene and terminal methyl groups. 5. Oxidations in both vertebrates and insects were inhibited by piperonylbutoxide and similar synergists. 6. Oxidation activity was stimulated by pretreatment of rats, but not locusts, with phenobarbitone or 3,4-benzopyrene.

  12. The evolution and development of vertebrate lateral line electroreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Clare V. H.; Modrell, Melinda S.; Gillis, J. Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Summary Electroreception is an ancient vertebrate sense with a fascinating evolutionary history involving multiple losses as well as independent evolution at least twice within teleosts. We review the phylogenetic distribution of electroreception and the morphology and innervation of electroreceptors in different vertebrate groups. We summarise recent work from our laboratory that has confirmed the homology of ampullary electroreceptors in non-teleost jawed vertebrates by showing, in conjunction with previously published work, that these are derived embryonically from lateral line placodes. Finally, we review hypotheses to explain the distribution of electroreception within teleosts, including the hypothesis that teleost ampullary and tuberous electroreceptors evolved via the modification of mechanosensory hair cells in lateral line neuromasts. We conclude that further experimental work on teleost electroreceptor development is needed to test such hypotheses. PMID:23761476

  13. Cement Leakage into Adjacent Vertebral Body Following Percutaneous Vertebroplasty.

    PubMed

    Park, Jae Hoo; Kim, Hyeun Sung; Kim, Seok Won

    2016-06-01

    Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV) is a minimally invasive procedure for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional conservative treatment. It significantly improves intolerable back pain within hours, and has a low complication rate. Although rare, PV is not free of complications, most of which are directly related to cement leakage. Because of its association with new adjacent fracture, the importance of cement leakage into the adjacent disc space is paramount. Here, we report an interesting case of cement leakage into the adjacent upper vertebral body as well as disc space following PV. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no report of cement leakage into the adjacent vertebral body following PV. This rare case is presented along with a review of the literature.

  14. Congenital malformations of the vertebral column in ancient amphibians.

    PubMed

    Witzmann, F; Rothschild, B M; Hampe, O; Sobral, G; Gubin, Y M; Asbach, P

    2014-04-01

    Temnospondyls, the largest group of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic amphibians, primitively possess rhachitomous vertebrae with multipartite centra (consisting of one horse-shoe-shaped inter- and paired pleurocentra). In a group of temnospondyls, the stereospondyls, the intercentra became pronounced and disc-like, whereas the pleurocentra were reduced. We report the presence of congenital vertebral malformations (hemi, wedge and block vertebrae) in Permian and Triassic temnospondyls, showing that defects of formation and segmentation in the tetrapod vertebral column represent a fundamental failure of somitogenesis that can be followed throughout tetrapod evolution. This is irrespective of the type of affected vertebra, that is, rhachitomous or stereospondylous, and all components of the vertebra can be involved (intercentrum, pleurocentrum and neural arch), either together or independently on their own. This is the oldest known occurrence of wedge vertebra and congenital block vertebra described in fossil tetrapods. The frequency of vertebral congenital malformations in amphibians appears unchanged from the Holocene.

  15. The vertebrate fauna of Ichauway, Baker County, GA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, L.L.; Steen, D.A.; Stober, J.M.; Freeman, Mary C.; Golladay, S.W.; Conner, L.M.; Cochrane, J.

    2006-01-01

    Less than 4% of the once extensive Pinus palustris (longleaf pine) ecosystem remains today. Although longleaf pine habitats are recognized for their high species diversity, few published accounts document the vertebrate faunas of remaining tracts. Here we report on the vertebrate species richness of lchauway, an 11,300-ha property in Baker County, GA. The property includes ca. 7300 ha of longleaf pine with native ground cover, along with more than 30 seasonal wetlands and ca. 45 km of riparian habitat associated with Ichawaynochaway Creek, Big Cypress Creek, and the Flint River. The fauna includes 61 species of fish, 31 amphibians, 53 reptiles, 191 birds, and 41 mammals. Despite the relative isolation of the property from other natural ecosystems, the vertebrate fauna of lchauway is remarkably diverse and may offer an example of reference conditions to guide restoration of longleaf pine forests, associated seasonal wetlands, and riparian areas elsewhere in the southeastern U S.

  16. Vertebrate palaeontology of Australasia into the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Jacqueline M T; Molak, Martyna; Black, Karen H; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Travouillon, Kenny J; Ho, Simon Y W

    2011-12-23

    The 13th Conference on Australasian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics (CAVEPS) took place in Perth, Western Australia, from 27 to 30 April 2011. This biennial meeting was jointly hosted by Curtin University, the Western Australian Museum, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia. Researchers from diverse disciplines addressed many aspects of vertebrate evolution, including functional morphology, phylogeny, ecology and extinctions. New additions to the fossil record were reported, especially from hitherto under-represented ages and clades. Yet, application of new techniques in palaeobiological analyses dominated, such as dental microwear and geochronology, and technological advances, including computed tomography and ancient biomolecules. This signals a shift towards increased emphasis in interpreting broader evolutionary patterns and processes. Nonetheless, further field exploration for new fossils and systematic descriptions will continue to shape our understanding of vertebrate evolution in this little-studied, but most unusual, part of the globe.

  17. Early Chordate Origins of the Vertebrate Second Heart Field

    PubMed Central

    Stolfi, Alberto; Gainous, T. Blair; Young, John J.; Mori, Alessandro; Levine, Michael; Christiaen, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate heart is formed from diverse embryonic territories, including the first and second heart fields. The second heart field (SHF) gives rise to the right ventricle and outflow tract, yet its evolutionary origins are unclear. We found that heart progenitor cells of the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis also generate precursors of the atrial siphon muscles (ASMs). These precursors express Islet and Tbx1/10, evocative of the splanchnic mesoderm that produces the lower jaw muscles and SHF of vertebrates. Evidence is presented that the transcription factor COE is a critical determinant of ASM fate. We propose that the last common ancestor of tunicates and vertebrates possessed multipotent cardiopharyngeal muscle precursors, and that their reallocation might have contributed to the emergence of the SHF. PMID:20671188

  18. Evolution and ecology of retinal photoreception in early vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P

    2010-01-01

    Visual ecology or the relationship between the visual system of an animal and its environment has proven to be a crucial research field for establishing general concepts of adaptation, specialization and evolution. The visual neuroscientist is indeed confronted with a plethora of different visual characteristics, each seemingly optimised for each species' ecological niche, but often without a clear understanding of the evolutionary constraints at play. However, before we are able to fully understand the influence(s) of ecology and phylogeny on visual system design in vertebrates, it is first necessary to understand the basic bauplan of key representatives of each taxa. This review examines photoreception in hagfishes, lampreys, cartilaginous fishes and lungfishes with an eye to their ecology using a range of neurobiological methods including anatomy, microspectrophotometry and molecular genetics. These early vertebrates represent critical stages in evolution and surprisingly possess a level of visual complexity that is almost unrivalled in other vertebrates.

  19. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans: a sugar code for vertebrate development?

    PubMed Central

    Poulain, Fabienne E.; Yost, H. Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have long been implicated in a wide range of cell-cell signaling and cell-matrix interactions, both in vitro and in vivo in invertebrate models. Although many of the genes that encode HSPG core proteins and the biosynthetic enzymes that generate and modify HSPG sugar chains have not yet been analyzed by genetics in vertebrates, recent studies have shown that HSPGs do indeed mediate a wide range of functions in early vertebrate development, for example during left-right patterning and in cardiovascular and neural development. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the various roles of HSPGs in these systems and explore the concept of an instructive heparan sulfate sugar code for modulating vertebrate development. PMID:26487777

  20. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans: a sugar code for vertebrate development?

    PubMed

    Poulain, Fabienne E; Yost, H Joseph

    2015-10-15

    Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have long been implicated in a wide range of cell-cell signaling and cell-matrix interactions, both in vitro and in vivo in invertebrate models. Although many of the genes that encode HSPG core proteins and the biosynthetic enzymes that generate and modify HSPG sugar chains have not yet been analyzed by genetics in vertebrates, recent studies have shown that HSPGs do indeed mediate a wide range of functions in early vertebrate development, for example during left-right patterning and in cardiovascular and neural development. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the various roles of HSPGs in these systems and explore the concept of an instructive heparan sulfate sugar code for modulating vertebrate development.

  1. Ghrelin: a multifunctional hormone in non-mammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Miyazato, Mikiya; Kangawa, Kenji; Peter, Richard E; Unniappan, Suraj

    2008-02-01

    In mammals, ghrelin is a non-amidated peptide hormone, existing in both acylated and non-acylated forms, produced mainly from the X/A or ghrelin cells present in the mucosal layer of the stomach. Ghrelin is a natural ligand of the growth hormone (GH) secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R), and functions primarily as a GH-releasing hormone and an orexigen, as well as having several other biological actions. Among non-mammalian vertebrates, amino acid sequence of ghrelin has been reported in two species of cartilaginous fish, seven species of teleosts, two species of amphibians, one species of reptile and six species of birds. The structure and functions of ghrelin are highly conserved among vertebrates. This review presents a concise overview of ghrelin biology in non-mammalian vertebrates.

  2. A comparative view of regenerative neurogenesis in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Alunni, Alessandro; Bally-Cuif, Laure

    2016-01-01

    In all vertebrate species studied thus far, the adult central nervous system harbors neural stem cells that sustain constitutive neurogenesis, as well as latent neural progenitors that can be awakened in lesional contexts. In spite of this common theme, many species differ dramatically in their ability to recruit constitutive progenitors, to awaken latent progenitors, or to enhance or bias neural progenitor fate to achieve successful neuronal repair. This Review summarizes the striking similarities in the essential molecular and cellular properties of adult neural stem cells between different vertebrate species, both under physiological and reparative conditions. It also emphasizes the differences in the reparative process across evolution and how the study of non-mammalian models can provide insights into both basic neural stem cell properties and stimulatory cues shared between vertebrates, and subsequent neurogenic events, which are abortive under reparative conditions in mammals. PMID:26932669

  3. Percutaneous Technique for Sclerotherapy of Vertebral Hemangioma Compressing Spinal Cord

    SciTech Connect

    Gabal, Abdelwahab M.

    2002-12-15

    Purpose: In this study we report a percutaneous technique to achieve sclerosis of vertebral hemangioma and decompression of the spinal cord and nerve roots. Methods: Under CT guidance the affected vertebral body is punctured by a biopsy needle and sclerosant is injected directly into the tumor. In the case of large paravertebral extension, additional injection is given in the paravertebral soft tissue component to induce shrinkage of the whole tumor mass and release of the compressed spinal cord. Results: Using this technique we treated five patients in whom vertebral hemangioma gave rise to neurologic symptoms.In three patients, sclerotherapy was the only treatment given. In the other two patients, sclerotherapy was preceded by transcatheter embolization. Neither decompressive surgery, radiation therapy nor stabilization was required with this technique. Conclusion: Our experience with CT-guided intraosseous sclerotherapy has proved highly satisfactory.

  4. Evolutionary perspectives on clonal reproduction in vertebrate animals

    PubMed Central

    Avise, John C.

    2015-01-01

    A synopsis is provided of different expressions of whole-animal vertebrate clonality (asexual organismal-level reproduction), both in the laboratory and in nature. For vertebrate taxa, such clonal phenomena include the following: human-mediated cloning via artificial nuclear transfer; intergenerational clonality in nature via parthenogenesis and gynogenesis; intergenerational hemiclonality via hybridogenesis and kleptogenesis; intragenerational clonality via polyembryony; and what in effect qualifies as clonal replication via self-fertilization and intense inbreeding by simultaneous hermaphrodites. Each of these clonal or quasi-clonal mechanisms is described, and its evolutionary genetic ramifications are addressed. By affording an atypical vantage on standard vertebrate reproduction, clonality offers fresh perspectives on the evolutionary and ecological significance of recombination-derived genetic variety. PMID:26195735

  5. Vertebrate segmentation: from cyclic gene networks to scoliosis.

    PubMed

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2011-05-27

    One of the most striking features of the human vertebral column is its periodic organization along the anterior-posterior axis. This pattern is established when segments of vertebrates, called somites, bud off at a defined pace from the anterior tip of the embryo's presomitic mesoderm (PSM). To trigger this rhythmic production of somites, three major signaling pathways--Notch, Wnt/β-catenin, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)--integrate into a molecular network that generates a traveling wave of gene expression along the embryonic axis, called the "segmentation clock." Recent systems approaches have begun identifying specific signaling circuits within the network that set the pace of the oscillations, synchronize gene expression cycles in neighboring cells, and contribute to the robustness and bilateral symmetry of somite formation. These findings establish a new model for vertebrate segmentation and provide a conceptual framework to explain human diseases of the spine, such as congenital scoliosis.

  6. Semi-automatic segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images using a statistical shape+pose model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzani, Amin; Rasoulian, Abtin; Fels, Sidney; Rohling, Robert N.; Abolmaesumi, Purang

    2014-03-01

    Segmentation of vertebral structures in magnetic resonance (MR) images is challenging because of poor con­trast between bone surfaces and surrounding soft tissue. This paper describes a semi-automatic method for segmenting vertebral bodies in multi-slice MR images. In order to achieve a fast and reliable segmentation, the method takes advantage of the correlation between shape and pose of different vertebrae in the same patient by using a statistical multi-vertebrae anatomical shape+pose model. Given a set of MR images of the spine, we initially reduce the intensity inhomogeneity in the images by using an intensity-correction algorithm. Then a 3D anisotropic diffusion filter smooths the images. Afterwards, we extract edges from a relatively small region of the pre-processed image with a simple user interaction. Subsequently, an iterative Expectation Maximization tech­nique is used to register the statistical multi-vertebrae anatomical model to the extracted edge points in order to achieve a fast and reliable segmentation for lumbar vertebral bodies. We evaluate our method in terms of speed and accuracy by applying it to volumetric MR images of the spine acquired from nine patients. Quantitative and visual results demonstrate that the method is promising for segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images.

  7. A single three-dimensional chromatin compartment in amphioxus indicates a stepwise evolution of vertebrate Hox bimodal regulation.

    PubMed

    Acemel, Rafael D; Tena, Juan J; Irastorza-Azcarate, Ibai; Marlétaz, Ferdinand; Gómez-Marín, Carlos; de la Calle-Mustienes, Elisa; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Diaz, Sergio G; Aldea, Daniel; Aury, Jean-Marc; Mangenot, Sophie; Holland, Peter W H; Devos, Damien P; Maeso, Ignacio; Escrivá, Hector; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis

    2016-03-01

    The HoxA and HoxD gene clusters of jawed vertebrates are organized into bipartite three-dimensional chromatin structures that separate long-range regulatory inputs coming from the anterior and posterior Hox-neighboring regions. This architecture is instrumental in allowing vertebrate Hox genes to pattern disparate parts of the body, including limbs. Almost nothing is known about how these three-dimensional topologies originated. Here we perform extensive 4C-seq profiling of the Hox cluster in embryos of amphioxus, an invertebrate chordate. We find that, in contrast to the architecture in vertebrates, the amphioxus Hox cluster is organized into a single chromatin interaction domain that includes long-range contacts mostly from the anterior side, bringing distant cis-regulatory elements into contact with Hox genes. We infer that the vertebrate Hox bipartite regulatory system is an evolutionary novelty generated by combining ancient long-range regulatory contacts from DNA in the anterior Hox neighborhood with new regulatory inputs from the posterior side.

  8. Taphonomic aspects of the Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage of Itaboraí, state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araújo Júnior, Hermínio Ismael de; Dominato, Victor Hugo; Bertoni-Machado, Cristina; Avilla, Leonardo dos Santos

    2013-10-01

    Pleistocene vertebrates from Itaboraí Basin have not been taphonomically studied prior to this work, limiting the understanding of the deposition and preservation of the only Pleistocene vertebrate accumulation known for the state of Rio de Janeiro. In this work, the taphonomic signatures of the Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage of Itaboraí are identified and interpreted in order to increase the knowledge about the formation of this fossil association and the paleoecology of the region of Rio de Janeiro during the late Pleistocene. Our analysis shows that the thanatocoenosis was exposed to the biostratinomic processes during a small time span; that it is parautochthonous; and experienced short transport distances by normal fluvial streams and floods. Subsequently, the fossiliferous horizon was quickly covered by the superjacent soil. Yet, the skeletal elements were fractured and deformed during the sedimentary compaction. The differential preservation of megamammal bones is associated to the bone resistance against those destructive processes and to the specific anatomical features. Comparison between Itaboraí and other Brazilian Pleistocene vertebrate accumulations shows that the Itaboraí fossil accumulation was less affected by taphonomic processes, although it is also a time-averaged fossil concentration. Finally, some of the taphonomic features indicate an arid paleoclimate.

  9. Automated measurement of bone-mineral-density (BMD) values of vertebral bones based on X-ray torso CT images.

    PubMed

    Zhou, X; Hayashi, T; Chen, H; Hara, T; Yokoyama, R; Kanematsu, M; Hoshi, H; Fujita, H

    2009-01-01

    Bone is one of the most important anatomical structures in humans and osteoporosis is one of the major public health concerns in the world. Osteoporosis is a main target disease of bone, which can be detected by medical image techniques. The purpose of this study is to develop a fully automated computer scheme to measure bone-mineral-density (BMD) values for vertebral trabecular bones. This scheme will aid osteoporosis diagnosis performed using computer tomography (CT) images. This scheme includes the following processing steps: segmentation of the bone region, recognition of the skeletal structures and measurement of the BMD value in vertebral trabecular bone of each vertebral body. The proposed scheme was applied to 20 X-ray torso CT cases to measure the BMD values for vertebral trabecular bones. The experimental results show that the mean and standard deviation of the difference between the BMD values measured by using the proposed method and those measured using a manual segmentation method were 6.93 mg/cm(3) and 6.82 mg/cm(3) respectively. The accuracy of the proposed scheme satisfied the requirement for a computer-aided system used in osteoporosis diagnosis.

  10. Presynaptic active zones in invertebrates and vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ackermann, Frauke; Waites, Clarissa L; Garner, Craig C

    2015-01-01

    The regulated release of neurotransmitter occurs via the fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) at specialized regions of the presynaptic membrane called active zones (AZs). These regions are defined by a cytoskeletal matrix assembled at AZs (CAZ), which functions to direct SVs toward docking and fusion sites and supports their maturation into the readily releasable pool. In addition, CAZ proteins localize voltage-gated Ca2+ channels at SV release sites, bringing the fusion machinery in close proximity to the calcium source. Proteins of the CAZ therefore ensure that vesicle fusion is temporally and spatially organized, allowing for the precise and reliable release of neurotransmitter. Importantly, AZs are highly dynamic structures, supporting presynaptic remodeling, changes in neurotransmitter release efficacy, and thus presynaptic forms of plasticity. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the study of active zones, highlighting how the CAZ molecularly defines sites of neurotransmitter release, endocytic zones, and the integrity of synapses. PMID:26160654

  11. The Intriguing Dual Lattices of the Myosin Filaments in Vertebrate Striated Muscles: Evolution and Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Luther, Pradeep K.; Squire, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Myosin filaments in vertebrate striated muscle have a long roughly cylindrical backbone with cross-bridge projections on the surfaces of both halves except for a short central bare zone. In the middle of this central region the filaments are cross-linked by the M-band which holds them in a well-defined hexagonal lattice in the muscle A-band. During muscular contraction the M-band-defined rotation of the myosin filaments around their long axes influences the interactions that the cross-bridges can make with the neighbouring actin filaments. We can visualise this filament rotation by electron microscopy of thin cross-sections in the bare-region immediately adjacent to the M-band where the filament profiles are distinctly triangular. In the muscles of teleost fishes, the thick filament triangular profiles have a single orientation giving what we call the simple lattice. In other vertebrates, for example all the tetrapods, the thick filaments have one of two orientations where the triangles point in opposite directions (they are rotated by 60° or 180°) according to set rules. Such a distribution cannot be developed in an ordered fashion across a large 2D lattice, but there are small domains of superlattice such that the next-nearest neighbouring thick filaments often have the same orientation. We believe that this difference in the lattice forms can lead to different contractile behaviours. Here we provide a historical review, and when appropriate cite recent work related to the emergence of the simple and superlattice forms by examining the muscles of several species ranging back to primitive vertebrates and we discuss the functional differences that the two lattice forms may have. PMID:25478994

  12. The intriguing dual lattices of the Myosin filaments in vertebrate striated muscles: evolution and advantage.

    PubMed

    Luther, Pradeep K; Squire, John M

    2014-12-03

    Myosin filaments in vertebrate striated muscle have a long roughly cylindrical backbone with cross-bridge projections on the surfaces of both halves except for a short central bare zone. In the middle of this central region the filaments are cross-linked by the M-band which holds them in a well-defined hexagonal lattice in the muscle A-band. During muscular contraction the M-band-defined rotation of the myosin filaments around their long axes influences the interactions that the cross-bridges can make with the neighbouring actin filaments. We can visualise this filament rotation by electron microscopy of thin cross-sections in the bare-region immediately adjacent to the M-band where the filament profiles are distinctly triangular. In the muscles of teleost fishes, the thick filament triangular profiles have a single orientation giving what we call the simple lattice. In other vertebrates, for example all the tetrapods, the thick filaments have one of two orientations where the triangles point in opposite directions (they are rotated by 60° or 180°) according to set rules. Such a distribution cannot be developed in an ordered fashion across a large 2D lattice, but there are small domains of superlattice such that the next-nearest neighbouring thick filaments often have the same orientation. We believe that this difference in the lattice forms can lead to different contractile behaviours. Here we provide a historical review, and when appropriate cite recent work related to the emergence of the simple and superlattice forms by examining the muscles of several species ranging back to primitive vertebrates and we discuss the functional differences that the two lattice forms may have.

  13. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, Pamela; Docherty, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park (NHP) in southern Arizona. These surveys were part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. From 2000 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tumacacori NHP to document presence of species within the administrative boundaries of the park's three units. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, these inventories can serve as the first step in a long-term monitoring program. We recorded 591 species at Tumacacori NHP, significantly increasing the number of known species for the park (Table 1). Species of note in each taxonomic group include: * Plants: second record in Arizona of muster John Henry, a non-native species that is ranked a 'Class A noxious weed' in California; * Amphibian: Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad; * Reptiles: eastern fence lizard and Sonoran mud turtle; * Birds: yellow-billed cuckoo, green kingfisher, and one observation of the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher; * Fishes: four native species including an important population of the endangered Gila topminnow in the Tumacacori Channel; * Mammals: black bear and all four species of skunk known to occur in Arizona. We recorded 79 non-native species (Table E.S.1), many of which are of management concern, including: Bermudagrass, tamarisk, western mosquitofish, largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, American bullfrog, feral cats and dogs, and cattle. We also noted an abundance of crayfish (a non-native invertebrate). We review some of the important non-native species and make recommendations to remove them or to minimize their impacts on the native biota of the park. Based on the observed species richness, Tumacacori NHP possesses high biological diversity of plants, fish

  14. Prevalent Morphometric Vertebral Fractures in Professional Male Rugby Players

    PubMed Central

    Hind, Karen; Birrell, Fraser; Beck, Belinda

    2014-01-01

    There is an ongoing concern about the risk of injury to the spine in professional rugby players. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of vertebral fracture using vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) imaging in professional male rugby players. Ninety five professional rugby league (n = 52) and union (n = 43) players (n = 95; age 25.9 (SD 4.3) years; BMI: 29.5 (SD 2.9) kg.m2) participated in the research. Each participant received one VFA, and one total body and lumbar spine DXA scan (GE Lunar iDXA). One hundred and twenty vertebral fractures were identified in over half of the sample by VFA. Seventy four were graded mild (grade 1), 40 moderate (grade 2) and 6 severe (grade 3). Multiple vertebral fractures (≥2) were found in 37 players (39%). There were no differences in prevalence between codes, or between forwards and backs (both 1.2 v 1.4; p>0.05). The most common sites of fracture were T8 (n = 23), T9 (n = 18) and T10 (n = 21). The mean (SD) lumbar spine bone mineral density Z-score was 2.7 (1.3) indicating high player bone mass in comparison with age- and sex-matched norms. We observed a high number of vertebral fractures using DXA VFA in professional rugby players of both codes. The incidence, aetiology and consequences of vertebral fractures in professional rugby players are unclear, and warrant timely, prospective investigation. PMID:24846310

  15. Distribution, adaptation and physiological meaning of thiols from vertebrate hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Reischl, Evaldo; Dafre, Alcir Luiz; Franco, Jeferson Luis; Wilhelm Filho, Danilo

    2007-01-01

    In the present review, the sequences of hemoglobins (Hb) of 267 adult vertebrate species belonging to eight major vertebrate taxa are examined for the presence and location of cysteinyl residues in an attempt at correlation with their ecophysiology. Essentially, all vertebrates have surface cysteinyl residues in Hb molecules whereby their thiol groups may become highly reactive. Thiol-rich Hbs may display eight or more thiols per tetramer. In vertebrates so far examined, the cysteinyl residues occur in 44 different sequence positions in alpha chains and 41 positions in beta chains. Most of them are conservatively located and occur in only a few positions in Teleostei, Aves and Mammalia, whereas they are dispersed in Amphibia. The internal cysteinyl residue alpha104 is ubiquitous in vertebrates. Residue beta93 is highly conserved in reptiles, birds and mammals. The number of cysteine residues per tetramer with solvent access varies in vertebrates, mammalians and bony fish having the lowest number of external residues, whereas nearly all external cysteine residues in Aves and Lepidosauria are of the surface crevice type. In cartilaginous fish, amphibians, Crocodylidae and fresh water turtles, a substantial portion of the solvent accessible thiols are of the totally external type. Recent evidence shows that some Hb thiol groups are highly reactive and undergo extensive and reversible S-thiolation, and that they may be implicated in interorgan redox equilibrium processes. Participation of thiol groups in nitric oxide ((*)NO) metabolism has also been proved. The evidence argues for a new physiologically relevant role for Hb via involvement in free radical and antioxidant metabolism.

  16. Unexpected multiplicity of QRFP receptors in early vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Larhammar, Dan; Xu, Bo; Bergqvist, Christina A.

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptide QRFP, also called 26RFa, and its G protein-coupled receptor GPR103 have been identified in all vertebrates investigated. In mammals, this peptide-receptor pair has been found to have several effects including stimulation of appetite. Recently, we reported that a QRFP peptide is present in amphioxus, Branchiostoma floridae, and we also identified a QRFP receptor (QRFPR) that mediates a functional response to sub-nanomolar concentrations of the amphioxus peptide as well as short and long human QRFP (Xu et al., submitted). Because the ancestral vertebrate underwent two tetraploidizations, it might be expected that duplicates of the QRFP gene and its receptor gene may exist. Indeed, we report here the identification of multiple vertebrate QRFPR genes. Three QRFPR genes are present in the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae, representing an early diverging sarcopterygian lineage. Three QRFPR genes are present in the basal actinopterygian fish, the spotted gar. Phylogenetic and chromosomal analyses show that only two of these receptor genes are orthologous between the two species, thus demonstrating a total of four distinct vertebrate genes. Three of the QRFPR genes resulted from the early vertebrate tetraploidizations and were copied along with syntenic neuropeptide Y receptor genes. The fourth QRFPR gene may be an even older and distinct lineage. Because mammals and birds have only a single QRFPR gene, this means that three genes have been lost in these lineages, and at least one of these was lost independently in mammals and birds because it is still present in a turtle. In conclusion, these results show that the QRFP system gained considerable complexity in the early stages of vertebrate evolution and still maintains much of this in some lineages, and that it has been secondarily reduced in mammals. PMID:25386115

  17. Unexpected multiplicity of QRFP receptors in early