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Sample records for level phylogenetic alterations

  1. Trinets encode tree-child and level-2 phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    van Iersel, Leo; Moulton, Vincent

    2014-06-01

    Phylogenetic networks generalize evolutionary trees, and are commonly used to represent evolutionary histories of species that undergo reticulate evolutionary processes such as hybridization, recombination and lateral gene transfer. Recently, there has been great interest in trying to develop methods to construct rooted phylogenetic networks from triplets, that is rooted trees on three species. However, although triplets determine or encode rooted phylogenetic trees, they do not in general encode rooted phylogenetic networks, which is a potential issue for any such method. Motivated by this fact, Huber and Moulton recently introduced trinets as a natural extension of rooted triplets to networks. In particular, they showed that [Formula: see text] phylogenetic networks are encoded by their trinets, and also conjectured that all "recoverable" rooted phylogenetic networks are encoded by their trinets. Here we prove that recoverable binary level-2 networks and binary tree-child networks are also encoded by their trinets. To do this we prove two decomposition theorems based on trinets which hold for all recoverable binary rooted phylogenetic networks. Our results provide some additional evidence in support of the conjecture that trinets encode all recoverable rooted phylogenetic networks, and could also lead to new approaches to construct phylogenetic networks from trinets.

  2. Phylogenetic comparison of metabolic capacities of organisms at genome level.

    PubMed

    Ma, Hong-Wu; Zeng, An-Ping

    2004-04-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been shown to widely spread in organisms by comparative genomic studies. However, its effect on the phylogenetic relationship of organisms, especially at a system level of different cellular functions, is still not well understood. In this work, we have constructed phylogenetic trees based on the enzyme, reaction, and gene contents of metabolic networks reconstructed from annotated genome information of 82 sequenced organisms. Results from different phylogenetic distance definitions and based on three different functional subsystems (i.e., metabolism, cellular processes, information storage and processing) were compared. Results based on the three different functional subsystems give different pictures on the phylogenetic relationship of organisms, reflecting the different extents of HGT in the different functional systems. In general, horizontal transfer is prevailing in genes for metabolism, but less in genes for information processing. Nevertheless, the major results of metabolic network-based phylogenetic trees are in good agreement with the tree based on 16S rRNA and genome trees, confirming the three domain classification and the close relationship between eukaryotes and archaea at the level of metabolic networks. These results strongly support the hypothesis that although HGT is widely distributed, it is nevertheless constrained by certain pre-existing metabolic organization principle(s) during the evolution. Further research is needed to identify the organization principle and constraints of metabolic network on HGT which have large impacts on understanding the evolution of life and in purposefully manipulating cellular metabolism.

  3. Convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Forrestel, Elisabeth J; Donoghue, Michael J; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-08-01

    The importance of fire in the creation and maintenance of mesic grassland communities is well recognized. Improved understanding of how grasses--the dominant clade in these important ecosystems--will respond to alterations in fire regimes is needed in the face of anthropogenically driven climate and land-use change. Here, we examined how grass communities shift in response to experimentally manipulated fire regimes at multiple levels of community diversity--taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional--in C4-dominanted mesic savanna grassland sites with similar structure and physiognomy, yet disparate biogeographic histories. We found that the grass communities were similar in their phylogenetic response and aspects of their functional response to high fire frequency. Both sites exhibited phylogenetic clustering of highly abundant species in annually burned plots, driven by species of the Andropogoneae, and a narrow range of functional strategies associated with rapid post-fire regeneration in a high-light, nitrogen-limited environment. By examining multiple facets of diversity in a comparative context, we identified convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in two mesic savanna grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of a common filtering process associated with fire that is consistent across grasslands of disparate biogeographic histories and taxonomic representation.

  4. Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Sleator, Roy D

    2011-04-01

    The recent rapid expansion in the DNA and protein databases, arising from large-scale genomic and metagenomic sequence projects, has forced significant development in the field of phylogenetics: the study of the evolutionary relatedness of the planet's inhabitants. Advances in phylogenetic analysis have greatly transformed our view of the landscape of evolutionary biology, transcending the view of the tree of life that has shaped evolutionary theory since Darwinian times. Indeed, modern phylogenetic analysis no longer focuses on the restricted Darwinian-Mendelian model of vertical gene transfer, but must also consider the significant degree of lateral gene transfer, which connects and shapes almost all living things. Herein, I review the major tree-building methods, their strengths, weaknesses and future prospects. PMID:21249334

  5. Comparative Analysis of Begonia Plastid Genomes and Their Utility for Species-Level Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Recent, rapid radiations make species-level phylogenetics difficult to resolve. We used a multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing approach to identify informative genomic regions to resolve phylogenetic relationships at low taxonomic levels in Begonia from a survey of sixteen species. A long-range PCR method was used to generate draft plastid genomes to provide a strong phylogenetic backbone, identify fast evolving regions and provide informative molecular markers for species-level phylogenetic studies in Begonia. PMID:27058864

  6. Comparative Analysis of Begonia Plastid Genomes and Their Utility for Species-Level Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J; Kidner, Catherine A

    2016-01-01

    Recent, rapid radiations make species-level phylogenetics difficult to resolve. We used a multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing approach to identify informative genomic regions to resolve phylogenetic relationships at low taxonomic levels in Begonia from a survey of sixteen species. A long-range PCR method was used to generate draft plastid genomes to provide a strong phylogenetic backbone, identify fast evolving regions and provide informative molecular markers for species-level phylogenetic studies in Begonia.

  7. Comparative Analysis of Begonia Plastid Genomes and Their Utility for Species-Level Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J; Kidner, Catherine A

    2016-01-01

    Recent, rapid radiations make species-level phylogenetics difficult to resolve. We used a multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing approach to identify informative genomic regions to resolve phylogenetic relationships at low taxonomic levels in Begonia from a survey of sixteen species. A long-range PCR method was used to generate draft plastid genomes to provide a strong phylogenetic backbone, identify fast evolving regions and provide informative molecular markers for species-level phylogenetic studies in Begonia. PMID:27058864

  8. Altered Levels of Acetylcholinesterase in Alzheimer Plasma

    PubMed Central

    García-Ayllón, María-Salud; Riba-Llena, Iolanda; Serra-Basante, Carol; Alom, Jordi; Boopathy, Rathnam; Sáez-Valero, Javier

    2010-01-01

    Background Many studies have been conducted in an extensive effort to identify alterations in blood cholinesterase levels as a consequence of disease, including the analysis of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in plasma. Conventional assays using selective cholinesterase inhibitors have not been particularly successful as excess amounts of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) pose a major problem. Principal Findings Here we have estimated the levels of AChE activity in human plasma by first immunoprecipitating BuChE and measuring AChE activity in the immunodepleted plasma. Human plasma AChE activity levels were ∼20 nmol/min/mL, about 160 times lower than BuChE. The majority of AChE species are the light G1+G2 forms and not G4 tetramers. The levels and pattern of the molecular forms are similar to that observed in individuals with silent BuChE. We have also compared plasma AChE with the enzyme pattern obtained from human liver, red blood cells, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain, by sedimentation analysis, Western blotting and lectin-binding analysis. Finally, a selective increase of AChE activity was detected in plasma from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients compared to age and gender-matched controls. This increase correlates with an increase in the G1+G2 forms, the subset of AChE species which are increased in Alzheimer's brain. Western blot analysis demonstrated that a 78 kDa immunoreactive AChE protein band was also increased in Alzheimer's plasma, attributed in part to AChE-T subunits common in brain and CSF. Conclusion Plasma AChE might have potential as an indicator of disease progress and prognosis in AD and warrants further investigation. PMID:20090844

  9. Disturbance Alters the Phylogenetic Composition and Structure of Plant Communities in an Old Field System

    PubMed Central

    Dinnage, Russell

    2009-01-01

    The changes in phylogenetic composition and structure of communities during succession following disturbance can give us insights into the forces that are shaping communities over time. In abandoned agricultural fields, community composition changes rapidly when a field is plowed, and is thought to reflect a relaxation of competition due to the elimination of dominant species which take time to re-establish. Competition can drive phylogenetic overdispersion, due to phylogenetic conservation of ‘niche’ traits that allow species to partition resources. Therefore, undisturbed old field communities should exhibit higher phylogenetic dispersion than recently disturbed systems, which should be relatively ‘clustered’ with respect to phylogenetic relationships. Several measures of phylogenetic structure between plant communities were measured in recently plowed areas and nearby ‘undisturbed’ sites. There was no difference in the absolute values of these measures between disturbed and ‘undisturbed’ sites. However, there was a difference in the ‘expected’ phylogenetic structure between habitats, leading to significantly lower than expected phylogenetic diversity in disturbed plots, and no difference from random expectation in ‘undisturbed’ plots. This suggests that plant species characteristic of each habitat are fairly evenly distributed on the shared species pool phylogeny, but that once the initial sorting of species into the two habitat types has occurred, the processes operating on them affect each habitat differently. These results were consistent with an analysis of correlation between phylogenetic distance and co-occurrence indices of species pairs in the two habitat types. This study supports the notion that disturbed plots are more clustered than expected, rather than ‘undisturbed’ plots being more overdispersed, suggesting that disturbed plant communities are being more strongly influenced by environmental filtering of conserved niche

  10. Phylogenetic diversity and co-evolutionary signals among trophic levels change across a habitat edge.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Guadalupe; Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Varsani, Arvind; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-03-01

    Incorporating the evolutionary history of species into community ecology enhances understanding of community composition, ecosystem functioning and responses to environmental changes. Phylogenetic history might partly explain the impact of fragmentation and land-use change on assemblages of interacting organisms and even determine potential cascading effects across trophic levels. However, it remains unclear whether phylogenetic diversity of basal resources is reflected at higher trophic levels in the food web. In particular, phylogenetic determinants of community structure have never been incorporated into habitat edge studies, even though edges are recognized as key factors affecting communities in fragmented landscapes. Here, we test whether phylogenetic diversity at different trophic levels (plants, herbivores and parasitoids) and signals of co-evolution (i.e. phylogenetic congruence) among interacting trophic levels change across an edge gradient between native and plantation forests. To ascertain whether there is a signal of co-evolution across trophic levels, we test whether related consumer species generally feed on related resource species. We found differences across trophic levels in how their phylogenetic diversity responded to the habitat edge gradient. Plant and native parasitoid phylogenetic diversity changed markedly across habitats, while phylogenetic variability of herbivores (which were predominantly native) did not change across habitats, though phylogenetic evenness declined in plantation interiors. Related herbivore species did not appear to feed disproportionately on related plant species (i.e. there was no signal of co-evolution) even when considering only native species, potentially due to the high trophic generality of herbivores. However, related native parasitoid species tended to feed on related herbivore species, suggesting the presence of a co-evolutionary signal at higher trophic levels. Moreover, this signal was stronger in

  11. Phylogenetic diversity and co-evolutionary signals among trophic levels change across a habitat edge.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Guadalupe; Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Varsani, Arvind; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-03-01

    Incorporating the evolutionary history of species into community ecology enhances understanding of community composition, ecosystem functioning and responses to environmental changes. Phylogenetic history might partly explain the impact of fragmentation and land-use change on assemblages of interacting organisms and even determine potential cascading effects across trophic levels. However, it remains unclear whether phylogenetic diversity of basal resources is reflected at higher trophic levels in the food web. In particular, phylogenetic determinants of community structure have never been incorporated into habitat edge studies, even though edges are recognized as key factors affecting communities in fragmented landscapes. Here, we test whether phylogenetic diversity at different trophic levels (plants, herbivores and parasitoids) and signals of co-evolution (i.e. phylogenetic congruence) among interacting trophic levels change across an edge gradient between native and plantation forests. To ascertain whether there is a signal of co-evolution across trophic levels, we test whether related consumer species generally feed on related resource species. We found differences across trophic levels in how their phylogenetic diversity responded to the habitat edge gradient. Plant and native parasitoid phylogenetic diversity changed markedly across habitats, while phylogenetic variability of herbivores (which were predominantly native) did not change across habitats, though phylogenetic evenness declined in plantation interiors. Related herbivore species did not appear to feed disproportionately on related plant species (i.e. there was no signal of co-evolution) even when considering only native species, potentially due to the high trophic generality of herbivores. However, related native parasitoid species tended to feed on related herbivore species, suggesting the presence of a co-evolutionary signal at higher trophic levels. Moreover, this signal was stronger in

  12. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment. PMID:25288547

  13. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.

  14. Reconstruction of Family-Level Phylogenetic Relationships within Demospongiae (Porifera) Using Nuclear Encoded Housekeeping Genes

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Malcolm S.; Hill, April L.; Lopez, Jose; Peterson, Kevin J.; Pomponi, Shirley; Diaz, Maria C.; Thacker, Robert W.; Adamska, Maja; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Cárdenas, Paco; Chaves-Fonnegra, Andia; Danka, Elizabeth; De Laine, Bre-Onna; Formica, Dawn; Hajdu, Eduardo; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Klontz, Sarah; Morrow, Christine C.; Patel, Jignasa; Picton, Bernard; Pisani, Davide; Pohlmann, Deborah; Redmond, Niamh E.; Reed, John; Richey, Stacy; Riesgo, Ana; Rubin, Ewelina; Russell, Zach; Rützler, Klaus; Sperling, Erik A.; di Stefano, Michael; Tarver, James E.; Collins, Allen G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Demosponges are challenging for phylogenetic systematics because of their plastic and relatively simple morphologies and many deep divergences between major clades. To improve understanding of the phylogenetic relationships within Demospongiae, we sequenced and analyzed seven nuclear housekeeping genes involved in a variety of cellular functions from a diverse group of sponges. Methodology/Principal Findings We generated data from each of the four sponge classes (i.e., Calcarea, Demospongiae, Hexactinellida, and Homoscleromorpha), but focused on family-level relationships within demosponges. With data for 21 newly sampled families, our Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian-based approaches recovered previously phylogenetically defined taxa: Keratosap, Myxospongiaep, Spongillidap, Haploscleromorphap (the marine haplosclerids) and Democlaviap. We found conflicting results concerning the relationships of Keratosap and Myxospongiaep to the remaining demosponges, but our results strongly supported a clade of Haploscleromorphap+Spongillidap+Democlaviap. In contrast to hypotheses based on mitochondrial genome and ribosomal data, nuclear housekeeping gene data suggested that freshwater sponges (Spongillidap) are sister to Haploscleromorphap rather than part of Democlaviap. Within Keratosap, we found equivocal results as to the monophyly of Dictyoceratida. Within Myxospongiaep, Chondrosida and Verongida were monophyletic. A well-supported clade within Democlaviap, Tetractinellidap, composed of all sampled members of Astrophorina and Spirophorina (including the only lithistid in our analysis), was consistently revealed as the sister group to all other members of Democlaviap. Within Tetractinellidap, we did not recover monophyletic Astrophorina or Spirophorina. Our results also reaffirmed the monophyly of order Poecilosclerida (excluding Desmacellidae and Raspailiidae), and polyphyly of Hadromerida and Halichondrida. Conclusions/Significance These results, using an

  15. Phylogenetic classification at generic level in the absence of distinct phylogenetic patterns of phenotypical variation: a case study in graphidaceae (ascomycota).

    PubMed

    Parnmen, Sittiporn; Lücking, Robert; Lumbsch, H Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    Molecular phylogenies often reveal that taxa circumscribed by phenotypical characters are not monophyletic. While re-examination of phenotypical characters often identifies the presence of characters characterizing clades, there is a growing number of studies that fail to identify diagnostic characters, especially in organismal groups lacking complex morphologies. Taxonomists then can either merge the groups or split taxa into smaller entities. Due to the nature of binomial nomenclature, this decision is of special importance at the generic level. Here we propose a new approach to choose among classification alternatives using a combination of morphology-based phylogenetic binning and a multiresponse permutation procedure to test for morphological differences among clades. We illustrate the use of this method in the tribe Thelotremateae focusing on the genus Chapsa, a group of lichenized fungi in which our phylogenetic estimate is in conflict with traditional classification and the morphological and chemical characters do not show a clear phylogenetic pattern. We generated 75 new DNA sequences of mitochondrial SSU rDNA, nuclear LSU rDNA and the protein-coding RPB2. This data set was used to infer phylogenetic estimates using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. The genus Chapsa was found to be polyphyletic, forming four well-supported clades, three of which clustering into one unsupported clade, and the other, supported clade forming two supported subclades. While these clades cannot be readily separated morphologically, the combined binning/multiresponse permutation procedure showed that accepting the four clades as different genera each reflects the phenotypical pattern significantly better than accepting two genera (or five genera if splitting the first clade). Another species within the Thelotremateae, Thelotrema petractoides, a unique taxon with carbonized excipulum resembling Schizotrema, was shown to fall outside Thelotrema. Consequently, the new

  16. Phylogenetic Classification at Generic Level in the Absence of Distinct Phylogenetic Patterns of Phenotypical Variation: A Case Study in Graphidaceae (Ascomycota)

    PubMed Central

    Parnmen, Sittiporn; Lücking, Robert; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    Molecular phylogenies often reveal that taxa circumscribed by phenotypical characters are not monophyletic. While re-examination of phenotypical characters often identifies the presence of characters characterizing clades, there is a growing number of studies that fail to identify diagnostic characters, especially in organismal groups lacking complex morphologies. Taxonomists then can either merge the groups or split taxa into smaller entities. Due to the nature of binomial nomenclature, this decision is of special importance at the generic level. Here we propose a new approach to choose among classification alternatives using a combination of morphology-based phylogenetic binning and a multiresponse permutation procedure to test for morphological differences among clades. We illustrate the use of this method in the tribe Thelotremateae focusing on the genus Chapsa, a group of lichenized fungi in which our phylogenetic estimate is in conflict with traditional classification and the morphological and chemical characters do not show a clear phylogenetic pattern. We generated 75 new DNA sequences of mitochondrial SSU rDNA, nuclear LSU rDNA and the protein-coding RPB2. This data set was used to infer phylogenetic estimates using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. The genus Chapsa was found to be polyphyletic, forming four well-supported clades, three of which clustering into one unsupported clade, and the other, supported clade forming two supported subclades. While these clades cannot be readily separated morphologically, the combined binning/multiresponse permutation procedure showed that accepting the four clades as different genera each reflects the phenotypical pattern significantly better than accepting two genera (or five genera if splitting the first clade). Another species within the Thelotremateae, Thelotrema petractoides, a unique taxon with carbonized excipulum resembling Schizotrema, was shown to fall outside Thelotrema. Consequently, the new

  17. Family-Level Sampling of Mitochondrial Genomes in Coleoptera: Compositional Heterogeneity and Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Timmermans, Martijn J T N; Barton, Christopher; Haran, Julien; Ahrens, Dirk; Culverwell, C Lorna; Ollikainen, Alison; Dodsworth, Steven; Foster, Peter G; Bocak, Ladislav; Vogler, Alfried P

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes are readily sequenced with recent technology and thus evolutionary lineages can be densely sampled. This permits better phylogenetic estimates and assessment of potential biases resulting from heterogeneity in nucleotide composition and rate of change. We gathered 245 mitochondrial sequences for the Coleoptera representing all 4 suborders, 15 superfamilies of Polyphaga, and altogether 97 families, including 159 newly sequenced full or partial mitogenomes. Compositional heterogeneity greatly affected 3rd codon positions, and to a lesser extent the 1st and 2nd positions, even after RY coding. Heterogeneity also affected the encoded protein sequence, in particular in the nad2, nad4, nad5, and nad6 genes. Credible tree topologies were obtained with the nhPhyML ("nonhomogeneous") algorithm implementing a model for branch-specific equilibrium frequencies. Likelihood searches using RAxML were improved by data partitioning by gene and codon position. Finally, the PhyloBayes software, which allows different substitution processes for amino acid replacement at various sites, produced a tree that best matched known higher level taxa and defined basal relationships in Coleoptera. After rooting with Neuropterida outgroups, suborder relationships were resolved as (Polyphaga (Myxophaga (Archostemata + Adephaga))). The infraorder relationships in Polyphaga were (Scirtiformia (Elateriformia ((Staphyliniformia + Scarabaeiformia) (Bostrichiformia (Cucujiformia))))). Polyphagan superfamilies were recovered as monophyla except Staphylinoidea (paraphyletic for Scarabaeiformia) and Cucujoidea, which can no longer be considered a valid taxon. The study shows that, although compositional heterogeneity is not universal, it cannot be eliminated for some mitochondrial genes, but dense taxon sampling and the use of appropriate Bayesian analyses can still produce robust phylogenetic trees. PMID:26645679

  18. Family-Level Sampling of Mitochondrial Genomes in Coleoptera: Compositional Heterogeneity and Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Timmermans, Martijn J. T. N.; Barton, Christopher; Haran, Julien; Ahrens, Dirk; Culverwell, C. Lorna; Ollikainen, Alison; Dodsworth, Steven; Foster, Peter G.; Bocak, Ladislav; Vogler, Alfried P.

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes are readily sequenced with recent technology and thus evolutionary lineages can be densely sampled. This permits better phylogenetic estimates and assessment of potential biases resulting from heterogeneity in nucleotide composition and rate of change. We gathered 245 mitochondrial sequences for the Coleoptera representing all 4 suborders, 15 superfamilies of Polyphaga, and altogether 97 families, including 159 newly sequenced full or partial mitogenomes. Compositional heterogeneity greatly affected 3rd codon positions, and to a lesser extent the 1st and 2nd positions, even after RY coding. Heterogeneity also affected the encoded protein sequence, in particular in the nad2, nad4, nad5, and nad6 genes. Credible tree topologies were obtained with the nhPhyML (“nonhomogeneous”) algorithm implementing a model for branch-specific equilibrium frequencies. Likelihood searches using RAxML were improved by data partitioning by gene and codon position. Finally, the PhyloBayes software, which allows different substitution processes for amino acid replacement at various sites, produced a tree that best matched known higher level taxa and defined basal relationships in Coleoptera. After rooting with Neuropterida outgroups, suborder relationships were resolved as (Polyphaga (Myxophaga (Archostemata + Adephaga))). The infraorder relationships in Polyphaga were (Scirtiformia (Elateriformia ((Staphyliniformia + Scarabaeiformia) (Bostrichiformia (Cucujiformia))))). Polyphagan superfamilies were recovered as monophyla except Staphylinoidea (paraphyletic for Scarabaeiformia) and Cucujoidea, which can no longer be considered a valid taxon. The study shows that, although compositional heterogeneity is not universal, it cannot be eliminated for some mitochondrial genes, but dense taxon sampling and the use of appropriate Bayesian analyses can still produce robust phylogenetic trees. PMID:26645679

  19. Copper deficiency in neonatal mice alters brain catecholamine levels

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, W.R.; Prohaska, J.R. )

    1991-03-15

    Copper (Cu) deficiency was investigated in Swiss albino mice to develop a model that alters brain catecholamine metabolism without serious growth impairment. Cu deficiency was induced by feeding a diet low in Cu to dams beginning either 7 days (d) prior, 4d prior, 4d after, or on the day of parturition. All 4-week-old male Cu-deficient ({minus}Cu) offspring were anemic and exhibited biochemical characteristics of Cu deficiency when compared to their respective +Cu control mice. However, the best model, which resulted in altered catecholamine metabolism characterized by elevation of dopamine (DA) and depression in norepinephrine (NE) in brain, heart, and spleen, was when treatment began 4d prior to birth. Body and brain weight were not altered. However, levels of Cu in brain and liver of {minus}Cu mice were markedly reduced to 21% and 31% of those measured in +Cu controls, respectively. Furthermore, brain NE and DA concentrations of {minus}Cu mice were 72% and 132% of those quantified in +Cu offspring, respectively. A plausible explanation is that dietary Cu deficiency results in lower activity of brain dopamine-{beta}-monooxygenase, the Cu dependent enzyme that catalyzes conversion of DA to NE. It is not yet known if these changes in Ne and DA pool size altered the quantity or characteristics of the neuronal catecholamine receptors, and more importantly, whether or not the observed changes are reversible by nutritional intervention.

  20. Phylogenetic reference data for systematics and phylotaxonomy of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from phylum to species level.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Manuela; Krüger, Claudia; Walker, Christopher; Stockinger, Herbert; Schüssler, Arthur

    2012-03-01

    Although the molecular phylogeny, evolution and biodiversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are becoming clearer, phylotaxonomically reliable sequence data are still limited. To fill this gap, a data set allowing resolution and environmental tracing across all taxonomic levels is provided. Two overlapping nuclear DNA regions, totalling c. 3 kb, were analysed: the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene (up to 1800 bp) and a fragment spanning c. 250 bp of the SSU rDNA, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (c. 475-520 bp) and c. 800 bp of the large subunit (LSU) rRNA gene. Both DNA regions together could be analysed for 35 described species, the SSU rDNA for c. 76 named and 18 as yet undefined species, and the ITS region or LSU rDNA, or a combination of both, for c. 91 named and 16 as yet undefined species. Present phylogenetic analyses, based on the three rDNA markers, provide reliable and robust resolution from phylum to species level. Altogether, 109 named species and 27 cultures representing as yet undefined species were analysed. This study provides a reference data set for molecular systematics and environmental community analyses of AMF, including analyses based on deep sequencing.

  1. A phylogenetic view of low-level CAM in Pelargonium (Geraniaceae).

    PubMed

    Jones, Cynthia S; Cardon, Zoe G; Czaja, Andrew D

    2003-01-01

    Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is common in several plant families and is often associated with succulence. Few studies have examined the occurrence of CAM from a phylogenetic perspective. The genus Pelargonium is promising for such a study because members are characterized by dramatic variation in growth form (including geophytes, shrubs, and stem succulents) and because growth form diversity is expressed to the greatest extent in a monophyletic group comprising 80% of Pelargonium species. This clade, predominantly from the winter rainfall region of southern Africa, likely proliferated in response to Miocene or Pliocene aridification. We present a survey for CAM across Pelargonium, emphasizing the winter rainfall clade. Dawn/dusk fluctuations in titratable acidity were examined in 41 species, with detailed measurements of carbon uptake and stomatal conductance under progressive water stress in four species. No species exhibited obligate CAM. When well-watered, most species exhibited stomatal conductances and acid fluctuations characteristic of C(3) photosynthesis, though some exhibited more pronounced increases in nocturnal acidity, suggesting CAM cycling. In four species examined during dry-down, water stress led to increased nighttime acid levels and decreased daytime stomatal conductance. Ultimately, stomata closed and external carbon uptake ceased, consistent with CAM idling. These results are discussed from the perspective of the evolution of CAM flexibility.

  2. Diversity of Phylogenetic Information According to the Locus and the Taxonomic Level: An Example from a Parasitic Mesostigmatid Mite Genus

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Lise; Dowling, Ashley P.G.; Chauve, Claude Marie; Buronfosse, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    Molecular markers for cladistic analyses may perform differently according to the taxonomic group considered and the historical level under investigation. Here we evaluate the phylogenetic potential of five different markers for resolving evolutionary relationships within the ectoparasitic genus Dermanyssus at the species level, and their ability to address questions about the evolution of specialization. COI provided 9–18% divergence between species (up to 9% within species), 16S rRNA 10–16% (up to 4% within species), ITS1 and 2 2–9% (up to 1% within species) and Tropomyosin intron n 8–20% (up to 6% within species). EF-1α revealed different non-orthologous copies within individuals of Dermanyssus and Ornithonyssus. Tropomyosin intron n was shown containing consistent phylogenetic signal at the specific level within Dermanyssus and represents a promising marker for future prospects in phylogenetics of Acari. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the generalist condition is apomorphic and D. gallinae might represent a complex of hybridized lineages. The split into hirsutus-group and gallinae-group in Dermanyssus does not seem to be appropriate based upon these results and D. longipes appears to be composed of two different entities. PMID:20480038

  3. The internal transcribed spacer 2 database--a web server for (not only) low level phylogenetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Jörg; Müller, Tobias; Achtziger, Marco; Seibel, Philipp N; Dandekar, Thomas; Wolf, Matthias

    2006-07-01

    The internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) is a phylogenetic marker which has been of broad use in generic and infrageneric level classifications, as its sequence evolves comparably fast. Only recently, it became clear, that the ITS2 might be useful even for higher level systematic analyses. As the secondary structure is highly conserved within all eukaryotes it serves as a valuable template for the construction of highly reliable sequence-structure alignments, which build a fundament for subsequent analyses. Thus, any phylogenetic study using ITS2 has to consider both sequence and structure. We have integrated a homology based RNA structure prediction algorithm into a web server, which allows the detection and secondary structure prediction for ITS2 in any given sequence. Furthermore, the resource contains more than 25,000 pre-calculated secondary structures for the currently known ITS2 sequences. These can be taxonomically searched and browsed. Thus, our resource could become a starting point for ITS2-based phylogenetic analyses and is therefore complementary to databases of other phylogenetic markers, which focus on higher level analyses. The current version of the ITS2 database can be accessed via http://its2.bioapps.biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de.

  4. Influence of Platform Switching on Bone-level Alterations

    PubMed Central

    Enkling, N.; Jöhren, P.; Katsoulis, J.; Bayer, S.; Jervøe-Storm, P.-M.; Mericske-Stern, R.; Jepsen, S.

    2013-01-01

    The concept of platform switching has been introduced to implant dentistry based on clinical observations of reduced peri-implant crestal bone loss. However, published data are controversial, and most studies are limited to 12 months. The aim of the present randomized clinical trial was to test the hypothesis that platform switching has a positive impact on crestal bone-level changes after 3 years. Two implants with a diameter of 4 mm were inserted crestally in the posterior mandible of 25 patients. The intraindividual allocation of platform switching (3.3-mm platform) and the standard implant (4-mm platform) was randomized. After 3 months of submerged healing, single-tooth crowns were cemented. Patients were followed up at short intervals for monitoring of healing and oral hygiene. Statistical analysis for the influence of time and platform type on bone levels employed the Brunner-Langer model. At 3 years, the mean radiographic peri-implant bone loss was 0.69 ± 0.43 mm (platform switching) and 0.74 ± 0.57 mm (standard platform). The mean intraindividual difference was 0.05 ± 0.58 mm (95% confidence interval: –0.19, 0.29). Crestal bone-level alteration depended on time (p < .001) but not on platform type (p = .363). The present randomized clinical trial could not confirm the hypothesis of a reduced peri-implant crestal bone loss, when implants had been restored according to the concept of platform switching (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01917305). PMID:24158333

  5. Autonomic nervous alterations associated with daily level of fatigue

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Fatigue is a common symptom in both sick and healthy people. We examined autonomic nervous alterations associated with fatigue to clarify the mechanisms underlying fatigue. Methods The study group consisted of 19 healthy participants who performed a 2-back test for 30 min as a fatigue-inducing mental task session. Before and after the session, they completed the advanced trail making test (ATMT) for 30 min for mental fatigue evaluation, subjective scales to measure fatigue sensation, and underwent electrocardiography to allow assessment of autonomic nerve activities. Results After the fatigue-inducing task, the total error counts on the ATMT tended to increase (P = 0.076); the ATMT for total trial counts (P = 0.001), the subjective level of fatigue (P < 0.001), and the % low-frequency power (%LF) (P = 0.035) increased significantly; and the % high-frequency power (%HF) decreased compared with before the fatigue-inducing task although this did not reach the statistical significance (P = 0.170). Although LF measured in absolute units did not change significantly before and after the fatigue-inducing task (P = 0.771), and HF measured in absolute units decreased after the task (P = 0.020). The %LF and LF/HF ratio were positively associated with the daily level of fatigue evaluated using Chalder's fatigue scale. In addition, %HF was negatively associated with the fatigue score. Conclusions Increased sympathetic activity and decreased parasympathetic activity may be characteristic features of both acute and daily levels of fatigue. Our findings provide new perspectives on the mechanisms underlying fatigue. PMID:22032726

  6. Towards a phylogenetic generic classification of Thelypteridaceae: Additional sampling suggests alterations of neotropical taxa and further study of paleotropical genera.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Thaís Elias; Hennequin, Sabine; Schneider, Harald; Smith, Alan R; Batista, João Aguiar Nogueira; Ramalho, Aline Joseph; Proite, Karina; Salino, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Thelypteridaceae is one of the largest fern families, having about 950 species and a cosmopolitan distribution but with most species occurring in tropical and subtropical regions. Its generic classification remains controversial, with different authors recognizing from one up to 32 genera. Phylogenetic relationships within the family have not been exhaustively studied, but previous studies have confirmed the monophyly of the lineage. Thus far, sampling has been inadequate for establishing a robust hypothesis of infrafamilial relationships within the family. In order to understand phylogenetic relationships within Thelypteridaceae and thus to improve generic reclassification, we expand the molecular sampling, including new samples of Old World taxa and, especially, many additional neotropical representatives. We also explore the monophyly of exclusively or mostly neotropical genera Amauropelta, Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris. Our sampling includes 68 taxa and 134 newly generated sequences from two plastid genomic regions (rps4-trnS and trnL-trnF), plus 73 rps4 and 72 trnL-trnF sequences from GenBank. These data resulted in a concatenated matrix of 1980 molecular characters for 149 taxa. The combined data set was analyzed using maximum parsimony and bayesian inference of phylogeny. Our results are consistent with the general topological structure found in previous studies, including two main lineages within the family: phegopteroid and thelypteroid. The thelypteroid lineage comprises two clades; one of these included the segregates Metathelypteris, Coryphopteris, and Amauropelta (including part of Parathelypteris), whereas the other comprises all segregates of Cyclosorus s.l., such as Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris (including Thelypteris polypodioides, previously incertae sedis). The three mainly neotropical segregates were found to be monophyletic but nested in a broadly defined Cyclosorus. The fourth mainly neotropical segregate, Amauropelta

  7. Towards a phylogenetic generic classification of Thelypteridaceae: Additional sampling suggests alterations of neotropical taxa and further study of paleotropical genera.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Thaís Elias; Hennequin, Sabine; Schneider, Harald; Smith, Alan R; Batista, João Aguiar Nogueira; Ramalho, Aline Joseph; Proite, Karina; Salino, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Thelypteridaceae is one of the largest fern families, having about 950 species and a cosmopolitan distribution but with most species occurring in tropical and subtropical regions. Its generic classification remains controversial, with different authors recognizing from one up to 32 genera. Phylogenetic relationships within the family have not been exhaustively studied, but previous studies have confirmed the monophyly of the lineage. Thus far, sampling has been inadequate for establishing a robust hypothesis of infrafamilial relationships within the family. In order to understand phylogenetic relationships within Thelypteridaceae and thus to improve generic reclassification, we expand the molecular sampling, including new samples of Old World taxa and, especially, many additional neotropical representatives. We also explore the monophyly of exclusively or mostly neotropical genera Amauropelta, Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris. Our sampling includes 68 taxa and 134 newly generated sequences from two plastid genomic regions (rps4-trnS and trnL-trnF), plus 73 rps4 and 72 trnL-trnF sequences from GenBank. These data resulted in a concatenated matrix of 1980 molecular characters for 149 taxa. The combined data set was analyzed using maximum parsimony and bayesian inference of phylogeny. Our results are consistent with the general topological structure found in previous studies, including two main lineages within the family: phegopteroid and thelypteroid. The thelypteroid lineage comprises two clades; one of these included the segregates Metathelypteris, Coryphopteris, and Amauropelta (including part of Parathelypteris), whereas the other comprises all segregates of Cyclosorus s.l., such as Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris (including Thelypteris polypodioides, previously incertae sedis). The three mainly neotropical segregates were found to be monophyletic but nested in a broadly defined Cyclosorus. The fourth mainly neotropical segregate, Amauropelta

  8. A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)

    PubMed Central

    Mateus, Octávio; Benson, Roger B.J.

    2015-01-01

    Diplodocidae are among the best known sauropod dinosaurs. Several species were described in the late 1800s or early 1900s from the Morrison Formation of North America. Since then, numerous additional specimens were recovered in the USA, Tanzania, Portugal, and Argentina, as well as possibly Spain, England, Georgia, Zimbabwe, and Asia. To date, the clade includes about 12 to 15 nominal species, some of them with questionable taxonomic status (e.g., ‘Diplodocus’ hayi or Dyslocosaurus polyonychius), and ranging in age from Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. However, intrageneric relationships of the iconic, multi-species genera Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are still poorly known. The way to resolve this issue is a specimen-based phylogenetic analysis, which has been previously implemented for Apatosaurus, but is here performed for the first time for the entire clade of Diplodocidae. The analysis includes 81 operational taxonomic units, 49 of which belong to Diplodocidae. The set of OTUs includes all name-bearing type specimens previously proposed to belong to Diplodocidae, alongside a set of relatively complete referred specimens, which increase the amount of anatomically overlapping material. Non-diplodocid outgroups were selected to test the affinities of potential diplodocid specimens that have subsequently been suggested to belong outside the clade. The specimens were scored for 477 morphological characters, representing one of the most extensive phylogenetic analyses of sauropod dinosaurs. Character states were figured and tables given in the case of numerical characters. The resulting cladogram recovers the classical arrangement of diplodocid relationships. Two numerical approaches were used to increase reproducibility in our taxonomic delimitation of species and genera. This resulted in the proposal that some species previously included in well-known genera like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are generically distinct. Of particular note is that the famous genus

  9. Caterpillar feeding responses to sorghum leaves with altered lignin levels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Production of liquid fuels from biomass is impeded by the presence of lignin. Plants with lower or altered lignin are more amenable to lignocellulosic conversion to ethanol and other biofuels, but may be more susceptible to insect damage where lignin is an important resistance factor. Sorghum, Sorg...

  10. Altered Serum Uric Acid Level in Lichen Planus Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborti, Goutam; Biswas, Rabindranath; Chakraborti, Sandip; Sen, Pradyot Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Background: Lichen planus (LP) is a common disorder whose etiopathogenesis is not clear. Recently, it has been suggested that increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) play important roles in the underlying mechanism of LP. Objectives: The principal aim of this study was to evaluate serum uric acid (UA) levels as a measure of the antioxidant defense status in LP patients. Methods: Serum UA levels were determined in 58 LP patients and 61 controls. Results: Serum UA levels were significantly decreased in patients with respect to controls. Moreover, serum UA level was decreased according to increasing duration of disease. Conclusions: The results of our study suggest that LP is associated with decrease of UA levels in serum. UA may be a potential, useful biomarker of antioxidant status in LP for elaboration of treatment strategy and monitoring. PMID:25484383

  11. When proglottids and scoleces conflict: phylogenetic relationships and a family-level classification of the Lecanicephalidea (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kirsten; Caira, Janine N; Cielocha, Joanna J; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Waeschenbach, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    This study presents the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the interrelationships of the morphologically diverse elasmobranch-hosted tapeworm order Lecanicephalidea, based on molecular sequence data. With almost half of current generic diversity having been erected or resurrected within the last decade, an apparent conflict between scolex morphology and proglottid anatomy has hampered the assignment of many of these genera to families. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of two nuclear markers (D1-D3 of lsrDNA and complete ssrDNA) and two mitochondrial markers (partial rrnL and partial cox1) for 61 lecanicephalidean species representing 22 of the 25 valid genera were conducted; new sequence data were generated for 43 species and 11 genera, including three undescribed genera. The monophyly of the order was confirmed in all but the analyses based on cox1 data alone. Sesquipedalapex placed among species of Anteropora and was thus synonymized with the latter genus. Based on analyses of the concatenated dataset, eight major groups emerged which are herein formally recognised at the familial level. Existing family names (i.e., Lecanicephalidae, Polypocephalidae, Tetragonocephalidae, and Cephalobothriidae) are maintained for four of the eight clades, and new families are proposed for the remaining four groups (Aberrapecidae n. fam., Eniochobothriidae n. fam., Paraberrapecidae n. fam., and Zanobatocestidae n. fam.). The four new families and the Tetragonocephalidae are monogeneric, while the Cephalobothriidae, Lecanicephalidae and Polypocephalidae comprise seven, eight and four genera, respectively. As a result of their unusual morphologies, the three genera not included here (i.e., Corrugatocephalum, Healyum and Quadcuspibothrium) are considered incertae sedis within the order until their familial affinities can be examined in more detail. All eight families are newly circumscribed based on morphological features and a key to the families is provided

  12. When proglottids and scoleces conflict: phylogenetic relationships and a family-level classification of the Lecanicephalidea (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kirsten; Caira, Janine N; Cielocha, Joanna J; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Waeschenbach, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    This study presents the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the interrelationships of the morphologically diverse elasmobranch-hosted tapeworm order Lecanicephalidea, based on molecular sequence data. With almost half of current generic diversity having been erected or resurrected within the last decade, an apparent conflict between scolex morphology and proglottid anatomy has hampered the assignment of many of these genera to families. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of two nuclear markers (D1-D3 of lsrDNA and complete ssrDNA) and two mitochondrial markers (partial rrnL and partial cox1) for 61 lecanicephalidean species representing 22 of the 25 valid genera were conducted; new sequence data were generated for 43 species and 11 genera, including three undescribed genera. The monophyly of the order was confirmed in all but the analyses based on cox1 data alone. Sesquipedalapex placed among species of Anteropora and was thus synonymized with the latter genus. Based on analyses of the concatenated dataset, eight major groups emerged which are herein formally recognised at the familial level. Existing family names (i.e., Lecanicephalidae, Polypocephalidae, Tetragonocephalidae, and Cephalobothriidae) are maintained for four of the eight clades, and new families are proposed for the remaining four groups (Aberrapecidae n. fam., Eniochobothriidae n. fam., Paraberrapecidae n. fam., and Zanobatocestidae n. fam.). The four new families and the Tetragonocephalidae are monogeneric, while the Cephalobothriidae, Lecanicephalidae and Polypocephalidae comprise seven, eight and four genera, respectively. As a result of their unusual morphologies, the three genera not included here (i.e., Corrugatocephalum, Healyum and Quadcuspibothrium) are considered incertae sedis within the order until their familial affinities can be examined in more detail. All eight families are newly circumscribed based on morphological features and a key to the families is provided

  13. Light-Induced Alterations in Basil Ganglia Kynurenic Acid Levels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sroufe, Angela E.; Whittaker, J. A.; Patrickson, J. W.; Orr, M. C.

    1997-01-01

    The metabolic synthesis, release and breakdown of several known CNS neurotransmitters have been shown to follow a circadian pattern entrained to the environmental light/dark cycle. The levels of excitatory amino acid (EAA) transmitters such as glutamate, have been shown to vary with environmental lighting conditions. Kynurenic Acid (KA), an endogenous tryptophan metabolite and glutamate receptor antagonist, has been reported to have neuroprotective effects against EAA-induced excitotoxic cell damage. Changes in KA's activity within the mammalian basal ganglia has been proposed as being contributory to neurotoxicity in Huntington's Disease. It is not known whether CNS KA levels follow a circadian pattern or exhibit light-induced fluctuations. However, because the symptoms of certain degenerative motor disorders seem to fluctuate with daily 24 hour rhythm, we initiated studies to determine if basal ganglia KA were influenced by the daily light/dark cycle and could influence motor function. Therefore in this study, HPLC-EC was utilized to determine if basal ganglia KA levels in tissue extracts from adult male Long-Evans rats (200-250g) entrained to 24 and 48 hours constant light and dark conditions, respectively. Samples were taken one hour before the onset of the subjective day and one hour prior to the onset of the subjective night in order to detect possible phase differences in KA levels and to allow for accumulation of factors expressed in association with the light or dark phase. Data analysis revealed that KA levels in the basal ganglia vary with environmental lighting conditions; being elevated generally during the dark. Circadian phase differences in KA levels were also evident during the subjective night and subjective day, respectively. Results from these studies are discussed with respect to potential cyclic changes in neuronal susceptibility to excitotoxic damage during the daily 24 hour cycle and its possible relevance to future therapeutic approaches in

  14. Serum YKL-40 levels are altered in endometriosis.

    PubMed

    Tuten, Abdullah; Kucur, Mine; Imamoglu, Metehan; Oncul, Mahmut; Acikgoz, Abdullah Serdar; Sofiyeva, Nigar; Ozturk, Zeynep; Kaya, Baris; Oral, Engin

    2014-05-01

    Endometriosis is traditionally defined as the presence of endometrial glands and stroma in ectopic locations, especially the pelvic peritoneum, ovaries and rectovaginal septum. YKL-40, a new biomarker of inflammation, is secreted by activated macrophages and neutrophils in different tissues with inflammation. Serum concentrations of YKL-40 are elevated in patients with diseases characterized by inflammation. We aimed to investigate the possible association between serum YKL-40 levels and endometriosis. A total number of 88 women were recruited for this case-control study. About 53 patients with surgically proven endometriosis were included, while 35 patients without endometriosis comprised the control group. Patients were classified as having minimal, mild, moderate and severe disease in accordance with the severity. Two new groups were formed by combining patients with minimal and mild disease (Stage 1-2) and with moderate and severe disease (Stage 3-4). Serum YKL-40 levels were statistically higher in the endometriotic group compared to control group (p:0.001). YKL-40 levels were significantly higher in Stage 3-4 group compared to Stage 1-2 group (p values 0.001) as well. Correlation analysis revealed a positive correlation between serum YKL-40 levels and the stage of the disease. YKL-40 may be utilized as a marker for determining the severity of endometriosis.

  15. Dietary protein source and level alters growth in neon tetras.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutritional studies for aquarium fish like the neon tetra are sparse in comparison with those for food fish. To determine the optimum dietary protein level and source for growth of neon tetras, diets were formulated to contain 25, 35, 45 and 55% dietary protein from either marine animal protein or ...

  16. Neonatal allopregnanolone levels alteration: effects on behavior and role of the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Darbra, S; Mòdol, L; Llidó, A; Casas, C; Vallée, M; Pallarès, M

    2014-02-01

    Several works have pointed out the importance of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone for the maturation of the central nervous system and for adult behavior. The alteration of neonatal allopregnanolone levels in the first weeks of life alters emotional adult behavior and sensory gating processes. Without ruling out brain structures, some of these behavioral alterations seem to be related to a different functioning of the hippocampus in adult age. We focus here on the different behavioral studies that have revealed the importance of neonatal allopregnanolone levels for the adult response to novel environmental stimuli, anxiety-related behaviors and processing of sensory inputs (prepulse inhibition). An increase in neonatal physiological allopregnanolone levels decreases anxiety and increases novelty responses in adult age, thus affecting the individual response to environmental cues. These effects are also accompanied by a decrease in prepulse inhibition, indicating alterations in sensory gating that have been related to that present in disorders, such as schizophrenia. Moreover, behavioral studies have shown that some of these effects are related to a different functioning of the dorsal hippocampus, as the behavioral effects (decrease in anxiety and locomotion or increase in prepulse inhibition) of intrahippocampal allopregnanolone infusions in adult age are not present in those subjects in whom neonatal allopregnanolone levels were altered. Recent data indicated that this hippocampal involvement may be related to alterations in the expression of gamma-aminobutyric-acid receptors containing α4 and δ subunits, molecular alterations that can persist into adult age and that can, in part, explain the reported behavioral disturbances.

  17. Chronic hyperammonemia alters the circadian rhythms of corticosteroid hormone levels and of motor activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Ahabrach, Hanan; Piedrafita, Blanca; Ayad, Abdelmalik; El Mlili, Nisrin; Errami, Mohammed; Felipo, Vicente; Llansola, Marta

    2010-05-15

    Patients with liver cirrhosis may present hepatic encephalopathy with a wide range of neurological disturbances and alterations in sleep quality and in the sleep-wake circadian rhythm. Hyperammonemia is a main contributor to the neurological alterations in hepatic encephalopathy. We have assessed, in an animal model of chronic hyperammonemia without liver failure, the effects of hyperammonemia per se on the circadian rhythms of motor activity, temperature, and plasma levels of adrenal corticosteroid hormones. Chronic hyperammonemia alters the circadian rhythms of locomotor activity and of cortisol and corticosterone levels in blood. Different types of motor activity are affected differentially. Hyperammonemia significantly alters the rhythm of spontaneous ambulatory activity, reducing strongly ambulatory counts and slightly average velocity during the night (the active phase) but not during the day, resulting in altered circadian rhythms. In contrast, hyperammonemia did not affect wheel running at all, indicating that it affects spontaneous but not voluntary activity. Vertical activity was affected only very slightly, indicating that hyperammonemia does not induce anxiety. Hyperammonemia abolished completely the circadian rhythm of corticosteroid hormones in plasma, completely eliminating the peaks of cortisol and corticosterone present in control rats at the start of the dark period. The data reported show that chronic hyperammonemia, similar to that present in patients with liver cirrhosis, alters the circadian rhythms of corticosteroid hormones and of motor activity. This suggests that hyperammonemia would be a relevant contributor to the alterations in corticosteroid hormones and in circadian rhythms in patients with liver cirrhosis.

  18. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of true morels (Morchella) reveals high levels of endemics in Turkey relative ot other regions of Europe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The present study was conducted to better understand how the phylogenetic diversity of true morels (Morchella) in Turkey compares with species found in other regions of the world. The current research builds on our recently published survey of 10 Turkish provinces and another of the world in which D...

  19. Arthropod Phylogenetics in Light of Three Novel Millipede (Myriapoda: Diplopoda) Mitochondrial Genomes with Comments on the Appropriateness of Mitochondrial Genome Sequence Data for Inferring Deep Level Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Brewer, Michael S.; Swafford, Lynn; Spruill, Chad L.; Bond, Jason E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Arthropods are the most diverse group of eukaryotic organisms, but their phylogenetic relationships are poorly understood. Herein, we describe three mitochondrial genomes representing orders of millipedes for which complete genomes had not been characterized. Newly sequenced genomes are combined with existing data to characterize the protein coding regions of myriapods and to attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships within the Myriapoda and Arthropoda. Results The newly sequenced genomes are similar to previously characterized millipede sequences in terms of synteny and length. Unique translocations occurred within the newly sequenced taxa, including one half of the Appalachioria falcifera genome, which is inverted with respect to other millipede genomes. Across myriapods, amino acid conservation levels are highly dependent on the gene region. Additionally, individual loci varied in the level of amino acid conservation. Overall, most gene regions showed low levels of conservation at many sites. Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships suffered from questionable relationships and low support values. Analyses of phylogenetic informativeness show the lack of signal deep in the trees (i.e., genes evolve too quickly). As a result, the myriapod tree resembles previously published results but lacks convincing support, and, within the arthropod tree, well established groups were recovered as polyphyletic. Conclusions The novel genome sequences described herein provide useful genomic information concerning millipede groups that had not been investigated. Taken together with existing sequences, the variety of compositions and evolution of myriapod mitochondrial genomes are shown to be more complex than previously thought. Unfortunately, the use of mitochondrial protein-coding regions in deep arthropod phylogenetics appears problematic, a result consistent with previously published studies. Lack of phylogenetic signal renders the

  20. Gluthatione level is altered in lymphoblasts from patients with familial Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Cecchi, C; Latorraca, S; Sorbi, S; Iantomasi, T; Favilli, F; Vincenzini, M T; Liguri, G

    1999-11-12

    Intracellular levels of glutathione (GSH), glutathione disulphide (GSSG), glutamic acid and gamma-glutamyl cysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS) were measured in lymphoblast lines from patients with familial and sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) and from age-matched controls. Lymphoblasts carrying presenilins (PS) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) genes mutations showed significantly decreased GSH content with respect to controls. Levels of GSSG and glutamic acid, as well as the activity of gamma-GCS were not significantly different in lymphoblasts carrying genes mutations as compared with control cells. These results indicate that even peripheral cells not involved in the neurodegenerative process of AD show altered GSH content when carrying PS and APP genes mutations. The provided data appear to be in accordance with the known alteration of GSH levels in central nervous system and strengthen the hypothesis of oxidative stress as an important, possibly crucial mechanism in the pathogenesis of AD. PMID:10568522

  1. Human ribosomes from cells with reduced dyskerin levels are intrinsically altered in translation.

    PubMed

    Penzo, Marianna; Rocchi, Laura; Brugiere, Sabine; Carnicelli, Domenica; Onofrillo, Carmine; Couté, Yohann; Brigotti, Maurizio; Montanaro, Lorenzo

    2015-08-01

    Dyskerin is a pseudouridine (ψ) synthase involved in fundamental cellular processes including uridine modification in rRNA and small nuclear RNA and telomere stabilization. Dyskerin functions are altered in X-linked dyskeratosis congenita (X-DC) and cancer. Dyskerin's role in rRNA pseudouridylation has been suggested to underlie the alterations in mRNA translation described in cells lacking dyskerin function, although relevant direct evidences are currently lacking. Our purpose was to establish definitely whether defective dyskerin function might determine an intrinsic ribosomal defect leading to an altered synthetic activity. Therefore, ribosomes from dyskerin-depleted human cells were purified and 1) added to a controlled reticulocyte cell-free system devoid of ribosomes to study mRNA translation; 2) analyzed for protein contamination and composition by mass spectrometry, 3) analyzed for global pseudouridylation levels. Ribosomes purified from dyskerin-depleted cells showed altered translational fidelity and internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-mediated translation. These ribosomes displayed reduced uridine modification, whereas they were not different in terms of protein contamination or ribosomal protein composition with respect to ribosomes from matched control cells with full dyskerin activity. In conclusion, lack of dyskerin function in human cells induces a defect in rRNA uridine modification, which is sufficient to alter ribosome activity.

  2. Alterations in cytochrome P-450 levels in adult rats following neonatal exposure to xenobiotics

    SciTech Connect

    Zangar, R.C. Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, WA ); Springer, D.L. ); Buhler, D.R. )

    1993-01-01

    Neonatal exposure to certain xenobiotics has been shown to alter hepatic metabolism in adult rats in a manner that indicates long-term changes in enzyme regulation. Previously, the authors have observed changes in adult testosterone metabolism and in cytochrome P-450 (P-450) mRNA levels in animals neonatally exposed to phenobarbital (PB) or diethylstilbestrol (DES). In order to test for other enzyme alterations, they used Western blot procedures for specific P-450s to analyze hepatic microsomes from adult rats (24 wk old) that had been exposed neonatally to DES, PB, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), or pregnenolone 16[alpha]-carbonitrile (PCN). The most striking effects were observed in the DES-treated males: P-4502C6 and an immunologically similar protein were increased 60 and 90%, respectively, relative to control values, but P-4503A2 was decreased by 44%. No changes were observed in the DES-treated males in levels of P-4502E1, P-4502B, or the male-specific P-4502C13. Adult males neonatally treated with PB had 150% increase in levels of anti-P4502B-reactive protein without significant changes in the other enzymes. The DES- and DMBA-treated females had increased levels of the female-specific P-4502C12 of 38 and 48%, respectively, but no other observed alterations. The results confirm that neonatal exposure to DES or PB can cause alterations in adult hepatic cytochrome P-450 levels but show that these chemicals act on different enzymes. Neonatal DMBA resulted in changes in adult females similar to those produced by the synthetic estrogen DES, but did so at about two-thirds lower dose. 37 refs., 5 figs.

  3. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of true morels (Morchella) reveals high levels of endemics in Turkey relative to other regions of Europe.

    PubMed

    Taskin, Hatira; Büyükalaca, Saadet; Hansen, Karen; O'Donnell, Kerry

    2012-01-01

    The present study was conducted to better understand how the phylogenetic diversity of true morels (Morchella) in Turkey compares with species found in other regions of the world. The current research builds on our recently published surveys of 10 Turkish provinces and the northern hemisphere in which DNA sequence data from 247 and 562 collections respectively were analyzed phylogenetically. Herein we report on phylogenetic analyses of 243 additional collections made in spring 2009 and 2010 from eight additional provinces in the Aegean, Black Sea, central Anatolia, eastern Anatolia and Marmara regions of Turkey. Our analysis revealed that five species within the Esculenta clade (yellow morels) and 15 species within the Elata clade (black morels) were present in Turkey. Our preliminary results also indicate that M. anatolica, recently described from a collection in Muğla province in the Aegean region of Turkey, is a closely related sister of M. rufobrunnea; these two species comprise a separate evolutionary lineage from the Esculenta and Elata clades. Nine species of Morchella currently are known only from Turkey, four species were present in Turkey and other European countries and seven species might have been introduced to Turkey anthropogenically. Three of the putatively exotic species in Turkey appear to be endemic to western North America; they are nested within a clade of fire-adapted morels that dates to the late Oligocene, 25 000 000 y ago. Our results indicate that there are roughly twice as many Morchella species in Turkey compared with the other regions of Europe sampled. Knowledge of Morchella species diversity and their biogeographic distribution are crucial for formulating informed conservation policies directed at preventing species loss and ensuring that annual morel harvests are sustainable and ecologically sound.

  4. Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Göran E.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Sørensen, Christina; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.

    2012-03-01

    Predicted future CO2 levels have been found to alter sensory responses and behaviour of marine fishes. Changes include increased boldness and activity, loss of behavioural lateralization, altered auditory preferences and impaired olfactory function. Impaired olfactory function makes larval fish attracted to odours they normally avoid, including ones from predators and unfavourable habitats. These behavioural alterations have significant effects on mortality that may have far-reaching implications for population replenishment, community structure and ecosystem function. However, the underlying mechanism linking high CO2 to these diverse responses has been unknown. Here we show that abnormal olfactory preferences and loss of behavioural lateralization exhibited by two species of larval coral reef fish exposed to high CO2 can be rapidly and effectively reversed by treatment with an antagonist of the GABA-A receptor. GABA-A is a major neurotransmitter receptor in the vertebrate brain. Thus, our results indicate that high CO2 interferes with neurotransmitter function, a hitherto unrecognized threat to marine populations and ecosystems. Given the ubiquity and conserved function of GABA-A receptors, we predict that rising CO2 levels could cause sensory and behavioural impairment in a wide range of marine species, especially those that tightly control their acid-base balance through regulatory changes in HCO3- and Cl- levels.

  5. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Schnable, Patrick S.; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2009-04-28

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.alpha. pPDH, E1.beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  6. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Behal, Robert; Schnable, Patrick S.; Ke, Jinshan; Johnson, Jerry L.; Allred, Carolyn C.; Fatland, Beth; Lutziger, Isabelle; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2004-07-20

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.sub..alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.sub..beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyurvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.sub..alpha. pPDH, E1.sub..beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  7. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Behal, Robert; Schnable, Patrick S.; Ke, Jinshan; Johnson, Jerry L.; Allred, Carolyn C.; Fatland, Beth; Lutziger, Isabelle; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2005-09-13

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.alpha. pPDH, E1.beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  8. Alterations in the levels of plasma amino acids in polycystic ovary syndrome- A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Unni, C. Sumithra N.; Lakshman, Lakshmi R.; Vaidyanathan, Kannan; Subhakumari, K.N.; Menon, N. Leela

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Plasma amino acid levels are known to be altered in conditions like sepsis and burns which are situations of metabolic stress. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition which affects a woman throughout her life, is said to be associated with metabolic stress. This study was undertaken to assess if there were significant alterations in the levels of plasma amino acids in women with PCOS. Methods: Sixty five women with PCOS along with the similar number of age matched normal controls were included in this study. Levels of 14 amino acids were determined using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. Results: The levels of methionine, cystine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, valine, tyrosine, proline, glycine, lysine and histidine were found to be significantly (P<0.001) lower in cases than in controls. Arginine and alanine levels were found to be significantly (P<0.001) higher in cases compared with controls. Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed significant derangement in the levels of plasma amino acids in women with PCOS which might be due to the oxidative and metabolic stress associated with it. Further studies need to be done to confirm the findings. PMID:26658589

  9. Dimethylthiourea inhibition of B16 melanoma growth and induction of phenotypic alterations; relationship to ATP levels.

    PubMed Central

    Fux, A.; Sidi, Y.; Kessler-Icekson, G.; Wasserman, L.; Novogrodsky, A.; Nordenberg, J.

    1991-01-01

    1,3 Dimethylthiourea (DMTU) has previously been shown by us to inhibit the growth of melanoma cells and to induce phenotypic alterations in these cells, including ultrastructural alterations of mitochondria. These findings raised the possibility that impaired mitochondrial function might be involved in mediating the effect of DMTU on cell growth and phenotypic expression. The present study indicates that DMTU as well as another growth inhibitory methylurea derivative, tetramethylurea (TMU) significantly decrease ATP content in the B16 melanoma cell line. 1,3 Dimethylurea (1,3DMU) and 1,1 dimethylurea (1,1DMU) which are poor growth inhibitors, do not reduce ATP content significantly. Altered energy metabolism in the DMTU-treated cells is reflected by inhibition of the activity of cytochrome c oxidase and by increased lactate levels. A cell line selected for resistance to growth inhibition by DMTU was shown to be completely resistant to induction of phenotypic alterations by DMTU. These cells possess high lactate levels, high ATP content and a somewhat decreased Na/K ATPase activity as compared to wild type B16 F10 cells. 1,3 DMTU treatment of the resistant cells leads to a decrease in the activity of the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome c oxidase, similar to its effect on the wild type B16 F10 cells. DMTU also reduces ATP content moderately in the resistant cells. However, the levels of ATP do not decrease beyond those found in untreated B16 F10 wild type cells. Taken together the results suggest that decreased ATP content might be involved, at least partially, in mediating the effects of DMTU on B16 melanoma cell growth and phenotypic expression. PMID:1850608

  10. EEG alterations in patients treated with clozapine in relation to plasma levels.

    PubMed

    Haring, C; Neudorfer, C; Schwitzer, J; Hummer, M; Saria, A; Hinterhuber, H; Fleischhacker, W W

    1994-02-01

    It is well known that psychotropic drugs can induce EEG alterations. Dose dependence seems established; however, there are no data concerning the impact of plasma levels. The authors investigated the influence of clozapine plasma levels on the frequency of EEG alterations. Data from 29 inpatients (18 male, 11 female, 31.7 +/- 10.2 years) receiving clozapine in a dose range between 25 and 600 mg were collected prospectively. There was no psychotropic or anticholinergic comedication. All patients had normal EEGs before taking clozapine. Fifteen patients showed pathological changes (group 2) and 14 no changes (group 1). Discriminant analysis showed that EEG changes are dependent on plasma levels (P = 0.0009, plasma levels in group 1 mean 81.6 ng/ml, +/- SD 64.6, in group 2 235.7 ng/ml, +/- 169.8). A total of 72.4% of the patients were correctly classified as having either pathological EEG changes or none by this analysis. Variables such as dose, age, sex, weight and duration of treatment were not statistically relevant. It can therefore be suggested that clozapine plasma levels are a valid indicator for the appearance of electrophysiological reactions. PMID:7846212

  11. A new stress model, a scream sound, alters learning and monoamine levels in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Hu, Lili; Yang, Juan; Song, Tusheng; Hou, Ni; Liu, Yong; Zhao, Xiaoge; Zhang, Dianzeng; Wang, Lumin; Wang, Tao; Huang, Chen

    2014-01-17

    Most existing animal models for stress involve the simultaneous application of physical and psychological stress factors. In the current study, we described and used a novel psychological stress model (scream sound stress). To study the validity of it, we carried out acute and chronic scream sound stress. First, adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into white noise, stress and background groups. The white noise group and stress group were treated with white noise and scream sound for 4h in the morning respectively. Compared with white noise and background groups, exposure to acute scream sound increased corticosterone (CORT) level and decreased latency in Morris water maze (MWM) test. The levels of noradrenaline (NE), dopamine (DA), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were altered in the striatum, hypothalamus and hippocampus of stress rats. Second, adult SD rats were randomly divided into background and stress groups, which were treated with scream sound for three weeks. Exposure to chronic scream sound suppressed body weight gain, increased corticosterone (CORT) level, influenced the morphology of adrenal gland, improved spleen and thymus indices, and decreased latency in MWM test. NE, DA, DOPAC, HVA and 5-HIAA levels were also altered in the brain of stress rats. Our results suggested that scream sound, as a novel stressor, facilitated learning ability, as well as altered monoamine levels in the rat brain. Moreover, scream sound is easy to apply and can be applied in more animals at the same time.

  12. Isolation and mapping of a mutation in Escherichia coli with altered levels of ribonuclease H.

    PubMed Central

    Carl, P L; Bloom, L; Crouch, R J

    1980-01-01

    A mutant of Escherichia coli with altered levels of ribonuclease (RNase) H was isolated after mutagenesis with ethyl methane sulfonate. A procedure for assaying RNase H in partially purified extracts was used to screen approximately 1,500 colonies for variations in RNase H activity. Confirmation of a lower level of RNase H in the mutant was accomplished by analysis of RNase H in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels. By Hfr, F', and P1 transduction mapping, the genetic locus responsible for the lower levels of RNase H was located at 5.1 min on the E. coli chromosome. This mutation (rnh) represents a new locus on the E. coli chromosome. The only phenotypic characteristic of this mutation which has been observed to date is the lower level of RNase H (30% of parental values). Images PMID:6998952

  13. Effect of altered eating pattern on serum fructosamine: total protein ratio and plasma glucose level.

    PubMed

    Ch'ng, S L; Cheah, S H; Husain, R; Duncan, M T

    1989-05-01

    The effect of alteration of eating pattern during Ramadan on body mass index (BMI), serum fructosamine: total protein ratio (F/TP), and glucose level in 18 healthy male Asiatic Moslems were studied. The results showed a significant decrease (p less than 0.025) in F/TP at the second week of Ramadan in 11 subjects who experienced continuous decrease in BMI throughout Ramadan. The remaining 7 subjects showed no significant changes in BMI and F/TP. No evidence of hypoglycaemia was observed in the subjects during the study. Serum fructosamine: total protein ratio in subjects with altered eating pattern preferably should be interpreted along with the change in body mass index.

  14. The biological functions of glutathione revisited in arabidopsis transgenic plants with altered glutathione levels.

    PubMed

    Xiang, C; Werner, B L; Christensen, E M; Oliver, D J

    2001-06-01

    A functional analysis of the role of glutathione in protecting plants from environmental stress was undertaken by studying Arabidopsis that had been genetically modified to have altered glutathione levels. The steady-state glutathione concentration in Arabidopsis plants was modified by expressing the cDNA for gamma-glutamyl-cysteine synthetase (GSH1) in both the sense and antisense orientation. The resulting plants had glutathione levels that ranged between 3% and 200% of the level in wild-type plants. Arabidopsis plants with low glutathione levels were hypersensitive to Cd due to the limited capacity of these plants to make phytochelatins. Plants with the lowest levels of reduced glutathione (10% of wild type) were sensitive to as little as 5 microM Cd, whereas those with 50% wild-type levels required higher Cd concentrations to inhibit growth. Elevating glutathione levels did not increase metal resistance. It is interesting that the plants with low glutathione levels were also less able to accumulate anthocyanins supporting a role for glutathione S-transferases for anthocyanin formation or for the vacuolar localization and therefore accumulation of these compounds. Plants with less than 5% of wild-type glutathione levels were smaller and more sensitive to environmental stress but otherwise grew normally. PMID:11402187

  15. Maternal folic acid supplementation to dams on marginal protein level alters brain fatty acid levels of their adult offspring.

    PubMed

    Rao, Shobha; Joshi, Sadhana; Kale, Anvita; Hegde, Mahabaleshwar; Mahadik, Sahebarao

    2006-05-01

    Studies on fetal programming of adult diseases have highlighted the importance of maternal nutrition during pregnancy. Folic acid and long-chain essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) have independent effects on fetal growth. However, folic acid effects may also involve alteration of LC-PUFA metabolism. Because marginal deficiency of LC-PUFAs during critical periods of brain growth and development is associated with risks for adult diseases, it is highly relevant to investigate how maternal supplementation of such nutrients can alter brain fatty acid levels. We examined the impact of folic acid supplementation, conventionally used in maternal intervention, on brain essential fatty acid levels and plasma corticosterone concentrations in adult offspring at 11 months of age. Pregnant female rats from 4 groups (6 in each) were fed with casein diets either with 18 g protein/100 g diet (control diet) or treatment diets that were marginal in protein (MP), such as 12 g protein/100 g diet supplemented with 8 mg folic acid (FAS/MP), 12 g protein/100 g diet without folic acid (FAD/MP), or 12 g protein/100 g diet (MP) with 2 mg folic acid. Pups were weaned to a standard laboratory diet with 18 g protein/100 g diet. All male adult offspring in the FAS/MP group showed lower docosahexaenoic acid (P<.05) as compared with control adult offspring (6.04+/-2.28 vs 10.33+/-0.86 g/100 g fatty acids) and higher n-6/n-3 ratio (P<.05). Docosahexaenoic acid levels in FAS/MP adult offspring were also lower (P<.05) when compared with the MP group. Plasma corticosterone concentrations were higher (P<.05) in male adult offspring from the FAS/MP group compared with control as well as the MP adult offspring. Results suggest that maternal folic acid supplementation at MP intake decreased brain docosahexaenoic acid levels probably involving corticosterone increase. PMID:16631439

  16. Maternal folic acid supplementation to dams on marginal protein level alters brain fatty acid levels of their adult offspring.

    PubMed

    Rao, Shobha; Joshi, Sadhana; Kale, Anvita; Hegde, Mahabaleshwar; Mahadik, Sahebarao

    2006-05-01

    Studies on fetal programming of adult diseases have highlighted the importance of maternal nutrition during pregnancy. Folic acid and long-chain essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) have independent effects on fetal growth. However, folic acid effects may also involve alteration of LC-PUFA metabolism. Because marginal deficiency of LC-PUFAs during critical periods of brain growth and development is associated with risks for adult diseases, it is highly relevant to investigate how maternal supplementation of such nutrients can alter brain fatty acid levels. We examined the impact of folic acid supplementation, conventionally used in maternal intervention, on brain essential fatty acid levels and plasma corticosterone concentrations in adult offspring at 11 months of age. Pregnant female rats from 4 groups (6 in each) were fed with casein diets either with 18 g protein/100 g diet (control diet) or treatment diets that were marginal in protein (MP), such as 12 g protein/100 g diet supplemented with 8 mg folic acid (FAS/MP), 12 g protein/100 g diet without folic acid (FAD/MP), or 12 g protein/100 g diet (MP) with 2 mg folic acid. Pups were weaned to a standard laboratory diet with 18 g protein/100 g diet. All male adult offspring in the FAS/MP group showed lower docosahexaenoic acid (P<.05) as compared with control adult offspring (6.04+/-2.28 vs 10.33+/-0.86 g/100 g fatty acids) and higher n-6/n-3 ratio (P<.05). Docosahexaenoic acid levels in FAS/MP adult offspring were also lower (P<.05) when compared with the MP group. Plasma corticosterone concentrations were higher (P<.05) in male adult offspring from the FAS/MP group compared with control as well as the MP adult offspring. Results suggest that maternal folic acid supplementation at MP intake decreased brain docosahexaenoic acid levels probably involving corticosterone increase.

  17. Female Mice are Resistant to Fabp1 Gene Ablation-Induced Alterations in Brain Endocannabinoid Levels.

    PubMed

    Martin, Gregory G; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Danilo; Landrock, Kerstin K; Dangott, Lawrence J; Peng, Xiaoxue; Kaczocha, Martin; Murphy, Eric J; Kier, Ann B; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2016-09-01

    Although liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP) is not detectable in the brain, Fabp1 gene ablation (LKO) markedly increases endocannabinoids (EC) in brains of male mice. Since the brain EC system of females differs significantly from that of males, it was important to determine if LKO differently impacted the brain EC system. LKO did not alter brain levels of arachidonic acid (ARA)-containing EC, i.e. arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but decreased non-ARA-containing N-acylethanolamides (OEA, PEA) and 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG) that potentiate the actions of AEA and 2-AG. These changes in brain potentiating EC levels were not associated with: (1) a net decrease in levels of brain membrane proteins associated with fatty acid uptake and EC synthesis; (2) a net increase in brain protein levels of cytosolic EC chaperones and enzymes in EC degradation; or (3) increased brain protein levels of EC receptors (CB1, TRVP1). Instead, the reduced or opposite responsiveness of female brain EC levels to loss of FABP1 (LKO) correlated with intrinsically lower FABP1 level in livers of WT females than males. These data show that female mouse brain endocannabinoid levels were unchanged (AEA, 2-AG) or decreased (OEA, PEA, 2-OG) by complete loss of FABP1 (LKO). PMID:27450559

  18. The effect of altered 5-hydroxytryptamine levels on beta-endorphin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soliman, Karam F. A.; Mash, Deborah C.; Walker, Charles A.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of altering the concentration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) on beta-endorphin (beta-Ep) content in the hypothalamus, thalamus, and periaqueductal gray (PAG)-rostral pons regions of the rat brain. The selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine (10 mg/kg), significantly lowered beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. Parachlorophenylalanine, which inhibits 5-HT synthesis, significantly elevated beta-Ep in all brain parts studied. Intracisternal injections of the neurotoxin 5-prime, 7-prime-dihydroxytryptamine with desmethylimipramine pretreatment significantly increased beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. In adrenalectomized rats, fluoxetine significantly decreased beta-Ep levels in the hypothalamus and increased the levels in the PAG. The results indicate that 5-HT may modulate the levels of brain beta-Ep.

  19. A Universal Phylogenetic Tree.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Offner, Susan

    2001-01-01

    Presents a universal phylogenetic tree suitable for use in high school and college-level biology classrooms. Illustrates the antiquity of life and that all life is related, even if it dates back 3.5 billion years. Reflects important evolutionary relationships and provides an exciting way to learn about the history of life. (SAH)

  20. Low-Level Environmental Phthalate Exposure Associates with Urine Metabolome Alteration in a Chinese Male Cohort.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Liu, Liangpo; Wang, Xiaofei; Huang, Qingyu; Tian, Meiping; Shen, Heqing

    2016-06-01

    The general population is exposed to phthalates through various sources and routes. Integration of omics data and epidemiological data is a key step toward directly linking phthalate biomonitoring data with biological response. Urine metabolomics is a powerful tool to identify exposure biomarkers and delineate the modes of action of environmental stressors. The objectives of this study are to investigate the association between low-level environmental phthalate exposure and urine metabolome alteration in male population, and to unveil the metabolic pathways involved in the mechanisms of phthalate toxicity. In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we studied the urine metabolomic profiles of 364 male subjects exposed to low-level environmental phthalates. Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) are the most widely used phthalates. ∑DEHP and MBP (the major metabolite of DBP) were associated with significant alteration of global urine metabolome in the male population. We observed significant increase in the levels of acetylneuraminic acid, carnitine C8:1, carnitine C18:0, cystine, phenylglycine, phenylpyruvic acid and glutamylphenylalanine; and meanwhile, decrease in the levels of carnitine C16:2, diacetylspermine, alanine, taurine, tryptophan, ornithine, methylglutaconic acid, hydroxyl-PEG2 and keto-PGE2 in high exposure group. The observations indicated that low-level environmental phthalate exposure associated with increased oxidative stress and fatty acid oxidation and decreased prostaglandin metabolism. Urea cycle, tryptophan and phenylalanine metabolism disruption was also observed. The urine metabolome disruption effects associated with ∑DEHP and MBP were similar, but not identical. The multibiomarker models presented AUC values of 0.845 and 0.834 for ∑DEHP and MBP, respectively. The predictive accuracy rates of established models were 81% for ΣDEHP and 73% for MBP. Our results suggest that low-level environmental phthalate

  1. Methoxychlor reduces estradiol levels by altering steroidogenesis and metabolism in mouse antral follicles in vitro.

    PubMed

    Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S; Craig, Zelieann R; Hernández-Ochoa, Isabel; Paulose, Tessie; Leslie, Traci C; Flaws, Jodi A

    2011-06-15

    The organochlorine pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) is a known endocrine disruptor that affects adult rodent females by causing reduced fertility, persistent estrus, and ovarian atrophy. Since MXC is also known to target antral follicles, the major producer of sex steroids in the ovary, the present study was designed to test the hypothesis that MXC decreases estradiol (E₂) levels by altering steroidogenic and metabolic enzymes in the antral follicles. To test this hypothesis, antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mouse ovaries and cultured with either dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or MXC. Follicle growth was measured every 24 h for 96 h. In addition, sex steroid hormone levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and mRNA expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes as well as the E₂ metabolic enzyme Cyp1b1 were measured using qPCR. The results indicate that MXC decreased E₂, testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone (P₄) levels compared to DMSO. In addition, MXC decreased expression of aromatase (Cyp19a1), 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd17b1), 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (Cyp17a1), 3β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd3b1), cholesterol side-chain cleavage (Cyp11a1), steroid acute regulatory protein (Star), and increased expression of Cyp1b1 enzyme levels. Thus, these data suggest that MXC decreases steroidogenic enzyme levels, increases metabolic enzyme expression and this in turn leads to decreased sex steroid hormone levels.

  2. Quartets and unrooted phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    Gambette, Philippe; Berry, Vincent; Paul, Christophe

    2012-08-01

    Phylogenetic networks were introduced to describe evolution in the presence of exchanges of genetic material between coexisting species or individuals. Split networks in particular were introduced as a special kind of abstract network to visualize conflicts between phylogenetic trees which may correspond to such exchanges. More recently, methods were designed to reconstruct explicit phylogenetic networks (whose vertices can be interpreted as biological events) from triplet data. In this article, we link abstract and explicit networks through their combinatorial properties, by introducing the unrooted analog of level-k networks. In particular, we give an equivalence theorem between circular split systems and unrooted level-1 networks. We also show how to adapt to quartets some existing results on triplets, in order to reconstruct unrooted level-k phylogenetic networks. These results give an interesting perspective on the combinatorics of phylogenetic networks and also raise algorithmic and combinatorial questions.

  3. Quartets and unrooted phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    Gambette, Philippe; Berry, Vincent; Paul, Christophe

    2012-08-01

    Phylogenetic networks were introduced to describe evolution in the presence of exchanges of genetic material between coexisting species or individuals. Split networks in particular were introduced as a special kind of abstract network to visualize conflicts between phylogenetic trees which may correspond to such exchanges. More recently, methods were designed to reconstruct explicit phylogenetic networks (whose vertices can be interpreted as biological events) from triplet data. In this article, we link abstract and explicit networks through their combinatorial properties, by introducing the unrooted analog of level-k networks. In particular, we give an equivalence theorem between circular split systems and unrooted level-1 networks. We also show how to adapt to quartets some existing results on triplets, in order to reconstruct unrooted level-k phylogenetic networks. These results give an interesting perspective on the combinatorics of phylogenetic networks and also raise algorithmic and combinatorial questions. PMID:22809417

  4. Phylogenetic relationships within the lizard clade Xantusiidae: using trees and divergence times to address evolutionary questions at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Brice P; Pramuk, Jennifer B; Bezy, Robert L; Sinclair, Elizabeth A; de Queiroz, Kevin; Sites, Jack W

    2013-10-01

    Xantusiidae (night lizards) is a clade of small-bodied, cryptic lizards endemic to the New World. The clade is characterized by several features that would benefit from interpretation in a phylogenetic context, including: (1) monophyletic status of extant taxa Cricosaura, Lepidophyma, and Xantusia; (2) a species endemic to Cuba (Cricosaura typica) of disputed age; (3) origins of the parthenogenetic species of Lepidophyma; (4) pronounced micro-habitat differences accompanied by distinct morphologies in both Xantusia and Lepidophyma; and (5) placement of Xantusia riversiana, the only vertebrate species endemic to the California Channel Islands, which is highly divergent from its mainland relatives. This study incorporates extensive new character data from multiple gene regions to investigate the phylogeny of Xantusiidae using the most comprehensive taxonomic sampling available to date. Parsimony and partitioned Bayesian analyses of more than 7 kb of mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from 11 loci all confirm that Xantusiidae is monophyletic, and comprises three well-supported clades: Cricosaura, Xantusia, and Lepidophyma. The Cuban endemic Cricosaura typica is well supported as the sister to all other xantusiids. Estimates of divergence time indicate that Cricosaura diverged from the (Lepidophyma+Xantusia) clade ≈ 81 million years ago (Ma), a time frame consistent with the separation of the Antilles from North America. Our results also confirm and extend an earlier study suggesting that parthenogenesis has arisen at least twice within Lepidophyma without hybridization, that rock-crevice ecomorphs evolved numerous times (>9) within Xantusia and Lepidophyma, and that the large-bodied Channel Island endemic X. riversiana is a distinct, early lineage that may form the sister group to the small-bodied congeners of the mainland.

  5. Alteration of PON1 activity in adult and childhood obesity and its relation to adipokine levels.

    PubMed

    Seres, Ildikó; Bajnok, László; Harangi, Mariann; Sztanek, Ferenc; Koncsos, Peter; Paragh, György

    2010-01-01

    Obesity as a pathogenic disorder is a predisposing factor for cardiovascular diseases and shows an increasing incidence in the industrialized countries. Adipokines such as leptin, adiponectin and resistin have a great impact on the development of atherosclerosis in obesity. Elevated levels of leptin have been found to be atherogenic whereas decreased levels of adiponectin have been proved to be anti-atherogenic in recent studies. The exact role of resistin in the process of atherosclerosis has so far remained uncertain and controversial. In our recent work, we studied the alteration in human paraoxonase-1 (PON1) activity and adipokine levels; furthermore, we also aimed at identifying the potential correlation between these parameters in this metabolic disorder. We investigated the above-mentioned parameters both in adults and in children, with regard to the emerging role of childhood obesity and to get a clearer view of these factors during a whole lifetime. Investigating the adult population with a broad range of body mass index (BMI) we found significantly increased leptin and significantly decreased adiponectin and resistin levels and PON1 activity in the obese group compared to the lean controls. Adiponectin and resistin levels showed significantly positive correlation, while leptin and BMI showed significantly negative correlation with PON1 activity. Our findings were similar in childhood obesity: leptin showed significantly negative correlation, while adiponectin showed significantly positive correlation with PON1 activity. We found gender differences in the univariate correlations of leptin and adiponectin levels with PON1 activity in the adult population. In multiple regression analysis, adiponectin proved to be an independent factor of PON1 activity both in childhood and adult obesity, furthermore thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) also proved to be an independent predictor of the enzyme in adults, reflecting the important role of oxidative

  6. Chronic venlafaxine treatment fails to alter the levels of galanin system transcripts in normal rats.

    PubMed

    Petschner, Peter; Juhasz, Gabriella; Tamasi, Viola; Adori, Csaba; Tothfalusi, Laszlo; Hökfelt, Tomas; Bagdy, Gyorgy

    2016-06-01

    It is widely accepted that efficacy and speed of current antidepressants' therapeutic effect are far from optimal. Thus, there is a need for the development of antidepressants with new mechanisms of action. The neuropeptide galanin and its receptors (GalR1, GalR2 and GalR3) are among the promising targets. However, it is not clear whether or not the galanin system is involved in the antidepressant effect exerted by the currently much used inhibitors of the reuptake of serotonin and/or noradrenaline. To answer this question we administered the selective serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine (40mg/kg/day via osmotic minipumps) to normal rats and examined the levels of the transcripts for galanin and GalR1-3 after a 3-week venlafaxine treatment in the dorsal raphe, hippocampus and frontal cortex. These areas are known to be involved in the effects of antidepressants and in depression itself. Venlafaxine failed to alter the expression of any of the galanin system genes in these areas. Our results show that one of the most efficient, currently used SNRIs does not alter transcript levels of galanin or its three receptors in normal rats. These findings suggest that the pro- and antidepressive-like effects of galanin reported in animal experiments may employ a novel mechanism(s).

  7. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I.; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator–prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  8. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator-prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems.

  9. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator-prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  10. Effect of altered reproductive function and lowered testosterone levels on bone density in male endurance athletes

    PubMed Central

    Bennell, Kim L; Brukner, Peter D; Malcolm, Susan A

    1996-01-01

    The effect of intense physical activity on female reproductive hormones is well recognised1–3 and there is evidence that menstrual disturbances associated with hypo-oestrogenism adversely affect bone density especially at the lumbar spine.4 5 Physical activity can also have a range of effects on male reproductive function depending upon the intensity and duration of the activity and the fitness of the individual.6 In particular, endurance training may be associated with reductions in circulating testosterone levels. Since testosterone has important anabolic roles, alterations in reproductive hormone profiles may have detrimental skeletal consequences similar to those seen in females with menstrual disturbances. The aim of this brief review is to present the limited literature on the relation between bone density and testosterone levels in male endurance athletes. PMID:8889111

  11. Audiovisual associations alter the perception of low-level visual motion.

    PubMed

    Kafaligonul, Hulusi; Oluk, Can

    2015-01-01

    Motion perception is a pervasive nature of vision and is affected by both immediate pattern of sensory inputs and prior experiences acquired through associations. Recently, several studies reported that an association can be established quickly between directions of visual motion and static sounds of distinct frequencies. After the association is formed, sounds are able to change the perceived direction of visual motion. To determine whether such rapidly acquired audiovisual associations and their subsequent influences on visual motion perception are dependent on the involvement of higher-order attentive tracking mechanisms, we designed psychophysical experiments using regular and reverse-phi random dot motions isolating low-level pre-attentive motion processing. Our results show that an association between the directions of low-level visual motion and static sounds can be formed and this audiovisual association alters the subsequent perception of low-level visual motion. These findings support the view that audiovisual associations are not restricted to high-level attention based motion system and early-level visual motion processing has some potential role.

  12. Altered plasma levels of chemokines in autism and their association with social behaviors.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yidong; Ou, JInajun; Liu, Mengmeng; Shi, Lijuan; Li, Yamin; Xiao, Lu; Dong, Huixi; Zhang, Fengyu; Xia, Kun; Zhao, Jingping

    2016-10-30

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopment disorders with an unclear etiology. Chemokines have been implicated in the etiology and pathogenesis of ASD. The current study investigated the plasma levels of seven chemokines (RANTES, Eotaxin, MIP-1 α, MIP-1 β, MCP-1, IP-10, and MIG) in 42 young autistic patients and 35 age-matched typically developing (TD) children. The study also tested the association between these chemokine levels and social behaviors, as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Compared to the TD children, RANTES, MIP-1α, and MIP-1β were higher, while IP-10 and MIG were lower in the autistic patients, after correcting for multiple comparisons. Among these seven chemokines, MIP-1α, MIP-1β and IP-10 levels were found to be associated with social behaviors in all the participants. Moreover, MIP-1α and IP-10 were found to be independent predictors of social behaviors. The results of our study support the hypothesis that altered chemokine levels are involved in the pathophysiology of ASD and they indicate that chemokines plasma levels could be potential biomarkers for ASD.

  13. Audiovisual associations alter the perception of low-level visual motion.

    PubMed

    Kafaligonul, Hulusi; Oluk, Can

    2015-01-01

    Motion perception is a pervasive nature of vision and is affected by both immediate pattern of sensory inputs and prior experiences acquired through associations. Recently, several studies reported that an association can be established quickly between directions of visual motion and static sounds of distinct frequencies. After the association is formed, sounds are able to change the perceived direction of visual motion. To determine whether such rapidly acquired audiovisual associations and their subsequent influences on visual motion perception are dependent on the involvement of higher-order attentive tracking mechanisms, we designed psychophysical experiments using regular and reverse-phi random dot motions isolating low-level pre-attentive motion processing. Our results show that an association between the directions of low-level visual motion and static sounds can be formed and this audiovisual association alters the subsequent perception of low-level visual motion. These findings support the view that audiovisual associations are not restricted to high-level attention based motion system and early-level visual motion processing has some potential role. PMID:25873869

  14. Altered Serum Levels of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2, -9 in Response to Electroconvulsive Therapy for Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Shibasaki, Chiyo; Itagaki, Kei; Abe, Hiromi; Kajitani, Naoto; Okada-Tsuchioka, Mami

    2016-01-01

    Background: Inflammatory processes could underlie mood disorders. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMP) are inflammation-related molecules. The current study sought an association between mood disorders and systemic levels of MMPs and TIMPs. Methods: Serum was obtained from patients with mood disorders (n=21) and patients with schizophrenia (n=13) scheduled to undergo electroconvulsive therapy. Serum was also obtained from healthy controls (n=40). Clinical symptoms were assessed by the Hamilton Rating Score for Depression and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Serum levels of MMPs and TIMPs were quantified by ELISA. Results: The serum levels of MMP-2 in mood disorder patients, but not in schizophrenia patients, prior to the first electroconvulsive therapy session (baseline) was significantly lower than that of healthy controls. At baseline, levels of MMP-9 and TIMP-2, -1 were not different between patients with mood disorder and schizophrenia and healthy controls. After a course of electroconvulsive therapy, MMP-2 levels were significantly increased in mood disorder patients, but MMP-9 levels were significantly decreased in both mood disorder and schizophrenia patients. In mood disorder patients, there was a significant negative correlation between depressive symptoms and serum levels of MMP-2 and a positive correlation between depressive symptoms and MMP-9. In addition, alterations of serum levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were significantly correlated each other and were associated with certain depressive symptoms. Conclusion: A change in inflammatory homeostasis, as indicated by MMP-2 and MMP-9, could be related to mood disorders, and these markers appear to be sensitive to electroconvulsive therapy. PMID:26912606

  15. Altering footwear type influences gait during level walking and downhill transitions.

    PubMed

    Stern, Keith A; Gottschall, Jinger S

    2012-11-01

    The purpose of our study was to determine if altering the insoles within footwear or walking barefoot, as an attempt to increase or decrease cutaneous stimuli, would improve dynamic balance during a hill-walking task. We hypothesize that compared with foam insoles or iced bare feet, textured insoles or bare feet will result in greater speeds, longer step lengths, narrower step width, shorter stance time, and less tibialis anterior (TA), soleus (SOL), and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) activity during key gait cycle phases. Ten, healthy college students, 5 men and 5 women, completed the protocol that consisted of level walking and downhill transition walking in five different footwear insole or barefoot conditions. During level walking, conditions with the hypothesized greater cutaneous stimuli resulted in greater step length, which relates to a more stable gait. In detail, the texture insole condition average step length was 3% longer than the regular insole condition, which was 5% longer than the ice condition (p < .01). The same signals of increased stability were evident during the more challenging downhill transition stride. Step length during the barefoot condition was 8% longer than the ice condition (p < .05) and step width during the regular footwear condition was 5% narrower than the foam condition (p = .05). To add, during the preswing phase of level walking, TA activity of the textured insole condition was 30% less than the foam insole. Although our data show that footwear conditions alter gait patterns and lower leg muscle activity during walking, there is not enough evidence to support the hypothesis that textured insoles will improve dynamic balance as compared with other footwear types.

  16. Methoxychlor reduces estradiol levels by altering steroidogenesis and metabolism in mouse antral follicles in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S. Craig, Zelieann R. Hernandez-Ochoa, Isabel Paulose, Tessie Leslie, Traci C. Flaws, Jodi A.

    2011-06-15

    The organochlorine pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) is a known endocrine disruptor that affects adult rodent females by causing reduced fertility, persistent estrus, and ovarian atrophy. Since MXC is also known to target antral follicles, the major producer of sex steroids in the ovary, the present study was designed to test the hypothesis that MXC decreases estradiol (E{sub 2}) levels by altering steroidogenic and metabolic enzymes in the antral follicles. To test this hypothesis, antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mouse ovaries and cultured with either dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or MXC. Follicle growth was measured every 24 h for 96 h. In addition, sex steroid hormone levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and mRNA expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes as well as the E{sub 2} metabolic enzyme Cyp1b1 were measured using qPCR. The results indicate that MXC decreased E{sub 2}, testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone (P{sub 4}) levels compared to DMSO. In addition, MXC decreased expression of aromatase (Cyp19a1), 17{beta}-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd17b1), 17{alpha}-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (Cyp17a1), 3{beta} hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd3b1), cholesterol side-chain cleavage (Cyp11a1), steroid acute regulatory protein (Star), and increased expression of Cyp1b1 enzyme levels. Thus, these data suggest that MXC decreases steroidogenic enzyme levels, increases metabolic enzyme expression and this in turn leads to decreased sex steroid hormone levels. - Highlights: > MXC inhibits steroidogenesis > MXC inhibits steroidogenic enzymes > MXC induces metabolic enzymes

  17. Pesticide Exposure Alters Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Levels in Mexican Agricultural Workers

    PubMed Central

    Recio, Rogelio; Ocampo-Gómez, Guadalupe; Morán-Martínez, Javier; Borja-Aburto, Victor; López-Cervantes, Malaquías; Uribe, Marisela; Torres-Sánchez, Luisa; Cebrián, Mariano E.

    2005-01-01

    Organophosphorous pesticides (OPs) are suspected of altering reproductive function by reducing brain acetylcholinesterase activity and monoamine levels, thus impairing hypothalamic and/or pituitary endocrine functions and gonadal processes. Our objective was to evaluate in a longitudinal study the association between OP exposure and serum levels of pituitary and sex hormones. Urinary OP metabolite levels were measured by gas–liquid chromatography, and serum pituitary and sex hormone levels by enzymatic immunoassay and radioimmunoassay in 64 men. A total of 147 urine and blood samples were analyzed for each parameter. More than 80% of the participants had at least one OP metabolite in their urine samples. The most frequent metabolite found was diethylthiophosphate (DETP; 55%), followed by diethylphosphate (DEP; 46%), dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP; 32%), and dimethyldithiophosphate (DMDTP; 31%). However, the metabolites detected at higher concentrations were DMTP, DEP, DMDTP, and dimethylphosphate. There was a high proportion of individuals with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations outside the range of normality (48%). The average FSH serum levels were higher during the heavy pesticide spraying season. However, a multivariate analysis of data collected in all periods showed that serum FSH levels were negatively associated with urinary concentrations of both DMTP and DMDTP, whereas luteinizing hormone (LH) was negatively associated with DMTP. We observed no significant associations between estradiol or testosterone serum levels with OP metabolites. The hormonal disruption in agricultural workers presented here, together with results from experimental animal studies, suggests that OP exposure disrupts the hypothalamic–pituitary endocrine function and also indicates that FSH and LH are the hormones most affected. PMID:16140621

  18. Altered Levels of Serum Zinc and Cadmium in Patients with Chronic Vesiculobullous Hand and Feet Dermatitis

    PubMed Central

    Suvirya, Swastika; Thakur, Alpna; Pandey, S. S.; Tripathi, S. K.; Dwivedi, Durgesh Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Micronutrients serve many important functions in our body and altered levels of heavy and trace metals are associated with cutaneous and systemic disorders. Vesicular palmoplantar eczema is an entity whose etiopathogenesis is a mystery. In this prospective case-noncase study blood levels of Zinc and Cadmium in 37 patients of chronic vesiculobullous hand dermatitis were estimated and compared with 40 noncases with similar age and gender distributions. Low serum Zinc levels were found in patients as compared to noncases. The mean difference of serum Zinc between the case and noncase groups was 27.26; the mean value of serum Zinc between the two groups was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). However, elevated Cadmium levels were detected in only 5 patients and in none of the noncases. The mean concentration of serum Cadmium was 2.32 ± 0.38 μg/dL, with a range of 1.90–2.80 μg/dL for the five cases in whom Cadmium was detected. Various toxic and trace metals can interact by influencing each other's absorption, retention, distribution, and bioavailability in the body. The clinical significance of this finding lies in the possible beneficial role of Zinc supplementation in the therapy of chronic vesiculobullous hand dermatitis. PMID:27143960

  19. Corticosteroid-binding globulin: the clinical significance of altered levels and heritable mutations.

    PubMed

    Gagliardi, Lucia; Ho, Jui T; Torpy, David J

    2010-03-01

    Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is the specific high-affinity plasma transport glycoprotein for cortisol. Stress-induced falls in CBG levels may heighten hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses and CBG:tissue interactions may allow targeted cortisol delivery. Three genetic variants of CBG have been identified that reduce cortisol binding affinity and/or CBG levels. These include the Leuven and Lyon mutations which reduce CBG:cortisol binding affinity 3- and 4-fold, respectively, and the null mutation resulting in a 50% (heterozygote) or 100% (homozygote) reduction in CBG levels. The three reported null homozygotes demonstrate that complete CBG deficiency is not lethal, although it may be associated with hypotension and fatigue. The phenotype of a CBG null murine model included fatigue and immune defects. One community-based study revealed that severe CBG mutations are rare in idiopathic fatigue disorders. The mechanisms by which CBG mutations may cause fatigue are unknown. There are preliminary data of altered CBG levels in hypertension and in the metabolic syndrome; however, the nature of these associations is uncertain. Further studies may clarify the functions of CBG, and clinical observations may validate and/or extend the phenotypic features of various CBG mutations.

  20. Altered MCM protein levels and autophagic flux in aged and systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Dumit, Verónica I; Küttner, Victoria; Käppler, Jakob; Piera-Velazquez, Sonsoles; Jimenez, Sergio A; Bruckner-Tuderman, Leena; Uitto, Jouni; Dengjel, Jörn

    2014-09-01

    Aging is a common risk factor of many disorders. With age, the level of insoluble extracellular matrix increases leading to increased stiffness of a number of tissues. Matrix accumulation can also be observed in fibrotic disorders, such as systemic sclerosis (SSc). Although the intrinsic aging process in skin is phenotypically distinct from SSc, here we demonstrate similar behavior of aged and SSc skin fibroblasts in culture. We have used quantitative proteomics to characterize the phenotype of dermal fibroblasts from healthy subjects of various ages and from patients with SSc. Our results demonstrate that proteins involved in DNA and RNA processing decrease with age and in SSc, whereas those involved in mitochondrial and other metabolic processes behave the opposite. Specifically, minichromosome maintenance (MCM) helicase proteins are less abundant with age and SSc, and they exhibit an altered subcellular distribution. We observed that lower levels of MCM7 correlate with reduced cell proliferation, lower autophagic capacity, and higher intracellular protein abundance phenotypes of aged and SSc cells. In addition, we show that SSc fibroblasts exhibit higher levels of senescence compared with their healthy counterparts, suggesting further similarities between the fibrotic disorder and the aging process. Hence, at the molecular level, SSc fibroblasts exhibit intrinsic characteristics of fibroblasts from aged skin.

  1. Saharan dust inputs and high UVR levels jointly alter the metabolic balance of marine oligotrophic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Cabrerizo, Marco J.; Medina-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; González-Olalla, Juan Manuel; Villar-Argaiz, Manuel; Carrillo, Presentación

    2016-01-01

    The metabolic balance of the most extensive bioma on the Earth is a controversial topic of the global-change research. High ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels by the shoaling of upper mixed layers and increasing atmospheric dust deposition from arid regions may unpredictably alter the metabolic state of marine oligotrophic ecosystems. We performed an observational study across the south-western (SW) Mediterranean Sea to assess the planktonic metabolic balance and a microcosm experiment in two contrasting areas, heterotrophic nearshore and autotrophic open sea, to test whether a combined UVR × dust impact could alter their metabolic balance at mid-term scales. We show that the metabolic state of oligotrophic areas geographically varies and that the joint impact of UVR and dust inputs prompted a strong change towards autotrophic metabolism. We propose that this metabolic response could be accentuated with the global change as remote-sensing evidence shows increasing intensities, frequencies and number of dust events together with variations in the surface UVR fluxes on SW Mediterranean Sea. Overall, these findings suggest that the enhancement of the net carbon budget under a combined UVR and dust inputs impact could contribute to boost the biological pump, reinforcing the role of the oligotrophic marine ecosystems as CO2 sinks. PMID:27775100

  2. Community Phylogenetics: Assessing Tree Reconstruction Methods and the Utility of DNA Barcodes

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Elizabeth E.; Adamowicz, Sarah J.

    2015-01-01

    Studies examining phylogenetic community structure have become increasingly prevalent, yet little attention has been given to the influence of the input phylogeny on metrics that describe phylogenetic patterns of co-occurrence. Here, we examine the influence of branch length, tree reconstruction method, and amount of sequence data on measures of phylogenetic community structure, as well as the phylogenetic signal (Pagel’s λ) in morphological traits, using Trichoptera larval communities from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. We find that model-based tree reconstruction methods and the use of a backbone family-level phylogeny improve estimations of phylogenetic community structure. In addition, trees built using the barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) alone accurately predict metrics of phylogenetic community structure obtained from a multi-gene phylogeny. Input tree did not alter overall conclusions drawn for phylogenetic signal, as significant phylogenetic structure was detected in two body size traits across input trees. As the discipline of community phylogenetics continues to expand, it is important to investigate the best approaches to accurately estimate patterns. Our results suggest that emerging large datasets of DNA barcode sequences provide a vast resource for studying the structure of biological communities. PMID:26110886

  3. Neonatal amygdala lesions alter basal cortisol levels in infant rhesus monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Raper, Jessica; Bachevalier, Jocelyne; Wallen, Kim; Sanchez, Mar

    2012-01-01

    The amygdala is mostly thought to exert an excitatory influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, although its role regulating HPA basal tone is less clear, particularly during primate development. The current study examined the effects of neonatal amygdala lesions on basal HPA function and the postnatal testosterone (T) surge of rhesus monkeys reared with their mothers in large outdoor social groups. An early morning basal blood sample was collected at 2.5 months of age, whereas at 5 months samples were collected not only at sunrise, but also at mid-day and sunset to examine the diurnal rhythm of cortisol. At 2.5 months of age sham-operated males exhibited higher cortisol than females, but this sex difference was abolished by neonatal amygdalectomy, with lesioned males also showing lower basal cortisol than controls. Although neonatal amygdalectomy did not alter the postnatal T surge, there was a positive relationship between T and basal cortisol levels. At 5 months of age, neither the sex difference in cortisol, nor its correlation with T levels were apparent any longer. Instead, the diurnal cortisol rhythm of both males and females with amygdalectomy showed a blunted decline from mid-day to sunset compared to controls. These results indicate that neonatal amygdala damage alters basal HPA function in infant rhesus monkeys, affecting males only at early ages (at 2.5 months), while leaving the postnatal T surge intact, and resulting in a flattened diurnal rhythm in both genders at the later ages. Thus, the primate amygdala has a critical influence on the HPA axis in the first few months of life. PMID:23159012

  4. Alterations of DNA mismatch repair proteins and microsatellite instability levels in gastric cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yuan; Tao, Hong; Kim, Jae J; Burkhead, Benjamin; Carloni, Emilia; Gasbarrini, Antonio; Sepulveda, Antonia R

    2004-07-01

    Alterations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) proteins result in microsatellite instability (MSI), increased mutation accumulation at target genes and cancer development. About one-third of gastric cancers display high-level microsatellite instability (MSI-High) and low-level microsatellite instability (MSI-Low) is frequently detected. To determine whether variations in the levels of MMR proteins or mutations in the main DNA MMR genes are associated with MSI-Low and MSI-High in gastric cancer cell lines, the MSI status (MSI-High, MSI-Low or MS-Stable (MSS)) of 14 gastric cancer lines was determined using multiple clone analysis with a panel of five microsatellite markers. Protein levels of hMLH1, hMSH2, hMSH6, hPMS2 and hPMS1 were determined by Western blot. Sequence analysis of hMLH1 and hMSH2 was performed and the methylation status of the hMLH1 promoter was examined. The cell lines SNU1 and SNU638 showed MSI-High, decreased to essentially absent hMLH1 and hPMS2 and reduced hPMS1 and hMSH6 protein levels. The hMLH1 promoter region was hypermethylated in SNU638 cells. The MKN28, MKN87, KATOIII and SNU601 cell lines showed MSI-Low. The MMR protein levels of cells with MSI-Low status was similar to the levels detected in MSS cells. A marked decrease in the expression levels of MutL MMR proteins (hMLH1, hPMS2 and hPMS1) is associated with high levels of MSI mutations in gastric cancer cells. Gastric cancer cell lines with MSI-Low status do not show significant changes in the levels of the main DNA MMR proteins or mutations in the DNA mismatch repair genes hMSH2 and hMLH1. These well-characterized gastric cancer cell lines are a valuable resource to further our understanding of DNA MMR deficiency in cancer development, progression and prognosis. PMID:15133479

  5. Diabetic retinopathy alters light-induced clock gene expression and dopamine levels in the mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    Lahouaoui, Hasna; Coutanson, Christine; Cooper, Howard M.; Bennis, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common consequences of diabetes that affects millions of working-age adults worldwide and leads to progressive degeneration of the retina, visual loss, and blindness. Diabetes is associated with circadian disruption of the central and peripheral circadian clocks, but the mechanisms responsible for such alterations are unknown. Using a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced model of diabetes, we investigated whether diabetes alters 1) the circadian regulation of clock genes in the retina and in the central clocks, 2) the light response of clock genes in the retina, and/or 3) light-driven retinal dopamine (DA), a major output marker of the retinal clock. Methods To quantify circadian expression of clock and clock-controlled genes, retinas and suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) from the same animals were collected every 4 h in circadian conditions, 12 weeks post-diabetes. Induction of Per1, Per2, and c-fos mRNAs was quantified in the retina after the administration of a pulse of monochromatic light (480 nm, 1.17×1014 photons/cm2/s, 15 min) at circadian time 16. Gene expression was assessed with real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT–PCR). Pooled retinas from the control and STZ-diabetic mice were collected 2 h after light ON and light OFF (Zeitgeber time (ZT)2 and ZT14), and DA and its metabolite were analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results We found variable effects of diabetes on the expression of clock genes in the retina and only slight differences in phase and/or amplitude in the SCN. c-fos and Per1 induction by a 480 nm light pulse was abolished in diabetic animals at 12 weeks post-induction of diabetes in comparison with the control mice, suggesting a deficit in light-induced neuronal activation of the retinal clock. Finally, we quantified a 56% reduction in the total number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunopositive cells, associated with a decrease in DA levels during the subjective day (ZT2

  6. Neurotensin receptor binding levels in basal ganglia are not altered in Huntington's chorea or schizophrenia

    SciTech Connect

    Palacios, J.M.; Chinaglia, G.; Rigo, M.; Ulrich, J.; Probst, A. )

    1991-02-01

    Autoradiographic techniques were used to examine the distribution and levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites in the basal ganglia and related regions of the human brain. Monoiodo ({sup 125}I-Tyr3)neurotensin was used as a ligand. High amounts of neurotensin receptor binding sites were found in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Lower but significant quantities of neurotensin receptor binding sites characterized the caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens, while very low quantities were seen in both medial and lateral segments of the globus pallidus. In Huntington's chorea, the levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites were found to be comparable to those of control cases. Only slight but not statistically significant decreases in amounts of receptor binding sites were detected in the dorsal part of the head and in the body of caudate nucleus. No alterations in the levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites were observed in the substantia nigra pars compacta and reticulata. These results suggest that a large proportion of neurotensin receptor binding sites in the basal ganglia are located on intrinsic neurons and on extrinsic afferent fibers that do not degenerate in Huntington's disease.

  7. Altered neurochemical levels in the rat brain following chronic nicotine treatment.

    PubMed

    Falasca, Sara; Ranc, Vaclav; Petruzziello, Filomena; Khani, Abbas; Kretz, Robert; Zhang, Xiaozhe; Rainer, Gregor

    2014-09-01

    Converging evidence shows that neurochemical systems are crucial mediators of nicotine dependence. Our present study evaluates the effect of 3-month chronic nicotine treatment on the levels of multiple quaternary ammonium compounds as well as glutamate and gamma aminobutyric acid in the rat prefrontal cortex, dorsal striatum and hypothalamus. We observed a marked decrease of acetylcholine levels in the dorsal striatum (22.88%, p<0.01), reflecting the impact of chronic nicotine in local interneuron circuits. We found decreases of carnitine in the dorsal striatum and prefrontal cortex (19.44%, p<0.01; 13.58%, p<0.01, respectively), but robust enhancements of carnitine in the hypothalamus (26.59%, p<0.01), which may reflect the alterations in food and water intake during chronic nicotine treatment. Finally, we identified an increase of prefrontal cortex glutamate levels (8.05%, p<0.05), supporting previous studies suggesting enhanced prefrontal activity during chronic drug use. Our study shows that quaternary ammonium compounds are regulated in a highly brain region specific manner during chronic nicotine treatment, and provides novel insights into neurochemical regulation during nicotine use.

  8. A large-scale, higher-level, molecular phylogenetic study of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes. Their aligned nucle...

  9. Ambient CO2, fish behaviour and altered GABAergic neurotransmission: exploring the mechanism of CO2-altered behaviour by taking a hypercapnia dweller down to low CO2 levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Matthew D; Turko, Andy J; Heras, Joseph; Andersen, Mads Kuhlmann; Lefevre, Sjannie; Wang, Tobias; Bayley, Mark; Brauner, Colin J; Huong, Do Thi Thanh; Phuong, Nguyen Thanh; Nilsson, Göran E

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that projected rises of aquatic CO2 levels cause acid-base regulatory responses in fishes that lead to altered GABAergic neurotransmission and disrupted behaviour, threatening fitness and population survival. It is thought that changes in Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) gradients across neural membranes interfere with the function of GABA-gated anion channels (GABAA receptors). So far, such alterations have been revealed experimentally by exposing species living in low-CO2 environments, like many oceanic habitats, to high levels of CO2 (hypercapnia). To examine the generality of this phenomenon, we set out to study the opposite situation, hypothesizing that fishes living in typically hypercapnic environments also display behavioural alterations if exposed to low CO2 levels. This would indicate that ion regulation in the fish brain is fine-tuned to the prevailing CO2 conditions. We quantified pH regulatory variables and behavioural responses of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, a fish native to the hypercapnic Mekong River, acclimated to high-CO2 (3.1 kPa) or low-CO2 (0.04 kPa) water. We found that brain and blood pH was actively regulated and that the low-CO2 fish displayed significantly higher activity levels, which were reduced after treatment with gabazine, a GABAA receptor blocker. This indicates an involvement of the GABAA receptor and altered Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) ion gradients. Indeed, Goldman calculations suggest that low levels of environmental CO2 may cause significant changes in neural ion gradients in P. hypophthalmus. Taken together, the results suggest that brain ion regulation in fishes is fine-tuned to the prevailing ambient CO2 conditions and is prone to disruption if these conditions change. PMID:26739687

  10. Ambient CO2, fish behaviour and altered GABAergic neurotransmission: exploring the mechanism of CO2-altered behaviour by taking a hypercapnia dweller down to low CO2 levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Matthew D; Turko, Andy J; Heras, Joseph; Andersen, Mads Kuhlmann; Lefevre, Sjannie; Wang, Tobias; Bayley, Mark; Brauner, Colin J; Huong, Do Thi Thanh; Phuong, Nguyen Thanh; Nilsson, Göran E

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that projected rises of aquatic CO2 levels cause acid-base regulatory responses in fishes that lead to altered GABAergic neurotransmission and disrupted behaviour, threatening fitness and population survival. It is thought that changes in Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) gradients across neural membranes interfere with the function of GABA-gated anion channels (GABAA receptors). So far, such alterations have been revealed experimentally by exposing species living in low-CO2 environments, like many oceanic habitats, to high levels of CO2 (hypercapnia). To examine the generality of this phenomenon, we set out to study the opposite situation, hypothesizing that fishes living in typically hypercapnic environments also display behavioural alterations if exposed to low CO2 levels. This would indicate that ion regulation in the fish brain is fine-tuned to the prevailing CO2 conditions. We quantified pH regulatory variables and behavioural responses of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, a fish native to the hypercapnic Mekong River, acclimated to high-CO2 (3.1 kPa) or low-CO2 (0.04 kPa) water. We found that brain and blood pH was actively regulated and that the low-CO2 fish displayed significantly higher activity levels, which were reduced after treatment with gabazine, a GABAA receptor blocker. This indicates an involvement of the GABAA receptor and altered Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) ion gradients. Indeed, Goldman calculations suggest that low levels of environmental CO2 may cause significant changes in neural ion gradients in P. hypophthalmus. Taken together, the results suggest that brain ion regulation in fishes is fine-tuned to the prevailing ambient CO2 conditions and is prone to disruption if these conditions change.

  11. Prenatal Hyperandrogenization Induces Metabolic and Endocrine Alterations Which Depend on the Levels of Testosterone Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Amalfi, Sabrina; Velez, Leandro Martín; Heber, María Florencia; Vighi, Susana; Ferreira, Silvana Rocío; Orozco, Adriana Vega; Pignataro, Omar; Motta, Alicia Beatriz

    2012-01-01

    Prenatal hyperandrogenism is able to induce polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in rats. The aim of the present study was to establish if the levels of prenatal testosterone may determine the extent of metabolic and endocrine alterations during the adult life. Pregnant Sprague Dawley rats were prenatally injected with either 2 or 5 mg free testosterone (groups T2 and T5 respectively) from day 16 to day 19 day of gestation. Female offspring from T2 and T5 displayed different phenotype of PCOS during adult life. Offspring from T2 showed hyperandrogenism, ovarian cysts and ovulatory cycles whereas those from T5 displayed hyperandrogenism, ovarian cysts and anovulatory cycles. Both group showed increased circulating glucose levels after the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT; an evaluation of insulin resistance). IPGTT was higher in T5 rats and directly correlated with body weight at prepubertal age. However, the decrease in the body weight at prepubertal age was compensated during adult life. Although both groups showed enhanced ovarian steroidogenesis, it appears that the molecular mechanisms involved were different. The higher dose of testosterone enhanced the expression of both the protein that regulates cholesterol availability (the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR)) and the protein expression of the transcriptional factor: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma). Prenatal hyperandrogenization induced an anti-oxidant response that prevented a possible pro-oxidant status. The higher dose of testosterone induced a pro-inflammatory state in ovarian tissue mediated by increased levels of prostaglandin E (PG) and the protein expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2, the limiting enzyme of PGs synthesis). In summary, our data show that the levels of testosterone prenatally injected modulate the uterine environment and that this, in turn, would be responsible for the endocrine and metabolic abnormalities and the phenotype of PCOS

  12. Resveratrol alters the lipid composition, metabolism and peroxide level in senescent rat hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Momchilova, Albena; Petkova, Diana; Staneva, Galya; Markovska, Tania; Pankov, Roumen; Skrobanska, Ralica; Nikolova-Karakashian, Mariana; Koumanov, Kamen

    2014-01-25

    Investigations were performed on the influence of resveratrol on the lipid composition, metabolism, fatty acid and peroxide level in plasma membranes of hepatocytes, isolated from aged rats. Hepatocytes were chosen due to the central role of the liver in lipid metabolism and homeostasis. The obtained results showed that the level of sphingomyelin (SM) and phosphatidylserine (PS) was augmented in plasma membranes of resveratrol-treated senescent hepatocytes. The saturated/unsaturated fatty acids ratio of the two most abundant membrane phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), was decreased as a result of resveratrol treatment. The neutral sphingomyelinase was found to be responsible for the increase of SM and the decrease of ceramide in plasma membranes of resveratrol-treated senescent hepatocytes. Using labeled acetate as a precursor of lipid synthesis we demonstrated, that resveratrol treatment resulted in inhibition mainly of phospholipid synthesis, followed by fatty acids synthesis. Resveratrol induced reduction of specific membrane-associated markers of apoptosis such as localization of PS in the external plasma membrane monolayer and ceramide level. Finally, the content of lipid peroxides was investigated, because the unsaturated fatty acids, which were augmented as a result of resveratrol treatment, are an excellent target of oxidative attack. The results showed that the lipid peroxide level was significantly lower, ROS were slightly reduced and GSH was almost unchanged in resveratrol-treated hepatocytes. We suggest, that one possible biochemical mechanism, underlying the reported resveratrol-induced changes, is the partial inactivation of neutral sphingomyelinase, leading to increase of SM, the latter acting as a native membrane antioxidant. In conclusion, our studies indicate that resveratrol treatment induces beneficial alterations in the phospholipid and fatty acid composition, as well as in the ceramide and peroxide

  13. Fetal rat metabonome alteration by prenatal caffeine ingestion probably due to the increased circulatory glucocorticoid level and altered peripheral glucose and lipid metabolic pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yansong; Xu, Dan; Feng, Jianghua; Kou, Hao; Liang, Gai; Yu, Hong; He, Xiaohua; Zhang, Baifang; Chen, Liaobin; Magdalou, Jacques; Wang, Hui

    2012-07-15

    The aims of this study were to clarify the metabonome alteration in fetal rats after prenatal caffeine ingestion and to explore the underlying mechanism pertaining to the increased fetal circulatory glucocorticoid (GC). Pregnant Wistar rats were daily intragastrically administered with different doses of caffeine (0, 20, 60 and 180 mg/kg) from gestational days (GD) 11 to 20. Metabonome of fetal plasma and amniotic fluid on GD20 were analyzed by {sup 1}H nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabonomics. Gene and protein expressions involved in the GC metabolism, glucose and lipid metabolic pathways in fetal liver and gastrocnemius were measured by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Fetal plasma metabonome were significantly altered by caffeine, which presents as the elevated α- and β‐glucose, reduced multiple lipid contents, varied apolipoprotein contents and increased levels of a number of amino acids. The metabonome of amniotic fluids showed a similar change as that in fetal plasma. Furthermore, the expressions of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11β-HSD-2) were decreased, while the level of blood GC and the expressions of 11β-HSD-1 and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) were increased in fetal liver and gastrocnemius. Meanwhile, the expressions of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), IGF-1 receptor and insulin receptor were decreased, while the expressions of adiponectin receptor 2, leptin receptors and AMP-activated protein kinase α2 were increased after caffeine treatment. Prenatal caffeine ingestion characteristically change the fetal metabonome, which is probably attributed to the alterations of glucose and lipid metabolic pathways induced by increased circulatory GC, activated GC metabolism and enhanced GR expression in peripheral metabolic tissues. -- Highlights: ► Prenatal caffeine ingestion altered the metabonome of IUGR fetal rats. ► Caffeine altered the glucose and lipid metabolic pathways of IUGR fetal rats. ► Prenatal caffeine

  14. Acute exposure to 2,4-dinitrophenol alters zebrafish swimming performance and whole body triglyceride levels.

    PubMed

    Marit, Jordan S; Weber, Lynn P

    2011-06-01

    While swimming endurance (critical swimming speed or U(crit)) and lipid stores have both been reported to acutely decrease after exposure to a variety of toxicants, the relationship between these endpoints has not been clearly established. In order to examine these relationships, adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) were aqueously exposed to solvent control (ethanol) or two nominal concentrations of 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a mitochondrial electron transport chain uncoupler, for a 24-h period. Following exposure, fish were placed in a swim tunnel in clean water for swimming testing or euthanized immediately without testing, followed by analysis of whole body triglyceride levels. U(crit) decreased in both the 6 mg/L and 12 mg/L DNP groups, with 12 mg/L approaching the LC₅₀. A decrease in tail beat frequency was observed without a significant change in tail beat amplitude. In contrast, triglyceride levels were elevated in a concentration-dependent manner in the DNP exposure groups, but only in fish subjected to swimming tests. This increase in triglyceride stores may be due to a direct interference of DNP on lipid catabolism as well as increased triglyceride production when zebrafish were subjected to the co-stressors of swimming and toxicant exposure. Future studies should be directed at determining how acute DNP exposure combines with swimming to cause alterations in triglyceride accumulation. PMID:21406246

  15. Responses of Electromyogram Activity in Adductor Longus Muscle of Rats to the Altered Gravity Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohira, Takashi; Wang, Xiao Dong; Terada, Masahiro; Kawano, Fuminori; Higo, Yoko; Nakai, Naoya; Ochiai, Toshimasa; Gyotoku, Jyunichirou; Nishimoto, Norihiro; Ogura, Akihiko; Ohira, Yoshinobu

    2008-06-01

    Responses of electromyogram (EMG) activities in the rostral and caudal regions of adductor longus (AL) muscle to altered gravity levels during parabolic flight of a jet airplane, as well as hindlimb suspension, were investigated in adult rats. Tonic EMGs in both regions were noted when the rats were exposed to hyper-G, as well as 1-G. The hip joints were adducted and the sedental quadrupedal position was maintained at these G levels. However, the EMG activities in these regions decreased and became phasic, when the hip joints were abducted and extended backward in μ-G environment. Such changes of joint angles caused passive shortening of sarcomeres only in the caudal region of AL. Atrophy and shift toward fast-twitch type were noted in fibers of the caudal region after 16-day unloading. Although fiber transformation was also induced in the rostral region, no atrophy was seen in fast-twitch fibers. The data may suggest that the atrophy and shift of phenotype caused by gravitational unloading in fibers of the caudal region may be related to the decrease in the neural and mechanical activities. Fiber type transformation toward fast-twitch type may be also related to the change of muscle activity from tonic to phasic patterns, which are the typical characteristics of fast-twitch muscle. However, the responses to unloading in fibers of rostral region were not related to the reduction of mechanical load.

  16. Pregnancy amelioration of arthritis in SKG mice corresponds with alterations in serum amyloid A3 levels

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Laura A; Stefanski, Adrianne L; Peterson, Lisa K; Rumer, Kristen K; Vondracek, Andrea; Phang, Tzu L; Sakaguchi, Shimon; Winn, Virginia D; Dragone, Leonard L

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: Pregnancy leads to rheumatoid arthritis remission in humans. The objective of this study was to determine if the SKG mouse could serve as a model for pregnancy-associated inflammatory arthritis amelioration. In addition, the maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) transcriptome was assessed to define a biomarker associated with remission. Methods: Cohorts of zymosan-treated pregnant SKG mice and controls were monitored for arthritis progression. Microarray analysis evaluated alterations in gene expression in maternal PBMCs at embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5) between arthritic and pregnancy-remitted mice. A selected target, serum amyloid A3 (SAA3), was further investigated using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Pregnancy resulted in complete or partial remission in the majority of the zymosan-treated SKG mice. Twenty-seven transcripts were differentially expressed in the PBMCs between arthritic and pregnancy-remitted mice. Expression and plasma SAA3 levels decreased with pregnancy-induced arthritis amelioration and plasma SAA3 levels correlated with arthritis severity. Conclusions: These results establish the SKG mouse as a model system to study pregnancy-induced amelioration of arthritis. These studies also establish SAA3 as a biomarker of arthritis amelioration in SKG mice. This model can be used to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the impact of pregnancy on the maternal immune system that results in arthritis amelioration. PMID:23097751

  17. Smoking, alcoholism and genetic polymorphisms alter CYP2B6 levels in human brain.

    PubMed

    Miksys, Sharon; Lerman, Caryn; Shields, Peter G; Mash, Deborah C; Tyndale, Rachel F

    2003-07-01

    CYP2B6 metabolizes drugs such as nicotine and bupropion, and many toxins and carcinogens. Nicotine induces CYP2B1 in rat brain and in humans polymorphic variation in CYP2B6 affects smoking cessation rates. The aim of this study was to compare CYP2B6 expression in brains of human smokers and non-smokers and alcoholics and non-alcoholics (n=26). CYP2B6 expression was brain region-specific, and was observed in both neurons and astrocytes. CYP2B6 levels were higher in brains of smokers and alcoholics, particularly in cerebellar Purkinje cells and hippocampal pyramidal neurons, cells known to be damaged in alcoholics. Significantly more (p<0.05) CYP2B6 protein was seen in four brain regions of smoking alcoholics compared to non-smoking non-alcoholics: hippocampus (5.8-fold), caudate nucleus (3.3-fold), putamen (3.0-fold) and cerebellar hemisphere (1.6-fold). The genetic variant C1459T (R487C) has been associated with reduced hepatic enzyme levels, stability and activity. Preliminary genotyping of this small sample (n=24) suggested that individuals with the CC genotype had higher brain CYP2B6 than those with the CT or TT genotype. Higher brain CYP2B6 activity in smokers and alcoholics may cause altered sensitivity to centrally acting drugs, increased susceptibility to neurotoxins and carcinogenic xenobiotics and contribute to central tolerance to nicotine.

  18. Effects of Altered Levels of Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase and Irradiation on Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Female Mice

    SciTech Connect

    Zou, Yani; Leu, David; Chui, Jennifer; Fike, John R.; Huang, Ting-Ting

    2013-11-15

    Purpose: Altered levels of extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) and cranial irradiation have been shown to affect hippocampal neurogenesis. However, previous studies were only conducted in male mice, and it was not clear if there was a difference between males and females. Therefore, female mice were studied and the results compared with those generated in male mice from an earlier study. Methods and Materials: Female wild-type, EC-SOD-null (KO), and EC-SOD bigenic mice with neuronal-specific expression of EC-SOD (OE) were subjected to a single dose of 5-Gy gamma rays to the head at 8 weeks of age. Progenitor cell proliferation, differentiation, and long-term survival of newborn neurons were determined. Results: Similar to results from male mice, EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation both resulted in significant reductions in mature newborn neurons in female mice. EC-SOD deficiency reduced long-term survival of newborn neurons whereas irradiation reduced progenitor cell proliferation. Overexpression of EC-SOD corrected the negative impacts from EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation and normalized the production of newborn neurons in OE mice. Expression of neurotrophic factors brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 were significantly reduced by irradiation in wild-type mice, but the levels were not changed in KO and OE mice even though both cohorts started out with a lower baseline level. Conclusion: In terms of hippocampal neurogenesis, EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation have the same overall effects in males and females at the age the studies were conducted.

  19. Chronic alteration in phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate levels regulates capsaicin and mustard oil responses

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Mayur J.; Belugin, Sergei; Akopian, Armen N.

    2011-01-01

    There is an agreement that acute (in minutes) hydrolysis and accumulation of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) modulate TRPV1 and TRPA1 activities. Since inflammation results in PIP2 depletion, persisting for long periods (hours-to-days) in pain models and in clinic, we examined whether chronic depletion and accumulation of PIP2 affects capsaicin and mustard oil responses. In addition we also wanted to evaluate whether the effects of PIP2 depend on TRPV1 and TRPA1 co-expression, and whether the PIP2 actions vary in expression cells versus sensory neurons. Chronic PIP2 production was stimulated by over-expression of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate-5-kinase, while PIP2-specific phospholipid 5′-phosphatase was selected to reduce plasma membrane levels of PIP2. Our results demonstrate that capsaicin (100 nM; CAP) responses and receptor tachyphylaxis are not significantly influenced by chronic changes in PIP2 levels in wild-type (WT) or TRPA1 null-mutant sensory neurons, as well as CHO cells expressing TRPV1 alone or with TRPA1. However, low concentrations of CAP (20 nM) produced a higher response after PIP2 depletion in cells containing TRPV1 alone, but not TRPV1 together with TRPA1. Mustard oil (25 μM; MO) responses were also not affected by PIP2 in WT sensory neurons and cells co-expressing TRPA1 and TRPV1. In contrast, PIP2 reduction leads to pronounced tachyphylaxis to MO in cells with both channels. Chronic effect of PIP2 on TRPA1 activity depends on presence of the TRPV1 channel and cell type (CHO vs. sensory neurons). In summary, chronic alterations in PIP2 levels regulate magnitude of CAP and MO responses, as well as MO-tachyphylaxis. This regulation depends on co-expression profile of TRPA1 and TRPV1 and cell type. PMID:21337373

  20. A Large-Scale, Higher-Level, Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Insect Order Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies)

    PubMed Central

    Regier, Jerome C.; Mitter, Charles; Zwick, Andreas; Bazinet, Adam L.; Cummings, Michael P.; Kawahara, Akito Y.; Sohn, Jae-Cheon; Zwickl, Derrick J.; Cho, Soowon; Davis, Donald R.; Baixeras, Joaquin; Brown, John; Parr, Cynthia; Weller, Susan; Lees, David C.; Mitter, Kim T.

    2013-01-01

    Background Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. We present the most comprehensive molecular analysis of lepidopteran phylogeny to date, focusing on relationships among superfamilies. Methodology / Principal Findings 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes, from which maximum likelihood tree estimates and bootstrap percentages were obtained using GARLI. Assessment of heuristic search effectiveness showed that better trees and higher bootstrap percentages probably remain to be discovered even after 1000 or more search replicates, but further search proved impractical even with grid computing. Other analyses explored the effects of sampling nonsynonymous change only versus partitioned and unpartitioned total nucleotide change; deletion of rogue taxa; and compositional heterogeneity. Relationships among the non-ditrysian lineages previously inferred from morphology were largely confirmed, plus some new ones, with strong support. Robust support was also found for divergences among non-apoditrysian lineages of Ditrysia, but only rarely so within Apoditrysia. Paraphyly for Tineoidea is strongly supported by analysis of nonsynonymous-only signal; conflicting, strong support for tineoid monophyly when synonymous signal was added back is shown to result from compositional heterogeneity. Conclusions / Significance Support for among-superfamily relationships outside the Apoditrysia is now generally strong. Comparable support is mostly lacking within Apoditrysia, but dramatically increased bootstrap percentages for some nodes after rogue taxon removal, and concordance with other evidence, strongly suggest that our picture of apoditrysian phylogeny is approximately correct. This study highlights the challenge of finding optimal topologies when analyzing hundreds of taxa. It also

  1. The transcriptome and proteome are altered in marine polychaetes (Annelida) exposed to elevated metal levels.

    PubMed

    Neave, Matthew J; Streten-Joyce, Claire; Nouwens, Amanda S; Glasby, Chris J; McGuinness, Keith A; Parry, David L; Gibb, Karen S

    2012-05-17

    Polychaetes are often used in toxicological studies to understand mechanisms of resistance and for biomarker detection, however, we know of only a few genetic pathways involved in resistance. We found the marine polychaete Ophelina sp.1 (Opheliidae) in sediment containing high copper levels and investigated this phenomenon by measuring metal accumulation in the worms and changes in gene and protein expression. We sequenced the transcriptome of Ophelina sp.1 from both the impacted and reference sediments using 454-sequencing and analysed their proteomes using differential in gel electrophoresis (DIGE). We used the sequenced transcriptome to guide protein identification. Transcripts coding for the copper chaperone, Atox1, were up-regulated in the worms inhabiting the high copper sediment. In addition, genes coding for respiratory proteins, detoxification proteins and cytoskeletal proteins were significantly altered in metal-exposed worms; many of these changes were also detected in the proteome. This dual approach has provided a better understanding of heavy metal resistance in polychaetes and we now have a wider range of suitable indicator genes and proteins for future biomarker development.

  2. Phylogenetic analysis of higher-level relationships within Hydroidolina (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) using mitochondrial genome data and insight into their mitochondrial transcription

    PubMed Central

    Bentlage, Bastian; Cartwright, Paulyn; Yanagihara, Angel A.; Lindsay, Dhugal J.; Hopcroft, Russell R.; Collins, Allen G.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrozoans display the most morphological diversity within the phylum Cnidaria. While recent molecular studies have provided some insights into their evolutionary history, sister group relationships remain mostly unresolved, particularly at mid-taxonomic levels. Specifically, within Hydroidolina, the most speciose hydrozoan subclass, the relationships and sometimes integrity of orders are highly unsettled. Here we obtained the near complete mitochondrial sequence of twenty-six hydroidolinan hydrozoan species from a range of sources (DNA and RNA-seq data, long-range PCR). Our analyses confirm previous inference of the evolution of mtDNA in Hydrozoa while introducing a novel genome organization. Using RNA-seq data, we propose a mechanism for the expression of mitochondrial mRNA in Hydroidolina that can be extrapolated to the other medusozoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses using the full set of mitochondrial gene sequences provide some insights into the order-level relationships within Hydroidolina, including siphonophores as the first diverging clade, a well-supported clade comprised of Leptothecata-Filifera III–IV, and a second clade comprised of Aplanulata-Capitata s.s.-Filifera I–II. Finally, we describe our relatively inexpensive and accessible multiplexing strategy to sequence long-range PCR amplicons that can be adapted to most high-throughput sequencing platforms. PMID:26618080

  3. Flight initiation and maintenance deficits in flies with genetically altered biogenic amine levels.

    PubMed

    Brembs, Björn; Christiansen, Frauke; Pflüger, Hans Joachim; Duch, Carsten

    2007-10-10

    Insect flight is one of the fastest, most intense and most energy-demanding motor behaviors. It is modulated on multiple levels by the biogenic amine octopamine. Within the CNS, octopamine acts directly on the flight central pattern generator, and it affects motivational states. In the periphery, octopamine sensitizes sensory receptors, alters muscle contraction kinetics, and enhances flight muscle glycolysis. This study addresses the roles for octopamine and its precursor tyramine in flight behavior by genetic and pharmacological manipulation in Drosophila. Octopamine is not the natural signal for flight initiation because flies lacking octopamine [tyramine-beta-hydroxylase (TbetaH) null mutants] can fly. However, they show profound differences with respect to flight initiation and flight maintenance compared with wild-type controls. The morphology, kinematics, and development of the flight machinery are not impaired in TbetaH mutants because wing-beat frequencies and amplitudes, flight muscle structure, and overall dendritic structure of flight motoneurons are unaffected in TbetaH mutants. Accordingly, the flight behavior phenotypes can be rescued acutely in adult flies. Flight deficits are rescued by substituting octopamine but also by blocking the receptors for tyramine, which is enriched in TbetaH mutants. Conversely, ablating all neurons containing octopamine or tyramine phenocopies TbetaH mutants. Therefore, both octopamine and tyramine systems are simultaneously involved in regulating flight initiation and maintenance. Different sets of rescue experiments indicate different sites of action for both amines. These findings are consistent with a complex system of multiple amines orchestrating the control of motor behaviors on multiple levels rather than single amines eliciting single behaviors.

  4. Flight initiation and maintenance deficits in flies with genetically altered biogenic amine levels.

    PubMed

    Brembs, Björn; Christiansen, Frauke; Pflüger, Hans Joachim; Duch, Carsten

    2007-10-10

    Insect flight is one of the fastest, most intense and most energy-demanding motor behaviors. It is modulated on multiple levels by the biogenic amine octopamine. Within the CNS, octopamine acts directly on the flight central pattern generator, and it affects motivational states. In the periphery, octopamine sensitizes sensory receptors, alters muscle contraction kinetics, and enhances flight muscle glycolysis. This study addresses the roles for octopamine and its precursor tyramine in flight behavior by genetic and pharmacological manipulation in Drosophila. Octopamine is not the natural signal for flight initiation because flies lacking octopamine [tyramine-beta-hydroxylase (TbetaH) null mutants] can fly. However, they show profound differences with respect to flight initiation and flight maintenance compared with wild-type controls. The morphology, kinematics, and development of the flight machinery are not impaired in TbetaH mutants because wing-beat frequencies and amplitudes, flight muscle structure, and overall dendritic structure of flight motoneurons are unaffected in TbetaH mutants. Accordingly, the flight behavior phenotypes can be rescued acutely in adult flies. Flight deficits are rescued by substituting octopamine but also by blocking the receptors for tyramine, which is enriched in TbetaH mutants. Conversely, ablating all neurons containing octopamine or tyramine phenocopies TbetaH mutants. Therefore, both octopamine and tyramine systems are simultaneously involved in regulating flight initiation and maintenance. Different sets of rescue experiments indicate different sites of action for both amines. These findings are consistent with a complex system of multiple amines orchestrating the control of motor behaviors on multiple levels rather than single amines eliciting single behaviors. PMID:17928454

  5. Pulmonary biochemical and histological alterations after repeated low-level blast overpressure exposures.

    PubMed

    Elsayed, Nabil M; Gorbunov, Nikolai V

    2007-01-01

    Blast overpressure (BOP), also known as high energy impulse noise, is a damaging outcome of explosive detonations and firing of weapons. Exposure to BOP shock waves alone results in injury predominantly to the hollow organ systems such as auditory, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. In recent years, the hazards of BOP that once were confined to military and professional settings have become a global societal problem as terrorist bombings and armed conflicts involving both military and civilian populations increased significantly. We have previously investigated the effects of single BOP exposures at different peak pressures. In this study, we examined the effects of repeated exposure to a low-level BOP and whether the number of exposures or time after exposure would alter the injury outcome. We exposed deeply anesthetized rats to simulated BOP at 62 +/- 2 kPa peak pressure. The lungs were examined immediately after one exposure (1 + 0), or 1 h after one (1 + 1), two (2 + 1), or three (3 + 1) consecutive exposures at 3-min interval. In one group of animals, we examined the effects of repeated exposure on lung weight, methemoglobin, transferrin, antioxidants, and lipid peroxidation. In a second group, the lungs were fixed inflated at 25 cm water, sectioned, and examined histologically after one to three repeated exposures, or after one exposure at 1, 6, and 24 h. We found that single BOP exposure causes notable changes after 1 h, and that repeating BOP exposure did not add markedly to the effect of the first one. However, the effects increased significantly with time from 1 to 24 h. These observations have biological and occupational implications, and emphasize the need for protection from low-level BOP, and for prompt treatment within the first hour following BOP exposure. PMID:17060374

  6. Altered Carbon Isotope Discrimination of C3 Plants Under Very High pCO2 Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panetta, R. J.; Schubert, B.; Jahren, H.

    2009-12-01

    Various modeling and proxy-based reconstructions of atmospheric pCO2 levels for the last 120 Ma have estimated RCO2 as high as 12x for the Early Cretaceous, generally decreasing into the Cenozoic, and decreasing further into the Quaternary. Multiple ecological studies to assess the effect of elevated CO2 on plant biomass and δ13C value have been spurred on by recent increases in greenhouse gases, however these studies typically grow plants under only slightly elevated CO2 levels (i.e., the twenty foremost studies published since 1990 involved 550 to 750 ppm pCO2, which equals RCO2 = 1.4 to 1.9x). In order to recreate the highest pCO2 environments of the last 120 Ma, we grew radish (Raphanus sativus L.) in growth chambers that maintained controlled environmental conditions and pCO2 levels ranging from ~5 to 11x that of today’s atmosphere (1791 to 4200 ppm); upon harvest we measured total biomass and stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13Cplant) in both above and below ground plant tissue. Unlike the 1:1 relationship between stable isotopes of atmospheric CO2 (δ13Catm) and δ13Cplant observed at lower pCO2 levels (i.e., RCO2 = 1x to 3x; Jahren et al., 2008), the δ13Cplant of biomass grown at more elevated RCO2 was dependent upon δ13Catm according to the linear relationship: δ13Cplant = 1.9(δ13Cplant) - 12.2 ‰ (r2 = 0.71). Concomitantly, we see a highly significant (p < 0.001) positive correlation between net carbon isotope discrimination in plant tissue and pCO2 level, with a change in the average Δδ13Cplant-atm in R. sativus L. from -27.0 to -28.0 ‰ at RCO2 = 5x to 11x, respectively. We will discuss possible mechanisms for changing isotope discrimination at very high pCO2 levels that may not be operative at lower concentrations. For example, we noted a striking reduction in the variability of biomass between plants grown at the same (very high) level of pCO2. This variability (calculated as the standard deviation of the log-transformed biomass data after

  7. DETECTING STREAM INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY ALTERATION DUE TO MID TO LOW LEVELS OF WATERSHED LANDSCAPE MODIFICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an investigation into the effects of watershed landscape alteration on stream ecosystems, quantitative invertebrate samples were collected from riffles in 26 second and third order south shore Lake Superior streams. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination ...

  8. Altered Refractive Development in Mice With Reduced Levels of Retinal Dopamine

    PubMed Central

    Bergen, Michael A.; Park, Han na; Chakraborty, Ranjay; Landis, Erica G.; Sidhu, Curran; He, Li; Iuvone, P. Michael; Pardue, Machelle T.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The neuromodulator dopamine (DA) has been implicated in the prevention of excessive ocular elongation and myopia in various animal models. This study used retina-specific DA knockout mice to investigate the role of retinal DA in refractive development and susceptibility to experimental myopia. Methods Measurements of refractive error, corneal curvature, and ocular biometrics were obtained as a function of age for both untreated and form-deprived (FD) groups of retina-specific tyrosine hydroxylase knockout (rTHKO) and control (Ctrl) mice. Retinas from each group were analyzed by HPLC for levels of DA and its primary metabolite (DOPAC). Results Under normal visual conditions, rTHKO mice showed significantly myopic refractions (F(1,188) = 7.602, P < 0.001) and steeper corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,180) = 5.1, P < 0.01) at 4 and 6 weeks of age compared with Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO mice also had thinner corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,181) = 37.17, P < 0.001), thinner retinas (F(6,181) = 6.07, P < 0.001), and shorter axial lengths (F(6,181) = 3.78, P < 0.01) than Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO retinas contained less than 15% of DA and DOPAC compared with Ctrl retinas, and the remaining DA had a significantly higher turnover, as indicated by DOPAC/DA ratios (Student's t-test, P < 0.05). Retina-specific THKO mice showed similar, yet more variable, responses to 6 weeks of FD compared with Ctrl mice. Conclusions Diminished retinal DA induced spontaneous myopia in mice raised under laboratory conditions without form deprivation. The relative myopic shift in rTHKO mice may be explained by steeper corneas, an unexpected finding. The chronic loss of DA did not significantly alter the FD myopia response in rTHKO mice.

  9. Alterations in serum osmolality, sodium, and potassium levels after repeated mannitol administration.

    PubMed

    Seo, WhaSook; Oh, HyunSoo

    2010-08-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate whether significant alterations in serum osmolality, [Na+], and [K+] occur after the repeated dosing of mannitol and whether these imbalances increased accordingly with the progress of mannitol application. This study was conducted by performing a retrospective medical record review of brain injury patients who were admitted to the neurological intensive care units of a university hospital located in Incheon, South Korea. Data on intracranial pressure and serum [Na+], [K+], and osmolality levels were collected from the first to the seventh day of mannitol administration. Our results showed that the highest rate of hyperosmolality occurred on the first day of mannitol administration and that subsequently its rate reduced, although it still maintained high (70-77%). Regarding the serum [Na+], hypernatremia was observed in 10% of the subjects on the first day of mannitol administration and in 10-21% throughout the 7-day mannitol administration period. In this study, hyponatremia was observed in 12.2% of our subjects on the first day of mannitol administration and in 9-24% throughout the 7-day period. In addition, no statistical differences were found between changes in the rates of hypernatremia and hyponatremia throughout the 7-day administration period. The most notable finding was the high rates of hypokalemia observed during mannitol administration. Hypokalemia was observed in 22% of subjects on the first day and continuously increased to 52.3%, and this increase was significant. On the other hand, the rate of hyperkalemia was almost negligible. Our findings appear to provide clear evidence of electrolyte imbalances after repeated mannitol administration. Accordingly, careful monitoring of electrolyte status is essential when repeated doses of mannitol are given. We recommend that the practice of administering repeated dose of mannitol for prophylactic purposes be reevaluated.

  10. Altered Refractive Development in Mice With Reduced Levels of Retinal Dopamine

    PubMed Central

    Bergen, Michael A.; Park, Han na; Chakraborty, Ranjay; Landis, Erica G.; Sidhu, Curran; He, Li; Iuvone, P. Michael; Pardue, Machelle T.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The neuromodulator dopamine (DA) has been implicated in the prevention of excessive ocular elongation and myopia in various animal models. This study used retina-specific DA knockout mice to investigate the role of retinal DA in refractive development and susceptibility to experimental myopia. Methods Measurements of refractive error, corneal curvature, and ocular biometrics were obtained as a function of age for both untreated and form-deprived (FD) groups of retina-specific tyrosine hydroxylase knockout (rTHKO) and control (Ctrl) mice. Retinas from each group were analyzed by HPLC for levels of DA and its primary metabolite (DOPAC). Results Under normal visual conditions, rTHKO mice showed significantly myopic refractions (F(1,188) = 7.602, P < 0.001) and steeper corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,180) = 5.1, P < 0.01) at 4 and 6 weeks of age compared with Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO mice also had thinner corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,181) = 37.17, P < 0.001), thinner retinas (F(6,181) = 6.07, P < 0.001), and shorter axial lengths (F(6,181) = 3.78, P < 0.01) than Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO retinas contained less than 15% of DA and DOPAC compared with Ctrl retinas, and the remaining DA had a significantly higher turnover, as indicated by DOPAC/DA ratios (Student's t-test, P < 0.05). Retina-specific THKO mice showed similar, yet more variable, responses to 6 weeks of FD compared with Ctrl mice. Conclusions Diminished retinal DA induced spontaneous myopia in mice raised under laboratory conditions without form deprivation. The relative myopic shift in rTHKO mice may be explained by steeper corneas, an unexpected finding. The chronic loss of DA did not significantly alter the FD myopia response in rTHKO mice. PMID:27750284

  11. [Foundations of the new phylogenetics].

    PubMed

    Pavlinov, I Ia

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary idea is the core of the modern biology. Due to this, phylogenetics dealing with historical reconstructions in biology takes a priority position among biological disciplines. The second half of the 20th century witnessed growth of a great interest to phylogenetic reconstructions at macrotaxonomic level which replaced microevolutionary studies dominating during the 30s-60s. This meant shift from population thinking to phylogenetic one but it was not revival of the classical phylogenetics; rather, a new approach emerged that was baptized The New Phylogenetics. It arose as a result of merging of three disciplines which were developing independently during 60s-70s, namely cladistics, numerical phyletics, and molecular phylogenetics (now basically genophyletics). Thus, the new phylogenetics could be defined as a branch of evolutionary biology aimed at elaboration of "parsimonious" cladistic hypotheses by means of numerical methods on the basis of mostly molecular data. Classical phylogenetics, as a historical predecessor of the new one, emerged on the basis of the naturphilosophical worldview which included a superorganismal idea of biota. Accordingly to that view, historical development (the phylogeny) was thought an analogy of individual one (the ontogeny) so its most basical features were progressive parallel developments of "parts" (taxa), supplemented with Darwinian concept of monophyly. Two predominating traditions were diverged within classical phylogenetics according to a particular interpretation of relation between these concepts. One of them (Cope, Severtzow) belittled monophyly and paid most attention to progressive parallel developments of morphological traits. Such an attitude turned this kind of phylogenetics to be rather the semogenetics dealing primarily with evolution of structures and not of taxa. Another tradition (Haeckel) considered both monophyletic and parallel origins of taxa jointly: in the middle of 20th century it was split into

  12. Complex level alterations of the 2f (1)-f (2) distortion product due to hypoxia in the guinea pig.

    PubMed

    Olzowy, Bernhard; von Gleichenstein, Gregor; Canis, Martin; Plesnila, Nikolaus; Mees, Klaus

    2008-11-01

    It is controversially discussed inasmuch acute hearing disorders might originate from impaired cochlear circulation. Hypoxia-specific alterations of inner ear parameters measurable in patients with acute sensorineural hearing loss would therefore be of great interest. Aim of this study was to characterize hypoxia-related alterations of the 2f (1)-f (2) distortion product. Nine guinea pigs were anaesthetized by i.m. administration of Midazolam, Medetomidin and Fentanyl. For introduction of hypoxia, the spontaneously breathing animals were offered a gas mixture of N(2)O and O(2) containing either 21 or 12-13% O(2). Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were continuously monitored at f (2) = 16 kHz; f (2)/f (1) = 1, 2; DP-definition = 2f (1)-f (2); L (1) = 65 dB and L (2) = 55 dB, while inhaled oxygen was switched from 21 to 12-13% and back. Oxygen saturation (SaO(2)) was continuously monitored. Data from an hypoxic interval were only used for further data processing if DPOAE levels were stable before and after hypoxia. Six hypoxic intervals in five animals fulfilled the stability criterion. During the hypoxic interval with the highest measured SaO(2) (75%), no alterations of DPOAE levels were observed. During the remaining five hypoxic intervals, when SaO(2) ranged between 57 and 70%, DPOAE levels were on average lower with an increased standard deviation compared to mean pre-hypoxic levels. Mean decrease correlated with the decrease of SaO(2 )(r = 0.90, P = 0.014). Alterations followed a characteristic time course-when hypoxia was started, DPOAE levels exhibited a short increase before they decreased and remarkably destabilized. After re-oxygenation DPOAE levels showed a pronounced level decrease, while SaO(2) already had recovered to pre-hypoxic values. After reaching a minimum, DPOAE levels slowly recovered to pre-hypoxic values. The decrease of DPOAE levels during hypoxia and the post-hypoxic level alterations have similarly been described by other

  13. A reassessment of the phylogenetic utility of genus-level morphological characters in the family Bogidiellidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda), with description of a new species of Eobogidiella Karaman, 1981

    PubMed Central

    Sidorov, Dmitry A.; Katz, Aron D.; Taylor, Steven J.; Chertoprud, Mikhail V.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Bogidiellidae is the most diverse and cosmopolitan family of stygobiotic amphipods, and inhabits a variety of subterranean biotopes, especially interstitial habitats. While the family is characterized by considerable sexual dimorphism, this dimorphism has adversely affected our understanding of the systematics of the group. Most species have restricted geographic ranges and occur in difficult to sample habitats, so it is common for individual species descriptions to be based on a single sex. In this work we revisit an analysis of morphological characters in an attempt to clarify their phylogenetic utility in resolving taxonomic relationships among genera by introducing a new species, two additional characters, and phylogenetic statistical support values. Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n., from a spring fed brook in the Shirawati River basin along the escarpment of the Western Ghats (Karnataka, India) differs from the only known congener, Eobogidiella purmamarcensis, from Argentina, in the structure of mouthparts, the shape and ornamentation on gnathopods and characters of the telson. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the available morphological characters are not sufficient to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Bogidiellidae, thus these characters alone cannot be used to determine the phylogenetic placement of Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. within the family. Nevertheless, Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. shares diagnostic characters with Eobogidiella, supporting placement of the new species in this genus. Our findings point towards a critical need to resolve relationships within the family using molecular approaches, along with the development of a suite of additional morphological characters for Bogidiellidae. This is the third species of Bogidiellidae from southern India. PMID:27587976

  14. A reassessment of the phylogenetic utility of genus-level morphological characters in the family Bogidiellidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda), with description of a new species of Eobogidiella Karaman, 1981.

    PubMed

    Sidorov, Dmitry A; Katz, Aron D; Taylor, Steven J; Chertoprud, Mikhail V

    2016-01-01

    Bogidiellidae is the most diverse and cosmopolitan family of stygobiotic amphipods, and inhabits a variety of subterranean biotopes, especially interstitial habitats. While the family is characterized by considerable sexual dimorphism, this dimorphism has adversely affected our understanding of the systematics of the group. Most species have restricted geographic ranges and occur in difficult to sample habitats, so it is common for individual species descriptions to be based on a single sex. In this work we revisit an analysis of morphological characters in an attempt to clarify their phylogenetic utility in resolving taxonomic relationships among genera by introducing a new species, two additional characters, and phylogenetic statistical support values. Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n., from a spring fed brook in the Shirawati River basin along the escarpment of the Western Ghats (Karnataka, India) differs from the only known congener, Eobogidiella purmamarcensis, from Argentina, in the structure of mouthparts, the shape and ornamentation on gnathopods and characters of the telson. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the available morphological characters are not sufficient to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Bogidiellidae, thus these characters alone cannot be used to determine the phylogenetic placement of Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. within the family. Nevertheless, Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. shares diagnostic characters with Eobogidiella, supporting placement of the new species in this genus. Our findings point towards a critical need to resolve relationships within the family using molecular approaches, along with the development of a suite of additional morphological characters for Bogidiellidae. This is the third species of Bogidiellidae from southern India. PMID:27587976

  15. Microbial Communities on Seafloor Basalts at Dorado Outcrop Reflect Level of Alteration and Highlight Global Lithic Clades.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael D; Walworth, Nathan G; Sylvan, Jason B; Edwards, Katrina J; Orcutt, Beth N

    2015-01-01

    Areas of exposed basalt along mid-ocean ridges and at seafloor outcrops serve as conduits of fluid flux into and out of a subsurface ocean, and microbe-mineral interactions can influence alteration reactions at the rock-water interface. Located on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, Dorado Outcrop is a site of low-temperature (<20°C) hydrothermal venting and represents a new end-member in the current survey of seafloor basalt biomes. Consistent with prior studies, a survey of 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity using universal primers targeting the V4 hypervariable region revealed much greater richness and diversity on the seafloor rocks than in surrounding seawater. Overall, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria, and Thaumarchaeota dominated the sequenced communities, together making up over half of the observed diversity, though bacterial sequences were more abundant than archaeal in all samples. The most abundant bacterial reads were closely related to the obligate chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing Thioprofundum lithotrophicum, suggesting carbon and sulfur cycling as dominant metabolic pathways in this system. Representatives of Thaumarchaeota were detected in relatively high abundance on the basalts in comparison to bottom water, possibly indicating ammonia oxidation. In comparison to other sequence datasets from globally distributed seafloor basalts, this study reveals many overlapping and cosmopolitan phylogenetic groups and also suggests that substrate age correlates with community structure. PMID:26779122

  16. Microbial Communities on Seafloor Basalts at Dorado Outcrop Reflect Level of Alteration and Highlight Global Lithic Clades

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Michael D.; Walworth, Nathan G.; Sylvan, Jason B.; Edwards, Katrina J.; Orcutt, Beth N.

    2015-01-01

    Areas of exposed basalt along mid-ocean ridges and at seafloor outcrops serve as conduits of fluid flux into and out of a subsurface ocean, and microbe–mineral interactions can influence alteration reactions at the rock–water interface. Located on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, Dorado Outcrop is a site of low-temperature (<20°C) hydrothermal venting and represents a new end-member in the current survey of seafloor basalt biomes. Consistent with prior studies, a survey of 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity using universal primers targeting the V4 hypervariable region revealed much greater richness and diversity on the seafloor rocks than in surrounding seawater. Overall, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria, and Thaumarchaeota dominated the sequenced communities, together making up over half of the observed diversity, though bacterial sequences were more abundant than archaeal in all samples. The most abundant bacterial reads were closely related to the obligate chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing Thioprofundum lithotrophicum, suggesting carbon and sulfur cycling as dominant metabolic pathways in this system. Representatives of Thaumarchaeota were detected in relatively high abundance on the basalts in comparison to bottom water, possibly indicating ammonia oxidation. In comparison to other sequence datasets from globally distributed seafloor basalts, this study reveals many overlapping and cosmopolitan phylogenetic groups and also suggests that substrate age correlates with community structure. PMID:26779122

  17. Microbial Communities on Seafloor Basalts at Dorado Outcrop Reflect Level of Alteration and Highlight Global Lithic Clades.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael D; Walworth, Nathan G; Sylvan, Jason B; Edwards, Katrina J; Orcutt, Beth N

    2015-01-01

    Areas of exposed basalt along mid-ocean ridges and at seafloor outcrops serve as conduits of fluid flux into and out of a subsurface ocean, and microbe-mineral interactions can influence alteration reactions at the rock-water interface. Located on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, Dorado Outcrop is a site of low-temperature (<20°C) hydrothermal venting and represents a new end-member in the current survey of seafloor basalt biomes. Consistent with prior studies, a survey of 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity using universal primers targeting the V4 hypervariable region revealed much greater richness and diversity on the seafloor rocks than in surrounding seawater. Overall, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria, and Thaumarchaeota dominated the sequenced communities, together making up over half of the observed diversity, though bacterial sequences were more abundant than archaeal in all samples. The most abundant bacterial reads were closely related to the obligate chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing Thioprofundum lithotrophicum, suggesting carbon and sulfur cycling as dominant metabolic pathways in this system. Representatives of Thaumarchaeota were detected in relatively high abundance on the basalts in comparison to bottom water, possibly indicating ammonia oxidation. In comparison to other sequence datasets from globally distributed seafloor basalts, this study reveals many overlapping and cosmopolitan phylogenetic groups and also suggests that substrate age correlates with community structure.

  18. Alterations in male sexual behaviour, attractiveness and testosterone levels induced by an adult-onset calorie restriction regimen.

    PubMed

    Govic, Antonina; Levay, Elizabeth A; Hazi, Agnes; Penman, Jim; Kent, Stephen; Paolini, Antonio G

    2008-06-26

    Despite an abundance of research on calorie restriction (CR) altering gonadal and appetite regulating hormones, the sexual behavioural consequences of CR remain to be examined systematically. This study compared the sexual behaviour, partner preference, serum testosterone and leptin levels of male adult Hooded Wistar rats administered a CR (continuous 25%, 50% CR or a temporary restriction) with ad libitum fed controls. The temporary restriction (Previous CR) failed to alter sexual behaviour, partner preference and levels of testosterone and leptin. The moderately 25% CR males did not demonstrate an impairment in sexual behaviour but did demonstrate a reduced level of attractiveness to females in one measure of partner preference. Sexual performance was affected by a substantial CR, as the CR 50% group exhibited a longer latency to the first intromission, indicating alteration in sexual arousal. Females also consistently demonstrated a clear preference for the control group compared to the CR 50% group. These findings indicate a possible reduction in the overall reproductive potential of the substantially CR animals. Testosterone levels were equally suppressed by both the 25% and 50% CR, while leptin levels were only reduced in the CR 50% group. Leptin, rather than testosterone, may have influenced the impairment in sexual behaviour only demonstrated by the substantially CR animals. Testosterone, may, however, play a role in modulating the preference of control over CR males, as attractiveness was totally reduced by a substantial CR, and partially reduced by a moderate restricted regimen.

  19. Alteration of acylphosphatase levels in familial Alzheimer's disease fibroblasts with presenilin gene mutations.

    PubMed

    Liguri, G; Cecchi, C; Latorraca, S; Pieri, A; Sorbi, S; Degl'Innocenti, D; Ramponi, G

    1996-06-01

    Acylphosphatase (AcPase), an enzyme that modulates the activity of Ca(2+)-ATPase by hydrolysing its phosphorylated moiety, has been found to be significantly higher in cultured skin fibroblasts from donors affected by early onset familial Alzheimer's disease (EOFAD) with PS-1 and PS-2 gene mutations. Of the two known isoenzymes of acylphosphatase, only the erythrocyte one accounts for the total increase in activity. No relevant alteration was observed in phosphotyrosine phosphatase activity (PTPase), in Ca(2+)-ATPase and Na+, K(+)-ATPase activities of the same cells as compared to age-matched controls. This finding could suggest a possible explanation for the calcium-dependent biochemical alterations previously described in Alzheimer's disease fibroblasts. PMID:8805118

  20. Proteins altered by elevated levels of palmitate or glucose implicated in impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion

    PubMed Central

    Sol, E-ri M; Hovsepyan, Meri; Bergsten, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Background Development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by aberrant insulin secretory patterns, where elevated insulin levels at non-stimulatory basal conditions and reduced hormonal levels at stimulatory conditions are major components. To delineate mechanisms responsible for these alterations we cultured INS-1E cells for 48 hours at 20 mM glucose in absence or presence of 0.5 mM palmitate, when stimulatory secretion of insulin was reduced or basal secretion was elevated, respectively. Results After culture, cells were protein profiled by SELDI-TOF-MS and 2D-PAGE. Differentially expressed proteins were discovered and identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. Complimentary protein profiles were obtained by the two approaches with SELDI-TOF-MS being more efficient in separating proteins in the low molecular range and 2D-PAGE in the high molecular range. Identified proteins included alpha glucosidase, calmodulin, gars, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A3, lon peptidase, nicotineamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen (NADH) dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerate kinase, proteasome p45, rab2, pyruvate kinase and t-complex protein. The observed glucose-induced differential protein expression pattern indicates enhanced glucose metabolism, defense against reactive oxygen species, enhanced protein translation, folding and degradation and decreased insulin granular formation and trafficking. Palmitate-induced changes could be related to altered exocytosis. Conclusion The identified altered proteins indicate mechanism important for altered β-cell function in T2DM. PMID:19607692

  1. Genetic and epigenetic alterations induced by different levels of rye genome integration in wheat recipient.

    PubMed

    Zheng, X L; Zhou, J P; Zang, L L; Tang, A T; Liu, D Q; Deng, K J; Zhang, Y

    2016-06-17

    The narrow genetic variation present in common wheat (Triticum aestivum) varieties has greatly restricted the improvement of crop yield in modern breeding systems. Alien addition lines have proven to be an effective means to broaden the genetic diversity of common wheat. Wheat-rye addition lines, which are the direct bridge materials for wheat improvement, have been wildly used to produce new wheat cultivars carrying alien rye germplasm. In this study, we investigated the genetic and epigenetic alterations in two sets of wheat-rye disomic addition lines (1R-7R) and the corresponding triticales. We used expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat, amplified fragment length polymorphism, and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism analyses to analyze the effects of the introduction of alien chromosomes (either the entire genome or sub-genome) to wheat genetic background. We found obvious and diversiform variations in the genomic primary structure, as well as alterations in the extent and pattern of the genomic DNA methylation of the recipient. Meanwhile, these results also showed that introduction of different rye chromosomes could induce different genetic and epigenetic alterations in its recipient, and the genetic background of the parents is an important factor for genomic and epigenetic variation induced by alien chromosome addition.

  2. Genetic and epigenetic alterations induced by different levels of rye genome integration in wheat recipient.

    PubMed

    Zheng, X L; Zhou, J P; Zang, L L; Tang, A T; Liu, D Q; Deng, K J; Zhang, Y

    2016-01-01

    The narrow genetic variation present in common wheat (Triticum aestivum) varieties has greatly restricted the improvement of crop yield in modern breeding systems. Alien addition lines have proven to be an effective means to broaden the genetic diversity of common wheat. Wheat-rye addition lines, which are the direct bridge materials for wheat improvement, have been wildly used to produce new wheat cultivars carrying alien rye germplasm. In this study, we investigated the genetic and epigenetic alterations in two sets of wheat-rye disomic addition lines (1R-7R) and the corresponding triticales. We used expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat, amplified fragment length polymorphism, and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism analyses to analyze the effects of the introduction of alien chromosomes (either the entire genome or sub-genome) to wheat genetic background. We found obvious and diversiform variations in the genomic primary structure, as well as alterations in the extent and pattern of the genomic DNA methylation of the recipient. Meanwhile, these results also showed that introduction of different rye chromosomes could induce different genetic and epigenetic alterations in its recipient, and the genetic background of the parents is an important factor for genomic and epigenetic variation induced by alien chromosome addition. PMID:27323191

  3. Chronic treatment with glucocorticoids alters rat hippocampal and prefrontal cortical morphology in parallel with endogenous agmatine and arginine decarboxylase levels.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Meng-Yang; Wang, Wei-Ping; Huang, Jingjing; Regunathan, Soundar

    2007-12-01

    In the present study, we examined the possible effect of chronic treatment with glucocorticoids on the morphology of the rat brain and levels of endogenous agmatine and arginine decarboxylase (ADC) protein, the enzyme essential for agmatine synthesis. Seven-day treatment with dexamethasone, at a dose (10 and 50 mug/kg/day) associated to stress effects contributed by glucocorticoids, did not result in obvious morphologic changes in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, as measured by immunocytochemical staining with beta-tubulin III. However, 21-day treatment (50 mug/kg/day) produced noticeable structural changes such as the diminution and disarrangement of dendrites and neurons in these areas. Simultaneous treatment with agmatine (50 mg/kg/day) prevented these morphological changes. Further measurement with HPLC showed that endogenous agmatine levels in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were significantly increased after 7-day treatments with dexamethasone in a dose-dependent manner. On the contrary, 21-day treatment with glucocorticoids robustly reduced agmatine levels in these regions. The treatment-caused biphasic alterations of endogenous agmatine levels were also seen in the striatum and hypothalamus. Interestingly, treatment with glucocorticoids resulted in a similar change of ADC protein levels in most brain areas to endogenous agmatine levels: an increase after 7-day treatment versus a reduction after 21-day treatment. These results demonstrated that agmatine has neuroprotective effects against structural alterations caused by glucocorticoids in vivo. The parallel alterations in the endogenous agmatine levels and ADC expression in the brain after treatment with glucocorticoids indicate the possible regulatory effect of these stress hormones on the synthesis and metabolism of agmatine in vivo.

  4. Growth of Streptococcus mutans in Biofilms Alters Peptide Signaling at the Sub-population Level

    PubMed Central

    Shields, Robert C.; Burne, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus mutans activates multiple cellular processes in response to the formation of a complex between comX-inducing peptide (XIP) and the ComR transcriptional regulator. Bulk phase and microfluidic experiments previously revealed that ComR-dependent activation of comX is altered by pH and by carbohydrate source. Biofilm formation is a major factor in bacterial survival and virulence in the oral cavity. Here, we sought to determine the response of S. mutans biofilm cells to XIP during different stages of biofilm maturation. Using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, we showed that exogenous addition of XIP to early biofilms resulted in robust comX activation. However, as the biofilms matured, increasing amounts of XIP were required to activate comX expression. Single-cell analysis demonstrated that the entire population was responding to XIP with activation of comX in early biofilms, but only a sub-population was responding in mature biofilms. The sub-population response of mature biofilms was retained when the cells were dispersed and then treated with XIP. The proportion and intensity of the bi-modal response of mature biofilm cells was altered in mutants lacking the Type II toxins MazF and RelE, or in a strain lacking the (p)ppGpp synthase/hydrolase RelA. Thus, competence signaling is markedly altered in cells growing in mature biofilms, and pathways that control cell death and growth/survival decisions modulate activation of comX expression in these sessile populations. PMID:27471495

  5. Alteration in the cytokine levels and histopathological damage in common carp induced by glyphosate.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junguo; Li, Xiaoyu

    2015-06-01

    Glyphosate is one of the most frequently used herbicides, and it has been demonstrated to generate a series of toxicological problems in animals and humans. However, relatively little is known about the effects of glyphosate on the immune system of fish. In the present study, the acute toxicity of glyphosate on common carp was first determined; then, the contents of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor -α (TNF-α) and histopathological alterations in the liver, kidneys, and spleen of common carp exposed to 52.08 or 104.15 mg L(-1) of glyphosate for 168 h were also determined and evaluated. The results of the acute toxicity tests showed that the 96 h LC50 of glyphosate for common carp was 520.77 mg L(-1). Moreover, sub-acute exposure of glyphosate altered the contents of IFN-γ, IL-1β, and TNF-α in fish immune organs. For example, there was a remarkable increase in the IFN-γ content in the kidneys, while there was a decrease in the liver and spleen. The IL-1β content increased in liver and kidneys, but it decreased in the spleen, and TNF-α mainly increased in the fish liver, kidneys, and spleen. In addition, glyphosate-exposure also caused remarkable histopathological damage in the fish liver, kidneys, and spleen. These results suggest that glyphosate-caused cytokine alterations may result in an immune suppression or excessive activation in the treated common carp as well as may cause immune dysfunction or reduced immunity. In conclusion, glyphosate has immunotoxic effects on common carp.

  6. Environmental prenatal stress eliminates brain and maternal behavioral sex differences and alters hormone levels in female rats.

    PubMed

    Del Cerro, M C R; Ortega, E; Gómez, F; Segovia, S; Pérez-Laso, C

    2015-07-01

    Environmental prenatal stress (EPS) has effects on fetuses that are long-lasting, altering their hormone levels, brain morphology and behavior when they reach maturity. In previous research, we demonstrated that EPS affects the expression of induced maternal behavior (MB), the neuroendocrine system, and morphology of the sexually dimorphic accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) involved in reproductive behavior patterns. The bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT) is another vomeronasal (VN) structure that plays an inhibitory role in rats in the expression of induced maternal behavior in female and male virgins. In the present study, we have ascertained whether the behavioral, neuroendocrine, and neuromorphological alterations of the AOB found after EPS also appear in the BAOT. After applying EPS to pregnant rats during the late gestational period, in their female offspring at maturity we tested induced maternal behavior, BAOT morphology and plasma levels of testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), progesterone (P), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (Cpd B). EPS: a) affected the induction of MB, showed a male-like pattern of care for pups, b) elevated plasma levels of Cpd B and reduced E2 in comparison with the controls, and c) significantly increased the number of BAOT neurons compared to the control females and comparable to the control male group. These findings provide further evidence that stress applied to pregnant rats produces long-lasting behavioral, endocrine and neuroanatomical alterations in the female offspring that are evident when they become mature. PMID:26163152

  7. Expression of Human Paraoxonase 1 Decreases Superoxide Levels and Alters Bacterial Colonization in the Gut of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Pezzulo, Alejandro A.; Hornick, Emma E.; Rector, Michael V.; Estin, Miriam; Reisetter, Anna C.; Taft, Peter J.; Butcher, Stephen C.; Carter, A. Brent; Manak, J. Robert; Stoltz, David A.; Zabner, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Paraoxonases (PON) are a family of proteins (PON1, 2 and 3) with multiple enzymatic activities. PON1 interferes with homoserine lactone-mediated quorum sensing in bacteria and with reactive oxygen species (ROS) in humans and mice. PON1 gene mutations have been linked to multiple traits, including aging, and diseases of the cardiovascular, nervous and gastrointestinal system. The overlapping enzymatic activities in the PON family members and high linkage disequilibrium rates within their polymorphisms confound animal and human studies of PON1 function. In contrast, arthropods such as Drosophila melanogaster have no PON homologs, resulting in an ideal model to study interactions between PON genotype and host phenotypes. We hypothesized that expression of PON1 in D. melanogaster would alter ROS. We found that PON1 alters expression of multiple oxidative stress genes and decreases superoxide anion levels in normal and germ-free D. melanogaster. We also found differences in the composition of the gut microbiota, with a remarkable increase in levels of Lactobacillus plantarum and associated changes in expression of antimicrobial and cuticle-related genes. PON1 expression directly decreased superoxide anion levels and altered bacterial colonization of the gut and its gene expression profile, highlighting the complex nature of the interaction between host genotype and gut microbiota. We speculate that the interaction between some genotypes and human diseases may be mediated by the presence of certain gut bacteria that can induce specific immune responses in the gut and other host tissues. PMID:22952763

  8. Environmental prenatal stress eliminates brain and maternal behavioral sex differences and alters hormone levels in female rats.

    PubMed

    Del Cerro, M C R; Ortega, E; Gómez, F; Segovia, S; Pérez-Laso, C

    2015-07-01

    Environmental prenatal stress (EPS) has effects on fetuses that are long-lasting, altering their hormone levels, brain morphology and behavior when they reach maturity. In previous research, we demonstrated that EPS affects the expression of induced maternal behavior (MB), the neuroendocrine system, and morphology of the sexually dimorphic accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) involved in reproductive behavior patterns. The bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT) is another vomeronasal (VN) structure that plays an inhibitory role in rats in the expression of induced maternal behavior in female and male virgins. In the present study, we have ascertained whether the behavioral, neuroendocrine, and neuromorphological alterations of the AOB found after EPS also appear in the BAOT. After applying EPS to pregnant rats during the late gestational period, in their female offspring at maturity we tested induced maternal behavior, BAOT morphology and plasma levels of testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), progesterone (P), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (Cpd B). EPS: a) affected the induction of MB, showed a male-like pattern of care for pups, b) elevated plasma levels of Cpd B and reduced E2 in comparison with the controls, and c) significantly increased the number of BAOT neurons compared to the control females and comparable to the control male group. These findings provide further evidence that stress applied to pregnant rats produces long-lasting behavioral, endocrine and neuroanatomical alterations in the female offspring that are evident when they become mature.

  9. HDAC6 Modulates Cell Motility by Altering the Acetylation Level of Cortactin

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaohong; Yuan, Zhigang; Zhang, Yingtao; Yong, Sarah; Salas-Burgos, Alexis; Koomen, John; Olashaw, Nancy; Parsons, J. Thomas; Yang, Xiang-Jiao; Dent, Sharon R.; Yao, Tso-Pang; Lane, William S.; Seto, Edward

    2009-01-01

    Summary Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is a tubulin-specific deacetylase that regulates microtubule-dependent cell movement. In this study, we identify the F-actin-binding protein, cortactin, as a HDAC6 substrate. We demonstrate that HDAC6 binds cortactin and that overexpression of HDAC6 leads to hypoacetylation of cortactin, while inhibition of HDAC6 activity leads to cortactin hyperacetylation. HDAC6 alters the ability of cortactin to bind F-actin by modulating a “charge patch” in its repeat region. Introduction of charge-preserving or charge-neutralizing mutations in this cortactin repeat region correlates with the gain or loss of F-actin binding ability, respectively. Cells expressing a charge-neutralizing cortactin mutant were less motile than control cells or cells expressing a charge-preserving mutant. These findings suggest that, in addition to its role in microtubule-dependent cell motility, HDAC6 influences actin-dependent cell motility by altering the acetylation status of cortactin, which, in turn, changes the F-actin binding activity of cortactin. PMID:17643370

  10. Alterations in Lipid Levels of Mitochondrial Membranes Induced by Amyloid-β: A Protective Role of Melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Rosales-Corral, Sergio A.; Lopez-Armas, Gabriela; Cruz-Ramos, Jose; Melnikov, Valery G.; Tan, Dun-Xian; Manchester, Lucien C.; Munoz, Ruben; Reiter, Russel J.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer pathogenesis involves mitochondrial dysfunction, which is closely related to amyloid-β (Aβ) generation, abnormal tau phosphorylation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Alterations in membranal components, including cholesterol and fatty acids, their characteristics, disposition, and distribution along the membranes, have been studied as evidence of cell membrane alterations in AD brain. The majority of these studies have been focused on the cytoplasmic membrane; meanwhile the mitochondrial membranes have been less explored. In this work, we studied lipids and mitochondrial membranes in vivo, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar amyloid-β (Aβ). The purpose was to determine how Aβ may be responsible for beginning of a vicious cycle where oxidative stress and alterations in cholesterol, lipids and fatty acids, feed back on each other to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. We observed changes in mitochondrial membrane lipids, and fatty acids, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar Aβ in aged Wistar rats. Melatonin, a well-known antioxidant and neuroimmunomodulator indoleamine, reversed some of these alterations and protected mitochondrial membranes from obvious damage. Additionally, melatonin increased the levels of linolenic and n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid, in the same site where amyloid β was injected, favoring an endogenous anti-inflammatory pathway. PMID:22666620

  11. Altering State Policy: Interest Group Effectiveness among State-Level Advocacy Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoefer, Richard

    2005-01-01

    Because social policy making continues to devolve to the state level, social workers should understand how advocacy and policy making occur at that level. Interest groups active in the human services arena were surveyed and data were used to test a model of interest group effectiveness in four states. The independent variables were amount of…

  12. Long-term variation in above and belowground plant inputs alters soil organic matter biogeochemistry at the molecular-level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, M. J.; Pisani, O.; Lin, L.; Lun, O.; Simpson, A.; Lajtha, K.; Nadelhoffer, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    The long-term fate of soil carbon reserves with global environmental change remains uncertain. Shifts in moisture, altered nutrient cycles, species composition, or rising temperatures may alter the proportions of above and belowground biomass entering soil. However, it is unclear how long-term changes in plant inputs may alter the composition of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil carbon storage. Advanced molecular techniques were used to assess SOM composition in mineral soil horizons (0-10 cm) after 20 years of Detrital Input and Removal Treatment (DIRT) at the Harvard Forest. SOM biomarkers (solvent extraction, base hydrolysis and cupric (II) oxide oxidation) and both solid-state and solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy were used to identify changes in SOM composition and stage of degradation. Microbial activity and community composition were assessed using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. Doubling aboveground litter inputs decreased soil carbon content, increased the degradation of labile SOM and enhanced the sequestration of aliphatic compounds in soil. The exclusion of belowground inputs (No roots and No inputs) resulted in a decrease in root-derived components and enhanced the degradation of leaf-derived aliphatic structures (cutin). Cutin-derived SOM has been hypothesized to be recalcitrant but our results show that even this complex biopolymer is susceptible to degradation when inputs entering soil are altered. The PLFA data indicate that changes in soil microbial community structure favored the accelerated processing of specific SOM components with littler manipulation. These results collectively reveal that the quantity and quality of plant litter inputs alters the molecular-level composition of SOM and in some cases, enhances the degradation of recalcitrant SOM. Our study also suggests that increased litterfall is unlikely to enhance soil carbon storage over the long-term in temperate forests.

  13. Association of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus related SNP genotypes with altered serum adipokine levels and metabolic syndrome phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Al-Daghri, Nasser M; Al-Attas, Omar S; Krishnaswamy, Soundararajan; Mohammed, Abdul Khader; Alenad, Amal M; Chrousos, George P; Alokail, Majed S

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenesis of T2DM involves secretion of several pro-inflammatory molecules by the dramatically increased adipocytes, both by number and size, and associated macrophages of adipose tissue. Since T2DM is usually preceded by obesity and chronic systemic inflammation, the objective of this study was to explore for any association between genetic variants of previously established 36 T2DM-associated SNPs and altered serum adipocytokine levels and metabolic syndrome phenotypes. Study consisted of 566 subjects (284 males and 282 females) of whom 147 were T2DM patients and 419 healthy controls. Study subjects were genotyped for 36 T2DM-linked single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using the KASPar SNP Genotyping System and grouped into different genotypes for each SNP. Various anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured following standard procedures. The mean values of serum levels of individual adipocytokines and the presence/absence of metabolic syndrome phenotypes corresponding to various genotypes were compared by determining the odds ratios. Genotypic variants of five and seven of the 36 T2DM-related SNPs were significantly associated with altered serum levels of adiponectin and aPAI, respectively. Six variants of the 36 SNPs were associated with metabolic syndrome manifestations. This study identified positive associations between genotypic variants of five and seven of the 36 T2DM related SNPs and altered serum levels of adiponectin and aPAI, respectively. Six of 36 SNPs were also associated with metabolic syndrome in the studied population. The relation between specific SNPs and individual phenotypic traits may be useful in explaining the causal mechanisms of hereditary component of T2DM. PMID:26064370

  14. Phylogenetic fields of species: cross-species patterns of phylogenetic structure and geographical coexistence.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Fabricio; Rangel, Thiago F; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre F

    2013-04-01

    Differential coexistence among species underlies geographical patterns of biodiversity. Understanding such patterns has relied either on ecological or historical approaches applied separately. Recently, macroecology and community phylogenetics have tried to integrate both ecological and historical approaches. However, macroecology is mostly non-phylogenetic, whereas community phylogenetics is largely focused on local scales. Here, we propose a conceptual framework to link macroecology and community phylogenetics by exploring the evolutionary context of large-scale species coexistence, introducing the phylogenetic field concept. This is defined as the phylogenetic structure of species co-occurrence within a focal species' geographical range. We developed concepts and methods for analysing phylogenetic fields and applied them to study coexistence patterns of the bat family Phyllostomidae. Our analyses showed that phyllostomid bats coexist mostly with closely related species, revealing a north-south gradient from overdispersed to clustered phylogenetic fields. Patterns at different phylogenetic levels (i.e. all species versus close relatives only) presented the same gradient. Results support the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis, potentially mediated by higher speciation rates in the region of origin coupled with shared environmental preferences among species. The phylogenetic field approach enables species-based community phylogenetics, instead of those that are site-based, allowing the description of historical processes at more appropriate macroecological and biogeographic scales.

  15. Altered levels of brain neurotransmitter from new born rabbits with intrauterine restriction.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Andrade, E; Cortés-Camberos, A J; Díaz, N F; Flores-Herrera, H; García-López, G; González-Jiménez, M; Santamaría, A; Molina-Hernández, A

    2015-01-01

    Fetal intrauterine growth restriction generates chronic hypoxia due to placental insufficiency. Despite the hemodynamic process of blood flow, redistributions are taking place in key organs such as the fetal brain during intrauterine growth restriction, in order to maintain oxygen and nutrients supply. The risk of short- and long-term neurological effects are still present in hypoxic offspring. Most studies previously reported the effect of hypoxia on the levels of a single neurotransmitter, making it difficult to have a better understanding of the relationship among neurotransmitter levels and the defects reported in products that suffer intrauterine growth restriction, such as motor development, coordination and execution of movement, and the learning-memory process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, dopamine and serotonin in three structures of the brain related to the above-mentioned function such as the cerebral cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus in the chronic hypoxic newborn rabbit model. Our results showed a significant increase in glutamate and dopamine levels in all studied brain structures and a significant decrease in gamma-aminobutyric acid levels but only in the striatum, suggesting that the imbalance on the levels of several neurotransmitters could be involved in new born brain damage due to perinatal hypoxia. PMID:25304540

  16. Altered levels of brain neurotransmitter from new born rabbits with intrauterine restriction.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Andrade, E; Cortés-Camberos, A J; Díaz, N F; Flores-Herrera, H; García-López, G; González-Jiménez, M; Santamaría, A; Molina-Hernández, A

    2015-01-01

    Fetal intrauterine growth restriction generates chronic hypoxia due to placental insufficiency. Despite the hemodynamic process of blood flow, redistributions are taking place in key organs such as the fetal brain during intrauterine growth restriction, in order to maintain oxygen and nutrients supply. The risk of short- and long-term neurological effects are still present in hypoxic offspring. Most studies previously reported the effect of hypoxia on the levels of a single neurotransmitter, making it difficult to have a better understanding of the relationship among neurotransmitter levels and the defects reported in products that suffer intrauterine growth restriction, such as motor development, coordination and execution of movement, and the learning-memory process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, dopamine and serotonin in three structures of the brain related to the above-mentioned function such as the cerebral cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus in the chronic hypoxic newborn rabbit model. Our results showed a significant increase in glutamate and dopamine levels in all studied brain structures and a significant decrease in gamma-aminobutyric acid levels but only in the striatum, suggesting that the imbalance on the levels of several neurotransmitters could be involved in new born brain damage due to perinatal hypoxia.

  17. Association of a Human FABP1 Gene Promoter Region Polymorphism with Altered Serum Triglyceride Levels

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yi-bing; Huang, Rong-dong; Lu, Qing-Qing; Lin, Xu

    2015-01-01

    Liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), also known as fatty acid-binding protein 1 (FABP1), is a key regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism. Elevated FABP1 levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndromes. In this study, we examine the association of FABP1 gene promoter variants with serum FABP1 and lipid levels in a Chinese population. Four promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FABP1 gene were genotyped in a cross-sectional survey of healthy volunteers (n = 1,182) from Fuzhou city of China. Results showed that only the rs2919872 G>A variant was significantly associated with serum TG concentration(P = 0.032).Compared with the rs2919872 G allele, rs2919872 A allele contributed significantly to reduced serum TG concentration, and this allele dramatically decreased the FABP1 promoter activity(P < 0.05). The rs2919872 A allele carriers had considerably lower serum FABP1 levels than G allele carriers (P < 0.01). In the multivariable linear regression analysis, the rs2919872 A allele was negatively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = —0.320, P = 0.003), while serum TG levels were positively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = 0.487, P = 0.014). Our data suggest that compared with the rs2919872 G allele, the rs2919872 A allele reduces the transcriptional activity of FABP1 promoter, and thereby may link FABP1 gene variation to TG level in humans. PMID:26439934

  18. Association of a Human FABP1 Gene Promoter Region Polymorphism with Altered Serum Triglyceride Levels.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xian-E; Wu, Yun-Li; Zhu, Yi-Bing; Huang, Rong-Dong; Lu, Qing-Qing; Lin, Xu

    2015-01-01

    Liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), also known as fatty acid-binding protein 1 (FABP1), is a key regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism. Elevated FABP1 levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndromes. In this study, we examine the association of FABP1 gene promoter variants with serum FABP1 and lipid levels in a Chinese population. Four promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FABP1 gene were genotyped in a cross-sectional survey of healthy volunteers (n = 1,182) from Fuzhou city of China. Results showed that only the rs2919872 G>A variant was significantly associated with serum TG concentration(P = 0.032).Compared with the rs2919872 G allele, rs2919872 A allele contributed significantly to reduced serum TG concentration, and this allele dramatically decreased the FABP1 promoter activity(P < 0.05). The rs2919872 A allele carriers had considerably lower serum FABP1 levels than G allele carriers (P < 0.01). In the multivariable linear regression analysis, the rs2919872 A allele was negatively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = -0.320, P = 0.003), while serum TG levels were positively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = 0.487, P = 0.014). Our data suggest that compared with the rs2919872 G allele, the rs2919872 A allele reduces the transcriptional activity of FABP1 promoter, and thereby may link FABP1 gene variation to TG level in humans. PMID:26439934

  19. Low-level red laser therapy alters effects of ultraviolet C radiation on Escherichia coli cells

    PubMed Central

    Canuto, K.S.; Sergio, L.P.S.; Guimarães, O.R.; Geller, M.; Paoli, F.; Fonseca, A.S.

    2015-01-01

    Low-level lasers are used at low power densities and doses according to clinical protocols supplied with laser devices or based on professional practice. Although use of these lasers is increasing in many countries, the molecular mechanisms involved in effects of low-level lasers, mainly on DNA, are controversial. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-level red lasers on survival, filamentation, and morphology of Escherichia colicells that were exposed to ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. Exponential and stationary wild-type and uvrA-deficientE. coli cells were exposed to a low-level red laser and in sequence to UVC radiation. Bacterial survival was evaluated to determine the laser protection factor (ratio between the number of viable cells after exposure to the red laser and UVC and the number of viable cells after exposure to UVC). Bacterial filaments were counted to obtain the percentage of filamentation. Area-perimeter ratios were calculated for evaluation of cellular morphology. Experiments were carried out in duplicate and the results are reported as the means of three independent assays. Pre-exposure to a red laser protected wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells against the lethal effect of UVC radiation, and increased the percentage of filamentation and the area-perimeter ratio, depending on UVC fluence and physiological conditions in the cells. Therapeutic, low-level red laser radiation can induce DNA lesions at a sub-lethal level. Consequences to cells and tissues should be considered when clinical protocols based on this laser are carried out. PMID:26445338

  20. Alterations in Hormone Levels After Adjuvant Chemoradiation in Male Rectal Cancer Patients

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, Frederick H.; Perera, Francisco Fisher, Barbara; Stitt, Larry

    2009-07-15

    Purpose: To evaluate follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone levels after postoperative chemoradiation in men with rectal cancer. Methods and Materials: Forty-three men with rectal cancer had baseline and postchemoradiation FSH, LH, and testosterone measured. Adjuvant chemoradiation consisted of two 5-day cycles of bolus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) every 4 weeks at a dose of 500 mg/m{sup 2}/d followed by concurrent chemoradiation followed by two additional 5-day cycles of 5-FU at a dose of 450 mg/m{sup 2}/d. Continuous-infusion 5-FU at 225 mg/m{sup 2}/d was given during radiation. Pelvic radiation consisted of a three- or four-field technique with a median dose of 54.0 Gy in 30 fractions. Results: Median follow-up was 6.1 years. Mean baseline FSH levels increased from 5.3 to a peak of 23.9 IU/L (p < 0.001) 13-24 months after chemoradiation. Mean baseline LH levels increased from 4.3 to a peak of 8.5 IU/L (p < 0.001) within 6 months after chemoradiation. Mean testosterone levels decreased from 15.4 nmol/L at baseline to 8.0 nmol/L more than 4 years after chemoradiation. Mean testosterone to mean LH ratio decreased from 4.4 at baseline to 1.1 after 48 months posttreatment, suggesting a continued decrease in Leydig cell function with time. Testicular dose was measured in 5 patients. Median dose was 4 Gy (range, 1.5-8.9 Gy). Conclusions: Chemoradiation in men with rectal cancer causes persistent increases in FSH and LH levels and decreases in testosterone levels.

  1. Low-level red laser therapy alters effects of ultraviolet C radiation on Escherichia coli cells.

    PubMed

    Canuto, K S; Sergio, L P S; Guimarães, O R; Geller, M; Paoli, F; Fonseca, A S

    2015-10-01

    Low-level lasers are used at low power densities and doses according to clinical protocols supplied with laser devices or based on professional practice. Although use of these lasers is increasing in many countries, the molecular mechanisms involved in effects of low-level lasers, mainly on DNA, are controversial. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-level red lasers on survival, filamentation, and morphology of Escherichia colicells that were exposed to ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. Exponential and stationary wild-type and uvrA-deficientE. coli cells were exposed to a low-level red laser and in sequence to UVC radiation. Bacterial survival was evaluated to determine the laser protection factor (ratio between the number of viable cells after exposure to the red laser and UVC and the number of viable cells after exposure to UVC). Bacterial filaments were counted to obtain the percentage of filamentation. Area-perimeter ratios were calculated for evaluation of cellular morphology. Experiments were carried out in duplicate and the results are reported as the means of three independent assays. Pre-exposure to a red laser protected wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells against the lethal effect of UVC radiation, and increased the percentage of filamentation and the area-perimeter ratio, depending on UVC fluence and physiological conditions in the cells. Therapeutic, low-level red laser radiation can induce DNA lesions at a sub-lethal level. Consequences to cells and tissues should be considered when clinical protocols based on this laser are carried out.

  2. Effect of some psychoactive drugs on stress induced alteration in plasma corticosterone level.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, S P; Ahmad, M; Ahmed, S I; Najam, R; Khurshid, S J

    1995-06-01

    Psychoactive drugs such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, haloperidol, propranolol and diazepam were evaluated for their ability to block stress induced changes in Wistar albino rats. The stress induced changes were monitored as the difference in plasma corticosterone (PCS) levels, before and after the administration of minimum effective doses of psychoactive drugs. Significant results were obtained with diazepam at the dose of 5-10 mg/kg and to a lesser extent with propranolol 20 mg/kg. Other drugs, at their minimum effective doses showed no significant change in plasma corticosterone levels.

  3. Variation of the default mode network with altered alertness levels induced by propofol

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoyuan; Li, Huandong; Luo, Fang; Zhang, Lei; Han, Ruquan; Wang, Baoguo

    2015-01-01

    Background The default mode network (DMN) is closely associated with the maintenance of alertness and cognitive functions. This study aimed to observe the changes in DMN induced by increasing doses of propofol and progressively deepening sedation. Methods Twelve healthy subjects were selected; they received target-controlled infusion of propofol (1.0 and 3.0 μg/mL of plasma) and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging before sedation and when they achieved light and deep sedation states. The average degree, average shortest path length, global efficiency, local efficiency, and clustering coefficient of DMN were assessed to study the overall and internal changes of DMN with gradual changes in alertness level, as well as the relationship between thalamus and DMN. Meanwhile, basic vital signs and respiratory inhibition were recorded. Results DMN parameters were gradually inhibited with decreasing level of alertness, the differences were significant between light sedation and awake states (all P<0.01), but not between deep and light sedation states. However, the shortest path lengths of the posterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortexes in the DMN were significantly increased under deep sedation. Conclusion Overall, DMN is propofol-sensitive. A small dose of propofol can significantly inhibit the DMN, affecting the level of alertness. The posterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortexes in the DMN are less sensitive to propofol, and could be significantly inhibited by a higher concentration of propofol, further reducing the level of alertness. PMID:26504389

  4. Sulforaphane reduces the alterations induced by quinolinic acid: modulation of glutathione levels.

    PubMed

    Santana-Martínez, R A; Galván-Arzáte, S; Hernández-Pando, R; Chánez-Cárdenas, M E; Avila-Chávez, E; López-Acosta, G; Pedraza-Chaverrí, J; Santamaría, A; Maldonado, P D

    2014-07-11

    Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity involves a state of acute oxidative stress, which is a crucial event during neuronal degeneration and is part of the physiopathology of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, we evaluated the ability of sulforaphane (SULF), a natural dietary isothiocyanate, to induce the activation of transcription factor Nrf2 (a master regulator of redox state in the cell) in a model of striatal degeneration in rats infused with quinolinic acid (QUIN). Male Wistar rats received SULF (5mg/kg, i.p.) 24h and 5min before the intrastriatal infusion of QUIN. SULF increased the reduced glutathione (GSH) levels 4h after QUIN infusion, which was associated with its ability to increase the activity of glutathione reductase (GR), an antioxidant enzyme capable to regenerate GSH levels at 24h. Moreover, SULF treatment increased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, while no changes were observed in γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase (GCL) activity. SULF treatment also prevented QUIN-induced oxidative stress (measured by oxidized proteins levels), the histological damage and the circling behavior. These results suggest that the protective effect of SULF could be related to its ability to preserve GSH levels and increase GPx and GR activities.

  5. Altered levels of endocrine biomarkers in juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer; Bloch) following exposure to commercial herbicide and surfactant formulations.

    PubMed

    Kroon, Frederieke J; Hook, Sharon E; Metcalfe, Suzanne; Jones, Dean

    2015-08-01

    Agricultural pesticides that are known endocrine disrupting chemicals have been detected in waters in the Great Barrier Reef catchment and lagoon. Altered transcription levels of liver vitellogenin (vtg) have been documented in wild populations of 2 Great Barrier Reef fisheries species and were strongly associated with pesticide-containing runoff from sugarcane plantations. The present study examined endocrine and physiological biomarkers in juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer) exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of commercial herbicide (ATRADEX(®) WG Herbicide, DIUREX(®) WG Herbicide) and surfactant (ACTIVATOR(®) 90) formulations commonly used on sugarcane in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. Estrogenic biomarkers (namely, liver vtg messenger RNA and plasma 17β-estradiol) increased following exposure to commercial mixtures but not to the analytical grade chemical, suggesting an estrogenic response to the additives. In contrast, brain aromatase (cyp19a1b) transcription levels, plasma testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone concentrations, and gill ventilation rates were not affected by any of the experimental exposures. These findings support the assertion that exposure to pesticide-containing runoff from sugarcane plantations is a potential causative agent of altered liver vtg transcription levels in wild barramundi. Whether exposure patterns in the Great Barrier Reef catchment and lagoon are sufficient to impair fish sexual and reproductive development and ultimately influence fish population dynamics remains to be determined. These findings highlight the need to consider both active and so-called inert ingredients in commercial pesticide formulations for environmental risk assessments. PMID:25858168

  6. Environmental acidification is not associated with altered plasma corticosterone levels in the stream-side salamander, Desmognathus ochrophaeus.

    PubMed

    Woodley, Sarah K; Freeman, Peter; Ricciardella, Lauren F

    2014-05-15

    As environments become increasingly altered due to anthropogenic factors, interest is growing in how endocrine systems respond to pollution and environmental degradation. Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) are a type of stress hormones that are released upon activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and have widespread effects throughout the body. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to environmental acidification is associated with altered levels of plasma GCs in adult, stream-side Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus). We compared plasma corticosterone (CORT) in salamanders living in 9 streams that differed in pH. Although capture and handling induced a robust increase in plasma CORT in all populations of salamanders, we discerned no significant effect of environmental pH on baseline CORT or handling-induced CORT levels. In a laboratory study, low pH decreased salamander locomotory activity compared to acid-neutral controls, but there was no effect of pH on plasma CORT. Decreased locomotory activity is a common amphibian response to stress, indicating that low pH has adverse effects on Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders. Overall, we conclude that the effects of environmental pH on salamander behavior and other potential responses are not mediated by changes in plasma CORT levels. We discuss alternative explanations for our results and describe difficulties involved in searching for relationships between plasma GCs and environmental degradation.

  7. CTRP3 deficiency reduces liver size and alters IL-6 and TGFβ levels in obese mice.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Risa M; Lei, Xia; Yang, Zhi-Chun; Nyandjo, Maeva; Tan, Stefanie Y; Wong, G William

    2016-03-01

    C1q/TNF-related protein 3 (CTRP3) is a secreted metabolic regulator whose circulating levels are reduced in human and rodent models of obesity and diabetes. Previously, we showed that CTRP3 infusion lowers blood glucose by suppressing gluconeogenesis and that transgenic overexpression of CTRP3 protects mice against diet-induced hepatic steatosis. Here, we used a genetic loss-of-function mouse model to further address whether CTRP3 is indeed required for metabolic homeostasis under normal and obese states. Both male and female mice lacking CTRP3 had similar weight gain when fed a control low-fat (LFD) or high-fat diet (HFD). Regardless of diet, no differences were observed in adiposity, food intake, metabolic rate, energy expenditure, or physical activity levels between wild-type (WT) and Ctrp3-knockout (KO) animals of either sex. Contrary to expectations, loss of CTRP3 in LFD- or HFD-fed male and female mice also had minimal or no impact on whole body glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and fasting-induced hepatic gluconeogenesis. Unexpectedly, the liver sizes of HFD-fed Ctrp3-KO male mice were markedly reduced despite a modest increase in triglyceride content. Furthermore, liver expression of fat oxidation genes was upregulated in the Ctrp3-KO mice. Whereas the liver and adipose expression of profibrotic TGFβ1, as well as its serum levels, was suppressed in HFD-fed KO mice, circulating proinflammatory IL-6 levels were markedly increased; these changes, however, were insufficient to affect systemic metabolic outcome. We conclude that, although it is dispensable for physiological control of energy balance, CTRP3 plays a previously unsuspected role in modulating liver size and circulating cytokine levels in response to obesity. PMID:26670485

  8. A Metric on the Space of Partly Reduced Phylogenetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that allow for the representation of evolutionary events acting at the population level, such as recombination between genes, hybridization between lineages, and horizontal gene transfer. The researchers have designed several measures for computing the dissimilarity between two phylogenetic networks, and each measure has been proven to be a metric on a special kind of phylogenetic networks. However, none of the existing measures is a metric on the space of partly reduced phylogenetic networks. In this paper, we provide a metric, de-distance, on the space of partly reduced phylogenetic networks, which is polynomial-time computable. PMID:27419137

  9. High-fat diet transition reduces brain DHA levels associated with altered brain plasticity and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sandeep; Zhuang, Yumei; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    To assess how the shift from a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to a diet rich in saturated fatty acid affects the substrates for brain plasticity and function, we used pregnant rats fed with omega-3 supplemented diet from their 2nd day of gestation period as well as their male pups for 12 weeks. Afterwards, the animals were randomly assigned to either a group fed on the same diet or a group fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) rich in saturated fats for 3 weeks. We found that the HFD increased vulnerability for anxiety-like behavior, and that these modifications harmonized with changes in the anxiety-related NPY1 receptor and the reduced levels of BDNF, and its signalling receptor pTrkB, as well as the CREB protein. Brain DHA contents were significantly associated with the levels of anxiety-like behavior in these rats. PMID:22666534

  10. Alteration in plasma testosterone levels in male mice lacking soluble epoxide hydrolase.

    PubMed

    Luria, Ayala; Morisseau, Christophe; Tsai, Hsing-Ju; Yang, Jun; Inceoglu, Bora; De Taeye, Bart; Watkins, Steven M; Wiest, Michelle M; German, J Bruce; Hammock, Bruce D

    2009-08-01

    Soluble epoxide hydrolase (Ephx2, sEH) is a bifunctional enzyme with COOH-terminal hydrolase and NH(2)-terminal phosphatase activities. sEH converts epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) to dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs), and the phosphatase activity is suggested to be involved in cholesterol metabolism. EETs participate in a wide range of biological functions, including regulation of vascular tone, renal tubular transport, cardiac contractility, and inflammation. Inhibition of sEH is a potential approach for enhancing the biological activity of EETs. Therefore, disruption of sEH activity is becoming an attractive therapeutic target for both cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. To define the physiological role of sEH, we characterized a knockout mouse colony lacking expression of the Ephx2 gene. Lack of sEH enzyme is characterized by elevation of EET to DHET ratios in both the linoleate and arachidonate series in plasma and tissues of both female and male mice. In male mice, this lack of expression was also associated with decreased plasma testosterone levels, sperm count, and testicular size. However, this genotype was still able to sire litters. Plasma cholesterol levels also declined in this genotype. Behavior tests such as anxiety-like behavior and hedonic response were also examined in Ephx2-null and WT mice, as all can be related to hormonal changes. Null mice showed a level of anxiety with a decreased hedonic response. In conclusion, this study provides a broad biochemical, physiological, and behavioral characterization of the Ephx2-null mouse colony and suggests a mechanism by which sEH and its substrates may regulate circulating levels of testosterone through cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism. PMID:19458064

  11. Alteration in plasma testosterone levels in male mice lacking soluble epoxide hydrolase

    PubMed Central

    Luria, Ayala; Morisseau, Christophe; Tsai, Hsing-Ju; Yang, Jun; Inceoglu, Bora; De Taeye, Bart; Watkins, Steven M.; Wiest, Michelle M.; German, J. Bruce; Hammock, Bruce D.

    2009-01-01

    Soluble epoxide hydrolase (Ephx2, sEH) is a bifunctional enzyme with COOH-terminal hydrolase and NH2-terminal phosphatase activities. sEH converts epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) to dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs), and the phosphatase activity is suggested to be involved in cholesterol metabolism. EETs participate in a wide range of biological functions, including regulation of vascular tone, renal tubular transport, cardiac contractility, and inflammation. Inhibition of sEH is a potential approach for enhancing the biological activity of EETs. Therefore, disruption of sEH activity is becoming an attractive therapeutic target for both cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. To define the physiological role of sEH, we characterized a knockout mouse colony lacking expression of the Ephx2 gene. Lack of sEH enzyme is characterized by elevation of EET to DHET ratios in both the linoleate and arachidonate series in plasma and tissues of both female and male mice. In male mice, this lack of expression was also associated with decreased plasma testosterone levels, sperm count, and testicular size. However, this genotype was still able to sire litters. Plasma cholesterol levels also declined in this genotype. Behavior tests such as anxiety-like behavior and hedonic response were also examined in Ephx2-null and WT mice, as all can be related to hormonal changes. Null mice showed a level of anxiety with a decreased hedonic response. In conclusion, this study provides a broad biochemical, physiological, and behavioral characterization of the Ephx2-null mouse colony and suggests a mechanism by which sEH and its substrates may regulate circulating levels of testosterone through cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism. PMID:19458064

  12. Imatinib alters cell viability but not growth factors levels in TM4 Sertoli cells

    PubMed Central

    Hashemnia, Seyyed Mohammad Reza; Atari-Hajipirloo, Somayeh; Roshan-Milani, Shiva; Valizadeh, Nasim; Mahabadi, Sonya; Kheradmand, Fatemeh

    2016-01-01

    Background: The anticancer agent imatinib (IM) is a small molecular analog of ATP that inhibits tyrosine kinase activity of platelet derived growth factors (PDGFs) and stem cell factor (SCF) receptor in cancer cells. However these factors have a key role in regulating growth and development of normal Sertoli, Leydig and germ cells. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine cell viability, PDGF and SCF levels in mouse normal Sertoli cells exposed to IM. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, the mouse TM4 Sertoli cells were treated with 0, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 μM IM for 2, 4 or 6 days. The cell viability and growth factors levels were assessed by MTT and ELISA methods, respectively. For statistical analysis, One-Way ANOVA was performed. Results: IM showed significant decrease in Sertoli cell viability compared to control group (p=0.001). However, IM increased PDGF and SCF level insignificantly (p>0.05). Conclusion: Results suggested that IM treatment induced a dose dependent reduction of cell viability in Sertoli cells. It seems that treatment with this anticancer drug is involved in the fertility process. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of PDGF and SCF in this cell. PMID:27738659

  13. Altered levels of circulating insulin and other neuroendocrine hormones associated with the onset of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Guest, Paul C; Schwarz, Emanuel; Krishnamurthy, Divya; Harris, Laura W; Leweke, F Markus; Rothermundt, Matthias; van Beveren, Nico J M; Spain, Michael; Barnes, Anthony; Steiner, Johann; Rahmoune, Hassan; Bahn, Sabine

    2011-08-01

    Recently, we showed that the circulating levels of insulin-related peptides and the secretory granule protein chromogranin A were increased in small cohorts of first onset schizophrenia patients. Assuming that this effect was associated with impaired insulin signalling, we investigated the possibility that secretion of other hormones is also affected in schizophrenia. Multiplex immunoassay analysis of 21 hormones and hormone-related molecules was carried out using sera from 236 first and recent onset schizophrenia patients and 230 matched controls. Serum concentrations of insulin and chromogranin A were increased in schizophrenia subjects, consistent with our previous study. In addition, we found elevated concentrations of pancreatic polypeptide, prolactin, progesterone and cortisol, and decreased levels of growth hormone. We also found that growth hormone levels were decreased in post-mortem pituitaries obtained from chronic schizophrenia patients. It will be important to determine whether any of these molecules are involved in the pathosphysiology of schizophrenia or if they reflect the associated insulin resistance. We conclude that function of multiple components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-gonadal axis may be affected in schizophrenia. This could have important implications for future biomarker discovery efforts and personalized medicine strategies based on patient stratification for the treatment of this debilitating disorder.

  14. Chronic stress alters the expression levels of longevity-related genes in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Hidalgo, Ana C; Muñoz, Mario F; Herrera, Antonio J; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana M; Stowell, Rianne; Ayala, Antonio; Machado, Alberto; Venero, José L; de Pablos, Rocío M

    2016-07-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying the negative effects of psychological stress on cellular stress during aging and neurodegenerative diseases are poorly understood. The main objective of this study was to test the effect of chronic psychological stress, and the consequent increase of circulating glucocorticoids, on several hippocampal genes involved in longevity. Sirtuin-1, p53, thioredoxin-interacting protein, and heat shock protein 70 were studied at the mRNA and protein levels in stressed and non-stressed animals. Stress treatment for 10 days decreased sirtuin-1 and heat shock protein 70 levels, but increased levels of p53, thioredoxin-interacting protein and the NADPH oxidase enzyme. Examination of protein expression following two months of stress treatment indicated that sirtuin-1 remained depressed. In contrast, an increase was observed for thioredoxin-interacting protein, heat shock protein 70, p53 and the NADPH oxidase enzyme. The effect of stress was reversed by mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. These data suggest that chronic stress could contribute to aging in the hippocampus.

  15. The relationship between active ghrelin levels and human obesity involves alterations in resting energy expenditure.

    PubMed

    Marzullo, Paolo; Verti, Barbara; Savia, Giulio; Walker, Gillian E; Guzzaloni, Gabriele; Tagliaferri, Mariantonella; Di Blasio, Annamaria; Liuzzi, Antonio

    2004-02-01

    Ghrelin is a gastric hormone that exerts a stimulatory effect on appetite and fat accumulation. Ser(3) octanoylation is regarded as a prerequisite for ghrelin biological activity, although des-octanoylated forms may retain biological functions in vitro. Circulating ghrelin levels are usually low in obesity and in states of positive energy balance. Hence, the aim of our study was to analyze plasma active and serum total ghrelin levels in 20 obese (ages, 22-42 yr; body mass index, 41.3 +/- 1.1 kg/m(2)) and 20 lean subjects (ages, 22-43 yr; body mass index, 22.4 +/- 0.6 kg/m(2)) as well as their relationship to measures of glucose homeostasis, body fat, and resting energy expenditure (REE). The measured/predicted REE percentage ratio was calculated to subdivide groups into those with positive (> or = 100% ) and negative (<100%) ratio values. In obese patients, plasma active (180 +/- 18 vs. 411 +/- 57 pg/ml; P < 0.001) and serum total ghrelin levels (3650 +/- 408 vs. 5263 +/- 643 pg/ml; P < 0.05) were significantly lower when compared with lean subjects. Hence, ghrelin activity, defined as the proportion of active over total ghrelin levels, was similarly reduced in the obese state (6.1 +/- 0.9% vs. 8.4 +/- 1%; P < 0.05). There was a significant correlation between active and total ghrelin (r = 0.62; P < 0.001), and between total ghrelin and insulin (r = -0.53; P < 0.001) or insulin resistance using the homeostatis model of assessment-insulin resistance (r = -0.49; P < 0.001) approach. Significantly higher active ghrelin levels (214 +/- 22 vs. 159 +/- 30 pg/ml; P < 0.05) and ghrelin activity (8 +/- 1.7% vs. 4.9 +/- 0.9%; P < 0.05) were observed in patients with positive compared with negative measured/predicted REE ratio values. Our study shows that obesity is associated with an impairment of the entire ghrelin system. The observation that ghrelin is further decreased in cases of abnormal energy profit adds new evidence to the relationship between ghrelin activity and

  16. Changing climate and sea level alter Hg mobility at Lake Tulane, Florida, U.S.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, G L; Norton, S A; Grimm, E C; Edgar, T

    2012-11-01

    Between 45,000 cal years BP and the beginning of the Holocene, the accumulation rate for Hg in sediments of Lake Tulane, Florida ranged from ≈2 to 10 μg m(-2) yr(-1), compared with 53 μg Hg m(-2) yr(-1) in the 1985-1990 period of anthropogenic input. The locality experienced regional draw-down of the water table during the Wisconsinan glaciation, which lowered global sea level by nearly 130 m. Natural atmospheric deposition of Hg to the surrounding area resulted in long-term (ca. 100,000 years) sequestration of this atmospheric flux of Hg, primarily by adsorption in the oxic Al- and Fe-hydroxide-rich sandy subsoil. Global sea level rise during deglaciation led to a rising regional water table, flooding the oxidized soils surrounding Tulane. Iron and adsorbed Hg were mobilized by reductive dissolution and transported by groundwater flow to Lake Tulane and ultimately to the accumulating sediment. The accumulation rate of Hg (and Fe) increased rapidly about 16,000 cal years BP, peaked at nearly 60 μg Hg m(-2) yr(-1) ca. 13,000-14,000 cal years BP, declined sharply during the Younger Dryas, and then increased sharply to a second 60 μg Hg m(-2) yr(-1) peak about 5000 cal years BP. Thereafter, it declined nearly to background by 900 cal years BP. In similar geologic situations, rapid modern sea level rise will initiate this process globally, and may mobilize large accumulations of Hg and lesser amounts of As, and other redox sensitive metals to groundwater and surface water.

  17. Levels of serum immunomodulators and alterations with electroconvulsive therapy in treatment-resistant major depression.

    PubMed

    Zincir, Serkan; Öztürk, Pelin; Bilgen, Ali Emrah; İzci, Filiz; Yükselir, Cihad

    2016-01-01

    Studies in recent years have indicated that neuroimmunological events and immune activation may have a place in the etiology of depression. It has been suggested from data that there is a causal relationship between activation of the immune system and excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and the etiology of depression. Although the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is unclear, there is evidence that it can reduce cytokines and immune system changes. In our study, we aimed to determine how levels of serum immunomodulators were affected by ECT in major depression patients. This study was conducted on 50 patients with treatment-resistant major depression. The data of the patients were compared with 30 healthy individuals with similar demographic characteristics. A clinical response occurred in the patients and at the end of therapy, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels were measured. The disease severity was assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 15. Significant differences were determined between the patients with major depression and control group with respect to basal serum IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels. ECT treatment was shown to reduce these differences. ECT may cause significant changes in the activity of the immune system. The consideration of the relationship between the immune endocrine neurotransmitter systems could contribute to new theories regarding the mechanism of antidepressant treatment and biology of depression. PMID:27366071

  18. Levels of serum immunomodulators and alterations with electroconvulsive therapy in treatment-resistant major depression

    PubMed Central

    Zincir, Serkan; Öztürk, Pelin; Bilgen, Ali Emrah; İzci, Filiz; Yükselir, Cihad

    2016-01-01

    Studies in recent years have indicated that neuroimmunological events and immune activation may have a place in the etiology of depression. It has been suggested from data that there is a causal relationship between activation of the immune system and excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and the etiology of depression. Although the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is unclear, there is evidence that it can reduce cytokines and immune system changes. In our study, we aimed to determine how levels of serum immunomodulators were affected by ECT in major depression patients. This study was conducted on 50 patients with treatment-resistant major depression. The data of the patients were compared with 30 healthy individuals with similar demographic characteristics. A clinical response occurred in the patients and at the end of therapy, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels were measured. The disease severity was assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 15. Significant differences were determined between the patients with major depression and control group with respect to basal serum IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels. ECT treatment was shown to reduce these differences. ECT may cause significant changes in the activity of the immune system. The consideration of the relationship between the immune endocrine neurotransmitter systems could contribute to new theories regarding the mechanism of antidepressant treatment and biology of depression. PMID:27366071

  19. Levels of sparganum infections and phylogenetic analysis of the tapeworm Spirometra erinaceieuropaei sparganum in wild frogs from Henan Province in central China.

    PubMed

    Wei, T; Zhang, X; Cui, J; Liu, L N; Jiang, P; Wang, Z Q

    2015-07-01

    Sparganosis is a serious food-borne parasitic zoonosis caused by infection with Spirometra spargana. The prevalence of sparganum infection in wild frogs (Rana nigromaculata, R. limmochari, R. temporaria and Bufo gargarizans) was investigated in Henan Province of central China during 2008-2012. Of 3482 caught wild frogs, 565 (16.23%) were found to be infected with plerocercoids (spargana) of the genus Spirometra. Spargana were found in 14.85% (320/2155) of R. nigromaculata, 20.82% (233/1119) of R. limmochari and 10.91% (12/110) of R. temporaria frogs. However, no sparganum was found in B. gargarizans. To investigate the phylogenetic position of collected spargana, three mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regions, namely cytochrome c oxidase subunits 1 and 3 (cox1 and cox3), and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (nad4), were amplified, sequenced and analysed. Sequences of cox1, cox3 and pnad4 were 417, 390 and 578 bp in length, respectively. The base composition of cox1, cox3 and pnad4 were generally AT rich with a mean of 63.5%, 68.3% and 67% AT, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all the sparganum isolates in Henan Province represented Spirometra erinaceieuropaei and were a well-supported clade. These findings demonstrated clearly the usefulness of the three mtDNA sequences for molecular identification and population genetics studies of S. erinaceieuropaei spargana of human and animal health significance.

  20. The interrelationships of metazoan parasites: a review of phylum-and higher-level hypotheses from recent morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Zrzavý, J

    2001-01-01

    Phylogeny of seven groups of metazoan parasitic groups is reviewed, based on both morphological and molecular data. The Myxozoa (=Malacosporea + Myxosporea) are most probably related to the egg-parasitic cnidarian Polypodium (Hydrozoa?: Polypodiozoa); the other phylogenetic hypotheses are discussed and the possible non-monophyly of the Cnidaria (with the Polypodiozoa-Myxozoa clade closest to the Triploblastica) is suggested. The Mesozoa is a monophyletic group, possibly closely related to the (monophyletic) Acoelomorpha; whether the Acoelomorpha and Mesozoa represent the basalmost triploblast clade(s) or a derived platyhelminth subclade may depend on rooting the tree of the Triploblastica. Position of the monophyletic Neodermata (=Trematoda + Cercomeromorpha) within the rhabditophoran flatworms is discussed, with two major alternative hypotheses about the neodermatan sister-group relationships (viz., the "neoophoran" and "revertospermatan"). The Myzostomida are not annelids but belong among the Platyzoa, possibly to the clade of animals with anterior sperm flagella (=Prosomastigozoa). The Acanthocephala represent derived syndermates ("rotifers"), possibly related to Seison (the name Pararotatoria comb. n. is proposed for Seisonida + Acanthocephala). The crustacean origin of the Pentastomida based on spermatological and molecular evidence (Pentastomida + Branchiura = Ichthyostraca) is confronted with palaeontological views favouring the pre-arthropod derivation of the pentastomids. Phylogenetic position of the nematodes within the Ecdysozoa and evolution of nematode parasitism are discussed, and the lack of relevant information about the enigmatic ectoproctan parasite Buddenbrockia is emphasised.

  1. Repeated immobilization stress alters rat hippocampal and prefrontal cortical morphology in parallel with endogenous agmatine and arginine decarboxylase levels

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Meng-Yang; Wang, Wei-Ping; Huang, Jingjing; Feng, Yang-Zheng; Regunathan, Soundar; Bissette, Garth

    2008-01-01

    Agmatine, an endogenous amine derived from decarboxylation of L-arginine catalyzed by arginine decarboxylase, has been proposed as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the brain. In the present study we examined whether agmatine has neuroprotective effects against repeated immobilization-induced morphological changes in brain tissues and possible effects of immobilization stress on endogenous agmatine levels and arginine decarboxylase expression in rat brains. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to two hour immobilization stress daily for seven days. This paradigm significantly increased plasma corticosterone levels, and the glutamate efflux in the hippocampus as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Immunohistochemical staining with β-tubulin III showed that repeated immobilization caused marked morphological alterations in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex that were prevented by simultaneous treatment with agmatine (50 mg/kg/day, i.p.). Likewise, endogenous agmatine levels measured by high performance liquid chromatography in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum and hypothalamus were significantly increased by immobilization, as compared to controls. The increased endogenous agmatine levels, ranging from 92% to 265% of controls, were accompanied by a significant increase of arginine decarboxylase protein levels in the same regions. These results demonstrate that administration of exogenous agmatine protects the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex against neuronal insults caused by repeated immobilization. The parallel increase in endogenous brain agmatine and arginine decarboxylase protein levels triggered by repeated immobilization indicates that the endogenous agmatine system may play an important role in adaptation to stress as a potential neuronal self-protection mechanism. PMID:18832001

  2. Alteration of Surface EMG amplitude levels of five major trunk muscles by defined electrode location displacement.

    PubMed

    Huebner, Agnes; Faenger, Bernd; Schenk, Philipp; Scholle, Hans-Christoph; Anders, Christoph

    2015-04-01

    Exact electrode positioning is vital for obtaining reliable results in Surface EMG. This study aimed at systematically assessing the influence of defined electrode shifts on measured Surface EMG amplitudes of trunk muscles in a group of 15 middle aged healthy male subjects. The following leftsided muscles were investigated: rectus abdominis muscle, internal and external oblique abdominal muscles, lumbar multifidus muscle, and longissimus muscle. In addition to the recommended electrode positions, extra electrodes were placed parallel to these and along muscle fiber direction. Measurements were performed under isometric conditions in upright body position. Gradually changing, but defined loads were applied considering subject's upper body weight. For the abdominal muscles amplitude differences varied considerably depending on load level, magnitude, and direction. For both back muscles amplitudes dropped consistently but rather little for parallel electrode displacements. However, for the longissimus muscle a caudal electrode shift resulted in an amplitude increase of similar extent and independent from load level. Influence of electrode position variations can be proven for all trunk muscles but are more evident in abdominal than back muscles. Those muscle-specific effects confirm the necessity for an exact definition of electrode positioning to allow comparisons between individual subjects, groups of subjects, and studies.

  3. Low environmental levels of neuro-active pharmaceuticals alter phototactic behaviour and reproduction in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Rivetti, Claudia; Campos, Bruno; Barata, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Assessing the risks of emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals in the environment requires an understanding of their exposure regime and their effects at environmentally relevant concentrations across species. Daphnia magna represents an excellent invertebrate model species to study the mode of action of emerging pollutants, allowing the assessment of effects at different biological levels. The present study aims to test the hypothesis that different families of neuro-active pharmaceuticals at low environmentally relevant concentrations may lead to similar phenotypic responses in D. magna. Phenotypic traits included reproduction and behavioural responses. Selected pharmaceuticals were carbamazepine, diazepam and propranolol, three widely prescribed compounds, already detected at considerable levels in the environment (ng to few μg/L). Fluoxetine was also included in behavioural assays. The three tested neuro-active pharmaceuticals were able to enhance reproduction at 1ng/L of propranolol, 0.1μg/L of diazepam and 1μg/L of carbamazepine. Fluoxetine, carbamazepine and diazepam increased positive phototactic behaviour at concentrations ranging from 1, 10 and 100ng/L, respectively. Reported responses were nonmonotonic, which means that eco-toxicity testing of pharmaceuticals need to assess effects at the ng/L range.

  4. Chemoreception of hunger levels alters the following behaviour of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Larcher, Marie; Crane, Adam L

    2015-12-01

    Chemically-mediated orientation is essential for many animals that must locate sites containing resources such as mates or food. One way to find these areas is by using publically-available information from other individuals. We tested a freshwater snail, Physa gyrina, for chemoreception of conspecific cues and predicted they could discriminate between cues based on information regarding hunger levels. We placed 'tracker' snails into a 2-arm arena where they could either follow or avoid an area previously used by a 'marker' snail. The hunger levels of both trackers and markers was manipulated, being either starved or fed. Starved and fed trackers did not differ in their following response when markers were hungry, but starved trackers were significantly more likely to follow fed markers, compared to fed trackers that tended to avoid areas used by fed markers. This outcome suggests that P. gyrina uses conspecific chemical cues to find food and potentially in some situations to avoid intra-specific food competition.

  5. Copper deficiency increases levels of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) in ventromedial hypothalamus without altering feeding patterns

    SciTech Connect

    Seidel, K.E.; Castonguay, T.W.; Failla, M.L. Univ. of Maryland, College Park )

    1991-03-11

    Cu deficiency results in altered levels of catecholamines in peripheral tissues and specific regions of the CNS in rodents. Because catecholamines can affect feeding behavior, meal patterns of control and Cu deficient rats were compared using a computerized system. Cu deficiency was induced by feeding dams a low Cu diet beginning at 17d of pregnancy and weaning pups to the same diet. Between 4.5 and 6.5 wk-of-age, rats fed {minus}Cu diet ate fewer meals during the light period than did controls. However, total food intake and meal size during light and dark periods were similar for the two groups. At 6.5 wk-of-age, Cu deficiency was confirmed by stunted growth, low tissue Cu and enlarged hearts. Cardiac CA was increased 4.3-fold in Cu deficient rats, while the NE level in heart of Cu deficient rats was 54% that of control. The concentrations of both DA and NE were increased in ventromedial hypothalamus of Cu deficient rats. These results indicate that alterations in catecholamine status of ventromedial hypothalamus associated with severe Cu deficiency fail to markedly affect feeding behavior.

  6. Lack of Platelet-Activating Factor Receptor Attenuates Experimental Food Allergy but Not Its Metabolic Alterations regarding Adipokine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Batista, Nathália Vieira; Fonseca, Roberta Cristelli; Perez, Denise; Pereira, Rafaela Vaz Sousa; de Lima Alves, Juliana; Pinho, Vanessa; Faria, Ana Maria Caetano; Cara, Denise Carmona

    2016-01-01

    Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is known to be an important mediator of anaphylaxis. However, there is a lack of information in the literature about the role of PAF in food allergy. The aim of this work was to elucidate the participation of PAF during food allergy development and the consequent adipose tissue inflammation along with its alterations. Our data demonstrated that, both before oral challenge and after 7 days receiving ovalbumin (OVA) diet, OVA-sensitized mice lacking the PAF receptor (PAFR) showed a decreased level of anti-OVA IgE associated with attenuated allergic markers in comparison to wild type (WT) mice. Moreover, there was less body weight and adipose tissue loss in PAFR-deficient mice. However, some features of inflamed adipose tissue presented by sensitized PAFR-deficient and WT mice after oral challenge were similar, such as a higher rate of rolling leukocytes in this tissue and lower circulating levels of adipokines (resistin and adiponectin) in comparison to nonsensitized mice. Therefore, PAF signaling through PAFR is important for the allergic response to OVA but not for the adipokine alterations caused by this inflammatory process. Our work clarifies some effects of PAF during food allergy along with its role on the metabolic consequences of this inflammatory process. PMID:27314042

  7. Repeated exposure to neurotoxic levels of chlorpyrifos alters hippocampal expression of neurotrophins and neuropeptides.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young S; Lewis, John A; Ippolito, Danielle L; Hussainzada, Naissan; Lein, Pamela J; Jackson, David A; Stallings, Jonathan D

    2016-01-18

    Chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphorus pesticide (OP), is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world. Subchronic exposures to CPF that do not cause cholinergic crisis are associated with problems in cognitive function (i.e., learning and memory deficits), but the biological mechanism(s) underlying this association remain speculative. To identify potential mechanisms of subchronic CPF neurotoxicity, adult male Long Evans (LE) rats were administered CPF at 3 or 10mg/kg/d (s.c.) for 21 days. We quantified mRNA and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) expression profiles by RNA-seq, microarray analysis and small ncRNA sequencing technology in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Hippocampal slice immunohistochemistry was used to determine CPF-induced changes in protein expression and localization patterns. Neither dose of CPF caused overt clinical signs of cholinergic toxicity, although after 21 days of exposure, cholinesterase activity was decreased to 58% or 13% of control levels in the hippocampus of rats in the 3 or 10mg/kg/d groups, respectively. Differential gene expression in the CA1 region of the hippocampus was observed only in the 10mg/kg/d dose group relative to controls. Of the 1382 differentially expressed genes identified by RNA-seq and microarray analysis, 67 were common to both approaches. Differential expression of six of these genes (Bdnf, Cort, Crhbp, Nptx2, Npy and Pnoc) was verified in an independent CPF exposure study; immunohistochemistry demonstrated that CRHBP and NPY were elevated in the CA1 region of the hippocampus at 10mg/kg/d CPF. Gene ontology enrichment analysis suggested association of these genes with receptor-mediated cell survival signaling pathways. miR132/212 was also elevated in the CA1 hippocampal region, which may play a role in the disruption of neurotrophin-mediated cognitive processes after CPF administration. These findings identify potential mediators of CPF-induced neurobehavioral deficits following subchronic exposure to CPF at

  8. Repeated exposure to neurotoxic levels of chlorpyrifos alters hippocampal expression of neurotrophins and neuropeptides.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young S; Lewis, John A; Ippolito, Danielle L; Hussainzada, Naissan; Lein, Pamela J; Jackson, David A; Stallings, Jonathan D

    2016-01-18

    Chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphorus pesticide (OP), is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world. Subchronic exposures to CPF that do not cause cholinergic crisis are associated with problems in cognitive function (i.e., learning and memory deficits), but the biological mechanism(s) underlying this association remain speculative. To identify potential mechanisms of subchronic CPF neurotoxicity, adult male Long Evans (LE) rats were administered CPF at 3 or 10mg/kg/d (s.c.) for 21 days. We quantified mRNA and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) expression profiles by RNA-seq, microarray analysis and small ncRNA sequencing technology in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Hippocampal slice immunohistochemistry was used to determine CPF-induced changes in protein expression and localization patterns. Neither dose of CPF caused overt clinical signs of cholinergic toxicity, although after 21 days of exposure, cholinesterase activity was decreased to 58% or 13% of control levels in the hippocampus of rats in the 3 or 10mg/kg/d groups, respectively. Differential gene expression in the CA1 region of the hippocampus was observed only in the 10mg/kg/d dose group relative to controls. Of the 1382 differentially expressed genes identified by RNA-seq and microarray analysis, 67 were common to both approaches. Differential expression of six of these genes (Bdnf, Cort, Crhbp, Nptx2, Npy and Pnoc) was verified in an independent CPF exposure study; immunohistochemistry demonstrated that CRHBP and NPY were elevated in the CA1 region of the hippocampus at 10mg/kg/d CPF. Gene ontology enrichment analysis suggested association of these genes with receptor-mediated cell survival signaling pathways. miR132/212 was also elevated in the CA1 hippocampal region, which may play a role in the disruption of neurotrophin-mediated cognitive processes after CPF administration. These findings identify potential mediators of CPF-induced neurobehavioral deficits following subchronic exposure to CPF at

  9. Supraphysiological Levels of Quercetin Glycosides are Required to Alter Mineralization in Saos2 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Leslie A.; Peters, Sandra J.; Sullivan, Philip J.; Ward, Wendy E.

    2016-01-01

    Flavonoid intake is positively correlated to bone mineral density (BMD) in women. Flavonoids such as quercetin exhibit strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that may be beneficial for bone health. Quercetin, previously shown to positively influence osteoblasts, is metabolized into glycosides including rutin and hyperoside. We compared the effects of these glycosides on mineralization in human osteoblast (Saos2) cells. Administration of rutin (≥25 µM) and hyperoside (≥5 µM) resulted in higher mineral content, determined using the alizarin red assay. This was accompanied by higher alkaline phosphatase activity with no cell toxicity. The expression of osteopontin, sclerostin, TNFα and IL6, known stimuli for decreasing osteoblast activity, were reduced with the addition of rutin or hyperoside. In summary, rutin and hyperoside require supraphysiological levels, when administered individually, to positively influence osteoblast activity. This information may be useful in developing nutraceuticals to support bone health. PMID:27136576

  10. Chlorophyll Synthase under Epigenetic Surveillance Is Critical for Vitamin E Synthesis, and Altered Expression Affects Tocopherol Levels in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chunyu; Zhang, Wei; Ren, Guodong; Li, Delin; Cahoon, Rebecca E; Chen, Ming; Zhou, Yongming; Yu, Bin; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2015-08-01

    Chlorophyll synthase catalyzes the final step in chlorophyll biosynthesis: the esterification of chlorophyllide with either geranylgeranyl diphosphate or phytyl diphosphate (PDP). Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of chlorophyll-linked reduction of geranylgeranyl by geranylgeranyl reductase as a major pathway for the synthesis of the PDP precursor of tocopherols. This indirect pathway of PDP synthesis suggests a key role of chlorophyll synthase in tocopherol production to generate the geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll substrate for geranylgeranyl reductase. In this study, contributions of chlorophyll synthase to tocopherol formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were explored by disrupting and altering expression of the corresponding gene CHLOROPHYLL SYNTHASE (CHLSYN; At3g51820). Leaves from the homozygous chlysyn1-1 null mutant were nearly devoid of tocopherols, whereas seeds contained only approximately 25% of wild-type tocopherol levels. Leaves of RNA interference lines with partial suppression of CHLSYN displayed marked reductions in chlorophyll but up to a 2-fold increase in tocopherol concentrations. Cauliflower mosaic virus35S-mediated overexpression of CHLSYN unexpectedly caused a cosuppression phenotype at high frequencies accompanied by strongly reduced chlorophyll content and increased tocopherol levels. This phenotype and the associated detection of CHLSYN-derived small interfering RNAs were reversed with CHLSYN overexpression in rna-directed rna polymerase6 (rdr6), which is defective in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase6, a key enzyme in sense transgene-induced small interfering RNA production. CHLSYN overexpression in rdr6 had little effect on chlorophyll content but resulted in up to a 30% reduction in tocopherol levels in leaves. These findings show that altered CHLSYN expression impacts tocopherol levels and also, show a strong epigenetic surveillance of CHLSYN to control chlorophyll and tocopherol synthesis. PMID:26048882

  11. Chlorophyll Synthase under Epigenetic Surveillance Is Critical for Vitamin E Synthesis, and Altered Expression Affects Tocopherol Levels in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chunyu; Zhang, Wei; Ren, Guodong; Li, Delin; Cahoon, Rebecca E; Chen, Ming; Zhou, Yongming; Yu, Bin; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2015-08-01

    Chlorophyll synthase catalyzes the final step in chlorophyll biosynthesis: the esterification of chlorophyllide with either geranylgeranyl diphosphate or phytyl diphosphate (PDP). Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of chlorophyll-linked reduction of geranylgeranyl by geranylgeranyl reductase as a major pathway for the synthesis of the PDP precursor of tocopherols. This indirect pathway of PDP synthesis suggests a key role of chlorophyll synthase in tocopherol production to generate the geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll substrate for geranylgeranyl reductase. In this study, contributions of chlorophyll synthase to tocopherol formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were explored by disrupting and altering expression of the corresponding gene CHLOROPHYLL SYNTHASE (CHLSYN; At3g51820). Leaves from the homozygous chlysyn1-1 null mutant were nearly devoid of tocopherols, whereas seeds contained only approximately 25% of wild-type tocopherol levels. Leaves of RNA interference lines with partial suppression of CHLSYN displayed marked reductions in chlorophyll but up to a 2-fold increase in tocopherol concentrations. Cauliflower mosaic virus35S-mediated overexpression of CHLSYN unexpectedly caused a cosuppression phenotype at high frequencies accompanied by strongly reduced chlorophyll content and increased tocopherol levels. This phenotype and the associated detection of CHLSYN-derived small interfering RNAs were reversed with CHLSYN overexpression in rna-directed rna polymerase6 (rdr6), which is defective in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase6, a key enzyme in sense transgene-induced small interfering RNA production. CHLSYN overexpression in rdr6 had little effect on chlorophyll content but resulted in up to a 30% reduction in tocopherol levels in leaves. These findings show that altered CHLSYN expression impacts tocopherol levels and also, show a strong epigenetic surveillance of CHLSYN to control chlorophyll and tocopherol synthesis.

  12. Minocycline treatment inhibits microglial activation and alters spinal levels of endocannabinoids in a rat model of neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Guasti, Leonardo; Richardson, Denise; Jhaveri, Maulik; Eldeeb, Khalil; Barrett, David; Elphick, Maurice R; Alexander, Stephen P H; Kendall, David; Michael, Gregory J; Chapman, Victoria

    2009-07-01

    Activation of spinal microglia contributes to aberrant pain responses associated with neuropathic pain states. Endocannabinoids (ECs) are present in the spinal cord, and inhibit nociceptive processing; levels of ECs may be altered by microglia which modulate the turnover of endocannabinoids in vitro. Here, we investigate the effect of minocycline, an inhibitor of activated microglia, on levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the related compound N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA), in neuropathic spinal cord. Selective spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats resulted in mechanical allodynia and the presence of activated microglia in the ipsilateral spinal cord. Chronic daily treatment with minocycline (30 mg/kg, ip for 14 days) significantly reduced the development of mechanical allodynia at days 5, 10 and 14 post-SNL surgery, compared to vehicle-treated SNL rats (P < 0.001). Minocycline treatment also significantly attenuated OX-42 immunoreactivity, a marker of activated microglia, in the ipsilateral (P < 0.001) and contralateral (P < 0.01) spinal cord of SNL rats, compared to vehicle controls. Minocycline treatment significantly (P < 0.01) decreased levels of 2-AG and significantly (P < 0.01) increased levels of PEA in the ipsilateral spinal cord of SNL rats, compared to the contralateral spinal cord. Thus, activation of microglia affects spinal levels of endocannabinoids and related compounds in neuropathic pain states.

  13. Level of energy restriction alters body condition score and morphometric profile in obese Shetland ponies.

    PubMed

    Bruynsteen, L; Moons, C P H; Janssens, G P J; Harris, P A; Vandevelde, K; Lefère, L; Duchateau, L; Hesta, M

    2015-10-01

    Due to the high prevalence of obesity in some horses and ponies (especially in the leisure horse sector), effective and safe weight loss strategies are required. The present study evaluated the effect of two different energy restriction rates on physical, morphometric and welfare parameters in 18 obese (body condition score [BCS] 7-9/9) Shetland geldings. The trial was divided into three periods: (1) a 4 week adaptation period, during which the maintenance energy intakes to maintain a stable obese bodyweight were determined (100% MERob); (2) a 16.5-week weight loss period during which the ponies were randomly divided into three groups (n = 6/group) comprising a control group (CONTROL), moderate energy restricted (MOD), and severe energy restricted (SEV) groups that were respectively fed at 100%, 80% and 60% of their individual MERob; and (3) a 3 week follow up period in which the ponies were again fed at their outset individual 100% MERob. Between the start and end of the weight loss period, significant pairwise differences between the three treatment groups were seen for bodyweight, BCS, heart girth, belly girth, and relative ultrasound fat depth at the level of loin and ribs at several time points (P < 0.05). The higher energy restriction was associated with a faster decrease in BCS, tail head, and heart plus belly girth, but no gastric ulcers or stereotypic behaviours were seen. PMID:26117272

  14. Low-level radiocaesium exposure alters gene expression in roots of Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Sahr, Tobias; Voigt, Gabriele; Schimmack, Wolfgang; Paretzke, Herwig G; Ernst, Dieter

    2005-10-01

    Radiocaesium is one of the main anthropogenic sources of internal and external exposure to beta- and gamma-radiation (e.g. from global fallout of atmospheric atomic bomb testing and from the Chernobyl reactor accident). Here we investigated gene expression by suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in Arabidopsis thaliana, which was induced by the root uptake of 134Cs. SSH analysis resulted in the isolation of 46 clones that were differentially expressed at 30 Bq cm(-3) 134Cs. Most of the expressed sequence tags identified belonged to genes encoding proteins that were involved in cell growth, cell division and the development of plants, and in proteins controlling translation, general metabolism and stress defence, including a DNA excision repair protein. The accumulation of caesium in plant material was measured in plants grown for 5 wk on agar contaminated by up to 60 Bq cm(-3) 134Cs. 134Cs was found to accumulate, in particular, in leaf rosettes and was dependent on the activity concentration in the growth media. The data indicate that low-level ionizing radiation influences important cellular responses, resulting in a changed gene-expression profile.

  15. Time Course of Behavioral Alteration and mRNA Levels of Neurotrophic Factor Following Stress Exposure in Mouse.

    PubMed

    Hashikawa, Naoya; Ogawa, Takumi; Sakamoto, Yusuke; Ogawa, Mami; Matsuo, Yumi; Zamami, Yoshito; Hashikawa-Hobara, Narumi

    2015-08-01

    Stress is known to affect neurotrophic factor expression, which induces depression-like behavior. However, whether there are time-dependent changes in neurotrophic factor mRNA expression following stress remains unclear. In the present study, we tested whether chronic stress exposure induces long-term changes in depression-related behavior, serum corticosterone, and hippocampal proliferation as well as neurotrophic factor family mRNA levels, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), in the mouse hippocampus. The mRNA level of neurotrophic factors (BDNF, NGF, NT-3, and CNTF) was measured using the real-time PCR. The serum corticosterone level was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and, for each subject, the hippocampal proliferation was examined by 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine immunostaining. Mice exhibited depression-like behavior in the forced-swim test (FST) and decreased BDNF mRNA and hippocampal proliferation in the middle of the stress exposure. After 15 days of stress exposure, we observed increased immobility in the FST, serum corticosterone levels, and BDNF mRNA levels and degenerated hippocampal proliferation, maintained for at least 2 weeks. Anhedonia-like behavior in the sucrose preference test and NGF mRNA levels were decreased following 15 days of stress. NGF mRNA levels were significantly higher 1 week after stress exposure. The current data demonstrate that chronic stress exposure induces prolonged BDNF and NGF mRNA changes and increases corticosterone levels and depression-like behavior in the FST, but does not alter other neurotrophic factors or performance in the sucrose preference test.

  16. Caffeine alters resting-state functional connectivity measured by blood oxygenation level-dependent MRI.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wen-Chau; Lien, Shu-Hua; Chang, Jia-Horng; Yang, Shun-Chung

    2014-04-01

    This study aimed to investigate the pharmacological effect of caffeine on functional connectivity measured by resting-state blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) MRI in the motor cortex, visual cortex and default mode network (DMN). The protocols and procedures of the study were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of our institution. On a 3-T clinical MR system, 20 healthy volunteers underwent imaging before and after oral ingestion of a 200-mg over-the-counter caffeine pill (data from three individuals were excluded from further analysis because of excessive motion). The demographics of the remaining participants were as follows: female/male, 8/9; age, 21-35 years; non-habitual caffeine consumers over the past 6 months. Functional connectivity was calculated using the general linear model, assessed in terms of connected area (voxels) and statistical significance (Student t-values), and correlated with changes in regional cerebral blood flow as measured by arterial spin labeling MRI. Per-subject data analysis showed that caffeine decreased functional connectivity in the motor/visual cortices, but its effects on DMN varied among subjects. Correlation analysis of the changes in functional connectivity and regional blood flow suggested that the effect of caffeine on BOLD functional connectivity was predominantly neural (motor/visual cortices) and partly vascular (DMN). Group analysis showed that, after caffeine ingestion, DMN involved more attentional networks, and more extrastriate areas were integrated into the functional connectivity of the visual cortex, which may be associated with the known pharmacological effect of caffeine in elevating alertness. Caffeine consumption should thus be considered in the experimental design and data interpretation of functional connectivity studies using resting-state BOLD MRI.

  17. Alteration of blood glucose levels in the rat following exposure to hyperbaric oxygen.

    PubMed

    Eynan, Mirit; Mullokandov, Michael; Krinsky, Nitzan; Biram, Adi; Arieli, Yehuda

    2015-09-01

    Findings regarding blood glucose level (BGL) on exposure to hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) are contradictory. We investigated the influence of HBO on BGL, and of BGL on latency to central nervous system oxygen toxicity (CNS-OT). The study was conducted on five groups of rats: Group 1, exposure to oxygen at 2.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA), 90 min/day for 7 days; Group 2, exposure to oxygen once a week from 2 to 6 ATA in increments of 1 ATA/wk, for a period of time calculated as 60% of the latency to CNS-OT (no convulsions); Group 3, exposure to 6 ATA breathing a gas mixture with a pO2 of 0.21; Group 4, received 10 U/kg insulin to induce hypoglycemia before exposure to HBO; Group 5, received 33% glucose to induce hyperglycemia before exposure to HBO. Blood samples were drawn before and after exposures for measurement of BGL. No change was observed in BGL after exposure to oxygen at 2.5 ATA, 90 min/day for 7 days. BGL was significantly elevated after exposure to oxygen at 6 ATA until the appearance of convulsions, and following exposure to 4, 5, and 6 ATA without convulsions (P < 0.01). No change was observed in BGL after exposure to 6 ATA breathing a gas mixture with a pO2 of 0.21. Hypoglycemia shortened latency to CNS oxygen toxicity, whereas hyperglycemia had no effect. Our results demonstrate an influence of HBO exposure on elevation of BGL, starting at 4 ATA. This implies that BGL may serve as a marker for the generation of CNS-OT.

  18. A new genus of speleophriid copepod (Copepoda: Misophrioida) from a cenote in the Yucatan, Mexico with a phylogenetic analysis at the species level.

    PubMed

    Boxshall, Geoff A; Zylinski, Sarah; Jaume, Damià; Iliffe, Thomas M; Suárez-Morales, Eduardo

    2014-06-23

    A new genus and species of speleophriid copepod, Mexicophria cenoticola gen. et sp. nov., is described based on material collected from a cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It is characterised by relatively reduced fifth legs that are located adjacent to the ventral midline in both sexes, by the possession of a bulbous swelling on the first antennulary segment in both sexes, and by the reduced setation of the swimming legs. The presence of just one inner margin seta on the second endopodal segment of legs 2 to 4 is a unique feature for the family. A phylogenetic analysis places the new genus on a basal lineage of the family together with its sister taxon, Boxshallia Huys, 1988, from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, and recovers the existing genera as monophyletic units. The zoogeography is discussed at local, regional, ocean basin  and global scales.

  19. [Collation of data on the ploidy levels and mitochondrial DNA phylogenetic lineages in the silver crucian carp Carassius auratus gibelio from Far Eastern and Central Asian populations].

    PubMed

    Apalikova, O V; Eliseĭkina, M G; Kovalev, M Iu; Brykov, V A

    2008-07-01

    The distribution of the diploid and triploid forms and the correspondence between ploidy and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogenetic lineages of the silver crucian carp have been studied in Far Eastern water bodies and the Syr Darya River. Both diploid and triploid forms have been found in large river systems (the Amur, Suifun, Tumangan, and Syr Darya river basins). Only the diploid form has been detected in lakes of Bol'shoi Pelis Island (Peter the Great Bay of the Sea of Japan), Sakhalin Island, and the Kamchatka River basin (the Kamchatka Peninsula). It has been confirmed that there are two mtDNA phylogroups in the silver crucian carp in the area studied. Both mtDNA phylogenetic lineages are present in the Suifun and Tumangan river basins. Only one mtDNA phylogroup (characteristic of the gynogenetic form) has been detected in two samples from the Amur River and in the Syr Darya population. The other mtDNA phylogroup is predominant in insular populations and in Kamchatka. The gynogenetic form carries only mtDNA phylogroup I, whereas both phylogroups have been found in diploid bisexual fish. The existence of only two mtDNA phylogroups substantially differing from each other indicates that the gynogenetic form has emerged from the diploid form only once and evolved independently for a long time after that. The absence of haplotypes transitional between the two mtDNA phylogroups suggests that the secondary contact between the gynogenetic and bisexual forms in continental populations occurred within recent historical time. The obtained data confirm that genetic (though asymmetric) exchange between the two forms is possible, which explains the high morphological and, probably, genetic similarity between them.

  20. Wastewater treatment plant effluent alters pituitary gland gonadotropin mRNA levels in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

    PubMed

    Harding, Louisa B; Schultz, Irvin R; da Silva, Denis A M; Ylitalo, Gina M; Ragsdale, Dave; Harris, Stephanie I; Bailey, Stephanie; Pepich, Barry V; Swanson, Penny

    2016-09-01

    It is well known that endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) present in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents interfere with reproduction in fish, including altered gonad development and induction of vitellogenin (Vtg), a female-specific egg yolk protein precursor produced in the liver. As a result, studies have focused on the effects of EDC exposure on the gonad and liver. However, impacts of environmental EDC exposure at higher levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad axis are less well understood. The pituitary gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) and luteinizing hormone (Lh) are involved in all aspects of gonad development and are subject to feedback from gonadal steroids making them a likely target of endocrine disruption. In this study, the effects of WWTP effluent exposure on pituitary gonadotropin mRNA expression were investigated to assess the utility of Lh beta-subunit (lhb) as a biomarker of estrogen exposure in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). First, a controlled 72-h exposure to 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and 17β-trenbolone (TREN) was performed to evaluate the response of juvenile coho salmon to EDC exposure. Second, juvenile coho salmon were exposed to 0, 20 or 100% effluent from eight WWTPs from the Puget Sound, WA region for 72h. Juvenile coho salmon exposed to 2 and 10ng EE2L(-1) had 17-fold and 215-fold higher lhb mRNA levels relative to control fish. Hepatic vtg mRNA levels were dramatically increased 6670-fold, but only in response to 10ng EE2L(-1) and Fsh beta-subunit (fshb) mRNA levels were not altered by any of the treatments. In the WWTP effluent exposures, lhb mRNA levels were significantly elevated in fish exposed to five of the WWTP effluents. In contrast, transcript levels of vtg were not affected by any of the WWTP effluent exposures. Mean levels of natural and synthetic estrogens in fish bile were consistent with pituitary lhb expression, suggesting that the observed lhb induction may be due to

  1. Wastewater treatment plant effluent alters pituitary gland gonadotropin mRNA levels in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

    PubMed

    Harding, Louisa B; Schultz, Irvin R; da Silva, Denis A M; Ylitalo, Gina M; Ragsdale, Dave; Harris, Stephanie I; Bailey, Stephanie; Pepich, Barry V; Swanson, Penny

    2016-09-01

    It is well known that endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) present in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents interfere with reproduction in fish, including altered gonad development and induction of vitellogenin (Vtg), a female-specific egg yolk protein precursor produced in the liver. As a result, studies have focused on the effects of EDC exposure on the gonad and liver. However, impacts of environmental EDC exposure at higher levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad axis are less well understood. The pituitary gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) and luteinizing hormone (Lh) are involved in all aspects of gonad development and are subject to feedback from gonadal steroids making them a likely target of endocrine disruption. In this study, the effects of WWTP effluent exposure on pituitary gonadotropin mRNA expression were investigated to assess the utility of Lh beta-subunit (lhb) as a biomarker of estrogen exposure in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). First, a controlled 72-h exposure to 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and 17β-trenbolone (TREN) was performed to evaluate the response of juvenile coho salmon to EDC exposure. Second, juvenile coho salmon were exposed to 0, 20 or 100% effluent from eight WWTPs from the Puget Sound, WA region for 72h. Juvenile coho salmon exposed to 2 and 10ng EE2L(-1) had 17-fold and 215-fold higher lhb mRNA levels relative to control fish. Hepatic vtg mRNA levels were dramatically increased 6670-fold, but only in response to 10ng EE2L(-1) and Fsh beta-subunit (fshb) mRNA levels were not altered by any of the treatments. In the WWTP effluent exposures, lhb mRNA levels were significantly elevated in fish exposed to five of the WWTP effluents. In contrast, transcript levels of vtg were not affected by any of the WWTP effluent exposures. Mean levels of natural and synthetic estrogens in fish bile were consistent with pituitary lhb expression, suggesting that the observed lhb induction may be due to

  2. Altered Brain Network in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Resting Graph Theory-Based Network Study at Voxel-Wise Level.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chaoyang; Hu, Xiaofei; Hu, Jun; Liang, Minglong; Yin, Xuntao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Jiuquan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative disorder characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Neuroimaging has provided noticeable evidence that ALS is a complex disease, and shown that anatomical and functional lesions extend beyond precentral cortices and corticospinal tracts, to include the corpus callosum; frontal, sensory, and premotor cortices; thalamus; and midbrain. The aim of this study is to investigate graph theory-based functional network abnormalities at voxel-wise level in ALS patients on a whole brain scale. Forty-three ALS patients and 44 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were enrolled. The voxel-wise network degree centrality (DC), a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, was used to characterize the alteration of whole brain functional network. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed significant increase of DC in the left cerebellum posterior lobes, bilateral cerebellum crus, bilateral occipital poles, right orbital frontal lobe, and bilateral prefrontal lobes; significant decrease of DC in the bilateral primary motor cortex, bilateral sensory motor region, right prefrontal lobe, left bilateral precuneus, bilateral lateral temporal lobes, left cingulate cortex, and bilateral visual processing cortex. The DC's z-scores of right inferior occipital gyrus were significant negative correlated with the ALSFRS-r scores. Our findings confirm that the regions with abnormal network DC in ALS patients were located in multiple brain regions including primary motor, somatosensory and extra-motor areas, supporting the concept that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Specifically, our study found that DC in the visual areas was altered and ALS patients with higher DC in right inferior occipital gyrus have more severity of disease. The result demonstrated that the altered DC value in this region can probably be used to assess severity of ALS. PMID:27242409

  3. Altered Brain Network in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Resting Graph Theory-Based Network Study at Voxel-Wise Level

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chaoyang; Hu, Xiaofei; Hu, Jun; Liang, Minglong; Yin, Xuntao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Jiuquan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative disorder characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Neuroimaging has provided noticeable evidence that ALS is a complex disease, and shown that anatomical and functional lesions extend beyond precentral cortices and corticospinal tracts, to include the corpus callosum; frontal, sensory, and premotor cortices; thalamus; and midbrain. The aim of this study is to investigate graph theory-based functional network abnormalities at voxel-wise level in ALS patients on a whole brain scale. Forty-three ALS patients and 44 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were enrolled. The voxel-wise network degree centrality (DC), a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, was used to characterize the alteration of whole brain functional network. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed significant increase of DC in the left cerebellum posterior lobes, bilateral cerebellum crus, bilateral occipital poles, right orbital frontal lobe, and bilateral prefrontal lobes; significant decrease of DC in the bilateral primary motor cortex, bilateral sensory motor region, right prefrontal lobe, left bilateral precuneus, bilateral lateral temporal lobes, left cingulate cortex, and bilateral visual processing cortex. The DC's z-scores of right inferior occipital gyrus were significant negative correlated with the ALSFRS-r scores. Our findings confirm that the regions with abnormal network DC in ALS patients were located in multiple brain regions including primary motor, somatosensory and extra-motor areas, supporting the concept that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Specifically, our study found that DC in the visual areas was altered and ALS patients with higher DC in right inferior occipital gyrus have more severity of disease. The result demonstrated that the altered DC value in this region can probably be used to assess severity of ALS. PMID:27242409

  4. Altered Brain Network in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Resting Graph Theory-Based Network Study at Voxel-Wise Level.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chaoyang; Hu, Xiaofei; Hu, Jun; Liang, Minglong; Yin, Xuntao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Jiuquan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative disorder characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Neuroimaging has provided noticeable evidence that ALS is a complex disease, and shown that anatomical and functional lesions extend beyond precentral cortices and corticospinal tracts, to include the corpus callosum; frontal, sensory, and premotor cortices; thalamus; and midbrain. The aim of this study is to investigate graph theory-based functional network abnormalities at voxel-wise level in ALS patients on a whole brain scale. Forty-three ALS patients and 44 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were enrolled. The voxel-wise network degree centrality (DC), a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, was used to characterize the alteration of whole brain functional network. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed significant increase of DC in the left cerebellum posterior lobes, bilateral cerebellum crus, bilateral occipital poles, right orbital frontal lobe, and bilateral prefrontal lobes; significant decrease of DC in the bilateral primary motor cortex, bilateral sensory motor region, right prefrontal lobe, left bilateral precuneus, bilateral lateral temporal lobes, left cingulate cortex, and bilateral visual processing cortex. The DC's z-scores of right inferior occipital gyrus were significant negative correlated with the ALSFRS-r scores. Our findings confirm that the regions with abnormal network DC in ALS patients were located in multiple brain regions including primary motor, somatosensory and extra-motor areas, supporting the concept that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Specifically, our study found that DC in the visual areas was altered and ALS patients with higher DC in right inferior occipital gyrus have more severity of disease. The result demonstrated that the altered DC value in this region can probably be used to assess severity of ALS.

  5. Decreased pool of mesenchymal stem cells is associated with altered chemokines serum levels in atrophic nonunion fractures.

    PubMed

    Mathieu, Myrielle; Rigutto, Sabrina; Ingels, Aude; Spruyt, Delphine; Stricwant, Nadia; Kharroubi, Ilham; Albarani, Valentina; Jayankura, Marc; Rasschaert, Joanne; Bastianelli, Enrico; Gangji, Valérie

    2013-04-01

    Nonunion fractures can cause severe dysfunction and are often difficult to treat mainly due to a poor understanding of their physiopathology. Although many aspects of impaired fracture healing have been extensively studied, little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to atrophic nonunion. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the pools and biological functions of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in atrophic nonunion patients compared to healthy subjects, and the systemic levels of growth factors involved in the recruitment, proliferation and differentiation of these cells. In nonunions, the pool of hMSCs was decreased and their proliferation delayed. However, once committed, hMSCs from nonunions were able to proliferate, differentiate into osteoblastic cells and mineralize in vitro as efficiently as hMSCs from healthy subjects. In parallel, we found altered serum levels of chemokines and growth factors involved in the chemotaxis and proliferation of hMSCs such as leptin, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its soluble receptor, platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB), stem cell factor (SCF) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Moreover, we showed that the number of EPCs and their regulating growth factors were not affected in nonunion patients. If nonunion is generally attributed to a vascular defect, our results also support a role for a systemic mesenchymal and osteogenic cell pool defect that might be related to alterations in systemic levels of factors implicated in their chemotaxis and proliferation. PMID:23318974

  6. Is a low level of free thyroxine in the maternal circulation associated with altered endothelial function in gestational diabetes?

    PubMed

    Guzmán-Gutiérrez, Enrique; Veas, Carlos; Leiva, Andrea; Escudero, Carlos; Sobrevia, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), in the human fetus starts from 17 to 19th weeks of gestation. Despite the majority of normal pregnant women reaching adequate levels of circulating thyroid hormones, in some cases, women with normal pregnancies have low level of free T4 during first trimester of pregnancy, suggesting that T4 action may be compromised in those women and their fetuses. In addition, pathological low levels of thyroid hormones are detected in isolated maternal hypothyroxemia (IMH) and clinical hypothyroidism. Nevertheless, human placenta regulates T3/T4 concentration in the fetal circulation by modulating the expression and activity of both thyroid hormone transporters (THT) and deiodinases. Then, placenta can control the availability of T3/T4 in the feto-placental circulation, and therefore may generate an adaptive response in cases where the mother courses with low levels of T4. In addition, T3/T4 might control vascular response in the placenta, in particularly endothelial cells may induce the synthesis and release of vasodilators such as nitric oxide (NO) or vasoconstrictors such as endothelin-1 mediated by these hormones. On the other hand, low levels of T4 have been associated with increase in gestational diabetes (GD) markers. Since GD is associated with impaired placental vascular function characterized by increased NO synthesis in placental arteries and veins, as well as elevated placental angiogenesis, it is unknown whether reduced T4 level at the maternal circulation could result in an altered placental endothelial function during GD. In this review, we analyze available information regarding thyroid hormones and endothelial dysfunction in GD; and propose that low maternal levels of T4 observed in GD may be compensated by increased placental availability of T3/T4 via elevation in the activity of THT and/or reduction in deiodinases in the feto-placental circulation.

  7. Teaching Molecular Phylogenetics through Investigating a Real-World Phylogenetic Problem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Xiaorong

    2012-01-01

    A phylogenetics exercise is incorporated into the "Introduction to biocomputing" course, a junior-level course at Savannah State University. This exercise is designed to help students learn important concepts and practical skills in molecular phylogenetics through solving a real-world problem. In this application, students are required to identify…

  8. Drospirenone intake alters plasmatic steroid levels and cyp17a1 expression in gonads of juvenile sea bass.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Maria; Fernandes, Denise; Medina, Paula; Blázquez, Mercedes; Porte, Cinta

    2016-06-01

    Drospirenone (DRO) is one of the most widely used progestins in contraceptive treatments and hormone replacement therapies. The pharmacokinetics and potential toxicological effects of DRO were investigated in juvenile sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) exposed through the diet (0.01-10 μg DRO/g) for up to 31 days. DRO was detected in the blood (4-27 ng/mL) of fish exposed to the highest concentration, with no significant bioaccumulation over time and no alteration of hepatic metabolizing enzymes, namely, CYP1A and CYP3A-catalysed activities and UDP-glucuronyltransferase (UGT). Pregnenolone (P5), progesterone (P4), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17P4), 17α-hydroxypregnenolone (17P5), androstenedione (AD) and testosterone (T) were determined in plasma and gene expression of cyp17a1, cyp19a1a and cyp11β analysed by qRT-PCR in gonads. The significant increase in plasmatic levels of 17P5, 17P4 and AD detected after 31 days exposure to 10 ng DRO/g together with the increased expression of cyp17a1 in females evidence the ability of DRO to alter steroid synthesis at low intake concentrations (7 ng DRO/day). However, the potential consequences of this steroid shift for female reproduction remain to be investigated. PMID:26995450

  9. Increased astrocyte expression of IL-6 or CCL2 in transgenic mice alters levels of hippocampal and cerebellar proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gruol, Donna L.; Vo, Khanh; Bray, Jennifer G.

    2014-01-01

    Emerging research has identified that neuroimmune factors are produced by cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and play critical roles as regulators of CNS function, directors of neurodevelopment and responders to pathological processes. A wide range of neuroimmune factors are produced by CNS cells, primarily the glial cells, but the role of specific neuroimmune factors and their glial cell sources in CNS biology and pathology have yet to be fully elucidated. We have used transgenic mice that express elevated levels of a specific neuroimmune factor, the cytokine IL-6 or the chemokine CCL2, through genetic modification of astrocyte expression to identify targets of astrocyte produced IL-6 or CCL2 at the protein level. We found that in non-transgenic mice constitutive expression of IL-6 and CCL2 occurs in the two CNS regions studied, the hippocampus and cerebellum, as measured by ELISA. In the CCL2 transgenic mice elevated levels of CCL2 were evident in the hippocampus and cerebellum, whereas in the IL-6 transgenic mice, elevated levels of IL-6 were only evident in the cerebellum. Western blot analysis of the cellular and synaptic proteins in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the transgenic mice showed that the elevated levels of CCL2 or IL-6 resulted in alterations in the levels of specific proteins and that these actions differed for the two neuroimmune factors and for the two brain regions. These results are consistent with cell specific profiles of action for IL-6 and CCL2, actions that may be an important aspect of their respective roles in CNS physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:25177271

  10. Photoperiodic changes in endocannabinoid levels and energetic responses to altered signalling at CB1 receptors in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Ho, J M; Smith, N S; Adams, S A; Bradshaw, H B; Demas, G E

    2012-07-01

    Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) adapt to seasonal environmental conditions with marked changes in body mass, primarily in the form of adiposity. Winter-like conditions (e.g. short days) are sufficient to decrease body mass by approximately 30% in part via reductions in food intake. The neuroendocrine mechanisms responsible for these changes are not well understood, and homeostatic orexigenic/anorexigenic systems of the hypothalamus provide little explanation. We investigated the potential role of endocannabinoids, which are known modulators of appetite and metabolism, in mediating seasonal changes in energy balance. Specifically, we housed hamsters in long or short days for 0, 3, or 9 weeks and measured endocannabinoid levels in the hypothalamus, brainstem, liver and retroperitoneal white adipose tissue (RWAT). An additional group of males housed in short days for 25 weeks were also compared with long-day controls. Following 9 weeks in short days, levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) were significantly elevated in RWAT and reduced in brainstem, although they returned to long-day levels by week 25 in short-day males that had cycled back to summer-like energy balance. Endocannabinoid levels in these tissues correlated significantly with adiposity and change in body mass. No photoperiodic changes were observed in the hypothalamus or liver; however, sex differences in 2-AG levels were found in the liver (males > females). We further tested the effects of CB(1) receptor signalling on ingestive behaviour. Five daily injections of CB(1) antagonist SR141716 significantly reduced food intake and body mass but not food hoarding. Although the CB(1) agonist arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide did not appreciably affect either ingestive behaviour, body mass was significantly elevated following 2 days of injections. Taken altogether, these findings demonstrate that endocannabinoid levels vary with sex and photoperiod in a site-specific manner, and that

  11. Phylogenetic effective sample size.

    PubMed

    Bartoszek, Krzysztof

    2016-10-21

    In this paper I address the question-how large is a phylogenetic sample? I propose a definition of a phylogenetic effective sample size for Brownian motion and Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes-the regression effective sample size. I discuss how mutual information can be used to define an effective sample size in the non-normal process case and compare these two definitions to an already present concept of effective sample size (the mean effective sample size). Through a simulation study I find that the AICc is robust if one corrects for the number of species or effective number of species. Lastly I discuss how the concept of the phylogenetic effective sample size can be useful for biodiversity quantification, identification of interesting clades and deciding on the importance of phylogenetic correlations. PMID:27343033

  12. Phylogenetic lineages in Entomophthoromycota

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomophthoromycota Humber is one of five major phylogenetic lineages among the former phylum Zygomycota. These early terrestrial fungi share evolutionarily ancestral characters such as coenocytic mycelium and gametangiogamy as a sexual process resulting in zygospore formation. Previous molecular st...

  13. Alteration of Na,K-ATPase subunit mRNA and protein levels in hypertrophied rat heart.

    PubMed

    Charlemagne, D; Orlowski, J; Oliviero, P; Rannou, F; Sainte Beuve, C; Swynghedauw, B; Lane, L K

    1994-01-14

    To determine if an altered expression of the Na,K-ATPase alpha isoform genes is responsible for an observed increase in cardiac glycoside sensitivity in compensatory hypertrophy, we performed Northern and slot blot analyses of RNA and specific immunological detection of Na,K-ATPase isoforms in rat hearts from normal and pressure overload-treated animals induced by abdominal aortic constriction. During the early phase of hypertrophy, the only alteration is a decrease in the alpha 2 mRNA isoform. In the compensated hypertrophied heart, the levels of the predominant alpha 1 isoform (mRNA and protein) and the beta 1 subunit mRNA are unchanged. In contrast, the alpha 2 isoform (mRNA and protein) is decreased by 35% and up to 61-64% in mild (< 55%) and severe (> 55%) hypertrophy, respectively. The alpha 3 isoform (mRNA and protein), which is extremely low in adult heart, is increased up to 2-fold during hypertrophy but accounts for only approximately equal to 5% of the total alpha isoform mRNA. These findings demonstrate that, in cardiac hypertrophy, the three alpha isoforms of the Na,K-ATPase are independently regulated and that regulation occurs at a pretranslational level. The pattern of expression in hypertrophied adult heart is similar to that of the neonatal heart where the inverse regulation between the alpha 2 and alpha 3 ouabain high affinity isoforms has been reported. This suggests that distinct regulatory mechanisms controlling Na,K-ATPase isoform expression may, at least in part, be involved in the sensitivity to cardiac glycosides. PMID:8288620

  14. Altered metabolism and resistance to obesity in long-lived mice producing reduced levels of IGF-I

    PubMed Central

    Lerner, Chad; Ikeno, Yuji; Motch Perrine, Susan M.; McCarter, Roger; Sell, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The extension of lifespan due to reduced insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) signaling in mice has been proposed to be mediated through alterations in metabolism. Previously, we showed that mice homozygous for an insertion in the Igf1 allele have reduced levels of IGF-I, are smaller, and have an extension of maximum lifespan. Here, we tested whether this specific reduction of IGF-I alters glucose metabolism both on normal rodent chow and in response to high-fat feeding. We found that female IGF-I-deficient mice were lean on a standard rodent diet but paradoxically displayed an insulin-resistant phenotype. However, these mice gained significantly less weight than normal controls when placed on a high-fat diet. In control animals, insulin response was significantly impaired by high-fat feeding, whereas IGF-I-deficient mice showed a much smaller shift in insulin response after high-fat feeding. Gluconeogenesis was also elevated in the IGF-I-deficient mice relative to controls on both normal and high-fat diet. An analysis of metabolism and respiratory quotient over 24 h indicated that the IGF-I-deficient mice preferentially utilized fatty acids as an energy source when placed on a high-fat diet. These results indicate that reduction in the circulating and tissue IGF-I levels can produce a metabolic phenotype in female mice that increases peripheral insulin resistance but renders animals resistant to the deleterious effects of high-fat feeding. PMID:25648834

  15. Altered metabolism and resistance to obesity in long-lived mice producing reduced levels of IGF-I.

    PubMed

    Salmon, Adam B; Lerner, Chad; Ikeno, Yuji; Motch Perrine, Susan M; McCarter, Roger; Sell, Christian

    2015-04-01

    The extension of lifespan due to reduced insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) signaling in mice has been proposed to be mediated through alterations in metabolism. Previously, we showed that mice homozygous for an insertion in the Igf1 allele have reduced levels of IGF-I, are smaller, and have an extension of maximum lifespan. Here, we tested whether this specific reduction of IGF-I alters glucose metabolism both on normal rodent chow and in response to high-fat feeding. We found that female IGF-I-deficient mice were lean on a standard rodent diet but paradoxically displayed an insulin-resistant phenotype. However, these mice gained significantly less weight than normal controls when placed on a high-fat diet. In control animals, insulin response was significantly impaired by high-fat feeding, whereas IGF-I-deficient mice showed a much smaller shift in insulin response after high-fat feeding. Gluconeogenesis was also elevated in the IGF-I-deficient mice relative to controls on both normal and high-fat diet. An analysis of metabolism and respiratory quotient over 24 h indicated that the IGF-I-deficient mice preferentially utilized fatty acids as an energy source when placed on a high-fat diet. These results indicate that reduction in the circulating and tissue IGF-I levels can produce a metabolic phenotype in female mice that increases peripheral insulin resistance but renders animals resistant to the deleterious effects of high-fat feeding. PMID:25648834

  16. Alterations in vitamin A and E levels in liver and testis of wild ungulates from a lead mining area.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Taggart, Mark A; Mateo, Rafael

    2011-02-01

    In animals, exposure to metal pollution can induce oxidative stress via several mechanisms. This stress might then cause adverse effects on functions such as male reproductive capacity. Antioxidant vitamins A and E play an important role in maintaining organism functions under stressed conditions. This study assessed the effect of different metals and metalloids on levels of vitamins A and E in livers and testis (n = 67 and 36) of red deer and in livers (n = 22) of wild boar. The study compared animals residing within and outside a polluted mining area. Red deer from mined areas showed significant reductions in liver retinyl docosahexaenoate and retinyl docosapentaenoate. Free retinol, α-tocopherol, and retinyl palmitate in the testis were also lower. This might indicate that increased internal usage of these antioxidants is occurring as deer try to maintain the integrity and function of reproductive tissue. Wild boar from mined areas also showed significant reductions in liver retinyl stearate but increased free retinol levels. This might suggest that vitamin A is being mobilized to a greater degree to cope with the induced oxidative stress caused by exposure to metal pollution. Additionally, a significant negative relationship between liver α-tocopherol and bone lead (Pb) in boar might indicate some long-term effects of Pb on antioxidant levels. Results suggest that vitamin A and E status can be altered as a consequence of exposure to Pb pollution and that complex differences in this response probably exist between species.

  17. Microgravity does not alter plant stand gas exchange of wheat at moderate light levels and saturating CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Monje, O; Stutte, G; Chapman, D

    2005-10-01

    Plant stand gas exchange was measured nondestructively in microgravity during the Photosynthesis Experiment Subsystem Testing and Operations experiment conducted onboard the International Space Station. Rates of evapotranspiration and photosynthesis measured in space were compared with ground controls to determine if microgravity directly affects whole-stand gas exchange of Triticum aestivum. During six 21-day experiment cycles, evapotranspiration was determined continuously from water addition rates to the nutrient delivery system, and photosynthesis was determined from the amount of CO2 added to maintain the chamber CO2 concentration setpoint. Plant stand evapotranspiration, net photosynthesis, and water use efficiency were not altered by microgravity. Although leaf area was significantly reduced in microgravity-grown plants compared to ground control plants, leaf area distribution was not affected enough to cause significant differences in the amounts of light absorbed by the flight and ground control plant stands. Microgravity also did not affect the response of evapotranspiration to changes in chamber vapor pressure difference of 12-day-old wheat plant stands. These results suggest that gravity naïve plants grown at moderate light levels (300 micromol m(-2) s(-1)) behave the same as ground control plants. This implies that future plant-based regenerative life support systems can be sized using 1 g data because water purification and food production rates operate at nearly the same rates as in 1 g at moderate light levels. However, it remains to be verified whether the present results are reproducible in plants grown under stronger light levels.

  18. Phylogenetic analysis of adenovirus sequences.

    PubMed

    Harrach, Balázs; Benko, Mária

    2007-01-01

    Members of the family Adenoviridae have been isolated from a large variety of hosts, including representatives from every major vertebrate class from fish to mammals. The high prevalence, together with the fairly conserved organization of the central part of their genomes, make the adenoviruses one of (if not the) best models for studying viral evolution on a larger time scale. Phylogenetic calculation can infer the evolutionary distance among adenovirus strains on serotype, species, and genus levels, thus helping the establishment of a correct taxonomy on the one hand, and speeding up the process of typing new isolates on the other. Initially, four major lineages corresponding to four genera were recognized. Later, the demarcation criteria of lower taxon levels, such as species or types, could also be defined with phylogenetic calculations. A limited number of possible host switches have been hypothesized and convincingly supported. Application of the web-based BLAST and MultAlin programs and the freely available PHYLIP package, along with the TreeView program, enables everyone to make correct calculations. In addition to step-by-step instruction on how to perform phylogenetic analysis, critical points where typical mistakes or misinterpretation of the results might occur will be identified and hints for their avoidance will be provided. PMID:17656792

  19. Phylogenetic analysis of adenovirus sequences.

    PubMed

    Harrach, Balázs; Benko, Mária

    2007-01-01

    Members of the family Adenoviridae have been isolated from a large variety of hosts, including representatives from every major vertebrate class from fish to mammals. The high prevalence, together with the fairly conserved organization of the central part of their genomes, make the adenoviruses one of (if not the) best models for studying viral evolution on a larger time scale. Phylogenetic calculation can infer the evolutionary distance among adenovirus strains on serotype, species, and genus levels, thus helping the establishment of a correct taxonomy on the one hand, and speeding up the process of typing new isolates on the other. Initially, four major lineages corresponding to four genera were recognized. Later, the demarcation criteria of lower taxon levels, such as species or types, could also be defined with phylogenetic calculations. A limited number of possible host switches have been hypothesized and convincingly supported. Application of the web-based BLAST and MultAlin programs and the freely available PHYLIP package, along with the TreeView program, enables everyone to make correct calculations. In addition to step-by-step instruction on how to perform phylogenetic analysis, critical points where typical mistakes or misinterpretation of the results might occur will be identified and hints for their avoidance will be provided.

  20. Using chromosomal data in the phylogenetic and molecular dating framework: karyotype evolution and diversification in Nierembergia (Solanaceae) influenced by historical changes in sea level.

    PubMed

    Acosta, M C; Moscone, E A; Cocucci, A A

    2016-05-01

    Karyotype data within a phylogenetic framework and molecular dating were used to examine chromosome evolution in Nierembergia and to infer how geological or climatic processes have influenced in the diversification of this solanaceous genus native to South America and Mexico. Despite the numerous studies comparing karyotype features across species, including the use of molecular phylogenies, to date relatively few studies have used formal comparative methods to elucidate chromosomal evolution, especially to reconstruct the whole ancestral karyotypes. Here, we mapped on the Nierembergia phylogeny one complete set of chromosomal data obtained by conventional staining, AgNOR-, C- and fluorescent chromosome banding, and fluorescent in situ hybridisation. In addition, we used a Bayesian molecular relaxed clock to estimate divergence times between species. Nierembergia showed two major divergent clades: a mountainous species group with symmetrical karyotypes, large chromosomes, only one nucleolar organising region (NOR) and without centromeric heterochromatin, and a lowland species group with asymmetrical karyotypes, small chromosomes, two chromosomes pairs with NORs and centromeric heterochromatin bands. Molecular dating on the DNA phylogeny revealed that both groups diverged during Late Miocene, when Atlantic marine ingressions, called the 'Paranense Sea', probably forced the ancestors of these species to find refuge in unflooded areas for about 2 Myr. This split agrees with an increased asymmetry and heterochromatin amount, and decrease in karyotype length and chromosome size. Thus, when the two Nierembergia ancestral lineages were isolated, major divergences occurred in chromosomal evolution, and then each lineage underwent speciation separately, with relatively minor changes in chromosomal characteristics.

  1. Alterations in zinc binding capacity, free zinc levels and total serum zinc in a porcine model of sepsis.

    PubMed

    Hoeger, Janine; Simon, Tim-Philipp; Doemming, Sabine; Thiele, Christoph; Marx, Gernot; Schuerholz, Tobias; Haase, Hajo

    2015-08-01

    Zinc is crucial for immune function. In addition, the redistribution of zinc and other nutrients due to infection is an integral part of the host immune response to limit availability to pathogens. However, the major zinc binding protein albumin is down regulated during the acute phase response, implicating a decrease in zinc binding capacity. A prospective animal study with eight female German landrace pigs was conducted to investigate alterations in zinc binding capacity, total serum zinc and free zinc levels in the initial phase of sepsis. Sepsis was induced by instillation of autologous feces via midline laparotomy. Total serum zinc declined significantly after 1 h (10.89 ± 0.42 µM vs. 7.67 ± 0.41 µM, p < 0.001), total serum copper and iron reached a significant reduction at 4 h. Urinary excretion of zinc declined in line with total serum zinc. In comparison to total serum zinc, free zinc levels declined to a lesser, though significant, extent. Zinc binding capacity of serum decreased over time, whereby free zinc levels after addition of zinc correlated negatively with total serum protein and albumin levels. In addition IL-6 and TNF-α concentrations were measured and increased significantly 2 h after induction of sepsis. Hence, total serum zinc was the first marker of inflammation in our experiment, and might therefore be a promising biomarker for the early diagnosis of sepsis. Furthermore the observation of a substantially different serum free zinc homeostasis during sepsis provides valuable information for a potential therapeutic zinc supplementation, which has to take buffering capacity by serum proteins into account.

  2. Propofol, but not etomidate, increases corticosterone levels and induces long-term alteration in hippocampal synaptic activity in neonatal rats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Changqing; Seubert, Christoph N; Gravenstein, Nikolaus; Martynyuk, Anatoly E

    2016-04-01

    Animal studies provide strong evidence that general anesthetics (GAs), administered during the early postnatal period, induce long-term cognitive and neurological abnormalities. Because the brain growth spurt in rodents is delayed compared to that in humans, a fundamental question is whether the postnatal human brain is similarly vulnerable. Sevoflurane and propofol, GAs that share positive modulation of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAAR) function cause marked increase in corticosterone levels and induce long-term developmental alterations in synaptic activity in rodents. If synaptogenesis is affected, investigation of mechanisms of the synaptic effects of GAs is of high interest because synaptogenesis in humans continues for several years after birth. Here, we compared long-term synaptic effects of etomidate with those of propofol. Etomidate and propofol both positively modulate GABAAR activity, but in contrast to propofol, etomidate inhibits the adrenal synthesis of corticosterone. Postnatal day (P) 4, 5, or 6 rats received five injections of etomidate, propofol, or vehicle control during 5h of maternal separation. Endocrine effects of the anesthetics were evaluated by measuring serum levels of corticosterone immediately after anesthesia or maternal separation. The frequency and amplitude of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons were measured at P24-40 and P≥80. Only propofol caused a significant increase in serum corticosterone levels (F(4.26)=17.739, P<0.001). In contrast to increased frequency of mIPSCs in the propofol group (F(4.23)=8.731, p<0.001), mIPSC activity in the etomidate group was not different from that in the vehicle groups. The results of this study together with previously published data suggest that anesthetic-caused increase in corticosterone levels is required for GABAergic GAs to induce synaptic effects in the form of a long-term increase in the frequency of hippocampal mIPSCs.

  3. Chronic low-level domoic acid exposure alters gene transcription and impairs mitochondrial function in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Hiolski, Emma M; Kendrick, Preston S; Frame, Elizabeth R; Myers, Mark S; Bammler, Theo K; Beyer, Richard P; Farin, Federico M; Wilkerson, Hui-wen; Smith, Donald R; Marcinek, David J; Lefebvre, Kathi A

    2014-01-01

    Domoic acid is an algal-derived seafood toxin that functions as a glutamate agonist and exerts excitotoxicity via overstimulation of glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA) in the central nervous system (CNS). At high (symptomatic) doses, domoic acid is well-known to cause seizures, brain lesions and memory loss; however, a significant knowledge gap exists regarding the health impacts of repeated low-level (asymptomatic) exposure. Here, we investigated the impacts of low-level repetitive domoic acid exposure on gene transcription and mitochondrial function in the vertebrate CNS using a zebrafish model in order to: 1) identify transcriptional biomarkers of exposure; and 2) examine potential pathophysiology that may occur in the absence of overt excitotoxic symptoms. We found that transcription of genes related to neurological function and development were significantly altered, and that asymptomatic exposure impaired mitochondrial function. Interestingly, the transcriptome response was highly-variable across the exposure duration (36 weeks), with little to no overlap of specific genes across the six exposure time points (2, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 weeks). Moreover, there were no apparent similarities at any time point with the gene transcriptome profile exhibited by the glud1 mouse model of chronic moderate excess glutamate release. These results suggest that although the fundamental mechanisms of toxicity may be similar, gene transcriptome responses to domoic acid exposure do not extrapolate well between different exposure durations. However, the observed impairment of mitochondrial function based on respiration rates and mitochondrial protein content suggests that repetitive low-level exposure does have fundamental cellular level impacts that could contribute to chronic health consequences. PMID:25033243

  4. ToF–SIMS imaging of molecular-level alteration mechanisms in Le Bonheur de vivre by Henri Matisse

    PubMed Central

    deGhetaldi, Kristin; Wiggins, Marcie B.; Buckley, Barbara; Baade, Brian; Mass, Jennifer L.; Beebe, Thomas P.

    2016-01-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF–SIMS) has recently been shown to be a valuable tool for cultural heritage studies, especially when used in conjunction with established analytical techniques in the field. The ability of ToF–SIMS to simultaneously image inorganic and organic species within a paint cross section at micrometer-level spatial resolution makes it a uniquely qualified analytical technique to aid in further understanding the processes of pigment and binder alteration, as well as pigment–binder interactions. In this study, ToF–SIMS was used to detect and image both molecular and elemental species related to CdS pigment and binding medium alteration on the painting Le Bonheur de vivre (1905–1906, The Barnes Foundation) by Henri Matisse. Three categories of inorganic and organic components were found throughout Le Bonheur de vivre and co-localized in cross-sectional samples using high spatial resolution ToF–SIMS analysis: (1) species relating to the preparation and photo-induced oxidation of CdS yellow pigments (2) varying amounts of long-chain fatty acids present in both the paint and primary ground layer and (3) specific amino acid fragments, possibly relating to the painting’s complex restoration history. ToF–SIMS’s ability to discern both organic and inorganic species via cross-sectional imaging was used to compare samples collected from Le Bonheur de vivre to artificially aged reference paints in an effort to gather mechanistic information relating to alteration processes that have been previously explored using μXANES, SR-μXRF, SEM–EDX, and SR-FTIR. The relatively high sensitivity offered by ToF–SIMS imaging coupled to the high spatial resolution allowed for the positive identification of degradation products (such as cadmium oxalate) in specific paint regions that have before been unobserved. The imaging of organic materials has provided an insight into the extent of destruction of the original binding medium

  5. ToF-SIMS imaging of molecular-level alteration mechanisms in Le Bonheur de vivre by Henri Matisse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voras, Zachary E.; deGhetaldi, Kristin; Wiggins, Marcie B.; Buckley, Barbara; Baade, Brian; Mass, Jennifer L.; Beebe, Thomas P.

    2015-11-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) has recently been shown to be a valuable tool for cultural heritage studies, especially when used in conjunction with established analytical techniques in the field. The ability of ToF-SIMS to simultaneously image inorganic and organic species within a paint cross section at micrometer-level spatial resolution makes it a uniquely qualified analytical technique to aid in further understanding the processes of pigment and binder alteration, as well as pigment-binder interactions. In this study, ToF-SIMS was used to detect and image both molecular and elemental species related to CdS pigment and binding medium alteration on the painting Le Bonheur de vivre (1905-1906, The Barnes Foundation) by Henri Matisse. Three categories of inorganic and organic components were found throughout Le Bonheur de vivre and co-localized in cross-sectional samples using high spatial resolution ToF-SIMS analysis: (1) species relating to the preparation and photo-induced oxidation of CdS yellow pigments (2) varying amounts of long-chain fatty acids present in both the paint and primary ground layer and (3) specific amino acid fragments, possibly relating to the painting's complex restoration history. ToF-SIMS's ability to discern both organic and inorganic species via cross-sectional imaging was used to compare samples collected from Le Bonheur de vivre to artificially aged reference paints in an effort to gather mechanistic information relating to alteration processes that have been previously explored using μXANES, SR-μXRF, SEM-EDX, and SR-FTIR. The relatively high sensitivity offered by ToF-SIMS imaging coupled to the high spatial resolution allowed for the positive identification of degradation products (such as cadmium oxalate) in specific paint regions that have before been unobserved. The imaging of organic materials has provided an insight into the extent of destruction of the original binding medium, as well as

  6. Maximizing the phylogenetic diversity of seed banks.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Kate E; Balding, Sharon T; Dickie, John B; Lewis, Gwilym P; Pearce, Tim R; Grenyer, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Ex situ conservation efforts such as those of zoos, botanical gardens, and seed banks will form a vital complement to in situ conservation actions over the coming decades. It is therefore necessary to pay the same attention to the biological diversity represented in ex situ conservation facilities as is often paid to protected-area networks. Building the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections will strengthen our capacity to respond to biodiversity loss. Since 2000, the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has banked seed from 14% of the world's plant species. We assessed the taxonomic, geographic, and phylogenetic diversity of the Millennium Seed Bank collection of legumes (Leguminosae). We compared the collection with all known legume genera, their known geographic range (at country and regional levels), and a genus-level phylogeny of the legume family constructed for this study. Over half the phylogenetic diversity of legumes at the genus level was represented in the Millennium Seed Bank. However, pragmatic prioritization of species of economic importance and endangerment has led to the banking of a less-than-optimal phylogenetic diversity and prioritization of range-restricted species risks an underdispersed collection. The current state of the phylogenetic diversity of legumes in the Millennium Seed Bank could be substantially improved through the strategic banking of relatively few additional taxa. Our method draws on tools that are widely applied to in situ conservation planning, and it can be used to evaluate and improve the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections.

  7. Maximizing the phylogenetic diversity of seed banks.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Kate E; Balding, Sharon T; Dickie, John B; Lewis, Gwilym P; Pearce, Tim R; Grenyer, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Ex situ conservation efforts such as those of zoos, botanical gardens, and seed banks will form a vital complement to in situ conservation actions over the coming decades. It is therefore necessary to pay the same attention to the biological diversity represented in ex situ conservation facilities as is often paid to protected-area networks. Building the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections will strengthen our capacity to respond to biodiversity loss. Since 2000, the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has banked seed from 14% of the world's plant species. We assessed the taxonomic, geographic, and phylogenetic diversity of the Millennium Seed Bank collection of legumes (Leguminosae). We compared the collection with all known legume genera, their known geographic range (at country and regional levels), and a genus-level phylogeny of the legume family constructed for this study. Over half the phylogenetic diversity of legumes at the genus level was represented in the Millennium Seed Bank. However, pragmatic prioritization of species of economic importance and endangerment has led to the banking of a less-than-optimal phylogenetic diversity and prioritization of range-restricted species risks an underdispersed collection. The current state of the phylogenetic diversity of legumes in the Millennium Seed Bank could be substantially improved through the strategic banking of relatively few additional taxa. Our method draws on tools that are widely applied to in situ conservation planning, and it can be used to evaluate and improve the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections. PMID:25196170

  8. Projected near-future CO2 levels increase activity and alter defensive behaviours in the tropical squid Idiosepius pygmaeus

    PubMed Central

    Spady, Blake L.; Watson, Sue-Ann; Chase, Tory J.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels projected to occur in the oceans by the end of this century cause a range of behavioural effects in fish, but whether other highly active marine organisms, such as cephalopods, are similarly affected is unknown. We tested the effects of projected future CO2 levels (626 and 956 µatm) on the behaviour of male two-toned pygmy squid, Idiosepius pygmaeus. Exposure to elevated CO2 increased the number of active individuals by 19–25% and increased movement (number of line-crosses) by nearly 3 times compared to squid at present-day CO2. Squid vigilance and defensive behaviours were also altered by elevated CO2 with >80% of individuals choosing jet escape responses over defensive arm postures in response to a visual startle stimulus, compared with 50% choosing jet escape responses at control CO2. In addition, more escape responses were chosen over threat behaviours in body pattern displays at elevated CO2 and individuals were more than twice as likely to use ink as a defence strategy at 956 µatm CO2, compared with controls. Increased activity could lead to adverse effects on energy budgets as well as increasing visibility to predators. A tendency to respond to a stimulus with escape behaviours could increase survival, but may also be energetically costly and could potentially lead to more chases by predators compared with individuals that use defensive postures. These results demonstrate that projected future ocean acidification affects the behaviours of a tropical squid species. PMID:25326517

  9. Environmental enrichment during rearing alters corticosterone levels, thymocyte numbers, and aggression in female BALB/c mice.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Eric K; Avery, Anne C; Vandewoude, Sue

    2012-01-01

    The goal of environmental enrichment for laboratory animals is to improve welfare, but some enrichment practices may affect research in unintended ways or even be harmful to the animals themselves. We previously found that mice raised at a commercial vendor then given multiple enrichment devices upon arrival at our facilities experienced thymic atrophy and greater variation in measured parameters than did their unenriched counterparts, suggesting that enrichment conditions affected corticosteroid expression in mice. The current study verified and expanded these results, examining 120 female BALB/c mice raised with or without nesting material at a commercial vendor (n = 60 per group) and allocated (n = 20 per group) to receive no enrichment, nesting material, or 'superenrichment' on arrival at our facilities. Nesting material provided prior to weaning was associated with higher levels of urinary corticosteroid, whereas superenrichment and nesting material during the adult period both led to increased thymic atrophy. Paradoxically, mice that never received enrichment, despite having the lowest corticosterone levels and least thymic atrophy, had increased tail wounds resulting from aggressive interactions. Therefore, enrichment devices that are as seemingly innocuous as nesting material, even if only provided in the preweaning period, may lead to significant, lasting changes in behavioral, physical, or immunologic measures with the potential to alter research outcomes.

  10. Myriocin, a serine palmitoyltransferase inhibitor, alters regional brain neurotransmitter levels without concurrent inhibition of the brain sphingolipid biosynthesis in mice.

    PubMed

    Osuchowski, Marcin F; Johnson, Victor J; He, Quanren; Sharma, Raghubir P

    2004-02-28

    Myriocin is a specific serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) inhibitor whose effect on the brain is unknown. Brain amine metabolism and sphingolipid biosynthesis were studied in mice treated intraperitoneally with 0, 0.1, 0.3 or 1 mg/kg per day of myriocin for 5 days. Regional concentrations of dopamine (DA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and norepinephrine (NE), were determined. Sphinganine (Sa) and sphingosine (So) concentrations and SPT activity in brain and liver were used to evaluate the impact of myriocin on sphingolipid biosynthesis. Myriocin treatment increased DA in striatum and hippocampus and reduced it in cortex. NE concentration decreased in cerebellum and 5-HT levels were reduced in cortex and in medulla oblongata. Changes in ratios for DOPAC/DA and HVA/DA were observed in hippocampus, cortex and midbrain. Brain Sa, So and SPT activity remained unchanged, whereas Sa and SPT activity decreased in liver. Results showed that myriocin may alter the levels and metabolism of brain amines and this effect is not related with inhibition of sphingolipid biosynthesis in the nervous system. PMID:14700532

  11. Projected near-future CO2 levels increase activity and alter defensive behaviours in the tropical squid Idiosepius pygmaeus.

    PubMed

    Spady, Blake L; Watson, Sue-Ann; Chase, Tory J; Munday, Philip L

    2014-10-17

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels projected to occur in the oceans by the end of this century cause a range of behavioural effects in fish, but whether other highly active marine organisms, such as cephalopods, are similarly affected is unknown. We tested the effects of projected future CO2 levels (626 and 956 µatm) on the behaviour of male two-toned pygmy squid, Idiosepius pygmaeus. Exposure to elevated CO2 increased the number of active individuals by 19-25% and increased movement (number of line-crosses) by nearly 3 times compared to squid at present-day CO2. Squid vigilance and defensive behaviours were also altered by elevated CO2 with >80% of individuals choosing jet escape responses over defensive arm postures in response to a visual startle stimulus, compared with 50% choosing jet escape responses at control CO2. In addition, more escape responses were chosen over threat behaviours in body pattern displays at elevated CO2 and individuals were more than twice as likely to use ink as a defence strategy at 956 µatm CO2, compared with controls. Increased activity could lead to adverse effects on energy budgets as well as increasing visibility to predators. A tendency to respond to a stimulus with escape behaviours could increase survival, but may also be energetically costly and could potentially lead to more chases by predators compared with individuals that use defensive postures. These results demonstrate that projected future ocean acidification affects the behaviours of a tropical squid species.

  12. Alterations in cyclin-dependent protein kinase 5 (CDK5) protein levels, activity and immunocytochemistry in canine motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Green, S L; Vulliet, P R; Pinter, M J; Cork, L C

    1998-11-01

    Hereditary canine spinal muscular atrophy (HCSMA) is a dominantly inherited motor neuron disease in Brittany spaniels that is clinically characterized by progressive muscle weakness leading to paralysis. Histopathologically, degeneration is confined to motor neurons with accumulation of phosphorylated neurofilaments in axonal internodes. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5), a kinase related to the cell cycle kinase cdc2, phosphorylates neurofilaments and regulates neurofilament dynamics. We examined CDK5 activity, protein levels, and cellular immunoreactivity in nervous tissue from dogs with HCSMA, from closely age-matched controls and from dogs with other neurological diseases. On immunoblot analysis, CDK5 protein levels were increased in the HCSMA dogs (by approximately 1.5-fold in both the cytosolic and the particulate fractions). CDK5 activity was significantly increased (by approximately 3-fold) in the particulate fractions in the HCSMA dogs compared to all controls. The finding that CDK5 activity was increased in the young HCSMA homozygotes with the accelerated form of the disease, who do not show axonal swellings histologically, suggests that alterations in CDK5 occurs early in the pathogenesis, prior to the development of significant neurofilament pathology. Immunocytochemically, there was strong CDK5 staining of the nuclei, cytoplasm and axonal processes of the motor neurons in both control dogs and dogs with HCSMA. Further immunocytochemical studies demonstrated CDK5 staining where neurofilaments accumulated, in axonal swellings in the dogs with HCSMA. Our observations suggest phosphorylation-dependent events mediated by CDK5 occur in canine motor neuron disease.

  13. Diet-induced obesity alters behavior as well as serum levels of corticosterone in F344 rats.

    PubMed

    Buchenauer, T; Behrendt, P; Bode, F J; Horn, R; Brabant, G; Stephan, M; Nave, H

    2009-12-01

    Obesity is an increasing socio-economic health problem. Diet-induced obese (DIO) rodents are widely used as a model of obesity in humans. However, there is no comprehensive data about the behavioral phenotype of DIO rodents. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine whether a high-fat-diet changes behavioral patterns of DIO Fischer 344 (F344) rats in comparison with lean littermates. The behavioral tests (homecage, holeboard, social interaction, and hotplate) were performed in 28 normal-weight and 28 male DIO F344 rats (mean age: 16 weeks) and revealed a significantly higher level of anxiety- and aggression-related parameters in obese rats, whereas their pain threshold was significantly lower. Fitting to a different behavioral response, basal corticosterone levels (measured by RIA) of obese animals were significantly elevated (16.0ng/ml vs. 12.5ng/ml; p<0.01). We conclude that obese rats differ in various aspects from their lean littermates. The altered behavioral characteristics displayed by DIO F344 rats have to be considered in further experiments involving DIO rodents. PMID:19751751

  14. Alteration of cardiovascular autonomic functions by vegetarian diets in postmenopausal women is related to LDL cholesterol levels.

    PubMed

    Fu, Chin-Hua; Yang, Cheryl C H; Lin, Chin-Lon; Kuo, Terry B J

    2008-04-30

    This study was designed to test the hypothesis that alteration of cardiovascular autonomic functions by vegetarian diets in healthy postmenopausal women is related to lipid metabolism. A total of 70 healthy postmenopausal women not on hormone therapy participated in this study: 35 were vegetarians (mean age 55.0 years) and 35 were omnivores (mean age 55.1 years). Cardiovascular autonomic functions and baroreflex sensitivity were evaluated by specific frequency-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and arterial blood pressure fluctuation. The vegetarians had statistically significant lowered blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglyceride, and fasting glucose levels compared with the omnivores. The vegetarians exhibited a significant higher total power, low-frequency (LF; 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high-frequency (HF; 0.15-0.4 Hz) of HRV and increased baroreflex sensitivity measures [Brr(LF) and Brr(HF)] compared with the omnivores. Total power, LF and HF of HRV, Brr(LF), and Brr(HF) were significantly and negatively correlated with LDL-cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.01). We concluded that the increases of cardiac vagal activity and baroreflex sensitivity by vegetarian diets in postmenopausal women are inversely related to LDL-cholesterol levels.

  15. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    DOE PAGES

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-02-22

    The use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, but their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the truemore » transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. Moreover, we confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results.« less

  16. The phylogenetic likelihood library.

    PubMed

    Flouri, T; Izquierdo-Carrasco, F; Darriba, D; Aberer, A J; Nguyen, L-T; Minh, B Q; Von Haeseler, A; Stamatakis, A

    2015-03-01

    We introduce the Phylogenetic Likelihood Library (PLL), a highly optimized application programming interface for developing likelihood-based phylogenetic inference and postanalysis software. The PLL implements appropriate data structures and functions that allow users to quickly implement common, error-prone, and labor-intensive tasks, such as likelihood calculations, model parameter as well as branch length optimization, and tree space exploration. The highly optimized and parallelized implementation of the phylogenetic likelihood function and a thorough documentation provide a framework for rapid development of scalable parallel phylogenetic software. By example of two likelihood-based phylogenetic codes we show that the PLL improves the sequential performance of current software by a factor of 2-10 while requiring only 1 month of programming time for integration. We show that, when numerical scaling for preventing floating point underflow is enabled, the double precision likelihood calculations in the PLL are up to 1.9 times faster than those in BEAGLE. On an empirical DNA dataset with 2000 taxa the AVX version of PLL is 4 times faster than BEAGLE (scaling enabled and required). The PLL is available at http://www.libpll.org under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

  17. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage.

    PubMed

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    Although the use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals' HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. We confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results. PMID:26903617

  18. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Although the use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. We confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results. PMID:26903617

  19. Phylogenetic analysis of trophic associations.

    PubMed

    Ives, A R; Godfray, H C J

    2006-07-01

    Ecologists frequently collect data on the patterns of association between adjacent trophic levels in the form of binary or quantitative food webs. Here, we develop statistical methods to estimate the roles of consumer and resource phylogenies in explaining patterns of consumer-resource association. We use these methods to ask whether closely related consumer species are more likely to attack the same resource species and whether closely related resource species are more likely to be attacked by the same consumer species. We then show how to use estimates of phylogenetic signals to predict novel consumer-resource associations solely from the phylogenetic position of species for which no other (or only partial) data are available. Finally, we show how to combine phylogenetic information with information about species' ecological characteristics and life-history traits to estimate the effects of species traits on consumer-resource associations while accounting for phylogenies. We illustrate these techniques using a food web comprising species of parasitoids, leaf-mining moths, and their host plants.

  20. Alterations in the cholinesterase and adenosine deaminase activities and inflammation biomarker levels in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Polachini, C R N; Spanevello, R M; Casali, E A; Zanini, D; Pereira, L B; Martins, C C; Baldissareli, J; Cardoso, A M; Duarte, M F; da Costa, P; Prado, A L C; Schetinger, M R C; Morsch, V M

    2014-04-25

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the main chronic inflammatory diseases of the CNS that cause functional disability in young adults. It has unknown etiology characterized by the infiltration of lymphocytes and macrophages into the brain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in lymphocytes and whole blood, as well as butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) activities in serum. We also checked the levels of nucleotides, nucleosides, biomarkers of inflammation such as cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and IL-10) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in serum from 29 patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS (RRMS) and 29 healthy subjects as the control group. Results showed that AChE in lymphocytes and whole blood as well as BChE, and ADA activities in serum were significantly increased in RRMS patients when compared to the control group (P<0.05). In addition, we observed a decrease in ATP levels and a significant increase in the levels of ADP, AMP, adenosine and inosine in serum from RRMS patients in relation to the healthy subjects (P<0.05). Results also demonstrated an increase in the IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6 and CRP (P<0.05) and a significant decrease in the IL-10 (P<0.0001) in RRMS patients when compared to control. Our results suggest that alterations in the biomarkers of inflammation and hydrolysis of nucleotides and nucleosides may contribute to the understanding of the neurological dysfunction of RRMS patients.

  1. Neonatal Pain-Related Stress and NFKBIA Genotype Are Associated with Altered Cortisol Levels in Preterm Boys at School Age

    PubMed Central

    Grunau, Ruth E.; Cepeda, Ivan L.; Chau, Cecil M. Y.; Brummelte, Susanne; Weinberg, Joanne; Lavoie, Pascal M.; Ladd, Mihoko; Hirschfeld, Aaron F.; Russell, Evan; Koren, Gideon; Van Uum, Stan; Brant, Rollin; Turvey, Stuart E.

    2013-01-01

    Neonatal pain-related stress is associated with elevated salivary cortisol levels to age 18 months in children born very preterm, compared to full-term, suggesting early programming effects. Importantly, interactions between immune/inflammatory and neuroendocrine systems may underlie programming effects. We examined whether cortisol changes persist to school age, and if common genetic variants in the promoter region of the NFKBIA gene involved in regulation of immune and inflammatory responses, modify the association between early experience and later life stress as indexed by hair cortisol levels, which provide an integrated index of endogenous HPA axis activity. Cortisol was assayed in hair samples from 128 children (83 born preterm ≤32 weeks gestation and 45 born full-term) without major sensory, motor or cognitive impairments at age 7 years. We found that hair cortisol levels were lower in preterm compared to term-born children. Downregulation of the HPA axis in preterm children without major impairment, seen years after neonatal stress terminated, suggests persistent alteration of stress system programming. Importantly, the etiology was gender-specific such that in preterm boys but not girls, specifically those with the minor allele for NFKBIA rs2233409, lower hair cortisol was associated with greater neonatal pain (number of skin-breaking procedures from birth to term), independent of medical confounders. Moreover, the minor allele (CT or TT) of NFKBIA rs2233409 was associated with higher secretion of inflammatory cytokines, supporting the hypothesis that neonatal pain-related stress may act as a proinflammatory stimulus that induces long-term immune cell activation. These findings are the first evidence that a long-term association between early pain-related stress and cortisol may be mediated by a genetic variants that regulate the activity of NF-κB, suggesting possible involvement of stress/inflammatory mechanisms in HPA programming in boys born very

  2. Biochemical and structural characterizations of two Dictyostelium cellobiohydrolases from the amoebozoa kingdom reveal a high level of conservation between distant phylogenetic trees of life

    DOE PAGES

    Hobdey, Sarah E.; Knott, Brandon C.; Momeni, Majid Haddad; Taylor, II, Larry E.; Borisova, Anna S.; Podkaminer, Kara K.; VanderWall, Todd A.; Himmel, Michael E.; Decker, Stephen R.; Beckham, Gregg T.; et al

    2016-04-01

    Glycoside hydrolase family 7 (GH7) cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) are enzymes often employed in plant cell wall degradation across eukaryotic kingdoms of life, as they provide significant hydrolytic potential in cellulose turnover. To date, many fungal GH7 CBHs have been examined, yet many questions regarding structure-activity relationships in these important natural and commercial enzymes remain. Here, we present the crystal structures and a biochemical analysis of two GH7 CBHs from social amoeba: Dictyostelium discoideum Cel7A (DdiCel7A) and Dictyostelium purpureum Cel7A (DpuCel7A). DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A natively consist of a catalytic domain and do not exhibit a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM). The structures of DdiCel7Amore » and DpuCel7A, resolved to 2.1 Å and 2.7 Å, respectively, are homologous to those of other GH7 CBHs with an enclosed active-site tunnel. Two primary differences between the Dictyostelium CBHs and the archetypal model GH7 CBH, Trichoderma reesei Cel7A (TreCel7A), occur near the hydrolytic active site and the product-binding sites. To compare the activities of these enzymes with the activity of TreCel7A, the family 1 TreCel7A CBM and linker were added to the C terminus of each of the Dictyostelium enzymes, creating DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM, which were recombinantly expressed in T. reesei. DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM hydrolyzed Avicel, pretreated corn stover, and phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose as efficiently as TreCel7A when hydrolysis was compared at their temperature optima. The Ki of cellobiose was significantly higher for DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM than for TreCel7A: 205, 130, and 29 μM, respectively. Finally, taken together, the present study highlights the remarkable degree of conservation of the activity of these key natural and industrial enzymes across quite distant phylogenetic trees of life.« less

  3. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in response to experimental nitrogen and carbon dioxide additions.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Rebecca C; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2015-09-01

    Global N inputs and atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased as a result of human activities, and are predicted to increase along with population growth, with potentially negative effects on biodiversity. Using taxonomic and phylogenetic measures, we examined the response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to experimental manipulations of N and CO2 at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment. No significant interactions between N and CO2 were observed, but individual effects of N and CO2 were found. Elevated CO2 resulted in changes in phylogenetic similarity, and a shift to phylogenetic clustering of AMF communities. N addition resulted in higher phylogenetic diversity and evenness, with no shifts in community composition and no significant signal for phylogenetic clustering. N addition resulted in an increase in both available N and the N:P ratio in N-amended plots, which suggests that changing patterns of nutrient limitation could have lead to altered species interactions. These findings suggest that elevated levels of N and CO2 altered patterns of AMF community assembly, with potential effects on ecosystem function. PMID:25990297

  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Enriched Chevon (Goat Meat) Lowers Plasma Cholesterol Levels and Alters Gene Expressions in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Rajion, Mohamed Ali; Meng, Goh Yong; Soleimani Farjam, Abdoreza

    2014-01-01

    In this study, control chevon (goat meat) and omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon were obtained from goats fed a 50% oil palm frond diet and commercial goat concentrate for 100 days, respectively. Goats fed the 50% oil palm frond diet contained high amounts of α-linolenic acid (ALA) in their meat compared to goats fed the control diet. The chevon was then used to prepare two types of pellets (control or enriched chevon) that were then fed to twenty-male-four-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10 in each group) for 12 weeks to evaluate their effects on plasma cholesterol levels, tissue fatty acids, and gene expression. There was a significant increase in ALA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the muscle tissues and liver of the rats fed the enriched chevon compared with the control group. Plasma cholesterol also decreased (P < 0.05) in rats fed the enriched chevon compared to the control group. The rat pellets containing enriched chevon significantly upregulated the key transcription factor PPAR-γ and downregulated SREBP-1c expression relative to the control group. The results showed that the omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon increased the omega-3 fatty acids in the rat tissues and altered PPAR-γ and SREBP-1c genes expression. PMID:24719886

  5. Omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon (goat meat) lowers plasma cholesterol levels and alters gene expressions in rats.

    PubMed

    Ebrahimi, Mahdi; Rajion, Mohamed Ali; Meng, Goh Yong; Soleimani Farjam, Abdoreza

    2014-01-01

    In this study, control chevon (goat meat) and omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon were obtained from goats fed a 50% oil palm frond diet and commercial goat concentrate for 100 days, respectively. Goats fed the 50% oil palm frond diet contained high amounts of α-linolenic acid (ALA) in their meat compared to goats fed the control diet. The chevon was then used to prepare two types of pellets (control or enriched chevon) that were then fed to twenty-male-four-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10 in each group) for 12 weeks to evaluate their effects on plasma cholesterol levels, tissue fatty acids, and gene expression. There was a significant increase in ALA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the muscle tissues and liver of the rats fed the enriched chevon compared with the control group. Plasma cholesterol also decreased (P < 0.05) in rats fed the enriched chevon compared to the control group. The rat pellets containing enriched chevon significantly upregulated the key transcription factor PPAR-γ and downregulated SREBP-1c expression relative to the control group. The results showed that the omega-3 fatty acid enriched chevon increased the omega-3 fatty acids in the rat tissues and altered PPAR-γ and SREBP-1c genes expression.

  6. Inhibition of epithelial cell adhesion by retinoic acid. Relationship to reduced extracellular matrix production and alterations in Ca2+ levels.

    PubMed Central

    Varani, J.; Gibbs, D. F.; Inman, D. R.; Shah, B.; Fligiel, S. E.; Voorhees, J. J.

    1991-01-01

    Human squamous epithelial cells maintained in growth factor-deficient medium were examined for sensitivity to all-trans retinoic acid (retinoic acid). Under conditions of low external Ca2+ (0.15 mmol/l [millimolar]), or high external Ca2+ (1.4 mmol/l), retinoic acid stimulated proliferation. Concomitantly, cell-substrate adhesion was decreased. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to assess production of two extracellular matrix components, ie, fibronectin and thrombospondin. In the presence of retinoic acid, production of both was decreased. Because both fibronectin and thrombospondin serve as epithelial cell adhesion factors, the decreased production of these moieties could contribute to reduced adhesion. Using 45Ca2+ to measure total cell-associated Ca2+ and the Ca2(+)-sensitive dye Indo-1 to measure intracellular free Ca2+, it was found that concentrations of retinoic acid that altered cell-substrate adhesion in the squamous epithelial cells had no effect on total, cell-associated Ca2+, but reduced intracellular free Ca2+ by 50% to 60%. Because Ca2+ is a regulator of adhesion, the ability of retinoic acid to modulate Ca2+ levels in the squamous epithelial cells may explain, in part, how retinoic acid influences their adhesiveness. Images Figure 1 PMID:2012176

  7. Effects of a low-level semiconductor gallium arsenide laser on local pathological alterations induced by Bothrops moojeni snake venom.

    PubMed

    Aranha de Sousa, Elziliam; Bittencourt, José Adolfo Homobono Machado; Seabra de Oliveira, Nayana Keyla; Correia Henriques, Shayanne Vanessa; dos Santos Picanço, Leide Caroline; Lobato, Camila Pena; Ribeiro, José Renato; Pereira, Washington Luiz Assunção; Carvalho, José Carlos Tavares; da Silva, Jocivânia Oliveira

    2013-10-01

    Antivenom therapy has been ineffective in neutralizing the tissue damage caused by snakebites. Among therapeutic strategies to minimize effects after envenoming, it was hypothesized that a low level laser would reduce complications and reduce the severity of local snake venom effects. In the current study, the effect of a low-level semiconductor gallium arsenide (GaAs) laser on the local pathological alterations induced by B. moojeni snake venom was investigated. The experimental groups consisted of five male mice, each administered either B. moojeni venom (VB), B. moojeni venom + antivenom (VAV), B. moojeni venom + laser (VL), B. moojeni venom + antivenom + laser (VAVL), or sterile saline solution (SSS) alone. Paw oedema was induced by intradermal administration of 0.05 mg kg(-1) of B. moojeni venom and was expressed in mm of directly induced oedema. Mice received by subcutaneous route 0.20 mg kg(-1) of venom for evaluating nociceptive activity and the time (in seconds) spent in licking and biting the injected paw was taken as an indicator of pain response. Inflammatory infiltration was determined by counting the number of leukocytes present in the gastrocnemius muscle after venom injection (0.10 mg kg(-1)). For histological examination of myonecrosis, venom (0.10 mg kg(-1)) was administered intramuscularly. The site of venom injection was irradiated by the GaAs laser and some animals received antivenom intraperitoneally. The results indicated that GaAs laser irradiation can help in reducing some local effects produced by the B. moojeni venom in mice, stimulating phagocytosis, proliferation of myoblasts and the regeneration of muscle fibers.

  8. Phylogenetic character mapping of proteomic diversity shows high correlation with subspecific phylogenetic diversity in Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Telleria, Jenny; Biron, David G.; Brizard, Jean-Paul; Demettre, Edith; Séveno, Martial; Barnabé, Christian; Ayala, Francisco J.; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2010-01-01

    We performed a phylogenetic character mapping on 26 stocks of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, and 2 stocks of the sister taxon T. cruzi marinkellei to test for possible associations between T. cruzi–subspecific phylogenetic diversity and levels of protein expression, as examined by proteomic analysis and mass spectrometry. We observed a high level of correlation (P < 10−4) between genetic distance, as established by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, and proteomic dissimilarities estimated by proteomic Euclidian distances. Several proteins were found to be specifically associated to T. cruzi phylogenetic subdivisions (discrete typing units). This study explores the previously uncharacterized links between infraspecific phylogenetic diversity and gene expression in a human pathogen. It opens the way to searching for new vaccine and drug targets and for identification of specific biomarkers at the subspecific level of pathogens. PMID:21059959

  9. Change in Auxin and Cytokinin Levels Coincides with Altered Expression of Branching Genes during Axillary Bud Outgrowth in Chrysanthemum

    PubMed Central

    Dierck, Robrecht; De Keyser, Ellen; De Riek, Jan; Dhooghe, Emmy; Van Huylenbroeck, Johan; Prinsen, Els; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    In the production and breeding of Chrysanthemum sp., shoot branching is an important quality aspect as the outgrowth of axillary buds determines the final plant shape. Bud outgrowth is mainly controlled by apical dominance and the crosstalk between the plant hormones auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone. In this work the hormonal and genetic regulation of axillary bud outgrowth was studied in two differently branching cut flower Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat) genotypes. C17 is a split-type which forms an inflorescence meristem after a certain vegetative period, while C18 remains vegetative under long day conditions. Plant growth of both genotypes was monitored during 5 subsequent weeks starting one week before flower initiation occurred in C17. Axillary bud outgrowth was measured weekly and samples of shoot apex, stem and axillary buds were taken during the first two weeks. We combined auxin and cytokinin measurements by UPLC-MS/MS with RT-qPCR expression analysis of genes involved in shoot branching regulation pathways in chrysanthemum. These included bud development genes (CmBRC1, CmDRM1, CmSTM, CmLsL), auxin pathway genes (CmPIN1, CmTIR3, CmTIR1, CmAXR1, CmAXR6, CmAXR2, CmIAA16, CmIAA12), cytokinin pathway genes (CmIPT3, CmHK3, CmRR1) and strigolactone genes (CmMAX1 and CmMAX2). Genotype C17 showed a release from apical dominance after floral transition coinciding with decreased auxin and increased cytokinin levels in the subapical axillary buds. As opposed to C17, C18 maintained strong apical dominance with vegetative growth throughout the experiment. Here high auxin levels and decreasing cytokinin levels in axillary buds and stem were measured. A differential expression of several branching genes accompanied the different hormonal change and bud outgrowth in C17 and C18. This was clear for the strigolactone biosynthesis gene CmMAX1, the transcription factor CmBRC1 and the dormancy associated gene CmDRM1, that all showed a decreased expression in C17 at floral

  10. Change in Auxin and Cytokinin Levels Coincides with Altered Expression of Branching Genes during Axillary Bud Outgrowth in Chrysanthemum.

    PubMed

    Dierck, Robrecht; De Keyser, Ellen; De Riek, Jan; Dhooghe, Emmy; Van Huylenbroeck, Johan; Prinsen, Els; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    In the production and breeding of Chrysanthemum sp., shoot branching is an important quality aspect as the outgrowth of axillary buds determines the final plant shape. Bud outgrowth is mainly controlled by apical dominance and the crosstalk between the plant hormones auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone. In this work the hormonal and genetic regulation of axillary bud outgrowth was studied in two differently branching cut flower Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat) genotypes. C17 is a split-type which forms an inflorescence meristem after a certain vegetative period, while C18 remains vegetative under long day conditions. Plant growth of both genotypes was monitored during 5 subsequent weeks starting one week before flower initiation occurred in C17. Axillary bud outgrowth was measured weekly and samples of shoot apex, stem and axillary buds were taken during the first two weeks. We combined auxin and cytokinin measurements by UPLC-MS/MS with RT-qPCR expression analysis of genes involved in shoot branching regulation pathways in chrysanthemum. These included bud development genes (CmBRC1, CmDRM1, CmSTM, CmLsL), auxin pathway genes (CmPIN1, CmTIR3, CmTIR1, CmAXR1, CmAXR6, CmAXR2, CmIAA16, CmIAA12), cytokinin pathway genes (CmIPT3, CmHK3, CmRR1) and strigolactone genes (CmMAX1 and CmMAX2). Genotype C17 showed a release from apical dominance after floral transition coinciding with decreased auxin and increased cytokinin levels in the subapical axillary buds. As opposed to C17, C18 maintained strong apical dominance with vegetative growth throughout the experiment. Here high auxin levels and decreasing cytokinin levels in axillary buds and stem were measured. A differential expression of several branching genes accompanied the different hormonal change and bud outgrowth in C17 and C18. This was clear for the strigolactone biosynthesis gene CmMAX1, the transcription factor CmBRC1 and the dormancy associated gene CmDRM1, that all showed a decreased expression in C17 at floral

  11. Night work is associated with glycemic levels and anthropometric alterations preceding diabetes: Baseline results from ELSA-Brasil.

    PubMed

    Silva-Costa, Aline; Rotenberg, Lucia; Coeli, Claudia Medina; Nobre, Aline Araújo; Griep, Rosane Härter

    2016-01-01

    Night work has been suggested as a risk factor for diabetes. Individuals with high triglyceride levels, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol and obesity, especially abdominal obesity, have a greater chance of developing diabetes. The aim of this study was to analyze glycemic levels, total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, triglycerides and the anthropometric alterations that precede diabetes, considering their possible association with nigh work among a non-diabetic population. Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) comprises of 15,105 civil servants (35-74 years old) at baseline (2008-2010). The following parameters were analyzed: serum cholesterol (total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C), triglycerides and glucose drawn from 12-hour fasting blood sample, glycated hemoglobin and 2-hour plasma glucose obtained after a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, BMI, hip and waist measurements using standard equipment and techniques. Participants with diabetes, retired workers and day workers with previous experience of night work were excluded. Generalized linear models, a gamma regression model with an identity link function, were performed to test the association of night work with metabolic and anthropometric variables. The study sample consisted of 3918 men and 4935 women; 305 (7.8%) and 379 (7.7%) of the participants were men and women who worked at night, respectively. Among the men, the exposure to night work was associated with an increase in BMI (b-value = 0.542; p = 0.032) and waist circumference (b-value = 1.66; p = 0.014). For women, increased fasting plasma glucose (b-value = 2.278; p < 0.001), glycated hemoglobin (b-value = 0.099, p < 0.001) and 2 hour plasma glucose (b-value = 5.479, p = 0.001) were associated with night work after adjustments. No significant associations between night work and triglycerides, LDL-C, HDL-C, total cholesterol levels or waist-hip ratio were found. The influences of night work on metabolic and anthropometric factors

  12. Night work is associated with glycemic levels and anthropometric alterations preceding diabetes: Baseline results from ELSA-Brasil.

    PubMed

    Silva-Costa, Aline; Rotenberg, Lucia; Coeli, Claudia Medina; Nobre, Aline Araújo; Griep, Rosane Härter

    2016-01-01

    Night work has been suggested as a risk factor for diabetes. Individuals with high triglyceride levels, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol and obesity, especially abdominal obesity, have a greater chance of developing diabetes. The aim of this study was to analyze glycemic levels, total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, triglycerides and the anthropometric alterations that precede diabetes, considering their possible association with nigh work among a non-diabetic population. Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) comprises of 15,105 civil servants (35-74 years old) at baseline (2008-2010). The following parameters were analyzed: serum cholesterol (total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C), triglycerides and glucose drawn from 12-hour fasting blood sample, glycated hemoglobin and 2-hour plasma glucose obtained after a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, BMI, hip and waist measurements using standard equipment and techniques. Participants with diabetes, retired workers and day workers with previous experience of night work were excluded. Generalized linear models, a gamma regression model with an identity link function, were performed to test the association of night work with metabolic and anthropometric variables. The study sample consisted of 3918 men and 4935 women; 305 (7.8%) and 379 (7.7%) of the participants were men and women who worked at night, respectively. Among the men, the exposure to night work was associated with an increase in BMI (b-value = 0.542; p = 0.032) and waist circumference (b-value = 1.66; p = 0.014). For women, increased fasting plasma glucose (b-value = 2.278; p < 0.001), glycated hemoglobin (b-value = 0.099, p < 0.001) and 2 hour plasma glucose (b-value = 5.479, p = 0.001) were associated with night work after adjustments. No significant associations between night work and triglycerides, LDL-C, HDL-C, total cholesterol levels or waist-hip ratio were found. The influences of night work on metabolic and anthropometric factors

  13. The role of natural glasses as analogues in projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses: Part 1

    SciTech Connect

    Mazer, J.J.

    1993-12-31

    The common observation of glasses persisting in natural environments for long periods of time (up to tens of millions of years) provides compelling evidence that these materials can be kinetically stable in a variety of subsurface environments. This paper reviews how natural and historical synthesized glasses can be employed as natural analogues for understanding and projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses. The corrosion of basaltic glass results in many of the same alteration features found in laboratory testing of the corrosion of high-level radioactive waste glasses. Evidence has also been found indicating similarities in the rate controlling processes, such as the effects of silica concentration on corrosion in groundwater and in laboratory leachates. Naturally altered rhyolitic glasses and tektites provide additional evidence that can be used to constrain estimates of long-term waste glass alteration. When reacted under conditions where water is plentiful, the corrosion for these glasses is dominated by network hydrolysis, while the corrosion is dominated by molecular water diffusion and secondary mineral formation under conditions where water contact is intermittent or where water is relatively scarce. Synthesized glasses that have been naturally altered result in alkali-depleted alteration features that are similar to those found for natural glasses and for nuclear waste glasses. The characteristics of these alteration features appear to be dependent on the alteration conditions which affect the dominant reaction processes during weathering. In all cases, care must be taken to ensure that the information being provided by natural analogues is related to nuclear waste glass corrosion in a clear and meaningful way.

  14. Altered mTOR signaling and enhanced CYFIP2 expression levels in subjects with fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hoeffer, C A; Sanchez, E; Hagerman, R J; Mu, Y; Nguyen, D V; Wong, H; Whelan, A M; Zukin, R S; Klann, E; Tassone, F

    2012-04-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability and autism. The protein (FMRP) encoded by the fragile X mental retardation gene (FMR1), is an RNA-binding protein linked to translational control. Recently, in the Fmr1 knockout mouse model of FXS, dysregulated translation initiation signaling was observed. To investigate whether an altered signaling was also a feature of subjects with FXS compared to typical developing controls, we isolated total RNA and translational control proteins from lymphocytes of subjects from both groups (38 FXS and 14 TD). Although we did not observe any difference in the expression level of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) for translational initiation control proteins isolated from participant with FXS, we found increased phosphorylation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) substrate, p70 ribosomal subunit 6 kinase1 (S6K1) and of the mTOR regulator, the serine/threonine protein kinase (Akt), in their protein lysates. In addition, we observed increased phosphorylation of the cap binding protein eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) suggesting that protein synthesis is upregulated in FXS. Similar to the findings in lymphocytes, we observed increased phosphorylation of S6K1 in brain tissue from patients with FXS (n = 4) compared to normal age-matched controls (n = 4). Finally, we detected increased expression of the cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting protein 2 (CYFIP2), a known FMRP interactor. This data verify and extend previous findings using lymphocytes for studies of neuropsychiatric disorders and provide evidence that misregulation of mTOR signaling observed in the FXS mouse model also occurs in human FXS and may provide useful biomarkers for designing targeted treatments in FXS.

  15. Rats selectively bred for low levels of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations exhibit alterations in early social motivation.

    PubMed

    Harmon, K M; Cromwell, H C; Burgdorf, J; Moskal, J R; Brudzynski, S M; Kroes, R A; Panksepp, J

    2008-05-01

    In rats, the rates of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) can be used as a selective breeding phenotype and variations in this phenotype can be an indicator of affective states. The 50 kHz USV is elicited by rewarding stimuli (e.g., food, sexual behavior) and therefore can express a positive affective state. Conversely, the 22 kHz USV is elicited by aversive stimuli (e.g., presence of a predator, social defeat) indicating a negative affective state. In the present study, we tested the effect of selectively breeding for 50 kHz USVs on a variety of maternal social/emotional behaviors in young rat pups (PND 10-12). These measures consisted of an assessment of isolation calls and conditioned odor preference paradigm. Results indicate that animals selected for low levels of 50 kHz USVs show the greatest alterations in social behaviors compared to the control animals. The low line animals had an increase in isolation calls tested during place preference conditioning and a decrease in 50 kHz ultrasonic calls in all conditions. These same low line animals failed to show a typical preference for a maternally-associated odor during the place preference test. The different social behaviors of the high line animals did not consistently vary from those of the control group. These results have important implications for the study of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying emotional states, and possibly contribute to the research underlying the emotional changes in developmental disorders such as autistic spectrum disorder by providing a novel animal model that displays communication deficits that are interdependent with significant social behavioral impairments. PMID:18393285

  16. Altered serum levels of the osteoclast-specific TRACP 5b isoform in Chinese children undergoing orthodontic treatment.

    PubMed

    Tang, Stephanie J; Meikle, Murray C; MacLaine, James K; Wong, Ricky W K; Rabie, Bakr M

    2013-04-01

    Orthodontic tooth movement is dependent upon the ability of mechanical forces to induce remodelling activity within the tooth-supporting alveolar bone. In view of the importance of bone resorption in mediating tooth movement, the aim of this study was to establish if alterations in the osteoclast-specific bone marker tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP) 5b could be detected in the sera of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. The sample consisted of 14 subjects (10 girls and 4 boys) aged 10.5-16.5 years (mean 12.6 years) being treated with fixed appliances and a distalizing headgear. Venous blood samples (3 ml) were collected from the cubital vein pre-treatment (T0) and 2, 4, and 6 months into treatment (T1-T3); serum TRACP 5b levels were quantified using a solid-phase immunofixed enzyme activity assay. When the data were pooled and treated cross-sectionally, a significant increase in immunoreactive TRACP 5b was detected at 2 months (T1) indicating increased bone resorptive activity. However, when the serum profiles of individual patients were recorded longitudinally, a very different pattern emerged, not all patients following the same trend. This is not surprising given normal anatomical variation and differences between the patients in age, gender, and mechanotherapy. Designed as a pilot to demonstrate 'proof of principle', this study is the first to show that the TRACP 5b isoform can be detected in the sera of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. It further suggests that serum bone marker measurements offer a simple and minimally invasive method for correlating the findings of laboratory and animal experimentation with clinical data.

  17. Effect of the supplementation of dietary rich phytoestrogens in altering the vitamin D levels in diet induced osteoporotic rat model.

    PubMed

    Chennaiah, S; Vijayalakshmi, V; Suresh, C

    2010-07-01

    Plant-derived estrogen-like compounds such as isoflavones (IF) especially daidzein and genistein are said to be preserving the bone in the osteoporotic conditions. However, it is not known whether a combination of IF and calcium (Ca) supplementation attenuates losses in bone mass and prevents the loss of vitamin D (VD). The present study addresses the role of phytoestrogens (PE) and Ca supplementation in low Ca and low VD diet induced osteoporosis (OSP). Cowpea (CP) which has high amount of the IF was selected to study its effect on diet induced osteoporotic conditions. Female weanling WNIN rats (total of 68) were divided into five groups and fed for five weeks on semisynthetic diet with low Ca (0.15%) and low VD (0.1IU/day/rat) in combination with low (10 mg/kg) or high (25 mg/kg) concentrations of PEs derived from CPIF. The study groups are: (I) normal Ca(0.47%) and normal VD (25IU/day/rat), (II) low Ca+low VD, (III) low Ca+low VD+low CPIF (10 mg/kg diet), (IV) low Ca+low VD+high CPIF (25 mg/kg diet) and (V) low Ca+low VD+17-(-estradiol (3.2 mg/kg diet). After the development of OSP the group II was subgrouped into: (SG I) continued on low Ca+VD, (SG II) low CPIF, (SG III) high CPIF, (SG IV) 17-beta-estradiol and (SG V) normal Ca and VD. Serum 25-VD levels were in the range of 14-38 ng/ml in groups I, III, IV and V, where as the values were very low in the group II (5.8 ng/ml). These were partially reversed upon supplementation of CPIF. The results correlated with altered Ca levels, body weight, bone mineral density and content and other related biochemical parameters. The paper further explains the possibility of protective and therapeutic role of VD in the presence of CPIF in osteoporotic health manifestations. PMID:20362669

  18. TRAMP prostate tumor growth is slowed by walnut diets through altered IGF-1 levels, energy pathways, and cholesterol metabolism.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyunsook; Yokoyama, Wallace; Davis, Paul Andrew

    2014-12-01

    Dietary changes could potentially reduce prostate cancer morbidity and mortality. Transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) prostate tumor responses to a 100 g of fat/kg diet (whole walnuts, walnut oil, and other oils; balanced for macronutrients, tocopherols [α-and γ]) for 18 weeks ad libitum were assessed. TRAMP mice (n=17 per group) were fed diets with 100 g fat from either whole walnuts (diet group WW), walnut-like fat (diet group WLF, oils blended to match walnut's fatty acid profile), or as walnut oil (diet group WO, pressed from the same walnuts as WW). Fasted plasma glucose was from tail vein blood, blood was obtained by cardiac puncture, and plasma stored frozen until analysis. Prostate (genitourinary intact [GUI]) was weighed and stored frozen at -80°C. Plasma triglyceride, lipoprotein cholesterol, plasma multianalyte levels (Myriad RBM Rat Metabolic MAP), prostate (GUI), tissue metabolites (Metabolon, Inc., Durham, NC, USA), and mRNA (by Illumina NGS) were determined. The prostate tumor size, plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), high density lipoprotein, and total cholesterol all decreased significantly (P<.05) in both WW and WO compared to WLF. Both WW and WO versus WLF showed increased insulin sensitivity (Homeostasis Model Assessment [HOMA]), and tissue metabolomics found reduced glucose-6-phosphate, succinylcarnitine, and 4-hydroxybutyrate in these groups suggesting effects on cellular energy status. Tissue mRNA levels also showed changes suggestive of altered glucose metabolism with WW and WO diet groups having increased PCK1 and CIDEC mRNA expression, known for their roles in gluconeogenesis and increased insulin sensitivity, respectively. WW and WO group tissues also had increased MSMB mRNa a tumor suppressor and decreased COX-2 mRNA, both reported to inhibit prostate tumor growth. Walnuts reduced prostate tumor growth by affecting energy metabolism along with decreased plasma IGF-1 and cholesterol. These effects are

  19. Mono-hydroxy methoxychlor alters levels of key sex steroids and steroidogenic enzymes in cultured mouse antral follicles.

    PubMed

    Craig, Zelieann R; Leslie, Traci C; Hatfield, Kimberly P; Gupta, Rupesh K; Flaws, Jodi A

    2010-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide that reduces fertility in female rodents by decreasing antral follicle numbers and increasing follicular death. MXC is metabolized in the body to mono-hydroxy MXC (mono-OH). Little is known about the effects of mono-OH on the ovary. Thus, this work tested the hypothesis that mono-OH exposure decreases production of 17β-estradiol (E₂) by cultured mouse antral follicles. Antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mice (age 35-39 days) and exposed to dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), or mono-OH (0.1-10 μg/mL) for 96 h. Media and follicles were collected for analysis of sex steroid levels and mRNA expression, respectively. Mono-OH treatment (10 μg/mL) decreased E(2) (DMSO: 3009.72±744.99 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 μg/mL: 1679.66±461.99 ng/mL; 1 μg/mL: 1752.72±532.41 ng/mL; 10 μg/mL: 45.89±33.83 ng/mL), testosterone (DMSO: 15.43±2.86 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1μg/mL: 17.17±4.71 ng/mL; 1 μg/mL: 13.64±3.53 ng/mL; 10 μg/mL: 1.29±0.23 ng/mL), androstenedione (DMSO: 1.92±0.34 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 μg/mL: 1.49±0.43ng/mL; 1 μg/mL: 0.64±0.31 ng/mL; 10 μg/mL: 0.12±0.06 ng/mL) and progesterone (DMSO: 24.11±4.21 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1μg/mL: 26.77±4.41 ng/mL; 1 μg/mL: 20.90±3.75 ng/mL; 10 μg/mL: 9.44±2.97 ng/mL) levels. Mono-OH did not alter expression of Star, Hsd3b1, Hsd17b1 and Cyp1b1, but it did reduce levels of Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1 and Cyp19a1 mRNA. Collectively, these data suggest that mono-OH significantly decreases levels of key sex steroid hormones and the expression of enzymes required for steroidogenesis.

  20. Mono-hydroxy methoxychlor alters levels of key sex steroids and steroidogenic enzymes in cultured mouse antral follicles

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Zelieann R.; Leslie, Traci C.; Hatfield, Kimberly P.; Gupta, Rupesh K.; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2010-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide that reduces fertility in female rodents by decreasing antral follicle numbers and increasing follicular death. MXC is metabolized in the body to mono-hydroxy MXC (mono-OH). Little is known about the effects of mono-OH on the ovary. Thus, this work tested the hypothesis that mono-OH exposure decreases production of 17{beta}-estradiol (E{sub 2}) by cultured mouse antral follicles. Antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mice (age 35-39 days) and exposed to dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), or mono-OH (0.1-10 {mu}g/mL) for 96 h. Media and follicles were collected for analysis of sex steroid levels and mRNA expression, respectively. Mono-OH treatment (10 {mu}g/mL) decreased E{sub 2} (DMSO: 3009.72 {+-} 744.99 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 1679.66 {+-} 461.99 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 1752.72 {+-} 532.41 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 45.89 {+-} 33.83 ng/mL), testosterone (DMSO: 15.43 {+-} 2.86 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 17.17 {+-} 4.71 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 13.64 {+-} 3.53 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 1.29 {+-} 0.23 ng/mL), androstenedione (DMSO: 1.92 {+-} 0.34 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 1.49 {+-} 0.43 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 0.64 {+-} 0.31 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 0.12 {+-} 0.06 ng/mL) and progesterone (DMSO: 24.11 {+-} 4.21 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 26.77 {+-} 4.41 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 20.90 {+-} 3.75 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 9.44 {+-} 2.97 ng/mL) levels. Mono-OH did not alter expression of Star, Hsd3b1, Hsd17b1 and Cyp1b1, but it did reduce levels of Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1 and Cyp19a1 mRNA. Collectively, these data suggest that mono-OH significantly decreases levels of key sex steroid hormones and the expression of enzymes required for steroidogenesis.

  1. Palmitate alters the rhythmic expression of molecular clock genes and orexigenic neuropeptide Y mRNA levels within immortalized, hypothalamic neurons.

    PubMed

    Fick, Laura J; Fick, Gordon H; Belsham, Denise D

    2011-09-30

    The control of energy homeostasis within the hypothalamus is under the regulated control of homeostatic hormones, nutrients and the expression of neuropeptides that alter feeding behavior. Elevated levels of palmitate, a predominant saturated fatty acid in diet and fatty acid biosynthesis, alter cellular function. For instance, a key mechanism involved in the development of insulin resistance is lipotoxicity, through increased circulating saturated fatty acids. Although many studies have begun to determine the underlying mechanisms of lipotoxicity in peripheral tissues, little is known about the effects of excess lipids in the brain. To determine these mechanisms we used an immortalized, clonal, hypothalamic cell line, mHypoE-44, to demonstrate that palmitate directly alters the expression of molecular clock components, by increasing Bmal1 and Clock, or by decreasing Per2, and Rev-erbα, their mRNA levels and altering their rhythmic period within individual neurons. We found that these neurons endogenously express the orexigenic neuropeptides NPY and AgRP, thus we determined that palmitate administration alters the mRNA expression of these neuropeptides as well. Palmitate treatment causes a significant increase in NPY mRNA levels and significantly alters the phase of rhythmic expression. We explored the link between AMPK and the expression of neuropeptide Y using the AMPK inhibitor compound C and the AMP analog AICAR. AMPK inhibition decreased NPY mRNA. AICAR also elevated basal NPY, but prevented the palmitate-mediated increase in NPY mRNA levels. We postulate that this palmitate-mediated increase in NPY and AgRP synthesis may initiate a detrimental positive feedback loop leading to increased energy consumption.

  2. GidB mutation as a phylogenetic marker for Q1 cluster Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates and intermediate-level streptomycin resistance determinant in Lisbon, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Perdigão, J; Macedo, R; Machado, D; Silva, C; Jordão, L; Couto, I; Viveiros, M; Portugal, I

    2014-05-01

    Development of streptomycin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is usually associated with mutations in rpsL and rrs genes, although up to 50% of clinical streptomycin-resistant isolates may present no mutation in either of these genes. In the present report we investigate the role of gidB gene mutations in streptomycin resistance. We have analyzed 52 streptomycin-resistant and 30 streptomycin-susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates by sequencing and endonuclease analysis of the gidB and rpsL genes. All clinical isolates were genotyped by 12-loci MIRU-VNTR. The gidB gene of 18 streptomycin-resistant isolates was sequenced and four missense mutations were found: F12L (1/18), L16R (18/18), A80P (4/18) and S100F (18/18). The remaining isolates were screened by endonuclease analysis for mutations A80P in the gidB gene and K43R in the rpsL gene. Overall, mutation A80P in the gidB gene was found in eight streptomycin-resistant isolates and 11 streptomycin-susceptible multidrug-resistant isolates. Also noteworthy, is the fact that gidB mutations were only present in isolates without rpsL and rrs mutations, all from genetic cluster Q1. Streptomycin quantitative drug susceptibility testing showed that isolates carrying the gidB A80P mutation were streptomycin intermediate-level resistant and that standard drug susceptibility testing yielded inconsistent results, probably due to borderline resistance. We conclude that gidB mutations may explain the high number of streptomycin-resistant strains with no mutation in rpsL or rrs. These mutations might occasionally confer low-level streptomycin resistance that will go undetected in standard susceptibility testing.

  3. Disentangling the responses of boreal stream assemblages to low stressor levels of diffuse pollution and altered channel morphology.

    PubMed

    Turunen, Jarno; Muotka, Timo; Vuori, Kari-Matti; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Rääpysjärvi, Jaana; Sutela, Tapio; Aroviita, Jukka

    2016-02-15

    Non-point diffuse pollution from land use and alteration of hydromorphology are among the most detrimental stressors to stream ecosystems. We explored the independent and interactive effects of morphological channel alteration (channelization for water transport of timber) and diffuse pollution on species richness and community structure of four organism groups in boreal streams: diatoms, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Furthermore, the effect of these stressors on stream condition was evaluated by Ecological Quality Ratios (EQR) from the national Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment system. We grouped 91 study sites into four groups that were impacted by either diffuse pollution or hydromorphological alteration, by both stressors, or by neither one. Macroinvertebrate richness was reduced by diffuse pollution, whereas other biological groups were unaltered. Hydromorphological modification had no effect on taxon richness of any of the assemblages. Community structure of all groups was significantly affected by diffuse pollution but not by hydromorphology. Similarly, EQRs indicated negative response by diatoms, macroinvertebrates and fish to diffuse pollution, but not to hydromorphological alteration. Agricultural diffuse pollution thus affected species identities and abundances rather than taxonomic richness. Our results suggest that channelization of boreal streams for timber transport has not altered hydromorphological conditions sufficiently to have a strong impact on stream biota, whereas even moderate nutrient enrichment may be ecologically harmful. Controlling diffuse pollution and associated land use stressors should be prioritized over restoration of in-stream habitat structure to improve the ecological condition of boreal streams.

  4. Disentangling the responses of boreal stream assemblages to low stressor levels of diffuse pollution and altered channel morphology.

    PubMed

    Turunen, Jarno; Muotka, Timo; Vuori, Kari-Matti; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Rääpysjärvi, Jaana; Sutela, Tapio; Aroviita, Jukka

    2016-02-15

    Non-point diffuse pollution from land use and alteration of hydromorphology are among the most detrimental stressors to stream ecosystems. We explored the independent and interactive effects of morphological channel alteration (channelization for water transport of timber) and diffuse pollution on species richness and community structure of four organism groups in boreal streams: diatoms, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Furthermore, the effect of these stressors on stream condition was evaluated by Ecological Quality Ratios (EQR) from the national Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment system. We grouped 91 study sites into four groups that were impacted by either diffuse pollution or hydromorphological alteration, by both stressors, or by neither one. Macroinvertebrate richness was reduced by diffuse pollution, whereas other biological groups were unaltered. Hydromorphological modification had no effect on taxon richness of any of the assemblages. Community structure of all groups was significantly affected by diffuse pollution but not by hydromorphology. Similarly, EQRs indicated negative response by diatoms, macroinvertebrates and fish to diffuse pollution, but not to hydromorphological alteration. Agricultural diffuse pollution thus affected species identities and abundances rather than taxonomic richness. Our results suggest that channelization of boreal streams for timber transport has not altered hydromorphological conditions sufficiently to have a strong impact on stream biota, whereas even moderate nutrient enrichment may be ecologically harmful. Controlling diffuse pollution and associated land use stressors should be prioritized over restoration of in-stream habitat structure to improve the ecological condition of boreal streams. PMID:26706766

  5. Prioritizing populations for conservation using phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    Volkmann, Logan; Martyn, Iain; Moulton, Vincent; Spillner, Andreas; Mooers, Arne O

    2014-01-01

    In the face of inevitable future losses to biodiversity, ranking species by conservation priority seems more than prudent. Setting conservation priorities within species (i.e., at the population level) may be critical as species ranges become fragmented and connectivity declines. However, existing approaches to prioritization (e.g., scoring organisms by their expected genetic contribution) are based on phylogenetic trees, which may be poor representations of differentiation below the species level. In this paper we extend evolutionary isolation indices used in conservation planning from phylogenetic trees to phylogenetic networks. Such networks better represent population differentiation, and our extension allows populations to be ranked in order of their expected contribution to the set. We illustrate the approach using data from two imperiled species: the spotted owl Strix occidentalis in North America and the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in Australia. Using previously published mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we construct phylogenetic networks and score each population by its relative genetic distinctiveness. In both cases, our phylogenetic networks capture the geographic structure of each species: geographically peripheral populations harbor less-redundant genetic information, increasing their conservation rankings. We note that our approach can be used with all conservation-relevant distances (e.g., those based on whole-genome, ecological, or adaptive variation) and suggest it be added to the assortment of tools available to wildlife managers for allocating effort among threatened populations. PMID:24586451

  6. Prioritizing Populations for Conservation Using Phylogenetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Volkmann, Logan; Martyn, Iain; Moulton, Vincent; Spillner, Andreas; Mooers, Arne O.

    2014-01-01

    In the face of inevitable future losses to biodiversity, ranking species by conservation priority seems more than prudent. Setting conservation priorities within species (i.e., at the population level) may be critical as species ranges become fragmented and connectivity declines. However, existing approaches to prioritization (e.g., scoring organisms by their expected genetic contribution) are based on phylogenetic trees, which may be poor representations of differentiation below the species level. In this paper we extend evolutionary isolation indices used in conservation planning from phylogenetic trees to phylogenetic networks. Such networks better represent population differentiation, and our extension allows populations to be ranked in order of their expected contribution to the set. We illustrate the approach using data from two imperiled species: the spotted owl Strix occidentalis in North America and the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in Australia. Using previously published mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we construct phylogenetic networks and score each population by its relative genetic distinctiveness. In both cases, our phylogenetic networks capture the geographic structure of each species: geographically peripheral populations harbor less-redundant genetic information, increasing their conservation rankings. We note that our approach can be used with all conservation-relevant distances (e.g., those based on whole-genome, ecological, or adaptive variation) and suggest it be added to the assortment of tools available to wildlife managers for allocating effort among threatened populations. PMID:24586451

  7. Phylogenetic analysis of Euthyneura (Gastropoda) by means of the 16S rRNA gene: use of a 'fast' gene for 'higher-level' phylogenies

    PubMed Central

    Thollesson, M.

    1999-01-01

    The phylogeny of Euthyneura is analysed by using DNA sequences of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene. Despite the common notion that this gene is too variable to provide useful information at high taxonomic levels, such as in the present study, bootstrap proportions are high for several clades in the study. This indicates that there is a useful amount of variation despite the noise due to multiple substitutions. The analyses furthermore indicate that (i) Gymnosomata (represented by Clione) is not a part of Euthyneura, but Clione forms a clade with the caenogastropods; (ii) Acteon is the sister group to the remaining euthyneuran taxa in the study; (iii) the nudibranch taxa form two clades, one comprising Dendronotoidea, Arminoidea and Aeolidoidea (together Cladobranchia) with Notaspidea (represented by Berthella) as sister group, while the fourth nudibranch taxon, Doridoidea, forms a separate clade; (iv) Cephalaspidea s.s. and Anaspidea form clades that are each other's sister groups (together Pleurocoela). Finally, there is no clade present in the analyses corresponding to the taxon Opisthobranchia in the traditional sense, and the use of this name is probably better abandoned altogether.

  8. Morphological, molecular and phylogenetic analyses of the spirurid nematode Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942).

    PubMed

    Vidal, V; Ortiz, J; Diaz, J I; Zafrilla, B; Bonete, M J; Ruiz De Ybañez, M R; Palacios, M J; Benzal, J; Valera, F; De La Cruz, C; Motas, M; Bautista, V; Machordom, A; Barbosa, A

    2016-03-01

    Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942) is a gastrointestinal parasite found in Antarctic seabirds. The original description of the species, which was based only on females, is poor and fragmented with some unclear diagnostic characters. This study provides new morphometric and molecular data on this previously poorly described parasite. Nuclear rDNA sequences (18S, 5.8S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions) were isolated from S. macronectes specimens collected from the chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica Forster on Deception Island, Antarctica. Using 18S rDNA sequences, phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference) of the order Spirurida were performed to determine the phylogenetic location of this species. Primer pairs of the ITS regions were designed for genus-level identification of specimens, regardless of their cycle, as an alternative to coprological methods. The utility of this molecular method for identification of morphologically altered specimens is also discussed. PMID:25871788

  9. Genomic Repeat Abundances Contain Phylogenetic Signal

    PubMed Central

    Dodsworth, Steven; Chase, Mark W.; Kelly, Laura J.; Leitch, Ilia J.; Macas, Jiří; Novák, Petr; Piednoël, Mathieu; Weiss-Schneeweiss, Hanna; Leitch, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    A large proportion of genomic information, particularly repetitive elements, is usually ignored when researchers are using next-generation sequencing. Here we demonstrate the usefulness of this repetitive fraction in phylogenetic analyses, utilizing comparative graph-based clustering of next-generation sequence reads, which results in abundance estimates of different classes of genomic repeats. Phylogenetic trees are then inferred based on the genome-wide abundance of different repeat types treated as continuously varying characters; such repeats are scattered across chromosomes and in angiosperms can constitute a majority of nuclear genomic DNA. In six diverse examples, five angiosperms and one insect, this method provides generally well-supported relationships at interspecific and intergeneric levels that agree with results from more standard phylogenetic analyses of commonly used markers. We propose that this methodology may prove especially useful in groups where there is little genetic differentiation in standard phylogenetic markers. At the same time as providing data for phylogenetic inference, this method additionally yields a wealth of data for comparative studies of genome evolution. PMID:25261464

  10. Genomic repeat abundances contain phylogenetic signal.

    PubMed

    Dodsworth, Steven; Chase, Mark W; Kelly, Laura J; Leitch, Ilia J; Macas, Jiří; Novák, Petr; Piednoël, Mathieu; Weiss-Schneeweiss, Hanna; Leitch, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    A large proportion of genomic information, particularly repetitive elements, is usually ignored when researchers are using next-generation sequencing. Here we demonstrate the usefulness of this repetitive fraction in phylogenetic analyses, utilizing comparative graph-based clustering of next-generation sequence reads, which results in abundance estimates of different classes of genomic repeats. Phylogenetic trees are then inferred based on the genome-wide abundance of different repeat types treated as continuously varying characters; such repeats are scattered across chromosomes and in angiosperms can constitute a majority of nuclear genomic DNA. In six diverse examples, five angiosperms and one insect, this method provides generally well-supported relationships at interspecific and intergeneric levels that agree with results from more standard phylogenetic analyses of commonly used markers. We propose that this methodology may prove especially useful in groups where there is little genetic differentiation in standard phylogenetic markers. At the same time as providing data for phylogenetic inference, this method additionally yields a wealth of data for comparative studies of genome evolution.

  11. Phylogenetic placement of Trichonympha.

    PubMed

    Dacks, J B; Redfield, R J

    1998-01-01

    Flagellated protists of the Class Hypermastigida have previously been classified on morphology alone, since no molecular sequences have been available. We have isolated DNA from 350 cells of the hypermastigote Trichonympha, manually collected from the hindgut of Zootermopsis angusticollis, and used this DNA as template for polymerase chain reaction amplification of the small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene. The DNA sequence of the amplified fragment is closely related to that of a previously-unidentified gut symbiont from the termite Reticulitermes flavipes, and phylogenetic analysis places both sequences as a sister group to the known trichomonads, in agreement with the morphological classification.

  12. Phylogenetic Comparative Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husemann, Peter; Stoye, Jens

    Recent high throughput sequencing technologies are capable of generating a huge amount of data for bacterial genome sequencing projects. Although current sequence assemblers successfully merge the overlapping reads, often several contigs remain which cannot be assembled any further. It is still costly and time consuming to close all the gaps in order to acquire the whole genomic sequence. Here we propose an algorithm that takes several related genomes and their phylogenetic relationships into account to create a contig adjacency graph. From this a layout graph can be computed which indicates putative adjacencies of the contigs in order to aid biologists in finishing the complete genomic sequence.

  13. Phylogenetic conservatism of extinctions in marine bivalves.

    PubMed

    Roy, Kaustuv; Hunt, Gene; Jablonski, David

    2009-08-01

    Evolutionary histories of species and lineages can influence their vulnerabilities to extinction, but the importance of this effect remains poorly explored for extinctions in the geologic past. When analyzed using a standardized taxonomy within a phylogenetic framework, extinction rates of marine bivalves estimated from the fossil record for the last approximately 200 million years show conservatism at multiple levels of evolutionary divergence, both within individual families and among related families. The strength of such phylogenetic clustering varies over time and is influenced by earlier extinction history, especially by the demise of volatile taxa in the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Analyses of the evolutionary roles of ancient extinctions and predictive models of vulnerability of taxa to future natural and anthropogenic stressors should take phylogenetic relationships and extinction history into account.

  14. Phylogenetic trees in bioinformatics

    SciTech Connect

    Burr, Tom L

    2008-01-01

    Genetic data is often used to infer evolutionary relationships among a collection of viruses, bacteria, animal or plant species, or other operational taxonomic units (OTU). A phylogenetic tree depicts such relationships and provides a visual representation of the estimated branching order of the OTUs. Tree estimation is unique for several reasons, including: the types of data used to represent each OTU; the use ofprobabilistic nucleotide substitution models; the inference goals involving both tree topology and branch length, and the huge number of possible trees for a given sample of a very modest number of OTUs, which implies that fmding the best tree(s) to describe the genetic data for each OTU is computationally demanding. Bioinformatics is too large a field to review here. We focus on that aspect of bioinformatics that includes study of similarities in genetic data from multiple OTUs. Although research questions are diverse, a common underlying challenge is to estimate the evolutionary history of the OTUs. Therefore, this paper reviews the role of phylogenetic tree estimation in bioinformatics, available methods and software, and identifies areas for additional research and development.

  15. Entanglement, Invariants, and Phylogenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, J. G.

    2007-10-01

    This thesis develops and expands upon known techniques of mathematical physics relevant to the analysis of the popular Markov model of phylogenetic trees required in biology to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships of taxonomic units from biomolecular sequence data. The techniques of mathematical physics are plethora and have been developed for some time. The Markov model of phylogenetics and its analysis is a relatively new technique where most progress to date has been achieved by using discrete mathematics. This thesis takes a group theoretical approach to the problem by beginning with a remarkable mathematical parallel to the process of scattering in particle physics. This is shown to equate to branching events in the evolutionary history of molecular units. The major technical result of this thesis is the derivation of existence proofs and computational techniques for calculating polynomial group invariant functions on a multi-linear space where the group action is that relevant to a Markovian time evolution. The practical results of this thesis are an extended analysis of the use of invariant functions in distance based methods and the presentation of a new reconstruction technique for quartet trees which is consistent with the most general Markov model of sequence evolution.

  16. Melanogenesis stimulation in B16-F10 melanoma cells induces cell cycle alterations, increased ROS levels and a differential expression of proteins as revealed by proteomic analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cunha, Elizabeth S.; Kawahara, Rebeca; Kadowaki, Marina K.; Amstalden, Hudson G.; Noleto, Guilhermina R.; Cadena, Silvia Maria S.C.; Winnischofer, Sheila M.B.; Martinez, Glaucia R.

    2012-09-10

    Considering that stimulation of melanogenesis may lead to alterations of cellular responses, besides melanin production, our main goal was to study the cellular effects of melanogenesis stimulation of B16-F10 melanoma cells. Our results show increased levels of the reactive oxygen species after 15 h of melanogenesis stimulation. Following 48 h of melanogenesis stimulation, proliferation was inhibited (by induction of cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase) and the expression levels of p21 mRNA were increased. In addition, melanogenesis stimulation did not induce cellular senescence. Proteomic analysis demonstrated the involvement of proteins from other pathways besides those related to the cell cycle, including protein disulfide isomerase A3, heat-shock protein 70, and fructose biphosphate aldolase A (all up-regulated), and lactate dehydrogenase (down-regulated). In RT-qPCR experiments, the levels of pyruvate kinase M2 mRNA dropped, whereas the levels of ATP synthase (beta-F1) mRNA increased. These data indicate that melanogenesis stimulation of B16-F10 cells leads to alterations in metabolism and cell cycle progression that may contribute to an induction of cell quiescence, which may provide a mechanism of resistance against cellular injury promoted by melanin synthesis. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Melanogenesis stimulation by L-tyrosine+NH{sub 4}Cl in B16-F10 melanoma cells increases ROS levels. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Melanogenesis inhibits cell proliferation, and induced cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Proteomic analysis showed alterations in proteins of the cell cycle and glucose metabolism. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer RT-qPCR analysis confirmed alterations of metabolic targets after melanogenesis stimulation.

  17. Level alterations of the 2f (1)-f (2) distortion product due to hypoxia in the guinea pig depend on the stimulus frequency.

    PubMed

    Olzowy, Bernhard; von Gleichenstein, Gregor; Canis, Martin; Plesnila, Nikolaus; Strieth, Sebastian; Deppe, Christoph; Mees, Klaus

    2010-03-01

    Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) is known to affect the levels of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) in a frequency-specific manner. DPOAEs might, therefore, be used for monitoring the ICP non-invasively. Hypoxia can also cause alterations of DPOAE levels, which can be distinguished from ICP-related changes only, when their characteristics, in particular frequency specificity, are known in detail. DPOAEs at f (2) = 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 kHz and oxygen saturation (SaO(2)) were continuously monitored in nine spontaneously breathing guinea pigs, anaesthetized by i.m. administration of midazolam, medetomidin and fentanyl, during the respiration of a gas mixture of N(2)O and O(2) containing either 30% O(2) or 13% O(2). Fourteen hypoxic intervals in eight animals were included into final data analysis. Characteristic hypoxic level alterations with a level decrease and a remarkable level destabilization during hypoxia, and a pronounced reversible level decrease after reoxygenation were observed at the frequencies of 4, 8 and 16 kHz. At 2 and 12 kHz, the only reproducible effect of hypoxia was an increased fluctuation of the DPOAE level, which was significantly less pronounced compared with the other frequencies (P < 0.05 for 12 vs. 16 and 8 kHz and for 2 vs. 16 kHz). DPOAE level alterations due to hypoxia depend on the frequency in guinea pigs. Studies in human are warranted to improve non-invasive ICP monitoring with DPOAE by the detection of hypoxia-related changes. PMID:19629511

  18. Functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plants drive herbivory in a highly diverse forest.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Härdtle, Werner; Kröber, Wenzel; Michalski, Stefan G; Purschke, Oliver

    2014-05-01

    Biodiversity loss may alter ecosystem processes, such as herbivory, a key driver of ecological functions in species-rich (sub)tropical forests. However, the mechanisms underlying such biodiversity effects remain poorly explored, as mostly effects of species richness - a very basic biodiversity measure - have been studied. Here, we analyze to what extent the functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plant communities affect herbivory along a diversity gradient in a subtropical forest. We assessed the relative effects of morphological and chemical leaf traits and of plant phylogenetic diversity on individual-level variation in herbivory of dominant woody plant species across 27 forest stands in south-east China. Individual-level variation in herbivory was best explained by multivariate, community-level diversity of leaf chemical traits, in combination with community-weighted means of single traits and species-specific phylodiversity measures. These findings deviate from those based solely on trait variation within individual species. Our results indicate a strong impact of generalist herbivores and highlight the need to assess food-web specialization to determine the direction of biodiversity effects. With increasing plant species loss, but particularly with the concomitant loss of functional and phylogenetic diversity in these forests, the impact of herbivores will probably decrease - with consequences for the herbivore-mediated regulation of ecosystem functions. PMID:24460549

  19. Functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plants drive herbivory in a highly diverse forest.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Härdtle, Werner; Kröber, Wenzel; Michalski, Stefan G; Purschke, Oliver

    2014-05-01

    Biodiversity loss may alter ecosystem processes, such as herbivory, a key driver of ecological functions in species-rich (sub)tropical forests. However, the mechanisms underlying such biodiversity effects remain poorly explored, as mostly effects of species richness - a very basic biodiversity measure - have been studied. Here, we analyze to what extent the functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plant communities affect herbivory along a diversity gradient in a subtropical forest. We assessed the relative effects of morphological and chemical leaf traits and of plant phylogenetic diversity on individual-level variation in herbivory of dominant woody plant species across 27 forest stands in south-east China. Individual-level variation in herbivory was best explained by multivariate, community-level diversity of leaf chemical traits, in combination with community-weighted means of single traits and species-specific phylodiversity measures. These findings deviate from those based solely on trait variation within individual species. Our results indicate a strong impact of generalist herbivores and highlight the need to assess food-web specialization to determine the direction of biodiversity effects. With increasing plant species loss, but particularly with the concomitant loss of functional and phylogenetic diversity in these forests, the impact of herbivores will probably decrease - with consequences for the herbivore-mediated regulation of ecosystem functions.

  20. The Phylogenetic Diversity of Metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Kembel, Steven W.; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Pollard, Katherine S.; Green, Jessica L.

    2011-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity—patterns of phylogenetic relatedness among organisms in ecological communities—provides important insights into the mechanisms underlying community assembly. Studies that measure phylogenetic diversity in microbial communities have primarily been limited to a single marker gene approach, using the small subunit of the rRNA gene (SSU-rRNA) to quantify phylogenetic relationships among microbial taxa. In this study, we present an approach for inferring phylogenetic relationships among microorganisms based on the random metagenomic sequencing of DNA fragments. To overcome challenges caused by the fragmentary nature of metagenomic data, we leveraged fully sequenced bacterial genomes as a scaffold to enable inference of phylogenetic relationships among metagenomic sequences from multiple phylogenetic marker gene families. The resulting metagenomic phylogeny can be used to quantify the phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities based on metagenomic data sets. We applied this method to understand patterns of microbial phylogenetic diversity and community assembly along an oceanic depth gradient, and compared our findings to previous studies of this gradient using SSU-rRNA gene and metagenomic analyses. Bacterial phylogenetic diversity was highest at intermediate depths beneath the ocean surface, whereas taxonomic diversity (diversity measured by binning sequences into taxonomically similar groups) showed no relationship with depth. Phylogenetic diversity estimates based on the SSU-rRNA gene and the multi-gene metagenomic phylogeny were broadly concordant, suggesting that our approach will be applicable to other metagenomic data sets for which corresponding SSU-rRNA gene sequences are unavailable. Our approach opens up the possibility of using metagenomic data to study microbial diversity in a phylogenetic context. PMID:21912589

  1. Altered Levels of MicroRNA-9, -206, and -132 in Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Their Response to Antisense Oligonucleotide Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Catapano, Francesco; Zaharieva, Irina; Scoto, Mariacristina; Marrosu, Elena; Morgan, Jennifer; Muntoni, Francesco; Zhou, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    The identification of noninvasive biomarkers to monitor the disease progression in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is becoming increasingly important. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression and are implicated in the pathogenesis of neuromuscular diseases, including motor neuron degeneration. In this study, we selectively characterized the expression of miR-9, miR-206, and miR-132 in spinal cord, skeletal muscle, and serum from SMA transgenic mice, and in serum from SMA patients. A systematic analysis of miRNA expression was conducted in SMA mice with different disease severities (severe type I-like and mild type III-like) at different disease stages (pre-, mid-, and late-symptomatic stages), and in morpholino antisense oligonucleotide-treated mice. There was differential expression of all three miRNAs in spinal cord, skeletal muscle and serum samples in SMA mice. Serum miRNAs were altered prior to the changes in spinal cord and skeletal muscle at the presymptomatic stage. The altered miR-132 levels in spinal cord, muscle, and serum transiently reversed to normal level after a single-dose morpholino antisense oligomer PMO25 treatment in SMA mice. We also confirmed a significant alteration of miR-9 and miR-132 level in serum samples from SMA patients. Our study indicates the potential of developing miRNAs as noninvasive biomarkers in SMA. PMID:27377135

  2. Alterations in plasma sodium and potassium levels following chronic oral ingestion of lead, mercury and cadmium in male albino rats.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, R; Chansouria, J P

    1991-08-01

    Adult male albino rats were orally administered 0, 25, 50 and 100 ppm of lead nitrate, mercuric chloride and cadmium chloride for 60, 120 and 180 days. The plasma sodium levels were decreased in rats exposed to varying doses of lead and mercury up to 180 days, while animals which consumed cadmium chloride showed an increase in sodium levels. In lead and mercury treated animals, plasma potassium levels were increased up to 180 days. The levels were decreased in cadmium exposed rats. These observations suggest that chronic exposure to these heavy metals considerably influences plasma sodium and potassium levels depending on the dose and duration of exposure.

  3. Cadmium chloride alters mRNA levels of angiogenesis related genes in primary human endometrial endothelial cells grown in vitro.

    PubMed

    Helmestam, Malin; Stavreus-Evers, Anneli; Olovsson, Matts

    2010-11-01

    Cadmium, is known to cause adverse reproductive effects, and classified as an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC). Human endometrial endothelial cells (HEEC) have a key role in the regulation of endometrial angiogenesis. These cells are known to express estrogen receptors, a feature that makes them potential targets for EDCs such as cadmium. We have designed a co-culture system, in which HEEC were grown in the same cell culture medium as endometrial stromal cells but in separate, communicating chambers. With quantitative PCR, we investigated changes in mRNA expression of genes associated with angiogenesis, sex steroids and endothelial cell specific functions. We found that cadmium altered the mRNA expression of the two important angiogenic molecules VEGF-A and PLGF. Cadmium might thus affect endometrial angiogenesis and as a consequence cause endometrial dysfunction with an increased risk for fertility problems. PMID:20580663

  4. Reductions in frontocortical cytokine levels are associated with long-lasting alterations in reward valuation after methamphetamine.

    PubMed

    Stolyarova, Alexandra; Thompson, Andrew B; Barrientos, Ruth M; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2015-03-13

    Alterations in reward valuation are thought to have a central role at all stages of the addiction process. We previously reported work aversion in an effortful T-maze task following a binge exposure to methamphetamine, and no such changes in effort following escalating doses. Limitations of the T-maze task include its two available options, with an effort requirement, in the form of increasing barrier height, varying incrementally as a function of time, and reward magnitudes held constant. Reward preferences and choices, however, are likely affected by the number of options available and the manner in which alternatives are presented. In the present experiment, we investigated the long-lasting, off-drug effects of methamphetamine on reward choices in a novel effortful maze task with three possible courses of action, each associated with different effort requirements and reward magnitudes. Neuroinflammatory responses associated with drug exposure, proposed as one of the mechanisms contributing to suboptimal choices on effort-based tasks, were also examined. We investigated region-specific changes in pro- and anti-inflammatory markers in the mesocorticolimbic pathway after methamphetamine, and their relationship with animals' reward choices. We observed long-lasting, increased sensitivity to differences in reward magnitude in the methamphetamine group: animals were more likely to overcome greater effort costs to obtain larger rewards on our novel effortful maze task. These behavioral changes were strongly predicted by pronounced decreases in frontocortical cytokines, but not amygdalar or striatal markers. The present results provide the first evidence that neuroinflammatory processes are associated with alterations in reward valuation during protracted drug withdrawal.

  5. Porin alterations present in non-carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae with high and intermediate levels of carbapenem resistance in Chile.

    PubMed

    Wozniak, Aniela; Villagra, Nicolás A; Undabarrena, Agustina; Gallardo, Natalia; Keller, Nicole; Moraga, Marcela; Román, Juan C; Mora, Guido C; García, Patricia

    2012-09-01

    The main goal of this work was to identify the mechanisms responsible for carbapenem resistance in 61 Chilean clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae (Enterobacter spp., Serratia marcescens, Morganella morganii, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) with reduced susceptibility to at least one carbapenem (ertapenem, imipenem or meropenem). All of the isolates were analysed for the presence of carbapenemases, extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), AmpC enzymes and outer-membrane proteins. None of the isolates exhibited carbapenemase activity nor did they have any of the carbapenemase genes that were screened for. Most of the 61 strains produced at least one ESBL and/or one AmpC enzyme and either lost their porins or had altered porins according to sequence analysis. The distribution of ESBLs and AmpC enzymes was different among the species studied. Resistance in K. pneumoniae and E. coli isolates was associated with ESBLs; in M. morganii isolates, resistance was attributed to overexpression of an AmpC enzyme; and in Enterobacter spp. isolates, resistance was associated with both types of enzymes. In K. pneumoniae isolates, porin integrity was more a determinant of carbapenem resistance than the presence of ESBLs, whereas in isolates of Enterobacter spp., M. morganii and S. marcescens, the presence of an overexpressed AmpC enzyme was associated with higher imipenem and meropenem MIC values. Therefore, carbapenem resistance in Chilean isolates is not due to true carbapenemases but rather to a combination of porin loss/alteration and β-lactamase activity. The fact that carbapenemases were not detected in this study is unique, given that many countries in the region have already reported the presence of these enzymes.

  6. Alterations at the cross-bridge level are associated with a paradoxical gain of muscle function in vivo in a mouse model of nemaline myopathy.

    PubMed

    Gineste, Charlotte; Ottenheijm, Coen; Le Fur, Yann; Banzet, Sébastien; Pecchi, Emilie; Vilmen, Christophe; Cozzone, Patrick J; Koulmann, Nathalie; Hardeman, Edna C; Bendahan, David; Gondin, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Nemaline myopathy is the most common disease entity among non-dystrophic skeletal muscle congenital diseases. The first disease causing mutation (Met9Arg) was identified in the gene encoding α-tropomyosin slow gene (TPM3). Considering the conflicting findings of the previous studies on the transgenic (Tg) mice carrying the TPM3Met9Arg mutation, we investigated carefully the effect of the Met9Arg mutation in 8-9 month-old Tg(TPM3)Met9Arg mice on muscle function using a multiscale methodological approach including skinned muscle fibers analysis and in vivo investigations by magnetic resonance imaging and 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. While in vitro maximal force production was reduced in Tg(TPM3)Met9Arg mice as compared to controls, in vivo measurements revealed an improved mechanical performance in the transgenic mice as compared to the former. The reduced in vitro muscle force might be related to alterations occurring at the cross-bridges level with muscle-specific underlying mechanisms. In vivo muscle improvement was not associated with any changes in either muscle volume or energy metabolism. Our findings indicate that TPM3(Met9Arg) mutation leads to a mild muscle weakness in vitro related to an alteration at the cross-bridges level and a paradoxical gain of muscle function in vivo. These results clearly point out that in vitro alterations are muscle-dependent and do not necessarily translate into similar changes in vivo. PMID:25268244

  7. Alterations at the cross-bridge level are associated with a paradoxical gain of muscle function in vivo in a mouse model of nemaline myopathy.

    PubMed

    Gineste, Charlotte; Ottenheijm, Coen; Le Fur, Yann; Banzet, Sébastien; Pecchi, Emilie; Vilmen, Christophe; Cozzone, Patrick J; Koulmann, Nathalie; Hardeman, Edna C; Bendahan, David; Gondin, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Nemaline myopathy is the most common disease entity among non-dystrophic skeletal muscle congenital diseases. The first disease causing mutation (Met9Arg) was identified in the gene encoding α-tropomyosin slow gene (TPM3). Considering the conflicting findings of the previous studies on the transgenic (Tg) mice carrying the TPM3Met9Arg mutation, we investigated carefully the effect of the Met9Arg mutation in 8-9 month-old Tg(TPM3)Met9Arg mice on muscle function using a multiscale methodological approach including skinned muscle fibers analysis and in vivo investigations by magnetic resonance imaging and 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. While in vitro maximal force production was reduced in Tg(TPM3)Met9Arg mice as compared to controls, in vivo measurements revealed an improved mechanical performance in the transgenic mice as compared to the former. The reduced in vitro muscle force might be related to alterations occurring at the cross-bridges level with muscle-specific underlying mechanisms. In vivo muscle improvement was not associated with any changes in either muscle volume or energy metabolism. Our findings indicate that TPM3(Met9Arg) mutation leads to a mild muscle weakness in vitro related to an alteration at the cross-bridges level and a paradoxical gain of muscle function in vivo. These results clearly point out that in vitro alterations are muscle-dependent and do not necessarily translate into similar changes in vivo.

  8. Transforming growth factor alpha treatment alters intracellular calcium levels in hair cells and protects them from ototoxic damage in vitro.

    PubMed

    Staecker, H; Dazert, S; Malgrange, B; Lefebvre, P P; Ryan, A F; Van de Water, T R

    1997-07-01

    To determine if transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha) pretreatment protects hair cells from aminoglycoside induced injury by modifying their intracellular calcium concentration, we assayed hair cell calcium levels in organ of Corti explants both before and after aminoglycoside (i.e. neomycin, 10(-3) M) exposure either with or without growth factor pretreatment. After TGF alpha (500 ng/ml) treatment, the intracellular calcium level of hair cells showed a five-fold increase as compared to the levels observed in the hair cells of control cultures. After ototoxin exposure, calcium levels in hair cells of control explants showed an increase relative to their baseline levels, while in the presence of growth factors pretreatment, hair cells showed a relative reduction in calcium levels. Pretreatment of organ of Corti explants afforded significant protection of hair cell stereocilia bundle morphology from ototoxic damage when compared to explants exposed to ototoxin alone. This study correlates a rise in hair cell calcium levels with the otoprotection of hair cells by TGF alpha in organ of Corti explants. PMID:9263032

  9. Alteration in carboxyhemoglobin concentrations during exposure to 9 ppm carbon monoxide for 8 hours at sea level and 2134 m altitude in a hypobaric chamber

    SciTech Connect

    Horvath, S.M.; Bedi, J.F. )

    1989-10-01

    Seventeen non-smoking young men served as subjects to determine the alteration in carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) concentrations during exposure to 0 or 9 ppm carbon monoxide for 8 hours (CO) at sea level or an altitude of 2134 meters (7000 feet) in a hypobaric chamber. Nine subjects rested during the exposure and 8 exercised for 10 minutes of each exposure hour at a mean ventilation of 25 L (BTPS). All subjects performed a maximal aerobic capacity test at the completion of their respective exposures. Carboxyhemoglobin concentrations fell in all subjects during their exposures to 0 ppm CO at sea level or 2134 m. During the 8-h exposures to 9 ppm CO, COHb rose linearly from approximately 0.2 percent to 0.7 percent. No significant differences in uptake were found whether the subjects were resting or intermittently exercising during their 8-h exposures. COHb levels attained were similar at both sea level and 2134 m. Maximal aerobic capacity was reduced approximately 7-10 percent consequent to altitude exposure during 0 ppm CO exposures. These values were not altered following exposure for 8 h to 9 ppm CO in either the resting or exercising subjects.

  10. Acute cocaine alters oxytocin levels in the medial preoptic area and amygdala in lactating rat dams: implications for cocaine-induced changes in maternal behavior and maternal aggression.

    PubMed

    Elliott, J C; Lubin, D A; Walker, C H; Johns, J M

    2001-04-01

    Acute cocaine administration has been correlated with disruptions in the onset and maintenance of maternal behavior as well as decreases in maternal aggressive behavior in rat dams. A growing body of evidence suggests that cocaine may alter oxytocin levels leading to impairments in maternal behavior and aggression. The current study assessed whether acute cocaine injections alter oxytocin (OT) levels in the medial preoptic area (MPOA), ventral tegmental area (VTA), amygdala (AMY), and hippocampus (HIP) on postpartum day (PPD) 1 or PPD 6. On PPD 1, 30 mg/kg cocaine reduced OT levels by approximately 26.9% (picograms/milligram) in the MPOA (t (18) = 3.44, P<.01) compared to saline. On PPD 6, 30 mg/kg cocaine significantly increased OT levels by approximately 20.9% (picograms/brain area) in the AMY (F (2,25) = 3.44, P=.05) relative to saline. These findings suggest that acute cocaine may disrupt maternal behavior and maternal aggression at least in part through its action on the oxytocinergic system. PMID:11384208

  11. Αcute Exercise Alters the Levels of Human Saliva miRNAs Involved in Lipid Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Konstantinidou, A; Mougios, V; Sidossis, L S

    2016-06-01

    The response of micro-ribonucleic acid (miRNA) expression to exercise has not been studied in saliva, although saliva combines non-invasive collection with the largest number of miRNA species among biological fluids and tissues. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of acute exercise on the expression of 8 human saliva miRNAs involved in lipid metabolism. 19 healthy, physically active men (VO2max, 40.9±1.6 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), mean±se) performed a 50-min interval exercise program on stationary bicycle (spinning). Saliva samples were collected before and after exercise for miRNA expression analysis by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Statistically significant (p<0.05) changes after exercise were found in 2 of the 8 miRNAs, namely, hsa-miR-33a (fold change, 7.66±2.94; p=0.012), which regulates cholesterol homeostasis and fatty acid metabolism in the liver, and hsa-miR-378a (fold change 0.79±0.11, p=0.048), which regulates energy homeostasis and affects lipogenesis and adipogenesis. These alterations may contribute to our understanding of physiological responses to exercise and the therapeutic potential of exercise against cardiovascular disease, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome. Moreover, our findings open the possibility of noninvasively studying miRNAs that regulate the function of specific organs. PMID:27116339

  12. Prenatal auditory stimulation alters the levels of CREB mRNA, p-CREB and BDNF expression in chick hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Sraboni; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2009-10-01

    Prenatal auditory stimulation influences the development of the chick auditory pathway and the hippocampus showing an increase in various morphological parameters as well as expression of calcium-binding proteins. Calcium regulates the activity of cyclic adenosine monophosphate-response element binding (CREB) protein. CREB is known to play a role in development, undergo phosphorylation with neural activity as well as regulate transcription of BDNF. BDNF is important for the survival of neurons and regulates synaptic strength. Hence in the present study, we have evaluated the levels of CREB mRNA and protein along with p-CREB protein as well as BDNF mRNA and protein levels in the chick hippocampus at embryonic days (E) 12, E16, E20 and post-hatch day (PH) 1 following activation by prenatal auditory stimulation. Fertilized eggs were exposed to species-specific sound or sitar music (frequency range: 100-6300Hz) at 65dB levels for 15min/h over 24h from E10 till hatching. The control chick hippocampus showed higher CREB mRNA and p-CREB protein in the early embryonic stages, which later decline whereas BDNF mRNA and BDNF protein levels increase until PH1. The CREB mRNA and p-CREB protein were significantly increased at E12, E16 and PH1 in the auditory stimulated groups as compared to control group. A significant increase in the level of BDNF mRNA was observed from E12 and the protein expression from E16 onwards in both auditory stimulated groups. Therefore, enhanced phosphorylation of CREB during development following prenatal sound stimulation may be responsible for cell survival. Increased levels of p-CREB again at PH1 may trigger synthesis of proteins necessary for synaptic plasticity. Further, the increased levels of BDNF may also help in regulating synaptic plasticity. PMID:19559781

  13. Testosterone, but not nonaromatizable dihydrotestosterone, improves working memory and alters nerve growth factor levels in aged male rats.

    PubMed

    Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A; Singleton, Rachel S; Nelson, Matthew E; Eckman, Christopher B; Barber, John; Scott, Tonetta Y; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte E

    2003-06-01

    Recent studies have suggested that testosterone levels are lower in men with Alzheimer's disease and that testosterone treatment improves cognition in older men. Since testosterone can be aromatized to estrogen, testosterone's effects could be due to conversion into estrogen. We treated aged male rats with either testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the latter of which is not aromatized to estrogen, in order to determine whether these treatments improve spatial working and reference memory as assessed in the water radial arm maze. We also tested whether such effects are related to beta-amyloid levels in the hippocampus or neurotrophin levels in the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, frontal cortex, or striatum. Aged rats made more errors than young rats on all memory measures. Testosterone, but not DHT, improved working memory and decreased hippocampal NGF protein in aged rats, while having no effect on beta-amyloid. However, higher beta-amyloid levels were correlated with poorer working memory performance in young rats. Neurotrophin levels in entorhinal cortex were positively correlated with errors for all memory measures in androgen-treated rats. Similar to findings in human studies, in our study androgen treatment lowered circulating estradiol levels in aged rats, suggesting that androgen treatment exerts feedback to the hypothalamic pituitary axis and that conversion to estrogen may not be the underlying biological mechanism of testosterone's effects on memory and growth factor levels. The ratio of estradiol to testosterone, or the actions of the aromatase enzyme itself, may be responsible for the observed effects. These data support the hypothesis that testosterone therapy in aging men may provide positive effects on cognition and that neural regions that are linked to cognition, such as the hippocampus and/or entorhinal cortex, may be involved in such effects.

  14. Constant light induces alterations in melatonin levels, food intake, feed efficiency, visceral adiposity, and circadian rhythms in rats.

    PubMed

    Wideman, Cyrilla H; Murphy, Helen M

    2009-10-01

    Melatonin levels, metabolic parameters, circadian rhythm activity patterns, and behavior were observed in rats subjected to a 12-h/12-h light/dark cycle (LD) compared to animals exposed to continuous dark (DD) or continuous light (LL). LD and DD animals were similar in melatonin levels, food intake, relative food intake, feed efficiency, water intake, circadian activity levels, and behavior. LL animals had lower melatonin levels in the subjective dark compared to LD and DD animals. Food intake, relative food intake, and water intake values were lower and feed efficiency was more positive in LL animals compared to LD and DD animals. In addition, LL animals exhibited greater visceral adiposity than the other two groups. The circadian rhythmicity of activity became free-running in LL animals and there was a decrease in overall activity. Notable behavioral changes in LL animals were an increase in irritability and excitability. Results indicate that a decrease in melatonin levels and concomitant changes in metabolism, circadian rhythms, and behavior are consequences of exposure to constant light. PMID:19761654

  15. Music exposure differentially alters the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor in the mouse hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Angelucci, Francesco; Ricci, Enzo; Padua, Luca; Sabino, Andrea; Tonali, Pietro Attilio

    2007-12-18

    It has been reported that music may have physiological effects on blood pressure, cardiac heartbeat, respiration, and improve mood state in people affected by anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders. However, the physiological bases of these phenomena are not clear. Hypothalamus is a brain region involved in the regulation of body homeostasis and in the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression through the modulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Hypothalamic functions are also influenced by the presence of the neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF), which are proteins involved in the growth, survival and function of neurons in the central nervous system. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of music exposure in mice on hypothalamic levels of BDNF and NGF. We exposed young adult mice to slow rhythm music (6h per day; mild sound pressure levels, between 50 and 60 dB) for 21 consecutive days. At the end of the treatment mice were sacrificed and BDNF and NGF levels in the hypothalamus were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We found that music exposure significantly enhanced BDNF levels in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, we observed that music-exposed mice had decreased NGF hypothalamic levels. Our results demonstrate that exposure to music in mice can influence neurotrophin production in the hypothalamus. Our findings also suggest that physiological effects of music might be in part mediated by modulation of neurotrophins.

  16. Altered Levels of Visinin-Like Protein 1 Correspond to Regional Neuronal Loss in Alzheimer Disease and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Caitlin M; MacDonald, Matthew L; Schempf, Tadhg A; Vatsavayi, Anil V; Ikonomovic, Milos D; Koppel, Jeremy L; Ding, Ying; Sun, Mai; Kofler, Julia K; Lopez, Oscar L; Yates, Nathan A; Sweet, Robert A

    2016-02-01

    Recent studies have implicated the neuronal calcium-sensing protein visinin-like 1 protein (Vilip-1) as a peripheral biomarker in Alzheimer disease (AD), but little is known about expression of Vilip-1 in the brains of patients with AD. We used targeted and quantitative mass spectrometry to measure Vilip-1 peptide levels in the entorhinal cortex (ERC) and the superior frontal gyrus (SF) from cases with early to moderate stage AD, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and cognitively and neuropathologically normal elderly controls. We found that Vilip-1 levels were significantly lower in the ERC, but not in SF, of AD subjects compared to normal controls. In FTLD cases, Vilip-1 levels in the SF were significantly lower than in normal controls. These findings suggest a unique role for cerebrospinal fluid Vilip-1 as a biomarker of ERC neuron loss in AD.

  17. [Alterations in heat shock protein 70 kDa levels in human neutrophils under the heat shock conditions].

    PubMed

    Boĭko, A A; Vetchinin, S S; Sapozhnikov, A M; Kovalenko, E I

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular content of heat shock proteins of 70 kDa family (HSP70) possessing chaperone and cytoprotective functions depends on specialization and functional activity of the cells. The aim of this study was to analyze the dynamics of constitutive and inducible HSP70 levels evoked by heat shock in human neutrophils, the short-lived fraction of white blood cells providing non-specific defense against bacterial pathogens. Biphasic dynamics of the intracellular HSP70 level with an increase and following decrease in 15-30 min after the heat shock was revealed by flow cytometry. This dynamics was similar for constitutive and inducible forms of HSP70. Pre-incubation of neutrophils with cycloheximide, the inhibitor of protein synthesis, did not change the intracellular HSP70 dynamics registered by flow cytometry indicating that the increased HSP70 level detected immediately after the heat shock was not mediated by de novo protein synthesis. It was confirmed by Western blotting analysis of HSP70 intracellular content. It was suggested that the elevated HSP70 level was related to conformational HSP70 molecule changes and to increased availability of HSP70 epitopes for antibody binding. Using a panel of antibodies specific to the N-terminal ATP-binding or C-terminal substrate-binding domains of HSP70 it has been demonstrated by cell immunofluorescence and flow cytometry methods that the heat shock-associated increase of the intracellular HSP70 level was mediated by HSP70 interaction with antibodies recognizing HSP70 substrate-binding domain. It was demonstrated that the decrease of intracellular HSP70 level after heat treatment could be connected with a release of both inducible and constitutive HSP70 into extracellular space. Our data suggest that stress-induced release of HSP70 from neutrophils is regulated by ABC-transporters.

  18. Bisphenol A alters transcript levels of biomarker genes for Major Depressive Disorder in vascular endothelial cells and colon cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Varandas, Edna; Pereira, H Sofia; Viegas, Wanda; Delgado, Margarida

    2016-06-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is capable of mimicking endogenous hormones with potential consequences for human health and BPA exposure has been associated with several human diseases including neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) results show that BPA at low concentrations (10 ng/mL and 1 μg/mL) induces differential transcript levels of four biomarker genes for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in HT29 human colon adenocarcinona cell line and Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC). These results substantiate increasing concerns of BPA exposure in levels currently detected in humans. PMID:27010169

  19. Phylogenetic origins of early alterations in brain region proportions.

    PubMed

    Charvet, Christine J; Sandoval, Alexis L; Striedter, Georg F

    2010-01-01

    Adult galliform birds (e.g. chickens) exhibit a relatively small telencephalon and a proportionately large optic tectum compared with parrots and songbirds. We previously examined the embryonic origins of these adult species differences and found that the optic tectum is larger in quail than in parakeets and songbirds at early stages of development, prior to tectal neurogenesis onset. The aim of this study was to determine whether a proportionately large presumptive tectum is a primitive condition within birds or a derived feature of quail and other galliform birds. To this end, we examined embryonic brains of several avian species (emus, parrots, songbirds, waterfowl, galliform birds), reptiles (3 lizard species, alligators, turtles) and a monotreme (platypuses). Brain region volumes were estimated from serial Nissl-stained sections. We found that the embryos of galliform birds and lizards exhibit a proportionally larger presumptive tectum than all the other examined species. The presumptive tectum of the platypus is unusually small. The most parsimonious interpretation of these data is that the expanded embryonic tectum of lizards and galliform birds is a derived feature in both of these taxonomic groups.

  20. Histopathological alterations of juvenile green (Acipenser medirostris) and white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) exposed to graded levels of dietary methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jang-Won; Kim, Jae-Won; De Riu, Nicola; Moniello, Giuseppe; Hung, Silas S O

    2012-03-01

    Triplicate groups of juvenile green and white sturgeon (average weight of 30 ± 2 g) were exposed to one of four concentrations of dietary methylmercury (MeHg; 0, 25, 50, and 100 mg MeHg/kg diet) for 8 weeks to determine and compare the sensitivity of the two sturgeon species from a histopathological perspective. After 4- and 8-week exposure, histological changes were examined in the kidney, liver, gill, skeletal muscle, and heart muscle of both species using light microscopy. Marked abnormalities were observed in the kidney and liver of both sturgeon species after each exposure period; the abnormalities showed progressive histological alterations in severity with increasing doses and duration of exposure. Renal lesions included tubular epithelium degeneration and necrosis, renal corpuscular disintegration, and interstitial tissue degeneration. The changes observed in the livers of both sturgeon species were glycogen depletion and vacuolar degeneration. In the gill and skeletal and heart muscle of green and white sturgeon fed MeHg-added diets, mild histological changes were observed but did not show pronounced difference between the two species. Although the lowest observed effect concentration in both species was the 25 mg MeHg/kg diet, the histological changes in the kidney and liver were more pronounced at all treatments groups of green sturgeon than those of white sturgeon. The current results on structural changes of kidney and liver (i.e., more severe glycogen depletion and tubular epithelium degeneration in green sturgeon) confirmed our previous results, in that green sturgeon exhibited a higher mortality, lower growth rate, and lower protein, lipid, and energy contents in their whole body than white sturgeon under the same MeHg exposures.

  1. Species names in phylogenetic nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Cantino, P D; Bryant, H N; de Queiroz, K; Donoghue, M J; Eriksson, T; Hillis, D M; Lee, M S

    1999-12-01

    Linnaean binomial nomenclature is logically incompatible with the phylogenetic nomenclature of de Queiroz and Gauthier (1992, Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 23:449-480): The former is based on the concept of genus, thus making this rank mandatory, while the latter is based on phylogenetic definitions and requires the abandonment of mandatory ranks. Thus, if species are to receive names under phylogenetic nomenclature, a different method must be devised to name them. Here, 13 methods for naming species in the context of phylogenetic nomenclature are contrasted with each other and with Linnaean binomials. A fundamental dichotomy among the proposed methods distinguishes those that retain the entire binomial of a preexisting species name from those that retain only the specific epithet. Other relevant issues include the stability, uniqueness, and ease of pronunciation of species names; their capacity to convey phylogenetic information; and the distinguishability of species names that are governed by a code of phylogenetic nomenclature both from clade names and from species names governed by the current codes. No method is ideal. Each has advantages and drawbacks, and preference for one option over another will be influenced by one's evaluation of the relative importance of the pros and cons for each. Moreover, sometimes the same feature is viewed as an advantage by some and a drawback by others. Nevertheless, all of the proposed methods for naming species in the context of phylogenetic nomenclature provide names that are more stable than Linnaean binomials. PMID:12066299

  2. Hybrid Functional Electrical Stimulation Exercise Training Alters the Relationship Between Spinal Cord Injury Level and Aerobic Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, J. Andrew; Picard, Glen; Porter, Aidan; Morse, Leslie R.; Pronovost, Meghan F.; Deley, Gaelle

    2014-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that hybrid Functional Electrical Stimulation Row Training (FES-RT) would improve aerobic capacity but that it would remain strongly linked to level of spinal cord lesion due to limited maximal ventilation. Design Longitudinal before-after trial of 6 months FES-RT. Setting Exercise for persons with disabilities program. Participants Fourteen volunteers with complete SCI T3_T11, >2 years post-injury, aged 21–63 years. Interventions Six months of FES-RT preceded by a variable period of FES 'strength training.' Main Outcome Measures Peak aerobic capacity, and peak exercise ventilation before and after 6 months of FES-RT Results FES_RT significantly increased VO2peak and Vepeak (both p<0.05). Prior to FES-RT, there was a close relationship between level of spinal cord injury and VO2peak (adj r2=0.40, p=0.009) that was markedly reduced after FES-RT (adj r2=0.15, p=0.10) . In contrast, the relationship between level of injury and VEpeak was comparable before and after FES-RT (adj r2=0.38 vs. adj r2=0.32, both p<0.05). Conclusions The increased aerobic capacity reflects more than increased ventilation; FES_RT effectively circumvents the effect of the spinal cord injury on peak aerobic capacity by engaging more muscle mass for training, independent of level of injury. PMID:25152170

  3. Sex Hormones in Allergic Conjunctivitis: Altered Levels of Circulating Androgens and Estrogens in Children and Adolescents with Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis

    PubMed Central

    Sacchetti, Marta; Lambiase, Alessandro; Moretti, Costanzo; Bonini, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a chronic allergic disease mainly affecting boys in prepubertal age and usually recovering after puberty. To evaluate a possible role of sex hormones in VKC, serum levels of sex hormones in children and adolescents with VKC were assessed. Methods. 12 prepubertal and 7 early pubertal boys with active VKC and 6 male patients with VKC in remission phase at late pubertal age and 48 healthy age and sex-matched subjects were included. Serum concentration of estrone, 17 beta-estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, total testosterone and free testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), cortisol, delta-4-androstenedione, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex-hormones binding globuline (SHBG) were evaluated. Results. Serum levels of Estrone were significantly increased in all groups of patients with VKC when compared to healthy controls (P < 0.001). Prepubertal and early pubertal VKC showed a significant decrease in DHT (P = 0.007 and P = 0.028, resp.) and SHBG (P = 0.01 and P = 0.002, resp.) when compared to controls and serum levels of SHBG were increased in late pubertal VKC in remission phase (P = 0.007). Conclusions and Relevance. VKC patients have different circulating sex hormone levels in different phases of the disease and when compared to nonallergic subjects. These findings suggest a role played by sex hormones in the pathogenesis and/or activity of VKC. PMID:25756057

  4. Deletions of the SACPD-C locus elevate seed stearic acid levels but also result in fatty acid and morphological alterations in nitrogen fixing nodules

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Soybean (Glycine max) seeds are the primary source of edible oil in the United States. Despite its widespread utility, soybean oil is oxidatively unstable. Until recently, the majority of soybean oil underwent chemical hydrogenation, a process which also generates trans fats. An alternative to chemical hydrogenation is genetic modification of seed oil through identification and introgression of mutant alleles. One target for improvement is the elevation of a saturated fat with no negative cardiovascular impacts, stearic acid, which typically constitutes a minute portion of seed oil (~3%). Results We examined radiation induced soybean mutants with moderately increased stearic acid (10-15% of seed oil, ~3-5 X the levels in wild-type soybean seeds) via comparative whole genome hybridization and genetic analysis. The deletion of one SACPD isoform encoding gene (SACPD-C) was perfectly correlated with moderate elevation of seed stearic acid content. However, SACPD-C deletion lines were also found to have altered nodule fatty acid composition and grossly altered morphology. Despite these defects, overall nodule accumulation and nitrogen fixation were unaffected, at least under laboratory conditions. Conclusions Although no yield penalty has been reported for moderate elevated seed stearic acid content in soybean seeds, our results demonstrate that genetic alteration of seed traits can have unforeseen pleiotropic consequences. We have identified a role for fatty acid biosynthesis, and SACPD activity in particular, in the establishment and maintenance of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. PMID:24886084

  5. Patients treated for male pattern hair with finasteride show, after discontinuation of the drug, altered levels of neuroactive steroids in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Donatella; Abbiati, Federico; Giatti, Silvia; Romano, Simone; Fusco, Letizia; Cavaletti, Guido; Melcangi, Roberto Cosimo

    2015-02-01

    Observations performed in a subset of patients treated for male pattern hair loss indicate that persistent sexual side effects as well as anxious/depressive symptomatology have been reported even after discontinuation of finasteride treatment. Due to the capability of finasteride to block the metabolism of progesterone (PROG) and/or testosterone (T) we have evaluated, by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, the levels of several neuroactive steroids in paired plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples obtained from post-finasteride patients and in healthy controls. At the examination, post-finasteride patients reported muscular stiffness, cramps, tremors and chronic fatigue in the absence of clinical evidence of any muscular disorder or strength reduction. Although severity of the anxious/depressive symptoms was quite variable in their frequency, overall all the subjects had a fairly complex and constant neuropsychiatric pattern. Assessment of neuroactive steroid levels in CSF showed a decrease of PROG and its metabolites, dihydroprogesterone (DHP) and tetrahydroprogesterone (THP), associated with an increase of its precursor pregnenolone (PREG). Altered levels were also observed for T and its metabolites. Thus, a significant decrease of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) associated with an increase of T as well as of 3α-diol was detected. Changes in neuroactive steroid levels also occurred in plasma. An increase of PREG, T, 3α-diol, 3β-diol and 17β-estradiol was associated with decreased levels of DHP and THP. The present observations show that altered levels of neuroactive steroids, associated with depression symptoms, are present in androgenic alopecia patients even after discontinuation of the finasteride treatment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Sex steroids and brain disorders'.

  6. Altered Concentrations of Copper, Zinc, and Iron are Associated With Increased Levels of Glycated Hemoglobin in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Their First-Degree Relatives

    PubMed Central

    Atari-Hajipirloo, Somayeh; Valizadeh, Neda; Khadem-Ansari, Mohammad-Hassan; Rasmi, Yousef; Kheradmand, Fatemeh

    2016-01-01

    Background The altered levels of some essential trace elements and antioxidant minerals have been observed in diabetic patients. Objectives The aim of the present study was to compare the concentrations of essential trace elements, copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) in the serum of patients who have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with those of their non-diabetic first-degree relatives (FDR) and control subjects. The association between glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and levels of metals was also evaluated. Patients and Methods We studied 46 subjects with T2DM, 46 FDR, and 50 control subjects matched for age and sex. Serum concentrations of Cu, Zn, and Fe were measured by colorimetric kit. Fasting blood glucose (FBG) and HbA1c were assayed using the standard kit. Results An imbalance in the levels of the studied metals was observed in both patients with T2DM and FDR. We found significantly decreased levels of Zn and higher levels of Cu and Fe in the patients with T2DM and FDR when compared with the control subjects (P < 0.05). HbA1c levels were positively correlated with Cu and Fe and inversely correlated with Zn in the patients with T2DM and FDR (P < 0.05). Conclusions The patients with T2DM and FDR had altered contents of Cu, Zn, and Fe that might be a predisposing factor to the development of diabetes in future or vice versa the result of diabetes development. Impaired metabolism of these elements may contribute to the augmented risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus later in the life of their first-degree relatives. PMID:27761143

  7. Alterations in polyamine levels induced by phorbol diesters and other agents that promote differentiation in human promyelocytic leukemia cells

    SciTech Connect

    Huberman, E.; Weeks, C.; Herrmann, A.; Callaham, M.; Slaga, T.

    1981-02-01

    Polyamine levels were evaluated in human HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells after treatment with inducers of terminal differentiation. Differentiation in these cells was determined by increases in the percentage of morphologically mature cells and in lysozyme activity. Treatment of the HL-60 cells with phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), phorbol 12,13-didecanoate or other inducers of terminal differentiation such as dimethylsulfoxide and retinoic acid resulted in increased levels of putrescine. However, no increase in putrescine could be detected after PMA treatment of a HL-60 cell variant that exhibited a decreased susceptibility to PMA-induced terminal differentiation. Similarly, no increase in putrescine was observed with two nontumor-promoters (phorbol 12,13-diacetate and 4-O-methyl-PMA) or with anthralin, a non-phorbol tumor promoter. In addition to enhancing putrescine levels, PMA also increased the amount of spermidine and decreased the amount of spermine. The increase in putrescine and spermidine preceded the expression of the various differentiation markers. Unlike the changes observed in the polyamine levels after PMA treatment, the activities of ornithine and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylases, which are polyamine biosynthetic enzymes, did not significantly change. ..cap alpha..-Methylornithine and ..cap alpha..-difluoromethylornithine and methylglyoxal bis(guanylhydrazone), which are inhibitors of the polyamine biosynthetic enzymes, did not affect differentiation in control or PMA-treated cells. Because of these observations, we suggest that the change in polyamine levels involve biochemical pathways other than the known biosynthetic ones. By-products of these pathways may perhaps be the controlling factors involved in the induction of terminal differentiation in the HL-60 and other cell types as well.

  8. Phylogenetic lineages in Pseudocercospora

    PubMed Central

    Crous, P.W.; Braun, U.; Hunter, G.C.; Wingfield, M.J.; Verkley, G.J.M.; Shin, H.-D.; Nakashima, C.; Groenewald, J.Z.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudocercospora is a large cosmopolitan genus of plant pathogenic fungi that are commonly associated with leaf and fruit spots as well as blights on a wide range of plant hosts. They occur in arid as well as wet environments and in a wide range of climates including cool temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions. Pseudocercospora is now treated as a genus in its own right, although formerly recognised as either an anamorphic state of Mycosphaerella or having mycosphaerella-like teleomorphs. The aim of this study was to sequence the partial 28S nuclear ribosomal RNA gene of a selected set of isolates to resolve phylogenetic generic limits within the Pseudocercospora complex. From these data, 14 clades are recognised, six of which cluster in Mycosphaerellaceae. Pseudocercospora s. str. represents a distinct clade, sister to Passalora eucalypti, and a clade representing the genera Scolecostigmina, Trochophora and Pallidocercospora gen. nov., taxa formerly accommodated in the Mycosphaerella heimii complex and characterised by smooth, pale brown conidia, as well as the formation of red crystals in agar media. Other clades in Mycosphaerellaceae include Sonderhenia, Microcyclosporella, and Paracercospora. Pseudocercosporella resides in a large clade along with Phloeospora, Miuraea, Cercospora and Septoria. Additional clades represent Dissoconiaceae, Teratosphaeriaceae, Cladosporiaceae, and the genera Xenostigmina, Strelitziana, Cyphellophora and Thedgonia. The genus Phaeomycocentrospora is introduced to accommodate Mycocentrospora cantuariensis, primarily distinguished from Pseudocercospora based on its hyaline hyphae, broad conidiogenous loci and hila. Host specificity was considered for 146 species of Pseudocercospora occurring on 115 host genera from 33 countries. Partial nucleotide sequence data for three gene loci, ITS, EF-1α, and ACT suggest that the majority of these species are host specific. Species identified on the basis of host, symptomatology and general

  9. Natural Single-Nucleotide Variations in the HIV-1 Genomic SA1prox Region Can Alter Viral Replication Ability by Regulating Vif Expression Levels

    PubMed Central

    Nomaguchi, Masako; Doi, Naoya; Sakai, Yosuke; Ode, Hirotaka; Iwatani, Yasumasa; Matsumoto, Yui; Miyazaki, Yasuyuki; Masuda, Takao

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT We previously found that natural single-nucleotide variations located within a proximal region of splicing acceptor 1 (SA1prox) in the HIV-1 genome could alter the viral replication potential and mRNA expression pattern, especially the vif mRNA level. Here, we studied the virological and molecular basis of nucleotide sequence variations in SA1prox for alterations of viral replication ability. Consistent with our previous findings, variant clones indeed expressed Vif at different levels and grew distinctively in cells with various APOBEC3G expression levels. Similar effects were observed for natural variations found in HIV-2 SA1prox, suggesting the importance of the SA1prox sequence. To define nucleotides critical for the regulation of HIV-1 Vif expression, effects of natural SA1prox variations newly found in the HIV Sequence Compendium database on vif mRNA/Vif protein levels were examined. Seven out of nine variations were found to produce Vif at lower, higher, or more excessive levels than wild-type NL4-3. Combination experiments of variations giving distinct Vif levels suggested that the variations mutually affected vif transcript production. While low and high producers of Vif grew in an APOBEC3G-dependent manner, excessive expressers always showed an impeded growth phenotype due to defects in single-cycle infectivity and/or virion production levels. The phenotype of excessive expressers was not due primarily to inadequate expression of Tat or Rev, although SA1prox variations altered the overall HIV-1 mRNA expression pattern. Collectively, our results demonstrate that HIV SA1prox regulates Vif expression levels and suggest a relationship between SA1prox and viral adaptation/evolution given that variations occurred naturally. IMPORTANCE While human cells possess restriction factors to inhibit HIV-1 replication, HIV-1 encodes antagonists to overcome these barriers. Conflicts between host restriction factors and viral counterparts are critical driving

  10. Postnatal ethanol exposure alters levels of 2-arachidonylglycerol-metabolizing enzymes and pharmacological inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase does not cause neurodegeneration in neonatal mice.

    PubMed

    Subbanna, Shivakumar; Psychoyos, Delphine; Xie, Shan; Basavarajappa, Balapal S

    2015-07-01

    The consumption of ethanol by pregnant women may cause neurological abnormalities, affecting learning and memory processes in children, and are collectively described as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes are still poorly understood. In our previous studies, we found that ethanol treatment of postnatal day 7 (P7) mice significantly enhances the anandamide levels but not the 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) levels and induces widespread neurodegeneration, but the reason for the lack of significant effects of ethanol on the 2-AG level is unknown. In this study, we examined developmental changes in diacylglycerol lipase-α, β (DAGL-α and β) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). We found that the levels of these proteins were significantly higher in adult brains compared to those detected early in brain development. Next, we examined the influence of P7 ethanol treatment on these enzymes, finding that it differentially altered the DAGL-α protein and mRNA levels but consistently enhanced those of the DAGL-β. Interestingly, the ethanol treatment enhanced MAGL protein and mRNA levels. Inhibition of MAGL with KML29 failed to induce neurodegeneration in P7 mice. Collectively, these findings suggest that ethanol significantly activates DAGL-β and MAGL in the neonatal brain, resulting in no net change in 2-AG levels.

  11. Prozac affects stickleback nest quality without altering androgen, spiggin or aggression levels during a 21-day breeding test.

    PubMed

    Sebire, Marion; Elphinstone Davis, Jessica; Hatfield, Robert; Winberg, Svante; Katsiadaki, Ioanna

    2015-11-01

    Pharmaceuticals are increasingly being used in human and veterinary medicine, and their presence in the aquatic environment may present a threat to non-target aquatic organisms. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (Prozac) has been reported to affect diverse behaviours (feeding, aggression, and reproduction) and also the endocrine system (steroid biosynthesis pathway) in fish. To investigate these claims further, and in particular effects on androgen synthesis, male three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) were exposed to fluoxetine at 0, 3.2, 10 and 32μg/L in a flow-through system for 21 days. Their sex was determined prior to exposure using a non-invasive method to collect DNA for determining the genetic sex, reported here for the first time. This was necessary as the exposure required males of a non-breeding status which had not developed secondary characteristics. Post exposure a number of biochemical (serotonin, steroid and spiggin levels) and apical (aggressive behaviour) endpoints were measured. No effects were detected on morphometric parameters, spiggin or androgen (11-ketotestosterone) levels. However, all fluoxetine-exposed male fish had higher cortisol levels in comparison to the control fish, although this effect only persisted throughout the whole exposure duration at the highest concentration (32μg/L). In addition, the ratio of 5-HIAA/5-HT (serotonin metabolite/serotonin) was significantly lower in the brains of males exposed to fluoxetine at all concentrations tested. Although we found no differences in the number of nests built by the males, the quality of the nests produced by the fluoxetine-exposed males was generally inferior consisting only of a basic, rudimentary structure. Males exposed to 32μg/L of fluoxetine displayed a delayed response to a simulated threat (rival male via own mirror image) and were less aggressive (number of bites and attacks) toward their mirror image, but these differences were not

  12. Phylogenetics and the Human Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Matsen, Frederick A.

    2015-01-01

    The human microbiome is the ensemble of genes in the microbes that live inside and on the surface of humans. Because microbial sequencing information is now much easier to come by than phenotypic information, there has been an explosion of sequencing and genetic analysis of microbiome samples. Much of the analytical work for these sequences involves phylogenetics, at least indirectly, but methodology has developed in a somewhat different direction than for other applications of phylogenetics. In this article, I review the field and its methods from the perspective of a phylogeneticist, as well as describing current challenges for phylogenetics coming from this type of work. PMID:25102857

  13. Glutathione peroxidase 1 expression, malondialdehyde levels and histological alterations in the liver of Acrossocheilus fasciatus exposed to cadmium chloride.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guo-Di; Sheng, Zhang; Wang, You-Fa; Han, Ying-Li; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jun-Quan

    2016-03-10

    Cadmium (Cd) is known as a widespread pollutant in aquatic environment. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is attributed to Cd exposure, which may affect the growth, development and physiological metabolism of aquatic organisms. In response to these unfavorable damages, antioxidant systems have been developed to protect against oxidative stress. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of glutathione peroxidase 1 genes (GPx-1a and GPx-1b) in the liver of Acrossocheilus fasciatus after Cd administration. Total RNA extraction, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) were performed in order to clone the A. fasciatus GPx-1a and GPx-1b full-length cDNA sequences and partial fragment of β-actin cDNA from the liver for the first time. Tissue-specific expression analysis proved that GPx-1 genes were widely expressed in the liver, kidney, gill, testis, muscle, spleen, heart and brain. The changes of GPx-1 mRNA and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the liver treated with Cd were measured. In addition, the acute toxic effects of Cd on the microstructure of the liver were studied using light microscopy. These results suggest that GPx-1, MDA and liver histology which represent molecular, biochemical and histological levels, can be used as potential biomarkers to monitor Cd pollution. The overall findings also highlight the potential use of those three bio-indicators combined together as a multi-level tool (molecular, biochemical and histological levels) when monitoring Cd contamination and other possible exogenetic pollutants in aquatic environment. PMID:26707212

  14. Low β2-adrenergic receptor level may promote development of castration resistant prostate cancer and altered steroid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Betina; Kellman, Ralf; Gauthier-Landry, Louis; Fazli, Ladan; Krobert, Kurt Allen; Wang, Wanzhong; Levy, Finn Olav; Bjartell, Anders; Berge, Viktor; Rennie, Paul S.; Mellgren, Gunnar; Mælandsmo, Gunhild Mari; Svindland, Aud; Barbier, Olivier; Taskén, Kristin Austlid

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms responsible for the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in patients who have undergone androgen deprivation therapy are not fully understood. This is the first study to address whether β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2)- mediated signaling may affect CRPC progression in vivo. By immunohistochemical analyses, we observed that low levels of ADRB2 is associated with a more rapid development of CRPC in a Norwegian patient cohort. To elucidate mechanisms by which ADRB2 may affect CRPC development, we stably transfected LNCaP cells with shRNAs to mimic low and high expression of ADRB2. Two UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, involved in phase II metabolism of androgens, were strongly downregulated in two LNCaP shADRB2 cell lines. The low-ADRB2 LNCaP cell lines displayed lowered glucuronidation activities towards androgens than high-ADRB2 cells. Furthermore, increased levels of testosterone and enhanced androgen responsiveness were observed in LNCaP cells expressing low level of ADRB2. Interestingly, these cells grew faster than high-ADRB2 LNCaP cells, and sustained their low glucuronidation activity in castrated NOD/SCID mice. ADRB2 immunohistochemical staining intensity correlated with UGT2B15 staining intensity in independent TMA studies and with UGT2B17 in one TMA study. Similar to ADRB2, we show that low levels of UGT2B15 are associated with a more rapid CRPC progression. We propose a novel mechanism by which ADRB2 may affect the development of CRPC through downregulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17. PMID:26646591

  15. Histopathological alterations, biochemical responses and acetylcholinesterase levels in Clarias gariepinus as biomarkers of exposure to organophosphates pesticides.

    PubMed

    Doherty, V F; Ladipo, M K; Aneyo, I A; Adeola, A; Odulele, W Y

    2016-05-01

    Organophosphate pesticides, commonly used in large scale farming, have been found to be major contaminants in aquatic environment. Clarias gariepinus was exposed to acute and sublethal concentrations of phostoxin and DD Force to evaluate single and joint action toxicity of the organophosphates. Effects of phostoxin and DD force on antioxidant enzymes, fish organs and acetylcholinesterase levels in fingerlings and juveniles of C. gariepinus were also investigated. The lethal concentrations (96 h LC50) for phostoxin and DD Force were 0.631 and 1.759 mg/l, respectively. The results obtained from the bioassay showed that phostoxin was 2.8× more toxic than DD Force after exposure of C. gariepinus. Joint action toxicity evaluations of phostoxin and DD Force showed that the interaction between the chemicals was synergistic (RTU >1). The biochemical responses in the exposed fish differed significantly (P < 0.05) from the control fish. The result of acetylcholinesterase study revealed significant difference between acetylcholinesterase levels in the exposed fish and control, with reduction in the acetylcholineterase level in fish exposed to sublethal concentrations of phostoxin and DD Force. Haematological studies revealed an increase in WBC, RBC, PCV and platelets in the exposed fish. Histopathology of the gills showed shortened primary lamellae, loss of secondary lamellae and loss of ceratobrachial bones. In the acute toxicity studies, respiratory stress, erratic swimming and instant death of fish were observed in the exposed fish. This study reveals that changes in histopathology and acetylcholinesterase level are good biomarkers and can be successfully used to detect exposure to organophosphates pesticides in fish. PMID:27121169

  16. Glutathione peroxidase 1 expression, malondialdehyde levels and histological alterations in the liver of Acrossocheilus fasciatus exposed to cadmium chloride.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guo-Di; Sheng, Zhang; Wang, You-Fa; Han, Ying-Li; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jun-Quan

    2016-03-10

    Cadmium (Cd) is known as a widespread pollutant in aquatic environment. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is attributed to Cd exposure, which may affect the growth, development and physiological metabolism of aquatic organisms. In response to these unfavorable damages, antioxidant systems have been developed to protect against oxidative stress. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of glutathione peroxidase 1 genes (GPx-1a and GPx-1b) in the liver of Acrossocheilus fasciatus after Cd administration. Total RNA extraction, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) were performed in order to clone the A. fasciatus GPx-1a and GPx-1b full-length cDNA sequences and partial fragment of β-actin cDNA from the liver for the first time. Tissue-specific expression analysis proved that GPx-1 genes were widely expressed in the liver, kidney, gill, testis, muscle, spleen, heart and brain. The changes of GPx-1 mRNA and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the liver treated with Cd were measured. In addition, the acute toxic effects of Cd on the microstructure of the liver were studied using light microscopy. These results suggest that GPx-1, MDA and liver histology which represent molecular, biochemical and histological levels, can be used as potential biomarkers to monitor Cd pollution. The overall findings also highlight the potential use of those three bio-indicators combined together as a multi-level tool (molecular, biochemical and histological levels) when monitoring Cd contamination and other possible exogenetic pollutants in aquatic environment.

  17. Long-term exposure to paraquat alters behavioral parameters and dopamine levels in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Bortolotto, Josiane W; Cognato, Giana P; Christoff, Raissa R; Roesler, Laura N; Leite, Carlos E; Kist, Luiza W; Bogo, Mauricio R; Vianna, Monica R; Bonan, Carla D

    2014-04-01

    Chronic exposure to paraquat (Pq), a toxic herbicide, can result in Parkinsonian symptoms. This study evaluated the effect of the systemic administration of Pq on locomotion, learning and memory, social interaction, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression, dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels, and dopamine transporter (DAT) gene expression in zebrafish. Adult zebrafish received an i.p. injection of either 10 mg/kg (Pq10) or 20 mg/kg (Pq20) of Pq every 3 days for a total of six injections. Locomotion and distance traveled decreased at 24 h after each injection in both treatment doses. In addition, both Pq10- and Pq20-treated animals exhibited differential effects on the absolute turn angle. Nonmotor behaviors were also evaluated, and no changes were observed in anxiety-related behaviors or social interactions in Pq-treated zebrafish. However, Pq-treated animals demonstrated impaired acquisition and consolidation of spatial memory in the Y-maze task. Interestingly, dopamine levels increased while DOPAC levels decreased in the zebrafish brain after both treatments. However, DAT expression decreased in the Pq10-treated group, and there was no change in the Pq20-treated group. The amount of TH protein showed no significant difference in the treated group. Our study establishes a new model to study Parkinson-associated symptoms in zebrafish that have been chronically treated with Pq.

  18. Altered transcription levels of endocrine associated genes in two fisheries species collected from the Great Barrier Reef catchment and lagoon.

    PubMed

    Kroon, Frederieke J; Hook, Sharon E; Jones, Dean; Metcalfe, Suzanne; Henderson, Brent; Smith, Rachael; Warne, Michael St J; Turner, Ryan D; McKeown, Adam; Westcott, David A

    2015-03-01

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is chronically exposed to agricultural run-off containing pesticides, many of which are known endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Here, we measure mRNA transcript abundance of two EDC biomarkers in wild populations of barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus and Plectropomus maculatus). Transcription levels of liver vitellogenin (vtg) differed significantly in both species amongst sites with different exposures to agricultural run-off; brain aromatase (cyp19a1b) revealed some differences for barramundi only. Exposure to run-off from sugarcane that contains pesticides is a likely pathway given (i) significant associations between barramundi vtg transcription levels, catchment sugarcane land use, and river pesticide concentrations, and (ii) consistency between patterns of coral trout vtg transcription levels and pesticide distribution in the GBR lagoon. Given the potential consequences of such exposure for reproductive fitness and population dynamics, these results are cause for concern for the sustainability of fisheries resources downstream from agricultural land uses.

  19. Alterations in superoxide dismutase activities, lipid peroxidation and glutathione levels in thinner inhaled rat lungs: relationship between histopathological properties.

    PubMed

    Ulakoğlu, E Z; Saygi, A; Gümüştaş, M K; Zor, E; Oztek, I; Kökoğlu, E

    1998-09-01

    Paint thinner has widespread use in industry. The use of thinner among children as a narcotic agent has become a social and health problem. There is some evidence that organic solvents may express their toxicity by the way of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced cell damage. ROS has been shown to induce lipid peroxidation in biological membranes. This study examined peroxidative and histopathological changes in the rat lung, during 5 weeks of thinner inhalation. Significant increases were found in lipid peroxidation (MDA+4-DHA) levels related to the duration of inhalation. As opposed to increases in the lipid peroxidation levels, significant decreases in superoxide dismutase activities and glutathione levels were observed from the third inhalation week to the end of the fifth week. At the beginning of the inhalation slight inflammatory changes, intraalveolar and interstitial extravasation and oedema in lung parenchyma were noted. As the inhalation period extended, chronic inflammatory changes, alveolar epithelial proliferation, collapse, emphysematous changes and interstitial fibrosis in lung were detected. PMID:9782071

  20. Chronic Deep Brain Stimulation of the Hypothalamic Nucleus in Wistar Rats Alters Circulatory Levels of Corticosterone and Proinflammatory Cytokines

    PubMed Central

    Calleja-Castillo, Juan Manuel; De La Cruz-Aguilera, Dora Luz; Manjarrez, Joaquín; Velasco-Velázquez, Marco Antonio; Morales-Espinoza, Gabriel; Moreno-Aguilar, Julia; Hernández, Maria Eugenia; Aguirre-Cruz, Lucinda

    2013-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a therapeutic option for several diseases, but its effects on HPA axis activity and systemic inflammation are unknown. This study aimed to detect circulatory variations of corticosterone and cytokines levels in Wistar rats, after 21 days of DBS-at the ventrolateral part of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMHvl), unilateral cervical vagotomy (UCVgX), or UCVgX plus DBS. We included the respective control (C) and sham (S) groups (n = 6 rats per group). DBS treated rats had higher levels of TNF-α (120%; P < 0.01) and IFN-γ (305%; P < 0.001) but lower corticosterone concentration (48%; P < 0.001) than C and S. UCVgX animals showed increased corticosterone levels (154%; P < 0.001) versus C and S. UCVgX plus DBS increased IL-1β (402%; P < 0.001), IL-6 (160%; P < 0.001), and corsticosterone (178%; P < 0.001 versus 48%; P < 0.001) compared with the C and S groups. Chronic DBS at VMHvl induced a systemic inflammatory response accompanied by a decrease of HPA axis function. UCVgX rats experienced HPA axis hyperactivity as result of vagus nerve injury; however, DBS was unable to block the HPA axis hyperactivity induced by unilateral cervical vagotomy. Further studies are necessary to explore these findings and their clinical implication. PMID:24235973

  1. Canavanine Alters ROS/RNS Level and Leads to Post-translational Modification of Proteins in Roots of Tomato Seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Krasuska, Urszula; Andrzejczak, Olga; Staszek, Paweł; Bogatek, Renata; Gniazdowska, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    Canavanine (CAN), a structural analog of arginine (Arg), is used as a selective inhibitor of inducible NOS in mammals. CAN is incorporated into proteins’ structure in the place of Arg, leading to the formation of aberrant compounds. This non-protein amino acid is found in legumes, e.g., Canavalia ensiformis (L.) DC. or Sutherlandia frutescens (L.) R.Br. and acts as a strong toxin against herbivores or plants. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedlings were treated for 24–72 h with CAN (10 or 50 μM) inhibiting root growth by 50 or 100%, without lethal effect. We determined ROS level/production in root extracts, fluorescence of DAF-FM and APF derivatives corresponding to RNS level in roots of tomato seedlings and linked CAN-induced restriction of root growth to the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins: carbonylation and nitration. Both PTMs are stable markers of nitro-oxidative stress, regarded as the plant’s secondary response to phytotoxins. CAN enhanced H2O2 content and superoxide radicals generation in extracts of tomato roots and stimulated formation of protein carbonyl groups. An elevated level of carbonylated proteins was characteristic for the plants after 72 h of the culture, mainly for the roots exposed to 10 μM CAN. The proteolytic activity was stimulated by tested non-protein amino acid. CAN treatment led to decline of fluorescence of DAF-FM derivatives, and transiently stimulated fluorescence of APF derivatives. Short-term exposure of tomato seedlings to CAN lowered the protein nitration level. Activity of peroxidase, polyamine oxidase and NADPH oxidase, enzymes acting as modulators of H2O2 concentration and governing root architecture and growth were determined. Activities of all enzymes were stimulated by CAN, but no strict CAN concentration dependence was observed. We conclude, that although CAN treatment led to a decline in the nitric oxide level, PTMs observed in roots of plants exposed to CAN are linked rather to the

  2. Canavanine Alters ROS/RNS Level and Leads to Post-translational Modification of Proteins in Roots of Tomato Seedlings.

    PubMed

    Krasuska, Urszula; Andrzejczak, Olga; Staszek, Paweł; Bogatek, Renata; Gniazdowska, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    Canavanine (CAN), a structural analog of arginine (Arg), is used as a selective inhibitor of inducible NOS in mammals. CAN is incorporated into proteins' structure in the place of Arg, leading to the formation of aberrant compounds. This non-protein amino acid is found in legumes, e.g., Canavalia ensiformis (L.) DC. or Sutherlandia frutescens (L.) R.Br. and acts as a strong toxin against herbivores or plants. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedlings were treated for 24-72 h with CAN (10 or 50 μM) inhibiting root growth by 50 or 100%, without lethal effect. We determined ROS level/production in root extracts, fluorescence of DAF-FM and APF derivatives corresponding to RNS level in roots of tomato seedlings and linked CAN-induced restriction of root growth to the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins: carbonylation and nitration. Both PTMs are stable markers of nitro-oxidative stress, regarded as the plant's secondary response to phytotoxins. CAN enhanced H2O2 content and superoxide radicals generation in extracts of tomato roots and stimulated formation of protein carbonyl groups. An elevated level of carbonylated proteins was characteristic for the plants after 72 h of the culture, mainly for the roots exposed to 10 μM CAN. The proteolytic activity was stimulated by tested non-protein amino acid. CAN treatment led to decline of fluorescence of DAF-FM derivatives, and transiently stimulated fluorescence of APF derivatives. Short-term exposure of tomato seedlings to CAN lowered the protein nitration level. Activity of peroxidase, polyamine oxidase and NADPH oxidase, enzymes acting as modulators of H2O2 concentration and governing root architecture and growth were determined. Activities of all enzymes were stimulated by CAN, but no strict CAN concentration dependence was observed. We conclude, that although CAN treatment led to a decline in the nitric oxide level, PTMs observed in roots of plants exposed to CAN are linked rather to the formation of

  3. IMPAIRED NATURAL KILLER CELL LYSIS IN BREAST CANCER PATIENTS WITH HIGH LEVELS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH ALTERED EXPRESSION OF KILLER IMMUNOGLOBULIN-LIKE RECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    Varker, Kimberly A.; Terrell, Catherine E.; Welt, Marilyn; Suleiman, Samer; Thornton, Lisa; Andersen, Barbara L.; Carson, William E.

    2007-01-01

    Background We previously reported that cancer-related psychological stress is associated with reduced natural killer (NK) cell lysis. We hypothesized that reduced NK cell cytotoxicity in patients with increased levels of stress would correlate with alterations in the expression of inhibitory NK cell receptors (killer immunoglobulin-like receptors, or KIRs). The specific aim of this study was to examine KIR expression in patients with high or low levels of psychologic stress and correlate alterations in KIR expression with NK cell function. Materials and Methods 227 patients underwent baseline evaluation of cancer-related psychological stress and were randomized to psychosocial intervention versus observation. From this population, two groups were defined based on pre-treatment measurements of NK lytic activity, stress levels, and the availability of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Group I (n = 9) had low stress by the Impact of Events Scale (IES), and high NK cell lysis at the 50:1 effector: target ratio (NK50 = 52–89%). Group II (n = 8) had high stress and low NK50 (27–52%). Lymphokine activated killer (LAK) activity, antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and expression of cytokine receptors, adhesion molecules, and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) were assessed in PBMC. Results Incubation of PBMC with NK-stimulatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-12, or IL-15) led to significant increases in cytotoxic activity regardless of IES/NK50 scores. There were no significant group differences in NK cell surface expression of the IL-2 receptor components CD25 and CD122, antibody-dependent lysis of HER2/neu-positive SKBr3 cells treated with an anti-HER2/neu monoclonal antibody, expression of adhesion molecules (CD2, CD11a, CD18) and markers of activation (CD69), or expression of the KIRs CD158a, NKG2a, NKB1, and CD161. However, levels of CD158b were significantly higher in Group I after incubation in media alone or with IL-2, and CD94

  4. Dioxin exposure reduces the steroidogenic capacity of mouse antral follicles mainly at the level of HSD17B1 without altering atresia

    PubMed Central

    Karman, Bethany N.; Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S.; Hannon, Patrick; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2013-01-01

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a potent ovarian toxicant. Previously, we demonstrated that in vitro TCDD (1 nM) exposure decreases production/secretion of the sex steroid hormones progesterone (P4), androstenedione (A4), testosterone (T), and 17β-estradiol (E2) in mouse antral follicles. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism by which TCDD inhibits steroidogenesis. Specifically, we examined the effects of TCDD on the steroidogenic enzymes, atresia, and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) protein. TCDD exposure for 48 h increased levels of A4, without changing HSD3B1 protein, HSD17B1 protein, estrone (E1), T or E2 levels. Further, TCDD did not alter atresia ratings compared to vehicle at 48 h. TCDD, however, did down regulate the AHR protein at 48 h. TCDD exposure for 96 h decreased transcript levels for Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1, Hsd17b1, and Cyp19a1, but increased Hsd3b1 transcript. TCDD exposure particularly lowered both Hsd17b1 transcript and HSD17B1 protein. However, TCDD exposure did not affect levels of E1 in the media nor atresia ratings at 96 h. TCDD, however, decreased levels of the proapoptotic factor Bax. Collectively, these data suggest that TCDD exposure causes a major block in the steroidogenic enzyme conversion of A4 to T and E1 to E2 and that it regulates apoptotic pathways, favoring survival over death in antral follicles. Finally, the down-regulation of the AHR protein in TCDD exposed follicles persisted at 96 h, indicating that the activation and proteasomal degradation of this receptor likely plays a central role in the impaired steroidogenic capacity and altered apoptotic pathway of exposed antral follicles. PMID:22889882

  5. Ovarian carcinoma cells in serous effusions show altered MMP-2 and TIMP-2 mRNA levels.

    PubMed

    Davidson, B; Reich, R; Berner, A; Givant-Horwitz, V; Goldberg, I; Risberg, B; Kristensen, G B; Trope, C G; Bryne, M; Kopolovic, J; Nesland, J M

    2001-11-01

    The expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and their inhibitor TIMP-2 in serous effusions from patients with ovarian carcinoma and its association with clinico-pathological parameters were analysed. The findings in carcinoma cells in effusions were compared with corresponding primary and metastatic lesions. Sixty-six effusions and 96 tissue sections were stained for MMP-1, MMP-2 and MMP-9 applying immunohistochemistry (IHC) and analysed for MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-2 expression using mRNA in situ hybridisation (ISH). MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA levels in 30 effusions were subsequently analysed using reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MMP and TIMP expression was detected in both carcinoma and mesothelial cells in effusions. The levels were consistently higher in malignant cells, significantly so for MMP-1 (P=0.016) and MMP-2 (P=0.036) proteins, as well as for TIMP-2 mRNA (P=0.008). In tissue sections, MMP-1, MMP-2 and MMP-9 protein expression was mostly localised to tumour cells, while MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-2 mRNA were predominantly detected in stromal cells. Adenocarcinoma cells in effusions showed a significant upregulation of MMP-2 expression compared with primary tumours, with a concomitant downregulation of TIMP-2. RT-PCR demonstrated the presence of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in 28/30 and 0/30 specimens, respectively. MMP and TIMP are thus mainly synthesised by cancer cells in effusions, while stromal cells have a similar role in solid tumours. MMP-1 and MMP-2 production predominates over that of MMP-9 in effusions. Increased MMP-2 and reduced TIMP-2 levels are seen in ovarian carcinoma cells in effusions, possibly marking the acquisition of a metastatic phenotype. PMID:11597382

  6. Metal-supplemented diets alter carbohydrate levels in tissue and hemolymph of gypsy moth larvae (Lymantria dispar, Lymantriidae, Lepidoptera)

    SciTech Connect

    Ortel, J.

    1996-07-01

    Larvae of Lymantria dispar were exposed to two concentrations each of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn from hatching to day 3 of the fourth instar. The metals were applied via artificial diet (wheat germ diet); two control groups were reared on either an uncontaminated artificial diet (C) or on a natural diet (oak leaves, EF). High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed to analyze the hemolymph carbohydrates, whereas body glycogen and glucose were determined enzymatically. The results were analyzed with respect to diet-specific differences (oak leaves versus wheat germ diet) and metal exposure compared with the uncontaminated artificial diet. Hemolymph trehalose levels were higher in oak leaf-reared individuals than in those fed on the wheat germ diet (p < 0.01), whereas the opposite applied to the body glycogen and free glucose levels (p < 0.01). The average trehalose value of the control (C) (4.3 mg/ml) was reduced by metal contamination, dependent on both the metal itself and the concentration (Cd, Cu, Zn; 1.4--3.3 mg/ml). Sorbitol was not detected in the hemolymph of EF specimens, whereas it occurred in all artificial diet-fed groups. Metal- and dose-dependent differences in the hemolymph sorbitol levels were observed in the treatment groups, but not in the controls. Glycogen content increased in the low concentration of Cd, Pb, and Cu, whereas a decrease was observed for the low Cd and both Zn concentrations. Tissue free glucose was enhanced only in three of the metal groups. Generally, fresh and dry weights of larvae were reduced in all groups except the high Cu-contaminated one. The results may indicate that mass outbreaks of an important forest pest insect like L. dispar may be facilitated in metal-contaminated areas because parasitization success of antagonistic species may decline due to deterioration of nourishment within the metal-stressed host.

  7. VEGF Gene Polymorphisms Affect Serum Protein Levels and Alter Disease Activity and Synovial Lesions in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Jin-Ping; Wu, Yu-Zhang; Yu, Nan; Yu, Zhi-Wu; Xie, Fu-Yuan; Yuan, Quan

    2016-01-01

    Background Our study investigated 2 common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for their influences on serum VEGF levels, disease activity, and synovial lesions in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Material/Methods Clinical information and venous blood samples were collected from 98 RA patients and 100 healthy controls. Genotyping on samples from the subjects was performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Serum VEGF levels were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The synovial thickness and joint effusion of 28 joints were measured in RA patients, and total sharp score (TSS) and disease activity score (DAS) of 28 joints were recorded. Results The genotype and allele frequencies of VEGF rs833070 (G>A) and rs3025030 (G>C) were significantly different between RA group and control group (all P<0.05). VEGF rs833070 and rs3025030 polymorphisms were associated with increasing VEGF serum levels in the RA group (all P<0.01). Statistically significant difference was observed in DAS28 between the different genotypes of VEGF rs833070 in RA patients (P<0.05). Importantly, significant differences in synovial thickening, joint effusion and synovial angiogenesis were observed between the different genotypes of VEGF rs833070 and rs3025030 polymorphisms (all P<0.05). Conclusions Our study provides evidence that VEGF polymorphisms might be important indicators of disease activity and synovial lesions, and prognostic factors in evaluating the treatment effectiveness in RA. PMID:26825024

  8. Altered levels of mitochondrial DNA are associated with female age, aneuploidy, and provide an independent measure of embryonic implantation potential.

    PubMed

    Fragouli, Elpida; Spath, Katharina; Alfarawati, Samer; Kaper, Fiona; Craig, Andrew; Michel, Claude-Edouard; Kokocinski, Felix; Cohen, Jacques; Munne, Santiago; Wells, Dagan

    2015-06-01

    Mitochondria play a vital role in embryo development. They are the principal site of energy production and have various other critical cellular functions. Despite the importance of this organelle, little is known about the extent of variation in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) between individual human embryos prior to implantation. This study investigated the biological and clinical relevance of the quantity of mtDNA in 379 embryos. These were examined via a combination of microarray comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH), quantitative PCR and next generation sequencing (NGS), providing information on chromosomal status, amount of mtDNA, and presence of mutations in the mitochondrial genome. The quantity of mtDNA was significantly higher in embryos from older women (P=0.003). Additionally, mtDNA levels were elevated in aneuploid embryos, independent of age (P=0.025). Assessment of clinical outcomes after transfer of euploid embryos to the uterus revealed that blastocysts that successfully implanted tended to contain lower mtDNA quantities than those failing to implant (P=0.007). Importantly, an mtDNA quantity threshold was established, above which implantation was never observed. Subsequently, the predictive value of this threshold was confirmed in an independent blinded prospective study, indicating that abnormal mtDNA levels are present in 30% of non-implanting euploid embryos, but are not seen in embryos forming a viable pregnancy. NGS did not reveal any increase in mutation in blastocysts with elevated mtDNA levels. The results of this study suggest that increased mtDNA may be related to elevated metabolism and are associated with reduced viability, a possibility consistent with the 'quiet embryo' hypothesis. Importantly, the findings suggest a potential role for mitochondria in female reproductive aging and the genesis of aneuploidy. Of clinical significance, we propose that mtDNA content represents a novel biomarker with potential value for in vitro fertilisation

  9. Characterizing dose response relationships: Chronic gamma radiation in Lemna minor induces oxidative stress and altered polyploidy level.

    PubMed

    Van Hoeck, Arne; Horemans, Nele; Van Hees, May; Nauts, Robin; Knapen, Dries; Vandenhove, Hildegarde; Blust, Ronny

    2015-12-01

    The biological effects and interactions of different radiation types in plants are still far from understood. Among different radiation types, external gamma radiation treatments have been mostly studied to assess the biological impact of radiation toxicity in organisms. Upon exposure of plants to gamma radiation, ionisation events can cause, either directly or indirectly, severe biological damage to DNA and other biomolecules. However, the biological responses and oxidative stress related mechanisms under chronic radiation conditions are poorly understood in plant systems. In the following study, it was questioned if the Lemna minor growth inhibition test is a suitable approach to also assess the radiotoxicity of this freshwater plant. Therefore, L. minor plants were continuously exposed for seven days to 12 different dose rate levels covering almost six orders of magnitude starting from 80 μGy h(-1) up to 1.5 Gy h(-1). Subsequently, growth, antioxidative defence system and genomic responses of L. minor plants were evaluated. Although L. minor plants could survive the exposure treatment at environmental relevant exposure conditions, higher dose rate levels induced dose dependent growth inhibitions starting from approximately 27 mGy h(-1). A ten-percentage growth inhibition of frond area Effective Dose Rate (EDR10) was estimated at 95 ± 7 mGy h(-1), followed by 153 ± 13 mGy h(-1) and 169 ± 12 mGy h(-1) on fresh weight and frond number, respectively. Up to a dose rate of approximately 5 mGy h(-1), antioxidative enzymes and metabolites remained unaffected in plants. A significant change in catalase enzyme activity was found at 27 mGy h(-1) which was accompanied with significant increases of other antioxidative enzyme activities and shifts in ascorbate and glutathione content at higher dose rate levels, indicating an increase in oxidative stress in plants. Recent plant research hypothesized that environmental genotoxic stress conditions

  10. Characterizing dose response relationships: Chronic gamma radiation in Lemna minor induces oxidative stress and altered polyploidy level.

    PubMed

    Van Hoeck, Arne; Horemans, Nele; Van Hees, May; Nauts, Robin; Knapen, Dries; Vandenhove, Hildegarde; Blust, Ronny

    2015-12-01

    The biological effects and interactions of different radiation types in plants are still far from understood. Among different radiation types, external gamma radiation treatments have been mostly studied to assess the biological impact of radiation toxicity in organisms. Upon exposure of plants to gamma radiation, ionisation events can cause, either directly or indirectly, severe biological damage to DNA and other biomolecules. However, the biological responses and oxidative stress related mechanisms under chronic radiation conditions are poorly understood in plant systems. In the following study, it was questioned if the Lemna minor growth inhibition test is a suitable approach to also assess the radiotoxicity of this freshwater plant. Therefore, L. minor plants were continuously exposed for seven days to 12 different dose rate levels covering almost six orders of magnitude starting from 80 μGy h(-1) up to 1.5 Gy h(-1). Subsequently, growth, antioxidative defence system and genomic responses of L. minor plants were evaluated. Although L. minor plants could survive the exposure treatment at environmental relevant exposure conditions, higher dose rate levels induced dose dependent growth inhibitions starting from approximately 27 mGy h(-1). A ten-percentage growth inhibition of frond area Effective Dose Rate (EDR10) was estimated at 95 ± 7 mGy h(-1), followed by 153 ± 13 mGy h(-1) and 169 ± 12 mGy h(-1) on fresh weight and frond number, respectively. Up to a dose rate of approximately 5 mGy h(-1), antioxidative enzymes and metabolites remained unaffected in plants. A significant change in catalase enzyme activity was found at 27 mGy h(-1) which was accompanied with significant increases of other antioxidative enzyme activities and shifts in ascorbate and glutathione content at higher dose rate levels, indicating an increase in oxidative stress in plants. Recent plant research hypothesized that environmental genotoxic stress conditions

  11. Methoxychlor-induced alteration in the levels of HSP70 and clusterin is accompanied with oxidative stress in adult rat testis.

    PubMed

    Vaithinathan, S; Saradha, B; Mathur, P P

    2009-01-01

    Methoxychlor, an organochlorine pesticide, has been reported to induce abnormalities in male reproductive tract. However, the insight into the mechanisms of gonadal toxicity induced by methoxychlor is not well known. We investigated whether treatment with methoxychlor would alter the levels of stress proteins, heat shock proteins (HSP), and clusterin (CLU), and oxidative stress-related parameters in the testis of adult male rats. Animals were exposed to a single dose of methoxychlor (50 mg/kg body weight) orally and were terminated at various time points (0, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 72 h) using anesthetic ether. The levels of HSP70, CLU, and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and lipid peroxidation levels were evaluated in a 10% testis homogenate. A sequential reduction in the activities of catalase and SOD with concomitant increase in the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) was observed. These changes elicited by methoxychlor were very significant between 6-12 h of posttreatment. Immunoblot analysis of HSP revealed the expression of HSP72, an inducible form of HSP, at certain time points (3-24 h) following exposure to methoxychlor. Similarly, the levels of secretory CLU (sCLU) were also found to be elevated between 3-24 h of treatment. The present data demonstrate methoxychlor-elicited increase in the levels of inducible HSP72 and sCLU, which could be a part of protective mechanism mounted to reduce cellular oxidative damage.

  12. CypD−/− Hearts HaveAltered Levels of Proteins Involved in Krebs Cycle, Branch Chain Amino Acid Degradation and Pyruvate Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Menazza, Sara; Wong, Renee; Nguyen, Tiffany; Wang, Guanghui; Gucek, Marjan; Murphy, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Cyclophilin D (CypD) is a mitochondrial chaperone that has been shown to regulate the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). MPTP opening is a major determinant of mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiomyocyte death during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Mice lacking CypD have been widely used to study regulation of the MPTP, and it has been shown recently that genetic depletion of CypD correlates with elevated levels of mitochondrial Ca2+. The present study aimed to characterize the metabolic changes in CypD−/− hearts. Initially, we used a proteomics approach to examine protein changes in CypD−/− mice. Using pathway analysis we found that CypD−/− hearts have alteration in branched chain amino acid metabolism, pyruvate metabolism and the Krebs cycle. We tested whether these metabolic changes were due to inhibition of electron transfer from these metabolic pathways into the electron transport chain. As we found decreased levels of succinate dehydrogenase and electron transfer flavoprotein in the proteomics analysis, we examined whether activities of these enzymes might be altered. However, we found no alterations in their activities. The proteomics study also showed a 23% decrease in carnitine -palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), which prompted us to perform a metabolomics analysis. Consistent with the decrease in CPT1, we found a significant decrease in C4/Ci4, C5-OH/C3-DC, C12:1, C14:1, C16:1, and C20:3 acyl carnitines in hearts from CypD−/− mice. In summary, CypD−/− hearts exhibit changes in many metabolic pathways and caution should be used when interpreting results from these mice as due solely to inhibition of the MPTP. PMID:23262437

  13. CypD(-/-) hearts have altered levels of proteins involved in Krebs cycle, branch chain amino acid degradation and pyruvate metabolism.

    PubMed

    Menazza, Sara; Wong, Renee; Nguyen, Tiffany; Wang, Guanghui; Gucek, Marjan; Murphy, Elizabeth

    2013-03-01

    Cyclophilin D (CypD) is a mitochondrial chaperone that has been shown to regulate the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). MPTP opening is a major determinant of mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiomyocyte death during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Mice lacking CypD have been widely used to study regulation of the MPTP, and it has been shown recently that genetic depletion of CypD correlates with elevated levels of mitochondrial Ca(2+). The present study aimed to characterize the metabolic changes in CypD(-/-) hearts. Initially, we used a proteomics approach to examine protein changes in CypD(-/-) mice. Using pathway analysis, we found that CypD(-/-) hearts have alterations in branched chain amino acid metabolism, pyruvate metabolism and the Krebs cycle. We tested whether these metabolic changes were due to inhibition of electron transfer from these metabolic pathways into the electron transport chain. As we found decreased levels of succinate dehydrogenase and electron transfer flavoprotein in the proteomics analysis, we examined whether activities of these enzymes might be altered. However, we found no alterations in their activities. The proteomics study also showed a 23% decrease in carnitine-palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), which prompted us to perform a metabolomics analysis. Consistent with the decrease in CPT1, we found a significant decrease in C4/Ci4, C5-OH/C3-DC, C12:1, C14:1, C16:1, and C20:3 acyl carnitines in hearts from CypD(-/-) mice. In summary, CypD(-/-) hearts exhibit changes in many metabolic pathways and caution should be used when interpreting results from these mice as due solely to inhibition of the MPTP.

  14. Phylogenetic turnover along local environmental gradients in tropical forest communities.

    PubMed

    Baldeck, C A; Kembel, S W; Harms, K E; Yavitt, J B; John, R; Turner, B L; Madawala, S; Gunatilleke, N; Gunatilleke, S; Bunyavejchewin, S; Kiratiprayoon, S; Yaacob, A; Supardi, M N N; Valencia, R; Navarrete, H; Davies, S J; Chuyong, G B; Kenfack, D; Thomas, D W; Dalling, J W

    2016-10-01

    While the importance of local-scale habitat niches in shaping tree species turnover along environmental gradients in tropical forests is well appreciated, relatively little is known about the influence of phylogenetic signal in species' habitat niches in shaping local community structure. We used detailed maps of the soil resource and topographic variation within eight 24-50 ha tropical forest plots combined with species phylogenies created from the APG III phylogeny to examine how phylogenetic beta diversity (indicating the degree of phylogenetic similarity of two communities) was related to environmental gradients within tropical tree communities. Using distance-based redundancy analysis we found that phylogenetic beta diversity, expressed as either nearest neighbor distance or mean pairwise distance, was significantly related to both soil and topographic variation in all study sites. In general, more phylogenetic beta diversity within a forest plot was explained by environmental variables this was expressed as nearest neighbor distance versus mean pairwise distance (3.0-10.3 % and 0.4-8.8 % of variation explained among plots, respectively), and more variation was explained by soil resource variables than topographic variables using either phylogenetic beta diversity metric. We also found that patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity expressed as nearest neighbor distance were consistent with previously observed patterns of niche similarity among congeneric species pairs in these plots. These results indicate the importance of phylogenetic signal in local habitat niches in shaping the phylogenetic structure of tropical tree communities, especially at the level of close phylogenetic neighbors, where similarity in habitat niches is most strongly preserved.

  15. Phylogenetic turnover along local environmental gradients in tropical forest communities.

    PubMed

    Baldeck, C A; Kembel, S W; Harms, K E; Yavitt, J B; John, R; Turner, B L; Madawala, S; Gunatilleke, N; Gunatilleke, S; Bunyavejchewin, S; Kiratiprayoon, S; Yaacob, A; Supardi, M N N; Valencia, R; Navarrete, H; Davies, S J; Chuyong, G B; Kenfack, D; Thomas, D W; Dalling, J W

    2016-10-01

    While the importance of local-scale habitat niches in shaping tree species turnover along environmental gradients in tropical forests is well appreciated, relatively little is known about the influence of phylogenetic signal in species' habitat niches in shaping local community structure. We used detailed maps of the soil resource and topographic variation within eight 24-50 ha tropical forest plots combined with species phylogenies created from the APG III phylogeny to examine how phylogenetic beta diversity (indicating the degree of phylogenetic similarity of two communities) was related to environmental gradients within tropical tree communities. Using distance-based redundancy analysis we found that phylogenetic beta diversity, expressed as either nearest neighbor distance or mean pairwise distance, was significantly related to both soil and topographic variation in all study sites. In general, more phylogenetic beta diversity within a forest plot was explained by environmental variables this was expressed as nearest neighbor distance versus mean pairwise distance (3.0-10.3 % and 0.4-8.8 % of variation explained among plots, respectively), and more variation was explained by soil resource variables than topographic variables using either phylogenetic beta diversity metric. We also found that patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity expressed as nearest neighbor distance were consistent with previously observed patterns of niche similarity among congeneric species pairs in these plots. These results indicate the importance of phylogenetic signal in local habitat niches in shaping the phylogenetic structure of tropical tree communities, especially at the level of close phylogenetic neighbors, where similarity in habitat niches is most strongly preserved. PMID:27337965

  16. Phylogenetics: bats united, microbats divided.

    PubMed

    Springer, Mark S

    2013-11-18

    Phylogenetic analyses on four new bat genomes provide convincing support for the placement of bats relative to other placental mammals, suggest that microbats are an unnatural group, and have important implications for understanding the evolution of echolocation.

  17. Comparative study of antibody levels developed by vaccination against polio virus in population after vaccine type alteration.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Ágnes; Magyar, Nóra; Szomor, Katalin N; Takács, Mária

    2015-03-01

    During clinical trials, samples from Hungarian patients of different age groups were tested for antibodies against all 3 serotypes of poliovirus, a member of Picornaviridae family. During the virus neutralization serological test, blood samples were titrated using permanent virus concentration. Based on the cythopathic effect observed under a light microscope, the antibody level of the patient was assessed. The 100 people examined were classified into 5 groups based on age and type of original vaccine: I. Newborns, no vaccination given; II. Immunosuppressed patients; III. Born before 1986, received only OPV vaccine; IV. Born between 1992-2005, received a combination of OPV and IPV vaccines; V. Born after 2006, received only IPV vaccine. Results show that vaccination coverage meets all the criteria. None of the immunized persons was seronegative to all three polioviruses. Both IPV and OPV vaccines are effective against poliovirus. Blood samples from newborn babies with no immunization were also examined. Results show that most newborns have maternal antibodies in their blood. Results of group II show that immunosuppression does not have a negative influence on blood antibody levels against polioviruses. In spite of the low number of samples, our results show that seroconversion after immunization in the Hungarian population is adequate. For more accurate results about vaccination coverage in the population, further trials would be necessary.

  18. Chrysophanol induces necrosis through the production of ROS and alteration of ATP levels in J5 human liver cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Chi-Cheng; Yang, Jai-Sing; Huang, An-Cheng; Hsia, Te-Chun; Chou, Su-Tze; Kuo, Chao-Lin; Lu, Hsu-Feng; Lee, Tsung-Han; Wood, W. G.; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2011-01-01

    Anthraquinone compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in different cancer cell types. Effects of chrysophanol, an anthraquinone compound, on cancer cell death have not been well-studied. The goal of this study was to examine if chrysophanol had cytotoxic effects and if such effects involved apoptosis or necrosis in J5 human liver cancer cells. Chrysophanol induced necrosis in J5 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Non-apoptotic cell death was induced by chrysophanol in J5 cells and was characterized by caspase independence, delayed externalization of phosphatidylserine and plasma membrane disruption. Blockage of apoptotic induction by a general caspase inhibitor (z-VAD-fmk) failed to protect cells against chrysophanol-induced cell death. The levels of ROS production and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) were also determined to assess the effects of chrysophanol. However, reductions in ATP levels and increases in LDH activity indicated that chrysophanol stimulated necrotic cell death. In summary, human liver cancer cells treated with chrysophanol exhibited a cellular pattern associated with necrosis and not apoptosis. PMID:20169580

  19. Sarcopenia, obesity, and natural killer cell immune senescence in aging: altered cytokine levels as a common mechanism.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Charles T; Quinn, LeBris S

    2012-08-01

    Human aging is characterized by both physical and physiological frailty. A key feature of frailty, sarcopenia is the age-associated decline in skeletal muscle mass, strength, and endurance that characterize even the healthy elderly. Increases in adiposity, particularly in visceral adipose tissue, are almost universal in aging individuals and can contribute to sarcopenia and insulin resistance by increasing levels of inflammatory cytokines known collectively as adipokines. Aging also is associated with declines in adaptive and innate immunity, known as immune senescence, which are risk factors for cancer and all-cause mortality. The cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) is highly expressed in skeletal muscle tissue and declines in aging rodent models. IL-15 inhibits fat deposition and insulin resistance, is anabolic for skeletal muscle in certain situations, and is required for the development and survival of natural killer (NK) lymphocytes. We review the effect that adipokines and myokines have on NK cells, with special emphasis on IL-15. We posit that increased adipokine and decreased IL-15 levels during aging constitute a common mechanism for sarcopenia, obesity, and immune senescence.

  20. Altered levels of the Taraxacum kok-saghyz (Russian dandelion) small rubber particle protein, TkSRPP3, result in qualitative and quantitative changes in rubber metabolism.

    PubMed

    Collins-Silva, Jillian; Nural, Aise Taban; Skaggs, Amanda; Scott, Deborah; Hathwaik, Upul; Woolsey, Rebekah; Schegg, Kathleen; McMahan, Colleen; Whalen, Maureen; Cornish, Katrina; Shintani, David

    2012-07-01

    Several proteins have been identified and implicated in natural rubber biosynthesis, one of which, the small rubber particle protein (SRPP), was originally identified in Hevea brasiliensis as an abundant protein associated with cytosolic vesicles known as rubber particles. While previous in vitro studies suggest that SRPP plays a role in rubber biosynthesis, in vivo evidence is lacking to support this hypothesis. To address this issue, a transgene approach was taken in Taraxacum kok-saghyz (Russian dandelion or Tk) to determine if altered SRPP levels would influence rubber biosynthesis. Three dandelion SRPPs were found to be highly abundant on dandelion rubber particles. The most abundant particle associated SRPP, TkSRPP3, showed temporal and spatial patterns of expression consistent with patterns of natural rubber accumulation in dandelion. To confirm its role in rubber biosynthesis, TkSRPP3 expression was altered in Russian dandelion using over-expression and RNAi methods. While TkSRPP3 over-expressing lines had slightly higher levels of rubber in their roots, relative to the control, TkSRPP3 RNAi lines showed significant decreases in root rubber content and produced dramatically lower molecular weight rubber than the control line. Not only do results here provide in vivo evidence of TkSRPP proteins affecting the amount of rubber in dandelion root, but they also suggest a function in regulating the molecular weight of the cis-1, 4-polyisoprene polymer.

  1. Toxicity of canavanine in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) roots is due to alterations in RNS, ROS and auxin levels.

    PubMed

    Krasuska, Urszula; Andrzejczak, Olga; Staszek, Paweł; Borucki, Wojciech; Gniazdowska, Agnieszka

    2016-06-01

    Canavanine (CAN) is non-proteinogenic aminoacid and a structural analog of arginine (Arg). Naturally, CAN occurs in legumes e.g. jack bean and is considered as a strong allelochemical. As a selective inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase in mammalians, it could act as a modifier of nitric oxide (NO) concentration in plants. Modifications in the content of endogenous reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) influence root structure and architecture, being also under hormonal control. The aim of the work was to investigate regulation of root growth in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Malinowy Ożarowski) seedling by application of CAN at concentration (10 and 50 μM) leading to 50% or 100% restriction of root elongation. CAN at higher concentration led to slight DNA fragmentation, increased total RNA and protein level. Decline in total respiration rate after CAN supplementation was not associated with enhanced membrane permeability. Malformations in root morphology (shorter and thicker roots, limited number of lateral roots) were accompanied by modification in NO and ONOO(-) localization; determined mainly in peridermal cells and some border cells. Although, CAN resulted in low RNS production, addition of exogenous NO by usage of NO donors did not reverse its negative effect, nor recovery effect was detected after roots imbibition in Arg. To build up a comprehensive view on mode of action of CAN as root growth inhibitor, it was shown an elevated level of auxin. To summarize, we demonstrated several secondary mode of action of CAN, indicating its toxicity in plants linked to restriction in RNS formation accompanied by simultaneous overaccumulation of ROS.

  2. Toxicity of canavanine in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) roots is due to alterations in RNS, ROS and auxin levels.

    PubMed

    Krasuska, Urszula; Andrzejczak, Olga; Staszek, Paweł; Borucki, Wojciech; Gniazdowska, Agnieszka

    2016-06-01

    Canavanine (CAN) is non-proteinogenic aminoacid and a structural analog of arginine (Arg). Naturally, CAN occurs in legumes e.g. jack bean and is considered as a strong allelochemical. As a selective inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase in mammalians, it could act as a modifier of nitric oxide (NO) concentration in plants. Modifications in the content of endogenous reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) influence root structure and architecture, being also under hormonal control. The aim of the work was to investigate regulation of root growth in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Malinowy Ożarowski) seedling by application of CAN at concentration (10 and 50 μM) leading to 50% or 100% restriction of root elongation. CAN at higher concentration led to slight DNA fragmentation, increased total RNA and protein level. Decline in total respiration rate after CAN supplementation was not associated with enhanced membrane permeability. Malformations in root morphology (shorter and thicker roots, limited number of lateral roots) were accompanied by modification in NO and ONOO(-) localization; determined mainly in peridermal cells and some border cells. Although, CAN resulted in low RNS production, addition of exogenous NO by usage of NO donors did not reverse its negative effect, nor recovery effect was detected after roots imbibition in Arg. To build up a comprehensive view on mode of action of CAN as root growth inhibitor, it was shown an elevated level of auxin. To summarize, we demonstrated several secondary mode of action of CAN, indicating its toxicity in plants linked to restriction in RNS formation accompanied by simultaneous overaccumulation of ROS. PMID:26986929

  3. Natural Functional SNPs in miR-155 Alter Its Expression Level, Blood Cell Counts, and Immune Responses.

    PubMed

    Li, Congcong; He, Huabin; Liu, An; Liu, Huazhen; Huang, Haibo; Zhao, Changzhi; Jing, Lu; Ni, Juan; Yin, Lilin; Hu, Suqin; Wu, Hui; Li, Xinyun; Zhao, Shuhong

    2016-01-01

    miR-155 has been confirmed to be a key factor in immune responses in humans and other mammals. Therefore, investigation of variations in miR-155 could be useful for understanding the differences in immunity between individuals. In this study, four SNPs in miR-155 were identified in mice (Mus musculus) and humans (Homo sapiens). In mice, the four SNPs were closely linked and formed two miR-155 haplotypes (A and B). Ten distinct types of blood parameters were associated with miR-155 expression under normal conditions. Additionally, 4 and 14 blood parameters were significantly different between these two genotypes under normal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation conditions, respectively. Moreover, the expression levels of miR-155, the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation, and the lethal ratio following Salmonella typhimurium infection were significantly increased in mice harboring the AA genotype. Further, two SNPs, one in the loop region and the other near the 3' terminal of pre-miR-155, were confirmed to be responsible for the differential expression of miR-155 in mice. Interestingly, two additional SNPs, one in the loop region and the other in the middle of miR-155*, modulated the function of miR-155 in humans. Predictions of secondary RNA structure using RNAfold showed that these SNPs affected the structure of miR-155 in both mice and humans. Our results provide novel evidence of the natural functional SNPs of miR-155 in both mice and humans, which may affect the expression levels of mature miR-155 by modulating its secondary structure. The SNPs of human miR-155 may be considered as causal mutations for some immune-related diseases in the clinic. The two genotypes of mice could be used as natural models for studying the mechanisms of immune diseases caused by abnormal expression of miR-155 in humans. PMID:27532002

  4. Aberrant hippocampal Atp8a1 levels are associated with altered synaptic strength, electrical activity, and autistic-like behavior.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Daniel J; Marsillo, Alexandra; Guariglia, Sara R; Budylin, Tatyana; Sadek, Rodina; Menkes, Silvia; Chauhan, Abha; Wen, Guang Y; McCloskey, Daniel P; Wieraszko, Andrzej; Banerjee, Probal

    2016-09-01

    Type IV ATPases are putative aminophospholipid translocases (APLTs), more commonly known as flippases. A pronounced induction of the flippase Atp8a1 was observed in post-mortem tissue homogenates from the hippocampus and temporal lobe of juvenile autistic subjects compared to age-matched controls. In order to simulate the human data, C57BL/6 mice were allowed to develop after intra-hippocampal injection of recombinant lentivirus expressing Atp8a1 at the early developmental stage of postnatal day 6 (P6). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of the lentivirus-Atp8a1 treated (Atp8a1+) mice in adulthood revealed fewer and weaker excitatory synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region compared to mice injected with empty virus. Significant inhibition of the Schaffer collateral pathway was observed in the Atp8a1+ mice in paired-pulse recording (PPR) at 20-ms inter-stimulus interval. In the three-chambered sociability test, the Atp8a1+ mice displayed no preference for an encaged stranger mouse over a novel object, which is a characteristic autistic-like behavior. In sharp contrast, Atp8a1 (-/-) mice displayed a preference for a stranger mouse over the novel object, which is characteristic of neurotypical mouse behavior. However, similar to the Atp8a1+ mice, the Atp8a1 (-/-) mice harbored fewer and weaker excitatory synapses in CA1 compared to wild-type controls, and displayed inhibition at 20-ms inter-stimulus interval in PPR. These findings suggest that both elevated and diminished levels of Atp8a1 during early development are detrimental to brain connectivity, but only elevated Atp8a1 is associated with aberrant social behavior. Mice with augmented levels of Atp8a1 may therefore serve as a potential model in autism research. PMID:27287255

  5. Natural Functional SNPs in miR-155 Alter Its Expression Level, Blood Cell Counts, and Immune Responses

    PubMed Central

    Li, Congcong; He, Huabin; Liu, An; Liu, Huazhen; Huang, Haibo; Zhao, Changzhi; Jing, Lu; Ni, Juan; Yin, Lilin; Hu, Suqin; Wu, Hui; Li, Xinyun; Zhao, Shuhong

    2016-01-01

    miR-155 has been confirmed to be a key factor in immune responses in humans and other mammals. Therefore, investigation of variations in miR-155 could be useful for understanding the differences in immunity between individuals. In this study, four SNPs in miR-155 were identified in mice (Mus musculus) and humans (Homo sapiens). In mice, the four SNPs were closely linked and formed two miR-155 haplotypes (A and B). Ten distinct types of blood parameters were associated with miR-155 expression under normal conditions. Additionally, 4 and 14 blood parameters were significantly different between these two genotypes under normal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation conditions, respectively. Moreover, the expression levels of miR-155, the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation, and the lethal ratio following Salmonella typhimurium infection were significantly increased in mice harboring the AA genotype. Further, two SNPs, one in the loop region and the other near the 3′ terminal of pre-miR-155, were confirmed to be responsible for the differential expression of miR-155 in mice. Interestingly, two additional SNPs, one in the loop region and the other in the middle of miR-155*, modulated the function of miR-155 in humans. Predictions of secondary RNA structure using RNAfold showed that these SNPs affected the structure of miR-155 in both mice and humans. Our results provide novel evidence of the natural functional SNPs of miR-155 in both mice and humans, which may affect the expression levels of mature miR-155 by modulating its secondary structure. The SNPs of human miR-155 may be considered as causal mutations for some immune-related diseases in the clinic. The two genotypes of mice could be used as natural models for studying the mechanisms of immune diseases caused by abnormal expression of miR-155 in humans. PMID:27532002

  6. Alteration of Porcine Serum Albumin Levels in Pork Meat by Marination in Kiwi or Pineapple Juice and Subsequent Pan Broiling

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Sung-Sil; Kim, Il-Suk; Ham, Jun-Sang; Park, Beom-Young

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the changes in porcine serum albumin (PSA), a major allergen, which occur when raw pork ham is marinated with kiwi or pineapple juice, and/or when the ham is pan broiled at 300℃ for 4 min after marination. In this study, raw pork ham was soaked for 4 h or 8 h in marinades containing commercial marinating sauce only, commercial marinating sauce and 7% kiwi juice, or commercial marinating sauce and 7% pineapple juice. When the meat was marinated and then pan-broiled, pork ham meat protein was significantly denatured and hydrolyzed, and the level of PSA in the meat was significantly reduced. The PSA contents of pork broiled without marination, pork that had been marinated in commercial marinating sauce alone, pork that had been marinated in commercial marinating sauce with kiwi juice, and pork that had been marinated in commercial marinating sauce with pineapple juice, were 95.4, 43.3, 14.3, and 5.4 ng/mL, respectively (p<0.05). Marinating with pineapple juice was more effective than marinating with kiwi juice; and marination for 8 h was more effective than marinating for 4 h. These results indicate that the level of PSA in pork ham is effectively reduced, when the meat is first marinated in sauces that contain kiwi or pineapple extracts for 8 h, rather than 4 h, and then cooked. Further study is needed to determine whether marinated pork meat reduces allergenicity in vivo, as well. PMID:26761177

  7. Altered CYP2C9 Activity Following Modulation of CYP3A4 Levels in Human Hepatocytes: an Example of Protein-Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Tweedie, Donald J.; Chan, Tom S.; Tracy, Timothy S.

    2014-01-01

    Cytochrome P450 (P450) protein-protein interactions resulting in modulation of enzyme activities have been well documented using recombinant isoforms. This interaction has been less clearly demonstrated in a more physiologic in vitro system such as human hepatocytes. As an expansion of earlier work (Subramanian et al., 2010), in which recombinant CYP2C9 activity decreased with increasing levels of CYP3A4, the current study modulated CYP3A4 content in human hepatocytes to determine the impact on CYP2C9. Modulation of CYP3A4 levels in situ was enabled by the use of a long-term human hepatocyte culture model (HepatoPac) shown to retain phenotypic hepatocyte function over a number of weeks. The extended period of culture allowed time for knockdown of CYP3A4 protein by small interfering RNA (siRNA) with subsequent recovery, as well as upregulation through induction with a recovery period. CYP3A4 gene silencing resulted in a 60% decrease in CYP3A4 activity and protein levels with a concomitant 74% increase in CYP2C9 activity, with no change in CYP2C9 mRNA levels. Upon removal of siRNA, both CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 activities returned to pre-knockdown levels. Importantly, modulation of CYP3A4 protein levels had no impact on cytochrome P450 reductase activities or levels. However, the possibility for competition for limiting reductase cannot be ruled out. Interestingly, lowering CYP3A4 levels also increased UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 activity. These studies clearly demonstrate that alterations in CYP3A4 levels can modulate CYP2C9 activity in situ and suggest that further studies are warranted to evaluate the possible clinical consequences of these findings. PMID:25157098

  8. Phylogenetic lineages in Pseudocercospora

    PubMed Central

    Crous, P.W.; Braun, U.; Hunter, G.C.; Wingfield, M.J.; Verkley, G.J.M.; Shin, H.-D.; Nakashima, C.; Groenewald, J.Z.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudocercospora is a large cosmopolitan genus of plant pathogenic fungi that are commonly associated with leaf and fruit spots as well as blights on a wide range of plant hosts. They occur in arid as well as wet environments and in a wide range of climates including cool temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions. Pseudocercospora is now treated as a genus in its own right, although formerly recognised as either an anamorphic state of Mycosphaerella or having mycosphaerella-like teleomorphs. The aim of this study was to sequence the partial 28S nuclear ribosomal RNA gene of a selected set of isolates to resolve phylogenetic generic limits within the Pseudocercospora complex. From these data, 14 clades are recognised, six of which cluster in Mycosphaerellaceae. Pseudocercospora s. str. represents a distinct clade, sister to Passalora eucalypti, and a clade representing the genera Scolecostigmina, Trochophora and Pallidocercospora gen. nov., taxa formerly accommodated in the Mycosphaerella heimii complex and characterised by smooth, pale brown conidia, as well as the formation of red crystals in agar media. Other clades in Mycosphaerellaceae include Sonderhenia, Microcyclosporella, and Paracercospora. Pseudocercosporella resides in a large clade along with Phloeospora, Miuraea, Cercospora and Septoria. Additional clades represent Dissoconiaceae, Teratosphaeriaceae, Cladosporiaceae, and the genera Xenostigmina, Strelitziana, Cyphellophora and Thedgonia. The genus Phaeomycocentrospora is introduced to accommodate Mycocentrospora cantuariensis, primarily distinguished from Pseudocercospora based on its hyaline hyphae, broad conidiogenous loci and hila. Host specificity was considered for 146 species of Pseudocercospora occurring on 115 host genera from 33 countries. Partial nucleotide sequence data for three gene loci, ITS, EF-1α, and ACT suggest that the majority of these species are host specific. Species identified on the basis of host, symptomatology and general

  9. Tris(2-butoxyethyl)phosphate and triethyl phosphate alter embryonic development, hepatic mRNA expression, thyroid hormone levels, and circulating bile acid concentrations in chicken embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Egloff, Caroline; Crump, Doug; Porter, Emily; Williams, Kim L.; Letcher, Robert J.; Gauthier, Lewis T.; Kennedy, Sean W.

    2014-09-15

    The organophosphate flame retardants tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) and triethyl phosphate (TEP) are used in a wide range of applications to suppress or delay the ignition and spread of fire. Both compounds have been detected in the environment and TBOEP was recently measured in free-living avian species. In this study, TBOEP and TEP were injected into the air cell of chicken embryos at concentrations ranging from 0 to 45,400 ng/g and 0 to 241,500 ng/g egg, respectively. Pipping success, development, hepatic mRNA expression of 9 target genes, thyroid hormone levels, and circulating bile acid concentrations were determined. Exposure to the highest doses of TBOEP and TEP resulted in negligible detection of the parent compounds in embryonic contents at pipping indicating their complete metabolic degradation. TBOEP exposure had limited effects on chicken embryos, with the exception of hepatic CYP3A37 mRNA induction. TEP exposure decreased pipping success to 68%, altered growth, increased liver somatic index (LSI) and plasma bile acids, and modulated genes associated with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism and the thyroid hormone pathway. Plasma thyroxine levels were decreased at all TEP doses, including an environmentally-relevant concentration (8 ng/g), and gallbladder hypotrophy was evident at ≥ 43,200 ng/g. Tarsus length and circulating thyroxine concentration emerged as potential phenotypic anchors for the modulation of transthyretin mRNA. The increase in plasma bile acids and LSI, gallbladder hypotrophy, and discoloration of liver tissue represented potential phenotypic outcomes associated with modulation of hepatic genes involved with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism. - Highlights: • TBOEP is not embryolethal to chicken embryos. • TEP affected embryonic viability, morphometric endpoints, and thyroid hormone levels. • TEP altered mRNA levels of xenobiotic and lipid metabolism genes. • TEP increased plasma bile acids and caused gallbladder hypotrophy

  10. A phylogenetic analysis of the phylum Fibrobacteres.

    PubMed

    Jewell, Kelsea A; Scott, Jarrod J; Adams, Sandra M; Suen, Garret

    2013-09-01

    Members of the phylum Fibrobacteres are highly efficient cellulolytic bacteria, best known for their role in rumen function and as potential sources of novel enzymes for bioenergy applications. Despite being key members of ruminants and other digestive microbial communities, our knowledge of this phylum remains incomplete, as much of our understanding is focused on two recognized species, Fibrobacter succinogenes and F. intestinalis. As a result, we lack insights regarding the environmental niche, host range, and phylogenetic organization of this phylum. Here, we analyzed over 1000 16S rRNA Fibrobacteres sequences available from public databases to establish a phylogenetic framework for this phylum. We identify both species- and genus-level clades that are suggestive of previously unknown taxonomic relationships between Fibrobacteres in addition to their putative lifestyles as host-associated or free-living. Our results shed light on this poorly understood phylum and will be useful for elucidating the function, distribution, and diversity of these bacteria in their niches.

  11. Molecular phylogenetics of mastodon and Tyrannosaurus rex.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Schweitzer, Mary H; Zheng, Wenxia; Freimark, Lisa M; Cantley, Lewis C; Asara, John M

    2008-04-25

    We report a molecular phylogeny for a nonavian dinosaur, extending our knowledge of trait evolution within nonavian dinosaurs into the macromolecular level of biological organization. Fragments of collagen alpha1(I) and alpha2(I) proteins extracted from fossil bones of Tyrannosaurus rex and Mammut americanum (mastodon) were analyzed with a variety of phylogenetic methods. Despite missing sequence data, the mastodon groups with elephant and the T. rex groups with birds, consistent with predictions based on genetic and morphological data for mastodon and on morphological data for T. rex. Our findings suggest that molecular data from long-extinct organisms may have the potential for resolving relationships at critical areas in the vertebrate evolutionary tree that have, so far, been phylogenetically intractable.

  12. Ingestion of a single serving of saury alters postprandial levels of plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids in healthy human adults

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Saury oil contains considerable amounts of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) with long aliphatic tails (>18C atoms). Ingestion of saury oil reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome concomitant with increases in n-3 PUFA and long-chain MUFA in plasma and organs of mice. We therefore evaluated changes in postprandial plasma fatty acid levels and plasma parameters in healthy human subjects after ingestion of a single meal of saury. Findings Five healthy human adults ingested 150 g of grilled saury. Blood was collected before the meal and at 2, 6, and 24 hr after the meal, and plasma was prepared. Plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and long-chain MUFA (C20:1 and C22:1 isomers combined) increased significantly throughout the postprandial period compared with the pre-meal baseline. Postprandial plasma insulin concentration increased notably, and plasma levels of glucose and free fatty acids decreased significantly and subsequently returned to the pre-meal levels. Conclusions Our study suggests that a single saury meal may alter the postprandial plasma levels of n-3 PUFA and long-chain MUFA in healthy human subjects. PMID:22846384

  13. Low level of selenium increases the efficacy of 24-epibrassinolide through altered physiological and biochemical traits of Brassica juncea plants.

    PubMed

    Naz, Fatima Salva; Yusuf, Mohammad; Khan, Tanveer A; Fariduddin, Qazi; Ahmad, Aqil

    2015-10-15

    This study was conducted to provide an insight into the effect of Se (through soil) induced changes in Brassica juncea plants in the presence and absence of 24-epibrassinolide (EBL; foliar). The Se treatments showed dual response, 10 μM of Se significantly increased growth, water relations, photosynthetic attributes along with carbonic anhydrase activity whereas its higher concentrations proved inhibitory in concentration dependent manner. The follow-up application of EBL to the Se stressed plants improved growth, water relations, photosynthesis and simultaneously enhanced the various antioxidant enzymes viz. catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase with the excess accumulation of proline. In addition to this, 10 μM Se increases the efficacy of 10(-8) M of EBL and both in combination showed maximum increase for the growth and photosynthetic traits of plants. On the other hand, the elevated level of antioxidant enzymes as well as proline could have conferred tolerance to the Se-stressed plants resulting in improved growth, water relations and photosynthesis.

  14. Alteration of behavior and monoamine levels attributable to Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 in germ-free mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei-Hsien; Chuang, Hsiao-Li; Huang, Yen-Te; Wu, Chien-Chen; Chou, Geng-Ting; Wang, Sabrina; Tsai, Ying-Chieh

    2016-02-01

    Probiotics, defined as live bacteria or bacterial products, confer a significant health benefit to the host, including amelioration of anxiety-like behavior and psychiatric illnesses. Here we administered Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) to a germ-free (GF) mouse model to investigate the impact of the gut-brain axis on emotional behaviors. First, we demonstrated that chronic administration of live PS128 showed no adverse effects on physical health. Then, we found that administration of live PS128 significantly increased the total distance traveled in the open field test and decreased the time spent in the closed arm in the elevated plus maze test, whereas the administration of PS128 had no significant effects in the depression-like behaviors of GF mice. Also, chronic live PS128 ingestion significantly increased the levels of both serotonin and dopamine in the striatum, but not in the prefrontal cortex or hippocampus. These results suggest that the chronic administration of PS128 is safe and could induce changes in emotional behaviors. The behavioral changes are correlated with the increase in the monoamine neurotransmitters in the striatum. These findings suggest that daily intake of the L. plantarum strain PS128 could improve anxiety-like behaviors and may be helpful in ameliorating neuropsychiatric disorders.

  15. Long-term restricted feeding alters circadian expression and reduces the level of inflammatory and disease markers.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Hadas; Frumin, Idan; Gutman, Roee; Chapnik, Nava; Lorentz, Axel; Meylan, Jenny; le Coutre, Johannes; Froy, Oren

    2011-12-01

    The circadian clock in peripheral tissues can be entrained by restricted feeding (RF), a regimen that restricts the duration of food availability with no calorie restriction (CR). However, it is not known whether RF can delay the occurrence of age-associated changes similar to CR. We measured circadian expression of clock genes, disease marker genes, metabolic factors and inflammatory and allergy markers in mouse serum, liver, jejunum and white adipose tissue (WAT) after long-term RF of 4 months. We found that circadian rhythmicity is more robust and is phase advanced in most of the genes and proteins tested under RF. In addition, average daily levels of some disease and inflammatory markers were reduced under RF, including liver Il-6 mRNA, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) protein; jejunum Arginase, Afp, Gadd45β, Il-1α and Il-1β mRNA, and interleukin (IL)-6 and TNF-α protein and WAT Il-6, Il-1β, Tnfα and Nfκb mRNA. In contrast, the anti-inflammatory cytokine Il-10 mRNA increased in the liver and jejunum. Our results suggest that RF may share some benefits with those of CR. As RF is a less harsh regimen to follow than CR, the data suggest it could be proposed for individuals seeking to improve their health.

  16. Role of altered esophageal intraluminal baseline impedance levels in patients with gatroesophageal reflux disease refractory to proton pump inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Liuqin; Ye, Bixing; Lin, Lin; Wang, Ying; Wang, Meifeng

    2016-08-01

    Numerous studies have investigated utility of esophageal intraluminal baseline impedance levels (BILs) in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, effect of BILs in refractory GERD (RGERD) has not been well investigated. The aim of this study is to evaluate role of BILs in RGERD patients. Total 62 subjects with refractory gastroesophageal reflux symptoms underwent 24-hour impedance-pH monitoring and gastroendoscopy. Distal BILs in acid reflux type were significantly lower than those in nonacid reflux type and functional heartburn (FH) group. Distal BILs of reflux esophagitis (RE) patients were lower than those of nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) patients, while there were no statistical significance between 2 groups. Patients with severe esophagitis had lower distal BILs than those with mild esophagitis and NERD patients, and patients with severe esophagitis in acid reflux type had the lowest distal BILs. Distal BILs were significantly negatively correlated with DeMeester score, episodes of acid reflux, and acid exposure time, but no correlated with episodes of nonacid reflux. Characteristics of BILs in RGERD patients were similar with those in GERD patients, but might be more complicated. Evaluating BILs in RGERD patients could achieve a better understanding of pathophysiology in RGERD. PMID:27537561

  17. Altered NR4A Subfamily Gene Expression Level in Peripheral Blood of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease Patients.

    PubMed

    Montarolo, Francesca; Perga, Simona; Martire, Serena; Navone, Désirée Nicole; Marchet, Alberto; Leotta, Daniela; Bertolotto, Antonio

    2016-10-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative pathology characterized by the degeneration of midbrain dopamine neurons, whose development and maintenance in brain is related to the transcription factor NR4A2 (also called Nurr1). Notably, NR4A2 is a neuroprotective agent with anti-inflammatory role in microglia and astrocytes. Furthermore, mutations in NR4A2 gene are associated to the familial form of PD, and its gene expression level is down-regulated in blood obtained from PD patients. NR4A2 belongs to the NR4A subfamily consisting of three members: NR4A1, NR4A2, and NR4A3. The NR4A subfamily shares high degree of homology in their molecular structure and cooperates in a spectrum of functions ranging from central nervous system to immune control during physiological and pathological conditions. Considering the close functional link between the member of NR4A subfamily, we performed a gene expression analysis of NR4A1, NR4A2, and NR4A3 in peripheral blood obtained from PD patients and healthy controls (HC). Then, in order to evaluate possible involvement of the NR4A subfamily in other neurodegenerative processes, we carried out the same analysis on blood obtained from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. A correlation between clinical features and gene expression was also evaluated. We found a marked down-regulated gene expression of the NR4A subfamily obtained from PD patients, but only a NR4A1 decrease in AD patients compared to HC. This study reports that the entire NR4A subfamily and not only NR4A2 could be systemically involved in PD suggesting that the study of these factors could be a promising approach to develop PD therapy. PMID:27159982

  18. Does exercise protect from cognitive decline by altering brain cytokine and apoptotic protein levels? A systematic review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Packer, N; Pervaiz, N; Hoffman-Goetz, L

    2010-01-01

    Regular exercise is thought to provide protection against age-related cognitive decline and possibly reduce risk of dementias. The mechanisms for the exercise protective effects are not known although changes in inflammatory cytokine levels may be involved. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to assess (1) the effects of exercise on cytokines in the brain, (2) the methodological rigour of studies which have examined these exercise effects and (3) the potential role of regular exercise in reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokine milieu that may contribute to dementia. We also reviewed the effects of exercise on concurrent pro and anti-apoptotic protein expression in the brain as related to cytokine changes. Five databases were searched until January 2010 with an initial 630 articles identified; 61 articles were retrieved of which 10 met study inclusion criteria. Investigations of both acute and chronic (training) exercise were assessed for methodological quality using a modified PEDro scale. Two studies were carried out with human participants and eight with mouse or rat models; studies differed markedly in design and methodological rigour; the types, intensities and durations of exercise, the cytokine and apoptotic proteins measured, and the regions of the brain (or proxy compartments) sampled. Despite variations in design, specific cytokine outcomes, and exercise type, the 10 studies provide limited evidence that acute strenuous exercise increases and exercise training decreases pro-inflammatory cytokines centrally. Two animal studies relate training associated decreases in pro-inflammatory cytokines with improved cognitive function using behavioural assessments such as the Morris maze. Recommendations for the design of future research on exercise, central cytokines, and cognition are offered.

  19. A new dynamic null model for phylogenetic community structure

    PubMed Central

    Pigot, Alex L; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenies are increasingly applied to identify the mechanisms structuring ecological communities but progress has been hindered by a reliance on statistical null models that ignore the historical process of community assembly. Here, we address this, and develop a dynamic null model of assembly by allopatric speciation, colonisation and local extinction. Incorporating these processes fundamentally alters the structure of communities expected due to chance, with speciation leading to phylogenetic overdispersion compared to a classical statistical null model assuming equal probabilities of community membership. Applying this method to bird and primate communities in South America we show that patterns of phylogenetic overdispersion – often attributed to negative biotic interactions – are instead consistent with a species neutral model of allopatric speciation, colonisation and local extinction. Our findings provide a new null expectation for phylogenetic community patterns and highlight the importance of explicitly accounting for the dynamic history of assembly when testing the mechanisms governing community structure. PMID:25560516

  20. A new dynamic null model for phylogenetic community structure.

    PubMed

    Pigot, Alex L; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-02-01

    Phylogenies are increasingly applied to identify the mechanisms structuring ecological communities but progress has been hindered by a reliance on statistical null models that ignore the historical process of community assembly. Here, we address this, and develop a dynamic null model of assembly by allopatric speciation, colonisation and local extinction. Incorporating these processes fundamentally alters the structure of communities expected due to chance, with speciation leading to phylogenetic overdispersion compared to a classical statistical null model assuming equal probabilities of community membership. Applying this method to bird and primate communities in South America we show that patterns of phylogenetic overdispersion - often attributed to negative biotic interactions - are instead consistent with a species neutral model of allopatric speciation, colonisation and local extinction. Our findings provide a new null expectation for phylogenetic community patterns and highlight the importance of explicitly accounting for the dynamic history of assembly when testing the mechanisms governing community structure.

  1. Fungal symbionts alter plant drought response.

    PubMed

    Worchel, Elise R; Giauque, Hannah E; Kivlin, Stephanie N

    2013-04-01

    Grassland productivity is often primarily limited by water availability, and therefore, grasslands may be especially sensitive to climate change. Fungal symbionts can mediate plant drought response by enhancing drought tolerance and avoidance, but these effects have not been quantified across grass species. We performed a factorial meta-analysis of previously published studies to determine how arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and endophytic fungal symbionts affect growth of grasses under drought. We then examined how the effect of fungal symbionts on plant growth was influenced by biotic (plant photosynthetic pathway) and abiotic (level of drought) factors. We also measured the phylogenetic signal of fungal symbionts on grass growth under control and drought conditions. Under drought conditions, grasses colonized by AM fungi grew larger than those without mycorrhizal symbionts. The increased growth of grasses conferred from fungal symbionts was greatest at the lowest soil moisture levels. Furthermore, under both drought and control conditions, C3 grasses colonized by AM fungi grew larger than C3 grasses without symbionts, but the biomass of C4 grasses was not affected by AM fungi. Endophytes did not increase plant biomass overall under any treatment. However, there was a phylogenetically conserved increase in plant biomass in grasses colonized by endophytes. Grasses and their fungal symbionts seem to interact within a context-dependent symbiosis, varying with biotic and abiotic conditions. Because plant-fungal symbioses significantly alter plant drought response, including these responses could improve our ability to predict grassland functioning under global change.

  2. The Use of Bayesian Modeling to Assess the Impact of Altered Precipitation on Leaf-level Carbon Exchange in Four Desert Savanna Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrick, L.; Ogle, K.; Tissue, D.; Cable, J.

    2007-12-01

    Savannas are complex ecosystems with diverse plant communities and spatially variable nutrient and carbon dynamics. In semi-arid regions, savannas are rapidly changing as a result of climate change and/or land-use, both of which have the potential to alter carbon cycling processes. To determine the potential impacts of climate change on savanna systems, it is critical to understand the processes governing vegetation dynamics across the diverse range of savanna ecosystem types. Because water is the primary driver of biological activity in these ecosystems, changes in precipitation frequency and magnitude may significantly affect plant community composition and ecosystem carbon cycling through effects on leaf-level carbon dynamics. Here, we utilized photosynthesis data and models to explore the underlying mechanisms responsible for changes in leaf-level carbon exchange under altered precipitation. Our objective was to determine whether dominant plants in four North American deserts exhibited a common photosynthetic response to precipitation manipulations. In the summer of 2005 and 2006, photosynthetic CO2- and light-response curves were measured on the dominant plant functional groups (grasses and shrubs) in the Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts. We used a hierarchical Bayesian modeling framework to integrate the extensive field data with a biochemical-based photosynthesis model, yielding estimates of photosynthetic parameters (e.g. rate of daytime respiration, maximum rate of carboxylation, and maximum rate of electron transport). The modeling results indicated that, generally, plant photosynthesis parameters were conserved across all desert sites and plant species. There is, however, evidence that supplemental precipitation affected photosynthetic responses as some species differed in key biochemical parameters under this treatment. This result suggests that in these ecosystems changes in precipitation associated with climate change have the

  3. Altered expression levels of neurodevelopmental proteins in fetal brains of BTBR T+tf/J mice with autism-like behavioral characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hwang, So-Ryeon; Kim, Chang-Yul; Shin, Kyung-Min; Jo, Ji-Hoon; Kim, Hyoung-Ah; Heo, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Autism is a brain developmental disorder with characteristics of social interaction defects, language and communication dysfunction, and repetitive behavior. Occurrence of autism is continuously increasing, but the cause of autism is not clearly defined. Genetic linkage or environmental factors were proposed as sources for pathogenesis of autism. BTBR T+tf/J (BTBR) mice were reported as an appropriate animal model for autism investigation because of their similarities in behavioral abnormalities with human autistic subjects. The aim of this study was to evaluate expression levels of proteins involved with brain development at fetal stage of BTBR mice. FVB/NJ mice were used as a control strain because of their social behaviors. Level of fetal brain immunoglobulin (Ig) G deposit was also evaluated. Fetal brains were obtained at d 18 of gestational period. Thirty-one and 27 fetuses were obtained from 3 pregnant BTBR and FVB dams, respectively. The level of glial fibrillary acidic protein expression was significantly lower in fetal brains of BTBR than FVB/NJ mice. Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and myelin basic protein was significantly more upregulated in BTBR than in FVB/NJ mice. No significant difference was obtained for nerve growth factor between the two strains. Levels of IgG isotypes deposited in fetal brain of BTBR mice were significantly higher than in FVB mice except for IgG1. Overall, these results suggest that prenatal alterations in expression of various fetal brain proteins may be implicated in aberrant behavioral characteristics of BTBR mice.

  4. Dioxin exposure reduces the steroidogenic capacity of mouse antral follicles mainly at the level of HSD17B1 without altering atresia

    SciTech Connect

    Karman, Bethany N. Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S. Hannon, Patrick Flaws, Jodi A.

    2012-10-01

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a potent ovarian toxicant. Previously, we demonstrated that in vitro TCDD (1 nM) exposure decreases production/secretion of the sex steroid hormones progesterone (P4), androstenedione (A4), testosterone (T), and 17β-estradiol (E2) in mouse antral follicles. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism by which TCDD inhibits steroidogenesis. Specifically, we examined the effects of TCDD on the steroidogenic enzymes, atresia, and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) protein. TCDD exposure for 48 h increased levels of A4, without changing HSD3B1 protein, HSD17B1 protein, estrone (E1), T or E2 levels. Further, TCDD did not alter atresia ratings compared to vehicle at 48 h. TCDD, however, did down regulate the AHR protein at 48 h. TCDD exposure for 96 h decreased transcript levels for Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1, Hsd17b1, and Cyp19a1, but increased Hsd3b1 transcript. TCDD exposure particularly lowered both Hsd17b1 transcript and HSD17B1 protein. However, TCDD exposure did not affect levels of E1 in the media nor atresia ratings at 96 h. TCDD, however, decreased levels of the proapoptotic factor Bax. Collectively, these data suggest that TCDD exposure causes a major block in the steroidogenic enzyme conversion of A4 to T and E1 to E2 and that it regulates apoptotic pathways, favoring survival over death in antral follicles. Finally, the down‐regulation of the AHR protein in TCDD exposed follicles persisted at 96 h, indicating that the activation and proteasomal degradation of this receptor likely plays a central role in the impaired steroidogenic capacity and altered apoptotic pathway of exposed antral follicles. -- Highlights: ► TCDD disrupts steroidogenic enzymes in mouse antral follicles. ► TCDD particularly affects the HSD17B1 enzyme in mouse antral follicles. ► TCDD does not affect atresia ratings in mouse antral follicles. ► TCDD decreases levels of the proapoptitic factor Bax in mouse antral follicles.

  5. Phylogenetic community ecology of soil biodiversity using mitochondrial metagenomics.

    PubMed

    Andújar, Carmelo; Arribas, Paula; Ruzicka, Filip; Crampton-Platt, Alex; Timmermans, Martijn J T N; Vogler, Alfried P

    2015-07-01

    High-throughput DNA methods hold great promise for the study of taxonomically intractable mesofauna of the soil. Here, we assess species diversity and community structure in a phylogenetic framework, by sequencing total DNA from bulk specimen samples and assembly of mitochondrial genomes. The combination of mitochondrial metagenomics and DNA barcode sequencing of 1494 specimens in 69 soil samples from three geographic regions in southern Iberia revealed >300 species of soil Coleoptera (beetles) from a broad spectrum of phylogenetic lineages. A set of 214 mitochondrial sequences longer than 3000 bp was generated and used to estimate a well-supported phylogenetic tree of the order Coleoptera. Shorter sequences, including cox1 barcodes, were placed on this mitogenomic tree. Raw Illumina reads were mapped against all available sequences to test for species present in local samples. This approach simultaneously established the species richness, phylogenetic composition and community turnover at species and phylogenetic levels. We find a strong signature of vertical structuring in soil fauna that shows high local community differentiation between deep soil and superficial horizons at phylogenetic levels. Within the two vertical layers, turnover among regions was primarily at the tip (species) level and was stronger in the deep soil than leaf litter communities, pointing to layer-mediated drivers determining species diversification, spatial structure and evolutionary assembly of soil communities. This integrated phylogenetic framework opens the application of phylogenetic community ecology to the mesofauna of the soil, among the most diverse and least well-understood ecosystems, and will propel both theoretical and applied soil science.

  6. Quantitative developmental data in a phylogenetic framework.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Norberto Pedro

    2014-12-01

    Following the embryonic period of organogenesis, most development is allometric growth, which is thought to produce most of the evolutionary morphological divergence between related species. Bivariate or multivariate coefficients of allometry are used to describe quantitative developmental data and are comparable across taxa; as such, these coefficients are amenable to direct treatment in a phylogenetic framework. Mapping of actual allometric coefficients onto phylogenetic trees is supported on the basis of the evolving nature of growth programs and the type of character (continuous) that they represent. This procedure depicts evolutionary allometry accurately and allows for the generation of reliable reconstructions of ancestral allometry, as shown here with a previously published case study on rodent cranial ontogeny. Results reconstructed the signature allometric patterns of rodents to the root of the phylogeny, which could be traced back into a (minimum) Paleocene age. Both character and statistical dependence need to be addressed, so this approach can be integrated with phylogenetic comparative methods that deal with those issues. It is shown that, in this particular sample of rodents, common ancestry explains little allometric variation given the level of divergence present within, and convergence between, major rodent lineages. Furthermore, all that variation is independent of body mass. Thus, from an evolutionary perspective, allometry appears to have a strong functional and likely adaptive basis. PMID:25130201

  7. Altered serum levels of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-18 in manic, depressive, mixed state of bipolar disorder patients.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yayan; He, Hongbo; Zhang, Minling; Huang, Xini; Fan, Ni

    2016-10-30

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with alterations of cytokines in the immune system. The aim of this study was to assess the serum levels of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-18 in manic, depressive, mixed state patients of BD. The correlations between the serum cytokines levels with the demographic characteristics and the psychiatric symptoms were also assessed. We measured serum TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-18 levels using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) from 59 BD patients (37 in manic state, 12 in depressive state, 10 in mixed state) and 80 healthy control subjects. The psychotic symptoms of BD were assessed using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) and the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). The results showed that serum TNF-α and IL-6 levels in manic, depressive and mixed state BD patients were significantly higher than that in controls, while serum IL-18 level was only significantly higher in depressive patients. Serum IL-6 level was significantly positively correlated with YMRS scores in manic episode as well as in mixed episode. When gender and age were added as potentially confounding covariate terms, the differences between controls and each mood state patients were still significant. Our findings provided additional evidence that elevated TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-18 pathway activities may be involved in the psychopathology of BD. Due to the lack of controlling important confounding factors, such as BMI, smoking status and alcohol use, further studies are required to confirm the roles of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-18. PMID:27455146

  8. The impact of synapsin III gene on the neurometabolite level alterations after single-dose methylphenidate in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder patients

    PubMed Central

    Başay, Ömer; Kabukcu Basay, Burge; Alacam, Huseyin; Ozturk, Onder; Buber, Ahmet; Gorucu Yilmaz, Senay; Kıroğlu, Yılmaz; Erdal, Mehmet Emin; Herken, Hasan

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the neurometabolite level changes according to synapsin III gene rs133945G>A and rs133946C>G polymorphisms by using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods Fifty-seven adults diagnosed with ADHD were recruited for the study. The participants were examined by single-voxel 1H MRS when medication naïve and 30 minutes after oral administration of 10 mg methylphenidate (Mph). Those who had been on a stimulant discontinued the medication 48 hours before MRS imaging. Spectra were taken from the anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, striatum, and cerebellum, and N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, and creatine levels were examined. For genotyping of the synapsin III gene polymorphisms, DNA was isolated from peripheral blood leukocytes. The effects of age, sex, and ADHD subtypes were controlled in the analyses. Results After a single dose of Mph, choline levels increased significantly in the striatum of rs133945G>A polymorphism-GG genotypes (P=0.020) and NAA levels rose in the anterior cingulate cortex of rs133946C>G polymorphism-CG genotypes (P=0.014). Both rs133945G>A and rs133946C>G polymorphisms were found to statistically significantly affect the alteration of NAA levels in response to Mph in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with two-way repeated measure of analysis of variance. Post hoc comparisons revealed a significant difference between CG and GG genotypes of rs133946C>G polymorphisms after Bonferroni adjustment (P=0.016). Conclusion Synapsin III gene polymorphisms may be affecting the changes in neurometabolite levels in response to Mph in adult ADHD patients. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings. PMID:27274248

  9. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    PubMed Central

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth–death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the ‘morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences

  10. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  11. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  12. Possible protective role of chloramphenicol in TSST-1 and coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus-induced septic arthritis with altered levels of inflammatory mediators.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Sayantani; Dutta, Kallol; Manna, Sunil K; Basu, Anirban; Bishayi, Biswadev

    2011-08-01

    Chloramphenicol is mostly used against coagulase-negative Staphylococcus aureus, and its protective role against coagulase-positive S. aureus is not well studied. In our study, arthritis was induced in mice by S. aureus (Apollo Gleneagles 33 (AG-33) or American Type Culture Collection 25923 (ATCC-25923)) infection. Chloramphenicol was administered after 2 h of infection. Mice were killed at 1, 3, 5 days post-infection. Mice inoculated with pathogenic Staphylococci (AG-33) expressing coagulase and Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), displayed severe arthritis with enhanced bacterial burden in the spleen, cytokine production in serum and synovial tissue, neutrophil recruitment, and cyclooxegenase-2 expression in synovial tissue compared with ATCC-25923-infected groups. Severity of arthritis was regulated by chloramphenicol treatment. Our study suggests that alteration in the inflammatory cytokine levels and pronounced production of cyclooxygenase-2 play important roles in progression of arthritis which is regulated by application of chloramphenicol.

  13. Increased interleukin-10 and interferon-γ levels in Plasmodium vivax malaria suggest a reciprocal regulation which is not altered by IL-10 gene promoter polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In human malaria, the naturally-acquired immune response can result in either the elimination of the parasite or a persistent response mediated by cytokines that leads to immunopathology. The cytokines are responsible for all the symptoms, pathological alterations and the outcome of the infection depends on the reciprocal regulation of the pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines. IL-10 and IFN-gamma are able to mediate this process and their production can be affected by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on gene of these cytokines. In this study, the relationship between cytokine IL-10/IFN-gamma levels, parasitaemia, and their gene polymorphisms was examined and the participation of pro-inflammatory and regulatory balance during a natural immune response in Plasmodium vivax-infected individuals was observed. Methods The serum levels of the cytokines IL-4, IL-12, IFN-gamma and IL-10 from 132 patients were evaluated by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The polymorphism at position +874 of the IFN-gamma gene was identified by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (ASO-PCR) method, and the polymorphism at position -1082 of the IL-10 gene was analysed by PCR-RFLP (PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism). Results The levels of a pro- (IFN-gamma) and an anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) were significantly higher in P. vivax-infected individuals as compared to healthy controls. The IFN-gamma levels in primoinfected patients were significantly higher than in patients who had suffered only one and more than one previous episode. The mutant alleles of both IFN-gamma and IL-10 genes were more frequent than the wild allele. In the case of the IFNG+874 polymorphism (IFN-gamma) the frequencies of the mutant (A) and wild (T) alleles were 70.13% and 29.87%, respectively. Similar frequencies were recorded in IL-10-1082, with the mutant (A) allele returning a frequency of 70.78%, and the wild (G) allele a frequency of 29.22%. The frequencies

  14. Integration of mRNA expression profile, copy number alterations, and microRNA expression levels in breast cancer to improve grade definition.

    PubMed

    Cava, Claudia; Bertoli, Gloria; Ripamonti, Marilena; Mauri, Giancarlo; Zoppis, Italo; Della Rosa, Pasquale Anthony; Gilardi, Maria Carla; Castiglioni, Isabella

    2014-01-01

    Defining the aggressiveness and growth rate of a malignant cell population is a key step in the clinical approach to treating tumor disease. The correct grading of breast cancer (BC) is a fundamental part in determining the appropriate treatment. Biological variables can make it difficult to elucidate the mechanisms underlying BC development. To identify potential markers that can be used for BC classification, we analyzed mRNAs expression profiles, gene copy numbers, microRNAs expression and their association with tumor grade in BC microarray-derived datasets. From mRNA expression results, we found that grade 2 BC is most likely a mixture of grade 1 and grade 3 that have been misclassified, being described by the gene signature of either grade 1 or grade 3. We assessed the potential of the new approach of integrating mRNA expression profile, copy number alterations, and microRNA expression levels to select a limited number of genomic BC biomarkers. The combination of mRNA profile analysis and copy number data with microRNA expression levels led to the identification of two gene signatures of 42 and 4 altered genes (FOXM1, KPNA4, H2AFV and DDX19A) respectively, the latter obtained through a meta-analytical procedure. The 42-based gene signature identifies 4 classes of up- or down-regulated microRNAs (17 microRNAs) and of their 17 target mRNA, and the 4-based genes signature identified 4 microRNAs (Hsa-miR-320d, Hsa-miR-139-5p, Hsa-miR-567 and Hsa-let-7c). These results are discussed from a biological point of view with respect to pathological features of BC. Our identified mRNAs and microRNAs were validated as prognostic factors of BC disease progression, and could potentially facilitate the implementation of assays for laboratory validation, due to their reduced number. PMID:24866763

  15. [Phylogenetic analysis of Pleurotus species].

    PubMed

    Shnyreva, A A; Shnyreva, A V

    2015-02-01

    We performed phylogenetic analysis for ten Pleurotus species, based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of rDNA. A phylogenetic tree was constructed on the basis of 31 oyster fungi strains of different origin and 10 reference sequences from GenBank. Our analysis demonstrates that the tested Pleurotus species are of monophyletic origin. We evaluated the evolutionary distances between these species. Classic genetic analysis of sexual compatibility based on monocaryon (mon)-mon crosses showed no reproductive barriers within the P. cornucopiae-P. euosmus species complex. Thus, despite the divergence (subclustering) between commercial strains and natural isolates of P. ostreatus revealed by phylogenetic analysis, there is no reproductive isolation between these groups. A common allele of the matB locus was identified for the commercial strains Sommer and L/4, supporting the common origin of these strains. PMID:25966583

  16. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Dalerum, F.

    2013-01-01

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance. PMID:23576787

  17. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages.

    PubMed

    Dalerum, F

    2013-06-01

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance. PMID:23576787

  18. In Vivo Bystander Effect: Cranial X-Irradiation Leads to Elevated DNA Damage, Altered Cellular Proliferation and Apoptosis, and Increased p53 Levels in Shielded Spleen

    SciTech Connect

    Koturbash, Igor; Loree, Jonathan; Kutanzi, Kristy; Koganow, Clayton; Pogribny, Igor; Kovalchuk, Olga

    2008-02-01

    Purpose: It is well accepted that irradiated cells may 'forward' genome instability to nonirradiated neighboring cells, giving rise to the 'bystander effect' phenomenon. Although bystander effects were well studied by using cell cultures, data for somatic bystander effects in vivo are relatively scarce. Methods and Materials: We set out to analyze the existence and molecular nature of bystander effects in a radiation target-organ spleen by using a mouse model. The animal's head was exposed to X-rays while the remainder of the body was completely protected by a medical-grade shield. Using immunohistochemistry, we addressed levels of DNA damage, cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and p53 protein in the spleen of control animals and completely exposed and head-exposed/body bystander animals. Results: We found that localized head radiation exposure led to the induction of bystander effects in the lead-shielded distant spleen tissue. Namely, cranial irradiation led to increased levels of DNA damage and p53 expression and also altered levels of cellular proliferation and apoptosis in bystander spleen tissue. The observed bystander changes were not caused by radiation scattering and were observed in two different mouse strains; C57BL/6 and BALB/c. Conclusion: Our study proves that bystander effects occur in the distant somatic organs on localized exposures. Additional studies are required to characterize the nature of an enigmatic bystander signal and analyze the long-term persistence of these effects and possible contribution of radiation-induced bystander effects to secondary radiation carcinogenesis.

  19. Chronic Stress Induces Structural Alterations in Splenic Lymphoid Tissue That Are Associated with Changes in Corticosterone Levels in Wistar-Kyoto Rats

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, María Eugenia; Martinez-Mota, Lucia; Salinas, Citlaltepetl; Marquez-Velasco, Ricardo; Hernandez-Chan, Nancy G.; Morales-Montor, Jorge; Pérez-Tapia, Mayra; Streber, María L.; Granados-Camacho, Ivonne; Becerril, Enrique; Javier, Baquera-Heredia; Pavón, Lenin

    2013-01-01

    Major depressive disorder patients present chronic stress and decreased immunity. The Wistar-Kyoto rat (WKY) is a strain in which the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is overactivated. To determine whether chronic stress induces changes in corticosterone levels and splenic lymphoid tissue, 9-week-old male rats were subject to restraint stress (3 h daily), chemical stress (hydrocortisone treatment, 50 mg/Kg weight), mixed stress (restraint plus hydrocortisone), or control treatment (without stress) for 1, 4, and 7 weeks. The serum corticosterone levels by RIA and spleens morphology were analyzed. Corticosterone levels as did the structure, size of the follicles and morphology of the parenchyma (increase in red pulp) in the spleen, varied depending on time and type of stressor. These changes indicate that chronic stress alters the immune response in the spleen in WKY rats by inducing morphological changes, explaining in part the impaired immunity that develops in organisms that are exposed to chronic stress. PMID:23533999

  20. Drebrin depletion alters neurotransmitter receptor levels in protein complexes, dendritic spine morphogenesis and memory-related synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Jung, Gangsoo; Kim, Eun-Jung; Cicvaric, Ana; Sase, Sunetra; Gröger, Marion; Höger, Harald; Sialana, Fernando Jayson; Berger, Johannes; Monje, Francisco J; Lubec, Gert

    2015-07-01

    Drebrin an actin-bundling key regulator of dendritic spine genesis and morphology, has been recently proposed as a regulator of hippocampal glutamatergic activity which is critical for memory formation and maintenance. Here, we examined the effects of genetic deletion of drebrin on dendritic spine and on the level of complexes containing major brain receptors. To this end, homozygous and heterozygous drebrin knockout mice generated in our laboratory and related wild-type control animals were studied. Level of protein complexes containing dopamine receptor D1/dopamine receptor D2, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (5-HT1(A)R), and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 7 (5-HT7R) were significantly reduced in hippocampus of drebrin knockout mice whereas no significant changes were detected for GluR1, 2, and 3 and NR1 as examined by native gel-based immunoblotting. Drebrin depletion also altered dendritic spine formation, morphology, and reduced levels of dopamine receptor D1 in dendritic spines as evaluated using immunohistochemistry/confocal microscopy. Electrophysiological studies further showed significant reduction in memory-related hippocampal synaptic plasticity upon drebrin depletion. These findings provide unprecedented experimental support for a role of drebrin in the regulation of memory-related synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter receptor signaling, offer relevant information regarding the interpretation of previous studies and help in the design of future studies on dendritic spines.

  1. A Micropolymorphism Altering the Residue Triad 97/114/156 Determines the Relative Levels of Tapasin Independence and Distinct Peptide Profiles for HLA-A*24 Allotypes

    PubMed Central

    Badrinath, Soumya; Blasczyk, Rainer; Huyton, Trevor; Bade-Doeding, Christina

    2014-01-01

    While many HLA class I molecules interact directly with the peptide loading complex (PLC) for conventional loading of peptides certain class I molecules are able to present peptides in a way that circumvents the PLC components. We investigated micropolymorphisms at position 156 of HLA-A*24 allotypes and their effects on PLC dependence for assembly and peptide binding specificities. HLA-A*24:06156Trp and HLA-A*24:13156Leu showed high levels of cell surface expression while HLA-A*24:02156Gln was expressed at low levels in tapasin deficient cells. Peptides presented by these allelic variants showed distinct differences in features and repertoire. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated all the HLA-A*24/156 variants to associate at similar levels with tapasin when present. Structurally, HLA-A*24:02 contains the residue triad Met97/His114/Gln156 and a Trp156 or Leu156 polymorphism provides tapasin independence by stabilizing these triad residues, thus generating an energetically stable and a more peptide receptive environment. Micropolymorphisms at position 156 can influence the generic peptide loading pathway for HLA-A*24 by altering their tapasin dependence for peptide selection. The trade-off for this tapasin independence could be the presentation of unusual ligands by these alleles, imposing significant risk following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). PMID:25802875

  2. Interpreting the universal phylogenetic tree

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.

    2000-01-01

    The universal phylogenetic tree not only spans all extant life, but its root and earliest branchings represent stages in the evolutionary process before modern cell types had come into being. The evolution of the cell is an interplay between vertically derived and horizontally acquired variation. Primitive cellular entities were necessarily simpler and more modular in design than are modern cells. Consequently, horizontal gene transfer early on was pervasive, dominating the evolutionary dynamic. The root of the universal phylogenetic tree represents the first stage in cellular evolution when the evolving cell became sufficiently integrated and stable to the erosive effects of horizontal gene transfer that true organismal lineages could exist.

  3. Phylogenetics and speciation.

    PubMed

    Barraclough, T G.; Nee, S

    2001-07-01

    Species-level phylogenies derived from molecular data provide an indirect record of the speciation events that have led to extant species. This offers enormous potential for investigating the general causes and rates of speciation within clades. To make the most of this potential, we should ideally sample all the species in a higher group, such as a genus, ensure that those species reflect evolutionary entities within the group, and rule out the effects of other processes, such as extinction, as explanations for observed patterns. We discuss recent practical and theoretical advances in this area and outline how future work should benefit from incorporating data from genealogical and phylogeographical scales.

  4. Regenerating livers of old rats contain high levels of C/EBPalpha that correlate with altered expression of cell cycle associated proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Timchenko, N A; Wilde, M; Kosai, K I; Heydari, A; Bilyeu, T A; Finegold, M J; Mohamedali, K; Richardson, A; Darlington, G J

    1998-01-01

    The nuclear transcription factor, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha) is expressed at high levels in the liver and inhibits growth in cultured cells. We have tested the correlation between C/EBPalpha levels, cell cycle proteins and hepatocyte proliferation in old and young animals as an in vivo model system in which the proliferative response to partial hepatectomy (PH) has been shown to be reduced and delayed in old animals. Here we present evidence that the expression of C/EBPalpha in old rats (24 months) differs from its expression in young animals (6-10 months) during liver regeneration. Induction of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a marker of DNA synthesis, occurs at 24 h after PH in young rats but is delayed and reduced in old animals. Induction of the mitotic-specific protein, cdc2 p34, is 3-4-fold less in regenerating liver of old rats than in the liver of young animals, confirming the reduced proliferative response in old animals. In young rats, the normal regenerative response involves a reduction of 3-4-fold in the levels of C/EBPalpha protein at 3-24 h. In old animals, C/EBPalpha is not reduced within 24 h after PH, but a decrease of C/EBPalpha protein levels can be detected at 72 h after PH. Induction of C/EBPbeta, another member of the C/EBP family, is delayed in old animals. Changes in the expression of C/EBP proteins are accompanied by alteration of the CDK inhibitor, p21, which is also decreased in young rats after PH, but in old animals remains unchanged. High levels of p21 protein in older animals correlate with the lack of cdk2 activation. We suggest that the failure to reduce the amount of C/EBPalpha and p21 is a critical event in the dysregulation of hepatocyte proliferation in old animals following PH. PMID:9628932

  5. A correlation between altered O-GlcNAcylation, migration and with changes in E-cadherin levels in ovarian cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Feng-zhen; Yu, Chao; Zhao, De-zhang; Wu, Ming-jun; Yang, Zhu

    2013-06-10

    O-GlcNAcylation is a dynamic and reversible posttranslational modification of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. In recent years, the roles of O-GlcNAcylation in several human malignant tumors have been investigated, and O-GlcNAcylation was found to be linked to cellular features relevant to metastasis. In this study, we modeled four diverse ovarian cancer cells and investigated the effects of O-GlcNAcylation on ovarian cancer cell migration. We found that total O-GlcNAcylation level was elevated in HO-8910PM cells compared to OVCAR3 cells. Additionally, through altering the total O-GlcNAcylation level by OGT silencing or OGA inhibition, we found that the migration of OVCAR3 cells was dramatically enhanced by PUGNAc and Thiamet G treatment, and the migration ability of HO-8910PM cells was significantly inhibited by OGT silencing. Furthermore, we also found that the expression of E-cadherin, an O-GlcNAcylated protein in ovarian cancer cells, was reduced by OGA inhibition in OVCAR3 cells and elevated by OGT silencing in HO-8910PM cells. These results indicate that O-GlcNAcylation could enhance ovarian cancer cell migration and decrease the expression of E-cadherin. Our studies also suggest that O-GlcNAcylation might become another potential target for the therapy of ovarian cancer. -- Highlights: • We examine the migration potential of diverse ovarian cancer cells. • We examine the total O-GlcNAcylation level of diverse ovarian cancer cells. • Increasing O-GlcNAcylation level will enhance the migration of ovarian cancer cells. • Reducing O-GlcNAcylation level will inhibit the migration of ovarian cancer cells. • The mechanism explains O-GlcNAcylation enhance ovarian cancer cell migration.

  6. TGF-β1 levels and intraocular tissue alterations in mice infected with a virulent type I RH Toxoplasma gondii strain.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Jamshaid; Al-Awadhi, Mohammad Ahmed; Raghupathy, Raj Gopal

    2016-03-01

    Toxoplasmosis is generally self-limiting in healthy adults but it may cause toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis in cases of congenital infection leading to blindness. The importance of host genetics in determining disease severity in ocular toxoplasmosis has been shown in different inbred mouse strains using low-virulence toxoplasma strain. In this study, we studied intraocular immune response and tissue alterations in the genetically resistant BALB/c and susceptible MF1 mice infected with a virulent type I RH Toxoplasma gondii strain by intravitreal route. We observed a significant up-regulation of IFN-γ and TNF-α to >2200 pg/ml and >300 pg/ml respectively in the blood of both BALB/c and MF1mice during the early stages of post intraocular infection (p < 0.01) but the levels dropped sharply to normal during the late stages of the infection on day 26. The cytokine levels detected were higher in the MF1 mice compared with the BALB/c mice and a relatively higher levels were observed in the aqueous humour (AqH) than in the blood of both group of mice. The TGF-β1 level in the blood and AqH of BALB/c mice remained low throughout the infection period compared with MF1 mice which showed gradual increase to 50 pg/ml in the blood and AqH during the early stages of infection which then further increased 2-fold-132 pg/ml on day 11 (p < 0.01) and remained high till the last day of observation on day 26 except that the TGF-β1 level in AqH dropped sharply to normal level. In summary, our results support that TGF-β1 may down-regulate the effector functions of anti-Toxoplasma cellular immunity during acute toxoplasmosis. We document that a mild Th1 pro-inflammatory response in the BALB/c mice with high IFN-γ and TNF-α and, low TGF-β1 levels during the early stages of infection may have contributed to an effective cellular immune response leading to lower morbidity, mortality and less ocular tissue damage. However in the MF1 mice, a significantly high TGF-β1 level in the blood as

  7. Over-expression of JcDGAT1 from Jatropha curcas increases seed oil levels and alters oil quality in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Misra, Aparna; Khan, Kasim; Niranjan, Abhishek; Nath, Pravendra; Sane, Vidhu A

    2013-12-01

    The increasing consumption of fossil fuels and petroleum products is leading to their rapid depletion and is a matter of concern around the globe. Substitutes of fossil fuels are required to sustain the pace of economic development. In this context, oil from the non food crops (biofuel) has shown potential to substitute fossil fuels. Jatropha curcas is an excellent shrub spread and naturalized across the globe. Its oil contains a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids (about 78-84% of total fatty acid content) making the oil suitable for biodiesel production. Despite its high oil content, it has been poorly studied in terms of important enzymes/genes responsible for oil biosynthesis. Here, we describe the isolation of the full length cDNA clone of JcDGAT1, a key enzyme involved in oil biosynthesis, from J. curcas seeds and manipulation of oil content and composition in transgenic Arabidopsis plants by its expression. Transcript analysis of JcDGAT1 reveals a gradual increase from early seed development to its maturation. Homozygous transgenic Arabidopsis lines expressing JcDGAT1 both under CaMV35S promoter and a seed specific promoter show an enhanced level of total oil content (up by 30-41%) in seeds but do not show any phenotypic differences. In addition, our studies also show alterations in the oil composition through JcDGAT1 expression. While the levels of saturated FAs such as palmitate and stearate in the oil do not change, there is significant reproducible decrease in the levels of oleic acid and a concomitant increase in levels of linolenic acid both under the CaMV35S promoter as well as the seed specific promoter. Our studies thus confirm that DGAT is involved in flux control in oil biosynthesis and show that JcDGAT1 could be used specifically to manipulate and improve oil content and composition in plants. PMID:24125179

  8. STATUS EPILEPTICUS TRIGGERS EARLY AND LATE ALTERATIONS IN BRAIN-DERIVED NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR AND NMDA GLUTAMATE RECEPTOR GRIN2B DNA METHYLATION LEVELS IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS

    PubMed Central

    Parrish, R. Ryley; Albertson, Asher J.; Buckingham, Susan C.; Hablitz, John J.; Mascia, Katherine L.; Haselden, W. Davis; Lubin, Farah D.

    2013-01-01

    Status epilepticus (SE) triggers abnormal expression of genes in the hippocampus, such as glutamate receptor subunit epsilon-2 (Grin2b/Nr2b) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf), that is thought to occur in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We examined the underlying DNA methylation mechanisms and investigated whether these mechanisms contribute to the expression of these gene targets in the epileptic hippocampus. Experimental TLE was provoked by kainic acid-induced SE. Bisulfite sequencing analysis revealed increased Grin2b/Nr2b and decreased Bdnf DNA methylation levels that corresponded to decreased Grin2b/Nr2b and increased Bdnf mRNA and protein expression in the epileptic hippocampus. Blockade of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity with zebularine decreased global DNA methylation levels and reduced Grin2b/Nr2b, but not Bdnf, DNA methylation levels. Interestingly, we found that DNMT blockade further decreased Grin2b/Nr2b mRNA expression whereas GRIN2B protein expression increased in the epileptic hippocampus, suggesting that a posttranscriptional mechanism may be involved. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis we found that DNMT inhibition restored the decreases in AP2alpha transcription factor levels at the Grin2b/Nr2b promoter in the epileptic hippocampus. DNMT inhibition increased field excitatory postsynaptic potential in hippocampal slices isolated from epileptic rats. EEG monitoring confirmed that DNMT inhibition did not significantly alter disease course, but promoted the latency to seizure onset or SE. Thus, DNA methylation may be an early event triggered by SE that persists late into the epileptic hippocampus to contribute to gene expression changes in TLE. PMID:23811393

  9. Phylogenetic signals and ecotoxicological responses: potential implications for aquatic biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Carew, Melissa E; Miller, Adam D; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2011-05-01

    Macroinvertebrates can be successfully used as biomonitors of pollutants and environmental health because some groups are sensitive whereas, others are relatively tolerant to pollutants. An issue of ongoing debate is what constitutes an appropriate group for biomonitoring; should the group represent species, genera or higher taxonomic levels? A phylogenetic framework can provide new insights into this issue. By developing phylogenies for chironomids and mayflies, this investigation shows that there is strong phylogenetic signal for pollution responses, and that phylogenetic nodes are common to tolerant and sensitive groups of species. A phylogenetic analysis of biotic indices developed for mayflies based on their response to organic pollution shows that mayfly families varied in pollution tolerance. In contrast, based on sediment zinc concentrations as an indicator of pollution tolerance, Australian chironomids tend to vary in tolerance at lower taxonomic levels. Published data on North American chironomids shows much of the signal for pollution responses is contained within genera rather than sub-families. Tools are now available to distinguish whether this signal reflects historical evolutionary constraints or environmental effects leading to common evolved responses. This suggests that ideally higher taxonomic levels should be used for biomonitoring when there are strong phylogenetic constraints at higher levels. Evolutionary considerations can therefore help to guide the development of macroinvertebrate biomonitors and provide insights into processes that produce sensitive and tolerant taxa.

  10. Regeneration of eye tissues is modulated by altered levels of gravity at 1g, 2g, and in microgravity during spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigoryan, Eleonora; Almeida, Eduardo; Mitashov, Victor

    The pursuit of human space exploration requires detailed knowledge of microgravity-related changes in fundamental biological processes, and their effects on health. Normal regeneration of organs and tissues is one such fundamental process that allows maintenance of vitality and function of living organisms. Animal models of tissue regeneration include the newt (Pleurodeles waltl, Urodela) eye, which has been extensively used by our team in Russian Bion and Foton microgravity experiments since 1985, and in recent NASA 2.5 meter diameter centrifuge hypergravity experiments. In total, these experiments allow us to draw several broad conclusions: Newt lens regeneration is significantly altered in microgravity and hypergravity relative to 1g controls. Lenses formed in microgravity are larger and more developed than those regenerated in 1g controls; Microgravity alterations of lens regeneration can persist after spaceflight, and continue to affect repeated removal and regeneration of the lens after return to 1g; Microgravity increases the numbers of early stage regenerative proliferating BrdU-labeled cells in dorsal iris progenitors and in the lens regenerate. Regeneration under hypergravity conditions at 2g inhibits lens regeneration, and often causes retinal detachment. Molecular mechanisms regulating lens regeneration rate include FGF2 signaling, (a key pathway for eye tissue development and regeneration), and an expression of stress-related proteins - HSPs. In conclusion, regeneration of lens and other eye tissues in the newt is sensitive to, and regulated by the level of gravity mechanotransduction and developmental signaling pathways, with microgravity favoring stem cell progenitor proliferation, and gravity at 1g promoting terminal differentiation, while hypergravity at 2g often causes damage of delicate regenerating tissues.

  11. Ethanol elevates physiological all-trans-retinoic acid levels in select loci through altering retinoid metabolism in multiple loci: a potential mechanism of ethanol toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Maureen A.; Folias, Alexandra E.; Wang, Chao; Napoli, Joseph L.

    2010-01-01

    All-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) supports embryonic development, central nervous system function, and the immune response. atRA initiates neurogenesis and dendritic growth in the hippocampus and is required for spatial memory; superphysiological atRA inhibits neurogenesis, causes teratology and/or embryo toxicity, and alters cognitive function and behavior. Because abnormal atRA shares pathological conditions with alcoholism, inhibition of retinol (vitamin A) activation into atRA has been credited widely as a mechanism of ethanol toxicity. Here, we analyze the effects of ethanol on retinoid concentrations in vivo during normal vitamin A nutriture, using sensitive and analytically robust assays. Ethanol either increased or had no effect on atRA, regardless of changes in retinol and retinyl esters. Acute ethanol (3.5 g/kg) increased atRA in adult hippocampus (1.6-fold), liver (2.4-fold), and testis (1.5-fold). Feeding dams a liquid diet with 6.5% ethanol from embryonic day 13 (e13) to e19 increased atRA in fetal hippocampus (up to 20-fold) and cortex (up to 50-fold), depending on blood alcohol content. One-month feeding of the 6.5% ethanol diet increased atRA in adult hippocampus (20-fold), cortex (2-fold), testis (2-fold), and serum (10-fold). Tissue-specific increases in retinoid dehydrogenase mRNAs and activities, extrahepatic retinol concentrations, and atRA catabolism combined to produce site-specific effects. Because a sustained increase in atRA has deleterious effects on the central nervous system and embryo development, these data suggest that superphysiological atRA contributes to ethanol pathological conditions, including cognitive dysfunction and fetal alcohol syndrome.—Kane, M. A., Folias, A. E., Wang, C., Napoli, J. L. Ethanol elevates physiological all-trans-retinoic acid levels in select loci through altering retinoid metabolism in multiple loci: a potential mechanism of ethanol toxicity. PMID:19890016

  12. Induction of Embryogenesis in Brassica Napus Microspores Produces a Callosic Subintinal Layer and Abnormal Cell Walls with Altered Levels of Callose and Cellulose

    PubMed Central

    Parra-Vega, Verónica; Corral-Martínez, Patricia; Rivas-Sendra, Alba; Seguí-Simarro, Jose M.

    2015-01-01

    The induction of microspore embryogenesis produces dramatic changes in different aspects of the cell physiology and structure. Changes at the cell wall level are among the most intriguing and poorly understood. In this work, we used high pressure freezing and freeze substitution, immunolocalization, confocal, and electron microscopy to analyze the structure and composition of the first cell walls formed during conventional Brassica napus microspore embryogenesis, and in cultures treated to alter the intracellular Ca2+ levels. Our results revealed that one of the first signs of embryogenic commitment is the formation of a callose-rich, cellulose-deficient layer beneath the intine (the subintinal layer), and of irregular, incomplete cell walls. In these events, Ca2+ may have a role. We propose that abnormal cell walls are due to a massive callose synthesis and deposition of excreted cytoplasmic material, and the parallel inhibition of cellulose synthesis. These features were absent in pollen-like structures and in microspore-derived embryos, few days after the end of the heat shock, where abnormal cell walls were no longer produced. Together, our results provide an explanation to a series of relevant aspects of microspore embryogenesis including the role of Ca2+ and the occurrence of abnormal cell walls. In addition, our discovery may be the explanation to why nuclear fusions take place during microspore embryogenesis. PMID:26635844

  13. Altered extracellular levels of DOPAC and HVA in the rat nucleus accumbens shell in response to sub-chronic nandrolone administration and a subsequent amphetamine challenge.

    PubMed

    Birgner, Carolina; Kindlundh-Högberg, Anna M S; Nyberg, Fred; Bergström, Lena

    2007-01-29

    Associated with acts of violence and polydrug use, abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is an increasing problem in society. The aim of the present study was to elucidate whether sub-chronic treatment with the AAS nandrolone decanoate affects dopamine release and dopamine metabolism in the rat nucleus accumbens shell, before and after an amphetamine challenge. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received daily i.m. injections of nandrolone decanoate (15 mg/kg) or vehicle for 14 days. On day 15, the animals were anaesthetized and a microdialysis probe was implanted into the nucleus accumbens shell. Extracellular fluid was collected 1h before and 3h after a single amphetamine injection (5 mg/kg). The samples were then analyzed regarding the content of dopamine, and its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA), using HPLC with electrochemical detection. Two weeks of nandrolone decanoate administration caused a significant decrease of the basal DOPAC and HVA levels, which remained low during the first hour following the amphetamine challenge. Dopamine levels did not differ significantly between groups, neither after the nandrolone pre-treatment nor the amphetamine challenge. In conclusion, these novel findings indicate that AAS alter the metabolism of dopamine in a brain region involved in the development of drug dependence.

  14. Hypothyroidism Stimulates D2 Receptor-mediated Breathing in Response to Acute Hypoxia and alters D2 Receptors Levels in Carotid Bodies & Brain

    PubMed Central

    Schlenker, Evelyn H.; Schultz, Harold D.

    2011-01-01

    Hypothyroidism can depress breathing and alter dopamine D2 receptor expression and function. We hypothesized that relative to euthyroid hamsters (EH), hypothyroid hamsters (HH) contain increased D2 receptors in brain regions associated with breathing and carotid bodies (CB), and that stimulation of D2 receptors would decease ventilation more in the HH compared to the EH. Hamsters were treated with vehicle, carmoxirile (peripherally acting D2 receptor agonist), or bromocriptine (central and peripherally acting D2 receptor agonist) and breathing was evaluated during exposure to air, hypoxia, and then air. HH exhibited increased D2 receptor protein levels in the striatum and CB’s, but decreased levels in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Relative to vehicle, carmoxirole and bromocriptine stimulated ventilation in the HH during and following exposure to hypoxia. Only bromocriptine depressed ventilation in the EH during and after exposure to hypoxia. Thus,, hypothyroidism impacts the expression of D2 receptors in the carotid body, PVN and striatum, and D2 stimulation affects ventilation remarkably differently than in EH. PMID:22051191

  15. Alterations in local cerebral glucose metabolism and endogenous thyrotropin-releasing hormone levels in rolling mouse Nagoya and effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone tartrate.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, T; Nagai, Y

    1996-11-01

    To identify the brain region(s) responsible for the expression of ataxic gaits in an ataxic mutant mouse model, Rolling mouse Nagoya (RMN), changes in local cerebral glucose metabolism in various brain regions and the effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone tartrate (TRH-T), together with alterations in endogenous thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) levels in the brains of RMN, were investigated. Ataxic mice [RMN (rol/rol)] showed significant decreases in glucose metabolism in regions of the diencephalon: thalamic dorsomedial nucleus, lateral geniculate body and superior colliculus; brain stem: substantia nigra, raphe nucleus and vestibular nucleus; and cerebellar nucleus as compared with normal controls [RMN (+/+)]. When RMN (rol/rol) was treated with TRH-T (10 mg/kg, equivalent to 7 mg/kg free TRH), glucose metabolism was significantly increased in these regions. These results suggest that these regions may be responsible for ataxia. We also found that TRH levels in the cerebellum and brain stem of RMN (rol/rol) were significantly higher than those of RMN (+/+). These results suggest that ataxic symptoms in RMN (rol/rol) may relate to the abnormal metabolism of TRH and energy metabolism in the cerebellum and/or brain stem and that exogenously given TRH normalizes them.

  16. Altered levels of LIL3 isoforms in Arabidopsis lead to disturbed pigment-protein assembly and chlorophyll synthesis, chlorotic phenotype and impaired photosynthetic performance.

    PubMed

    Lohscheider, Jens N; Rojas-Stütz, Marc C; Rothbart, Maxi; Andersson, Ulrica; Funck, Dietmar; Mendgen, Kurt; Grimm, Bernhard; Adamska, Iwona

    2015-10-01

    Light-harvesting complex (LHC)-like (LIL) proteins contain two transmembrane helices of which the first bears a chlorophyll (Chl)-binding motif. They are widespread in photosynthetic organisms, but almost nothing is known about their expression and physiological functions. We show that two LIL3 paralogues (LIL3:1 and LIL3:2) in Arabidopsis thaliana are expressed in photosynthetically active tissues and their expression is differentially influenced by light stress. Localization studies demonstrate that both isoforms are associated with subcomplexes of LHC antenna of photosystem II. Transgenic plants with reduced amounts of LIL3:1 exhibited a slightly impaired growth and have reduced Chl and carotenoid contents as compared to wild-type plants. Ectopic overexpression of either paralogue led to a developmentally regulated switch to co-suppression of both LIL3 isoforms, resulting in a circular chlorosis of the leaf rosettes. Chlorotic sectors show severely diminished levels of LIL3 isoforms and other proteins, and thylakoid morphology was changed. Additionally, the levels of enzymes involved in Chl biosynthesis are altered in lil3 mutant plants. Our data support a role of LIL3 paralogues in the regulation of Chl biosynthesis under light stress and under standard growth conditions as well as in a coordinated ligation of newly synthesized and/or rescued Chl molecules to their target apoproteins.

  17. A Deliberate Practice Approach to Teaching Phylogenetic Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobbs, F. Collin; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kearns, Katherine D.

    2013-01-01

    One goal of postsecondary education is to assist students in developing expert-level understanding. Previous attempts to encourage expert-level understanding of phylogenetic analysis in college science classrooms have largely focused on isolated, or "one-shot," in-class activities. Using a deliberate practice instructional approach, we…

  18. First evidence of altered vitellogenin-like protein levels in clam Tapes philippinarum and in cockle Cerastoderma glaucum from the Lagoon of Venice.

    PubMed

    Matozzo, Valerio; Marin, Maria Gabriella

    2007-01-01

    Possible xenoestrogenic effects were investigated, for the first time, in two bivalve species from the Lagoon of Venice (Italy): the clam Tapes philippinarum and the cockle Cerastoderma glaucum. Bivalves were collected far from their reproductive phase at the very early stage of gametogenesis (January), and in the pre-spawning period (June) in six sites. Vitellogenin (Vg)-like proteins (a biomarker of exposure to estrogenic compounds) were measured by the alkali-labile phosphate method (ALP), in both haemolymph and digestive gland from males and females (when it was possible to distinguish sex by microscopic observation of gonadal tissue). Haemolymph calcium concentrations (a parameter considered closely related to the presence of Vg-like proteins) and the bivalve condition index (CI) were also measured. In both seasons, bivalves collected at Campalto (near a sewage treatment plant) and Marghera (a highly contaminated area) had higher Vg-like protein levels, particularly in haemolymph, than animals from the other sampling sites. Interestingly, CI had high values in these polluted sites. In June only, Vg-like proteins and Ca(2+) levels in haemolymph exhibited similar trends in both bivalve species at most sampling sites. The responsiveness of bivalves to environmental xenoestrogens was higher in June, allowing better discrimination among sites. The present study demonstrates that animals from highly polluted areas have increased Vg-like protein levels. As endocrine disruption due to exposure to estrogenic compounds may cause fertility reduction, alterations in the sex ratio, and a decrease in reproductive rate, a condition of potential risk for bivalve populations in estuarine areas is highlighted.

  19. Early bi-parental separation or neonatal paternal deprivation in mandarin voles reduces adult offspring paternal behavior and alters serum corticosterone levels and neurochemistry.

    PubMed

    Yu, Peng; Zhang, Hui; Li, Xibo; He, Fengqin; Tai, Fadao

    2015-07-01

    Although the effect of early social environments on maternal care in adulthood has been examined in detail, few studies have addressed the long-term effect on paternal care and its underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms. Here, using monogamous mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus) that show high levels of paternal care, the effects of early bi-parental separation (EBPS) or neonatal paternal deprivation (NPD) on adult paternal behavior, serum corticosterone levels, and receptor mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and medial preoptic area (MPOA) were investigated. Compared to the parental care group (PC), we found that EBPS reduced crouching behavior and increased inactivity, self-grooming, and serum corticosterone levels in adult offspring; and NPD significantly reduced retrieval behavior and increased self-grooming behavior of offspring at adulthood. EBPS displayed more dopamine type I receptor (D1R) mRNA expression in the NAcc, but less oxytocin receptor (OTR) mRNA expression than PC in the MPOA. Both EBPS and NPD exhibited more mRNA expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) than PC in the MPOA. In the EBPS group, increased serum corticosterone concentration was closely associated with reduced crouching behavior, and reduced expression of OTR was closely associated with altered crouching behavior and increased D1R expression. Our results provide substantial evidence that EBPS or NPD has long-term consequences and reduces paternal behavior in adult animals. Importantly the oxytocin system in the MPOA might interact with NAcc dopamine systems to regulate paternal behavior and EBPS may affect interactions between the MPOA and NAcc.

  20. Chronic exposure to low levels of inorganic arsenic causes alterations in locomotor activity and in the expression of dopaminergic and antioxidant systems in the albino rat.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Verónica Mireya; Limón-Pacheco, Jorge Humberto; Carrizales, Leticia; Mendoza-Trejo, María Soledad; Giordano, Magda

    2010-01-01

    Several studies have associated chronic arsenicism with decreases in IQ and sensory and motor alterations in humans. Likewise, studies of rodents exposed to inorganic arsenic ((i)As) have found changes in locomotor activity, brain neurochemistry, behavioral tasks, oxidative stress, and in sensory and motor nerves. In the current study, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of (i)As (0.05, 0.5 mg (i)As/L) and to a high dose (50 mg (i)As/L) in drinking water for one year. Hypoactivity and increases in the striatal dopamine content were found in the group treated with 50 mg (i)As/L. Exposure to 0.5 and 50 mg (i)As/L increased the total brain content of As. Furthermore, (i)As exposure produced a dose-dependent up-regulation of mRNA for Mn-SOD and Trx-1 and a down-regulation of DAR-D₂ mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens. DAR-D₁ and Nrf2 mRNA expression were down-regulated in nucleus accumbens in the group exposed to 50 mg (i)As/L. Trx-1 mRNA levels were up-regulated in the cortex in an (i)As dose-dependent manner, while DAR-D₁ mRNA expression was increased in striatum in the 0.5 mg (i)As/L group. These results show that chronic exposure to low levels of arsenic causes subtle but region-specific changes in the nervous system, especially in antioxidant systems and dopaminergic elements. These changes became behaviorally evident only in the group exposed to 50 mg (i)As/L.

  1. Description of new mitochondrial genomes (Spodoptera litura, Noctuoidea and Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, Pyraloidea) and phylogenetic reconstruction of Lepidoptera with the comment on optimization schemes.

    PubMed

    Wan, Xinlong; Kim, Min Jee; Kim, Iksoo

    2013-11-01

    We newly sequenced mitochondrial genomes of Spodoptera litura and Cnaphalocrocis medinalis belonging to Lepidoptera to obtain further insight into mitochondrial genome evolution in this group and investigated the influence of optimal strategies on phylogenetic reconstruction of Lepidoptera. Estimation of p-distances of each mitochondrial gene for available taxonomic levels has shown the highest value in ND6, whereas the lowest values in COI and COII at the nucleotide level, suggesting different utility of each gene for different hierarchical group when individual genes are utilized for phylogenetic analysis. Phylogenetic analyses mainly yielded the relationships (((((Bombycoidea + Geometroidea) + Noctuoidea) + Pyraloidea) + Papilionoidea) + Tortricoidea), evidencing the polyphyly of Macrolepidoptera. The Noctuoidea concordantly recovered the familial relationships (((Arctiidae + Lymantriidae) + Noctuidae) + Notodontidae). The tests of optimality strategies, such as exclusion of third codon positions, inclusion of rRNA and tRNA genes, data partitioning, RY recoding approach, and recoding nucleotides into amino acids suggested that the majority of the strategies did not substantially alter phylogenetic topologies or nodal supports, except for the sister relationship between Lycaenidae and Pieridae only in the amino acid dataset, which was in contrast to the sister relationship between Lycaenidae and Nymphalidae in Papilionoidea in the remaining datasets.

  2. Anacetrapib and dalcetrapib differentially alters HDL metabolism and macrophage-to-feces reverse cholesterol transport at similar levels of CETP inhibition in hamsters.

    PubMed

    Briand, François; Thieblemont, Quentin; Muzotte, Elodie; Burr, Noémie; Urbain, Isabelle; Sulpice, Thierry; Johns, Douglas G

    2014-10-01

    Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors dalcetrapib and anacetrapib differentially alter LDL- and HDL-cholesterol levels, which might be related to the potency of each drug to inhibit CETP activity. We evaluated the effects of both drugs at similar levels of CETP inhibition on macrophage-to-feces reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) in hamsters. In normolipidemic hamsters, both anacetrapib 30 mg/kg QD and dalcetrapib 200 mg/kg BID inhibited CETP activity by ~60%. After injection of 3H-cholesteryl oleate labeled HDL, anacetrapib and dalcetrapib reduced HDL-cholesteryl esters fractional catabolic rate (FCR) by 30% and 26% (both P<0.001 vs. vehicle) respectively, but only dalcetrapib increased HDL-derived 3H-tracer fecal excretion by 30% (P<0.05 vs. vehicle). After 3H-cholesterol labeled macrophage intraperitoneal injection, anacetrapib stimulated 3H-tracer appearance in HDL, but both drugs did not promote macrophage-derived 3H-tracer fecal excretion. In dyslipidemic hamsters, both anacetrapib 1 mg/kg QD and dalcetrapib 200 mg/kg BID inhibited CETP activity by ~65% and reduced HDL-cholesteryl ester FCR by 36% (both P<0.001 vs. vehicle), but only anacetrapib increased HDL-derived 3H-tracer fecal excretion significantly by 39%. After 3H-cholesterol labeled macrophage injection, only anacetrapib 1 mg/kg QD stimulated macrophage-derived 3H-tracer appearance in HDL. These effects remained weaker than those observed with anacetrapib 60 mg/kg QD, which induced a maximal inhibition of CETP and stimulation of macrophage-derived 3H-tracer fecal excretion. In contrast, dalcetrapib 200 mg/kg BID reduced macrophage-derived 3H-tracer fecal excretion by 23% (P<0.05 vs. vehicle). In conclusion, anacetrapib and dalcetrapib differentially alter HDL metabolism and RCT in hamsters. A stronger inhibition of CETP may be required to promote macrophage-to-feces reverse cholesterol transport in dyslipidemic hamsters.

  3. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    PubMed Central

    Singer, Esther; Bushnell, Brian; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Bowers, Robert M; Levy, Asaf; Gies, Esther A; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Copeland, Alex; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Hallam, Steven J; Hugenholtz, Philip; Tringe, Susannah G; Woyke, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, high-throughput short-read 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing has eclipsed clone-dependent long-read Sanger sequencing for microbial community profiling. The transition to new technologies has provided more quantitative information at the expense of taxonomic resolution with implications for inferring metabolic traits in various ecosystems. We applied single-molecule real-time sequencing for microbial community profiling, generating full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences at high throughput, which we propose to name PhyloTags. We benchmarked and validated this approach using a defined microbial community. When further applied to samples from the water column of meromictic Sakinaw Lake, we show that while community structures at the phylum level are comparable between PhyloTags and Illumina V4 16S rRNA gene sequences (iTags), variance increases with community complexity at greater water depths. PhyloTags moreover allowed less ambiguous classification. Last, a platform-independent comparison of PhyloTags and in silico generated partial 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated significant differences in community structure and phylogenetic resolution across multiple taxonomic levels, including a severe underestimation in the abundance of specific microbial genera involved in nitrogen and methane cycling across the Lake's water column. Thus, PhyloTags provide a reliable adjunct or alternative to cost-effective iTags, enabling more accurate phylogenetic resolution of microbial communities and predictions on their metabolic potential. PMID:26859772

  4. Alteration layer formation of Ca- and Zn-oxide bearing alkali borosilicate glasses for immobilisation of UK high level waste: A vapour hydration study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassingham, N. J.; Corkhill, C. L.; Stennett, M. C.; Hand, R. J.; Hyatt, N. C.

    2016-10-01

    The UK high level nuclear waste glass modified with CaO/ZnO was investigated using the vapour phase hydration test, performed at 200 °C, with the aim of understanding the impact of the modification on the chemical composition and microstructure of the alteration layer. Experiments were undertaken on non-modified and CaO/ZnO-modified base glass, with or without 25 wt% of simulant Magnox waste calcine. The modification resulted in a dramatic reduction in gel layer thickness and also a reduction in the reaction rate, from 3.4 ± 0.3 g m-2 d-1 without CaO/ZnO modification to 0.9 ± 0.1 g m-2 d-1 with CaO/ZnO. The precipitated phase assemblage for the CaO/ZnO-modified compositions was identified as hydrated Ca- and Zn-bearing silicate phases, which were absent from the non-modified counterpart. These results are in agreement with other recent studies showing the beneficial effects of ZnO additions on glass durability.

  5. Terraces in phylogenetic tree space.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Michael J; McMahon, Michelle M; Steel, Mike

    2011-07-22

    A key step in assembling the tree of life is the construction of species-rich phylogenies from multilocus--but often incomplete--sequence data sets. We describe previously unknown structure in the landscape of solutions to the tree reconstruction problem, comprising sometimes vast "terraces" of trees with identical quality, arranged on islands of phylogenetically similar trees. Phylogenetic ambiguity within a terrace can be characterized efficiently and then ameliorated by new algorithms for obtaining a terrace's maximum-agreement subtree or by identifying the smallest set of new targets for additional sequencing. Algorithms to find optimal trees or estimate Bayesian posterior tree distributions may need to navigate strategically in the neighborhood of large terraces in tree space.

  6. Tris(2-butoxyethyl)phosphate and triethyl phosphate alter embryonic development, hepatic mRNA expression, thyroid hormone levels, and circulating bile acid concentrations in chicken embryos.

    PubMed

    Egloff, Caroline; Crump, Doug; Porter, Emily; Williams, Kim L; Letcher, Robert J; Gauthier, Lewis T; Kennedy, Sean W

    2014-09-15

    The organophosphate flame retardants tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) and triethyl phosphate (TEP) are used in a wide range of applications to suppress or delay the ignition and spread of fire. Both compounds have been detected in the environment and TBOEP was recently measured in free-living avian species. In this study, TBOEP and TEP were injected into the air cell of chicken embryos at concentrations ranging from 0 to 45,400 ng/g and 0 to 241,500 ng/g egg, respectively. Pipping success, development, hepatic mRNA expression of 9 target genes, thyroid hormone levels, and circulating bile acid concentrations were determined. Exposure to the highest doses of TBOEP and TEP resulted in negligible detection of the parent compounds in embryonic contents at pipping indicating their complete metabolic degradation. TBOEP exposure had limited effects on chicken embryos, with the exception of hepatic CYP3A37 mRNA induction. TEP exposure decreased pipping success to 68%, altered growth, increased liver somatic index (LSI) and plasma bile acids, and modulated genes associated with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism and the thyroid hormone pathway. Plasma thyroxine levels were decreased at all TEP doses, including an environmentally-relevant concentration (8 ng/g), and gallbladder hypotrophy was evident at ≥ 43,200 ng/g. Tarsus length and circulating thyroxine concentration emerged as potential phenotypic anchors for the modulation of transthyretin mRNA. The increase in plasma bile acids and LSI, gallbladder hypotrophy, and discoloration of liver tissue represented potential phenotypic outcomes associated with modulation of hepatic genes involved with xenobiotic and lipid metabolism.

  7. Cold stress-induced protein Rbm3 binds 60S ribosomal subunits, alters microRNA levels, and enhances global protein synthesis.

    PubMed

    Dresios, John; Aschrafi, Armaz; Owens, Geoffrey C; Vanderklish, Peter W; Edelman, Gerald M; Mauro, Vincent P

    2005-02-01

    The expression of Rbm3, a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein, is enhanced under conditions of mild hypothermia, and Rbm3 has been postulated to facilitate protein synthesis at colder temperatures. To investigate this possibility, Rbm3 was overexpressed as a c-Myc fusion protein in mouse neuroblastoma N2a cells. Cells expressing this fusion protein showed a 3-fold increase in protein synthesis at both 37 degrees C and 32 degrees C compared with control cells. Although polysome profiles of cells expressing the fusion protein and control cells were similar, several differences were noted, suggesting that Rbm3 might enhance the association of 40S and 60S ribosomal subunits at 32 degrees C. Studies to assess a direct interaction of Rbm3 with ribosomes showed that a fraction of Rbm3 was associated with 60S ribosomal subunits in an RNA-independent manner. It appeared unlikely that this association could explain the global enhancement of protein synthesis, however, because cells expressing the Rbm3 fusion protein showed no substantial increase in the size of their monosome and polysome peaks, suggesting that similar numbers of mRNAs were being translated at approximately the same rates. In contrast, a complex that sedimented between the top of the gradient and 40S subunits was less abundant in cells expressing recombinant Rbm3. Further analysis showed that the RNA component of this fraction was microRNA. We discuss the possibility that Rbm3 expression alters global protein synthesis by affecting microRNA levels and suggest that both Rbm3 and microRNAs are part of a homeostatic mechanism that regulates global levels of protein synthesis under normal and cold-stress conditions.

  8. Feeding bovine milks with low or high IgA levels is associated with altered re-establishment of murine intestinal microbiota after antibiotic treatment

    PubMed Central

    Young, Wayne; Cakebread, Julie A.; Haigh, Brendan J.

    2016-01-01

    Antibiotics are a vital and commonly used therapeutic tool, but their use also results in profound changes in the intestinal microbiota that can, in turn, have significant health consequences. Understanding how the microbiota recovers after antibiotic treatment will help to devise strategies for mitigating the adverse effects of antibiotics. Using a mouse model, we have characterized the changes occurring in the intestinal microbiota immediately after five days exposure to ampicillin, and then at three and fourteen days thereafter. During the fourteen day period of antibiotic recovery, groups of mice were fed either water, cows’ milk containing high levels of IgA, or cows’ milk containing low levels of IgA as their sole source of liquid. Effects on microbiota of feeding milks for 14 days were also assessed in groups of mice that had no ampicillin exposure. Changes in microbiota were measured by high throughput sequencing of the V4 to V6 variable regions of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. As expected, exposure to ampicillin led to profound changes to the types and abundance of bacteria present, along with a loss of diversity. At 14 days following antibiotic exposure, mice fed water had recovered microbiota compositions similar to that prior to antibiotics. However, feeding High-IgA milk to mice that has been exposed to antibiotics was associated with altered microbiota compositions, including increased relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Barnesiella compared to the start of the study. Mice exposed to antibiotics then fed Low-IgA milk also showed increased Barnesiella at day 14. Mice without antibiotic perturbation, showed no change in their microbiota after 14 days of milk feeding. Overall, these findings add to a knowledge platform for optimizing intestinal function after treatment with antibiotics in the human population. PMID:27703861

  9. Dysregulation of hepatic cAMP levels via altered Pde4b expression plays a critical role in alcohol-induced steatosis.

    PubMed

    Avila, Diana V; Barker, David F; Zhang, JingWen; McClain, Craig J; Barve, Shirish; Gobejishvili, Leila

    2016-09-01

    Alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis is a significant risk factor for progressive liver disease. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signalling has been shown to significantly regulate lipid metabolism; however, the role of altered cAMP homeostasis in alcohol-mediated hepatic steatosis has never been studied. Our previous work demonstrated that increased expression of hepatic phosphodiesterase 4 (Pde4), which specifically hydrolyses and decreases cAMP levels, plays a pathogenic role in the development of liver inflammation/injury. The aim of this study was to examine the role of PDE4 in alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis. C57BL/6 wild-type and Pde4b knockout (Pde4b(-/-) ) mice were pair-fed control or ethanol liquid diets. One group of wild-type mice received rolipram, a PDE4-specific inhibitor, during alcohol feeding. We demonstrate for the first time that an early increase in PDE4 enzyme expression and a resultant decrease in hepatic cAMP levels are associated with the significant reduction in carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (Cpt1a) expression. Notably, alcohol-fed (AF) Pde4b(-/-) mice and AF wild-type mice treated with rolipram had significantly lower hepatic free fatty acid content compared with AF wild-type mice. Importantly, PDE4 inhibition in alcohol-fed mice prevented the decrease in hepatic Cpt1a expression via the Pparα/Sirt1/Pgc1α pathway. These results demonstrate that the alcohol- induced increase in hepatic Pde4, specifically Pde4b expression, and compromised cAMP signalling predispose the liver to impaired fatty acid oxidation and the development of steatosis. Moreover, these data also suggest that hepatic PDE4 may be a clinically relevant therapeutic target for the treatment of alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27287961

  10. Phylogenetic methods in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Ashton, John C

    2013-12-01

    In recent decades, growth of computing power has facilitated powerful techniques for reconstructing evolutionary relationships from online genetic and proteomic databases. These methods are useful tools for pharmacologists for analyzing relationships between receptors and associated enzymes. Phylogenetic analysis can help generate hypotheses and leads for experimentation. Reconstruction of molecular phylogenies for the nonspecialist is described in this article using the example of the orphaned g protein coupled receptor GPR18.

  11. Alteration at translational but not transcriptional level of transferrin receptor expression following manganese exposure at the blood-CSF barrier in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Li, G. Jane; Zhao Qiuqu; Zheng Wei . E-mail: wzheng@purdue.edu

    2005-06-01

    Manganese exposure alters iron homeostasis in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), possibly by acting on iron transport mechanisms localized at the blood-brain barrier and/or blood-CSF barrier. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that manganese exposure may change the binding affinity of iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) to mRNAs encoding transferrin receptor (TfR), thereby influencing iron transport at the blood-CSF barrier. A primary culture of choroidal epithelial cells was adapted to grow on a permeable membrane sandwiched between two culture chambers to mimic blood-CSF barrier. Trace {sup 59}Fe was used to determine the transepithelial transport of iron. Following manganese treatment (100 {mu}M for 24 h), the initial flux rate constant (K {sub i}) of iron was increased by 34%, whereas the storage of iron in cells was reduced by 58%, as compared to controls. A gel shift assay demonstrated that manganese exposure increased the binding of IRP1 and IRP2 to the stem loop-containing mRNAs. Consequently, the cellular concentrations of TfR proteins were increased by 84% in comparison to controls. Assays utilizing RT-PCR, quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR, and nuclear run off techniques showed that manganese treatment did not affect the level of heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA) encoding TfR, nor did it affect the level of nascent TfR mRNA. However, manganese exposure resulted in a significantly increased level of TfR mRNA and reduced levels of ferritin mRNA. Taken together, these results suggest that manganese exposure increases iron transport at the blood-CSF barrier; the effect is likely due to manganese action on translational events relevant to the production of TfR, but not due to its action on transcriptional, gene expression of TfR. The disrupted protein-TfR mRNA interaction in the choroidal epithelial cells may explain the toxicity of manganese at the blood-CSF barrier.

  12. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, Esther; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Schwientek, Patrick; Clum, Alicia; Copeland, Alex; Ciobanu, Doina; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Gies, Esther; Hallam, Steve; Tringe, Susannah; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-03-17

    The representation of bacterial and archaeal genome sequences is strongly biased towards cultivated organisms, which belong to merely four phylogenetic groups. Functional information and inter-phylum level relationships are still largely underexplored for candidate phyla, which are often referred to as microbial dark matter. Furthermore, a large portion of the 16S rRNA gene records in the GenBank database are labeled as environmental samples and unclassified, which is in part due to low read accuracy, potential chimeric sequences produced during PCR amplifications and the low resolution of short amplicons. In order to improve the phylogenetic classification of novel species and advance our knowledge of the ecosystem function of uncultivated microorganisms, high-throughput full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing methodologies with reduced biases are needed. We evaluated the performance of PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing in high-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling. For this purpose, we compared PacBio and Illumina metagenomic shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequencing of a mock community as well as of an environmental sample from Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia. Sakinaw Lake is known to contain a large age of microbial species from candidate phyla. Sequencing results show that community structure based on PacBio shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequences is highly similar in both the mock and the environmental communities. Resolution power and community representation accuracy from SMRT sequencing data appeared to be independent of GC content of microbial genomes and was higher when compared to Illumina-based metagenome shotgun and 16S rRNA gene (iTag) sequences, e.g. full-length sequencing resolved all 23 OTUs in the mock community, while iTags did not resolve closely related species. SMRT sequencing hence offers various potential benefits when characterizing uncharted microbial communities.

  13. Phylogenetic analysis of otospiralin protein

    PubMed Central

    Torktaz, Ibrahim; Behjati, Mohaddeseh; Rostami, Amin

    2016-01-01

    Background: Fibrocyte-specific protein, otospiralin, is a small protein, widely expressed in the central nervous system as neuronal cell bodies and glia. The increased expression of otospiralin in reactive astrocytes implicates its role in signaling pathways and reparative mechanisms subsequent to injury. Indeed, otospiralin is considered to be essential for the survival of fibrocytes of the mesenchymal nonsensory regions of the cochlea. It seems that other functions of this protein are not yet completely understood. Materials and Methods: Amino acid sequences of otospiralin from 12 vertebrates were derived from National Center for Biotechnology Information database. Phylogenetic analysis and phylogeny estimation were performed using MEGA 5.0.5 program, and neighbor-joining tree was constructed by this software. Results: In this computational study, the phylogenetic tree of otospiralin has been investigated. Therefore, dendrograms of otospiralin were depicted. Alignment performed in MUSCLE method by UPGMB algorithm. Also, entropy plot determined for a better illustration of amino acid variations in this protein. Conclusion: In the present study, we used otospiralin sequence of 12 different species and by constructing phylogenetic tree, we suggested out group for some related species. PMID:27099854

  14. Ultrafast approximation for phylogenetic bootstrap.

    PubMed

    Minh, Bui Quang; Nguyen, Minh Anh Thi; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2013-05-01

    Nonparametric bootstrap has been a widely used tool in phylogenetic analysis to assess the clade support of phylogenetic trees. However, with the rapidly growing amount of data, this task remains a computational bottleneck. Recently, approximation methods such as the RAxML rapid bootstrap (RBS) and the Shimodaira-Hasegawa-like approximate likelihood ratio test have been introduced to speed up the bootstrap. Here, we suggest an ultrafast bootstrap approximation approach (UFBoot) to compute the support of phylogenetic groups in maximum likelihood (ML) based trees. To achieve this, we combine the resampling estimated log-likelihood method with a simple but effective collection scheme of candidate trees. We also propose a stopping rule that assesses the convergence of branch support values to automatically determine when to stop collecting candidate trees. UFBoot achieves a median speed up of 3.1 (range: 0.66-33.3) to 10.2 (range: 1.32-41.4) compared with RAxML RBS for real DNA and amino acid alignments, respectively. Moreover, our extensive simulations show that UFBoot is robust against moderate model violations and the support values obtained appear to be relatively unbiased compared with the conservative standard bootstrap. This provides a more direct interpretation of the bootstrap support. We offer an efficient and easy-to-use software (available at http://www.cibiv.at/software/iqtree) to perform the UFBoot analysis with ML tree inference.

  15. Prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) null mice have increased mu opioid receptor levels accompanied by altered morphine-induced antinociception, tolerance and dependence.

    PubMed

    Lutfy, K; Parikh, D; Lee, D L; Liu, Y; Ferrini, M G; Hamid, A; Friedman, T C

    2016-08-01

    Chronic morphine treatment increases the levels of prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) in brain regions involved in nociception, tolerance and dependence. Thus, we tested if PC2 null mice exhibit altered morphine-induced antinociception, tolerance and dependence. PC2 null mice and their wild-type controls were tested for baseline hot plate latency, injected with morphine (1.25-10mg/kg) and tested for antinociception 30min later. For tolerance studies, mice were tested in the hot plate test before and 30min following morphine (5mg/kg) on day 1. Mice then received an additional dose so that the final dose of morphine was 10mg/kg on this day. On days 2-4, mice received additional doses of morphine (20, 40 and 80mg/kg on days 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively). On day 5, mice were tested in the hot plate test before and 30min following morphine (5mg/kg). For withdrawal studies, mice were treated with the escalating doses of morphine (10, 20, 40 and 80mg/kg) for 4days, implanted with a morphine pellet on day 5 and 3 days later injected with naloxone (1mg/kg) and signs of withdrawal were recorded. Morphine dose-dependently induced antinociception and the magnitude of this response was greater in PC2 null mice. Tolerance to morphine was observed in wild-type mice and this phenomenon was blunted in PC2 null mice. Withdrawal signs were also reduced in PC2 null mice. Immunohistochemical studies showed up-regulation of the mu opioid receptor (MOP) protein expression in the periaqueductal gray area, ventral tegmental area, lateral hypothalamus, medial hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, and somatosensory cortex in PC2 null mice. Likewise, naloxone specific binding was increased in the brains of these mice compared to their wild-type controls. The results suggest that the PC2-derived peptides may play a functional role in morphine-induced antinociception, tolerance and dependence. Alternatively, lack of opioid peptides led to up-regulation of the MOP and altered morphine

  16. Complete mitogenome of asiatic lion resolves phylogenetic status within Panthera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The origin, evolution and speciation of the lion, has been subject of interest, debate and study. The present surviving lions of the genus Panthera comprise of eight sub-species inclusive of Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica of India's Gir forest. Except for the Asiatic lion, the other seven subspecies are found in different parts of Africa. There have been different opinions regarding the phylogenetic status of Panthera leo, as well as classifying lions of different geographic regions into subspecies and races. In the present study, mitogenome sequence of P. leo persica deduced, using Ion Torrent PGM to assess phylogeny and evolution which may play an increasingly important role in conservation biology. Results The mtDNA sequence of P. leo persica is 17,057 bp in length with 40.8% GC content. Annotation of mitogenome revealed total 37 genes, including 13 protein coding, 2 rRNA and 22 tRNA. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole mitogenome, suggests Panthera pardus as a neighbouring species to P. leo with species divergence at ~2.96 mya. Conclusion This work presents first report on complete mitogenome of Panthera leo persica. It sheds light on the phylogenetic and evolutionary status within and across Felidae members. The result compared and evaluated with earlier reports of Felidae shows alteration of phylogenetic status and species evolution. This study may provide information on genetic diversity and population stability. PMID:23968279

  17. Maximum Parsimony on Phylogenetic networks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic networks are generalizations of phylogenetic trees, that are used to model evolutionary events in various contexts. Several different methods and criteria have been introduced for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Maximum Parsimony is a character-based approach that infers a phylogenetic tree by minimizing the total number of evolutionary steps required to explain a given set of data assigned on the leaves. Exact solutions for optimizing parsimony scores on phylogenetic trees have been introduced in the past. Results In this paper, we define the parsimony score on networks as the sum of the substitution costs along all the edges of the network; and show that certain well-known algorithms that calculate the optimum parsimony score on trees, such as Sankoff and Fitch algorithms extend naturally for networks, barring conflicting assignments at the reticulate vertices. We provide heuristics for finding the optimum parsimony scores on networks. Our algorithms can be applied for any cost matrix that may contain unequal substitution costs of transforming between different characters along different edges of the network. We analyzed this for experimental data on 10 leaves or fewer with at most 2 reticulations and found that for almost all networks, the bounds returned by the heuristics matched with the exhaustively determined optimum parsimony scores. Conclusion The parsimony score we define here does not directly reflect the cost of the best tree in the network that displays the evolution of the character. However, when searching for the most parsimonious network that describes a collection of characters, it becomes necessary to add additional cost considerations to prefer simpler structures, such as trees over networks. The parsimony score on a network that we describe here takes into account the substitution costs along the additional edges incident on each reticulate vertex, in addition to the substitution costs along the other edges which are

  18. Neogastropod phylogenetic relationships based on entire mitochondrial genomes

    PubMed Central

    Cunha, Regina L; Grande, Cristina; Zardoya, Rafael

    2009-01-01

    Background The Neogastropoda is a highly diversified group of predatory marine snails (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda). Traditionally, its monophyly has been widely accepted based on several morphological synapomorphies mostly related with the digestive system. However, recent molecular phylogenetic studies challenged the monophyly of Neogastropoda due to the inclusion of representatives of other caenogastropod lineages (e.g. Littorinimorpha) within the group. Neogastropoda has been classified into up to six superfamilies including Buccinoidea, Muricoidea, Olivoidea, Pseudolivoidea, Conoidea, and Cancellarioidea. Phylogenetic relationships among neogastropod superfamilies remain unresolved. Results The complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of seven Neogastropoda (Bolinus brandaris, Cancellaria cancellata, Conus borgesi, Cymbium olla, Fusiturris similis, Nassarius reticulatus, and Terebra dimidiata) and of the tonnoidean Cymatium parthenopeum (Littorinimorpha), a putative sister group to Neogastropoda, were sequenced. In addition, the partial sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the calyptraeoidean Calyptraea chinensis (Littorinimorpha) was also determined. All sequenced neogastropod mt genomes shared a highly conserved gene order with only two instances of tRNA gene translocation. Phylogenetic relationships of Neogastropoda were inferred based on the 13 mt protein coding genes (both at the amino acid and nucleotide level) of all available caenogastropod mitochondrial genomes. Maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) phylogenetic analyses failed to recover the monophyly of Neogastropoda due to the inclusion of the tonnoidean Cymatium parthenopeum within the group. At the superfamily level, all phylogenetic analyses questioned the taxonomic validity of Muricoidea, whereas the monophyly of Conoidea was supported by most phylogenetic analyses, albeit weakly. All analyzed families were recovered as monophyletic except Turridae due to the inclusion of Terebridae

  19. [Phylogenetic elements in Goethe's theory of colors].

    PubMed

    Solch, R

    1996-07-16

    Phylogenetic findings in the field of human color vision are compared with Goethe's theory of colors. Goethe's research into nature was often based on his view that whenever you find complex ("mannigfaltige') natural phenomena, there has always been a development from simple phenomena. In this connexion his interest focused on the identification of primordial phenomena ("Urphänomene') and not on the temporal aspects of development. This was also true for his studies of color. Based on erroneous interpretations of prismatic experiments, he put forward the theory that all colors developed from the two primordial colors yellow and blue, which were, according to Goethe, the two "first and simplest colors'. Although some of his assumptions were incorrect, his theory has many similarities with current phylogenetic findings, according to which our color vision is derived from an original perception of two colors, possibly yellow and blue. This similarity needs clarification on an interdisciplinary level as well as research to determine the degree to which Goethe's own physiological condition influenced his study of colors. The author suggests that a reappraisal of this, the largest section of Goethe's scientific work is now necessary.

  20. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    PubMed

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  1. Transforming phylogenetic networks: Moving beyond tree space.

    PubMed

    Huber, Katharina T; Moulton, Vincent; Wu, Taoyang

    2016-09-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that are used to represent reticulate evolution. Unrooted phylogenetic networks form a special class of such networks, which naturally generalize unrooted phylogenetic trees. In this paper we define two operations on unrooted phylogenetic networks, one of which is a generalization of the well-known nearest-neighbor interchange (NNI) operation on phylogenetic trees. We show that any unrooted phylogenetic network can be transformed into any other such network using only these operations. This generalizes the well-known fact that any phylogenetic tree can be transformed into any other such tree using only NNI operations. It also allows us to define a generalization of tree space and to define some new metrics on unrooted phylogenetic networks. To prove our main results, we employ some fascinating new connections between phylogenetic networks and cubic graphs that we have recently discovered. Our results should be useful in developing new strategies to search for optimal phylogenetic networks, a topic that has recently generated some interest in the literature, as well as for providing new ways to compare networks.

  2. Vitamin A and arachidonic acid altered the skeletal mineralization in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) larvae without any interactions on the transcriptional level.

    PubMed

    Lie, Kai Kristoffer; Kvalheim, Karen; Rasinger, Josef Daniel; Harboe, Torstein; Nordgreen, Andreas; Moren, Mari

    2016-01-01

    The main object of this study was to evaluate the impact of different levels of vitamin A (VA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) in relation to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on mineralization and gene expression in Atlantic cod larvae (Gadus morhua). First-feeding larvae were fed enriched rotifers from start-feeding until 29 days post hatch (dph). Larvae in four tanks were fed one of the following diets: control (EPA/ARA ratio: 15.8, 0.9μg VA g(-1)), control+VA (EPA/ARA ratio: 15.8, 7.8μg VA g(-1)), High ARA (EPA/ARA ratio: 0.9, 1.5μg VA g(-1)) or High ARA+VA (EPA/ARA ratio: 0.9, 12.0μg VA g(-1)). Larvae fed High ARA+VA were shorter at 29dph compared to the other groups and had significantly less mineralized bones when comparing larvae of similar size, showing interaction effects between VA and ARA. Although transcriptomic analysis did not reveal any interaction effects, a higher number of genes were differentially expressed in the high ARA fed larvae compared to control+VA fed larvae. Furthermore, bglap1, bglap2 and col10a1 were all down-regulated in larvae fed High ARA-diets and to a greater extent than larvae fed VA supplemented diet, indicating an additive effect on mineralization. In conclusion, this study showed that the dietary increase in ARA and VA altered the skeletal metabolism during larval development, most likely through signaling pathways specific for each nutrient rather than an interaction. The present study also demonstrates that VA could affect the larval response to ARA, even within the accepted non-toxic/non-deficient range.

  3. Cardioprotective effects of rutin via alteration in TNF-α, CRP, and BNP levels coupled with antioxidant effect in STZ-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Saklani, Ravi; Gupta, Suresh Kumar; Mohanty, Ipseeta Ray; Kumar, Binit; Srivastava, Sushma; Mathur, Rajani

    2016-09-01

    Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a dreadful complication of diabetes responsible for 80 % mortality in diabetic patients, but unfortunately its pharmacotherapy is still incomplete. Rutin is a naturally occurring flavonoid having a long history of use in nutritional supplements for its action against oxidative stress, inflammation, and hyperglycemia, the key players involved in the progression of DCM, but remains unexplored for its role in DCM. This study was conducted to address this lacuna. It was performed in 4-week-old Streptozotocin-induced (45 mg/kg) diabetic rats for a period of 24 weeks to mimic the cardiotoxic effect of chronic hyperglycemia in diabetic patient's heart and to investigate the effect of rutin (50 mg/kg/day) in ameliorating these effects. Heart of the diabetic rats showed altered ECG parameters, reduced total antioxidant capacity, increased inflammatory assault, and degenerative changes. Interestingly, rutin treatment significantly ameliorated these changes with decrease in blood glucose level (p > 0.001), % HbA1c (p > 0.001) and reduced expression of TNF-α (p < 0.001), CRP (p < 0.001), and BNP (p < 0.01) compared to diabetic control rats. In addition, rutin provided significant protection against diabetes associated oxidative stress (p < 0.05), prevented degenerative changes in heart, and improved ECG parameters compared to diabetic control rats. The heart-to-body weight ratio was significantly reduced in rutin treatment group compared to diabetic control rats (p < 0.001). In conclusion, this study implicates that oxidative stress and inflammation are the central players involved in the progression of DCM and rutin ameliorates DCM through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions on heart. PMID:27443845

  4. Low level postnatal methylmercury exposure in vivo alters developmental forms of short-term synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex of rat

    SciTech Connect

    Dasari, Sameera; Yuan, Yukun

    2009-11-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) has been previously shown to affect neurotransmitter release. Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) is primarily related to changes in the probability of neurotransmitter release. To determine if MeHg affects STP development, we examined STP forms in the visual cortex of rat following in vivo MeHg exposure. Neonatal rats received 0 (0.9% NaCl), 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg subcutaneously for 15 or 30 days beginning on postnatal day 5, after which visual cortical slices were prepared for field potential recordings. In slices prepared from rats treated with vehicle, field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by paired-pulse stimulation at 20-200 ms inter-stimulus intervals showed a depression (PPD) of the second fEPSP (fEPSP2). PPD was also seen in slices prepared from rats after 15 day treatment with 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg. However, longer duration treatment (30 days) with either dose of MeHg resulted in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) of fEPSP2 in the majority of slices examined. PPF remained observable in slices prepared from animals in which MeHg exposure had been terminated for 30 days after completion of the initial 30 day MeHg treatment, whereas slices from control animals still showed PPD. MeHg did not cause any frequency- or region-preferential effect on STP. Manipulations of [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub e} or application of the GABA{sub A} receptor antagonist bicuculline could alter the strength and polarity of MeHg-induced changes in STP. Thus, these data suggest that low level postnatal MeHg exposure interferes with the developmental transformation of STP in the visual cortex, which is a long-lasting effect.

  5. Changes in Air CO₂ Concentration Differentially Alter Transcript Levels of NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 Aquaporin Genes in Tobacco Leaves.

    PubMed

    Secchi, Francesca; Schubert, Andrea; Lovisolo, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    The aquaporin specific control on water versus carbon pathways in leaves is pivotal in controlling gas exchange and leaf hydraulics. We investigated whether Nicotiana tabacum aquaporin 1 (NtAQP1) and Nicotiana tabacum plasma membrane intrinsic protein 2;1 (NtPIP2;1) gene expression varies in tobacco leaves subjected to treatments with different CO₂ concentrations (ranging from 0 to 800 ppm), inducing changes in photosynthesis, stomatal regulation and water evaporation from the leaf. Changes in air CO₂ concentration ([CO₂]) affected net photosynthesis (Pn) and leaf substomatal [CO₂] (Ci). Pn was slightly negative at 0 ppm air CO₂; it was one-third that of ambient controls at 200 ppm, and not different from controls at 800 ppm. Leaves fed with 800 ppm [CO₂] showed one-third reduced stomatal conductance (gs) and transpiration (E), and their gs was in turn slightly lower than in 200 ppm- and in 0 ppm-treated leaves. The 800 ppm air [CO₂] strongly impaired both NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 gene expression, whereas 0 ppm air [CO₂], a concentration below any in vivo possible conditions and specifically chosen to maximize the gene expression alteration, increased only the NtAQP1 transcript level. We propose that NtAQP1 expression, an aquaporin devoted to CO₂ transport, positively responds to CO₂ scarcity in the air in the whole range 0-800 ppm. On the contrary, expression of NtPIP2;1, an aquaporin not devoted to CO₂ transport, is related to water balance in the leaf, and changes in parallel with gs. These observations fit in a model where upregulation of leaf aquaporins is activated at low Ci, while downregulation occurs when high Ci saturates photosynthesis and causes stomatal closure. PMID:27089333

  6. Prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol alters social behavior in adult rats: Relationship to structural plasticity and immediate early gene expression in frontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Derek A.; Akers, Katherine G.; Rice, James P.; Johnson, Travis E.; Candelaria-Cook, Felicha T.; Maes, Levi I.; Rosenberg, Martina; Valenzuela, C. Fernando; Savage, Daniel D.

    2009-01-01

    The goals of the present study were to characterize the effects of prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol on adult social behavior, and to evaluate fetal-ethanol-related effects on dendritic morphology, structural plasticity and activity-related immediate early gene (IEG) expression in the agranular insular (AID) and prelimbic (Cg3) regions of frontal cortex. Baseline fetal-ethanol-related alterations in social behavior were limited to reductions in social investigation in males. Repeated experience with novel cage-mates resulted in comparable increases in wrestling and social investigation among saccharin- and ethanol-exposed females, whereas social behavioral effects among males were more evident in ethanol-exposed animals. Male ethanol-exposed rats also displayed profound increases in wrestling when social interaction was motivated by 24 hours of isolation. Baseline decreases in dendritic length and spine density in AID were observed in ethanol-exposed rats that were always housed with the same cage-mate. Modest experience-related decreases in dendritic length and spine density in AID were observed in saccharin-exposed rats housed with various cage-mates. In contrast, fetal-ethanol-exposed rats displayed experience-related increases in dendritic length in AID, and no experience-related changes in spine density. The only effect observed in Cg3 was a baseline increase in basilar dendritic length among male ethanol-exposed rats. Robust increases in activity-related IEG expression in AID (c-fos and Arc) and Cg3 (c-fos) were observed following social interaction in saccharin-exposed rats, however, activity-related increases in IEG expression were not observed in fetal-ethanol-exposed rats in either region. The results indicate that deficits in social behavior are among the long-lasting behavioral consequences of moderate ethanol exposure during brain development, and implicate AID, and to a lesser degree Cg3, in fetal-ethanol-related social behavior

  7. Evolution & Phylogenetic Analysis: Classroom Activities for Investigating Molecular & Morphological Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franklin, Wilfred A.

    2010-01-01

    In a flexible multisession laboratory, students investigate concepts of phylogenetic analysis at both the molecular and the morphological level. Students finish by conducting their own analysis on a collection of skeletons representing the major phyla of vertebrates, a collection of primate skulls, or a collection of hominid skulls.

  8. Alzheimer's disease susceptibility variants in the MS4A6A gene are associated with altered levels of MS4A6A expression in blood.

    PubMed

    Proitsi, Petroula; Lee, Sang Hyuck; Lunnon, Katie; Keohane, Aoife; Powell, John; Troakes, Claire; Al-Sarraj, Safa; Furney, Simon; Soininen, Hilkka; Kłoszewska, Iwona; Mecocci, Patrizia; Tsolaki, Magda; Vellas, Bruno; Lovestone, Simon; Hodges, Angela

    2014-02-01

    An increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) has previously been found to be associated with variants at the MS4A6A locus. We sought to identify which genes and transcripts in this region have altered expression in AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and are influenced by the AD risk variant(s), as a first step to understanding the molecular basis of AD susceptibility at this locus. Common variants located within highly expressed MS4A6A transcripts were significantly associated with AD and MS4A6A expression levels in blood from MCI and AD subjects (p < 0.05, rs610932, rs7232, rs583791). More copies of the protective (minor) allele were associated with lower MS4A6A expression of each transcript (e.g., p = 0.019; rs610932-total MS4A6A). Furthermore, in heterozygous AD subjects, relative expression of the protective allele of V4-MS4A6A transcripts was lower (p < 0.008). Irrespective of genotype, MS4A6A transcripts were increased in blood from people with AD (p < 0.003), whereas lower expression of full length V1-MS4A6A (p = 0.002) and higher expression of V4-MS4A6A (p = 1.8 × 10(-4)) were observed in MCI, relative to elderly controls. The association between genotype and expression was less consistent in brain, although BA9 did have a similar genotype association with V4-MS4A6A transcripts as in blood. MS4A6A transcripts were widely expressed in tissues and cells, with the exception of V4-MS4A6A, which was not expressed in neuronal cells. Together these results suggest that high levels of MS4A6A in emerging AD pathology are detrimental. Persons with MCI may lower MS4A6A expression to minimize detrimental disease associated MS4A6A activity. However, those with the susceptibility allele appear unable to decrease expression sufficiently, which may explain their increased risk for developing AD. Inhibiting MS4A6A may therefore promote a more neuroprotective phenotype, although further work is needed to establish whether this is the case.

  9. Towards an integrated phylogenetic classification of the Tremellomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, X.-Z.; Wang, Q.-M.; Göker, M.; Groenewald, M.; Kachalkin, A.V.; Lumbsch, H.T.; Millanes, A.M.; Wedin, M.; Yurkov, A.M.; Boekhout, T.; Bai, F.-Y.

    2016-01-01

    Families and genera assigned to Tremellomycetes have been mainly circumscribed by morphology and for the yeasts also by biochemical and physiological characteristics. This phenotype-based classification is largely in conflict with molecular phylogenetic analyses. Here a phylogenetic classification framework for the Tremellomycetes is proposed based on the results of phylogenetic analyses from a seven-genes dataset covering the majority of tremellomycetous yeasts and closely related filamentous taxa. Circumscriptions of the taxonomic units at the order, family and genus levels recognised were quantitatively assessed using the phylogenetic rank boundary optimisation (PRBO) and modified general mixed Yule coalescent (GMYC) tests. In addition, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis on an expanded LSU rRNA (D1/D2 domains) gene sequence dataset covering as many as available teleomorphic and filamentous taxa within Tremellomycetes was performed to investigate the relationships between yeasts and filamentous taxa and to examine the stability of undersampled clades. Based on the results inferred from molecular data and morphological and physiochemical features, we propose an updated classification for the Tremellomycetes. We accept five orders, 17 families and 54 genera, including seven new families and 18 new genera. In addition, seven families and 17 genera are emended and one new species name and 185 new combinations are proposed. We propose to use the term pro tempore or pro tem. in abbreviation to indicate the species names that are temporarily maintained. PMID:26955199

  10. Towards an integrated phylogenetic classification of the Tremellomycetes.

    PubMed

    Liu, X-Z; Wang, Q-M; Göker, M; Groenewald, M; Kachalkin, A V; Lumbsch, H T; Millanes, A M; Wedin, M; Yurkov, A M; Boekhout, T; Bai, F-Y

    2015-06-01

    Families and genera assigned to Tremellomycetes have been mainly circumscribed by morphology and for the yeasts also by biochemical and physiological characteristics. This phenotype-based classification is largely in conflict with molecular phylogenetic analyses. Here a phylogenetic classification framework for the Tremellomycetes is proposed based on the results of phylogenetic analyses from a seven-genes dataset covering the majority of tremellomycetous yeasts and closely related filamentous taxa. Circumscriptions of the taxonomic units at the order, family and genus levels recognised were quantitatively assessed using the phylogenetic rank boundary optimisation (PRBO) and modified general mixed Yule coalescent (GMYC) tests. In addition, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis on an expanded LSU rRNA (D1/D2 domains) gene sequence dataset covering as many as available teleomorphic and filamentous taxa within Tremellomycetes was performed to investigate the relationships between yeasts and filamentous taxa and to examine the stability of undersampled clades. Based on the results inferred from molecular data and morphological and physiochemical features, we propose an updated classification for the Tremellomycetes. We accept five orders, 17 families and 54 genera, including seven new families and 18 new genera. In addition, seven families and 17 genera are emended and one new species name and 185 new combinations are proposed. We propose to use the term pro tempore or pro tem. in abbreviation to indicate the species names that are temporarily maintained.

  11. Towards an integrated phylogenetic classification of the Tremellomycetes.

    PubMed

    Liu, X-Z; Wang, Q-M; Göker, M; Groenewald, M; Kachalkin, A V; Lumbsch, H T; Millanes, A M; Wedin, M; Yurkov, A M; Boekhout, T; Bai, F-Y

    2015-06-01

    Families and genera assigned to Tremellomycetes have been mainly circumscribed by morphology and for the yeasts also by biochemical and physiological characteristics. This phenotype-based classification is largely in conflict with molecular phylogenetic analyses. Here a phylogenetic classification framework for the Tremellomycetes is proposed based on the results of phylogenetic analyses from a seven-genes dataset covering the majority of tremellomycetous yeasts and closely related filamentous taxa. Circumscriptions of the taxonomic units at the order, family and genus levels recognised were quantitatively assessed using the phylogenetic rank boundary optimisation (PRBO) and modified general mixed Yule coalescent (GMYC) tests. In addition, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis on an expanded LSU rRNA (D1/D2 domains) gene sequence dataset covering as many as available teleomorphic and filamentous taxa within Tremellomycetes was performed to investigate the relationships between yeasts and filamentous taxa and to examine the stability of undersampled clades. Based on the results inferred from molecular data and morphological and physiochemical features, we propose an updated classification for the Tremellomycetes. We accept five orders, 17 families and 54 genera, including seven new families and 18 new genera. In addition, seven families and 17 genera are emended and one new species name and 185 new combinations are proposed. We propose to use the term pro tempore or pro tem. in abbreviation to indicate the species names that are temporarily maintained. PMID:26955199

  12. Phylogenetic Analysis of Poliovirus Sequences.

    PubMed

    Jorba, Jaume

    2016-01-01

    Comparative genomic sequencing is a major surveillance tool in the Polio Laboratory Network. Due to the rapid evolution of polioviruses (~1 % per year), pathways of virus transmission can be reconstructed from the pathways of genomic evolution. Here, we describe three main phylogenetic methods; estimation of genetic distances, reconstruction of a maximum-likelihood (ML) tree, and estimation of substitution rates using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). The data set used consists of complete capsid sequences from a survey of poliovirus sequences available in GenBank. PMID:26983737

  13. Phylogenetic placement of the Spirosomaceae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.; Maloy, S.; Mandelco, L.; Raj, H. D.

    1990-01-01

    Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA sequences shows that the family Spirosomaceae belongs within the eubacterial phylum defined by the flavobacteria and bacteriodes. Its constituent genera, Spirosoma, Flectobacillus, and Runella form a monophyletic grouping therein. The phylogenetic assignment is based not only upon evolutionary distance analysis, but also upon sequence signatures and higher order structural synapomorphies in 16S rRNA. Another genus peripherally associated with the Spirosomaceae, Ancylobacter ("Microcyclus"), does not cluster with the flavobacteria and their relatives, but rather belongs to the alpha subdivision of the purple bacteria.

  14. One Tree to Link Them All: A Phylogenetic Dataset for the European Tetrapoda

    PubMed Central

    Roquet, Cristina; Lavergne, Sébastien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Since the ever-increasing availability of phylogenetic informative data, the last decade has seen an upsurge of ecological studies incorporating information on evolutionary relationships among species. However, detailed species-level phylogenies are still lacking for many large groups and regions, which are necessary for comprehensive large-scale eco-phylogenetic analyses. Here, we provide a dataset of 100 dated phylogenetic trees for all European tetrapods based on a mixture of supermatrix and supertree approaches. Phylogenetic inference was performed separately for each of the main Tetrapoda groups of Europe except mammals (i.e. amphibians, birds, squamates and turtles) by means of maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of supermatrix applying a tree constraint at the family (amphibians and squamates) or order (birds and turtles) levels based on consensus knowledge. For each group, we inferred 100 ML trees to be able to provide a phylogenetic dataset that accounts for phylogenetic uncertainty, and assessed node support with bootstrap analyses. Each tree was dated using penalized-likelihood and fossil calibration. The trees obtained were well-supported by existing knowledge and previous phylogenetic studies. For mammals, we modified the most complete supertree dataset available on the literature to include a recent update of the Carnivora clade. As a final step, we merged the phylogenetic trees of all groups to obtain a set of 100 phylogenetic trees for all European Tetrapoda species for which data was available (91%). We provide this phylogenetic dataset (100 chronograms) for the purpose of comparative analyses, macro-ecological or community ecology studies aiming to incorporate phylogenetic information while accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty. PMID:25685620

  15. The ethnobotany of psychoactive plant use: a phylogenetic perspective

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Psychoactive plants contain chemicals that presumably evolved as allelochemicals but target certain neuronal receptors when consumed by humans, altering perception, emotion and cognition. These plants have been used since ancient times as medicines and in the context of religious rituals for their various psychoactive effects (e.g., as hallucinogens, stimulants, sedatives). The ubiquity of psychoactive plants in various cultures motivates investigation of the commonalities among these plants, in which a phylogenetic framework may be insightful. A phylogeny of culturally diverse psychoactive plant taxa was constructed with their psychotropic effects and affected neurotransmitter systems mapped on the phylogeny. The phylogenetic distribution shows multiple evolutionary origins of psychoactive families. The plant families Myristicaceae (e.g., nutmeg), Papaveraceae (opium poppy), Cactaceae (peyote), Convolvulaceae (morning glory), Solanaceae (tobacco), Lamiaceae (mints), Apocynaceae (dogbane) have a disproportionate number of psychoactive genera with various indigenous groups using geographically disparate members of these plant families for the same psychoactive effect, an example of cultural convergence. Pharmacological traits related to hallucinogenic and sedative potential are phylogenetically conserved within families. Unrelated families that exert similar psychoactive effects also modulate similar neurotransmitter systems (i.e., mechanistic convergence). However, pharmacological mechanisms for stimulant effects were varied even within families suggesting that stimulant chemicals may be more evolutionarily labile than those associated with hallucinogenic and sedative effects. Chemically similar psychoactive chemicals may also exist in phylogenetically unrelated lineages, suggesting convergent evolution or differential gene regulation of a common metabolic pathway. Our study has shown that phylogenetic analysis of traditionally used psychoactive plants suggests

  16. Alterations to Tidal Marsh Carbon Cycling and Greenhouse Gas Exchange in Response to Sea-Level and Salt-Water Intrusion (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weston, N. B.

    2013-12-01

    Tidal marshes are highly productive ecosystems with the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon. However, tidal wetlands may be sources of the powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), which are produced via microbial metabolic processes. As global climate changes it is increasingly important to understand the factors that control ecosystem productivity, GHG fluxes, and potential feedbacks between global change factors, C cycling, and marsh resilience to sea-level rise (SLR). Field measurements were undertaken to quantify rates of GHG (CO2 and CH4) exchange rates, plant biomass, microbial sulfate reduction and methanogenesis rates, and soil biogeochemistry at three tidal wetland sites along the salinity gradient in the Delaware River Estuary over four years. Despite similar plant productivity between marsh types, differences in microbial processes largely determined the GHG source/sink status of the wetland types. Mesohaline salt-marshes consistently sequestered C (~300 g C m-2 yr-1), and due to negligible CH4 release, were also a GHG sink (~1350 g CO2-eq m-2 yr-1). In contrast, the TFM sequestered C (~350 g C m-2 yr-1) but because of appreciable release of CH4 from freshwater wetland soils was GHG neutral. The oligohaline marsh site experienced significant seasonal salt-water intrusion (SWI) in the late summer during the four year study period, resulting in major alterations to marsh C cycling. The oligohaline marsh did not sequester C (loss of ~45 g C m-2 yr-1) in part due to surprisingly high rates of CH4 release (190 g CH4 m-2 yr-1). The oligohaline marsh undergoing SWI was therefore a significant source of GHG to the atmosphere (~4000 g CO2-eq m-2 yr-1). These results indicate that SWI alters C cycling and GHG exchange in marsh systems, and may accelerate the decomposition of organic matter limiting the ability of marshes to accrete material and keep pace with SLR. The impacts of SWI on TFM soil C cycling were further

  17. Phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic revision of Paranoplocephala Lühe, 1910 sensu lato (Cestoda, Cyclophyllidea, Anoplocephalidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An extensive phylogenetic analysis and genus-level taxonomic revision of Paranoplocephala Lühe, 1910 -like cestodes (Cyclophyllidea, Anoplocephalidae) are presented. The phylogenetic analysis is based on DNA sequences of two partial mitochondrial genes, i.e. cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and...

  18. Increased leaf mesophyll porosity following transient retinoblastoma-related protein silencing is revealed by microcomputed tomography imaging and leads to a system-level physiological response to the altered cell division pattern

    PubMed Central

    Dorca-Fornell, Carmen; Pajor, Radoslaw; Lehmeier, Christoph; Pérez-Bueno, Marísa; Bauch, Marion; Sloan, Jen; Osborne, Colin; Rolfe, Stephen; Sturrock, Craig; Mooney, Sacha; Fleming, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    The causal relationship between cell division and growth in plants is complex. Although altered expression of cell-cycle genes frequently leads to altered organ growth, there are many examples where manipulation of the division machinery leads to a limited outcome at the level of organ form, despite changes in constituent cell size. One possibility, which has been under-explored, is that altered division patterns resulting from manipulation of cell-cycle gene expression alter the physiology of the organ, and that this has an effect on growth. We performed a series of experiments on retinoblastoma-related protein (RBR), a well characterized regulator of the cell cycle, to investigate the outcome of altered cell division on leaf physiology. Our approach involved combination of high-resolution microCT imaging and physiological analysis with a transient gene induction system, providing a powerful approach for the study of developmental physiology. Our investigation identifies a new role for RBR in mesophyll differentiation that affects tissue porosity and the distribution of air space within the leaf. The data demonstrate the importance of RBR in early leaf development and the extent to which physiology adapts to modified cellular architecture resulting from altered cell-cycle gene expression. PMID:24118480

  19. Differences in Salivary Flow Level, Xerostomia, and Flavor Alteration in Mexican HIV Patients Who Did or Did Not Receive Antiretroviral Therapy.

    PubMed

    López-Verdín, Sandra; Andrade-Villanueva, Jaime; Zamora-Perez, Ana Lourdes; Bologna-Molina, Ronell; Cervantes-Cabrera, José Justino; Molina-Frechero, Nelly

    2013-01-01

    Introduction. Objective and subjective alterations related to salivary flow have been reported in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these alterations are associated with the introduction of antiretroviral therapy. The aim of the current study was to discern whether these alterations are disease induced or secondary to drug therapy. Objective. The objective was to determine the relationships between low salivary flow, xerostomia, and flavor alterations in HIV patients who did or did not receive antiretroviral therapy. Materials and Methods. In this cross-sectional study, HIV patients were divided into two groups based on whether they had received antiretroviral therapy. Those patients with a previous diagnosis of any salivary gland disease were excluded. A survey was used to assess subjective variables, and colorimetry and salivary flow rates were measured using the Schirmer global test. Results. A total of 293 patients were included. The therapy group showed a significantly lower average salivary flow than did the group without therapy, and we observed that the flow rate tended to decrease after one year of therapy. The results were not conclusive, despite significant differences in xerostomia and flavor alteration between the groups. Conclusion. The study results suggest that antiretroviral therapy can cause cumulative damage that affects the amount of salivary flow.

  20. Differences in Salivary Flow Level, Xerostomia, and Flavor Alteration in Mexican HIV Patients Who Did or Did Not Receive Antiretroviral Therapy

    PubMed Central

    López-Verdín, Sandra; Andrade-Villanueva, Jaime; Zamora-Perez, Ana Lourdes; Bologna-Molina, Ronell; Cervantes-Cabrera, José Justino

    2013-01-01

    Introduction. Objective and subjective alterations related to salivary flow have been reported in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these alterations are associated with the introduction of antiretroviral therapy. The aim of the current study was to discern whether these alterations are disease induced or secondary to drug therapy. Objective. The objective was to determine the relationships between low salivary flow, xerostomia, and flavor alterations in HIV patients who did or did not receive antiretroviral therapy. Materials and Methods. In this cross-sectional study, HIV patients were divided into two groups based on whether they had received antiretroviral therapy. Those patients with a previous diagnosis of any salivary gland disease were excluded. A survey was used to assess subjective variables, and colorimetry and salivary flow rates were measured using the Schirmer global test. Results. A total of 293 patients were included. The therapy group showed a significantly lower average salivary flow than did the group without therapy, and we observed that the flow rate tended to decrease after one year of therapy. The results were not conclusive, despite significant differences in xerostomia and flavor alteration between the groups. Conclusion. The study results suggest that antiretroviral therapy can cause cumulative damage that affects the amount of salivary flow. PMID:24455222

  1. Differences in Salivary Flow Level, Xerostomia, and Flavor Alteration in Mexican HIV Patients Who Did or Did Not Receive Antiretroviral Therapy.

    PubMed

    López-Verdín, Sandra; Andrade-Villanueva, Jaime; Zamora-Perez, Ana Lourdes; Bologna-Molina, Ronell; Cervantes-Cabrera, José Justino; Molina-Frechero, Nelly

    2013-01-01

    Introduction. Objective and subjective alterations related to salivary flow have been reported in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these alterations are associated with the introduction of antiretroviral therapy. The aim of the current study was to discern whether these alterations are disease induced or secondary to drug therapy. Objective. The objective was to determine the relationships between low salivary flow, xerostomia, and flavor alterations in HIV patients who did or did not receive antiretroviral therapy. Materials and Methods. In this cross-sectional study, HIV patients were divided into two groups based on whether they had received antiretroviral therapy. Those patients with a previous diagnosis of any salivary gland disease were excluded. A survey was used to assess subjective variables, and colorimetry and salivary flow rates were measured using the Schirmer global test. Results. A total of 293 patients were included. The therapy group showed a significantly lower average salivary flow than did the group without therapy, and we observed that the flow rate tended to decrease after one year of therapy. The results were not conclusive, despite significant differences in xerostomia and flavor alteration between the groups. Conclusion. The study results suggest that antiretroviral therapy can cause cumulative damage that affects the amount of salivary flow. PMID:24455222

  2. Estimating Bayesian Phylogenetic Information Content

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Paul O.; Chen, Ming-Hui; Kuo, Lynn; Lewis, Louise A.; Fučíková, Karolina; Neupane, Suman; Wang, Yu-Bo; Shi, Daoyuan

    2016-01-01

    Measuring the phylogenetic information content of data has a long history in systematics. Here we explore a Bayesian approach to information content estimation. The entropy of the posterior distribution compared with the entropy of the prior distribution provides a natural way to measure information content. If the data have no information relevant to ranking tree topologies beyond the information supplied by the prior, the posterior and prior will be identical. Information in data discourages consideration of some hypotheses allowed by the prior, resulting in a posterior distribution that is more concentrated (has lower entropy) than the prior. We focus on measuring information about tree topology using marginal posterior distributions of tree topologies. We show that both the accuracy and the computational efficiency of topological information content estimation improve with use of the conditional clade distribution, which also allows topological information content to be partitioned by clade. We explore two important applications of our method: providing a compelling definition of saturation and detecting conflict among data partitions that can negatively affect analyses of concatenated data. [Bayesian; concatenation; conditional clade distribution; entropy; information; phylogenetics; saturation.] PMID:27155008

  3. Phylogenetic Origins of Brain Organisers

    PubMed Central

    Robertshaw, Ellen; Kiecker, Clemens

    2012-01-01

    The regionalisation of the nervous system begins early in embryogenesis, concomitant with the establishment of the anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) body axes. The molecular mechanisms that drive axis induction appear to be conserved throughout the animal kingdom and may be phylogenetically older than the emergence of bilateral symmetry. As a result of this process, groups of patterning genes that are equally well conserved are expressed at specific AP and DV coordinates of the embryo. In the emerging nervous system of vertebrate embryos, this initial pattern is refined by local signalling centres, secondary organisers, that regulate patterning, proliferation, and axonal pathfinding in adjacent neuroepithelium. The main secondary organisers for the AP neuraxis are the midbrain-hindbrain boundary, zona limitans intrathalamica, and anterior neural ridge and for the DV neuraxis the notochord, floor plate, and roof plate. A search for homologous secondary organisers in nonvertebrate lineages has led to controversy over their phylogenetic origins. Based on a recent study in hemichordates, it has been suggested that the AP secondary organisers evolved at the base of the deuterostome superphylum, earlier than previously thought. According to this view, the lack of signalling centres in some deuterostome lineages is likely to reflect a secondary loss due to adaptive processes. We propose that the relative evolutionary flexibility of secondary organisers has contributed to a broader morphological complexity of nervous systems in different clades. PMID:24278699

  4. Phylogenetic approaches for studying diversification.

    PubMed

    Morlon, Hélène

    2014-04-01

    Estimating rates of speciation and extinction, and understanding how and why they vary over evolutionary time, geographical space and species groups, is a key to understanding how ecological and evolutionary processes generate biological diversity. Such inferences will increasingly benefit from phylogenetic approaches given the ever-accelerating rates of genetic sequencing. In the last few years, models designed to understand diversification from phylogenetic data have advanced significantly. Here, I review these approaches and what they have revealed about diversification in the natural world. I focus on key distinctions between different models, and I clarify the conclusions that can be drawn from each model. I identify promising areas for future research. A major challenge ahead is to develop models that more explicitly take into account ecology, in particular the interaction of species with each other and with their environment. This will not only improve our understanding of diversification; it will also present a new perspective to the use of phylogenies in community ecology, the science of interaction networks and conservation biology, and might shift the current focus in ecology on equilibrium biodiversity theories to non-equilibrium theories recognising the crucial role of history.

  5. Phylogenetic Conservatism in Plant Phenology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davies, T. Jonathan; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Salamin, Nicolas; Allen, Jenica M.; Ault, Toby R.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Bolmgren, Kjell; Cleland, Elsa E.; Cook, Benjamin I.; Crimmins, Theresa M.; Mazer, Susan J.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Pau, Stephanie; Regetz, Jim; Schwartz, Mark D.; Travers, Steven E.

    2013-01-01

    Phenological events defined points in the life cycle of a plant or animal have been regarded as highly plastic traits, reflecting flexible responses to various environmental cues. The ability of a species to track, via shifts in phenological events, the abiotic environment through time might dictate its vulnerability to future climate change. Understanding the predictors and drivers of phenological change is therefore critical. Here, we evaluated evidence for phylogenetic conservatism the tendency for closely related species to share similar ecological and biological attributes in phenological traits across flowering plants. We aggregated published and unpublished data on timing of first flower and first leaf, encompassing 4000 species at 23 sites across the Northern Hemisphere. We reconstructed the phylogeny for the set of included species, first, using the software program Phylomatic, and second, from DNA data. We then quantified phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology within and across sites. We show that more closely related species tend to flower and leaf at similar times. By contrasting mean flowering times within and across sites, however, we illustrate that it is not the time of year that is conserved, but rather the phenological responses to a common set of abiotic cues. Our findings suggest that species cannot be treated as statistically independent when modelling phenological responses.Closely related species tend to resemble each other in the timing of their life-history events, a likely product of evolutionarily conserved responses to environmental cues. The search for the underlying drivers of phenology must therefore account for species' shared evolutionary histories.

  6. A Deliberate Practice Approach to Teaching Phylogenetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hobbs, F. Collin; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kearns, Katherine D.

    2013-01-01

    One goal of postsecondary education is to assist students in developing expert-level understanding. Previous attempts to encourage expert-level understanding of phylogenetic analysis in college science classrooms have largely focused on isolated, or “one-shot,” in-class activities. Using a deliberate practice instructional approach, we designed a set of five assignments for a 300-level plant systematics course that incrementally introduces the concepts and skills used in phylogenetic analysis. In our assignments, students learned the process of constructing phylogenetic trees through a series of increasingly difficult tasks; thus, skill development served as a framework for building content knowledge. We present results from 5 yr of final exam scores, pre- and postconcept assessments, and student surveys to assess the impact of our new pedagogical materials on student performance related to constructing and interpreting phylogenetic trees. Students improved in their ability to interpret relationships within trees and improved in several aspects related to between-tree comparisons and tree construction skills. Student feedback indicated that most students believed our approach prepared them to engage in tree construction and gave them confidence in their abilities. Overall, our data confirm that instructional approaches implementing deliberate practice address student misconceptions, improve student experiences, and foster deeper understanding of difficult scientific concepts. PMID:24297294

  7. Altered cellular infiltration and cytokine levels during early Mycobacterium tuberculosis sigC mutant infection are associated with late-stage disease attenuation and milder immunopathology in mice

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Majid, Khairul-Bariah; Ly, Lan H; Converse, Paul J; Geiman, Deborah E; McMurray, David N; Bishai, William R

    2008-01-01

    Background Mouse virulence assessments of certain Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutants have revealed an immunopathology defect in which high tissue CFU counts are observed but the tissue pathology and lethality are reduced. M. tuberculosis mutants which grow and persist in the mouse lungs, but have attenuated disease progression, have the immunopathology (imp) phenotype. The antigenic properties of these strains may alter the progression of disease due to a reduction in host immune cell recruitment to the lungs resulting in disease attenuation and prolonged host survival. Results In this study we focused on the mouse immune response to one such mutant; the M. tuberculosis ΔsigC mutant. Aerosol infection of DBA/2 and SCID mice with the M. tuberculosis ΔsigC mutant, complemented mutant and wild type strain showed proliferation of mutant bacilli in mouse lungs, but with decreased inflammation and mortality in DBA/2 mice. SCID mice shared the same phenotype as the DBA/2 mice in response to the ΔsigC mutant, however, they succumbed to the infection faster. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid analysis revealed elevated numbers of infiltrating neutrophils in the lungs of mice infected with wild type and complemented ΔsigC mutant strains but not in mice infected with the ΔsigC mutant. In addition, DBA/2 mice infected with the ΔsigC mutant had reduced levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IFN-γ in the lungs. Similarly, there was a reduction in proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs of SCID mice. In contrast to the mouse model, the ΔsigC mutant had reduced initial growth in guinea pig lungs. A possible mechanism of attenuation in the ΔsigC mutant may be a reduction in neutrophilic-influx in the alveolar spaces of the lungs, and decreased proinflammatory cytokine secretion. In contrast to mouse data, the M. tuberculosis ΔsigC mutant proliferates slowly in guinea pig lungs, a setting characterized by caseating necrosis. Conclusion Our observations suggest that the

  8. Evaluating phylogenetic informativeness and data-type usage for new protein-coding genes across Vertebrata.

    PubMed

    Fong, Jonathan J; Fujita, Matthew K

    2011-11-01

    As a resource for vertebrate phylogenetics, we developed 75 new protein-coding genes using a combination of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) available in Genbank, and targeted amplification of complementary DNA (cDNA). In addition, we performed three additional analyses in order to assess the utility of our approach. First, we profiled the phylogenetic informativeness of these new markers using the online program PhyDesign. Next, we compared the utility of four different data-types used in phylogenetics: nucleotides (NUCL), amino acids (AA), 1st and 2nd codon positions only (N12), and modified sequences to account for codon degeneracy (DEGEN1; Regier et al., 2010). Lastly, we use these new markers to construct a vertebrate phylogeny and address the uncertain relationship between higher-level mammal groups: monotremes, marsupials, and placentals. Our results show that phylogenetic informativeness of the 75 new markers varies, both in the amount of phylogenetic signal and optimal timescale. When comparing the four data-types, we find that the NUCL data-type, due to the high level of phylogenetic signal, performs the best across all divergence times. The remaining three data-types (AA, N12, DEGEN1) are less subject to homoplasy, but have greatly reduced levels of phylogenetic signal relative to NUCL. Our phylogenetic inference supports the Theria hypothesis of mammalian relationships, with marsupials and placentals being sister groups.

  9. Phylogenetic analysis of the spirochetes.

    PubMed Central

    Paster, B J; Dewhirst, F E; Weisburg, W G; Tordoff, L A; Fraser, G J; Hespell, R B; Stanton, T B; Zablen, L; Mandelco, L; Woese, C R

    1991-01-01

    The 16S rRNA sequences were determined for species of Spirochaeta, Treponema, Borrelia, Leptospira, Leptonema, and Serpula, using a modified Sanger method of direct RNA sequencing. Analysis of aligned 16S rRNA sequences indicated that the spirochetes form a coherent taxon composed of six major clusters or groups. The first group, termed the treponemes, was divided into two subgroups. The first treponeme subgroup consisted of Treponema pallidum, Treponema phagedenis, Treponema denticola, a thermophilic spirochete strain, and two species of Spirochaeta, Spirochaeta zuelzerae and Spirochaeta stenostrepta, with an average interspecies similarity of 89.9%. The second treponeme subgroup contained Treponema bryantii, Treponema pectinovorum, Treponema saccharophilum, Treponema succinifaciens, and rumen strain CA, with an average interspecies similarity of 86.2%. The average interspecies similarity between the two treponeme subgroups was 84.2%. The division of the treponemes into two subgroups was verified by single-base signature analysis. The second spirochete group contained Spirochaeta aurantia, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirochaeta litoralis, and Spirochaeta isovalerica, with an average similarity of 87.4%. The Spirochaeta group was related to the treponeme group, with an average similarity of 81.9%. The third spirochete group contained borrelias, including Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia anserina, Borrelia hermsii, and a rabbit tick strain. The borrelias formed a tight phylogenetic cluster, with average similarity of 97%. THe borrelia group shared a common branch with the Spirochaeta group and was closer to this group than to the treponemes. A single spirochete strain isolated fromt the shew constituted the fourth group. The fifth group was composed of strains of Serpula (Treponema) hyodysenteriae and Serpula (Treponema) innocens. The two species of this group were closely related, with a similarity of greater than 99%. Leptonema illini

  10. Seed plant phylogenetic diversity and species richness in conservation planning within a global biodiversity hotspot in eastern Asia.

    PubMed

    Li, Rong; Kraft, Nathan J B; Yu, Haiying; Li, Heng

    2015-12-01

    One of the main goals of conservation biology is to understand the factors shaping variation in biodiversity across the planet. This understanding is critical for conservation planners to be able to develop effective conservation strategies. Although many studies have focused on species richness and the protection of rare and endemic species, less attention has been paid to the protection of the phylogenetic dimension of biodiversity. We explored how phylogenetic diversity, species richness, and phylogenetic community structure vary in seed plant communities along an elevational gradient in a relatively understudied high mountain region, the Dulong Valley, in southeastern Tibet, China. As expected, phylogenetic diversity was well correlated with species richness among the elevational bands and among communities. At the community level, evergreen broad-leaved forests had the highest levels of species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Using null model analyses, we found evidence of nonrandom phylogenetic structure across the region. Evergreen broad-leaved forests were phylogenetically overdispersed, whereas other vegetation types tended to be phylogenetically clustered. We suggest that communities with high species richness or overdispersed phylogenetic structure should be a focus for biodiversity conservation within the Dulong Valley because these areas may help maximize the potential of this flora to respond to future global change. In biodiversity hotspots worldwide, we suggest that the phylogenetic structure of a community may serve as a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity in the context of conservation planning.

  11. Phylogenetic organization of bacterial activity.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Ember M; Mau, Rebecca L; Schwartz, Egbert; Caporaso, J Gregory; Dijkstra, Paul; van Gestel, Natasja; Koch, Benjamin J; Liu, Cindy M; Hayer, Michaela; McHugh, Theresa A; Marks, Jane C; Price, Lance B; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-09-01

    Phylogeny is an ecologically meaningful way to classify plants and animals, as closely related taxa frequently have similar ecological characteristics, functional traits and effects on ecosystem processes. For bacteria, however, phylogeny has been argued to be an unreliable indicator of an organism's ecology owing to evolutionary processes more common to microbes such as gene loss and lateral gene transfer, as well as convergent evolution. Here we use advanced stable isotope probing with (13)C and (18)O to show that evolutionary history has ecological significance for in situ bacterial activity. Phylogenetic organization in the activity of bacteria sets the stage for characterizing the functional attributes of bacterial taxonomic groups. Connecting identity with function in this way will allow scientists to begin building a mechanistic understanding of how bacterial community composition regulates critical ecosystem functions.

  12. Phylogenetic organization of bacterial activity

    PubMed Central

    Morrissey, Ember M; Mau, Rebecca L; Schwartz, Egbert; Caporaso, J Gregory; Dijkstra, Paul; van Gestel, Natasja; Koch, Benjamin J; Liu, Cindy M; Hayer, Michaela; McHugh, Theresa A; Marks, Jane C; Price, Lance B; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-01-01

    Phylogeny is an ecologically meaningful way to classify plants and animals, as closely related taxa frequently have similar ecological characteristics, functional traits and effects on ecosystem processes. For bacteria, however, phylogeny has been argued to be an unreliable indicator of an organism's ecology owing to evolutionary processes more common to microbes such as gene loss and lateral gene transfer, as well as convergent evolution. Here we use advanced stable isotope probing with 13C and 18O to show that evolutionary history has ecological significance for in situ bacterial activity. Phylogenetic organization in the activity of bacteria sets the stage for characterizing the functional attributes of bacterial taxonomic groups. Connecting identity with function in this way will allow scientists to begin building a mechanistic understanding of how bacterial community composition regulates critical ecosystem functions. PMID:26943624

  13. Phylogenetic signal in diatom ecology: perspectives for aquatic ecosystems biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Keck, François; Rimet, Frédéric; Franc, Alain; Bouchez, Agnés

    2016-04-01

    Diatoms include a great diversity of taxa and are recognized as powerful bioindicators in rivers. However using diatoms for monitoring programs is costly and time consuming because most of the methodologies necessitate species-level identification. This raises the question of the optimal trade-off between taxonomic resolution and bioassessment quality. Phylogenetic tools may form the bases of new, more efficient approaches for biomonitoring if relationships between ecology and phylogeny can be demonstrated. We estimated the ecological optima of 127 diatom species for 19 environmental parameters using count data from 2119 diatom communities sampled during eight years in eastern France. Using uni- and multivariate analyses, we explored the relationships between freshwater diatom phylogeny and ecology (i.e., the phylogenetic signal). We found a significant phylogenetic signal for many of the ecological optima that were tested, but the strength of the signal varied significantly from one trait to another. Multivariate analysis also showed that the multidimensional ecological niche of diatoms can be strongly related to phylogeny. The presence of clades containing species that exhibit homogeneous ecology suggests that phylogenetic information can be useful for aquatic biomonitoring. This study highlights the presence of significant patterns of ecological optima for freshwater diatoms in relation to their phylogeny. These results suggest the presence of a signal above the species level, which is encouraging for the development of simplified methods for biomonitoring survey. PMID:27411256

  14. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

    Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another. PMID:26966228

  15. A Functional-Phylogenetic Classification System for Transmembrane Solute Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Saier, Milton H.

    2000-01-01

    A comprehensive classification system for transmembrane molecular transporters has been developed and recently approved by the transport panel of the nomenclature committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This system is based on (i) transporter class and subclass (mode of transport and energy coupling mechanism), (ii) protein phylogenetic family and subfamily, and (iii) substrate specificity. Almost all of the more than 250 identified families of transporters include members that function exclusively in transport. Channels (115 families), secondary active transporters (uniporters, symporters, and antiporters) (78 families), primary active transporters (23 families), group translocators (6 families), and transport proteins of ill-defined function or of unknown mechanism (51 families) constitute distinct categories. Transport mode and energy coupling prove to be relatively immutable characteristics and therefore provide primary bases for classification. Phylogenetic grouping reflects structure, function, mechanism, and often substrate specificity and therefore provides a reliable secondary basis for classification. Substrate specificity and polarity of transport prove to be more readily altered during evolutionary history and therefore provide a tertiary basis for classification. With very few exceptions, a phylogenetic family of transporters includes members that function by a single transport mode and energy coupling mechanism, although a variety of substrates may be transported, sometimes with either inwardly or outwardly directed polarity. In this review, I provide cross-referencing of well-characterized constituent transporters according to (i) transport mode, (ii) energy coupling mechanism, (iii) phylogenetic grouping, and (iv) substrates transported. The structural features and distribution of recognized family members throughout the living world are also evaluated. The tabulations should facilitate familial and functional

  16. A functional-phylogenetic classification system for transmembrane solute transporters.

    PubMed

    Saier, M H

    2000-06-01

    A comprehensive classification system for transmembrane molecular transporters has been developed and recently approved by the transport panel of the nomenclature committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This system is based on (i) transporter class and subclass (mode of transport and energy coupling mechanism), (ii) protein phylogenetic family and subfamily, and (iii) substrate specificity. Almost all of the more than 250 identified families of transporters include members that function exclusively in transport. Channels (115 families), secondary active transporters (uniporters, symporters, and antiporters) (78 families), primary active transporters (23 families), group translocators (6 families), and transport proteins of ill-defined function or of unknown mechanism (51 families) constitute distinct categories. Transport mode and energy coupling prove to be relatively immutable characteristics and therefore provide primary bases for classification. Phylogenetic grouping reflects structure, function, mechanism, and often substrate specificity and therefore provides a reliable secondary basis for classification. Substrate specificity and polarity of transport prove to be more readily altered during evolutionary history and therefore provide a tertiary basis for classification. With very few exceptions, a phylogenetic family of transporters includes members that function by a single transport mode and energy coupling mechanism, although a variety of substrates may be transported, sometimes with either inwardly or outwardly directed polarity. In this review, I provide cross-referencing of well-characterized constituent transporters according to (i) transport mode, (ii) energy coupling mechanism, (iii) phylogenetic grouping, and (iv) substrates transported. The structural features and distribution of recognized family members throughout the living world are also evaluated. The tabulations should facilitate familial and functional

  17. Species Divergence and Phylogenetic Variation of Ecophysiological Traits in Lianas and Trees

    PubMed Central

    Rios, Rodrigo S.; Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2014-01-01

    The climbing habit is an evolutionary key innovation in plants because it is associated with enhanced clade diversification. We tested whether patterns of species divergence and variation of three ecophysiological traits that are fundamental for plant adaptation to light environments (maximum photosynthetic rate [Amax], dark respiration rate [Rd], and specific leaf area [SLA]) are consistent with this key innovation. Using data reported from four tropical forests and three temperate forests, we compared phylogenetic distance among species as well as the evolutionary rate, phylogenetic distance and phylogenetic signal of those traits in lianas and trees. Estimates of evolutionary rates showed that Rd evolved faster in lianas, while SLA evolved faster in trees. The mean phylogenetic distance was 1.2 times greater among liana species than among tree species. Likewise, estimates of phylogenetic distance indicated that lianas were less related than by chance alone (phylogenetic evenness across 63 species), and trees were more related than expected by chance (phylogenetic clustering across 71 species). Lianas showed evenness for Rd, while trees showed phylogenetic clustering for this trait. In contrast, for SLA, lianas exhibited phylogenetic clustering and trees showed phylogenetic evenness. Lianas and trees showed patterns of ecophysiological trait variation among species that were independent of phylogenetic relatedness. We found support for the expected pattern of greater species divergence in lianas, but did not find consistent patterns regarding ecophysiological trait evolution and divergence. Rd followed the species-level pattern, i.e., greater divergence/e