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Sample records for opossum didelphis virginiana

  1. Besnoitia darlingi infection in a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Shaw, Shannon; Grasperge, Britton; Nevarez, Javier; Reed, Scott; Long, Lauren; Rademacher, Nathalie; Sánchez-Migallón Guzmán, David

    2009-03-01

    This is a case report of natural infection with Besnoitia darlingi in a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Louisiana. Clinical pathologic data included a severe nonregenerative anemia, inflammatory leukogram, increased hepatocellular leakage enzymes, renal azotemia, hyperkalemia, hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, and proteinuria. Tissue cysts containing bradyzoites were found in the majority of organs, especially the skin, mucous membranes, kidneys, adrenals, lungs, and heart. Images of the bradyzoites obtained by transmission electron microscopy were consistent with the previously described ultrastructure of Besnoitia darlingi. This opossum also suffered from an open phalangeal fracture and concurrent gastrointestinal parasites. Histopathologic findings included a glomerulonephritis and hepatic necrosis.

  2. West Nile Virus Isolated from a Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwestern Missouri, USA, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica R.; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry M.; Godsey, Marvin S.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William L.; Brault, Aaron C.; Komar, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology. PMID:25098303

  3. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    DOE PAGES

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; ...

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  4. Discovery of an endemic area of Gnathostoma turgidum infection among opossums, Didelphis virginiana, in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Camacho, Sylvia Páz; Willms, Kaethe; Rendón-Maldonado, José Guadalupe; de la Cruz-Otero, María del Carmen; Delgado-Vargas, Francisco; Robert, Lilia; Antuna, Silvia; León-Règagnon, Virginia; Nawa, Yukifumi

    2009-06-01

    Gnathostomosis, caused by Gnathostoma binucleatum, is a serious public health issue in Mexico. Although 2 other Gnathostoma spp., G. turgidum and G. lamothei, have been found in wild animals, their natural life cycle or their relation to human disease remains unclear. While we were conducting an epidemiological survey on Gnathostoma spp. in Sinaloa State, Mexico, we found an endemic area for G. turgidum in common opossums, Didelphis virginiana, located in Tecualilla, Sinaloa. The species identification was carried out by morphological and molecular biological methods. This is the first record of an endemic area for G. turgidum infection in opossums, D. virginiana, in the Americas.

  5. Experimental aerosol inoculation of Mycobacterium bovis in North American opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Scott D; Zwick, Laura S; Diegel, Kelly L; Berry, Dale E; Church, Steven V; Sikarskie, James G; Kaneene, John B; Reed, Willie M

    2003-04-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility of North American opossums (Didelphis virginiana) to aerosol inoculation of Mycobacterium bovis at two dose levels in order to gain information on disease pathogenesis, fecal shedding of the organism, and the potential role that opossums play in the spread of this disease in nature. Six opossums received high dose (1 x 10(7) colony forming units (cfu) by aerosol inoculation, six opossums received low dose (1 x 10(3) cfu inoculation, and six opossums were sham-inoculated with sterile water and served as controls. Lungs were the most frequently infected tissues, with nine of 12 inoculated opossums positive for M. bovis on culture. Gross lesions consisted of multifocal pneumonia and enlarged lymph nodes. Microscopically, granulomatous pneumonia and granulomatous lymphadenitis associated with acid-fast bacilli were present in eight of 12 inoculated opossums. Fecal shedding of M. bovis was uncommon at both inoculation doses. While opossums were highly susceptible to aerosol inoculation of M. bovis, they did not become emaciated or develop widely disseminated lesions. From this study, opossums may transmit tuberculosis by aerosol infection to other opossums in close contact and serve as a source of infection to carnivores that feed upon them, however, transmission of the disease to large herbivores by fecal shedding or direct contact may be less likely.

  6. Normal conjunctival flora in the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoon (Procyon lotor).

    PubMed

    Pinard, Chantale L; Brightman, Alan H; Yeary, Teresa J; Everson, Troy D; Cox, Linda K; Chengappa, M M; Davidson, Harriet J

    2002-10-01

    We documented the normal conjunctival bacterial flora from 17 opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and 10 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in Manhattan, Kansas (USA) from November 1999 to January 2000. Both raccoons and opossums were free of apparent ocular disease. The inferior conjunctival sacs of each animal were swabbed for aerobic bacterial and Mycoplasma culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Mycoplasma and Chlamydia detection. All conjunctival samples were positive for one or more species of aerobic bacteria. The most common isolate from opossums was Staphylococcus spp. Other isolates included Streptococcus spp., Bacillus spp., Corynebacterium spp., and Enterococcus faecalis. The most common isolates in raccoons was Bacillus spp. Other isolates included Streptococcus spp., Staphylococcus spp., non-hemolytic Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecalis. Mycoplasma culture was negative in samples from opossums and raccoons. Evidence of Mycoplasma and Chlamydia presence was detected by PCR.

  7. First molecular evidence of Toxoplasma gondii in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatan, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Castro, M.; Noh-Pech, H.; Puerto-Hernández, R.; Reyes-Hernández, B.; Panti-May, A.; Hernández-Betancourt, S.; Yeh-Gorocica, A.; González-Herrera, L.; Zavala-Castro, J.; Puerto, F.I.

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite recognized as a causal agent of toxoplasmosis; zoonotic disease endemic in many countries worldwide, including Mexico. Different species of animals participate in the wild cycle infection, including opossums of the species Didelphis virginiana. Thirteen D. virginiana were captured in Yucatan, Mexico. Detection of T. gondii was achieved by Polymerase Chain Reaction, which determined an infection of 76.9% (10/13) in brains. Positive amplicons were sequenced for analysis, this produced results similar to T. gondii with identity and coverage values of 98% and 96-100%, respectively. This study presents the first molecular evidence of the circulation of T. gondii in D. virginiana from Mexico. PMID:27200271

  8. First molecular evidence of Toxoplasma gondii in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Torres-Castro, M; Noh-Pech, H; Puerto-Hernández, R; Reyes-Hernández, B; Panti-May, A; Hernández-Betancourt, S; Yeh-Gorocica, A; González-Herrera, L; Zavala-Castro, J; Puerto, F I

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite recognized as a causal agent of toxoplasmosis; zoonotic disease endemic in many countries worldwide, including Mexico. Different species of animals participate in the wild cycle infection, including opossums of the species Didelphis virginiana. Thirteen D. virginiana were captured in Yucatan, Mexico. Detection of T. gondii was achieved by Polymerase Chain Reaction, which determined an infection of 76.9% (10/13) in brains. Positive amplicons were sequenced for analysis, this produced results similar to T. gondii with identity and coverage values of 98% and 96-100%, respectively. This study presents the first molecular evidence of the circulation of T. gondii in D. virginiana from Mexico.

  9. Spontaneous cure after natural infection with Gnathostoma turgidum (Nematoda) in Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Torres-Montoya, Hilario; Galaviz-Renteria, Xochilth; Castillo-Ureta, Hipólito; Lopez-Moreno, Hector; Nawa, Yukifumi; Bojorquez-Contreras, Angel; Sanchez-Gonzalez, Sergio; Díaz-Camacho, Sylvia; Rocha-Tirado, Rodrigo; Rendon-Maldonado, Jose

    2014-04-01

    Seasonality of the nematode Gnathostoma turgidum in Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) in the wild has been reported; however, the mechanisms involved in deworming are unknown. We monitored the parasitologic and biologic changes in four Virginia opossums naturally infected with G. turgidum by coproparasitologic examination and abdominal ultrasonography. Eggs became detectable in the feces of opossums in May, peaked in July and August, and suddenly decreased in October. Adults of G. turgidum were expelled in the feces mainly in September. Ultrasonography of the liver showed slight damage during May. Lesions in the stomach appeared in April and persisted until September. The abnormalities of the liver and stomach were resolved in November. These data suggest that G. turgidum is likely expelled as a result of host immunologic mechanisms, although termination of a natural life span cannot be definitively excluded.

  10. Prevalence and risk factors associated with Sarcocystis neurona infections in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from central California.

    PubMed

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Vanwormer, Elizabeth; Miller, Melissa A; Mazet, Jonna A K; Nichelason, Amy E; Melli, Ann C; Packham, Andrea E; Jessup, David A; Conrad, Patricia A

    2009-12-03

    Sarcocystis neurona, a protozoal parasite shed by opossums (Didelphis virginiana), has been shown to cause significant morbidity and mortality in horses, sea otters, and other marine mammals. Over the course of 3 years (fall 2005-summer 2008), opossums from central California were tested for infection with S. neurona. Of 288 opossums sampled, 17 (5.9%) were infected with S. neurona based on the molecular characterization of sporocysts from intestinal scrapings or feces. Risk factors evaluated for association with S. neurona infection in opossums included: age, sex, location, season, presence of pouch young in females, concomitant infection, and sampling method (live-trapped or traffic-killed). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified that opossums in the Central Valley were 9 times more likely to be infected than those near the coast (p=0.009). Similarly, opossum infection was 5 times more likely to be detected during the reproductive season (March-July; p=0.013). This first investigation of S. neurona infection prevalence and associated risk factors in opossums in the western United States can be used to develop management strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of S. neurona infections in susceptible hosts, including horses and threatened California sea otters (Enhydra lutris neries).

  11. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry; Marvin S. Godsey, Jr.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William; Brault, Aaron C.; Komar, Nicholas

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  12. Intrahepatic growth and maturation of Gnathostoma turgidum in the natural definitive opossum host, Didelphis virginiana.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Camacho, Sylvia Páz; Delgado-Vargas, Francisco; Willms, Kaethe; de la Cruz-Otero, María del Carmen; Guadalupe Rendón-Maldonado, José; Robert, Lilia; Antuna, Silvia; Nawa, Yukifumi

    2010-09-01

    Gnathostoma turgidum is a gastric nematode parasite of opossums found in the Americas. We recently found that G. turgidum juveniles appear in the liver of the opossums where they become mature adults and almost synchronously move to the stomach during certain months of the year, suggesting the importance of the liver for the growth and maturation of this species in the final hosts. In this study we attempted to detect G. turgidum larvae in the liver of opossums, Didelphis virginiana that are the natural final hosts. The results show that tiny (<3mm in length) third stage larvae (L3) appeared in the liver of opossums around November and December. Also in the liver, we found large L3 of up to about 10mm in length together with juveniles and mature adults from February to March. In spite of their length, large L3 have 4 rows of hooklets, and their gonads remained undeveloped. Morphological features of the small and large L3 of G. turgidum are described including scanning electron microscope images. The seasonal switching of the several growth stages of G. turgidum from small L3 to adult worms in the liver and eventual migration to the stomach in opossums suggests the unique feature of G. turgidum utilizing the liver as the maturation site.

  13. Postmortem scavenging by the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana): Impact on taphonomic assemblages and progression.

    PubMed

    King, Kama A; Lord, Wayne D; Ketchum, Heather R; O'Brien, R Christopher

    2016-09-01

    The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is a highly active scavenger whose behavior has significant impacts on rates of decomposition and skeletonization, which have previously not been addressed. In this study, scavenging by the opossum led to the skeletonization of carcasses in half of the accumulated degree days (ADD) of a comparable non-scavenged control carcass. Opossums used body orifices, as well as natural tears caused by the decomposition process, to access internal tissues and consume them. This activity resulted in little movement of the carcass and the retained appearance of natural undisturbed decomposition. This concealed activity has the potential to cause drastically incorrect estimates of time since deposition and post-mortem interval. Scavenging by opossums was also found to leave distinct tooth mark and other defects on bone, which have not been previously distinguished in the literature. This research suggests, beyond effects on PMI, that scavenging by opossums has been historically overlooked and misattributed to canid scavengers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Molecular characterization of Sarcocystis neurona strains from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and intermediate hosts from Central California.

    PubMed

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Miller, Melissa A; Grigg, Michael E; Crosbie, Paul R; Conrad, Patricia A

    2010-05-28

    Sarcocystis neurona is a significant cause of neurological disease in horses and other animals, including the threatened Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Opossums (Didelphis virginiana), the only known definitive hosts for S. neurona in North America, are an introduced species in California. S. neurona DNA isolated from sporocysts and/or infected tissues of 10 opossums, 6 horses, 1 cat, 23 Southern sea otters, and 1 harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) with natural infections was analyzed based on 15 genetic markers, including the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) region; the 25/396 marker; S. neurona surface antigen genes (snSAGs) 2, 3, and 4; and 10 different microsatellites. Based on phylogenetic analysis, most of the S. neurona strains segregated into three genetically distinct groups. Additionally, fifteen S. neurona samples from opossums and several intermediate hosts, including sea otters and horses, were found to be genetically identical across all 15 genetic markers, indicating that fatal encephalitis in Southern sea otters and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses is strongly linked to S. neurona sporocysts shed by opossums.

  15. Molecular characterization of Sarcocystis neurona strains from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and intermediate hosts from Central California

    PubMed Central

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Miller, Melissa A.; Grigg, Michael E.; Crosbie, Paul R.; Conrad, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is a significant cause of neurological disease in horses and other animals, including the threatened Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Opossums (Didelphis virginiana), the only known definitive hosts for S. neurona in North America, are an introduced species in California. S. neurona DNA isolated from sporocysts and/or infected tissues of 10 opossums, 6 horses, 1 cat, 23 Southern sea otters, and 1 harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) with natural infections was analyzed based on 15 genetic markers, including the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) region; the 25/396 marker; S. neurona surface antigen genes (snSAGs) 2, 3, and 4; and 10 different microsatellites. Based on phylogenetic analysis, most of the S. neurona strains segregated into three genetically distinct groups. Additionally, fifteen S. neurona samples from opossums and several intermediate hosts, including sea otters and horses, were found to be genetically identical across all 15 genetic markers, indicating that fatal encephalitis in Southern sea otters and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses is strongly linked to S. neurona sporocysts shed by opossums. PMID:20226596

  16. Prevalence of Sarcocystis species sporocysts in Northern Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, Hany M; Murphy, Alice J; Mansfield, Linda S

    2004-08-01

    A total of 206 Virginia opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) collected from the mid-Michigan region, United States, during a period extending from 1996 to 2002 were sampled for the presence of Sarcocystis spp sporocysts. All isolates were phenotypically identified as Sarcocystis spp and genotyped to the species level by PCR-based techniques. The overall prevalence of Sarcocystis spp in opossums was 18% (37/206). The prevalence of Sarcocystis spp differed significantly with age ( P<0.001) and adult opossums were more commonly infected (14.6%; 30/206) than juveniles (3.4%; 7/206). No significant difference in the prevalence of Sarcocystis spp infection was observed between male and female ( P<0.15). The highest prevalence was recorded during summer (9.2%; 19/206). PCR-RFLP analyses demonstrated the majority of Sarcocystis isolates to be S. neurona, with some animals co-infected with sporocysts of S. falcatula. Out of the 37 Sarcocystis-infected opossums, 23 (62%) had sporocysts of S. neurona only, four (11%) had sporocysts of S. falcatula only, and eight (22%) had a mixture of S. neurona and S. falcatula sporocysts. These findings indicate that mixed Sarcocystis infections in opossums are common. The propensity for Sarcocystis spp to co-exist in the opossum gut enhances dissemination and environmental contamination with these coccidia. Additionally, this increases the chance for sexual recombination between Sarcocystis spp, given the proclivity of these species to reproduce sexually at high numbers in the intestinal cells of their definitive host.

  17. PULMONARY LESIONS CAUSED BY THE LUNGWORM (DIDELPHOSTRONGYLUS HAYESI) IN THE OPOSSUM (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA) IN COLIMA, MEXICO.

    PubMed

    López-Crespo, Rubén A; López-Mayagoitia, Alfonso; Ramírez-Romero, Rafael; Martínez-Burnes, Julio; Prado-Rebolledo, Omar F; García-Márquez, Luis J

    2017-06-01

    Didelphostrongylus hayesi is an important and prevalent pulmonary nematode in the opossum ( Didelphis virginiana ). An in-depth description of the pulmonary lesions caused by this nematode is lacking. The objective of this investigation was to make a detailed account of the gross, subgross, and microscopic changes that occur in the lungs of opossums naturally infected with D. hayesi. Forty-four opossums trapped in the state of Colima, Mexico, were euthanized by an overdose of barbiturates. Following a postmortem examination, the right lung was cut from the main bronchi and placed in a Petri dish containing a saline solution for the detection and identification of live parasites. The left lung was fixed and cut serially for subgross microscopic examination and sections of lung were cut and stained for histopathologic examination. The most remarkable gross change in parasitized lungs was a poorly collapsible pulmonary parenchyma and mild emphysema. The right lung tested positive for lungworms on gross examination in 20/44, and 11/44 (25%) of the left lungs showed tan nodules on the pleural surface. Microscopically, the bronchi of 20/44 animals harbored adult and larval stages of D. hayesi (left lung), the same 20 opossums from which nematodes were grossly evident at necropsy (right lung). Adults and larvae were present in bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli mixed with desquamated cells and many eosinophils, and to a lesser extent neutrophils, alveolar macrophages, and giant cells. Bronchi and bronchioles exhibited goblet cell hyperplasia and metaplasia respectively, and infiltration of lymphoplasmacytic cells in the interstitium and lamina propria. The tan nodules consisted of focal alveolar endogenous lipidosis, which likely resulted from parasitic airway obstruction. The lungs of 3/20 parasitized opossums also showed alveolar bronchiolization (Lambertosis). The absence of Eucoleus aerophilus or bacterial pneumonia incriminates D. hayesi as the putative cause of

  18. Lack of Sarcocystis neurona antibody response in Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) fed Sarcocystis neurona-infected muscle tissue.

    PubMed

    Cheadle, M A; Lindsay, D S; Greiner, E C

    2006-06-01

    Serum was collected from laboratory-reared Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) to determine whether experimentally infected opossums shedding Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts develop serum antibodies to S. neurona merozoite antigens. Three opossums were fed muscles from nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus), and 5 were fed muscles from striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis). Serum was also collected from 26 automobile-killed opossums to determine whether antibodies to S. neurona were present in these opossums. Serum was analyzed using the S. neurona direct agglutination test (SAT). The SAT was modified for use with a filter paper collection system. Antibodies to S. neurona were not detected in any of the serum samples from opossums, indicating that infection in the opossum is localized in the small intestine. Antibodies to S. neurona were detected in filter-paper-processed serum samples from 2 armadillos naturally infected with S. neurona.

  19. Observations on besnoitiosis in Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) from Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    El Sheikha, Hany M; Hussein, Hussein S; Monib, Mohammad el-Salahy M; Mansfield, Linda S

    2007-04-01

    Besnoitia tissue cysts were found in five naturally-infected adult opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Michigan. Details of the microscopy, histopathology, ultra-structure, and genetic features of the cysts were studied to identify their species-specific traits. The materials were differentiated phenotypically from cysts of other Besnoitia spp. by difference in size, pattern of tissue distribution, morphology of pellicle and nucleus, number of micronemes and rhoptries, amount of lipids and amylopectin, and presence of enigmatic bodies. Morphometric variations identified the tissue cysts and the pathologic changes in opossums host to be due to B. darlingi. The data were proved by phylogenetic analysis based on DNA sequences of the first internal transcribed spacer of nuclear rDNA. Cluster analysis showed that B. darlingi was distinct from all other Besnoitia spp. as two distinct phylogenetic clades: I- included Besnoitia spp. described from opossum (B. darlingi), sheep (B. jellisoni), rodent (B. akadoni) and rabbit (B. oryctofelisi) and clade II- encompassed parasites described from cattle (B. besnoiti), equids (B. bennetti) and reindeer (B. tarandi). The genetic attributed particular to the genus Besnoitia complemented the morphologica features and lead to accurate delimitation of Besnoitia species.

  20. CUTANEOUS EPITHELIOTROPIC T-CELL LYMPHOMA WITH METASTASES IN A VIRGINIA OPOSSUM (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA).

    PubMed

    Higbie, Christine T; Carpenter, James W; Choudhary, Shambhunath; DeBey, Brad; Bagladi-Swanson, Mary; Eshar, David

    2015-06-01

    A 2-yr-old, captive, intact female Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana ) with a 7-mo history of ulcerative dermatitis and weight loss was euthanatized for progressive worsening of clinical signs. Initially the opossum was treated with several courses of antibiotics, both topically and systemically; systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication; and, later, systemic glucocorticoids, with no improvement in clinical signs. Histopathologic samples of skin lesions taken 3 mo into the course of disease revealed no evidence of neoplasia; however, cytologic samples of a skin lesion taken 5 mo into the course of disease revealed mature lymphocytes, and were suggestive of cutaneous lymphoma. Postmortem histopathology revealed neoplastic cells consistent with lymphoma; these were found in the haired skin of the forearm, axilla, hind limb, face, and lateral body wall, as well as the liver, kidney, axillary lymph node, heart, and spleen. Multifocal neutrophilic and eosinophilic ulcerative and necrotizing dermatitis and folliculitis of the haired skin were also present. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first documented case of cutaneous lymphoma in a Virginia opossum and the first documented case with visceral metastases in a marsupial.

  1. Surveillance and movements of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in the bovine tuberculosis region of Michigan.

    PubMed

    Walter, W D; Fischer, J W; Anderson, C W; Marks, D R; Deliberto, T; Robbe-Austerman, S; Vercauteren, K C

    2013-07-01

    Wildlife reservoir hosts of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) include Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the UK and New Zealand, respectively. Similar species warrant further investigation in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, USA due to the continued presence of bTB on cattle farms. Most research in Michigan, USA has focused on interactions between white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) for the transmission of the infectious agent of bTB, Mycobacterium bovis, due to high deer densities and feeding practices. However, limited data are available on medium-sized mammals such as Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana; hereafter referred to as opossum) and their movements and home range in Michigan near cattle farms. We conducted surveillance of medium-sized mammals on previously depopulated cattle farms for presence of M. bovis infections and equipped opossum with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to assess potential differences in home range between farms inside and outside the bTB core area that has had cattle test positive for M. bovis. On farms inside the bTB core area, prevalence in opossum was comparable [6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0-11.0] to prevalence in raccoon (Procyon lotor; 4%, 95% CI 1.0-9.0, P=0.439) whereas only a single opossum tested positive for M. bovis on farms outside the bTB core area. The prevalence in opossum occupying farms that had cattle test positive for M. bovis was higher (6.4%) than for opossum occupying farms that never had cattle test positive for M. bovis (0.9%, P=0.01). Mean size of home range for 50% and 95% estimates were similar by sex (P=0.791) both inside or outside the bTB core area (P=0.218). Although surveillance efforts and home range were not assessed on the same farms, opossum use of farms near structures was apparent as was selection for farms over surrounding forested habitats. The use of farms, stored feed, and structures by opossum

  2. The transcriptome of the Didelphis virginiana opossum kidney OK proximal tubule cell line.

    PubMed

    Eshbach, Megan L; Sethi, Rahil; Avula, Raghunandan; Lamb, Janette; Hollingshead, Deborah J; Finegold, David N; Locker, Joseph D; Chandran, Uma R; Weisz, Ora A

    2017-09-01

    The OK cell line derived from the kidney of a female opossum Didelphis virginiana has proven to be a useful model in which to investigate the unique regulation of ion transport and membrane trafficking mechanisms in the proximal tubule (PT). Sequence data and comparison of the transcriptome of this cell line to eutherian mammal PTs would further broaden the utility of this culture model. However, the genomic sequence for D. virginiana is not available and although a draft genome sequence for the opossum Monodelphis domestica (sequenced in 2012 by the Broad Institute) exists, transcripts sequenced from both species show significant divergence. The M. domestica sequence is not highly annotated, and the majority of transcripts are predicted rather than experimentally validated. Using deep RNA sequencing of the D. virginiana OK cell line, we characterized its transcriptome via de novo transcriptome assembly and alignment to the M. domestica genome. The quality of the de novo assembled transcriptome was assessed by the extent of homology to sequences in nucleotide and protein databases. Gene expression levels in the OK cell line, from both the de novo transcriptome and genes aligned to the M. domestica genome, were compared with publicly available rat kidney nephron segment expression data. Our studies demonstrate the expression in OK cells of numerous PT-specific ion transporters and other key proteins relevant for rodent and human PT function. Additionally, the sequence and expression data reported here provide an important resource for genetic manipulation and other studies on PT cell function using these cells. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Cone pigments in a North American marsupial, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H; Williams, Gary A

    2010-05-01

    Only two of the four cone opsin gene families found in vertebrates are represented in contemporary eutherian and marsupial species. Recent genetic studies of two species of South American marsupial detected the presence of representatives from two of the classes of cone opsin genes and the structures of these genes predicted cone pigments with respective peaks in the ultraviolet and long-wavelength portions of the spectrum. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a profoundly nocturnal animal, is the only marsupial species found in North America. The prospects for cone-based vision in this species were examined through recordings of the electroretinogram (ERG), a commonly examined retinal response to photic stimulation. Recorded under flickering-light conditions that elicit signals from cone photoreceptors, the spectral sensitivity of the opossum eye is well accounted for by contributions from the presence of a single cone pigment having peak absorption at 561-562 nm. A series of additional experiments that employed various chromatic adaptation paradigms were conducted in a search for possible contributions from a second (short-wavelength sensitive) cone pigment. We found no evidence that such a mechanism contributes to the ERG in this marsupial.

  4. Genetically different isolates of Trypanosoma cruzi elicit different infection dynamics in raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Roellig, Dawn M; Ellis, Angela E; Yabsley, Michael J

    2009-12-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a genetically and biologically diverse species. In the current study we determined T. cruzi infection dynamics in two common North American reservoirs, Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Based on previous molecular and culture data from naturally-exposed animals, we hypothesised that raccoons would have a longer patent period than opossums, and raccoons would be competent reservoirs for both genotypes T. cruzi I (TcI) and TcIIa, while opossums would only serve as hosts for TcI. Individuals (n=2 or 3) of each species were inoculated with 1x10(6) culture-derived T. cruzi trypomastigotes of TcIIa (North American (NA) - raccoon), TcI (NA - opossum), TcIIb (South American - human), or both TcI and TcIIa. Parasitemias in opossums gradually increased and declined rapidly, whereas parasitemias peaked sooner in raccoons and they maintained relatively high parasitemia for 5weeks. Raccoons became infected with all three T. cruzi strains, while opossums only became infected with TcI and TcIIb. Although opossums were susceptible to TcIIb, infection dynamics were dramatically different compared with TcI. Opossums inoculated with TcIIb seroconverted, but parasitemia duration was short and only detectable by PCR. In addition, raccoons seroconverted sooner (3-7days post inoculation) than opossums (10days post inoculation). These data suggest that infection dynamics of various T. cruzi strains can differ considerably in different wildlife hosts.

  5. Genetically different isolates of Trypanosoma cruzi elicit different infection dynamics in raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana)

    PubMed Central

    Roellig, Dawn M.; Ellis, Angela E.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a genetically and biologically diverse species. In the current study we determined T. cruzi infection dynamics in two common North American reservoirs, Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Based on previous molecular and culture data from naturally-exposed animals, we hypothesized that raccoons would have a longer patent period than opossums, and raccoons would be competent reservoirs for both genotypes T. cruzi I (TcI) and TcIIa, while opossums would only serve as hosts for TcI. Individuals (n = 2 or 3) of each species were inoculated with 1 × 106 culture-derived T. cruzi trypomastigotes of TcIIa (North American (NA) - raccoon), TcI (NA - opossum), TcIIb (South American - human), or both TcI and TcIIa. Parasitemias in opossums gradually increased and declined rapidly, whereas parasitemias peaked sooner in raccoons and they maintained relatively high parasitemia for 5 weeks. Raccoons became infected with all three T. cruzi strains, while opossums only became infected with TcI and TcIIb. Although opossums were susceptible to TcIIb, infection dynamics were dramatically different compared with TcI. Opossums inoculated with TcIIb seroconverted, but parasitemia duration was short and only detectable by PCR. In addition, raccoons seroconverted sooner (3–7 days post inoculation) than opossums (10 days post inoculation). These data suggest that infection dynamics of various T. cruzi strains can differ considerably in different wildlife hosts. PMID:19607833

  6. Experimental Aerosol Inoculation and Investigation of Potential Lateral Transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Fenton, Karla A; Fitzgerald, Scott D; Bolin, Steve; Kaneene, John; Sikarskie, James; Greenwald, Rena; Lyashchenko, Konstantin

    2012-01-01

    An endemic focus of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) infection in the state of Michigan has contributed to a regional persistence in the animal population. The objective of this study was to determine if Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) contribute to disease persistence by experimentally assessing intraspecies lateral transmission. One wild caught pregnant female opossum bearing 11 joeys (young opossum) and one age-matched joey were obtained for the study. Four joeys were aerosol inoculated with M. bovis (inoculated), four joeys were noninoculated (exposed), and four joeys plus the dam were controls. Four replicate groups of one inoculated and one exposed joey were housed together for 45 days commencing 7 days after experimental inoculation. At day 84 opossums were sacrificed. All four inoculated opossums had a positive test band via rapid test, culture positive, and gross/histologic lesions consistent with caseogranulomatous pneumonia. The exposed and control groups were unremarkable on gross, histology, rapid test, and culture. In conclusion, M. bovis infection within the inoculated opossums was confirmed by gross pathology, histopathology, bacterial culture, and antibody tests. However, M. bovis was not detected in the control and exposed opossums. There was no appreciable lateral transmission of M. bovis after aerosol inoculation and 45 days of cohabitation between infected and uninfected opossums.

  7. Experimental Aerosol Inoculation and Investigation of Potential Lateral Transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

    PubMed Central

    Fenton, Karla A.; Fitzgerald, Scott D.; Bolin, Steve; Kaneene, John; Sikarskie, James; Greenwald, Rena; Lyashchenko, Konstantin

    2012-01-01

    An endemic focus of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) infection in the state of Michigan has contributed to a regional persistence in the animal population. The objective of this study was to determine if Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) contribute to disease persistence by experimentally assessing intraspecies lateral transmission. One wild caught pregnant female opossum bearing 11 joeys (young opossum) and one age-matched joey were obtained for the study. Four joeys were aerosol inoculated with M. bovis (inoculated), four joeys were noninoculated (exposed), and four joeys plus the dam were controls. Four replicate groups of one inoculated and one exposed joey were housed together for 45 days commencing 7 days after experimental inoculation. At day 84 opossums were sacrificed. All four inoculated opossums had a positive test band via rapid test, culture positive, and gross/histologic lesions consistent with caseogranulomatous pneumonia. The exposed and control groups were unremarkable on gross, histology, rapid test, and culture. In conclusion, M. bovis infection within the inoculated opossums was confirmed by gross pathology, histopathology, bacterial culture, and antibody tests. However, M. bovis was not detected in the control and exposed opossums. There was no appreciable lateral transmission of M. bovis after aerosol inoculation and 45 days of cohabitation between infected and uninfected opossums. PMID:22701815

  8. Spontaneous neoplasms in captive Virginia opossums ( Didelphis virginiana): a retrospective case series (1989-2014) and review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Pope, Jenny P; Donnell, Robert L

    2017-05-01

    This retrospective project summarizes the types of neoplasms identified in Virginia opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) presented to the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) postmortem service in 1989-2014 and serves as a review of the literature. Of the 85 Virginia opossums identified from the UTCVM case database, there were 17 diagnoses of neoplasia from 12 cases (14%). These cases included 8 females, 2 males, and 2 neutered males. All opossums with known ages (11 of 12) were >2 y old. Pulmonary tumors, specifically minimally invasive or lepidic-predominant adenocarcinomas, were the most common diagnosis and accounted for 53% (9 of 17) of the neoplasms. Additional tumors included acute myeloid leukemia with eosinophil maturation, hepatic hemangiosarcoma, sarcoma (unknown origin), squamous cell carcinoma, disseminated mast cell tumor, trichoblastoma, thyroid adenoma, and an osteoma. These findings serve as a reference for the types of spontaneous neoplasms in Virginia opossums; based on these findings, neoplasia should be considered as a differential in mature captive Virginia opossums.

  9. Prevalence of agglutinating antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona in skunks (Mephitis Mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and opossums (Didelphis Virginiana) from Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Sheila M; Richardson, Dennis J; Cheadle, M Andy; Zajac, Anne M; Lindsay, David S

    2002-10-01

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is the most important protozoan disease of horses in North America and is usually caused by Sarcocystis neurona. Natural cases of encephalitis caused by S. neurona have been reported in skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Opossums (Didelphis spp.) are the only known definitive host. Sera from 24 striped skunks, 12 raccoons, and 7 opossums (D. virginiana) from Connecticut were examined for agglutinating antibodies to S. neurona using the S. neurona agglutination test (SAT) employing formalin-fixed merozoites as antigen. The SAT was validated for skunk sera using pre- and postinfection serum samples from 2 experimentally infected skunks. Of the 24 (46%) skunks 11 were positive, and all 12 raccoons were positive for S. neurona antibodies. None of the 7 opossums was positive for antibodies to S. neurona. These results suggest that exposure to sporocysts of S. neurona by intermediate hosts is high in Connecticut. The absence of antibodies in opossums collected from the same areas is most likely because of the absence of systemic infection in the definitive host.

  10. Mammary glands in male marsupials: I. Primordia in neonatal opossums Didelphis virginiana and Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Renfree, M B; Robinson, E S; Short, R V; Vandeberg, J L

    1990-10-01

    Neonates of the American didelphid marsupials Didelphis virginiana and Monodelphis domestica were sexed by karyotype and histologically examined on the day of birth. Mammary anlagen were found in both sexes of both species, but the neonatal males had less than one-third of the full female complement of mammary glands. Male neonates of both species also had paired scrotal bulges anterior to the genital tubercle but these were never present in females, once again raising the question of whether the pouch and scrotum are homologous structures. Mammary anlagen are not found in male neonates of the Australian marsupial species so far studied, which suggests a dichotomy in the control of some aspects of sexual differentiation in the two marsupial lineages.

  11. Sarcocystis neurona infections in raccoons (Procyon lotor): evidence for natural infection with sarcocysts, transmission of infection to opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and experimental induction of neurologic disease in raccoons.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Saville, W J; Stanek, J F; Lindsay, D S; Rosenthal, B M; Oglesbee, M J; Rosypal, A C; Njoku, C J; Stich, R W; Kwok, O C; Shen, S K; Hamir, A N; Reed, S M

    2001-10-24

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a serious neurologic disease of horses in the Americas and Sarcocystis neurona is the most common etiologic agent. The distribution of S. neurona infections follows the geographical distributions of its definitive hosts, opossums (Didelphis virginiana, Didelphis albiventris). Recently, cats and skunks were reported as experimental and armadillos as natural intermediate hosts of S. neurona. In the present report, raccoons (Procyon lotor) were identified as a natural intermediate host of S. neurona. Two laboratory-raised opossums were found to shed S. neurona-like sporocysts after ingesting tongues of naturally-infected raccoons. Interferon-gamma gene knockout (KO) mice fed raccoon-opossum-derived sporocysts developed neurologic signs. S. neurona was identified immunohistochemically in tissues of KO mice fed sporocysts and the parasite was isolated in cell cultures inoculated with infected KO mouse tissues. The DNA obtained from the tongue of a naturally-infected raccoon, brains of KO mice that had neurological signs, and from the organisms recovered in cell cultures inoculated with brains of neurologic KO mice, corresponded to that of S. neurona. Two raccoons fed mature S. neurona sarcocysts did not shed sporocysts in their feces, indicating raccoons are not likely to be its definitive host. Two raccoons fed sporocysts from opossum feces developed clinical illness and S. neurona-associated encephalomyelitis was found in raccoons killed 14 and 22 days after feeding sporocysts; schizonts and merozoites were seen in encephalitic lesions.

  12. Prevalence of and risk factors associated with the presence of Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts in opossum (Didelphis virginiana) from Michigan: a retrospective study.

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, Hany M; Murphy, Alice J; Mansfield, Linda S

    2004-11-10

    From April 1996 to December 2002 the prevalence of Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts in North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Southern Michigan was estimated. Sporocysts of S. neurona were found in intestinal scrapings from 31 (15%) of 206 examined opossum. The frequency of infection was higher in adult animals (26/206; 12.6%) and females (19/206; 9.2%) than in juveniles (5/206; 2.4%) and males (12/206; 5.8%). Also, prevalence of S. neurona sporocysts in opossums in relation to factors such as age, sex, season, body condition, presence of concomitant infection, and presence of young in the pouch of females was studied in detail over the course of the year, 2002. Univariate analyses identified the following factors as being associated with the presence of S. neurona sporocysts in opossums: (i) for age, adult (odd ratio [OR] = 2.074, P = 0.0005); (ii) for sex, female (OR = 7.016, P = 0.0119); (iii) for season, summer (OR = 7.917, P = 0.0032) and spring (OR = 4.071, P = 0.1063); (iv) for body condition, poor (OR = 3.50, P = 0.1200) and good (OR = 1.167, P = 0.8637); (v) for the presence of concomitant infection (OR = 23.056, P = 0001), and (vi) for the presence of young in the pouch of females (OR = 40.083, P = 0.0001). Multivariate logistic-regression analyses selected the following factors as being significantly associated with presence of S. neurona sporocysts in opossums: (i) for the presence of concomitant infection (OR = 8.722, P = 0.0160) and (ii) for the presence of young in the pouch of females (OR = 31.915, P = 0.0065). The prevalence of S. neurona sporocysts in D. virginiana suggests that this opossum may constitute an ample reservoir of infection to other animals in the northern United States.

  13. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Sarcocystis neurona, Besnoitia darlingi, and Neospora caninum in North American opossums, Didelphis virginiana, from southern Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Houk, Alice E; Goodwin, David G; Zajac, Anne M; Barr, Stephen C; Dubey, J P; Lindsay, David S

    2010-12-01

    We examined the prevalence of antibodies to zoonotic protozoan parasites ( Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) and protozoans of veterinary importance ( Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona, and Besnoitia darlingi) in a population of North American opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) from Louisiana. Samples from 30 opossums were collected as part of a survey for T. cruzi in Louisiana. Frozen sera from these 30 opossums were examined using an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) against in vitro-produced antigenic stages of these protozoans. Additionally, 24 of the 30 samples were examined using hemoculture, and all 30 were examined in the modified direct agglutination test (MAT) for antibodies to To. gondii. The prevalences of reactive IFAT samples were as follows: 60% for T. cruzi, 27% for To. gondii, 23% for E. cuniculi, 17% for S. neurona, 47% for B. darlingi, and 0% for N. caninum. Hemoculture revealed that 16 (67%) of 24 samples were positive for T. cruzi, compared to 18 of 30 (60%) by IFAT. The sensitivity and specificity for the IFAT compared to hemoculture was 100% for each. The modified direct agglutination test revealed that 9 (30%) of the 30 samples from opossums had antibodies to To. gondii , compared to 8 (27%) using the IFAT. The sensitivity and specificity of the IFAT compared to the MAT was 100% and 72%, respectively.

  14. Establishment of Besnoitia darlingi from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) in experimental intermediate and definitive hosts, propagation in cell culture, and description of ultrastructural and genetic characteristics.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Lindsay, D S; Rosenthal, B M; Sreekumar, C; Hill, D E; Shen, S K; Kwok, O C H; Rickard, L G; Black, S S; Rashmir-Raven, A

    2002-07-01

    Besnoitia darlingi from naturally infected opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Mississippi, USA, was propagated experimentally in mice, cats, and cell culture and was characterised according to ultrastructural, genetic, and life-history characteristics. Cats fed tissue cysts from opossums shed oocysts with a prepatent period of nine or 11 days. Oocysts, bradyzoites, or tachyzoites were infective to outbred and interferon-gamma gene knockout mice. Tachyzoites were successfully cultivated and maintained in vitro in bovine monocytes and African green monkey cells and revived after an 18-month storage in liquid nitrogen. Schizonts were seen in the small intestinal lamina propria of cats fed experimentally-infected mouse tissues. These schizonts measured up to 45 x 25 microm and contained many merozoites. A few schizonts were present in mesenteric lymph nodes and livers of cats fed tissue cysts. Ultrastructurally, tachyzoites and bradyzoites of B. darlingi were similar to other species of Besnoitia. A close relationship to B. besnoiti and an even closer relationship to B. jellisoni was indicated for B. darlingi on the basis of the small subunit and ITS-1 portions of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

  15. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozonn cuniculi, Sarcocystis neurona, Besnoitia darlingi, and Neospora caninum in North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana, from Southern Louisian

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We examined the prevalence of antibodies to zoonotic protozoan parasites (Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) and protozoan’s of veterinary importance (Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona and Besnoitia darlingi) in a population of North American opossums (Didelphis...

  16. In vivo strains in the femur of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) during terrestrial locomotion: testing hypotheses of evolutionary shifts in mammalian bone loading and design.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Michael T; White, Bartholomew J; Hudzik, Nathan B; Gosnell, W Casey; Parrish, John H A; Blob, Richard W

    2011-08-01

    Terrestrial locomotion can impose substantial loads on vertebrate limbs. Previous studies have shown that limb bones from cursorial species of eutherian mammals experience high bending loads with minimal torsion, whereas the limb bones of non-avian reptiles (and amphibians) exhibit considerable torsion in addition to bending. It has been hypothesized that these differences in loading regime are related to the difference in limb posture between upright mammals and sprawling reptiles, and that the loading patterns observed in non-avian reptiles may be ancestral for tetrapod vertebrates. To evaluate whether non-cursorial mammals show loading patterns more similar to those of sprawling lineages, we measured in vivo strains in the femur during terrestrial locomotion of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a marsupial that uses more crouched limb posture than most mammals from which bone strains have been recorded, and which belongs to a clade phylogenetically between reptiles and the eutherian mammals studied previously. The presence of substantial torsion in the femur of opossums, similar to non-avian reptiles, would suggest that this loading regime likely reflects an ancestral condition for tetrapod limb bone design. Strain recordings indicate the presence of both bending and appreciable torsion (shear strain: 419.1 ± 212.8 με) in the opossum femur, with planar strain analyses showing neutral axis orientations that placed the lateral aspect of the femur in tension at the time of peak strains. Such mediolateral bending was unexpected for a mammal running with near-parasagittal limb kinematics. Shear strains were similar in magnitude to peak compressive axial strains, with opossum femora experiencing similar bending loads but higher levels of torsion compared with most previously studied mammals. Analyses of peak femoral strains led to estimated safety factor ranges of 5.1-7.2 in bending and 5.5-7.3 in torsion, somewhat higher than typical mammalian values

  17. Sarcocystis neurona infections in sea otter (Enhydra lutris): evidence for natural infections with sarcocysts and transmission of infection to opossums (Didelphis virginiana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dubey, J.P.; Rosypal, A.C.; Rosenthal, B.M.; Thomas, N.J.; Lindsay, D.S.; Stanek, J.F.; Reed, S.M.; Saville, W.J.A.

    2001-01-01

    Although Sarcocystis neurona has been identified in an array of terrestrial vertebrates, recent recognition of its capacity to infect marine mammals was unexpected. Here, sarcocysts from 2 naturally infected sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were characterized biologically, ultrastructurally, and genetically. DNA was extracted from frozen muscle of the first of these sea otters and was characterized as S. neurona by polymerase chain reation (PCR) amplification followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and sequencing. Sarcocysts from sea otter no. 1 were up to 350 I?m long, and the villar protrusions on the sarcocyst wall were up to 1.3 I?m long and up to 0.25 I?m wide. The villar protrusions were tapered towards the villar tip. Ultrastructurally, sarcocysts were similar to S. neurona sarcocysts from the muscles of cats experimentally infected with S. neurona sporocysts. Skeletal muscles from a second sea otter failed to support PCR amplification of markers considered diagnostic for S. neurona but did induce the shedding of sporocysts when fed to a laboratory-raised opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Such sporocysts were subsequently fed to knockout mice for the interferon-gamma gene, resulting in infections with an agent identified as S. neurona on the basis of immunohistochemistry, serum antibodies, and diagnostic sequence detection. Thus, sea otters exposed to S. neurona may support the development of mature sarcocysts that are infectious to competent definitive hosts.

  18. Eosinophilic meningoencephalitis associated with rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) migration in two nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) and an opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Martha F; Fenton, Heather; Cleveland, Christopher A; Elsmo, Elizabeth J; Yabsley, Michael J

    2017-08-01

    Angiostrongylus cantonensis, the rat lungworm, was the cause of neural larval migrans in two nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) and one Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) from the southeastern United States. Histologic findings in all three cases included eosinophilic meningoencephalitis with variable numbers of nematode larvae in the meninges or the neuroparenchyma. In two of the three cases, nematodes were extracted from brain tissue via a "squash prep" method. Identification of the nematodes was confirmed by amplification and sequence analysis of the partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene from all three cases. Sequences (704bp) from the two cases from Louisiana were identical and 99.7% similar to nematodes detected in the armadillo from Florida. As A. cantonensis is now considered endemic in the southern United States, it should be considered as an important differential for any wild or domestic animal or human patient with neurological signs and eosinophilic meningitis. Many wildlife species frequently consume snails and slugs and could serve as sentinels for the detection of this parasite in regions where the presence of this parasite has not been confirmed. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of neural larval migrans due to A. cantonensis in an armadillo and provides additional documentation that this nematode can cause disease in wildlife species in the southeastern United States.

  19. The development of a testosterone stimulation test in the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and its use in evaluating deslorelin contraception.

    PubMed

    Johnston, S D; Camacho, F C; Carrillo, L; Guy, N; Govea, J; Martinez, O; Parãs, A; Lisle, A T; D'Occhio, M

    2008-01-01

    The aims of the present study were to examine the variability of testosterone secretion in the Virginia Opossum over a 24 h period and to develop a testosterone stimulation test that would provide an index of the prevailing testosterone biosynthetic capacity of the testes; the latter was used to clinically evaluate the efficacy of a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist contraceptive. Sexually-mature captive opossums (n = 12) located in Africam Safari (Mexico) sampled every 12 h over 24 h consistently showed basal (<0.21 ng mL(-1)) blood testosterone concentrations. Intra-muscular injection of buserelin (2 microg mL(-1)) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG; 1000 IU) resulted in an increase (P < 0.05) of plasma testosterone concentrations with maximal concentrations (3.9 ng mL(-1) and 5.8 ng mL(-1) respectively) occurring 120 min after injection. Plasma testosterone declined relatively rapidly to basal concentrations after 240 min with hCG but remained elevated after the same period of time with buserelin. Male opossums treated with (n = 6) and without (n = 6) a controlled-release deslorelin implant (Suprelorin; 4.7 mg deslorelin) were evaluated over a 10-week period for changes in testosterone secretion (hCG stimulation test) and sperm production (spermatorrhea). At the end of this period, the animals were hemi-castrated and their relative testicular quantitative histology compared. Testosterone concentration decreased over the course of the study in both treated and control animals (P < 0.0001) but there was no apparent effect of deslorelin on testosterone secretion, testicular histology (relative proportions of testicular cell types and seminiferous tubule diameter), or sperm production (presence of sperm in the cauda epididymis or urine).

  20. Evaluation of a rapid immunochromatographic dipstick test for detection of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in dogs experimentally infected with isolates obtained from opossums (Didelphis virginiana), armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus), and dogs (Canis familiaris) from the United States.

    PubMed

    Rosypal, Alexa C; Hill, Roderick; Lewis, Samantha; Barr, Stephen C; Valadas, Samantha; Gennari, Solange Maria; Lindsay, David S

    2011-02-01

    Dogs are reservoir hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi , the causative agent of American trypanosomiasis. A rapid immunochromatographic dipstick test (ICT) is available commercially for canine serological testing. The ICT was developed with the use of sera from South American dogs, but it is not routinely used in the United States. We evaluated the utility of the ICT in detecting anti-T. cruzi antibodies in dogs from the United States. Dogs (N  =  64) were experimentally infected with United States' isolates of T. cruzi from an opossum (Didelphis virginiana), an armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), and a domestic dog (Canis familiaris), and were tested after experimental infection. Sera from uninfected United States dogs (n  =  79; hemaculture negative) were used as negative controls. In a blind study, sera were tested by the ICT and compared to the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test with the use of Brazil-strain epimastigotes as antigen. The sensitivity of the ICT was 91% and the specificity was 98% in dogs experimentally infected with United States isolates. Our study indicates that the ICT could be a useful screening tool for serological surveillance of canine T. cruzi exposure in the United States.

  1. Studies on the energy metabolism of opossum (Didelphis virginiana) erythrocytes: V. Utilization of hypoxanthine for the synthesis of adenine and guanine nucleotides in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Bethlenfalvay, N.C.; White, J.C.; Chadwick, E.; Lima, J.E. )

    1990-06-01

    High pressure liquid radiochromatography was used to test the ability of opossum erythrocytes to incorporate tracer amounts of (G-{sup 3}H) hypoxanthine (Hy) into ({sup 3}H) labelled triphosphates of adenine and guanine. In the presence of supraphysiologic (30 mM) phosphate which is optimal for PRPP synthesis, both ATP and GTP are extensively labelled. When physiologic (1 mM) medium phosphate is used, red cells incubated under an atmosphere of nitrogen accumulate ({sup 3}H) ATP in a linear fashion suggesting ongoing PRPP synthesis in red cells whose hemoglobin is deoxygenated. In contrast, a lesser increase of labelled ATP is observed in cells incubated under oxygen, suggesting that conditions for purine nucleotide formation from ambient Hy are more favorable in the venous circulation.

  2. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO.

    PubMed

    Peniche-Lara, Gaspar; Ruiz-Piña, Hugo A; Reyes-Novelo, Enrique; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Zavala-Castro, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltA and 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households.

  3. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO

    PubMed Central

    PENICHE-LARA, Gaspar; RUIZ-PIÑA, Hugo A.; REYES-NOVELO, Enrique; DZUL-ROSADO, Karla; ZAVALA-CASTRO, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltAand 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households. PMID:27074326

  4. Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora caninum in Brazilian opossums (Didelphis spp.): Molecular investigation and in vitro isolation of Sarcocystis spp.

    PubMed

    Gondim, Leane S Q; Jesus, Rogério F; Ribeiro-Andrade, Müller; Silva, Jean C R; Siqueira, Daniel B; Marvulo, Maria F V; Aléssio, Felipe M; Mauffrey, Jean-François; Julião, Fred S; Savani, Elisa San Martin Mouriz; Soares, Rodrigo M; Gondim, Luís F P

    2017-08-30

    Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora spp. are protozoan parasites that induce neurological diseases in horses and other animal species. Opossums (Didelphis albiventris and Didelphis virginiana) are definitive hosts of S. neurona, which is the major cause of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Neospora caninum causes abortion in cattle and infects a wide range of animal species, while N. hughesi is known to induce neurologic disease in equids. The aims of this study were to investigate S. neurona and N. caninum in tissues from opossums in the northeastern Brazil, and to isolate Brazilian strains of Sarcocystis spp. from wild opossums for comparison with previously isolated strains. Carcasses of 39 opossums from Bahia state were available for molecular identification of Sarcocystis spp. and N. caninum in their tissues, and for sporocyst detection by intestinal scraping. In addition, Sarcocystis-like sporocysts from nine additional opossums, obtained in São Paulo state, were tested. Sarcocystis DNA was found in 16 (41%) of the 39 opossums' carcasses; N. caninum DNA was detected in tissues from three opossums. The sporocysts from the nine additional opossums from São Paulo state were tested by bioassay and induced infection in nine budgerigars, but in none of the gamma-interferon knockout mice. In vitro isolation was successful using tissues from all nine budgerigars. The isolated strains were maintained in CV-1 and Vero cells. Three of nine isolates presented contamination in cell culture and were discarded. Analysis of six isolates based on five loci showed that these parasites were genetically different from each other and also distinct from S. neurona, S. falcatula, S. lindsayi, and S. speeri. In conclusion, opossums in the studied regions were infected with N. caninum and Sarcocystis spp. and represent a potential source of infection to other animals. This is the first report of N. caninum infection in tissues from black-eared opossum (D. aurita or D

  5. Anatomical study of the opossum (Didelphis albiventris) extraocular muscles.

    PubMed Central

    Matheus, S M; Soares, J C; da Silva, A M; Seullner, G

    1995-01-01

    The anatomy of the extraocular muscles was studied in 10 adult opossums (Didelphis albiventris) of both sexes. Eight extraocular muscles were identified: 4 rectus muscles, 2 oblique muscles, the levator palpebrae superioris and the retractor ocular bulbi. The rectus muscles originate very close one to another between the orbital surfaces of the presphenoid and palatine bones. These muscles diverge on the way to their insertion which occurs at about 2 mm from the limbus. The levator palpebrae superioris originates with the dorsal rectus and is positioned dorsally in relation to it. The retractor ocular bulbi forms a cone which embraces the optic nerve and is located internally in relation to the rectus muscles. The dorsal oblique originates on the presphenoid bone and after a tendinous trajectory through a trochlea on the medial wall of the orbit, inserts into the ocular bulb. The only muscle arising from the anterior orbital floor is the ventral oblique. The main nerve supply for these muscles is the oculomotor, except for the dorsal oblique which is innervated by the trochlear nerve, and the lateral rectus which is innervated by the abducens nerve. The retractor ocular bulbi receives branches from the inferior division of the oculomotor nerve and some branches from the abducens nerve. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:7649843

  6. Leptospira borgpetersenii from free-living white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris): first isolation in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Sérgio; Hartleben, Cláudia P; Seixas, Fabiana K; Coimbra, Marco A A; Stark, Cledir B; Larrondo, Adriana G; Amaral, Marta G; Albano, Ana Paula N; Minello, Luiz F; Dellagostin, Odir A; Brod, Claudiomar S

    2012-11-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that occurs all over the world, caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Marsupial and didelphidae families are considered susceptible to infection caused by a wide range of Leptospira serovars for which they serve as reservoirs. Thirty-three free-living white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris) were captured in Southern Brazil and bodily fluids were collected. From the urine samples it was possible to obtain an isolate identified as Leptospira borgpetersenii by rpoB gene sequencing and belonging to serovar Castellonis by Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis. This is the first report of the isolation of Leptospira spp. from the white-eared opossum in Brazil. In addition, the new strain was also virulent in the hamster model of lethal leptospirosis. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used for detecting the presence of antibodies against Leptospira spp. in white-eared opossum, human, cattle and canine sera using a panel of 59 Leptospira strains that included the new isolate. The inclusion of the new strain in the MAT battery increased the MAT sensitivity for canine sera. These findings suggest that the white-eared opossum is an important reservoir of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Occurrence of gastrointestinal protozoa in Didelphis albiventris (opossum) in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul state.

    PubMed

    Zanette, Régis A; da Silva, Aleksandro S; Lunardi, Fabiane; Santurio, Janio M; Monteiro, Silvia G

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the parasitism by gastrointestinal protozoa in Didelphis albiventris (opossum) in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul state. Fecal samples from six free living opossums were collected for research of parasites. Samples were analyzed by the centrifugal-flotation method with zinc sulfate and parasites were identified microscopically based on (oo)cyst size and morphology. Cysts of Giardia sp. and oocysts of Cryptosporidium sp. and Eimeria sp. were observed in four of the six opossums. All four infected marsupials showed mild infection by protozoa. This is the first report of Giardia sp. in D. albiventris.

  8. Molecular characterization of an opossum Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) population in an urban fragment of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest and support to species barcode identification.

    PubMed

    Sousa, L C C; Gontijo, C M F; Lacorte, G A; Meireles, S N; Silva, A P; Fonseca, C G

    2012-08-16

    We made a molecular study of 40 opossums, Didelphis albiventris, from an urban fragment of the Atlantic Rainforest in southeastern Brazil, analyzing a 653-bp sequence of cytochrome c oxidase, subunit I. We found three close connected haplotypes, with low nucleotide diversity and a haplotype diversity of 59.1% and confirmed sympatry between D. albiventris and D. aurita in this region. The clear phylogenetic separation shows the appropriateness of DNA barcode identification methodology for effectively discriminating between these opossum species.

  9. Morphologic characterization and distribution of endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Daiane Cristina Marques; Cupertino, Marli do Carmo; Novaes, Rômulo Dias; Soares, Ítalo Augusto da Costa; Fonseca, Cláudio César; da Matta, Sérgio Luis Pinto; Sartori, Sirlene Souza Rodrigues

    2013-10-01

    This study was designed to investigate the morphology and distribution of argyrophil, argentaffins, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita. Fragments of the large intestine of 10 male specimens of the opossum D. aurita were collected, processed, and submitted for histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and scanning electron microscopy. The tunics of the large intestine of D. aurita presented morphological characteristics that have already been described for eutherian mammals. The morphometric data showed that the inner circular layer of all portions and regions analyzed is thicker relative to the longitudinal layer, and these layers in the rectum are thicker compared to the cecum and ascending colon. The majority of mucus-secreting cells have acid and neutral mucins, suggesting that the production of mucus is mixed. The number of these cells increases in the region of the cecum toward the rectum. Important findings include the occurrence of argyrophil, argentaffins, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in all segments of the large intestine of the opossum (D. aurita). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the presence of insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum (D. aurita). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Resistance of the Opossum (Didelphis Virginiana) to Envenomation by Snakes of the Crotalidae Family.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-12-01

    Paris, France. 1948. 10 . Vellard, J. Investigaciones sobre inmunidad natural contra los venenos de serpientes . Part I. Mus. Hist. Nat. ‘Javier Prado...Ser A , Zool. 1, 1-16 (1949). II. Vellard, J. Investigaciones sobre inmunidad natural contra los venenos de serpientes . Part II. Mus. Hist. Nat

  11. Coccidial dispersion across New World marsupials: Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) (Mammalia: Didelphimorphia).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Caroline Spitz; Berto, Bruno Pereira; do Bomfim Lopes, Bruno; Cordeiro, Matheus Dias; da Fonseca, Adivaldo Henrique; Filho, Walter Leira Teixeira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2014-09-01

    Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 is a primitive coccidian parasite reported from the New World marsupials Didelphis marsupialis (Linnaeus) and Marmosa demerarae (Thomas). The current work describes K. tejerai from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) in Southeastern Brazil, evidencing the coccidial dispersion across opossums of the same family. The sporocysts recovered from urine samples were ellipsoidal, 20.4 × 12.7 µm, with sporocyst residuum composed of scattered spherules and c.13 sporozoites per sporocyst, with refractile bodies and nucleus. Macrogametes, microgametes, sporonts, sporoblasts/sporocysts were identified within parasitophorous vacuoles of epithelial cells located near the renal corticomedullary junction. Didelphis marsupialis should not have transmitted K. tejerai to D. aurita because they are not sympatric; however M. demerarae is sympatric with D. marsupialis and D. aurita. Therefore, D. aurita becomes the third host species for K. tejerai in South America.

  12. Endogenous Life Cycle of Eimeria marmosopos (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Opossum, Didelphis marsupialis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Chinchilla, Misael; Valerio, Idalia; Duszynski, Donald

    2015-08-01

    The endogenous life cycle of Eimeria marmosopos was studied in experimentally infected young opossums, Didelphis marsupialis . All the endogenous stages were located in the epithelial cells of villi in the small intestine. Giemsa-stained mucosal scrapings and histological sections were studied for the diagnosis of all the life cycle stages. Eimeria marmosopos has 3 generations of meronts (M) that differ by size, shape, and number of merozoites (m), which also differ in their size, shape, and location of their nuclei within the cytoplasm of the meronts. The 3 meront types, M(1)-M(3), respectively, had 8-15 (m(1)), 4-9 (m(2)), and 22-30 (m(3)) merozoites. Macrogametocytes and microgametocytes, as well as macrogametes and microgametes, completed the sexual cycle, finishing with the formation of unsporulated oocysts. This parasite's endogenous development produced severe intestinal lesions in experimentally infected opossums. There are 56 Eimeria species known from all marsupials worldwide, but this is the first complete life cycle in which both the asexual and sexual stages have been documented.

  13. Serological evidence of exposure to tick-borne agents in opossums (Didelphis spp.) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Aguiar, Daniel Moura de; Spolidorio, Mariana Granziera; Yoshinari, Natalino Hajime; Matushima, Eliana Reiko; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Horta, Mauricio Claudio

    2016-06-07

    This work involved a serological investigation of tick-borne pathogens in opossums in eight municipalities of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Serum samples from 109 opossums (91 Didelphis aurita and 18 Didelphis albiventris) were tested to detect antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii (Taiaçu strain, 1:64 cut-off) and Ehrlichia canis (São Paulo strain, 1:40 cut-off), by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA); and against Borrelia burgdorferi (strain G39/40) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The presence of antibodies to anti-R. rickettsii, anti-E. canis and anti-B. burgdorferi was detected in 32 (29.35%), 16 (14.67%) and 30 (27.52%) opossums, respectively. Opossum endpoint titers ranged from 64 to 1,024 for R. rickettsii, from 40 to 160 for E. canis, and from 400 to >51,200 for B. burgdorferi. These serological results suggest that opossums have been exposed to Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia spp., and B. burgdorferi-related agents in the state of São Paulo. Our study underscores the need for further research about these agents in this study area, in view of the occurrence of Spotted Fever and Baggio-Yoshinari Syndrome disease in humans in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

  14. Metal accumulation in wild-caught opossum.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, J Mitchell; Siddiqui, Samreen; Loughry, W J; Bielmyer-Fraser, Gretchen K

    2016-06-01

    The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is widespread in the USA, ranging south through Latin America. The ecology of opossums is such that they are in frequent contact with soils, suggesting that they may function as a valuable bioindicator for chemical contamination in terrestrial environments. Surprisingly, there have been virtually no toxicology studies on opossums. Here, we provide the first analysis of metal contaminants in opossum liver tissues. Liver samples were obtained from 471 opossums, collected from 2003 to 2006, at four sites in North Florida and South Georgia, USA, and concentrations of copper, lead, nickel, selenium, and zinc were measured. We found little evidence of age differences in the concentration of any of the metals. However, there were at least some significant differences between years, males and females, and between sites for each metal, although the pattern of these differences was not always consistent across metals. Concentrations of metals in liver tissue were positively correlated with one another, primarily of each metal (except Pb) with zinc. Reference levels of metal contaminants are not available for opossums, but concentrations of Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in our samples were for the most part significantly higher than those reported from liver tissues of nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) collected at the same sites and in the same years. Data from other small mammals studied elsewhere further indicate that metal concentrations in opossums were high, but at this time, it is not possible to determine if these elevated levels generated toxicity. The substantial temporal and spatial variation we found in metal concentrations suggests that determination of baseline levels for opossums may not be straightforward. Nonetheless, this is the first study quantifying metal accumulation in the livers of Didelphis virginiana and, as such, provides an important starting point for future research.

  15. Leishmania chagasi in Opossums (Didelphis albiventris) in an Urban Area Endemic for Visceral Leishmaniasis, Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Humberg, Roberta M. P.; Oshiro, Elisa T.; Cruz, Maria do Socorro Pires e; Ribolla, Paulo E. M.; Alonso, Diego P.; Ferreira, Alda M. T.; Bonamigo, Raquel A.; Tasso, Norton; de Oliveira, Alessandra Gutierrez

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the occurrence of Leishmania infantum chagasi in Didelphis albiventris opossums at a wild animal rehabilitation center in the city of Campo Grande, Brazil. A total of 54 opossums were tested for L. i. chagasi infection in peripheral blood and bone marrow samples. The samples were analyzed by direct examination, culturing in a specific medium, and polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism. Leishmania i. chagasi DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism in 11 (20.37%) animals. A total of 81.81% of positive opossums were captured in areas of known visceral leishmaniasis transmission. These results suggest a role for D. albiventris in the urban transmission of visceral leishmaniasis. PMID:22802435

  16. Scanning Electron Microscopic Structure of the Lingual Papillae of the Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, Shigenori; Schraufnagel, Dean E.

    2005-08-01

    The mammalian tongue has evolved for specialized functions in different species. The structure of its papillae tells about the animal's diet, habit, and taxonomy. The opossum has four kinds of lingual papillae (filiform, conical, fungiform, vallate). Scanning electron microscopy of the external features, connective tissue cores, and corrosion casts of the microvasculature show the filiform papillae have a spearhead-like main process and spiny accessory processes around the apical part of the main process. The shape and number of both processes depend on their position on the tongue. On the apex, the main processes have shovel-like capillary networks and the accessory processes have small conical networks. On the lingual radix, the processes have small capillary loops. In the patch region, conical papillae have capillaries arranged as a full sail curving posteriorly. The fungiform papillae are scattered among the filiform papillae and have capillary baskets beneath each taste bud. Giant fungiform papillae on the tongue tip are three to four times larger than the ones on the lingual body. Capillaries of giant papillae form a fan-shaped network. The opossum has three vallate papillae arranged in a triangle. Their tops have secondary capillary loops but not their lateral surfaces. Mucosal folds on the posterolateral border have irregular, fingerlike projections with cylindrical capillary networks. These findings and the structure of the rest of the masticatory apparatus suggest the lingual papillae of opossum have kept their ancestral carnivorous features but also developed the herbivore characteristics of other marsupials.

  17. Experimental infection of opossums Didelphis aurita by Rickettsia rickettsii and evaluation of the transmission of the infection to ticks Amblyomma cajennense.

    PubMed

    Horta, Maurício C; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Casagrande, Renata A; Saito, Tais B; Rosa, Simone C; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Matushima, Eliana R; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2009-02-01

    The present study evaluated the infection of opossums (Didelphis aurita) by Rickettsia rickettsii and their role as amplifier hosts for horizontal transmission of R. rickettsii to Amblyomma cajennense ticks. Three groups of opossums were evaluated: on day 0, group 1 (G1) was inoculated intraperitoneally with R. rickettsii; group 2 (G2) was infested by R. rickettsii-infected ticks; and group 3 (G3) was the uninfected control group. Opossum rectal temperature was measured daily. Blood samples were collected every 2 to 4 days during 30 days, and used to (1) inoculate guinea pigs intraperitoneally; (2) extract DNA followed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the rickettsial gene gltA; (3) study hematology; (4) detect R. rickettsii-reactive antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Blood was also collected every 10 days from days 30 to 180, to be tested by serology. Opossums were infested by uninfected A. cajennense larvae and nymphs from days 3 to 15. Engorged ticks were collected and allowed to molt in an incubator. Thereafter, the subsequent flat ticks were allowed to feed on uninfected rabbits, which were tested for seroconversion by IFA. Samples of flat ticks were also tested by real-time PCR. All G1 and G2 opossums became infected by R. rickettsii, as demonstrated by realtime PCR or/and guinea pig inoculation, but they showed no clinical abnormality. Rickettsemia was first detected at days 2 to 8, lasting intermittently till days 1 to 30. Approximately 18% and 5% of the flat ticks previously fed on G1 and G2 opossums, respectively, became infected by R. rickettsii, but only the rabbits infested with G1-derived ticks seroconverted. The study demonstrated that R. rickettsii was capable of infecting opossums without causing illness and developing rickettsemia capable of causing infection in guinea pigs and ticks, although the infection rate in ticks was low.

  18. Inhibition of the hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities of Lansberg's hognose pit viper (Porthidium lansbergii hutmanni) venom by opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum: isolation of Didelphis marsupialis 0.15Dm fraction on DEAE-cellulose chromatography.

    PubMed

    Pineda, María E; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Sánchez, Elda E; Aguilar, Irma; Fernandez, Irma; Vargas, Alba M; Scannone, Héctor; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2008-01-01

    Earlier studies have revealed the ability of sera from several mammals to neutralize the toxic effects of snake venom. The Venezuelan opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) is one that has been found to inhibit hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities of venoms from many species of snakes. In this article it is shown that the opossum sera and its 0.15DM fraction were able to completely neutralize both hemorrhagic and hydrolysis (proteolysis) of casein effects induced by venom of the Lansberg's hognose pit viper (Porthidium lansbergii hutmanni). We have used DEAE-cellulose ion exchange chromatography to collect protein fractions from D. marsupialis sera which were able to defend mice from the lethal effects of P.l. hutmanni venom. The fractions separated were homogeneous by conventional electrophoresis using SDS-PAGE. The protein bands obtained contained molecular weights of approximately 6 to 220 kDa. These results revealed the presence of proteases inhibitors in the opossum sera fractions and the inhibition of venom activity by opossum sera suggesting a reciprocal adaptation at the molecular level.

  19. Experimental infection of the opossum Didelphis aurita by Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia parkeri and evaluation of the transmission of the infection to ticks Amblyomma cajennense and Amblyomma dubitatum.

    PubMed

    Horta, Maurício C; Sabatini, Guilherme S; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Canal, Raoní B; Pacheco, Richard C; Martins, Thiago F; Matushima, Eliana R; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2010-12-01

    This work evaluated the infection of opossums (Didelphis aurita) by Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia parkeri and their role as amplifier hosts for horizontal transmission to Amblyomma cajennense and/or Amblyomma dubitatum ticks. Infection in D. aurita was induced by intraperitoneal inoculation with R. felis (n = 4 opossums), R. bellii (n = 4), and R. parkeri (n = 2). Another group of six opossums were inoculated intraperitoneally with Leibovitz-15 sterile culture medium, representing the uninfected groups (n = 2 opossums simultaneously to each infected group). Opossum blood samples collected during the study were used for DNA extraction, followed by real-time polymerase chain reaction targeting the rickettsial gene gltA, hematology, and detection of Rickettsia spp.-reactive antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Opossums were infested with uninfected A. cajennense and/or A. dubitatum for 30 days postinoculation (DPI). Flat ticks molted from ticks fed on opossums were allowed to feed on uninfected rabbits, which were tested for seroconversion by immunofluorescence assay. Samples of flat ticks were also tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Inoculated opossums showed no clinical abnormalities. Antibodies to Rickettsia spp. were first detected at the second to fourth DPI, with detectable titers until the 150th DPI. Rickettsemia was detected only in one opossum inoculated with R. parkeri, at the eighth DPI. Only one A. cajennense tick (2.0%) previously fed on a R. parkeri-inoculated opossum became infected. None of the rabbits infested with opossum-derived ticks seroconverted. The study demonstrated that R. felis, R. bellii, and R. parkeri were capable to produce antibody response in opossums, however, with undetectable rickettsemia for R. felis and R. bellii, and very low rickettsemia for R. parkeri. Further studies must be done with different strains of these rickettsiae, most importantly the strains that have

  20. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Abstract From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphis virginiana, 15 Didelphis marsupialis, and 5 Philander opossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaima didelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopalias coronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchus microcephalus and the nematodes Cruzia tentaculata, Gnathostoma turgidum, and Turgida turgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  1. Quantification of endocrine cells and ultrastructural study of insulin granules in the large intestine of opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Daiane Cristina Marques; Cupertino, Marli do Carmo; Fialho, Maria do Carmo Queiroz; Barbosa, Alfredo Jose Afonso; Fonseca, Cláudio Cesar; Sartori, Sirlene Souza Rodrigues; da Matta, Sérgio Luis Pinto

    2014-02-01

    This study aimed to investigate the distribution of argyrophil, argentaffin, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of opossums (Didelphis aurita) and to describe the ultrastructure of the secretory granules of insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells. Fragments of the large intestine of 10 male specimens of D. aurita were collected, processed, and subjected to staining, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. The argyrophil, the argentaffin, and the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were sparsely distributed in the intestinal glands of the mucous layer, among other cell types of the epithelium in all regions studied. Proportionally, the argyrophil, the argentaffin, and the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells represented 62.75%, 36.26%, and 0.99% of the total determined endocrine cells of the large intestine, respectively. Quantitatively, there was no difference between the argyrophil and the argentaffin endocrine cells, whereas insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were less numerous. The insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were elongated or pyramidal, with rounded nuclei of irregularly contoured, and large amounts of secretory granules distributed throughout the cytoplasm. The granules have different sizes and electron densities and are classified as immature and mature, with the mature granules in predominant form in the overall granular population. In general, the granule is shown with an external electron-lucent halo and electron-dense core. The ultrastructure pattern in the granules of the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells was similar to that of the B cells of pancreatic islets in rats. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Analysis of the morphology and distribution of argentaffin, argyrophil and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the small intestine of the adult opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    Basile, D R S; Novaes, R D; Marques, D C S; Fialho, M C Q; Neves, C A; Fonseca, C C

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the argyrophil, argentaffin and insulin-immunoreactive cells (IIC) in the small intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita. Seven adult male specimens of opossums were investigated. The animals were captured, and their blood insulin levels were determined. After euthanasia, fragments of the small intestine were processed for light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, and submitted to histochemistry and immunohistochemistry for identification of argyrophil and argentaffin endocrine cells, and IIC. Argyrophil and argentaffin cells were identified in the intestinal villi and Liberkühn crypts, whereas IIC were present exclusively in the crypts. Ultrastructure of the IIC revealed cytoplasmic granules of different sizes and electron densities. The numbers of IIC per mm(2) in the duodenum and jejunum were higher than in the ileum (p<0.05). The animals had low levels of blood insulin (2.8 ± 0.78 μIU/ml). There was no correlation between insulin levels and the number of IIC in the small intestine. The IIC presented secretory granules, elongated and variable morphology. It is believed that insulin secretion by the IIC may influence the proliferation of cells in the Liberkühn crypts, and local glucose homeostasis, primarily in animals with low serum insulin levels, such as the opossum. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Isolation and genetic characterisation of Toxoplasma gondii from a red-handed howler monkey (Alouatta belzebul), a jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi), and a black-eared opossum (Didelphis aurita) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pena, H F J; Marvulo, M F V; Horta, M C; Silva, M A; Silva, J C R; Siqueira, D B; Lima, P-A C P; Vitaliano, S N; Gennari, S M

    2011-02-10

    Toxoplasma gondii isolates are highly diverse in domestic animals from Brazil. However, little is known about the genetics of this parasite from wild mammals in the same region. Reveal genetic similarity or difference of T. gondii among different animal populations is necessary for us to understand transmission of this parasite. Here we reported isolation and genetic characterisation of three T. gondii isolates from wild animals in Brazil. The parasite was isolated by bioassay in mice from tissues of a young male red handed howler monkey (Alouatta belzebul), an adult male jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi), and an adult female black-eared opossum (Didelphis aurita). The monkey and the jaguarundi had inhabited the Zoo of Parque Estadual Dois Irmãos, Pernambuco State, Northeastern Brazil, for 1 year and 8 years, respectively. The wild black-eared opossum was captured in São Paulo State, Southeastern Brazil, and euthanised for this study because it was seropositive for T. gondii (titre 1:100 by the modified agglutination test, MAT). Ten PCR-RFLP (Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) markers, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico, were used to genotype the isolates. T. gondii was isolated from the brain and heart homogenate of the monkey, the muscle homogenate of the jaguarundi, and the heart homogenate of the black-eared opossum. This was the first isolation of T. gondii from a neotropical felid from Brazil. The isolate from the monkey (TgRhHmBr1) was not virulent in mice, whereas the isolates from the jaguarundi (TgJagBr1) and the black-eared opossum (TgOpBr1) were virulent in mice. The genotype of the isolate from the monkey has been identified in isolates from a goat and ten chickens in the same region of Brazil, suggesting that it may be a common lineage circulating in this region. The genotypes of the isolates from the jaguarundi and the black-eared opossum have not been previously reported. Although there

  4. Ectoparasites of opossums and raccoons in southeastern Georgia.

    PubMed

    Pung, O J; Durden, L A; Banks, C W; Jones, D N

    1994-11-01

    Twelve species of ectoparasites (four fleas, three ticks, three chiggers, one macronyssid mite, and one atopomelid mite) were recovered from 42 opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, live-trapped from September 1992 through April 1994 in southeastern Georgia. The fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (prevalence = 19%) and Polygenis gwyni (C. Fox) (36%); the ticks, Dermacentor variabilis (Say) (40%) and Ixodes scapularis Say (19%); and the macronyssid mite, Ornithonyssus wernecki (Fonseca) (21%), exhibited the highest infestation prevalences on opossums. The atopomelid mite, Didelphilichus serrifer Fain, and the chigger mite Leptotrombidium peromysci Vercammen-Grandjean & Langston, both ectoparasites of opossums, are reported from Georgia for the first time. Six species of ectoparasites (one chewing louse, four ticks, and one macronyssid mite) were collected from 58 raccoons, Procyon lotor (L.), examined between October 1992 and September 1993 in the same region. The chewing louse, Trichodectes octomaculatus Paine (prevalence = 24%); and the ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.) (69%), D. variabilis (55%), and Ixodes texanus Banks (24%), exhibited the highest infestation prevalences on raccoons. Three species of ticks, A. americanum, D. variabilis, and I. scapularis, were the only ectoparasites recovered from both host species. Several of the ectoparasites collected are proven vectors of pathogenic agents that affect humans and animals.

  5. Parasitic arthropods of sympatric opossums, cotton rats, and cotton mice from Merritt Island, Florida.

    PubMed

    Durden, L A; Klompen, J S; Keirans, J E

    1993-04-01

    Six species of parasitic arthropods were collected from 12 opossums (Didelphis virginiana), 8 species were obtained from 28 cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), and 4 species were collected from 10 cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus) from Merritt Island, Brevard County, Florida. The flea Polygenis gwyni was the only parasite that infested all 3 host species, and it was present in very high densities (mean intensity = 73.7) on the opossums. The American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, and the tropical rat mite, Ornithonyssus bacoti, both infested 2 host species but were principally associated with opossums and cotton rats, respectively. All remaining arthropod species were confined to single host species, suggesting host specificity by these parasites. The atopomelid mite Didelphilichus serrifer and the myobiid mite Radfordia sigmodontis constitute new state records for Florida. The reptile tick Amblyomma dissimile is recorded from a cotton mouse for the first time; Merritt Island may represent the most northerly location for viable populations of this tick in the U.S.A.

  6. Which Factors Determine Spatial Segregation in the South American Opossums (Didelphis aurita and D. albiventris)? An Ecological Niche Modelling and Geometric Morphometrics Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, Nilton Carlos; de Moraes Weber, Marcelo; Melo, Geruza Leal; Meloro, Carlo; Sponchiado, Jonas; Carvalho, Renan dos Santos; Bubadué, Jamile de Moura

    2016-01-01

    Didelphis albiventris and D. aurita are Neotropical marsupials that share a unique evolutionary history and both are largely distributed throughout South America, being primarily allopatric throughout their ranges. In the Araucaria moist forest of Southern Brazil these species are sympatric and they might potentially compete having similar ecology. For this reason, they are ideal biological models to address questions about ecological character displacement and how closely related species might share their geographic space. Little is known about how two morphologically similar species of marsupials may affect each other through competition, if by competitive exclusion and competitive release. We combined ecological niche modeling and geometric morphometrics to explore the possible effects of competition on their distributional ranges and skull morphology. Ecological niche modeling was used to predict their potential distribution and this method enabled us to identify a case of biotic exclusion where the habit generalist D. albiventris is excluded by the presence of the specialist D. aurita. The morphometric analyses show that a degree of shape discrimination occurs between the species, strengthened by allometric differences, which possibly allowed them to occupy marginally different feeding niches supplemented by behavioral shift in contact areas. Overlap in skull morphology is shown between sympatric and allopatric specimens and a significant, but weak, shift in shape occurs only in D. aurita in sympatric areas. This could be a residual evidence of a higher past competition between both species, when contact zones were possibly larger than today. Therefore, the specialist D. aurita acts a biotic barrier to D. albiventris when niche diversity is not available for coexistence. On the other hand, when there is niche diversification (e.g. habitat mosaic), both species are capable to coexist with a minimal competitive effect on the morphology of D. aurita. PMID

  7. Which Factors Determine Spatial Segregation in the South American Opossums (Didelphis aurita and D. albiventris)? An Ecological Niche Modelling and Geometric Morphometrics Approach.

    PubMed

    Cáceres, Nilton Carlos; de Moraes Weber, Marcelo; Melo, Geruza Leal; Meloro, Carlo; Sponchiado, Jonas; Carvalho, Renan Dos Santos; Bubadué, Jamile de Moura

    2016-01-01

    Didelphis albiventris and D. aurita are Neotropical marsupials that share a unique evolutionary history and both are largely distributed throughout South America, being primarily allopatric throughout their ranges. In the Araucaria moist forest of Southern Brazil these species are sympatric and they might potentially compete having similar ecology. For this reason, they are ideal biological models to address questions about ecological character displacement and how closely related species might share their geographic space. Little is known about how two morphologically similar species of marsupials may affect each other through competition, if by competitive exclusion and competitive release. We combined ecological niche modeling and geometric morphometrics to explore the possible effects of competition on their distributional ranges and skull morphology. Ecological niche modeling was used to predict their potential distribution and this method enabled us to identify a case of biotic exclusion where the habit generalist D. albiventris is excluded by the presence of the specialist D. aurita. The morphometric analyses show that a degree of shape discrimination occurs between the species, strengthened by allometric differences, which possibly allowed them to occupy marginally different feeding niches supplemented by behavioral shift in contact areas. Overlap in skull morphology is shown between sympatric and allopatric specimens and a significant, but weak, shift in shape occurs only in D. aurita in sympatric areas. This could be a residual evidence of a higher past competition between both species, when contact zones were possibly larger than today. Therefore, the specialist D. aurita acts a biotic barrier to D. albiventris when niche diversity is not available for coexistence. On the other hand, when there is niche diversification (e.g. habitat mosaic), both species are capable to coexist with a minimal competitive effect on the morphology of D. aurita.

  8. Seed dispersal of Diospyros virginiana in the past and the present: Evidence for a generalist evolutionary strategy.

    PubMed

    Rebein, Mimi; Davis, Charli N; Abad, Helena; Stone, Taylor; Del Sol, Jillian; Skinner, Natalie; Moran, Matthew D

    2017-06-01

    Several North American trees are hypothesized to have lost their co-evolved seed disperser during the late-Pleistocene extinction and are therefore considered anachronistic. We tested this hypothesis for the American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) by studying the effects of gut passage of proposed seed dispersers on seedling survival and growth, natural fruiting characteristics, and modern animal consumption patterns. We tested gut passage effects on persimmon seeds using three native living species, the raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), and coyote (Canis latrans), and two Pleistocene analogs; the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos). Persimmon seeds excreted by raccoons, coyotes, and elephants survived gut transit. Gut passage did not affect sprouting success, but did tend to decrease time to sprout and increase seedling quality. Under field conditions, persimmon fruits were palatable on the parent tree and on the ground for an equal duration, but most fruits were consumed on the ground. Seven vertebrate species fed upon persimmon fruits, with the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)-a species not capable of dispersing persimmon seeds-comprising over 90% of detections. Conversely, potential living seed dispersers were rarely detected. Our results suggest the American persimmon evolved to attract a variety of seed dispersers and thus is not anachronistic. However, human-induced changes in mammal communities could be affecting successful seed dispersal. We argue that changes in the relative abundance of mammals during the Anthropocene may be modifying seed dispersal patterns, leading to potential changes in forest community composition.

  9. Experimental infection of Didelphis marsupialis with Vesicular Stomatitis New Jersey Virus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Although vesicular stomatitis has been present for many years in the Americas, many aspects of its natural history remain undefined. In this study we challenged five adult Virginia opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey serotype virus (VSNJV). Opossums had no detecta...

  10. X-linked gene expression in the Virginia opossum: differences between the paternally derived Gpd and Pgk-A loci

    SciTech Connect

    Samollow, P.B.; Ford, A.L.; VandeBerg, J.L.

    1987-01-01

    Expression of X-linked glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and phosphoglycerate kinase-A (PGK-A) in the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) was studied electrophoretically in animals from natural populations and those produced through controlled laboratory crosses. Blood from most of the wild animals exhibited a common single-banded phenotype for both enzymes. Rare variant animals, regardless of sex, exhibited single-banded phenotypes different in mobility from the common mobility class of the respective enzyme. The laboratory crosses confirmed the allelic basis for the common and rare phenotypes. Transmission of PGK-A phenotypes followed the pattern of determinate (nonrandom) inactivation of the paternally derived Pgk-A allele, and transmission of G6PD also was consistent with this pattern. A survey of tissue-specific expression of G6PD phenotypes of heterozygous females revealed, in almost all tissues, three-banded patterns skewed in favor of the allele that was expressed in blood cells. Three-banded patterns were never observed in males or in putatively homozygous females. These patterns suggest simultaneous, but unequal, expression of the maternally and paternally derived Gpd alleles within individual cells. The absence of such partial expression was noted in a parallel survey of females heterozygous at the Pgd-A locus. Thus, it appears that Gpd and Pgk-A are X-linked in D. virginiana and subject to preferential paternal allele inactivation, but that dosage compensation may not be complete for all paternally derived X-linked genes.

  11. Thalamic nuclei in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Olkowicz, Seweryn; Turlejski, Kris; Bartkowska, Katarzyna; Wielkopolska, Ewa; Djavadian, Rouzanna L

    2008-10-01

    We investigated nuclear divisions of the thalamus in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) to gain detailed information for further developmental and comparative studies. Nissl and myelin staining, histochemistry for acetylcholinesterase and immunohistochemistry for calretinin and parvalbumin were performed on parallel series of sections. Many features of the Monodelphis opossum thalamus resemble those in Didelphis and small eutherians showing no particular sensory specializations, particularly in small murid rodents. However, several features of thalamic organization in Monodelphis were distinct from those in rodents. In the opossum the anterior and midline nuclear groups are more clearly separated from adjacent structures than in eutherians. The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) starts more rostrally and occupies a large part of the lateral wall of the thalamus. As in other marsupials, two cytoarchitectonically different parts, alpha and beta are discernible in the LGNd of the opossum. Each of them may be subdivided into two additional bands in acetylcholinesterase staining, while in murid rodents the LGNd consists of a homogeneous mass of cells. Therefore, differentiation of the LGNd of the Monodelphis opossum is more advanced than in murid rodents. The medial geniculate body consists of three nuclei (medial, dorsal and ventral) that are cytoarchitectonically distinct and stain differentially for parvalbumin. The relatively large size of the MG and LGNd points to specialization of the visual and auditory systems in the Monodelphis opossum. In contrast to rodents, the lateral dorsal and lateral posterior nuclei in the opossum are poorly differentiated cytoarchitectonically.

  12. Lumbosacral plexus in Brazilian Common Opossum.

    PubMed

    Senos, R; Ribeiro, M S; Benedicto, H G; Kfoury Júnior, J R

    2016-01-01

    The opossum has been suggested as an animal model for biomedical studies due to its adaptability to captivity and number of births per year. Despite many studies on morphology and experimental neurology using this opossum model, the literature does not offer details of the nerves of the lumbosacral plexus in this species. Ten lumbosacral plexus were dissected to describe the peripheral innervations of the Brazilian Common Opossum (Didelphis aurita) and compare the results with Eutheria clade species. The tensor fasciae latae muscle was absent and there was only one sartorius muscle for each limb. The distribution of the nerves were similar to other mammals, except for the caudal gluteal nerve, sartorius muscle innervations and the position of the pudendal nerve which arose from the major ischiatic foramen together with the ischiatic nerve, the cranial gluteal nerve and the caudal gluteal nerve. No anatomical variation was found. The special position of the pudendal nerve suggested that the Brazilian Common Opossum is a better model than rats or rabbits in surgical procedures with that specific nerve. In addition, the study revealed that the pelvic limb nerves are not an invariable structure of reference for muscle homology and homonym as reported previously. New investigation using other species of opossums are necessary to best comprehend the lumbosacral plexus distribution in the Methatheria clade and to confirm that other opossum species is eligible as a good model for pudendal nerve studies.

  13. Toxocara cati (Nematoda: Ascarididae) in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) from Brazil: a case of pseudoparasitism.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Hudson Alves; Mati, Vitor Luís Tenório; Melo, Alan Lane de

    2014-01-01

    Eggs of Toxocara cati were found in the feces of Didelphis albiventris from a peridomestic urban environment in Brazil. Negative fecal tests following short-term captivity of the opossums, as well as the absence of ascaridids during necropsy, suggest the occurrence of pseudoparasitism. Implications of the findings for the epidemiology of toxocariasis are discussed.

  14. Natural infection of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Marsupialia) with Leishmania infantum in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The opossum Didelphis have been considered as natural hosts of Leishmania parasites in the New World, suggesting an important role in the epidemiology of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL). Among six extant species that belong to the genus Didelphis, only two (D. marsupialis and D. albiventris), have been mentioned as natural hosts of Leishmania infantum in Brazil and Colombia. In the present paper, it is reported for the first time, the observation of intracellular parasites (amastigotes) in tissues of Didelphis aurita naturally infected with Leishmania infantum in Brazil. We also discuss some aspects associated to the relationship between L. infantum and the geographical distribution of some species of the genus Didelphis. Methods The opossums studied were caught by wire traps (Tomahawk) in Barra de Guaratiba, a peri-urban area in Rio de Janeiro. The opossums were killed with an overdose of Thiopental sodium.At necropsy, macroscopic alterations were examined and samples from liver, spleen, lymph nodes, ear, abdominal skin, scent glands and bone marrow were collected for parasitological and molecular diagnoses. Results Forty-eight opossums were captured in an AVL endemic region, 30 being caught in a mangrove area and eighteen animals in a forest area near to some residential-yards. Among the thirty opossums trapped in the mangrove area, all of them were negative by both imprint and sera samples assayed on Dipstick Tests, that is a test based on a combination of protein-A colloidal gold conjugate and rk39 Leishmania antigen to detect anti-Leishmania antibody in serum or plasma. At the macroscopic examination one out of eighteen opossums, caught close to the forest, presented alterations compatible with spleen hypertrophy and three were positive by Dipstick Tests (16.6%) and presented amastigotes in the spleen and in one of them, the parasites were also observed in a submandibular lymph node. Leishmania infantum infections were confirmed through dot blot

  15. Natural infection of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Marsupialia) with Leishmania infantum in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Carreira, João Carlos Araujo; da Silva, Alba Valéria Machado; de Pita Pereira, Daniela; Brazil, Reginaldo Peçanha

    2012-06-07

    The opossum Didelphis have been considered as natural hosts of Leishmania parasites in the New World, suggesting an important role in the epidemiology of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL). Among six extant species that belong to the genus Didelphis, only two (D. marsupialis and D. albiventris), have been mentioned as natural hosts of Leishmania infantum in Brazil and Colombia. In the present paper, it is reported for the first time, the observation of intracellular parasites (amastigotes) in tissues of Didelphis aurita naturally infected with Leishmania infantum in Brazil. We also discuss some aspects associated to the relationship between L. infantum and the geographical distribution of some species of the genus Didelphis. The opossums studied were caught by wire traps (Tomahawk) in Barra de Guaratiba, a peri-urban area in Rio de Janeiro. The opossums were killed with an overdose of Thiopental sodium.At necropsy, macroscopic alterations were examined and samples from liver, spleen, lymph nodes, ear, abdominal skin, scent glands and bone marrow were collected for parasitological and molecular diagnoses. Forty-eight opossums were captured in an AVL endemic region, 30 being caught in a mangrove area and eighteen animals in a forest area near to some residential-yards. Among the thirty opossums trapped in the mangrove area, all of them were negative by both imprint and sera samples assayed on Dipstick Tests, that is a test based on a combination of protein-A colloidal gold conjugate and rk39 Leishmania antigen to detect anti-Leishmania antibody in serum or plasma. At the macroscopic examination one out of eighteen opossums, caught close to the forest, presented alterations compatible with spleen hypertrophy and three were positive by Dipstick Tests (16.6%) and presented amastigotes in the spleen and in one of them, the parasites were also observed in a submandibular lymph node. Leishmania infantum infections were confirmed through dot blot hybridization using a L. infantum

  16. Molecular characterization and development of Sarcocystis speeri sarcocysts in gamma interferon gene knockout mice

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the definitive host for at least three named species of Sarcocystis: S. falcatula, S. neurona, and S. speeri. It appears that there may be additional undescribed species of Sarcocystis in D. virginiana feces. The South American opossums (D. albive...

  17. Diospyros virginiana L. Common Persimmon

    Treesearch

    Lowell K. Halls

    1981-01-01

    Common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), also called simmon, possumwood, and Florida persimmon, is a slow-growing tree of moderate size found on a wide variety of soils and sites. Best growth is in the bottom lands of the Mississippi River Valley. The wood is close grained and sometimes used for special products requiring hardness and strength....

  18. Didelphis albiventris naturally infected with Hepatozoon canis in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Maria Regina Lucas; Fornazari, Felipe; Demoner, Larissa de Castro; Teixeira, Carlos Roberto; Langoni, Helio; O'Dwyer, Lucia Helena

    2017-10-01

    Hepatozoon species are vector-borne pathogens that infect domestic and wild animals. Marsupials of the species Didelphis albiventris are adapted to urban and peri-urban areas and act as reservoir hosts for several parasites. The present study evaluated the occurrence of infection by Hepatozoon species in synantropic D. albiventris from Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Blood samples and ectoparasites from 19 D. albiventris were collected from urban and peri-urban areas. Hepatozoon spp. detection was performed by microscopy and molecular analysis. One opossum was positive for Hepatozoon spp. in microscopy analysis and PCR, while another animal was positive only in PCR. The obtained sequences were 100% identical to Hepatozoon canis. Six species of ticks and two species of fleas were detected on D. albiventris. This is the first report of H. canis in synantropic D. albiventris. In Brazil, H. canis transmission among dog populations is not well established, which highlights the importance of investigating the role that opossums might play in the epidemiology of this protozoan. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. First evidence of gregarious denning in opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with notes on their social behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Astúa, Diego; Carvalho, Rafael A.; Maia, Paula F.; Magalhães, Arthur R.; Loretto, Diogo

    2015-01-01

    The Didelphidae are considered solitary opossums with few social interactions, usually limited to mating-related or mother–pouch young interactions. Anecdotal reports suggest that additional interactions occur, including den sharing by a few individuals, usually siblings. Here, we report novel observations that indicate opossums are more social than previously thought. These include nest sharing by males and females of Marmosa paraguayana, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus prior to the onset of the breeding season and without signs of sexual activity; this is taken to indicate early pair-bonding matching and cooperative nest building. We also recorded den sharing among recently weaned siblings of Didelphis aurita and Caluromys philander. In addition, we observed 13 individuals of Didelphis albiventris representing three age classes resting without agonistic interactions in a communal den. These are the first reports of gregarious behaviour involving so many individuals, which are either unrelated or represent siblings from at least two litters, already weaned, sharing the same den with three adults. Sociality in opossums is probably more complex than previously established, and field experimental designs combining the use of artificial nests with camera traps or telemetry may help to gauge the frequency and extent of these phenomena. PMID:26085500

  20. First evidence of gregarious denning in opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with notes on their social behaviour.

    PubMed

    Astúa, Diego; Carvalho, Rafael A; Maia, Paula F; Magalhães, Arthur R; Loretto, Diogo

    2015-06-01

    The Didelphidae are considered solitary opossums with few social interactions, usually limited to mating-related or mother-pouch young interactions. Anecdotal reports suggest that additional interactions occur, including den sharing by a few individuals, usually siblings. Here, we report novel observations that indicate opossums are more social than previously thought. These include nest sharing by males and females of Marmosa paraguayana, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus prior to the onset of the breeding season and without signs of sexual activity; this is taken to indicate early pair-bonding matching and cooperative nest building. We also recorded den sharing among recently weaned siblings of Didelphis aurita and Caluromys philander. In addition, we observed 13 individuals of Didelphis albiventris representing three age classes resting without agonistic interactions in a communal den. These are the first reports of gregarious behaviour involving so many individuals, which are either unrelated or represent siblings from at least two litters, already weaned, sharing the same den with three adults. Sociality in opossums is probably more complex than previously established, and field experimental designs combining the use of artificial nests with camera traps or telemetry may help to gauge the frequency and extent of these phenomena. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. Successful laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage in uterus didelphys.

    PubMed

    Ades, Alex; Hong, Phoebe

    2015-11-17

    The incidence of uterus didelphys is around 3/10,000 women. It is a class III Müllerian duct anomaly resulting from a complete non-fusion of the paired Müllerian ducts between the 12th and 16th weeks of gestation. Although the prevalence of cervical insufficiency in women with uterus didelphys is unknown, the incidence of cervical insufficiency in women with Müllerian anomalies has been reported as high as 30%. We present a case of successful pregnancy outcome following a laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage in a woman with uterus didelphys and cervical insufficiency. The case demonstrates that laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage can be performed successfully in women with uterus didelphys and a satisfactory obstetric outcome can be achieved.

  2. Bacterial Clearance and Endocarditis in American Opossums

    PubMed Central

    Musher, Daniel M.; Richie, Yvonne

    1974-01-01

    The American opossum is the only experimental animal that regularly develops bacterial endocarditis spontaneously. There was no relation between the ability of opossums to clear bacteria from the bloodstream and the subsequent development of endocarditis. PMID:4208530

  3. FGF2, FGF3 and FGF4 expression pattern during molars odontogenesis in Didelphis albiventris.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Íria Gabriela Dias; Jorge, Erika Cristina; Copola, Aline Gonçalves Lio; Bertassoli, Bruno Machado; Goes, Alfredo Miranda de; Silva, Gerluza Aparecida Borges

    2017-03-01

    Odontogenesis is guided by a complex signaling cascade in which several molecules, including FGF2-4, ensure all dental groups development and specificity. Most of the data on odontogenesis derives from rodents, which does not have all dental groups. Didelphis albiventris is an opossum with the closest dentition to humans, and the main odontogenesis stages occur when the newborns are in the pouch. In this study, D. albiventris postnatals were used to characterize the main stages of their molars development; and also to establish FGF2, FGF3 and FGF4 expression pattern. D. albiventris postnatals were processed for histological and indirect immunoperoxidase analysis of the tooth germs. Our results revealed similar dental structures between D. albiventris and mice. However, FGF2, FGF3 and FGF4 expression patterns were observed in a larger number of dental structures, suggesting broader functions for these molecules in this opossum species. The knowledge of the signaling that determinates odontogenesis in an animal model with complete dentition may contribute to the development of therapies for the replacement of lost teeth in humans. This study may also contribute to the implementation of D. albiventris as model for Developmental Biology studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Experimental infection of Didelphis marsupialis with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey virus.

    PubMed

    Trujillo, Carlos M; Rodriguez, Luis; Rodas, Juan D; Arboleda, John Jairo

    2010-01-01

    Although vesicular stomatitis has been present for many years in the Americas, many aspects of its natural history remain undefined. In this study, we challenged five adult Virginia opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey serotype virus (VSNJV). Opossums had no detectable antibodies against VSNJV prior to being inoculated with 10(6.5) median tissue culture infective doses (TCID(50)) of VSNJV by two routes; intraepithelial/subepithelial (IE/SE) inoculation and scarification in the muzzle (SM). Clinical response was monitored daily and animals were tested for viral shedding. All infected animals developed vesicles and ulcers on the tongue and inflammation of the nasal alar folds. Virus was isolated from esophagus-pharynx, nasal, and from ocular swabs and lesions samples. The failure to detect viremia in these animals indicates that a source other than blood may be required for transmission to insect vectors. Our results suggest that D. marsupialis could play a role in the maintenance of VSNJV outside of domestic animal populations and could provide a model to study vesicular stomatitis virus pathogenesis.

  5. Plant Tissue Cultures of Juniperus virginiana.

    PubMed

    Kašparová, Marie; Spilková, Jirina; Cvak, Ladislav; Siatka, Tomáš; Martin, Jan

    2016-05-01

    Callus cultures of Juniperus virginiana L. (varieties 'Hetzii', 'Glauca', 'Grey Owl') were derived from fresh leaves of garden-grown trees on Schenk and Hildebrandt medium supplemented with 3.0 mg/L of α-naphthaleneacetic acid, 0.2 mg/L of kinetin and 15 mg/L of ascorbic acid. The growth characteristics of one-year-old and two-years-old cultures were determined. The maximum biomass in all varieties was achieved on the 35th day of the cultivation period. The increase in fresh weights of two-years-old callus cultures, when compared with one-year-old callus cultures, was as follows: variety 'Hetzii' by 25%, variety 'Glauca' by 29% and variety 'Grey Owl' by 49%. J. virginiana suspension cultures (varieties 'Hetzii', 'Glauca', 'Grey Owl') were derived from two-years-old callus cultures on Schenk and Hildebrandt medium supplemented with 3.0 mg/L of α-naphthaleneacetic acid, 0.2 mg/L of kinetin and 15 mg/L of ascorbic acid. The maximum biomass of all varieties was found on the 21st day of the cultivation period. These results indicate that a sub-cultivation interval of 35 days for callus cultures and of 21st days for suspension cultures can be recommended. The callus and suspension cultures of J. virginiana of the variety 'Glauca' have the best survivability and thus provide the most biomass.

  6. Sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) associated with opossum nests at urban sites in southeastern Brazil: a risk factor for urban and periurban zoonotic Leishmania transmission?

    PubMed

    Cutolo, Andre Antonio; Teodoro, Anna Karollina Menezes; Ovallos, Fredy Galvis; Allegretti, Silmara Marques; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2014-06-01

    Sandflies associated with opossum nests are reported for the first time in the yards of residences located in the urban area of the municipality of Monte Mor, situated in the metropolitan region of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Eleven specimens of Evandromyia cortelezzii and one of Evandromyia lenti were captured in two Didelphis albiventris nests. Ev. cortelezzii is considered a secondary vector species for the transmission of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum in the Neotropics. This association may contribute to the introduction, establishment and maintenance of urban and periurban zoonotic transmission outbreaks of Leishmania and should therefore be investigated further.

  7. Serological response of cats to experimental Besnoitia darlingi and Besnoitia neotomofelis infections and prevalence of antibodies to these parasites in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Besnoitia darlingi and B. neotomofelis are tissue cyst-forming apicomplexan parasite that use domestic cats (Felis domesticus) as definitive hosts and opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and southern planes woodrats (Neotoma micropus) as intermediate hosts, respectively. Nothing is known about the preva...

  8. Bobcat (Lynx rufus) as a new natural intermediate host for Sarcocystis neurona

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive hos...

  9. Landscape And Edge Effects On The Distribution Of Mammalian Predators In Missouri

    Treesearch

    William D. Dijak; Frank R. Thompson III

    2000-01-01

    Raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) are predators of forest songbird eggs and nestlings. We examined the relative abundance of these predators at landscape and local scales to better understand predation risks. At the landscape scale, we examined the...

  10. The opossum MHC genomic region revisited.

    PubMed

    Krasnec, Katina V; Sharp, Alana R; Williams, Tracey L; Miller, Robert D

    2015-04-01

    The gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica is one of the few marsupial species for which a high quality whole genome sequence is available and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region has been annotated. Previous analyses revealed only a single locus within the opossum MHC region, designated Modo-UA1, with the features expected for encoding a functionally classical class I α-chain. Nine other class I genes found within the MHC are highly divergent and have features usually associated with non-classical roles. The original annotation, however, was based on an early version of the opossum genome assembly. More recent analyses of allelic variation in individual opossums revealed too many Modo-UA1 sequences per individual to be accounted for by a single MHC class I locus found in the genome assembly. A reanalysis of a later generation assembly, MonDom5, revealed the presence of two additional loci, now designated Modo-UA3 and UA4, in a region that was expanded and more complete than in the earlier assembly. Modo-UA1, UA3, and UA4 are all transcribed, although Modo-UA4 transcripts are rarer. Modo-UA4 is also relatively non-polymorphic. Evidence presented support the accuracy of the later assembly and the existence of three related class I genes in the opossum, making opossums more typical of mammals and most tetrapods by having multiple apparent classical MHC class I loci.

  11. Reconstruction of the Strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, Using Native Genotypes of F. virginiana and F. chiloensis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The germplasm base of strawberries is restricted. The major cultivated strawberry species, Fragaria ananassa, originated about 250 years ago when South American F. chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma chiloensis and North American F. virginiana subsp. virginiana accidentally hybridized in European ga...

  12. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  13. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  14. Origins of Chagas disease: Didelphis species are natural hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi I and armadillos hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi II, including hybrids.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Matthew; Acosta, Nidia; Llewellyn, Martin; Sánchez, Humberto; Adamson, Susie; Miles, Graham A J; López, Elsa; González, Nilsa; Patterson, James S; Gaunt, Michael W; de Arias, Antonieta Rojas; Miles, Michael A

    2005-02-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, has at least two principal intraspecific subdivisions, T. cruzi I (TCI) and T. cruzi II (TCII), the latter containing up to five subgroups (a-e). Whilst it is known that TCI predominates from the Amazon basin northwards and TCII to the South, where the disease is considered to be clinically more severe, the precise clinical and evolutionary significance of these divisions remains enigmatic. Here, we present compelling evidence of an association between TCI and opossums (Didelphis), and TCII and armadillos, on the basis of key new findings from the Paraguayan Chaco region, together with a comprehensive analysis of historical data. We suggest that the distinct arboreal and terrestrial ecologies, respectively, of these mammal hosts provide a persuasive explanation for the extant T. cruzi intraspecific diversity in South America, and for separate origins of Chagas disease in northern South America and in the southern cone countries.

  15. Diversity of Sarcocystis spp shed by opossums in Brazil inferred with phylogenetic analysis of DNA coding ITS1, cytochrome B, and surface antigens.

    PubMed

    Valadas, Samantha Y O B; da Silva, Juliana I G; Lopes, Estela Gallucci; Keid, Lara B; Zwarg, Ticiana; de Oliveira, Alice S; Sanches, Thaís C; Joppert, Adriana M; Pena, Hilda F J; Oliveira, Tricia M F S; Ferreira, Helena L; Soares, Rodrigo M

    2016-05-01

    Although few species of Sarcocystis are known to use marsupials of the genus Didelphis as definitive host, an extensive diversity of alleles of surface antigen genes (sag2, sag3, and sag4) has been described in samples of didelphid opossums in Brazil. In this work, we studied 25 samples of Sarcocystis derived from gastrointestinal tract of opossums of the genus Didelphis by accessing the variability of sag2, sag3, sag4, gene encoding cytochrome b (cytB) and first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1). Reference samples of Sarcocystis neurona (SN138) and Sarcocystis falcatula (SF1) maintained in cell culture were also analyzed. We found four allele variants of cytB, seven allele variants of ITS1, 10 allele variants of sag2, 13 allele variants of sag3, and 6 allele variants of sag4. None of the sporocyst-derived sequences obtained from Brazilian opossums revealed 100% identity to SN138 at cytB gene, nor to SN138 or SF1 at ITS1 locus. In addition, none of the sag alleles were found identical to either SF1 or SN138 homologous sequences, and a high number of new sag allele types were found other than those previously described in Brazil. Out of ten sag2 alleles, four are novel, while eight out of 13 sag3 alleles are novel and one out of six sag4 alleles is novel. Further studies are needed to clarify if such a vast repertoire of allele variants of Sarcocystis is the consequence of re-assortments driven by sexual exchange, in order to form individuals with highly diverse characteristics, such as pathogenicity, host spectrum, among others or if it only represents allele variants of different species with different biological traits.

  16. In vitro culture and rooting of Diospyros virginiana L.

    Treesearch

    Kaitlin J. Palla; Rochelle R. Beasley; Paula M. Pijut

    2013-01-01

    The hard, strong, very close-grained wood of common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana L.; Ebenaceae) is desirable for specialty products such as golf club heads, percussion sticks, billiard cues, and for wood turnery. The edible fruit of cultivated varieties is sold as pulp for use in puddings, cookies, cakes, and custards. Persimmon is usually...

  17. Estimating eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) biomass using satellite imagery

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L), is an aggressively spreading native species in Oklahoma grasslands, which decreases rangeland productivity and land value, increases fire hazard, and has been implicated in reducing stream flow and ground water recharge. Companies are considering large inv...

  18. Endocrine cells and nerve ganglia of the small intestine of the Opossum Didelphis aurita Wied-Neuwied, 1826 (Mammalia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Freitas-Ribeiro, Gláucia M; Fonseca, Cláudio C; Sartori, Sirlene S R; Loures-Ribeiro, Alan; Neves, Clóvis A

    2012-09-01

    The nervous and endocrine systems jointly control intestinal movements, secretions of their glands and also participate of the processes of nutrient digestion and absorption. Therefore, the central objective of this study was to verify the existence of a possible relationship between the number of nervous cells and ganglia of the submucosal and myenteric plexuses and the number of endocrine cells in the small intestine of adult D. aurita. The utilized staining techniques were Grimelius, modified Masson-Fontana, direct immunoperoxidase and H-E. Argyrophillic, argentaffin and insulin immunoreactive endocrine cells do not numerically vary between the initial, mid and final regions of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P>0.05), except for argyrophillic cells in the jejunum (P>0.05). No numerical relationship has yet been verified between the number of nerve ganglia and endocrine cells, and also between nervous and endocrine cells. We recommended the use of new immunohistochemical techniques to confirm the numerical correlation between the nervous and endocrine systems in the small intestine. The morphology and distribution of endocrine cells and the nerve ganglia studied were similar to those encountered in eutherian mammals.

  19. The relationships of marsupial-dwelling Viannaiidae and description of Travassostrongylus scheibelorum sp. n. (Trichostrongylina: Heligmosomoidea) from mouse opossums (Didelphidae) from French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Scheibel, R Philip; Catzeflis, François; Jiméñez, F Agustín

    2014-06-01

    The trichostrongylid nematode Travassostrongylus scheibelorum sp. n. from the Linnaeus' mouse opossum, Marmosa murina (Linnaeus) (type host), and the woolly mouse opossum, Marmosa demerarae (Thomas), from French Guiana is described. The nematodes have a synlophe with ridges frontally oriented from right to left, six dorsal and six ventral, at midbody; seven dorsal and seven ventral posterior to the vulva, and two cuticular thickenings within the lateral spaces; a long dorsal ray and a pointed cuticular flap covering the vulva. This is the 12th species of Travassostrongylus Orloff, 1933, which includes species featuring ridges around the synlophe and a didelphic condition. These traits contrast with those in other genera in the Viannaiidae Neveu-Lemaire, 1934, which feature ventral ridges on the synlophe of adults and a monodelphic condition. Members of the family are chiefly Neotropical and are diagnosed based on the presence of a bursa of the type 2-2-1, 2-1-2 or irregular, and cuticle without ridges on the dorsal side (at least during one stage of their development). Herein, we present a reconstruction of the ancestral states of the didelphic/monodelphic condition and the cuticular ridges that form the synlophe in opossum-dwelling trichostrongyles, namely Travassostrongylus and Viannaia Travassos, 1914. Our investigations suggest they are not reciprocal sister taxa and that the change from didelphy to monodelphy and the loss of dorsal ridges, occurred in the common ancestor of species of Viannaia. These results suggest a synlophe with three ventral ridges is not plesiomorphic in the opossum dwelling trichostrongylids.

  20. Isolation and characterization of a bactericidal withanolide from Physalis virginiana

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Kathleen A.; Reese, R. Neil; Halaweish, Fathi T.; Ren, Yulin

    2012-01-01

    Background: Physalis virginiana (Virginia Groundcherry) is a member of the family Solenaceae. Several species of the Physalis genus have been used traditionally by American Indians as medicinal treatments. Materials and Methods: This study investigated the antibacterial activity of chemicals extracted from P. virginiana through antibacterial disc and cytotoxicity assays. Isolation and purification of an antimicrobial compound was achieved through flash chromatography and preparative HPLC. Finally, identification of chemical structure was determined from 1H and 13C NMR and MS. Results: Disc assays showed that crude ethanol extracts were effective antibacterial agents against one gram-negative and seven gram-positive bacterial strains. Cytotoxicity assays indicated that it is less toxic than gentamicin controls. Isolation of the active component showed it to be a relatively polar compound. 1H and 13C NMR chemical shifts together with HRMS indicated a similar structure to withanolides previously identified from Physalis angulata. HRMS analysis showed a molecular mass of 472.2857 which corresponds to a molecular formula C28H40O6. Conclusion: An antibacterial withanolide was isolated from P. virginiana using flash chromatography and HPLC separations. The chemical structure was determined by NMR and MS to be the withanolide physagulin V. PMID:22438659

  1. Superfetation in uterus pseudo didelphys: an unreported event.

    PubMed

    Singhal, Savita Rani; Agarwal, Umber; Sharma, Damyanti; Sen, Jyotsna

    2003-08-01

    A 20-year-old primigravida initially diagnosed at 28 weeks to have superfetation in a case of a bicornuate uterus was subsequently found to have uterus pseudo didelphys during a cesarean section at 35 weeks. This type of uterine anomaly with twin gestation has been previously reported in five case reports, but superfetation with such müllerian abnormality has not been previously described.

  2. Topographic Organization and Corticocortical Connections of the Forepaw Representation in Areas S1 and SC of the Opossum: Evidence for a Possible Role of Area SC in Multimodal Processing

    PubMed Central

    Anomal, Renata Figueiredo; Rocha-Rego, Vanessa; Franca, João G.

    2011-01-01

    In small-brained mammals, such as opossums, the cortex is organized in fewer sensory and motor areas than in mammals endowed with larger cortical sheets. The presence of multimodal fields, involved in the integration of sensory inputs has not been clearly characterized in those mammals. In the present study, the corticocortical connections of the forepaw representation in the somatosensory caudal (SC) area of the Didelphis aurita opossum was studied with injections of fluorescent anatomical tracers in SC. Electrophysiological mapping of S1 was used to delimit its respective rostral and caudal borders, and to guide SC injections. The areal borders of S1 and the location of area SC were further confirmed by myeloarchitecture. In S1, we found a well-delimited forepaw representation, although it presented a crude internal topographic organization. Cortical projections to S1 originate in somatosensory areas of the parietal cortex, and appeared to be mostly homotopic. Physiological and connectional evidence were provided for a topographic organization in opossum area SC as well. Most notably, corticocortical projections to the forepaw representation of SC originated from somatosensory cortical areas and from cortex representing other sensory modalities, especially the visual peristriate cortex. This suggests that SC might be involved in multimodal processing similar to the posterior parietal cortex of species with larger brains. PMID:22069381

  3. Anomalous colour in Neotropical mammals: a review with new records for Didelphis sp. (Didelphidae, Didelphimorphia) and Arctocephalus australis (Otariidae, Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Abreu, M S L; Machado, R; Barbieri, F; Freitas, N S; Oliveira, L R

    2013-02-01

    Anomalous colourations occur in many tropical vertebrates. However, they are considered rare in wild populations, with very few records for the majority of animal taxa. We report two new cases of anomalous colouration in mammals. Additionally, we compiled all published cases about anomalous pigmentation registered in Neotropical mammals, throughout a comprehensive review of peer reviewed articles between 1950 and 2010. Every record was classified as albinism, leucism, piebaldism or eventually as undetermined pigmentation. As results, we report the new record of a leucistic specimen of opossum (Didelphis sp.) in southern Brazil, as well as a specimen of South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) with piebaldism in Uruguay. We also found 31 scientific articles resulting in 23 records of albinism, 12 of leucism, 71 of piebaldism and 92 records classified as undetermined pigmentation. Anomalous colouration is apparently rare in small terrestrial mammals, but it is much more common in cetaceans and michrochiropterans. Out of these 198 records, 149 occurred in cetaceans and 30 in bats. The results related to cetaceans suggest that males and females with anomolous pigmentation are reproductively successful and as a consequence their frequencies are becoming higher in natural populations. In bats, this result can be related to the fact these animals orient themselves primarily through echolocation, and their refuges provide protection against light and predation. It is possible that anomalous colouration occurs more frequently in other Neotropical mammal orders, which were not formally reported. Therefore, we encourage researchers to publish these events in order to better understand this phenomenon that has a significant influence on animal survival.

  4. Opossum alcohol dehydrogenases: Sequences, structures, phylogeny and evolution: evidence for the tandem location of ADH genes on opossum chromosome 5.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S

    2009-03-16

    BLAT (BLAST-Like Alignment Tool) analyses and interrogations of the recently published opossum genome were undertaken using previously reported rat ADH amino acid sequences. Evidence is presented for six opossum ADH genes localized on chromosome 5 and organized in a comparable ADH gene cluster to that reported for human and rat ADH genes. The predicted amino acid sequences and secondary structures for the opossum ADH subunits and the intron-exon boundaries for opossum ADH genes showed a high degree of similarity with other mammalian ADHs, and four opossum ADH classes were identified, namely ADH1, ADH3, ADH6 and ADH4 (for which three genes were observed: ADH4A, ADH4B and ADH4C). Previous biochemical analyses of opossum ADHs have reported the tissue distribution and properties for these enzymes: ADH1, the major liver enzyme; ADH3, widely distributed in opossum tissues with similar kinetic properties to mammalian class 3 ADHs; and ADH4, for which several forms were localized in extrahepatic tissues, especially in the digestive system and in the eye. These ADHs are likely to perform similar functions to those reported for other mammalian ADHs in the metabolism of ingested and endogenous alcohols and aldehydes. Phylogenetic analyses examined opossum, human, rat, chicken and cod ADHs, and supported the proposed designation of opossum ADHs as class I (ADH1), class III (ADH3), class IV (ADH4A, ADH4B and ADH4C) and class VI (ADH6). Percentage substitution rates were examined for ADHs during vertebrate evolution which indicated that ADH3 is evolving at a much slower rate to that of the other ADH classes.

  5. Serologic evidence of west nile virus infection in free-ranging mammals, Slidell, Louisiana, 2002.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Gabrielle; Montenieri, John A; Panella, Nicholas A; Langevin, Stan; Lasater, Sarah E; Klenk, Kaci; Kile, James C; Komar, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    After an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) infections in Slidell, Louisiana, in 2002, we detected neutralizing antibodies to WNV in 13 of 120 mammals, representing five of six species sampled. Seroprevalence was measured in opossum, Didelphis virginiana (75%, n = 8), raccoons, Procyon lotor (60%, n = 5), black rats, Rattus rattus (6%, n = 36), hispid cotton rats, Sigmodon hispidus (4%, n = 24), and eastern gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis (2%, n = 43).

  6. Lungworm Heterostrongylus heterostrongylus Travassos, 1925 from the black-eared opossum in South America: Morphologic, histopathological and phylogenetic aspects.

    PubMed

    da Costa Neto, Sócrates Fraga; de Oliveira Simões, Raquel; Mota, Éster Maria; do Val Vilela, Roberto; Lopes Torres, Eduardo José; Santos Barbosa, Helene; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado Junior, Arnaldo

    2016-09-15

    Nematode parasites of the cardiopulmonary system of livestock and pet animals have been receiving attention due to the pathogenic effects they produce in the course of the infection. However, parasitism in wild animals by metastrongilid nematodes has been neglected, resulting in potential risk to wildlife. Heterostrongylus heterostrongylus is the etiological agent of bronchial pneumonia in the black-eared opossum, Didelphis aurita, a widely distributed marsupial frequently reported to inhabit areas from wild environments to peri-urban spaces. In this study, we reassessed the taxonomy of H. heterostrongylus, describing and comparing morphology of L1 and L3 larvae and adult worms with closely related angiostrongilids, and inferring phylogenetic affinities within the family Angiostrongylidae; we also detailed histopathological reactions under natural infection. Ultrastructural morphology and light microscopy confirmed cephalic structures with well-developed trilobed lips, patterns of caudal bursa rays, spicules shape, terminal anal aperture and presence of the ventral protuberance in L3 larvae, characteristics present for the family Angiostrongylidae. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses, based on the partial small subunit (SSU) 18S rRNA gene, suggested that H. heterostrongylus and Didelphostrongylus hayesi are closely related. Pathological analyses agreed with previous findings, showing that cardiopulmonary parasitism provokes verminous pneumonia and mucous bronchiolitis with hypertrophy of the smooth bronchiolar muscle. These data confirmed that H. heterostrongylus represents a pulmonary pathogen in D. aurita, produces severe pathological effects, and may represent risk to domestic and wild animals.

  7. Seasonal monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions from Pinus taeda and Pinus virginiana

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seasonal volatile organic compound emission data from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) were collected using branch enclosure techniques in Central North Carolina, USA. Pinus taeda monoterpene emission rates were at least ten times higher than oxyge...

  8. Seasonal monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions from Pinus taeda and Pinus virginiana

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seasonal volatile organic compound emission data from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) were collected using branch enclosure techniques in Central North Carolina, USA. Pinus taeda monoterpene emission rates were at least ten times higher than oxyge...

  9. Photic Preference of the Short-Tailed Opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Seelke, Adele M. H.; Dooley, James C.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2014-01-01

    The gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) is a nocturnal South American marsupial that has been gaining popularity as a laboratory animal. However, compared to traditional laboratory animals like rats, very little is known about its behavior, either in the wild or in a laboratory setting. Here we investigated the photic preference of the short-tailed opossum. Opossums were placed in a circular testing arena and allowed to move freely between dark (0 lux) and light (~1.4, 40, or 400 lux) sides of the arena. In each of these conditions opossums spent significantly more time in the dark than in the illuminated side and a greater proportion of time in the dark than would be expected by chance. In the high-contrast (~400 lux) illumination condition, the mean bout length (i.e., duration of one trip on the light or dark side) was significantly longer on the dark side than on the light side. When we examined the number of bouts greater than 30 and 60 sec in duration, we found a significant difference between the light and dark sides in all light contrast conditions. These data indicate that the short-tailed opossum prefers the dark to the light, and can also detect very slight differences in light intensity. We conclude that although rats and opossums share many similar characteristics, including ecological niche, their divergent evolutionary heritage results in vastly different behavioral capabilities. Only by observing the behavioral capabilities and preferences of opossums will we be able to manipulate the experimental environment to best elicit and elucidate their behavior and alterations in behavior that can arise from experimental manipulations. PMID:24709041

  10. Photic preference of the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Seelke, A M H; Dooley, J C; Krubitzer, L A

    2014-06-06

    The gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) is a nocturnal South American marsupial that has been gaining popularity as a laboratory animal. However, compared to traditional laboratory animals like rats, very little is known about its behavior, either in the wild or in a laboratory setting. Here we investigated the photic preference of the short-tailed opossum. Opossums were placed in a circular testing arena and allowed to move freely between dark (0 lux) and light (∼1.4, 40, or 400 lux) sides of the arena. In each of these conditions opossums spent significantly more time in the dark than in the illuminated side and a greater proportion of time in the dark than would be expected by chance. In the high-contrast (∼400 lux) illumination condition, the mean bout length (i.e., duration of one trip on the light or dark side) was significantly longer on the dark side than on the light side. When we examined the number of bouts greater than 30 and 60s in duration, we found a significant difference between the light and dark sides in all light contrast conditions. These data indicate that the short-tailed opossum prefers the dark to the light, and can also detect very slight differences in light intensity. We conclude that although rats and opossums share many similar characteristics, including ecological niche, their divergent evolutionary heritage results in vastly different behavioral capabilities. Only by observing the behavioral capabilities and preferences of opossums will we be able to manipulate the experimental environment to best elicit and elucidate their behavior and alterations in behavior that can arise from experimental manipulations. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Precocity of Gnathostoma turgidum in naturally infected four-eyed opossum Philander opossum pallidus from Temascal, Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Almeyda-Artigas, Roberto Javier; Mosqueda-Cabrera, Miguel Angel; Sánchez-Núñez, Edmundo

    2010-01-01

    Two female advanced third-stage larvae of Gnathostoma turgidum recovered from the liver of one naturally infected four-eyed opossum Philander opossum pallidus collected in Oaxaca, Mexico, were morphologically examined. Because of some characteristics, the larvae do not fit into the typical advanced third-stage. The body shows a size at least three times larger than expected and rows of spines only in the anterior part of the body surface. Consequently, in this research, we document for the first time the precocity in third-stage larvae of G. turgidum, and we also highlight some facts about the fourth larval stage occurring in spirurins.

  12. Critical Fluid Extraction of Juniperus virginiana L. and Bioactivity of Extracts Against Subterranean Termites and Wood-Rot Fungi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) (Cupresseaceae) is an abundant renewable resource and represents a vast potential source of valuable natural products that may serve as natural biocides. Both the wood and needles from J. virginiana were extracted using liquid carbon dioxide (L-CO2) as we...

  13. Critical fluid extraction of Juniperus virginiana L. and bioactivity of extracts against subterranean termites and wood-rot fungi.

    Treesearch

    F. J. Eller; Carol A. Clausen; Frederick Green; S.L. Taylor

    2010-01-01

    Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) is an abundant renewable resource and represents a vast potential source of valuable natural products that may serve as natural biocides. Both the wood and needles from J. virginiana were extracted using liquid carbon dioxide (L-CO2) as well as ethanol (EtOH) and the yields determined.Woodblocks were...

  14. Noncanalized horns of uterus didelphys with prolapse: a unique case in a young woman.

    PubMed

    Christopoulos, P; Deligeoroglou, E; Liapis, A; Agapitos, E; Papadias, K; Creatsas, G

    2009-01-01

    The authors report the unique case of a 20-year-old patient with prolapsed uterus didelphys with noncanalized horns, who complained of primary amenorrhea. Clinical examination revealed a rudimentary noncanalized cervix with a third degree prolapse and no palpable uterus. A small prolapsing remnant of a uterus didelphys with 2 noncanalized uterine horns was excised by laparotomy. Ultrastructural examination of subepithelial cervical connective tissue revealed collagen of normal structure, but of low concentration. The etiologies of both the Mullerian ducts anomalies and the genital prolapse are probably multifactorial. Low collagen concentration indicates a constitutional tissue weakness contributing to the development of genital prolapse. Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Consequences of salinity and freezing stress for two populations of Quercus virginiana Mill

    Treesearch

    Cassandra M. Kurtz; Jessica A. Savage; I-Yu Huang; Jeannine. Cavender-Bares

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is of increasing concern in coastal forests where rising sea levels could lead to dramatic shifts in ecosystem composition. To investigate how inundation may impact coastal ecosystems, we examined the sensitivity of Quercus virginiana Mill., a dominant tree in the southeastern U.S., to increased soil salinity and examined whether high...

  16. IMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We exam...

  17. IIMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examin...

  18. Screening and Testing Phytochemicals in Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) for Development of Potential Entrepreneurial Opportunities

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is often considered a “trash or nuisance” tree. In some states, this species has been declared invasive and management strategies have been adopted to destroy it. However, value-added phytochemical products from eastern redcedar have the potential to create n...

  19. IMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We exam...

  20. IIMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examin...

  1. Photosynthetic performance of invasive Pinus ponderosa and Juniperus virginiana seedlings under gradual soil water depletion.

    PubMed

    Bihmidine, S; Bryan, N M; Payne, K R; Parde, M R; Okalebo, J A; Cooperstein, S E; Awada, T

    2010-07-01

    Changes in climate, land management and fire regime have contributed to woody species expansion into grasslands and savannas worldwide. In the USA, Pinus ponderosa P.&C. Lawson and Juniperus virginiana L. are expanding into semiarid grasslands of Nebraska and other regions of the Great Plains. We examined P. ponderosa and J. virginiana seedling response to soil water content, one of the most important limiting factors in semiarid grasslands, to provide insight into their success in the region. Photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII, maximum carboxylation velocity, maximum rate of electron transport, stomatal limitation to photosynthesis, water potential, root-to-shoot ratio, and needle nitrogen content were followed under gradual soil water depletion for 40 days. J. virginiana maintained lower L(s), higher A, g(s), and initial F(v)/F(m), and displayed a more gradual decline in V(cmax) and J(max) with increasing water deficit compared to P. ponderosa. J. virginiana also invested more in roots relative to shoots compared to P. ponderosa. F(v)/F(m) showed high PSII resistance to dehydration in both species. Photoinhibition was observed at approximately 30% of field capacity. Soil water content was a better predictor of A and g(s) than Psi, indicating that there are other growth factors controlling physiological processes under increased water stress. The two species followed different strategies to succeed in semiarid grasslands. P. ponderosa seedlings behaved like a drought-avoidant species with strong stomatal control, while J. virginiana was more of a drought-tolerant species, maintaining physiological activity at lower soil water content. Differences between the studied species and the ecological implications are discussed.

  2. Visual acuity in the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Nguyen, Hoang; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Krubitzer, Leah

    2013-01-01

    Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum) is an emerging animal model for studies of neural development due to the extremely immature state of the nervous system at birth and its subsequent rapid growth to adulthood. Yet little is known about its normal sensory discrimination abilities. In the present investigation, visual acuity was determined in this species using the optokinetic test (OPT), which relies on involuntary head tracking of a moving stimulus and can be easily elicited using a rotating visual stimulus of varying spatial frequencies. Using this methodology, we determined that the acuity of Monodelphis is 0.58 cycles per degree (cpd), which is similar to the acuity of rats using the same methodology, and higher than in mice. However, acuity in the short-tailed opossum is lower than in other marsupials. This is in part due to the methodology used to determine acuity, but may also be due to differences in diel patterns, lifestyle and phylogeny. We demonstrate that for the short-tailed opossum, the OPT is a rapid and reliable method of determining a baseline acuity and can be used to study enhanced acuities due to cortical plasticity. PMID:22871523

  3. Genomic identification of chemokines and cytokines in opossum.

    PubMed

    Wong, Emily S W; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Belov, Katherine

    2011-03-01

    The cytokine repertoire of marsupials is largely unknown. The sequencing of the opossum genome has expedited the identification of many immune genes. However, many genes have not been identified using automated annotation pipelines because of high levels of sequence divergence. To fill gaps in our knowledge of the cytokine gene complement in marsupials, we searched the genome assembly of the gray short-tailed opossum for chemokine, interleukin, colony-stimulating factor, tumor necrosis factor, and transforming growth factor genes. In particular, we focused on genes that were not previously identified through Ensembl's automatic annotations. We report that the vast majority of cytokines are conserved, with direct orthologs between therian species. The major exceptions are chemokine genes, which show lineage-specific duplication/loss. Thirty-six chemokines were identified in opossum, including a lineage-specific expansion of macrophage inflammatory protein family genes. Divergent cytokines IL7, IL9, IL31, IL33, and CSF2 were identified. This is the first time IL31 and IL33 have been described outside of eutherian species. The high levels of similarities between the cytokine gene repertoires of therians suggest that the marsupial immune response is highly similar to eutherians.

  4. Visual acuity in the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Dooley, J C; Nguyen, H M; Seelke, A M H; Krubitzer, L

    2012-10-25

    Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum) is an emerging animal model for studies of neural development due to the extremely immature state of the nervous system at birth and its subsequent rapid growth to adulthood. Yet little is known about its normal sensory discrimination abilities. In the present investigation, visual acuity was determined in this species using the optokinetic test (OPT), which relies on involuntary head tracking of a moving stimulus and can be easily elicited using a rotating visual stimulus of varying spatial frequencies. Using this methodology, we determined that the acuity of Monodelphis is 0.58 cycles per degree (cpd), which is similar to the acuity of rats using the same methodology, and higher than in mice. However, acuity in the short-tailed opossum is lower than in other marsupials. This is in part due to the methodology used to determine acuity, but may also be due to differences in diel patterns, lifestyle and phylogeny. We demonstrate that for the short-tailed opossum, the OPT is a rapid and reliable method of determining a baseline acuity and can be used to study enhanced acuities due to cortical plasticity.

  5. Independent uterine contractions in simultaneous twin pregnancy in each horn of the uterus didelphys.

    PubMed

    Maki, Yohei; Furukawa, Seishi; Sameshima, Hiroshi; Ikenoue, Tsuyomu

    2014-03-01

    The mechanism of synchronizing uterine contractions is not fully understood. We present a case of twin pregnancy in a uterus didelphys and objectively analyze the synchrony of bilateral uterine contractions. A 32-year-old woman, with a history of vaginal septal resection during her previous vaginal delivery, became pregnant with twins in a uterus didelphys in which each uterine horn had one fetus. At 37 weeks and 6 days, the first baby was delivered vaginally. The second baby was delivered by cesarean section due to recurrent late decelerations. Operative findings confirmed the didelphys uterus. We retrospectively reviewed the timing of contractions of both uteruses. The timing was determined by visual analysis as synchronous if both uteruses contracted within 5 s. Otherwise, contractions were considered solitary. Both uterine horns contracted independently in 90% of the incidence throughout labor and delivery. From this rare case of an 'experiment by nature', we speculated that the myometrium must be histologically connected in order to synchronize uterine contractions.

  6. Central nervous system regeneration: from leech to opossum

    PubMed Central

    Mladinic, M; Muller, K J; Nicholls, J G

    2009-01-01

    A major problem of neurobiology concerns the failure of injured mammalian spinal cord to repair itself. This review summarizes work done on two preparations in which regeneration can occur: the central nervous system of an invertebrate, the leech, and the spinal cord of an immature mammal, the opossum. The aim is to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote and prevent regeneration. In the leech, an individual axon regrows successfully to re-establish connections with its synaptic target, while avoiding other neurons. Functions that were lost are thereby restored. Moreover, pairs of identified neurons become re-connected with appropriate synapses in culture. It has been shown that microglial cells and nitric oxide play key roles in leech CNS regeneration. In the opossum, the neonatal brain and spinal cord are so tiny that they survive well in culture. Fibres grow across spinal cord lesions in neonatal animals and in vitro, but axon regeneration stops abruptly between postnatal days 9 and 12. A comprehensive search has been made in spinal cords that can and cannot regenerate to identify genes and establish their locations. At 9 days, growth-promoting genes, their receptors and key transcription molecules are up-regulated. By contrast at 12 days, growth-inhibitory molecules associated with myelin are prominent. The complete sequence of the opossum genome and new methods for transfecting genes offer ways to determine which molecules promote and which inhibit spinal cord regeneration. These results lead to questions about how basic research on mechanisms of regeneration could be ‘translated’ into effective therapies for patients with spinal cord injuries. PMID:19525562

  7. Central nervous system regeneration: from leech to opossum.

    PubMed

    Mladinic, M; Muller, K J; Nicholls, J G

    2009-06-15

    A major problem of neurobiology concerns the failure of injured mammalian spinal cord to repair itself. This review summarizes work done on two preparations in which regeneration can occur: the central nervous system of an invertebrate, the leech, and the spinal cord of an immature mammal, the opossum. The aim is to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote and prevent regeneration. In the leech, an individual axon regrows successfully to re-establish connections with its synaptic target, while avoiding other neurons. Functions that were lost are thereby restored. Moreover, pairs of identified neurons become re-connected with appropriate synapses in culture. It has been shown that microglial cells and nitric oxide play key roles in leech CNS regeneration. In the opossum, the neonatal brain and spinal cord are so tiny that they survive well in culture. Fibres grow across spinal cord lesions in neonatal animals and in vitro, but axon regeneration stops abruptly between postnatal days 9 and 12. A comprehensive search has been made in spinal cords that can and cannot regenerate to identify genes and establish their locations. At 9 days, growth-promoting genes, their receptors and key transcription molecules are up-regulated. By contrast at 12 days, growth-inhibitory molecules associated with myelin are prominent. The complete sequence of the opossum genome and new methods for transfecting genes offer ways to determine which molecules promote and which inhibit spinal cord regeneration. These results lead to questions about how basic research on mechanisms of regeneration could be 'translated' into effective therapies for patients with spinal cord injuries.

  8. Antiinflammatory agents protect opossum esophagus during radiotherapy. [Cobalt 60

    SciTech Connect

    Northway, M.G.; Eastwood, G.L.; Libshitz, H.I.; Feldman, M.S.; Mamel, J.J.; Szwarc, I.A.

    1982-10-01

    Eighteen opossums received 2250 rad /sup 60/Co to the entire esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter. Animals received treatment with 600 mg aspirin, 25 mg/kg hydrocortisone, or saline before irradiation and twice daily for 1 week after irradiation. At 10 days postirradiation, animals were evaluated for signs of acute esophagitis by esophagoscopy and barium esophagram. Each animal was then killed and the esophagus removed and evaluated histologically. Animals treated with either aspirin or hydrocortisone had significantly milder esophagitis than control irradiated animals.

  9. Effect of irradiation on testicular cells of opossum.

    PubMed

    Prasad, N; Prasad, R; Bushong, S C; North, L B

    1977-07-01

    Five months old male opossums were exposed to 5000 rd wholebody 60Co gamma-radiation. Testes tissues from animals sacrificed at 16, 40 and 90 hours post-irradiation and from nonirradiated animales were used for enzymatic and histological studies. Electrophoretic pattern of lactate dehydrogenase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase was slightly disturbed in early hours in irradiated animals, but it did not persist beyond 40 hours postirradiation. Histological study indicates 31% survival of type A spermatogonia suggesting high radioresistance of testes tissue in comparison to other animals.

  10. Cage Change Intervals for Opossums (Monodelphis domestica) in Individually Ventilated Cages

    PubMed Central

    Allison, Sarah O; Criley, Jennifer M; Kim, Ji Young; Goodly, Lyndon J

    2011-01-01

    The opossum Monodelphis domestica is the most commonly used marsupial in biomedical research. At our institution, these opossums are housed in polycarbonate (35.6 cm × 25.4 cm × 17.8 cm) individually ventilated cages. Previous studies of the cage microenvironment of rodents housed in individually ventilated cages have demonstrated that the cage-change frequency could be extended from 7 to 14 d, without detriment to the animals’ wellbeing. We sought to determine whether the cage change frequency for opossums housed in individually ventilated cages could be extended to 14 d. Opossums were placed into 3 experimental groups: singly housed males, singly housed females, and females housed with litters. The 14-d testing period was repeated twice, with temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels tested on days 0, 7, and 14. Acceptable ranges for the cage microenvironment were based on standards followed by our institution for housing rodents: temperature between 22 to 26 °C, relative humidity between 30% to 70%, and ammonia less than 25 ppm. Throughout both 14-d testing periods, temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels for singly housed male and singly housed female opossums were within acceptable ranges. However, ammonia levels exceeded the recommended 25 ppm on day 7 of both testing periods for female opossums housed with litters. In summary, the cage-change frequency for a singly housed opossum in an individually ventilated cage can be extended to 14 d. PMID:22330710

  11. Cage change intervals for opossums (Monodelphis domestica) in individually ventilated cages.

    PubMed

    Allison, Sarah O; Criley, Jennifer M; Kim, Ji Young; Goodly, Lyndon J

    2011-09-01

    The opossum Monodelphis domestica is the most commonly used marsupial in biomedical research. At our institution, these opossums are housed in polycarbonate (35.6 cm × 25.4 cm × 17.8 cm) individually ventilated cages. Previous studies of the cage microenvironment of rodents housed in individually ventilated cages have demonstrated that the cage-change frequency could be extended from 7 to 14 d, without detriment to the animals' wellbeing. We sought to determine whether the cage change frequency for opossums housed in individually ventilated cages could be extended to 14 d. Opossums were placed into 3 experimental groups: singly housed males, singly housed females, and females housed with litters. The 14-d testing period was repeated twice, with temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels tested on days 0, 7, and 14. Acceptable ranges for the cage microenvironment were based on standards followed by our institution for housing rodents: temperature between 22 to 26 °C, relative humidity between 30% to 70%, and ammonia less than 25 ppm. Throughout both 14-d testing periods, temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels for singly housed male and singly housed female opossums were within acceptable ranges. However, ammonia levels exceeded the recommended 25 ppm on day 7 of both testing periods for female opossums housed with litters. In summary, the cage-change frequency for a singly housed opossum in an individually ventilated cage can be extended to 14 d.

  12. The opossum genome: Insights and opportunities from an alternative mammal

    PubMed Central

    Samollow, Paul B.

    2008-01-01

    The strategic importance of the genome sequence of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, accrues from both the unique phylogenetic position of metatherian (marsupial) mammals and the fundamental biologic characteristics of metatherians that distinguish them from other mammalian species. Metatherian and eutherian (placental) mammals are more closely related to one another than to other vertebrate groups, and owing to this close relationship they share fundamentally similar genetic structures and molecular processes. However, during their long evolutionary separation these alternative mammals have developed distinctive anatomical, physiologic, and genetic features that hold tremendous potential for examining relationships between the molecular structures of mammalian genomes and the functional attributes of their components. Comparative analyses using the opossum genome have already provided a wealth of new evidence regarding the importance of noncoding elements in the evolution of mammalian genomes, the role of transposable elements in driving genomic innovation, and the relationships between recombination rate, nucleotide composition, and the genomic distributions of repetitive elements. The genome sequence is also beginning to enlarge our understanding of the evolution and function of the vertebrate immune system, and it provides an alternative model for investigating mechanisms of genomic imprinting. Equally important, availability of the genome sequence is fostering the development of new research tools for physical and functional genomic analyses of M. domestica that are expanding its versatility as an experimental system for a broad range of research applications in basic biology and biomedically oriented research. PMID:18676819

  13. The opossum genome: insights and opportunities from an alternative mammal.

    PubMed

    Samollow, Paul B

    2008-08-01

    The strategic importance of the genome sequence of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, accrues from both the unique phylogenetic position of metatherian (marsupial) mammals and the fundamental biologic characteristics of metatherians that distinguish them from other mammalian species. Metatherian and eutherian (placental) mammals are more closely related to one another than to other vertebrate groups, and owing to this close relationship they share fundamentally similar genetic structures and molecular processes. However, during their long evolutionary separation these alternative mammals have developed distinctive anatomical, physiologic, and genetic features that hold tremendous potential for examining relationships between the molecular structures of mammalian genomes and the functional attributes of their components. Comparative analyses using the opossum genome have already provided a wealth of new evidence regarding the importance of noncoding elements in the evolution of mammalian genomes, the role of transposable elements in driving genomic innovation, and the relationships between recombination rate, nucleotide composition, and the genomic distributions of repetitive elements. The genome sequence is also beginning to enlarge our understanding of the evolution and function of the vertebrate immune system, and it provides an alternative model for investigating mechanisms of genomic imprinting. Equally important, availability of the genome sequence is fostering the development of new research tools for physical and functional genomic analyses of M. domestica that are expanding its versatility as an experimental system for a broad range of research applications in basic biology and biomedically oriented research.

  14. Modest genetic differentiation among North American populations of Sarcocystic neurona may reflect expansion in its geographic range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundar, N.; Asmundsson, I.M.; Thomas, N.J.; Samuel, M.D.; Dubey, J.P.; Rosenthal, B.M.

    2008-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of neurological disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and sea otters in the United States. In addition, EPM-like disease has been diagnosed in several other land and marine mammals. Opossums are its only definitive hosts. Little genetic diversity among isolates of S. neurona from different hosts has been reported. Here, we used 11 microsatellites to characterize S. neurona DNA isolated from natural infections in 22 sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from California and Washington and in 11 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 1 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) from Wisconsin. By jointly analyzing these 34 isolates with 26 isolates previously reported, we determined that geographic barriers may limit S. neurona dispersal and that only a limited subset of possible parasite genotypes may have been introduced to recently established opossum populations. Moreover, our study confirms that diverse intermediate hosts share a common infection source, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

  15. Modest genetic differentiation among North American populations of Sarcocystis neurona may reflect expansion in its geographic range.

    PubMed

    Sundar, N; Asmundsson, I M; Thomas, N J; Samuel, M D; Dubey, J P; Rosenthal, B M

    2008-03-25

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of neurological disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and sea otters in the United States. In addition, EPM-like disease has been diagnosed in several other land and marine mammals. Opossums are its only definitive hosts. Little genetic diversity among isolates of S. neurona from different hosts has been reported. Here, we used 11 microsatellites to characterize S. neurona DNA isolated from natural infections in 22 sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from California and Washington and in 11 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 1 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) from Wisconsin. By jointly analyzing these 34 isolates with 26 isolates previously reported, we determined that geographic barriers may limit S. neurona dispersal and that only a limited subset of possible parasite genotypes may have been introduced to recently established opossum populations. Moreover, our study confirms that diverse intermediate hosts share a common infection source, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

  16. The Opossum genome reveals further evidence for regulatory evolution in mammalian diversification

    PubMed Central

    Lemos, Bernardo

    2007-01-01

    The sequencing of the euchromatic genome of a marsupial, the opossum Monodelphis domestica, identifies shared and unique features of marsupial and placental genomes and reveals a prominent role for the evolution of non-protein-coding elements. PMID:17688679

  17. Opossums (Mammalia: Didelphidae) in the diets of Neotropical pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae): evidence for alternative coevolutionary outcomes?

    PubMed

    Voss, Robert S

    2013-05-01

    Opossums and pitvipers are sympatric throughout most of the New World, but trophic relationships between these speciose clades have only recently attracted the attention of researchers. Although it is now known that some venom-resistant opossums prey on pitvipers, a review of the literature on diets shows that some Neotropical pitvipers prey on opossums. Interestingly, some pitviper species prey on opossums known or suspected to be venom resistant. If venom resistance and venom potency are coevolved traits, then these observations suggest that alternative outcomes may result in role-switching between victims and exploiters. Because molecular antagonists (e.g., venom toxins and toxin-neutralizing serum proteins) that could mediate such outcomes have been plausibly identified, this system is a potentially fruitful field for evolutionary research. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Flea (Pulex simulans) infestation in captive giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).

    PubMed

    Mutlow, Adrian G; Dryden, Michael W; Payne, Patricia A

    2006-09-01

    A pair of captive adult giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) presented heavily infested with a flea species (Pulex simulans) commonly found on Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) in the central United States. In this case, the flea was demonstrated to have completed its entire life cycle with the anteaters as the host. A single treatment of topical imidacloprid, coupled with removal and replacement of infested bedding, was rapidly effective at controlling the infestation and no adverse effects of the drug were noted. Control of the anteater infestation also removed the flea infestation of aardvarks in the same building.

  19. Ectopic ureter associated with uterine didelphys and obstructed hemivagina: preoperative diagnosis by MRI.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen J; Daldrup-Link, Heike; Coakley, Fergus V; Yeh, Benjamin M

    2010-03-01

    Uterine didelphys with obstructed hemivagina and ipsilateral renal anomalies is a rare congenital malformation of the female urogenital tract. While the urinary anomalies almost always involve renal agenesis, we report a rare case of a 17-year-old girl with the malformation associated with ectopic ureteral insertion into the obstructed hemivagina, which was diagnosed preoperatively by MR imaging. To the best of our knowledge, preoperative MR imaging diagnosis of the ectopic ureter associated with this syndrome has not been previously reported. Accurate preoperative diagnosis of ectopic ureteral insertion associated with this syndrome is important for surgical planning.

  20. Congenital pouch colon in a girl associated with bilateral atresia of cervix uteri and uterus didelphys.

    PubMed

    Chadha, Rajiv; Puri, Manju; Saxena, Rahul; Agarwala, Surendrakumar; Puri, Archana; Choudhury, Subhasis Roy

    2013-04-01

    This report describes a girl with congenital pouch colon (CPC), uterus didelphys with septate vagina, and a cloacal anomaly. The girl underwent cloacal reconstruction at the age of 15 months. Subsequently, at puberty, the child had primary amenorrhea with severe cyclic abdominal pain due to endometriosis of both the uteruses and adnexal cysts with hematometra and hematosalpinx. Laparotomy with removal of both uteri and the left fallopian tube was performed. Both uteri had atresia of the cervix uteri. This report emphasizes the need for comprehensive evaluation and a long-term management strategy for associated gynecologic anomalies in girls with CPC, especially with regard to patency of the outflow tract.

  1. Opossums and Cat Fleas: New Insights in the Ecology of Murine Typhus in Galveston, Texas

    PubMed Central

    Blanton, Lucas S.; Idowu, Boluwatife M.; Tatsch, Tyler N.; Henderson, Joshua M.; Bouyer, Donald H.; Walker, David H.

    2016-01-01

    Murine typhus is an acute undifferentiated febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi. The classic reservoir (Rattus spp.) and flea vector (Xenopsylla cheopis) were once culprits of murine typhus in the United States. Vector and rodent control efforts have drastically decreased the prevalence of disease, except in a few endemic foci where opossums and cat fleas play a role in transmission. Since 2012, there has been a reemergence of murine typhus in Galveston, TX. We hypothesize that opossums and cat fleas are involved in the transmission of R. typhi in Galveston. To explore this, we sought to find the seroprevalence of typhus group antibodies from opossums. We also sought to find the prevalence of R. typhi in fleas parasitizing these animals. We collected blood from 12 opossums and found that eight (66.7%) had the presence of anti-R. typhi antibodies. All opossums were infested with fleas; a total of 250 Ctenocephalides felis fleas were collected from these animals. Seven opossums (53.8%) were infested with fleas that had molecular evidence of R. typhi infection, while six (46.2%) were infested with fleas that contained Candidatus Rickettsia senegalensis, an organism closely related to R. felis. The minimum flea infection rate for R. typhi was 7.0%. The minimum infection rate for Candidatus R. senegalensis was 6.1%. Our study demonstrates that fleas infected with R. typhi parasitize opossums in Galveston. It is therefore likely that opossums and their fleas play a role in the city's recent reemergence of murine typhus. PMID:27273642

  2. Opossums and Cat Fleas: New Insights in the Ecology of Murine Typhus in Galveston, Texas.

    PubMed

    Blanton, Lucas S; Idowu, Boluwatife M; Tatsch, Tyler N; Henderson, Joshua M; Bouyer, Donald H; Walker, David H

    2016-08-03

    Murine typhus is an acute undifferentiated febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi The classic reservoir (Rattus spp.) and flea vector (Xenopsylla cheopis) were once culprits of murine typhus in the United States. Vector and rodent control efforts have drastically decreased the prevalence of disease, except in a few endemic foci where opossums and cat fleas play a role in transmission. Since 2012, there has been a reemergence of murine typhus in Galveston, TX. We hypothesize that opossums and cat fleas are involved in the transmission of R. typhi in Galveston. To explore this, we sought to find the seroprevalence of typhus group antibodies from opossums. We also sought to find the prevalence of R. typhi in fleas parasitizing these animals. We collected blood from 12 opossums and found that eight (66.7%) had the presence of anti-R. typhi antibodies. All opossums were infested with fleas; a total of 250 Ctenocephalides felis fleas were collected from these animals. Seven opossums (53.8%) were infested with fleas that had molecular evidence of R. typhi infection, while six (46.2%) were infested with fleas that contained Candidatus Rickettsia senegalensis, an organism closely related to R. felis The minimum flea infection rate for R. typhi was 7.0%. The minimum infection rate for Candidatus R. senegalensis was 6.1%. Our study demonstrates that fleas infected with R. typhi parasitize opossums in Galveston. It is therefore likely that opossums and their fleas play a role in the city's recent reemergence of murine typhus. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  3. Brief communication: Forelimb compliance in arboreal and terrestrial opossums.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Daniel; Gruss, Laura T; Lemelin, Pierre

    2010-01-01

    Primates display high forelimb compliance (increased elbow joint yield) compared to most other mammals. Forelimb compliance, which is especially marked among arboreal primates, moderates vertical oscillations of the body and peak vertical forces and may represent a basal adaptation of primates for locomotion on thin, flexible branches. However, Larney and Larson (Am J Phys Anthropol 125 [2004] 42-50) reported that marsupials have forelimb compliance comparable to or greater than that of most primates, but did not distinguish between arboreal and terrestrial marsupials. If forelimb compliance is functionally linked to locomotion on thin branches, then elbow yield should be highest in marsupials relying on arboreal substrates more often. To test this hypothesis, we compared forelimb compliance between two didelphid marsupials, Caluromys philander (an arboreal opossum relying heavily on thin branches) and Monodelphis domestica (an opossum that spends most of its time on the ground). Animals were videorecorded while walking on a runway or a horizontal 7-mm pole. Caluromys showed higher elbow yield (greater changes in degrees of elbow flexion) on both substrates, similar to that reported for arboreal primates. Monodelphis was characterized by lower elbow yield that was intermediate between the values reported by Larney and Larson (Am J Phys Anthropol 125 [2004] 42-50) for more terrestrial primates and rodents. This finding adds evidence to a model suggesting a functional link between arboreality--particularly locomotion on thin, flexible branches--and forelimb compliance. These data add another convergent trait between arboreal primates, Caluromys, and other arboreal marsupials and support the argument that all primates evolved from a common ancestor that was a fine-branch arborealist.

  4. Ontogeny of cells containing estrogen receptor-like immunoreactivity in the Brazilian opossum brain.

    PubMed

    Fox, C A; Ross, L R; Jacobson, C D

    1991-11-19

    In this study, we have used the Brazilian short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) as a model to study the ontogeny of estrogen receptors in the mammalian brain. Monodelphis is a small, pouchless marsupial which breeds well under laboratory conditions and whose young are born in an immature sexually undifferentiated state. The Abbott H222 monoclonal rat estrogen receptor antibody (gift of Abbott Laboratories) was utilized in an indirect immunohistochemical procedure to detect estrogen receptors in developing opossum brains. Estrogen receptors were first expressed in the dorsomedial and ventromedial hypothalamus of the opossum 10 days after birth (10PN). Most regions that contained estrogen receptor-like immunoreactivity (ER LI) in the adult opossum contained ER LI at 15 PN. These areas include the lateral septum, medial preoptic area, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, periventricular preoptic area and hypothalamus, amygdala, dorsomedial and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei, arcuate nucleus, ventral premammillary nucleus, and the midbrain central grey. The number of cells that contain ER LI increased through 60PN in all regions that will contain ER LI in the adult opossum. These results indicate that estrogen receptors are present in early development of the Monodelphis brain and may mark the beginning of a critical period for sexual differentiation of the opossum brain.

  5. The role of the vomeronasal system in food preferences of the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Halpern, Mimi; Daniels, Yasmine; Zuri, Ido

    2005-01-01

    Although feeding deficits have been reported in snakes and lizards following vomeronasal system disruption, no deficit has been previously reported in a mammal. We tested gray short-tailed opossums with items from four different food categories prior to occluding access to the vomeronasal organ. Preoperatively, opossums preferred meat to fruit or vegetables. Following occlusion of the nasopalatine canal, but not after control treatment, opossums failed to demonstrate food preferences. PMID:15725360

  6. Comparative mapping reveals autosomal origin of sex chromosome in octoploid Fragaria virginiana.

    PubMed

    Spigler, Rachel B; Lewers, Kim S; Johnson, Anna L; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2010-01-01

    Recent evolution of separate sexes in flowering plants provides unparalleled opportunities for understanding the early stages of sex chromosome evolution, including their origin from autosomes. Moreover, the transition from combined to separate sexes can be associated with speciation via polyploidization in angiosperms, suggesting that genome doubling/merger may facilitate sterility mutations required for sex chromosome formation. To gain insight into the origin of sex chromosomes in a polyploid plant, we doubled the simple sequence repeat (SSR) density and increased genome coverage in a genetic map of octoploid Fragaria virginiana, a species purported to have a "proto-sex" chromosome, where limited recombination occurs between 2 linked "loci" carrying the male- and female-sterility mutations. Incorporation of almost 3 times the number of SSR markers into the current map facilitated complete characterization of the F. virginiana proto-sex chromosome, revealing its largely autosomal nature and the location of the sex-determining region toward the distal end. Furthermore, extensive synteny between our genetic map and a map involving diploid hermaphroditic congeners allowed assignment of linkage groups to homeologous groups, identification of the proto-sex chromosome's autosomal homoeolog, and detection of a putative rearrangement near the sex-determining region. Fine mapping and additional comparative work will shed light on the intriguing possibility that rearrangements during polyploidization were involved in the evolution of sex chromosomes in Fragaria.

  7. Marsupial morphology of reproduction: South America opossum male model.

    PubMed

    De Barros, Michelle Andrade; Panattoni Martins, João Flávio; Samoto, Vivian Yochiko; Oliveira, Vanessa Cristina; Gonçalves, Natalia; Mançanares, Celina Almeida Furlaneto; Vidane, Atanasio; Carvalho, Ana Flávia; Ambrósio, Carlos Eduardo; Miglino, Maria Angélica

    2013-04-01

    This study aims to describe the morphology of Didelphis sp. male genital organs (penis, testes, epididymis, ductus deferens, prostate, and bulbourethral gland). Ten male animals were used, eight for macroscopic and light microscopy analysis, and two for scanning electron microscopy. The testes and epididymis showed similarity to other eutherian mammals. The bifid penis showed the urethra ending in the medial region where the bifurcation begins, occurring in each segment extension of the urethral groove until the beginning of the glans. Histologically, the penis consists of a cavernous and spongy body, covered by stratified squamous epithelium with loose connective tissue. The urethra was lined by transitional stratified epithelium. In the prostate, prostatic segments were found consisting of tubular glands in a radial arrangement around the urethra, coated externally by a dense connective tissue associated with a relatively thick layer of smooth muscle arranged in two layers that surround the glandular tissue. The animals had three pairs of bulbourethral glands placed at the membranous and cavernous urethra junction with descending and parallel excretory ducts ending caudally in the urethral lumen. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Novel use of a tracheobronchial stent in a patient with uterine didelphys and obstructed hemivagina

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Amber R.; Merritt, Diane F.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To describe a novel use for a tracheobronchial stent to maintain patency after vaginal septum excision in a patient with an obstructed hemivagina and uterine didelphys. Design: Description of a novel technique Setting: University-affiliated Children’s Hospital Patient: One patient with an obstructed hemivagina and uterine didelphys who presented with hematometria and hematocolpos. Intervention: In order to maintain patency and decrease stenosis risk after vaginal septum excision, a coated tracheobronchial stent was deployed and left in place for 6 weeks. Main Outcome Measure: To evaluate ease of stent placement and removal, re-epithelialization and patency of the neo-vagina, and post-operative assessment of pain and recurrent obstruction. Results: The tracheobroncheal stent was easily positioned and deployed with vaginoscopic guidance. Six weeks later it was removed without any tissue in-growth or granulation tissue noted. The vaginal walls were nicely epithelialized. Twelve months post-operatively the patient remained pain free with regular cycles and no evidence of obstruction or abnormality on ultrasound. Conclusion: Use of a coated tracheobronchial stent to maintain patency after septum excision in a patient with an obstructed hemivagina presents a safe, easy and effective option to diminish stenosis risk and avoid infectious complications or hysterectomy. PMID:19064265

  9. Effect of Lagerstroemia tomentosa and Diospyros virginiana methanolic extracts on different drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Esfahani, B. Nasr; Hozoorbakhsh, F.; Rashed, Kh.; Havaei, S.A.; Heidari, K.; Moghim, Sh.

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is the causative agent of tuberculosis. The increasing incidence of multi drug resistance tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistance tuberculosis (XDR-TB) worldwide highlighted the urgent need to search for alternative antimycobacterial agents. More and more people in developing countries utilize traditional medicine for their major primary health care needs. It has been determined that pharmaceutical plant, Lagerstroemia tomentosa and Diospyros virginiana, possesses some antibacterial effect. In this study, the antimycobacterial effects of L. tomentosa and D. virginiana methanolic extracts on sensitive and resistant isolates of MTB were examined. Leaf methanolic extract was prepared using methanol 70%. Sensitivity and resistance of isolates was determined by proportion method. The effects of two different methonolic extract concentrations (20 and 40 μg/ml) of the plants were examined against 6 sensitive and resistant strains of MTB with different patterns of drug resistance. MTB H37Rv (ATCC 27294) was set as control in all culturing and sensitivity testing processes. The results showed that L. tomentosa and D. virginiana methanolic extracts had weak inhibitory effect on different strains of MTB. The highest percentage of inhibition for L. tomentosa and D. virginiana was observed 38% and 33.3%, respectively. PMID:25657789

  10. Platypus and opossum calcitonins exhibit strong activities, even though they belong to mammals.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Teruhito; Udagawa, Nobuyuki; Thirukonda, Gnanasagar Janardhanan; Uehara, Shunsuke; Yamauchi, Hirose; Suzuki, Nobuo; Li, Feng; Kobayashi, Yasuhiro; Takahashi, Naoyuki

    2017-05-15

    In mammalian assay systems, calcitonin peptides of non-mammalian species exhibit stronger activity than those of mammals. Recently, comparative analyses of a wide-range of species revealed that platypus and opossum, which diverged early from other mammals, possess calcitonins that are more similar in amino acid sequence to those of non-mammals than mammals. We herein determined whether platypus and opossum calcitonins exhibit similar biological activities to those of non-mammalian calcitonins using an assay of actin ring formation in mouse osteoclasts. We also compared the dose-dependent effects of each calcitonin on cAMP production in osteoclasts. Consistent with the strong similarities in their primary amino acid sequences, platypus and opossum calcitonins disrupted actin rings with similar efficacies to that of salmon calcitonin. Human calcitonin exhibited the weakest inhibitory potency and required a 100-fold higher concentration (EC50=3×10(-11)M) than that of salmon calcitonin (EC50=2×10(-13)M). Platypus and opossum calcitonins also induced cAMP production in osteoclast cultures with the same efficacies as that of salmon calcitonin. Thus, platypus and opossum calcitonins exhibited strong biological activities, similar to those of the salmon. In addition, phylogenetic analysis revealed that platypus and opossum calcitonins clustered with the salmon-type group but not human- or porcine-type group. These results suggest that platypus and opossum calcitonins are classified into the salmon-type group, in terms of the biological activities and amino acid sequences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Motor function of the opossum sphincter of Oddi.

    PubMed Central

    Toouli, J; Dodds, W J; Honda, R; Sarna, S; Hogan, W J; Komarowski, R A; Linehan, J H; Arndorfer, R C

    1983-01-01

    We studied the opossum sphincter of Oddi (SO) because in this species the SO is approximately 3 cm in length and its extraduodenal location permits recording of motor activity with negligible interference from duodenal motor activity. The SO segment of 120 animals was evaluated by one or more of the following: (a) intraluminal manometry; (b) electromyography; (c) common bile duct (CBD) flow monitored by a drop counter; (d) cineradiography of intraductal contrast medium; and (e) histologic examination. SO pull-throughs using an infused catheter of 0.6-mm o.d. invariably showed a high pressure zone (HPZ) of 18 +/- 3 SE mm Hg in the terminal 4-5 mm of the SO segment. This HPZ had a narrow lumen, 0.5-0.7 mm in diam, and prominent circular muscle. The HPZ in the terminal SO had both active and passive components. HPZ with minimal amplitude and a paucity of underlying smooth muscle were present inconstantly at the junction of the SO segment with the CBD and pancreatic duct, respectively. The dominant feature of the SO segment was rhythmic peristaltic contractions that originated in the proximal SO and propagated toward the duodenum. These contractions occurred spontaneously at a rate of 2-8/min, ranged up to 200 mm Hg in magnitude, had a duration of approximately 5 s and were not abolished by tetrodotoxin. Concurrent myoelectric and manometric recordings showed that each phasic contraction was immediately preceded by an electrical spike burst. Simultaneous recordings of cineradiography, CBD inflow of contrast medium, SO manometry, and SO electromyography indicated that rhythmic peristaltic contractions stripped contrast medium from the SO into the duodenum. During SO systole, CBD emptying was transiently interrupted, whereas SO filling occurred during the diastolic interval between SO peristaltic contractions. SO distention increased the frequency of SO peristalsis. We conclude that (a) the dominant feature of the opossum SO is rhythmic peristaltic contractions that

  12. Ontogeny of Photosynthetic Performance in Fragaria virginiana under Changing Light Regimes 1

    PubMed Central

    Jurik, Thomas W.; Chabot, Jean F.; Chabot, Brian F.

    1979-01-01

    Apparent photosynthesis and dark respiration were followed during development in four light environments of leaves of Fragaria virginiana Duchesne. Leaf expansion was completed more rapidly the higher the growth photon flux density and leaves senesced more quickly in high light. Maximum photosynthetic capacity coincided with the completion of blade expansion and declined quickly thereafter. Leaves were transferred from high to low and low to high photon flux densities at several stages during expansion. Leaf photosynthetic performance and anatomy were subsequently analyzed. Leaf anatomy and apparent photosynthesis per unit dry weight can be modified during expansion to reflect the predominant light conditions. Adaptive potential is greatest early in blade expansion and decreases as expansion is completed. PMID:16660763

  13. Melanosome metabolism in the retinal pigmented epithelium of the opossum.

    PubMed

    Herman, K G; Steinberg, R H

    1982-01-01

    Melanosomal metabolism, including both formation and degradation of melanosomes, was studied in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) of the adult opossum. The majority of the observations were made on a transitional zone between the tapetal and non-tapetal RPE, the region where melanosome metabolism was at its highest level. Formation of melanosomes, demonstrated ultrastructurally by the presence of stage-II and -III premelanosomes, was also examined autoradiographically following the incorporation of the melanin precursor, dihydroxyphenylalanine. The autoradiographic evidence indicated that many newly formed melanosomes were rapidly incorporated into complexes. Ultrastructural observations suggested that melanosome complexes were formed by at least two methods, via the fusion of melanosomes with phagosomes derived from outer segments of photoreceptors, or by the sequestration of melanosomes by cisternae. A central finding of this study, supported by both ultrastructural and histochemical data, is that there are specialized cellular regions that vary in melanosomal formation and lysosomal activity. Stage-II premelanosomes were observed only in the basal parts of the RPE cells, whereas stage-III and -IV melanosomes were found primarily in the apical RPE. Both ultrastructural and cytochemical observations indicated that degradation of melanosomes occurs only in the basal RPE. These findings are interpreted in terms of the expression of both tapetal and nontapetal characteristics in transitional cells. Finally, this study illustrates the role of lysosomal enzymes in shaping the pattern of pigmentation, and shows that the association of lysosomal activity with melanosomes depends on the functional state of the melanosome.

  14. Cystine and dibasic amino acid uptake by opossum kidney cells

    SciTech Connect

    States, B.; Segal, S. )

    1990-06-01

    The characteristics of the uptake of L-cystine by the continuous opossum kidney cell line, OK, were examined. Uptake of cystine is rapid and, in contrast to other continuous cultured cell lines, these cells retain the cystine/dibasic amino acid transport system which is found in vivo and in freshly isolated kidney tissue. Confluent monolayers of cells also fail to show the presence of the cystine/glutamate transport system present in LLC-PK1 cells, fibroblasts, and cultured hepatocytes. Uptake of cystine occurs via a high-affinity saturable process which is independent of medium sodium concentration. The predominant site of cystine transport is across the apical cell membrane. The intracellular concentration of GSH far exceeds that of cystine with a ratio greater than 100:1 for GSH:cysteine. Incubation of cells for 5 minutes with a physiological level of labelled cystine resulted in the labelling of 66% and 5% of the total intracellular cysteine and glutathione, respectively. The ability of these cells to reflect the shared cystine/dibasic amino acid transport system makes them a suitable model for investigation of the cystine carrier which is altered in human cystinuria.

  15. Characterization of protamine uptake by opossum kidney epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Junya; Komeda, Takuji; Katagiri, Yuki; Yumoto, Ryoko; Takano, Mikihisa

    2013-01-01

    Protamine, a mixture of polypeptides that is rich in arginine, has been used clinically as an antidote to heparin overdoses and a complexing agent in a long-acting insulin preparation. When protamine is administered intravenously, its abundant accumulation in the kidneys has been reported. However, the renal uptake mechanism for protamine is not clear. In this study, we examined the transport mechanism for protamine in opossum kidney (OK) cells, a suitable in vitro model for renal proximal tubular epithelial cells. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the association of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled protamine from salmon (FITC-protamine) by OK cells was inhibited by unlabeled protamine in a concentration-dependent manner. The association of FITC-protamine was temperature- and energy-dependent. Confocal microscopy analysis showed that the fluorescence was localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus of OK cells. In addition, FITC-protamine association was inhibited by cationic drugs such as polycationic gentamicin and polymixin B, but it was increased by a basic amino acid, arginine. Inhibitors for clathrin- and caveolin-dependent endocytosis showed inhibitory effects on FITC-protamine association. Pretreatment with heparinase III partially but significantly decreased the association of FITC-protamine. These results suggest that protamine may be taken up by OK cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis, which may result in its localization in the cytoplasm and nucleus of the cells.

  16. Basic Maintenance and Breeding of the Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Keyte, Anna L; Smith, Kathleen K

    2008-10-01

    INTRODUCTIONMonodelphis domestica, the gray, short-tailed, or laboratory opossum, is the most commonly used laboratory marsupial. In addition to the factors that make it a convenient laboratory animal (small size, ease of care, nonseasonal breeding), it is the first marsupial whose genome has been sequenced. Monodelphis has proven useful as a model organism for studies on spinal cord regeneration, ultraviolet (UV)-induced melanoma, and genetic influences on cholesterol, as well as comparative studies of the immune system. In addition, Monodelphis has been used to understand the basic functions of the olfactory system and the role of various olfactory chemicals in social and reproductive behavior. Recently, Monodelphis has been used to understand fundamental aspects of marsupial development, anatomy, evolution, and evolutionary consequences of the derived marsupial mode of development and reproduction. Monodelphis are easily maintained and bred in the lab. To do extensive embryonic work, a reasonably large breeding colony must be maintained. A colony of ~100 animals (~3:1 female:male ratio) allows for sacrifice of up to 12 pregnant females per month for experimental purposes, as well as for replenishment of the colony. However, because adults will fight and often kill one another if kept in the same cage for prolonged periods, we have developed a special breeding protocol that provides high rates of breeding success (75%-90%), with minimal injury due to fighting. Here, we outline this breeding strategy and describe how to successfully maintain a colony of Monodelphis in a laboratory setting.

  17. Besnoitia oryctofelisi n. sp. (Protozoa: Apicomplexa) from domestic rabbits.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Sreekumar, C; Lindsay, D S; Hill, D; Rosenthal, B M; Venturini, L; Venturini, M C; Greiner, E C

    2003-06-01

    A species of Besnoitia from naturally infected rabbits from Argentina was propagated experimentally in mice, gerbils, rabbits, cats, and cell cultures. Cats fed tissue cysts from rabbits shed oocysts with a prepatent period of nine to 13 days. Sporulated oocysts were infective to gerbils, rabbits, outbred Swiss Webster and interferon gamma gene knockout mice. Bradyzoites were infective orally to gerbils and cats. Tachyzoites were successfully cultivated and maintained in vitro in bovine monocytes and African green monkey kidney cells. Schizonts were seen in the lamina propria of the small intestine of cats fed tissue cysts; the largest ones measured 52 x 45 microm. Schizonts were also present in mesenteric lymph nodes, livers, and other extra-intestinal organs of cats fed tissue cysts. Oocysts were 10-14 x 10-13 microm in size. This rabbit-derived species of Besnoitia resembled B. darlingi of the North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana with an opossum-cat cycle, but it was not transmissible to D. virginiana, and B. darlingi of opossums was not transmissible to rabbits. Based on biological, serological, antigenic, and molecular differences between the rabbit and the opossum Besnoitia, a new name, B. oryctofelisi is proposed for the parasite from domestic rabbits from Argentina.

  18. Topical wound-healing effects and phytochemical composition of heartwood essential oils of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook., and Juniperus ashei Juniperus Buchholz

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ethnobotanical surveys indicated that several Juniperus species are utilized as an antihelmintic, diuretic, stimulant, antiseptic, carminative, antirheumatic, antifungal and for wound healing. In the present study, essential oils obtained from heartwood samples of Juniperus virginiana L., J. occide...

  19. Isolation and amino acid sequences of opossum vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and cholecystokinin octapeptide.

    PubMed Central

    Eng, J; Yu, J; Rattan, S; Yalow, R S

    1992-01-01

    Evolutionary history suggests that the marsupials entered South America from North America about 75 million years ago and subsequently dispersed into Australia before the separation between South America and Antarctica-Australia. A question of interest is whether marsupial peptides resemble the corresponding peptides of Old or New World mammals. Previous studies had shown that "little" gastrin of the North American marsupial, the opossum, is identical in length to that of the New World mammals, the guinea pig and chinchilla. In this report, we demonstrate that opossum cholecystokinin octapeptide, like that of the Australian marsupials, the Eastern quoll and the Tamar wallaby, is identical to the cholecystokinin octapeptide of Old World mammals and differs from that of the guinea pig and chinchilla. However, opossum vasoactive intestinal polypeptide differs from the usual Old World mammalian vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in five sites: [sequence; see text]. PMID:1542675

  20. Chemical communication and reproduction in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Harder, John D; Jackson, Leslie M

    2010-01-01

    The gray short-tailed opossum is one of the most widely studied of all marsupials and an important model for study of olfactory communication, particularly as it relates to pheromonal activation of reproduction. Males respond to differentially to female skin gland secretions and urine from anestrous females, while females respond only skin gland secretions, particularly that of the suprasternal gland. Divergent responses by male and female opossums to odors from these different body sources are most likely related to sex-specific production and deposition of chemical signals in this species. Female opossums do not have an estrous cycle but are stimulated to estrus by male pheromone. Females nuzzle scent marks from male suprasternal gland secretions, and thereby facilitate delivery of a nonvolatile estrus-inducing pheromone to the chemosensory epithelium of vomeronasal organ. Neuroendocrine correlates of pheromonal induction of estrus include elevated plasma estradiol and upregulation of progesterone receptors in hypothalamic regions that control reproductive behavior.

  1. The partial 5-HT1A receptor agonist buspirone enhances neurogenesis in the opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Grabiec, Marta; Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Rouzanna L

    2009-06-01

    We demonstrate for the first time that neurogenesis in the adult Monodelphis opossum has a typical mammalian pattern and occurs only in the dentate gyrus (DG) and subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles. In these two brain regions neurogenesis is present throughout the lifespan, although its rate is reduced by half in the old age. Treatment with buspirone, a partial 5-HT1A receptor agonist which is used in human clinic as an anxiolytic agent, boosts proliferation in the SVZ and DG in both adult and aged opossums. The neuronal phenotype dominates among newly generated cells in both non-treated and buspirone-treated opossums. We suggest that if functional importance of adult neurogenesis is in improving olfactory discrimination and generation of hippocampus-dependent memory, both spatial and emotional, then administration of drugs increasing the rate of neurogenesis via activation of 5-HT1A receptors may be a valuable aid in combating problems of the advanced age.

  2. A review of Sarcocystis neurona and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Lindsay, D S; Saville, W J; Reed, S M; Granstrom, D E; Speer, C A

    2001-02-26

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a serious neurological disease of horses in the Americas. The protozoan most commonly associated with EPM is Sarcocystis neurona. The complete life cycle of S. neurona is unknown, including its natural intermediate host that harbors its sarcocyst. Opossums (Didelphis virginiana, Didelphis albiventris) are its definitive hosts. Horses are considered its aberrant hosts because only schizonts and merozoites (no sarcocysts) are found in horses. EPM-like disease occurs in a variety of mammals including cats, mink, raccoons, skunks, Pacific harbor seals, ponies, and Southern sea otters. Cats can act as an experimental intermediate host harboring the sarcocyst stage after ingesting sporocysts. This paper reviews information on the history, structure, life cycle, biology, pathogenesis, induction of disease in animals, clinical signs, diagnosis, pathology, epidemiology, and treatment of EPM caused by S. neurona.

  3. Evaluation of O-POSSUM vs ASA and APACHE II scores in patients undergoing oesophageal surgery.

    PubMed

    Fodor, Raluca; Cioc, Adrian; Grigorescu, Bianca; Lăzescu, Bogdan; Copotoiu, Sanda Maria

    2015-04-01

    Risk and prognostic scores quantify the patient's risk of death or complication according to the severity of his illness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive accuracy of O-POSSUM vs ASA and APACHE II models on patients undergoing oesophageal surgery. In this observational retrospective study 55 patients were enrolled who had undergone surgical interventions of excision and reconstruction of the oesophagus for neoplastic oesophageal stenosis, in the Surgical Clinics (I and II) of the Clinical County Emergency Hospital Mures, between January 2011 and January 2014. By using patients file records after extracting the data we calculated the predictive mortality, according to the prognostic scores O-POSSUM, ASA and APACHE II and we analyzed its correlations with the postoperative evolution. We evaluated the discriminatory power of the three scores using the ROC (receiver-operating characteristic) curves. According to the cut-off value corresponding to each score, we compared the Kaplan Meier survival curves during the hospitalization period. ROC curves analysis revealed that O-POSSUM had a better discriminatory power for mortality compared to the other two scores: AUC = 0.73 for O-POSSUM, AUC = 0.57 for APACHE II and AUC = 0.64 for ASA (p < 0.001). The cut-off value was statistically significant only in case of O-POSSUM, as it derives from the statistical analysis of the survival curves (p = 0.035). O-POSSUM predicts mortality more accurately compared to ASA or APACHE II in patients undergoing oesophageal surgery.

  4. A new species of Pterygodermatites (Nematoda: Rictulariidae) from the Incan shrew opossum, Lestoros inca.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Patterson, Bruce D

    2012-06-01

    Pterygodermatites ( Paucipectines ) hymanae n. sp. (Rictulariidae) collected from the Incan shrew opossum, Lestoros inca , from Peru is described herein. These nematodes show a subapical, slightly dorsal oral opening and a laterally compressed buccal capsule with 2 conspicuous lateral walls and a dorsal wall. Each lateroventral wall possesses 4 relatively large denticles, and the dorsal wall has 6 denticles. Females are characterized by a conspicuously large postvulvar 37th spine, which may reach 1 mm. This is the first record of endoparasites in the Incan shrew opossum and the fifth species of Pterygodermatites recorded in New World marsupials.

  5. Increasing Juniperus virginiana L. pollen in the Tulsa atmosphere: long-term trends, variability, and influence of meteorological conditions.

    PubMed

    Flonard, Michaela; Lo, Esther; Levetin, Estelle

    2017-09-15

    In the Tulsa area, the Cupressaceae is largely represented by eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.). The encroachment of this species into the grasslands of Oklahoma has been well documented, and it is believed this trend will continue. The pollen is known to be allergenic and is a major component of the Tulsa atmosphere in February and March. This study examined airborne Cupressaceae pollen data from 1987 to 2016 to determine long-term trends, pollen seasonal variability, and influence of meteorological variables on airborne pollen concentrations. Pollen was collected through means of a Burkard sampler and analyzed with microscopy. Daily pollen concentrations and yearly pollen metrics showed a high degree of variability. In addition, there were significant increases over time in the seasonal pollen index and in peak concentrations. These increases parallel the increasing population of J. virginiana in the region. Pollen data were split into pre- and post-peak categories for statistical analyses, which revealed significant differences in correlations of the two datasets when analyzed with meteorological conditions. While temperature and dew point, among others were significant in both datasets, other factors, like relative humidity, were significant only in one dataset. Analyses using wind direction showed that southerly and southwestern winds contributed to increased pollen concentrations. This study confirms that J. virginiana pollen has become an increasing risk for individuals sensitive to this pollen and emphasizes the need for long-term aerobiological monitoring in other areas.

  6. Common procedures in hedgehogs, prairie dogs, exotic rodents, and companion marsupials.

    PubMed

    Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A

    2006-05-01

    Nondomesticated species are commonly being kept as companion animals. These include the African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albi-ventris), the North American black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys lu-dovicianus), and exotic rodents such as the degu (Octodon degus)and duprasi or fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi). Common companion marsupials include the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps),Bennett's or Tammar (Dama) wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus rufo-griseus and Macropus eugenii, respectively), the Brazilian or South American gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), and the North American Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Although many of these animals are now bred domestically and are fairly docile when human-raised, they are essentially wild animals and hence have strong instincts to hide illness and pain.

  7. Virginia Opossums, Minimum Reproduction Age and Predators in the Penna Aging Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altevolmer, A. K.

    Age-specific predators are introduced into the Penna model of biological aging. It is shown that populations with a variable minimum reproduction age find a stable state with an earlier onset of reproduction, if older ages are eaten by the predators. This behavior agrees with the demographic data of the Virgina opossum.

  8. The laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestica) as a natural mammalian model for human cancer research.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiqiang; Hubbard, Gene B; Clubb, Fred J; Vandeberg, John L

    2009-01-01

    This study established that human cancer cells (A375 melanoma, HT-29 colon cancer, PC-3p prostate cancer) that were xenografted into suckling opossums could proliferate and globally metastasize as early as 11 days after injection. Light and electron microscopic examinations (HT-29 colon cancer) determined that the cellular features exhibited by the xenogeneic human tumors grown in laboratory opossums were consistent with those observed in tumors removed from humans. The tumor induction rate, patterns of tumor growth and regression, and types of host immune responses against the xenografted tumors were influenced by injection dosages, injection sites and injection ages of suckling opossums. The results highlight the value of the opossum model as a natural in vivo system for investigating human cancer growth, metastasis and apoptosis at the cellular and molecular levels; enhancing identification of tumor associated antigens or T cell epitopes through use of humoral and cellular expression cloning techniques; elucidating mechanisms utilized by tumor cells to evade host immunosurveillance; and devising diagnostic and therapeutic methods for cancer treatment.

  9. Antifungal metabolites from the roots of Diospyros virginiana by overpressure layer chromatography.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoning; Habib, Eman; León, Francisco; Radwan, Mohamed M; Tabanca, Nurhayat; Gao, Jiangtao; Wedge, David E; Cutler, Stephen J

    2011-12-01

    A preparative overpressure layer chromatography (OPLC) method was successfully used for the separation of two new natural compounds, 4-hydroxy-5,6-dimethoxynaphthalene-2-carbaldehyde (1) and 12,13-didehydro-20,29-dihydrobetulin (2) together with nine known compounds, including 7-methyljuglone (3), diospyrin (4), isodiospyrin (5), shinanolone (6), lupeol (7), betulin (8), betulinic acid (9), betulinaldehyde (10), and ursolic acid (11) from the acetone extract of the roots of Diospyros virginiana. Their identification was accomplished by 1D- and 2D-NMR spectroscopy and HR-ESI-MS methods. All the isolated compounds were evaluated for their antifungal activities against Colletotrichum fragariae, C. gloeosporioides, C. acutatum, Botrytis cinerea, Fusarium oxysporum, Phomopsis obscurans, and P. viticola using in vitro micro-dilution broth assay. The results indicated that compounds 3 and 5 showed high antifungal activity against P. obscurans at 30 μM with 97.0 and 81.4% growth inhibition, and moderate activity against P. viticola (54.3 and 36.6%). It appears that an optimized OPLC system offers a rapid and efficient method of exploiting bioactive natural products. Copyright © 2011 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  10. Host density drives the postglacial migration of the tree parasite, Epifagus virginiana

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Yi-Hsin Erica; Manos, Paul S.

    2010-01-01

    To survive changes in climate, successful species shift their geographic ranges to remain in suitable habitats. For parasites and other highly specialized species, distributional changes not only are dictated by climate but can also be engineered by their hosts. The extent of host control on parasite range expansion is revealed through comparisons of host and parasite migration and demographic histories. However, understanding the codistributional history of entire forest communities is complicated by challenges in synthesizing datasets from multiple interacting species of differing datatypes. Here we integrate genetic and fossil pollen datasets from a host–parasite pair; specifically, the population structure of the parasitic plant (Epifagus virginiana) was compared with both its host (Fagus grandifolia) genetic patterns and abundance data from the paleopollen record of the last 21,000 y. Through tests of phylogeographic structure and spatial linear regression models we find, surprisingly, host range changes had little effect on the parasite's range expansion and instead host density is the main driver of parasite spread. Unlike other symbionts that have been used as proxies to track their host's movements, this parasite's migration routes are incongruent with the host and instead reflect the greater importance of host density in this community's assembly. Furthermore, these results confirm predictions of disease ecological models regarding the role of host density in the spread of pathogens. Due to host density constraints, highly specialized species may have low migration capacities and long lag times before colonization of new areas. PMID:20841421

  11. Florivory increases selfing: an experimental study in the wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana.

    PubMed

    Penet, L; Collin, C L; Ashman, T-L

    2009-01-01

    Florivores are antagonists that damage flowers, and have direct negative effects on flowering and pollination of the attacked plants. While florivory has mainly been studied for its consequences on seed production or siring success, little is known about its impact on mating systems. Damage to flowers can alter pollinator attraction to the plant and may therefore modify patterns of pollen transfer. However, the consequences of damage for mating systems can take two forms: a decrease in flower number reduces opportunities for intra-inflorescence pollen deposition (geitonogamy), which, in turn, may lead to a decrease in selfing; whereas a decrease in floral display may also reduce overall visitation and thus increase the chances of self-pollination via facilitated or autonomous autogamy. We investigated the effects of damage by a bud-clipping weevil (Anthonomus signatus) in Fragaria virginiana in an experimental setting mimicking natural conditions. We found that increased damage led to an increase in selfing, a result consistent with the increased autogamy pathway. We discuss the implications of this finding and evaluate the generality of florivore-mediated mating system expression.

  12. Host density drives the postglacial migration of the tree parasite, Epifagus virginiana.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Yi-Hsin Erica; Manos, Paul S

    2010-09-28

    To survive changes in climate, successful species shift their geographic ranges to remain in suitable habitats. For parasites and other highly specialized species, distributional changes not only are dictated by climate but can also be engineered by their hosts. The extent of host control on parasite range expansion is revealed through comparisons of host and parasite migration and demographic histories. However, understanding the codistributional history of entire forest communities is complicated by challenges in synthesizing datasets from multiple interacting species of differing datatypes. Here we integrate genetic and fossil pollen datasets from a host-parasite pair; specifically, the population structure of the parasitic plant (Epifagus virginiana) was compared with both its host (Fagus grandifolia) genetic patterns and abundance data from the paleopollen record of the last 21,000 y. Through tests of phylogeographic structure and spatial linear regression models we find, surprisingly, host range changes had little effect on the parasite's range expansion and instead host density is the main driver of parasite spread. Unlike other symbionts that have been used as proxies to track their host's movements, this parasite's migration routes are incongruent with the host and instead reflect the greater importance of host density in this community's assembly. Furthermore, these results confirm predictions of disease ecological models regarding the role of host density in the spread of pathogens. Due to host density constraints, highly specialized species may have low migration capacities and long lag times before colonization of new areas.

  13. Evidence of recovery of Juniperus virginiana trees from sulfur pollution after the Clean Air Act.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Richard B; Spal, Scott E; Smith, Kenneth R; Nippert, Jesse B

    2013-09-17

    Using dendroisotopic techniques, we show the recovery of Juniperus virginiana L. (eastern red cedar) trees in the Central Appalachian Mountains from decades of acidic pollution. Acid deposition over much of the 20th century reduced stomatal conductance of leaves, thereby increasing intrinsic water-use efficiency of the Juniperus trees. These data indicate that the stomata of Juniperus may be more sensitive to acid deposition than to increasing atmospheric CO2. A breakpoint in the 100-y δ(13)C tree ring chronology occurred around 1980, as the legacy of sulfur dioxide emissions declined following the enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1970, indicating a gradual increase in stomatal conductance (despite rising levels of atmospheric CO2) and a concurrent increase in photosynthesis related to decreasing acid deposition and increasing atmospheric CO2. Tree ring δ(34)S shows a synchronous change in the sources of sulfur used at the whole-tree level that indicates a reduced anthropogenic influence. The increase in growth and the δ(13)C and δ(34)S trends in the tree ring chronology of these Juniperus trees provide evidence for a distinct physiological response to changes in atmospheric SO2 emissions since ∼1980 and signify the positive impacts of landmark environmental legislation to facilitate recovery of forest ecosystems from acid deposition.

  14. Evidence of recovery of Juniperus virginiana trees from sulfur pollution after the Clean Air Act

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Richard B.; Spal, Scott E.; Smith, Kenneth R.; Nippert, Jesse B.

    2013-01-01

    Using dendroisotopic techniques, we show the recovery of Juniperus virginiana L. (eastern red cedar) trees in the Central Appalachian Mountains from decades of acidic pollution. Acid deposition over much of the 20th century reduced stomatal conductance of leaves, thereby increasing intrinsic water-use efficiency of the Juniperus trees. These data indicate that the stomata of Juniperus may be more sensitive to acid deposition than to increasing atmospheric CO2. A breakpoint in the 100-y δ13C tree ring chronology occurred around 1980, as the legacy of sulfur dioxide emissions declined following the enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1970, indicating a gradual increase in stomatal conductance (despite rising levels of atmospheric CO2) and a concurrent increase in photosynthesis related to decreasing acid deposition and increasing atmospheric CO2. Tree ring δ34S shows a synchronous change in the sources of sulfur used at the whole-tree level that indicates a reduced anthropogenic influence. The increase in growth and the δ13C and δ34S trends in the tree ring chronology of these Juniperus trees provide evidence for a distinct physiological response to changes in atmospheric SO2 emissions since ∼1980 and signify the positive impacts of landmark environmental legislation to facilitate recovery of forest ecosystems from acid deposition. PMID:24003125

  15. Antifungal Metabolites from the Roots of Diospyros virginiana by Overpressure Layer Chromatography

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoning; Habib, Eman; León, Francisco; Radwan, Mohamed M.; Tabanca, Nurhayat; Gao, Jiangtao

    2011-01-01

    A preparative overpressure layer chromatography (OPLC) method was successfully used for the separation of two new natural compounds, 4-hydroxy-5,6-dimethoxy-2-naphthaldehyde (1) and Δ12,13-20,29-dihydrobetulin (2) together with nine known compounds including 7-methyl-juglone (3), diospyrin (4), isodiospyrin (5), shinanolone (6), lupeol (7), betulin (8), betulinic acid (9), betulinaldehyde (10), and ursolic acid (11) from the acetone extract of the roots of Diospyros virginiana. Their identification was performed with mono and bidimensional NMR spectroscopy and HR-ESI-MS methods. All the isolated compounds were evaluated for their antifungal activity against Colletotrichum fragariae, C. gloeosporioides, C. acutatum, Botrytis cinerea, Fusarium oxysporum, Phomopsis obscurans, and P. viticola using in vitro micro-dilution broth assay. The results indicated that compounds 3 and 5 showed high antifungal activity against P. obscurans at 30 μM with 97.0 % and 81.4 % growth inhibition and moderate activity against P. viticola (54.3 % and 36.6 %). It appears that an optimized OPLC system offers a rapid and efficient method of exploiting bioactive natural products. PMID:22162171

  16. New Aspidoderidae species parasite of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Didelphidae): a light and scanning electron microscopy approach.

    PubMed

    Chagas-Moutinho, V A; Sant'anna, V; Oliveira-Menezes, A; De Souza, W

    2014-02-01

    Nematodes of the family Aspidoderidae (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1947, are widely distributed in the Americas. The family Aspidoderidae includes the subfamilies Aspidoderinae Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1947, and Lauroiinae Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1951. These two subfamilies are delineated by the presence or absence of cephalic cordons at the anterior region. The nematodes in the subfamily Aspidoderinae, which includes the genus AspidoderaRailliet and Henry, 1912, are represented by nematodes with anterior cephalic cordons at the anterior end. The nematodes of the genus AspidoderaRailliet and Henry, 1912, are found in the cecum and large intestine of mammals of the orders Edentata, Marsupialia and Rodentia. Species within this genus have many morphological similarities. The use of scanning electron microscopy allows the specific characterization of the species within this genus. In the present work, we describe a new species of Aspidodera parasite of the large intestine of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Didelphidae) Wied-Neuwied, 1826, collected from Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio de Janeiro. The combination of light and scanning electron microscopy allowed us a detailed analysis of this nematode.

  17. Implications of invasion by Juniperus virginiana on small mammals in the southern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horncastle, V.J.; Hellgren, E.C.; Mayer, P.M.; Ganguli, A.C.; Engle, David M.; Leslie, David M.

    2005-01-01

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examined effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on small mammals in 3 plant communities (tallgrass prairie, old field, and cross-timbers forest) in the cross-timbers ecoregion in Oklahoma. We sampled small mammals seasonally from May 2001 to August 2002 by using Sherman live traps and mark-recapture techniques on 3.24-ha, 450-trap grids in each plant community. We sampled vegetation in two hundred twenty-five 12 x 12-m cells within each grid. The structure of the small-mammal community differed among the 3 habitat types, with higher species diversity and richness in the tallgrass-prairie and old-field sites. Overall, the small-mammal community shifted along a gradient of increasing eastern red cedar. In the old-field and tallgrass-prairie plots, occurrence of grassland mammals decreased with increasing red cedar, whereas only 1 woodland mammal species increased. In the cross-timbers forest site, percent woody cover (<1 m in height), rather than cover of red cedar, was the most important factor affecting woodland mammal species. Examination of our data suggests that an increase in overstory cover from 0% to 30% red cedar can change a species-rich prairie community to a depauperate community dominated by 1 species, Peromyscus leucopus. Losses in species diversity and changes in mammal distribution paralleled those seen in avian communities invaded by eastern red cedar. Our results highlight ecological effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on diversity and function at multiple trophic levels. ?? 2005 American Society of Mammalogists.

  18. Canopy structural alterations to nitrogen functions of the soil microbial community in a Quercus virginiana forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, L. D.; Van Stan, J. T., II; Rosier, C. L.; Gay, T. E.; Wu, T.

    2014-12-01

    Forest canopy structure controls the timing, amount and chemical character of precipitation supply to soils through interception and drainage along crown surfaces. Yet, few studies have examined forest canopy structural connections to soil microbial communities (SMCs), and none have measured how this affects SMC N functions. The maritime Quercus virginiana Mill. (southern live oak) forests of St Catherine's Island, GA, USA provide an ideal opportunity to examine canopy structural alterations to SMCs and their functioning, as their throughfall varies substantially across space due to dense Tillandsia usneoides L. (spanish moss) mats bestrewn throughout. To examine the impact of throughfall variability on SMC N functions, we examined points along the canopy coverage continuum: large canopy gaps (0%), bare canopy (50-60%), and canopy of heavy T. usneoides coverage (>=85%). Five sites beneath each of the canopy cover types were monitored for throughfall water/ions and soil leachates chemistry for one storm each month over the growing period (7 months, Mar-2014 to Sep-2014) to compare with soil chemistry and SMC communities sampled every two months throughout that same period (Mar, May, Jul, Sep). DGGE and QPCR analysis of the N functioning genes (NFGs) to characterize the ammonia oxidizing bacterial (AOB-amoA), archaea (AOA-amoA), and ammonification (chiA) communities were used to determine the nitrification and decomposition potential of these microbial communities. PRS™-probes (Western Ag Innovations Inc., Saskatoon, Canada) were then used to determine the availability of NO3-N and NH4+N in the soils over a 6-week period to evaluate whether the differing NFG abundance and community structures resulted in altered N cycling.

  19. Transcription, splicing and editing of plastid RNAs in the nonphotosynthetic plant Epifagus virginiana.

    PubMed

    Ems, S C; Morden, C W; Dixon, C K; Wolfe, K H; dePamphilis, C W; Palmer, J D

    1995-11-01

    Expression of the vestigial plastid genome of the nonphotosynthetic, parasitic flowering plant Epifagus virginiana was examined by northern analysis and by characterization of cDNAs. Probes for each of 12 plastid genes tested hybridized to all lanes of northern blots containing total RNA prepared from stems and fruits of Epifagus and from leaves of tobacco. Certain transcript patterns in Epifagus plastids are highly complex and similar to those of tobacco operons. In contrast, genes such as rps2, which have become orphaned in Epifagus as a result of evolutionary loss of formerly cotranscribed genes, show simpler transcript patterns in Epifagus than in tobacco. Sizing and sequencing of cDNAs generated by reverse transcriptase-PCR for three genes, rps12, rpl2, and clpP, show that their transcripts are properly cis- and/or trans-spliced at the same five group II intron insertion sites used in photosynthetic plants. A single, conventional C-->U edit in rps12 was found among the total of 1401 nucleotides of cDNA sequence that was determined for the three genes. An octanucleotide sequence identical to a putative guide RNA of plant organelles and perfectly complementary to the rps12 edit site itself was identified just 200 bp upstream of the edit site. These data, together with previous results from the complete sequencing of the Epifagus plastid genome, provide compelling evidence that this degenerate genome is nonetheless expressed and functional. Analysis of the putative maturase MatK, encoded by the group II intron of trnK in photosynthetic land plants but by a freestanding gene in Epifagus, leads us to hypothesize that it acts 'in trans' to assist the splicing of group II introns other than the one in which it is normally encoded.

  20. Expansion of Juniperus virginiana L. in the Great Plains: Changes in soil organic carbon dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Dixie L.; Johnson, Loretta C.

    2003-06-01

    Woody encroachment by Juniperus virginiana into Great Plains grasslands allowed us to answer: Does changing the type of plant input to soils alter soil organic carbon (SOC) distribution or soil carbon (C) storage? The answer is critical because woody encroachment may alter C cycling over millions of hectares in the Great Plains and Midwest. We predicted that (1) forest SOC would become concentrated in shallow soil layers compared to SOC distribution in grassland, (2) woody expansion would increase soil C storage, and (3) forest C would be apparent in the larger soil organic matter fractions. Using δ13C signatures of SOC, 1/5 of the C from 0 to 25 cm in juniper forest soils was derived from C3 juniper trees. Forest C3 input occurred primarily in shallow surface layers: Forest soils developed over former C4 prairie contained 42% C3-SOC from 0 to 2.5 cm depth, and decreased to 6% at 25 cm. Isotopic analysis of SOC size fractions revealed that at 0-2.5 cm, the forest soil fraction >212 μm was -25.7‰. The fraction <2 μm had a 13C isotope ratio of -17.0‰ at the same depth, reflecting the predominance of residual prairie C in the smallest fraction. In spite of fast dynamics of soil C turnover, there was no net change in SOC amounts over 40-60 years (cumulative mineral and organic SOC in forest, 8782 g C/m2 ± 810; in grassland, 7699 ± 1004). Thus as junipers expand into mesic areas of the Great Plains, juniper forests will provide little additional soil C storage.

  1. Cephalic sensory influence on forelimb movement in newborn opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Adadja, T; Cabana, T; Pflieger, J-F

    2013-01-03

    Like other marsupials, the opossum Monodelphis domestica is born very immature and crawls, unaided by the mother, from the urogenital opening to a nipple where it attaches and pursues its development. If the alternate, rhythmic movements of the forelimbs which allow this locomotion are generated by the developing spinal motor networks, sensory information is nonetheless needed to guide the newborn to a nipple. Behavioral, anatomical and physiological studies suggest that the auditory and the visual systems are insufficiently developed in newborn opossums to influence spinal motor centers, while the vestibular, trigeminal, and olfactory systems are likelier candidates. The trigeminal, vestibular and olfactory regions of the brain were electrically stimulated to test their relative effectiveness at eliciting forelimb movement in newborn opossums, using in vitro preparations of brain-spinal cord with the limbs attached. The minimal stimulation of the cervical spinal cord needed to induce forelimb movement was considered as threshold (T). Stimulations of the trigeminal ganglion (5G) at ∼2T and of the vestibular complex at ∼20T could induce the same movement, and were not statistically different, in contrast to the ∼600T necessary for the olfactory bulb (OB). Neurofilament-200 immunohistochemistry and retrograde tracing with Texas-Red conjugated Dextran Amines were used to study trigeminal innervation of the facial skin and pathways by which trigeminal inputs may be relayed to the spinal cord. Numerous nerve fibers were observed in the snout dermis, especially in the maxillary region, but also elsewhere in the head skin. Some 5G cells project to the upper spinal cord, but more project to the caudal medulla where they could contact secondary trigeminal neurons or reticular cells projecting to the spinal cord. These results support a significant influence of the trigeminal and the vestibular systems, but not of olfaction, on forelimb movement of neonatal opossums

  2. Steatohepatitis in laboratory opossums exhibiting a high lipemic response to dietary cholesterol and fat

    PubMed Central

    Sharkey, Francis E.; Kushwaha, Rampratap S.; VandeBerg, Jane F.; VandeBerg, John L.

    2012-01-01

    Plasma VLDL and LDL cholesterol were markedly elevated (>40-fold) in high-responding opossums, but moderately elevated (6-fold) in low-responding opossums after they had consumed a high-cholesterol and high-fat diet for 24 wk. In both high- and low-responding opossums, plasma triglycerides were slightly elevated, threefold and twofold, respectively. Dietary challenge also induced fatty livers in high responders, but not in low responders. We studied the lipid composition, histopathological features, and gene expression patterns of the fatty livers. Free cholesterol (2-fold), esterified cholesterol (11-fold), and triglycerides (2-fold) were higher in the livers of high responders than those in low responders, whereas free fatty acid levels were similar. The fatty livers of high responders showed extensive lobular disarray by histology. Inflammatory cells and ballooned hepatocytes were also present, as were perisinusoidal fibrosis and ductular proliferation. In contrast, liver histology was normal in low responders. Hepatic gene expression revealed differences associated with the development of steatohepatitis in high responders. The accumulation of hepatic cholesterol was concomitant with upregulation of the HMGCR gene and downregulation of the CYP27A1, ABCG8, and ABCB4 genes. Genes involved in inflammation (TNF, NFKB1, and COX2) and in oxidative stress (CYBA and NCF1) were upregulated. Upregulation of the growth factor genes (PDGF and TGFB1) and collagen genes (Col1A1, Col3A1, and Col4A1) was consistent with fibrosis. Some of the histological characteristics of the fatty livers of high-responding opossums imitate those in the livers of humans with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. PMID:22556142

  3. Steatohepatitis in laboratory opossums exhibiting a high lipemic response to dietary cholesterol and fat.

    PubMed

    Chan, Jeannie; Sharkey, Francis E; Kushwaha, Rampratap S; VandeBerg, Jane F; VandeBerg, John L

    2012-07-01

    Plasma VLDL and LDL cholesterol were markedly elevated (>40-fold) in high-responding opossums, but moderately elevated (6-fold) in low-responding opossums after they had consumed a high-cholesterol and high-fat diet for 24 wk. In both high- and low-responding opossums, plasma triglycerides were slightly elevated, threefold and twofold, respectively. Dietary challenge also induced fatty livers in high responders, but not in low responders. We studied the lipid composition, histopathological features, and gene expression patterns of the fatty livers. Free cholesterol (2-fold), esterified cholesterol (11-fold), and triglycerides (2-fold) were higher in the livers of high responders than those in low responders, whereas free fatty acid levels were similar. The fatty livers of high responders showed extensive lobular disarray by histology. Inflammatory cells and ballooned hepatocytes were also present, as were perisinusoidal fibrosis and ductular proliferation. In contrast, liver histology was normal in low responders. Hepatic gene expression revealed differences associated with the development of steatohepatitis in high responders. The accumulation of hepatic cholesterol was concomitant with upregulation of the HMGCR gene and downregulation of the CYP27A1, ABCG8, and ABCB4 genes. Genes involved in inflammation (TNF, NFKB1, and COX2) and in oxidative stress (CYBA and NCF1) were upregulated. Upregulation of the growth factor genes (PDGF and TGFB1) and collagen genes (Col1A1, Col3A1, and Col4A1) was consistent with fibrosis. Some of the histological characteristics of the fatty livers of high-responding opossums imitate those in the livers of humans with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

  4. Metabolic, ventilatory, and hygric physiology of the gracile mouse opossum (Gracilinanus agilis).

    PubMed

    Cooper, C E; Withers, P C; Cruz-Neto, A P

    2009-01-01

    We present the first complete study of basic laboratory-measured physiological variables (metabolism, thermoregulation, evaporative water loss, and ventilation) for a South American marsupial, the gracile mouse opossum (Gracilinanus agilis). Body temperature (T(b)) was thermolabile below thermoneutrality (T(b) = 33.5 degrees C), but a substantial gradient between T(b) and ambient temperature (T(a)) was sustained even at T(a) = 12 degrees C (T(b) = 30.6 degrees C). Basal metabolic rate of 1.00 mL O2 g(-1) h(-1) at T(a) = 30 degrees C conformed to the general allometric relationship for marsupials, as did wet thermal conductance (5.7 mL O2 g(-1) h(-1) degrees C(-1)). Respiratory rate, tidal volume, and minute volume at thermoneutrality matched metabolic demand such that O2 extraction was 12.4%, and ventilation increased in proportion to metabolic rate at low T(a). Ventilatory accommodation of increased metabolic rate at low T(a) was by an increase in respiratory rate rather than by tidal volume or O2 extraction. Evaporative water loss at the lower limit of thermoneutrality conformed to that of other marsupials. Relative water economy was negative at thermoneutrality but positive below T(a) = 12 degrees C. Interestingly, the Neotropical gracile mouse opossums have a more positive water economy at low T(a) than an Australian arid-zone marsupial, perhaps reflecting seasonal variation in water availability for the mouse opossum. Torpor occurred at low T(a), with spontaneous arousal when T(b) > 20 degrees C. Torpor resulted in absolute energy and water savings but lower relative water economy. We found no evidence that gracile mouse opossums differ physiologically from other marsupials, despite their Neotropical distribution, sympatry with placental mammals, and long period of separation from Australian marsupials.

  5. Receptors and cGMP signalling mechanism for E. coli enterotoxin in opossum kidney

    SciTech Connect

    Forte, L.R.; Krause, W.J.; Freeman, R.H. Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Medical Center, Columbia, MO )

    1988-11-01

    Receptors for the heat-stable enterotoxin produced by Escherichia coli were found in the kidney and intestine of the North American opossum and in cultured renal cell lines. The enterotoxin markedly increased guanosine 3{prime},5{prime}-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) production in slices of kidney cortex and medulla, in suspensions of intestinal mucosa, and in the opossum kidney (OK) and rat kangaroo kidney (PtK-2) cell lines. In contrast, atrial natriuretic factor elicited much smaller increases in cGMP levels of kidney, intestine, or cultured kidney cell lines. The enterotoxin receptors in OK cells had a molecular mass of approximately 120 kDa when measured by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of receptors crosslinked with {sup 125}I-enterotoxin. The occurrence of receptors for the E. coli peptide in OK implies that these receptors may be involved in the regulation of renal tubular function in the opossum. E. coli enterotoxin caused a much larger increase in urine cGMP excretion than did atrial natriuretic factor when these peptides were injected intravenously into opossums. However, atrial natriuretic factor elicited a marked diuresis, natriuresis, and increased urinary excretion of calcium, phosphate, potassium, and magnesium. In contrast, the enterotoxin did not acutely influence OK fluid and electrolyte excretion. Thus the substantial increase in cGMP synthesis produced by the bacterial peptide in OK cortex and medulla in vitro and the increased renal excretion of cGMP in vivo were not associated with changes in electrolyte or water excretion. Whether cGMP represents a second messenger molecule in the kidney is an interesting question that was raised but not answered in this series of experiments.

  6. Structural and functional analyses of DM43, a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor from Didelphis marsupialis serum.

    PubMed

    Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Perales, Jonas; Fox, Jay W; Shannon, John D; Makino, Débora L; Garratt, Richard C; Domont, Gilberto B

    2002-04-12

    DM43, an opossum serum protein inhibitor of snake venom metalloproteinases, has been completely sequenced, and its disulfide bond pattern has been experimentally determined. It shows homology to human alpha(1)B-glycoprotein, a plasma protein of unknown function and a member of the immunoglobulin supergene family. Size exclusion and dynamic laser light scattering data indicated that two monomers of DM43, each composed of three immunoglobulin-like domains, associated to form a homodimer in solution. Analysis of its glycan moiety showed the presence of N-acetylglucosamine, mannose, galactose, and sialic acid, most probably forming four biantennary N-linked chains. DM43 inhibited the fibrinogenolytic activities of bothrolysin and jararhagin and formed 1:1 stoichiometric stable complexes with both metalloproteinases. DM43 was ineffective against atrolysin C or A. No complex formation was detected between DM43 and jararhagin C, indicating the essential role of the metalloproteinase domain for interaction. Homology modeling based on the crystal structure of a killer cell inhibitory receptor suggested the existence of an I-type Ig fold, a hydrophobic dimerization surface and six surface loops potentially forming the metalloproteinase-binding surface on DM43.

  7. Torpor in the Patagonian opossum ( Lestodelphys halli): implications for the evolution of daily torpor and hibernation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiser, Fritz; Martin, Gabriel M.

    2013-10-01

    Hibernation and daily torpor are two distinct forms of torpor, and although they are related, it is not known how and in which sequence they evolved. As the pattern of torpor expressed by the oldest marsupial order the opossums (Didelphimorphia) may provide insights into the evolution of torpor, we aimed to provide the first quantitative data on the thermal biology and torpor expression of the rare Patagonian opossum ( Lestodelphys halli). It is the opossum with the southernmost distribution, has a propensity of autumnal fattening, and therefore, is likely to hibernate. We captured two male Lestodelphys, which while in captivity displayed strong daily fluctuations of body temperatures (Tb) measured with implanted miniature data loggers even when they remained normothermic. In autumn and early winter, torpor was expressed occasionally when food was available, but cold exposure and food withdrawal increased torpor use. The mean Tb throughout the study was 32.2 ± 1.4 °C, the minimum Tb measured in torpid Lestodelphys was 7.7 °C, average torpor bout duration was 10.3 h, and the maximum torpor bout duration was 42.5 h. Thus, the pattern of torpor expressed by Lestodelphys was intermediate between that of daily heterotherms and hibernators suggesting that it may represent an ancestral opportunistic torpor pattern from which the derived patterns of daily torpor and seasonal hibernation diverged.

  8. An Architectonic Study of the Neocortex of the Short-Tailed Opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Peiyan; Kaas, Jon H.

    2013-01-01

    Short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) belong to the branch of marsupial mammals that diverged from eutherian mammals approximately 180 million years ago. They are small in size, lack a marsupial pouch, and may have retained more morphological characteristics of early marsupial neocortex than most other marsupials. In the present study, we used several different histochemical and immunochemical procedures to reveal the architectonic characteristics of cortical areas in short-tailed opossums. Subdivisions of cortex were identified in brain sections cut in the coronal, sagittal, horizontal or tangential planes and processed for a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV), neurofilament protein epitopes recognized by SMI-32, the vesicle glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2), myelin, cytochrome oxidase (CO), and Nissl substance. These different procedures revealed similar boundaries among areas, suggesting that functionally relevant borders were detected. The results allowed a fuller description and more precise demarcation of previously identified sensory areas, and the delineation of additional subdivisions of cortex. Area 17 (V1) was especially prominent, with a densely populated layer 4, high myelination levels, and dark staining of PV and VGluT2 immunopositive terminations. These architectonic features were present, albeit less pronounced, in somatosensory and auditory cortex. The major findings support the conclusion that short-tailed opossums have fewer cortical areas and their neocortex is less distinctly laminated than most other mammals. PMID:19546531

  9. Torpor in the Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli): implications for the evolution of daily torpor and hibernation.

    PubMed

    Geiser, Fritz; Martin, Gabriel M

    2013-10-01

    Hibernation and daily torpor are two distinct forms of torpor, and although they are related, it is not known how and in which sequence they evolved. As the pattern of torpor expressed by the oldest marsupial order the opossums (Didelphimorphia) may provide insights into the evolution of torpor, we aimed to provide the first quantitative data on the thermal biology and torpor expression of the rare Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli). It is the opossum with the southernmost distribution, has a propensity of autumnal fattening, and therefore, is likely to hibernate. We captured two male Lestodelphys, which while in captivity displayed strong daily fluctuations of body temperatures (Tb) measured with implanted miniature data loggers even when they remained normothermic. In autumn and early winter, torpor was expressed occasionally when food was available, but cold exposure and food withdrawal increased torpor use. The mean Tb throughout the study was 32.2 ± 1.4 °C, the minimum Tb measured in torpid Lestodelphys was 7.7 °C, average torpor bout duration was 10.3 h, and the maximum torpor bout duration was 42.5 h. Thus, the pattern of torpor expressed by Lestodelphys was intermediate between that of daily heterotherms and hibernators suggesting that it may represent an ancestral opportunistic torpor pattern from which the derived patterns of daily torpor and seasonal hibernation diverged.

  10. ABCB4 mediates diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in laboratory opossums[S

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Jeannie; Mahaney, Michael C.; Kushwaha, Rampratap S.; VandeBerg, Jane F.; VandeBerg, John L.

    2010-01-01

    High-responding opossums are susceptible to developing hypercholesterolemia on a high-cholesterol diet, but low-responding opossums are resistant. The observation of low biliary cholesterol and low biliary phospholipids in high responders suggested that the ABCB4 gene affects response to dietary cholesterol. Two missense mutations (Arg29Gly and Ile235Leu) were found in the ABCB4 gene of high responders. High responders (ATHH strain) were bred with low responders (ATHE or ATHL strain) to produce F1 and F2 progeny in two different genetic crosses (KUSH6 and JCX) to determine the effect of ABCB4 allelic variants on plasma cholesterol concentrations after a dietary challenge. Pedigree-based genetic association analyses consistently implicated a variant in ABCB4 or a closely linked locus as a major, but not the sole, genetic contributor to variation in the plasma cholesterol response to dietary cholesterol. High responders, but not low responders, developed liver injury as indicated by elevated plasma biomarkers of liver function, probably reflecting damage to the canalicular membrane by bile salts because of impaired phospholipid secretion. Our results implicate ABCB4 as a major determinant of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in high-responding opossums and suggest that other genes interact with ABCB4 to regulate lipemic response to dietary cholesterol. PMID:20488799

  11. Postnatal development of the fore- and hindlimbs in the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Katherine EA; Mackay, Sarah

    2003-01-01

    Marsupials are good experimental animals for developmental studies as their offspring are born at a stage comparable to embryonic stages of eutherian species. The South American opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is particularly useful because of its small size and easy maintenance. This study was carried out to compare development of opossum fore- and hindlimbs during postnatal life, using light microscopy and whole mount alizarin staining. At birth, well-developed mobile forelimbs show cartilage models of bones and myotubular striated muscle fibres. However, hindlimbs are relatively underdeveloped paddle-like outgrowths. Two days later mesodermal condensations form models of the future hindlimb bones and mononucleate myoblast aggregates are present; by 6 days post partum (dpp) the hindlimb has reached a stage of development similar to that of the forelimb at birth. At this stage, periosteal buds have invaded forelimb long bones and nuclei in forelimb muscle fibres have become displaced to the periphery. The 16 dpp hindlimb shows long bones invaded by periosteal buds and closely packed, striated muscle fibres. Epiphyseal plates are now seen in the forelimb long bones and forelimb muscle fibres show mature characteristics. Musculoskeletal development is well correlated with the functional demands of the limbs during postnatal development in the opossum, which provides an excellent model for investigations into the genes and molecules controlling limb development. PMID:12587929

  12. Transcriptomic Changes Associated with Pregnancy in a Marsupial, the Gray Short-Tailed Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Victoria Leigh; Schilkey, Faye Dorothy; Miller, Robert David

    2016-01-01

    Live birth has emerged as a reproductive strategy many times across vertebrate evolution; however, mammals account for the majority of viviparous vertebrates. Marsupials are a mammalian lineage that last shared a common ancestor with eutherians (placental mammals) over 148 million years ago. Marsupials are noted for giving birth to highly altricial young after a short gestation, and represent humans' most distant viviparous mammalian relatives. Here we ask what insight can be gained into the evolution of viviparity in mammals specifically and vertebrates in general by analyzing the global uterine transcriptome in a marsupial. Transcriptome analyses were performed using NextGen sequencing of uterine RNA samples from the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Samples were collected from late stage pregnant, virgin, and non-pregnant experienced breeders. Three different algorithms were used to determine differential expression, and results were confirmed by quantitative PCR. Over 900 opossum gene transcripts were found to be significantly more abundant in the pregnant uterus than non-pregnant, and over 1400 less so. Most with increased abundance were genes related to metabolism, immune systems processes, and transport. This is the first study to characterize the transcriptomic differences between pregnant, non-pregnant breeders, and virgin marsupial uteruses and helps to establish a set of pregnancy-associated genes in the opossum. These observations allowed for comparative analyses of the differentially transcribed genes with other mammalian and non-mammalian viviparous species, revealing similarities in pregnancy related gene expression over 300 million years of amniote evolution.

  13. Computational analyses of mammalian lactate dehydrogenases: human, mouse, opossum and platypus LDHs.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S; Goldberg, Erwin

    2009-10-01

    Computational methods were used to predict the amino acid sequences and gene locations for mammalian lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) genes and proteins using genome sequence databanks. Human LDHA, LDHC and LDH6A genes were located in tandem on chromosome 11, while LDH6B and LDH6C genes were on chromosomes 15 and 12, respectively. Opossum LDHC and LDH6B genes were located in tandem with the opossum LDHA gene on chromosome 5 and contained 7 (LDHA and LDHC) or 8 (LDH6B) exons. An amino acid sequence prediction for the opossum LDH6B subunit gave an extended N-terminal sequence, similar to the human and mouse LDH6B sequences, which may support the export of this enzyme into mitochondria. The platypus genome contained at least 3 LDH genes encoding LDHA, LDHB and LDH6B subunits. Phylogenetic studies and sequence analyses indicated that LDHA, LDHB and LDH6B genes are present in all mammalian genomes examined, including a monotreme species (platypus), whereas the LDHC gene may have arisen more recently in marsupial mammals.

  14. Cellular basis of differential limb growth in postnatal gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Beiriger, Anastasia; Sears, Karen E

    2014-06-01

    While growth has been studied extensively in invertebrates, the mechanisms by which it is controlled in vertebrates, particularly in mammals, remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the cellular basis of differential limb growth in postnatal Monodelphis domestica, the gray short-tailed opossum, to gain insights into the mechanisms regulating mammalian growth. Opossums are an ideal model for the study of growth because they are born with relatively large, well-developed forelimbs and small hind limbs that must "catch up" to the forelimb before the animal reaches adulthood. Postnatal Days 1-17 were identified as a key period of growth for the hind limbs, during which they undergo accelerated development and nearly quadruple in length. Histology performed on fore- and hind limbs from this period indicates a higher rate of cellular differentiation in the long bones of the hind limbs. Immunohistochemical assays indicate that cellular proliferation is also occurring at a significantly greater rate in the long bones of the hind limb at 6 days after birth. Taken together, these results suggest that a faster rate of cellular proliferation and differentiation in the long bones of the hind limb relative to those of the forelimb generates a period of accelerated growth through which the adult limb phenotype of M. domestica is achieved. Assays for gene expression suggest that the molecular basis of this differential growth differs from that previously identified for differential pre-natal growth in opossum fore- and hind limbs. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers.

    PubMed

    Jansa, Sharon A; Voss, Robert S

    2011-01-01

    The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role.

  16. Typhus and typhuslike rickettsiae associated with opossums and their fleas in Los Angeles County, California.

    PubMed Central

    Williams, S G; Sacci, J B; Schriefer, M E; Andersen, E M; Fujioka, K K; Sorvillo, F J; Barr, A R; Azad, A F

    1992-01-01

    The recent discovery of cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) infected with a typhuslike rickettsia (designated the ELB agent) raises the question of whether similar rickettsial infections exist in wild cat flea populations. We verified the presence of the ELB agent and Rickettsia typhi in urban and suburban areas of Los Angeles, Calif. Opossums trapped in close proximity to the residences of human murine typhus cases in Los Angeles county and other areas within the city of Los Angeles were tested for the presence of typhus group rickettsiae by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The presence of rickettsiae in the spleen tissues of three opossums (n = 9) and in 66 opossum fleas (n = 205) was determined by PCR and was verified by dot blot and Southern transfer hybridization. Further analysis of the amplified PCR products generated by a series of primer pairs derived from either the 17-kDa antigen gene or the citrate synthase gene revealed that both R. typhi and the ELB agent were present in the tested samples. Dual infection was not noted in the samples; however, the fleas were infected with either R. typhi or the ELB agent. The presence of the ELB agent in the cat flea population may have implications for public health. Whether this agent is responsible for the mild cases of human murine typhus in urban and suburban areas of Los Angeles or in other endemic foci remains to be determined. Images PMID:1629332

  17. Geographic Association of Rickettsia felis-Infected Opossums with Human Murine Typhus, Texas

    PubMed Central

    Boostrom, Ardys; Beier, Magda S.; Macaluso, Jackie A.; Macaluso, Kevin R.; Sprenger, Daniel; Hayes, Jack; Radulovic, Suzan

    2002-01-01

    Application of molecular diagnostic technology in the past 10 years has resulted in the discovery of several new species of pathogenic rickettsiae, including Rickettsia felis. As more sequence information for rickettsial genes has become available, the data have been used to reclassify rickettsial species and to develop new diagnostic tools for analysis of mixed rickettsial pathogens. R. felis has been associated with opossums and their fleas in Texas and California. Because R. felis can cause human illness, we investigated the distribution dynamics in the murine typhus–endemic areas of these two states. The geographic distribution of R. felis-infected opossum populations in two well-established endemic foci overlaps with that of the reported human cases of murine typhus. Descriptive epidemiologic analysis of 1998 human cases in Corpus Christi, Texas, identified disease patterns consistent with studies done in the 1980s. A close geographic association of seropositive opossums (22% R. felis; 8% R. typhi) with human murine typhus cases was also observed. PMID:12023908

  18. Geographic association of Rickettsia felis-infected opossums with human murine typhus, Texas.

    PubMed

    Boostrom, Ardys; Beier, Magda S; Macaluso, Jacqueline A; Macaluso, Kevin R; Sprenger, Daniel; Hayes, Jack; Radulovic, Suzana; Azad, Abdu F

    2002-06-01

    Application of molecular diagnostic technology in the past 10 years has resulted in the discovery of several new species of pathogenic rickettsiae, including Rickettsia felis. As more sequence information for rickettsial genes has become available, the data have been used to reclassify rickettsial species and to develop new diagnostic tools for analysis of mixed rickettsial pathogens. R. felis has been associated with opossums and their fleas in Texas and California. Because R. felis can cause human illness, we investigated the distribution dynamics in the murine typhus-endemic areas of these two states. The geographic distribution of R. felis-infected opossum populations in two well-established endemic foci overlaps with that of the reported human cases of murine typhus. Descriptive epidemiologic analysis of 1998 human cases in Corpus Christi, Texas, identified disease patterns consistent with studies done in the 1980s. A close geographic association of seropositive opossums (22% R. felis; 8% R. typhi) with human murine typhus cases was also observed.

  19. Transcriptomic Changes Associated with Pregnancy in a Marsupial, the Gray Short-Tailed Opossum Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Victoria Leigh; Schilkey, Faye Dorothy; Miller, Robert David

    2016-01-01

    Live birth has emerged as a reproductive strategy many times across vertebrate evolution; however, mammals account for the majority of viviparous vertebrates. Marsupials are a mammalian lineage that last shared a common ancestor with eutherians (placental mammals) over 148 million years ago. Marsupials are noted for giving birth to highly altricial young after a short gestation, and represent humans’ most distant viviparous mammalian relatives. Here we ask what insight can be gained into the evolution of viviparity in mammals specifically and vertebrates in general by analyzing the global uterine transcriptome in a marsupial. Transcriptome analyses were performed using NextGen sequencing of uterine RNA samples from the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Samples were collected from late stage pregnant, virgin, and non-pregnant experienced breeders. Three different algorithms were used to determine differential expression, and results were confirmed by quantitative PCR. Over 900 opossum gene transcripts were found to be significantly more abundant in the pregnant uterus than non-pregnant, and over 1400 less so. Most with increased abundance were genes related to metabolism, immune systems processes, and transport. This is the first study to characterize the transcriptomic differences between pregnant, non-pregnant breeders, and virgin marsupial uteruses and helps to establish a set of pregnancy-associated genes in the opossum. These observations allowed for comparative analyses of the differentially transcribed genes with other mammalian and non-mammalian viviparous species, revealing similarities in pregnancy related gene expression over 300 million years of amniote evolution. PMID:27598793

  20. An architectonic study of the neocortex of the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Wong, Peiyan; Kaas, Jon H

    2009-01-01

    Short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) belong to the branch of marsupial mammals that diverged from eutherian mammals approximately 180 million years ago. They are small in size, lack a marsupial pouch, and may have retained more morphological characteristics of early marsupial neocortex than most other marsupials. In the present study, we used several different histochemical and immunochemical procedures to reveal the architectonic characteristics of cortical areas in short-tailed opossums. Subdivisions of cortex were identified in brain sections cut in the coronal, sagittal, horizontal or tangential planes and processed for a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV), neurofilament protein epitopes recognized by SMI-32, the vesicle glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2), myelin, cytochrome oxidase (CO), and Nissl substance. These different procedures revealed similar boundaries among areas, suggesting that functionally relevant borders were detected. The results allowed a fuller description and more precise demarcation of previously identified sensory areas, and the delineation of additional subdivisions of cortex. Area 17 (V1) was especially prominent, with a densely populated layer 4, high myelination levels, and dark staining of PV and VGluT2 immunopositive terminations. These architectonic features were present, albeit less pronounced, in somatosensory and auditory cortex. The major findings support the conclusion that short-tailed opossums have fewer cortical areas and their neocortex is less distinctly laminated than most other mammals.

  1. Microscopic anatomy of the lower respiratory tract of the grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Cope, L A; Henry, R W; Reed, R B

    2012-04-01

    The respiratory tracts of seven grey short-tailed opossums were histologically examined. Six opossums were prepared by perfusion with buffered formalin. Opossum seven was perfused with gluteraldehyde. Samples taken from the respiratory passages and lungs of specimens 1-6 were stained with haematoxylin and eosin. A mixture of methylene and azure blue was used for specimen 7. The trachea and right and left principal bronchi are lined with a pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium with occasional goblet cells. The secondary and tertiary bronchi and the primary and secondary bronchioles are lined by a simple ciliated columnar epithelium. The terminal bronchioles and a portion of the respiratory bronchioles are lined by a simple ciliated cuboidal epithelium. The terminal portion of the respiratory bronchioles and the alveolar ducts are lined with simple squamous epithelium. Alveoli are lined by type I and II pneumocytes. Tracheal glands are present in the tela submucosa. The fibromusculocartilaginous tunic of the trachea consists of c-shaped cartilage rings and the trachealis muscle. A lamina muscularis mucosa begins in the intrapulmonary portion of the principal bronchus and continues into the respiratory bronchioles. Bronchial glands are present in the propria submucosa and tela submucosa of the principal bronchi. The musculocartilaginous tunic is localized to the extrapulmonary portion of the principal bronchus. The bronchial cartilages are irregular shaped plates and limited to the extrapulmonary portion of the principal bronchus. The visceral pleura is a simple squamous mesothelium covering the outer surface of the lung.

  2. Cell birth and death in the developing retina of the Brazilian opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, Donald S; Hoffelen, Samantha Van; Greenlee, M Heather W; Harper, Matthew M; Au, Daniel T

    2008-02-21

    The purpose of this study was to characterize cytogenesis and apoptosis in the developing retina of the Brazilian opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Monodelphis is a small pouchless marsupial whose young undergo a protracted period of postnatal development. Moreover, the Monodelphis retina represents a unique in vivo compartment for investigating cellular interactions that occur during early neural development and is an important system to study plasticity of neural stem cells following transplantation. Using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling of newly generated cells, double-labeling immunohistochemistry and TUNEL labeling of apoptotic cells we have performed a detailed analysis of cell birth and death in the Monodelphis retina from fetal development through early postnatal life. Pregnant opossums or pups received a single injection of BrdU between gestational day 12 and postnatal day 35 (35PN), eyes were collected two hours after injection or on day 15, 30, or 60 of postnatal life. BrdU-labeled cells were visualized immunohistochemically. Cells were classified according to their morphology, location and immunoreactivity for cell-type specific antibodies. Cell genesis in the opossum retina begins at E13 and was near completion by 25PN. Apoptotic retinal cells were identified using the TUNEL technique for labeling of fragmented DNA. Apoptosis covered a relatively broad period of postnatal development, beginning around 10PN, peaking at 30PN, and concluding before 60PN. These results demonstrate that the retina of Monodelphis, a polyprotodont marsupial, is generated in a similar pattern to the wallaby, a diprotodont marsupial, and to eutherian species.

  3. Adaptive Evolution of the Venom-Targeted vWF Protein in Opossums that Eat Pitvipers

    PubMed Central

    Jansa, Sharon A.; Voss, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

    The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role. PMID:21731638

  4. Regulatory conservation of protein coding and microRNA genes in vertebrates: lessons from the opossum genome.

    PubMed

    Mahony, Shaun; Corcoran, David L; Feingold, Eleanor; Benos, Panayiotis V

    2007-01-01

    Being the first noneutherian mammal sequenced, Monodelphis domestica (opossum) offers great potential for enhancing our understanding of the evolutionary processes that take place in mammals. This study focuses on the evolutionary relationships between conservation of noncoding sequences, cis-regulatory elements, and biologic functions of regulated genes in opossum and eight vertebrate species. Analysis of 145 intergenic microRNA and all protein coding genes revealed that the upstream sequences of the former are up to twice as conserved as the latter among mammals, except in the first 500 base pairs, where the conservation is similar. Comparison of promoter conservation in 513 protein coding genes and related transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) showed that 41% of the known human TFBSs are located in the 6.7% of promoter regions that are conserved between human and opossum. Some core biologic processes exhibited significantly fewer conserved TFBSs in human-opossum comparisons, suggesting greater functional divergence. A new measure of efficiency in multigenome phylogenetic footprinting (base regulatory potential rate [BRPR]) shows that including human-opossum conservation increases specificity in finding human TFBSs. Opossum facilitates better estimation of promoter conservation and TFBS turnover among mammals. The fact that substantial TFBS numbers are located in a small proportion of the human-opossum conserved sequences emphasizes the importance of marsupial genomes for phylogenetic footprinting-based motif discovery strategies. The BRPR measure is expected to help select genome combinations for optimal performance of these algorithms. Finally, although the etiology of the microRNA upstream increased conservation remains unknown, it is expected to have strong implications for our understanding of regulation of their expression.

  5. Opossum carboxylesterases: sequences, phylogeny and evidence for CES gene duplication events predating the marsupial-eutherian common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Carboxylesterases (CES) perform diverse metabolic roles in mammalian organisms in the detoxification of a broad range of drugs and xenobiotics and may also serve in specific roles in lipid, cholesterol, pheromone and lung surfactant metabolism. Five CES families have been reported in mammals with human CES1 and CES2 the most extensively studied. Here we describe the genetics, expression and phylogeny of CES isozymes in the opossum and report on the sequences and locations of CES1, CES2 and CES6 'like' genes within two gene clusters on chromosome one. We also discuss the likely sequence of gene duplication events generating multiple CES genes during vertebrate evolution. Results We report a cDNA sequence for an opossum CES and present evidence for CES1 and CES2 like genes expressed in opossum liver and intestine and for distinct gene locations of five opossum CES genes,CES1, CES2.1, CES2.2, CES2.3 and CES6, on chromosome 1. Phylogenetic and sequence alignment studies compared the predicted amino acid sequences for opossum CES with those for human, mouse, chicken, frog, salmon and Drosophila CES gene products. Phylogenetic analyses produced congruent phylogenetic trees depicting a rapid early diversification into at least five distinct CES gene family clusters: CES2, CES1, CES7, CES3, and CES6. Molecular divergence estimates based on a Bayesian relaxed clock approach revealed an origin for the five mammalian CES gene families between 328–378 MYA. Conclusion The deduced amino acid sequence for an opossum cDNA was consistent with its identity as a mammalian CES2 gene product (designated CES2.1). Distinct gene locations for opossum CES1 (1: 446,222,550–446,274,850), three CES2 genes (1: 677,773,395–677,927,030) and a CES6 gene (1: 677,585,520–677,730,419) were observed on chromosome 1. Opossum CES1 and multiple CES2 genes were expressed in liver and intestine. Amino acid sequences for opossum CES1 and three CES2 gene products revealed conserved

  6. Opossum carboxylesterases: sequences, phylogeny and evidence for CES gene duplication events predating the marsupial-eutherian common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S; Chan, Jeannie; Cox, Laura A; Murphy, William J; VandeBerg, John L

    2008-02-20

    Carboxylesterases (CES) perform diverse metabolic roles in mammalian organisms in the detoxification of a broad range of drugs and xenobiotics and may also serve in specific roles in lipid, cholesterol, pheromone and lung surfactant metabolism. Five CES families have been reported in mammals with human CES1 and CES2 the most extensively studied. Here we describe the genetics, expression and phylogeny of CES isozymes in the opossum and report on the sequences and locations of CES1, CES2 and CES6 'like' genes within two gene clusters on chromosome one. We also discuss the likely sequence of gene duplication events generating multiple CES genes during vertebrate evolution. We report a cDNA sequence for an opossum CES and present evidence for CES1 and CES2 like genes expressed in opossum liver and intestine and for distinct gene locations of five opossum CES genes,CES1, CES2.1, CES2.2, CES2.3 and CES6, on chromosome 1. Phylogenetic and sequence alignment studies compared the predicted amino acid sequences for opossum CES with those for human, mouse, chicken, frog, salmon and Drosophila CES gene products. Phylogenetic analyses produced congruent phylogenetic trees depicting a rapid early diversification into at least five distinct CES gene family clusters: CES2, CES1, CES7, CES3, and CES6. Molecular divergence estimates based on a Bayesian relaxed clock approach revealed an origin for the five mammalian CES gene families between 328-378 MYA. The deduced amino acid sequence for an opossum cDNA was consistent with its identity as a mammalian CES2 gene product (designated CES2.1). Distinct gene locations for opossum CES1 (1: 446,222,550-446,274,850), three CES2 genes (1: 677,773,395-677,927,030) and a CES6 gene (1: 677,585,520-677,730,419) were observed on chromosome 1. Opossum CES1 and multiple CES2 genes were expressed in liver and intestine. Amino acid sequences for opossum CES1 and three CES2 gene products revealed conserved residues previously reported for human CES1

  7. Modeling potential future individual tree-species distributions in the eastern United States under a climate change scenario: a case study with Pinus virginiana

    Treesearch

    Louis R. Iverson; Anantha Prasad; Mark W. Schwartz; Mark W. Schwartz

    1999-01-01

    We are using a deterministic regression tree analysis model (DISTRIB) and a stochastic migration model (SHIFT) to examine potential distributions of ~66 individual species of eastern US trees under a 2 x CO2 climate change scenario. This process is demonstrated for Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana).

  8. Status and trends of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) in the central United States: Analyses and observations based on Forest Inventory and Analysis data

    Treesearch

    Dacia M. Meneguzzo; Greg C. Liknes

    2015-01-01

    Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) (ERC) is a conifer native to North America that has been used for a variety of wood products, and its planting has been encouraged to help stabilize soil, reforest abandoned farmland, and provide cover for wildlife. However, ERC tends to expand rapidly and take over certain areas primarily because it can grow...

  9. Effect of light-dark changes on the locomotor activity in open field in adult rats and opossums.

    PubMed

    Klejbor, I; Ludkiewicz, B; Turlejski, K

    2013-11-01

    There have been no reports on how the light-dark changes determine the locomotor activity of animals in the group of high reactivity (HR) and low reactivity (LR). In the present study we have compared selected parameters of the locomotor activity of the HR and the LR groups of the laboratory opossums and Wistar rats during consecutive, light and dark phases in the open field test. Sixty male Wistar adult rats, at an average weight of 350 g each, and 24 adult Monodelphis opossums of both sexes at an average weight of 120 g each were used. The animals' activity for 2 h daily between the hours of 17:30 and 19:30, in line with the natural light-dark cycle were recorded and then analysed using VideoTrack ver.2.0 (Vievpoint France). According to our results, we noted that a change of the experimental conditions from light to dark involves an increase in the locomotor activity in rats and opossums of the HR group, while there is no effect on the activity of the rats and opossums in the LR group. Locomotor activity in the HR rats, both in the light and dark conditions is characterised by a consistent pattern of change - higher activity in the first stage of the recording and a slowdown (habituation) in the second phase of the observation. The locomotor activity of the opossum, during both light and dark conditions, was observed to be at a consistently high level compared to the rats.

  10. Response to novelty in the laboratory Wistar rat, wild-captive WWCPS rat, and the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Pisula, Wojciech; Turlejski, Krzysztof; Stryjek, Rafał; Nałęcz-Tolak, Aleksandra; Grabiec, Marta; Djavadian, Rouzanna L

    2012-10-01

    Behavior of the laboratory gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), Warsaw Wild Captive Pisula Stryjek rats (WWCPS) and laboratory rats (Wistar) has been registered in the period of familiarization with a new environment and consecutive confrontation with a novel, innocuous object placed in that familiarized environment. In the new environment the sequence of anxiety, investigation, and habituation was shortest in the opossum, longer in the laboratory rat and longest in the WWCPS rat. When placed in it, gray short-tailed opossums investigated the new environment with the shortest delay and most intensity. In reaction to novel objects, opossums and laboratory rats prolonged the time spent in the proximity of the new object, while the WWCPS rat did not show that reaction. Both opossums and laboratory rats increased the number of contacts with the new object, whereas WWCPS rats reduced those contacts. Behavior of all three species and lines grouped in different clusters. Some other quantitative and qualitative differences in behavior of the investigated animals are also described, showing a higher level of anxiety in both lines of rats than in the opossum. Behavioral differences between species and lines of animals used in this study may be attributed to different ecological adaptations of rats and opossums and to the effect of domestication in the laboratory rats. These behavioral differences make comparisons of opossums vs rat, and wild rat vs laboratory rat interesting models for studying the brain mechanisms of anxiety and neotic motivations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Growth inhibition and chromosomal instability of cultured marsupial (opossum) cells after treatment with DNA polymerase α inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Takemura, Masaharu; Kazama, Tomoko; Sakuma, Kurumi; Mizushina, Yoshiyuki; Oshima, Teruyoshi

    2011-01-01

    The DNA replication mechanism has been well established for eutherian mammals (placental mammals such as humans, mice, and cattle), but not, to date, for metatherian mammals (marsupials such as kangaroos, koalas, and opossums). In this study, we found that dehydroaltenusin, a selective inhibitor of mammalian (eutherian) DNA polymerase α, clearly suppressed the growth of metatherian (opossum and rat kangaroo) cultured cells. In cultured opossum (OK) cells, dehydroaltenusin also suppressed the progression of DNA replication. These results suggest that dehydroaltenusin inhibits metatherian as well as eutherian DNA replication. Dehydroaltenusin treatment of OK cells engendered fluctuations in the numbers of chromosomes in the OK cells as well as inhibition of cell growth and DNA replication. This suggests that partial inhibition of DNA replication by dehydroaltenusin causes chromosomal instability in cultured cells.

  12. Making the most of RNA-seq: Pre-processing sequencing data with Opossum for reliable SNP variant detection

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Identifying variants from RNA-seq (transcriptome sequencing) data is a cost-effective and versatile alternative to whole-genome sequencing. However, current variant callers do not generally behave well with RNA-seq data due to reads encompassing intronic regions. We have developed a software programme called Opossum to address this problem. Opossum pre-processes RNA-seq reads prior to variant calling, and although it has been designed to work specifically with Platypus, it can be used equally well with other variant callers such as GATK HaplotypeCaller. In this work, we show that using Opossum in conjunction with either Platypus or GATK HaplotypeCaller maintains precision and improves the sensitivity for SNP detection compared to the GATK Best Practices pipeline. In addition, using it in combination with Platypus offers a substantial reduction in run times compared to the GATK pipeline so it is ideal when there are only limited time or computational resources available. PMID:28239666

  13. Expression, purification and characterization of the recombinant chimeric IgE Fc-fragment opossum-human-opossum (OSO), an active immunotherapeutic vaccine component.

    PubMed

    Xu, Bingze; Lundgren, Mats; Magnusson, Ann-Christine; Fuentes, Alexis

    2010-11-01

    The active vaccine component recombinant chimeric IgE Fc-fragment opossum-human-opossum (OSO) has been expressed in CHO-K1 cells. It contains two identical polypeptide chains with 338 amino acid residues in each chain connected by two disulfide bridges. The cell lines were adapted to suspension culture in a serum-free medium. An expression level of 60 mg/L was obtained after 8 days in a shaking flask at a temperature of 31.5 degrees C. The OSO protein has been purified to homogeneity by a combination of three chromatographic steps. Virus inactivation and reduction by solvent detergent treatment and nano-filtration were included in the process. The residual host cell protein content was less than 50 ng/mg OSO as analyzed by ELISA. Purity was analyzed by SDS-PAGE under reducing and non-reducing conditions and was estimated by densitometry to be above 99.0%. The dimer content was less than 0.1% as estimated by analytical size exclusion chromatography. The molecular mass, as estimated by SDS-PAGE, is 90 kDa. A value of around 74 kDa was calculated from its amino acid composition. This indicates that the protein is heavily glycosylated containing around 18% carbohydrate. Isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gel disclosed a ladder type band pattern with pI values in the pH-range 7.0-8.3, indicating a variation in the sialic acid content. The OSO protein is not stable at temperatures above 40 degrees C and at pH values below 4 indicating that virus inactivation by incubating the protein solution at higher temperature or at lower pH is not possible. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Differential expression of hepatic genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis in high and low responding strains of laboratory opossums

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Jeannie; Donalson, Lisa M; Kushwaha, Rampratap S.; Ferdinandusse, Sacha; VandeBerg, Jane F.; VandeBerg, John L.

    2008-01-01

    Plasma very low density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein (VLDL+LDL) cholesterol levels of two partially inbred strains of opossums (Monodelphis domestica) differ markedly when they are fed a high cholesterol and low fat (HCLF) diet. High responding opossums exhibit a dramatic increase (> 10-fold) in VLDL+LDL cholesterol whereas low responding opossums exhibit a minimal increase (< 2-fold) in VLDL+LDL cholesterol. The genes responsible for the accumulation of high levels of plasma VLDL+LDL cholesterol in high responding opossums have not yet been identified. In this study, we analyzed the expression of genes encoding for 1) four bile acid synthesis enzymes (CYP7A1, CYP27A1, CYP8B1, and CYP7B1); 2) three cholesterol synthesis enzymes (HMGCR, HMGCS1, and SQLE); 3) the LDL receptor (LDLR); 4) two sterol transporters (ABCG5 and ABCG8); and 5) two bile acid transporters (ABCB11 and SLC10A1) to determine how the expression of these genes was affected by dietary cholesterol in the two strains of opossums. We found differences between high and low responders in the expression of cholesterol synthesis genes on the basal diet, as well as differences in the expression of the CYP27A1, ABCG5, ABCG8, and SLC10A1 genes on the HCLF diet. CYP27A1 mRNA levels were lower in the livers of high responders compared with low responders, whereas CYP27A1 mRNA levels in extrahepatic tissues were similar in high and low responders on the HCLF. Low levels of CYP27A1, ABCG5, and ABCG8 expression in the liver may contribute to hypercholesterolemia in high responding opossums. PMID:18442639

  15. Reduction of the number of new cells reaching olfactory bulbs impairs olfactory perception in the adult opossum.

    PubMed

    Grabiec, Marta; Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Rouzanna

    2009-01-01

    In adult mammals cells generated in the subventricular zone (SVZ) migrate to olfactory bulbs (OB). Functional significance of this continuous neurogenesis is not clear. We injected opossums (Monodelphis domestica) for seven consecutive days with a 5HT(1A) agonist (8-OH-DPAT or buspirone) or its antagonist WAY100635. One hour after each of these injections bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) a marker of dividing cells was also injected. Two months later, when newly generated neurons settled in the OB and matured the ability of these opossums to detect hidden food by olfactory cues was tested. Afterwards, numbers of BrdU-labeled cell nuclei in their OB were counted and a phenotype of labeled cells established. In all groups investigated the majority of new cells differentiated into neurons (55-76%) and a lower proportion into astroglia (6-12%). Numbers of BrdU-labeled cells differed depending on the applied treatment: both agonists of the 5HT(1A) receptor increased these numbers, while its antagonist decreased them. The increased number of new OB interneurons did not change the time required for finding all three food items and therefore did not improve the opossums' performance in this test of the olfactory perception. However, opossums that had the reduced number of new generated OB cells searched longer for each food item and in consequence took three times longer to find all three crickets, than did opossums from other groups. In conclusion, lower numbers of new neurons in the opossums OB correlated with their worse behavioral performance in a test based on olfactory perception.

  16. Control of respiration in the isolated central nervous system of the neonatal opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Eugenín, J; Nicholls, J G

    2000-11-15

    Respiration represents an unusual motor activity with respect to its development. As newly born mammals enter the world, their limb movements are not coordinated; time and experience are required for effective performance to be achieved. Yet the rhythm of respiration is of necessity functionally perfected and unfailing at birth. Inspiratory and expiratory motor neurons are already able to fire at appropriate rates, under the command of rhythmically active neurons in the medulla. In this review, we discuss refinements of control present in the newborn opossum, particularly with respect to mechanisms that allow adaptation of respiration to changes in the level of activity or in the outside environment. Our own studies have been aimed at analyzing respiration at the earliest stages, and at establishing the way in which important variables influence inspiration and expiration. To this end, we have used the central nervous system (CNS) of a neonatal opossum, isolated in its entirety and maintained in culture. Although the opossum is unable to walk and highly immature at birth, its respiration is regular and unfailing. The isolated CNS survives, undergoes development, and maintains its neural activity and fine structure in vitro. Moreover, fictive respiration persists for over a day or longer at rates similar to those of the intact pup. The effects of altered pH, of increased temperature, and of drugs known to alter respiratory rhythm in intact animals can be measured directly, by electrical recordings made from medullary neurons or ventral roots. As in a slice, fluids of different composition can be applied focally, through micropipettes to the surface of the ventral medulla, or diffusely to the brainstem, With highly localized application of procaine hydrochloride (2%) to selected areas of the ventral medulla, the respiratory rhythm is reduced or abolished. As in adult mammals, both the rate and the amplitude of respiration simultaneously increase in response to

  17. The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is an intermediate host for Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Cheadle, M A; Yowell, C A; Sellon, D C; Hines, M; Ginn, P E; Marsh, A E; MacKay, R J; Dame, J B; Greiner, E C

    2001-06-01

    Striped skunks, initially negative for antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona, formed sarcocysts in skeletal muscles after inoculation with S. neurona sporocysts collected from a naturally infected Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Skunks developed antibodies to S. neurona by immunoblot and muscles containing sarcocysts were fed to laboratory-reared opossums which then shed sporulated Sarcocystis sporocysts in their faeces. Mean dimensions for sporocysts were 11.0 x 7.5 microm and each contained four sporozoites and a residuum. Sarcocysts from skunks and sporocysts from opossums fed infected skunk muscle were identified as S. neurona using PCR and DNA sequence analysis. A 2-month-old, S. neurona-naive pony foal was orally inoculated with 5 x 10(5) sporocysts. Commercial immunoblot for antibodies to S. neurona performed using CSF collected from the inoculated pony was low positive at 4 weeks p.i., positive at 6 weeks p.i., and strong positive at 8 weeks p.i. Gamma-interferon gene knockout mice inoculated with skunk/opossum derived sporocysts developed serum antibodies to S. neurona and clinical neurologic disease. Merozoites of S. neurona present in the lung, cerebrum, and cerebellum of mice were detected by immunohistochemistry using polyclonal antibodies to S. neurona. Based on the results of this study, the striped skunk is an intermediate host of S. neurona.

  18. Rickettsial Infections among Ctenocephalides felis and Host Animals during a Flea-Borne Rickettsioses Outbreak in Orange County, California

    PubMed Central

    Fogarty, Carrie; Krueger, Laura; Macaluso, Kevin R.; Odhiambo, Antony; Nguyen, Kiet; Farris, Christina M.; Luce-Fedrow, Alison; Bennett, Stephen; Jiang, Ju; Sun, Sokanary; Cummings, Robert F.; Richards, Allen L.

    2016-01-01

    Due to a resurgence of flea-borne rickettsioses in Orange County, California, we investigated the etiologies of rickettsial infections of Ctenocephalides felis, the predominant fleas species obtained from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and domestic cats (Felis catus), collected from case exposure sites and other areas in Orange County. In addition, we assessed the prevalence of IgG antibodies against spotted fever group (SFGR) and typhus group (TGR) rickettsiae in opossum sera. Of the 597 flea specimens collected from opossums and cats, 37.2% tested positive for Rickettsia. PCR and sequencing of rickettsial genes obtained from C. felis flea DNA preparations revealed the presence of R. typhi (1.3%), R. felis (28.0%) and R. felis-like organisms (7.5%). Sera from opossums contained TGR-specific (40.84%), but not SFGR-specific antibodies. The detection of R. felis and R. typhi in the C. felis fleas in Orange County highlights the potential risk for human infection with either of these pathogens, and underscores the need for further investigations incorporating specimens from humans, animal hosts, and invertebrate vectors in endemic areas. Such studies will be essential for establishing a link in the ongoing flea-borne rickettsioses outbreaks. PMID:27537367

  19. Male influence on oestrous cycles in female woolly opossum (Caluromys philander).

    PubMed

    Perret, M; Ben M'Barek, S

    1991-03-01

    Plasma progesterone concentrations and the occurrence of oestrous cycles were studied in isolated woolly opossums subsequently subjected to male influences during a 40-day period. Pairing (N = 48) or exposure to male urine (N = 15) resulted in all females exhibiting oestrous during the stimulation phase, providing evidence that the activation of ovarian activity in the woolly opossum involves pheromonal cues from males. The latency of occurrence of oestrous in stimulated females depended upon their sexual state before male stimulation. In anoestrous females, the mean latency was 20.7 +/- 0.9 days (N = 35), a value which agrees with the duration of the follicular phase. In females which first entered oestrous before male stimulation, the latency of induced oestrous was inversely correlated to the date of occurrence of the previous oestrous. The inter-oestrous interval was normal (38.1 +/- 1 days, N = 5) when females were in oestrous at the beginning of male stimulation. In contrast, the inter-oestrous interval was significantly shortened (28.7 +/- 2 days, N = 7) or lengthened (51.1 +/- 1.7 days, N = 16) depending on whether females were in the luteal or follicular phases at the beginning of male stimulation. During pairing several females became pregnant and gave birth 24 +/- 0.9 days (N = 13) after copulation. In the woolly opossum, the response to male influences involves mechanisms similar to those observed in eutherians and results in enhancement and synchronization of oestrous cycles in females. Pheromonal interactions could play an important role in synchronizing oestrous cycles in wild females during the dry season, a period when animals regroup to feed on spatially localized food resources.

  20. Male pheromone stimulates ovarian follicular development and body growth in juvenile female opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Harder, John D; Jackson, Leslie M

    2003-02-11

    Female opossums are induced into estrus by direct exposure to a non-volatile pheromone in male scentmarks. Juvenile females develop this responsiveness by 150 days of age (days), and earlier (130 days) if exposed to male pheromone beginning at 90 days. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of male pheromone on body growth and ovarian follicular development in young opossums. Females (n = 28) were weaned at 56 days and caged individually with ad libitum food and water from 84 days. Body mass was recorded 2-3 times weekly and the onset of estrus was monitored by urogenital sinus cytology. Exposed females were given continuous access to adult male scentmarks from 90 days and randomly selected for necropsy at 105 and 130 days. Unexposed females were isolated from direct contact with males and their scentmarks and randomly selected for necropsy at 90, 105, 130, and 150 days. Exposed females were larger (63.5 +/- 1.1 g) than unexposed females (56.6 +/- 1.1 g) at 130 days, and 4 of 5 had expressed estrus or proestrus. Uterine mass at 130 days was higher (P < 0.05) in exposed (129.8 +/- 28.8 mg) than in unexposed (25.4 +/- 6.7 mg) females, none of which expressed estrus by 150 days. The mean number of developing, antral follicles per female increased from 1.5 +/- 1.5 at 90 days to 17.8 +/- 5.2 at 130 days. Mean diameter of developing antral follicles at 130 days was larger in exposed (534 +/- 54 microm) than in unexposed females (393 +/- 4 microm). The results of this study demonstrate that pheromonal induction of first estrus in juvenile opossums is associated with an increased rate of body growth and follicular development.

  1. Facial Mechanosensory Influence on Forelimb Movement in Newborn Opossums, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Desmarais, Marie-Josée; Beauregard, France; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    The opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is born very immature but crawls, unaided, with its forelimbs (FL) from the mother's birth canal to a nipple where it attaches to pursue its development. What sensory cues guide the newborn to the nipple and trigger its attachment to it? Previous experiments showed that low intensity electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion induces FL movement in in vitro preparations and that trigeminal innervation of the facial skin is well developed in the newborn. The skin does not contain Vater-Pacini or Meissner touch corpuscles at this age, but it contains cells which appear to be Merkel cells (MC). We sought to determine if touch perceived by MC could exert an influence on FL movements. Application of the fluorescent dye AM1-43, which labels sensory cells such as MC, revealed the presence of a large number of labeled cells in the facial epidermis, especially in the snout skin, in newborn opossums. Moreover, calibrated pressure applied to the snout induced bilateral and simultaneous electromyographic responses of the triceps muscle in in vitro preparations of the neuraxis and FL from newborn. These responses increase with stimulation intensity and tend to decrease over time. Removing the facial skin nearly abolished these responses. Metabotropic glutamate 1 receptors being involved in MC neurotransmission, an antagonist of these receptors was applied to the bath, which decreased the EMG responses in a reversible manner. Likewise, bath application of the purinergic type 2 receptors, used by AM1-43 to penetrate sensory cells, also decreased the triceps EMG responses. The combined results support a strong influence of facial mechanosensation on FL movement in newborn opossums, and suggest that this influence could be exerted via MC. PMID:26848758

  2. Male pheromone stimulates ovarian follicular development and body growth in juvenile female opossums (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Harder, John D; Jackson, Leslie M

    2003-01-01

    Female opossums are induced into estrus by direct exposure to a non-volatile pheromone in male scentmarks. Juvenile females develop this responsiveness by 150 days of age (days), and earlier (130 days) if exposed to male pheromone beginning at 90 days. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of male pheromone on body growth and ovarian follicular development in young opossums. Females (n = 28) were weaned at 56 days and caged individually with ad libitum food and water from 84 days. Body mass was recorded 2–3 times weekly and the onset of estrus was monitored by urogenital sinus cytology. Exposed females were given continuous access to adult male scentmarks from 90 days and randomly selected for necropsy at 105 and 130 days. Unexposed females were isolated from direct contact with males and their scentmarks and randomly selected for necropsy at 90, 105, 130, and 150 days. Exposed females were larger (63.5 ± 1.1 g) than unexposed females (56.6 ± 1.1 g) at 130 days, and 4 of 5 had expressed estrus or proestrus. Uterine mass at 130 days was higher (P < 0.05) in exposed (129.8 ± 28.8 mg) than in unexposed (25.4 ± 6.7 mg) females, none of which expressed estrus by 150 days. The mean number of developing, antral follicles per female increased from 1.5 ± 1.5 at 90 days to 17.8 ± 5.2 at 130 days. Mean diameter of developing antral follicles at 130 days was larger in exposed (534 ± 54 μm) than in unexposed females (393 ± 4 μm). The results of this study demonstrate that pheromonal induction of first estrus in juvenile opossums is associated with an increased rate of body growth and follicular development. PMID:12646055

  3. Facial Mechanosensory Influence on Forelimb Movement in Newborn Opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Desmarais, Marie-Josée; Beauregard, France; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    The opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is born very immature but crawls, unaided, with its forelimbs (FL) from the mother's birth canal to a nipple where it attaches to pursue its development. What sensory cues guide the newborn to the nipple and trigger its attachment to it? Previous experiments showed that low intensity electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion induces FL movement in in vitro preparations and that trigeminal innervation of the facial skin is well developed in the newborn. The skin does not contain Vater-Pacini or Meissner touch corpuscles at this age, but it contains cells which appear to be Merkel cells (MC). We sought to determine if touch perceived by MC could exert an influence on FL movements. Application of the fluorescent dye AM1-43, which labels sensory cells such as MC, revealed the presence of a large number of labeled cells in the facial epidermis, especially in the snout skin, in newborn opossums. Moreover, calibrated pressure applied to the snout induced bilateral and simultaneous electromyographic responses of the triceps muscle in in vitro preparations of the neuraxis and FL from newborn. These responses increase with stimulation intensity and tend to decrease over time. Removing the facial skin nearly abolished these responses. Metabotropic glutamate 1 receptors being involved in MC neurotransmission, an antagonist of these receptors was applied to the bath, which decreased the EMG responses in a reversible manner. Likewise, bath application of the purinergic type 2 receptors, used by AM1-43 to penetrate sensory cells, also decreased the triceps EMG responses. The combined results support a strong influence of facial mechanosensation on FL movement in newborn opossums, and suggest that this influence could be exerted via MC.

  4. Comparison of 6 Injectable Anesthetic Regimens and Isoflurane in Gray Short-tailed Opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Barnett, Grace J; Barnett, Ian J; Wilson, Steven R; Smith, Peter C

    2017-09-01

    Gray short-tailed opossums are used in a wide variety of research in the areas of developmental biology, oncology, immunology, and comparative biology. Despite many frequent experimental manipulations of these animals under anesthesia, few studies to date have characterized the effects of anesthesia in this species. Our aim was to identify safe and effective injectable anesthetic combinations using ketamine and xylazine or ketamine and dexmedetomidine at doses of 40 mg/kg to 100 mg/kg for ketamine, 5 mg/kg to 10 mg/kg for xylazine, and 0.05 mg/kg to 0.1 mg/kg for dexmedetomidine. Effects of the proposed regimens ranged from light sedation to surgical anesthesia, but only 100 mg/kg ketamine + 0.1 mg/kg dexmedetomidine induced surgical anesthesia in all opossums, with a mean duration of 25.4 min. The 2 lowest doses of ketamine and xylazine (40 mg/kg ketamine + 5 mg/kg xylazine and 40 mg/kg ketamine + 10 mg/kg xylazine) achieved sedation to light anesthesia in all animals but did not produce a surgical plane of anesthesia in any animal. All regimens that induced a surgical plane of anesthesia caused bradycardia and bradypnea, and 75 mg/kg ketamine + 10 mg/kg xylazine and 100 mg/kg ketamine + 0.1 mg/kg dexmedetomidine caused the greatest decreases in SpO2. Except for one opossum that died of unknown causes, all animals remained healthy and apparently free of anesthetic complications. Among all treatments, isoflurane delivered by a precision vaporizer provided the most consistent and reliable anesthesia; therefore, we recommend inhalant anesthesia over the injectable combinations used in this study.

  5. Nest-building in gray short-tailed opossums: temperature effects and sex differences.

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Kraus, D B; Sheffet, R H

    1986-01-01

    The effects of ambient temperature and of sex on nest-building behavior were studied in a laboratory colony of gray short-tailed opossums, small, Brazilian marsupials. At 24 degrees C, both males and females used more nesting material and built larger nests of better quality than at 27 degrees C. Although both males and females built nests using the mouth, forelegs, hindlegs and tail, females built nests more reliably at the higher temperature and used more nesting material than males at both temperatures. These findings are discussed with respect to the thermoregulatory and reproductive characteristics of marsupials.

  6. A comparison of fingers and hand in varanus, opossum and primates.

    PubMed

    Landsmeer, J M

    1986-01-01

    A comparative analysis of hands constitutes the basis of an assessment of hand function in an evolutionary context. Terms as functional domain and functional options are instrumental to define the functional expansion, which can be seen when comparing reptiles, opossum and primates. In man the structural arrangement can be interpreted in functional terms only by terms as functional continuum or universe and by performance control. In the great apes knuckle walking and brachiation seems to interfere with a full-fledged pollical-digital interplay, the latter function being considered to constitute the structural base of optimalization collecting afferent information, requiring brain development, which opens up categories as abstraction, design and freedom.

  7. Physical mapping of the IGF2 locus in the South American opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lawton, B R; Obergfell, C; O'Neill, R J; O'Neill, M J

    2007-01-01

    The South American opossum Monodelphis domestica has been a model organism for marsupials for many years and has recently been the subject of a large-scale genome sequencing effort that will provide the foundation for comparative studies of gene function and regulation. Genomic imprinting is one mechanism of gene regulation that has received increasing attention due to the impact of imprinting defects on development and disease. We have mapped the imprinted insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2) gene of M. domestica as a first step in understanding the regulatory mechanisms involved in genomic imprinting in this marsupial.

  8. Different strategies of exploration and phenotypic variability of the locomotor behavior in new environment: Comparative study of the laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and Wistar rat (Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Klejbor, Ilona; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2012-01-01

    Spontaneous locomotor activity of opossums and Wistar rats during a two-hour session in the open field has been recorded, assessed and behavior of individuals of the two species compared. Afterwards, groups of highly active (HA) and low active (LA) opossums and rats were selected on the basis of the distance traveled in the test. Differences between the selected groups were evaluated. Opossums were generally more active, moving faster and covering longer distance. They spent more time in the central part of the open field and traveled across the center more times than rats, therefore they showed also a lower level of anxiety. These data confirm our previous results indicating that opossums preferentially use the risky exploration strategy while rats mainly rely on the defensive behavior. Opossums showed a higher variability of the volume of locomotor activity than rats. Comparison of the HA and LA groups of opossums and rats showed that in each species they differed on another principle: the level of anxiety in Wistar rats and level of locomotor activity in opossums. Therefore results of the open field test might measure different parameters in different species.

  9. Arrested development of the dorsal column following neonatal spinal cord injury in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Benjamin J; Noor, Natassya M; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Whish, Sophie; Saunders, Norman R

    2015-03-01

    Developmental studies of spinal cord injury in which regrowth of axons occurs across the site of transection rarely distinguish between the recovery of motor-controlling pathways and that of ascending axons carrying sensory information. We describe the morphological changes that occur in the dorsal column (DC) of the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, following spinal cord injury at two early developmental ages. The spinal cords of opossums that had had their mid-thoracic spinal cords completely transected at postnatal day 7 (P7) or P28 were analysed. Profiles of neurofilament immunoreactivity in transected cords showing DC development were differentially affected by the injury compared with the rest of the cord and cytoarchitecture was modified in an age- and site-dependent manner. The ability of DC neurites to grow across the site of transection was confirmed by injection of fluorescent tracer below the injury. P7 transected cords showed labelling in the DC above the site of original transection indicating that neurites of this sensory tract were able to span the injury. No growth of any neuronal processes was seen after P28 transection. Thus, DC is affected by spinal injury in a differential manner depending on the age at which the transection occurs. This age-differential response, together with other facets of remodelling that occur after neonatal spinal injury, might explain the locomotor adaptations and recovery observed in these animals.

  10. Ultrastructural analysis between fetal and adult wound healing process of marsupial opossum skin.

    PubMed

    Matsuno, Kei; Ihara, Setsunosuke

    2015-01-01

    The opossum delivers a newborn baby equivalent to tremature fetus state by postpregnancy. The peculiarity is advantageous for studies of fetus, because operations to take out fetus from the uterus of a mother are not necessary. When mammalian skin is wounded by full-thickness excision, fetal and adult wound healing processes differ. Fetal-type wound healing does not leave a scar. However, studies of how the fetal wound healing process differs in detail from the adult type are not advanced. We first observed the normal skin development of the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) using an electron microscope. As for normal skin, an epidermis became multi-layered, and thickened from birth through to 7 days after birth. The quantity of extracellular matrix of the dermis increased thereafter, and several types of cells were found in the dermis. To examine the wound healing, we used material from a 1 day-old newborn baby, and from another 15 days after birth, and compared the wound healing style morphologically. Differences in the constitution of cells and fine structures of the skin were observed, it was obviously suggested that change in the wound healing style from fetal-type to adult-type occurred between 1 to 15 days after birth.

  11. On the prenatal initiation of T cell development in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Victoria L; Miller, Robert D

    2017-04-01

    Thymus-dependent lymphocytes (T cells) are a critical cell lineage in the adaptive immune system of all jawed vertebrates. In eutherian mammals the initiation of T cell development takes place prenatally and the offspring of many species are born relatively immuno-competent. Marsupials, in contrast, are born in a comparatively altricial state and with a less well developed immune system. As such, marsupials are valuable models for studying the peri- and postnatal initiation of immune system development in mammals. Previous results supported a lack of prenatal T cell development in a variety of marsupial species. In the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, however, there was evidence that αβT cells were present on postnatal day 1 and likely initiated development prenatally. Demonstrated here is the presence of CD3ε(+) lymphocytes in late-stage embryos at a site in the upper thoracic cavity, the site of an early developing thymus. CD3ε(+) cells were evident as early as 48 h prior to parturition. In day 14 embryos, where there is clear organogenesis, CD3ε(+) cells were only found at the site of the early thymus, consistent with no extra-thymic sites of T cell development in the opossum. These observations are the first evidence of prenatal T cell lineage commitment in any marsupial.

  12. Nitric oxide: Mediator of nonadrenergic noncholinergic hyperpolarization of opossum esophageal circular smooth muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Du, C.; Murray, J.; Conklin, J.L.; Bates, J.N. )

    1991-03-15

    The electromyogram recorded from circular smooth muscle (SM) of opossum esophagus, either during peristalsis or when the intrinsic esophageal nerves are stimulated by an electrical field (EFS), consists of a hyperpolarization followed by a depolarization. This membrane response results from the interaction of a nonadrenergic-noncholinergic (NANC) neurotransmitter with its receptors on SM membrane. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide (NO) were used to test the hypothesis that NO is a mediator of this NANC nerve-induced response. The transmembrane potential difference of circular SM cells of opossum esophagus was recorded with glass microelectrode. The nerve-mediated membrane response was evoked by EFS. L-NNA (50uM) abolished the initial hyperpolarization and reduced the amplitude of and the time to maximal depolarization. L-arginine (1mM), the substrate for NO synthase, antagonized the effect of L-NNA. Neither L-NNA nor L-arginine altered the resting membrane potential. Exogenous NO produced hyperpolarization of SM membrane potential and attenuated the amplitude of EFS-induced hyperpolarization and depolarization. Nitrosocysteine, a NO-containing compound, also hyperpolarized the membrane potential. Effect of NO was neither blocked by L-NNA nor by TTX. The data support the hypothesis that NO or an NO-containing compound mediates NANC nerve-induced responses of the esophageal SM membrane.

  13. Mapping the prion protein distribution in marsupials: insights from comparing opossum with mouse CNS.

    PubMed

    Poggiolini, Ilaria; Legname, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)) is a sialoglycoprotein widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammalian species during neurodevelopment and in adulthood. The location of the protein in the CNS may play a role in the susceptibility of a species to fatal prion diseases, which are also known as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). To date, little is known about PrP(C) distribution in marsupial mammals, for which no naturally occurring prion diseases have been reported. To extend our understanding of varying PrP(C) expression profiles in different mammals we carried out a detailed expression analysis of PrP(C) distribution along the neurodevelopment of the metatherian South American short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We detected lower levels of PrP(C) in white matter fiber bundles of opossum CNS compared to mouse CNS. This result is consistent with a possible role for PrP(C) in the distinct neurodevelopment and neurocircuitry found in marsupials compared to other mammalian species.

  14. On the genomics of immunoglobulins in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xinxin; Olp, Jonathan J.

    2010-01-01

    Annotated maps of the IGH, IGK, and IGL loci in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica were generated from analyses of the available whole genome sequence for this species. Analyses of their content and organization confirmed a number of previous conclusions based on characterization of cDNAs encoding opossum immunoglobulin heavy and light chains and limited genomic analysis, including: i) the predominance of a single IGHV subgroup and clan; ii) the presence of a single IgG subclass; iii) the apparent absence of an IgD; and iv) the general organization and V gene complexity of the IGK and IGL light chain loci. In addition several unexpected discoveries were made including the presence of a partial germ-line joined IGHV segment, the first germline joined Ig V gene to be found in a mammal. In addition was the presence of a larger number of IGKV subgroups than had been previously identified. With this report, annotated maps of the Major Histocompatibility Complex, T cell receptor, and immunoglobulin loci have been completed for M. domestica, the only non-eutherian mammalian species for which this has been accomplished, strengthening the utility of this species as a model organism. PMID:19609519

  15. Development and plasticity of the retina in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Djavadian, Rouzanna; Bisti, Silvia; Maccarone, Rita; Bartkowska, Katarzyna; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the rate of cell proliferation and death in the retina of the Monodelphis opossum during its postnatal development and the influence of early monocular enucleation on these processes. Our results show that in the opossum, as in other marsupials, the peak of the retinal cells divisions occurs postnatally and that generation of retinal cells continues till the time of eye opening (P34), except of the marginal rim, where it continued till P60. Ganglion and amacrine cells are generated between postnatal days (P) P4 and P9, while bipolar cells and photoreceptors are generated simultaneously between P14 and P25. The peak of ganglion cell death as detected by the TUNEL method occurs around P14-19 in the center of retina. The second peak of apoptosis appears in the inner nuclear layer (INL) at P19-25. Gliogenesis takes place between P25 and P34. We also found that monocular enucleation performed during the early period of retinal development (P0-P7) did not influence proliferation, developmental apoptosis or other developmental processes in the retina of the remaining eye.

  16. On the genomics of immunoglobulins in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Olp, Jonathan J; Miller, Robert D

    2009-08-01

    Annotated maps of the IGH, IGK, and IGL loci in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica were generated from analyses of the available whole genome sequence for this species. Analyses of their content and organization confirmed a number of previous conclusions based on characterization of complementary DNAs encoding opossum immunoglobulin heavy and light chains and limited genomic analysis, including (a) the predominance of a single immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV) subgroup and clan, (b) the presence of a single immunoglobulin (Ig)G subclass, (c) the apparent absence of an IgD, and (d) the general organization and V gene complexity of the IGK and IGL light chain loci. In addition, several unexpected discoveries were made including the presence of a partial V to D, germline-joined IGHV segment, the first germline-joined Ig V gene to be found in a mammal. In addition was the presence of a larger number of IGKV subgroups than had been previously identified. With this report, annotated maps of the major histocompatibility complex, T-cell receptor, and immunoglobulin loci have been completed for M. domestica, the only non-eutherian mammalian species for which this has been accomplished, strengthening the utility of this species as a model organism.

  17. Dogs and Opossums Positive for Vaccinia Virus during Outbreak Affecting Cattle and Humans, São Paulo State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Peres, Marina G; Barros, Claudenice B; Appolinário, Camila M; Antunes, João M A P; Mioni, Mateus S R; Bacchiega, Thais S; Allendorf, Susan D; Vicente, Acácia F; Fonseca, Clóvis R; Megid, Jane

    2016-02-01

    During a vaccinia virus (VACV) outbreak in São Paulo State, Brazil, blood samples were collected from cows, humans, other domestic animals, and wild mammals. Samples from 3 dogs and 3 opossums were positive for VACV by PCR. Results of gene sequencing yielded major questions regarding other mammalian species acting as reservoirs of VACV.

  18. Localization of genes for V+LDL plasma cholesterol levels on two diets in the opossum Monodelphis domestica[S

    PubMed Central

    Kammerer, Candace M.; Rainwater, David L.; Gouin, Nicolas; Jasti, Madhuri; Douglas, Kory C.; Dressen, Amy S.; Ganta, Prasanth; VandeBerg, John L.; Samollow, Paul B.

    2010-01-01

    Plasma cholesterol levels among individuals vary considerably in response to diet. However, the genes that influence this response are largely unknown. Non-HDL (V+LDL) cholesterol levels vary dramatically among gray, short-tailed opossums fed an atherogenic diet, and we previously reported that two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influenced V+LDL cholesterol on two diets. We used hypothesis-free, genome-wide linkage analyses on data from 325 pedigreed opossums and located one QTL for V+LDL cholesterol on the basal diet on opossum chromosome 1q [logarithm of the odds (LOD) = 3.11, genomic P = 0.019] and another QTL for V+LDL on the atherogenic diet (i.e., high levels of cholesterol and fat) on chromosome 8 (LOD = 9.88, genomic P = 5 × 10−9). We then employed a novel strategy involving combined analyses of genomic resources, expression analysis, sequencing, and genotyping to identify candidate genes for the chromosome 8 QTL. A polymorphism in ABCB4 was strongly associated (P = 9 × 10−14) with the plasma V+LDL cholesterol concentrations on the high-cholesterol, high-fat diet. The results of this study indicate that genetic variation in ABCB4, or closely linked genes, is responsible for the dramatic differences among opossums in their V+LDL cholesterol response to an atherogenic diet. PMID:20650928

  19. Localization of genes for V+LDL plasma cholesterol levels on two diets in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Kammerer, Candace M; Rainwater, David L; Gouin, Nicolas; Jasti, Madhuri; Douglas, Kory C; Dressen, Amy S; Ganta, Prasanth; Vandeberg, John L; Samollow, Paul B

    2010-10-01

    Plasma cholesterol levels among individuals vary considerably in response to diet. However, the genes that influence this response are largely unknown. Non-HDL (V+LDL) cholesterol levels vary dramatically among gray, short-tailed opossums fed an atherogenic diet, and we previously reported that two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influenced V+LDL cholesterol on two diets. We used hypothesis-free, genome-wide linkage analyses on data from 325 pedigreed opossums and located one QTL for V+LDL cholesterol on the basal diet on opossum chromosome 1q [logarithm of the odds (LOD) = 3.11, genomic P = 0.019] and another QTL for V+LDL on the atherogenic diet (i.e., high levels of cholesterol and fat) on chromosome 8 (LOD = 9.88, genomic P = 5 x 10(-9)). We then employed a novel strategy involving combined analyses of genomic resources, expression analysis, sequencing, and genotyping to identify candidate genes for the chromosome 8 QTL. A polymorphism in ABCB4 was strongly associated (P = 9 x 10(-14)) with the plasma V+LDL cholesterol concentrations on the high-cholesterol, high-fat diet. The results of this study indicate that genetic variation in ABCB4, or closely linked genes, is responsible for the dramatic differences among opossums in their V+LDL cholesterol response to an atherogenic diet.

  20. Developmental expression of spontaneous activity in the spinal cord of postnatal opossums, Monodelphis domestica: an anatomical study.

    PubMed

    Lavallée, Annie; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2009-07-28

    Using Sulforhodamine-101 (SR101) labeling and calcium imaging on in vitro preparations, we investigated the development of spontaneous activity in the spinal enlargements of a marsupial born more immature than eutherian mammals, the opossum Monodelphis domestica. Following the retrograde transport of Calcium Green dye from the limb nerves, we observed the occurrence of spontaneous calcium waves activating the motor columns of the cervical enlargement of opossums aged from P3 to P15 (day of birth: P0) and of the lumbar enlargement from at least P6 to P12. In other preparations, SR101 was added to the bath to identify the active cells. In P1 opossums, only a few SR101-labeled cells were observed in the cervical enlargement and none in the lumbar enlargement. At P5, their number increased cervically and they appeared in the lumbar enlargement. Motoneurons were the major cell type labeled by SR101 but dye leakage made their quantification inaccurate. SR101-labeled cells also occurred elsewhere in the ventral and dorsal grey. Their number increased until P12-14 in both enlargements and then decreased to disappear by P21, the last age examined. Thus in contrast to eutherian mammals, in which spontaneous activity is mostly prenatal, spontaneous activity occurs predominantly postnatally in opossums. It increases at the time when connections from the brain begin to impinge on spinal neurons and when the limbs, especially the hindlimbs, start moving and then decreases as the systems mature.

  1. Dogs and Opossums Positive for Vaccinia Virus during Outbreak Affecting Cattle and Humans, São Paulo State, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Peres, Marina G.; Barros, Claudenice B.; Appolinário, Camila M.; Antunes, João M.A.P.; Mioni, Mateus S.R.; Bacchiega, Thais S.; Allendorf, Susan D.; Vicente, Acácia F.; Fonseca, Clóvis R.

    2016-01-01

    During a vaccinia virus (VACV) outbreak in São Paulo State, Brazil, blood samples were collected from cows, humans, other domestic animals, and wild mammals. Samples from 3 dogs and 3 opossums were positive for VACV by PCR. Results of gene sequencing yielded major questions regarding other mammalian species acting as reservoirs of VACV. PMID:26812352

  2. The evolution of active vibrissal sensing in mammals: evidence from vibrissal musculature and function in the marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Grant, Robyn A; Haidarliu, Sebastian; Kennerley, Natalie J; Prescott, Tony J

    2013-09-15

    Facial vibrissae, or whiskers, are found in nearly all extant mammal species and are likely to have been present in early mammalian ancestors. A sub-set of modern mammals, including many rodents, move their long mystacial whiskers back and forth at high speed whilst exploring in a behaviour known as 'whisking'. It is not known whether the vibrissae of early mammals moved in this way. The grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is considered a useful species from the perspective of tracing the evolution of modern mammals. Interestingly, these marsupials engage in whisking bouts similar to those seen in rodents. To better assess the likelihood that active vibrissal sensing was present in ancestral mammals, we examined the vibrissal musculature of the opossum using digital miscroscopy to see whether this resembles that of rodents. Although opossums have fewer whiskers than rats, our investigation found that they have a similar vibrissal musculature. In particular, in both rats and opossums, the musculature includes both intrinsic and extrinsic muscles with the intrinsic muscles positioned as slings linking pairs of large vibrissae within rows. We identified some differences in the extrinsic musculature which, interestingly, matched with behavioural data obtained through high-speed video recording, and indicated additional degrees of freedom for positioning the vibrissae in rats. These data show that the whisker movements of opossum and rat exploit similar underlying mechanisms. Paired with earlier results suggesting similar patterns of vibrissal movement, this strongly implies that early therian (marsupial and placental) mammals were whisking animals that actively controlled their vibrissae.

  3. Behavioural observations of singly-housed grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) in standard and enriched environments.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, M; Stirton, C; McConnachie, A

    2010-10-01

    The grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) has been used in biomedical research for over three decades. It is normally housed in standard rat cages and appears to have adapted well to captivity. Owing to their aggressive behaviour towards each other, adult males are normally housed singly and may spend considerable periods of time in social isolation. We wanted to carry out a preliminary study on the behaviour of singly-housed male short-tailed opossums in two different settings: a standard rat cage and an enriched floor pen. Five male opossums aged between 10 and 12 weeks were housed for seven days at a time in the two settings and their behaviour was filmed during the dark phase. Recordings were carried out on the first and the last night of housing, from 19:00 to 07:00 h, and all behaviours quantified according to an ethogram. All five males in this study showed stereotypic behaviours while housed in standard rat cages, but no such behaviours were seen when the animals were in the floor pen. In both cases, but very especially in the pen, animals spent less time active as the week came to an end. Some activities such as sniffing the air, manipulating the nest and, especially, interacting with the floor tube occupied the animals' time in the cage considerably more than in the pen. Conversely, the opossums spent considerably more time walking when inside the floor pen than when they were in the cage. The general trend with other activities such as eating, drinking or grooming was one of more time being devoted to them inside the cage than inside the floor pen, but the differences did not approach statistical significance. These findings suggest that single housing of short-tailed opossums in standard rat caging is detrimental to their welfare.

  4. Experimental infection of two South American reservoirs with four distinct strains of Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Roellig, Dawn M.; McMillan, Katherine; Ellis, Angela E.; Vandeberg, John L.; Champagne, Donald E.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc), the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a diverse species with 2 primary genotypes, TcI and TcII, with TcII further subdivided into 5 subtypes (IIa–e). This study evaluated infection dynamics of 4 genetically and geographically diverse T. cruzi strains in 2 South American reservoirs, degus (Octodon degus) and grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica). Based on prior suggestions of a genotype-host association, we hypothesized that degus (placental) would more readily become infected with TcII strains while short-tailed opossums (marsupial) would be a more competent reservoir for a TcI strain. Individuals (n = 3) of each species were intraperitoneally inoculated with T. cruzi trypomastigotes of TcIIa [North America (NA)-raccoon (Procyon lotor) origin], TcI [NA-Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)], TcIIb [South America (SA)-human], TcIIe (SA-Triatoma infestans), or both TcI and TcIIa. Parasitaemias in experimentally infected degus peaked earlier (7–14 days post-inoculation (p.i.)) compared with short-tailed opossums (21–84 days p.i.). Additionally, peak parasitaemias were higher in degus; however, the duration of detectable parasitaemias for all strains, except TcIIa, was greater in short-tailed opossums. Infections established in both host species with all genotypes, except for TcIIa, which did not establish a detectable infection in short-tailed opossums. These results indicate that both South American reservoirs support infections with these isolates from North and South America; however, infection dynamics differed with host and parasite strain. PMID:20128943

  5. Mycobacterium bovis in coyotes from Michigan.

    PubMed

    Bruning-Fann, C S; Schmitt, S M; Fitzgerald, S D; Payeur, J B; Whipple, D L; Cooley, T M; Carlson, T; Friedrich, P

    1998-07-01

    During a survey for tuberculosis in wild carnivores and omnivores, Mycobacterium bovis was cultured from pooled lymph nodes of three adult female coyotes (Canis latrans) harvested by hunters in Michigan (USA). No gross or histologic lesions suggestive of tuberculosis were seen in these animals. One coyote was taken from Montmorency county and two coyotes from Alcona county located in the north-eastern portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula where free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been found infected with bovine tuberculosis. It is thought that these coyotes became infected with M. bovis through the consumption of tuberculous deer. Other species included in the survey were the opossum (Didelphis virginiana), raccoon (Procyon lotor), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), bobcat (Felis rufus), and badger (Taxidea taxus).

  6. Salmonella enterica isolated from wildlife at two Ohio rehabilitation centers.

    PubMed

    Jijón, Steffani; Wetzel, Amy; LeJeune, Jeffrey

    2007-09-01

    Between May and September 2004, fecal samples from various wildlife species admitted to two rehabilitation centers in Ohio were cultured for Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Eight of 71 (11%) samples, including specimens from three opossums (Didelphis virginiana), two gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), a woodchuck (Marmota monax), a Harris hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), and a screech owl (Otus asio) tested positive for Salmonella serovars Braenderup, Senftenberg, Oranienburg, and Kentucky. The Salmonella Oranienburg isolates were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Most isolates were susceptible to commonly used antibiotics; however, the Salmonella Kentucky isolate was resistant to multiple beta-lactam antibiotics (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and ampicillin), cefoxitin, and ceftiofur, a third-generation cephalosporin. Escherichia coli O157:H7 was not isolated from any sample. Transmission of Salmonella from wildlife may occur between animals at rehabilitation centers.

  7. Mitochondrial genomes of a bandicoot and a brushtail possum confirm the monophyly of australidelphian marsupials.

    PubMed

    Phillips, M J; Lin, Y H; Harrison, G L; Penny, D

    2001-07-22

    Recent molecular analyses suggest that the position of bandicoots is the major difficulty in determining the root of the tree of extant marsupials. To resolve this, we analyse mitochondrial genome sequences of a bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) and a brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) together with the previously available marsupial mitochondrial genomes, the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and the wallaroo (Macropus robustus). Analyses of mitochondrial protein-coding and RNA genes strongly support the bandicoot as sister to the wallaroo and the brushtail possum. This result, combined with other recent molecular analyses, confirms the monophyly of Australidelphia (Australasian marsupials plus Dromiciops from South America). Further, RY coding was found to nullify AGCT coding nucleotide composition bias.

  8. Parastrongylus (=Angiostrongylus) cantonensis now endemic in Louisiana wildlife.

    PubMed

    Kim, D Y; Stewart, T B; Bauer, R W; Mitchell, M

    2002-10-01

    Parastrongylus (=Angiostrongylus) cantonensis, a lung worm of rats, was first reported in the United States in 1987, with a probable introduction by infected rats from ships docking in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the mid-1980s. Since then, it has been reported in nonhuman primates and a boy from New Orleans, and in a horse from Picayune, Mississippi, a distance of 87 km from New Orleans. Parastrongylus cantonensis infection is herein reported in a lemur (Varencia variegata rubra) from New Iberia, Louisiana, a distance of 222 km from New Orleans, and in a wood rat (Neotomafloridanus) and in 4 opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a distance of 124 km from New Orleans. The potential of a great variety of gastropods serving as intermediate hosts in Louisiana may pose a threat to wildlife as well as to domesticated animals in the areas where infected Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are present.

  9. Dietary effects on hematologic and serum chemical values in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    VandeBerg, J L; Cothran, E G; Kelly, C A

    1986-02-01

    At the time of weaning (8 weeks), 57 gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) were placed in four dietary groups. One group was fed a horsemeat-based diet that had been used for 2.5 years in our colony, and three groups were fed three different commercial fox food diets. After the animals had reached sexual maturity (6 months), blood samples were collected and subjected to standard hematologic and serum chemical assays. Significant differences were observed among the dietary groups and between sexes in several values, but all animals appeared to be healthy and robust. The ranges, means, and standard deviations for the values presented here can be used as reference values for healthy young adult animals being fed these particular diets.

  10. Odors as cues for orientation to mothers by weanling Virginia opossums

    SciTech Connect

    Holmes, D.J. )

    1992-12-01

    Three experiments were conducted to investigate whether whole-body and pouch odors facilitate social cohesion between young Virginia opossums and their mothers just prior to weaning. In experiment 1, young oriented toward plastic buckets containing their mothers, directing significantly higher levels of investigative behavior and more distress vocalizations toward them than toward buckets containing unrelated lactating females. In experiment 2, young oriented toward and investigated empty buckets containing whole-body odors of their mothers more than empty buckets containing odors of other females. Similarly, more investigative behavior was directed toward plastic bucket lids containing pouch odors from subjects mothers than toward pouch odors from unrelated females in experiment 3. These results suggest that social odors help young didelphid marsupials maintain contact with their mothers, as in other mammals, and that whole-body and pouch gland odors are important chemical signals in this nongregarious species.

  11. Particle size selection in cadmium uptake by the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta

    SciTech Connect

    Bigelow, L.K.; Lasenby, D.C. )

    1991-11-01

    Fecal pellets of plankton play a key role in the recycling of trace contaminants within the aquatic environment. This is especially true for those plankton that undergo vertical migration in the water column. The opossum shrimp Mysis relicta is generally thought of as an omnivorous zooplankter occupying the pelagic zone of lakes, making itself available as a food source to a wide variety of fish. Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the increase in concentration of metals from food source to fecal pellet. This study examines the feeding behavior of M. relicta to test the hypothesis that particle size selection can account for increased metal concentrations found in the fecal pellets of invertebrates.

  12. Radiation esophagitis in the opossum: radioprotection with indomethacin. [/sup 60/Co

    SciTech Connect

    Northway, M.G.; Libshitz, H.I.; Osborne, B.M.; Feldman, M.S.; Mamel, J.J.; West, J.H.; Szwarc, I.A.

    1980-05-01

    Twenty-five opossums were evaluated before irradiation by fiberoptic endoscopy and air-contrast barium esophagram examination. All animals received 2250 rad /sup 60/Co-irradiated in a single exposure to the entire esophagus and lower exophageal sphincter. Animals received treatment with indomethacin. Acute esophagitis occurred 7 to 10 days postirradiation in control animals and was characterized by erythema, ulceration, and sloughing of esophageal mucosa as determined by air-contrast barium esophagram, endoscopy, and histology. Prostaglandin-treated animals showed more severe evidence of esophagitis than control animals. Indomethacin-treated animals showed no signs or only mild esophagitis posttreatment. It is concluded that indomethacin treatment may significantly reduce the severity of radiation esophagitis perhaps by blockade of prostaglandin synthesis.

  13. Potent activation of multiple signalling pathways by C-peptide in opossum kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Al-Rasheed, N M; Meakin, F; Royal, E L; Lewington, A J; Brown, J; Willars, G B; Brunskill, N J

    2004-06-01

    Proinsulin C-peptide is generally believed to be inert without any appreciable biological functions. However, it has been shown to modulate a variety of cellular processes important in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications. We therefore investigated the ability of C-peptide to stimulate intracellular signalling pathways in kidney proximal tubular cells, the altered activation of which may possibly be related to the development of diabetic nephropathy. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt phosphorylation were evaluated by western blotting. ERK activity was measured by in vitro kinase assay. Intracellular Ca(2+) was evaluated by confocal imaging. The membrane and cytosol-associated fractions of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms were evaluated by western blotting. Proliferation was assessed by thymidine incorporation assay. Using the opossum proximal tubular kidney cell line as a model, we demonstrated that at high picomolar to low nanomolar concentrations, C-peptide stimulates extracellular signal-regulated mitogen-activated kinase (3.3+/-0.1-fold over basal at 3 minutes) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (4.1+/-0.05-fold over basal at 5 minutes). ERK activation was attenuated by pre-treatment with a PKC inhibitor and abolished by pertussis toxin. Elevations of intracellular [Ca(2+)] are seen in response to 5 nmol/l C-peptide with consequent activation of PKC-alpha. Pre-treatment with pertussis toxin abolished PKC-alpha. C-peptide is also a functional mitogen in this cell type, stimulating significantly increased cell proliferation. Proliferation was attenuated by wortmannin and pertussis toxin pre-treatments. None of these effects is reproduced by scrambled C-peptide. This study provides evidence that C-peptide, within physiological concentration ranges, stimulates many signalling pathways in opossum kidney cells.

  14. Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in the short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Gentles, Andrew J; Wakefield, Matthew J; Kohany, Oleksiy; Gu, Wanjun; Batzer, Mark A; Pollock, David D; Jurka, Jerzy

    2007-07-01

    The genome of the gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica is notable for its large size ( approximately 3.6 Gb). We characterized nearly 500 families of interspersed repeats from the Monodelphis. They cover approximately 52% of the genome, higher than in any other amniotic lineage studied to date, and may account for the unusually large genome size. In comparison to other mammals, Monodelphis is significantly rich in non-LTR retrotransposons from the LINE-1, CR1, and RTE families, with >29% of the genome sequence comprised of copies of these elements. Monodelphis has at least four families of RTE, and we report support for horizontal transfer of this non-LTR retrotransposon. In addition to short interspersed elements (SINEs) mobilized by L1, we found several families of SINEs that appear to use RTE elements for mobilization. In contrast to L1-mobilized SINEs, the RTE-mobilized SINEs in Monodelphis appear to shift from G+C-rich to G+C-low regions with time. Endogenous retroviruses have colonized approximately 10% of the opossum genome. We found that their density is enhanced in centromeric and/or telomeric regions of most Monodelphis chromosomes. We identified 83 new families of ancient repeats that are highly conserved across amniotic lineages, including 14 LINE-derived repeats; and a novel SINE element, MER131, that may have been exapted as a highly conserved functional noncoding RNA, and whose emergence dates back to approximately 300 million years ago. Many of these conserved repeats are also present in human, and are highly over-represented in predicted cis-regulatory modules. Seventy-six of the 83 families are present in chicken in addition to mammals.

  15. Postnatal development of limb motor innervation in the opossum Monodelphis domestica: immunohistochemical localization of acetylcholine.

    PubMed

    Barthélemy, Dorothy; Cabana, Thérèse

    2005-03-31

    The development of limb motor innervation was studied in the opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial born with immature mobile forelimbs and immobile hindlimbs. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the synthesis enzyme of acetylcholine, was evidenced on sections of the spinal enlargements, and the protein that transports acetylcholine (VAChT) on limb sections. In newborn, ChAT immunolabeling occurred in small, undifferentiated neurons of the ventral horn, presumably motoneurons, and intermediate and dorsal gray matter, and in the presumptive white matter, all less abundant at lumbosacral than brachial levels. Scant immunolabeling for VAChT marked small terminal-looking profiles, presumably growth cones or immature neuromuscular junctions, decreasing proximodistally in each limb and being less abundant in hindlimbs than forelimbs; it was absent distally in the foot where no muscle tissue was formed. ChAT labeling disappeared from the white matter within 1 week while cholinergic neurons increased in number and size. Motoneurons segregated in a medial and lateral group by 4-5 weeks. VAChT-labeled profiles increased in number and size and they flattened along a proximodistal gradient within each limb, but later in the hindlimbs than in the forelimbs. Labeling appeared in distal foot muscle at 1 week. The density, size, and shape of terminals became comparable in all segments of a given limb by 3-4 weeks. Their number and size increased, and by 8 weeks, they clustered in 3 or 4 along muscle fibers. Thus, limb motor innervation develops largely postnatally in the opossum, along rostrocaudal and proximodistal gradients. Its timecourse is compared to the development of motor behaviors.

  16. Molecular, morphological, and ecological niche differentiation of sympatric sister oak species, Quercus virginiana and Q. geminata (Fagaceae).

    PubMed

    Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Pahlich, Annette

    2009-09-01

    The genus Quercus (the oaks) is notorious for interspecific hybrization, generating questions about the mechanisms that permit coexistence of closely related species. Two sister oak species, Quercus virginiana and Q. geminata, occur in sympatry in Florida and throughout the southeastern United States. In 11 sites from northern and southeastern regions of Florida, we used a leaf-based morphological index to identify individuals to species. Eleven nuclear microsatellite markers significantly differentiated between the species with a high correspondence between molecular and morphological typing of specimens. Nevertheless, Bayesian clustering analysis indicates interspecific gene flow, and six of 109 individuals had mixed ancestry. The identity of several individuals also was mismatched using molecular markers and morphological characters. In a common environment, the two species performed differently in terms of photosynthetic performance and growth, corresponding to their divergent ecological niches with respect to soil moisture and other edaphic properties. Our data support earlier hypotheses that divergence in flowering time causes assortative mating, allowing these ecologically distinct sister species to occur in sympatry. Limited gene flow that permits ecological differentiation helps to explain the overdispersion of oak species in local communities.

  17. Seedling tree responses to nutrient stress under atmospheric CO/sub 2/ enrichment. [Quercus alba; Liriodendron tulipifera; Pinus virginiana

    SciTech Connect

    Luxmoore, R.J.; Norby, R.J.; O'Neill, E.G.

    1986-01-01

    Three species of seedling trees were grown in pots containing low-nutrient soil for periods of up to 40 weeks under a range of atmospheric CO/sub 2/ concentrations. In all cases, total dry weight increased with CO/sub 2/ enrichment, with a greater relative increase in root weight than shoot weight. In an experiment with Pinus virginiana in open-top field chambers, phosphorus and potassium uptake did not increase with an increase in CO/sub 2/ from 365 to 690 ..mu..L/L, even though dry matter gain increased by 37% during the exposure period. In experiments with Quercus alba and Liriodendron tulipifera under controlled environment conditions there were obvious symptoms of nitrogen deficiency and total nitrogen uptake did not increase with CO/sub 2/ enrichment. However, dry weight gain was more than 90% higher at 690 ..mu..L/L CO/sub 2/. The three experiments with CO/sub 2/ enrichment treatments demonstrate that increases in plant dry weight can occur without increased uptake of some nutrients from the low-nutrient soil. A mechanism for these responses may involve increased mobilization of nutrients in association with increased sucrose transport under elevated CO/sub 2/ conditions.

  18. Distribution and function of TrkB receptors in the developing brain of the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Bartkowska, Katarzyna; Aniszewska, Agata; Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Ruzanna L

    2014-07-01

    The expression, development pattern, spatiotemporal distribution, and function of TrkB receptors were investigated during the postnatal brain development of the opossum. Full-length TrkB receptor expression was detectable in the newborn opossum, whereas three different short forms that are expressed in the adult brain were almost undetectable in the newborn opossum brain. The highest level of full-length TrkB receptor expression was observed at P35, which corresponds to the time of eye opening. We found that in different brain structures, TrkB receptors were localized in various compartments of cells. The hypothalamus was distinguished by the presence of TrkB receptors not only in cell bodies but also in the neuropil. Double immunofluroscent staining for TrkB and a marker for the identification of the cell phenotype in several brain regions such as the olfactory bulb, hippocampus, thalamus, and cerebellum showed that unlike in eutherians, in the opossum, TrkB receptors were predominantly expressed in neurons. A lack of TrkB receptors in glial cells, particularly astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, provides evidence that TrkB receptors can play a functionally different role in marsupials than in eutherians. The effects of TrkB signaling on the development of cortical progenitor cells were examined in vitro using shRNAs. Blockade of the endogenous TrkB receptor expression induced a decrease in the number of progenitor cells proliferation, whereas the number of apoptotic progenitor cells increased. These changes were statistically significant but relatively small. In contrast, TrkB signaling was strongly involved in regulation of the cortical progenitor cell differentiation process.

  19. Experimental inoculation of domestic cats (Felis domesticus) with Sarcocystis neurona or S. neurona-like merozoites.

    PubMed

    Butcher, M; Lakritz, J; Halaney, A; Branson, K; Gupta, G D; Kreeger, J; Marsh, A E

    2002-07-29

    Sarcocystis neurona is the parasite most commonly associated with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Recently, cats (Felis domesticus) have been demonstrated to be an experimental intermediate host in the life cycle of S. neurona. This study was performed to determine if cats experimentally inoculated with culture-derived S. neurona merozoites develop tissue sarcocysts infectious to opossums (Didelphis virginiana), the definitive host of S. neurona. Four cats were inoculated with S. neurona or S. neurona-like merozoites and all developed antibodies reacting to S. neurona merozoite antigens, but tissue sarcocysts were detected in only two cats. Muscle tissues from the experimentally inoculated cats with and without detectable sarcocysts were fed to laboratory-reared opossums. Sporocysts were detected in gastrointestinal (GI) scrapings of one opossum fed experimentally infected feline tissues. The study results suggest that cats can develop tissue cysts following inoculation with culture-derived Sarcocystis sp. merozoites in which the particular isolate was originally derived from a naturally infected cat with tissue sarcocysts. This is in contrast to cats which did not develop tissue cysts when inoculated with S. neurona merozoites originally derived from a horse with EPM. These results indicate present biological differences between the culture-derived merozoites of two Sarcocystis isolates, Sn-UCD 1 and Sn-Mucat 2.

  20. Seasonal source-sink dynamics at the edge of a species' range.

    PubMed

    Kanda, L Leann; Fuller, Todd K; Sievert, Paul R; Kellogg, Robert L

    2009-06-01

    The roles of dispersal and population dynamics in determining species' range boundaries recently have received theoretical attention but little empirical work. Here we provide data on survival, reproduction, and movement for a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) population at a local distributional edge in central Massachusetts (USA). Most juvenile females that apparently exploited anthropogenic resources survived their first winter, whereas those using adjacent natural resources died of starvation. In spring, adult females recolonized natural areas. A life-table model suggests that a population exploiting anthropogenic resources may grow, acting as source to a geographically interlaced sink of opossums using only natural resources, and also providing emigrants for further range expansion to new human-dominated landscapes. In a geographical model, this source-sink dynamic is consistent with the local distribution identified through road-kill surveys. The Virginia opossum's exploitation of human resources likely ameliorates energetically restrictive winters and may explain both their local distribution and their northward expansion in unsuitable natural climatic regimes. Landscape heterogeneity, such as created by urbanization, may result in source-sink dynamics at highly localized scales. Differential fitness and individual dispersal movements within local populations are key to generating regional distributions, and thus species ranges, that exceed expectations.

  1. Seasonal source-sink dynamics at the edge of a species' range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kanda, L.L.; Fuller, T.K.; Sievert, P.R.; Kellogg, R.L.

    2009-01-01

    The roles of dispersal and population dynamics in determining species' range boundaries recently have received theoretical attention but little empirical work. Here we provide data on survival, reproduction, and movement for a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) population at a local distributional edge in central Massachusetts (USA). Most juvenile females that apparently exploited anthropogenic resources survived their first winter, whereas those using adjacent natural resources died of starvation. In spring, adult females recolonized natural areas. A life-table model suggests that a population exploiting anthropogenic resources may grow, acting as source to a geographically interlaced sink of opossums using only natural resources, and also providing emigrants for further range expansion to new human-dominated landscapes. In a geographical model, this source-sink dynamic is consistent with the local distribution identified through road-kill surveys. The Virginia opossum's exploitation of human resources likely ameliorates energetically restrictive winters and may explain both their local distribution and their northward expansion in unsuitable natural climatic regimes. Landscape heterogeneity, such as created by urbanization, may result in source-sink dynamics at highly localized scales. Differential fitness and individual dispersal movements within local populations are key to generating regional distributions, and thus species ranges, that exceed expectations. ?? 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Exceptionally preserved North American Paleogene metatherians: adaptations and discovery of a major gap in the opossum fossil record.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Horovitz, Inés; Argot, Christine; Hooker, Jeremy J; Macrini, Thomas E; Martin, Thomas; Moore-Fay, Scott; de Muizon, Christian; Schmelzle, Thomas; Asher, Robert J

    2007-06-22

    A major gap in our knowledge of the evolution of marsupial mammals concerns the Paleogene of the northern continents, a critical time and place to link the early history of metatherians in Asia and North America with the more recent diversification in South America and Australia. We studied new exceptionally well-preserved partial skeletons of the Early Oligocene fossil Herpetotherium from the White River Formation in Wyoming, which allowed us to test the relationships of this taxon and examine its adaptations. Herpetotheriidae, with a fossil record extending from the Cretaceous to the Miocene, has traditionally been allied with opossums (Didelphidae) based on fragmentary material, mainly dentitions. Analysis of the new material reveals that several aspects of the cranial and postcranial anatomy, some of which suggests a terrestrial lifestyle, distinguish Herpetotherium from opossums. We found that Herpetotherium is the sister group to the crown group Marsupialia and is not a stem didelphid. Combination of the new palaeontological data with molecular divergence estimates, suggests the presence of a long undocumented gap in the fossil record of opossums extending some 45Myr from the Early Miocene to the Cretaceous.

  3. A VpreB3 homologue from a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xinxin; Parra, Zuly E.

    2012-01-01

    A VpreB surrogate light (SL) chain was identified for the first time in a marsupial, the opossum Monodelphis domestica. Comparing the opossum VpreB to homologues from eutherian (placental mammals) and avian species supported the marsupial gene being VpreB3. VpreB3 is a protein that is not known to traffic to the cell surface as part of the pre-B cell receptor. Rather, VpreB3 associates with nascent immunoglobulin (Ig) chains in the endoplasmic reticulum. Homologues of other known SL chains VpreB1, VpreB2, and λ5, which are found in eutherian mammals, were not found in the opossum genome, nor have they been identified in the genomes of non-mammals. VpreB3 likely evolved from earlier gene duplication, independent of that which generated VpreB1 and VpreB2 in eutherians. The apparent absence of VpreB1, VpreB2, and λ5 in marsupials suggests that an extra-cellular pre-B cell receptor containing SL chains, as it has been defined in humans and mice, may be unique to eutherian mammals. In contrast, the conservation of VpreB3 in marsupials and its presence in non-mammals is consistent with previous hypotheses that it is playing a more primordial role in B cell development. PMID:22684248

  4. A VpreB3 homologue in a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Parra, Zuly E; Miller, Robert D

    2012-08-01

    A VpreB surrogate light (SL) chain was identified for the first time in a marsupial, the opossum Monodelphis domestica. Comparing the opossum VpreB to homologues from eutherian (placental mammals) and avian species supported the marsupial gene being VpreB3. VpreB3 is a protein that is not known to traffic to the cell surface as part of the pre-B cell receptor. Rather, VpreB3 associates with nascent immunoglobulin chains in the endoplasmic reticulum. Homologues of other known SL chains VpreB1, VpreB2, and λ5, which are found in eutherian mammals, were not found in the opossum genome, nor have they been identified in the genomes of nonmammals. VpreB3 likely evolved from earlier gene duplication, independent of that which generated VpreB1 and VpreB2 in eutherians. The apparent absence of VpreB1, VpreB2, and λ5 in marsupials suggests that an extracellular pre-B cell receptor containing SL chains, as it has been defined in humans and mice, may be unique to eutherian mammals. In contrast, the conservation of VpreB3 in marsupials and its presence in nonmammals is consistent with previous hypotheses that it is playing a more primordial role in B cell development.

  5. Development and cross-species/genera transferability of microsatellite markers discovered using 454 genome sequencing in chokecherry (Prunus virginiana L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongxia; Walla, James A; Zhong, Shaobin; Huang, Danqiong; Dai, Wenhao

    2012-11-01

    Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana L.) (2n = 4x = 32) is a unique Prunus species for both genetics and disease-resistance research due to its tetraploid nature and X-disease resistance. However, no genetic and genomic information on chokecherry is available. A partial chokecherry genome was sequenced using Roche 454 sequencing technology. A total of 145,094 reads covering 4.8 Mbp of the chokecherry genome were generated and 15,113 contigs were assembled, of which 11,675 contigs were larger than 100 bp in size. A total of 481 SSR loci were identified from 234 (out of 11,675) contigs and 246 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer pairs were designed. Of 246 primers, 212 (86.2 %) effectively produced amplification from the genomic DNA of chokecherry. All 212 amplifiable chokecherry primers were used to amplify genomic DNA from 11 other rosaceous species (sour cherry, sweet cherry, black cherry, peach, apricot, plum, apple, crabapple, pear, juneberry, and raspberry). Thus, chokecherry SSR primers can be transferable across Prunus species and other rosaceous species. An average of 63.2 and 58.7 % of amplifiable chokecherry primers amplified DNA from cherry and other Prunus species, respectively, while 47.2 % of amplifiable chokecherry primers amplified DNA from other rosaceous species. Using random genome sequence data generated from next-generation sequencing technology to identify microsatellite loci appears to be rapid and cost-efficient, particularly for species with no sequence information available. Sequence information and confirmed transferability of the identified chokecherry SSRs among species will be valuable for genetic research in Prunus and other rosaceous species. Key message A total of 246 SSR primers were identified from chokecherry genome sequences. Of which, 212 were confirmed amplifiable both in chokecherry and other 11 other rosaceous species.

  6. Tannins from Hamamelis virginiana bark extract: characterization and improvement of the antiviral efficacy against influenza A virus and human papillomavirus.

    PubMed

    Theisen, Linda L; Erdelmeier, Clemens A J; Spoden, Gilles A; Boukhallouk, Fatima; Sausy, Aurélie; Florin, Luise; Muller, Claude P

    2014-01-01

    Antiviral activity has been demonstrated for different tannin-rich plant extracts. Since tannins of different classes and molecular weights are often found together in plant extracts and may differ in their antiviral activity, we have compared the effect against influenza A virus (IAV) of Hamamelis virginiana L. bark extract, fractions enriched in tannins of different molecular weights and individual tannins of defined structures, including pseudotannins. We demonstrate antiviral activity of the bark extract against different IAV strains, including the recently emerged H7N9, and show for the first time that a tannin-rich extract inhibits human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 infection. As the best performing antiviral candidate, we identified a highly potent fraction against both IAV and HPV, enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins by ultrafiltration, a simple, reproducible and easily upscalable method. This ultrafiltration concentrate and the bark extract inhibited early and, to a minor extent, later steps in the IAV life cycle and tannin-dependently inhibited HPV attachment. We observed interesting mechanistic differences between tannin structures: High molecular weight tannin containing extracts and tannic acid (1702 g/mol) inhibited both IAV receptor binding and neuraminidase activity. In contrast, low molecular weight compounds (<500 g/mol) such as gallic acid, epigallocatechin gallate or hamamelitannin inhibited neuraminidase but not hemagglutination. Average molecular weight of the compounds seemed to positively correlate with receptor binding (but not neuraminidase) inhibition. In general, neuraminidase inhibition seemed to contribute little to the antiviral activity. Importantly, antiviral use of the ultrafiltration fraction enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins and, to a lesser extent, the unfractionated bark extract was preferable over individual isolated compounds. These results are of interest for developing and improving plant

  7. The Effect of Exogenous Abscisic Acid on Stomatal Development, Stomatal Mechanics, and Leaf Gas Exchange in Tradescantia virginiana

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Peter J.; Farquhar, Graham D.

    2001-01-01

    Gas exchange parameters and stomatal physical properties were measured in Tradescantia virginiana plants grown under well-watered conditions and treated daily with either distilled water (control) or 3.0 mm abscisic acid (ABA). Photosynthetic capacity (CO2 assimilation rate for any given leaf intercellular CO2 concentration [ci]) and relative stomatal sensitivity to leaf-to-air vapor-pressure difference were unaffected by the ABA treatment. However, at an ambient CO2 concentration (ca) of 350 μmol mol−1, ABA-treated plants operated with significantly lower ci. ABA-treated plants had significantly smaller stomata and higher stomatal density in their lower epidermis. Stomatal aperture versus guard cell pressure (Pg) characteristics measured with a cell pressure probe showed that although the form of the relationship was similar in control and ABA-treated plants, stomata of ABA-treated plants exhibited more complete closure at Pg = 0 MPa and less than half the aperture of stomata in control plants at any given Pg. Scaling from stomatal aperture versus Pg to stomatal conductance versus Pg showed that plants grown under ABA treatment would have had significantly lower maximum stomatal conductance and would have operated with lower stomatal conductance for any given guard cell turgor. This is consistent with the observation of lower ci/ca in ABA-treated plants with a ca of 350 μmol mol−1. It is proposed that the ABA-induced changes in stomatal mechanics and stomatal conductance versus Pg characteristics constitute an improvement in water-use efficiency that may be invoked under prolonged drought conditions. PMID:11161050

  8. Plasma membrane-cell wall connections: roles in mitosis and cytokinesis revealed by plasmolysis of Tradescantia virginiana leaf epidermal cells.

    PubMed

    Cleary, A L

    2001-01-01

    Tradescantia virginiana leaf epidermal cells were plasmolysed by sequential treatment with 0.8 M and 0.3 M sucrose. Plasmolysis revealed adhesion of the plasma membrane to the cell wall at sites coinciding with cytoskeletal arrays involved in the polarisation of cells undergoing asymmetric divisions--cortical actin patch--and in the establishment and maintenance of the division site--preprophase band of microtubules and filamentous (F) actin. The majority of cells retained adhesions at the actin patch throughout mitosis. However, only approximately 13% of cells formed or retained attachments at the site of the preprophase band. After the breakdown of the nuclear envelope, plasmolysis had a dramatic effect on spindle orientation, cell plate formation, and the plane of cytokinesis. Spindles were rotated at abnormal angles including tilted into the plane of the epidermis. Cell plates formed but were quickly replaced by vacuole-like intercellular compartments containing no Tinopal-stainable cell wall material. This compartment usually opened to the apoplast at one side, and cytokinesis was completed by the furrow extending across the protoplast. This atypical cytokinesis was facilitated by a phragmoplast containing microtubules and F-actin. Progression of the furrow was unaffected by 25 micrograms of cytochalasin B per ml but inhibited by 10 microM oryzalin. Phragmoplasts were contorted and misguided and cytokinesis prolonged, indicating severe disruption to the guidance mechanisms controlling phragmoplast expansion. These results are discussed in terms of cytoskeleton-plasma membrane-cell wall connections that could be important to the localisation of plasma membrane molecules defining the cortical division site and hence providing positional information to the cytokinetic apparatus, and/or for providing an anchor for cytoplasmic F-actin necessary to generate tension on the phragmoplast and facilitate its directed, planar expansion.

  9. Spatial patterns of ectomycorrhizal fungal inoculum in arbuscular mycorrhizal barrens communities: implications for controlling invasion by Pinus virginiana.

    PubMed

    Thiet, Rachel K; Boerner, R E J

    2007-09-01

    Invasion of globally threatened ecosystems dominated by arbuscular mycorrhizal plants, such as the alkaline prairies and serpentine barrens of eastern North America, by species of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) pine (Pinus) seriously threatens the persistence, conservation, and ongoing restoration of these rare plant communities. Using Maryland serpentine barrens and an Ohio alkaline prairie complex as model systems, we tested the hypothesis that the invasiveness of Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana L.) into such communities is regulated by the spatial pattern of ECM fungal inoculum in the soil. ECM colonization of pine seedlings can occur by (1) hyphae growing from the roots of mature ECM pines colonizing nearby seedlings (contagion model), (2) pine seedlings being infected after germinating in open areas where spores are concentrated in feces of animals that have consumed sporocarps (centers of infection model), and (3) colonization from spores that are wind-dispersed across the landscape (background model). To test these models of dispersal of ECM fungal inoculum into these barrens, we used autocorrelation and spatially explicit mapping techniques (semivariance analysis and kriging) to characterize the distribution and abundance of ECM inoculum in soil. Our results strongly suggest that ECM fungi most often disperse into open barrens by contagion, thereby facilitating rapid pine colonization in an advancing front from mature pine forests bordering the barrens. Spatial patterns consistent with the centers of infection model were present but less common. Thus, current management techniques that rely on cutting and fire to reverse pine invasion may be ineffective because they do not kill or disrupt hyphal mats attached to mature roots of neighboring pines. Management alternatives are discussed.

  10. Tannins from Hamamelis virginiana Bark Extract: Characterization and Improvement of the Antiviral Efficacy against Influenza A Virus and Human Papillomavirus

    PubMed Central

    Theisen, Linda L.; Erdelmeier, Clemens A. J.; Spoden, Gilles A.; Boukhallouk, Fatima; Sausy, Aurélie; Florin, Luise; Muller, Claude P.

    2014-01-01

    Antiviral activity has been demonstrated for different tannin-rich plant extracts. Since tannins of different classes and molecular weights are often found together in plant extracts and may differ in their antiviral activity, we have compared the effect against influenza A virus (IAV) of Hamamelis virginiana L. bark extract, fractions enriched in tannins of different molecular weights and individual tannins of defined structures, including pseudotannins. We demonstrate antiviral activity of the bark extract against different IAV strains, including the recently emerged H7N9, and show for the first time that a tannin-rich extract inhibits human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 infection. As the best performing antiviral candidate, we identified a highly potent fraction against both IAV and HPV, enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins by ultrafiltration, a simple, reproducible and easily upscalable method. This ultrafiltration concentrate and the bark extract inhibited early and, to a minor extent, later steps in the IAV life cycle and tannin-dependently inhibited HPV attachment. We observed interesting mechanistic differences between tannin structures: High molecular weight tannin containing extracts and tannic acid (1702 g/mol) inhibited both IAV receptor binding and neuraminidase activity. In contrast, low molecular weight compounds (<500 g/mol) such as gallic acid, epigallocatechin gallate or hamamelitannin inhibited neuraminidase but not hemagglutination. Average molecular weight of the compounds seemed to positively correlate with receptor binding (but not neuraminidase) inhibition. In general, neuraminidase inhibition seemed to contribute little to the antiviral activity. Importantly, antiviral use of the ultrafiltration fraction enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins and, to a lesser extent, the unfractionated bark extract was preferable over individual isolated compounds. These results are of interest for developing and improving plant

  11. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi Among Eleven Potential Reservoir Species from Six States Across the Southern United States

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Emily L.; Roellig, Dawn M.; Gompper, Matthew E.; Monello, Ryan J.; Wenning, Krista M.; Gabriel, Mourad W.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is a substantial public health concern in Latin America. Although rare in humans and domestic animals in the United States, T. cruzi is commonly detected in some wildlife species, most commonly raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). To increase our understanding of the reservoir host species range and geographic distribution, 11 species of mammals from six states spanning the known range of T. cruzi (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Virginia) were tested for antibodies to T. cruzi using indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing. In addition, culture isolation attempts were conducted on a limited number of animals from Georgia and Florida. Evidence of T. cruzi was found in every state except California; however, low numbers of known reservoirs were tested in California. In general, the highest seroprevalence rates were found in raccoons (0–68%) and opossums (17–52%), but antibodies to T. cruzi were also detected in small numbers of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) from Arizona and Georgia, bobcats (Lynx rufus) from Georgia, two coyotes (Canis latrans) from Georgia and Virginia, and a ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) from Arizona. Culture-based prevalence rates for raccoons were significantly greater than those for opossums; however, seroprevalences of raccoons and opossums from several geographic locations in Georgia and Florida were not different, indicating that exposure rates of these two species are similar within these areas. For both raccoons and opossums, seroprevalence was significantly higher in females than in males. No difference was detected in seroprevalence between adults and juveniles and between animals caught in urban and rural locations. Our results indicate that T. cruzi prevalence varies by host species, host characteristics, and geographic region and provides data to guide future studies on the natural history of T. cruzi

  12. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi among eleven potential reservoir species from six states across the southern United States.

    PubMed

    Brown, Emily L; Roellig, Dawn M; Gompper, Matthew E; Monello, Ryan J; Wenning, Krista M; Gabriel, Mourad W; Yabsley, Michael J

    2010-10-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is a substantial public health concern in Latin America. Although rare in humans and domestic animals in the United States, T. cruzi is commonly detected in some wildlife species, most commonly raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). To increase our understanding of the reservoir host species range and geographic distribution, 11 species of mammals from six states spanning the known range of T. cruzi (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Virginia) were tested for antibodies to T. cruzi using indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing. In addition, culture isolation attempts were conducted on a limited number of animals from Georgia and Florida. Evidence of T. cruzi was found in every state except California; however, low numbers of known reservoirs were tested in California. In general, the highest seroprevalence rates were found in raccoons (0-68%) and opossums (17-52%), but antibodies to T. cruzi were also detected in small numbers of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) from Arizona and Georgia, bobcats (Lynx rufus) from Georgia, two coyotes (Canis latrans) from Georgia and Virginia, and a ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) from Arizona. Culture-based prevalence rates for raccoons were significantly greater than those for opossums; however, seroprevalences of raccoons and opossums from several geographic locations in Georgia and Florida were not different, indicating that exposure rates of these two species are similar within these areas. For both raccoons and opossums, seroprevalence was significantly higher in females than in males. No difference was detected in seroprevalence between adults and juveniles and between animals caught in urban and rural locations. Our results indicate that T. cruzi prevalence varies by host species, host characteristics, and geographic region and provides data to guide future studies on the natural history of T. cruzi in the

  13. Exogenous retinoic acid induces digit reduction in opossums (Monodelphis domestica) by disrupting cell death and proliferation, and apical ectodermal ridge and zone of polarizing activity function.

    PubMed

    Molineaux, Anna C; Maier, Jennifer A; Schecker, Teresa; Sears, Karen E

    2015-03-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) is a vitamin A derivative. Exposure to exogenous RA generates congenital limb malformations (CLMs) in species from frogs to humans. These CLMs include but are not limited to oligodactyly and long-bone hypoplasia. The processes by which exogenous RA induces CLMs in mammals have been best studied in mouse, but as of yet remain unresolved. We investigated the impact of exogenous RA on the cellular and molecular development of the limbs of a nonrodent model mammal, the opossum Monodelphis domestica. Opossums exposed to exogenous retinoic acid display CLMs including oligodactly, and results are consistent with opossum development being more susceptible to RA-induced disruptions than mouse development. Exposure of developing opossums to exogenous RA leads to an increase in cell death in the limb mesenchyme that is most pronounced in the zone of polarizing activity, and a reduction in cell proliferation throughout the limb mesenchyme. Exogenous RA also disrupts the expression of Shh in the zone of polarizing activity, and Fgf8 in the apical ectodermal ridge, and other genes with roles in the regulation of limb development and cell death. Results are consistent with RA inducing CLMs in opossum limbs by disrupting the functions of the apical ectodermal ridge and zone of polarizing activity, and driving an increase in cell death and reduction of cell proliferation in the mesenchyme of the developing limb. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Biochemical genetics of opossum aldehyde dehydrogenase 3: evidence for three ALDH3A-like genes and an ALDH3B-like gene.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S

    2010-04-01

    Mammalian ALDH3 isozymes participate in peroxidic and fatty aldehyde metabolism, and in anterior eye tissue UV-filtration. BLAT analyses were undertaken of the opossum genome using rat ALDH3A1, ALDH3A2, ALDH3B1, and ALDH3B2 amino acid sequences. Two predicted opossum ALDH3A1-like genes and an ALDH3A2-like gene were observed on chromosome 2, as well as an ALDH3B-like gene, which showed similar intron-exon boundaries with other mammalian ALDH3-like genes. Opossum ALDH3 subunit sequences and structures were highly conserved, including residues previously shown to be involved in catalysis and coenzyme binding for rat ALDH3A1. Eleven glycine residues were conserved for all of the opossum ALDH3-like sequences examined, including two glycine residues previously located within the stem of the rat ALDH3A1 active site funnel. Phylogeny studies of human, rat, opossum, and chicken ALDH3-like sequences indicated that the common ancestor for ALDH3A- and ALDH3B-like genes predates the appearance of birds during vertebrate evolution.

  15. Estrogen in peripheral plasma during postnatal development in gray short-tailed opossums.

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Harder, J D

    1992-09-01

    Plasma samples obtained from gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) at selected ages through adulthood were assayed for estrogen (E). Levels of E in one mixed-sex plasma pool of animals aged postnatal day (pd) 4 and one of two mixed-sex plasma pools of animals aged pd 8 were over 300 pg/ml. On pd 16, E levels in males and females averaged 30 and 47 pg/ml, respectively. While no significant sex differences in E levels were seen on pd 30 or pd 60, mean E levels for animals on pd 30 were significantly higher (275 pg/ml in males and 181 pg/ml in females) than on pd 60 (78 pg/ml in males and 85 pg/ml in females) or pd 145 (adults). In adult animals, estrogen levels in females averaged 54 pg/ml; all adult male E levels were below the limit of sensitivity of the assay. Maternal E levels, which did not vary significantly by age of litter, averaged 10 pg/ml overall. These findings are discussed with respect to possible significance of high E levels in developing marsupials for sexual differentiation and general brain development.

  16. Plasma concentrations of progesterone and testosterone in captive woolly opossums (Caluromys philander).

    PubMed

    Perret, M; Atramentowicz, M

    1989-01-01

    Plasma testosterone and progesterone concentrations were measured in captive woolly opossums, a didelphid marsupial originating from neotropical forests in French Guyana. Although not exposed to cyclic environmental conditions as in the field, both sexes exhibited spontaneous circannual changes in sexual hormones. Males showed synchronous variations in plasma testosterone characterized by significant elevated concentrations during April and September (8.6 +/- 1 ng/ml, N = 5) and lower levels from May to July (3.6 +/- 0.4 ng/ml). In females, synchronous periods of 2-3 successive oestrous cycles occurred. Between these periods, females remained acyclic. The oestrous cycle, determined by urogenital smears, lasted 28-45 days (n = 14) and included a 20-day spontaneous luteal phase in which progesterone concentrations reached 30-40 ng/ml plasma. Even though testosterone concentrations in paired males increased significantly in response to oestrous periods of the paired females, spontaneous circannual rhythms of sexual activity were not well synchronized between the sexes in captivity. When compared to field data, sexual activity of captive animals followed a pattern similar to that in wild animals, without any changes in males but with a delay of 3 months in females.

  17. Postnatal development of Leydig cells in the opossum (Monodelphis domestica): an immunocytochemical and endocrinological study.

    PubMed

    Xie, Q; Mackay, S; Ullmann, S L; Gilmore, D P; Payne, A P; Gray, C

    1998-03-01

    This study involved characterization of Leydig cells of the opossum Monodelphis domestica, functionally by immunocytochemical identification of the enzyme 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 beta-HSD) and by measurement of testosterone levels using RIA. Immunostaining for 3 beta-HSD was first detected in a few Leydig cells on Day 16, was increased by Day 24, reached a peak at 4 mo, and was present even in senescent (3 yr) animals. Plasma testosterone was first measurable (0.35 nM) at prepuberty (3.5 mo). Prior to that, plasma testosterone concentrations were uniformly below the level of detection (< 0.3 nM) in both sexes from Day 5 to 2.5 mo. By 4 mo (puberty), plasma testosterone levels in males had risen significantly to 1.53 +/- 0.35 nM, continuing to increase to 1.79 +/- 0.4 nM at 6 mo and peaking at 2.71 +/- 0.29 nM in the adult (1-2 yr). Ovarian testosterone concentrations were consistently lower than those in the testis, as were those of adrenals of both sexes. Thus the testis would appear to be the major source of androgen production throughout life in this species. Our immunocytochemical study suggests that in Monodelphis, puberty is reached at 4 mo, and this was further supported by a rise in circulating testosterone levels at this time.

  18. The postnatal development of the alimentary canal in the opossum. II. Stomach.

    PubMed Central

    Krause, W J; Cutts, J H; Leeson, C R

    1976-01-01

    The postnatal development of the gastric mucosa in the opossum has been traced with the light, transmission and scanning electron microscopes. The formation of fovea and gastric glands occurs simultaneously during the postnatal period. During the first 60 postnatal days the developing gastric glands are composed of undifferentiated cells, parietal cells and scattered endocrine cells. Chief cells are not present until just before weaning (13 cm, i.e. ca. 75 days). Juvenile and adult animals show only a small population of chief cells, and these are confined to the bases of the gastric glands. The pH of stomach contents ranges from 6-0 to 6-5 until the time of appearance of solid food within the stomach, when it drops to 2-0-2-5. The surface cells lining the gastric lumen contain a considerable amount of what appears to be lipid during the first 3 weeks after birth, and this may indicate that the gastric mucosa is involved in the absorption of lipid during this period. The mode of lipid absorption appears to be different from that described for the intestinal tract of several other species. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 Fig. 14 Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 17 Fig. 18 Fig. 19 Fig. 20 Fig. 21 Fig. 22 Fig. 23 Fig. 24 Fig. 25 Fig. 26 Fig. 27 Fig. 28 PMID:1034628

  19. Nitric oxide: Mediator of nonadrenergic noncholinergic nerve-induced responses of opossum esophageal muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, J.; Du, C.; Conklin, J.L.; Ledlow, A.; Bates, J.N. )

    1991-03-15

    Nonadrenergic noncholinergic (NANC) nerves of the opossum esophagus mediate relaxation of circular muscle from the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the off contraction of circular esophageal muscle. The latencies between the end of the stimulus and the off contraction describe a gradient such that the latency is longest in muscle from the caudad esophagus. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide were used to test the hypothesis that NO is a mediator of these nerve-induced responses. Both electrical field stimulation (EFS) of intrinsic esophageal nerves and exogenous NO relaxed LES muscle. Only EFS-induced relaxation was inhibited by L-NNA. L-arginine, the substrate for NO synthase, antagonized the inhibitory effect of L-NNA. Exogenous NO neither relaxed nor contracted circular esophageal muscle. Both the amplitude and the latency of the off contraction were diminished by L-NNA. L-arginine antagonized the action of L-NNA. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine also attenuated the gradient in the latency of the off response by shortening latencies in muscle form the caudad esophagus. It had no effect on cholinergic nerve-induced contraction of longitudinal esophageal muscle. These data support the hypothesis that NO or an NO-containing compound mediates NANC nerve-induced responses of the esophagus and LES.

  20. Effect of protamine on the accumulation of gentamicin in opossum kidney epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Junya; Komeda, Takuji; Yumoto, Ryoko; Takano, Mikihisa

    2013-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not protamine, an arginine-rich basic protein mixture, inhibits the accumulation of gentamicin, a nephrotoxic drug, in cultured opossum kidney (OK) epithelial cells. The effect of protamine from salmon on accumulation and binding of [(3) H]gentamicin was investigated in OK cells. Protamine inhibited the binding and accumulation of [(3) H]gentamicin in a concentration-dependent manner. The accumulation of [(14) C]inulin, a marker of fluid-phase endocytosis, was not affected by protamine at concentrations up to 1 mm. l-Arginine at concentrations up to 10 mm had no significant effect on the accumulation of [(3) H]gentamicin. On the other hand, preincubation with 100 μm protamine for 5 min decreased the accumulation of [(3) H]gentamicin to almost the same extent as coincubation with 100 μm protamine for 60 min. Our results indicate that protamine decreases the accumulation of gentamicin in OK cells. These findings suggest that protamine or its derivatives might be useful in preventing the nephrotoxicity of aminoglycoside antibiotics including gentamicin. © 2012 The Authors. JPP © 2012. Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  1. Fish and opossum shrimp entrainment in the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Maiolie, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    Impacts of operating the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Power Plant on fish and opossum shrimp (mysis relicta) were investigated from 1981 to 1985 at Twin Lakes, Colorado to determine any negative effects on the Twin Lakes fishery. Daytime generation cycles entrained shrimp at densities averaging 0.05 to 0.23 shrimp/m/sup 3/ of discharge. Eight hour daytime generation cycles would entrain 50,000 to 300,000 shrimp at these rates. Generation cycles which occurred after dark entrained many times more shrimp with densities as high as 1.21 shrimp/m/sup 3/ of discharge. Entrainment density during nighttime pump-back cycles was much greater; averaging 2 to 17 shrimp/m/sup 3/ discharged. Six to 44 million shrimp were entrained during typical 8 h pump-back cycles. Differences between daytime and nighttime entrainment rates appeared to be caused by migration of shrimp into the water column at night making them more vulnerable to entrainment. Losses were estimated to have reduced Lower Twin Lake shrimp abundance by 39% in 1985.

  2. Biogeographic determinants of genetic diversification in the mouse opossum Gracilinanus agilis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Faria, Michel Barros; Nascimento, Fabrícia F; Oliveira, João Alves de; Bonvicino, Cibele Rodrigues

    2013-01-01

    The genetic variation of Brazilian populations of the mouse opossum Gracilinanus agilis was analyzed on the basis of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene (mt-Cytb) and the exon 28 of the nuclear Von Willenbrand factor (e28-vWF). The radiation of Gracilinanus was dated at 4.80 Ma, with the appearance of G. agilis around 1.93 Ma. Gracilinanus aceramarcae appeared as the first offshoot of the genus, followed by Gracilinanus emiliae and Gracilinanus microtarsus, which composed a sister clade of G. agilis. Phylogeographic analyses and genetic distance estimates indicate G. agilis as a single species, with haplotypes grouping in three well-supported clades, one from midwestern Brazil, a second one from northeastern Brazil, and a third one from eastern Brazil. Phylogeographic patterns in G. agilis were interpreted in search for congruence between genetic breaks and historic geomorphologic events documented for the region stretching northeastern to central-western of the Brazilian shield. The Rio São Francisco and the Serra Geral de Goiás were found to represent relevant geographic barriers to gene flow for G. agilis populations as well as for populations of several other widespread taxa.

  3. Highly conserved d-loop sequences in woolly mouse opossums Marmosa (Micoureus).

    PubMed

    Rocha, Rita Gomes; Leite, Yuri Luiz Reis; Ferreira, Eduardo; Justino, Juliana; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2012-04-01

    This study reports the occurrence of highly conserved d-loop sequences in the mitochondrial genome of the woolly mouse opossum genus Marmosa subgenus Micoureus (Mammalia, Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae). Sixty-six sequences of Marmosa (Micoureus) demerarae, Marmosa (Micoureus) constantiae, and Marmosa (Micoureus) paraguayanus were amplified using universal d-loop primers and virtually no genetic differences were detected within and among species. These sequences matched the control region of the mitochondrial marsupial genome. Analyses of qualitative aspects of these sequences revealed that their structural composition is very similar to the d-loop region of other didelphid species. However, the total lack of variability has not been reported from other closely related species. The data analyzed here support the occurrence of highly conserved d-loop sequences, and we found no support for the hypothesis that these sequences are d-loop-like nuclear pseudogenes. Furthermore, the control and flanking regions obtained with different primers corroborate the lack of variability of the d-loop sequences in the mitochondrial genome of Marmosa (Micoureus).

  4. Adaptation of Opossum Kidney Cells to Luminal Phosphate: Effects of Phosphonoformic Acid and Kinase Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Linto; Wagner, Carsten A; Biber, Jürg; Hernando, Nati

    2016-01-01

    Renal reabsorption of inorganic phosphate (Pi) is mediated by SLC34 and SLC20 Na+/Pi-cotransporters the abundance of which is under hormonal control. Extracellular Pi itself also regulates the expression of cotransporters and the concentration of Pi-regulating hormones, though the signaling pathways are largely unknown. Here, we explored the mechanisms that allow renal proximal cells to adapt to changes in the concentration of Pi. opossum kidney (OK) cells, a model of proximal epithelia, were incubated with different concentrations of Pi in the absence/presence of phosphonoformic acid (PFA), a Pi-analogue and SLC34-inhibitor, and of inhibitors of kinases involved in hormonal control of Pi-homeostasis; cells cultured in normal media were treated with uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation. Then, the intracellular concentration of ATP and/or the Pi-transport capacity of the cultures were analyzed. luminal Pi regulates the Pi-transport and the intracellular ATP levels. Changes in ATP seem secondary to alterations in Pi-transport, rather than ATP acting as a signal. Adaptation of Pi-transport to high Pi was not mimicked by PFA. Transport adaptation was blocked by PFA but not by kinase inhibitors. in OK cells, adaptation of Pi-transport to luminal Pi does not depend on the same signaling pathways involved in hormonal regulation. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Early Postnatal B Cell Ontogeny and Antibody Repertoire Maturation in the Opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xinxin; Sharp, Alana R.; Miller, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Marsupials are a lineage of mammals noted for giving birth to highly altricial young, which complete much of their “fetal” development externally attached to a teat. Postnatal B cell ontogeny and diversity was investigated in a model marsupial species, the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. The results support the initiation of B cell development late in gestation and progressing into the first two weeks of postnatal life. Transcription of CD79a and CD79b was detected in embryonic tissue prior to birth, while immunoglobulin heavy chain locus transcription was not detected until the first postnatal 24 hours. Transcription of the Ig light chains was not detected until postnatal day 7 at the earliest. The predicted timing of the earliest appearance of mature B cells and completion of gene rearrangements is consistent with previous analyses on the timing of endogenous antibody responses in newborn marsupials. The diversity of early B cell IgH chains is limited, as has been seen in fetal humans and mice, but lacks bias in the gene segments used to encode the variable domains. Newborn light chain diversity is, from the start, comparable to that of the adult, consistent with an earlier hypothesis that light chains contribute extensively to antibody diversity in this species. PMID:23029324

  6. Membrane potential and mechanical responses of the opossum esophagus to vagal stimulation and swallowing.

    PubMed

    Rattan, S; Gidda, J S; Goyal, R K

    1983-10-01

    Studies were performed in anesthetized opossums. The electrical changes, recorded using a suction electrode applied to the outside of the esophagus, and mechanical activity, recorded by an intraluminal catheter, were monitored from 5 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter. Swallowing was associated with membrane hyperpolarization followed by depolarization and spike burst. Electrical stimulation of the decentralized vagus also caused a prompt hyperpolarization followed by an overshoot depolarization. Single pulses of stimulation caused primarily hyperpolarization. The amplitude and duration of hyperpolarization increased with increasing frequencies of vagal stimulation. Spike burst occurred as the membrane potential was recovering from the peak hyperpolarization and moving toward peak depolarization. The latency of onset of spike burst decreased with increasing frequency of vagal stimulation. The muscle contraction occurred after a latency. The latency of contractions, like the latency of spike burst, decreased with increased frequency of vagal stimulation. These studies show that (a) membrane hyperpolarization is present during the latent period of contraction associated with swallowing, suggesting that swallow-induced esophageal response may be mediated by vagal inhibitory pathway to the esophagus and (b) spike bursts can be temporally dissociated from depolarization by changing the vagal stimulation frequency, suggesting that spike burst and depolarization may be mediated by different excitatory mechanisms.

  7. Early postnatal B cell ontogeny and antibody repertoire maturation in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Sharp, Alana R; Miller, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    Marsupials are a lineage of mammals noted for giving birth to highly altricial young, which complete much of their "fetal" development externally attached to a teat. Postnatal B cell ontogeny and diversity was investigated in a model marsupial species, the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. The results support the initiation of B cell development late in gestation and progressing into the first two weeks of postnatal life. Transcription of CD79a and CD79b was detected in embryonic tissue prior to birth, while immunoglobulin heavy chain locus transcription was not detected until the first postnatal 24 hours. Transcription of the Ig light chains was not detected until postnatal day 7 at the earliest. The predicted timing of the earliest appearance of mature B cells and completion of gene rearrangements is consistent with previous analyses on the timing of endogenous antibody responses in newborn marsupials. The diversity of early B cell IgH chains is limited, as has been seen in fetal humans and mice, but lacks bias in the gene segments used to encode the variable domains. Newborn light chain diversity is, from the start, comparable to that of the adult, consistent with an earlier hypothesis that light chains contribute extensively to antibody diversity in this species.

  8. Integrated cytogenetic BAC map of the genome of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Duke, S E; Samollow, P B; Mauceli, E; Lindblad-Toh, K; Breen, M

    2007-01-01

    The generation of high-quality genome assemblies for numerous species is advancing at a rapid pace. As the number of genome assemblies increases, so does our ability to investigate genome relationships and their contributions to unraveling complex biological, evolutionary, and biomedical processes. A key process in the generation of a genome assembly is to determine and verify the precise physical location and order of the large sequence blocks (scaffolds) that result from the assembly. For organisms of relatively recent common ancestry this process may be achieved largely through comparative sequence alignment. However, as the evolutionary distance between species lengthens, the use of comparative sequence alignment becomes increasingly less reliable. Simultaneous cytogenetic mapping, using multicolor fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) analysis, offers an alternative means to define the cytogenetic location and relative order of DNA sequences, thereby anchoring the genome sequence to the karyotype. In this article we report the molecular cytogenetic locations of 415 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones that served to anchor sequence scaffolds of the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) to its karyotype, which enabled accurate integration of these regions into the genome assembly.

  9. Seasonal population characteristics of the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta, in southeastern Lake Michigan, 1970-71

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, James B.; DeGraeve, G.M.

    1972-01-01

    This study of depth distribution, abundance, growth, reproduction and standing crop of the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta, in southeastern Lake Michigan was based on monthly samples collected from August 1970 through July 1971 (except February and March). Population density was usually low at 10-20 fathoms, moderate at 25-30 fathoms and relatively high at 35 fathoms and deeper. Abundance was highest in midsummer and lowest in December. Free-living mysids were 3-25 mm long. Average growth rate was 1 mm per month. At maximum lengths, females were longer than males. Weight increased as approximately the cube of the length. The population consisted mostly of juveniles during summer and autumn and subadults and adults in winter and spring. Sizable numbers of adults apparently moved to relatively shallow water (10-35 fathoms) in winter, where they bred and released their young. In deeper water (40 fathoms or more), some reproduction occurred throughout the year. Most recruitment was in April and May. Standing crop ranged as high as 50 kg per hectare. Mysis apparently has a one-year life cycle in southeastern Lake Michigan.

  10. Topical wound-healing effects and phytochemical composition of heartwood essential oils of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook., and Juniperus ashei J. Buchholz.

    PubMed

    Tumen, Ibrahim; Süntar, Ipek; Eller, Fred J; Keleş, Hikmet; Akkol, Esra Küpeli

    2013-01-01

    Ethnobotanical surveys indicated that in the traditional medicines worldwide, several Juniperus species are utilized as antihelmintic, diuretic, stimulant, antiseptic, carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic, antifungal, and for wound healing. In the present study, essential oils obtained from heartwood samples of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook. and Juniperus ashei J. Buchholz were evaluated for wound healing and anti-inflammatory activities by using in vivo experimental methods. The essential oils were obtained by the supercritical carbon dioxide extraction method. Linear incision and circular excision wound models were performed for the wound-healing activity assessment. The tissues were also evaluated for the hydroxyproline content as well as histopathologically. To evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of the essential oils, the test used was an acetic acid-induced increase in capillary permeability. The essential oil of J. occidentalis showed the highest activity on the in vivo biological activity models. Additionaly, the oil of J. virginiana was found highly effective in the anti-inflammatory activity method. The experimental data demonstrated that essential oil of J. occidentalis displayed significant wound-healing and anti-inflammatory activities.

  11. North American Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): Based Scalp Care and Protection for Sensitive Scalp, Red Scalp, and Scalp Burn-Out.

    PubMed

    Trüeb, Ralph M

    2014-07-01

    A sensitive scalp is a frequent problem in daily clinical practice and often represents a major challenge for dermatologists. The objective was to evaluate the efficacy of a Northamerican Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)-based shampoo and tonic (Erol(®) Energy) for treatment of the sensitive scalp. Retrospective observational study of male and female patients given Erol(®) Energy products in the period between August 2010 and December 2013 at the Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb to treat irritable scalp conditions or as concomitant treatment to minoxidil therapy for androgenetic alocepia. Shampoo was applied successfully in 1,373 patients (1,233 women and 140 men). Patients reported improvement of subjective manifestations of irritation and rated tolerance of both products as good to excellent. During this period, 369 (26.9%) have received Erol(®) shampoo more than once. The choice of appropriate hair-care products represents an important aspect in the management of the sensitive scalp and related conditions. With the Erol(®) Energy hair-care products, the advantages of H. virginiana are available for successful treatment of the scalp, especially in the context of problems associated with red scalp, scalp burn-out, and the use of topical minoxidil for androgenetic alopecia.

  12. North American Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): Based Scalp Care and Protection for Sensitive Scalp, Red Scalp, and Scalp Burn-Out

    PubMed Central

    Trüeb, Ralph M

    2014-01-01

    Background: A sensitive scalp is a frequent problem in daily clinical practice and often represents a major challenge for dermatologists. Objective: The objective was to evaluate the efficacy of a Northamerican Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)-based shampoo and tonic (Erol® Energy) for treatment of the sensitive scalp. Methods: Retrospective observational study of male and female patients given Erol® Energy products in the period between August 2010 and December 2013 at the Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb to treat irritable scalp conditions or as concomitant treatment to minoxidil therapy for androgenetic alocepia. Results: Shampoo was applied successfully in 1,373 patients (1,233 women and 140 men). Patients reported improvement of subjective manifestations of irritation and rated tolerance of both products as good to excellent. During this period, 369 (26.9%) have received Erol® shampoo more than once. Conclusions: The choice of appropriate hair-care products represents an important aspect in the management of the sensitive scalp and related conditions. With the Erol® Energy hair-care products, the advantages of H. virginiana are available for successful treatment of the scalp, especially in the context of problems associated with red scalp, scalp burn-out, and the use of topical minoxidil for androgenetic alopecia. PMID:25210333

  13. Prevalence of antibodies to Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona, and Toxoplasma gondii in wild horses from central Wyoming.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Mitchell, S M; Morrow, J K; Rhyan, J C; Stewart, L M; Granstrom, D E; Romand, S; Thulliez, P; Saville, W J; Lindsay, D S

    2003-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona, Neospora caninum, N. hughesi, and Toxoplasma gondii are 4 related coccidians considered to be associated with encephalomyelitis in horses. The source of infection for N. hughesi is unknown, whereas opossums, dogs, and cats are the definitive hosts for S. neurona, N. caninum, and T. gondii, respectively. Seroprevalence of these coccidians in 276 wild horses from central Wyoming outside the known range of the opossum (Didelphis virginiana) was determined. Antibodies to T. gondii were found only in 1 of 276 horses tested with the modified agglutination test using 1:25, 1:50, and 1:500 dilutions. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 86 (31.1%) of the 276 horses tested with the Neospora agglutination test--the titers were 1:25 in 38 horses, 1:50 in 15, 1:100 in 9, 1:200 in 8, 1:400 in 4, 1:800 in 2, 1:1,600 in 2, 1:3,200 in 2, and 1:12,800 in 1. Antibodies to S. neurona were assessed with the serum immunoblot; of 276 horses tested, 18 had antibodies considered specific for S. neurona. Antibodies to S. neurona also were assessed with the S. neurona direct agglutination test (SAT). Thirty-nine of 265 horses tested had SAT antibodies--in titers of 1:50 in 26 horses and 1:100 in 13. The presence of S. neurona antibodies in horses in central Wyoming suggests that either there is cross-reactivity between S. neurona and some other infection or a definitive host other than opossum is the source of infection. In a retrospective study, S. neurona antibodies were not found by immunoblot in the sera of 243 horses from western Canada outside the range of D. virginiana.

  14. Increase of annexin 1 immunoreactivity in spinal cord of newborn opossum (Monodelphis domestica) at the time when regeneration after injury stops being possible.

    PubMed

    Mladinic, M; Del Bel, E; Nicholls, J

    2007-11-01

    Annexins constitute a family of proteins that associate reversibly with cell membranes in a calcium dependent manner. We have studied the distribution of annexin 1, which is known to mediate anti-inflammatory actions of glucocorticoids, and which is upregulated after spinal cord injury, in newborn and adult South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica) spinal cord. We show the increase in the annexin 1 immunoreactivity in spinal cords of neonatal opossums over the critical period when regeneration after injury ceases to be possible. We further show the restricted and specific sites at which it is detected in adult opossum cerebellum and hippocampus. Since the procedures used in immunochemistry of annexin in CNS have in the past yielded conflicting results, different procedures were tested and shown to be reliable. As a control, annexin 1 distribution was surveyed in kidney.

  15. Action of anti-bothropic factor isolated from Didelphis marsupialis on renal effects of Bothrops erythromelas venom.

    PubMed

    Martins, Alice M C; Sousa, Fabiola C M; Barbosa, Paulo S F; Toyama, Marcos H; Toyama, Daniela O; Aprígio, Cleidiana C; Queiroz, Maria G R; Guarnieri, Mirian C; Havt, Alexandre; de Menezes, Dalgimar B; Fonteles, Manassés C; Monteiro, Helena S A

    2005-11-01

    Acute renal failure is the most common complication in the lethal cases caused by snakebites in Brazil. Among the Brazilian venom snakes, Bothrops erythromelas is responsible for the majority of accidents in Northeastern Brazil. Didelphis marsupialis serum could inhibit myonecrotic, hemorrhagic, edematogenic hyperalgesic and lethal effects of envenomation determined by ophidian bites. In the present study, we evaluated the action of the anti-bothropic factor isolated from D. marsupialis on the renal effects promoted by B. erythromelas venom without systemic interference. Isolated kidneys from Wistar rats were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit solution containing 6% bovine serum albumin. We analyzed renal perfusion pressure (PP), renal vascular resistance (RVR), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), urinary flow (UF), and the percentages of sodium and potassium tubular transport (%TNa+, %TK+). The B. erythromelas venom (10 microg mL(-1)) decreased the PP (ct = 108.71+/-5.09 mmHg; BE = 65.21+/-5.6 mmHg*) and RVR (ct = 5.76+/-0.65 mmHg mL(-1) g(-1) min(-1); BE = 3.10+/-0.45 mmHg mL(-1) g(-1) min(-1)*). On the other hand, the GFR decreased at 60 min (ct60 = 0.76+/-0.07 mL g(-1) min(-1); BE60 = 0.42+/-0.12 mL g(-1) min(-1)*) and increased at 120 min (ct120 = 0.72+/-0.01 mL g(-1) min(-1); BE120 = 1.24+/-0.26 mL g(-1) min(-1)*). The UF increased significantly when compared with the control group (ct = 0.14+/-0.01 mL g(-1) min(-1); BE = 0.47+/-0.08 mL g(-1) min(-1)*). The venom reduced the %TNa(+) (ct90 = 79.18+/-0.88%; BE90 = 58.35+/-4.86%*) and %TK+ (ct90 = 67.20+/-4.04%; BE90 = 57.32+/-5.26%*) The anti-bothropic factor from D. marsupialis (10 microg mL(-1)) incubated with B. erythromelas venom (10 microg mL(-1)) blocked the effects on PP, RVR, %TNa+, and %TK+, but was not able to reverse the effects in UF and GFR promoted by venom alone. However, the highest concentration of D. marsupialis serum (30 microg mL(-1)) reversed all the renal effects induced by the venom. In

  16. Nonadrenergic-noncholinergic relaxations of isolated circular muscle from South American opossum esophagogastric junction: is nitric oxide the inhibitory mediator?

    PubMed

    Matsuda, N M; Lemos, M C; Feitosa Júnior, R L; de Oliveira, R B; Ballejo, G

    1997-10-13

    Nonadrenergic-noncholinergic (NANC) inhibitory nerves are responsible for most of the nerve induced relaxations of gastrointestinal muscle. It has recently been proposed that NANC nerves may release nitric oxide (NO) or a related compound derived from L-arginine. We have recently shown that the South American (SA) opossum is another suitable model to elucidate the mechanism involved in these NANC relaxations. In the present study the effect of NO synthase inhibitors as well as NO inactivators on the NANC-nerve induced relaxations of the circular muscle of the esophagogastric junction (EGJ) of the SA opossum was investigated. It was observed that the NO synthase inhibitors, L-NOARG and L-NAME, caused a concentration-dependent reduction of NANC-nerve induced relaxations which was reversed by L- but not D-arginine. The NO-donors sodium nitroprusside and hydroxilamine as well as NO caused concentration-dependent relaxations of the EGJ circular muscle. In the myenteric plexus of this region, NADPH-diaphorase positive neurons and nerve fibers were observed while in the circular muscle layer only numerous positive fibers were found. The NO inactivators, hydroquinone, pyrogallol and carboxy-PTIO, reduced NO-induced relaxations but failed to affect NANC nerve- and sodium nitroprusside-induced relaxations. Taken together, these findings indicate that NANC nerve induced relaxation of the SA opossum EGJ circular muscle is dependent on neural NO synthase activity and suggest that the neurotransmitter being released is a superoxide resistant molecule, which is unlikely to be the NO radical, or that the activity of NO synthase is required for the release of the actual neurotransmitter rather than for synthesizing the neuromediator.

  17. Angiotensin type 1 receptor resistance to blockade in the opossum proximal tubule cell due to variations in the binding pocket.

    PubMed

    Nistala, Ravi; Andresen, Bradley T; Pulakat, Lakshmi; Meuth, Alex; Sinak, Catherine; Mandavia, Chirag; Thekkumkara, Thomas; Speth, Robert C; Whaley-Connell, Adam; Sowers, James R

    2013-04-15

    Blockade of the angiotensin (ANG) II receptor type 1 (AT(1)R) with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is widely used in the treatment of hypertension. However, ARBs are variably effective in reducing blood pressure, likely due, in part, to polymorphisms in the ARB binding pocket of the AT(1)R. Therefore, we need a better understanding of variations/polymorphisms that alter binding of ARBs in heterogeneous patient populations. The opossum proximal tubule cell (OKP) line is commonly used in research to evaluate renal sodium handling and therefore blood pressure. Investigating this issue, we found natural sequence variations in the opossum AT(1)R paralleling those observed in the human AT(1)R. Therefore, we posited that these sequence variations may explain ARB resistance. We demonstrate that OKP cells express AT(1)R mRNA, bind (125)I-labeled ANG II, and exhibit ANG II-induced phosphorylation of Jak2. However, Jak2 phosphorylation is not inhibited by five different ARBs commonly used to treat hypertension. Additionally, nonradioactive ANG II competes (125)I-ANG II efficiently, whereas a 10-fold molar excess of olmesartan and the ANG II receptor type 2 blocker PD-123319 is unable to block (125)I-ANG II binding. In contrast, ANG II binding to OKP cells stably expressing rat AT(1A)Rs, which have a conserved AT(1)R-binding pocket with human AT(1)R, is efficiently inhibited by olmesartan. A novel observation was that resistance to ARB binding to opossum AT(1)Rs correlates with variations from the human receptor at positions 108, 163, 192, and 198 within the ARB-binding pocket. These observations highlight the potential utility of evaluating AT(1)R polymorphisms within the ARB-binding pocket in various hypertensive populations.

  18. Demography and population dynamics of the mouse opossum (Thylamys elegans) in semi-arid Chile: seasonality, feedback structure and climate.

    PubMed Central

    Lima, M.; Stenseth, N. C.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Jaksic, F. M.

    2001-01-01

    Here we present, to the authors' knowledge for the very first time for a small marsupial, a thorough analysis of the demography and population dynamics of the mouse opossum (Thylamys elegans) in western South America. We test the relative importance of feedback structure and climatic factors (rainfall and the Southern Oscillation Index) in explaining the temporal variation in the demography of the mouse opossum. The demographic information was incorporated into a stage-structured population dynamics model and the model's predictions were compared with observed patterns. The mouse opossum's capture rates showed seasonal (within-year) and between-year variability, with individuals having higher capture rates during late summer and autumn and lower capture rates during winter and spring. There was also a strong between-year effect on capture probabilities. The reproductive (the fraction of reproductively active individuals) and recruitment rates showed a clear seasonal and a between-year pattern of variation with the peak of reproductive activity occuring during winter and early spring. In addition, the fraction of reproductive individuals was positively related to annual rainfall, while population density and annual rainfall positively influenced the recruitment rate. The survival rates were negatively related to annual rainfall. The average finite population growth rate during the study period was estimated to be 1.011 +/- 0.0019 from capture-recapture estimates. While the annual growth rate estimated from the seasonal linear matrix models was 1.026, the subadult and adult survival and maturation rates represent between 54% (winter) and 81% (summer) of the impact on the annual growth rate. PMID:11571053

  19. Angiotensin type 1 receptor resistance to blockade in the opossum proximal tubule cell due to variations in the binding pocket

    PubMed Central

    Nistala, Ravi; Andresen, Bradley T.; Pulakat, Lakshmi; Meuth, Alex; Sinak, Catherine; Mandavia, Chirag; Thekkumkara, Thomas; Speth, Robert C.; Whaley-Connell, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Blockade of the angiotensin (ANG) II receptor type 1 (AT1R) with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is widely used in the treatment of hypertension. However, ARBs are variably effective in reducing blood pressure, likely due, in part, to polymorphisms in the ARB binding pocket of the AT1R. Therefore, we need a better understanding of variations/polymorphisms that alter binding of ARBs in heterogeneous patient populations. The opossum proximal tubule cell (OKP) line is commonly used in research to evaluate renal sodium handling and therefore blood pressure. Investigating this issue, we found natural sequence variations in the opossum AT1R paralleling those observed in the human AT1R. Therefore, we posited that these sequence variations may explain ARB resistance. We demonstrate that OKP cells express AT1R mRNA, bind 125I-labeled ANG II, and exhibit ANG II-induced phosphorylation of Jak2. However, Jak2 phosphorylation is not inhibited by five different ARBs commonly used to treat hypertension. Additionally, nonradioactive ANG II competes 125I-ANG II efficiently, whereas a 10-fold molar excess of olmesartan and the ANG II receptor type 2 blocker PD-123319 is unable to block 125I-ANG II binding. In contrast, ANG II binding to OKP cells stably expressing rat AT1ARs, which have a conserved AT1R-binding pocket with human AT1R, is efficiently inhibited by olmesartan. A novel observation was that resistance to ARB binding to opossum AT1Rs correlates with variations from the human receptor at positions 108, 163, 192, and 198 within the ARB-binding pocket. These observations highlight the potential utility of evaluating AT1R polymorphisms within the ARB-binding pocket in various hypertensive populations. PMID:23389452

  20. Immunolocalization of cation-chloride cotransporters in the developing and mature spinal cord of opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Phan, Ha-Loan; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2013-01-01

    Spinal inhibition is required to generate coordinated outputs between antagonistic muscles during locomotion. It relies on low neuronal chloride concentration set by two cation-chloride cotransporters, NKCC1 and KCC2 which, respectively, pumps Cl(-) in or out of neurons. It is generally accepted that NKCC1 is gradually inactivated during development, while KCC2 is upregulated and activated, resulting in low intracellular [Cl(-)]. Newborn opossums are very immature but perform rhythmic and alternate movements of the forelimbs to crawl on the mother's belly and attach to a teat. Their hindlimbs are immobile. The alternation of the forelimbs suggests that mechanisms allowing spinal inhibition are present at birth. We studied the anatomical basis of inhibition in the spinal enlargements of postnatal opossums by immunolocalizing NKCC1 and KCC2. In some specimens, motoneurons and sensory afferents were labeled with TRDA prior to immunolabeling. At birth, both NKCC1 and KCC2 are detected in the presumptive gray and white matter of the ventral and the intermediolateral cord of both enlargements, but are sparse in the dorsal horn, where KCC2 is mostly seen on a small bundle of dendrites along primary afferents. KCC2 labeling is bright and has a mesh-like appearance in the gray matter and a radial appearance in the white matter, whereas NKCC1 is pale and diffuse. The subsequent expression of the cotransporters follows general ventrodorsal and mediolateral gradients, with the lumbar segments slightly lagging the cervical segments, until the mature pattern is observed around the 5th week. At all ages studied, KCC2 labeling is strong in the periphery of neurons. NKCC1 labeling decreases and becomes more uniformly distributed in the cells with age. Despite the significant anatomical and motor differences between the forelimbs and the hindlimbs of neonatal opossums, the maturation of KCC2 and NKCC1 is quite similar in both enlargements.

  1. Correlation between dopaminergic phenotype and expression of calretinin in the midbrain nuclei of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica): an immunohistological study.

    PubMed

    Klejbor, Ilona; Ludkiewicz, Beata; Wojcik, Sławomir; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2013-01-01

    We investigated distribution and morphology of neurons of the midbrain nuclei: the ventral tegmental area (VTA), substantia nigra (SN) and periaqueductal gray (PAG) of the adult grey short-tailed opossums that were double immunolabeled for the presence of calretinin (CR) and/or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The majority of TH-immunopositive neurons and fibers were located in the VTA, SN, and only scarce population of small neurons expressing TH was present in the PAG. In the SN 80 percent of TH-expressing neurons had large cell bodies, and only a small fraction had small perikarya. In the PAG populations of large and medium sized neurons were equal and 20 percent of neurons had small perikarya. Much scarcer population of TH-immunoreactive neurons in the PAG consisted of large or small neurons in its dorsal part (PAGd) and almost exclusively small neurons in the ventral part (PAGv). Distribution of neurons expressing TH and their types in the opossum are similar to those in rodents. The majority of CR-immunolabeled neurons were found in the VTA. In its subdivision, the parabrachal pigmented nucleus (PBP) cells expressing CR were approximately 28 percent more numerous than cells expressing TH. In spite of that, only 42 percent of TH-expressing neurons coexpressed CR. The high degree of colocalization TH and CR was observed in the SN. We propose that a higher percentage of TH/CR colocalization, which is observed in the opossums SN, may give them the ability to adapt to changes in their motor functions.

  2. Progesterone receptor in the forebrain of female gray short-tailed opossums: effects of exposure to male stimuli.

    PubMed

    Vitazka, Maria E; Cárdenas, Horacio; Cruz, Yolanda; Fadem, Barbara H; Norfolk, Jennifer R; Harder, John D

    2009-01-01

    Progesterone receptor immunoreactivity (PRir) in brain areas involved in reproductive behavior in eutherian species was examined for the first time in a female marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica, hereinafter, opossum). PRir in nuclei of neurons, measured as area covered by stained nuclei, was seen in the arcuate nucleus (Arc); anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPv); bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST); medial preoptic area (MPOA), and ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), but not in control areas adjacent to the hypothalamus or cortex. Female opossums are induced into cytological, urogenital sinus (UGS), estrus by male pheromones and into behavioral estrus, i.e., receptivity, by pairing with a male, and both estradiol (E) and progesterone (P) are involved in induction of receptivity in intact and ovariectomized females. PRir in the AVPv, MPOA, and VMH was very low in females that had never been exposed to males or their scent marks, i.e., naïve anestrous (NVA) females, and either previous or current exposure to males or their scent marks was associated with elevated PRir. PRir was significantly higher in the AVPv and MPOA of anestrous females with previous but no current exposure to males and their scent marks, i.e., experienced anestrous (EXPA) females, than in NVA females, but PRir was significantly lower in the MPOA and VMH of EXPA females than in females that were behaviorally receptive and had recently copulated, i.e., behavioral receptive estrous (BRE) females. PRir was higher in the VMH of both UGS estrous (UGSE) and BRE females compared to that in EXPA animals, but PRir did not differ between UGSE and BRE females in any of the 3 brain areas examined, including the MPOA These results provide evidence that pheromonal induction of estrus and sexual receptivity in opossums is associated with elevation of PRir in the VMH and MPOA and that prior exposure to males or their pheromones, even in the absence of current male stimuli

  3. PERMANENT GENETIC RESOURCES: Characterization of eight microsatellite loci in the woolly mouse opossum, Micoureus paraguayanus, isolated from Micoureus demerarae.

    PubMed

    Dias, I M G; Amato, G; Carvalho, M R S; Cunha, H M; Paglia, A P; Desalle, R; Fonseca, C G

    2008-03-01

    Eight novel microsatellite markers were isolated from the woolly mouse opossum from the Amazon Forest in Peru, Micoureus demerarae, using a partial genomic DNA library and an enrichment protocol. These loci were polymorphic in M. demerarae and Micoureus paraguayanus populations from the Atlantic Forest in Brazil with the number of alleles ranging from two to 23. Those eight loci plus another five already described for M. paraguayanus will allow for the evaluation of genetic diversity of populations from the 'Rio Doce' Park, one of the last Atlantic Forest fragments in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. © 2007 The Authors.

  4. Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials: functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums.

    PubMed

    Rupert, J E; Schmidt, E Cordero; Moreira-Soto, A; Herrera, B Rodríguez; Vandeberg, J L; Butcher, M T

    2014-08-01

    Prehensile tails are defined as having the ability to grasp objects and are commonly used as a fifth appendage during arboreal locomotion. Despite the independent evolution of tail prehensility in numerous mammalian genera, data relating muscle structure, physiology, and function of prehensile tails are largely incomplete. Didelphid marsupials make an excellent model to relate myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform fiber type with structure/function of caudal muscles, as all opossums have a prehensile tail and tail use varies between arboreal and terrestrial forms. Expanding on our previous work in the Virginia opossum, this study tests the hypothesis that arboreal and terrestrial opossums differentially express faster versus slower MHC isoforms, respectively. MHC isoform expression and percent fiber type distribution were determined in the flexor caudae longus (FCL) muscle of Caluromys derbianus (arboreal) and Monodelphis domestica (terrestrial), using a combination of gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemistry analyses. C. derbianus expresses three MHC isoforms (1, 2A, 2X) that are distributed (mean percentage) as 8.2% MHC-1, 2.6% 1/2A, and 89.2% 2A/X hybrid fibers. M. domestica also expresses MHC-1, 2A, and 2X, in addition to the 2B isoform, distributed as 17.0% MHC-1, 1.3% 1/2A, 9.0% 2A, 75.2% 2A/X, and 0.3% 2X/B hybrid fibers. The distribution of similar isoform fiber types differed significantly between species (P < 0.001). Although not statistically significant, C. derbianus was observed to have larger cross-sectional area (CSA) for each corresponding fiber type along with a greater amount of extra-cellular matrix. An overall faster fiber type composition (and larger fibers) in the tail of an arboreal specialist supports our hypothesis, and correlates with higher muscle force required for tail hanging and arboreal maneuvering on terminal substrates. Conversely, a broader distribution of highly oxidative fibers in the caudal musculature is well suited for

  5. Amelotin Gene Structure and Expression during Enamel Formation in the Opossum Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Gasse, Barbara; Liu, Xi; Corre, Erwan; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    Amelotin (AMTN) is an ameloblast-secreted protein that belongs to the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein family, which also includes the enamel matrix proteins amelogenin, ameloblastin and enamelin. Although AMTN is supposed to play an important role in enamel formation, data were long limited to the rodents, in which it is expressed during the maturation stage. Recent comparative studies in sauropsids and amphibians revealed that (i) AMTN was expressed earlier, i.e. as soon as ameloblasts are depositing the enamel matrix, and (ii) AMTN structure was different, a change which mostly resulted from an intraexonic splicing in the large exon 8 of an ancestral mammal. The present study was performed to know whether the differences in AMTN structure and expression in rodents compared to non-mammalian tetrapods dated back to an early ancestral mammal or were acquired later in mammalian evolution. We sequenced, assembled and screened the jaw transcriptome of a neonate opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial. We found two AMTN transcripts. Variant 1, representing 70.8% of AMTN transcripts, displayed the structure known in rodents, whereas variant 2 (29.2%) exhibited the nonmammalian tetrapod structure. Then, we studied AMTN expression during amelogenesis in a neonate specimen. We obtained similar data as those reported in rodents. These findings indicate that more than 180 million years ago, before the divergence of marsupials and placentals, changes occurred in AMTN function and structure. The spatiotemporal expression was delayed to the maturation stage of amelogenesis and the intraexonic splicing gave rise to isoform 1, encoded by variant 1 and lacking the RGD motif. The ancestral isoform 2, housing the RGD, was initially conserved, as demonstrated here in a marsupial, then secondarily lost in the placental lineages. These findings bring new elements towards our understanding of the non-prismatic to prismatic enamel transition that occurred at the onset of

  6. Mitochondrial phenotype of marsupial torpor: Fuel metabolic switch in the Chilean mouse-opossum Thylamys elegans.

    PubMed

    Cortés, Pablo Andres; Bacigalupe, Leonardo Daniel; Mondaca, Fredy; Desrosiers, Véronique; Blier, Pierre U

    2016-01-01

    Torpor is a phenotype characterized by a controlled decline of metabolic rate and body temperature. During arousal from torpor, organs undergo rapid metabolic reactivation and rewarming to near normal levels. As torpor progress, animals show a preference for fatty acids over glucose as primary source of energy. Here, we analyzed for first time the changes in the maximal activity of key enzymes related to fatty acid (Carnitine palmitoyltransferase and β-Hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase) and carbohydrate (Pyruvate kinase, Phosphofructokinase and Lactate dehydrogenase) catabolism, as well as mitochondrial oxidative capacity (Citrate synthase), in six organs of torpid, arousing and euthermic Chilean mouse-opossums (Thylamys elegans). Our results showed that activity of enzymes related to fatty acid and carbohydrate catabolism were different among torpor phases and the pattern of variation differs among tissues. In terms of lipid utilization, maximal enzymatic activities differ in tissues with high oxidative capacity such as heart, kidney, and liver. In terms of carbohydrate use, lower enzymatic activities were observed during torpor in brain and liver. Interestingly, citrate synthase activity did not differ thought torpor-arousal cycle in any tissues analyzed, suggesting no modulation of mitochondrial content in T. elegans. Overall results provide an indication that modulation of enzymes associated with carbohydrate and fatty-acid pathways is mainly oriented to limit energy expensive processes and sustain energy metabolism during transition from torpor to euthermy. Future studies are required to elucidate if physiological events observed for T. elegans are unique from other marsupials, or represents a general response in marsupials. J. Exp. Zool. 325A:41-51, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Protein-DNA Interactions at the Opossum Npt2a Promoter are Dependent upon NHERF-1.

    PubMed

    Clark, Barbara J; Murray, Rebecca D; Salyer, Sarah A; Tyagi, Samuel C; Arumugam, Cibi; Khundmiri, Syed J; Lederer, Eleanor D

    2016-01-01

    Phosphate homeostasis is controlled by the renal reabsorption of Pi by the type IIa sodium phosphate cotransporter, Npt2a, which is localized in the proximal tubule brush border membrane. Regulation of Npt2a expression is a key control point to maintain phosphate homeostasis with most studies focused on regulating protein levels in the brush border membrane. Molecular mechanisms that control Npt2a mRNA, however, remain to be defined. We have reported that Npt2a mRNA and protein levels correlate directly with the expression of the Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF-1) using opossum kidney (OK) cells and the NHERF-1-deficient OK-H cells. The goal of this study was to determine whether NHERF-1 contributes to transcriptional and/or post-transcriptional mechanisms controlling Npt2a mRNA levels. Npt2a mRNA half-life was compared between OK and NHERF-1 deficient OK-H cell lines. oNpt2a promoter-reporter gene assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) were used identify a NHERF-1 responsive region within the oNpt2a proximal promoter. Npt2a mRNA half-life is the same in OK and OK-H cells. The NHERF-1 responsive region lies within the proximal promoter in a region that contains a highly conserved CAATT box and G-rich element. Specific protein-DNA complex formation with the CAATT element is altered by the absence of NHERF-1 (OK v OK-H EMSA) although NHERF-1 does not directly contribute to complex formation. NHERF-1 helps maintain steady-state Npt2a mRNA levels in OK cells through indirect mechanisms that help promote protein-DNA interactions at the Npt2a proximal promoter. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. Long-term regulation of Na+,K+-ATPase in opossum kidney cells by ouabain.

    PubMed

    Silva, E; Soares-da-Silva, P

    2011-09-01

    Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, a basolateral transporter responsible for tubular reabsorption of Na(+) and for providing the driving force for vectorial transport of various solutes and ions, can also act as a signal transducer in response to the interaction with steroid hormones. At nanomolar concentrations ouabain binding to Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activates a signaling cascade that ultimately regulates several membrane transporters including Na(+),K(+)-ATPase. The present study evaluated the long-term effect of ouabain on Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity (Na(+) transepithelial flux) and expression in opossum kidney (OK) cells with low (40) and high (80) number of passages in culture, which are known to overexpress Na(+),K(+)-ATPase (Silva et al., 2006, J Membr Biol 212, 163-175). Activation of a signal cascade was evaluated by quantification of ERK1/2 phosphorylation by Western blot. Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity was determined by electrophysiological techniques and expression by Western blot. Incubation of cells with ouabain induced activation of ERK1/2. Long-term incubation with ouabain induced an increase in Na(+) transepithelial flux and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase expression only in OK cells with 80 passages in culture. This increase was prevented by incubation with inhibitors of MEK1/2 and PI-3K. In conclusion, ouabain-activated signaling cascade mediated by both MEK1/2 and PI-3K is responsible for long-term regulation of Na(+) transepithelial flux in epithelial renal cells. OK cell line with high number of passages is suggested to constitute a particular useful model for the understanding of ouabain-mediated regulation of Na(+) transport. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Correlation of Hemorrhage Near Developing Opossum Skull With Pulsed Ultrasound Exposure Parameters.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Viksit; Bigelow, Timothy A; Mullin, Kathleen; Sakaguchi, Donald S

    2015-08-01

    High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has been used noninvasively for therapeutic applications. Before HIFU can be used therapeutically on a human fetus, the bioeffects related to HIFU must be studied, and the mechanism causing the bioeffects should be understood. Previous studies have shown that HIFU, when targeted on fetal rat and mice bones. resulted in hemorrhage. However, the mechanism responsible has not been identified. In this study, we looked at ultrasound parameters related to hemorrhage in an effort to better understand the mechanism. Brazilian opossum pups (7-8 postnatal days) were exposed to a 1.1-MHz f/1 spherically focused transducer (6.3 cm focal length). Four treatment groups of n = 14 and a control group of n = 14 were exposed to rarefactional pressures of 3.6 to 6 MPa with spatial-peak temporal average intensity values of 5.4 to 10.8 W/cm(2). The pulse repetition frequency was varied from 500 to 1000 Hz with exposure durations of 1 to 4 minutes. Four groups with sample sizes of 14 had hemorrhage percentages of 43%, 36%, 29%, and 36%, respectively. Hemorrhage occurrence and size were found to correlate strongly with the nonlinear product of energy density and number of pulses, with correlation values of 0.92 and 0.97, respectively. The dependence of hemorrhage on energy density and the number of pulses suggests that the hemorrhage may be due to high-stress, low-cycle mechanical fatigue damage. Hence, for therapeutic applications, the product of energy density and number of pulses should not exceed a certain predetermined limit. © 2015 by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

  10. The COOH terminus of megalin regulates gene expression in opossum kidney proximal tubule cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yuanli; Cong, Rong; Biemesderfer, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    We recently reported that megalin is subjected to regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) and includes 1) protein kinase C (PKC)-regulated, metalloprotease-mediated ectodomain shedding producing a membrane-bound megalin COOH-terminal fragment (MCTF) and 2) γ-secretase-mediated cleavage of the MCTF producing a soluble megalin intracellular domain (MICD). Based on studies of RIP of other receptors, the MICD is predicted to target to the nucleus and regulate gene expression. To determine whether RIP of megalin regulates proximal tubule gene expression, we stably expressed the transfected MCTF (tMCTF) or transfected MICD (tMICD) in opossum kidney proximal tubule (OKP) cells and examined the resulting phenotype. Immunoblotting and immunocytochemical analysis of tMCTF cells showed the tMCTF was expressed and constitutively processed by γ-secretase. Analysis of specific protein expression in tMCTF- and tMICD-transfected cells using Western blot showed endogenous megalin and Na+/H+ exchanger 3 (NHE3) protein expression to be dramatically lower than that of control cells. Expression of other proteins including myosin VI, β-adaptin, and the Na-K-ATPase appeared unchanged. Analysis of specific mRNA expression using quantitative real-time PCR showed megalin and NHE3 mRNA levels were significantly lower in tMCTF- and tMICD-transfected cells compared with controls. Inhibition of γ-secretase activity in tMCTF cells resulted in an 8- to 10-fold recovery of megalin mRNA within 4 h. These data show that the COOH-terminal domain of megalin regulates expression of specific proteins in OKP cells and provides the first evidence that RIP of megalin may be part of a signaling pathway linking protein absorption and gene expression in proximal tubule. PMID:18495814

  11. Protein cytoskeleton and overexpression of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase in opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Silva, Elisabete; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício

    2009-11-01

    Previous studies have shown that over time in culture opossum kidney (OK) cells are endowed with increased Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity and expression (Silva et al., 2006, J Membr Biol 212:163-175; Silva and Soares-da-Silva, 2007, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 293:R1764-R1770). The present work evaluated the cytoskeleton reorganization in OK cells at passages 40 and 80 in culture and its possible relationship with membrane transport proteins and cell morphology. It is shown that OK cells with 80 passages in culture have increased size, internal complexity, and total protein expression. In OK cells with 80 passages in culture the use of in-cell western showed that ezrin/radixin/moesin complex was increased by 20%. The most abundant ankyrin-G isoform in OK cells with 40 passages was the approximately 200/220 kDa isoform, whereas in OK cells with 80 passages the most abundant isoform was the approximately 170 kDa isoform. The spectrin-betaII approximately 240 kDa isoform, the predominant isoform in OK cells with 40 passages, was marginally detected in OK cells with 80 passages. Besides Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, GLUT2, and NHE3 expression was also significantly increased in OK cells with 80 passages. It is concluded that the prolonged cell passaging of OK cells results in an interesting and valuable experimental model to analyze the reorganization of the renal cell cytoskeleton proteins and its relationship with transporter and signaling membrane proteins.

  12. Amelotin Gene Structure and Expression during Enamel Formation in the Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Gasse, Barbara; Liu, Xi; Corre, Erwan; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    Amelotin (AMTN) is an ameloblast-secreted protein that belongs to the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein family, which also includes the enamel matrix proteins amelogenin, ameloblastin and enamelin. Although AMTN is supposed to play an important role in enamel formation, data were long limited to the rodents, in which it is expressed during the maturation stage. Recent comparative studies in sauropsids and amphibians revealed that (i) AMTN was expressed earlier, i.e. as soon as ameloblasts are depositing the enamel matrix, and (ii) AMTN structure was different, a change which mostly resulted from an intraexonic splicing in the large exon 8 of an ancestral mammal. The present study was performed to know whether the differences in AMTN structure and expression in rodents compared to non-mammalian tetrapods dated back to an early ancestral mammal or were acquired later in mammalian evolution. We sequenced, assembled and screened the jaw transcriptome of a neonate opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial. We found two AMTN transcripts. Variant 1, representing 70.8% of AMTN transcripts, displayed the structure known in rodents, whereas variant 2 (29.2%) exhibited the nonmammalian tetrapod structure. Then, we studied AMTN expression during amelogenesis in a neonate specimen. We obtained similar data as those reported in rodents. These findings indicate that more than 180 million years ago, before the divergence of marsupials and placentals, changes occurred in AMTN function and structure. The spatiotemporal expression was delayed to the maturation stage of amelogenesis and the intraexonic splicing gave rise to isoform 1, encoded by variant 1 and lacking the RGD motif. The ancestral isoform 2, housing the RGD, was initially conserved, as demonstrated here in a marsupial, then secondarily lost in the placental lineages. These findings bring new elements towards our understanding of the non-prismatic to prismatic enamel transition that occurred at the onset of

  13. Pollen limitation and reduced reproductive success are associated with local genetic effects in Prunus virginiana, a widely distributed self-incompatible shrub

    PubMed Central

    Suarez-Gonzalez, Adriana; Good, Sara V.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims A vast quantity of empirical evidence suggests that insufficient quantity or quality of pollen may lead to a reduction in fruit set, in particular for self-incompatible species. This study uses an integrative approach that combines field research with marker gene analysis to understand the factors affecting reproductive success in a widely distributed self-incompatible species, Prunus virginiana (Rosaceae). Methods Twelve patches of P. virginiana distributed within three populations that differed in degree of disturbance were examined. Two of the sites were small (7–35 km2) remnants of forest in an intensively used agricultural landscape, while the third was continuous (350 km2) and less disturbed. Field studies (natural and hand cross-pollinations) were combined with marker gene analyses (microsatellites and S-locus) in order to explore potential factors affecting pollen delivery and consequently reproductive success at landscape (between populations) and fine scales (within populations). Key Results Reductions in reproductive output were found in the two fragments compared with the continuous population, and suggest that pollen is an important factor limiting fruit production. Genetic analyses carried out in one of the fragments and in the continuous site suggest that even though S-allele diversity is high in both populations, the fragment exhibits an increase in biparental inbreeding and correlated paternity. The increase in biparental inbreeding in the fragment is potentially attributable to variation in the density of individuals and/or the spatial distribution of genotypes among populations, both of which could alter mating dynamics. Conclusions By using a novel integrative approach, this study shows that even though P. virginiana is a widespread species, fragmented populations can experience significant reductions in fruit set and pollen limitation in the field. Deatiled examination of one fragmented population suggests that these

  14. Seasonal changes in depth of water uptake for encroaching trees Juniperus virginiana and Pinus ponderosa and two dominant C4 grasses in a semiarid grassland.

    PubMed

    Eggemeyer, Kathleen D; Awada, Tala; Harvey, F Edwin; Wedin, David A; Zhou, Xinhua; Zanner, C William

    2009-02-01

    We used the natural abundance of stable isotopic ratios of hydrogen and oxygen in soil (0.05-3 m depth), plant xylem and precipitation to determine the seasonal changes in sources of soil water uptake by two native encroaching woody species (Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson, Juniperus virginiana L.), and two C(4) grasses (Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Panicum virgatum L.), in the semiarid Sandhills grasslands of Nebraska. Grass species extracted most of their water from the upper soil profile (0.05-0.5 m). Soil water uptake from below 0.5 m depth increased under drought, but appeared to be minimal in relation to the total water use of these species. The grasses senesced in late August in response to drought conditions. In contrast to grasses, P. ponderosa and J. virginiana trees exhibited significant plasticity in sources of water uptake. In winter, tree species extracted a large fraction of their soil water from below 0.9 m depth. In spring when shallow soil water was available, tree species used water from the upper soil profile (0.05-0.5 m) and relied little on water from below 0.5 m depth. During the growing season (May-August) significant differences between the patterns of tree species water uptake emerged. Pinus ponderosa acquired a large fraction of its water from the 0.05-0.5 and 0.5-0.9 m soil profiles. Compared with P. ponderosa, J. virginiana acquired water from the 0.05-0.5 m profile during the early growing season but the amount extracted from this profile progressively declined between May and August and was mirrored by a progressive increase in the fraction taken up from 0.5-0.9 m depth, showing plasticity in tracking the general increase in soil water content within the 0.5-0.9 m profile, and being less responsive to growing season precipitation events. In September, soil water content declined to its minimum, and both tree species shifted soil water uptake to below 0.9 m. Tree transpiration rates (E) and water potentials (Psi) indicated

  15. Phylogenetic evaluation of taxonomic definition of didelphid mouse opossum of the genus Thylamys from valleys of Coquimbo region, Chile.

    PubMed

    Boric-Bargetto, Dusan; Zúñiga-Reinoso, Álvaro; Cancino, Ricardo A; González-Acuña, Daniel; Rodríguez-Serrano, Enrique; Palma, R Eduardo; Hernández, Cristián E

    2016-04-21

    Only two species of Didelphidae are currently recognized in Chile, the sister species Thylamys elegans, endemic of Mediterranean ecorregion and Thylamys pallidior, the inhabitant of the Puna and desert canyons. Three subspecies have been described for T. elegans: T. e. elegans, T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. soricinus. However, a recent study based on morphological analyses, synonymized T. elegans coquimbensis from the Coquimbo valleys (30-31° S) with T. pallidior and proposed that T. elegans and T. pallidior could be in sympatry at Coquimbo valleys between Fray Jorge (30°40'S) and Paiguano (30°02' S). We assess the current definition of T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. elegans, as well as this taxonomical conflict among the mouse opossums from the Coquimbo valleys through phylogenetic analyses of cytochrome b mitochondrial gene sequences. In this study, for the first time, we used specimens from the type localities of T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. elegans. In addition, we analyzed diagnostic cranial structures for this taxonomic revision. The results supported two allopatric clades, allowing us to keep the taxonomic definition of T. e. elegans and T. e. coquimbensis as phylogenetic reciprocal monophyletic clades and polyphyletic with T. pallidior. This result corroborates previous morphological analyses, which support that mouse opossums from the Coquimbo valleys are T. e. coquimbensis, thus extending its geographic distribution to the coast of Coquimbo and Atacama regions. We don´t have evidence for sympatric distribution between T. elegans and T. pallidior in the Coquimbo region.

  16. A genetic analysis of the Virginia opossum mating system: evidence of multiple paternity in a highly fragmented landscape.

    PubMed

    Beasley, James C; Beatty, William S; Olson, Zachary H; Rhodes, Olin E

    2010-01-01

    Using molecular techniques, we examined patterns of paternity in Virginia opossums occupying a highly fragmented agricultural landscape in northern Indiana. During 2008, we collected tissue from 64 females and their pouch young in 34 forest patches distributed over a 1100-km(2) region. Using genotypes from 10 microsatellite loci, we determined the minimum number of fathers contributing to each litter using GERUD 1.0. Genotyped offspring with known mothers were then analyzed using CERVUS 3.0, incorporating genotypes from 317 males sampled from 2007-2008 to identify potential fathers. Our analyses revealed that promiscuity was common among females, with 26 (41%) litters having > or = 2 sires. Despite the fact that we intensively sampled forest patches for potential fathers, we only were able to identify 13 fathers contributing to 14 litters, with an average Euclidean distance of 18.7 km between father-offspring pairs found in disparate patches (N = 6). Our inability to identify most (85%) fathers of sampled litters, coupled with the extensive distances observed between putative father-offspring pairs, suggests that opossums may not maintain explicit home ranges in highly fragmented landscapes.

  17. Are opossums a relevant factor associated with asymptomatic Leishmania infection in the outskirts of the largest Brazilian cities?

    PubMed

    Carranza-Tamayo, César Omar; Werneck, Guilherme Loureiro; Romero, Gustavo Adolfo Sierra

    2016-01-01

    A population survey was conducted to explore the prevalence and factors associated with Leishmania infection in the Fercal region of the Federal District. The Fercal region is a group of neighborhoods in Brasília in which the first cases of visceral leishmaniasis were described. Leishmania infection was established by a positive leishmanin test. Although other tests were performed in the study (an immunochromatographic assay (Kalazar detect(®)) and a molecular assay), only the leishmanin skin test provided sufficient results for the measurement of the disease prevalence. Data on the epidemiological, clinical and environmental characteristics of individuals were collected along with the diagnostic tests. After sampling and enrollment, seven hundred people from 2 to 14 years of age were included in the study. The prevalence of Leishmania infection was 33.28% (95% CI 29.87-36.84). The factors associated with Leishmania infection according to the multivariate analysis were age of more than seven years and the presence of opossums near the home. Age is a known factor associated with Leishmania infection; however, the presence of wild animals, as described, is an understudied factor. The presence of opossums, which are known reservoirs of Leishmania, in peri-urban areas could be the link between the rural and urban occurrence of visceral leishmaniasis in the outskirts of largest Brazilian cities, as suggested by previous studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  18. Ultrastructure of the placenta of the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii: comparison with the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Freyer, Claudia; Zeller, Ulrich; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2002-01-01

    The ultrastructure of the tammar placenta was studied throughout pregnancy. The uterine epithelium grows from a columnar to an enlarged, undulating epithelium between early gestation and mid-gestation when the shell coat that surrounds the marsupial conceptus ruptures. Trophectoderm and uterine epithelium do not form syncytia, nor does invasion of the endometrium occur at any stage of pregnancy. Uterine secretion is provided to both the bilaminar and the trilaminar side of the yolk sac placenta up to birth. Fenestrations, abundant vesicles and lumenal processes of maternal capillaries, as well as deep basal folds of the uterine epithelium, suggest that there is transfer of hemotrophes adjacent to both parts of the yolk sac. In contrast, in the grey short-tailed opossum, these structures are lacking. The yolk sacs of adjacent embryos fuse to form a common yolk sac cavity, thus losing most of the bilaminar yolk sac. The bilaminar and trilaminar components of the yolk sac placenta of the tammar are less different in structure and function than those of the grey short-tailed opossum, but both types are fully functional placentas. The extended secretory phase of the tammar uterus and the maternal recognition of early pregnancy appear to be derived characters of macropodid marsupials. PMID:12220120

  19. Relationship between sodium-dependent phosphate transporter (NaPi-IIc) function and cellular vacuole formation in opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Shiozaki, Yuji; Segawa, Hiroko; Ohnishi, Saori; Ohi, Akiko; Ito, Mikiko; Kaneko, Ichiro; Kido, Shinsuke; Tatsumi, Sawako; Miyamoto, Ken-ichi

    2015-01-01

    NaPi-IIc/SLC34A3 is a sodium-dependent inorganic phosphate (Pi) transporter in the renal proximal tubules and its mutations cause hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets with hypercalciuria (HHRH). In the present study, we created a specific antibody for opossum SLC34A3, NaPi-IIc (oNaPi-IIc), and analyzed its localization and regulation in opossum kidney cells (a tissue culture model of proximal tubular cells). Immunoreactive oNaPi-IIc protein levels increased during the proliferative phase and decreased during differentiation. Moreover, stimulating cell growth upregulated oNaPi-IIc protein levels, whereas suppressing cell proliferation downregulated oNaPi-IIc protein levels. Immunocytochemistry revealed that endogenous and exogenous oNaPi-IIc proteins localized at the protrusion of the plasma membrane, which is a phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) rich-membrane, and at the intracellular vacuolar membrane. Exogenous NaPi-IIc also induced cellular vacuoles and localized in the plasma membrane. The ability to form vacuoles is specific to electroneutral NaPi-IIc, and not electrogenic NaPi-IIa or NaPi-IIb. In addition, mutations of NaPi-IIc (S138F and R468W) in HHRH did not cause cellular PIP2-rich vacuoles. In conclusion, our data anticipate that NaPi-IIc may regulate PIP2 production at the plasma membrane and cellular vesicle formation.

  20. Final report on the safety assessment of Juniperus communis Extract, Juniperus oxycedrus Extract, Juniperus oxycedrus Tar, Juniperus phoenicea extract, and Juniperus virginiana Extract.

    PubMed

    2001-01-01

    The common juniper is a tree that grows in Europe, Asia, and North America. The ripe fruit of Juniperus communis and Juniperus oxycedrus is alcohol extracted to produce Juniperus Communis Extract and Juniperus Oxycedrus Extract, respectively. Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is the volatile oil from the wood of J. oxycedrus. Juniperus Phoenicea Extract comes from the gum of Juniperus phoenicea, and Juniperus Virginiana Extract is extracted from the wood of Juniperus virginiana. Although Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is produced as a by-product of distillation, no information was available on the manufacturing process for any of the Extracts. Oils derived from these varieties of juniper are used solely as fragrance ingredients; they are commonly produced using steam distillation of the source material, but it is not known if that procedure is used to produce extracts. One report does state that the chemical composition of Juniper Communis Oil and Juniperus Communis Extract is similar, each containing a wide variety of terpenoids and aromatic compounds, with the occasional aliphatic alcohols and aldehydes, and, more rarely, alkanes. The principle component of Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is cadinene, a sesquiterpene, but cresol and guaiacol are also found. No data were available, however, indicating the extent to which there would be variations in composition that may occur as a result of extraction differences or any other factor such as plant growth conditions. Information on the composition of the other ingredients was not available. All of the Extracts function as biological additives in cosmetic formulations, and Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is used as a hair-conditioning agent and a fragrance component. Most of the available safety test data are from studies using oils derived from the various varieties of juniper. Because of the expected similarity in composition to the extract, these data were considered. Acute studies using animals show little toxicity of the oil or tar. The oils

  1. Overexpression of the pepper transcription factor CaPF1 in transgenic Virginia pine (Pinus Virginiana Mill.) confers multiple stress tolerance and enhances organ growth.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wei; Charles, Thomas M; Newton, Ronald J

    2005-11-01

    Transcription factors play an important role in regulating gene expression in response to stress and pathogen tolerance. We describe here that overexpression of an ERF/AP2 pepper transcription factor (CaPF1) in transgenic Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana Mill.) confers tolerance to heavy metals Cadmium, Copper, and Zinc, to heat, and to pathogens Bacillus thuringiensis and Staphylococcus epidermidis, as by the survival rate of transgenic plants and the number of decreasing pathogen cells in transgenic tissues. Measurement of antioxidant enzymes ascorbate peroxidase (APOX), glutathione reductase (GR), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities demonstrated that the level of the enzyme activities was higher in transgenic Virginia pine plants overexpressing the CaPF1 gene, which may protect cells from the oxidative damage caused by stresses, compared to the controls. Constitutive overexpression of CaPF1 gene enhanced organ growth by increasing organ size and cell numbers in transgenic Virginia pine plants over those in control plants.

  2. Albumin transfer across the choroid plexus of South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed Central

    Knott, G W; Dziegielewska, K M; Habgood, M D; Li, Z S; Saunders, N R

    1997-01-01

    1. Blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) transfer of various exogenous albumins has been investigated in developing Monodelphis domestica (South American grey short-tailed opossum) and compared with the steady-state CSF: plasma ratios for endogenous (Monodelphis) albumin. Ratios for Monodelphis albumin and human albumin were similar and were the highest at postnatal day 5 (P5) (48.2 +/- 4.4 and 40.6 +/- 4.5%, respectively). The ratio for bovine albumin was similar to the steady-state ratio for Monodelphis albumin at P7-8 but became consistently lower than the Monodelphis albumin ratio at all other ages until P32-36 when all albumins tested attained a similar low ratio. The CSF:plasma ratio of chemically modified (succinylated) bovine albumin was always significantly lower than that of other albumins, except at the oldest age examined (P32-36). 2. Immunocytochemistry showed that within the brain, albumin was confined to the lumen and endothelial cells of blood vessels. In the choroid plexus only a small proportion (0.2-1.7% of the total cell number) of epithelial cells was positive for albumin, both endogenous and exogenous, at all ages studied (except the 3rd ventricle where cells were only positive from P8). The CSF was strongly positive for all albumins. The peak proportion of positive cells and of albumin concentrations in CSF occurred at P8. These findings suggest that the primary route for penetration of albumin into CSF is directly across the choroid plexus rather than via the brain. 3. Double-labelling immunocytochemistry revealed that the same epithelial cells contained both endogenous (Monodelphis) and exogenous (human) albumin. In contrast, for succinylated albumin, at P7 only about 35% (lateral ventricle) and 50% (4th ventricle) of Monodelphis albumin-positive cells were also positive for succinylated albumin, but by P30 this proportion increased to 90% at both sites. 4. Thus the developing choroid plexus distinguishes between different albumins. Chemical

  3. Phylogenetic relationships of Sarcocystis neurona of horses and opossums to other cyst-forming coccidia deduced from SSU rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, Hany M; Lacher, David W; Mansfield, Linda S

    2005-11-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on sequences of the nuclear-encoded small subunit rRNA (ssurRNA) gene were performed to examine the origin, phylogeny, and biogeographic relationships of Sarcocystis neurona isolates from opossums and horses from the State of Michigan, USA, in relation to other cyst-forming coccidia. A total of 31 taxa representing all recognized subfamilies and genera of Sarcocystidae were included in the analyses with clonal isolates of two opossum and two horse S. neurona. Phylogenies obtained by the four tree-building methods were consistent with the classical taxonomy based on morphological criteria. The "isosporid" coccidia Neospora, Toxoplasma, Besnoitia, Isospora lacking stieda bodies, and Hyaloklossia formed a sister group to the Sarcocystis spp. Sarcocystis species were divided into three main lineages; S. neurona isolates were located in the second lineage and clustered with S. mucosa, S. dispersa, S. lacertae, S. rodentifelis, S. muris, and Frenkelia spp. Alignment of S. neurona SSU rRNA gene sequences of Michigan opossum isolates (MIOP5, MIOP20) and a S. neurona Michigan horse isolate (MIH8) showed 100% identity. These Michigan isolates differed in 2/1085 bp (0.2%) from a Kentucky S. neurona horse isolate (SN5). Additionally, S. neurona isolates from horses and opossums were identical based on the ultrastructural features and PCR-RFLP analyses thus forming a phylogenetically indistinct group in these regions. These findings revealed the concordance between the morphological and molecular data and confirmed that S. neurona from opossums and horses originated from the same phylogenetic origin.

  4. Effect of ezetimibe on plasma cholesterol levels, cholesterol absorption and secretion of biliary cholesterol in laboratory opossums with high and low responses to dietary cholesterol

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Jeannie; Kushwaha, Rampratap S.; VandeBerg, Jane F.; VandeBerg, John L.

    2008-01-01

    Partially inbred lines of laboratory opossums differ in plasma LDL cholesterol concentration and cholesterol absorption on a high cholesterol diet. The aim of the present studies was to determine whether ezetimibe inhibits cholesterol absorption and eliminates the differences in plasma cholesterol and hepatic cholesterol metabolism between high and low responders on a high cholesterol diet. Initially, we determined that the optimum dose of ezetimibe was 5 mg/kg/day, and treated six high and six low responding opossums with this dose (with equal numbers of controls) for 3 weeks while opossums consumed a high cholesterol and low fat (HCLF) diet. Plasma and LDL cholesterol concentrations decreased significantly (P<0.05) in treated but not in untreated high responding opossums. Plasma cholesterol concentrations of untreated low responders increased slightly (P<0.05) but not in treated low responders. Percent cholesterol absorption was significantly higher in untreated high responders than in other groups. Livers from high responders with or without treatment were significantly (P <0.01) heavier than livers from low responders with or without treatment. Hepatic cholesterol concentrations in untreated high responders were significantly (P<0.05) higher than in low responders with or without treatment (P<0.001). The gall bladder bile cholesterol concentrations in untreated high responders were significantly (P<0.05) lower than in other groups. A decrease in biliary cholesterol in low responders treated with ezetimibe was associated with a decrease in hepatic expression of ABCG5 and ABCG8. These studies suggest that ezetimibe decreases plasma cholesterol levels in high responders mainly by decreasing cholesterol absorption and increasing biliary cholesterol concentrations. Since ezetimibe’s target is NPC1L1 and NPC1L1 is expressed in the intestine of opossums, its effect on cholesterol absorption may be mediated by inhibiting NPC1L1 function in the intestine. PMID

  5. Effect of ezetimibe on plasma cholesterol levels, cholesterol absorption, and secretion of biliary cholesterol in laboratory opossums with high and low responses to dietary cholesterol.

    PubMed

    Chan, Jeannie; Kushwaha, Rampratap S; Vandeberg, Jane F; Vandeberg, John L

    2008-12-01

    Partially inbred lines of laboratory opossums differ in plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration and cholesterol absorption on a high-cholesterol diet. The aim of the present studies was to determine whether ezetimibe inhibits cholesterol absorption and eliminates the differences in plasma cholesterol and hepatic cholesterol metabolism between high and low responders on a high-cholesterol diet. Initially, we determined that the optimum dose of ezetimibe was 5 mg/(kg d) and treated 6 high- and 6 low-responding opossums with this dose (with equal numbers of controls) for 3 weeks while the opossums consumed a high-cholesterol and low-fat diet. Plasma and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations decreased significantly (P < .05) in treated but not in untreated high-responding opossums. Plasma cholesterol concentrations increased slightly (P < .05) in untreated low responders but not in treated low responders. The percentage of cholesterol absorption was significantly higher in untreated high responders than in other groups. Livers from high responders with or without treatment were significantly (P < .01) heavier than livers from low responders with or without treatment. Hepatic cholesterol concentrations in untreated high responders were significantly (P < .05) higher than those in low responders with or without treatment (P < .001). The gall bladder bile cholesterol concentrations in untreated high responders were significantly (P < .05) lower than those in other groups. A decrease in biliary cholesterol in low responders treated with ezetimibe was associated with a decrease in hepatic expression of ABCG5 and ABCG8. These studies suggest that ezetimibe decreases plasma cholesterol levels in high responders mainly by decreasing cholesterol absorption and increasing biliary cholesterol concentrations. Because ezetimibe's target is NPC1L1 and NPC1L1 is expressed in the intestine of opossums, its effect on cholesterol absorption may be mediated

  6. Detection of Lawsonia intracellularis by real-time PCR in the feces of free-living animals from equine farms with documented occurrence of equine proliferative enteropathy.

    PubMed

    Pusterla, Nicola; Mapes, Samantha; Rejmanek, Daniel; Gebhart, Connie

    2008-10-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether Lawsonia intracellularis was present in the feces of free-living animals collected on two equine premises with documented occurrence of equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE). Fresh feces from black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus, n=100), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis, n=22), feral cats (Felis catus, n=14), Brewer's Blackbirds (Euphagus cyanocephalus, n=10), Virginian opossums (Didelphis virginiana, n=9), raccoons (Procyon lotor, n=4), California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi, n=3), and coyotes (Canis latrans, n=2) were collected from August 2006 to January 2007 either from the ground while walking the premises or after trapping the animals using live traps. Nucleic acid purified from feces was directly processed for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis using a real-time PCR assay targeting the aspartate ammonia lyase gene of L. intracellularis. Purified DNA samples were also precipitated, preamplified for L. intracellularis, and analyzed using the same real-time PCR assay, to increase the detection limit to one L. intracellularis organism per extracted sample. Feces from jackrabbits, striped skunks, Virginian opossums, and coyotes tested PCR positive for L. intracellularis, whereas all feces from feral cats, Brewer's Blackbirds, raccoons, and ground squirrels tested PCR negative for L. intracellularis. PCR testing on DNA extracted directly from feces was positive for L. intracellularis in six of 164 fecal samples. When DNA purification from feces was followed by a precipitation and preamplification step, five additional fecal samples tested PCR positive for L. intracellularis (11/164). The largest number of PCR positive L. intracellularis fecal samples was observed in striped skunks, followed by Virginian opossums, jackrabbits, and coyotes. This is the first description of L. intracellularis in these four species. Because the fecal samples were collected at equine farms with confirmed

  7. Sarcocyst Development in Raccoons (Procyon lotor) Inoculated with Different Strains of Sarcocystis neurona Culture-Derived Merozoites.

    PubMed

    Dryburgh, E L; Marsh, A E; Dubey, J P; Howe, D K; Reed, S M; Bolten, K E; Pei, W; Saville, W J A

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is considered the major etiologic agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a neurological disease in horses. Raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) is considered the most important intermediate host in the life cycle of S. neurona in the United States; S. neurona sarcocysts do mature in raccoon muscles, and raccoons also develop clinical signs simulating EPM. The focus of this study was to determine if sarcocysts would develop in raccoons experimentally inoculated with different host-derived strains of in vitro-cultivated S. neurona merozoites. Four raccoons were inoculated with strains derived from a raccoon, a sea otter, a cat, and a horse. Raccoon tissues were fed to laboratory-raised opossums ( Didelphis virginiana ), the definitive host of S. neurona . Intestinal scraping revealed sporocysts in opossums who received muscle tissue from raccoons inoculated with the raccoon-derived or the sea otter-derived isolates. These results demonstrate that sarcocysts can mature in raccoons inoculated with in vitro-derived S. neurona merozoites. In contrast, the horse and cat-derived isolates did not produce microscopically or biologically detected sarcocysts. Immunoblot analysis revealed both antigenic and antibody differences when testing the inoculated raccoons. Immunohistochemical staining indicated differences in staining between the merozoite and sarcocyst stages. The successful infections achieved in this study indicates that the life cycle can be manipulated in the laboratory without affecting subsequent stage development, thereby allowing further purification of strains and artificial maintenance of the life cycle.

  8. A serosurvey of leptospirosis in Connecticut peridomestic wildlife.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Dennis J; Gauthier, Julie L

    2003-01-01

    Recently, leptospirosis has gained attention as a re-emerging infection in domestic dogs in the northeastern United States. In order to gain insight into the epizootiology of leptospirosis in this region, 109 small wild mammals (31 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 30 skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 28 opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and 20 gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis)) collected between February 27 and September 17, 2001 were tested for serologic evidence of exposure to five common Leptospira serovars (serovars pomona, icterohemorrhagiae, canicola, hardjo, grippotyphosa). Evidence of exposure to leptospirosis was detected in 36% of raccoons tested; icterohemorrhagiae was the predominant reactive serovar in these animals. Sera from 13% of skunks showed evidence of exposure to serovar grippotyphosa. One squirrel exhibited high antibody titers to serovars grippotyphosa and canicola. All 28 opossums examined tested negative to the five Leptospira serovars. Results from this serosurvey suggest that common peridomestic wildlife species should be considered as potential sources of leptospirosis to dogs and humans in Connecticut. Additional investigation is warranted to clarify their role in the epidemiology of this zoonotic disease in the northeastern United States.

  9. Development of an automated dispenser for the delivery of medicinal or vaccine-laden baits to raccoons (Procyon lotor).

    PubMed

    Smyser, Timothy J; Redding, James V; Bevis, Crystal M; Page, L Kristen; Swihart, Robert K

    2015-04-01

    Medicinal baits are distributed to manage zoonotic diseases, including raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies, but efficient distribution strategies are needed for suburban environments. We developed an automated dispenser that transfers fishmeal polymer baits at user-specified intervals from a magazine to a receptacle fitted with a filter that exploits raccoon dexterity to limit consumption by nontarget species. We introduce the concept of automated dispensers and describe bait removal success rates for raccoons versus nontarget species. We monitored visitation with remote cameras after deploying a dispenser, programmed to present two baits per night, in three disjunct forest patches in northwest Indiana. Raccoons removed 72% of baits; nontarget, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) removed 11%; Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) removed 9%. Bait removal success varied significantly between raccoons (76%) and opossums (21%), improving bait delivery specificity relative to hand baiting. Accumulation of baits in receptacles resulted in excess (more than one) bait consumption (39% of baits consumed by raccoons were excess), suggesting design improvements are needed to present additional baits only after previous baits have been consumed. Automated dispensers successfully sustained bait availability throughout the operational period. Subsequent research is needed to determine whether a sustained availability of baits achieved with automated dispensers is more effective for the treatment of raccoons in suburban environments than traditional distribution methods.

  10. Effects of urbanization on carnivore species distribution and richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ordenana, Miguel A.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Siudyla, Shalene; Haas, Christopher D.; Harris, Sierra; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Turschak, Greta M.; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.

    2010-01-01

    Urban development can have multiple effects on mammalian carnivore communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 7,929 photographs from 217 localities in 11 camera-trap studies across coastal southern California to describe habitat use and determine the effects of urban proximity (distance to urban edge) and intensity (percentage of area urbanized) on carnivore occurrence and species richness in natural habitats close to the urban boundary. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) were distributed widely across the region. Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), mountain lions (Puma concolor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were detected less frequently, and long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata), American badgers (Taxidea taxus), western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were detected rarely. Habitat use generally reflected availability for most species. Coyote and raccoon occurrence increased with both proximity to and intensity of urbanization, whereas bobcat, gray fox, and mountain lion occurrence decreased with urban proximity and intensity. Domestic dogs and Virginia opossums exhibited positive and weak negative relationships, respectively, with urban intensity but were unaffected by urban proximity. Striped skunk occurrence increased with urban proximity but decreased with urban intensity. Native species richness was negatively associated with urban intensity but not urban proximity, probably because of the stronger negative response of individual species to urban intensity.

  11. Scat removal: A source of bias in feces-related studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Livingston, T.R.; Gipson, P.S.; Ballard, W.B.; Sanchez, D.M.; Krausman, P.R.

    2005-01-01

    Consumption of feces (coprophagy) may alter findings of dietary studies and population estimates based on fecal analyses, but its magnitude is poorly understood. We investigated seasonal incidence of scat removal on Fort Riley, Kansas, from January through December 2000. We placed feces from captive bobcats (Lynx rufus), captive coyotes (Canis latrans), and free-ranging coyotes randomly on tracking stations in forest and prairie landscapes to determine rates of scat removal by local wildlife. Rates of removal of feces from captive bobcats, captive coyotes, and free-ranging coyotes varied from 7% during spring to 50% during summer. We identified opossums (Didelphis virginiana) as the most common species present at stations where scat removal occurred. Feces may be an important seasonal source of food for opossums and may provide seasonal dietary supplements for other species. Other factors responsible for disturbance of feces included a woodrat (Neotoma floridana) caching coyote feces, removal of captive coyote feces by free-ranging coyotes accompanied by deposition of fresh feces, a bobcat burying a captive bobcat sample and depositing fresh feces, and rain storms. Dietary studies based on fecal analyses could be biased by scat removal, assuming that contents in feces are representative of the proportion of foods consumed.

  12. Relative abundance of mesopredators and size of oak patches in the cross-timbers ecoregion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Disney, M.R.; Hellgren, E.C.; Davis, C.A.; Leslie, David M.; Engle, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Mesopredators (e.g., raccoon Procyon lotor, Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana, striped skunk Mephitis mephitis) have received considerable attention because of links to population declines in birds via increased nest predation, especially in landscapes fragmented by anthropogenic forces. Relationships of abundance of mesopredators to size of habitat patches have received less attention than relationships to other metrics of fragmentation, particularly edge characteristics. We tested the hypothesis that relative abundance of mesopredators (e.g., raccoons and Virginia opossums) was related negatively to size of forest patch. We delineated 15 patches of oak (Quercus) forest ranging from 0.2 to 55.3 ha within a grassland-woodland mosaic in the cross-timbers ecoregion of Oklahoma. Scent stations and live traps within these patches were used to index relative abundance of mesopredators in summers 2003 and 2004. Both indices of relative abundance were related weakly and negatively to area of forest patch. However, rate of capture and visitation to scent station were not correlated consistently throughout the study. Our results suggested that the two methods to index abundance provided separate information on functional and numerical responses to size of patch. Our evidence that mesopredators within the cross timbers were more likely to be in smaller patches of oak forest may have implications to success of avian nesting in these patches.

  13. Immunohistological study of the endometrial stromal fibroblasts in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica: evidence for homology with eutherian stromal fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Kin, Koryu; Maziarz, Jamie; Wagner, Günter P

    2014-05-01

    Molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that the hemochorial placentation and decidualization are ancestral traits of eutherian mammals. While the origin of the placental tissue is well understood, the origin of the decidual cells is unclear. Here we address the origin of decidual cells by examining the expression patterns of six transcription factors (TFs) as well as four structural proteins in the endometrium of a marsupial, Monodelphis domestica, and compared them with the patterns known from eutherian species. We found a mesenchymal cell population in the subepithelial compartment of the opossum endometrium. These cells express a set of TFs, such as homeobox A11 (HOXA11), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (CEBPB), and progesterone receptor (PGR), that are important for eutherian endometrial stromal cells. On the other hand, we did not find the expression of a decidual cell marker desmin (DES) or of TFs that are important for decidual cell differentiation, such as forkhead box O1 (FOXO1), in those cells. Based on these results, we propose that opossum has cells homologous to eutherian endometrial fibroblasts but no decidual cells. In addition, we describe cellular changes associated with the progression of pregnancy: nuclear localization of CEBPB in luminal epithelial cells as early as 8 days postcoitum, expansion of endometrial glands, nuclear localization of FOXO1 in glandular epithelial cells, and expression of smooth muscle actin in luminal epithelial cells. These data show that the luminal and glandular epithelium react to the presence of the preplacentation conceptus and suggest a limited form of pregnancy recognition. © 2014 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  14. Functional effectiveness of the blood-brain barrier to small water soluble molecules in developing and adult opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Ek, Carl Joakim; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna Magdalena; Stolp, Helen; Saunders, Norman Ruthven

    2008-01-01

    We have evaluated a small water soluble molecule, biotin ethylenediamine (BED, 286Da), as a permeability tracer across the blood-brain barrier. This molecule was found to have suitable characteristics in that it is stable in plasma, has low plasma protein binding and appears to behave in a similar manner across brain barriers as established permeability markers such as sucrose. BED, together with a 3000Da biotin-dextran (BDA3000), was used to investigate the effectiveness of tight junctions in cortical vessels during development and adulthood of a marsupial opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Marsupial species are born at an early stage of brain development when cortical vessels are just beginning to appear. The tracers were administered systemically to opossums at various ages and localised in brains with light and electron microscopy. In adults the tight junctions restricted the movement of both tracers. In neonates, as soon as vessels grow into the neocortex, their tight junctions are functionally restrictive, a finding supported by presence of claudin-5 in endothelial cells. However, both tracers are also found within brain extracellular space soon after intraperitoneal administration. The main route of entry for the tracers into immature neocortex appears to be via the cerebrospinal fluid over the outer (subarachnoid) and inner (ventricular) surfaces of the brain. These experiments demonstrate that the previously described higher permeability of barriers to small molecules in the developing brain does not seem to be due to leakiness of cerebral endothelial tight junctions, but to a route of entry probably via the choroid plexuses and cerebrospinal fluid. PMID:16528724

  15. Elevated calcium acutely regulates dynamic interactions of NHERF2 and NHE3 proteins in opossum kidney (OK) cell microvilli.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xinjun; Cha, Boyoung; Zachos, Nicholas C; Sarker, Rafiquel; Chakraborty, Molee; Chen, Tian-E; Kovbasnjuk, Olga; Donowitz, Mark

    2011-10-07

    The brush border (BB) Na(+)/H(+) exchanger NHE3 is rapidly activated or inhibited by changes in trafficking, which mimics renal and intestinal physiology. However, there is a paradox in that NHE3 has limited mobility in the BB due to its binding to the multi-PDZ domain containing the NHERF family. To allow increased endocytosis, as occurs with elevated intracellular Ca(2+), we hypothesized that NHE3 had to be, at least transiently, released from the BB cytoskeleton. Because NHERF1 and -2 are localized at the BB, where they bind NHE3 as well as the cytoskeleton, we tested whether either or both might dynamically interact with NHE3 as part of Ca(2+) signaling. We employed FRET to study close association of NHE3 and these NHERFs and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to monitor NHE3 mobility in the apical domain in polarized opossum kidney cells. Under basal conditions, NHERF2 and NHE3 exhibited robust FRET signaling. Within 1 min of A23187 (0.5 μm) exposure, the NHERF2-NHE3 FRET signal was abolished, and BB NHE3 mobility was transiently increased. The dynamics in FRET signal and NHE3 mobility correlated well with a change in co-precipitation of NHE3 and NHERF2 but not NHERF1. We conclude the following. 1) Under basal conditions, NHE3 closely associates with NHERF2 in opossum kidney cell microvilli. 2) Within 1 min of elevated Ca(2+), the close association of NHE3-NHERF2 is abolished but is re-established in ∼60 min. 3) The change in NHE3-NHERF2 association is accompanied by an increased BB mobile fraction of NHE3, which contributes to inhibition of NHE3 transport activity via increased endocytosis.

  16. Weight-Bearing Locomotion in the Developing Opossum, Monodelphis domestica following Spinal Transection: Remodeling of Neuronal Circuits Caudal to Lesion

    PubMed Central

    Wheaton, Benjamin J.; Noor, Natassya M.; Whish, Sophie C.; Truettner, Jessie S.; Dietrich, W. Dalton; Zhang, Moses; Crack, Peter J.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2013-01-01

    Complete spinal transection in the mature nervous system is typically followed by minimal axonal repair, extensive motor paralysis and loss of sensory functions caudal to the injury. In contrast, the immature nervous system has greater capacity for repair, a phenomenon sometimes called the infant lesion effect. This study investigates spinal injuries early in development using the marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica whose young are born very immature, allowing access to developmental stages only accessible in utero in eutherian mammals. Spinal cords of Monodelphis pups were completely transected in the lower thoracic region, T10, on postnatal-day (P)7 or P28 and the animals grew to adulthood. In P7-injured animals regrown supraspinal and propriospinal axons through the injury site were demonstrated using retrograde axonal labelling. These animals recovered near-normal coordinated overground locomotion, but with altered gait characteristics including foot placement phase lags. In P28-injured animals no axonal regrowth through the injury site could be demonstrated yet they were able to perform weight-supporting hindlimb stepping overground and on the treadmill. When placed in an environment of reduced sensory feedback (swimming) P7-injured animals swam using their hindlimbs, suggesting that the axons that grew across the lesion made functional connections; P28-injured animals swam using their forelimbs only, suggesting that their overground hindlimb movements were reflex-dependent and thus likely to be generated locally in the lumbar spinal cord. Modifications to propriospinal circuitry in P7- and P28-injured opossums were demonstrated by changes in the number of fluorescently labelled neurons detected in the lumbar cord following tracer studies and changes in the balance of excitatory, inhibitory and neuromodulatory neurotransmitter receptors’ gene expression shown by qRT-PCR. These results are discussed in the context of studies indicating that although

  17. Weight-bearing locomotion in the developing opossum, Monodelphis domestica following spinal transection: remodeling of neuronal circuits caudal to lesion.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Benjamin J; Noor, Natassya M; Whish, Sophie C; Truettner, Jessie S; Dietrich, W Dalton; Zhang, Moses; Crack, Peter J; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Saunders, Norman R

    2013-01-01

    Complete spinal transection in the mature nervous system is typically followed by minimal axonal repair, extensive motor paralysis and loss of sensory functions caudal to the injury. In contrast, the immature nervous system has greater capacity for repair, a phenomenon sometimes called the infant lesion effect. This study investigates spinal injuries early in development using the marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica whose young are born very immature, allowing access to developmental stages only accessible in utero in eutherian mammals. Spinal cords of Monodelphis pups were completely transected in the lower thoracic region, T10, on postnatal-day (P)7 or P28 and the animals grew to adulthood. In P7-injured animals regrown supraspinal and propriospinal axons through the injury site were demonstrated using retrograde axonal labelling. These animals recovered near-normal coordinated overground locomotion, but with altered gait characteristics including foot placement phase lags. In P28-injured animals no axonal regrowth through the injury site could be demonstrated yet they were able to perform weight-supporting hindlimb stepping overground and on the treadmill. When placed in an environment of reduced sensory feedback (swimming) P7-injured animals swam using their hindlimbs, suggesting that the axons that grew across the lesion made functional connections; P28-injured animals swam using their forelimbs only, suggesting that their overground hindlimb movements were reflex-dependent and thus likely to be generated locally in the lumbar spinal cord. Modifications to propriospinal circuitry in P7- and P28-injured opossums were demonstrated by changes in the number of fluorescently labelled neurons detected in the lumbar cord following tracer studies and changes in the balance of excitatory, inhibitory and neuromodulatory neurotransmitter receptors' gene expression shown by qRT-PCR. These results are discussed in the context of studies indicating that although

  18. Locomotor kinetics and kinematics on inclines and declines in the gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lammers, Andrew R; Earls, Kathleen D; Biknevicius, Audrone R

    2006-10-01

    Small terrestrial animals continually encounter sloped substrates when moving about their habitat; therefore, it is important to understand the mechanics and kinematics of locomotion on non-horizontal substrates as well as on level terrain. To this end, we trained gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) to move along level, 30 degrees inclined, and 30 degrees declined trackways instrumented with a force platform. Vertical, craniocaudal and mediolateral impulses, peak vertical forces, and required coefficient of friction (mu(req)) of individual limbs were calculated. Two high speed video cameras were used to simultaneously capture whole limb craniocaudal and mediolateral angles at limb touchdown, midstance and lift-off. Patterns on the level terrain were typical for non-primate quadrupeds: the forelimbs supported the majority of the body weight, forelimbs were net braking and hindlimbs net propulsive, and both limb pairs exerted small laterally directed impulses. M. domestica moved more slowly on sloped substrates in comparison to level locomotion, and exhibited a greater mu(req). On inclines, both limb pairs were more protracted at touchdown and more retracted at lift-off, fore- and hindlimbs had equal roles in body weight support, forelimbs exerted greater propulsive impulse than hindlimbs, and mu(req) was greater in the forelimbs than in hindlimbs. On declines, only the forelimbs were more protracted at touchdown; forelimbs supported the great majority of body weight while they generated nearly all of the braking impulse and, despite the disparity in fore- vs hindlimb function on the decline, mu(req) was not significantly different between limbs. These differences on the inclined and declined surfaces most likely result from (1) the location of the opossums' center of mass, which is closer to the forelimbs than to the hindlimbs, and (2) the greater functional range of the forelimbs versus the hindlimbs.

  19. Evidence for high levels of androgen in peripheral plasma during postnatal development in a marsupial: the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Harder, J D

    1992-01-01

    Plasma samples were assayed for androgen in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) on the day of birth and at selected ages through adulthood. Levels of androgen in mixed-sex plasma pools of animals 4 and 8 days of age were higher than in either sex at all other ages examined. At postnatal Days 16, 30, and 60 (weaning), levels of androgen were equivalent in males and females and as high as in adult males. In both sexes, androgen levels were lower at postnatal Day 84 (juveniles) than at younger ages; after puberty, levels were significantly higher in males than in females. These findings are discussed with respect to similarities and differences between marsupials and eutherians in hormonal environment during the perinatal period and with respect to the possible role of androgens in sexual differentiation of the gray opossum brain.

  20. A Sarcocystid misidentified as Hepatozoon didelphydis: molecular data from a parasitic infection in the blood of the Southern mouse opossum (Thylamys elegans) from Chile.

    PubMed

    Merino, Santiago; Vásquez, Rodrigo A; Martínez, Javier; Celis-Diez, Juan L; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Marín-Vial, Paula; Sánchez-Monsalvez, Inocencia; Peirce, Michael A

    2008-01-01

    The blood of 21 adult South American mouse opossums (Thylamys elegans) captured from April through August of 2005 in central Chile was examined for parasites. Light microscopic analysis of blood smears initially suggested that a highly pleomorphic Hepatozoon species typical of American opossums was infecting erythrocytes. Unexpectedly, amplification by PCR and sequencing of a DNA fragment of the small subunit rDNA combined with phylogenetic analyses indicated that the parasite is not a member of the suborder Adeleorina, which includes the Haemogregarina and Hepatozoon species, but that it is a clearly distinct member of the suborder Eimeriorina, which includes the cyst-forming family Sarcocystidae. Therefore, a reclassification of this unusual intraerythrocytic apicomplexan will require additional life cycle, microscopic, and molecular analyses.

  1. Cortico-cerebral histogenesis in the opossum Monodelphis domestica: generation of a hexalaminar neocortex in the absence of a basal proliferative compartment

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The metatherian Monodelphis domestica, commonly known as the South-American short-tailed opossum, is an appealing animal model for developmental studies on cortico-cerebral development. Given its phylogenetic position, it can help in tracing evolutionary origins of key traits peculiar to the eutherian central nervous system. The capability of its pup to regenerate damaged cortico-spinal connections makes it an ideal substrate for regenerative studies. Recent sequencing of its genome and the ex utero accessibility of its developing cerebral cortex further enhance its experimental interest. However, at the moment, a comprehensive cellular and molecular characterization of its cortical development is missing. Results A systematic analysis of opossum cortico-cerebral development was performed, including: origin of cortical neurons; migration of these neurons from their birthplaces to their final layer destinations; and molecular differentiation of distinct neocortical laminae. We observed that opossum projection neurons and interneurons are generated by pallial and subpallial precursors, respectively, similar to rodents. A six-layered cortex with a eutherian-like molecular profile is laid down, according to the inside-out rule. However, neocortical projection neurons are generated by apical neural precursors and almost no basal progenitors may be found in the neuronogenic neopallial primordium. In the opossum neocortex, Tbr2, the hallmark of eutherian basal progenitors, is transiently expressed by postmitotic progenies of apical precursors prior to the activation of more mature neuronal markers. Conclusions The neocortical developmental program predates Eutheria-Methatheria branching. However, in metatherians, unlike eutherians, a basal proliferative compartment is not needed for the formation of a six-layered neuronal blueprint. PMID:20302607

  2. The UT family of MHC class I loci unique to non-eutherian mammals has limited polymorphism and tissue specific patterns of expression in the opossum.

    PubMed

    Krasnec, Katina V; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Miller, Robert D

    2016-11-08

    The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class I family of genes encode for molecules that have well-conserved structures, but have evolved to perform diverse functions. The availability of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica whole genome sequence has allowed for analysis of MHC class I gene content in this marsupial. Utilization of a novel method to search for MHC related domain structures revealed a previously unknown family of MHC class I-related genes. These genes, named UT1-17, are clustered on chromosome 1 in the opossum, unlinked to the MHC region. UT genes are only found in marsupial and monotreme genomes, consistent with being ancient in mammals yet lost in eutherian mammals. This study investigates the expression and polymorphism of the UT loci in the opossum to gain insight into their possible function. Of the 17 opossum UT genes, most have restricted tissue transcription patterns, with the thymus and skin being the most common sites. Full-length structure of 11 UT transcripts revealed genes varying between five and eight exons, typical for class I family members. There were only two alternative splice variants found. The UT genes also have limited polymorphism and little evidence of positive selection. One locus, UT8, was chosen for further analysis due to its conservation amongst marsupials and generic characteristics. UT8 transcription is limited to developing αβ thymocytes, and is absent from mature αβ T cells in peripheral lymphoid tissues. The overall characteristics and features of UT genes including low polymorphism and restricted tissue expression make it likely that the molecules encoded by UT genes perform roles other than antigenic peptide presentation.

  3. Comparative Myology and Evolution of Marsupials and Other Vertebrates, With Notes on Complexity, Bauplan, and "Scala Naturae".

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Bello-Hellegouarch, Gaelle; Kohlsdorf, Tiana; Esteve-Altava, Borja; Molnar, Julia L

    2016-09-01

    Opossums are frequent subjects of developmental studies because marsupials share developmental features not seen in placentals and because Didelphimorpha is the sister-group of other extant Marsupialia. But is the adult marsupial muscular system markedly different from that of placentals or is it, like the skeletal system, very similar? We provide, for the first time, a brief description of all head and limb muscles of Didelphis virginiana based on our dissections and using a unifying nomenclature by integrating the data gathered in our long-term project on the development, homologies, and evolution of the muscles of all major vertebrate taxa. Our data indicate that there were many more muscle synapomorphic changes from the last common ancestor (LCA) of amniotes to the mammalian LCA (63) and from this LCA to the LCA of extant therians (48) than from this latter LCA to the LCA of extant placentals (10 or 11). Importantly, Didelphis is anatomically more plesiomorphic (only 14 changes from LCA of extant therians) than are rats (37 changes) and humans (63 changes), but its musculature is more complex (193 muscles) than that of humans (only 180 muscles). Of the 194 muscles of Didelphis, 172 (89%) are present in rats, meaning that their adult muscle anatomy is indeed very similar. This similarity supports the existence of a common, easy recognizable therian Bauplan, but one that is caused by developmental constraints and by evolutionary change driven by the needs of the embryos/neonates, rather than by a "goal" toward a specific adult plan/"archetype," as the name Bauplan suggests. Anat Rec, 299:1224-1255, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Chromosome-wide profiling of X-chromosome inactivation and epigenetic states in fetal brain and placenta of the opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xu; Douglas, Kory C.; VandeBerg, John L.; Clark, Andrew G.; Samollow, Paul B.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence from a few genes in diverse species suggests that X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in marsupials is characterized by exclusive, but leaky inactivation of the paternally derived X chromosome. To study the phenomenon of marsupial XCI more comprehensively, we profiled parent-of-origin allele-specific expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications in fetal brain and extra-embryonic membranes in the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The majority of X-linked genes (152 of 176 genes with trackable SNP variants) exhibited paternally imprinted expression, with nearly 100% of transcripts derived from the maternal allele; whereas 24 loci (14%) escaped inactivation, showing varying levels of biallelic expression. In addition to recently reported evidence of marsupial XCI regulation by the noncoding Rsx transcript, strong depletion of H3K27me3 at escaper gene loci in the present study suggests that histone state modifications also correlate strongly with opossum XCI. In contrast to mouse, the opossum did not show an association between X-linked gene expression and promoter DNA methylation, with one notable exception. Unlike all other X-linked genes examined, Rsx was differentially methylated on the maternal and paternal X chromosomes, and expression was exclusively from the inactive (paternal) X chromosome. Our study provides the first comprehensive catalog of parent-of-origin expression status for X-linked genes in a marsupial and sheds light on the regulation and evolution of imprinted XCI in mammals. PMID:24065774

  5. Firing properties of accessory olfactory bulb mitral/tufted cells in response to urine delivered to the vomeronasal organ of gray short-tailed opossums.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing-Ji; Huang, Guang-Zhe; Halpern, Mimi

    2007-05-01

    In comparison with many mammals, there is limited knowledge of the role of pheromones in conspecific communication in the gray short-tailed opossum. Here we report that mitral/tufted (M/T) cells of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) of male opossums responded to female urine but not to male urine with two distinct patterns: excitation followed by inhibition or inhibition. Either pattern could be mimicked by application of guanosine 5'-O-3-thiotriphosphate and blocked by guanosine 5'-O-2-thiodiphosphate, indicating that the response of neurons in this pathway is through a G-protein-coupled receptor mechanism. In addition, the inhibitor of phospholipase C (PLC), U73122, significantly blocked urine-induced responses. Male and female urine were ineffective as stimuli for M/T cells in the AOB of female opossums. These results indicate that urine of diestrous females contains a pheromone that directly stimulates vomeronasal neurons through activation of PLC by G-protein-coupled receptor mechanisms and that the response to urine is sexually dimorphic.

  6. Chromosome-wide profiling of X-chromosome inactivation and epigenetic states in fetal brain and placenta of the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu; Douglas, Kory C; Vandeberg, John L; Clark, Andrew G; Samollow, Paul B

    2014-01-01

    Evidence from a few genes in diverse species suggests that X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in marsupials is characterized by exclusive, but leaky inactivation of the paternally derived X chromosome. To study the phenomenon of marsupial XCI more comprehensively, we profiled parent-of-origin allele-specific expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications in fetal brain and extra-embryonic membranes in the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The majority of X-linked genes (152 of 176 genes with trackable SNP variants) exhibited paternally imprinted expression, with nearly 100% of transcripts derived from the maternal allele; whereas 24 loci (14%) escaped inactivation, showing varying levels of biallelic expression. In addition to recently reported evidence of marsupial XCI regulation by the noncoding Rsx transcript, strong depletion of H3K27me3 at escaper gene loci in the present study suggests that histone state modifications also correlate strongly with opossum XCI. In contrast to mouse, the opossum did not show an association between X-linked gene expression and promoter DNA methylation, with one notable exception. Unlike all other X-linked genes examined, Rsx was differentially methylated on the maternal and paternal X chromosomes, and expression was exclusively from the inactive (paternal) X chromosome. Our study provides the first comprehensive catalog of parent-of-origin expression status for X-linked genes in a marsupial and sheds light on the regulation and evolution of imprinted XCI in mammals.

  7. Normal organ weights, serum chemistry, hematology, and cecal and nasopharyngeal bacterial cultures in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Evans, Kristin D; Hewett, Terry A; Clayton, Cindy J; Krubitzer, Leah A; Griffey, Stephen M

    2010-07-01

    Gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) currently are used in genetic, developmental, oncology, and neurologic research. Little is known about their natural flora or potential for pathogenic infectious disease. The present study aims to improve existing comparative normal blood and organ weight values available to researchers and to describe flora of clinically normal M. domestica to obtain an understanding of potential pathogenic flora in clinically abnormal animals. For evaluation of serum hematology and serum chemistry, clinically normal animals were assigned to 1 of 6 groups stratified by age (younger than 1 y, 1 to 2 y, and 2 to 3 y) and sex. Hemoglobin and phosphorus levels were higher in male than female opossums, whereas monocyte and eosinophil counts were greater in females than males. Hemoglobin concentration decreased with increasing age. The youngest group had significantly higher levels of serum alkaline phosphatase and lower serum protein levels compared with older age groups. Liver and kidney weights of adult animals (1 to 3 y) were greater in female than male opossums. The predominant nasopharyngeal flora in 20 clinically normal animals from the 2- to 3-y-old group were Streptococcus viridans, Escherichia coli, and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp.; predominant cecal organisms were Escherichia coli and Citrobacter spp. The availability of reference hematologic values and flora for Monodelphis domestica will aid researchers in comparisons and analysis of experimental data and in diagnosis and evaluation of potential pathogens in clinically ill animals.

  8. Molecular characterisation and expression of CD4 in two distantly related marsupials: the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

    PubMed

    Duncan, Louise G; Nair, Sham V; Deane, Elizabeth M

    2007-07-01

    The gene and corresponding cDNA for CD4 in the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, and the cDNA sequence for CD4 in the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, have been characterised. The opossum CD4 homolog reveals conserved synteny, preserved genomic organisation and analogous structural arrangement to human and mouse CD4. Opossum and tammar CD4 exhibit typical eutherian CD4 features including the highly conserved p56(lck) binding motif in the cytoplasmic region and the invariant cysteine residues in extracellular domains 1 and 4. Interestingly, the marsupial CD4 sequences substitute a tryptophan for the first cysteine in domain 2 negating the formation of a disulphide bond as seen in other eutherian CD4 sequences except human and mouse. Overall the marsupial CD4 sequences share amino acid identity of 59% to each other and 37-41% with eutherian mammals. However, in contrast to eutherian homologs, the marsupial CD4 sequences were found to be truncated at the terminal end of the cytoplasmic tail. This is the first report confirming the presence of CD4 in a marsupial and describing its key features.

  9. Distribution of the neuronal gap junction protein Connexin36 in the spinal cord enlargements of developing and adult opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Maxime; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2010-01-01

    We use opossums Monodelphis domestica to study the development of mammalian motor systems. The immature forelimbs of the newborn perform rhythmic and alternating movements that are likely under spinal control. The hindlimbs start moving in the second week. Chemical synapses are scant in the spinal enlargements of neonatal opossums and the presence of electrochemical synapses has not been evaluated in this species or in other marsupials. As a first step aiming at evaluating the existence of such synapses in the neonatal spinal cord, we have investigated the presence of the exclusively neuronal gap junction protein connexin36 (Cx36) by immunohistochemistry in light microscopy. At birth, Cx36 immunoreactivity is moderate in the presumptive gray matter in both enlargements. Thereafter, it decreases gradually, except in the superficial dorsal horn where it increases to a plateau between P10 and P20. Cx36 labeling is detected in the presumptive white matter at birth, but then decreases except in the dorsal part of the lateral funiculus, where it is dense between P10 and P20. Cx36 has become virtually undetectable by P52. The presence of Cx36 in the spinal enlargements of postnatal opossums suggests that neurons might be linked by gap junctions at a time when chemical synapses are only beginning to form. The greater abundance of Cx36 observed transiently in the superficial dorsal horn suggests a stronger involvement of this protein in spinal sensory systems than in direct motor control of the limbs.

  10. The effects of substrate texture on the mechanics of quadrupedal arboreal locomotion in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Lammers, Andrew R

    2009-12-01

    Among small mammals, the ability to move on tree trunks, branches, and twigs is nearly ubiquitous. Performance and locomotor mechanics on arboreal substrates may be influenced by variation in the coefficient of friction between the hands/feet of the animal and the surface of the arboreal substrate. To test this, I examined speed, substrate reaction forces, and torque around the long axis of two cylindrical trackways with rough and smooth surfaces in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica). Speed was determined with videography, and forces and torques were measured by an instrumented section of the trackway. The opossums traveled more slowly on the smooth arboreal trackway. There was also significant interaction between limb (forelimbs, hindlimbs) and substrate texture (rough, smooth) in braking, propulsive, and laterally directed impulses. Running on the smooth trackway had the effect of reducing some between-limb (forelimb vs. hindlimb) differences. Stability on the rough trackway was probably maintained by relatively high momentum, but on the smooth trackway, the opossums used static methods (many limbs contacting the substrate, greater muscular effort, lower momentum) to remain stable and avoid toppling. Clearly, momentum and dynamics are often important biomechanical considerations for this generalized mammal. Highly arboreal animals can remain dynamically stable on a wider variety of substrate textures.

  11. Response of small mammals to aerial applications of the nucleopolyhedrosis virus of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar

    Treesearch

    R.A. Lautenschlager; H. Rothenbacher; J.D. Podgwaite

    1978-01-01

    Resident populations of white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque, red-backed voles, Clethrionomys gapperi Vigers, opossums, Didelphis marsupialis L., chipmunks, Tamias striatus L., and raccoons, Procyon lotor L., were evaluated to detect any short term effects from...

  12. α2C-Adrenoceptors modulate L-DOPA uptake in opossum kidney cells and in the mouse kidney.

    PubMed

    Moura, Eduardo; Silva, Elisabete; Serrão, Maria Paula; Afonso, Joana; Kozmus, Carina Esteves Pinto; Vieira-Coelho, Maria Augusta

    2012-10-01

    Targeted deletion or selective pharmacological inhibition of α(2C)-adrenoceptors in mice results in increased brain tissue levels of dopamine and its precursor l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA), without significant changes in l-DOPA synthesis. l-DOPA uptake is considered the rate-limiting step in dopamine synthesis in the kidney. Since α(2C)-adrenoceptors may influence the transport of l-DOPA, we investigated the effect of α(2C)-adrenoceptor activation on l-DOPA uptake in a kidney cell line (opossum kidney cells). l-DOPA and dopamine kidney tissue levels in α(2C)-adrenoceptor knockout (α(2C)KO) mice and in mice treated with the selective α(2C)-adrenoceptor antagonist JP-1302 were also evaluated. The α(2)-adrenoceptor agonist medetomidine (0.1-1,000 nM) produced a concentration-dependent decrease in l-DOPA uptake in opossum kidney cells (IC(50): 2.5 ± 0.5 nM and maximal effect: 28 ± 5% of inhibition). This effect was abolished by a preincubation with JP-1302 (300 nM). Furthermore, the effect of medetomidine (100 nM) was abolished by a preincubation with U-0126 (10 μM), a MEK1/2 inhibitor. Kidney tissue levels of l-DOPA were significantly higher in α(2C)KO mice compared with wild-type mice (wild-type mice: 58 ± 2 pmol/g tissue and α(2C)KO mice: 81 ± 15 pmol/g tissue, P < 0.05) and in mice treated with JP-1302 (3 μmol/kg body wt) compared with control mice (control mice: 62 ± 2 pmol/g tissue and JP-1302-treated mice: 75 ± 1 pmol/g tissue, P < 0.05), both without significant changes in dopamine kidney tissue levels. However, mice treated with JP-1302 on a high-salt diet presented significantly higher dopamine levels in the kidney and urine compared with control animals on a high-salt diet. In conclusion, in a kidney cell line, α(2C)-adrenoceptor activation inhibits l-DOPA uptake, and in mice, deletion or blockade of α(2C)-adrenoceptors increases l-DOPA kidney tissue levels.

  13. The development and migration of large multipolar neurons into the cochlear nucleus of the North American opossum.

    PubMed

    Willard, F H; Martin, G F

    1986-06-01

    We have studied the maturation of the inferior colliculus and cochlear nuclei of the North American opossum with particular emphasis on the large multipolar neurons of the cochlear nucleus. These neurons include the principal and giant cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and the large neurons of the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN), all of which can be labelled by horseradish peroxidase (HRP) injections into the contralateral inferior colliculus (IC). The size of these neurons, their characteristic Nissl patterns, and their labelling density after injections into the IC render them distinguishable from other neurons in this nuclei, even in young animals. In Nissl-stained sections of newborn opossums, a band of horizontally oriented neurons can be identified dorsomedial to the vestibular nerve root. This band extends from an apparent cytogenetic zone close to the sulcus limitans, to, but not within, the presumptive cochlear nucleus. Between birth and estimated postnatal day 22 (EPND 22) the band shifts laterally, eventually becoming incorporated into the cochlear nucleus. Many neurons in this band have perinuclear caps of Nissl substance similar to those present in the principal cells of the adult DCN. Injections of HRP into the IC as early as EPND 5 (17 days after conception) labelled neurons in the band referred to above but not in the presumptive cochlear nucleus. By EPND 15, labelled cells were clustered mainly within the nucleus proper. Most of these cells were located in the DCN, but a few were scattered in the dorsocentral VCN. Consistent labelling of small neurons in VCN was not obtained until sometime later. From EPND 15 to EPND 20 most of the labelled cells in DCN reoriented in the vertical plane, aligned in layer II, and differentiated into principal neurons. Some, however, remained deep to layer II and differentiated into giant neurons. The heavily labelled cells in VCN differentiated into large neurons. Our results suggest that the large multipolar

  14. Alpha-2 adrenergic and serotonin-1B receptors in the OK cell, an opossum kidney cell line

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, T.J.

    1988-01-01

    Alpha-2 adrenergic and serotonin-1B (5HT{sub 1B}) receptors, both negatively-coupled to adenylyl cyclase, were characterized in the OK cell line, a renal proximal tubule epithelial cell line derived from the kidney of a North American opossum. In membrane saturation radioligand binding experiments, ({sup 3}H)yohimbine and ({sup 3}H)rauwolscine labeled an equivalent number of binding sites. Detailed pharmacological analysis of OK cell alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in competition binding assays indicate this receptor is neither an alpha-2A nor an alpha-2B adrenergic receptor subtype, although the alpha-2B receptor subtype-selective drugs prazosin, ARC-239 and chlorpromazine have affinities for OK cell alpha-2 adrenergic receptors similar to those at the alpha-2B receptor subtype. Determinations of agonist potency for inhibition of PTH-stimulated cyclic AMP production and radioligand binding analysis using ({sup 125}I)({minus})-cyanopindolol indicate that a 5HT{sub 1B} receptor is expressed in the OK cell line. A biochemical effector system coupled to this receptor subtype has not been previously described. Several compounds appear to be potent agonists at the 5TH{sub 1B} receptor including the beta adrenergic antagonists cyanopindolol, pindolol, propranolol and alprenolol.

  15. Genetic diversity of laboratory gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica): effect of newly introduced wild-caught animals.

    PubMed

    van Oorschot, R A; Williams-Blangero, S; VandeBerg, J L

    1992-06-01

    The colony of gray, short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, the primary supplier of this species for research purposes, was founded with nine animals trapped in 1978 in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Since 1984, 14 newly acquired founders from the state of Paraiba, Brazil have contributed to the gene pool of the colony. The animals from Paraiba and their descendants are significantly larger than the founders from Pernambuco and their descendants. The two groups also differ significantly in several measurements of morphologic traits. The changes in proportional contribution of each founder to the colony, and changes in inbreeding coefficients during the colony's history, are evaluated. Using previously established markers and three newly identified markers (ACP2, APRT, and DIA1), we show that the Paraiba-derived animals differ significantly from the original founders in allele frequencies and heterozygosity. The genetic diversity of the colony has been substantially increased by acquisition of the new founders from Paraiba. The colony is highly polymorphic, with 22.2% of loci surveyed by protein electrophoresis being variable. We conclude that the genetic differences between populations and among projects within the colony should be considered in future colony management procedures and in selection of experimental subjects.

  16. Torpor at high ambient temperature in a neotropical didelphid, the grey short-tailed opossum ( Monodelphis domestica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busse, Sebastian; Lutter, Dominik; Heldmaier, Gerhard; Jastroch, Martin; Meyer, Carola W.

    2014-11-01

    The grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, has been an established research animal for more than five decades, but relatively, little is known about its thermophysiology. Here we studied core body temperature ( T b) and metabolic rate (MR) of female adult M. domestica housed in the laboratory at an ambient temperature ( T a) of 26 °C. In expanding previous reports, the average recorded core T b of M. domestica was 34.3 °C. The T b of an individual M. domestica can drop below 30 °C (minimal T b: 28.6 °C) accompanied by a reduction in MR of up to 52 % even while having ad libitum access to food. These findings demonstrate for the first time the presence of spontaneous torpor in M. domestica. Metabolic suppression at relatively high T a and T b furthermore broadens our perspective on the use of torpor as a metabolic strategy not just restricted to cold climates.

  17. Mast cells mediate acid-induced augmentation of opossum esophageal blood flow via histamine and nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Feldman, M J; Morris, G P; Dinda, P K; Paterson, W G

    1996-01-01

    Increased esophageal blood flow during reflux episodes may play an important role in mucosal resistance to injury, although the mechanism remains unclear. Decreased stainable mast cells and increased luminal histamine release during acid exposure has been previously documented. Therefore, the role of mast cells, nerves, histamine, and nitric oxide in mediating increased blood flow during acid challenge of the distal esophagus was investigated. The effects of the mast cell stabilizers disodium cromoglycate and doxantrazole, the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, the histamine H1 receptor antagonist promethazine, and the NO synthase inhibitor N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester were examined by monitoring opossum esophageal histamine release and blood flow during perfusion with 100 mmol/L HCl. Luminal acid challenge significantly increased both histamine release and blood flow (P < 0.05). Disodium cromoglycate, promethazine, and N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester attenuated the increase in blood flow to basal (saline-perfused) levels. Tetrodotoxin did not prevent an acute increase in blood flow that rapidly returned to baseline, likely from the ensuing hypotension. These findings provide evidence that mast cell-derived histamine, acting through an NO-dependent mechanism, plays a central role in the response of the esophageal microcirculation to luminal acid.

  18. Role of dietary fatty acids on energetics and torpor in the Chilean mouse-opossum Thylamys elegans.

    PubMed

    Bozinovic, F; Méndez, M A

    1997-02-01

    We hypothetized that the Chilean mouse-opossum Thylamys elegans needs micronutrients that are in fruits and seeds, and the unsaturated fatty acids are such micronutrients that may allow individuals of this species to experience longer torpor bouts, lower body temperatures during torpor and higher energy savings during wintertime. To test this hypothesis, we studied: 1) wintertime preferences by artificial diets rich in saturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids and control diets, and 2) the effect of acclimation to dietary fatty acids on the energetics and torpor patterns in this species. When individuals where allowed to choose between the experimental diets they always selected the unsaturated fatty acid diet. After 4 weeks of dietary acclimation, the average daily metabolic rate was not significantly different among treatments, neither was minimum metabolic rate during torpor significantly different, in spite of a tendency to lower values that was detected under unsaturated fatty acid treatment. A similar pattern was observed when body temperature during torpor was compared among treatments. Two explanations are proposed: 1) Acclimation time was not sufficient to obtain statistical significance, but physiological differences and 2) metabolic rate during torpor are not affected by dietary lipids in this species.

  19. A microsatellite-based, physically anchored linkage map for the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Samollow, Paul B; Gouin, Nicolas; Miethke, Pat; Mahaney, Susan M; Kenney, Margaret; VandeBerg, John L; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall; Kammerer, Candace M

    2007-01-01

    The genome of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, will be the first of any marsupial to be fully sequenced. The utility of this sequence will be greatly enhanced by construction and integration of detailed genetic and physical maps. Therefore, it is important to verify the unusual recombinational characteristics that were suggested by the 'first-generation' M. domestica linkage map; specifically, very low levels of recombination and severely reduced female recombination, both of which are contrary to patterns in other vertebrates. We constructed a new linkage map based on a different genetic cross, using a new and much larger set of map markers, and physically anchored and oriented the linkage groups onto chromosomes via fluorescence in-situ hybridization mapping. This map includes 150 loci in eight autosomal linkage groups corresponding to the eight autosome pairs, and spans 86-89% of the autosomal genome. The sex-averaged autosomal map covers 715 cM, with a full-length estimate of 866 cM; the shortest full-length linkage map reported for any vertebrate. The sex-specific maps confirmed severely reduced female recombination in all linkage groups, and an overall F/M map ratio = 0.54. These results greatly extend earlier findings, and provide an improved microsatellite-based linkage map for this species.

  20. Torpor at high ambient temperature in a neotropical didelphid, the grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Busse, Sebastian; Lutter, Dominik; Heldmaier, Gerhard; Jastroch, Martin; Meyer, Carola W

    2014-11-01

    The grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, has been an established research animal for more than five decades, but relatively, little is known about its thermophysiology. Here we studied core body temperature (T b) and metabolic rate (MR) of female adult M. domestica housed in the laboratory at an ambient temperature (T a) of 26 °C. In expanding previous reports, the average recorded core T b of M. domestica was 34.3 °C. The T b of an individual M. domestica can drop below 30 °C (minimal T b: 28.6 °C) accompanied by a reduction in MR of up to 52 % even while having ad libitum access to food. These findings demonstrate for the first time the presence of spontaneous torpor in M. domestica. Metabolic suppression at relatively high T a and T b furthermore broadens our perspective on the use of torpor as a metabolic strategy not just restricted to cold climates.

  1. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes

    SciTech Connect

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; Vercauteren, Kurt C.; Johnson, Shylo R.; Olin E. Rhodes, Jr.; Schnell, Matthias Johannes

    2015-01-14

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations,particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodamine B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations

  2. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes

    DOE PAGES

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; ...

    2015-01-14

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations,particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodaminemore » B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations, but

  3. A Behaviorally-Explicit Approach for Delivering Vaccine Baits to Mesopredators to Control Epizootics in Fragmented Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; Vercauteren, Kurt C.; Johnson, Shylo R.; Rhodes Jr., Olin E.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations, particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodamine B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations, but

  4. Copper complex species within a fragment of the N-terminal repeat region in opossum PrP protein.

    PubMed

    Vagliasindi, Laura I; Arena, Giuseppe; Bonomo, Raffaele P; Pappalardo, Giuseppe; Tabbì, Giovanni

    2011-03-21

    A spectroscopic (UV-Vis, CD and EPR), thermodynamic and voltammetric study of the copper(ii) complexes with the Ac-PHPGGSNWGQ-NH(2) polypeptide (L), a fragment of the opossum PrP protein N-terminal four-repeat region, was carried out in aqueous solution. It suggests the formation of a highly distorted [Cu(L)H(-2)] complex species in the neutral region, the stereochemistry of which is ascribable to a square base pyramid and a CuN(3)O(2) chromophore, resulting from the coordination of a histidine imidazole and two peptide nitrogen atoms and probably oxygen atoms from water molecules. At basic pH values a [Cu(L)H(-3)](-) species with a pseudo-octahedral geometry was also obtained, with four nitrogen donor atoms in its equatorial plane, coming from the histidine residue and from peptidic nitrogen atoms. Interestingly, at pH values relatively higher than the neutrality, the coordination sphere of the copper complex in the [Cu(L)H(-2)] species changes its stereochemistry towards a pseudo-octahedron, as suggested by the change in the parallel copper hyperfine coupling constant of the EPR spectra at low temperature. A slight difference in the redox potentials between this two-faced [Cu(L)H(-2)] complex species seems to confirm this behaviour. Both potentiometric and spectroscopic data were compared with the analogous species obtained with the Ac-PHGGGWGQ-NH(2) peptide, belonging to the octarepeat domain of the human prion protein (hPrP) N-terminal region. The [Cu(L)H(-2)] species formed by the Ac-PHPGGSNWGQ-NH(2) decapeptide, having a slightly lower stability, turned out to be less abundant and to exist within a narrow pH range.

  5. Spontaneous Development of Full Weight-Supported Stepping after Complete Spinal Cord Transection in the Neonatal Opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Wheaton, Benjamin J.; Callaway, Jennifer K.; Ek, C. Joakim; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2011-01-01

    Spinal cord trauma in the adult nervous system usually results in permanent loss of function below the injury level. The immature spinal cord has greater capacity for repair and can develop considerable functionality by adulthood. This study used the marsupial laboratory opossum Monodelphis domestica, which is born at a very early stage of neural development. Complete spinal cord transection was made in the lower-thoracic region of pups at postnatal-day 7 (P7) or P28, and the animals grew to adulthood. Injury at P7 resulted in a dense neuronal tissue bridge that connected the two ends of the cord; retrograde neuronal labelling indicated that supraspinal and propriospinal innervation spanned the injury site. This repair was associated with pronounced behavioural recovery, coordinated gait and an ability to use hindlimbs when swimming. Injury at P28 resulted in a cyst-like cavity encased in scar tissue forming at the injury site. Using retrograde labelling, no labelled brainstem or propriospinal neurons were found above the lesion, indicating that detectable neuronal connectivity had not spanned the injury site. However, these animals could use their hindlimbs to take weight-supporting steps but could not use their hindlimbs when swimming. White matter, demonstrated by Luxol Fast Blue staining, was present in the injury site of P7- but not P28-injured animals. Overall, these studies demonstrated that provided spinal injury occurs early in development, regrowth of supraspinal innervation is possible. This repair appears to lead to improved functional outcomes. At older ages, even without detectable axonal growth spanning the injury site, substantial development of locomotion was still possible. This outcome is discussed in conjunction with preliminary findings of differences in the local propriospinal circuits following spinal cord injury (demonstrated with fluororuby labelling), which may underlie the weight bearing locomotion observed in the apparent absence of

  6. The impact of Quaternary climate oscillations on divergence times and historical population sizes in Thylamys opossums from the Andes.

    PubMed

    Giarla, Thomas C; Jansa, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Climate oscillations during the Quaternary altered the distributions of terrestrial animals at a global scale. In mountainous regions, temperature fluctuations may have led to shifts in range size and population size as species tracked their shifting habitats upslope or downslope. This creates the potential for both allopatric speciation and population size fluctuations, as species are either constrained to smaller patches of habitat at higher elevations or able to expand into broader areas at higher latitudes. We considered the impact of climate oscillations on three pairs of marsupial species from the Andes (Thylamys opossums) by inferring divergence times and demographic changes. We compare four different divergence dating approaches, using anywhere from one to 26 loci. Each pair comprises a northern (tropical) lineage and a southern (subtropical to temperate) lineage. We predicted that divergences would have occurred during the last interglacial (LIG) period approximately 125 000 years ago and that population sizes for northern and southern lineages would either contract or expand, respectively. Our results suggest that all three north-south pairs diverged in the late Pleistocene during or slightly after the LIG. The three northern lineages showed no signs of population expansion, whereas two southern lineages exhibited dramatic, recent expansions. We attribute the difference in responses between tropical and subtropical lineages to the availability of 'montane-like' habitats at lower elevations in regions at higher latitudes. We conclude that climate oscillations of the late Quaternary had a powerful impact on the evolutionary history of some of these species, both promoting speciation and leading to significant population size shifts. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Spontaneous development of full weight-supported stepping after complete spinal cord transection in the neonatal opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Benjamin J; Callaway, Jennifer K; Ek, C Joakim; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Saunders, Norman R

    2011-01-01

    Spinal cord trauma in the adult nervous system usually results in permanent loss of function below the injury level. The immature spinal cord has greater capacity for repair and can develop considerable functionality by adulthood. This study used the marsupial laboratory opossum Monodelphis domestica, which is born at a very early stage of neural development. Complete spinal cord transection was made in the lower-thoracic region of pups at postnatal-day 7 (P7) or P28, and the animals grew to adulthood. Injury at P7 resulted in a dense neuronal tissue bridge that connected the two ends of the cord; retrograde neuronal labelling indicated that supraspinal and propriospinal innervation spanned the injury site. This repair was associated with pronounced behavioural recovery, coordinated gait and an ability to use hindlimbs when swimming. Injury at P28 resulted in a cyst-like cavity encased in scar tissue forming at the injury site. Using retrograde labelling, no labelled brainstem or propriospinal neurons were found above the lesion, indicating that detectable neuronal connectivity had not spanned the injury site. However, these animals could use their hindlimbs to take weight-supporting steps but could not use their hindlimbs when swimming. White matter, demonstrated by Luxol Fast Blue staining, was present in the injury site of P7- but not P28-injured animals. Overall, these studies demonstrated that provided spinal injury occurs early in development, regrowth of supraspinal innervation is possible. This repair appears to lead to improved functional outcomes. At older ages, even without detectable axonal growth spanning the injury site, substantial development of locomotion was still possible. This outcome is discussed in conjunction with preliminary findings of differences in the local propriospinal circuits following spinal cord injury (demonstrated with fluororuby labelling), which may underlie the weight bearing locomotion observed in the apparent absence of

  8. Skeletal fiber types and spindle distribution in limb and jaw muscles of the adult and neonatal opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Sciote, J J; Rowlerson, A

    1998-08-01

    The South American opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is very immature at birth, and we wished to assess its potential for studies of jaw muscle development. Given the lack of prior information about any Monodelphis fiber types or spindles, our study aimed to identify for the first time fiber types in both adult and neonatal muscles and the location of spindles in the jaw muscles. Fiber types were identified in frozen sections of adult and 6-day-old jaw and limb muscles by using myosin ATPase and metabolic enzyme histochemistry and by immunostaining for myosin isoforms. The distribution of fiber types and muscle spindles throughout the jaw-closer muscles was identified by immunostaining of sections of methacarnoy-fixed, wax-embedded heads. Most muscles contained one slow (type I) and two fast fiber types (equivalent to types IIA and IIX), which were similar to those in eutherian muscle, and an additional (non-IIB) fast type. In jaw-closer muscles, the main extrafusal fiber type was IIM (characteristic of these muscles in some eutherians), and almost all spindles were concentrated in four restricted areas: one in masseter and three in temporalis. Six-day neonatal muscles were very immature, but future spindle-rich areas were revealed by immunostaining and corresponded in position to the adult areas. Extrafusal and spindle fiber types in Monodelphis share many similarities with eutherian mammalian muscle. This finding, along with the immaturity of myosin isoform expression observed 6 days postnatally, indicates that Monodelphis could provide a valuable model for studying early developmental events in the jaw-closer muscles and their spindles.

  9. Age-dependent changes in the proteome following complete spinal cord transection in a postnatal South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Noor, Natassya M; Steer, David L; Wheaton, Benjamin J; Ek, C Joakim; Truettner, Jessie S; Dietrich, W Dalton; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Richardson, Samantha J; Smith, A Ian; VandeBerg, John L; Saunders, Norman R

    2011-01-01

    Recovery from severe spinal injury in adults is limited, compared to immature animals who demonstrate some capacity for repair. Using laboratory opossums (Monodelphis domestica), the aim was to compare proteomic responses to injury at two ages: one when there is axonal growth across the lesion and substantial behavioural recovery and one when no axonal growth occurs. Anaesthetized pups at postnatal day (P) 7 or P28 were subjected to complete transection of the spinal cord at thoracic level T10. Cords were collected 1 or 7 days after injury and from age-matched controls. Proteins were separated based on isoelectric point and subunit molecular weight; those whose expression levels changed following injury were identified by densitometry and analysed by mass spectrometry. Fifty-six unique proteins were identified as differentially regulated in response to spinal transection at both ages combined. More than 50% were cytoplasmic and 70% belonged to families of proteins with characteristic binding properties. Proteins were assigned to groups by biological function including regulation (40%), metabolism (26%), inflammation (19%) and structure (15%). More changes were detected at one than seven days after injury at both ages. Seven identified proteins: 14-3-3 epsilon, 14-3-3 gamma, cofilin, alpha enolase, heart fatty acid binding protein (FABP3), brain fatty acid binding protein (FABP7) and ubiquitin demonstrated age-related differential expression and were analysed by qRT-PCR. Changes in mRNA levels for FABP3 at P7+1day and ubiquitin at P28+1day were statistically significant. Immunocytochemical staining showed differences in ubiquitin localization in younger compared to older cords and an increase in oligodendrocyte and neuroglia immunostaining following injury at P28. Western blot analysis supported proteomic results for ubiquitin and 14-3-3 proteins. Data obtained at the two ages demonstrated changes in response to injury, compared to controls, that were different for

  10. Asp-ase Activity of the Opossum Granzyme B Supports the Role of Granzyme B as Part of Anti-Viral Immunity Already during Early Mammalian Evolution.

    PubMed

    Fu, Zhirong; Thorpe, Michael; Akula, Srinivas; Hellman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Granzyme B is one of the key effector molecules in our defense against viruses and intracellular bacteria. This serine protease together with the pore forming protein perforin, induces caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis in target cells. Here we present the first characterization of a granzyme B homolog, the grathepsodenase, in a non-placental mammal, the American opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The recombinant enzyme was produced in a human cell line and used to study its primary and extended cleavage specificity using a panel of chromogenic substrates and recombinant protein substrates. The opossum granzyme B was found to have a specificity similar to human granzyme B, although slightly less restrictive in its extended specificity. The identification of a granzyme B homolog with asp-ase (cleaving after aspartic acid) specificity in a non-placental mammal provides strong indications that caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis by a serine protease with a conserved primary specificity has been part of anti-viral immunity since early mammalian evolution. This finding also indicates that an asp-ase together with a chymase were the first two serine protease genes to appear in the mammalian chymase locus.

  11. Asp-ase Activity of the Opossum Granzyme B Supports the Role of Granzyme B as Part of Anti-Viral Immunity Already during Early Mammalian Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Zhirong; Thorpe, Michael; Akula, Srinivas; Hellman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Granzyme B is one of the key effector molecules in our defense against viruses and intracellular bacteria. This serine protease together with the pore forming protein perforin, induces caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis in target cells. Here we present the first characterization of a granzyme B homolog, the grathepsodenase, in a non-placental mammal, the American opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The recombinant enzyme was produced in a human cell line and used to study its primary and extended cleavage specificity using a panel of chromogenic substrates and recombinant protein substrates. The opossum granzyme B was found to have a specificity similar to human granzyme B, although slightly less restrictive in its extended specificity. The identification of a granzyme B homolog with asp-ase (cleaving after aspartic acid) specificity in a non-placental mammal provides strong indications that caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis by a serine protease with a conserved primary specificity has been part of anti-viral immunity since early mammalian evolution. This finding also indicates that an asp-ase together with a chymase were the first two serine protease genes to appear in the mammalian chymase locus. PMID:27152961

  12. Evolution of mammalian CD1: marsupial CD1 is not orthologous to the eutherian isoforms and is a pseudogene in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Baker, Michelle L; Miller, Robert D

    2007-05-01

    CD1 is a member of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I family of proteins that present lipid antigens to T cells and natural killer (NK) T cells; it is found in both eutherian mammals and birds. In eutherians, duplication of the CD1 gene has resulted in multiple isoforms. A marsupial CD1 homologue was identified in a set of expressed sequence tags from the thymus of the bandicoot Isoodon macrourus. Southern blot and genomic sequence analyses revealed that CD1 is a single copy gene in both I. macrourus and a distantly related marsupial, the opossum Monodelphis domestica, which is currently the only marsupial species for which a whole genome sequence is available. We found that the opossum CD1 is located in a genomic region with a high degree of conserved synteny to the chromosomal regions containing human and mouse CD1. A phylogenetic analysis of mammalian CD1 revealed that marsupial CD1 is not orthologous to the eutherian CD1 isoforms, consistent with the latter having emerged by duplication after the separation of marsupials and eutherians 170-180 million years ago. The I. macrourus CD1 gene is actively transcribed and appears to encode a functional protein. In contrast, transcription of the M. domestica CD1 was not detected in any tissue and the predicted CD1 gene sequence contains a number of deletions that appear to render the locus a pseudogene.

  13. The biodynamics of arboreal locomotion: the effects of substrate diameter on locomotor kinetics in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Lammers, Andrew R; Biknevicius, Audrone R

    2004-11-01

    Effects of substrate diameter on locomotor biodynamics were studied in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Two horizontal substrates were used: a flat 'terrestrial' trackway with a force platform integrated into the surface and a cylindrical 'arboreal' trackway (20.3 mm diameter) with a force-transducer instrumented region. On both terrestrial and arboreal substrates, fore limbs exhibited higher vertical impulse and peak vertical force than hind limbs. Although vertical limb impulses were lower on the terrestrial substrate than on the arboreal support, this was probably due to speed effects because the opossums refused to move as quickly on the arboreal trackway. Vertical impulse decreased significantly faster with speed on the arboreal substrate because most of these trials were relatively slow, and stance duration decreased with speed more rapidly at these lower speeds. While braking and propulsive roles were more segregated between limbs on the terrestrial trackway, fore limbs were dominant both in braking and in propulsion on the arboreal trackway. Both fore and hind limbs exerted equivalently strong, medially directed limb forces on the arboreal trackway and laterally directed limb forces on the terrestrial trackway. We propose that the modifications in substrate reaction force on the arboreal trackway are due to the differential placement of the limbs about the dorsolateral aspect of the branch. Specifically, the pes typically made contact with the branch lower and more laterally than the manus, which may explain the significantly lower required coefficient of friction in the fore limbs relative to the hind limbs.

  14. Ontogeny of myosin isoform expression and prehensile function in the tail of the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Thomas, Dylan R; Chadwell, Brad A; Walker, Gary R; Budde, Julio E; VandeBerg, John L; Butcher, Michael T

    2017-09-01

    Terrestrial opossums use their semiprehensile tail for grasping nesting materials as opposed to arboreal maneuvering. We relate the development of this adaptive behavior with ontogenetic changes in myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform expression from 21 days to adulthood. Monodelphis domestica is expected to demonstrate a progressive ability to flex the distal tail up to age 7 mo, when it should exhibit routine nest construction. We hypothesize that juvenile stages (3-7 mo) will be characterized by retention of the neonatal isoform (MHC-Neo), along with predominant expression of fast MHC-2X and -2B, which will transition into greater MHC-1β and -2A isoform content as development progresses. This hypothesis was tested using Q-PCR to quantify and compare gene expression of each isoform with its protein content determined by gel electrophoresis and densitometry. These data were correlated with nesting activity in an age-matched sample of each age group studied. Shifts in regulation of MHC gene transcripts matched well with isoform expression. Notably, mRNA for MHC-Neo and -2B decrease, resulting in little-to-no isoform translation after age 7 mo, whereas mRNA for MHC-1β and -2A increase, and this corresponds with subtle increases in content for these isoforms into late adulthood. Despite the tail remaining intrinsically fast-contracting, a critical growth period for isoform transition is observed between 7 and 13 mo, correlating primarily with use of the tail during nesting activities. Functional transitions in MHC isoforms and fiber type properties may be associated with muscle "tuning" repetitive nest remodeling tasks requiring sustained contractions of the caudal flexors.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Little is understood about skeletal muscle development as it pertains to tail prehensility in mammals. This study uses an integrative approach of relating both MHC gene and protein expression with behavioral and morphometric changes to reveal a predominant fast MHC expression with

  15. Primary sensory afferent innervation of the developing superficial dorsal horn in the South American opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Kitchener, Peter D; Hutton, Elspeth J; Knott, Graham W

    2006-03-01

    The development of the primary sensory innervation of the superficial dorsal horn (SDH) was studied in postnatal opossums Monodelphis domestica by using DiI labelling of primary afferents and with GSA-IB(4) lectin binding and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) immunoreactivity to label primary afferent subpopulations. We also compared the timing of SDH innervation in the cervical and lumbar regions of the spinal cord. The first primary afferent projections to SDH emerge from the most lateral part of the dorsal root entry zone at postnatal day 5 and project around the lateral edge of the SDH toward lamina V. Innervation of the SDH occurs slowly over the second and third postnatal weeks, with the most dorsal aspect becoming populated by mediolaterally oriented varicose fibers before the rest of the dorsoventral thickness of the SDH becomes innervated by fine branching varicose fibers. Labelling with GSA-IB(4) lectin also labelled fibers at the lateral edge of the dorsal horn and SDH at P5, indicating that the GSA-IB(4) is expressed on SDH/lamina V primary afferents at the time when they are making their projections into the spinal cord. In contrast, CGRP-immunoreactive afferents were not evident until postnatal day 7, when a few short projections into the lateral dorsal horn were observed. These afferents then followed a pattern similar to the development of GSA-IB(4) projects but with a latency of several days. The adult pattern of labelling by GSA-IB(4) is achieved by about postnatal day 20, whereas the adult pattern of CGRP labelling was not seen until postnatal day 30. Electron microscopy revealed a few immature synapses in the region of the developing SDH at postnatal day 10, and processes considered to be precursors of glomerular synapses (and thus of primary afferent origin) were first seen at postnatal day 16 and adopted their definitive appearance between postnatal days 28 and 55. Although structural and functional development of forelimbs of neonatal

  16. New sylvatic hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi and their reservoir competence in the humid Chaco of Argentina: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Orozco, M Marcela; Enriquez, Gustavo F; Alvarado-Otegui, Julián A; Cardinal, M Victoria; Schijman, Alejandro G; Kitron, Uriel; Gürtler, Ricardo E

    2013-05-01

    A four-year longitudinal study of the structure of sylvatic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, reservoir host competence and parasite discrete typing units was conducted in a disturbed rural area of the humid Chaco in Argentina. Among 190 mammals examined by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification, the composite prevalence of infection was substantially higher in Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos (57.7%) and Didelphis albiventris opossums (38.1%) than in Euphractus sexcinctus (20.0%), Tolypeutes matacus (12.5%), and Chaetophractus vellerosus (6.3%) armadillos. Trypanosoma cruzi was detected for the first time in Thylamys pusilla small opossums and in two unidentified small rodents. Infection was spatially aggregated only in armadillos. All Didelphis were infected with T. cruzi I and all armadillo species were infected with T. cruzi III, implying two distinct sylvatic cycles with no inputs from the domestic cycle. Dasypus armadillos and Didelphis opossums were much more infectious to vectors than other armadillos, small opossums, or rodents.

  17. Distribution of the parvalbumin, calbindin-D28K and calretinin immunoreactivity in globus pallidus of the Brazilian short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Domaradzka-Pytel, Beata; Majak, Katarzyna; Spodnik, Jan; Olkowicz, Seweryn; Turlejski, Krzysztof; Djavadian, Ruzanna L; Moryś, Janusz

    2007-01-01

    This study describes the topography, borders and divisions of the globus pallidus in the Brazilian short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and distribution of the three calcium binding proteins, parvalbumin (PV), calbindin D-28k (CB) and calretinin (CR) in that nucleus. The globus pallidus of the opossum consists of medial and lateral parts that are visible with Nissl or Timm's staining and also in PV and CR immunostained sections. Neurons of the globus pallidus expressing these proteins were classified into three types on the basis of size and shape of their soma and dendritic tree. Type 1 neurons had medium-sized fusiform soma with dendrites sprouting from the opposite poles. Neurons of the type 2 had medium-to-large, multipolar soma with scarce, thin dendrites. Cell bodies of type 3 neurons were small and either ovoid or round. Immunostaining showed that the most numerous were neurons expressing PV that belonged to all three types. Density of the PV-immunopositive fibers and puncta correlated with the density of the PV-labeled neurons. Labeling for CB resulted mainly in the light staining of neuropil in both parts of the nucleus, while the CB-expressing cells (mainly of the type 2) were scarce and placed only along the border of the globus pallidus and putamen. Staining for calretinin resulted in labeling almost exclusively the immunoreactive puncta and fibers that were distributed with medium-to-high density throughout the nucleus. Close to the border of globus pallidus with the putamen these fibers (probably dendrites) were long, thin and varicous, while more medially bundles of thick, short and smooth fibers predominated. Single CR-ir neurons (all of the type 3) were scattered through the globus pallidus. Colocalization of two calcium binding proteins in one neuron was. never observed. The CB-ir puncta (probably terminals of axons projecting to the nucleus) frequently formed basket-like structures around the PV-ir neurons. Therefore, the globus pallidus

  18. Sex differences and the role of aromatization in the control of sexually dimorphic behavior and morphology in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Corbett, A

    1993-09-01

    Sex differences in the activating effects of an aromatizable (testosterone, T) and a nonaromatizable (dihydrotestosterone, DHT) androgen on sexually dimorphic scent marking and aggressive behavior were examined in gonadectomized gray short-tailed opossums. When compared with males, females showed less chest, head, flank, and hip marking and more fighting behavior in tests with stimulus females and threat behavior in tests with stimulus males following receipt of subcutaneous T, DHT, or blank (B) implants. Testosterone but not DHT activated hip and head marking while both T and DHT activated flank marking. In tests with stimulus females, only males showed clicking vocalizations and T but not DHT or B stimulated clicking. Animals that received T had significantly larger suprasternal scent glands than those that received DHT or B. The significance of these findings is discussed with respect to the development of sex differences in behavior in eutherian mammals.

  19. Characterization of beta(2)-microglobulin coding sequence from three non-placental mammals: the duckbill platypus, the short-beaked echidna, and the grey short-tailed opossum.

    PubMed

    Miska, Katarzyna B; Hellman, Lars; Miller, Robert D

    2003-03-01

    To further characterize genes of immunological importance from non-placental mammals, cDNAs encoding beta(2)-microglobulin (beta(2)m) were isolated from two prototherians, the platypus and an echidna, and one metatherian, a grey short-tailed opossum. In addition, a second allele of beta(2)m was identified in another metatherian species, the brushtail possum. Analysis of the deduced translations revealed conservation of key residues in these molecules over a long evolutionary history. The types of nucleotide substitutions present among the various taxa are also consistent with purifying selection at this conserved locus. An evolutionary tree of beta(2)m was constructed that supports the classic view of evolution with prototherians as the basal mammalian group.

  20. Sarcocystis neurona manipulation using culture-derived merozoites for bradyzoite and sporocyst production.

    PubMed

    Chaney, Sarah B; Marsh, Antoinette E; Lewis, Stephanie; Carman, Michelle; Howe, Daniel K; Saville, William J; Reed, Stephen M

    2017-03-18

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) remains a significant central nervous system disease of horses in the American continents. Sarcocystis neurona is considered the primary causative agent and its intermediate life stages are carried by a wide host-range including raccoons (Procyon lotor) in North America. S. neurona sarcocysts mature in raccoon skeletal muscle and can produce central nervous system disease in raccoons, mirroring the clinical presentation in horses. The study aimed to develop laboratory tools whereby the life cycle and various life stages of S. neurona could be better studied and manipulated using in vitro and in vivo systems and compare the biology of two independent isolates. This study utilized culture-derived parasites from S. neurona strains derived from a raccoon or from a horse to initiate raccoon infections. Raccoon tissues, including fresh and cryopreserved tissues, were used to establish opossum (Didelphis virginiana) infections, which then shed sporocyts with retained biological activity to cause encephalitis in mice. These results demonstrate that sarcocysts can be generated using in vitro-derived S. neurona merozoites, including an isolate originally derived from a naturally infected horse with clinical EPM. This study indicates the life cycle can be significantly manipulated in the laboratory without affecting subsequent stage development, allowing further purification of strains and artificial maintenance of the life cycle.

  1. High Prevalence of Porocephalus crotali Infection on a Barrier Island (Cumberland Island) off the Coast of Georgia, with Identification of Novel Intermediate Hosts.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Ellis, Angela E; Cleveland, Christopher A; Ruckdeschel, Carol

    2015-10-01

    Porocephalus crotali is a pentastomid parasite that uses crotaline snakes as definitive hosts and a variety of rodents as intermediate hosts. A study of definitive and intermediate pentastome hosts on Cumberland Island, Georgia, revealed high prevalence of P. crotali infection in crotalid snakes as well as several mammalian species. Despite the presence of numerous nymphs in some animals, clinical signs of disease were not observed. In intermediate hosts, the liver, mesentery, and reproductive organs were most commonly infected. No gross evidence of tissue damage was noted in association with the numerous encysted nymphal pentastomes, and histopathology demonstrated minimal reaction to the encysted nymphs. Partial 18S rRNA gene sequences confirmed the parasites were P. crotali. In contrast to many previous reports in rodents, the prevalence on this barrier island was high, and this is the first report of Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and any insectivore species as intermediate hosts. Although generally not considered pathogenic, the long-term consequences of high nymph intensities on individuals deserve attention.

  2. Amblyomma auricularium (Ixodida: Ixodidae) in Florida: New Hosts and Distribution Records.

    PubMed

    Mertins, James W; Vigil, Stacey L; Corn, Joseph L

    2017-01-01

    Previous published evidence for the occurrence of an exotic armadillo tick, Amblyomma auricularium (Conil), in Florida is scant, but we found it is fully established and integrated into the state's tick fauna. We collected 11,192 specimens of this tick from naturalized nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus L., and 14 other species of wild native mammals and birds in Florida, while sampling statewide during 2004 through 2007. In all, we document its specific presence only in 14 contiguous South Florida counties. Moreover, we report the first collections of A. auricularium from the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana Kerr), common raccoon [Procyon lotor (L.)], cotton deermouse [Peromyscus gossypinus (Le Conte)], gray fox [Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Schreber)], eastern spotted skunk [Spilogale putorius (L.)], and white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman)]. For the first time on birds, we report the collection of this tick from the broad-winged hawk [Buteo platypterus (Vieillot)], northern cardinal [Cardinalis cardinalis (L.)], Carolina wren [Thryothorus ludovicianus (Latham)], gray catbird [Dumetella carolinensis (L.)], and yellow-rumped warbler [Setophaga coronata (L.)]. In addition, we report unattached A. auricularium collected from humans for the first time, and additional new collections from domestic dogs, Canis lupus familiaris L. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the United States.

  3. Evaluating wildlife-cattle contact rates to improve the understanding of dynamics of bovine tuberculosis transmission in Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    Lavelle, Michael J; Kay, Shannon L; Pepin, Kim M; Grear, Daniel A; Campa, Henry; VerCauteren, Kurt C

    2016-12-01

    Direct and indirect contacts among individuals drive transmission of infectious disease. When multiple interacting species are susceptible to the same pathogen, risk assessment must include all potential host species. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an example of a disease that can be transmitted among several wildlife species and to cattle, although the potential role of several wildlife species in spillback to cattle remains unclear. To better understand the complex network of contacts and factors driving disease transmission, we fitted proximity logger collars to beef and dairy cattle (n=37), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; n=29), raccoon (Procyon lotor; n=53), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana; n=79) for 16 months in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, USA. We determined inter- and intra-species direct and indirect contact rates. Data on indirect contact was calculated when collared animals visited stationary proximity loggers placed at cattle feed and water resources. Most contact between wildlife species and cattle was indirect, with the highest contact rates occurring between raccoons and cattle during summer and fall. Nearly all visits (>99%) to cattle feed and water sources were by cattle, whereas visitation to stored cattle feed was dominated by deer and raccoon (46% and 38%, respectively). Our results suggest that indirect contact resulting from wildlife species visiting cattle-related resources could pose a risk of disease transmission to cattle and deserves continued attention with active mitigation.

  4. Antibodies to West Nile virus in raccoons and other wild peridomestic mammals in Iowa.

    PubMed

    Blitvich, Bradley J; Juarez, Luis Ibarra; Tucker, Bradley J; Rowley, Wayne A; Platt, Kenneth B

    2009-10-01

    Surveillance for evidence of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in small- and medium-sized wild mammals was conducted in Iowa, USA, from May 2005 to June 2007. Sera were collected from 325 mammals belonging to nine species and tested for antibodies to WNV and other flaviviruses by epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). All sera that had antibodies to flaviviruses by blocking ELISA were further examined by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Thirteen mammals were seropositive for WNV by PRNT, including 10 raccoons (Procyon lotor). The seroprevalence for WNV in raccoons was 34%. Although a moderately high seroprevalence for WNV has been detected in raccoons in other surveillance studies in the United States, this has not been reported previously in Iowa or most bordering states. Together, these data indicate that raccoons are exposed to WNV at high rates throughout the United States. Two Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and one fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) were also seropositive for WNV. Nineteen mammals had antibodies to an undetermined flavivirus(es). In summary, we provide serologic evidence that raccoons in Iowa are commonly exposed to WNV.

  5. Bovine tuberculosis in free-ranging carnivores from Michigan.

    PubMed

    Bruning-Fann, C S; Schmitt, S M; Fitzgerald, S D; Fierke, J S; Friedrich, P D; Kaneene, J B; Clarke, K A; Butler, K L; Payeur, J B; Whipple, D L; Cooley, T M; Miller, J M; Muzo, D P

    2001-01-01

    During a survey of carnivores and omnivores for bovine tuberculosis conducted in Michigan (USA) since 1996, Mycobacterium bovis was cultured from lymph nodes pooled from six coyotes (Canis latrans) (four adult female, two adult male), two adult male raccoons (Procyon lotor), one adult male red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and one 1.5-yr-old male black bear (Ursus americanus). One adult, male bobcat (Felis rufus) with histologic lesions suggestive of tuberculosis was negative on culture but positive for organisms belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex when tested by polymerase chain reaction. All the tuberculous animals were taken from three adjoining counties where M. bovis is known to be endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population. There were two coyotes, one raccoon, one red fox, and one bobcat infected in Alpena county. Montmorency County had two coyotes and one raccoon with M. bovis. Two coyotes and a bear were infected from Alcona County. These free-ranging carnivores/omnivores probably became infected with M. bovis through consumption of tuberculous deer. Other species included in the survey were opossum (Didelphis virginiana), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and badger (Taxidea taxus); these were negative for M. bovis.

  6. Anthropogenic influences on macro-level mammal occupancy in the Appalachian Trail corridor.

    PubMed

    Erb, Peter L; McShea, William J; Guralnick, Robert P

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic effects on wildlife are typically assessed at the local level, but it is often difficult to extrapolate to larger spatial extents. Macro-level occupancy studies are one way to assess impacts of multiple disturbance factors that might vary over different geographic extents. Here we assess anthropogenic effects on occupancy and distribution for several mammal species within the Appalachian Trail (AT), a forest corridor that extends across a broad section of the eastern United States. Utilizing camera traps and a large volunteer network of citizen scientists, we were able to sample 447 sites along a 1024 km section of the AT to assess the effects of available habitat, hunting, recreation, and roads on eight mammal species. Occupancy modeling revealed the importance of available forest to all species except opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and coyotes (Canis latrans). Hunting on adjoining lands was the second strongest predictor of occupancy for three mammal species, negatively influencing black bears (Ursus americanus) and bobcats (Lynx rufus), while positively influencing raccoons (Procyon lotor). Modeling also indicated an avoidance of high trail use areas by bears and proclivity towards high use areas by red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Roads had the lowest predictive power on species occupancy within the corridor and were only significant for deer. The occupancy models stress the importance of compounding direct and indirect anthropogenic influences operating at the regional level. Scientists and managers should consider these human impacts and their potential combined influence on wildlife persistence when assessing optimal habitat or considering management actions.

  7. Anthropogenic Influences on Macro-Level Mammal Occupancy in the Appalachian Trail Corridor

    PubMed Central

    Erb, Peter L.; McShea, William J.; Guralnick, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic effects on wildlife are typically assessed at the local level, but it is often difficult to extrapolate to larger spatial extents. Macro-level occupancy studies are one way to assess impacts of multiple disturbance factors that might vary over different geographic extents. Here we assess anthropogenic effects on occupancy and distribution for several mammal species within the Appalachian Trail (AT), a forest corridor that extends across a broad section of the eastern United States. Utilizing camera traps and a large volunteer network of citizen scientists, we were able to sample 447 sites along a 1024 km section of the AT to assess the effects of available habitat, hunting, recreation, and roads on eight mammal species. Occupancy modeling revealed the importance of available forest to all species except opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and coyotes (Canis latrans). Hunting on adjoining lands was the second strongest predictor of occupancy for three mammal species, negatively influencing black bears (Ursus americanus) and bobcats (Lynx rufus), while positively influencing raccoons (Procyon lotor). Modeling also indicated an avoidance of high trail use areas by bears and proclivity towards high use areas by red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Roads had the lowest predictive power on species occupancy within the corridor and were only significant for deer. The occupancy models stress the importance of compounding direct and indirect anthropogenic influences operating at the regional level. Scientists and managers should consider these human impacts and their potential combined influence on wildlife persistence when assessing optimal habitat or considering management actions. PMID:22880038

  8. Implications of raccoon latrines in the epizootiology of baylisascariasis.

    PubMed

    Page, L K; Swihart, R K; Kazacos, K R

    1999-07-01

    Raccoons (Procyon lotor) frequently establish defecation sites, termed latrines, on large logs, stumps, rocks, and other horizontally oriented structures/surfaces. These latrines are important foci of infective eggs of Baylisascaris procyonis, a nematode parasite of raccoons which is pathogenic to numerous species of mammals and birds. To examine the role of raccoon latrines in this animal-parasite interaction, we documented animal visitations to raccoon latrines in two large forested tracts and two woodlots in Indiana (USA) during 1994 and 1995. Species richness of vertebrate visitors did not differ between sites or years, but species composition differed by site and year. Fourteen mammal and 15 bird species were documented visiting raccoon latrines. Small granivorous mammals, including white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), and tree squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis, S. niger, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) were the most common visitors to latrine sites. White-footed mice, chipmunks, white-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis), and opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were photographed foraging on undigested seeds in raccoon feces. Active foraging at latrines also was shown experimentally; seeds embedded in raccoon feces were removed at a greater rate at latrine sites than at nonlatrines. We conclude that raccoon latrines are visited routinely by a variety of vertebrates, especially small granivorous rodents and birds which forage for seeds in raccoon feces, and that raccoon latrines are probable sites of transmission of B. procyonis to susceptible mammals and birds.

  9. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (Map) from feral cats on a dairy farm with Map-infected cattle.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Mitchell V; Stoffregen, William C; Carpenter, Jeremy G; Stabel, Judith R

    2005-07-01

    Paratuberculosis is an economically important disease of dairy cattle caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map). The role of nonruminant, nondomestic animals in the epidemiology of paratuberculosis in cattle is unclear. To examine nonruminant, nondomestic animals for the presence of Map, 25 feral cats, nine mice (species unknown), eight rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), six raccoons (Procyon lotor), and three opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were collected from a mid-western dairy with known Map-infected cattle. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from the mesenteric lymph node from seven of 25 (28%) feral cats. Ileum was culture-positive for three of these seven cats, and an isolation of Map was also made from the ileum of one of nine (11%) mice. Tissue samples from other species were negative as determined by Map culture; microscopic lesions consistent with paratuberculosis were not seen in any animal. Restriction fragment polymorphism analysis of isolates from cats and dairy cattle suggest interspecies transmission. The means by which interspecies transmission occurred may be through ingestion of Map-contaminated feces or waste milk or through ingestion of Map-infected prey. Shedding of Map from infected cats was not evaluated. The epidemiologic role of Map-infected feral cats on dairy farms requires further investigation.

  10. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Bonnie L.; Kus, Barbara E.; Deutschman, Douglas H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  11. Expression of TrkC Receptors in the Developing Brain of the Monodelphis opossum and Its Effect on the Development of Cortical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bartkowska, Katarzyna; Gajerska, Monika; Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Rouzanna L.

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the distribution, localization and several various functions of TrkC receptors during development of the Monodelphisopossum brain. Western blotting analysis showed that two different forms of the TrkC receptor, the full-length receptor and one of its truncated forms, are abundantly expressed in the opossum brain. The expression of TrkC receptors was barely detected in the brain of newborn opossums. At postnatal day (P) 3, the expression of full-length TrkC remained at low levels, while moderate expression of the TrkC truncated form was detected. The expression levels of both forms of this protein gradually increased throughout development, peaking at P35. We found that in different neocortical areas located both at the rostral and caudal regions of the cortex, up to 98% of BrdU-labeled cells forming cortical layers (II-VI) had prominently expressed TrkC. To assess which developmental processes of cortical cells are regulated by TrkC receptors, three different shRNAs were constructed. The shRNAs were individually tested in transfected cortical progenitor cells grown on culture plates for 2 days. The effects of the shRNA-TrkC constructs were similar: blockade of TrkC receptors decreased the number of Ki67-positive and apoptotic cells, and it did not change the number of TUJ-positive neurons in vitro. Thus, the lack of TrkC receptors in cultured progenitor cells provided insight on the potential role of these receptors in the regulation of proliferation and cell survival but not in the differentiation of cortical cells. PMID:24019963

  12. Age-related differences in the local cellular and molecular responses to injury in developing spinal cord of the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lane, M A; Truettner, J S; Brunschwig, J-P; Gomez, A; Bunge, M B; Dietrich, W D; Dziegielewska, K M; Ek, C J; Vandeberg, J L; Saunders, N R

    2007-03-01

    Immature spinal cord, unlike adult, has an ability to repair itself following injury. Evidence for regeneration, structural repair and development of substantially normal locomotor behaviour comes from studies of marsupials due to their immaturity at birth. We have compared morphological, cellular and molecular changes in spinal cords transected at postnatal day (P)7 or P14, from 3 h to 2 weeks post-injury, in South American opossums (Monodelphis domestica). A bridge between severed ends of cords was apparent 5 days post-injury in P7 cords, compared to 2 weeks in P14. The volume of neurofilament (axonal) material in the bridge 2 weeks after injury was 30% of control in P7- but < 10% in P14-injured cords. Granulocytes accumulated at the site of injury earlier (3 h) in P7 than in P14 (24 h)-injured animals. Monocytes accumulated 24 h post-injury and accumulation was greater in P14 cords. Accumulation of GFAP-positive astrocytes at the lesion occurred earlier in P14-injured cords. Neurites and growth cones were identified ultrastructurally in contact with astrocytes forming the bridge. Results using mouse inflammatory gene arrays showed differences in levels of expression of many TGF, TNF, cytokine, chemokine and interleukin gene families. Most of the genes identified were up-regulated to a greater extent following injury at P7. Some changes were validated and quantified by RT-PCR. Overall, the results suggest that at least some of the greater ability to recover from spinal cord transection at P7 compared to P14 in opossums is due to differences in inflammatory cellular and molecular responses.

  13. Formation of 5alpha-reduced androgens in the testes and urogenital tract of the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Jean D; Renfree, Marilyn B; Auchus, Richard J; Pask, Andrew J; Shaw, Geoffrey

    2009-01-01

    Testicular 5alpha-reduced androgens, largely 5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol (androstanediol), are responsible for virilisation of pouch young in one marsupial (the tammar wallaby), but are not formed until later in development in another marsupial (the brushtail possum) and in rodents. Because the mechanism of virilisation of the urogenital tract in the grey short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica has never been defined, androgen formation and metabolism were investigated in this species. Testis fragments from grey short-tailed opossums of a wide range of ages were incubated with [3H]-progesterone and the metabolites were separated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The only 19-carbon metabolites identified in the youngest ages (5-26 days) and the major metabolites in adult testes were testosterone and androstenedione. At 30, 42 and 49 days of age, dihydrotestosterone and small amounts of androstanediol were present. Time-sequence studies indicated that dihydrotestosterone and androstanediol were formed from the 5alpha-reduction (and 3-keto reduction) of testosterone. In a second series of experiments, tissue fragments of a variety of urogenital tract tissues were incubated with [3H]-testosterone and the metabolites separated by HPLC. During the interval in which male urogenital tract differentiation takes place in this species (between Days 15 and 28), the major metabolite identified was dihydrotestosterone. We conclude that the timing of 5alpha-reductase expression in the testes of the grey short-tailed possum resembles that of rodents and the brushtail possum rather than that of the tammar wallaby and that dihydrotestosterone is probably the intracellular androgen responsible for virilisation of the urogenital tract in this species.

  14. Functional effectiveness of the blood-brain barrier to small water-soluble molecules in developing and adult opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Ek, Carl Joakim; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna Magdalena; Stolp, Helen; Saunders, Norman Ruthven

    2006-05-01

    We have evaluated a small water-soluble molecule, biotin ethylenediamine (BED, 286 Da), as a permeability tracer across the blood-brain barrier. This molecule was found to have suitable characteristics in that it is stable in plasma, has low plasma protein binding, and appears to behave in a similar manner across brain barriers as established by permeability markers such as sucrose. BED, together with a 3000-Da biotin-dextran (BDA3000), was used to investigate the effectiveness of tight junctions in cortical vessels during development and adulthood of a marsupial opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Marsupial species are born at an early stage of brain development when cortical vessels are just beginning to appear. The tracers were administered systemically to opossums at various ages and localized in brains with light and electron microscopy. In adults, the tight junctions restricted the movement of both tracers. In neonates, as soon as vessels grow into the neocortex, their tight junctions are functionally restrictive, a finding supported by the presence of claudin-5 in endothelial cells. However, both tracers are also found within brain extracellular space soon after intraperitoneal administration. The main route of entry for the tracers into immature neocortex appears to be via the cerebrospinal fluid over the outer (subarachnoid) and inner (ventricular) surfaces of the brain. These experiments demonstrate that the previously described higher permeability of barriers to small molecules in the developing brain does not seem to be due to leakiness of cerebral endothelial tight junctions, but to a route of entry probably via the choroid plexuses and cerebrospinal fluid.

  15. Antibody Detection and Molecular Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Bobcats (Lynx rufus), Domestic Cats (Felis catus), and Wildlife from Minnesota, USA.

    PubMed

    Verma, Shiv K; Minicucci, Larissa; Murphy, Darby; Carstensen, Michelle; Humpal, Carolin; Wolf, Paul; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Kwok, Oliver C H; Su, Chunlei; Hill, Dolores; Dubey, Jitender P

    2016-09-01

    Little is known of the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in Minnesota. Here, we evaluated Toxoplasma gondii infection in 50 wild bobcats (Lynx rufus) and 75 other animals on/near 10 cattle farms. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed in serum samples or tissue fluids by the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). Twenty nine of 50 bobcats and 15 of 41 wildlife trapped on the vicinity of 10 farms and nine of 16 adult domestic cats (Felis catus) and six of 14 domestic dogs resident on farms were seropositive. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in feces of any felid. Tissues of all seropositive wild animals trapped on the farm were bioassayed in mice and viable T. gondii was isolated from two badgers (Taxidea taxus), two raccoons (Procyon lotor), one coyote (Canis latrans), and one opossum (Didelphis virginiana). All six T. gondii isolates were further propagated in cell culture. Multi-locus PCR-RFLP genotyping using 10 markers (SAG1, SAG2 (5'-3'SAG2, and alt.SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico), and DNA from cell culture derived tachyzoites revealed three genotypes; #5 ToxoDataBase (1 coyote, 1 raccoon), #1 (1 badger, 1 raccoon, 1 opossum), and #2 (1 badger). This is the first report of T. gondii prevalence in domestic cats and in bobcats from Minnesota, and the first isolation of viable T. gondii from badger. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  16. Novel Hepatozoon in vertebrates from the southern United States.

    PubMed

    Allen, Kelly E; Yabsley, Michael J; Johnson, Eileen M; Reichard, Mason V; Panciera, Roger J; Ewing, Sidney A; Little, Susan E

    2011-08-01

    Novel Hepatozoon spp. sequences collected from previously unrecognized vertebrate hosts in North America were compared with documented Hepatozoon 18S rRNA sequences in an effort to examine phylogenetic relationships between the different Hepatozoon organisms found cycling in nature. An approximately 500-base pair fragment of 18S rDNA common to Hepatozoon spp. and some other apicomplexans was amplified and sequenced from the tissues or blood of 16 vertebrate host species from the southern United States, including 1 opossum (Didelphis virginiana), 2 bobcats (Lynx rufus), 1 domestic cat (Felis catus), 3 coyotes (Canis latrans), 1 gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), 4 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 1 pet boa constrictor (Boa constrictor imperator), 1 swamp rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus), 1 cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), 4 woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes and Neotoma micropus), 3 white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), 8 cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), 1 cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus), 1 eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), and 1 woodchuck (Marmota monax). Phylogenetic analyses and comparison with sequences in the existing database revealed distinct groups of Hepatozoon spp., with clusters formed by sequences obtained from scavengers and carnivores (opossum, raccoons, canids, and felids) and those obtained from rodents. Surprisingly, Hepatozoon spp. sequences from wild rabbits were most closely related to sequences obtained from carnivores (97.2% identical), and the sequence from the boa constrictor was most closely related to the rodent cluster (97.4% identical). These data are consistent with recent work identifying prey-predator transmission cycles in Hepatozoon spp. and suggest this pattern may be more common than previously recognized.

  17. Effects of climate and exurban development on nest predation and predator presence in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA).

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2012-08-01

    In the eastern United States, land-use and climate change have likely contributed to declines in the abundance of Neotropical migrant birds that occupy forest interiors, but the mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a nest-predation experiment in southern Appalachian Mountain forests (North Carolina, U.S.A.) during the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons to determine the effects of exurban development and temperature on predator presence and the average number of days until eggs in an artificial nest were disturbed by predators. We baited artificial nests with quail (Excalfactoria chinensi) eggs and monitored them for 18 days. We used clay eggs, track plates, and motion-triggered cameras to detect and identify nest predators. The average number of days a nest was undisturbed decreased as mean temperature increased and, to a lesser extent, as the density of buildings increased. Nests on the ground were more often depredated than those in trees, likely due to increased predation by opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and other carnivores. Raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums, corvids (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Cyanocitta cristata), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), black bears (Ursus americanus), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were the most commonly detected predators. Presence of these predators did not vary as a function of mean temperature. Domestic cats and corvids were detected more frequently in plots with high rather than low densities of buildings. Forest-interior specialists and Neotropical migrants often nest in cool, high-elevation areas with low housing density. These bird species, especially those that nest on the ground, may be most vulnerable to increased nest predation if temperature and exurban development increase at higher elevations as anticipated.

  18. Functional conservation of the lncRNA NEAT1 in the ancestrally diverged marsupial lineage: Evidence for NEAT1 expression and associated paraspeckle assembly during late gestation in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Souquere, Sylvie; Vernochet, Cécile; Heidmann, Thierry; Pierron, Gérard

    2016-09-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are widely expressed and play various roles in cell homeostasis. However, because of their low conservation at the sequence level, recapitulating lncRNA evolutionary history is often challenging. While performing an ultrastructural analysis of viral particles present in uterine glands of gestating opossum females, we serendipitously noticed the presence of numerous structures similar to paraspeckles, nuclear bodies which in human and mouse cells are assembled around an architectural NEAT1/MENϵ/β lncRNA. Here, using an opossum kidney (OK) cell line, we confirmed by immuno-electron microscopy the presence of paraspeckles in marsupials. We then identified the orthologous opossum NEAT1 gene which, although poorly conserved at the sequence level, displays NEAT1 characteristic features such as short and long isoforms expressed from a unique promoter and for the latter an RNase P cleavage site at its 3'-end. Combining tissue-specific qRT-PCR, in situ hybridization at the optical and electron microscopic levels, we show that (i) NEAT1 is paraspeckle-associated in opossum (ii) NEAT1 expression is strongly induced in late gestation in uterine/placental extracts (iii) NEAT1 induction occurs in the uterine gland nuclei in which paraspeckles were detected. Finally, treatment of OK cells with proteasome inhibitors induces paraspeckle assembly, as previously observed in human cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate that paraspeckles are tissue-specific, stress-responding nuclear bodies in marsupials, illustrating their structural and functional continuity over 200 My of evolution throughout the mammalian lineage. In contrast, the rapid evolution of the NEAT1 transcripts highlights the relaxed constraint that, despite functional conservation, is exerted on this lncRNA.

  19. The marsupial CD8 gene locus: molecular cloning and expression analysis of the alpha and beta sequences in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

    PubMed

    Duncan, Louise G; Nair, Sham V; Deane, Elizabeth M

    2009-05-15

    In eutherian mammals, CD8 is a key receptor of cytotoxic T cells and plays a pivotal role in the recognition and elimination of infected host cells by cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Here, we report the molecular cloning and expression analysis of CD8alpha and CD8beta cDNAs in two marsupial species, the gray short-tailed opossum and the tammar wallaby. The opossum and tammar CD8 sequences share a high degree of amino acid identity of 63% (CD8alpha) and 57% (CD8beta) to each other as well as 36-45% (CD8alpha) and 38-41% (CD8beta) with their eutherian counterparts. In addition, many of the signature features of eutherian CD8alpha and CD8beta are preserved in both marsupials including the two invariant cysteines that form the intra-chain disulphide bond in the extracellular IgSfV domain and the two hinge region cysteines involved in dimerisation between the two subunits. The p56(lck) binding motif in the cytoplasmic tail of the CD8alpha subunit is also conserved. Interestingly, the opossum CD8alpha and the tammar CD8beta sequences have a truncated cytoplasmic tail. RT-PCR analysis of CD8alpha and CD8beta transcripts in the tissues of the adult opossum and tammar showed broad tissue expression with a high level of expression observed in the lymphoid tissues of both marsupials. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis of CD8alpha and CD8beta transcripts in the immune tissues of tammar young over the first 120 days of pouch life revealed a pattern of expression analogous to the maturation of the lymphoid tissues. This is the first report confirming the presence of CD8 in the tissues of a marsupial and will provide the tools to further analyse T cell subsets in this unique group of mammals.

  20. Small single-copy region of plastid DNA in the non-photosynthetic angiosperm Epifagus virginiana contains only two genes. Differences among dicots, monocots and bryophytes in gene organization at a non-bioenergetic locus.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, K H; Morden, C W; Palmer, J D

    1992-01-05

    We have determined the nucleotide sequence of a 7 kb (1 kb = 10(3) base-pairs) region that includes the entire small single-copy region (SSC) of the plastid genome of Epifagus virginiana, a non-photosynthetic, parasitic flowering plant. The SSC (4.8 kb) is considerably smaller than those of photosynthetic plants due to the complete deletion of all photosynthetic, chlororespiratory and ribosomal protein genes. This leaves only two genes: a protein gene of 1738 codons whose product is unlikely to be involved in bioenergetic processes and a leucine tRNA gene (trn(LUAG)). Both genes span junctions between the inverted repeat and the SSC, with the consequence that the terminal 20 base-pairs of the repeat is transcribed in both directions and functions both as the 3' end of the tRNA gene and as an internal segment of orf1738. We find that the region of tobacco plastid DNA homologous to Epifagus orf1738 contains a single open reading frame (ORF) of 1901 codons rather than the three ORFs of 1244, 273 and 228 codons originally reported. However, we confirm that the equivalent region of the bryophyte Marchantia contains two genes (1068 and 464 codons) corresponding to the N and C-terminal portions of the dicot protein. In contrast, rice plastid DNA contains a severely truncated pseudogene at this locus.

  1. Claudin-4 forms a paracellular barrier, revealing the interdependence of claudin expression in the loose epithelial cell culture model opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Borovac, Jelena; Barker, Reid S; Rievaj, Juraj; Rasmussen, Andrew; Pan, Wanling; Wevrick, Rachel; Alexander, R Todd

    2012-12-15

    The effect of claudins on paracellular fluxes has been predominantly studied in either Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) or LLCPK cells. Neither model system has a very low transepithelial resistance (TER) as observed in leaky epithelia. Moreover, results from one model system are not always consistent with another. Opossum kidney (OK) cells form tight junctions yet have a very low TER. We therefore set out to characterize the paracellular transport properties of this cell culture model. Ussing chamber dilution potential measurements revealed that OK cells exhibit a very low TER (11.7 ± 1.4 Ω·cm(2)), slight cation selectivity (P(Na)/P(Cl) = 1.10 ± 0.01), and the Eisenman permeability sequence IV; the permeability of monovalent cations ranking K(+) > Cs(+) > Rb(+) > Na(+) > Li(+). Quantitative real-time PCR studies found that OK cells endogenously express claudin-4 > -1 > -6 > -20 > -9 > -12 > -11 > -15. Overexpression of claudin-4 significantly increased TER, decreased Na(+) and Cl(-) permeability, and increased levels of claudin-1, -6, and -9 mRNA. Knockdown of claudin-4 in the overexpressing cells significantly decreased TER without altering claudin expression; thus claudin-4 forms a barrier in OK cells. Knockdown of endogenous claudin-4 decreased claudin-1, -9, and -12 expression without altering TER. Claudin-2 overexpression decreased TER, significantly increased Na(+) and Cl(-) permeability, and decreased claudin-12 and -6 expression. Together these results demonstrate that claudin expression is tightly coupled in OK cells.

  2. First-generation linkage map of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, reveals genome-wide reduction in female recombination rates.

    PubMed Central

    Samollow, Paul B; Kammerer, Candace M; Mahaney, Susan M; Schneider, Jennifer L; Westenberger, Scott J; VandeBerg, John L; Robinson, Edward S

    2004-01-01

    The gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is the most extensively used, laboratory-bred marsupial resource for basic biologic and biomedical research worldwide. To enhance the research utility of this species, we are building a linkage map, using both anonymous markers and functional gene loci, that will enable the localization of quantitative trait loci (QTL) and provide comparative information regarding the evolution of mammalian and other vertebrate genomes. The current map is composed of 83 loci distributed among eight autosomal linkage groups and the X chromosome. The autosomal linkage groups appear to encompass a very large portion of the genome, yet span a sex-average distance of only 633.0 cM, making this the most compact linkage map known among vertebrates. Most surprising, the male map is much larger than the female map (884.6 cM vs. 443.1 cM), a pattern contrary to that in eutherian mammals and other vertebrates. The finding of genome-wide reduction in female recombination in M. domestica, coupled with recombination data from two other, distantly related marsupial species, suggests that reduced female recombination might be a widespread metatherian attribute. We discuss possible explanations for reduced female recombination in marsupials as a consequence of the metatherian characteristic of determinate paternal X chromosome inactivation. PMID:15020427

  3. Development, inheritance, and linkage-group assignment of 60 novel microsatellite markers for the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Gouin, Nicolas; Westenberger, Scott J; Mahaney, Susan M; Lindley, Peter; VandeBerg, John L; Samollow, Paul B

    2005-12-01

    Short-tandem-repeat (SSR) or microsatellite polymorphisms are some of the most extensively employed genetic markers in contemporary linkage mapping studies. To date, only a limited number of microsatellites have been isolated in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica, a South American marsupial widely used for comparative biological and biomedical research. To increase the number of potentially useful mapping markers, we screened 2 microsatellite-enriched genomic libraries containing alternatively (CA)n or (GA)n repeats. A total of 184 clones were sequenced, from which 60 polymorphic microsatellite markers were successfully optimized. The efficiency of this enrichment protocol for M. domestica microsatellite isolation is discussed, and suggestions to improve the outcome are made. All 60 loci showed high allelic diversity, with allele numbers ranging from 2 to 10 in a subset of 33 unrelated animals. Normal Mendelian inheritance was confirmed for all loci by analyzing allelic segregation in 5 two-generation families. One microsatellite appeared to be X linked, and null alleles were found in 5 others. Two-point linkage analyses were implemented using the data on the 5 families, leading to the assignment of 59 of these loci to the existing linkage groups. The 60 novel microsatellites developed in this study will contribute significantly to the M. domestica linkage map, and further QTL mapping studies.

  4. Transforming growth factor-beta1 reduces megalin- and cubilin-mediated endocytosis of albumin in proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Gekle, Michael; Knaus, Petra; Nielsen, Rikke; Mildenberger, Sigrid; Freudinger, Ruth; Wohlfarth, Verena; Sauvant, Christoph; Christensen, Erik I

    2003-10-15

    Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 is a member of a superfamily of multifunctional cytokines involved in several pathological processes of the kidney, including fibrogenesis, apoptosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These events lead to tubulointerstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis. Less is known about TGF-beta1-induced alterations of cell function. An important function of proximal tubular cells is reabsorption of filtered proteins, including albumin, via megalin-cubilin-dependent receptor-mediated endocytosis. In this study we used a well established cell culture model (proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney (OK) cells) in order to test the hypothesis that TGF-beta1 reduces megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis. Previously we have shown that albumin endocytosis in OK cells is mediated by megalin/cubulin. TGF-beta1 led to a time- and dose-dependent downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis without affecting two other transport systems tested. Binding, internalization and intracellular trafficking of the ligand albumin were affected. Decreased binding resulted from reduced cubilin and megalin expression in the 200 000 g membrane fraction. The underlying mechanism of TGF-beta1 action does not involve mitogen-activated protein kinases, protein kinase C or A, or reactive oxygen species. In contrast, TGF-beta1-induced downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis was sensitive to inhibition of translation and transcription and was preceded by Smad2 and 3 phosphorylation. Dominant negative Smad2/3 constructs prevented the effect of TGF-beta1. In conclusion our data indicate that enhanced levels of TGF-beta1 occurring in various nephropathies can lead to downregulation of megalin-cubilin-dependent endocytosis. Probably, TGF-beta1 leads to Smad2- and Smad3-dependent expression of negative regulators of receptor-mediated endocytosis.

  5. Potassium transport in opossum kidney cells: effects of Na-selective and K-selective ionizable cryptands, and of valinomycin, FCCP and nystatin.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, A; Leroy, C; Castaing, M

    1997-11-13

    The effects of two ionizable cryptands, the Na-selective (221)C10 and the K-selective (222)C10, and of valinomycin, FCCP and nystatin on K+ fluxes in opossum kidney (OK) cells have been quantified. The Na,K-ATPase (ouabain-sensitive 86Rb influx) was stimulated by nystatin (> or = 20%), and inhibited by the other ionophores (50-80%), by barium (K-channel blocker) (61%) and by amiloride (Na entry blocker) (34%). The Vmax of the Na,K-ATPase phosphatase activity was unmodified by the ionophores, indicating the absence of direct interaction with the enzyme. The ATPi content was unmodified by the inhibitors and nystatin, but was lowered by (221)C10 (47%), (222)C10 (75%), valinomycin (72%) and FCCP (88%). Amiloride was found to partially remove the inhibition caused by (222)C10 (51%) and valinomycin (49%). Rb efflux was stimulated by nystatin (32%), unmodified by valinomycin, and was inhibited by (221)C10 (19%), (222)C10 (19%) and FCCP (10%). Barium (39%) and amiloride (32%) inhibited this efflux and, in their presence, the nystatin effect persisted, whereas that of the other ionophores vanished. At pH 6.4, the Rb efflux decreased by 14% of its value at pH 7.4, with no additional inhibition by cryptands. Cryptands are shown to inhibit the pH-sensitive K+-conductance, probably by inducing a K+-H+ exchange at the plasma membrane, and by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation by inducing the entry of K+ and H+ (and possibly Ca2+) ions into the mitochondria.

  6. Morphological, morphometric and genetic variation among cryptic and sympatric species of southeastern South American three-striped opossums (Monodelphis: Mammalia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Duda, Rafaela; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2015-03-23

    Monodelphis is the most diverse genus of the family Didelphidae, whose systematics and taxonomy have not yet been well established. Two of the included species, Monodelphis americana and M. iheringi, are difficult to distinguish because both present three dorsal black stripes. Furthermore, they show intra- and interspecific variation related to body size and pelage coloration. Because this variation is not well understood, there are problems in correctly identifying these species, which remain poorly collected and thus rare in zoological collections. This study evaluated the morphological and genetic variations in a sample of striped opossums from a single location in southeastern Brazil to understand if the morphological variation observed in individuals from the same location was indicative of the existence of more than one taxon. The comparative analyses of a series from this single locality with museum specimens of other locations revealed variations in the skin and skull qualitative characters that were related to age and sex. Morphological comparisons led to the identification of two morphogroups, which were corroborated by molecular data; the analysis of cytochrome b sequences indicated the existence of two clades, with an average divergence of 14%. Thus, the results support the existence of two taxa in the sample, defined as M. americana and M. iheringi. We confirmed the sympatry of these two species in a location in southeastern Brazil, presented morphological diagnostic characters to distinguish the two species, provided novel phylogenetic information on the group, and also demonstrated the existence of important intra- and interspecific morphological variations related to sexual dimorphism and ontogeny in the group. These results significantly contribute to information on the systematics of the genus.

  7. Genome-wide histone state profiling of fibroblasts from the opossum, Monodelphis domestica, identifies the first marsupial-specific imprinted gene

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Imprinted genes have been extensively documented in eutherian mammals and found to exhibit significant interspecific variation in the suites of genes that are imprinted and in their regulation between tissues and developmental stages. Much less is known about imprinted loci in metatherian (marsupial) mammals, wherein studies have been limited to a small number of genes previously known to be imprinted in eutherians. We describe the first ab initio search for imprinted marsupial genes, in fibroblasts from the opossum, Monodelphis domestica, based on a genome-wide ChIP-seq strategy to identify promoters that are simultaneously marked by mutually exclusive, transcriptionally opposing histone modifications. Results We identified a novel imprinted gene (Meis1) and two additional monoallelically expressed genes, one of which (Cstb) showed allele-specific, but non-imprinted expression. Imprinted vs. allele-specific expression could not be resolved for the third monoallelically expressed gene (Rpl17). Transcriptionally opposing histone modifications H3K4me3, H3K9Ac, and H3K9me3 were found at the promoters of all three genes, but differential DNA methylation was not detected at CpG islands at any of these promoters. Conclusions In generating the first genome-wide histone modification profiles for a marsupial, we identified the first gene that is imprinted in a marsupial but not in eutherian mammals. This outcome demonstrates the practicality of an ab initio discovery strategy and implicates histone modification, but not differential DNA methylation, as a conserved mechanism for marking imprinted genes in all therian mammals. Our findings suggest that marsupials use multiple epigenetic mechanisms for imprinting and support the concept that lineage-specific selective forces can produce sets of imprinted genes that differ between metatherian and eutherian lines. PMID:24484454

  8. Distribution and ultrastructure of neurons in opossum piriform cortex displaying immunoreactivity to GABA and GAD and high-affinity tritiated GABA uptake

    SciTech Connect

    Haberly, L.B.; Hansen, D.J.; Feig, S.L.; Presto, S.

    1987-12-08

    GABAergic neurons have been identified in the piriform cortex of the opossum at light and electron microscopic levels by immunocytochemical localization of GABA and the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase and by autoradiographic visualization of high-affinity /sup 3/H-GABA uptake. Four major neuron populations have been distinguished on the basis of soma size, shape, and segregation at specific depths and locations: large horizontal cells in layer Ia of the anterior piriform cortex, small globular cells with thin dendrites concentrated in layers Ib and II of the posterior piriform cortex, and multipolar and fusiform cells concentrated in the deep part of layer III in anterior and posterior parts of the piriform cortex and the subjacent endopiriform nucleus. All four populations were well visualized with both antisera, but the large layer Ia horizontal cells displayed only very light /sup 3/H-GABA uptake, thus suggesting a lack of local axon collaterals or lack of high-affinity GABA uptake sites. The large, ultrastructurally distinctive somata of layer Ia horizontal cells receive a very small number of symmetrical synapses; the thin, axonlike dendrites of small globular cells are exclusively postsynaptic and receive large numbers of both symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses, in contrast to somata which receive a small number of both types; and the deep multipolar and fusiform cells receive a highly variable number of symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses on somata and proximal dendrites. Labeled puncta of axon terminal dimensions were found in large numbers in the neuropil surrounding pyramidal cell somata in layer II and in the endopiriform nucleus. Moderately large numbers of labeled puncta were found in layer I at the depth of pyramidal cell apical dendrites with greater numbers in layer Ia at the depth of distal apical segments than in layer Ib.

  9. Transforming growth factor-β1 reduces megalin- and cubilin-mediated endocytosis of albumin in proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney cells

    PubMed Central

    Gekle, Michael; Knaus, Petra; Nielsen, Rikke; Mildenberger, Sigrid; Freudinger, Ruth; Wohlfarth, Verena; Sauvant, Christoph; Christensen, Erik I

    2003-01-01

    Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 is a member of a superfamily of multifunctional cytokines involved in several pathological processes of the kidney, including fibrogenesis, apoptosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These events lead to tubulointerstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis. Less is known about TGF-β1-induced alterations of cell function. An important function of proximal tubular cells is reabsorption of filtered proteins, including albumin, via megalin-cubilin-dependent receptor-mediated endocytosis. In this study we used a well established cell culture model (proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney (OK) cells) in order to test the hypothesis that TGF-β1 reduces megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis. Previously we have shown that albumin endocytosis in OK cells is mediated by megalin/cubulin. TGF-β1 led to a time- and dose-dependent downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis without affecting two other transport systems tested. Binding, internalization and intracellular trafficking of the ligand albumin were affected. Decreased binding resulted from reduced cubilin and megalin expression in the 200 000 g membrane fraction. The underlying mechanism of TGF-β1 action does not involve mitogen-activated protein kinases, protein kinase C or A, or reactive oxygen species. In contrast, TGF-β1-induced downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis was sensitive to inhibition of translation and transcription and was preceded by Smad2 and 3 phosphorylation. Dominant negative Smad2/3 constructs prevented the effect of TGF-β1. In conclusion our data indicate that enhanced levels of TGF-β1 occurring in various nephropathies can lead to downregulation of megalin-cubilin-dependent endocytosis. Probably, TGF-β1 leads to Smad2- and Smad3-dependent expression of negative regulators of receptor-mediated endocytosis. PMID:14561830

  10. Eco-epidemiological study of an endemic Chagas disease region in northern Colombia reveals the importance of Triatoma maculata (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), dogs and Didelphis marsupialis in Trypanosoma cruzi maintenance.

    PubMed

    Cantillo-Barraza, Omar; Garcés, Edilson; Gómez-Palacio, Andrés; Cortés, Luis A; Pereira, André; Marcet, Paula L; Jansen, Ana M; Triana-Chávez, Omar

    2015-09-22

    In Colombia, Rhodnius prolixus and Triatoma dimidiata are the main domestic triatomine species known to transmit T. cruzi. However, there are multiple reports of T. cruzi transmission involving secondary vectors. In this work, we carried out an eco-epidemiological study on Margarita Island, located in the Caribbean region of Colombia, where Chagas disease is associated with non-domiciliated vectors. To understand the transmission dynamics of Trypanosoma cruzi in this area, we designed a comprehensive, multi-faceted study including the following: (i) entomological evaluation through a community-based insect-surveillance campaign, blood meal source determination and T. cruzi infection rate estimation in triatomine insects; (ii) serological determination of T. cruzi prevalence in children under 15 years old, as well as in domestic dogs and synanthropic mammals; (iii) evaluation of T. cruzi transmission capacity in dogs and Didelphis marsupialis, and (iv) genetic characterization of T. cruzi isolates targeting spliced-leader intergene region (SL-IR) genotypes. Out of the 124 triatomines collected, 94% were Triatoma maculata, and 71.6% of them were infected with T. cruzi. Blood-meal source analysis showed that T. maculata feeds on multiple hosts, including humans and domestic dogs. Serological analysis indicated 2 of 803 children were infected, representing a prevalence of 0.25%. The prevalence in domestic dogs was 71.6% (171/224). Domestic dogs might not be competent reservoir hosts, as inferred from negative T. cruzi xenodiagnosis and haemoculture tests. However, 61.5% (8/13) of D. marsupialis, the most abundant synanthropic mammal captured, were T. cruzi-positive on xenodiagnosis and haemocultures. This study reveals the role of peridomestic T. maculata and dogs in T. cruzi persistence in this region and presents evidence that D. marsupialis are a reservoir mediating peridomestic-zoonotic cycles. This picture reflects the complexity of the transmission dynamics of T

  11. ISOLATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM ANIMALS IN DURANGO, MEXICO

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Little is known concerning the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in people and animals in rural Mexico. Serum samples and tissues from 150 dogs, 150 cats, 65 opossums (Didelphis virginianus), 249 rats (Rattus spp.), 127 mice (Mus musculus), and 69 squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus) from t...

  12. An inventory of terrestrial mammals at national parks in the Northeast Temperate Network and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilbert, Andrew T.; O'Connell, Allan F.; Annand, Elizabeth M.; Talancy, Neil W.; Sauer, John R.; Nichols, James D.

    2008-01-01

    An inventory of mammals was conducted during 2004 at nine national park sites in the Northeast Temperate Network (NETN): Acadia National Park (NP), Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (NHP), Minute Man NHP, Morristown NHP, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site (NHS), Saint-Gaudens NHS, Saugus Iron Works NHS, Saratoga NHP, and Weir Farm NHS. Sagamore Hill NHS, part of the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network (NCBN), was also surveyed. Each park except Acadia NP was sampled twice, once in the winter/spring and again in the summer/fall. During the winter/spring visit, indirect measure (IM) sampling arrays were employed at 2 to 16 stations and included sampling by remote cameras, cubby boxes (covered trackplates), and hair traps. IM stations were established and re-used during the summer/fall sampling period. Trapping was conducted at 2 to 12 stations at all parks except Acadia NP during the summer/fall period and consisted of arrays of small-mammal traps, squirrel-sized live traps, and some fox-sized live traps. We used estimation-based procedures and probabilistic sampling techniques to design this inventory. A total of 38 species was detected by IM sampling, trapping, and field observations. Species diversity (number of species) varied among parks, ranging from 8 to 24, with Minute Man NHP having the most species detected. Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), Fisher (Martes pennanti), and Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris) were the most common medium-sized mammals detected in this study and White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), Northern Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda), Deer Mouse (P. maniculatus), and Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) the most common small mammals detected. All species detected are considered fairly common throughout their range including the Fisher, which has been reintroduced in several New England states. We did not detect any state or federal endangered or threatened species.

  13. Genetic variation among isolates of Sarcocystis neurona, the agent of protozoal myeloencephalitis, as revealed by amplified fragment length polymorphism markers.

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, H M; Schott, H C; Mansfield, L S

    2006-06-01

    Sarcocystis neurona causes serious neurological disease in horses and other vertebrates in the Americas. Based on epidemiological data, this parasite has recently emerged. Here, the genetic diversity of Sarcocystis neurona was evaluated using the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) method. Fifteen S. neurona taxa from different regions collected over the last 10 years were used; six isolates were from clinically diseased horses, eight isolates were from wild-caught opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and one isolate was from a cowbird (Molothrus ater). Additionally, four outgroup taxa were also fingerprinted. Nine primer pairs were used to generate AFLP patterns, with a total number of amplified fragments ranging from 30 to 60, depending on the isolate and primers tested. Based on the presence/absence of amplified AFLP fragments and pairwise similarity values, all the S. neurona isolates tested were clustered in one monophyletic group. No significant correlation could be found between genomic similarity and host origin of the S. neurona isolates. AFLP revealed significant intraspecific genetic variations, and S. neurona appeared as a highly variable species. Furthermore, linkage disequilibrium analysis suggested that S. neurona populations within Michigan have an intermediate type of population structure that includes characteristics of both clonal and panamictic population structures. AFLP is a reliable molecular technique that has provided one of the most informative approaches to ascertain phylogenetic relationships in S. neurona and its closest relatives, allowing them to be clustered by relative similarity using band matching and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean analysis, which may be applicable to other related protozoal species.

  14. Detection of Sarcocystis spp. infection in bobcats (Lynx rufus)

    PubMed Central

    Verma, S. K.; Calero-Bernal, R.; Lovallo, M. J.; Sweeny, A. R.; Grigg, M. E.; Dubey, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive host in the USA and other animals act as intermediate or aberrant hosts. Samples of tongue and heart from 35 bobcats hunted for fur and food from Mississippi State, USA in February, 2014 were used for the present study. Muscles were examined for Sarcocystis infection by microscopic examination of either unfixed muscle squash preparations or pepsin digests, by histopathology of fixed samples, and by molecular methods. Sarcocystis-like bradyzoites were found in digests of 14 hearts and 10 tongues of 35 bobcats. In histological sections, sarcocysts were found in 26 of 35 bobcats; all appeared relatively thin-walled similar to S. felis sarcocysts under light microscope at 1000x magnification. S. neurona-like sarcocysts having thickened villar tips were seen in unstained muscle squash of tongue of two bobcats and PCR-DNA sequencing identified them definitively as S. neurona-like parasite. DNA extracted from bradyzoites obtained from tongue and heart muscle digests was analyzed by PCR-DNA sequencing at the ITS1 locus. Results indicated the presence of S. neurona-like parasite in 26 of 35 samples. ITS1 sequences identical to S. dayspi were identified in 3 bobcats, 2 of which were also co-infected with S. neurona-like parasite. The high prevalence of sarcocysts in bobcat tissues suggested an efficient sylvatic cycle of Sarcocystis spp. in the remote regions of Mississippi State with the bobcat as a relevant intermediate host. PMID:26138150

  15. Wildlife Contact Rates at Artificial Feeding Sites in Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Tyler A.; Long, David B.; Shriner, Susan A.

    2013-06-01

    Given the popularity of feeding white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus) in Texas and the increasing amount of corn that is distributed, more information is needed on the impacts of this activity on non-target wildlife. Our objectives were to report visitation, intra- and interspecific contact, and contact rates of wildlife at artificial feeding sites in Texas. Our study was conducted at three sites in Kleberg and Nueces counties, Texas. We trapped animals from February to April and August to September, 2009 and marked animals with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. At each site and season, we placed one feeder system containing a PIT tag reader within 600 m of trap locations. Readers detected PIT tags from a distance of 25 cm. We determined a contact event to occur when two different PIT tags were detected by feeder systems within 5 s. We recorded 62,719 passes by raccoons ( Procyon lotor), 103,512 passes by collared peccaries ( Pecari tajacu), 2,923 passes by feral swine ( Sus scrofa), 1,336 passes by fox squirrels ( Sciurus niger), and no passes by opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) at feeder systems. For site-season combinations in which contact events occurred, we found intraspecific contact rates (contacts per day) for raccoons, collared peccaries, and feral swine to be 0.81-124.77, 0.69-38.08, and 0.0-0.66, respectively. Throughout our study we distributed ~2,625 kg of whole kernel corn, which resulted in 6,351 contact events between marked wildlife (2.4 contacts per kg of corn). If 136 million kg of corn is distributed in Texas annually, we would expect >5.2 billion unnatural contact events between wildlife would result from this activity each year in Texas. Consequently, we do not believe that it is wise for natural resource managers to maintain artificial feeding sites for white-tailed deer or other wildlife due to pathogen transmission risks.

  16. Deer carcass decomposition and potential scavenger exposure to chronic wasting disease

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jennelle, C.S.; Samuel, M.D.; Nolden, C.A.; Berkley, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy afflicting the Cervidae family in North America, causing neurodegeneration and ultimately death. Although there are no reports of natural cross-species transmission of CWD to noncervids, infected deer carcasses pose a potential risk of CWD exposure for other animals. We placed 40 disease-free white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) carcasses and 10 gut piles in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin (USA) from September to April in 2003 through 2005. We used photos from remotely operated cameras to characterize scavenger visitation and relative activity. To evaluate factors driving the rate of carcass removal (decomposition), we used KaplanMeier survival analysis and a generalized linear mixed model. We recorded 14 species of scavenging mammals (6 visiting species) and 14 species of scavenging birds (8 visiting species). Prominent scavengers included American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). We found no evidence that deer consumed conspecific remains, although they visited gut piles more often than carcasses relative to temporal availability in the environment. Domestic dogs, cats, and cows either scavenged or visited carcass sites, which could lead to human exposure to CWD. Deer carcasses persisted for 18 days to 101 days depending on the season and year, whereas gut piles lasted for 3 days. Habitat did not influence carcass decomposition, but mammalian and avian scavenger activity and higher temperatures were positively associated with faster removal. Infected deer carcasses or gut piles can serve as potential sources of CWD prions to a variety of scavengers. In areas where surveillance for CWD exposure is practical, management agencies should consider strategies for testing primary scavengers of deer carcass material.

  17. Detection of Sarcocystis spp. infection in bobcats (Lynx rufus).

    PubMed

    Verma, S K; Calero-Bernal, R; Lovallo, M J; Sweeny, A R; Grigg, M E; Dubey, J P

    2015-09-15

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive host in the USA and other animals act as intermediate or aberrant hosts. Samples of tongue and heart from 35 bobcats hunted for fur and food from Mississippi State, USA in February, 2014 were used for the present study. Muscles were examined for Sarcocystis infection by microscopic examination of either unfixed muscle squash preparations or pepsin digests, by histopathology of fixed samples, and by molecular methods. Sarcocystis-like bradyzoites were found in digests of 14 hearts and 10 tongues of 35 bobcats. In histological sections, sarcocysts were found in 26 of 35 bobcats; all appeared relatively thin-walled similar to S. felis sarcocysts under light microscope at 1000× magnification. S. neurona-like sarcocysts having thickened villar tips were seen in unstained muscle squash of tongue of two bobcats and PCR-DNA sequencing identified them definitively as S. neurona-like parasites. DNA extracted from bradyzoites obtained from tongue and heart muscle digests was analyzed by PCR-DNA sequencing at the ITS1 locus. Results indicated the presence of S. neurona-like parasite in 26 of 35 samples. ITS1 sequences identical to S. dasypi were identified in 3 bobcats, 2 of which were also co-infected with S. neurona-like parasite. The high prevalence of sarcocysts in bobcat tissues suggested an efficient sylvatic cycle of Sarcocystis spp. in the remote regions of Mississippi State with the bobcat as a relevant intermediate host.

  18. Carcass Type Affects Local Scavenger Guilds More than Habitat Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Zachary H.; Beasley, James C.; Rhodes, Olin E.

    2016-01-01

    Scavengers and decomposers provide an important ecosystem service by removing carrion from the environment. Scavenging and decomposition are known to be temperature-dependent, but less is known about other factors that might affect carrion removal. We conducted an experiment in which we manipulated combinations of patch connectivity and carcass type, and measured responses by local scavenger guilds along with aspects of carcass depletion. We conducted twelve, 1-month trials in which five raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), and domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus spp.) carcasses (180 trials total) were monitored using remote cameras in 21 forest patches in north-central Indiana, USA. Of 143 trials with complete data, we identified fifteen species of vertebrate scavengers divided evenly among mammalian (N = 8) and avian species (N = 7). Fourteen carcasses (9.8%) were completely consumed by invertebrates, vertebrates exhibited scavenging behavior at 125 carcasses (87.4%), and four carcasses (2.8%) remained unexploited. Among vertebrates, mammals scavenged 106 carcasses, birds scavenged 88 carcasses, and mammals and birds scavenged 69 carcasses. Contrary to our expectations, carcass type affected the assemblage of local scavenger guilds more than patch connectivity. However, neither carcass type nor connectivity explained variation in temporal measures of carcass removal. Interestingly, increasing richness of local vertebrate scavenger guilds contributed moderately to rates of carrion removal (≈6% per species increase in richness). We conclude that scavenger-specific differences in carrion utilization exist among carcass types and that reliable delivery of carrion removal as an ecosystem service may depend on robust vertebrate and invertebrate communities acting synergistically. PMID:26886299

  19. Wildlife contact rates at artificial feeding sites in Texas.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Tyler A; Long, David B; Shriner, Susan A

    2013-06-01

    Given the popularity of feeding white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Texas and the increasing amount of corn that is distributed, more information is needed on the impacts of this activity on non-target wildlife. Our objectives were to report visitation, intra- and interspecific contact, and contact rates of wildlife at artificial feeding sites in Texas. Our study was conducted at three sites in Kleberg and Nueces counties, Texas. We trapped animals from February to April and August to September, 2009 and marked animals with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. At each site and season, we placed one feeder system containing a PIT tag reader within 600 m of trap locations. Readers detected PIT tags from a distance of 25 cm. We determined a contact event to occur when two different PIT tags were detected by feeder systems within 5 s. We recorded 62,719 passes by raccoons (Procyon lotor), 103,512 passes by collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu), 2,923 passes by feral swine (Sus scrofa), 1,336 passes by fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), and no passes by opossums (Didelphis virginiana) at feeder systems. For site-season combinations in which contact events occurred, we found intraspecific contact rates (contacts per day) for raccoons, collared peccaries, and feral swine to be 0.81-124.77, 0.69-38.08, and 0.0-0.66, respectively. Throughout our study we distributed ~2,625 kg of whole kernel corn, which resulted in 6,351 contact events between marked wildlife (2.4 contacts per kg of corn). If 136 million kg of corn is distributed in Texas annually, we would expect >5.2 billion unnatural contact events between wildlife would result from this activity each year in Texas. Consequently, we do not believe that it is wise for natural resource managers to maintain artificial feeding sites for white-tailed deer or other wildlife due to pathogen transmission risks.

  20. The role of feral mammals on wildlife infectious disease prevalence in two nature reserves within Mexico City limits.

    PubMed

    Suzán, Gerardo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2005-09-01

    Wild and feral medium-sized mammals were live trapped at two natural protected areas within the Mexico City limits to determine antibody prevalence for the most common infectious diseases (rabies, toxoplasmosis, and canine parvovirus) in dogs and cats. Mammals were trapped during the dry (March-April) and rainy seasons (July-August) of 1996 and 1997. A total of 68 individuals were captured, representing 8 species: opossums (Didelphis virginiana), ringtails (Bassariscus astutus), spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), weasels (Mustela frenata), rock squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus), Mexican gray squirrels (Sciurus aureogaster), feral cats (Felis catus), and feral dogs (Canis familiaris). There was marked seroprevalence for parvovirus (86.6%) and lower seroprevalences for both toxoplasma (23.9%) and rabies (17.9%). There were no significant prevalence differences among mammals in both protected areas, which were of contrasting size and isolation (i.e., small and isolated versus large and nonisolated). We suggest that high seroprevalence of these three infectious agents in wild mammals is a result of the high densities of feral dogs and cats in the two areas sampled. Feral dogs are able to maintain the infectious agents in these localities regardless of the protected area size and isolation. However, the native mammals of the small and isolated reserve are more vulnerable to infectious diseases because of small population size and genetic bottlenecks. Our results indicate that natural areas in and around Mexico City are a refugium for latent infectious agents, several of which are zoonotic. These findings suggest that conservation measures, such as eradication of feral mammals and vaccination programs, in the protected areas and surrounding areas could be beneficial.

  1. Genetic Variation among Isolates of Sarcocystis neurona, the Agent of Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, as Revealed by Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Markers

    PubMed Central

    Elsheikha, H. M.; Schott, H. C.; Mansfield, L. S.

    2006-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona causes serious neurological disease in horses and other vertebrates in the Americas. Based on epidemiological data, this parasite has recently emerged. Here, the genetic diversity of Sarcocystis neurona was evaluated using the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) method. Fifteen S. neurona taxa from different regions collected over the last 10 years were used; six isolates were from clinically diseased horses, eight isolates were from wild-caught opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and one isolate was from a cowbird (Molothrus ater). Additionally, four outgroup taxa were also fingerprinted. Nine primer pairs were used to generate AFLP patterns, with a total number of amplified fragments ranging from 30 to 60, depending on the isolate and primers tested. Based on the presence/absence of amplified AFLP fragments and pairwise similarity values, all the S. neurona isolates tested were clustered in one monophyletic group. No significant correlation could be found between genomic similarity and host origin of the S. neurona isolates. AFLP revealed significant intraspecific genetic variations, and S. neurona appeared as a highly variable species. Furthermore, linkage disequilibrium analysis suggested that S. neurona populations within Michigan have an intermediate type of population structure that includes characteristics of both clonal and panamictic population structures. AFLP is a reliable molecular technique that has provided one of the most informative approaches to ascertain phylogenetic relationships in S. neurona and its closest relatives, allowing them to be clustered by relative similarity using band matching and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean analysis, which may be applicable to other related protozoal species. PMID:16714575

  2. Relationships between human disturbance and wildlife land use in urban habitat fragments.

    PubMed

    Markovchick-Nicholls, Lisa; Regan, Helen M; Deutschman, Douglas H; Widyanata, Astrid; Martin, Barry; Noreke, Lani; Hunt, Timothy Ann

    2008-02-01

    Habitat remnants in urbanized areas typically conserve biodiversity and serve the recreation and urban open-space needs of human populations. Nevertheless, these goals can be in conflict if human activity negatively affects wildlife. Hence, when considering habitat remnants as conservation refuges it is crucial to understand how human activities and land uses affect wildlife use of those and adjacent areas. We used tracking data (animal tracks and den or bed sites) on 10 animal species and information on human activity and environmental factors associated with anthropogenic disturbance in 12 habitat fragments across San Diego County, California, to examine the relationships among habitat fragment characteristics, human activity, and wildlife presence. There were no significant correlations of species presence and abundance with percent plant cover for all species or with different land-use intensities for all species, except the opossum (Didelphis virginiana), which preferred areas with intensive development. Woodrats (Neotoma spp.) and cougars (Puma concolor) were associated significantly and positively and significantly and negatively, respectively, with the presence and prominence of utilities. Woodrats were also negatively associated with the presence of horses. Raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coyotes (Canis latrans) were associated significantly and negatively and significantly and positively, respectively, with plant bulk and permanence. Cougars and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) were negatively associated with the presence of roads. Roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) were positively associated with litter. The only species that had no significant correlations with any of the environmental variables were black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). Bobcat tracks were observed more often than gray foxes in the study area and bobcats correlated significantly only with water availability, contrasting with results from

  3. Impact of Pruning Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

    Treesearch

    Thomas L. Schmidt; Tom D. Wardle

    2002-01-01

    In recent years, eastern redcedar has been the most rapidly expanding tree resource in the Great Plains from Oklahoma to South Dakota, primarily in rangelands and pastures. Based on these increases and potential management-related problems, eastern redcedar is perceived as a threat to the rangeland resource. Pruning eastern redcedar can allow for increased herbaceous...

  4. Silvical characteristics of Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana)

    Treesearch

    Albert G., Jr. Snow

    1960-01-01

    Virginia pine has finally attained its rightful place among trees of commercial importance. It has done so in spite of being called "scrub pine" and "poverty pine" - and in spite of the term "forest weed", which has lingered long in the speech of oldtimers who remember the days of timber-plenty.

  5. Diversity, Seasonality, and Context of Mammalian Roadkills in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D.; Patten, Michael A.

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and >16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50 / 100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo ( Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk ( Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon ( Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79 / 100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65 / 100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5×), winter (1.4×), or summer (1.3×). The spring peak (in kills / 100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should

  6. The unique paired retinal vascular pattern in marsupials: structural, functional and evolutionary perspectives based on observations in a range of species

    PubMed Central

    McMenamin, Paul G

    2007-01-01

    Background In the few marsupial species studied to date that possess a retinal vasculature, the arterial and venous segments, down to the smallest calibre capillaries, have been shown to occur in pairs. It is a pattern seen in the marsupial central nervous system (CNS) but not in other tissues in this group or in any tissues in eutherian mammals. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of retinal vessels in a range of non‐eutherian mammalian species (marsupials and monotremes) and to determine if the pattern of paired vessels was a widespread phenomenon within this animal group. Methods Species studied included a monotreme, the short‐billed echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and a range of Australian marsupials, the honey possum (Tarispedidae rostratus), fat‐tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata), grey‐bellied dunnart (Sminthopsis griseoventer), numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), broad‐footed marsupial mouse (Antechinus godmani) and the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Eyes were fixed in glutaraldehyde or paraformaldehyde and retinas were embedded in resin for light and electron microscopic analysis. Results Examination revealed that in those species with retinal vessels (fat‐tailed dunnart, grey‐bellied dunnart, numbat, marsupial mouse, North American opossum) the pattern of vessels differs from the conventional plexus‐like arrangement of mammalian retinal vasculature (that is, anastomotic networks of capillaries between arterioles and venules). In marsupials retinal vessels always occur in closely related pairs, with the arteriolar limb usually situated on the vitread aspect. Vessels penetrate the retina and branch to form layers of paired capillaries as far as the outer nuclear layer in some species. The capillaries form blind‐ended hairpin loops and display classical morphological features of CNS capillaries Conclusion The phylogenetic relations of this vascular pattern in the marsupial CNS and retina, and in

  7. New Sylvatic Hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi and Their Reservoir Competence in the Humid Chaco of Argentina: A Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    Orozco, M. Marcela; Enriquez, Gustavo F.; Alvarado-Otegui, Julián A.; Cardinal, M. Victoria; Schijman, Alejandro G.; Kitron, Uriel; Gürtler, Ricardo E.

    2013-01-01

    A four-year longitudinal study of the structure of sylvatic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, reservoir host competence and parasite discrete typing units was conducted in a disturbed rural area of the humid Chaco in Argentina. Among 190 mammals examined by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification, the composite prevalence of infection was substantially higher in Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos (57.7%) and Didelphis albiventris opossums (38.1%) than in Euphractus sexcinctus (20.0%), Tolypeutes matacus (12.5%), and Chaetophractus vellerosus (6.3%) armadillos. Trypanosoma cruzi was detected for the first time in Thylamys pusilla small opossums and in two unidentified small rodents. Infection was spatially aggregated only in armadillos. All Didelphis were infected with T. cruzi I and all armadillo species were infected with T. cruzi III, implying two distinct sylvatic cycles with no inputs from the domestic cycle. Dasypus armadillos and Didelphis opossums were much more infectious to vectors than other armadillos, small opossums, or rodents. PMID:23530075

  8. Molecular characterisation of the CD79a and CD79b subunits of the B cell receptor complex in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii): Delayed B cell immunocompetence in marsupial neonates.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Louise; Webster, Koa; Gupta, Varun; Nair, Sham; Deane, Elizabeth

    2010-08-15

    The B cell receptor (BCR) is a multiprotein complex that is pivotal to antigen recognition and signal transduction in B cells. It consists of an antigen binding component, membrane Ig (mIg), non-covalently associated with the signaling component, a disulphide-linked heterodimer of CD79a and CD79b. In this study, the gene and corresponding cDNA for CD79a and CD79b in the gray short-tailed opossum, as well as the cDNA sequences for CD79a and CD79b in the tammar wallaby, are described. Many of the structural and functional features of CD79a and CD79b were conserved in both marsupials, including the ITAM regulatory motif in the cytoplasmic tails of both subunits. The marsupial CD79 sequences shared a high degree of amino acid identities of 76% (CD79a) and 72% (CD79b) to each other, as well as 60-61% (CD79a) and 58-59% (CD79b) with their eutherian counterparts. RT-PCR analysis of CD79a and CD79b transcripts in the immune tissues of tammar pouch young revealed CD79a transcripts in the bone marrow, cervical thymus and spleen at day 10 postpartum. CD79b transcripts were detected in the bone marrow and cervical thymus at day 10 but were not detected in the spleen until day 21 postpartum. These results suggest that a functional BCR may not be assembled until day 21 postpartum and the tammar neonate may not be capable of mounting an effective adaptive immune response until this time. The molecular information presented here will allow further investigation of the role of the CD79 subunits in marsupial B cell signaling, especially during ontogeny and disease.

  9. Estimates of soil ingestion by wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Connor, E.E.; Gerould, S.

    1994-01-01

    Many wildlife species ingest soil while feeding, but ingestion rates are known for only a few species. Knowing ingestion rates may be important for studies of environmental contaminants. Wildlife may ingest soil deliberately, or incidentally, when they ingest soil-laden forage or animals that contain soil. We fed white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) diets containing 0-15% soil to relate the dietary soil content to the acid-insoluble ash content of scat collected from the mice. The relation was described by an equation that required estimates of the percent acid-insoluble ash content of the diet, digestibility of the diet, and mineral content of soil. We collected scat from 28 wildlife species by capturing animals, searching appropriate habitats for scat, or removing material from the intestines of animals collected for other purposes. We measured the acid-insoluble ash content of the scat and estimated the soil content of the diets by using the soil-ingestion equation. Soil ingestion estimates should be considered only approximate because they depend on estimated rather than measured digestibility values and because animals collected from local populations at one time of the year may not represent the species as a whole. Sandpipers (Calidris spp.), which probe or peck for invertebrates in mud or shallow water, consumed sediments at a rate of 7-30% of their diets. Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus, soil = 17% of diet), American woodcock (Scolopax minor, 10%), and raccoon (Procyon lotor, 9%) had high rates of soil ingestion, presumably because they ate soil organisms. Bison (Bison bison, 7%), black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus, 8%), and Canada geese (Branta canadensis, 8%) consumed soil at the highest rates among the herbivores studied, and various browsers studied consumed little soil. Box turtle (Terrapene carolina, 4%), opossum (Didelphis virginiana, 5%), red fox (Vulpes vulpes, 3%), and wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo, 9%) consumed soil

  10. Camera trap arrays improve detection probability of wildlife: Investigating study design considerations using an empirical dataset.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Kelly M; Nathan, Lucas R; Liberati, Marjorie R; Tingley, Morgan W; Vokoun, Jason C; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G

    2017-01-01

    Camera trapping is a standard tool in ecological research and wildlife conservation. Study designs, particularly for small-bodied or cryptic wildlife species often attempt to boost low detection probabilities by using non-random camera placement or baited cameras, which may bias data, or incorrectly estimate detection and occupancy. We investigated the ability of non-baited, multi-camera arrays to increase detection probabilities of wildlife. Study design components were evaluated for their influence on wildlife detectability by iteratively parsing an empirical dataset (1) by different sizes of camera arrays deployed (1-10 cameras), and (2) by total season length (1-365 days). Four species from our dataset that represented a range of body sizes and differing degrees of presumed detectability based on life history traits were investigated: white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), raccoon (Procyon lotor), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). For all species, increasing from a single camera to a multi-camera array significantly improved detection probability across the range of season lengths and number of study sites evaluated. The use of a two camera array increased survey detection an average of 80% (range 40-128%) from the detection probability of a single camera across the four species. Species that were detected infrequently benefited most from a multiple-camera array, where the addition of up to eight cameras produced significant increases in detectability. However, for species detected at high frequencies, single cameras produced a season-long (i.e, the length of time over which cameras are deployed and actively monitored) detectability greater than 0.75. These results highlight the need for researchers to be critical about camera trap study designs based on their intended target species, as detectability for each focal species responded differently to array size and season length. We suggest that researchers a priori identify

  11. Inconclusive evidence of Juniperus virginiana recovery following sulfur pollution reductions

    Treesearch

    Paul G. Schaberg; Gary J. Hawley; Shelly A. Rayback; Joshua M. Halman; Alexandra M. Kosiba

    2014-01-01

    Thomas et al. (1) address a question of great scientific interest: have pollution reductions mandated by the Clean Air Act improved forest health and productivity? Although answers to this question are of great importance, various aspects of this work limit its ability to address this question.

  12. Emerging factors associated with the decline of a gray fox population and multi-scale land cover associations of mesopredators in the Chicago metropolitan area.

    SciTech Connect

    Willingham, Alison N.; /Ohio State U.

    2008-01-01

    Statewide surveys of furbearers in Illinois indicate gray (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and red (Vulpes vulpes) foxes have experienced substantial declines in relative abundance, whereas other species such as raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coyotes (Canis latrans) have exhibited dramatic increases during the same time period. The cause of the declines of gray and red foxes has not been identified, and the current status of gray foxes remains uncertain. Therefore, I conducted a large-scale predator survey and tracked radiocollared gray foxes from 2004 to 2007 in order to determine the distribution, survival, cause-specific mortality sources and land cover associations of gray foxes in an urbanized region of northeastern Illinois, and examined the relationships between the occurrence of gray fox and the presence other species of mesopredators, specifically coyotes and raccoons. Although generalist mesopredators are common and can reach high densities in many urban areas their urban ecology is poorly understood due to their secretive nature and wariness of humans. Understanding how mesopredators utilize urbanized landscapes can be useful in the management and control of disease outbreaks, mitigation of nuisance wildlife issues, and gaining insight into how mesopredators shape wildlife communities in highly fragmented areas. I examined habitat associations of raccoons, opossums (Didelphis virginiana), domestic cats (Felis catus), coyotes, foxes (gray and red), and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) at multiple spatial scales in an urban environment. Gray fox occurrence was rare and widely dispersed, and survival estimates were similar to other studies. Gray fox occurrence was negatively associated with natural and semi-natural land cover types. Fox home range size increased with increasing urban development suggesting that foxes may be negatively influenced by urbanization. Gray fox occurrence was not associated with coyote or raccoon presence. However, spatial avoidance and

  13. Long-term reduction of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals following deforestation and sustained vector surveillance in northwestern Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, L.A.; Cardinal, M.V.; Vazquez-Prokopec, G.M.; Lauricella, M.A.; Orozco, M.M.; Cortinas, R.; Schijman, A.G.; Levin, M.J.; Kitron, U.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2007-01-01

    Long-term variations in the dynamics and intensity of sylvatic transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi were investigated around eight rural villages in the semiarid Argentine Chaco in 2002–2004 and compared to data collected locally in 1984–1991. Of 501 wild mammals from 13 identified species examined by xenodiagnosis, only 3 (7.9%) of 38 Didelphis albiventris opossums and 1 (1.1%) of 91 Conepatus chinga skunks were infected by T. cruzi. The period prevalence in opossums was four-fold lower in 2002–2004 than in 1984–1991 (32–36%). The infection prevalence of skunks also decreased five-fold from 4.1–5.6% in 1984–1991 to 1.1% in 2002–2004. Infection in opossums increased with age and from summer to spring in both study periods. The force of infection per 100 opossum-months after weaning declined more than six-fold from 8.2 in 1988–1991 to 1.2 in 2002–2004. Opossums were mainly infected by T. cruzi lineage I and secondarily by lineage IId in 1984–1991, and only by T. cruzi I in 2002–2004; skunks were infected by T. cruzi IId in 1984–1991 and by IIc in 2002–2004. The striking decline of T. cruzi infection in opossums and skunks occurred in parallel to community-wide insecticide spraying followed by selective sprays leading to very low densities of infected Triatoma infestans in domestic and peridomestic habitats since 1992; to massive deforestation around one of the villages or selective extraction of older trees, and apparent reductions in opossum abundance jointly with increases in foxes and skunks. These factors may underlie the dramatic decrease of T. cruzi infection in wild reservoir hosts. PMID:16839513

  14. Disposal and Reuse of Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. Final Environmental Impact Statement.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-07-01

    Scavenger species detected in the landfill area include the opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) and northern raccoon (Procyon lotor). House mice ( Mus musculus ...a, ~ a, CC CU 00 .C UC CC CU m oca Em - ~< 0 EE mU CCJ -a)UCE c:E .0 , 2 48~ C In CC 0 0~ 0 m CU .2~ z. CaU. (C 0U CU CU E C) C- 7E m CU o C E C z E...Disturbed By Phase - Proposed Action ............................ 2-11 2.2-4 Projected Flight Operations - Proposed Action

  15. Photoreception in the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta Loven

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beeton, Alfred M.

    1959-01-01

    SUMMARY: Evidence from live trapping tests indicated that Peromyscus leucopus did not leave their home ranges because of the attraction of trap bait in nearby areas. A trap line down the center of a heavily live-trapped area caught as many mice before the area trapping as afterward. Thus, there was reason to believe that the area trapping did not serve to pre-bait the mice. Two unbaited lines of live traps caught an equal number of Peromyscus. When one line was baited with rolled oats and peanut butter the efficiency of the traps was improved to the extent that the baited line captured more than twice as many mice as the unbaited line. It is concluded that for the species and habitat tested it is safe to make population calculations based on the assumption that the animals remain within their home ranges and do not tend to move into the trapped area because of the attraction of the trap bait.

  16. SINEs, evolution and genome structure in the opossum.

    PubMed

    Gu, Wanjun; Ray, David A; Walker, Jerilyn A; Barnes, Erin W; Gentles, Andrew J; Samollow, Paul B; Jurka, Jerzy; Batzer, Mark A; Pollock, David D

    2007-07-01

    Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs) are non-autonomous retrotransposons, usually between 100 and 500 base pairs (bp) in length, which are ubiquitous components of eukaryotic genomes. Their activity, distribution, and evolution can be highly informative on genomic structure and evolutionary processes. To determine recent activity, we amplified more than one hundred SINE1 loci in a panel of 43 M. domestica individuals derived from five diverse geographic locations. The SINE1 family has expanded recently enough that many loci were polymorphic, and the SINE1 insertion-based genetic distances among populations reflected geographic distance. Genome-wide comparisons of SINE1 densities and GC content revealed that high SINE1 density is associated with high GC content in a few long and many short spans. Young SINE1s, whether fixed or polymorphic, showed an unbiased GC content preference for insertion, indicating that the GC preference accumulates over long time periods, possibly in periodic bursts. SINE1 evolution is thus broadly similar to human Alu evolution, although it has an independent origin. High GC content adjacent to SINE1s is strongly correlated with bias towards higher AT to GC substitutions and lower GC to AT substitutions. This is consistent with biased gene conversion, and also indicates that like chickens, but unlike eutherian mammals, GC content heterogeneity (isochore structure) is reinforced by substitution processes in the M. domestica genome. Nevertheless, both high and low GC content regions are apparently headed towards lower GC content equilibria, possibly due to a relative shift to lower recombination rates in the recent Monodelphis ancestral lineage. Like eutherians, metatherian (marsupial) mammals have evolved high CpG substitution rates, but this is apparently a convergence in process rather than a shared ancestral state.

  17. The role of fragmentation and landscape changes in the ecological release of common nest predators in the Neotropics

    PubMed Central

    Spínola, R. Manuel; Jackson, Victoria L.; Saénz, Joel C.

    2014-01-01

    Loss of large mammalian carnivores may allow smaller mesopredators to become abundant and threaten other community members. There is considerable debate about mesopredator release and the role that other potential factors such as landscape variables and human alterations to land cover lead to increased mesopredator abundance. We used camera traps to detect four mesopredators (tayra, Eira barbara; white-nosed coati, Nasua narica; northern raccoon, Procyon lotor; and common opossum, Didelphis opossum) in a biological corridor in Costa Rica to estimate habitat covariates that influenced the species’ detection and occurrence. We selected these mesopredators because as semi-arboreal species they might be common nest predators, posing a serious threat to resident and migratory songbirds. Pineapple production had a pronounced positive effect on the detectability of tayras, while forest cover had a negative effect on the detection of coatis. This suggests that abundance might be elevated due to the availability of agricultural food resources and foraging activities are concentrated in forest fragments and pineapple edge habitats. Raccoon and opossum models exhibited little influence on detection from habitat covariates. Occurrence models did not suggest any significant factors influencing site use by nest predators, revealing that all four species are habitat generalists adapted to co-existing in human altered landscapes. Furthermore, fragmentation and land cover changes may predispose nesting birds, herpetofauna, and small mammals to heightened predation risk by mesopredators in the Neotropics. PMID:25071989

  18. The role of fragmentation and landscape changes in the ecological release of common nest predators in the Neotropics.

    PubMed

    Cove, Michael V; Spínola, R Manuel; Jackson, Victoria L; Saénz, Joel C

    2014-01-01

    Loss of large mammalian carnivores may allow smaller mesopredators to become abundant and threaten other community members. There is considerable debate about mesopredator release and the role that other potential factors such as landscape variables and human alterations to land cover lead to increased mesopredator abundance. We used camera traps to detect four mesopredators (tayra, Eira barbara; white-nosed coati, Nasua narica; northern raccoon, Procyon lotor; and common opossum, Didelphis opossum) in a biological corridor in Costa Rica to estimate habitat covariates that influenced the species' detection and occurrence. We selected these mesopredators because as semi-arboreal species they might be common nest predators, posing a serious threat to resident and migratory songbirds. Pineapple production had a pronounced positive effect on the detectability of tayras, while forest cover had a negative effect on the detection of coatis. This suggests that abundance might be elevated due to the availability of agricultural food resources and foraging activities are concentrated in forest fragments and pineapple edge habitats. Raccoon and opossum models exhibited little influence on detection from habitat covariates. Occurrence models did not suggest any significant factors influencing site use by nest predators, revealing that all four species are habitat generalists adapted to co-existing in human altered landscapes. Furthermore, fragmentation and land cover changes may predispose nesting birds, herpetofauna, and small mammals to heightened predation risk by mesopredators in the Neotropics.

  19. Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana Mill.) Provenanve and Progeny Performance in Oklahoma

    Treesearch

    C.G. Tauer; Syeyd Rashid Hussain Shah; Ronald C. Schmidtling

    1998-01-01

    One hundred and twenty-three open-pollinated families from 38 stands of Virginia pine were tested in Oklahoma. Height and survival data at age 5 for two Christmas tree plantations and at age 5 and 7 for two progenytest plantations were analyzed In the Christmas tree tests, four stands from North Carolina, three from Tennessee, and one each from Alabama, Kentucky, South...

  20. Antifungal metabolites from the roots of Diospyros virginiana by overpressure layer chromatography

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A preparative overpressure layer chromatography (OPLC) method was successfully used for the separation of two new natural compounds, 4-hydroxy-5,6-dimethoxy-2-naphthaldehyde (1) and (Delta)12,13-20,29-dihydrobetulin (2) together with nine known compounds including 7-methyl-juglone (3), diospyrin (4)...

  1. Comparative genetic mapping in Fragaria virginiana reveals autosomal origin of sex chromosome

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Although most flowering plants are hermaphrodite, separate sexes (dioecy) have evolved repeatedly. The evolution of sex chromosomes from autosomes can often, but not always, accompany this transition. Thus, many have argued that plant genera that contain both hermaphroditic and dioecious members pro...

  2. Facilitation of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) seedling establishment by Pinus virginiana in mine restoration

    Treesearch

    Jenise M. Bauman; Carolyn H. Keiffer; Shiv. Hiremath

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the influence of planting sites on the establishment and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) colonization of American chestnut (Castanea denetata (Marsh.) Borkh.) on an abandoned coal mine in an Appalachian region of the United States. Root morphotyping and sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region were used to identify...

  3. Locally advanced adenocarcinoma of the cervix on uterus didelphys: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Escande, Alexandre; Comte, Pauline; Fumagalli, Ingrid; Bresson, Lucie; Mubiayi, Ndaye; Lartigau, Eric

    2017-01-01

    In November 2013, a woman with Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich (HWW) syndrome was diagnosed with a locally advanced left cervical adenocarcinoma. The patient’s malformation consisted of two uteri with two cervixes, a obstructed vagina, and a left renal agenesis. Classification FIGO: stage IIIa because of infiltration of the inferior third of the vagina wall. Locoregional management comprised an infrarenal lateral aortic lymphadenectomy followed by concomitant radio-chemotherapy to the pelvic (inguinal, pelvic, and infrarenal para aortic nodes) volumes. A total of 50.4 Gy were delivered (1.8 Gy/fraction/day) to the node (inguinal, pelvic, and aortic infrarenal) and pelvic volume; a concomitant boost to the primary cervical tumor and macroscopic nodes to 59.92 Gy (2.14 Gy/fraction/day) was performed. 20 Gy were delivered with intracavitary brachytherapy boost with mold technique and a pulsed-dose-rate technique due to the rarity of this uterine malformation. After 30 months of follow-up, there was no evidence of locoregional or distant recurrence. PMID:28344607

  4. Uterus didelphys with fibroid uterus and ovarian cyst--rare Muellerian malformation.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Kaushik; Ramakrishnan, Ramya; Gopalan, T R; Barua, Pushpalatha; Vijayaraghavan, Jaya

    2006-06-01

    Persistent Muellerian duct syndrome is a very rare anomaly. A woman of 46-year-old was admitted with the history of lower abdominal pain, bleeding per vaginum and irregular menstrual cycles for last 6 months. An irregular non-tender mass of 16 x 10cm in size was palpable in suprapubic region. Per vaginal examination revealed two cervices and an incomplete vaginal septum. Ultrasound abdomen showed one uterus with endometrial cavity clearly delineated with a fibroid and an ovarian cyst in the left lumbar region. On laparotomy, 2 uterii along with a fibroid from the anterior wall of left uterus and a left ovarian cyst was seen. Patient had undergone total abdominal hysterectomy and adnexa removal. The specimen showed florid adenomyosis with leiomyoma of fibroid.

  5. Serologic evidence of canine parvovirus in domestic dogs, wild carnivores, and marsupials in the Argentinean Chaco.

    PubMed

    Orozco, María Marcela; Miccio, Luciano; Enriquez, Gustavo Fabián; Iribarren, Fabián Eduardo; Gürtler, Ricardo Esteban

    2014-09-01

    The transmission of pathogens between domestic dogs and generalist wildlife species may be modified by environmental degradation, biodiversity losses, host densities, and increased contact rates in remnant forest patches. A serologic survey of canine parvovirus (CPV) in rural domestic dogs and wild mammals was conducted in two neighboring rural areas (disturbed and protected) from Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina, between 2008 and 2011. A total of 174 domestic dogs and 26 wild mammals-4 crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), 3 crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), 17 white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris), and 2 gray four-eyed opossums (Philander opossum)-were examined for antibodies to CPV using a hemagglutination inhibition assay. Domestic dogs were numerous and their movements unrestricted. The main function of dogs differed significantly between areas, with more dogs used for herding or hunting around the protected area. The seroprevalence of antibodies to CPV in dogs from both areas was very high (93.9-94.6%) and increased steeply with age. Nearly all carnivores and marsupials showed high exposure to CPV. Although a higher exposure to CPV was expected in wild mammals from disturbed areas as a result of enhanced contact between dogs and wildlife, no significant differences were found between areas. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to document exposure to CPV of free-ranging Pr. cancrivorus, D. albiventris, and Ph. opossum, and include a detailed demographic study of the domestic dog populations living in the area. This study highlights that dogs and wildlife have potential opportunities for contact and shows that the edges of the protected area may be as suitable as other fragmented areas for the transmission of CPV. Rural domestic dogs may pose serious threats to the health and conservation of wild carnivores in both disturbed and protected areas, especially in the Gran Chaco, where habitat fragmentation is severely

  6. Trichinella infection in wildlife of the southwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Pozio, E; Pence, D B; La Rosa, G; Casulli, A; Henke, S E

    2001-10-01

    Several potential mammalian reservoirs of sylvatic species of Trichinella were examined from Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. During 1998-99, tongues were collected from a black bear (Ursus americanus) in Arizona; from 9 black bears, a coyote (Canis latrans), and a mountain lion (Felis concolor) in New Mexico; and from 154 coyotes, 32 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 13 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis), 4 ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), 3 bobcats (Lynx rufus), and 5 feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in southern Texas. Larvae of Trichinella murrelli were identified by a multiple-polymerase chain reaction analysis in 1 black bear (11.1%) from New Mexico and in 7 coyotes (4.5%) of Texas, whereas Trichinella spiralis larvae were detected in the black bear of Arizona. This is the first report of Trichinella infection in wildlife of New Mexico and Texas and extends the distribution of T. murrelli into the southwestern United States near the border of Mexico.

  7. Sylvatic trichinellosis in Texas.

    PubMed

    Pence, D B; La Rosa, G; Mancini Barbieri, F; Amati, M; Casulli, A; Pozio, E

    2001-06-01

    There are no published reports of domestic or sylvatic trichinellosis in Texas. The aim of the present survey was to determine the presence of Trichinella species in selected representative species of potential wildlife reservoirs in southern Texas. In 1998-99, tongues of 211 wild mammals were collected in southern Texas: 154 coyotes (Canis latrans), three bobcats (Lynx rufus), 32 racoons (Procyon lotor), 13 opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), four ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and five wild boars (Sus scrofa). Presence of Trichinella sp. larvae was investigated by artificial digestion and larvae of positive samples were identified at the species level by a multiple-polymerase chain reaction analysis. Nine (5.8%) coyotes had trichinellosis; in the muscles of seven of these coyotes, the larvae were identified as Trichinella murrelli. This is the first report of sylvatic trichinellosis in Texas.

  8. [Investigation of vectors and reservoirs in an acute Chagas outbreak due to possible oral transmission in Aguachica, Cesar, Colombia].

    PubMed

    Soto, Hugo; Tibaduiza, Tania; Montilla, Marleny; Triana, Omar; Suárez, Diana Carolina; Torres Torres, Mariela; Arias, María Teresa; Lugo, Ligia

    2014-04-01

    Colombia recorded 11 cases of acute Chagas disease and 80 cases of oral contamination with Trypanosoma cruzi. The current study analyzes the entomological and parasitological characteristics of the outbreak in Aguachica, Cesar Department, in 2010. An interdisciplinary group of health professionals and regional university personnel conducted the laboratory tests in the patients and the investigation of the transmission focus. Eleven cases of acute Chagas diseases were detected in a single family in a dwelling with domiciliated triatomines and Rhodnius pallescens, Pantrongylus geniculatus, Eratyrus cuspidatus, and two Didelphis marsupialis opossums infected with T. cruzi in Attalea butyracea and Elaeis oleifera palm trees in the urban area of Aguachica. The study analyzes the role of R. pallescens and palm trees in the wild cycle of T. cruzi and in oral transmission of Chagas disease. Sporadic incursions by wild R. pallescens, P. geniculatus, and E. cuspidatus from the nearby palm trees into human dwellings may cause increasingly frequent outbreaks of oral Chagas disease.

  9. The Araguaia River as an Important Biogeographical Divide for Didelphid Marsupials in Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Rita Gomes; Ferreira, Eduardo; Loss, Ana Carolina; Heller, Rasmus; Fonseca, Carlos; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2015-01-01

    The riverine barrier model suggests that rivers play a significant role in separating widespread organisms into isolated populations. In this study, we used a comparative approach to investigate the phylogeography of 6 didelphid marsupial species in central Brazil. Specifically, we evaluate the role of the mid-Araguaia River in differentiating populations and estimate divergence time among lineages to assess the timing of differentiation of these species, using mitochondrial DNA sequence data. The 6 didelphid marsupials revealed different intraspecific genetic patterns and structure. The 3 larger and more generalist species, Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis, and Philander opossum, showed connectivity across the Araguaia River. In contrast the genetic structure of the 3 smaller and specialist species, Gracilinanus agilis, Marmosa (Marmosa) murina, and Marmosa (Micoureus) demerarae was shaped by the mid-Araguaia. Moreover, the split of eastern and western bank populations of the 2 latter species is consistent with the age of Araguaia River sediments formation. We hypothesize that the role of the Araguaia as a riverine barrier is linked to the level of ecological specialization among the 6 didelphid species and differences in their ability to cross rivers or disperse through the associated habitat types. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Evaluation of natural foci of Panstrongylus megistus in a forest fragment in Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Santos Jr, José Eloy Dos; Viola, Mariana Gubert; Lorosa, Elias Seixas; Machado, Evandro Marques de Menezes; Ruas Neto, Antonio Leite; Corseuil, Elio

    2013-01-01

    Panstrongylus megistus is commonly found in wild environments of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The aim of this study was to characterize the network of refuges used by triatomine in a forest fragment of Porto Alegre and to identify Trypanosoma cruzi infection, associated hosts and the epidemiological importance of both hosts and triatomines. Techniques including the spool-and-line method and active searching (transects) were used to identify natural foci. The food source for each triatomine was determined using the precipitin test, and the infection of marsupials was determined by xenodiagnosis. A total of 33 adults (domestic environment) and 27 nymphs (wild environment) of P. megistus were found in addition to 43 Didelphis albiventris specimens. The infection rates of triatomine adults, triatomine nymphs and opossums with T. cruzi I were 64%, 73% and 69%, respectively. Birds, rodents and opossums were the main resources used by triatomine. This work presents the first characterization of a natural focus of P. megistus in Rio Grande do Sul. The natural characteristics of this focus and its implication in the transmission of T. cruzi are discussed.

  11. Peridomiciliary colonies of Triatoma vitticeps (Stal, 1859) (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae) infected with Trypanosoma cruzi in rural areas of the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Claudiney Biral; Ferreira, Adelson Luiz; Leite, Gustavo Rocha; Ferreira, Gabriel Eduardo Melim; Rodrigues, Andressa Alencastre Fuzari; Falqueto, Aloísio

    2005-08-01

    In Brazil, the colonization of human dwellings by triatomines occurs in areas with native vegetation of the caatinga or cerrado types. In areas of Atlantic forest such as in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo, there are no species adapted to live in human habitations. The few autochthonous cases of Chagas disease encountered in Espírito Santo have been attributed to adult specimens of Triatoma vitticeps that invade houses from forest remnants. In recent years, the entomology unit of the Espírito Santo State Health Secretariat has recorded nymphs infected with flagellates similar to Trypanosoma cruzi in rural localities. Entomological surveys were carried out in the residences and outbuildings in which the insects were found, and serological examinations for Chagas disease performed on the inhabitants. Four colonies were found, all associated with nests of opossums (Didelphis aurita), 111 specimens of T. vitticeps, and 159 eggs being collected. All the triatomines presented flagellates in their frass. Mice inoculated with the faeces presented trypomastigotes in the circulating blood and groups of amastigotes in the cardiac muscle fibres. Serological tests performed on the inhabitants were negative for T. cruzi. Even with the intense devastation of the forest in Espírito Santo, there are no indications of change in the sylvatic habits of T. vitticeps. Colonies of this insect associated with opossum nests would indicate an expansion of the sylvatic environment into the peridomicile.

  12. Detection of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis complex in wild mammals from Colombian coffee plantations by PCR and DNA hybridization.

    PubMed

    Alexander, B; Lozano, C; Barker, D C; McCann, S H; Adler, G H

    1998-03-01

    The small mammal fauna of coffee plantations in SW Colombia was surveyed to determine which of the species present were infected with parasites of the Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis complex and might therefore act as reservoirs of human cutaneous leishmaniasis. Fifty animals of seven different species were captured. Tissue samples were taken from the ears of specimens from each of the seven species. Thirty three samples were analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using oligonucleotide primers directed against conserved regions of L. (V) braziliensis complex kinetoplast DNA. Three of the samples (two from mouse opossums Micoureus demerarae, and one from a pygmy rice at Microryzomys minutus) gave positive results based on PCR analysis. When the samples were subjected to DNA hybridization (dot blot) analysis using the B18 (L. (V.) braziliensis complex-specific) probe, a total of ten specimens belonging to six species (the opossums M. demerarae and Didelphis marsupilalis, the rodents Melanomys caliginosus, Mi. minutus and Rattus rattus, and a rabbit Sylvilagus brasiliensis) gave positive results, indicating that all these animals had flies of species occurring in the same habitat by allowing them to feed on infected animals.

  13. A comparative study of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals from a protected and a disturbed area in the Argentine Chaco.

    PubMed

    Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Piccinali, R V; Gürtler, R E

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the complex epidemiology of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles requires comparative studies in widely different environments. We assessed the occurrence of T. cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals, their infectiousness to the vector, and parasite genotypes in a protected area of the Argentine Chaco, and compared them with information obtained similarly in a nearby disturbed area. A total of 278 mammals from >23 species in the protected area were diagnosed for T. cruzi infection using xenodiagnosis, kDNA-PCR and nuclear satellite DNA-PCR (SAT) from blood samples. The relative abundance and species composition differed substantially between areas. Didelphis albiventris opossums were less abundant in the protected area; had a significantly lower body mass index, and a stage structure biased toward earlier stages. The capture of armadillos was lower in the protected area. The composite prevalence of T. cruzi infection across host species was significantly lower in the protected area (11.1%) than in the disturbed area (22.1%), and heterogeneous across species groups. The prevalence of infection in D. albiventris and Thylamys pusilla opossums was significantly lower in the protected area (nil for D. albiventris), whereas infection in sigmodontine rodents was three times higher in the protected area (17.5 versus 5.7%). Parasite isolates from the two xenodiagnosis-positive mammals (1 Dasypus novemcinctus and 1 Conepatus chinga) were typed as TcIII; both specimens were highly infectious to Triatoma infestans. Fat-tailed opossums, bats and rodents were kDNA-PCR-positive and xenodiagnosis-negative. Desmodus rotundus and Myotis bats were found infected with T. cruzi for the first time in the Gran Chaco.

  14. Metabolic changes in the nucleus of the optic tract after monocular enucleation as revealed by cytochrome oxidase histochemistry.

    PubMed

    Vargas, C D; Sousa, A O; Santos, C M; Pereira, A; Bernardes, R F; Rocha-Miranda, C E; Volchan, E

    2001-03-01

    The histochemistry for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase (CO) was used to evaluate the levels of metabolic activity in neurons of the nucleus of the optic tract (NOT) and dorsal terminal nucleus (DTN) in the opossum (Didelphis aurita). The observations were performed in four groups: normal juveniles (4 months old), monocularly enucleated juveniles analysed when adults, normal adults (8 to 18 months old) and monocularly enucleated adults. CO labeled cells were observed to have a similar distribution along the NOT-DTN anteroposterior axis in both juvenile and adult normal animals. Monocular enucleation performed in adults produced a significant reduction of the reactive neuropil but not of the number of CO labeled cells in the deafferented NOT-DTN: the number of labeled neurons per section in the deafferented side matched those of the ipsilateral complex. In juveniles, however, this procedure caused a systematic reduction of the number of CO labeled cells in the contralateral NOT-DTN in comparison to the spared complex. The lack of reduction in the number of neurons found on the deafferented side of the NOT-DTN of monocularly enucleated adult opossums compared with the ipsilateral side might result from the presence of compensatory inputs to maintain their metabolic equivalence. However, when the monocular enucleation was performed in juvenile opossums, a statistically significant asymmetry of CO neurons in the NOT-DTN was observed. In other words, the compensatory mechanisms proposed for the adults were either absent or insufficient to achieve symmetry in juveniles, suggesting a more heavily reliance in the retinal input.

  15. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado-Otegui, J.A.; Ceballos, L.A.; Orozco, M.M.; Enriquez, G.F.; Cardinal, M.V.; Cura, C.; Schijman, A.G.; Kitron, U.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species was captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively. PMID:22771688

  16. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Alvarado-Otegui, J A; Ceballos, L A; Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Cura, C; Schijman, A G; Kitron, U; Gürtler, R E

    2012-10-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species were captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively.

  17. Differential Consumption of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by Avian and Mammalian Guilds: Implications for Tree Invasion

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increased abundance of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginianus), a native but invasive species in the Great Plains, has been associated with changes in ecosystem functioning and landscape cover. Knowledge of the main consumers and dispersal agents of eastern redcedar fruits is e...

  18. Differential consumption of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by avian and mammalian guilds: Implications for tree invasion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horncastle, V.J.; Hellgren, E.C.; Mayer, P.M.; Engle, David M.; Leslie, D.M.

    2004-01-01

    Increased abundance and distribution of eastern redcedar (Juniperns virginiannus), a native species in the Great Plains, has been associated with changes in ecosystem functioning and landscape cover. Knowledge of the main consumers and dispersal agents of eastern red cedar cones is essential to understanding the invasive spread of the species. We examined animal removal of cedar cones in three habitats (tallgrass prairie, eastern red cedar and woodland-prairie margins) in the Cross Timbers ecoregion using three exclosure treatments during autumn and winter. Exclosure treatments excluded study trees from ungulates, from terrestrial rodents and ungulates or from neither (control). Loss of cones from branches varied by a habitat-time interaction, but was not affected by exclosure type. Loss of cones from containers located under experimental trees varied by a habitat-treatment-time interaction. In December and January, cone consumption from containers in no-exclosure treatments was highest in margins, followed by tallgrass prairie and eastern red cedar habitats. We conclude birds consumed the majority of cones from branches and small-and medium-sized mammals consumed cones on the ground. Both birds and mammals likely contribute to the spread of eastern red cedar but at different scales. Limiting invasion of eastern red cedar in forests may require early detection and selective removal of pioneer seedlings in cross timbers and other habitats that attract a high diversity or density of frugivores.

  19. Genetic mapping of sex determination in a wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana reveals earliest form of sex chromosome

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The evolution of separate sexes (dioecy) from hermaphroditism is one of the major evolutionary transitions in plants and this transition can be accompanied by the development of sex chromosomes. However, we are now just beginning to gain insight into the initial stages of sex chromosome evolution vi...

  20. Differential Consumption of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by Avian and Mammalian Guilds: Implications for Tree Invasion

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increased abundance of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginianus), a native but invasive species in the Great Plains, has been associated with changes in ecosystem functioning and landscape cover. Knowledge of the main consumers and dispersal agents of eastern redcedar fruits is e...

  1. Detecting and modelling delayed density-dependence in abundance time series of a small mammal (Didelphis aurita)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigatti, E.; Vieira, M. V.; Kajin, M.; Almeida, P. J. A. L.; de Menezes, M. A.; Cerqueira, R.

    2016-02-01

    We study the population size time series of a Neotropical small mammal with the intent of detecting and modelling population regulation processes generated by density-dependent factors and their possible delayed effects. The application of analysis tools based on principles of statistical generality are nowadays a common practice for describing these phenomena, but, in general, they are more capable of generating clear diagnosis rather than granting valuable modelling. For this reason, in our approach, we detect the principal temporal structures on the bases of different correlation measures, and from these results we build an ad-hoc minimalist autoregressive model that incorporates the main drivers of the dynamics. Surprisingly our model is capable of reproducing very well the time patterns of the empirical series and, for the first time, clearly outlines the importance of the time of attaining sexual maturity as a central temporal scale for the dynamics of this species. In fact, an important advantage of this analysis scheme is that all the model parameters are directly biologically interpretable and potentially measurable, allowing a consistency check between model outputs and independent measurements.

  2. Detecting and modelling delayed density-dependence in abundance time series of a small mammal (Didelphis aurita).

    PubMed

    Brigatti, E; Vieira, M V; Kajin, M; Almeida, P J A L; de Menezes, M A; Cerqueira, R

    2016-02-11

    We study the population size time series of a Neotropical small mammal with the intent of detecting and modelling population regulation processes generated by density-dependent factors and their possible delayed effects. The application of analysis tools based on principles of statistical generality are nowadays a common practice for describing these phenomena, but, in general, they are more capable of generating clear diagnosis rather than granting valuable modelling. For this reason, in our approach, we detect the principal temporal structures on the bases of different correlation measures, and from these results we build an ad-hoc minimalist autoregressive model that incorporates the main drivers of the dynamics. Surprisingly our model is capable of reproducing very well the time patterns of the empirical series and, for the first time, clearly outlines the importance of the time of attaining sexual maturity as a central temporal scale for the dynamics of this species. In fact, an important advantage of this analysis scheme is that all the model parameters are directly biologically interpretable and potentially measurable, allowing a consistency check between model outputs and independent measurements.

  3. Detecting and modelling delayed density-dependence in abundance time series of a small mammal (Didelphis aurita)

    PubMed Central

    Brigatti, E.; Vieira, M. V.; Kajin, M.; Almeida, P. J. A. L.; de Menezes, M. A.; Cerqueira, R.

    2016-01-01

    We study the population size time series of a Neotropical small mammal with the intent of detecting and modelling population regulation processes generated by density-dependent factors and their possible delayed effects. The application of analysis tools based on principles of statistical generality are nowadays a common practice for describing these phenomena, but, in general, they are more capable of generating clear diagnosis rather than granting valuable modelling. For this reason, in our approach, we detect the principal temporal structures on the bases of different correlation measures, and from these results we build an ad-hoc minimalist autoregressive model that incorporates the main drivers of the dynamics. Surprisingly our model is capable of reproducing very well the time patterns of the empirical series and, for the first time, clearly outlines the importance of the time of attaining sexual maturity as a central temporal scale for the dynamics of this species. In fact, an important advantage of this analysis scheme is that all the model parameters are directly biologically interpretable and potentially measurable, allowing a consistency check between model outputs and independent measurements. PMID:26865413

  4. Redescription of Spirura guianensis (Nematoda: Spiruridae) from a rare South American Gracile Opossum.

    PubMed

    Torres, E J Lopes; Maldonado, A; Anjos, D H da Silva; de Souza, W; Miranda, K

    2015-10-01

    Spirura genus Blanchard, 1849 comprise of nematode parasites that infect primate and marsupial species. Although several taxonomical studies have shown that the infection by this species occurs primarily in the esophagus of primates, evidence for the occurrence of these parasites in other hosts (marsupials, rodents and bats) has become the subject of investigation by several groups. In this work, we describe the presence of Spirura guianensis Ortlepp, 1924 in the marsupial Gracilinanus agilis (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) found in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul state of Brazil. Structural characteristics of this nematode were identified using light microscopy (bright field and fluorescence stereomicroscopy) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) approaches. Details of the surface topography such as cephalic projections, ventral boss, details of the caudal papillae and cuticular ornamentations were shown, providing taxonomic characteristics that may help in the establishment of diagnostic protocols. In addition, the presence of this species in a new host and new geographical area of Brazil provide grounds for a revision on the distribution of S. guianensis in South America.

  5. Effects of Seawater Acidification on the Liffe Cycle and Fitness of Opossum Shrimp Population

    EPA Science Inventory

    Much of the current concern about ecological effects of ocean acidification focuses on molluscs and coccolithophores because of their importance in the global calcium cycle. However, many other marine organisms are likely to be affected by acidification because of their known se...

  6. Environmental DNA Marker Development with Sparse Biological Information: A Case Study on Opossum Shrimp (Mysis diluviana)

    PubMed Central

    Carim, Kellie J.; Christianson, Kyle R.; McKelvey, Kevin M.; Pate, William M.; Silver, Douglas B.; Johnson, Brett M.; Galloway, Bill T.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    The spread of Mysis diluviana, a small glacial relict crustacean, outside its native range has led to unintended shifts in the composition of native fish communities throughout western North America. As a result, biologists seek accurate methods of determining the presence of M. diluviana, especially at low densities or during the initial stages of an invasion. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides one solution for detecting M. diluviana, but building eDNA markers that are both sensitive and species-specific is challenging when the distribution and taxonomy of closely related non-target taxa are poorly understood, published genetic data are sparse, and tissue samples are difficult to obtain. To address these issues, we developed a pair of independent eDNA markers to increase the likelihood of a positive detection of M. diluviana when present and reduce the probability of false positive detections from closely related non-target species. Because tissue samples of closely-related and possibly sympatric, non-target taxa could not be obtained, we used synthetic DNA sequences of closely related non-target species to test the specificity of eDNA markers. Both eDNA markers yielded positive detections from five waterbodies where M. diluviana was known to be present, and no detections in five others where this species was thought to be absent. Daytime samples from varying depths in one waterbody occupied by M. diluviana demonstrated that samples near the lake bottom produced 5 to more than 300 times as many eDNA copies as samples taken at other depths, but all samples tested positive regardless of depth. PMID:27551919