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Sample records for opossum

  1. 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. PMID:27138002

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Matrix composition in opossum esophagus.

    PubMed

    Schulze, K; Ellerbroek, S; Martin, J

    2001-05-01

    The esophagus of mammalian species is organized into mucosa, connective tissue, and muscle, but little is known about the matrix of these layers. We studied by immunohistochemistry the distribution of collagens, fibronectin, versican, and elastin in the smooth muscle segment of the American opossum. Cryosections were exposed to specific antibodies and fluorescent-stained using conjugates of rhodamine or isothiocyanate. Staining was scored by two observers. We found that collagen I was prominent in the submucosa and in the muscular septa; collagen III formed fibrillar meshes in the lamina propria and the submucosa but was virtually absent from the epithelial and muscular layers; collagen IV was restricted to the base of the epithelium; collagen V, in contrast to collagen III, was prominent in epithelium and muscularis mucosae and sparse in muscular septa and submucosa. Fibronectin distribution followed collagen III; it formed layers in lamina propria and submucosa and strands in muscle septa and between individual muscle cells. Versican distribution followed collagen V; it was prominent in large muscle septa and formed thick sheets at the boundaries of submucosa/circular muscle and of circular/longitudinal muscle. We also determined the tissue contents of protein, hexuronic acid, and fibronectin. The mucosal layers exceeded the muscular layers in their content of hexuronic acid and fibronectin but not protein. We conclude that individual layers of the smooth muscle esophagus each have their own characteristic matrix. Lamina propria and submucosa are similar with regard to fiber orientation but lamina propria contains relatively more collagen III (small fibril) and submucosa comparatively more collagen I (large fibril). Nonfibrillar collagen V and versican are particularly prominent specifically on the boundaries between contracting muscle tissue and connective tissue framework.

  5. Natural resistance of opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) to the mapanare (Bothrops lanceolatus) snake venom.

    PubMed

    Pifano, F; Aguilar, I; Giron, M E; Gamboa, N; Rodriguez-Acosta, A

    1993-01-01

    The inactivation of local and general effects of the Mapanare (Bothrops lanceolatus) venom by Opossum's (Didelphis marsupialis) serum fractions was tested using an in vivo assay and an in vitro preincubation experiment. A serum fraction of the Opossum serum has been obtained by immunochemical purification. It is only present in opossum's protective opossum serum fraction (F-0.1). PMID:8186456

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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 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.

  9. Behavior and maintenance of the woolly opossum (Caluromys) in captivity.

    PubMed

    Bucher, J E; Fritz, H I

    1977-12-01

    Circadian activity, general behavior, dietary requirements, and reproductive activity were recorded in a small laboratory colony (four females, six males) of two species of the woolly opossum (Caluromys lanatus and C derbianus) over a period of 3 years. The two species were indiscernable in all aspects of their behavior. Both were completely nocturnal and rarely active during daylight hours. General behavior was apparently related to many variables, particularly individual temperament and cage size. Even docile individuals were more excitable when housed in small cages. Although the woolly opossum is reported to prefer a meat diet, the opossums in this study remained healthy on a meat-egg-fruit diet, and showed a special liking for fruit, especially bananas. Vaginal smears indicated that females of the colony were cyclic, but all attempts to breed them were unsuccessful. Sexual behavior included pre-mount, pelvic-thrust displays on the part of the male, with complete repulsion by all females.

  10. 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.

  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. Experimental Bacterial Endocarditis in the Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

    PubMed Central

    Sherwood, B. F.; Rowlands, D. T.; Vakilzadeh, J.; LeMay, J. C.

    1971-01-01

    It was possible to induce bacterial endocarditis in opossums with single intravenous injections of Streptococcus viridans or Staphylococcus aureus. Fiftyeight percent of those animals given Streptococcus viridans developed bacterial endocarditis in which most of the lesions were on the left side of the heart. The experimentally induced streptococcal disease was similar to that which may occur spontaneously in opossums, both with respect to the distribution and structure of the vegetations. Single injections of Staphylococcus aureus resulted in endocarditis in 100% of the test animals. These lesions differed from those due to streptococci by having a relatively high frequency of right- as well as left-sided valvular disease and by being somewhat smaller than those due to streptococci.Endocarditis could not be successfully induced with injection of three different fungi. PMID:5133514

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:27430919

  19. 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. PMID:19525562

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2009-12-01

    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).

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphisvirginiana, 15 Didelphismarsupialis, and 5 Philanderopossum) 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 Brachylaimadidelphus, 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 Rhopaliascoronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchusmicrocephalus and the nematodes Cruziatentaculata, Gnathostomaturgidum, and Turgidaturgida. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2016-08-01

    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

  10. Acute hepatitis in an opossum (Didelphis virginiana) infected with Salmonella turnidorp.

    PubMed

    Lu, Y S; Rehg, J; Lawton, G

    1982-04-01

    Salmonella turnidorp was isolated in pure culture from the liver of an opossum that died of acute hepatitis. Microscopically, there were random foci of hepatic coagulation necrosis and gram negative bacteria within hepatocytes. The Salmonella turnidorp isolate was aberrant in that it did not utilize citrate and did not agglutinate by a commercial Salmonella polyvalent antiserum. Additional Salmonella serotypes, including Salmonella mbandaka, Salmonella rubislaw, and Salmonella anatum were isolated from three of five healthy opossums caught in Texas.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. oPOSSUM-3: Advanced Analysis of Regulatory Motif Over-Representation Across Genes or ChIP-Seq Datasets

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Andrew T.; Arenillas, David J.; Hunt, Rebecca Worsley; Wasserman, Wyeth W.

    2012-01-01

    oPOSSUM-3 is a web-accessible software system for identification of over-represented transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) and TFBS families in either DNA sequences of co-expressed genes or sequences generated from high-throughput methods, such as ChIP-Seq. Validation of the system with known sets of co-regulated genes and published ChIP-Seq data demonstrates the capacity for oPOSSUM-3 to identify mediating transcription factors (TF) for co-regulated genes or co-recovered sequences. oPOSSUM-3 is available at http://opossum.cisreg.ca. PMID:22973536

  14. 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

  15. Motor function of the opossum sphincter of Oddi.

    PubMed

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

    1983-02-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. Immunocytochemical demonstration of insulin in the mesonephros and metanephros of the Brazilian opossum Didelphis albiventris).

    PubMed

    Coutinho, H B; Sewell, H F; Coutinho, V B

    1985-01-01

    The presence of insulin the brush border and apical pole of the cells lining the pouch opossum mesonephric and metanephric proximal tubules was demonstrated by immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase techniques. Positive result for insulin was also observed in the tufts of capillaries of some metanephric corpuscles.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Laboratory Opossum (Monodelphis domestica) as a Natural Mammalian Model for Human Cancer Research

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:19079623

  10. oPOSSUM: integrated tools for analysis of regulatory motif over-representation

    PubMed Central

    Ho Sui, Shannan J.; Fulton, Debra L.; Arenillas, David J.; Kwon, Andrew T.; Wasserman, Wyeth W.

    2007-01-01

    The identification of over-represented transcription factor binding sites from sets of co-expressed genes provides insights into the mechanisms of regulation for diverse biological contexts. oPOSSUM, an internet-based system for such studies of regulation, has been improved and expanded in this new release. New features include a worm-specific version for investigating binding sites conserved between Caenorhabditis elegans and C. briggsae, as well as a yeast-specific version for the analysis of co-expressed sets of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes. The human and mouse applications feature improvements in ortholog mapping, sequence alignments and the delineation of multiple alternative promoters. oPOSSUM2, introduced for the analysis of over-represented combinations of motifs in human and mouse genes, has been integrated with the original oPOSSUM system. Analysis using user-defined background gene sets is now supported. The transcription factor binding site models have been updated to include new profiles from the JASPAR database. oPOSSUM is available at http://www.cisreg.ca/oPOSSUM/ PMID:17576675

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

    DOE PAGES

    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; et al

    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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Proliferative responses of lymphocytes to mitogens in the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Brozek, C M; Kaleta, E W; Kusewitt, D F; Ley, R D

    1992-02-15

    A South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica) is a model animal for studies on the health effects of exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). As part of a broad evaluation of immune function in this animal, we have tested in vitro mitogenic responses using whole blood cultures. Lymphocytes proliferated in the presence of phytohemagglutinin (PHA), concanavalin A (Con A), and pokeweed mitogen (PWM), but were unresponsive to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS).

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Cranial Anatomy of the Earliest Marsupials and the Origin of Opossums

    PubMed Central

    Horovitz, Inés; Martin, Thomas; Bloch, Jonathan; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Kurz, Cornelia; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2009-01-01

    Background The early evolution of living marsupials is poorly understood in part because the early offshoots of this group are known almost exclusively from jaws and teeth. Filling this gap is essential for a better understanding of the phylogenetic relationships among living marsupials, the biogeographic pathways that led to their current distribution as well as the successive evolutionary steps that led to their current diversity, habits and various specializations that distinguish them from placental mammals. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we report the first skull of a 55 million year old peradectid marsupial from the early Eocene of North America and exceptionally preserved skeletons of an Oligocene herpetotheriid, both representing critical groups to understand early marsupial evolution. A comprehensive phylogenetic cladistic analysis of Marsupialia including the new findings and close relatives of marsupials show that peradectids are the sister group of living opossums and herpetotheriids are the sister group of all living marsupials. Conclusions/Significance The results imply that North America played an important role in early Cenozoic marsupial evolutionary history and may have even been the center of origin of living marsupials and opossums. New data from the herpetotheriid postcranium support the view that the ancestral morphotype of Marsupialia was more terrestrial than opossums are. The resolution of the phylogenetic position of peradectids reveals an older calibration point for molecular estimates of divergence times among living marsupials than those currently used. PMID:20016823

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  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. PMID:27598793

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    Plasma very low-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein (VLDL+LDL) cholesterol levels of 2 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) 4 bile acid synthesis enzymes (CYP7A1, CYP27A1, CYP8B1, and CYP7B1); (2) 3 cholesterol synthesis enzymes (HMGCR, HMGCS1, and SQLE); (3) the LDL receptor (LDLR); (4) 2 sterol transporters (ABCG5 and ABCG8); and (5) 2 bile acid transporters (ABCB11 and SLC10A1) to determine how the expression of these genes was affected by dietary cholesterol in the 2 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 messenger RNA levels were lower in the livers of high responders compared with low responders, whereas CYP27A1 messenger RNA levels in extrahepatic tissues were similar in high and low responders on the HCLF diet. Low levels of CYP27A1, ABCG5, and ABCG8 expression in the liver may contribute to hypercholesterolemia in high-responding opossums.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. Myosin isoform fiber type and fiber size in the tail of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Hazimihalis, P J; Gorvet, M A; Butcher, M T

    2013-01-01

    Muscle fiber type is a well studied property in limb muscles, however, much less is understood about myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform expression in caudal muscles of mammalian tails. Didelphid marsupials are an interesting lineage in this context as all species have prehensile tails, but show a range of tail-function depending on either their arboreal or terrestrial locomotor habits. Differences in prehensility suggest that MHC isoform fiber types may also be different, in that terrestrial opossums may have a large distribution of oxidative fibers for object carrying tasks instead of faster, glycolytic fiber types expected in mammals with long tails. To test this hypothesis, MHC isoform fiber type and their regional distribution (proximal/transitional/distal) were determined in the tail of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Fiber types were determined by a combination of myosin-ATPase histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and SDS-PAGE. Results indicate a predominance of the fast MHC-2A and -2X isoforms in each region of the tail. The presence of two fast isoforms, in addition to the slow MHC-1 isoform, was confirmed by SDS-PAGE analysis. The overall MHC isoform fiber type distribution for the tail was: 25% MHC-1, 71% MHC-2A/X hybrid, and 4% MHC-1/2A hybrid. Oxidative MHC-2A/X isoform fibers were found to be relatively large in cross-section compared to slow, oxidative MHC-1 and MHC-1/2A hybrid fibers. A large percentage of fast MHC-2A/X hybrids fibers may be suggestive of an evolutionary transition in MHC isoform distribution (fast-to-slow fiber type) in the tail musculature of an opossum with primarily a terrestrial locomotor habit and adaptive tail-function.

  5. 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. PMID:26848758

  6. The amino-acid sequence of the alpha-crystallin A chains of red kangaroo and Virginia opossum.

    PubMed

    De Jong, W W; Terwindt, E C

    1976-08-16

    The amino acid sequence of the A chain of the eye lens protein alpha-crystallin from the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) was completely determined by manual Edman degradation of tryptic, thermolytic and cyanogen bromide peptides. The sequence of the alpha-crystallin A chain from the Virginia opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) was deduced from amino acid analyses and partial Edman degradation of peptides. The 173-residue A chains of kangaroo and opossum differ in six positions, whereas comparison with the bovine alpha-crystallin A chain reveals 17 and 22 substitutions, respectively. Most substitutions occur in the COOH-terminal part of the chain.

  7. Ultrastructural observations on the shell membrane of the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Krause, W J; Cutts, J H

    1983-10-01

    Each developing opossum embryo is surrounded by a shell membrane which completely separates embryonic and maternal tissues. During the eighth and ninth prenatal days, the embryos together with their limiting shell membranes float freely within the uterine lumen, surrounded only by the secretions of the uterus. The shell membrane is transparent, nonelastic, tough, and capable of extreme deformation. It consists of a mat of interwoven fibers which vary in external diameter, are electron dense, and show no apparent substructure. The morphology and arrangement of component fibers are similar throughout the width of the shell membrane.

  8. Femoral loading mechanics in the Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana: torsion and mediolateral bending in mammalian locomotion.

    PubMed

    Gosnell, W Casey; Butcher, Michael T; Maie, Takashi; Blob, Richard W

    2011-10-15

    Studies of limb bone loading in terrestrial mammals have typically found anteroposterior bending to be the primary loading regime, with torsion contributing minimally. However, previous studies have focused on large, cursorial eutherian species in which the limbs are held essentially upright. Recent in vivo strain data from the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a marsupial that uses a crouched rather than an upright limb posture, have indicated that its femur experiences appreciable torsion during locomotion as well as strong mediolateral bending. The elevated femoral torsion and strong mediolateral bending observed in D. virginiana might result from external forces such as a medial inclination of the ground reaction force (GRF), internal forces deriving from a crouched limb posture, or a combination of these factors. To evaluate the mechanism underlying the loading regime of opossum femora, we filmed D. virginiana running over a force platform, allowing us to measure the magnitude of the GRF and its three-dimensional orientation relative to the limb, facilitating estimates of limb bone stresses. This three-dimensional analysis also allows evaluations of muscular forces, particularly those of hip adductor muscles, in the appropriate anatomical plane to a greater degree than previous two-dimensional analyses. At peak GRF and stress magnitudes, the GRF is oriented nearly vertically, inducing a strong abductor moment at the hip that is countered by adductor muscles on the medial aspect of the femur that place this surface in compression and induce mediolateral bending, corroborating and explaining loading patterns that were identified in strain analyses. The crouched orientation of the femur during stance in opossums also contributes to levels of femoral torsion as high as those seen in many reptilian taxa. Femoral safety factors were as high as those of non-avian reptiles and greater than those of upright, cursorial mammals, primarily because the load

  9. Femoral loading mechanics in the Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana: torsion and mediolateral bending in mammalian locomotion.

    PubMed

    Gosnell, W Casey; Butcher, Michael T; Maie, Takashi; Blob, Richard W

    2011-10-15

    Studies of limb bone loading in terrestrial mammals have typically found anteroposterior bending to be the primary loading regime, with torsion contributing minimally. However, previous studies have focused on large, cursorial eutherian species in which the limbs are held essentially upright. Recent in vivo strain data from the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a marsupial that uses a crouched rather than an upright limb posture, have indicated that its femur experiences appreciable torsion during locomotion as well as strong mediolateral bending. The elevated femoral torsion and strong mediolateral bending observed in D. virginiana might result from external forces such as a medial inclination of the ground reaction force (GRF), internal forces deriving from a crouched limb posture, or a combination of these factors. To evaluate the mechanism underlying the loading regime of opossum femora, we filmed D. virginiana running over a force platform, allowing us to measure the magnitude of the GRF and its three-dimensional orientation relative to the limb, facilitating estimates of limb bone stresses. This three-dimensional analysis also allows evaluations of muscular forces, particularly those of hip adductor muscles, in the appropriate anatomical plane to a greater degree than previous two-dimensional analyses. At peak GRF and stress magnitudes, the GRF is oriented nearly vertically, inducing a strong abductor moment at the hip that is countered by adductor muscles on the medial aspect of the femur that place this surface in compression and induce mediolateral bending, corroborating and explaining loading patterns that were identified in strain analyses. The crouched orientation of the femur during stance in opossums also contributes to levels of femoral torsion as high as those seen in many reptilian taxa. Femoral safety factors were as high as those of non-avian reptiles and greater than those of upright, cursorial mammals, primarily because the load

  10. 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.

  11. Morphological observations on the metanephros in the postnatal opossum, Didelphis virginiana.

    PubMed

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

    1979-10-01

    The metanephros of the newborn opossum is very immature, consisting only of collecting tubules and a few immature nephrons. Development during the postnatal period can be divided into two distinct phases. The initial phase occurs during the first 60 days of postnatal life and is concerned with nephronogenesis and the differentiation of nephrons that have formed during this period. The second phase lasts through the remainder of the postnatal period and is concerned with further differentiation and growth of established nephrons. During this latter period the tubular portion of the nephron increases in length and the renal corpuscle increases in diameter. Ultrastructural observations suggest that metanephric nephrons are not functional during the first 4 days of postnatal life, while the mesonephros reaches the height of its development during this period: there may be some functional overlap between the mesonephros and metanephros during the latter part of the first week of postnatal life. The pattern of nephron induction and differentiation in the opossum is discussed.

  12. Generation of nitric oxide in the opossum lower esophageal sphincter during physiological experimentation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Se-Joon; Park, Hyojin; Chang, Jin Hyuck; Conklin, Jeffrey L

    2006-04-30

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), given in vivo, modulates opossum esophageal motor functions by inducing the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which increases nitric oxide (NO) production. Superoxide, a NO scavenger, is generated during this endotoxemia. Superoxide is cleared by superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) to protect the physiological function of NO. This study examined whether lower esophageal sphincter (LES) motility, NO release, and iNOS and nitrotyrosine accumulation in the LES are affected by LPS in vitro. Muscle strips from the opossum LES were placed in tissue baths containing oxygenated Krebs buffer. NO release was measured with a chemiluminescence NOx analyzer, and Western blots were performed to analyze iNOS and nitrotyrosine production. The percent change in resting LES tone after a 6-hour exposure to LPS was significantly increased compared to pretreatment values. The percent LES relaxation upon electrical stimulation was significantly decreased in the control group at 6 hours, indicating that the LPS treatment had an effect. The NO concentration in the tissue bath of LPS- treated muscle without nerve stimulation was significantly less than that of LPS treatment combined with SOD/CAT or SOD/CAT alone. iNOS and nitrotyrosine were detectable and increased over time in the LES muscle of both the control and LPS-treated groups. Antioxidant enzymes may play a role in regulating NO-mediated neuromuscular functions in the LES. PMID:16642552

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:27074326

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26812352

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  8. Prevalence of agglutinating antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Sheila M; Richardson, Dennis J; Lindsay, David S

    2006-06-01

    The prevalence of agglutinating antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii was examined in striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and raccoons (Procyon lotor) from 8 cities in Connecticut. Ten (42%) of the 24 striped skunks, 2 of 7 (29%) opossums, and 12 of 12 (100%) raccoons were positive at dilutions of 1:50 or greater. These results suggest that T. gondii is prevalent in the environment, or prey items, or both, of these omnivores in Connecticut.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27200271

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    The genome of the gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica is notable for its large size (∼3.6 Gb). We characterized nearly 500 families of interspersed repeats from the Monodelphis. They cover ∼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 ∼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 ∼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. PMID:17495012

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2016-06-01

    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. PMID:27276663

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Characteristics of albumin binding to opossum kidney cells and identification of potential receptors.

    PubMed

    Brunskill, N J; Nahorski, S; Walls, J

    1997-02-01

    Albumin re-absorption in the kidney proximal tubule may be pathophysiological in disease. Opossum kidney (OK) cell monolayers were used to investigate the characteristics of [125I]-labelled albumin binding at 4 degrees C. Two binding sites were identified, one with high affinity (KD 154.8 +/-7 mg/l) and low capacity, the other with low affinity (KD 8300 +/- 1000 mg/l) and high capacity. Binding was sensitive to lectins Glycine max and Ulex europaeus I, but not other lectins, indicating involvement of a glycoprotein(s) in the binding process. Binding was also sensitive to a number of agents known to inhibit binding to scavenger receptors. [125I]-Labelled albumin ligand blotting of OK cell membrane proteins identified several albumin-binding proteins with identical lectin affinities to those proteins mediating albumin binding to OK cell monolayers. These results provide initial evidence of the identity of albumin receptors in kidney tubules, and suggest that they may be members of the family of scavenger receptors. PMID:9000429

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:26553608

  17. 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

  18. The pontocerebellar system in the opossum, Didelphis virginiana. A horseradish peroxidase study.

    PubMed

    Mihailoff, G A; Martin, G F; Linauts, M

    1980-01-01

    The method of retrograde axonal transport of horseradish peroxidase was employed to demonstrate certain organizational features of the pontocerebellar system in adult opossums. The spinal cerebellum (anterior lobe, pyramis and paramedian lobule) receives input from neurons situated in ventral and lateral regions throughout the rostro-caudal extent of the pons. The projection to the anterior lobe and pyramis was primarily contralateral, whereas the projection to the paramedian lobule included a substantial ipsilateral contribution. The pontine projection to the vermal visual-auditory area was also found to include significant bilateral components which were observed to be organized in mirror image locations in medial, ventral and lateral regions. The paraflocculus was found to receive input from a relatively large number of pontine neurons, the medial injection producing a more bilateral distribution of labeled neurons while the lateral injection resulted in primarily contralateral labeling. Crus I and crus II of the cerebellar hemispheres received a bilateral projection which also included neurons distributed in mirror image locations in both halves of the pontine gray. Taken together such observations indicate that the pontocerebellar system includes a more substantial ipsilateral contribution than has heretofore been recognized. In addition, comparison of the locations of various groups of labeled neurons resulting from spatially separate injection sites suggests the possibility that some pontocerebellar neurons might diverge to reach more than one cerebellar zone, i.e. cells in a similar ventrolateral pontine region were labeled following injections in the anterior lobe, pyramis and crus I. Evidence for convergence of multiple pontine areas to single cerebellar foci was not as compelling.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Hormonal regulation of expression of the angiotensinogen gene in cultured opossum kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Chan, J S; Ming, M; Nie, Z R; Sikstrom, R; Lachance, S; Carrière, S

    1992-04-01

    Angiotensinogen (ANG) messenger RNA is expressed in cultured opossum kidney (OK) proximal tubular cells. The aim of these studies was to investigate whether steroid hormones (dexamethasone, estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone) could stimulate the expression of renal ANG gene in vitro. Fusion genes consisting of various lengths of the 5'-flanking region of the rat ANG gene linked to a chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) reporter gene were constructed and introduced into cultured OK cells. The level of expression of fusion genes was determined by the level of cellular CAT enzymatic activity. The addition of dexamethasone (10(-12) to 10(-6) M) stimulates the expression of the pOCAT (ANG N-1498/+18) fusion gene in OK cells in a dose-dependent manner with a maximum stimulation at 10(-6) M and a half-maximal stimulation at 10(-9) M. Combination of dexamethasone (10(-6) M) and thyroid hormone, L-T3 (10(-6) M), further enhanced the effect of the dexamethasone alone. Testosterone (10(-6) M), estradiol (10(-6) M), and progesterone (10(-6) M) did not have this effect. Moreover, dexamethasone also stimulates the expression of the pOCAT (ANG N-688/+18) but not pOCAT (ANG N-110/+18), pOCAT (ANG N-53/+18) and pOCAT (ANG N-35/+18). These studies demonstrate that the glucocorticoid hormone is effective at stimulating the transcription of the ANG gene in OK cells, but stimulation is not observed from testosterone, estradiol, or progesterone. Moreover, glucocorticoid and L-T3 act synergistically to stimulate the transcription of the ANG gene.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  3. 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. PMID:26399350

  4. 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. PMID:26867473

  5. 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. PMID:25807059

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27394783

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of dietary cholesterol with or without saturated fat on plasma lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestica) model for diet-induced hyperlipidaemia.

    PubMed

    Kushwaha, Rampratap S; VandeBerg, Jane F; VandeBerg, John L

    2004-07-01

    Laboratory opossums (Monodelphis domestica) show extreme genetic variability in their responsiveness to dietary lipids; a great proportion of the genetic variability in responsiveness is due to a single major gene. To determine whether the major gene for dietary response detected by genetic analysis in opossums is responsive to dietary cholesterol or dietary saturated fat, or a combination of both, we used males and females of susceptible and resistant lines of laboratory opossums that were 5 to 7 months old. The animals were challenged with three different experimental diets (high-cholesterol diets with or without high saturated fat from lard or coconut oil) and plasma lipoproteins were measured. Plasma and VLDL+LDL-cholesterol concentrations increased several-fold when the animals were fed the diet containing elevated cholesterol (P<0.001) or elevated cholesterol and fat (P<0.001) and differed between the two lines when they were fed high-cholesterol diets with or without fat (P<0.001). Plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations were higher (P<0.05) in animals of the resistant line than in the susceptible line when they were fed the basal diet (550 (SEM 30) v. 440 (SEM 20) mg/l) and when they were fed the low-cholesterol and high-fat diet (600 (SEM 30) v. 490 (SEM 30) mg/l). Dietary coconut oil and lard had similar effects on plasma lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations in the susceptible line of opossums. A reduction in dietary cholesterol by 50 % with either the lard or coconut oil blunted the plasma cholesterol response. The results from the present studies suggest that the major gene for dietary response previously detected by genetic analysis in laboratory opossums affects the response to dietary cholesterol but not to saturated fat.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. New DNA data from a transthyretin nuclear intron suggest an Oligocene to Miocene diversification of living South America opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Steiner, Cynthia; Tilak, Marie-Ka; Douzery, Emmanuel J P; Catzeflis, François M

    2005-05-01

    Phylogenetic relationships of 19 species of didelphid marsupials were studied using two nuclear markers, the non-coding transthyretin intron 1 (TTR) and the coding interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein exon 1 (IRBP), and two mitochondrial genes, the protein-coding cytochrome b (cyt-b) and the structural 12S ribosomal DNA (12S rDNA). Evolutionary dynamics of these four markers were compared to each other, revealing the appropriate properties presented by TTR intron 1 together with its well supported and resolved phylogenetic signal. Nuclear markers supported the monophyly of medium and large-sized opossums Metachirus+(Chironectes, Lutreolina, Didelphis, Philander), and the paraphyly of mouse-sized opossums, with the genera Gracilinanus, Thylamys, and Marmosops as a sister group to medium and large-sized didelphids. Conflicting branching patterns between mitochondrial and nuclear data involved the phylogenetic position of Marmosa-Micoureus-Monodelphis relative to other mouse-sized opossums. Nuclear phylogenetic inferences among genera were confirmed by the presence of synapomorphic indels observed in TTR intron 1. A Bayesian relaxed molecular clock dating of didelphid evolution using nuclear markers estimated their origin in the Middle Eocene (39.8 million years ago), with subsequent diversification during the Oligocene (Deseadan) and Miocene.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of lead exposure on spatial learning and running speed in the short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica (Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Punzo, F; Farmer, C

    2004-01-01

    Studies were conducted to assess the spatial learning ability in adult males of the short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica using a T-maze, complex maze and elevated radial 8-arm maze. This is the first study of maze learning in opossums. In the T-maze, the performance of these animals improved over an 8-day training period. Eighty percent of the subjects initially trained to turn to the right for food reinforcement reached criterion (80% correct responses) by day 3 and all reached criterion by day 4. Reversal training (subjects then trained to turn to the left) was more difficult and required 8 days for all subjects to reach criterion. In the complex maze, 89% of the animals achieved the criterion level of performance (3 consecutive trials with 5 or fewer errors) on the eighth day of training and all reached criterion by day 10. The relative importance of intramaze vs. extramaze cues in directing choice behavior was investigated in the radial arm maze. A discrimination procedure was used which selectively rewarded subjects for following only one set of cues. Animals in the intramaze group obtained a food pellet from a cup at the end of each arm. In the extramaze group, the food cups were placed on a small platform just beyond the end of each arm. All subjects were initially trained to visit each arm with the maze in a fixed position (controls) and did so within 15 test sessions. Following these initial trials, the maze was rotated to a different position after each choice. For subjects in the intramaze group, the food moved in conjunction with the rotation of the arms thereby increasing the relevance of intramaze cues. In the extramaze group, extramaze cues became more important because the food remained on the platforms in the same position in the room. Animals in the extramaze group performed significantly better than chance whereas the intramaze subjects did not. This indicates that intramaze cues are not as important as extramaze cues for accurate choice

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26905780

  7. Corticobulbar fibres in the North American opossum (Didelphis marsupialis virginiana) with notes on the Tasmanian brust-tailed possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and other marsupials.

    PubMed Central

    Martin, G F; Bresnahan, J C; Henkel, C K; Megirian, D

    1975-01-01

    Corticobulbar projections have been studied in the American opossum by both degeneration and autoradiographic methods and, for the most part, the results confirm our earlier observations (Martin & West, 1967; Martin, 1968). However, we have obtained evidence for certain connexions not previously described and have delineated the origin(s) of several connexions more precisely by paying particular attention to the degeneration present at thalamic levels in all cases and by the use of autoradiography. When our results are collated and correlated with new somatosensory cortical maps arrived at by microelectrode techniques (Pubols et al. 1975), it is obvious that corticolbulbar connexions in the North American opossum are remarkably similar to those in the monkey and differ mainly in quantity, relative origins and distribution and in the fact that some of them arise from spatially co-extensive motor-sensory areas (Lende, 1963a, b). In the light of our findings on the American opossum we have examined a large collection of brush-tailed possum material (as well as some from the potoroo and Tasmanian native cat) and have been able to extend our previous findings (Martin et al. 1971; Martin & Megirian, 1972) to a more precise evaluation of the origin of projections from the limb, face motor-sensory cortex. Differences between these representatives of the marsupial radiation, as well as features which are common to all, are described. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 23 Fig. 24 Fig. 25 Fig. 26 Fig. 27 Fig. 28 Fig. 29 Fig. 30 Fig. 31 Fig. 32 Fig. 33 Fig. 34 Fig. 35 Fig. 36 Fig. 37 Fig. 38 PMID:1213949

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase reduce receptor-mediated endocytosis in opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Sidaway, James E; Davidson, Robert G; McTaggart, Fergus; Orton, Terry C; Scott, Robert C; Smith, Graham J; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2004-09-01

    Renal proximal tubule cells are responsible for the reabsorption of proteins that are present in the tubular lumen. This occurs by receptor-mediated endocytosis, a process that has a requirement for some GTP-binding proteins. Statins are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase used for the therapeutic reduction of cholesterol-containing plasma lipoproteins. However, they can also reduce intracellular levels of isoprenoid pyrophosphates that are derived from the product of the enzyme, mevalonate, and are required for the prenylation and normal function of GTP-binding proteins. The hypothesis that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase in renal proximal tubule cells could reduce receptor mediated-endocytosis was therefore tested. Five different statins inhibited the uptake of FITC-labeled albumin by the proximal tubule-derived opossum kidney cell line in a dose-dependent manner and in the absence of cytotoxicity. The reduction in albumin uptake was related to the degree of inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase. Simvastatin (e.g., statin) inhibited receptor-mediated endocytosis of both FITC-albumin and FITC-beta(2)-microglobulin to similar extents but without altering the binding of albumin to the cell surface. The effect on albumin endocytosis was prevented by mevalonate and by the isoprenoid geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate but not by cholesterol. Finally, evidence that the inhibitory effect of statins on endocytosis of proteins may be caused by reduced prenylation and thereby decreased function of one or more GTP-binding proteins is provided. These data establish the possibility in principle that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase by statins in proximal tubule cells may reduce tubular protein reabsorption. PMID:15339975

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:21283898

  15. 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. PMID:27152961

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Albumin stimulates p44/p42 extracellular-signal-regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase in opossum kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Dixon, R; Brunskill, N J

    2000-03-01

    The presence of protein in the urine of patients with renal disease is an adverse prognostic feature. It has therefore been suggested that proteinuria per se may be responsible for the development of renal tubulo-interstitial scarring and fibrosis, and disturbances in tubular cell growth and proliferation. We have used the opossum kidney proximal tubular cell line to investigate the effects of albumin on cell growth. The effect of albumin on cell proliferation was investigated by cell counting and measurement of [(3)H]thymidine incorporation. We studied the effect of recombinant human albumin on the activity of p44/p42 extracellular-signal-regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase ) using an in vitro kinase assay, and immunoblotting with antibodies against active extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK). The effects of the ERK inhibitor PD98059 were also examined. Recombinant human albumin was found to stimulate proliferation of opossum kidney cells in a dose-dependent manner, with maximal stimulation at a concentration of 1 mg/ml. In addition, recombinant human albumin activated ERK in a time-dependent (maximal after 5 min) and dose-dependent (maximal at 1 mg/ml) fashion. These effects on cell proliferation and ERK activity were inhibited by PD98059, and were not reproduced by ovalbumin or mannitol. The data therefore indicate that albumin is able to stimulate growth and proliferation of proximal tubular cells that is dependent on the ERK family of MAP kinases. The potential importance of this pathway in the development of renal disease is discussed. PMID:10677388

  20. The sensory innervation of the nasal glabrous skin in the short-nosed bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) and the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed Central

    Loo, S K; Halata, Z

    1985-01-01

    The glabrous skin at the anterior end of the snout of the short-nosed bandicoot and the American opossum was investigated by electron microscopy. In both species of animals, this region was lined by skin with broad epidermal pegs, innervated by three types of intraepidermal nerves. These were intraepidermal nerves which penetrated the epidermis up to the level of the stratum spinosum or the stratum granulosum, intraepidermal nerves in the basal layer of the epidermis partially surrounded by Schwann cell lamellae and intraepidermal nerves associated with Merkel cells. There were two types of free nerve endings in the dermis. The first type was derived from the deep dermal nerve plexus and had the typical characteristics of nerve terminals such as mitochondria, vesicles, irregularly arranged neurotubules and neurofilaments, and glycogen granules. There was a one-to-one relationship between Schwann cell lamellae and these nerve terminals. The second type of nerve ending was brush-like and the ends of the 'brushes' were enclosed in groups by a single Schwann cell lamella. Encapsulated nerve endings in the two types of animals differed in their structure. In the bandicoot, they consisted of a nerve terminal which had one to three branches. These terminals were rounded in profile and were surrounded by Schwann cell lamellae in a stack-like arrangement. An unusual finding was that the terminal sometimes left the corpuscle and made contact with the basal lamina of the epidermis before passing into its basal layer. These corpuscles did not have a perineural capsule. In the opossum, however, simple corpuscles with inner cores completely surrounded by a perineural capsule were seen. The glabrous skin of both types of animals was innervated with Eimer's organs consisting of intraepidermal nerves, Merkel cell nerve endings and encapsulated end-organs, as well as two types of dermal nerve endings. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig

  1. 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. PMID:27315396

  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.

  3. The genomes of the South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) encode a more complete purine catabolic pathway than placental mammals

    PubMed Central

    Keebaugh, Alaine C.; Thomas, James W.

    2009-01-01

    The end product of purine catabolism varies amongst vertebrates and is a consequence of independent gene inactivation events that have truncated the purine catabolic pathway. Mammals have traditionally been grouped into two classes based on their end product of purine catabolism: most mammals, whose end product is allantoin due to an ancient loss of allantoinase (ALLN), and the hominoids, whose end product is uric acid due to recent inactivations of urate oxidase (UOX). However little is known about purine catabolism in marsupials and monotremes. Here we report the results of a comparative genomics study designed to characterize the purine catabolic pathway in a marsupial, the South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica), and a monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). We found that both genomes encode a more complete set of genes for purine catabolism than do eutherians and conclude that a near complete purine catabolic pathway was present in the common ancestor of all mammals, and that the loss of ALLN is specific to placental mammals. Our results therefore provide a revised history for gene loss in the purine catabolic pathway and suggest that marsupials and monotremes represent a third class of mammals with respect to their end products of purine catabolism. PMID:20161190

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25947450

  11. 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

  12. C-peptide signals via Galpha i to protect against TNF-alpha-mediated apoptosis of opossum kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Al-Rasheed, Nawal M; Willars, Gary B; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2006-04-01

    Cell loss by apoptosis occurs in renal injury such as diabetic nephropathy. TNF-alpha is a cytokine that induces apoptosis and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. The aim was to investigate whether C-peptide or insulin could modulate TNF-alpha-mediated cell death in opossum kidney proximal tubular cells and to examine the mechanism(s) of any effects observed. C-peptide and insulin protect against TNF-alpha-induced proximal tubular cell toxicity and apoptosis. Cell viability was analyzed by methylthiazoletetrazolium assay; cell viability was reduced to 60.8 +/- 2.7% of control after stimulation with 300 ng/ml TNF-alpha. Compromised cell viability was reversed by pretreatment with 5 nM C-peptide or 100 nM insulin. TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis was detected by DNA nick-end labeling and by measuring histone associated DNA fragments using ELISA. By ELISA assay, 300 ng/ml TNF-alpha increased apoptosis by 145.8 +/- 4.9% compared with controls, whereas 5 nM C-peptide and 100 nM insulin reduced apoptosis to 81.6 +/- 4.8 and 77.4 +/- 3.1% of control, respectively. The protective effects of C-peptide and insulin were associated with activation of NF-kappaB. Activation of NF-kappaB by C-peptide was pertussis toxin sensitive and dependent on activation of Galpha(i). Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase but not extracellular signal regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase mediated C-peptide and insulin activation of NF-kappaB. The cytoprotective effects of both C-peptide and insulin were related to increased expression of TNF receptor-associated factor 2, the product of an NF-kappaB-dependent survival gene. These data suggest that C-peptide and/or insulin activation of NF-kappaB-regulated survival genes protects against TNF-alpha-induced renal tubular injury in diabetes. The data further support the concept of C-peptide as a peptide hormone in its own right and suggest a potential therapeutic role for C-peptide. PMID:16510765

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Environmental DNA Marker Development with Sparse Biological Information: A Case Study on Opossum Shrimp (Mysis diluviana).

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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. PMID:26187357

  18. Environmental DNA Marker Development with Sparse Biological Information: A Case Study on Opossum Shrimp (Mysis diluviana).

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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...

  20. Transitory cell attachments in the differentiating glomerular epithelium of the opossum metanephros.

    PubMed

    Krause, W J; Cutts, J H

    1980-01-01

    Numerous transitory intercellular attachments are observed between the central, lateral surfaces of adjacent glomerular epithelial cells in the differentiating renal corpuscle. The junctions are characterized by an increased electron density of the adjacent cell membranes and cytoplasm. The intervening intercellular space may contain an amorphous material of moderate electron density. The distribution and position of such temporary cell attachments, together with their modification and subsequent loss during the differentiation of podocytes, suggest that they play an important role in the histogenesis of the glomerular epithelium.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of Seawater Acidification on the Life Cycle and fitness of Opossum Shrimp Populations

    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 ph...

  3. 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

  4. Demographic consequences of population subdivision on the long-furred woolly mouse opossum ( Micoureus paraguayanus) from the Atlantic Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, Daniel; da Fonseca, Gustavo A. B.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation severely affected the Atlantic Forest. Formerly contiguous populations may become subdivided into a larger number of smaller populations, threatening their long-term persistence. The computer package VORTEX was used to simulate the consequences of habitat fragmentation and population subdivision on Micoureus paraguayanus, an endemic arboreal marsupial of the Atlantic Forest. Scenarios simulated hypothetical populations of 100 and 2000 animals being partitioned into 1-10 populations, linked by varying rates of inter-patch dispersal, and also evaluated male-biased dispersal. Results demonstrated that a single population was more stable than an ensemble of populations of equal size, irrespective of dispersal rate. Small populations (10-20 individuals) exhibited high instability due to demographic stochasticity, and were characterized by high rates of extinction, smaller values for metapopulation growth and larger fluctuations in population size and growth rate. Dispersal effects on metapopulation persistence were related to the size of the populations and to the sexes that were capable of dispersing. Male-biased dispersal had no noticeable effects on metapopulation extinction dynamics, whereas scenarios modelling dispersal by both sexes positively affected metapopulation dynamics through higher growth rates, smaller fluctuations in growth rate, larger final metapopulation sizes and lower probabilities of extinction. The present study highlights the complex relationships between metapopulation size, population subdivision, habitat fragmentation, rate of inter-patch dispersal and sex-biased dispersal and indicates the importance of gaining a better understanding of dispersal and its interactions with correlations between disturbance events.

  5. 50 CFR 32.57 - Pennsylvania.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... squirrels, grouse, rabbit, pheasant, quail, woodchuck, crow, fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, coyote... grouse, squirrel, rabbit, woodchuck, pheasant, quail, raccoon, fox, coyote, skunk, and opossum...

  6. Neutralization of the oedematogenic activity of Bothrops jararaca venom on the mouse paw by an antibothropic fraction isolated from opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum.

    PubMed

    Perales, J; Amorim, C Z; Rocha, S L; Domont, G B; Moussatché, H

    1992-11-01

    The pharmacological modulation of mice paw oedema produced by Bothrops jararaca venom (BJV) has been studied. Intraplantar injection of BJV (1-30 micrograms/paw) produced a dose- and time-related oedema, which was maximal 30 min after injection, reduced gradually thereafter and disappeared over 48 h. BJV heated at 100 degrees C for 5 or 15 min blocked local hemorrhage and caused partial inhibition of its oedematogenic activity. The BJV oedema was not inhibited by the anti-histamine meclizine, the inhibitor of histamine and serotonin, cyproheptadine, PAF-acether antagonist WEB 2170 or by the anti-leukotrienes C4/D4, LY 171883. Dexamethasone, aspirin, indomethacin, and the dual cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitor BW 755C inhibited BJV-induced oedema indicating that arachidonic acid metabolism products via the cyclooxygenase pathway participate in its genesis and/or maintenance. The antibothropic fraction (ABF) (25-200 micrograms/paw) isolated from Didelphis marsupialis serum neutralized the oedema induced by the venom with and without heating, the hemorrhage induced by BJV and partially blocked the oedema induced by bradykinin and by cellulose sulphate. The oedema produced by histamine, serotonin, PAF-acether or leukotriene C4 was not inhibited. PMID:1295374

  7. Age-Dependent Transcriptome and Proteome Following Transection of Neonatal Spinal Cord of Monodelphis domestica (South American Grey Short-Tailed Opossum)

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Norman R.; Noor, Natassya M.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Wheaton, Benjamin J.; Liddelow, Shane A.; Steer, David L.; Ek, C. Joakim; Habgood, Mark D.; Wakefield, Matthew J.; Lindsay, Helen; Truettner, Jessie; Miller, Robert D.; Smith, A. Ian; Dietrich, W. Dalton

    2014-01-01

    This study describes a combined transcriptome and proteome analysis of Monodelphis domestica response to spinal cord injury at two different postnatal ages. Previously we showed that complete transection at postnatal day 7 (P7) is followed by profuse axon growth across the lesion with near-normal locomotion and swimming when adult. In contrast, at P28 there is no axon growth across the lesion, the animals exhibit weight-bearing locomotion, but cannot use hind limbs when swimming. Here we examined changes in gene and protein expression in the segment of spinal cord rostral to the lesion at 24 h after transection at P7 and at P28. Following injury at P7 only forty genes changed (all increased expression); most were immune/inflammatory genes. Following injury at P28 many more genes changed their expression and the magnitude of change for some genes was strikingly greater. Again many were associated with the immune/inflammation response. In functional groups known to be inhibitory to regeneration in adult cords the expression changes were generally muted, in some cases opposite to that required to account for neurite inhibition. For example myelin basic protein expression was reduced following injury at P28 both at the gene and protein levels. Only four genes from families with extracellular matrix functions thought to influence neurite outgrowth in adult injured cords showed substantial changes in expression following injury at P28: Olfactomedin 4 (Olfm4, 480 fold compared to controls), matrix metallopeptidase (Mmp1, 104 fold), papilin (Papln, 152 fold) and integrin α4 (Itga4, 57 fold). These data provide a resource for investigation of a priori hypotheses in future studies of mechanisms of spinal cord regeneration in immature animals compared to lack of regeneration at more mature stages. PMID:24914927

  8. Estimating Stage-Specific Vital Rate Responses to Stress within Mixed Age Populations of the Opossum Shrimp Americamysis Bahia Using Digital Imaging (NAC SETAC 2011)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most observations of stressor effects on marine crustaceans are made on individuals or even-aged cohorts. Results of these studies are difficult to translate into ecological predictions, either because life cycle models are incomplete, or because stressor effects on mixed age po...

  9. Estimating Stage Specific Vital Rate Responses to Stress Within Mixed Age Populations of the Opossum Shrimp Americamysis bahia Using Digital Imaging

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most observations of stressor effects on marine crustaceans are made on individuals or even-aged cohorts. Results of these studies are difficult to translate into ecological predictions, either because life cycle models are incomplete, or because stressor effects on mixed age po...

  10. Molecular phylogeny implicates new world opossums (Didelphidae) as the definitive hosts of Sarcocystis ramphastosi, a parasite of the keel-billed toucan (Ramphasotos sulfuratus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Macroscopic sarcocysts of Sarcocystis ramphastosi Dubey, Lane, and van Wilpe, 2006 were found in a tocan ((Ramphastos sulfuratus) from Costa Rica. The DNA extracted from 11 individual sarcocysts was subjected to PCR amplification assays targeting 1208 bp of 18S ribosomal DNA; data revealed a close ...

  11. 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. PMID:27336371

  12. 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.

  13. 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:27336371

  14. Cellular and molecular drivers of differential organ growth: insights from the limbs of Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Dowling, Anna; Doroba, Carolyn; Maier, Jennifer A; Cohen, Lorna; VandeBerg, John; Sears, Karen E

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental question in biology is "how is growth differentially regulated during development to produce organs of particular sizes?" We used a new model system for the study of differential organ growth, the limbs of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica), to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of differential organ growth in mammals. Opossum forelimbs grow much faster than hindlimbs, making opossum limbs an exceptional system with which to study differential growth. We first used the great differences in opossum forelimb and hindlimb growth to identify cellular processes and molecular signals that underlie differential limb growth. We then used organ culture and pharmacological addition of FGF ligands and inhibitors to test the role of the Fgf/Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway in driving these cellular processes. We found that molecular signals from within the limb drive differences in cell proliferation that contribute to the differential growth of the forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums. We also found that alterations in the Fgf/MAPK pathway can generate differences in cell proliferation that mirror those observed between wild-type forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums and that manipulation of Fgf/MAPK signaling affects downstream focal adhesion-extracellular matrix (FA-ECM) and Wnt signaling in opossum limbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that evolutionary changes in the Fgf/MAPK pathway could help drive the observed differences in cell behaviors and growth in opossum forelimb and hindlimbs. PMID:27194412

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. A Boy or a Girl: Is It Possible to Load the Dice?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ridley, Matt

    1993-01-01

    Presents scientific theories and related research concerning the possibility that animal species, among which are humans, can consciously, or otherwise, biologically determine the sex of their children. Discusses cases involving insects, fish, opossums, primates, and New Zealand women. (MDH)

  18. Six new leptospiral serovars isolated from wild animals in Peru.

    PubMed Central

    Liceras de Hidalgo, J L; Sulzer, K R

    1984-01-01

    Six new serovars of Leptospira interrogans were isolated from opossums (Didelphis marsupialis and Philander opossum) trapped in the Peruvian jungle. The proposed names, type strain designation, and serogroup of the serovars, respectively, were: huallaga, strain M-7, Djasiman serogroup; luis, strain M-6, Tarassovi serogroup; machiguenga, strain MMD-3, Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup; rioja, strain MR-12, Bataviae serogroup; rupa rupa, strain M-3, Sejroe serogroup; and tingomaria, strain M-13, Cynopteri serogroup. PMID:6470106

  19. Mammalian genome projects reveal new growth hormone (GH) sequences. Characterization of the GH-encoding genes of armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), bat (Myotis lucifugus), hyrax (Procavia capensis), shrew (Sorex araneus), ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), elephant (Loxodonta africana), cat (Felis catus) and opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Wallis, Michael

    2008-01-15

    Mammalian growth hormone (GH) sequences have been shown previously to display episodic evolution: the sequence is generally strongly conserved but on at least two occasions during mammalian evolution (on lineages leading to higher primates and ruminants) bursts of rapid evolution occurred. However, the number of mammalian orders studied previously has been relatively limited, and the availability of sequence data via mammalian genome projects provides the potential for extending the range of GH gene sequences examined. Complete or nearly complete GH gene sequences for six mammalian species for which no data were previously available have been extracted from the genome databases-Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillo), Erinaceus europaeus (western European hedgehog), Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat), Procavia capensis (cape rock hyrax), Sorex araneus (European shrew), Spermophilus tridecemlineatus (13-lined ground squirrel). In addition incomplete data for several other species have been extended. Examination of the data in detail and comparison with previously available sequences has allowed assessment of the reliability of deduced sequences. Several of the new sequences differ substantially from the consensus sequence previously determined for eutherian GHs, indicating greater variability than previously recognised, and confirming the episodic pattern of evolution. The episodic pattern is not seen for signal sequences, 5' upstream sequence or synonymous substitutions-it is specific to the mature protein sequence, suggesting that it relates to the hormonal function. The substitutions accumulated during the course of GH evolution have occurred mainly on the side of the hormone facing away from the receptor, in a non-random fashion, and it is suggested that this may reflect interaction of the receptor-bound hormone with other proteins or small ligands.

  20. Didelphis aurita (Marsupialia: Didelphidae): a new host for Sarcocystis lindsayi (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae).

    PubMed

    da Silva Stabenow, Cristiane; Ederli, Nicole Brand; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes; de Oliveira, Francisco Carlos Rodrigues

    2012-12-01

    Nine opossums, Didelphis aurita , were captured in the city of Seropédica, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and examined for species of Sarcocystis. Sporocysts were observed in the mucosal scrapings of the small intestine from 3 opossums. Five budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus , were infected with sporocysts from each of these infected opossums and 5 budgerigars were used as controls. Of the 15 sporocyst-treated budgerigars, 5 birds that received sporocysts from 1 of the infected opossums developed tissue parasites. Meronts in the vascular endothelium of the lung venous capillaries and cysts in the skeletal and cardiac muscle cells were observed in histological sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The microscopic cysts, which were predominantly in the tongue and leg muscles, ranged from 65.3 to 118.1 μm in length and 14.0 to 29.4 μm in width and from 0.9 to 1.9 μm in thickness of the cystic wall. Sections examined by transmission electron microscopy revealed that the cyst wall contained numerous slender and jagged-shaped protrusions, each with a finger-like formation at the end. The morphology, especially of the cyst wall, and the morphometry of the tissue cysts indicate that the parasite is Sarcocystis lindsayi and, therefore, the opossum, D. aurita , is now considered a definitive host for this species in Brazil. PMID:22571294

  1. 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).

  2. Development of the marsupial shoulder girdle complex: a case study in Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Hübler, Merla; Molineaux, Anna C; Keyte, Anna; Schecker, Teresa; Sears, Karen E

    2013-01-01

    During their embryogenesis, marsupials transiently develop a unique structure, the shoulder arch, which provides the structural support and muscle-attachments necessary for the newborn's crawl to the teat. One of the most pronounced and functionally important aspects of the shoulder arch is an enlarged coracoid. The goal of this study is to determine the molecular basis of shoulder arch formation in marsupials. To achieve this goal, this study investigates the relative expression of several genes with known roles in shoulder girdle morphogenesis in a marsupial-the opossum, Monodelphis domestica-and a placental, the mouse, Mus musculus. Results indicate that Hoxc6, a gene involved in coracoid patterning, is expressed for a longer period of time and at higher levels in opossum relative to mouse. Functional manipulation suggests that these differences in Hoxc6 expression are independent of documented differences in retinoic acid signaling in opossum and mouse forelimbs. Results also indicate that Emx2, a gene involved in scapular blade condensation, is upregulated in opossum relative to mouse. However, several other genes involved in shoulder girdle patterning (e.g., Gli3, Pax1, Pbx1, Tbx15) are comparably expressed in these species. These findings suggest that the upregulation of Hoxc6 and Emx2 occurs through independent genetic modifications in opossum relative to mouse. In summary, this study documents a correlation between gene expression and the divergent shoulder girdle morphogenesis of marsupial (i.e., opossum) and placental (i.e., mouse) mammals, and thereby provides a foundation for future research into the genetic basis of shoulder girdle morphogenesis in marsupials. Furthermore, this study supports the hypothesis that the mammalian shoulder girdle is a highly modular structure whose elements are relatively free to evolve independently.

  3. 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

  4. CHROMOSOMES OF AMERICAN MARSUPIALS.

    PubMed

    BIGGERS, J D; FRITZ, H I; HARE, W C; MCFEELY, R A

    1965-06-18

    Studies of the chromosomes of four American marsupials demonstrated that Caluromys derbianus and Marmosa mexicana have a diploid number of 14 chromosomes, and that Philander opossum and Didelphis marsupialis have a diploid number of 22. The karyotypes of C. derbianus and M. mexicana are similar, whereas those of P. opossum and D. marsupialis are dissimilar. If the 14-chromosome karyotype represents a reduction from a primitive number of 22, these observations suggest that the change has occurred independently in the American and Australasian forms.

  5. 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. PMID:23530075

  6. Activation of mitogenic pathways by albumin in kidney proximal tubule epithelial cells: implications for the pathophysiology of proteinuric states.

    PubMed

    Dixon, R; Brunskill, N J

    1999-07-01

    Albumin is filtered into the proximal tubule in large quantities in nephrotic states. It has been proposed that this protein may have a toxic effect on tubular epithelial cells and may be responsible for the initiation of interstitial inflammation and scarring. The mitogenic effect of recombinant human albumin in wild-type opossum kidney cells and in similar cells transfected with a dominant negative p85 subunit (deltap85) of phopshatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) has been studied. This study demonstrates that recombinant human albumin stimulates proliferation of opossum kidney cells in culture. This effect is mediated via PI 3-kinase, and is inhibited by wortmannin and deltap85 expression. Albumin stimulates PI 3-kinase activity in opossum kidney cells as determined by three different experimental procedures. Recombinant albumin also stimulates pp70(s6) kinase activity in a kinase cascade downstream of PI 3-kinase. Activity of pp70(s6) kinase is essential for albumin-induced proliferation of opossum kidney cells. It is proposed that this mitogenic pathway may have a critical role in proximal tubular homeostasis and pathophysiology of proteinuric states. PMID:10405204

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

    PubMed

    Maina, Alice N; 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

  8. 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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. Learning Excitement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sudore, Gail M.

    1987-01-01

    Provides directions for 18 environmental activities/concepts for adventure programming including games (clam free, habitat lap sit, spirals); warm-ups/stretches (bug tug, stork stretch); trust builders/group initiatives (willow in wind, opossum ferry); low elements (all aboard, trolley); medium elements (rebirth, tire on pole); and high elements…

  10. 78 FR 36099 - Final Flood Elevation Determinations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-17

    ... 12866 of September 30, 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735. Executive Order 13132... et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 329; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR...). confluence to Muhlenberg County. approximately 0.4 mile upstream of Green River Haul Road. Opossum...

  11. ISOLATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM ANIMALS IN DURANGO, MEXICO

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. Value-based customer grouping from large retail data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strehl, Alexander; Ghosh, Joydeep

    2000-04-01

    In this paper, we propose OPOSSUM, a novel similarity-based clustering algorithm using constrained, weighted graph- partitioning. Instead of binary presence or absence of products in a market-basket, we use an extended 'revenue per product' measure to better account for management objectives. Typically the number of clusters desired in a database marketing application is only in the teens or less. OPOSSUM proceeds top-down, which is more efficient and takes a small number of steps to attain the desired number of clusters as compared to bottom-up agglomerative clustering approaches. OPOSSUM delivers clusters that are balanced in terms of either customers (samples) or revenue (value). To facilitate data exploration and validation of results we introduce CLUSION, a visualization toolkit for high-dimensional clustering problems. To enable closed loop deployment of the algorithm, OPOSSUM has no user-specified parameters. Thresholding heuristics are avoided and the optimal number of clusters is automatically determined by a search for maximum performance. Results are presented on a real retail industry data-set of several thousand customers and products, to demonstrate the power of the proposed technique.

  13. Qin, Han, and Huang: Text Reproduction and Literacy in Rural China, A Case for Euclid and Homer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bain, Bruce; Yu, Agnes

    1991-01-01

    Debates the merits of the claim that "symbolic technologies push cognitive growth earlier and longer." The results of an assessment are presented that involved three adult male peasants (two literate, one nonliterate) living in rural China and their ability to recall the text of "The Lonesome Opossum." (25 references) (GLR)

  14. Modo-UG, a marsupial nonclassical MHC class I locus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modo-UG is a class I gene located in the MHC of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica, the gray short-tailed opossum. Modo-UG is expressed as three alternatively spliced mRNA forms, all of which encode a transmembrane form with a short cytoplasmic tail that lacks phosphorylation sites typically found...

  15. 50 CFR 32.34 - Iowa.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ..., litter, fish or any parts thereof, on the banks, in the water, or on the ice. 10. We prohibit digging or..., goose, coot, rail (Virginia and sora only), woodcock, and snipe on the Buffalo Creek Bottoms and Schwob...), groundhog, raccoon, opossum, fox, coyote, and crow on Buffalo Creek Bottoms, Schwob Marsh, and the Core...

  16. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  19. The subventricular zone is the developmental milestone of a 6-layered neocortex: comparisons in metatherian and eutherian mammals.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Amanda F P; Kondo, Shinichi; Abdel-Mannan, Omar; Chodroff, Rebecca A; Sirey, Tamara M; Bluy, Lisa E; Webber, Natalie; DeProto, Jamin; Karlen, Sarah J; Krubitzer, Leah; Stolp, Helen B; Saunders, Norman R; Molnár, Zoltán

    2010-05-01

    The major lineages of mammals (Eutheria, Metatheria, and Monotremata) diverged more than 100 million years ago and have undergone independent changes in the neocortex. We found that adult South American gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) possess a significantly lower number of cerebral cortical neurons compared with the mouse (Mus musculus). To determine whether the difference is reflected in the development of the cortical germinal zones, the location of progenitor cell divisions was examined in opossum, tammar wallaby, and rat. The basic pattern of the cell divisions was conserved, but the emergence of a distinctive band of dividing cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) occurred relatively later in the opossum (postnatal day [P14]) and the tammar wallaby (P40) than in rodents. The planes of cell divisions in the ventricular zone (VZ) were similar in all species, with comparable mRNA expression patterns of Brn2, Cux2, NeuroD6, Tbr2, and Pax6 in opossum (P12 and P20) and mouse (embryonic day 15 and P0). In conclusion, the marsupial neurodevelopmental program utilizes an organized SVZ, as indicated by the presence of intermediate (or basal) progenitor cell divisions and gene expression patterns, suggesting that the SVZ emerged prior to the Eutherian-Metatherian split.

  20. Making Connections. A Curriculum and Activity Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park. [Grades] K-3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Park Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park is important because of its diversity of life on the surface and underground. Some of the plants in the park include trees such as oaks, hickories, tulip poplars, sycamores, and many types of bushes. The animal population is also very diverse and includes bats, squirrels, deer, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks,…

  1. 50 CFR 32.36 - Kentucky.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... goose, coot, crow, and waterfowl listed in 50 CFR 10.13 under DUCKS on designated areas of the refuge in... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel, rabbit, quail, raccoon, opossum, and coyote on designated.... Conditions A1 through A16 apply. 2. We close squirrel, rabbit, crow, woodcock, snipe, dove, and quail...

  2. 50 CFR 32.36 - Kentucky.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... goose, coot, crow, and waterfowl listed in 50 CFR 10.13 under DUCKS on designated areas of the refuge in... Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel, rabbit, quail, raccoon, opossum, and coyote on designated.... Conditions A1 through A16 apply. 2. We close squirrel, rabbit, crow, woodcock, snipe, dove, and quail...

  3. 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.

  4. Recombination, transcription, and diversity of a partially germline-joined VH in a mammal.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Miller, Robert D

    2012-09-01

    Full or partially germline-joined V genes have been described in a number of different vertebrate lineages where they can contribute to the expressed antibody repertoire through different mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that VH3.1, a partially germline-joined VH gene in the opossum Monodelphis domestica, can undergo V(D)J recombination to generate productive IgH transcripts. VH3.1 is fused to a DH gene segment in the germline DNA and is the only known example of a germline-joined VH in a mammal. B cells that have recombined VH3.1 were not detected until nearly 2 months of age, around the time of weaning, and much later than B cells using the conventional VH. Compared to opossum IgH transcripts using the conventional VH genes, those with VH3.1 have unusually long CDR3 due to the length of the germline-joined DH.

  5. 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. PMID:16759954

  6. Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) preys on the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae).

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, S; Ardiles, K; Figueroa, R A; González-Acuña, D

    2013-02-01

    Philodryas chamissonis, the Chilean long-tailed snake, is a diurnal predator mainly of Liolaemus lizards, but also of amphibians, birds, rodents and juvenile rabbits. Dromiciops gliroides (Colocolo opossum) is an arboreal marsupial endemic of temperate rainforest of southern South America. Little information is available about this marsupial's biology and ecology. Here we report the predation of one Colocolo opossum by an adult female P. chamissonis in a mixed Nothofagus forest, composed mainly by N. dombeyi, N. glauca and N. alpina trees, in the "Huemules de Niblinto" National Reserve, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Since these two species have different activity and habitat use patterns, we discuss how this encounter may have occurred. Although it could just have been an opportunistic event, this finding provides insights into the different components of food chains in forest ecosystems of Chile.

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

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Verma, S K; Dunams, D; Calero-Bernal, R; Rosenthal, B M

    2015-11-01

    The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the definitive host for at least three named species of Sarcocystis: Sarcocystis falcatula, Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis speeri. The South American opossums (Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis and Didelphis aurita) are definitive hosts for S. falcatula and S. lindsayi. The sporocysts of these Sarcocystis species are similar morphologically. They are also not easily distinguished genetically because of the difficulties of DNA extraction from sporocysts and availability of distinguishing genetic markers. Some of these species can be distinguished by bioassay; S. neurona and S. speeri are infective to gamma interferon gene knockout (KO) mice, but not to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus); whereas S. falcatula and S. lindsayi are infective to budgerigars but not to KO mice. The natural intermediate host of S. speeri is unknown. In the present study, development of sarcocysts of S. speeri in the KO mice is described. Sarcocysts were first seen at 12 days post-inoculation (p.i.), and they became macroscopic (up to 4 mm long) by 25 days p.i. The structure of the sarcocyst wall did not change from the time bradyzoites had formed at 50-220 days p.i. Sarcocysts contained unique villar protrusions, 'type 38'. The polymerase chain reaction amplifications and sequences analysis of three nuclear loci (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and ITS1) and two mitochondrial loci (cox1 and cytb) of S. speeri isolate from an Argentinean opossum (D. albiventris) confirmed its membership among species of Sarcocystis and indicated an especially close relationship to another parasite in this genus that employs opossums as its definitive host, S. neurona. These results should be useful in finding natural intermediate host of S. speeri. PMID:26303093

  8. In vivo strains in the femur of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).

    PubMed

    Copploe, Joseph V; Blob, Richard W; Parrish, John H A; Butcher, Michael T

    2015-08-01

    The capacity of limb bones to resist the locomotor loads they encounter depends on both the pattern of those loads and the material properties of the skeletal elements. Among mammals, understanding of the interplay between these two factors has been based primarily on evidence from locomotor behaviors in upright placentals, which show limb bones that are loaded predominantly in anteroposterior bending with minimal amounts of torsion. However, loading patterns from the femora of opossums, marsupials using crouched limb posture, show appreciable torsion while the bone experiences mediolateral (ML) bending. These data indicated greater loading diversity in mammals than was previously recognized, and suggested the possibility that ancestral loading patterns found in sprawling lineages (e.g., reptilian sauropsids) might have been retained among basal mammals. To further test this hypothesis, we recorded in vivo locomotor strains from the femur of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), a member of the basal xenarthran clade of placental mammals that also uses crouched limb posture. Orientations of principal strains and magnitudes of shear strains indicate that armadillo femora are exposed to only limited torsion; however, bending is essentially ML, placing the medial aspect of the femur in compression and the lateral aspect in tension. This orientation of bending is similar to that found in opossums, but planar strain analyses indicate much more of the armadillo femur experiences tension during bending, potentially due to muscles pulling on the large, laterally positioned third trochanter. Limb bone safety factors were estimated between 3.3 and 4.3 in bending, similar to other placental mammals, but lower than opossums and most sprawling taxa. Thus, femoral loading patterns in armadillos show a mixture of similarities to both opossums (ML bending) and other placentals (limited torsion and low safety factors), along with unique features (high axial tension

  9. Structure of parasite component communities of didelphid marsupials: insights from a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Catzeflis, François; Gardner, Scott L

    2011-10-01

    The parasite fauna of the gray four-eyed opossum, Philander opossum (Linnaeus, 1758), and the common opossum, Didelphis marsupialis Linnaeus, 1758, in Camp du Tigre, French Guiana, is characterized. Nine species from the gastrointestinal system were recovered from both species, which shared 80% of their parasites. The parasite fauna comprised several monoxenous species (63%) and was dominated by Aspidodera raillieti Travassos, 1914, which exhibited high levels of prevalence and abundance in both communities. Only 2 species (Moennigia sp. and Spirura guianensis) had been recorded in other species of mammals. Both species richness and taxonomic composition at the level of component communities from this locality were compared against 11 communities present in the Virginia ( Didelphis virginiana ), white-bellied (Didelphis albiventris), and common opossum from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Neither host phylogeny nor taxonomy accounted for statistical differences in species richness. There was no statistical difference among species richness values among the 9 localities studied. Taxonomic similarity was analyzed by means of the Jaccard's similarity index, including all, and only common species (occurring in prevalence >10%). The results suggest that sympatric species of marsupials share more species of parasites than parasite communities occurring in conspecific marsupials from different localities. As a consequence, taxonomic composition of these parasite communities varied depending on the locality. Probably, marsupials of the monophyletic Didelphini offer the same compatibility toward their parasites, by presenting them with similar habitats. Subtle differences in lifestyles of the marsupials may determine the chance of encounter between the symbionts and prevent some parasites from completing their life cycles. Further and more rigorous tests are necessary to determine the roles of encounter and compatibility filters, as well as the role of

  10. [Coexistence of nematodes Trichostrongyloidea in marsupials from French Guyana (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Diaw, O T

    1976-01-01

    Analysis of the helminthofauna of two Didelphis marsupialis, compared to that of a Metachirops opossum from the same area, studied by Durette-Desset, 1974. Except for their similarities in the general repartition of the species, the two Marsupials are easily differentiated: the dominant species is not the same. The location of common or "vicariant" species is stable. In opposition to former notions, the fauna appears to be composed of but one lineage, except for Moennigia, which would appear as captures from Xenarthes.

  11. Comparison of the reservoir competence of medium-sized mammals and Peromyscus leucopus for Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Levin, Michael L; Nicholson, William L; Massung, Robert F; Sumner, John W; Fish, Durland

    2002-01-01

    In the northeastern United States, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE), is transmitted by the tick vector Ixodes scapularis. The white-footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus is a competent reservoir for this agent, but the reservoir competence of non-Peromyscus hosts of I. scapularis has not been studied. Here, we report data confirming reservoir competence of medium-sized mammals for A. phagocytophilum. Raccoons, Virginia opossums, gray squirrels, and striped skunks were live-trapped in June-August of 1998-1999 at two locations in Connecticut. Captured animals were kept for several days at the laboratory in wire-mesh cages over water to allow naturally attached ticks to drop off. Samples of blood and serum were taken from each animal prior to its release at the site of capture. Engorged ticks collected from each animal were allowed to molt. Resulting I. scapularis nymphs and adults were tested for the presence of A. phagocytophilum DNA by polymerase chain reaction, as were the blood samples from the animals. A. phagocytophilum DNA was detected in the blood of >10% of the raccoons tested. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and skunks produced adult I. scapularis infected with the agent of HGE. Prevalence of infection was the highest in adult ticks fed as nymphs upon raccoons (23%) and the lowest in those fed upon skunks and opossums (5-7%). The agent was present in nymphal I. scapularis fed as larvae upon raccoons and squirrels, but not in ticks fed upon skunks or opossums. We also tested the ability of I. scapularis to transmit A. phagocytophilum to laboratory-reared white-footed mice after acquiring it from medium-sized mammals. Ticks that acquired the agent from raccoons and squirrels successfully transmitted it to mice. Thus, raccoons and gray squirrels are reservoir-competent for the agent of HGE-they become naturally infected, and are capable of transmitting the infection to feeding ticks.

  12. Canine schistosomiasis In North America: an underdiagnosed disease with an expanding distribution.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Eileen M

    2010-03-01

    Heterobilharzia americana, a digenean trematode in the family Schistosomatidae, is the etiologic agent of canine schistosomiasis in the southeastern United States. A few cases of canine schistosomiasis have been reported in Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, and, recently, Kansas. The natural definitive host for the fluke is the raccoon; however, infections have been detected in nutrias, bobcats, mountain lions, opossums, white-tailed deer, swamp rabbits, armadillos, coyotes, red wolves, red wolf-coyote crosses, Brazilian tapirs, minks, and beavers. PMID:20473851

  13. The foods of fur animals of the Patuxent Research Refuge, Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Llewellyn, L.M.; Uhler, F.M.

    1952-01-01

    Approximately 300 digestive tracts of fur animals obtained mostly during the winter trapping season and 560 scats from animals live-trapped on the Patuxent Research Refuge near Laure!, Maryland, were analyzed. The resulting data are summarized and a brief description of the area and important habitat types is given. The animals studied include the raccoon, red fox, gray fox, mink, New York weasel, skunk, opossum, and house cat.

  14. Relevance of in vivo models in melanoma skin cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Setlow, R.B.

    1995-12-31

    A discussion of possible wavelength dependence of induction of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is provided. Strengths and weaknesses of various experimental approaches to better understanding of the prevalence of CMM in different human populations including latitude effects are compared. Further the advantages and limitations of the use of the laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestic), transgenic mice containing SV40 ongogene sequences under tyrosinase promoter control, and a backcross hybrid fish of the genus Xenophorus are contrasted.

  15. 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

  16. Isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from animals in Durango, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Velmurugan, G V; Alvarado-Esquivel, C; Alvarado-Esquivel, D; Rodríguez-Peña, S; Martínez-García, S; González-Herrera, A; Ferreira, L R; Kwok, O C H; Su, C

    2009-04-01

    Little is known concerning the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in people and animals in rural Mexico. Serum samples and tissues from 150 dogs (Canis familaris), 150 cats (Felis catus), 65 opossums (Didelphis virginianus), 249 rats (Rattus spp.), 127 mice (Mus musculus), and 69 squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus) from the Durango area were evaluated for T. gondii infection. Using a modified agglutination test and a serum dilution of 1:25, antibodies to this parasite were found in 68 (45.3%) of 150 dogs, 14 (9.3%) of 150 cats, 11 (16.6%) of 66 opossums, 2 (0.8%) of 249 rats, 4 (3.1%) of 127 mice, and 0 of 69 squirrels. Tissues (brain and heart) of dogs, cats, opossums, rats, mice, and squirrels were bioassayed in mice for the presence of T. gondii. Viable T. gondii was isolated in tissues from 3 of 28 seropositive dogs and 5 of 8 seropositive cats, but not from the other animals. The DNA obtained from the 3 T. gondii isolates from dogs, 6 isolates from 5 cats, and 4 isolates from free-range chickens from Mexico, previously isolated, were genotyped. The PCR-RFLP typing, which used 11 markers (B 1, SAGI, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico), identified 5 genotypes. One genotype (the 4 chicken isolates) belongs to the clonal Type III lineage, three genotypes were reported in previous reports, and 1 genotype is unique.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Rickettsia felis infection rates in an east Texas population.

    PubMed

    Wiggers, Robert J; Martin, Miranda C; Bouyer, Donald

    2005-02-01

    Murine typhus (Rickettsia typhi), endemic in southern California and South Texas, is maintained within a host-vector system consisting of the opossum and cat flea. In the early 1990s, a second rickettsial species, Rickettsia felis, was also found to be maintained within the opossum-cat flea system and is, in fact, found more commonly than R. typhi in the opossum and cat flea. Recognized as a human pathogen in 1994, R. felis causes an infection that produces symptoms indistinguishable from classic murine typhus caused by R. typhi. Just how frequently "murine" typhus is caused by R. felis versus R. typhi is uncertain. By using a recombinant antigen specific for R. felis, 148 human serum samples were assayed for the presence of antibodies specific for R. felis. Results indicated that out of 32 samples that were positive when run against R. typhi, only 3 were also positive for R. felis. Thus, we conclude that R. felis infections are rare in Texas and most murine typhus is due to R. typhi infection.

  20. 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

  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

    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

  3. 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. PMID:22771688

  4. 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

  5. Retroviral envelope gene captures and syncytin exaptation for placentation in marsupials.

    PubMed

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Vernochet, Cécile; Carradec, Quentin; Souquere, Sylvie; Mulot, Baptiste; Catzeflis, François; Nilsson, Maria A; Menzies, Brandon R; Renfree, Marilyn B; Pierron, Gérard; Zeller, Ulrich; Heidmann, Odile; Dupressoir, Anne; Heidmann, Thierry

    2015-02-01

    Syncytins are genes of retroviral origin captured by eutherian mammals, with a role in placentation. Here we show that some marsupials-which are the closest living relatives to eutherian mammals, although they diverged from the latter ∼190 Mya-also possess a syncytin gene. The gene identified in the South American marsupial opossum and dubbed syncytin-Opo1 has all of the characteristic features of a bona fide syncytin gene: It is fusogenic in an ex vivo cell-cell fusion assay; it is specifically expressed in the short-lived placenta at the level of the syncytial feto-maternal interface; and it is conserved in a functional state in a series of Monodelphis species. We further identify a nonfusogenic retroviral envelope gene that has been conserved for >80 My of evolution among all marsupials (including the opossum and the Australian tammar wallaby), with evidence for purifying selection and conservation of a canonical immunosuppressive domain, but with only limited expression in the placenta. This unusual captured gene, together with a third class of envelope genes from recently endogenized retroviruses-displaying strong expression in the uterine glands where retroviral particles can be detected-plausibly correspond to the different evolutionary statuses of a captured retroviral envelope gene, with only syncytin-Opo1 being the present-day bona fide syncytin active in the opossum and related species. This study would accordingly recapitulate the natural history of syncytin exaptation and evolution in a single species, and definitely extends the presence of such genes to all major placental mammalian clades.

  6. 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. PMID:26708994

  7. 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.

  8. Tracking Marsupial Evolution Using Archaic Genomic Retroposon Insertions

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Maria A.; Churakov, Gennady; Sommer, Mirjam; Tran, Ngoc Van; Zemann, Anja; Brosius, Jürgen; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2010-01-01

    The Australasian and South American marsupial mammals, such as kangaroos and opossums, are the closest living relatives to placental mammals, having shared a common ancestor around 130 million years ago. The evolutionary relationships among the seven marsupial orders have, however, so far eluded resolution. In particular, the relationships between the four Australasian and three South American marsupial orders have been intensively debated since the South American order Microbiotheria was taxonomically moved into the group Australidelphia. Australidelphia is significantly supported by both molecular and morphological data and comprises the four Australasian marsupial orders and the South American order Microbiotheria, indicating a complex, ancient, biogeographic history of marsupials. However, the exact phylogenetic position of Microbiotheria within Australidelphia has yet to be resolved using either sequence or morphological data analysis. Here, we provide evidence from newly established and virtually homoplasy-free retroposon insertion markers for the basal relationships among marsupial orders. Fifty-three phylogenetically informative markers were retrieved after in silico and experimental screening of ∼217,000 retroposon-containing loci from opossum and kangaroo. The four Australasian orders share a single origin with Microbiotheria as their closest sister group, supporting a clear divergence between South American and Australasian marsupials. In addition, the new data place the South American opossums (Didelphimorphia) as the first branch of the marsupial tree. The exhaustive computational and experimental evidence provides important insight into the evolution of retroposable elements in the marsupial genome. Placing the retroposon insertion pattern in a paleobiogeographic context indicates a single marsupial migration from South America to Australia. The now firmly established phylogeny can be used to determine the direction of genomic changes and

  9. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes.

    PubMed

    Beasley, James C; Atwood, Todd C; Byrne, Michael E; Vercauteren, Kurt C; Johnson, Shylo R; Rhodes, 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 753 m 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 repeated

  10. 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.

  11. Retroviral envelope gene captures and syncytin exaptation for placentation in marsupials

    PubMed Central

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Vernochet, Cécile; Carradec, Quentin; Souquere, Sylvie; Mulot, Baptiste; Catzeflis, François; Nilsson, Maria A.; Menzies, Brandon R.; Renfree, Marilyn B.; Pierron, Gérard; Zeller, Ulrich; Heidmann, Odile; Dupressoir, Anne; Heidmann, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Syncytins are genes of retroviral origin captured by eutherian mammals, with a role in placentation. Here we show that some marsupials—which are the closest living relatives to eutherian mammals, although they diverged from the latter ∼190 Mya—also possess a syncytin gene. The gene identified in the South American marsupial opossum and dubbed syncytin-Opo1 has all of the characteristic features of a bona fide syncytin gene: It is fusogenic in an ex vivo cell–cell fusion assay; it is specifically expressed in the short-lived placenta at the level of the syncytial feto–maternal interface; and it is conserved in a functional state in a series of Monodelphis species. We further identify a nonfusogenic retroviral envelope gene that has been conserved for >80 My of evolution among all marsupials (including the opossum and the Australian tammar wallaby), with evidence for purifying selection and conservation of a canonical immunosuppressive domain, but with only limited expression in the placenta. This unusual captured gene, together with a third class of envelope genes from recently endogenized retroviruses—displaying strong expression in the uterine glands where retroviral particles can be detected—plausibly correspond to the different evolutionary statuses of a captured retroviral envelope gene, with only syncytin-Opo1 being the present-day bona fide syncytin active in the opossum and related species. This study would accordingly recapitulate the natural history of syncytin exaptation and evolution in a single species, and definitely extends the presence of such genes to all major placental mammalian clades. PMID:25605903

  12. Comparative gene expression analyses reveal heterochrony for Sox9 expression in the cranial neural crest during marsupial development.

    PubMed

    Wakamatsu, Yoshio; Nomura, Tadashi; Osumi, Noriko; Suzuki, Kunihiro

    2014-01-01

    Compared to placental mammals, marsupials have short gestation period, and their neonates are relatively immature. Despite these features, marsupial neonates must travel from the birth canal to the teat, suckle and digest milk to complete development. Thus, certain organs and tissues of marsupial neonates, such as forelimbs to crawl and jaw elements to suckle, must develop early. Previous reports showed that cranial neural crest (CNC) cells, as the source of ectomesenchyme of jaw elements, are generated significantly early in gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) compared to other amniote models, such as mouse. In this study, we examined the expression of genes known to be important for neural crest formation, such as BMP2/BMP4 (neural crest inducer), Pax7 (neural border specifier), Snail1 and Sox9/Sox10 (neural crest specifier) in Monodelphis domestica, and compared the expression patterns with those in mouse, chicken, and gecko embryos. Among those genes, the expression of Sox9 was turned on early and broadly in the premigratory CNC cells, and persisted in the ectomesenchyme of the cranial anlagen in opossum embryos. In contrast, Sox9 expression diminished in the CNC cells of other animals at the early phase of migration. Comparison of the onset of Pax7 and Sox9 expression revealed that Sox9 expression in the prospective CNC was earlier and broader than Pax7 expression in opossum, suggesting that the sequence of border specification and neural crest specification is altered. This study provides the first clue for understanding the molecular basis for the heterochronic development of the CNC cells and jaw elements in marsupials.

  13. Epizootiologic survey of Mycobacterium bovis in wildlife and farm environments in northern Michigan.

    PubMed

    Witmer, Gary; Fine, Amanda E; Gionfriddo, James; Pipas, Michael; Shively, Kirk; Piccolo, Kim; Burke, Patrick

    2010-04-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, has reemerged in northern Michigan, USA, with detections in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in 1994 and in cattle in 1998. Since then, significant efforts have been directed toward reducing deer densities in the area in the hopes of reducing the bovine TB prevalence rate in deer and eliminating spillover of the disease into cattle. Despite the success of the efforts to reduce deer densities, additional cattle herds have become infected. Other mammals can be infected with M. bovis, and some carnivores and omnivores had been found to be infected with the disease in northern Michigan, USA. We conducted a multiyear surveillance effort to detect bovine TB in wild species of mammals in the Michigan, USA, outbreak area. From 2002 to 2004, tissue samples from 1,031 individual animals of 32 species were collected, processed, and cultured for M. bovis. Only 10 (1.0%) were culture-positive for M. bovis (five raccoons [Procyon lotor], four opossums [Didelphis virginiana], and one grey fox [Urocyon cinereoargenteus]). We also found two raccoons and four opossums to be positive for Mycobacterium avium. We collected 503 environmental samples from cattle farms recently identified as bovine TB positive; none yielded positive M. bovis culture results. Finally, we used infrared cameras to document wildlife use of four barns in the area. Many avian and mammalian species of wildlife were observed, with raccoons being the most commonly observed species. This surveillance study identified no new wildlife species that should be considered significant reservoirs of bovine TB in the outbreak area in northern Michigan, USA. However, the relatively high, apparent bovine TB prevalence rates in some carnivorous and omnivorous species, their relatively long life spans, and their frequent use of barns, suggests that removal of raccoons, opossums, foxes, and coyotes (Canis latrans) should be considered when a newly infected

  14. 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.; 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 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

  15. Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigations, 1/1/2012 - 12/31/2012: Annual report 2002-032-00

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Connor, Willam P.; Bellgraph, Brian J.; Chittaro, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Finally, we examined the role of different invasive invertebrates in lower Snake River reservoir food webs that are food, or competitors for food, for juvenile fall Chinook salmon. The Siberian prawn, a relatively new invader, is relatively abundant but its role on the food web is largely unexplored. Prawns are successfully reproducing and their diet is 81% Neomysis (an invasive opossum shrimp) which is heavily used at times by juvenile salmon for food. Neomysis has become very abundant in lower Snake River reservoirs in recent years and may be a profitable food item for many fish species.

  16. Animal models of gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Animal models of acute and chronic pancreatitis.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Xianbao; Wang, Fan; Bi, Yan; Ji, Baoan

    2016-09-01

    Animal models of pancreatitis are useful for elucidating the pathogenesis of pancreatitis and developing and testing novel interventions. In this review, we aim to summarize the most commonly used animal models, overview their pathophysiology, and discuss their strengths and limitations. We will also briefly describe common animal study procedures and refer readers to more detailed protocols in the literature. Although animal models include pigs, dogs, opossums, and other animals, we will mainly focus on rodent models because of their popularity. Autoimmune pancreatitis and genetically engineered animal models will be reviewed elsewhere. PMID:27418683

  17. Complete genome sequence of Piry vesiculovirus.

    PubMed

    de Souza, William Marciel; Acrani, Gustavo Olszanski; Romeiro, Marilia Farignoli; Júnior, Osvaldo Reis; Tolardo, Aline Lavado; de Andrade, Amanda Araújo Serrão; da Silva Gonçalves Vianez Júnior, João Lídio; de Almeida Medeiros, Daniele Barbosa; Nunes, Márcio Roberto Teixeira; Figueiredo, Luiz Tadeu Moraes

    2016-08-01

    Piry virus (PIRYV) is a rhabdovirus (genus Vesiculovirus) and is described as a possible human pathogen, originally isolated from a Philander opossum trapped in Para State, Northern Brazil. This study describes the complete full coding sequence and the genetic characterization of PIRYV. The genome sequence reveals that PIRYV has a typical vesiculovirus-like organization, encoding the five genes typical of the genus. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that PIRYV is most closely related to Perinet virus and clustered in the same clade as Chandipura and Isfahan vesiculoviruses. PMID:27216928

  18. Those other mammals: the immunoglobulins and T cell receptors of marsupials and monotremes.

    PubMed

    Miller, Robert D

    2010-02-01

    This review summarizes analyses of marsupial and monotreme immunoglobulin and T cell receptor genetics and expression published over the past decade. Analyses of recently completed whole genome sequences from the opossum and the platypus have yielded insight into the evolution of the common antigen receptor systems, as well as discovery of novel receptors that appear to have been lost in eutherian mammals. These species are also useful for investigation of the development of the immune system in organisms notable for giving birth to highly altricial young, as well as the evolution of maternal immunity through comparison of oviparous and viviparous mammals.

  19. Common plankton of Twin Lakes, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Lieberman, D.M.

    1983-02-01

    A series of studies is being performed to evaluate the effects of the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Powerplant on the ecology of Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes are a pair of connected dimictic lakes, formed as the result of glacial action on alluvial deposits. This report presents a taxonomic species study of the common plankton collected since 1974 from Twin Lakes. A total of 11 zooplankters and 14 phytoplankters were identified from the limnetic zone of Twin Lakes and the associated Mt. Elbert Forebay. The four divisions of zooplankton included four species of Rotifera (rotifer), three species of Copepoda (copepod), three species of Cladocera (cladoceran), and one species of Mysidacea (opossum shrimp).

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

    DOE Data Explorer

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

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

  1. Prevalence of Bordetella bronchiseptica in certain central Iowa.

    PubMed

    Farrington, D O; Jorgenson, R D

    1976-10-01

    Bordetella bronchiseptica was isolated from 6 of 13 short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and 1 of 47 house sparrows (Passer domesticus) trapped in the vicinity of a swine Bordetella rhinitis experimental area. The organism was found in four of 50 foxes (Vulpes fulva), 2 of 36 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) and 1 of 37 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in the Ames, Iowa area. This bacterium was not culturally isolated from 14 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), 64 house mice (Mus Musculus), 10 masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and 54 starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). PMID:16502690

  2. Neosporosis in South America.

    PubMed

    Moore, D P

    2005-01-20

    This work gathers reports about Neospora-infections in South America. Neospora-infections have been reported from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Evidence of exposure to N. caninum was mentioned in cattle, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, water buffaloes, alpacas, llamas, South American opossums, wolves and other wild canids. No antibodies were found in horses. Interesting epidemiological and pathological data were described. Two isolations were performed from dogs, one from cattle, and recently five from water buffaloes. Since the cattle industry is important in South America and reproductive losses caused by Neospora-infection have been identified, more investigations are needed in order to understand its epidemiology and control the disease.

  3. 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.

  4. Phylogenetic differences of mammalian basal metabolic rate are not explained by mitochondrial basal proton leak

    PubMed Central

    Polymeropoulos, E. T.; Heldmaier, G.; Frappell, P. B.; McAllan, B. M.; Withers, K. W.; Klingenspor, M.; White, C. R.; Jastroch, M.

    2012-01-01

    Metabolic rates of mammals presumably increased during the evolution of endothermy, but molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying basal metabolic rate (BMR) are still not understood. It has been established that mitochondrial basal proton leak contributes significantly to BMR. Comparative studies among a diversity of eutherian mammals showed that BMR correlates with body mass and proton leak. Here, we studied BMR and mitochondrial basal proton leak in liver of various marsupial species. Surprisingly, we found that the mitochondrial proton leak was greater in marsupials than in eutherians, although marsupials have lower BMRs. To verify our finding, we kept similar-sized individuals of a marsupial opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and a eutherian rodent (Mesocricetus auratus) species under identical conditions, and directly compared BMR and basal proton leak. We confirmed an approximately 40 per cent lower mass specific BMR in the opossum although its proton leak was significantly higher (approx. 60%). We demonstrate that the increase in BMR during eutherian evolution is not based on a general increase in the mitochondrial proton leak, although there is a similar allometric relationship of proton leak and BMR within mammalian groups. The difference in proton leak between endothermic groups may assist in elucidating distinct metabolic and habitat requirements that have evolved during mammalian divergence. PMID:21632624

  5. Myosin 1b Regulates Amino Acid Transport by Associating Transporters with the Apical Plasma Membrane of Kidney Cells

    PubMed Central

    Komaba, Shigeru; Coluccio, Lynne M.

    2015-01-01

    Amino acid transporters (AATers) in the brush border of the apical plasma membrane (APM) of renal proximal tubule (PT) cells mediate amino acid transport (AAT). We found that the membrane-associated class I myosin myosin 1b (Myo1b) localized at the apical brush border membrane of PTs. In opossum kidney (OK) 3B/2 epithelial cells, which are derived from PTs, expressed rat Myo1b-GFP colocalized in patched microvilli with expressed mouse V5-tagged SIT1 (SIT1-V5), which mediates neutral amino acid transport in OK cells. Lentivirus-mediated delivery of opossum Myo1b-specific shRNA resulted in knockdown (kd) of Myo1b expression, less SIT1-V5 at the APM as determined by localization studies, and a decrease in neutral AAT as determined by radioactive uptake assays. Myo1b kd had no effect on Pi transport or noticeable change in microvilli structure as determined by rhodamine phalloidin staining. The studies are the first to define a physiological role for Myo1b, that of regulating renal AAT by modulating the association of AATers with the APM. PMID:26361046

  6. New records and human parasitism by Ornithodoros mimon (Acari: Argasidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Labruna, Marcelo B; Marcili, Arlei; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Barros-Battesti, Darci M; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Fernandes, André A; Leite, Romario C; Venzal, Jose M

    2014-01-01

    The bat tick Ornithodoros mimon Kohls, Clifford & Jones is currently known by only few reports in Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, and the state of São Paulo in southeastern Brazil. Here, we expand the distribution of O. mimon in Brazil to the states of Minas Gerais (southeastern region), Goiás (central-western), Pernambuco, and Rio Grande do Norte (northeastern). Ticks were collected on human dwellings, where there had been repeated complains of tick bites on persons during the night. Tick bites were generally followed by intense inflammatory reactions that lasted for several weeks at the bite site. Bats and opossums were reported to inhabit the attic of the infested houses. In addition, a free-ranging opossum (Didelphis albiventris Lund) trapped in Rio Grande do Norte was found infested by argasid larvae. Based on morphological and/or molecular analysis, all ticks were identified as O. mimon. From one of the sites (Tiradentes, state of Minas Gerais), 20 field-collected nymphs were tested by a battery of polymerase chain reaction protocols targeting tick-borne microorganisms of the genera Babesia, Hepatozoon, Rickettsia, Borrelia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Coxiella; no tick specimen was found infected by any of these microorganism genera. The current study expands northwards the distribution of O. mimon, which has been shown to be very harmful to humans because of the intense inflammatory response that usually occurs after tick bites. PMID:24605480

  7. Trivittatus virus infections in wild mammals and sentinel rabbits in central Iowa.

    PubMed

    Pinger, R R; Rowley, W A; Wong, Y W; Dorsey, D C

    1975-11-01

    A serological survey was conducted in Iowa to determine the prevalence rate of California group virus antibodies in sera of several vertebrate species. Serum specimens were assayed for infectivity-neutralizing antibody in a microneutralization system with baby hamster kidney cell culture. Of 77 sera assayed, 21 (27%) neutralized trivittatus (TVT) virus infectivity. The antibody prevalence rate was highest for eastern cottontail rabbits inasmuch as 46% (10/22) of the serum specimens form this species possessed neutralizing activity. Other vertebrate species having TVT virus antibody included the fox squirrel, 29% (7/24), opossum, 12% (3/25), and raccoon, 17% (1/6). One cottontail rabbit serum neutralized both TVT virus and Jamestown Canyon (JC) virus infectivity, and one opossum serum specimen neutralized JC virus. None of the vertebrate sera neutralized La Crosse, St. Louis encephalitis, or western equine encephalomyelitis virus infectivity. Trivittatus virus neutralizing antibody was detected in the sera of sentinel rabbits, and TVT virus was isolated from the blood collected from one of these sentinels shortly after the first population peak of adult Aedes trivittatus mosquitoes in 1973. The implications of these data and the possibility of trans-ovarial transmission of TVT virus in A. trivittatus are discussed.

  8. 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. PMID:25647587

  9. 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.

  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. Feeding Patterns of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alencar, Jeronimo; Mello, Cecília Ferreira de; Gil-Santana, Hélcio R; Giupponi, Alessandro Ponce de Leão; Araújo, Andressa Nunes; Lorosa, Elias Seixas; Guimarães, Anthony Érico; Silva, Júlia Dos Santos

    2015-09-01

    The stomach contents of culicids from the Atlantic Forest in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, were analyzed using the precipitin technique to evaluate the feeding patterns of the species. Sampling was performed from February 2012 to December 2013, using CO2-baited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traps to catch mosquitoes from 15 00 to 07 00 hours. The following antisera were used: bird, rodent, opossum, human, horse, capybara, lizard, and frog. Of the 325 adult bloodfed females caught and analyzed, 273 (84.0%) reacted in the precipitin test. The percentage of specimens with a positive reaction to a single antiserum included bird (39.2%), rodent (22.5%), opossum (13.2%), capybara (6.6%), horse (5.7%), frog (6.2%), human (4.0%), and lizard (2.6%). The specimens that reacted positively against more than one blood source (46) most frequently presented the following combinations: bird + rodent and bird + frog (17.4%), followed by bird + human (13.0%). The predominance of positive results for birds suggested that the avian-rich environment might have influenced the feeding behavior of the culicids. PMID:26336238

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mechanics of generating friction during locomotion on rough and smooth arboreal trackways.

    PubMed

    Lammers, Andrew R

    2009-04-01

    Traveling on arboreal substrates is common among most small mammals living anywhere vegetation grows. Because arboreal supports vary considerably in surface texture, animals must be able to adjust their locomotor biomechanics to remain stable on such supports. I examined how gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), which are generalized marsupials living on or near the ground, adjust to travel on rough and smooth 2 cm-diameter arboreal trackways. Limb contact position was determined via high-speed videography, and substrate reaction force was measured by an instrumented section of each branch trackway. Normal and shear forces were calculated from substrate reaction force and limb contact position around the branch trackways. Normal force is greater in forelimbs, probably because of the forelimb's greater weight support role. Shear force was identical between limb pairs, most likely because of interactions between vertical force, limb placement, mediolateral force, and torque. The opossums adjusted to the smooth trackway mainly by reducing speed, changing footfall patterns and increasing normal force. I predict that arboreal specialists will show less change in performance between rough and smooth arboreal trackways because of their greater ability to grasp or maintain contact with arboreal substrates.

  15. 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.

  16. Marsupial and monotreme genomes.

    PubMed

    Koina, E; Fong, J; Graves, J A Marshall

    2006-01-01

    Marsupials and monotremes are 'alternative mammals', independent experiments of mammalian evolution that diverged from placental mammals 180 and 210 million years ago (MYA), respectively. Marsupials (e.g. kangaroo, opossum) and monotremes (e.g. platypus) differ from placental mammals in many characteristics, particularly reproduction. With their early divergence from placentals, they fill the phylogenetic gap between the mammal-reptile divergence 310 MYA and the placental radiation 100 MYA. Their genomes are similar in size to those of placentals, but their chromosomes are quite distinctive. Marsupials have a few very large and very conserved chromosomes, while monotremes show a reptile-like size dichotomy and have a unique chain of ten sex chromosomes. Studies of gene arrangement in marsupials and monotremes have delivered many surprises that necessitate re-evaluation of the function and control of several genes in all mammals including humans, and provide new insights into the evolution of the mammalian genome, particularly the sex chromosomes. With the imminent sequencing of the genomes of two marsupials (the short-tailed grey Brazilian opossum and an Australian model kangaroo) and the platypus, much more detailed comparisons become possible. Even the first few analyses of marsupial and platypus sequences confirm the value of sequence comparisons for finding new genes and regulatory regions and exploring their function, as well as deducing how they evolved. PMID:18753774

  17. ACP5 (Uteroferrin): phylogeny of an ancient and conserved gene expressed in the endometrium of mammals.

    PubMed

    Padua, Maria B; Lynch, Vincent J; Alvarez, Natalia V; Garthwaite, Mark A; Golos, Thaddeus G; Bazer, Fuller W; Kalkunte, Satyan; Sharma, Surendra; Wagner, Gunter P; Hansen, Peter J

    2012-04-01

    Type 5 acid phosphatase (ACP5; also known as tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase or uteroferrin) is a metalloprotein secreted by the endometrial glandular epithelium of pigs, mares, sheep, and water buffalo. In this paper, we describe the phylogenetic distribution of endometrial expression of ACP5 and demonstrate that endometrial expression arose early in evolution (i.e., before divergence of prototherian and therian mammals ~166 million years ago). To determine expression of ACP5 in the pregnant endometrium, RNA was isolated from rhesus, mouse, rat, dog, sheep, cow, horse, armadillo, opossum, and duck-billed platypus. Results from RT-PCR and RNA-Seq experiments confirmed that ACP5 is expressed in all species examined. ACP5 was also demonstrated immunochemically in endometrium of rhesus, marmoset, sheep, cow, goat, and opossum. Alignment of inferred amino acid sequences shows a high conservation of ACP5 throughout speciation, with species-specific differences most extensive in the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of the protein. Analysis by Selecton indicated that most of the sites in ACP5 are undergoing purifying selection, and no sites undergoing positive selection were found. In conclusion, endometrial expression of ACP5 is a common feature in all orders of mammals and has been subjected to purifying selection. Expression of ACP5 in the uterus predates the divergence of therians and prototherians. ACP5 is an evolutionary conserved gene that likely exerts a common function important for pregnancy in mammals using a wide range of reproductive strategies. PMID:22278982

  18. 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. PMID:25811893

  19. Myosin 1b Regulates Amino Acid Transport by Associating Transporters with the Apical Plasma Membrane of Kidney Cells.

    PubMed

    Komaba, Shigeru; Coluccio, Lynne M

    2015-01-01

    Amino acid transporters (AATers) in the brush border of the apical plasma membrane (APM) of renal proximal tubule (PT) cells mediate amino acid transport (AAT). We found that the membrane-associated class I myosin myosin 1b (Myo1b) localized at the apical brush border membrane of PTs. In opossum kidney (OK) 3B/2 epithelial cells, which are derived from PTs, expressed rat Myo1b-GFP colocalized in patched microvilli with expressed mouse V5-tagged SIT1 (SIT1-V5), which mediates neutral amino acid transport in OK cells. Lentivirus-mediated delivery of opossum Myo1b-specific shRNA resulted in knockdown (kd) of Myo1b expression, less SIT1-V5 at the APM as determined by localization studies, and a decrease in neutral AAT as determined by radioactive uptake assays. Myo1b kd had no effect on Pi transport or noticeable change in microvilli structure as determined by rhodamine phalloidin staining. The studies are the first to define a physiological role for Myo1b, that of regulating renal AAT by modulating the association of AATers with the APM. PMID:26361046

  20. Feeding Patterns of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alencar, Jeronimo; Mello, Cecília Ferreira de; Gil-Santana, Hélcio R; Giupponi, Alessandro Ponce de Leão; Araújo, Andressa Nunes; Lorosa, Elias Seixas; Guimarães, Anthony Érico; Silva, Júlia Dos Santos

    2015-09-01

    The stomach contents of culicids from the Atlantic Forest in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, were analyzed using the precipitin technique to evaluate the feeding patterns of the species. Sampling was performed from February 2012 to December 2013, using CO2-baited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traps to catch mosquitoes from 15 00 to 07 00 hours. The following antisera were used: bird, rodent, opossum, human, horse, capybara, lizard, and frog. Of the 325 adult bloodfed females caught and analyzed, 273 (84.0%) reacted in the precipitin test. The percentage of specimens with a positive reaction to a single antiserum included bird (39.2%), rodent (22.5%), opossum (13.2%), capybara (6.6%), horse (5.7%), frog (6.2%), human (4.0%), and lizard (2.6%). The specimens that reacted positively against more than one blood source (46) most frequently presented the following combinations: bird + rodent and bird + frog (17.4%), followed by bird + human (13.0%). The predominance of positive results for birds suggested that the avian-rich environment might have influenced the feeding behavior of the culicids.

  1. Comparative analysis of mammalian sperm motility.

    PubMed

    Phillips, D M

    1972-05-01

    Spermatozoa of several mammalian species were studied by means of high-speed cinematography and electron microscopy. Three types of motile patterns were observed in mouse spermatozoa. The first type involved an asymmetrical beat which seemed to propel the sperm in circular paths. The second type involved rotation of the sperm and appeared to allow them to maintain straight paths. In the third type of pattern, the sperm appeared to move by crawling on surfaces in a snakelike manner. Spermatozoa of rabbit and Chinese hamster also had an asymmetrical beat which sometimes caused them to swim in circles. In spite of the asymmetry of the beat, these spermatozoa were also able to swim in straight paths by rotating around a central axis as they swam. Spermatozoa of some species appeared very flexible; their flagella formed arcs with a very small radius of curvature as they beat. Spermatozoa of other species appeared very stiff, and their flagella formed arcs with a very large radius of curvature. The stiffness of the spermatozoan appeared to correlate positively with the cross-sectional area of the dense fibers. This suggests that the dense fibers may be stiff elastic elements. Opossum sperm become paired as they pass through the epididymis. Pairs of opossum spermatozoa beat in a coordinated, alternating manner.

  2. Phylogenetic appearance of Neuropeptide S precursor proteins in tetrapods

    PubMed Central

    Reinscheid, Rainer K.

    2007-01-01

    Sleep and emotional behavior are two hallmarks of vertebrate animal behavior, implying that specialized neuronal circuits and dedicated neurochemical messengers may have been developed during evolution to regulate such complex behaviors. Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a newly identified peptide transmitter that activates a typical G protein-coupled receptor. Central administration of NPS produces profound arousal, enhances wakefulness and suppresses all stages of sleep. In addition, NPS can alleviate behavioral responses to stress by producing anxiolytic-like effects. A bioinformatic analysis of current genome databases revealed that the NPS peptide precursor gene is present in all vertebrates with the exception of fish. A high level of sequence conservation, especially of aminoterminal structures was detected, indicating stringent requirements for agonist-induced receptor activation. Duplication of the NPS precursor gene was only found in one out of two marsupial species with sufficient genome coverage (Monodelphis domestica; opossum), indicating that the duplicated opossum NPS sequence might have arisen as an isolated event. Pharmacological analysis of both Monodelphis NPS peptides revealed that only the closely related NPS peptide retained agonistic activity at NPS receptors. The duplicated precursor might be either a pseudogene or could have evolved different receptor selectivity. Together, these data show that NPS is a relatively recent gene in vertebrate evolution whose appearance might coincide with its specialized physiological functions in terrestrial vertebrates. PMID:17293003

  3. ACP5 (Uteroferrin): phylogeny of an ancient and conserved gene expressed in the endometrium of mammals.

    PubMed

    Padua, Maria B; Lynch, Vincent J; Alvarez, Natalia V; Garthwaite, Mark A; Golos, Thaddeus G; Bazer, Fuller W; Kalkunte, Satyan; Sharma, Surendra; Wagner, Gunter P; Hansen, Peter J

    2012-04-01

    Type 5 acid phosphatase (ACP5; also known as tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase or uteroferrin) is a metalloprotein secreted by the endometrial glandular epithelium of pigs, mares, sheep, and water buffalo. In this paper, we describe the phylogenetic distribution of endometrial expression of ACP5 and demonstrate that endometrial expression arose early in evolution (i.e., before divergence of prototherian and therian mammals ~166 million years ago). To determine expression of ACP5 in the pregnant endometrium, RNA was isolated from rhesus, mouse, rat, dog, sheep, cow, horse, armadillo, opossum, and duck-billed platypus. Results from RT-PCR and RNA-Seq experiments confirmed that ACP5 is expressed in all species examined. ACP5 was also demonstrated immunochemically in endometrium of rhesus, marmoset, sheep, cow, goat, and opossum. Alignment of inferred amino acid sequences shows a high conservation of ACP5 throughout speciation, with species-specific differences most extensive in the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of the protein. Analysis by Selecton indicated that most of the sites in ACP5 are undergoing purifying selection, and no sites undergoing positive selection were found. In conclusion, endometrial expression of ACP5 is a common feature in all orders of mammals and has been subjected to purifying selection. Expression of ACP5 in the uterus predates the divergence of therians and prototherians. ACP5 is an evolutionary conserved gene that likely exerts a common function important for pregnancy in mammals using a wide range of reproductive strategies.

  4. Waves of Retrotransposon Expansion Remodel Genome Organization and CTCF Binding in Multiple Mammalian Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Dominic; Schwalie, Petra C.; Wilson, Michael D.; Ballester, Benoit; Gonçalves, Ângela; Kutter, Claudia; Brown, Gordon D.; Marshall, Aileen; Flicek, Paul; Odom, Duncan T.

    2012-01-01

    Summary CTCF-binding locations represent regulatory sequences that are highly constrained over the course of evolution. To gain insight into how these DNA elements are conserved and spread through the genome, we defined the full spectrum of CTCF-binding sites, including a 33/34-mer motif, and identified over five thousand highly conserved, robust, and tissue-independent CTCF-binding locations by comparing ChIP-seq data from six mammals. Our data indicate that activation of retroelements has produced species-specific expansions of CTCF binding in rodents, dogs, and opossum, which often functionally serve as chromatin and transcriptional insulators. We discovered fossilized repeat elements flanking deeply conserved CTCF-binding regions, indicating that similar retrotransposon expansions occurred hundreds of millions of years ago. Repeat-driven dispersal of CTCF binding is a fundamental, ancient, and still highly active mechanism of genome evolution in mammalian lineages. PaperClip PMID:22244452

  5. Serological investigation of heartland virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) exposure in wild and domestic animals adjacent to human case sites in Missouri 2012-2013.

    PubMed

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Panella, Nicholas A; Root, J Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Tom; Lash, R Ryan; Harmon, Jessica R; Burkhalter, Kristen L; Godsey, Marvin S; Savage, Harry M; Nicholson, William L; Komar, Nicholas; Brault, Aaron C

    2015-06-01

    Heartland virus (HRTV; Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) has recently emerged as a causative agent of human disease characterized by thrombocytopenia and leukopenia in the United States. The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum L.) has been implicated as a vector. To identify candidate vertebrate amplification hosts associated with enzootic maintenance of the virus, sera and ticks were sampled from 160 mammals (8 species) and 139 birds (26 species) captured near 2 human case residences in Andrew and Nodaway Counties in northwest Missouri. HRTV-specific neutralizing antibodies were identified in northern raccoons (42.6%), horses (17.4%), white-tailed deer (14.3%), dogs (7.7%), and Virginia opossums (3.8%), but not in birds. Virus isolation attempts from sera and ticks failed to detect HRTV. The high antibody prevalence coupled with local abundance of white-tailed deer and raccoons identifies these species as candidate amplification hosts.

  6. An X chromosome microRNA cluster in the marsupial species Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Devor, Eric J; Huang, Lingyan; Wise, Amanda; Peek, Andrew S; Samollow, Paul B

    2011-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an important class of posttranscriptional gene expression regulators. In the course of mapping novel marsupial-specific miRNAs in the genome of the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, we encountered a cluster of 39 actual and potential miRNAs spanning 102 kb of the X chromosome. Analysis of the cluster revealed that 37 of the 39 miRNAs are predicted to form thermodynamically stable hairpins, and at least 3 members have been directly cloned from M. domestica tissues. The sequence characteristics of these miRNAs suggest that they all descended from a single common ancestor. Further, 2 distinct families appear to have diversified from the ancestral sequence through different duplication mechanisms: one through a series of simple tandem duplications and the other through a recurrent transposon-mediated duplication process.

  7. Detection of Leptospira spp. in wildlife reservoir hosts in Ontario through comparison of immunohistochemical and polymerase chain reaction genotyping methods.

    PubMed

    Shearer, Karen E; Harte, Michael J; Ojkic, Davor; Delay, Josepha; Campbell, Douglas

    2014-03-01

    A total of 460 kidney samples from wildlife (beavers, coyotes, deer, foxes, opossums, otters, raccoons, skunks) were obtained from road-kill and hunter/trapper donations in Ontario between January 2010 and November 2012. The objectives of the study were to detect Leptospira spp. by immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), to map presence of leptospires in wildlife relative to livestock and human populations, and to characterize positive samples by sequencing and comparison to leptospires known to affect domestic animals and humans. The proportion of samples that tested positive ranged from 0% to 42%, with the highest rates in skunks and raccoons. Leptospira spp. were present in kidneys of wildlife across Ontario, particularly in areas of high human density, and areas in which livestock populations are abundant. The PCR was too weak in most samples to permit genotyping and examination of the relationship between the leptospires found in this study and those affecting domestic animals and humans.

  8. Origin of host-parasite associations of Marsupialges misonnei (Acariformes: Psoroptidae)-a parasitological detective story.

    PubMed

    Bochkov, Andre V; Valim, Michel P; Ochoa, Ronald; OConnor, Barry M; Averianov, Alexander O

    2016-10-01

    Host associations of permanent ectoparasitic mite Marsupialges misonnei Fain, 1963 (Acariformes: Psoroptidae: Marsupialginae) are analyzed. This species was first recorded from an ethanol-preserved museum specimen of Caluromys philander (Linnaeus, 1758) (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) originating from French Guiana. We discovered specimens of M. misonnei from both species known in the carnivore genus Nasua (Carnivora: Procyonidae): N. narica (Linnaeus, 1766) from Panama (collected in the field) and N. nasua (Linnaeus, 1766) from Brazil (collected from dry museum specimen). Two alternative hypotheses about an initial host of this mite (bare-tailed woody opossum or coatis) are discussed. We argue that M. misonnei was originally parasitic on Nasua spp. and occasionally contaminated C. philander from these hosts in the collecting process. PMID:27465562

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

    SciTech Connect

    Loots, G; Ovcharenko, I

    2006-08-08

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

  10. Agglutinins to Coxiella burnetii and Brucella spp, with particular reference to Brucella canis, in wild animals of southern Texas.

    PubMed

    Randhawa, A S; Kelly, V P; Baker, E F

    1977-11-01

    The prevalence of agglutinins to Coxiella burnetii and Brucella spp, particularly Brucella canis, was determined in 269 wild animals (14 species) in southern Texas. Serologic evidence of coxiellosis and brucellosis, including B canis infection, was shown for coyotes, raccoons, opossums, badgers, jackrabbits, and feral hogs. Using the microagglutination test, the seroprevalence of C burnetii, phases I and II (titer greater than or equal to 4) was 4.1 and 27.9%, respectively. For brucella agglutinins, prevalence rates were 7.1, 8.9, and 6.7%, as determined by the brucellosis card test, the rapid slide agglutination test, and the salt 2-mercaptoethanol tube agglutination (titer greater than or equal to 50) test, respectively.

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of climatic warming on Lakes of the central boreal forest

    SciTech Connect

    Schindler, D.W.; Beaty, K.G.; Fee, E.J.; Cruikshank, D.R.; DeBruyn, E.R.; Findlay, D.L.; Linsey, G.A.; Shearer, J.A.; Stainton, M.P.; Turner, M.A. )

    1990-11-16

    Twenty years of climatic, hydrologic, and ecological records for the Experimental Lakes Area of northwestern Ontario show that air and lake temperatures have increased by 2{degree}C and the length of the ice-free season has increased by 3 weeks. Higher than normal evaporation and lower than average precipitation have decreased rates of water renewal in lakes. Concentrations of most chemicals have increased in both lakes and streams because of decreased water renewal and forest fires in the catchments. In Lake 239, populations and diversity of phytoplankton also increased, but primary production showed no consistent trend. Increased wind velocities, increased transparency, and increased exposure to wind of lakes in burned catchments caused thermoclines to deepen. As a result, summer habitats for cold stenothermic organisms like lake trout and opossum shrimp decreased. Our observations may provide a preview of the effects of increased greenhouse warming on boreal lakes. 27 refs., 1 fig.

  13. Photoreactivation of UV-induced pyrimidine dimers and erythema in the marsupial Monodelphis domestica

    SciTech Connect

    Ley, R.D.

    1985-04-01

    Post-UV treatment of the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica with photoreactivating light (320-400 nm) suppressed the appearance of UV-induced erythema as evidenced by an increase in the dose of UV required to elicit an erythemal response. Pre-UV exposure to photoreactivating light had no effect on the UV induction of erythema. The dose-response for the photoreversal of pyrimidine dimers in epidermal DNA of M. domestica was similar to that for the photoreactivation of erythema induction. These data not only support the notion that DNA is the primary chromophore involved in the induction of erythema but also identify pyrimidine dimers as the major DNA change responsible for its induction. These results also identify M. domestica as a useful whole-animal system with which to determine the role of pyrimidine dimers in other photobiological responses of mammalian skin.

  14. Comparative uptake of uranium, thorium, and plutonium by biota inhabiting a contaminated Tennessee floodplain

    SciTech Connect

    Garten, C.T. Jr.; Bondietti, E.A.; Walker, R.L.

    1981-04-01

    The uptake of /sup 238/U, /sup 232/Th, and /sup 239/Pu from soil by fescue, grasshoppers, and small mammals was compared at the contaminated White Oak Creek floodplain in East Tennessee. Comparisons of actinide uptake were based on analyses of radionuclide ratios (U/Pu and Th/Pu) in soil and biota. U:Pu ratios in small mammal carcasses (shrews, mice, and rats) and bone samples from larger mammals (rabbit, woodchuck, opossum, and raccoon) were significantly greater (P less than or equal to 0.05) than U/Pu ratios in soil (based on 8M HNO/sub 3/ extractable). There was no significant difference between Th/Pu ratios in animals and soil. The order of actinide accumulation by biota from the site relative to contaminated soil was U > Th approx. = Pu.

  15. Environmental Assessment on Construction of the Cabinet Gorge Kokanee Hatchery.

    SciTech Connect

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1984-10-01

    Bonneville Power Administration, the Washington Water Power Company, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game plan to enter into a cooperative cost-sharing agreement for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a kokanee hatchery in northern Idaho. The proposed hatchery shall supplement mitigation of adverse federal and non-federal hydroelectric and nonhydroelectric impacts. Hydroelectric impacts were primarily degradation of the Lake Pend Oreille shoreline kokanee habitat and blockage of migrating Clark Fork River kokanee. The introduction and establishment of Mysis relicta, the opossum shrimp, created further adverse effects on the kokanee fishery. The proposed hatchery will produce 20 million advanced-stage kokanee fry which will restore the Lake Pend Oreille kokanee fishery level to 744,000 harvestable adults after the first 5 years of operation. 6 references, 4 figures.

  16. Comparative biology of the sculpins of Lake Superior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Selgeby, James H.

    1988-01-01

    The slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus), spoonhead sculpin (Cottus ricei), and deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsoni) are abundant fishes in Lake Superior. Slimy and spoonhead sculpins occupy a zone from near shore to depths of 210 m but are generally most abundant in waters 50 to 90 m deep. Deepwater sculpins are found in waters from 15 to 407 m deep and are most abundant at depths greater than 70 m. All three species of sculpins eat mainly burrowing amphipods (Pontoporeia affinis) although deepwater sculpins also eat substantial quantities of opossum shrimp (Mysis relicta). The three sculpins grow at similar rates. Among the fishes aged, the maximum age of slimy sculpins was 5 years, compared with 6 years for spoonhead sculpins, and 7 years for deepwater sculpins. Indirect evidence indicates that slimy and spoonhead sculpins spawn in the spring, and deepwater sculpins spawn in midwinter.

  17. The isolation and identification of Trypanosoma cruzi from raccoons in Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walton, B.C.; Bauman, P.M.; Diamond, L.S.; Herman, C.M.

    1958-01-01

    Five raccoons trapped at Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland, were found to have trypanosomes in the blood which were morphologically indistinguishable from Trypanosoma cruzi on stained smears. The organism grew well in culture. It developed and reproduced in Triatoma protracta, T. infestans, T. phyllosoma, and Rhodnius prolixus. Experimental infections were produced in raccoons, opossums, mice, rats, and monkeys by inoculation of blood, culture, and triatome forms. Typical leishmaniform bodies were found in tissue sections of cardiac muscle fibers from naturally and experimentally infected animals. Cross agglutinations carried out with Iiving cultural forms and rabbit antisera demonstrated a close antigenic relationship between the raccoon trypanosome and T. cruzi (Brazil strain). On the basis of (1) morphology, (2) presence of leishmaniform tissue stages, (3) development in triatomes, (4) infectivity to a variety of mammals, (5) culture characteristics, and (6) cross reactions in serological tests, this parasite is considered conspecific with Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas, 1909), the causative agent of American human trypanosomiasis.

  18. Detection of Leptospira spp. in wildlife reservoir hosts in Ontario through comparison of immunohistochemical and polymerase chain reaction genotyping methods

    PubMed Central

    Shearer, Karen E.; Harte, Michael J.; Ojkic, Davor; DeLay, Josepha; Campbell, Douglas

    2014-01-01

    A total of 460 kidney samples from wildlife (beavers, coyotes, deer, foxes, opossums, otters, raccoons, skunks) were obtained from road-kill and hunter/trapper donations in Ontario between January 2010 and November 2012. The objectives of the study were to detect Leptospira spp. by immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), to map presence of leptospires in wildlife relative to livestock and human populations, and to characterize positive samples by sequencing and comparison to leptospires known to affect domestic animals and humans. The proportion of samples that tested positive ranged from 0% to 42%, with the highest rates in skunks and raccoons. Leptospira spp. were present in kidneys of wildlife across Ontario, particularly in areas of high human density, and areas in which livestock populations are abundant. The PCR was too weak in most samples to permit genotyping and examination of the relationship between the leptospires found in this study and those affecting domestic animals and humans. PMID:24587507

  19. Origin of host-parasite associations of Marsupialges misonnei (Acariformes: Psoroptidae)-a parasitological detective story.

    PubMed

    Bochkov, Andre V; Valim, Michel P; Ochoa, Ronald; OConnor, Barry M; Averianov, Alexander O

    2016-10-01

    Host associations of permanent ectoparasitic mite Marsupialges misonnei Fain, 1963 (Acariformes: Psoroptidae: Marsupialginae) are analyzed. This species was first recorded from an ethanol-preserved museum specimen of Caluromys philander (Linnaeus, 1758) (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) originating from French Guiana. We discovered specimens of M. misonnei from both species known in the carnivore genus Nasua (Carnivora: Procyonidae): N. narica (Linnaeus, 1766) from Panama (collected in the field) and N. nasua (Linnaeus, 1766) from Brazil (collected from dry museum specimen). Two alternative hypotheses about an initial host of this mite (bare-tailed woody opossum or coatis) are discussed. We argue that M. misonnei was originally parasitic on Nasua spp. and occasionally contaminated C. philander from these hosts in the collecting process.

  20. Serological Investigation of Heartland Virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) Exposure in Wild and Domestic Animals Adjacent to Human Case Sites in Missouri 2012–2013

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Heartland virus (HRTV; Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) has recently emerged as a causative agent of human disease characterized by thrombocytopenia and leukopenia in the United States. The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum L.) has been implicated as a vector. To identify candidate vertebrate amplification hosts associated with enzootic maintenance of the virus, sera and ticks were sampled from 160 mammals (8 species) and 139 birds (26 species) captured near 2 human case residences in Andrew and Nodaway Counties in northwest Missouri. HRTV-specific neutralizing antibodies were identified in northern raccoons (42.6%), horses (17.4%), white-tailed deer (14.3%), dogs (7.7%), and Virginia opossums (3.8%), but not in birds. Virus isolation attempts from sera and ticks failed to detect HRTV. The high antibody prevalence coupled with local abundance of white-tailed deer and raccoons identifies these species as candidate amplification hosts. PMID:25870419

  1. New members of the neurexin superfamily: multiple rodent homologues of the human CASPR5 gene.

    PubMed

    Traut, Walther; Weichenhan, Dieter; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Winking, Heinz

    2006-07-01

    Proteins of the Caspr family are involved in cell contacts and communication in the nervous system. We identified and, by in silico reconstruction, compiled three orthologues of the human CASPR5 gene from the mouse genome, four from the rat genome, and one each from the chimpanzee, dog, opossum, and chicken genomes. Obviously, Caspr5 gene duplications have taken place during evolution of the rodent lineage. In the rat, the four paralogues are located in one chromosome arm, Chr 13p. In the mouse, however, the three Caspr5 genes are located in two chromosomes, Chr 1 and Chr 17. RT-PCR shows that all three mouse paralogues are being expressed. Common expression is found in brain tissue but different expression patterns are seen in other organs during fetal development and in the adult stage. Tissue specificity of expression has diverged during evolution of this young rodent gene family. PMID:16845472

  2. Bartonella and Rickettsia in fleas and lice from mammals in South Carolina, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Will K; Nelder, Mark P; Korecki, James A

    2005-12-01

    Species in the genera Bartonella and Rickettsia are vector-borne pathogens of humans and domestic animals. The natural reservoirs and enzootic transmission cycles of these bacteria are poorly known in South Carolina. Thirteen species of lice and fleas were collected from urban animals and screened for the presence of Bartonella and Rickettsia by PCR amplification using genus-specific primers. Bartonella henselae was present in cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) from Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and a novel genotype of Bartonella was detected in Orchopeas howardi from an eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). We detected R. typhi and three novel genotypes Rickettsia in other species of fleas and lice. Rickettsia typhi, the causative agent of murine typhus, was detected in two pools of lice (Enderleinellus marmotae) from the woodchuck (Marmota monax). Cat fleas harbored one of two novel genotypes of Rickettsia. A third novel Rickettsia was detected in Orchopeas howardi from an eastern gray squirrel.

  3. 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. PMID:11695403

  4. Human Trypanosomiasis in the Eastern Region of the Panama Province: New Endemic Areas for Chagas Disease

    PubMed Central

    Calzada, José E.; Pineda, Vanesa; Garisto, Juan D.; Samudio, Franklyn; Santamaria, Ana Maria; Saldaña, Azael

    2010-01-01

    The epidemiology of Chagas disease was studied in five rural communities located in the eastern region of the Panama Province. Serological tests for Trypanosoma cruzi infection revealed a prevalence of 5.88% (12/204). Hemocultures coupled with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis showed a Trypanosoma rangeli infection rate of 5.88% (12/204). An overall trypanosome infection index of 11.76% (24/204) was detected in this population. A total of 121 triatomine specimens were collected in domestic and peridomestic habitats. Rhodnius pallescens was confirmed as the predominant species. Molecular analysis showed that 17.8% (13/73) of the examined insects were positive for T. cruzi, 17.8% (13/73) for T. rangeli, and 35.6% (26/73) presented mixed infections. Among 73 R. pallescens evaluated, 16.4% (12/73) contained opossum blood meals. The epidemiological implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:20348502

  5. [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.

  6. Morphology of the lingual papillae in the brush-tailed rat kangaroo.

    PubMed

    Emura, Shoichi; Okumura, Toshihiko; Chen, Huayue

    2014-01-01

    We examined the dorsal lingual surface of an adult brush-tailed rat kangaroo (Bettongia penicillata) by scanning electron microscopy. The filiform and fungiform papillae on the lingual apex and body consisted of a main papilla and secondary papillae. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae on the lingual apex was cylindrical in shape with a crushed top. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae on the lingual body had one large and several small processes. The fungiform papillae were round in shape. The connective tissue core of the fungiform papillae had several depressions on its top. The surface of the vallate papillae was rough and the papillae were surrounded by a groove and a pad. Several long conical papillae derived from the posterolateral margin of the tongue where foliate papillae have been shown to be distributed in many other animal species. The long conical papillae were very similar to those of the koala and opossum.

  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. PMID:11454299

  8. 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).

  9. Species composition and relative abundance of sand flies of the genus Lutzomyia (Diptera: Psychodidae) at an endemic focus of visceral leishmaniasis in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Ferro, C; Morrison, A C; Torres, M; Pardo, R; Wilson, M L; Tesh, R B

    1995-07-01

    Ecological studies on the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva) were conducted during 1990-1993 at a small rural community in Colombia where American visceral leishmaniasis is endemic. Weekly sand fly collections were made from pigpens, houses, and natural resting sites, using hand-held aspirators, sticky (oiled) paper traps, and opossum-baited Disney traps. In total, 263,094 sand flies were collected; L. longipalpis predominated (86.1%), followed by L. trinidadensis (11.0%), L. cayennensis (2.7%), and 8 other Lutzomyia species. The species composition and sex ratio of these sand flies varied among sites and by collection method. L. longipalpis were captured most efficiently by direct aspiration from animal bait. Conversely, sticky paper traps, especially inside houses and at rock resting sites, collected a greater diversity of species, but a lower relative abundance of L. longipalpis.

  10. Host preferences of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis at an endemic focus of American visceral leishmaniasis in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Morrison, A C; Ferro, C; Tesh, R B

    1993-07-01

    Blood meals from 579 Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera:Psychodidae), collected in an endemic focus of American visceral leishmaniasis in Colombia, were identified by precipitin test. Sand fly collections were made during a 16-month period from the inside walls of two houses, a pigpen, and rock crevices in a small community (El Callejon) within the endemic area. Feeding patterns of the sand flies varied with locality and date of collection. Overall, bovine feedings predominated, but feedings were also recorded on pigs, equines, humans, dogs, opossums, birds, and reptiles. Calculation of the forage ratios for each host species indicated that cows and pigs were the preferred hosts of Lu. longipalpis in El Callejon. Results of this study suggest that Lu. longipalpis is an opportunistic feeder and is not highly anthropophilic nor strongly attracted to dogs.

  11. Serological investigation of heartland virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) exposure in wild and domestic animals adjacent to human case sites in Missouri 2012-2013.

    PubMed

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Panella, Nicholas A; Root, J Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Tom; Lash, R Ryan; Harmon, Jessica R; Burkhalter, Kristen L; Godsey, Marvin S; Savage, Harry M; Nicholson, William L; Komar, Nicholas; Brault, Aaron C

    2015-06-01

    Heartland virus (HRTV; Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) has recently emerged as a causative agent of human disease characterized by thrombocytopenia and leukopenia in the United States. The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum L.) has been implicated as a vector. To identify candidate vertebrate amplification hosts associated with enzootic maintenance of the virus, sera and ticks were sampled from 160 mammals (8 species) and 139 birds (26 species) captured near 2 human case residences in Andrew and Nodaway Counties in northwest Missouri. HRTV-specific neutralizing antibodies were identified in northern raccoons (42.6%), horses (17.4%), white-tailed deer (14.3%), dogs (7.7%), and Virginia opossums (3.8%), but not in birds. Virus isolation attempts from sera and ticks failed to detect HRTV. The high antibody prevalence coupled with local abundance of white-tailed deer and raccoons identifies these species as candidate amplification hosts. PMID:25870419

  12. First finding of Trypanosoma cruzi II in vampire bats from a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission in Northeastern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Argibay, Hernán D; Orozco, M Marcela; Cardinal, M Victoria; Rinas, Miguel A; Arnaiz, María; Mena Segura, Carlos; Gürtler, Ricardo E

    2016-09-01

    Establishing the putative links between sylvatic and domestic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is of public health relevance. We conducted three surveys to assess T. cruzi infection in wild mammals from a rural and a preserved area in Misiones Province, Northeastern Argentina, which had recently been declared free of vector- and blood-borne transmission of human T. cruzi infection. A total of 200 wild mammals were examined by xenodiagnosis (XD) and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). The overall prevalence of T. cruzi infection was 8%. Nine (16%) of 57 Didelphis albiventris opossums and two (7%) of 29 Desmodus rotundus vampire bats were positive by both XD and kDNA-PCR. Additionally, one D. rotundus positive for T. cruzi by kDNA-PCR tested positive by satellite-DNA-PCR (SAT-DNA-PCR). The T. cruzi-infected bats were captured indoors and in the yard of a vacant dwelling. All D. albiventris were infected with TcI and both XD-positive D. rotundus by TcII. Fifty-five opossum cubs within the marsupium were negative by XD. The mean infectiousness to the vector was 62% in D. albiventris and 50% in D. rotundus. Mice experimentally infected with a parasite isolate from a vampire bat displayed lesions typically caused by T. cruzi. Our study documents the presence of the genotype TcII in a sylvatic host for the first time in Argentina, and the occurrence of two transmission cycles of T. cruzi in a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission.

  13. Epidemiology and potential land-sea transfer of enteric bacteria from terrestrial to marine species in the Monterey Bay Region of California.

    PubMed

    Oates, Stori C; Miller, Melissa A; Byrne, Barbara A; Chouicha, Nadira; Hardin, Dane; Jessup, David; Dominik, Clare; Roug, Annette; Schriewer, Alexander; Jang, Spencer S; Miller, Woutrina A

    2012-07-01

    Marine mammals are at risk for infection by fecal-associated zoonotic pathogens when they swim and feed in polluted nearshore marine waters. Because of their tendency to consume 25-30% of their body weight per day in coastal filter-feeding invertebrates, southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) can act as sentinels of marine ecosystem health in California. Feces from domestic and wildlife species were tested to determine prevalence, potential virulence, and diversity of selected opportunistic enteric bacterial pathogens in the Monterey Bay region. We hypothesized that if sea otters are sentinels of coastal health, and fecal pollution flows from land to sea, then sea otters and terrestrial animals might share the same enteric bacterial species and strains. Twenty-eight percent of fecal samples tested during 2007-2010 were positive for one or more potential pathogens. Campylobacter spp. were isolated most frequently, with an overall prevalence of 11%, followed by Vibrio cholerae (9%), Salmonella spp. (6%), V. parahaemolyticus (5%), and V. alginolyticus (3%). Sea otters were found positive for all target bacteria, exhibiting similar prevalences for Campylobacter and Salmonella spp. but greater prevalences for Vibrio spp. when compared to terrestrial animals. Fifteen Salmonella serotypes were detected, 11 of which were isolated from opossums. This is the first report of sea otter infection by S. enterica Heidelberg, a serotype also associated with human clinical disease. Similar strains of S. enterica Typhimurium were identified in otters, opossums, and gulls, suggesting the possibility of land-sea transfer of enteric bacterial pathogens from terrestrial sources to sea otters.

  14. Rickettsial Infection in Animals, Humans and Ticks in Paulicéia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silveira, I; Martins, T F; Olegário, M M; Peterka, C; Guedes, E; Ferreira, F; Labruna, M B

    2015-11-01

    A previous study in Paulicéia Municipality, south-eastern Brazil, reported 9.7% of the Amblyomma triste ticks to be infected by Rickettsia parkeri, a bacterial pathogen that causes spotted fever in humans. These A. triste ticks were shown to be associated with marsh areas, where the marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus is a primary host for this tick species. During 2008-2009, blood serum samples were collected from 140 horses, 41 dogs, 5 opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and 26 humans in farms from Pauliceia Municipality. Ticks were collected from these animals, from vegetation and from additional wildlife in these farms. Overall, 25% (35/140) of the horses, 7.3% (3/41) of the dogs, 3.8% (1/26) of the humans and 100% (5/5) of the opossums were seroreactive (titre ≥64) to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp. Multivariate statistical analysis indicated that horses that were allowed to forage in the marsh were 4.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp than horses that did not forage in the marsh. In addition, horses that had been living in the farm for more than 8.5 years were 2.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to SFG Rickettsia spp than horses that were living for ≤8.5 years. Ticks collected from domestic animals or from vegetation included Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma dubitatum, Dermacentor nitens and Rhipicephalus microplus. By PCR analyses, only one pool of A. coelebs ticks from the vegetation was shown to be infected by rickettsiae, for which DNA sequencing revealed to be Rickettsia amblyommii. Ticks (not tested by PCR) collected from wildlife encompassed A. cajennense and Amblyomma rotundatum on lizards (Tupinambis sp), and A. cajennense and A. triste on the bird Laterallus viridis. Our results indicate that the marsh area of Paulicéia offers risks of infection by SFG rickettsiae. PMID:25643912

  15. 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. PMID:22624665

  16. Estimating Contact Process Saturation in Sylvatic Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Kribs-Zaleta, Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Although it has been known for nearly a century that strains of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent for Chagas' disease, are enzootic in the southern U.S., much remains unknown about the dynamics of its transmission in the sylvatic cycles that maintain it, including the relative importance of different transmission routes. Mathematical models can fill in gaps where field and lab data are difficult to collect, but they need as inputs the values of certain key demographic and epidemiological quantities which parametrize the models. In particular, they determine whether saturation occurs in the contact processes that communicate the infection between the two populations. Concentrating on raccoons, opossums, and woodrats as hosts in Texas and the southeastern U.S., and the vectors Triatoma sanguisuga and Triatoma gerstaeckeri, we use an exhaustive literature review to derive estimates for fundamental parameters, and use simple mathematical models to illustrate a method for estimating infection rates indirectly based on prevalence data. Results are used to draw conclusions about saturation and which population density drives each of the two contact-based infection processes (stercorarian/bloodborne and oral). Analysis suggests that the vector feeding process associated with stercorarian transmission to hosts and bloodborne transmission to vectors is limited by the population density of vectors when dealing with woodrats, but by that of hosts when dealing with raccoons and opossums, while the predation of hosts on vectors which drives oral transmission to hosts is limited by the population density of hosts. Confidence in these conclusions is limited by a severe paucity of data underlying associated parameter estimates, but the approaches developed here can also be applied to the study of other vector-borne infections. PMID:20436914

  17. 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. PMID:21506825

  18. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Diane I; Jayashankar, Kartika; Douglas, Kory C; Thirkill, Twanda L; York, Daniel; Dickinson, Pete J; Williams, Lawrence E; Samollow, Paul B; Ross, Pablo J; Bannasch, Danika L; Douglas, Gordon C; LaSalle, Janine M

    2015-08-01

    Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) and highly methylated domains (HMDs) with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq) analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo. PMID:26241857

  19. Phosphorylation of rat kidney Na-K pump at Ser938 is required for rapid angiotensin II-dependent stimulation of activity and trafficking in proximal tubule cells.

    PubMed

    Massey, Katherine J; Li, Quanwen; Rossi, Noreen F; Keezer, Susan M; Mattingly, Raymond R; Yingst, Douglas R

    2016-02-01

    How angiotensin (ANG) II acutely stimulates the Na-K pump in proximal tubules is only partially understood, limiting insight into how ANG II increases blood pressure. First, we tested whether ANG II increases the number of pumps in plasma membranes of native rat proximal tubules under conditions of rapid activation. We found that exposure to 100 pM ANG II for 2 min, which was previously shown to increase affinity of the Na-K pump for Na and stimulate activity threefold, increased the amount of the Na-K pump in plasma membranes of native tubules by 33%. Second, we tested whether previously observed increases in phosphorylation of the Na-K pump at Ser(938) were part of the stimulatory mechanism. These experiments were carried out in opossum kidney cells, cultured proximal tubules stably coexpressing the ANG type 1 (AT1) receptor, and either wild-type or a S938A mutant of rat kidney Na-K pump under conditions found by others to stimulate activity. We found that 10 min of incubation in 10 pM ANG II stimulated activity of wild-type pumps from 2.3 to 3.5 nmol K · mg protein(-1) · min(-1) and increased the amount of the pump in the plasma membrane by 80% but had no effect on cells expressing the S938A mutant. We conclude that acute stimulation of Na-K pump activity in native rat proximal tubules includes increased trafficking to the plasma membrane and that phosphorylation at Ser(938) is part of the mechanism by which ANG II directly stimulates activity and trafficking of the rat kidney Na-K pump in opossum kidney cells. PMID:26582472

  20. Ligand-independent activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma by insulin and C-peptide in kidney proximal tubular cells: dependent on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity.

    PubMed

    Al-Rasheed, Nawal M; Chana, Ravinder S; Baines, Richard J; Willars, Gary B; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2004-11-26

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) has key roles in the regulation of adipogenesis, inflammation, and lipid and glucose metabolism. C-peptide is believed to be inert and without appreciable biological functions. Recent studies suggest that C-peptide possesses multiple functions. The present study investigated the effects of insulin and C-peptide on PPARgamma transcriptional activity in opossum kidney proximal tubular cells. Both insulin and C-peptide induced a concentration-dependent stimulation of PPARgamma transcriptional activity. Both agents substantially augmented thiazolidinedione-stimulated PPARgamma transcriptional activity. Neither insulin nor C-peptide had any effect on the expression levels of PPARgamma. GW9662, a PPARgamma antagonist, blocked PPARgamma activation by thiazolidinediones but had no effect on either insulin- or C-peptide-stimulated PPARgamma transcriptional activity. Co-transfection of opossum kidney cells with dominant negative mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase significantly depressed basal PPARgamma transcriptional activity but had no effect on that induced by either insulin or C-peptide. Both insulin- and C-peptide-stimulated PPARgamma transcriptional activity were attenuated by wortmannin and by expression of a dominant negative phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase p85 regulatory subunit. In addition PI 3-kinase-dependent phosphorylation of PPARgamma was observed after stimulation by C-peptide or insulin. C-peptide effects but not insulin on PPARgamma transcriptional activity were abolished by pertussis toxin pretreatment. Finally both C-peptide and insulin positively control the expression of the PPARgamma-regulated CD36 scavenger receptor in human THP-1 monocytes. We concluded that insulin and C-peptide can stimulate PPARgamma activity in a ligand-independent fashion and that this effect is mediated by PI 3-kinase. These results support a new and potentially important physiological role for C-peptide in

  1. Structural colouration of mammalian skin: convergent evolution of coherently scattering dermal collagen arrays.

    PubMed

    Prum, Richard O; Torres, Rodolfo H

    2004-05-01

    For more than a century, the blue structural colours of mammalian skin have been hypothesized to be produced by incoherent, Rayleigh or Tyndall scattering. We investigated the colour, anatomy, nanostructure and biophysics of structurally coloured skin from two species of primates - mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) and vervet monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) - and two species of marsupials - mouse opossum (Marmosa mexicana) and wooly opossum (Caluromys derbianus). We used two-dimensional (2-D) Fourier analysis of transmission electron micrographs (TEMs) of the collagen arrays in the primate tissues to test whether these structural colours are produced by incoherent or coherent scattering (i.e. constructive interference). The structural colours in Mandrillus rump and facial skin and Cercopithecus scrotum are produced by coherent scattering by quasi-ordered arrays of parallel dermal collagen fibres. The 2-D Fourier power spectra of the collagen arrays from Mandrillus and Cercopithecus reveal ring-shaped distributions of Fourier power at intermediate spatial frequencies, demonstrating a substantial nanostructure of the appropriate spatial frequency to produce the observed blue hues by coherent scattering alone. The Fourier power spectra and the observed reflectance spectra falsify assumptions and predictions of the incoherent, Rayleigh scattering hypothesis. Samples of blue Marmosa and Caluromys scrotum conform generally to the anatomy seen in Mandrillus and Cercopithecus but were not sufficiently well preserved to conduct numerical analyses. Colour-producing collagen arrays in mammals have evolved multiple times independently within the two clades of mammals known to have trichromatic colour vision. Mammalian colour-producing collagen arrays are anatomically and mechanistically identical to structures that have evolved convergently in the dermis of many lineages of birds, the tapetum of some mammals and the cornea of some fishes. These collagen arrays constitute quasi

  2. The Transcriptomic Evolution of Mammalian Pregnancy: Gene Expression Innovations in Endometrial Stromal Fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Kin, Koryu; Maziarz, Jamie; Chavan, Arun R.; Kamat, Manasi; Vasudevan, Sreelakshmi; Birt, Alyssa; Emera, Deena; Lynch, Vincent J.; Ott, Troy L.; Pavlicev, Mihaela; Wagner, Günter P.

    2016-01-01

    The endometrial stromal fibroblast (ESF) is a cell type present in the uterine lining of therian mammals. In the stem lineage of eutherian mammals, ESF acquired the ability to differentiate into decidual cells in order to allow embryo implantation. We call the latter cell type “neo-ESF” in contrast to “paleo-ESF” which is homologous to eutherian ESF but is not able to decidualize. In this study, we compare the transcriptomes of ESF from six therian species: Opossum (Monodelphis domestica; paleo-ESF), mink, rat, rabbit, human (all neo-ESF), and cow (secondarily nondecidualizing neo-ESF). We find evidence for strong stabilizing selection on transcriptome composition suggesting that the expression of approximately 5,600 genes is maintained by natural selection. The evolution of neo-ESF from paleo-ESF involved the following gene expression changes: Loss of expression of genes related to inflammation and immune response, lower expression of genes opposing tissue invasion, increased markers for proliferation as well as the recruitment of FOXM1, a key gene transiently expressed during decidualization. Signaling pathways also evolve rapidly and continue to evolve within eutherian lineages. In the bovine lineage, where invasiveness and decidualization were secondarily lost, we see a re-expression of genes found in opossum, most prominently WISP2, and a loss of gene expression related to angiogenesis. The data from this and previous studies support a scenario, where the proinflammatory paleo-ESF was reprogrammed to express anti-inflammatory genes in response to the inflammatory stimulus coming from the implanting conceptus and thus paving the way for extended, trans-cyclic gestation. PMID:27401177

  3. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Diane I; Jayashankar, Kartika; Douglas, Kory C; Thirkill, Twanda L; York, Daniel; Dickinson, Pete J; Williams, Lawrence E; Samollow, Paul B; Ross, Pablo J; Bannasch, Danika L; Douglas, Gordon C; LaSalle, Janine M

    2015-08-01

    Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) and highly methylated domains (HMDs) with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq) analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo.

  4. 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.

  5. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation.

    PubMed

    Formoso, Anahí E; Martin, Gabriel M; Teta, Pablo; Carbajo, Aníbal E; Sauthier, Daniel E Udrizar; Pardiñas, Ulyses F J

    2015-01-01

    The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli), the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32 °S and ~49 °S). Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic "space" currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future.

  6. The safety of ONRAB® in select non-target wildlife.

    PubMed

    Fry, Tricia L; Vandalen, Kaci K; Duncan, Colleen; Vercauteren, Kurt

    2013-08-20

    ONRAB(®) is a recombinant human adenovirus type 5 (HAd5) with the rabies glycoprotein gene incorporated into its genome. ONRAB(®) has been used in Canada as an oral rabies vaccine in target wildlife species such as: red fox (Vulpes vulpes), raccoon (Procyon lotor), and striped skunk (Mepthis mephitis). We evaluated the safety of ONRAB(®) in non-target wildlife species likely to contact the vaccine baits during oral rabies vaccine campaigns in the United States. We investigated the effects of oral inoculation of high titer ONRAB(®), approximately ten times the dose given to target species, in wood rats (Neotoma spp.), eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestri), and fox squirrels (Sciurus niger). We performed real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on fecal swabs, oral swabs, and tissues, including lung, liver, kidney, small intestine, large intestine, and when appropriate nasal turbinates, to detect ONRAB(®) DNA from inoculated animals. By seven days post-inoculation, turkeys, opossums, and cottontails had all stopped shedding ONRAB(®) DNA. One wood rat and one fox squirrel still had detectable levels of ONRAB(®) DNA in fecal swabs 14 days post-inoculation. Real-time PCR analysis of the tissues revealed some ONRAB(®) DNA persisting in certain tissues; however, there were no significant gross or histologic lesions associated with ONRAB(®) in any of the species studied. Our results suggest that many non-target species are not likely to be impacted by the distribution of ONRAB(®) as part of oral rabies vaccination programs in the United States. PMID:23831321

  7. 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.

  8. A survey on Triatoma dimidiata in an urban area of the province of Heredia, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Zeledón, Rodrigo; Calvo, Nidia; Montenegro, Víctor M; Lorosa, Elias Seixas; Arévalo, Carolina

    2005-10-01

    Triatoma dimidiata has been found in several cities and towns of those countries where the insect is a domestic or peridomestic pest. In Central America, urban infestations occur in the capitals of at least five countries. During 2001 and 2002 a survey was carried out in the county of San Rafael, Heredia province, located 15 km northwest of San José, capital of Costa Rica, in order to determine the degree of infestation by T. dimidiata in an entire city block. Six peridomestic colonies of the insect were detected in the backyards of eight households. The ecotopes occupied by the insects consisted of store rooms with old objects, wood piles or firewood, and chicken coops. A total of 1917 insects were found in the six foci, during two sampling periods, and a mean infection rate by Trypanosoma cruzi of 28.4% was found in 1718 insects examined. The largest colony found in one of the households yielded 872 insects that were thriving mainly at the expenses of two dogs. Opossums and adult insects were common visitors of the houses and it became evident that this marsupial is closely related to the peridomestic cycle of the Chagas disease agent. Lack of colonization of the insect inside the human dwellings is explained by the type of construction and good sanitary conditions of the houses, in contrast to the situation in most peridomiciliary areas. Stomach blood samples from the insects showed that the main hosts were, in order of decreasing frequency: rodents, dogs, fowl, humans, opossums, and cats. The fact that no indication of infection with Chagas disease could be detected in the human occupants of the infested houses, vis a vis the high infection rate in dogs, is discussed.

  9. Crotalid snake venom subproteomes unraveled by the antiophidic protein DM43.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Surza L G; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Trugilho, Monique R O; Chapeaurouge, Alex; León, Ileana R; Valente, Richard H; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas

    2009-05-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of proteins and peptides with different biological activities, many of which are very toxic. Several animals, including the opossum Didelphis aurita, are resistant to snake venoms due to the presence of neutralizing factors in their blood. An antihemorrhagic protein named DM43 was isolated from opossum serum. It inhibits snake venom metalloproteinases through noncovalent complex formation with these enzymes. In this study, we have used DM43 and proteomic techniques to explore snake venom subproteomes. Four crotalid venoms were chromatographed through an affinity column containing immobilized DM43. Bound fractions were analyzed by one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, followed by identification by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. With this approach, we could easily visualize and compare the metalloproteinase compositions of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops insularis, and Crotalus atrox snake venoms. The important contribution of proteolytic processing to the complexity of this particular subproteome was demonstrated. Fractions not bound to DM43 column were similarly analyzed and were composed mainly of serine proteinases, C-type lectins, C-type lectin-like proteins, l-amino acid oxidases, nerve growth factor, cysteine-rich secretory protein, a few metalloproteinases (and their fragments), and some unidentified spots. Although very few toxin families were represented in the crotalid venoms analyzed, the number of protein spots detected was in the hundreds, indicating an important protein variability in these natural secretions. DM43 affinity chromatography and associated proteomic techniques proved to be useful tools to separate and identify proteins from snake venoms, contributing to a better comprehension of venom heterogeneity. PMID:19267469

  10. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation.

    PubMed

    Formoso, Anahí E; Martin, Gabriel M; Teta, Pablo; Carbajo, Aníbal E; Sauthier, Daniel E Udrizar; Pardiñas, Ulyses F J

    2015-01-01

    The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli), the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32 °S and ~49 °S). Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic "space" currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future. PMID:26203650

  11. Pancreatic polypeptide - a postulated new hormone: identification of its cellular storage site by light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry.

    PubMed

    Larsson, L I; Sundler, F; Håkanson, R

    1976-07-01

    A peptide, referred to as pancreatic polypeptide (PP), has recently been isolated from the pancreas of chicken and of several mammals. PP is thought to be a pancreatic hormone. By the use of specific antisera we have demonstrated PP immunoreactivity in the pancreas of a number of mammals. The immunoreactivity was localized to a population of endocrine cells, distinct from the A, B and D cells. In most species the PP cells occurred in islets as well as in exocrine parenchyma; they often predominated in the pancreatic portion adjacent to the duodenum. In opossum and dog, PP cells were found also in the gastric mucosa. In opossum, the PP cells displayed formaldehyde - induced fluorescence typical of dopamine, whereas no formaldehyde-induced fluorescence was detected in the PP cells of mouse, rat and guinea pig. Also in these latter species, however, PP cells appear to possess amine-handling properties, a feature common to many peptide hormone-producing cells. The ultrastructure of the PP cells was defined by combining immunohistochemistry of semi-thin plastic sections with electron microscopy of adjacent ultrathin sections. PP cells show the ultrastructural features of peptide hormone-secreting cells. The PP cells of cat and dog contain fairly large, rather electron-lucent granules, and are probably identical with the previously described F cells. The PP cells of rat, guinea-pig, chinchilla and man contain small, fairly electron-dense granules. In these latter species no F cells are found. By immunoperoxidase staining of ultrathin sections, the PP immunoreactivity was found to be localized to the cytoplasmic granules. These observations provide support for the view that PP is a true pancreatic hormone. PMID:782992

  12. Evolution of mammalian sensorimotor cortex: thalamic projections to parietal cortical areas in Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Franca, João G.; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Cooke, Dylan F.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2015-01-01

    The current experiments build upon previous studies designed to reveal the network of parietal cortical areas present in the common mammalian ancestor. Understanding this ancestral network is essential for highlighting the basic somatosensory circuitry present in all mammals, and how this basic plan was modified to generate species specific behaviors. Our animal model, the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), is a South American marsupial that has been proposed to have a similar ecological niche and morphology to the earliest common mammalian ancestor. In this investigation, we injected retrograde neuroanatomical tracers into the face and body representations of primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the rostral and caudal somatosensory fields (SR and SC), as well as a multimodal region (MM). Projections from different architectonically defined thalamic nuclei were then quantified. Our results provide further evidence to support the hypothesized basic mammalian plan of thalamic projections to S1, with the lateral and medial ventral posterior thalamic nuclei (VPl and VPm) projecting to S1 body and S1 face, respectively. Additional strong projections are from the medial division of posterior nucleus (Pom). SR receives projections from several midline nuclei, including the medial dorsal, ventral medial nucleus, and Pom. SC and MM show similar patterns of connectivity, with projections from the ventral anterior and ventral lateral nuclei, VPm and VPl, and the entire posterior nucleus (medial and lateral). Notably, MM is distinguished from SC by relatively dense projections from the dorsal division of the lateral geniculate nucleus and pulvinar. We discuss the finding that S1 of the short-tailed opossum has a similar pattern of projections as other marsupials and mammals, but also some distinct projections not present in other mammals. Further we provide additional support for a primitive posterior parietal cortex which receives input from multiple modalities. PMID

  13. First finding of Trypanosoma cruzi II in vampire bats from a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission in Northeastern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Argibay, Hernán D; Orozco, M Marcela; Cardinal, M Victoria; Rinas, Miguel A; Arnaiz, María; Mena Segura, Carlos; Gürtler, Ricardo E

    2016-09-01

    Establishing the putative links between sylvatic and domestic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is of public health relevance. We conducted three surveys to assess T. cruzi infection in wild mammals from a rural and a preserved area in Misiones Province, Northeastern Argentina, which had recently been declared free of vector- and blood-borne transmission of human T. cruzi infection. A total of 200 wild mammals were examined by xenodiagnosis (XD) and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). The overall prevalence of T. cruzi infection was 8%. Nine (16%) of 57 Didelphis albiventris opossums and two (7%) of 29 Desmodus rotundus vampire bats were positive by both XD and kDNA-PCR. Additionally, one D. rotundus positive for T. cruzi by kDNA-PCR tested positive by satellite-DNA-PCR (SAT-DNA-PCR). The T. cruzi-infected bats were captured indoors and in the yard of a vacant dwelling. All D. albiventris were infected with TcI and both XD-positive D. rotundus by TcII. Fifty-five opossum cubs within the marsupium were negative by XD. The mean infectiousness to the vector was 62% in D. albiventris and 50% in D. rotundus. Mice experimentally infected with a parasite isolate from a vampire bat displayed lesions typically caused by T. cruzi. Our study documents the presence of the genotype TcII in a sylvatic host for the first time in Argentina, and the occurrence of two transmission cycles of T. cruzi in a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission. PMID:27220254

  14. Rickettsial Infection in Animals, Humans and Ticks in Paulicéia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silveira, I; Martins, T F; Olegário, M M; Peterka, C; Guedes, E; Ferreira, F; Labruna, M B

    2015-11-01

    A previous study in Paulicéia Municipality, south-eastern Brazil, reported 9.7% of the Amblyomma triste ticks to be infected by Rickettsia parkeri, a bacterial pathogen that causes spotted fever in humans. These A. triste ticks were shown to be associated with marsh areas, where the marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus is a primary host for this tick species. During 2008-2009, blood serum samples were collected from 140 horses, 41 dogs, 5 opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and 26 humans in farms from Pauliceia Municipality. Ticks were collected from these animals, from vegetation and from additional wildlife in these farms. Overall, 25% (35/140) of the horses, 7.3% (3/41) of the dogs, 3.8% (1/26) of the humans and 100% (5/5) of the opossums were seroreactive (titre ≥64) to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp. Multivariate statistical analysis indicated that horses that were allowed to forage in the marsh were 4.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp than horses that did not forage in the marsh. In addition, horses that had been living in the farm for more than 8.5 years were 2.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to SFG Rickettsia spp than horses that were living for ≤8.5 years. Ticks collected from domestic animals or from vegetation included Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma dubitatum, Dermacentor nitens and Rhipicephalus microplus. By PCR analyses, only one pool of A. coelebs ticks from the vegetation was shown to be infected by rickettsiae, for which DNA sequencing revealed to be Rickettsia amblyommii. Ticks (not tested by PCR) collected from wildlife encompassed A. cajennense and Amblyomma rotundatum on lizards (Tupinambis sp), and A. cajennense and A. triste on the bird Laterallus viridis. Our results indicate that the marsh area of Paulicéia offers risks of infection by SFG rickettsiae.

  15. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Formoso, Anahí E.; Martin, Gabriel M.; Teta, Pablo; Carbajo, Aníbal E.; Sauthier, Daniel E. Udrizar; Pardiñas, Ulyses F. J.

    2015-01-01

    The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli), the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32°S and ~49°S). Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic “space” currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future. PMID:26203650

  16. Changes in consumption by alewives and lake whitefish after dreissenid mussel invasions in Lakes Michigan and Huron

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pothoven, S.A.; Madenjian, C.P.

    2008-01-01

    Growth of alewives Alosa pseudoharengus and lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis has declined since the arrival and spread of dreissenid mussels in Lakes Michigan and Huron. Alewives are the main forage for the salmonids in Lake Michigan, and lake whitefish are the most important commercial species in both lakes. Bioenergetics modeling was used to determine consumption by the average individual fish before and after the dreissenid invasion and to provide insight into the invasion's effects on fish growth and food web dynamics. Alewives feed on both Zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates, and lake whitefish are benthivores. Annual consumption of zooplankton by an average alewife in Lake Michigan was 37% lower and consumption of benthic macroinvertebrates (amphipods Diporeia spp., opossum shrimp Mysis relicta, and Chironomidae) was 19% lower during the postinvasion period (1995-2005) than during the preinvasion period (1983-1994). Reduced consumption by alewives corresponded with reduced alewife growth. In Lakes Michigan and Huron, consumption of nonmollusk macroinvertebrates (Diporeia spp., opossum shrimp, Chironomidae) by the average lake whitefish was 46-96% lower and consumption of mollusks (mainly dreissenids and gastropods) was 2-5 times greater during the postinvasion period than during the preinvasion period. Even though total food consumption by lake whitefish did not differ between the two periods in Lake Huron or the Southern Management Unit in Lake Michigan, postinvasion weight at age was at least 38% lower than preinvasion weight at age. Under the current postinvasion diet regime, consumption by lake whitefish would have to increase by up to 122% to achieve preinvasion growth rates. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.

  17. Defining the ancestral eutherian karyotype: a cladistic interpretation of chromosome painting and genome sequence assembly data.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Terence J; Ruiz-Herrera, Aurora

    2008-01-01

    A cladistic analysis of genome assemblies (syntenic associations) for eutherian mammals against two distant outgroup species--opossum and chicken--permitted a refinement of the 46-chromosome karyotype formerly inferred in the ancestral eutherian. We show that two intact chromosome pairs (corresponding to human chromosomes 13 and 18) and three conserved chromosome segments (10q, 19p and 8q in the human karyotype) are probably symplesiomorphic for Eutheria because they are also present as unaltered orthologues in one or both outgroups. Seven additional syntenies (4q/8p/4pq, 3p/21, 14/15, 10p/12pq/22qt, 19q/16q, 16p/7a and 12qt/22q), each involving human chromosomal segments that in various combinations correspond to complete chromosomes in the ancestral eutherian karyotype, are also present in one or both outgroup taxa and thus are probable symplesiomorphies for Eutheria. Interestingly, several of the symplesiomorphic characters identified in chicken and/or opossum are present in more distant outgroups such as pufferfish and zebrafish (for example 3p/21, 14/15, 19q/16q and 16p/7a), suggesting their retention since vertebrate common ancestry approximately 450 million years ago. However, eight intact pairs (corresponding to human chromosomes 1, 5, 6, 9, 11, 17, 20 and the X) and three chromosome segments (7b, 2p-q13 and 2q13-qter) are derived characters potentially consistent with eutherian monophyly. Our analyses clarify the distinction between shared-ancestral and shared-derived homology in the eutherian ancestral karyotype.

  18. Lipid- and mechanosensitivities of sodium/hydrogen exchangers analyzed by electrical methods

    PubMed Central

    Fuster, Daniel; Moe, Orson W.; Hilgemann, Donald W.

    2004-01-01

    Sodium/hydrogen exchangers (NHEs) are ubiquitous ion transporters that serve multiple cell functions. We have studied two mammalian isoforms, NHE1 (ubiquitous) and NHE3 (epithelial-specific), by measuring extracellular proton (H+) gradients during whole-cell patch clamp with perfusion of the cell interior. Maximal Na+-dependent H+ fluxes (JH+) are equivalent to currents >20 pA for NHE1 in Chinese hamster ovary fibroblasts, >200 pA for NHE1 in guinea pig ventricular myocytes, and 5–10 pA for NHE3 in opossum kidney cells. The fluxes are blocked by an NHE inhibitor, ethylisopropylamiloride, and are absent in NHE-deficient AP-1 cells. NHE1 activity is stable with perfusion of nonhydrolyzable ATP [adenosine 5′-(β,γ-imido)triphosphate], is abolished by ATP depletion (2 deoxy-d-glucose with oligomycin or perfusion of apyrase), can be restored with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, and is unaffected by actin cytoskeleton disruption (latrunculin or pipette perfusion of gelsolin). NHE3 (but not NHE1) is reversibly activated by phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate. Both NHE1 and NHE3 activities are disrupted in giant patches during gigaohm seal formation. NHE1 (but not NHE3) is reversibly activated by cell shrinkage, even at neutral cytoplasmic pH without ATP, and inhibited by cell swelling. NHE1 in Chinese hamster ovary fibroblasts (but not NHE3 in opossum kidney cells) is inhibited by agents that thin the membrane (l-α-lysophosphatidylcholine and octyl-β-d-glucopyranoside) and activated by cholesterol enrichment, which thickens membranes. Expressed in AP-1 cells, however, NHE1 is insensitive to these agents but remains sensitive to volume changes. Thus, changes of hydrophobic mismatch can modulate NHE1 but do not underlie its volume sensitivity. PMID:15240890

  19. The safety of ONRAB® in select non-target wildlife.

    PubMed

    Fry, Tricia L; Vandalen, Kaci K; Duncan, Colleen; Vercauteren, Kurt

    2013-08-20

    ONRAB(®) is a recombinant human adenovirus type 5 (HAd5) with the rabies glycoprotein gene incorporated into its genome. ONRAB(®) has been used in Canada as an oral rabies vaccine in target wildlife species such as: red fox (Vulpes vulpes), raccoon (Procyon lotor), and striped skunk (Mepthis mephitis). We evaluated the safety of ONRAB(®) in non-target wildlife species likely to contact the vaccine baits during oral rabies vaccine campaigns in the United States. We investigated the effects of oral inoculation of high titer ONRAB(®), approximately ten times the dose given to target species, in wood rats (Neotoma spp.), eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestri), and fox squirrels (Sciurus niger). We performed real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on fecal swabs, oral swabs, and tissues, including lung, liver, kidney, small intestine, large intestine, and when appropriate nasal turbinates, to detect ONRAB(®) DNA from inoculated animals. By seven days post-inoculation, turkeys, opossums, and cottontails had all stopped shedding ONRAB(®) DNA. One wood rat and one fox squirrel still had detectable levels of ONRAB(®) DNA in fecal swabs 14 days post-inoculation. Real-time PCR analysis of the tissues revealed some ONRAB(®) DNA persisting in certain tissues; however, there were no significant gross or histologic lesions associated with ONRAB(®) in any of the species studied. Our results suggest that many non-target species are not likely to be impacted by the distribution of ONRAB(®) as part of oral rabies vaccination programs in the United States.

  20. Animal and environmental impact on the presence and distribution of Salmonella and Escherichia coli in hydroponic tomato greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Orozco R, Leopoldo; Iturriaga, Montserrat H; Tamplin, Mark L; Fratamico, Pina M; Call, Jeffrey E; Luchansky, John B; Escartin, Eduardo F

    2008-04-01

    From 2003 to 2004, we studied the impact of environmental influences on the microbiological quality of a hydroponic tomato farm. The presence of Salmonella was investigated on 906 samples of tomatoes and 714 environmental samples. The farm comprised 14 greenhouses and a technologically advanced packinghouse, and operated under a sanitary agricultural practices plan. The objective of the present study was to determine the operating sources of contamination. During the course of the study, two independent natural events affected the farm. In 2003, water runoff entered some of the greenhouses. A year later, wild animals (opossums, mice, and sparrows) gained entry into several of the greenhouses. Salmonella and Escherichia coli were found in samples of tomatoes, water puddles, soil, shoes, and the feces of local wild and farm animals. Salmonella Montevideo, Salmonella Newport, and strains of the F serogroup were isolated from tomatoes. Almost all of the Salmonella Newport strains were isolated from samples collected during or immediately after the flood. Analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed that some Salmonella Montevideo isolates from tomatoes, opossums, and mice displayed identical XbaI or AvrII patterns, suggesting that these wild animals represented one source of contamination. F serogroup strains were found mostly on samples of goat feces and personnel shoes when standard working practices were in place. Shoes were found to be an important vehicle for dissemination of Salmonella into the greenhouses. The level of protection provided by hydroponic greenhouses does not exclude the eventuality that enteric pathogenic bacteria can gain access through various avenues.

  1. Isolation of deer tick virus (Powassan virus, lineage II) from Ixodes scapularis and detection of antibody in vertebrate hosts sampled in the Hudson Valley, New York State

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Deer tick virus, DTV, is a genetically and ecologically distinct lineage of Powassan virus (POWV) also known as lineage II POWV. Human incidence of POW encephalitis has increased in the last 15 years potentially due to the emergence of DTV, particularly in the Hudson Valley of New York State. We initiated an extensive sampling campaign to determine whether POWV was extant throughout the Hudson Valley in tick vectors and/or vertebrate hosts. Methods More than 13,000 ticks were collected from hosts or vegetation and tested for the presence of DTV using molecular and virus isolation techniques. Vertebrate hosts of Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) were trapped (mammals) or netted (birds) and blood samples analyzed for the presence of neutralizing antibodies to POWV. Maximum likelihood estimates (MLE) were calculated to determine infection rates in ticks at each study site. Results Evidence of DTV was identified each year from 2007 to 2012, in nymphal and adult I. scapularis collected from the Hudson Valley. 58 tick pools were positive for virus and/or RNA. Infection rates were higher in adult ticks collected from areas east of the Hudson River. MLE limits ranged from 0.2-6.0 infected adults per 100 at sites where DTV was detected. Virginia opossums, striped skunks and raccoons were the source of infected nymphal ticks collected as replete larvae. Serologic evidence of POWV infection was detected in woodchucks (4/6), an opossum (1/6), and birds (4/727). Lineage I, prototype POWV, was not detected. Conclusions These data demonstrate widespread enzootic transmission of DTV throughout the Hudson Valley, in particular areas east of the river. High infection rates were detected in counties where recent POW encephalitis cases have been identified, supporting the hypothesis that lineage II POWV, DTV, is responsible for these human infections. PMID:24016533

  2. Phosphorylation of rat kidney Na-K pump at Ser938 is required for rapid angiotensin II-dependent stimulation of activity and trafficking in proximal tubule cells.

    PubMed

    Massey, Katherine J; Li, Quanwen; Rossi, Noreen F; Keezer, Susan M; Mattingly, Raymond R; Yingst, Douglas R

    2016-02-01

    How angiotensin (ANG) II acutely stimulates the Na-K pump in proximal tubules is only partially understood, limiting insight into how ANG II increases blood pressure. First, we tested whether ANG II increases the number of pumps in plasma membranes of native rat proximal tubules under conditions of rapid activation. We found that exposure to 100 pM ANG II for 2 min, which was previously shown to increase affinity of the Na-K pump for Na and stimulate activity threefold, increased the amount of the Na-K pump in plasma membranes of native tubules by 33%. Second, we tested whether previously observed increases in phosphorylation of the Na-K pump at Ser(938) were part of the stimulatory mechanism. These experiments were carried out in opossum kidney cells, cultured proximal tubules stably coexpressing the ANG type 1 (AT1) receptor, and either wild-type or a S938A mutant of rat kidney Na-K pump under conditions found by others to stimulate activity. We found that 10 min of incubation in 10 pM ANG II stimulated activity of wild-type pumps from 2.3 to 3.5 nmol K · mg protein(-1) · min(-1) and increased the amount of the pump in the plasma membrane by 80% but had no effect on cells expressing the S938A mutant. We conclude that acute stimulation of Na-K pump activity in native rat proximal tubules includes increased trafficking to the plasma membrane and that phosphorylation at Ser(938) is part of the mechanism by which ANG II directly stimulates activity and trafficking of the rat kidney Na-K pump in opossum kidney cells.

  3. Development of the ethmoid in Caluromys philander (Didelphidae, Marsupialia) with a discussion on the homology of the turbinal elements in marsupials.

    PubMed

    Macrini, Thomas E

    2014-11-01

    Homology of turbinals, or scroll bones, of the mammalian ethmoid bone is poorly known and complicated by a varied terminology. Positionally, there are two main types of ossified adult turbinals known as endoturbinals and ectoturbinals, and their cartilaginous precursors are called ethmoturbinals and frontoturbinals, respectively. Endoturbinals are considered to be serially homologous due to similarity in their developmental patterns. Consequently, endoturbinals from mammals with differing numbers of elements cannot be individually homogenized. In this study, the development of the ethmoid of Caluromys philander, the bare-tailed woolly opossum, is described based on serial sections of six pouchlings ranging in age from 20 to 84 days postnatal (PND-84), and computed tomography images of an adult skull. I found that four ethmoturbinals initially develop as seen in PND-20 and PND-30 individuals but by PND-64 an interturbinal (corresponding to endoturbinal III in adults) is present between ethmoturbinals II and III. This developmental pattern is identical to that of Monodelphis domestica, the gray short-tailed opossum, and is probably also present in the marsupials Didelphis marsupialis, and Thylacinus cynocephalus based on work of previous authors. These data suggest that endoturbinal III has a developmental pattern that differs from other endoturbinals, and the name interturbinal should be retained for the adult structure in recognition of this difference. These results may prove useful for homologizing this individual turbinal element across marsupials, the majority of which have five endoturbinals as adults. This might also explain the presumed placental ancestral condition of four endoturbinals if the marsupial interturbinal is lost.

  4. Proceedings of the SMBE Tri-National Young Investigators' Workshop 2005. Lineage-specific expansions and contractions of the bitter taste receptor gene repertoire in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Go, Yasuhiro

    2006-05-01

    The sense of bitter taste plays a critical role in how organisms avoid generally bitter toxic and harmful substances. Previous studies revealed that there were 25 intact bitter taste receptor (T2R) genes in humans and 34 in mice. However, because the recent chicken genome project reported only three T2R genes, it appears that extensive gene expansions occurred in the lineage leading to mammals or extensive gene contractions occurred in the lineage leading to birds. Here, I examined the T2R gene repertoire in placental mammals (dogs, Canis familiaris; and cows, Bos taurus), marsupials (opossums, Monodelphis domestica), amphibians (frogs, Xenopus tropicalis), and fishes (zebrafishes, Danio rerio; and pufferfishes, Takifugu rubripes) to investigate the birth-and-death process of T2R genes throughout vertebrate evolution. I show that (1) the first extensive gene expansions occurred before the divergence of mammals from reptiles/birds but after the divergence of amniotes (reptiles/birds/mammals) from amphibians, (2) subsequent gene expansions continuously took place in the ancestral mammalian lineage and the lineage leading to amphibians, as evidenced by the presence of 15, 18, 26, and 49 intact T2R genes in the dog, cow, opossum, and frog genome, respectively, and (3) contractions of the gene repertoire happened in the lineage leading to chickens. Thus, continuous gene expansions have shaped the T2R repertoire in mammals, but the contractions subsequent to the first round of expansions have made the chicken T2R repertoire narrow. These dramatic changes in the repertoire size might reflect the daily intake of foods from an external environment as a driving force of evolution. PMID:16484289

  5. Subretinal macrophages in the developing eye of eutherian mammals and marsupials.

    PubMed

    McMenamin, P G

    1999-11-01

    Blood-borne mononuclear cells invade the developing retina via the hyaloid vasculature at the optic nerve head. Following removal of apoptotic cell debris they give rise to the network of resident microglia. The population of cells recently described in the peripheral subretinal space of developing human eyes may represent a further population of macrophages destined to become microglia. The aim of the present study was to confirm the presence of subretinal macrophages in the developing eye in other mammalian species and perform preliminary immunophenotypic analysis in rat tissues. The range of species chosen included eutherian mammals (rat and rabbit) and marsupials (wallaby and opossum). Ocular tissues from a range of developmental stages were studied by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Distinctive networks of dendriform and pleomorphic macrophages were observed by scanning electron microscopy in the peripheral subretinal space of D2 rabbits, newborn and D2 rats and D75 wallaby. Transmission electron microscopic studies of D2 rabbit, newborn and D2 rat and all ages of North American opossum revealed cells with the ultrastructural features of macrophages in the peripheral subretinal space, cilio-retinal junction and between ciliary epithelial cells. Preliminary immunoperoxidase studies using a panel of anti-leukocyte monoclonal antibodies on frozen sections of rat ocular tissues (newborn, D2 and D4) revealed ED1(+) Ox42(+) ED2(+) but Ox6(-) cells in the peripheral subretinal space, peripheral retina and ciliary body epithelia. The data confirms that subretinal macrophages are a feature of the developing eye in a broad range of mammalian species and immunophenotypic evidence leads the author to postulate that these cells arise from the ciliary body vasculature and may migrate into peripheral neural retina and mature into resident microglia.

  6. 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. PMID:26824935

  7. The Transcriptomic Evolution of Mammalian Pregnancy: Gene Expression Innovations in Endometrial Stromal Fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Kin, Koryu; Maziarz, Jamie; Chavan, Arun R; Kamat, Manasi; Vasudevan, Sreelakshmi; Birt, Alyssa; Emera, Deena; Lynch, Vincent J; Ott, Troy L; Pavlicev, Mihaela; Wagner, Günter P

    2016-01-01

    The endometrial stromal fibroblast (ESF) is a cell type present in the uterine lining of therian mammals. In the stem lineage of eutherian mammals, ESF acquired the ability to differentiate into decidual cells in order to allow embryo implantation. We call the latter cell type "neo-ESF" in contrast to "paleo-ESF" which is homologous to eutherian ESF but is not able to decidualize. In this study, we compare the transcriptomes of ESF from six therian species: Opossum (Monodelphis domestica; paleo-ESF), mink, rat, rabbit, human (all neo-ESF), and cow (secondarily nondecidualizing neo-ESF). We find evidence for strong stabilizing selection on transcriptome composition suggesting that the expression of approximately 5,600 genes is maintained by natural selection. The evolution of neo-ESF from paleo-ESF involved the following gene expression changes: Loss of expression of genes related to inflammation and immune response, lower expression of genes opposing tissue invasion, increased markers for proliferation as well as the recruitment of FOXM1, a key gene transiently expressed during decidualization. Signaling pathways also evolve rapidly and continue to evolve within eutherian lineages. In the bovine lineage, where invasiveness and decidualization were secondarily lost, we see a re-expression of genes found in opossum, most prominently WISP2, and a loss of gene expression related to angiogenesis. The data from this and previous studies support a scenario, where the proinflammatory paleo-ESF was reprogrammed to express anti-inflammatory genes in response to the inflammatory stimulus coming from the implanting conceptus and thus paving the way for extended, trans-cyclic gestation. PMID:27401177

  8. 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

  9. Southern Plains Woodrats (Neotoma micropus) from Southern Texas Are Important Reservoirs of Two Genotypes of Trypanosoma cruzi and Host of a Putative Novel Trypanosoma Species

    PubMed Central

    Charles, Roxanne A.; Kjos, Sonia; Ellis, Angela E.; Barnes, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is an important public health and veterinary pathogen. Although human cases are rare in the United States, infections in wildlife, and in some areas domestic dogs, are common. In 2008 and 2010, we investigated T. cruzi prevalence in possible vertebrate reservoirs in southern Texas, with an emphasis on southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus). Infection status was determined using a combination of culture isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serologic testing. Based on PCR and/or culture, T. cruzi was detected in 35 of 104 (34%) woodrats, 3 of 4 (75%) striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 12 of 20 (60%) raccoons (Procyon lotor), and 5 of 28 (18%) other rodents including a hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), rock squirrel (Otospermophilus variegatus), black rat (Rattus rattus), and two house mice (Mus musculus). Additionally, another Trypanosoma species was detected in 41 woodrats, of which 27 were co-infected with T. cruzi. Genetic characterization of T. cruzi revealed that raccoon, rock squirrel, and cotton rat isolates were genotype TcIV, while woodrats and skunks were infected with TcI and TcIV. Based on the Chagas Stat-Pak assay, antibodies were detected in 27 woodrats (26%), 13 raccoons (65%), 4 skunks (100%), and 5 other rodents (18%) (two white-ankled mice [Peromyscus pectoralis laceianus], two house mice, and a rock squirrel). Seroprevalence based on indirect immunofluorescence antibody testing was higher for both woodrats (37%) and raccoons (90%), compared with the Chagas Stat-Pak. This is the first report of T. cruzi in a hispid cotton rat, black rat, rock squirrel, and white-ankled mouse. These data indicate that based on culture and PCR testing, the prevalence of T. cruzi in woodrats is comparable with other common reservoirs (i.e., raccoons and opossums) in the United States. However, unlike raccoons and opossums, which tend to be infected with a particular genotype

  10. 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

  11. Southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus) from southern Texas are important reservoirs of two genotypes of Trypanosoma cruzi and host of a putative novel Trypanosoma species.

    PubMed

    Charles, Roxanne A; Kjos, Sonia; Ellis, Angela E; Barnes, John C; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is an important public health and veterinary pathogen. Although human cases are rare in the United States, infections in wildlife, and in some areas domestic dogs, are common. In 2008 and 2010, we investigated T. cruzi prevalence in possible vertebrate reservoirs in southern Texas, with an emphasis on southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus). Infection status was determined using a combination of culture isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serologic testing. Based on PCR and/or culture, T. cruzi was detected in 35 of 104 (34%) woodrats, 3 of 4 (75%) striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 12 of 20 (60%) raccoons (Procyon lotor), and 5 of 28 (18%) other rodents including a hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), rock squirrel (Otospermophilus variegatus), black rat (Rattus rattus), and two house mice (Mus musculus). Additionally, another Trypanosoma species was detected in 41 woodrats, of which 27 were co-infected with T. cruzi. Genetic characterization of T. cruzi revealed that raccoon, rock squirrel, and cotton rat isolates were genotype TcIV, while woodrats and skunks were infected with TcI and TcIV. Based on the Chagas Stat-Pak assay, antibodies were detected in 27 woodrats (26%), 13 raccoons (65%), 4 skunks (100%), and 5 other rodents (18%) (two white-ankled mice [Peromyscus pectoralis laceianus], two house mice, and a rock squirrel). Seroprevalence based on indirect immunofluorescence antibody testing was higher for both woodrats (37%) and raccoons (90%), compared with the Chagas Stat-Pak. This is the first report of T. cruzi in a hispid cotton rat, black rat, rock squirrel, and white-ankled mouse. These data indicate that based on culture and PCR testing, the prevalence of T. cruzi in woodrats is comparable with other common reservoirs (i.e., raccoons and opossums) in the United States. However, unlike raccoons and opossums, which tend to be infected with a particular genotype, southern

  12. 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

  13. Southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus) from southern Texas are important reservoirs of two genotypes of Trypanosoma cruzi and host of a putative novel Trypanosoma species.

    PubMed

    Charles, Roxanne A; Kjos, Sonia; Ellis, Angela E; Barnes, John C; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is an important public health and veterinary pathogen. Although human cases are rare in the United States, infections in wildlife, and in some areas domestic dogs, are common. In 2008 and 2010, we investigated T. cruzi prevalence in possible vertebrate reservoirs in southern Texas, with an emphasis on southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus). Infection status was determined using a combination of culture isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serologic testing. Based on PCR and/or culture, T. cruzi was detected in 35 of 104 (34%) woodrats, 3 of 4 (75%) striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 12 of 20 (60%) raccoons (Procyon lotor), and 5 of 28 (18%) other rodents including a hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), rock squirrel (Otospermophilus variegatus), black rat (Rattus rattus), and two house mice (Mus musculus). Additionally, another Trypanosoma species was detected in 41 woodrats, of which 27 were co-infected with T. cruzi. Genetic characterization of T. cruzi revealed that raccoon, rock squirrel, and cotton rat isolates were genotype TcIV, while woodrats and skunks were infected with TcI and TcIV. Based on the Chagas Stat-Pak assay, antibodies were detected in 27 woodrats (26%), 13 raccoons (65%), 4 skunks (100%), and 5 other rodents (18%) (two white-ankled mice [Peromyscus pectoralis laceianus], two house mice, and a rock squirrel). Seroprevalence based on indirect immunofluorescence antibody testing was higher for both woodrats (37%) and raccoons (90%), compared with the Chagas Stat-Pak. This is the first report of T. cruzi in a hispid cotton rat, black rat, rock squirrel, and white-ankled mouse. These data indicate that based on culture and PCR testing, the prevalence of T. cruzi in woodrats is comparable with other common reservoirs (i.e., raccoons and opossums) in the United States. However, unlike raccoons and opossums, which tend to be infected with a particular genotype, southern

  14. Forelimb preferences in quadrupedal marsupials and their implications for laterality evolution in mammals

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Acquisition of upright posture in evolution has been argued to facilitate manual laterality in primates. Owing to the high variety of postural habits marsupials can serve as a suitable model to test whether the species-typical body posture shapes forelimb preferences in non-primates or this phenomenon emerged only in the course of primate evolution. In the present study we aimed to explore manual laterality in marsupial quadrupeds and compare them with the results in the previously studied bipedal species. Forelimb preferences were assessed in captive grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in four different types of unimanual behaviour per species, which was not artificially evoked. We examined the possible effects of sex, age and task, because these factors have been reported to affect motor laterality in placental mammals. Results In both species the direction of forelimb preferences was strongly sex-related. Male grey short-tailed opossums showed right-forelimb preference in most of the observed unimanual behaviours, while male sugar gliders displayed only a slight, not significant rightward tendency. In contrast, females in both species exhibited consistent group-level preference of the left forelimb. We failed to reveal significant differences in manual preferences between tasks of potentially differing complexity: reaching a stable food item and catching live insects, as well as between the body support and food manipulation. No influence of subjects’ age on limb preferences was found. Conclusions The direction of sex-related differences in the manual preferences found in quadrupedal marsupials seems to be not typical for placental mammals. We suggest that the alternative way of interhemispheric connection in absence of corpus callosum may result in a fundamentally distinct mechanism of sex effect on limb preferences in marsupials compared to placentals. Our data confirm the idea that non

  15. Cellular aspects of the development of diarthrodial joints and articular cartilage.

    PubMed Central

    Archer, C W; Morrison, H; Pitsillides, A A

    1994-01-01

    There have been many reports on the histological development of mammalian diarthrodial or synovial joints. While these are useful for comparative purposes, they tell us little of the cellular basis of joint morphogenesis which must underlie a number of morphogenetic defects. The process of joint morphogenesis is complex and can be subdivided into a number of facets and this report will focus on 2 of them. First, the process of joint cavitation in the chick metatarsophalangeal joint, where we propose that the selective secretion of hyaluronan into the presumptive cavity plays a central role. Secondly, the development of articular cartilage where we have used the South American opossum Monodelphis domestica as a model for mammalian development. Like most marsupials, the young are born at a much earlier developmental stage than eutherian mammals. Using antibodies which detect proliferating chondrocytes and those synthesising insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 and insulin-like growth factor 1 binding protein, we report that the majority of growth (as assessed by these indicators) appears appositional. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:7928634

  16. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park.

    PubMed

    Dorcas, Michael E; Willson, John D; Reed, Robert N; Snow, Ray W; Rochford, Michael R; Miller, Melissa A; Meshaka, Walter E; Andreadis, Paul T; Mazzotti, Frank J; Romagosa, Christina M; Hart, Kristen M

    2012-02-14

    Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003-2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities.

  17. Thalamo-striatal projections in the hedgehog tenrec.

    PubMed

    Künzle, Heinz

    2006-07-19

    Unlike the basal ganglia input from the midline and intralaminar nuclei, the origin and prominence of striatal projections arising in the lateral thalamus varies considerably among mammals being most restricted in the opossum and monkey, most extensive in the rat. To get further insight into the evolution of thalamo-striatal pathways the Madagascar lesser hedgehog tenrec (Afrotheria) was investigated using anterograde and retrograde flow techniques. An extensive medial thalamic region (including presumed equivalents to the paraventricular, parataenial and dorsomedial nuclei as well as the reuniens complex), the rostral (central) and caudal (parafascicular) intralaminar nuclei were shown to give rise to striatal projections. Additional projections originated in the ventral anterolateral nuclear group and regions within and around the medial geniculate complex. Similar to the rat there was also substantial projections from the lateral posterior-pulvinar complex and the ventral posterior nucleus. The fibers terminated extensively across the striatum in a mainly homogeneous fashion. Isolated patches of low-density terminations were found in the caudoputamen. This inhomogeneous labeling pattern appeared similar to one described in the cat with the unlabeled islands showing features of striosomes. The medial and intralaminar nuclei also projected heavily upon the olfactory tubercle. Differential innervation patterns were noted in the polymorphous layer, the deep and the superficial molecular layer.

  18. Transposition and Intermingling of Galphai2 and Galphao afferences into single vomeronasal glomeruli in the Madagascan lesser Tenrec Echinops telfairi.

    PubMed

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Villalón, Aldo; Künzle, Heinz; Mpodozis, Jorge

    2009-11-24

    The vomeronasal system (VNS) mediates pheromonal communication in mammals. From the vomeronasal organ, two populations of sensory neurons, expressing either Galphai2 or Galphao proteins, send projections that end in glomeruli distributed either at the rostral or caudal half of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), respectively. Neurons at the AOB contact glomeruli of a single subpopulation. The dichotomic segregation of AOB glomeruli has been described in opossums, rodents and rabbits, while Primates and Laurasiatheres present the Galphai2-pathway only, or none at all (such as apes, some bats and aquatic species). We studied the AOB of the Madagascan lesser tenrec Echinops telfairi (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) and found that Galphai2 and Galphao proteins are expressed in rostral and caudal glomeruli, respectively. However, the segregation of vomeronasal glomeruli at the AOB is not exclusive, as both pathways contained some glomeruli transposed into the adjoining subdomain. Moreover, some glomeruli seem to contain intermingled afferences from both pathways. Both the transposition and heterogeneity of vomeronasal afferences are features, to our knowledge, never reported before. The organization of AOB glomeruli suggests that synaptic integration might occur at the glomerular layer. Whether intrinsic AOB neurons may make synaptic contact with axon terminals of both subpopulations is an interesting possibility that would expand our understanding about the integration of vomeronasal pathways.

  19. Tracing thalamo-cortical connections in tenrecA further attempt to characterize poorly differentiated neocortical regions, particularly the motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Künzle, Heinz

    2009-02-01

    The hedgehog tenrec (Afrosoricidae) has a very poorly differentiated neocortex. Previously its primary sensory regions have been characterized with hodological and electrophysiological techniques. Unlike the marsupial opossum the tenrec may also have a separate motor area as far as there are cortico-spinal cells located rostral to the primary somatosensory cortex. However, not knowing its thalamic input it may be premature to correlate this area with the true (mirror-image-like) primary motor cortex in higher mammals. For this reason the tenrec's thalamo-cortical connections were studied following tracer injections into various neocortical regions. The main sensory areas were confirmed by their afferents from the principal thalamic nuclei. The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, in addition, was connected with the retrosplenial area and a rostromedial visual region. Unlike the somatosensory cortex the presumed motor area did not receive afferents from the ventrobasal thalamus but fibers from the cerebello-thalamic target regions. These projections, however, were not restricted to the motor area, but involved the entire somatosensorimotor field as well as adjacent regions. The projections appeared similar to those arising in the rat thalamic ventromedial nucleus known to have a supporting function rather than a specific motor task. The question was raised whether the input from the basal ganglia might play a crucial role in the evolution of the mammalian motor cortex? Certainly, in the tenrec, the poor differentiation of the motor cortex coincides with the virtual absence of an entopeduncular projection to the ventrolateral thalamus.

  20. Development and embryonic staging in non-model organisms: the case of an afrotherian mammal.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Tzika, Athanasia C; Hautier, Lionel; Asher, Robert J; Milinkovitch, Michel C; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Studies of evolutionary developmental biology commonly use 'model organisms' such as fruit flies or mice, and questions are often functional or epigenetic. Phylogenetic investigations, in contrast, typically use species that are less common and mostly deal with broad scale analyses in the tree of life. However, important evolutionary transformations have taken place at all taxonomic levels, resulting in such diverse forms as elephants and shrews. To understand the mechanisms underlying morphological diversification, broader sampling and comparative approaches are paramount. Using a simple, standardized protocol, we describe for the first time the development of soft tissues and some parts of the skeleton, using μCT-imaging of developmental series of Echinops telfairi and Tenrec ecaudatus, two tenrecid afrotherian mammals. The developmental timing of soft tissue and skeletal characters described for the tenrecids is briefly compared with that of other mammals, including mouse, echidna, and the opossum. We found relatively few heterochronic differences in development in the armadillo vs. tenrec, consistent with a close relationship of Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Ossification in T. ecaudatus continues well into the second half of overall gestation, resembling the pattern seen in other small mammals and differing markedly from the advanced state of ossification evident early in the gestation of elephants, sheep, and humans.

  1. Discovery of alpha-defensins in basal mammals.

    PubMed

    Lynn, David J; Bradley, Daniel G

    2007-01-01

    Alpha-defensins are essential molecules of the innate immune system that have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria and viruses. To date, alpha-defensins have only been identified in the Euarchontoglires branch of the mammals. This has led to speculation that alpha-defensins may be specific to this group, a somewhat surprising finding, given their importance in the immune system. The mammalian genome project provided us with the opportunity to search for alpha-defensins in previously unexamined mammalian superorders. Using hidden Markov model (HMM) profile searching, we report the discovery of alpha-defensins in the African savanna elephant, the lesser hedgehog tenrec, and the nine-banded armadillo genomes representing two of the most basal mammalian superorders, Afrotheria and Xenarthra. Furthermore, we identify an alpha-defensin-like gene in the gray short-tailed opossum, suggesting that alpha-defensins may have evolved much earlier than previously thought, before the divergence of placental mammals and marsupials approximately 130 mya.

  2. Repeated horizontal transfer of a DNA transposon in mammals and other tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Pace, John K; Gilbert, Clément; Clark, Marlena S; Feschotte, Cédric

    2008-11-01

    Horizontal transfer (HT) is central to the evolution of prokaryotic species. Selfish and mobile genetic elements, such as phages, plasmids, and transposons, are the primary vehicles for HT among prokaryotes. In multicellular eukaryotes, the prevalence and evolutionary significance of HT remain unclear. Here, we identified a set of DNA transposon families dubbed SPACE INVADERS (or SPIN) whose consensus sequences are approximately 96% identical over their entire length (2.9 kb) in the genomes of murine rodents (rat/mouse), bushbaby (prosimian primate), little brown bat (laurasiatherian), tenrec (afrotherian), opossum (marsupial), and two non-mammalian tetrapods (anole lizard and African clawed frog). In contrast, SPIN elements were undetectable in other species represented in the sequence databases, including 19 other mammals with draft whole-genome assemblies. This patchy distribution, coupled with the extreme level of SPIN identity in widely divergent tetrapods and the overall lack of selective constraint acting on these elements, is incompatible with vertical inheritance, but strongly indicative of multiple horizontal introductions. We show that these germline infiltrations likely occurred around the same evolutionary time (15-46 mya) and spawned some of the largest bursts of DNA transposon activity ever recorded in any species lineage (nearly 100,000 SPIN copies per haploid genome in tenrec). The process also led to the emergence of a new gene in the murine lineage derived from a SPIN transposase. In summary, HT of DNA transposons has contributed significantly to shaping and diversifying the genomes of multiple mammalian and tetrapod species.

  3. 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. PMID:10479081

  4. Effect of analgesic drugs on the electromyographic activity of the gastrointestinal tract and sphincter of Oddi and on biliary pressure.

    PubMed Central

    Coelho, J C; Senninger, N; Runkel, N; Herfarth, C; Messmer, K

    1986-01-01

    Continuous biliary pressure and electromyographic activity of the sphincter of Oddi and gastrointestinal tract were recorded in conscious opossums following administration of analgesic drugs. Morphine, meperidine, and pentazocin increased significantly the duration of the migrating motor complex (MMC) cycle. Periods of 1-2 minutes of intense burst of spike potentials were seen in the sphincter of Oddi and duodenum following administration of morphine (8 experiments), meperidine (6 experiments), and pentazocin (3 experiments). The biliary pressure in the control studies was similar to that following administration of all analgesics in the animals with gallbladder and following instillation of tramadol, metamizol, and acetylsalicylic acid in animals with no gallbladder. However, the biliary pressure was significantly higher following administration of morphine, meperidine, and pentazocin in the animals with no gallbladder. It is concluded from this study that morphine, meperidine, and pentazocin may cause important disturbances in the motility of the sphincter of Oddi and gastrointestinal tract. These myoelectric disturbances may cause an increase in the biliary pressure in animals that have been subjected to cholecystectomy, but not in animals with intact gallbladder. The gallbladder may accommodate the bile produced by the liver during periods of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction and thus impede an increase in the biliary pressure. Images FIG. 1. FIG. 2. FIGS. 3A and B. PMID:3729583

  5. THE SUGAR GLIDER (PETAURUS BREVICEPS): A LABORATORY HOST FOR THE NEMATODE PARASTRONGYLOIDES TRICHOSURI

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Thomas J.; Zhu, Xiaodong; Ketschek, Andrea; Cole, Joan; Grant, Warwick; Lok, James B.; Schad, Gerhard A.

    2011-01-01

    Parastrongyloides trichosuri is a nematode parasite of the Australian brush-tailed possums that can be propagated through many generations in vitro. This makes P. trichosuri uniquely suited for genetic investigations, including those involving transgenesis. However, an obstacle to its use as an experimental model has been the fact that its host is limited to Australia and New Zealand and that it cannot be exported because of its status as a protected species or agricultural pest, respectively. In previous studies, conventional laboratory animals such as rats, mice, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens have failed to support infections. In the present study, gerbils and short-tailed opossums proved similarly refractory to infection. In contrast, the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps, family Petauridae) proved to be a good host for P. trichosuri. Patent infections resulted using as few as 6 infective larvae (L3i) and as many as 2,000 L3i. Large numbers of L3i (1,000–2,000) produced patent infections of much shorter duration than those seen when 100 L3i were initially given to the sugar glider. In one case, an infection initiated with 100 L3i was patent for over 1 yr. Parastrongyloides trichosuri is easily cryopreserved using a method developed for Strongyloides stercoralis. Thus, we have identified an experimental host for P. trichosuri that will make it possible to conduct research on this parasite in laboratories outside the endemic sites. PMID:18163342

  6. The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps): a laboratory host for the nematode Parastrongyloides trichosuri.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Thomas J; Zhu, Xiaodong; Ketschek, Andrea; Cole, Joan; Grant, Warwick; Lok, James B; Schad, Gerhard A

    2007-10-01

    Parastrongyloides trichosuri is a nematode parasite of the Australian brush-tailed possums that can be propagated through many generations in vitro. This makes P. trichosuri uniquely suited for genetic investigations, including those involving transgenesis. However, an obstacle to its use as an experimental model has been the fact that its host is limited to Australia and New Zealand and that it cannot be exported because of its status as a protected species or agricultural pest, respectively. In previous studies, conventional laboratory animals such as rats, mice, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens have failed to support infections. In the present study, gerbils and short-tailed opossums proved similarly refractory to infection. In contrast, the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps, family Petauridae) proved to be a good host for P. trichosuri. Patent infections resulted using as few as 6 infective larvae (L3i) and as many as 2,000 L3i. Large numbers of L3i (1,000-2,000) produced patent infections of much shorter duration than those seen when 100 L3i were initially given to the sugar glider. In one case, an infection initiated with 100 L3i was patent for over 1 yr. Parastrongyloides trichosuri is easily cryopreserved using a method developed for Strongyloides stercoralis. Thus, we have identified an experimental host for P. trichosuri that will make it possible to conduct research on this parasite in laboratories outside the endemic sites.

  7. The molecular phylogeny of uterine serpins and its relationship to evolution of placentation.

    PubMed

    Padua, Maria B; Kowalski, Andrés A; Cañas, Miryan Y; Hansen, Peter J

    2010-02-01

    Uterine serpins (USs), designated as SERPINA14, are expressed in the endometrium in response to progesterone. All species identified as having USs exhibit epitheliochorial placentation and are in the Ruminantia and Suidae orders of the Laurasiatheria superorder. The objective was to identify US genes in species within and outside Laurasiatheria and evaluate whether evolution of the US gene was associated with development of the epitheliochorial placenta. Through queries of nucleotide and genomic databases, known US genes were identified (caprine, bovine, porcine, water buffalo), and new US coding sequences were found in dolphins, horses, dogs, and cats. The cat sequence contained several stop codons. No sequence was found in completed genomic sequences for primates, rodents, rabbits, opossums, or duck-billed platypuses. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction confirmed expression of the US gene in the uterus of pregnant horses and dogs. The ratio of nonsynonymous/synonymous substitutions suggests that the US gene evolved under positive selection. In conclusion, the US gene evolved within the Laurasiatheria superorder to play a role in pregnancy for species with epitheliochorial placentation and some but not all Laurasiatheria species that have a different form of placentation. The positive selection taking place in the gene suggests development of species-specific functions.

  8. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche.

  9. Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) infestation on medium-sized mammals and blue jays in northwestern Illinois.

    PubMed

    Mannelli, A; Kitron, U; Jones, C J; Slajchert, T L

    1993-09-01

    High prevalence of infestation of five species of medium-sized mammals and blue jays, Cyanocitta cristata (L.), by immature Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman and Corwin was found in Castle Rock State Park in northwestern Illinois during May-August 1991. Raccoons, Procyon lotor L., and opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, were infested with the highest larval densities and were trapped primarily in bottomland forest and ecotone habitats. All species had similar nymphal densities, except the eastern cottontails, Sylvilagus floridanus Allen, which were infested with fewer nymphs. Infestation by I. dammini is reported for the first time for fox squirrels, Sciurus niger E. G. St. Hilaire, and for the first time in the midwestern United States for blue jays, C. cristata. These two species were hosts for nymphs in upland forest habitat. Molting rates varied among ticks that fed on different host species and among larvae that fed on individuals of the same species. Molting rate is proposed as an important factor in determining the relative importance of a host species to I. dammini population dynamics. PMID:8254647

  10. Hosts as ecological traps for the vector of Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Keesing, F; Brunner, J; Duerr, S; Killilea, M; Logiudice, K; Schmidt, K; Vuong, H; Ostfeld, R S

    2009-11-22

    Vectors of infectious diseases are generally thought to be regulated by abiotic conditions such as climate or the availability of specific hosts or habitats. In this study we tested whether blacklegged ticks, the vectors of Lyme disease, granulocytic anaplasmosis and babesiosis can be regulated by the species of vertebrate hosts on which they obligately feed. By subjecting field-caught hosts to parasitism by larval blacklegged ticks, we found that some host species (e.g. opossums, squirrels) that are abundantly parasitized in nature kill 83-96% of the ticks that attempt to attach and feed, while other species are more permissive of tick feeding. Given natural tick burdens we document on these hosts, we show that some hosts can kill thousands of ticks per hectare. These results indicate that the abundance of tick vectors can be regulated by the identity of the hosts upon which these vectors feed. By simulating the removal of hosts from intact communities using empirical models, we show that the loss of biodiversity may exacerbate disease risk by increasing both vector numbers and vector infection rates with a zoonotic pathogen. PMID:19692412

  11. An in silico insight into novel therapeutic interaction of LTNF peptide-LT10 and design of structure based peptidomimetics for putative anti-diabetic activity.

    PubMed

    Chavan, Sonali Gopichand; Deobagkar, Deepti Dileep

    2015-01-01

    Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Factor (LTNF) obtained from Opossum serum (Didephis virginiana) is known to exhibit toxin-neutralizing activity for envenomation caused by animals, plants and bacteria. Small synthetic peptide- LT10 (10mer) derived from N-terminal fraction of LTNF exhibit similar anti-lethal and anti-allergic property. In our in silico study, we identified Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE) as a potential target of LT10 peptide followed by molecular docking and molecular dynamic (MD) simulation studies which revealed relatively stable interaction of LT10 peptide with IDE. Moreover, their detailed interaction analyses dictate IDE-inhibitory interactions of LT10 peptide. This prediction of LT10 peptide as a novel putative IDE-inhibitor suggests its possible role in anti-diabetic treatment since IDE- inhibitors are known to assist treatment of Diabetes mellitus by enhancing insulin signalling. Furthermore, series of structure based peptidomimetics were designed from LT10 peptide and screened for their inhibitory interactions which ultimately led to a small set of peptidomimetic inhibitors of IDE. These peptidomimetic thus might provide a new class of IDE-inhibitors, those derived from LT10 peptide.

  12. Evaluation of a Mysis bioenergetics model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chipps, S.R.; Bennett, D.H.

    2002-01-01

    Direct approaches for estimating the feeding rate of the opossum shrimp Mysis relicta can be hampered by variable gut residence time (evacuation rate models) and non-linear functional responses (clearance rate models). Bioenergetics modeling provides an alternative method, but the reliability of this approach needs to be evaluated using independent measures of growth and food consumption. In this study, we measured growth and food consumption for M. relicta and compared experimental results with those predicted from a Mysis bioenergetics model. For Mysis reared at 10??C, model predictions were not significantly different from observed values. Moreover, decomposition of mean square error indicated that 70% of the variation between model predictions and observed values was attributable to random error. On average, model predictions were within 12% of observed values. A sensitivity analysis revealed that Mysis respiration and prey energy density were the most sensitive parameters affecting model output. By accounting for uncertainty (95% CLs) in Mysis respiration, we observed a significant improvement in the accuracy of model output (within 5% of observed values), illustrating the importance of sensitive input parameters for model performance. These findings help corroborate the Mysis bioenergetics model and demonstrate the usefulness of this approach for estimating Mysis feeding rate.

  13. IN-VIVO DIAGNOSIS OF CHEMICALLY INDUCED MELANOMA IN AN ANIMAL MODEL USING UV-VISIBLE AND NIR ELASTIC SCATTERING SPECTROSCOPY: PRELIMINARY TESTING.

    SciTech Connect

    C. A'AMAR; R. LEY; ET AL

    2001-01-01

    Elastic light scattering spectroscopy (ESS) has the potential to provide spectra that contain both morphological and chromophore information from tissue. We report on a preliminary study of this technique, with the hope of developing a method for diagnosis of highly-pigmented skin lesions, commonly associated with skin cancer. Four opossums were treated with dimethylbenz(a)anthracene to induce both malignant melanoma and benign pigmented lesions. Skin lesions were examined in vivo using both UV-visible and near infrared (NIR) ESS, with wavelength ranges of 330-900 nm and 900-1700 nm, respectively. Both portable systems used identical fiber-optic probe geometry throughout all of the measurements. The core diameters for illuminating and collecting fibers were 400 and 200 {micro}m, respectively, with center-to-center separation of 350 {micro}m. The probe was placed in optical contact with the tissue under investigation. Biopsies from lesions were analyzed by two standard histopathological procedures. Taking into account only the biopsied lesions, UV-visible ESS showed distinct spectral correlation for 11/13 lesions. The NIR-ESS correlated well with 12/13 lesions correctly. The results of these experiments showed that UV-visible and NIR-ESS have the potential to classify benign and malignant skin lesions, with encouraging agreement to that provided by standard histopathological examination. These initial results show potential for ESS based diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions, but further trials are required in order to substantiate the technique.

  14. An In Silico Insight into Novel Therapeutic Interaction of LTNF Peptide-LT10 and Design of Structure Based Peptidomimetics for Putative Anti-Diabetic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chavan, Sonali Gopichand; Deobagkar, Deepti Dileep

    2015-01-01

    Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Factor (LTNF) obtained from Opossum serum (Didephis virginiana) is known to exhibit toxin-neutralizing activity for envenomation caused by animals, plants and bacteria. Small synthetic peptide- LT10 (10mer) derived from N-terminal fraction of LTNF exhibit similar anti-lethal and anti-allergic property. In our in silico study, we identified Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE) as a potential target of LT10 peptide followed by molecular docking and molecular dynamic (MD) simulation studies which revealed relatively stable interaction of LT10 peptide with IDE. Moreover, their detailed interaction analyses dictate IDE-inhibitory interactions of LT10 peptide. This prediction ofLT10 peptide as a novel putative IDE-inhibitor suggests its possible role in anti-diabetic treatment since IDE- inhibitors are known to assist treatment of Diabetes mellitus by enhancing insulin signalling. Furthermore, series of structure based peptidomimetics were designed from LT10 peptide and screened for their inhibitory interactions which ultimately led to a small set of peptidomimetic inhibitors of IDE. These peptidomimetic thus might provide a new class of IDE-inhibitors, those derived from LT10 peptide. PMID:25816209

  15. Differences in the number of micronucleated erythrocytes among young and adult animals including humans. Spontaneous micronuclei in 43 species.

    PubMed

    Zúñiga-González, G; Torres-Bugarín, O; Zamora-Perez, A; Gómez-Meda, B C; Ramos Ibarra, M L; Martínez-González, S; González-Rodríguez, A; Luna-Aguirre, J; Ramos-Mora, A; Ontiveros-Lira, D; Gallegos-Arreola, M P

    2001-07-25

    In our previous report we speculated about the possibility that some species had high levels of spontaneous micronucleated erythrocytes (MNE) just in a juvenile stage, this is, that the MNE diminish as the reticuloendothelial system matures. Here we show this effect in species including rat, rabbit, pig, dog, cat, gray squirrel, lion, giraffe, white-tailed deer, opossum and even human. The number of spontaneous MNE that we found in 43 species is shown, and the proportions of polychromatic and normochromatic. This is our third report on spontaneous MNE in different species. We obtained 189 peripheral blood samples of mammals, birds and reptiles. From 12 species we obtained only one sample, and 16 were reported previously, but now the size of the sample has been increased. The species with the highest spontaneous MNE were the Vietnamese potbelly pig (with the highest MNE number), Bengal tiger, capuchin monkey, puma, ferret, owl, hedgehog, squirrel monkey, pig and white-tailed deer. These species could be used as monitors for genotoxic events.

  16. 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

  17. Hosts as ecological traps for the vector of Lyme disease

    PubMed Central

    Keesing, F.; Brunner, J.; Duerr, S.; Killilea, M.; LoGiudice, K.; Schmidt, K.; Vuong, H.; Ostfeld, R. S.

    2009-01-01

    Vectors of infectious diseases are generally thought to be regulated by abiotic conditions such as climate or the availability of specific hosts or habitats. In this study we tested whether blacklegged ticks, the vectors of Lyme disease, granulocytic anaplasmosis and babesiosis can be regulated by the species of vertebrate hosts on which they obligately feed. By subjecting field-caught hosts to parasitism by larval blacklegged ticks, we found that some host species (e.g. opossums, squirrels) that are abundantly parasitized in nature kill 83–96% of the ticks that attempt to attach and feed, while other species are more permissive of tick feeding. Given natural tick burdens we document on these hosts, we show that some hosts can kill thousands of ticks per hectare. These results indicate that the abundance of tick vectors can be regulated by the identity of the hosts upon which these vectors feed. By simulating the removal of hosts from intact communities using empirical models, we show that the loss of biodiversity may exacerbate disease risk by increasing both vector numbers and vector infection rates with a zoonotic pathogen. PMID:19692412

  18. Importance of light, temperature, zooplankton, and fish in predicting the nighttime vertical distribution of Mysis diluviana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Marilyn K.; ,; Boscarino, Brent T.; Rudstam, Lars G.; Eillenberger, June L.

    2009-01-01

    The opossum shrimp Mysis diluviana (formerly M. relicta) performs large amplitude diel vertical migrations in Lake Ontario and its nighttime distribution is influenced by temperature, light and the distribution of its predators and prey. At one location in southeastern Lake Ontario, we measured the vertical distribution of mysids, mysid predators (i.e. planktivorous fishes) and mysid prey (i.e. zooplankton), in addition to light and temperature, on 8 occasions from May to September, 2004 and 2005. We use these data to test 3 different predictive models of mysid habitat selection, based on: (1) laboratoryderived responses of mysids to different light and temperature gradients in the absence of predator or prey cues; (2) growth rate of mysids, as estimated with a mysid bioenergetics model, given known prey densities and temperatures at different depths in the water column; (3) ratio of growth rates (g) and mortality risk (μ) associated with the distribution of predatory fishes. The model based on light and temperature preferences was a better predictor of mysid vertical distribution than the models based on growth rate and g:μon all 8 occasions. Although mysid temperature and light preferences probably evolved as mechanisms to reduce predation while increasing foraging intake, the response to temperature and light alone predicts mysid vertical distribution across seasons in Lake Ontario.

  19. Stable isotope evaluation of population- and individual-level diet variability in a large, oligotrophic lake with non-native lake trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ng, Elizabeth L.; Fredericks, Jim P.; Quist, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    Non-native piscivores can alter food web dynamics; therefore, evaluating interspecific relationships is vital for conservation and management of ecosystems with introduced fishes. Priest Lake, Idaho, supports a number of introduced species, including lake troutSalvelinus namaycush, brook trout S. fontinalis and opossum shrimp Mysis diluviana. In this study, we used stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) to describe the food web structure of Priest Lake and to test hypotheses about apparent patterns in lake trout growth. We found that isotopic niches of species using pelagic-origin carbon did not overlap with those using more littoral-origin carbon. Species using more littoral-origin carbon, such as brook trout and westslope cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi, exhibited a high degree of isotopic niche overlap and high intrapopulation variability in resource use. Although we hypothesised that lake trout would experience an ontogenetic diet shift, no such patterns were apparent in isotopic signatures. Lake trout growth rates were not associated with patterns in δ15N, indicating that variation in adult body composition may not be related to adult diet. Understanding trophic relationships at both the individual and species levels provides a more complete understanding of food webs altered by non-native species.

  20. Importance of light, temperature, zooplankton and fish in predicting the nighttime vertical distribution of Mysis diluviana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boscarino, B.T.; Rusdtam, L.G.; Eillenberger, J.L.; O'Gorman, R.

    2009-01-01

    The opossum shrimp Mysis diluviana (formerly M. relicta) performs large amplitude diel vertical migrations in Lake Ontario and its nighttime distribution is influenced by temperature, light and the distribution of its predators and prey. At one location in southeastern Lake Ontario, we measured the vertical distribution of mysids, mysid predators (i.e. planktivorous fishes) and mysid prey (i.e. zooplankton), in addition to light and temperature, on 8 occasions from May to September, 2004 and 2005. We use these data to test 3 different predictive models of mysid habitat selection, based on: (1) laboratory-derived responses of mysids to different light and temperature gradients in the absence of predator or prey cues; (2) growth rate of mysids, as estimated with a mysid bioenergetics model, given known prey densities and temperatures at different depths in the water column; (3) ratio of growth rates (g) and mortality risk (??) associated with the distribution of predatory fishes. The model based on light and temperature preferences was a better predictor of mysid vertical distribution than the models based on growth rate and g:?? on all 8 occasions. Although mysid temperature and light preferences probably evolved as mechanisms to reduce predation while increasing foraging intake, the response to temperature and light alone predicts mysid vertical distribution across seasons in Lake Ontario. ?? Inter-Research 2009.

  1. First isolation of Leptospira interrogans from Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox) in Argentina shows new MLVA genotype.

    PubMed

    Scialfa, Exequiel; Brihuega, Bibiana; Venzano, Agustín; Morris, Winston Eduardo; Bolpe, Jorge; Schettino, Mateo

    2013-01-01

    To identify carriers of Leptospira spp. in Argentina, wild animals were trapped in Buenos Aires Province during three nights, capturing 12 Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), six Chaetophractus villosus (big hairy armadillo), five Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox), and two Conepatus chinga (Molina's hog-nosed skunk). All were tested by microscopic agglutination test, and five (two gray foxes, two armadillos, and one skunk) were positive for Leptospira interrogans serovars Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae, L. borgpetersenii serovar Castellonis, and L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, at titers of 1:50 and 1:100. Kidney tissue from all animals was cultured, and one isolate of L. interrogans from a gray fox was obtained. Hamsters inoculated with the isolate died after 6 days with no macroscopic lesions at necropsy. However, histologic examination revealed glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, and pneumonia. The Leptospira strain from the South American gray fox was analyzed serologically and its pathogenicity was established. Genotyping through multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis showed that the strain was a new genotype related to the L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae. PMID:23307384

  2. Bioenergetic functions of sleep and activity rhythms and their possible relevance to aging.

    PubMed

    Berger, R J

    1975-01-01

    The hypothesis is proposed that sleep constitutes a period of dormancy in which energy is conserved to partially offset the increased energy demands of homeothermy. Phylogenetic data indicate that the complete psysiological and behavioral manifestations of sleep are unique to homeotherms; furthermore "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" in the parallel development of slow wave sleep and thermoregulation as exemplified in the opossum. Thus, sleep constitutes a state of reduced metabolism that may represent a variation on the theme of dormancy, functionally lying on a continuum of energy conservation processes, ranging from inactivity and estivation to torpor and hibernation. The high amounts of sleep in infancy may involve conservation of energy and its consequent availability for growth. Decreased amounts of stage 4 and total sleep with aging in humans may represent reduced energy demands reflected by parallel declines in basal metabolic rate and physical activity. Disruptions of circadian rhythms of sleep and wakefulness in humans produce impairments in mood and performance independent of total amounts of sleep obtained, and reduce the amplitude of physiological rhythms. It is suggested that aging processes might also be affected by such disruptions in activity rhythms.

  3. Identification of a novel PNMA-MS1 gene in marsupials suggests the LTR retrotransposon-derived PNMA genes evolved differently in marsupials and eutherians.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Sawa; Suzuki, Shunsuke; Pelekanos, Matthew; Clark, Helen; Ono, Ryuichi; Shaw, Geoff; Renfree, Marilyn B; Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2013-10-01

    Two major gene families derived from Ty3/Gypsy long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons were recently identified in mammals. The sushi-ichi retrotransposon homologue (SIRH) family comprises 12 genes: 11 in eutherians including Peg10 and Peg11/Rtl1 that have essential roles in the eutherian placenta and 1 that is marsupial specific. Fifteen and 12 genes were reported in the second gene family, para-neoplastic antigen MA (PNMA), in humans and mice, respectively, although their biological functions and evolutionary history remain largely unknown. Here, we identified two novel candidate PNMA genes, PNMA-MS1 and -MS2 in marsupials. Like all eutherian-specific PNMA genes, they exhibit the highest homology to a Gypsy12_DR (DR, Danio rerio) Gag protein. PNMA-MS1 is conserved in both Australian and South American marsupial species, the tammar wallaby and grey short-tailed opossum. However, no PNMA-MS1 orthologue was found in eutherians, monotremes or non-mammalian vertebrates. PNMA-MS1 was expressed in the ovary, mammary gland and brain during development and growth in the tammar, suggesting that PNMA-MS1 may have acquired a marsupial-specific function. However, PNMA-MS2 seems to be a pseudogene. The absence of marsupial orthologues of eutherian PNMA genes suggests that the retrotransposition events of the Gypsy12_DR-related retrotransposons that gave rise to the PNMA family occurred after the divergence of marsupials and eutherians. PMID:23704700

  4. Photomodification of the electrical properties of the plasma membrane: a comparison between 6 different membrane-active photosensitizers.

    PubMed

    Killig, F; Kunz, L; Stark, G

    2001-05-01

    The present study deals with photomodification of the electrical properties of the plasma membrane of an epithelial cell line (opossum kidney (OK) cells). The effect of photofrin II (previously investigated) is compared with that of 5 other membrane-active sensitizers: sulfonated Zn-phthalocyanine, merocyanine 540, rose bengal, methylene blue and protoporphyrin IX (an endogenous sensitizer induced by addition of its biosynthetic precursor 5-aminolaevulinic acid). The study was performed in order to investigate whether photomodification of the ion transport properties of the plasma membrane by membrane-active sensitizers is a general and early event in cellular photosensitization. The changes in the electrical properties were monitored by application of the whole-cell and the inside-out configuration of the patch-clamp technique. Illumination in the presence of the compounds (apart from merocyanine 540) gave rise to similar changes of the electrical properties of the membrane: depolarization of the membrane potential, inactivation of a large-conductance, Ca2+-dependent K+-channel (maxi-KCa), and a strong increase of the leak conductance of the membrane. This similarity indicates the general character of the functional photomodifications by membrane-active sensitizers previously reported for photofrin II.

  5. Direct molecular identification of Trypanosoma cruzi Discrete Typing Units in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida from the Argentine Chaco

    PubMed Central

    MAFFEY, L.; CARDINAL, M.V.; ORDÓÑEZ-KRASNOWSKI, P.C.; LANATI, L.A.; LAURICELLA, M.A.; SCHIJMAN, A.G.; GÜRTLER, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY We assessed the distribution of Trypanosoma cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida specimens collected in a well-defined rural area in Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina. Microscopically-positive bugs were randomly selected with a multi-level sampling design, and DTUs were identified using direct PCR strategies. TcVI predominated in 61% of 69 T. infestans and in 56% of 9 T. sordida. TcV was the secondary DTU in T. infestans (16%) and was found in one T. sordida specimen (11%). Three T. sordida (33%) were found infected with TcI, a DTU also identified in local Didelphis albiventris opossums. Mixed DTU infections occurred rarely (5%) and were detected both directly from the bugs’ rectal ampoule and parasite cultures. The identified DTUs and bug collection sites of T. infestans were significantly associated. Bugs infected with TcV were almost exclusively captured in domiciles whereas those with TcVI were found similarly in domiciles and peridomiciles. All mixed infections occurred in domiciles. TcV-infected bugs fed more often on humans than on dogs, whereas TcVI-infected bugs showed the reverse pattern. T. sordida is a probable sylvatic vector of TcI linked to D. albiventris, and could represent a secondary vector of TcVI and TcV in the domestic/peridomestic cycle. PMID:23036510

  6. Imaging Serotonergic Fibers in the Mouse Spinal Cord Using the CLARITY/CUBIC Technique.

    PubMed

    Liang, Huazheng; Schofield, Emma; Paxinos, George

    2016-01-01

    Long descending fibers to the spinal cord are essential for locomotion, pain perception, and other behaviors. The fiber termination pattern in the spinal cord of the majority of these fiber systems have not been thoroughly investigated in any species. Serotonergic fibers, which project to the spinal cord, have been studied in rats and opossums on histological sections and their functional significance has been deduced based on their fiber termination pattern in the spinal cord. With the development of CLARITY and CUBIC techniques, it is possible to investigate this fiber system and its distribution in the spinal cord, which is likely to reveal previously unknown features of serotonergic supraspinal pathways. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for imaging the serotonergic fibers in the mouse spinal cord using the combined CLARITY and CUBIC techniques. The method involves perfusion of a mouse with a hydrogel solution and clarification of the tissue with a combination of clearing reagents. Spinal cord tissue was cleared in just under two weeks, and the subsequent immunofluorescent staining against serotonin was completed in less than ten days. With a multi-photon fluorescent microscope, the tissue was scanned and a 3D image was reconstructed using Osirix software. PMID:26967767

  7. The NHERF2 sequence adjacent and upstream of the ERM-binding domain affects NHERF2-ezrin binding and dexamethasone stimulated NHE3 activity.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianbo; Sarker, Rafiquel; Singh, Varsha; Sarker, Prateeti; Yin, Jianyi; Chen, Tian-E; Chaerkady, Raghothama; Li, Xuhang; Tse, C Ming; Donowitz, Mark

    2015-08-15

    In the brush border of intestinal and kidney epithelial cells, scaffolding proteins ezrin, Na(+)-H(+) exchanger regulatory factor (NHERF)1 and NHERF2 play important roles in linking transmembrane proteins to the cytoskeleton and assembling signalling regulatory complexes. The last 30 carboxyl residues of NHERF1 and NHERF2 form the EBDs [ezrin, radixin and moesin (ERM)-binding domain]. The current study found that NHERF1/2 contain an ERM-binding regulatory sequence (EBRS), which facilitates the interaction between the EBD and ezrin. The EBRSs are located within 24 and 19 residues immediately upstream of EBDs for NHERF1 and NHERF2 respectively. In OK (opossum kidney) epithelial cells, EBRSs are necessary along with the EBD to distribute NHERF1 and NHERF2 exclusively to the apical domain. Furthermore, phosphorylation of Ser(303) located in the EBRS of NHERF2, decreases the binding affinity for ezrin, dislocates apical NHERF2 into the cytosol and increases the NHERF2 microvillar mobility rate. Moreover, increased phosphorylation of Ser(303) was functionally significant preventing acute stimulation of NHE3 (Na(+)-H(+) exchanger 3) activity by dexamethasone. PMID:26251448

  8. 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. PMID:26249652

  9. Mechanism of bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the porcine lower esophageal sphincter.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Ching-Chung; Chang, Li-Ching; Lin, Kai-Jen; Tey, Shu-Leei; Su, Yu-Tsun; Liu, Ching-Wen; Tsai, Tong-Rong; Huang, Shih-Che

    2015-01-01

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that is related to an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Previous studies showed that bombesin could increase LES pressure in humans and opossums. The aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of bombesin on porcine LES contraction. We used the selective agonists, neuromedin B (NMB), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), and [D-Tyr(6),Apa-4Cl(11),Phe(13),Nle(14)]bombesin-(6-14) (DTACPN-BN), as well as receptor antagonists of bombesin receptor subtype 2 (BB2), and 3 (BB3) for ex vivo contraction studies. Atropine, nifedipine, tetrodotoxin, and ω-conotoxin GVIA were used to explore the agonist-induced LES contraction mechanism. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry were applied to detect bombesin receptor expression. Our results indicate that GRP and DTACPN-BN, but not NMB, induced tonic contractions of the porcine LES in a dose-dependent manner, and the contractions were inhibited with selective BB2 and BB3 antagonists. The GRP-induced contraction is mainly caused by L-type Ca(2+) channel-mediated Ca(2+) influx. However, DTACPN-BN-induced contractions are associated with neuronal conduction. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed that BB2 and BB3 were expressed in the porcine LES. Bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the LES is mediated through BB2 and BB3. Bombesin, BB2, and BB3 agonists might have the potential to treat GERD. PMID:26522854

  10. Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania infantum chagasi Infection in Wild Mammals from Maranhão State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Andréa Pereira; Costa, Francisco Borges; Soares, Herbert Sousa; Ramirez, Diego Garcia; Mesquita, Eric Takashi Kamakura de Carvalho; Gennari, Solange Maria; Marcili, Arlei

    2015-11-01

    Trypanosoma and Leishmania are obligate parasites that cause important diseases in human and domestic animals. Wild mammals are the natural reservoirs of these parasites, which are transmitted by hematophagous arthropods. The present study aimed to detect the natural occurrence of trypanosomatids through serological diagnosis, PCR of whole blood and blood culture (hemoculture), and phylogenetic relationships using small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA), cytochrome b, and glycosomal glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes. Samples from 131 wild animals, including rodents, marsupials, and bats, were sampled in six areas in the state of Maranhão, in a transition zone of semiarid climates northeast of the equatorial humid Amazon. Serological analysis for Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi was performed in opossums by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), and all animals were serologically negative. Nine positive hemocultures (6.77%) were isolated and cryopreserved and from mammals of the Didelphimorphia and Chiroptera orders and positioned in phylogenies on the basis of sequences from different genes with reference strains of Trypanosoma cruzi marinkellei and T. cruzi. From primary samples (blood and tissues) only one bat, Pteronotus parnellii, was positive to SSU rDNA and gGAPDH genes and grouped with the L. infantum chagasi branch. The studies conducted in Maranhão State provide knowledge of parasite diversity. It is important to determine the presence of trypanosomatids in wild mammals with synanthropic habits. PMID:26501369

  11. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Klippel, Angélica H; Oliveira, Pablo V; Britto, Karollini B; Freire, Bárbara F; Moreno, Marcel R; Dos Santos, Alexandre R; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios. PMID:26244644

  12. The Relationship between Gene Network Structure and Expression Variation among Individuals and Species.

    PubMed

    Sears, Karen E; Maier, Jennifer A; Rivas-Astroza, Marcelo; Poe, Rachel; Zhong, Sheng; Kosog, Kari; Marcot, Jonathan D; Behringer, Richard R; Cretekos, Chris J; Rasweiler, John J; Rapti, Zoi

    2015-08-01

    Variation among individuals is a prerequisite of evolution by natural selection. As such, identifying the origins of variation is a fundamental goal of biology. We investigated the link between gene interactions and variation in gene expression among individuals and species using the mammalian limb as a model system. We first built interaction networks for key genes regulating early (outgrowth; E9.5-11) and late (expansion and elongation; E11-13) limb development in mouse. This resulted in an Early (ESN) and Late (LSN) Stage Network. Computational perturbations of these networks suggest that the ESN is more robust. We then quantified levels of the same key genes among mouse individuals and found that they vary less at earlier limb stages and that variation in gene expression is heritable. Finally, we quantified variation in gene expression levels among four mammals with divergent limbs (bat, opossum, mouse and pig) and found that levels vary less among species at earlier limb stages. We also found that variation in gene expression levels among individuals and species are correlated for earlier and later limb development. In conclusion, results are consistent with the robustness of the ESN buffering among-individual variation in gene expression levels early in mammalian limb development, and constraining the evolution of early limb development among mammalian species. PMID:26317994

  13. Molecular cloning of the gene encoding the mouse parathyroid hormone/parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor.

    PubMed Central

    McCuaig, K A; Clarke, J C; White, J H

    1994-01-01

    The parathyroid hormone/parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor (PTHR) is a G-protein-coupled receptor containing seven predicted transmembrane domains. We have isolated and characterized recombinant bacteriophage lambda EMBL3 genomic clones containing the mouse PTHR gene, including 10 kilobases of the promoter region. The gene spans > 32 kilobases and is divided into 15 exons, 8 of which contain the transmembrane domains. The PTHR exons containing the predicted membrane-spanning domains are heterogeneous in length and three of the exon-intron boundaries fall within putative transmembrane sequences, suggesting that the exons did not arise from duplication events. This arrangement is closely related to that of the growth hormone releasing factor receptor gene, particularly in the transmembrane region, providing strong evidence that the two genes evolved from a common precursor. Transcription is initiated principally at a series of sites over a 15-base-pair region. The proximal promoter region is highly (G+C)-rich and lacks an apparent TATA box or initiator element homologies but does contain CCGCCC motifs. The presumptive amino acid sequence of the encoded receptor is 99%, 91%, and 76% identical to those of the rat, human, and opossum receptors, respectively. There is no consensus polyadenylation signal in the 3' untranslated region. The poly(A) tail of the PTHR transcript begins 32 bases downstream of a 35-base-long A-rich sequence, suggesting that this region directs polyadenylylation. Images PMID:8197183

  14. CD36 mediates proximal tubular binding and uptake of albumin and is upregulated in proteinuric nephropathies.

    PubMed

    Baines, Richard J; Chana, Ravinder S; Hall, Matthew; Febbraio, Maria; Kennedy, David; Brunskill, Nigel J

    2012-10-01

    Dysregulation of renal tubular protein handling in proteinuria contributes to the development of chronic kidney disease. We investigated the role of CD36 as a novel candidate mediator of albumin binding and endocytosis in the kidney proximal tubule using both in vitro and in vivo approaches, and in nephrotic patient renal biopsy samples. In CD36-transfected opossum kidney proximal tubular cells, both binding and uptake of albumin were substantially enhanced. A specific CD36 inhibitor abrogated this effect, but receptor-associated protein, which blocks megalin-mediated endocytosis of albumin, did not. Mouse proximal tubular cells expressed CD36 and this was absent in CD36 null animals, whereas expression of megalin was equal in these animals. Compared with wild-type mice, CD36 null mice demonstrated a significantly increased urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio and albumin-to-creatinine ratio. Proximal tubular cells expressed increased CD36 when exposed to elevated albumin concentrations in culture medium. Expression of CD36 was studied in renal biopsy tissue obtained from adult patients with heavy proteinuria due to minimal change disease, membranous nephropathy, or focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Proximal tubular CD36 expression was markedly increased in proteinuric individuals. We conclude that CD36 is a novel mediator influencing binding and uptake of albumin in the proximal tubule that is upregulated in proteinuric renal diseases. CD36 may represent a potential therapeutic target in proteinuric nephropathy. PMID:22791331

  15. Lysophosphatidic acid-induced calcium mobilization and proliferation in kidney proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Dixon, R J; Young, K; Brunskill, N J

    1999-02-01

    Patients with proteinuria tend to develop progressive renal disease with proximal tubular cell atrophy and interstitial scarring. It has been suggested that the nephrotoxicity of albuminuric states may be due to the protein molecule itself or by lipids, such as lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), that albumin carries. LPA was found to cause a transient increase in intracytoplasmic free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in opossum kidney proximal tubule cells (OK) that was maximal at 100 microM LPA and was dose dependent with an EC50 of 2.6 x 10(-6) M. This Ca2+ mobilization was from both internal stores and across the plasma membrane and was pertussis toxin (PTX) insensitive. Treatment of OK cells with 100 microM LPA for 5 min was found to cause a twofold increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation and a three- to fivefold increase over control after 24 h. This was highly PTX sensitive and insensitive to pretreatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitors genistein and herbimycin A. These findings may be of significance in the progression of renal disease and indicate the potential importance of lipids in modulating proximal tubule cell function and growth. PMID:9950949

  16. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase in OK-cells reduces Na/Pi-cotransport but does not interfere with its regulation by parathyroid hormone.

    PubMed

    Pfister, M F; Brunskill, N J; Forgo, J; Stange, G; Biber, J; Murer, H

    1999-08-01

    The importance of phosphatidylinositide 3- kinase(s) [PI 3-kinase(s)] in membrane trafficking processes led us to examine its/their possible role in parathyroid-hormone- (PTH-) induced endocytosis and lysosomal degradation of the type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter in opossum kidney cells (OK-cells). We used wortmannin, a potent inhibitor of several mammalian PI 3-kinase isoforms, and measured Na/Pi-cotransporter activity and type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter protein expression; also the induction of a negative dominant subunit (Deltap85) was used to reduce PI 3-kinase activity. Wortmannin and Deltap85 led to a reduction of Na/Pi-cotransport activity but were unable to prevent its inhibition by PTH. Wortmannin led in a dose- and time-dependent manner to a reduction of Na/Pi-cotransport activity and transporter protein expression, and retarded their recovery from PTH-induced inhibition/degradation. The data suggest that a PI 3-kinase "controlled" mechanism is involved in the synthesis (and/or routing) of the apical type IIa Na/Pi-cotransporter in OK-cells. PMID:10398872

  17. Receptor-mediated endocytosis of albumin by kidney proximal tubule cells is regulated by phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase.

    PubMed

    Brunskill, N J; Stuart, J; Tobin, A B; Walls, J; Nahorski, S

    1998-05-15

    Receptor-mediated endocytosis of albumin is an important function of the kidney proximal tubule epithelium. We have measured endocytosis of [125I]-albumin in opossum kidney cells and examined the regulation of this process by phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase). Albumin endocytosis was inhibited by both wortmannin (IC50 6.9 nM) and LY294002 (IC50 6.5 microM) at concentrations that suggested the involvement of PI 3-kinase in its regulation. Recycling rates were unaffected. We transfected OK cells with either a wild-type p85 subunit of PI 3-kinase, or a dominant negative form of the p85 subunit (Deltap85) using the LacSwitch expression system. Transfects were screened by immunoblotting with anti-PI 3-kinase antibodies. Under basal conditions, transfects demonstrated no expression of p85 or Deltap85, but expression was briskly induced by treatment of the cells with IPTG (EC50 13.7 microM). Inhibition of PI 3-kinase activity by Deltap85 was confirmed by in vitro kinase assay of anti-phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitates from transfected cells stimulated with insulin. Expression of Deltap85 resulted in marked inhibition of albumin endocytosis, predominantly as a result of reduction of the Vmax of the transport process. Expression of p85 had no significant effect on albumin uptake. The results demonstrate that PI 3-kinase regulates an early step in the receptor-mediated endocytosis of albumin by kidney proximal tubular cells. PMID:9593770

  18. Euarchontan Opsin Variation Brings New Focus to Primate Origins.

    PubMed

    Melin, Amanda D; Wells, Konstans; Moritz, Gillian L; Kistler, Logan; Orkin, Joseph D; Timm, Robert M; Bernard, Henry; Lakim, Maklarin B; Perry, George H; Kawamura, Shoji; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2016-04-01

    Debate on the adaptive origins of primates has long focused on the functional ecology of the primate visual system. For example, it is hypothesized that variable expression of short- (SWS1) and middle-to-long-wavelength sensitive (M/LWS) opsins, which confer color vision, can be used to infer ancestral activity patterns and therefore selective ecological pressures. A problem with this approach is that opsin gene variation is incompletely known in the grandorder Euarchonta, that is, the orders Scandentia (treeshrews), Dermoptera (colugos), and Primates. The ancestral state of primate color vision is therefore uncertain. Here, we report on the genes (OPN1SW and OPN1LW) that encode SWS1 and M/LWS opsins in seven species of treeshrew, including the sole nocturnal scandentian Ptilocercus lowii. In addition, we examined the opsin genes of the Central American woolly opossum (Caluromys derbianus), an enduring ecological analogue in the debate on primate origins. Our results indicate: 1) retention of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity in C. derbianus and a shift from UV to blue spectral sensitivities at the base of Euarchonta; 2) ancient pseudogenization of OPN1SW in the ancestors of P. lowii, but a signature of purifying selection in those of C. derbianus; and, 3) the absence of OPN1LW polymorphism among diurnal treeshrews. These findings suggest functional variation in the color vision of nocturnal mammals and a distinctive visual ecology of early primates, perhaps one that demanded greater spatial resolution under light levels that could support cone-mediated color discrimination.

  19. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Klippel, Angélica H.; Oliveira, Pablo V.; Britto, Karollini B.; Freire, Bárbara F.; Moreno, Marcel R.; dos Santos, Alexandre R.; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G.

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios. PMID:26244644

  20. Baton pass hypothesis: successive incorporation of unconserved endogenous retroviral genes for placentation during mammalian evolution.

    PubMed

    Imakawa, Kazuhiko; Nakagawa, So; Miyazawa, Takayuki

    2015-10-01

    It is well accepted that numerous RNAs derived from endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are expressed in mammalian reproductive structures, particularly in the uterus, trophoblast, and placenta. Syncytin 1 and syncytin 2 in humans and syncytin A and syncytin B in mice are membrane proteins originating from Env genes of ERVs. These ERVs are involved in the fusion of trophoblast cells, resulting in multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast formation. Evidence accumulated indicates that syncytin-like fusogenic proteins are expressed in the placenta of rabbits, dogs/cats, ruminant ungulates, tenrecs, and opossums. The syncytin genes so far characterized are known to be endogenized to the host genome only within the past 12-80 million years, more recently than the appearance of mammalian placentas, estimated to be 160-180 million years ago. We speculate that ERVs including syncytin-like gene variants integrated into mammalian genomes in a locus-specific manner have replaced the genes previously responsible for cell fusion. We therefore propose the 'baton pass' hypothesis, in which multiple successive ERV variants 'take over' cell-fusion roles, resulting in increased trophoblast cell fusion, morphological variations in placental structures, and enhanced reproductive success in placental mammals. PMID:26442811

  1. Characterization and evolution of vertebrate indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenases IDOs from monotremes and marsupials.

    PubMed

    Yuasa, Hajime J; Ball, Helen J; Ho, Yuen Fern; Austin, Christopher J D; Whittington, Camilla M; Belov, Katherine; Maghzal, Ghassan J; Jermiin, Lars S; Hunt, Nicholas H

    2009-06-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) are tryptophan-degrading enzymes that catalyze the first step in tryptophan catabolism via the kynurenine pathway. TDO is widely distributed in both eukaryotes and bacteria. In contrast, IDO has been found only in mammals and yeast. In 2007, a third enzyme, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-2 (IDO2), was discovered. IDO2 is found not only in mammals but also in lower vertebrates. Interestingly, the K(m) value of IDO2 for L-Trp was 500-1000 fold higher than that of IDO1. In this study, we isolated both IDO1 and IDO2 cDNA from a monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), and a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We characterized the recombinant proteins and those of other known IDO1/IDO2 in intact cells and a cell-free system. It was found that methylene blue may not be suitable reductant for IDO2, hence resulting in an underestimation of recombinant IDO2 activity. In intact cells, the K(m) value of IDO2 for L-Trp was estimated to be much higher than that of IDO1 and this high K(m) value appears to have been conserved during the evolution of IDO2. The protein encoded by the ancestor gene of IDO1 and IDO2 is likely to have had properties more similar to present day IDO2 than to IDO1.

  2. Characterization and evolution of vertebrate indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenases IDOs from monotremes and marsupials.

    PubMed

    Yuasa, Hajime J; Ball, Helen J; Ho, Yuen Fern; Austin, Christopher J D; Whittington, Camilla M; Belov, Katherine; Maghzal, Ghassan J; Jermiin, Lars S; Hunt, Nicholas H

    2009-06-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) are tryptophan-degrading enzymes that catalyze the first step in tryptophan catabolism via the kynurenine pathway. TDO is widely distributed in both eukaryotes and bacteria. In contrast, IDO has been found only in mammals and yeast. In 2007, a third enzyme, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-2 (IDO2), was discovered. IDO2 is found not only in mammals but also in lower vertebrates. Interestingly, the Km value of IDO2 for L-Trp was 500-1000 fold higher than that of IDO1. In this study, we isolated both IDO1 and IDO2 cDNA from a monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), and a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We characterized the recombinant proteins and those of other known IDO1/IDO2 in intact cells and a cell-free system. It was found that methylene blue may not be suitable reductant for IDO2, hence resulting in an underestimation of recombinant IDO2 activity. In intact cells, the Km value of IDO2 for L-Trp was estimated to be much higher than that of IDO1 and this high Km value appears to have been conserved during the evolution of IDO2. The protein encoded by the ancestor gene of IDO1 and IDO2 is likely to have had properties more similar to present day IDO2 than to IDO1.

  3. Studies on the use of cultured cells in a bioassay for parathyroid hormone.

    PubMed

    Armston, A E; Wood, P J

    1994-11-01

    Measurement of parathyroid hormone (PTH) is important for diagnosing hyper- and hypoparathyroidism. The move to two-site immunometric assays that detect the whole molecule has improved the discrimination of these conditions but these assays may be too restrictive because some PTH fragments that are biologically active may not be detected. In addition, PTH-like peptide of malignancy, an important cause of malignancy-associated hypercalcaemia, is not detected by the two-site assays. Experiments were performed to set up a simple, robust and inexpensive bioassay for PTH, exploiting a kidney cell line and using cyclic AMP or an eluted stain assay as the end point. Of the 12 cell lines tested, an opossum kidney (WOK) cell line showed the most promise. Despite optimization of the procedure to include pre-treatment with dexamethasone, insulin and PTH, followed by incubation in the presence of 5'-guanylimidodiphosphate, isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and forskolin, the WOK cells showed insufficient sensitivity for use in a cultured cell bioassay for PTH in human serum. In addition, the cells were less sensitive to PTH-like peptide precluding their use for an assay for this molecule. PMID:7829991

  4. Development and embryonic staging in non-model organisms: the case of an afrotherian mammal

    PubMed Central

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Tzika, Athanasia C; Hautier, Lionel; Asher, Robert J; Milinkovitch, Michel C; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Studies of evolutionary developmental biology commonly use ‘model organisms’ such as fruit flies or mice, and questions are often functional or epigenetic. Phylogenetic investigations, in contrast, typically use species that are less common and mostly deal with broad scale analyses in the tree of life. However, important evolutionary transformations have taken place at all taxonomic levels, resulting in such diverse forms as elephants and shrews. To understand the mechanisms underlying morphological diversification, broader sampling and comparative approaches are paramount. Using a simple, standardized protocol, we describe for the first time the development of soft tissues and some parts of the skeleton, using μCT-imaging of developmental series of Echinops telfairi and Tenrec ecaudatus, two tenrecid afrotherian mammals. The developmental timing of soft tissue and skeletal characters described for the tenrecids is briefly compared with that of other mammals, including mouse, echidna, and the opossum. We found relatively few heterochronic differences in development in the armadillo vs. tenrec, consistent with a close relationship of Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Ossification in T. ecaudatus continues well into the second half of overall gestation, resembling the pattern seen in other small mammals and differing markedly from the advanced state of ossification evident early in the gestation of elephants, sheep, and humans. PMID:22537021

  5. Mechanism of bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the porcine lower esophageal sphincter

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Ching-Chung; Chang, Li-Ching; Lin, Kai-Jen; Tey, Shu-Leei; Su, Yu-Tsun; Liu, Ching-Wen; Tsai, Tong-Rong; Huang, Shih-Che

    2015-01-01

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that is related to an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Previous studies showed that bombesin could increase LES pressure in humans and opossums. The aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of bombesin on porcine LES contraction. We used the selective agonists, neuromedin B (NMB), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), and [D-Tyr6,Apa-4Cl11,Phe13,Nle14]bombesin-(6-14) (DTACPN-BN), as well as receptor antagonists of bombesin receptor subtype 2 (BB2), and 3 (BB3) for ex vivo contraction studies. Atropine, nifedipine, tetrodotoxin, and ω-conotoxin GVIA were used to explore the agonist-induced LES contraction mechanism. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry were applied to detect bombesin receptor expression. Our results indicate that GRP and DTACPN-BN, but not NMB, induced tonic contractions of the porcine LES in a dose-dependent manner, and the contractions were inhibited with selective BB2 and BB3 antagonists. The GRP-induced contraction is mainly caused by L-type Ca2+ channel-mediated Ca2+ influx. However, DTACPN-BN-induced contractions are associated with neuronal conduction. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed that BB2 and BB3 were expressed in the porcine LES. Bombesin-induced tonic contraction of the LES is mediated through BB2 and BB3. Bombesin, BB2, and BB3 agonists might have the potential to treat GERD. PMID:26522854

  6. Molecular Evolution of the Non-Coding Eosinophil Granule Ontogeny Transcript

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Dominic; Stadler, Peter F.

    2011-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are pervasively transcribed. A large fraction of the transcriptional output consists of long, mRNA-like, non-protein-coding transcripts (mlncRNAs). The evolutionary history of mlncRNAs is still largely uncharted territory. In this contribution, we explore in detail the evolutionary traces of the eosinophil granule ontogeny transcript (EGOT), an experimentally confirmed representative of an abundant class of totally intronic non-coding transcripts (TINs). EGOT is located antisense to an intron of the ITPR1 gene. We computationally identify putative EGOT orthologs in the genomes of 32 different amniotes, including orthologs from primates, rodents, ungulates, carnivores, afrotherians, and xenarthrans, as well as putative candidates from basal amniotes, such as opossum or platypus. We investigate the EGOT gene phylogeny, analyze patterns of sequence conservation, and the evolutionary conservation of the EGOT gene structure. We show that EGO-B, the spliced isoform, may be present throughout the placental mammals, but most likely dates back even further. We demonstrate here for the first time that the whole EGOT locus is highly structured, containing several evolutionary conserved, and thermodynamic stable secondary structures. Our analyses allow us to postulate novel functional roles of a hitherto poorly understood region at the intron of EGO-B which is highly conserved at the sequence level. The region contains a novel ITPR1 exon and also conserved RNA secondary structures together with a conserved TATA-like element, which putatively acts as a promoter of an independent regulatory element. PMID:22303364

  7. Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas' Disease in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Bern, Caryn; Kjos, Sonia; Yabsley, Michael J.; Montgomery, Susan P.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Chagas' disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and causes potentially life-threatening disease of the heart and gastrointestinal tract. The southern half of the United States contains enzootic cycles of T. cruzi, involving 11 recognized triatomine vector species. The greatest vector diversity and density occur in the western United States, where woodrats are the most common reservoir; other rodents, raccoons, skunks, and coyotes are also infected with T. cruzi. In the eastern United States, the prevalence of T. cruzi is highest in raccoons, opossums, armadillos, and skunks. A total of 7 autochthonous vector-borne human infections have been reported in Texas, California, Tennessee, and Louisiana; many others are thought to go unrecognized. Nevertheless, most T. cruzi-infected individuals in the United States are immigrants from areas of endemicity in Latin America. Seven transfusion-associated and 6 organ donor-derived T. cruzi infections have been documented in the United States and Canada. As improved control of vector- and blood-borne T. cruzi transmission decreases the burden in countries where the disease is historically endemic and imported Chagas' disease is increasingly recognized outside Latin America, the United States can play an important role in addressing the altered epidemiology of Chagas' disease in the 21st century. PMID:21976603

  8. Masticatory motor programs in Australian herbivorous mammals: diprotodontia.

    PubMed

    Crompton, Alfred W

    2011-08-01

    Movement of the jaw during molar occlusion is determined by the sequence of activity in the adductor muscles and this sequence is one way to define a masticatory motor program. Based on the similarity of molar structure, it is probable that the American opossum and the early Tertiary mammals that gave rise to all Australian marsupials probably shared a common "primitive" masticatory motor program. The distinct and various patterns of movement of the jaw in the major groups of Australian marsupial herbivores (diprotodontids) are achieved by both subtle and substantial shifts in the timing of the primitive sequence. All diprotodonts divide jaw movements during occlusion into a vertical Phase Im and horizontal Phase IIm, but the number of muscles involved and the level of activity associated with each phase varies considerably. In macropodids (potoroos and kangaroos) Phase Im dominates; in wombats Phase IIm dominates and in koalas the two phases are more evenly divided, with a more equal distribution of muscles between them. The motor program of koalas parallels that of some placental ungulates, while both macropodids and wombats have motor programs unique among mammals. PMID:21700567

  9. Horizontal SPINning of transposons.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Clément; Pace, John K; Feschotte, Cédric

    2009-01-01

    The term 'horizontal transfer (HT)' refers to the transfer of genetic material between two reproductively isolated organisms. HT is thought to occur rarely in eukaryotes compared to vertical inheritance, the transmission of DNA from parent to offspring. In a recent study we have provided evidence that a family of DNA transposons, called SPACE INVADERS or SPIN, independently invaded horizontally the genome of seven distantly related tetrapod species and subsequently amplified to high copy number in each of them. This discovery calls for further investigations to better characterize the extent to which genomes have been shaped through HT events. In this addendum, we briefly discuss some general issues regarding the study of HT and further speculate on the sequence of events that could explain the current taxonomic distribution of SPIN. We propose that the presence of SPIN in the opossum (Monodelphis domestica), a taxon endemic to South America, reflects a transoceanic HT event that occurred from Old to New World, between 46 and 15 million years ago.

  10. Molecular and morphologic characterization of Sarcocystis felis (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) in South American wild felids from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cañón-Franco, William Alberto; López-Orozco, Natalia; Christoff, Alexandre Uarth; de Castilho, Camila Schlieper; de Araújo, Flavio Antônio Pacheco; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Dubey, J P; Soares, Rodrigo Martins; Gennari, Solange Maria

    2016-02-15

    Wild felids are thought to share parasites with domestic cats. However, little is known of the coccidian parasites of wild felids. We investigated the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in tissues of 6 species of 90 Neotropical small felids killed in road accidents in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil by using microscopic and molecular techniques. Formalin-fixed tissues from 28 felids were examined, and Sarcocystis felis-like sarcocysts were detected in 4 wild cats (2 Puma yagouaroundi and 2 Leopardus guttulus). By transmission electron microscopy, sarcocysts from a P. yagouaroundi were identical to S. felis from domestic cats in the USA. Direct sequencing of PCR amplicons resulted the unambiguous sequences of the ITS-1 region from 18 of the 31 PCR positive wild cats; 5 sequences from each P. yagouaroundi, and Leopardus geoffroyi, 4 sequences from L. guttulus, and 2 sequences from each Leopardus wiedii, and Leopardus colocolo. Sequences analysis of ITS-1 region revealed the highest identiy (97-99%) with that of previously describe isolates of S. felis from domestic cats in the USA and identified them as S. felis. Tissues of 1 Leopardus pardalis tested by PCR and histology were negative. The phylogenetic relationship indicated that S. felis is quite different to species which employ opossums as their definitive host. This is the first report of S. felis infection in small wild felids from Brazil. PMID:26827854

  11. Molecular detection of Leishmania spp. in road-killed wild mammals in the Central Western area of the State of São Paulo, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Road-killed wild animals have been classified as sentinels for detecting such zoonotic pathogens as Leishmania spp., offering new opportunities for epidemiological studies of this infection. Methods This study aimed to evaluate the presence of Leishmania spp. and Leishmania chagasi DNA by PCR in tissue samples (lung, liver, spleen, kidney, heart, mesenteric lymph node and adrenal gland) from 70 road-killed wild animals. Results DNA was detected in tissues of one Cavia aperea (Brazilian guinea pig), five Cerdocyon thous (crab-eating fox), one Dasypus septemcinctus (seven-banded armadillo), two Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), one Hydrochoerus hydrochoeris (capybara), two Myrmecophaga tridactyla (giant anteater), one Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating raccoon), two Sphiggurus spinosus (porcupine) and one Tamandua tetradactyla (lesser anteater) from different locations in the Central Western part of São Paulo state. The Leishmania chagasi DNA were confirmed in mesenteric lymph node of one Cerdocyon thous. Results indicated common infection in wild animals. Conclusions The approach employed herein proved useful for detecting the environmental occurrence of Leishmania spp. and L. chagasi, as well as determining natural wild reservoirs and contributing to understand the host-parasite interaction. PMID:24963288

  12. 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.

  13. Outbreak of Rickettsia typhi infection - Austin, Texas, 2008.

    PubMed

    2009-11-20

    Murine typhus is a fleaborne rickettsial disease caused by the organism Rickettsia typhi. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, vomiting, nausea, myalgia, and rash. Although murine typhus is endemic in southern Texas, only two cases had been reported during the past 10 years from Austin, located in central Texas. On August 8, 2008, the Austin/Travis County Department of Health and Human Services (ATCDHHS) contacted the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) concerning a cluster of 14 illnesses with serologic findings indicative of murine typhus. On August 12, 2008, TDSHS initiated an investigation with assistance from CDC to characterize the magnitude of the outbreak and assess potential animal reservoirs and peridomestic factors that might have contributed to disease. This report summarizes the clinical and environmental findings of that investigation. Thirty-three confirmed cases involved illness comparable to that associated with previous outbreaks of murine typhus. Illness ranged from mild to severe, with 73% of patients requiring hospitalization. Delayed diagnosis and administration of no or inappropriate antibiotics might have contributed to illness severity. Environmental investigation suggested that opossums and domestic animals likely played a role in the maintenance and spread of R. typhi; however, their precise role in the outbreak has not been determined. These findings underscore the need to increase awareness of murine typhus and communicate appropriate treatment and prevention measures through the distribution of typhus alerts before and throughout the peak vector season of March-November. PMID:19940832

  14. Marsupial Genome Sequences: Providing Insight into Evolution and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Deakin, Janine E.

    2012-01-01

    Marsupials (metatherians), with their position in vertebrate phylogeny and their unique biological features, have been studied for many years by a dedicated group of researchers, but it has only been since the sequencing of the first marsupial genome that their value has been more widely recognised. We now have genome sequences for three distantly related marsupial species (the grey short-tailed opossum, the tammar wallaby, and Tasmanian devil), with the promise of many more genomes to be sequenced in the near future, making this a particularly exciting time in marsupial genomics. The emergence of a transmissible cancer, which is obliterating the Tasmanian devil population, has increased the importance of obtaining and analysing marsupial genome sequence for understanding such diseases as well as for conservation efforts. In addition, these genome sequences have facilitated studies aimed at answering questions regarding gene and genome evolution and provided insight into the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. Here I highlight the major advances in our understanding of evolution and disease, facilitated by marsupial genome projects, and speculate on the future contributions to be made by such sequences. PMID:24278712

  15. 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.

  16. Identification of novel small molecules that elevate Klotho expression.

    PubMed

    King, Gwendalyn D; Chen, CiDi; Huang, Mickey M; Zeldich, Ella; Brazee, Patricia L; Schuman, Eli R; Robin, Maxime; Cuny, Gregory D; Glicksman, Marcie A; Abraham, Carmela R

    2012-01-01

    The absence of Klotho (KL) from mice causes the development of disorders associated with human aging and decreased longevity, whereas increased expression prolongs lifespan. With age, KL protein levels decrease, and keeping levels consistent may promote healthier aging and be disease-modifying. Using the KL promoter to drive expression of luciferase, we conducted a high-throughput screen to identify compounds that activate KL transcription. Hits were identified as compounds that elevated luciferase expression at least 30%. Following validation for dose-dependent activation and lack of cytotoxicity, hit compounds were evaluated further in vitro by incubation with opossum kidney and Z310 rat choroid plexus cells, which express KL endogenously. All compounds elevated KL protein compared with control. To determine whether increased protein resulted in an in vitro functional change, we assayed FGF23 (fibroblast growth factor 23) signalling. Compounds G-I augmented ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) phosphorylation in FGFR (fibroblast growth factor receptor)-transfected cells, whereas co-transfection with KL siRNA (small interfering RNA) blocked the effect. These compounds will be useful tools to allow insight into the mechanisms of KL regulation. Further optimization will provide pharmacological tools for in vivo studies of KL. PMID:21939436

  17. Diffraction-Enhanced Imaging for studying pattern recognition in cranial ontogeny of bats and marsupials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocha, H. S.; Lopes, R. T.; Pessôa, L. M.; Hönnicke, M. G.; Tirao, G.; Cusatis, C.; Mazzaro, I.; Giles, C.

    2005-08-01

    The key to understanding evolution lies in the elucidation of mechanisms responsible for the observed underlying patterns and in the observation of sequences that emerge from those evolutionary landmarks. The comparative development can be used to access the derivation of form and the homology versus the convergence of evolution features. Phylogenetic and biological homologies are necessary to discern the evolutionary origins of these features. This work examined the patterns of cranial formation in pre-born bat specimens as well as post-born opossum by means of microradiography and Diffraction-Enhanced Radiography (DER) techniques. A direct conversion CCD camera was used to provide micrometer spatial resolution in order to acquire highly detailed density images. This technique allows the observation of structures, in early stages of development, which were impossible to be observed with traditional techniques, such as clearing and staining. Some cranial features have been described for adults in the literature, but the detailed description of the appearance sequence of those features in these species is still unknown and obscure. Microradiography and diffraction-enhanced imaging can improve quality of morphological detail analysis and permit the identification of anatomical landmarks that are useful in comparative studies and are still unknown in both species. In this study, we access evolution features in cranial morphology of bats and marsupials using both X-ray techniques.

  18. The Relationship between Gene Network Structure and Expression Variation among Individuals and Species

    PubMed Central

    Sears, Karen E.; Maier, Jennifer A.; Rivas-Astroza, Marcelo; Poe, Rachel; Zhong, Sheng; Kosog, Kari; Marcot, Jonathan D.; Behringer, Richard R.; Rasweiler, John J.; Rapti, Zoi

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Variation among individuals is a prerequisite of evolution by natural selection. As such, identifying the origins of variation is a fundamental goal of biology. We investigated the link between gene interactions and variation in gene expression among individuals and species using the mammalian limb as a model system. We first built interaction networks for key genes regulating early (outgrowth; E9.5–11) and late (expansion and elongation; E11-13) limb development in mouse. This resulted in an Early (ESN) and Late (LSN) Stage Network. Computational perturbations of these networks suggest that the ESN is more robust. We then quantified levels of the same key genes among mouse individuals and found that they vary less at earlier limb stages and that variation in gene expression is heritable. Finally, we quantified variation in gene expression levels among four mammals with divergent limbs (bat, opossum, mouse and pig) and found that levels vary less among species at earlier limb stages. We also found that variation in gene expression levels among individuals and species are correlated for earlier and later limb development. In conclusion, results are consistent with the robustness of the ESN buffering among-individual variation in gene expression levels early in mammalian limb development, and constraining the evolution of early limb development among mammalian species. PMID:26317994

  19. Metazoan Gene Families from Metazome

    DOE Data Explorer

    Metazome is a joint project of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute and the Center for Integrative Genomics to facilitate comparative genomic studies amongst metazoans. Clusters of orthologous and paralogous genes that represent the modern descendents of ancestral gene sets are constructed at key phylogenetic nodes. These clusters allow easy access to clade specific orthology/paralogy relationships as well as clade specific genes and gene expansions. As of version 2.0.4, Metazome provides access to twenty-four sequenced and annotated metazoan genomes, clustered at nine evolutionarily significant nodes. Where possible, each gene has been annotated with PFAM, KOG, KEGG, and PANTHER assignments, and publicly available annotations from RefSeq, UniProt, Ensembl, and JGI are hyper-linked and searchable. The included organisms (by common name) are: Human, Mouse, Rat, Dog, Opossum, Chicken, Frog, Stickleback, Medaka, Fugu pufferfish; Zebrafish, Seasquirt - savignyi, Seasquirt - intestinalis, Amphioxus, Sea Urchin, Fruitfly, Mosquite, Yellow Fever Mosquito, Silkworm, Red Flour Beetle, Worm, Briggsae Worm, Owl limpet (snail), and Sea anemone. [Copied from Metazome Overview at http://www.metazome.net/Metazome_info.php

  20. Feeding preferences of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera: Psychodidae), the sand fly vector, for Leishmania infantum (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Macedo-Silva, Virgínia P; Martins, Daniella R A; De Queiroz, Paula Vivianne Souza; Pinheiro, Marcos Paulo G; Freire, Caio C M; Queiroz, José W; Dupnik, Kathryn M; Pearson, Richard D; Wilson, Mary E; Jeronimo, Selma M B; Ximenes, Maria De Fátima F M

    2014-01-01

    Leishmania infantum, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil, is spread mostly by the bite of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva). We trapped sand flies in endemic neighborhoods near Natal, Brazil, where cases of human and dog VL were documented. Amplification of species-specific cytochrome b (Cyt b) genes by polymerase chain reaction revealed that sand flies from rural and periurban areas harbored blood from different sources. The most common source ofbloodmeal was human, but blood from dog, chicken, and armadillo was also present. We tested the preference for a source of bloodmeal experimentally by feeding L. longipalpis F1 with blood from different animals. There were significant differences between the proportion of flies engorged and number of eggs laid among flies fed on different sources, varying from 8.4 to 19 (P < 0.0001). Blood from guinea pig or horse was best to support sand fly oviposition, but human blood also supported sand fly oviposition well. No sand flies fed on cats, and sand flies feeding on the opossum Monodelphis domestica Wagner produced no eggs. These data support the hypothesis that L. longipalpis is an eclectic feeder, and humans are an important source of blood for this sand fly species in periurban areas of Brazil.

  1. Long-term effects of a trophic cascade in a large lake ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Bonnie K; Stanford, Jack A; Goodman, Daniel; Stafford, Craig P; Gustafson, Daniel L; Beauchamp, David A; Chess, Dale W; Craft, James A; Deleray, Mark A; Hansen, Barry S

    2011-01-18

    Introductions or invasions of nonnative organisms can mediate major changes in the trophic structure of aquatic ecosystems. Here we document multitrophic level impacts in a spatially extensive system that played out over more than a century. Positive interactions among exotic vertebrate and invertebrate predators caused a substantial and abrupt shift in community composition resulting in a trophic cascade that extended to primary producers and to a nonaquatic species, the bald eagle. The opossum shrimp, Mysis diluviana, invaded Flathead Lake, Montana, the largest freshwater lake in the western United States. Lake trout had been introduced 80 y prior but remained at low densities until nonnative Mysis became established. The bottom-dwelling mysids eliminated a recruitment bottleneck for lake trout by providing a deep water source of food where little was available previously. Lake trout subsequently flourished on mysids and this voracious piscivore now dominates the lake fishery; formerly abundant kokanee were extirpated, and native bull and westslope cutthroat trout are imperiled. Predation by Mysis shifted zooplankton and phytoplankton community size structure. Bayesian change point analysis of primary productivity (27-y time series) showed a significant step increase of 55 mg C m(-2) d(-1) (i.e., 21% rise) concurrent with the mysid invasion, but little trend before or after despite increasing nutrient loading. Mysis facilitated predation by lake trout and indirectly caused the collapse of kokanee, redirecting energy flow through the ecosystem that would otherwise have been available to other top predators (bald eagles). PMID:21199944

  2. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. PMID:27166161

  3. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park

    PubMed Central

    Dorcas, Michael E.; Willson, John D.; Reed, Robert N.; Snow, Ray W.; Rochford, Michael R.; Miller, Melissa A.; Meshaka, Walter E.; Andreadis, Paul T.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romagosa, Christina M.; Hart, Kristen M.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003–2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities. PMID:22308381

  4. Chemical defense in harvestmen (arachnida, opiliones): do benzoquinone secretions deter invertebrate and vertebrate predators?

    PubMed

    Machado, Glauco; Carrera, Patricia C; Pomini, Armando M; Marsaioli, Anita J

    2005-11-01

    Two alkylated 1,4-benzoquinones were identified from the defensive secretion produced by the neotropical harvestman Goniosoma longipes (Gonyleptidae). They were characterized as 2,3-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2-ethyl-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone. We tested the effectiveness of these benzoquinone secretions against several predator types, including invertebrates and vertebrates. Different predators were exposed to the harvestmen's gland secretion or to distilled water in laboratory bioassays. Our results indicate that secretions containing the 1,4-benzoquinones released by G. longipes can be an effective defense against predation, and that the effectiveness of the secretion is dependent on the predator type. The scent gland secretion repelled seven ant species, two species of large wandering spiders, and one frog species, but was not an effective defense against an opossum. Our study also demonstrates that the scent gland secretion of G. longipes can work as a chemical shield preventing the approach of three large predatory ants for at least 10 min. The chemical shield may protect the harvestman against successive attacks of the same ant worker and also allow the harvestman to flee before massive ant recruitment. Our data support the suggestion that chemical defenses may increase survival with some but not all potential predators. This variation in defense effectiveness may result from many interacting factors, including the attack strategy, size, learning ability, and physiology of the predators, as well as the chemical nature of the defensive compounds, type of emission, and amount of effluent released by the prey.

  5. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorcas, Michael E.; Wilson, John D.; Reed, Robert N.; Snow, Ray W.; Rochford, Michael R.; Miller, Melissa A.; Meshaka, Walter E.; Andreadis, Paul T.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romagosa, Christina M.; Hart, Kristen M.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003–2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities.

  6. Origin of gene overlap: the case of TCP1 and ACAT2.

    PubMed Central

    Shintani, S; O'hUigin, C; Toyosawa, S; Michalová, V; Klein, J

    1999-01-01

    The human acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase 2 gene, ACAT2, codes for a thiolase, an enzyme involved in lipid metabolism. The human T-complex protein 1 gene, TCP1, encodes a molecular chaperone of the chaperonin family. The two genes overlap by their 3'-untranslated regions, their coding sequences being located on opposite DNA strands in a tail-to-tail orientation. To find out how the overlap might have arisen in evolution, the homologous genes of the zebrafish, the African toad, caiman, platypus, opossum, and wallaby were identified. In each species, standard or long polymerase chain reactions were used to determine whether the ACAT2 and TCP1 homologs are closely linked and, if so, whether they overlap. The results reveal that the overlap apparently arose during the transition from therapsid reptiles to mammals and has been retained for >200 million years. Part of the overlapping untranslated region shows remarkable sequence conservation. The overlap presumably arose during the chromosomal rearrangement that brought the two unrelated and previously separated genes together. One or both of the transposed genes found by chance signals that are necessary for the processing of their transcripts to be present on the noncoding strand of the partner gene. PMID:10353914

  7. Transposition and Intermingling of Gαi2 and Gαo Afferences into Single Vomeronasal Glomeruli in the Madagascan Lesser Tenrec Echinops telfairi

    PubMed Central

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Villalón, Aldo; Künzle, Heinz; Mpodozis, Jorge

    2009-01-01

    The vomeronasal system (VNS) mediates pheromonal communication in mammals. From the vomeronasal organ, two populations of sensory neurons, expressing either Gαi2 or Gαo proteins, send projections that end in glomeruli distributed either at the rostral or caudal half of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), respectively. Neurons at the AOB contact glomeruli of a single subpopulation. The dichotomic segregation of AOB glomeruli has been described in opossums, rodents and rabbits, while Primates and Laurasiatheres present the Gαi2-pathway only, or none at all (such as apes, some bats and aquatic species). We studied the AOB of the Madagascan lesser tenrec Echinops telfairi (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) and found that Gαi2 and Gαo proteins are expressed in rostral and caudal glomeruli, respectively. However, the segregation of vomeronasal glomeruli at the AOB is not exclusive, as both pathways contained some glomeruli transposed into the adjoining subdomain. Moreover, some glomeruli seem to contain intermingled afferences from both pathways. Both the transposition and heterogeneity of vomeronasal afferences are features, to our knowledge, never reported before. The organization of AOB glomeruli suggests that synaptic integration might occur at the glomerular layer. Whether intrinsic AOB neurons may make synaptic contact with axon terminals of both subpopulations is an interesting possibility that would expand our understanding about the integration of vomeronasal pathways. PMID:19956694

  8. The second known specimen of Monodelphis unistriata (Wagner) (Mammalia: Didelphimorphia), with redescription of the species and phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Pine, Ronald H; Flores, David A; Bauer, Kurt

    2013-01-01

    Very little information exists relevant to the species grouping and phylogenetic relationships of the opossum genus Monodelphis Burnett. Of the clearly distinct named species, the least information is available for M. unistriata (Wagner), one of the world's most poorly known species of mammals. Extant specimens consist of the Brazilian holotype of a skin now without a skull and dating from almost 200 years ago, and a second specimen with skin and incomplete skull dating from over a hundred years ago and from Argentina. The most recent published notes on the holotype date from well over half a century ago and, all told, such notes, the earliest dating from 1842, add up to a highly fragmentary and contradictory picture. No observations whatsoever have ever been published for the second and more complete specimen. Also, no hypotheses have ever been made concerning the intrageneric affinities of M. unistriata and such affinities have also been obscure throughout the genus. Herein, we provide a detailed redescription of M. unistriata, the first published images of specimens, and the first account, beyond the previous few most vague and incomplete remarks, of the morphology of the skull. In an effort to ascertain the phylogenetic affinities of M. unistriata, we performed a combined molecular (cytochrome b) and nonmolecular (postcranial, cranial, integument, and karyotypic characters) parsimony analysis incorporating 27 species of didelphids, including 11 of Monodelphis. Our results strongly support the monophyly of Monodelphis, and place M. unistriata as sister group to M. iheringi, among the included species. PMID:26000426

  9. Trichinella spiralis in an agricultural ecosystem. III. Epidemiological investigations of Trichinella spiralis in resident wild and feral animals.

    PubMed

    Leiby, D A; Schad, G A; Duffy, C H; Murrell, K D

    1988-10-01

    As part of a larger epidemiological study examining the transmission of Trichinella spiralis in an agricultural ecosystem, resident wild and feral animals were trapped to determine the extent of their involvement in the natural, on-farm cycling of the parasite among swine. During a 21-mo-study, seven of 15 skunks (Mephitis mephitis), one of three opossums (Didelphis virginiana), two of two feral domestic cats and a raccoon (Procyon lotor) were found to be infected, while five shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and 18 deer mice (Peromyscus spp.) were uninfected. Most of the former hosts probably became infected by scavenging dead infected swine or rats (Rattus norvegicus). However, infections obtained through predation of living rats, particularly with regard to the cats, cannot be excluded. Our observations do not suggest that there was transmission of T. spiralis from the wild animals to swine. Therefore, transmission of T. spiralis appeared to occur only from the farm's swine and rats to the associated wild and feral animals. PMID:3193554

  10. Detection of anti-Leptospira antibodies in captive nonhuman primates from Salvador, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinna, Melissa H; Martins, Gabriel; Pinheiro, Ana Carla O; Almeida, Daniela S; Oriá, Arianne P; Lilenbaum, Walter

    2012-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a widely distributed zoonosis that affects several species of domestic and wild animals. Under captive conditions, Leptospirosis is a potential problem because the physical conditions in most zoos and research centers cannot prevent the captive animals from being exposed to rodents, raccoons, opossums, and other local wildlife that are known carriers. Yet, despite the potential risk, animals that are destined for reintroduction into the wild are not routinely tested for anti-Leptospira antibodies before their release. The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence of anti-Leptospira antibodies in captive New World monkeys that were housed in the Wild Animals Screening Center in Salvador, Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 44 monkeys (28 Callithrix jacchus, eight Callithrix pennicilata, and eight Cebus sp.). The animals were screened for antibodies with the microscopic agglutination test. Twenty-five (56.8%) primates were seroreactive, with Icterohaemorrhagiae being the most frequent serogroup. None of the monkeys, however, presented clinical signs of leptospirosis. Thus, seroreactivity with low titers in asymptomatic animals, as observed in this study, suggests exposure to the agent. The unexpected predominance of the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae further suggests that exposure to this serogroup occurred in captivity. Therefore, the dangerous possibility cannot be ignored that reintroduced monkeys will carry the leptospiral serovars into wild populations. In conclusion, primates exposed to urban serovars before their release from captivity represent a potentially significant health risk to wild populations.

  11. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park.

    PubMed

    Dorcas, Michael E; Willson, John D; Reed, Robert N; Snow, Ray W; Rochford, Michael R; Miller, Melissa A; Meshaka, Walter E; Andreadis, Paul T; Mazzotti, Frank J; Romagosa, Christina M; Hart, Kristen M

    2012-02-14

    Invasive species represent a significant threat to global biodiversity and a substantial economic burden. Burmese pythons, giant constricting snakes native to Asia, now are found throughout much of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park (ENP). Pythons have increased dramatically in both abundance and geographic range since 2000 and consume a wide variety of mammals and birds. Here we report severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in ENP. Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003-2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range. These findings suggest that predation by pythons has resulted in dramatic declines in mammals within ENP and that introduced apex predators, such as giant constrictors, can exert significant top-down pressure on prey populations. Severe declines in easily observed and/or common mammals, such as raccoons and bobcats, bode poorly for species of conservation concern, which often are more difficult to sample and occur at lower densities. PMID:22308381

  12. The evolution of vertebrate Toll-like receptors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roach, J.C.; Glusman, G.; Rowen, L.; Kaur, A.; Purcell, M.K.; Smith, K.D.; Hood, L.E.; Aderem, A.

    2005-01-01

    The complete sequences of Takifugu Toll-like receptor (TLR) loci and gene predictions from many draft genomes enable comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis. Strong selective pressure for recognition of and response to pathogen-associated molecular patterns has maintained a largely unchanging TLR recognition in all vertebrates. There are six major families of vertebrate TLRs. This repertoire is distinct from that of invertebrates. TLRs within a family recognize a general class of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. Most vertebrates have exactly one gene ortholog for each TLR family. The family including TLR1 has more species-specific adaptations than other families. A major family including TLR11 is represented in humans only by a pseudogene. Coincidental evolution plays a minor role in TLR evolution. The sequencing phase of this study produced finished genomic sequences for the 12 Takifugu rubripes TLRs. In addition, we have produced > 70 gene models, including sequences from the opossum, chicken, frog, dog, sea urchin, and sea squirt. ?? 2005 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  13. Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae) in Brazil: trypomastigotes described from experimentally infected laboratory mice.

    PubMed

    Naiff, Roberto Daibes; Barrett, Toby Vincent

    2013-01-01

    We report the detection, isolation and description of Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from a caviomorph rodent, Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae), obtained in the Rio Negro region of the state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil. Laboratory-bred white mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus rattus) were inoculated with large numbers of culture forms by intraperitoneal route, and trypomastigotes appeared in their blood 3-8 days post-inoculation. One single epimastigote was also found in Mus musculus. Similar attempts to infect Rattus norvegicus, hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), the opossum Didelphis marsupialis, the anteater Tamandua tetradactyla and triatomine bugs were unsuccessful, following six months of observations and microscopic examinations of blood films and blood cultures. As we have found no previous record of a Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) species naturally infecting a member of the family Echimyidae, or any other caviomorph rodent, we conclude that this is the first time such an infection has been reported. The new species is unusual in the subgenus for its infectivity to laboratory mice. PMID:24309069

  14. Lineage-specific duplications of Muroidea Faim and Spag6 genes and atypical accelerated evolution of the parental Spag6 gene.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Huan; Gołas, Aniela; Grzmil, Paweł; Wojnowski, Leszek

    2013-09-01

    Gene duplications restricted to single lineage combined with an asymmetric evolution of the resulting genes may play particularly important roles in this lineage's biology. We searched and identified asymmetrical evolution in nine gene families that duplicated exclusively in rodents and are present as single-copies in human, dog, cow, elephant, opossum, chicken, lizard, and Western clawed frog. Among those nine gene families are Fas apoptosis inhibitory molecule (Faim), implicated in apoptosis, and Sperm antigen 6 (Spag6), implicated in sperm mobility. Both genes were duplicated in or before the Muroidea ancestor. Due to the highly asymmetric evolution of the resulting paralogs, the existence of these duplications had been previously overlooked. Interestingly, Spag6, previously regarded and characterized as a single-copy ortholog of human Spag6, turns out to be a Muroidea-specific paralog. Conversely, the newly identified, highly divergent Spag6-BC061194 is in fact the parental gene. In consequence, this gene represents a rare exception from the general rule of rapid evolution of derived rather than parental genes following gene duplication. Unusual genes such as murine Spag6 may help to understand which mechanisms are responsible for this rule.

  15. The reduction of Na/H exchanger-3 protein and transcript expression in acute ischemia–reperfusion injury is mediated by extractable tissue factor(s)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jianning; Babich, Victor; Bobulescu, I. Alexandru; Shi, Mingjun; McLeroy, Paul; Rogers, Thomas E.; Moe, Orson W.

    2014-01-01

    Ischemic renal injury is a formidable clinical problem, the pathophysiology of which is incompletely understood. As the Na/H exchanger-3 (NHE3) mediates the bulk of apical sodium transport and a significant fraction of oxygen consumption in the proximal tubule, we examined mechanisms by which ischemia–reperfusion affects the expression of NHE3. Ischemia–reperfusion dramatically decreased NHE3 protein and mRNA (immunohistochemistry, immunoblot, and RNA blot) in rat kidney cortex and medulla. The decrease in NHE3 protein was uniform throughout all tubules, including those appearing morphologically intact. In the kidney cortex, a decrease in NHE3 surface protein preceded that of NHE3 total protein and mRNA. Kidney homogenates from rats exposed to mild renal ischemia-reduced cell surface NHE3 protein expression in opossum kidney cells in vitro, whereas homogenates from animals with moderate-to-severe ischemia reduced both total NHE3 protein and mRNA. The decrease in total NHE3 protein was dependent on the proteasomal degradation associated with NHE3 ubiquitylation measured by coimmunoprecipitation. The transferable factor(s) from the ischemic homogenate that reduce NHE3 expression were found to be heat sensitive and to be associated with a lipid-enriched fraction, and did not include regulatory RNAs. Thus, transferable factor(s) mediate the ischemia–reperfusion injury-induced decrease in NHE3 of the kidney. PMID:21814178

  16. Sarcocystis neurona schizonts-associated encephalitis, chorioretinitis, and myositis in a two-month-old dog simulating toxoplasmosis, and presence of mature sarcocysts in muscles.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Black, S S; Verma, S K; Calero-Bernal, R; Morris, E; Hanson, M A; Cooley, A J

    2014-05-28

    Sarcocystis neurona is an unusual species of the genus Sarcocystis. Opossums (Didelphis virginianus, D. albiventris) are the definitive hosts and several other species, including dogs, cats, marine mammals, and horses are intermediate or aberrant hosts. Sarcocysts are not known to form in aberrant hosts. Sarcocystis neurona causes fatal disease in horses (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, EPM). There are numerous reports of fatal EPM-like infections in other species, usually with central nervous system signs and associated with the schizont stage of S. neurona. Here, we report fatal disseminated S. neurona infection in a nine-week-old golden retriever dog from Mississippi, USA. Protozoal merozoites were identified in smears of the cerebrospinal fluid. Microscopically, lesions and protozoa were identified in eyes, tongue, heart, liver, intestines, nasal turbinates, skeletal muscle and brain, which reacted intensely with S. neurona polyclonal antibodies. Mature sarcocysts were seen in sections of muscles. These sarcocysts were ultrastructurally similar to those of S. neurona from experimentally infected animals. These data suggest that the dog is another intermediate host for S. neurona. Data suggest that the dog was transplacentally infected.

  17. Development and embryonic staging in non-model organisms: the case of an afrotherian mammal.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Tzika, Athanasia C; Hautier, Lionel; Asher, Robert J; Milinkovitch, Michel C; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Studies of evolutionary developmental biology commonly use 'model organisms' such as fruit flies or mice, and questions are often functional or epigenetic. Phylogenetic investigations, in contrast, typically use species that are less common and mostly deal with broad scale analyses in the tree of life. However, important evolutionary transformations have taken place at all taxonomic levels, resulting in such diverse forms as elephants and shrews. To understand the mechanisms underlying morphological diversification, broader sampling and comparative approaches are paramount. Using a simple, standardized protocol, we describe for the first time the development of soft tissues and some parts of the skeleton, using μCT-imaging of developmental series of Echinops telfairi and Tenrec ecaudatus, two tenrecid afrotherian mammals. The developmental timing of soft tissue and skeletal characters described for the tenrecids is briefly compared with that of other mammals, including mouse, echidna, and the opossum. We found relatively few heterochronic differences in development in the armadillo vs. tenrec, consistent with a close relationship of Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Ossification in T. ecaudatus continues well into the second half of overall gestation, resembling the pattern seen in other small mammals and differing markedly from the advanced state of ossification evident early in the gestation of elephants, sheep, and humans. PMID:22537021

  18. Interaction of gentamicin polycation with model and cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Kovács, Eugenia; Savopol, Tudor; Iordache, Maria-Minodora; Săplăcan, Lavinia; Sobaru, Iuliana; Istrate, Claudia; Mingeot-Leclercq, Marie-Paule; Moisescu, Mihaela-Georgeta

    2012-10-01

    The interaction of positively-charged antibiotic gentamicin with cell membranes was studied to determine if any changes in membrane organization were induced by the drug. Opossum kidney epithelia (OK) cells were used as models of eukaryotic cells. Two methods were used: laurdan fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence anisotropy recordings on 1-(4-trimethylammoniumphenyl)-6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene p-toluenesulfonate (TMA-DPH) labeled cell suspensions. Both methods showed an altered membrane hydration and fluidity of gentamicin treated cells. Liposomes prepared from dimyristoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) mixed with cardiolipin, which mimics the heterogeneous charge composition of the natural cell membrane, were used to determine the effect of gentamicin on artificial bilayers. The membrane lipid packing as revealed by generalized polarization (GP) and fluorescence anizotropy variation with increasing temperature was studied. It was found that the generalized polarization of liposomal membranes containing a negatively charged lipid (cardiolipin) is higher in the presence of gentamicin; in the membrane of living cell (OK), gentamicin induces, on the contrary, a decrease of general polarization. Considering the role of membrane organization in the function of transmembrane channels and receptors, our findings suggest hypotheses that may explain the permeation of gentamicin through the living cell membrane by using these channels.

  19. Trichinella infection in wild animals from endemic regions of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ribicich, Mabel; Gamble, H R; Bolpe, Jorge; Scialfa, Exequiel; Krivokapich, Silvio; Cardillo, Natalia; Betti, Adriana; Holzmann, Maria Laura Cambiaggi; Pasqualetti, Mariana; Fariña, Fernando; Rosa, Adriana

    2010-07-01

    Natural infection with Trichinella has been described in more than 150 mammalian species. However, few reports of Trichinella infection in wild animals have come from Argentina. In this study, muscle tissue was obtained from wild animals in Argentina with the aim of evaluating the presence of Trichinella. A total of 169 muscle samples were collected to determine the presence of Trichinella larvae by artificial digestion. The 169 muscle samples originated from 12 species including 36 opossums (Didelphis albiventris), 19 armadillos (Chaetophractus villosus), 9 capybaras (Hydrocaeris hydrocaeris), 1 puma (Puma concolor), 3 grey fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus), 6 coypus (Myocastor coypus), 6 skunks (Conepatus chinga), 2 ferrets (Galictis cuja), 66 rats (Rattus norvegicus), 6 mice (Mus musculus), 12 wild boars (Sus scrofa), and 3 wild cats (Felis geoffroyi). Trichinella infection was detected in 1 puma [2 larvae per gram (LPG)], 3 wild boars (8-420 LPG), 3 armadillos (0.04-0.08 LPG), and 9 rats (0.1 to 150 LPG). Only 3 Trichinella isolates, of 1 rat and 2 wild boars from Neuquén, were identified as Trichinella spiralis by nested PCR. The presence of Trichinella infection among wild animal populations suggests a sylvatic cycle of transmission in Argentina, which can serve as a reservoir for humans and domestic animals. Further, evidence of high prevalence in rats emphasizes the need to improve pig management, mainly in small individual farms without adequate technology, to enhance the quality of feeds, and to improve veterinary services to avoid exposure of pigs to Trichinella.

  20. A genome-wide map of hyper-edited RNA reveals numerous new sites.

    PubMed

    Porath, Hagit T; Carmi, Shai; Levanon, Erez Y

    2014-01-01

    Adenosine-to-inosine editing is one of the most frequent post-transcriptional modifications, manifested as A-to-G mismatches when comparing RNA sequences with their source DNA. Recently, a number of RNA-seq data sets have been screened for the presence of A-to-G editing, and hundreds of thousands of editing sites identified. Here we show that existing screens missed the majority of sites by ignoring reads with excessive ('hyper') editing that do not easily align to the genome. We show that careful alignment and examination of the unmapped reads in RNA-seq studies reveal numerous new sites, usually many more than originally discovered, and in precisely those regions that are most heavily edited. Specifically, we discover 327,096 new editing sites in the heavily studied Illumina Human BodyMap data and more than double the number of detected sites in several published screens. We also identify thousands of new sites in mouse, rat, opossum and fly. Our results establish that hyper-editing events account for the majority of editing sites. PMID:25158696

  1. Hearing aid for vertebrates via multiple episodic adaptive events on prestin genes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhen; Li, Gong-Hua; Huang, Jing-Fei; Murphy, Robert W; Shi, Peng

    2012-09-01

    Auditory detection is essential for survival and reproduction of vertebrates, yet the genetic changes underlying the evolution and diversity of hearing are poorly documented. Recent discoveries concerning prestin, which is responsible for cochlear amplification by electromotility, provide an opportunity to redress this situation. We identify prestin genes from the genomes of 14 vertebrates, including three fishes, one amphibian, one lizard, one bird, and eight mammals. An evolutionary analysis of these sequences and 34 previously known prestin genes reveals for the first time that this hearing gene was under positive selection in the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of tetrapods. This discovery might document the genetic basis of enhanced high sound sensibility in tetrapods. An investigation of the adaptive gain and evolution of electromotility, an important evolutionary innovation for the highest hearing ability of mammals, detects evidence for positive selections on the MRCA of mammals, therians, and placentals, respectively. It is suggested that electromotility determined by prestin might initially appear in the MRCA of mammals, and its functional improvements might occur in the MRCA of therian and placental mammals. Our patch clamp experiments further support this hypothesis, revealing the functional divergence of voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance of prestin from platypus, opossum, and gerbil. Moreover, structure-based cdocking analyses detect positively selected amino acids in the MRCA of placental mammals that are key residues in sulfate anion transport. This study provides new insights into the adaptation and functional diversity of hearing sensitivity in vertebrates by evolutionary and functional analysis of the hearing gene prestin. PMID:22416033

  2. Adaptive changes in the transcription factor HoxA-11 are essential for the evolution of pregnancy in mammals.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Vincent J; Tanzer, Andrea; Wang, Yajun; Leung, Frederick C; Gellersen, Birgit; Emera, Deena; Wagner, Gunter P

    2008-09-30

    Evolutionary change in gene regulation can result from changes in cis-regulatory elements, leading to differences in the temporal and spatial expression of genes or in the coding region of transcription factors leading to novel functions or both. Although there is a growing body of evidence supporting the importance of cis-regulatory evolution, examples of protein-mediated evolution of novel developmental pathways have not been demonstrated. Here, we investigate the evolution of prolactin (PRL) expression in endometrial cells, which is essential for placentation/pregnancy in eutherian mammals and is a direct regulatory target of the transcription factor HoxA-11. Here, we show that (i) endometrial PRL expression is a derived feature of placental mammals, (ii) the PRL regulatory gene HoxA-11 experienced a period of strong positive selection in the stem-lineage of eutherian mammals, and (iii) only HoxA-11 proteins from placental mammals, including the reconstructed ancestral eutherian gene, are able to up-regulate PRL from the promoter used in endometrial cells. In contrast, HoxA-11 from the reconstructed therian ancestor, opossum, platypus, and chicken are unable to up-regulate PRL expression. These results demonstrate that the evolution of novel gene expression domains is not only mediated by the evolution of cis-regulatory elements but can also require evolutionary changes of transcription factor proteins themselves. PMID:18809929

  3. Axotomy of single fluorescent nerve fibers in developing mammalian spinal cord by photoconversion of diaminobenzidine.

    PubMed

    De-Miguel, Francisco F; Muller, Kenneth J; Adams, William B; Nicholls, John G

    2002-05-30

    A technique has been developed for cutting single nerve fibers in mammalian spinal cord. In the presence of diaminobenzidine (DAB), a laser microbeam was applied to carbocyanine (Dil) stained sensory fibers in cultured spinal cords of the newly born opossum Monodelphis domestica. Digital images of fluorescent fibers were acquired with an intensified video CCD-camera coupled to an image processor. Laser illumination of two spots on a fiber in the presence of 3 mg/ml DAB cut it, so that following DAB wash out, Dil fluorescence did not return after the intermediate segment was bleached. In contrast, when a similar procedure was carried out without DAB, fluorescence of the bleached segment was recovered within minutes in darkness, by dye diffusion from adjacent regions of the uncut fiber. After exposure to DAB, through-conduction of compound action potentials continued in undamaged fibers. The DAB reaction product remained as a dark precipitate, helping to localize the lesion sites. By illuminating a continuous series of spots it was possible to cut whole nerve roots. Fluorescent fibers extended across the cut segment 24 h later. With minor modifications, the procedure described here allows a precise lesioning of single fibers within an intact nervous system.

  4. Diets and trophic-guild structure of a diverse fish assemblage in Chesapeake Bay, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Buchheister, A; Latour, R J

    2015-03-01

    Dietary habits and trophic-guild structure were examined in a fish assemblage (47 species) of the Chesapeake Bay estuary, U.S.A., using 10 years of data from >25 000 fish stomachs. The assemblage was comprised of 10 statistically significant trophic guilds that were principally differentiated by the relative amounts of Mysida, Bivalvia, Polychaeta, Teleostei and other Crustacea in the diets. These guilds were broadly aggregated into five trophic categories: piscivores, zooplanktivores, benthivores, crustacivores and miscellaneous consumers. Food web structure was largely dictated by gradients in habitat (benthic to pelagic) and prey size. Size classes within piscivorous species were more likely to be classified into different guilds, reflecting stronger dietary changes through ontogeny relative to benthivores and other guilds. Relative to predator species and predator size, the month of sampling had negligible effects on dietary differences within the assemblage. A majority of sampled fishes derived most of their nutrition from non-pelagic prey sources, suggesting a strong coupling of fish production to benthic and demersal food resources. Mysida (predominantly the opossum shrimp Neomysis americana) contributed substantially to the diets of over 25% of the sampled predator groups, indicating that this species is a critical, but underappreciated, node in the Chesapeake Bay food web. PMID:25627041

  5. An outbreak of sarcocystosis in psittacines and a pigeon in a zoological collection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ecco, R; Luppi, M M; Malta, M C C; Araújo, M R; Guedes, R M C; Shivaprasad, H L

    2008-12-01

    This report describes an outbreak of acute pulmonary sarcocystosis in different species of captive psittacines and in a Luzon bleeding-heart pigeon (Gallicolumba luzonica) in a zoological collection in Brazil. A majority of the birds were found dead and had exhibited no previous clinical signs. Grossly, pulmonary congestion and edema were the most-common findings. Enlarged and congested livers and spleens were also frequently observed. Microscopically, there was edema, fibrin exudation, congestion, and perivascular and interstitial lymphoplasmacytic infiltration associated with numerous sinuous schizonts of Sarcocystis sp. in the lungs. Mild to moderate myocarditis, hepatitis, splenitis, and interstitial nephritis were also observed in the birds. Immunohistochemistry confirmed Sarcocystis sp. in the capillaries of lungs, hearts, livers, and spleens of most of the birds, but also in the pancreas, kidney, intestine, proventriculus, and brain of a few birds. The probable source of Sarcocystis sp. in these birds was the wild opossum (Didelphis albiventris), a common inhabitant of a local forest that surrounds the Belo Horizonte Zoo (Fundação Zoo-Botânica). This is the first documentation of Sarcocystis infection in psittacines and a pigeon from Brazil.

  6. The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps): a laboratory host for the nematode Parastrongyloides trichosuri.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Thomas J; Zhu, Xiaodong; Ketschek, Andrea; Cole, Joan; Grant, Warwick; Lok, James B; Schad, Gerhard A

    2007-10-01

    Parastrongyloides trichosuri is a nematode parasite of the Australian brush-tailed possums that can be propagated through many generations in vitro. This makes P. trichosuri uniquely suited for genetic investigations, including those involving transgenesis. However, an obstacle to its use as an experimental model has been the fact that its host is limited to Australia and New Zealand and that it cannot be exported because of its status as a protected species or agricultural pest, respectively. In previous studies, conventional laboratory animals such as rats, mice, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens have failed to support infections. In the present study, gerbils and short-tailed opossums proved similarly refractory to infection. In contrast, the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps, family Petauridae) proved to be a good host for P. trichosuri. Patent infections resulted using as few as 6 infective larvae (L3i) and as many as 2,000 L3i. Large numbers of L3i (1,000-2,000) produced patent infections of much shorter duration than those seen when 100 L3i were initially given to the sugar glider. In one case, an infection initiated with 100 L3i was patent for over 1 yr. Parastrongyloides trichosuri is easily cryopreserved using a method developed for Strongyloides stercoralis. Thus, we have identified an experimental host for P. trichosuri that will make it possible to conduct research on this parasite in laboratories outside the endemic sites. PMID:18163342

  7. Diets and trophic-guild structure of a diverse fish assemblage in Chesapeake Bay, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Buchheister, A; Latour, R J

    2015-03-01

    Dietary habits and trophic-guild structure were examined in a fish assemblage (47 species) of the Chesapeake Bay estuary, U.S.A., using 10 years of data from >25 000 fish stomachs. The assemblage was comprised of 10 statistically significant trophic guilds that were principally differentiated by the relative amounts of Mysida, Bivalvia, Polychaeta, Teleostei and other Crustacea in the diets. These guilds were broadly aggregated into five trophic categories: piscivores, zooplanktivores, benthivores, crustacivores and miscellaneous consumers. Food web structure was largely dictated by gradients in habitat (benthic to pelagic) and prey size. Size classes within piscivorous species were more likely to be classified into different guilds, reflecting stronger dietary changes through ontogeny relative to benthivores and other guilds. Relative to predator species and predator size, the month of sampling had negligible effects on dietary differences within the assemblage. A majority of sampled fishes derived most of their nutrition from non-pelagic prey sources, suggesting a strong coupling of fish production to benthic and demersal food resources. Mysida (predominantly the opossum shrimp Neomysis americana) contributed substantially to the diets of over 25% of the sampled predator groups, indicating that this species is a critical, but underappreciated, node in the Chesapeake Bay food web.

  8. Eco-epidemiological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma rangeli and their vector (Rhodnius pallescens) in Panama.

    PubMed

    Vasquez, Ana Maria de; Samudio, Franklyn E; Saldaña, Azael; Paz, Hector M; Calzada, José E

    2004-01-01

    The eco-epidemiology of T. cruzi infection was investigated in the Eastern border of the Panama Canal in Central Panama. Between 1999 and 2000, 1110 triatomines were collected: 1050 triatomines (94.6%) from palm trees, 27 (2.4%) from periurban habitats and 33 (3.0%) inside houses. All specimens were identified as R. pallescens. There was no evidence of vector domiciliation. Salivary glands from 380 R. pallescens revealed a trypanosome natural infection rate of 7.6%, while rectal ampoule content from 373 triatomines was 45%. Isoenzyme profiles on isolated trypanosomes demonstrated that 85.4% (n = 88) were T. cruzi and 14.6% (n = 15) were T. rangeli. Blood meal analysis from 829 R. pallescens demonstrated a zoophilic vector behavior, with opossums as the preferential blood source. Seroprevalence in human samples from both study sites was less than 2%. Our results demonstrate that T. cruzi survives in the area in balanced association with R. pallescens, and with several different species of mammals in their natural niches. However, the area is an imminent risk of infection for its population, consequently it is important to implement a community educational program regarding disease knowledge and control measures. PMID:15361974

  9. Mobility pathways for vertebrate L1, L2, CR1, and RTE clade retrotransposons.

    PubMed

    Ichiyanagi, Kenji; Okada, Norihiro

    2008-06-01

    Autonomous non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons (NLRs) are ubiquitous mobile genetic elements that insert their DNA copies at new locations by retrotransposition. In vertebrates, there are 4 NLR clades, L1, L2, CR1, and RTE, which diverged in the Precambrian era. It has been demonstrated that retrotransposition of L1 and L2 members proceeds via coordinated reactions of targeted DNA cleavage and reverse transcription catalyzed by the NLR-encoded proteins, which are followed by the joining of the 5' (upstream) junction. However, the study on the mobility pathways for vertebrate NLRs is so far limited to L1 and L2. In this report, using target analysis of nested transposons for genomic copies, we studied retrotransposition pathways for a variety of vertebrate NLRs, including those of the L1, L2, CR1, and RTE clades in the human, cow, opossum, chicken, and zebrafish genomes. Thus, this study constitutes the first comprehensive analysis of NLR retrotransposition products in vertebrates. Our data revealed that these elements share similar mechanisms for the cleavages of the 2 target DNA strands and for the initiation of reverse transcription. Possible endonuclease-independent insertions were also identified. Overall, our results suggest the existence of multiple retrotransposition pathways that are conserved among the diverse NLR clades in various vertebrate hosts. PMID:18343891

  10. Surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in scavengers of white-tailed deer carcasses in the chronic wasting disease area of Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Jennelle, Christopher S; Samuel, Michael D; Nolden, Cherrie A; Keane, Delwyn P; Barr, Daniel J; Johnson, Chad; Vanderloo, Joshua P; Aiken, Judd M; Hamir, Amir N; Hoover, Edward A

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a class of neurodegenerative transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) occurring in cervids, is found in a number of states and provinces across North America. Misfolded prions, the infectious agents of CWD, are deposited in the environment via carcass remains and excreta, and pose a threat of cross-species transmission. In this study tissues were tested from 812 representative mammalian scavengers, collected in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin, for TSE infection using the IDEXX HerdChek enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Only four of the collected mammals tested positive using the ELISA, but these were negative when tested by Western blot. While our sample sizes permitted high probabilities of detecting TSE assuming 1% population prevalence in several common scavengers (93%, 87%, and 87% for raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, respectively), insufficient sample sizes for other species precluded similar conclusions. One cannot rule out successful cross-species TSE transmission to scavengers, but the results suggest that such transmission is not frequent in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin. The need for further surveillance of scavenger species, especially those known to be susceptible to TSE (e.g., cat, American mink, raccoon), is highlighted in both a field and laboratory setting.

  11. Masticatory motor programs in Australian herbivorous mammals: diprotodontia.

    PubMed

    Crompton, Alfred W

    2011-08-01

    Movement of the jaw during molar occlusion is determined by the sequence of activity in the adductor muscles and this sequence is one way to define a masticatory motor program. Based on the similarity of molar structure, it is probable that the American opossum and the early Tertiary mammals that gave rise to all Australian marsupials probably shared a common "primitive" masticatory motor program. The distinct and various patterns of movement of the jaw in the major groups of Australian marsupial herbivores (diprotodontids) are achieved by both subtle and substantial shifts in the timing of the primitive sequence. All diprotodonts divide jaw movements during occlusion into a vertical Phase Im and horizontal Phase IIm, but the number of muscles involved and the level of activity associated with each phase varies considerably. In macropodids (potoroos and kangaroos) Phase Im dominates; in wombats Phase IIm dominates and in koalas the two phases are more evenly divided, with a more equal distribution of muscles between them. The motor program of koalas parallels that of some placental ungulates, while both macropodids and wombats have motor programs unique among mammals.

  12. Identification of natural killer cell receptor genes in the genome of the marsupial Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii).

    PubMed

    van der Kraan, Lauren E; Wong, Emily S W; Lo, Nathan; Ujvari, Beata; Belov, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Within the mammalian immune system, natural killer (NK) cells contribute to the first line of defence against infectious agents and tumours. Their activity is regulated, in part, by cell surface NK cell receptors. NK receptors can be divided into two unrelated, but functionally analogous superfamilies based on the structure of their extracellular ligand-binding domains. Receptors belonging to the C-type lectin superfamily are predominantly encoded in the natural killer complex (NKC), while receptors belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily are predominantly encoded in the leukocyte receptor complex (LRC). Natural killer cell receptors are emerging as a rapidly evolving gene family which can display significant intra- and interspecific variation. To date, most studies have focused on eutherian mammals, with significantly less known about the evolution of these receptors in marsupials. Here, we describe the identification of 43 immunoglobulin domain-containing LRC genes in the genome of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), the largest remaining marsupial carnivore and only the second marsupial species to be studied. We also identify orthologs of NKC genes KLRK1, CD69, CLEC4E, CLEC1B, CLEC1A and an ortholog of an opossum NKC receptor. Characterisation of these regions in a second, distantly related marsupial provides new insights into the dynamic evolutionary histories of these receptors in mammals. Understanding the functional role of these genes is also important for the development of therapeutic agents against Devil Facial Tumour Disease, a contagious cancer that threatens the Tasmanian devil with extinction.

  13. Identification of the mRNA encoding interleukin-6 and its receptor, interleukin-6 receptor α, in five marsupial species.

    PubMed

    Borthwick, Casey R; Young, Lauren J; McAllan, Bronwyn M; Old, Julie M

    2016-12-01

    Expressed coding sequences for interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-6 receptor α (IL-6R) were examined in five marsupial species. Full length expressed coding sequences for IL-6 and IL-6R were identified and characterized in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). For IL-6, ∼225 bp fragments of the mRNA sequence were identified in the red-tailed phascogale (Phascogale calura), kultarr (Antechinomys laniger), and stripe-faced dunnart (Sminthopsis macroura), while ∼563 bp fragments of mRNA encoding IL-6R were identified in the red-tailed phascogale, kultarr, stripe-face dunnart and fat-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata). Relative expression levels of IL-6 and IL-6R were examined in the heart, muscle, lung, liver, spleen and kidney of adult red-tailed phascogales, and IL-6 gene expression was found to be significantly higher in the lung and spleen than the other tissues examined, while the expression of IL-6R was significantly higher in the liver, lung and spleen. These results now serve as a reference point for examining the role and levels of IL-6 and IL-6R in the health and disease of these marsupial species. The pro-tumorigenic nature of IL-6 is of particular interest, and the identification of these IL-6 and IL-6R coding sequences provides a platform for further work to evaluate the potential role of IL-6 in marsupial cancers.

  14. The Culex pipiens complex in the Mississippi River basin: identification, distribution, and bloodmeal hosts.

    PubMed

    Savage, Harry M; Kothera, Linda

    2012-12-01

    Members of the Culex pipiens complex are the primary vectors of St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile virus in the Mississippi River basin (MRB). The Cx. pipiens complex in the MRB is composed of 4 taxa: Cx. p. pipiens form pipiens, Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, hybrids between Cx. p. pipiens f. pipiens and Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, and Cx. p. pipiens form molestus. Three studies on bloodmeal hosts with large sample sizes have been conducted on members of the Cx. pipiens complex in the MRB including 1 each on Cx. p. quinquefasciatus from Louisiana, Cx. p. pipiens-quinquefasciatus hybrids from Tennessee, and Cx. p. pipiens from Illinois. The top 8 bloodmeal hosts from each of the 3 sites accounted for 68-92% of bloodmeals. Only 14 species accounted for the top 8 bloodmeal hosts at each of the 3 sites. The most often utilized bloodmeal hosts for members of the Culex pipiens complex within the MRB are the American robin, Northern cardinal, human, raccoon, common grackle, house sparrow, mourning dove, dog, Northern mockingbird, blue jay, opossum, domestic horse, house finch and European starling. Human feeding varied widely among sites from 1% to 15.7% of bloodmeals. The proportion of bloodmeals taken on humans is an important epidemiological variable and future studies are needed to define the primary genetic and environmental factors that influence host utilization by members of the Cx. pipiens complex.

  15. First isolation of Leptospira interrogans from Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox) in Argentina shows new MLVA genotype.

    PubMed

    Scialfa, Exequiel; Brihuega, Bibiana; Venzano, Agustín; Morris, Winston Eduardo; Bolpe, Jorge; Schettino, Mateo

    2013-01-01

    To identify carriers of Leptospira spp. in Argentina, wild animals were trapped in Buenos Aires Province during three nights, capturing 12 Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), six Chaetophractus villosus (big hairy armadillo), five Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox), and two Conepatus chinga (Molina's hog-nosed skunk). All were tested by microscopic agglutination test, and five (two gray foxes, two armadillos, and one skunk) were positive for Leptospira interrogans serovars Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae, L. borgpetersenii serovar Castellonis, and L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, at titers of 1:50 and 1:100. Kidney tissue from all animals was cultured, and one isolate of L. interrogans from a gray fox was obtained. Hamsters inoculated with the isolate died after 6 days with no macroscopic lesions at necropsy. However, histologic examination revealed glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, and pneumonia. The Leptospira strain from the South American gray fox was analyzed serologically and its pathogenicity was established. Genotyping through multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis showed that the strain was a new genotype related to the L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae.

  16. Molecular identification of trypanosomatids in wild animals.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-16

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

  17. Surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in scavengers of white-tailed deer carcasses in the chronic wasting disease area of wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jennelle, C.S.; Samuel, M.D.; Nolden, C.A.; Keane, D.P.; Barr, D.J.; Johnson, Chad; Vanderloo, J.P.; Aiken, Judd M.; Hamir, A.N.; Hoover, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a class of neurodegenerative transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) occurring in cervids, is found in a number of states and provinces across North America. Misfolded prions, the infectious agents of CWD, are deposited in the environment via carcass remains and excreta, and pose a threat of cross-species transmission. In this study tissues were tested from 812 representative mammalian scavengers, collected in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin, for TSE infection using the IDEXX HerdChek enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Only four of the collected mammals tested positive using the ELISA, but these were negative when tested by Western blot. While our sample sizes permitted high probabilities of detecting TSE assuming 1% population prevalence in several common scavengers (93%, 87%, and 87% for raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, respectively), insufficient sample sizes for other species precluded similar conclusions. One cannot rule out successful cross-species TSE transmission to scavengers, but the results suggest that such transmission is not frequent in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin. The need for further surveillance of scavenger species, especially those known to be susceptible to TSE (e.g., cat, American mink, raccoon), is highlighted in both a field and laboratory setting.

  18. Ectoparasites and associated pathogens of free-roaming and captive animals in zoos of South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Nelder, Mark P; Reeves, Will K; Adler, Peter H; Wozniak, Arthur; Wills, William

    2009-10-01

    A survey of ectoparasites and their associated pathogens was conducted in two South Carolina zoos, from 2004 to 2007. Dead, wild birds and mammals, as well as captive animals examined during routine veterinary checks constituted the study populations. Ectoparasites were tested for species of Anaplasma, Bartonella, Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Trypanosoma. Forty-six species of ectoparasites were collected from 133 free-roaming and captive hosts and their associated nesting and bedding materials. Six vector-borne pathogens were detected molecularly in the ectoparasites, including Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the tick Ixodes dentatus Marx from an eastern cottontail rabbit, Bartonella clarridgeiae in the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) from a Virginia opossum, Bartonella sp. Oh6 in the squirrel flea Orchopeas howardi (Baker) from an eastern grey squirrel, Bartonella sp. T7498 in the sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri Jancke from a squirrel, Rickettsia sp. Rf2125 in C. felis from a zookeeper and a grizzly bear, and Rickettsiales sp. Ib 2006 in Ixodes brunneus Koch from an American crow. While the pathology of some of these pathogens is poorly known, Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis) and Bartonella clarridgeiae (causative agent of a disease similar to cat-scratch disease) can infect humans. Ectoparasites and their pathogens, especially those originating from free-roaming animals, present a potential threat to captive animals and humans.

  19. Ectoparasites and associated pathogens of free-roaming and captive animals in zoos of South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Nelder, Mark P; Reeves, Will K; Adler, Peter H; Wozniak, Arthur; Wills, William

    2009-10-01

    A survey of ectoparasites and their associated pathogens was conducted in two South Carolina zoos, from 2004 to 2007. Dead, wild birds and mammals, as well as captive animals examined during routine veterinary checks constituted the study populations. Ectoparasites were tested for species of Anaplasma, Bartonella, Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Trypanosoma. Forty-six species of ectoparasites were collected from 133 free-roaming and captive hosts and their associated nesting and bedding materials. Six vector-borne pathogens were detected molecularly in the ectoparasites, including Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the tick Ixodes dentatus Marx from an eastern cottontail rabbit, Bartonella clarridgeiae in the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) from a Virginia opossum, Bartonella sp. Oh6 in the squirrel flea Orchopeas howardi (Baker) from an eastern grey squirrel, Bartonella sp. T7498 in the sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri Jancke from a squirrel, Rickettsia sp. Rf2125 in C. felis from a zookeeper and a grizzly bear, and Rickettsiales sp. Ib 2006 in Ixodes brunneus Koch from an American crow. While the pathology of some of these pathogens is poorly known, Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis) and Bartonella clarridgeiae (causative agent of a disease similar to cat-scratch disease) can infect humans. Ectoparasites and their pathogens, especially those originating from free-roaming animals, present a potential threat to captive animals and humans. PMID:18973443

  20. Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae) in Brazil: trypomastigotes described from experimentally infected laboratory mice

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    We report the detection, isolation and description of Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from a caviomorph rodent, Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae), obtained in the Rio Negro region of the state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil. Laboratory-bred white mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus rattus) were inoculated with large numbers of culture forms by intraperitoneal route, and trypomastigotes appeared in their blood 3–8 days post-inoculation. One single epimastigote was also found in Mus musculus. Similar attempts to infect Rattus norvegicus, hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), the opossum Didelphis marsupialis, the anteater Tamandua tetradactyla and triatomine bugs were unsuccessful, following six months of observations and microscopic examinations of blood films and blood cultures. As we have found no previous record of a Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) species naturally infecting a member of the family Echimyidae, or any other caviomorph rodent, we conclude that this is the first time such an infection has been reported. The new species is unusual in the subgenus for its infectivity to laboratory mice. PMID:24309069

  1. In silico comparative analysis of DNA and amino acid sequences for prion protein gene.

    PubMed

    Kim, Y; Lee, J; Lee, C

    2008-01-01

    Genetic variability might contribute to species specificity of prion diseases in various organisms. In this study, structures of the prion protein gene (PRNP) and its amino acids were compared among species of which sequence data were available. Comparisons of PRNP DNA sequences among 12 species including human, chimpanzee, monkey, bovine, ovine, dog, mouse, rat, wallaby, opossum, chicken and zebrafish allowed us to identify candidate regulatory regions in intron 1 and 3'-untranslated region (UTR) in addition to the coding region. Highly conserved putative binding sites for transcription factors, such as heat shock factor 2 (HSF2) and myocite enhancer factor 2 (MEF2), were discovered in the intron 1. In 3'-UTR, the functional sequence (ATTAAA) for nucleus-specific polyadenylation was found in all the analysed species. The functional sequence (TTTTTAT) for maturation-specific polyadenylation was identically observed only in ovine, and one or two nucleotide mismatches in the other species. A comparison of the amino acid sequences in 53 species revealed a large sequence identity. Especially the octapeptide repeat region was observed in all the species but frog and zebrafish. Functional changes and susceptibility to prion diseases with various isoforms of prion protein could be caused by numeric variability and conformational changes discovered in the repeat sequences.

  2. A comparative study of lymph node mast cell populations in five marsupial species.

    PubMed

    Chiarini-Garcia, H; Pereira, F M

    1999-06-01

    In order to determine whether different subpopulations of mast cells exist, mast cells of mandibular and axillary lymph nodes from five species (Didelphis aurita, Metachirus nudicaudatus, Philander opossum, Marmosops incanus and Gracilinanus agilis) of South American marsupials were studied. Our results showed that mast cells present in the connective tissue of the capsule and septa (CTMC) were similar to those described for eutherian mammals. However, a population of mast cells that was present in the lymphatic sinuses and bathed by the lymph, plus in direct contact with granulocytes, lymphocytes, macrophages, and reticular cells, were morphologically and histochemically different from the CTMC. In the five species studied, these cellular types, called lymphatic-sinus mast cells (LSMC), had a lower concentration of intragranular heparin and, in four of the five species, the cytoplasmic granules appeared to be larger than those in CTMC. Although LSMC have been rarely described in eutherian mammals, it was verified, in this study, that LSMC are nevertheless present in lymphatic sinuses of the five metatherian species studied. These observations suggest that the presence of LSMC may be a characteristic of the marsupials and important in the immune response and adaptive success of the Didelphidae.

  3. 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. PMID:26042344

  4. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Klippel, Angélica H; Oliveira, Pablo V; Britto, Karollini B; Freire, Bárbara F; Moreno, Marcel R; Dos Santos, Alexandre R; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios.

  5. Nitrogen requirements of the didelphid marsupial Caluromys philander.

    PubMed

    Foley, W J; Charles-Dominique, P; Julien-Laferriere, D

    2000-09-01

    The use of fruit-based diets by a small arboreal marsupial, the woolly opossum (Caluromys philander) was studied to elucidate the mechanisms used to compensate for a low dietary protein concentration. The passage of a liquid phase digesta marker (Cr-EDTA) through the gut was significantly faster when animals were fed a diet containing 0.45% N compared to that measured on a diet containing 0.90% N. The size of the gut of the two groups was similar except that the caecum of animals fed 0.45% N was significantly larger than in those animals fed 0.90% N. Animals fed a diet of 0.45% N ate significantly more food than those fed higher levels of nitrogen but there was no significant difference in the dry matter digestibility of the diet. The maintenance nitrogen requirement of the animals was 176 mg dietary N or 146 mg truly digestible nitrogen per kg metabolic body mass, with low losses of non-dietary faecal nitrogen being notable. There was no significant difference between diets in any measured parameter of urea metabolism and all animals recycled between 60% and 80% of the endogenously synthesised urea. PMID:11083515

  6. Identification of the mRNA encoding interleukin-6 and its receptor, interleukin-6 receptor α, in five marsupial species.

    PubMed

    Borthwick, Casey R; Young, Lauren J; McAllan, Bronwyn M; Old, Julie M

    2016-12-01

    Expressed coding sequences for interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-6 receptor α (IL-6R) were examined in five marsupial species. Full length expressed coding sequences for IL-6 and IL-6R were identified and characterized in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). For IL-6, ∼225 bp fragments of the mRNA sequence were identified in the red-tailed phascogale (Phascogale calura), kultarr (Antechinomys laniger), and stripe-faced dunnart (Sminthopsis macroura), while ∼563 bp fragments of mRNA encoding IL-6R were identified in the red-tailed phascogale, kultarr, stripe-face dunnart and fat-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata). Relative expression levels of IL-6 and IL-6R were examined in the heart, muscle, lung, liver, spleen and kidney of adult red-tailed phascogales, and IL-6 gene expression was found to be significantly higher in the lung and spleen than the other tissues examined, while the expression of IL-6R was significantly higher in the liver, lung and spleen. These results now serve as a reference point for examining the role and levels of IL-6 and IL-6R in the health and disease of these marsupial species. The pro-tumorigenic nature of IL-6 is of particular interest, and the identification of these IL-6 and IL-6R coding sequences provides a platform for further work to evaluate the potential role of IL-6 in marsupial cancers. PMID:27431929

  7. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in wild mammals of Missouri and east central Kansas: biologic and ecologic considerations of transmission.

    PubMed

    Smith, D D; Frenkel, J K

    1995-01-01

    Sera from 273 wild mammals from Missouri and Kansas (USA), collected between December 1974 and December 1987, were tested for the presence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using the Sabin-Feldman dye test. Sixty-five (24%) had antibodies at titers of > or = 1:8, including 38 (66%) of 58 carnivores, 14 (15%) of 94 omnivores, 13 (11%) of 117 herbivores, and none of four insectivores. The prevalence of antibodies in mice (Mus musculus and Peromyscus spp.) and rats (Rattus norvegicus and Sigmodon hispidus) was low (3%), while medium sized herbivores such as squirrels (Sciurus spp.), rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), and muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) had prevalences of about 18%. Red foxes (Vulpes fulva) and mink (Mustela vison) had the highest prevalence of antibodies with frequencies of 90 and 66%, respectively. In 32 attempts to isolate Toxoplasma gondii from wild mammals with positive (> or = 1:4) titers, only six (19%) were successful: a gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), a beaver (Castor canadensis), an opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), a red fox and two mink. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the probability of infection with Toxoplasma gondii, and therefore prevalence of antibodies in wildlife, is greatest in carnivores.

  8. Hungry Horse Dam Fisheries Mitigation; Kokanee Stocking and Monitoring in Flathead Lake, 1996 Progress Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Carty, Daniel; Knoetek, W. Ladd Hansen, Barry

    1997-06-01

    Kokanee salmon Oncorhynchus nerka were introduced into Flathead Lake in 1916. The kokanee population declined in the 1960s and 1970s, and kokanee disappeared from Flathead Lake in the late 1980s. Their disappearance has been attributed to the long-term effects of the construction and operation of Hungry Horse and Kerr dams, excessive harvest by anglers, and changes in the lake food web induced by the introduction of opossum shrimp Mysis relicta. Attempts to reestablish kokanee in the Flathead Lake ecosystem between 1988 and 1991 were unsuccessful. In 1991, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) wrote a mitigation plan to restore kokanee to Flathead Lake. In 1993, MFWP, CSKT, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrote a mitigation implementation plan that initiated a 5-year test program to use hatchery-reared fish to reintroduce kokanee to the lake. Stocking hatchery-reared kokanee into Flathead Lake began in 1993; the 5-year {open_quotes}kokanee test{close_quotes} started in 1994 and is scheduled to continue through 1998. The annual stocking objective is 1 million yearling kokanee (6-8 in long). Criteria used to evaluate the success of the 5-year test are (1) 30% survival of kokanee 1 year after stocking, (2) yearling-to-adult survival of 10%, and (3) annual harvest of 50,000 kokanee ({ge} 11 in) and fishing effort {ge} 100,000 angler hours.

  9. Selection of a novel FGF23-binding peptide antagonizing the inhibitory effect of FGF23 on phosphate uptake.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tao; Lin, Xiaomian; Li, Quchou; Luo, Wu; Song, Li; Tan, Xiangpeng; Wang, Wenhui; Li, Xiaokun; Wu, Xiaoping

    2015-04-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is a bone-derived endocrine regulator of phosphate homeostasis and has been considered as a potential therapeutic target for hypophosphatemic disorders. Herein, we isolated a novel FGF23-binding peptide by screening a phage display library with FGF23180-205, the minimal epitope of FGF23 binding to the binary fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)-Klotho complex. The corresponding peptide (referred to as 23-b6) showed high homology to the immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) domain III (D3) of FGFR1c, the predominant receptor mediating the phosphaturic activity of FGF23. The 23-b6 peptide and panning target FGF23180-205 carried opposite charges and shared similar hydrophilic profiles. Functional analysis indicated that synthetic 23-b6 peptide exhibited antagonistic effect on the inhibition of phosphate uptake by FGF23 in opossum kidney cells (OK cells). The mechanisms of 23-b6 peptide impairing the bioactivity of FGF23 involved blockade of the activation of Erk cascade and up-regulation of NaPi-2a and NaPi-2c expression in OK cells. Our results demonstrate that the 23-b6 peptide is a potent FGF23 antagonist with increased effect on phosphate uptake in kidney cells and might have therapeutic potentials in hypophosphatemic disorders characterized by an abnormally high level of FGF23. PMID:25515813

  10. Ancient expansion of the ribonuclease A superfamily revealed by genomic analysis of placental and marsupial mammals.

    PubMed

    Cho, Soochin; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2006-05-24

    Members of the ribonuclease (RNase) A superfamily participate in a diverse array of biological processes, including digestion, angiogenesis, innate immunity, and possibly male reproduction. The superfamily is vertebrate-specific, with 13-20 highly divergent members in primates and rodents, but only a few members in chicken and fish. This has led to the proposal that the superfamily started off from a progenitor with structural similarities to angiogenin and that the superfamily underwent a dramatic expansion during mammalian evolution. To date this evolutionary expansion and understand the functional diversification of the superfamily, we here determine its entire repertoire in the sequenced genomes of dog, cow, and opossum. We identified 7, 20, and 21 putatively functional RNase genes from these three species, respectively. Many of the identified genes are highly divergent from all previously known RNase genes, thus representing new lineages within the superfamily. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the superfamily expansion predated the separation of placental and marsupial mammals and that differential gene loss and duplication occurred in different species, generating a great variation in gene number and content among extant mammals.

  11. 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.

  12. Eco-epidemiological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma rangeli and their vector (Rhodnius pallescens) in Panama.

    PubMed

    Vasquez, Ana Maria de; Samudio, Franklyn E; Saldaña, Azael; Paz, Hector M; Calzada, José E

    2004-01-01

    The eco-epidemiology of T. cruzi infection was investigated in the Eastern border of the Panama Canal in Central Panama. Between 1999 and 2000, 1110 triatomines were collected: 1050 triatomines (94.6%) from palm trees, 27 (2.4%) from periurban habitats and 33 (3.0%) inside houses. All specimens were identified as R. pallescens. There was no evidence of vector domiciliation. Salivary glands from 380 R. pallescens revealed a trypanosome natural infection rate of 7.6%, while rectal ampoule content from 373 triatomines was 45%. Isoenzyme profiles on isolated trypanosomes demonstrated that 85.4% (n = 88) were T. cruzi and 14.6% (n = 15) were T. rangeli. Blood meal analysis from 829 R. pallescens demonstrated a zoophilic vector behavior, with opossums as the preferential blood source. Seroprevalence in human samples from both study sites was less than 2%. Our results demonstrate that T. cruzi survives in the area in balanced association with R. pallescens, and with several different species of mammals in their natural niches. However, the area is an imminent risk of infection for its population, consequently it is important to implement a community educational program regarding disease knowledge and control measures.

  13. Gene expression monitoring for gene discovery in models of peripheral and central nervous system differentiation, regeneration, and trauma.

    PubMed

    Farlow, D N; Vansant, G; Cameron, A A; Chang, J; Khoh-Reiter, S; Pham, N L; Wu, W; Sagara, Y; Nicholls, J G; Carlo, D J; Ill, C R

    2000-10-20

    Gene expression monitoring using gene expression microarrays represents an extremely powerful technology for gene discovery in a variety of systems. We describe the results of seven experiments using Incyte GEM technology to compile a proprietary portfolio of data concerning differential gene expression in six different models of neuronal differentiation and regeneration, and recovery from injury or disease. Our first two experiments cataloged genes significantly up- or down-regulated during two phases of the retinoic acid-induced differentiation of the embryonal carcinoma line Ntera-2. To identify genes involved in neuronal regeneration we performed three GEM experiments, which included changes in gene expression in rat dorsal root ganglia during the healing of experimentally injured sciatic nerve, in regenerating neonatal opossum spinal cord, and during lipopolysaccharide stimulation of primary cultures of rat Schwann cells. Finally we have monitored genes involved in the recovery phase of the inflammatory disease of the rat spinal cord, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, as well as those responsible for protection from oxidative stress in a glutamate-resistant rat hippocampal cell line. Analysis of the results of the approximately 70,000 data points collected is presented. PMID:11074584

  14. Differences in the number of micronucleated erythrocytes among young and adult animals including humans. Spontaneous micronuclei in 43 species.

    PubMed

    Zúñiga-González, G; Torres-Bugarín, O; Zamora-Perez, A; Gómez-Meda, B C; Ramos Ibarra, M L; Martínez-González, S; González-Rodríguez, A; Luna-Aguirre, J; Ramos-Mora, A; Ontiveros-Lira, D; Gallegos-Arreola, M P

    2001-07-25

    In our previous report we speculated about the possibility that some species had high levels of spontaneous micronu