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Sample records for potential schistosome-vector snails

  1. Evolutionary history and phylogeography of the schistosome-vector freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Mavárez, J; Steiner, C; Pointier, J-P; Jarne, P

    2002-10-01

    The phylogeography of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata remains poorly known, although this species is the major vector of schistosomiasis in the New World. It was here investigated in South America and the Lesser Antilles, based on partial mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit (16S rDNA) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer-2 (ITS-2) gene sequences. Sampling included 17 populations from a large part of the current geographic range of the species (Brazil, Venezuela and Lesser Antilles). Substantial variability was detected, as well as a high amount of phylogenetically informative signal. The molecular phylogeny inferred splits B. glabrata into Northern and Southern clades separated by the Amazon river, and may even suggest a supra-specific status for B. glabrata. Brazilian populations were the most diverse and appeared basal to the other populations. Venezuelan haplotypes formed a single clade, albeit not strongly supported. Two Venezuelan haplotypes appear rather similar to Brazilian haplotypes. Similarly, Lesser Antilles haplotypes clustered in the same monophyletic clade, which suggests that the recent colonisation of the Antilles has a northern South American origin. However, the estimated divergence time between Antilles and Venezuelan sequences is extremely large (conservatively higher than 10(5) years). These results are discussed in the light of (i) phylogeographic patterns at South American scale, and (ii) recurrent introduction of molluscs, especially in the Antilles, as a consequence of human activities.

  2. Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi

    2010-01-01

    Snail has moved into the fast lane of development and cancer biology with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) emerging as one of the hottest topics in medical science within the past few years. Snail not only acts primarily as a key inducer of EMT but also plays an important role in cell survival, immune regulation and stem cell biology. This review focuses on the regulation of Snail and discusses the EMT-dependent and -independent functions of Snail in development and disease. Understanding the regulation and functional roles of Snail will shed new light on the mechanism of tumor progression and the development of novel cancer therapies. PMID:20168078

  3. A conserved role for Snail as a potentiator of active transcription

    PubMed Central

    Rembold, Martina; Ciglar, Lucia; Yáñez-Cuna, J. Omar; Zinzen, Robert P.; Girardot, Charles; Jain, Ankit; Welte, Michael A.; Stark, Alexander; Leptin, Maria; Furlong, Eileen E.M.

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factors of the Snail family are key regulators of epithelial–mesenchymal transitions, cell morphogenesis, and tumor metastasis. Since its discovery in Drosophila ∼25 years ago, Snail has been extensively studied for its role as a transcriptional repressor. Here we demonstrate that Drosophila Snail can positively modulate transcriptional activation. By combining information on in vivo occupancy with expression profiling of hand-selected, staged snail mutant embryos, we identified 106 genes that are potentially directly regulated by Snail during mesoderm development. In addition to the expected Snail-repressed genes, almost 50% of Snail targets showed an unanticipated activation. The majority of “Snail-activated” genes have enhancer elements cobound by Twist and are expressed in the mesoderm at the stages of Snail occupancy. Snail can potentiate Twist-mediated enhancer activation in vitro and is essential for enhancer activity in vivo. Using a machine learning approach, we show that differentially enriched motifs are sufficient to predict Snail's regulatory response. In silico mutagenesis revealed a likely causative motif, which we demonstrate is essential for enhancer activation. Taken together, these data indicate that Snail can potentiate enhancer activation by collaborating with different activators, providing a new mechanism by which Snail regulates development. PMID:24402316

  4. Therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptides (conopeptides).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails have evolved many 1000s of small, structurally stable venom peptides (conopeptides) for prey capture and defense. Whilst < 0.1% have been pharmacologically characterised, those with known function typically target membrane proteins of therapeutic importance, including ion channels, transporters and GPCRs. Several conopeptides reduce pain in animals models, with one in clinical development (χ-conopeptide analogue Xen2174) and one marketed (ω- conotoxin MVIIA or Prialt) for the treatment of severe pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, conopeptides have been valuable probes for studying the role of a number of key membrane proteins in normal and disease physiology.

  5. Release of Lungworm Larvae from Snails in the Environment: Potential for Alternative Transmission Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Giannelli, Alessio; Colella, Vito; Abramo, Francesca; do Nascimento Ramos, Rafael Antonio; Falsone, Luigi; Brianti, Emanuele; Varcasia, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Knaus, Martin; Fox, Mark T.; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Background Gastropod-borne parasites may cause debilitating clinical conditions in animals and humans following the consumption of infected intermediate or paratenic hosts. However, the ingestion of fresh vegetables contaminated by snail mucus and/or water has also been proposed as a source of the infection for some zoonotic metastrongyloids (e.g., Angiostrongylus cantonensis). In the meantime, the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior are increasingly spreading among cat populations, along with their gastropod intermediate hosts. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of alternative transmission pathways for A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3 via the mucus of infected Helix aspersa snails and the water where gastropods died. In addition, the histological examination of snail specimens provided information on the larval localization and inflammatory reactions in the intermediate host. Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty-four specimens of H. aspersa received ~500 L1 of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, and were assigned to six study groups. Snails were subjected to different mechanical and chemical stimuli throughout 20 days in order to elicit the production of mucus. At the end of the study, gastropods were submerged in tap water and the sediment was observed for lungworm larvae for three consecutive days. Finally, snails were artificially digested and recovered larvae were counted and morphologically and molecularly identified. The anatomical localization of A. abstrusus and T. brevior larvae within snail tissues was investigated by histology. L3 were detected in the snail mucus (i.e., 37 A. abstrusus and 19 T. brevior) and in the sediment of submerged specimens (172 A. abstrusus and 39 T. brevior). Following the artificial digestion of H. aspersa snails, a mean number of 127.8 A. abstrusus and 60.3 T. brevior larvae were recovered. The number of snail sections positive for A. abstrusus was higher than those for T. brevior

  6. Experimental quantification of long distance dispersal potential of aquatic snails in the gut of migratory birds.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Casper H A; van der Velde, Gerard; van Lith, Bart; Klaassen, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Many plant seeds and invertebrates can survive passage through the digestive system of birds, which may lead to long distance dispersal (endozoochory) in case of prolonged retention by moving vectors. Endozoochorous dispersal by waterbirds has nowadays been documented for many aquatic plant seeds, algae and dormant life stages of aquatic invertebrates. Anecdotal information indicates that endozoochory is also possible for fully functional, active aquatic organisms, a phenomenon that we here address experimentally using aquatic snails. We fed four species of aquatic snails to mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and monitored snail retrieval and survival over time. One of the snail species tested was found to survive passage through the digestive tract of mallards as fully functional adults. Hydrobia (Peringia) ulvae survived up to five hours in the digestive tract. This suggests a maximum potential transport distance of up to 300 km may be possible if these snails are taken by flying birds, although the actual dispersal distance greatly depends on additional factors such as the behavior of the vectors. We put forward that more organisms that acquired traits for survival in stochastic environments such as wetlands, but not specifically adapted for endozoochory, may be sufficiently equipped to successfully pass a bird's digestive system. This may be explained by a digestive trade-off in birds, which maximize their net energy intake rate rather than digestive efficiency, since higher efficiency comes with the cost of prolonged retention times and hence reduces food intake. The resulting lower digestive efficiency allows species like aquatic snails, and potentially other fully functional organisms without obvious dispersal adaptations, to be transported internally. Adopting this view, endozoochorous dispersal may be more common than up to now thought.

  7. Zinc-dependent action potentials in giant neurons of the snail, Euhadra quaestia.

    PubMed

    Kawa, K

    1979-09-14

    In giant neurons of subesophageal ganglion of the Japanese land snail, Euhadra quaestia Deshayes, permeation of Zn ions through Ca channels were investigated with a conventional current clamp method. All-or-none action potentials of long duration (90 to 120 sec) were evoked in 24 mM Zn containing salines. The overshoots were about +10 mV and the maximum rate of rises (MRRs) was about 2.9 V/sec. The amplitudes and the MRRs of the action potentials depended on external Zn ion concentrations. The action potentials were suppressed by specific Ca-channel inhibitors such as Co2+, La3+ and Verapamil, but they were resistant to Na-channel inhibitor, tetrodotoxin, even at 30 microM. It is concluded that these action potentials are generated by Zn ions permeating Ca channels in snail neuronal membrane. On the basis of Hagiwara and Takahashi's (S. Hagiwara & K. Takahashi, 1967, J. Gen. Physiol. 50:583) model of Ca channels, it is inferred that Zn ions are 5 to 10 times stronger in affinity to Ca channels than Ca ions, but 10 to 20 times less permeable.

  8. Evaluation of the genotoxic potential of soil contaminated with mineral coal tailings on snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Melissa Rosa; da Silva, Fernanda Rabaioli; de Souza, Claudia Telles; Niekraszewicz, Liana; Dias, Johnny Ferraz; Premoli, Suziane; Corrêa, Dione Silva; Soares, Mariana do Couto; Marroni, Norma Possa; Morgam-Martins, Maria Isabel; da Silva, Juliana

    2015-11-01

    Coal remains an important source of energy, although the fuel is a greater environmental pollutant. Coal is a mixture of several chemicals, especially inorganic elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Many of these compounds have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects on organisms exposed to this mineral. In the town of Charqueadas (Brazil), the tailings from mining were used for landfill in the lower areas of the town, and the consequence is the formation of large deposits of this material. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic potential of soil samples contaminated by coal waste in different sites at Charqueadas, using the land snail Helix aspersa as a biomonitor organism. Thirty terrestrial snails were exposed to different treatments: 20 were exposed to the soil from two different sites in Charqueadas (site 1 and 2; 10 in each group) and 10 non-exposed (control group). Hemolymph cells were collected after 24h, 5days and 7days of exposure and comet assay, micronucleus test, oxidative stress tests were performed. Furthermore, this study quantified the inorganic elements present in soil samples by the PIXE technique and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) by HPLC. This evaluation shows that, in general, soils from sites in Charqueadas, demonstrated a genotoxic effect associated with increased oxidative stress, inorganic and PAH content. These results demonstrate that the coal pyrite tailings from Charqueadas are potentially genotoxic and that H. aspersa is confirmed to be a sensitive instrument for risk assessment of environmental pollution.

  9. Comparative evaluation of haemagglutination potential of haemolymph from two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina).

    PubMed

    Abiona, John Adesanya; Akinduti, Paul Akinniyi; Oyekunle, Mufutao Atanda; Osinowo, Olusegun Ayodeji; Onagbesan, A Okanlawon Mohammed

    2014-05-01

    A comparative study was conducted to evaluate haemagglutination potential in the haemolymph of two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina). Three liveweight groups of snails (<100 g, 101-150 g and >150 g) were used with 4 replicates per liveweight per species for haemagglutination assay (HA). The effect of aestivation on haemagglutination potential was also evaluated. Erythrocytes (2%) from cattle, sheep, goat and chicken were used for HA assay. Results showed that agglutinin-like substances that agglutinate erythrocytes of sheep, goat, cattle and chicken were present in the haemolymph of the two species of giant African land snails. Effect of species was found to be significant (P < 0.001) on haemagglutination titre. Haemolymph of A. marginata, had higher haemagglutination titre than that of A. achatina across the three liveweight groups used in this study. Snail liveweight had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on agglutinin content of the haemolymph in both species. Agglutination level depended on the source of erythrocyte used. Sheep erythrocyte recorded the highest haemagglutination titre, followed by goat, cattle, and chicken in that order. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that Giant African land snails (GALS) haemolymph contain agglutinins as previously reported for Helix species. This evidence may be the basis for its survivability in the wild and thus establish the use of GALS for African herbal medicinal applications.

  10. Observations on bilharziasis and the potential snail hosts in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)

    PubMed Central

    McCullough, Fergus S.

    1964-01-01

    In 1962, the author conducted a preliminary investigation of bilharziasis in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), at the request of the Government, in order to review existing information and work done on bilharziasis, to assess the prevalence and distribution of the disease, to make observations on the potential snail hosts, and to propose further suitable studies and control measures. Although little time was available for this study, it appears reasonable to conclude that Schistosoma haematobium is confined to a few foci in the west of the country, the main snail host being a new subspecies of Bulinus (B.) truncatus. Intestinal bilharziasis is apparently very rare, but systematic stool surveys have not been done; S. mansoni may be, or become, endemic at Dolisie, where Biomphalaria camerunensis is abundant. The main factors governing the restricted distribution of bilharziasis are discussed. Bilharziasis control appears to merit relatively low priority compared with that due to several other diseases, and the author concludes that bilharziasis is unlikely to become widespread in future years unless there is major environmental change, although the intensity of transmission may increase in some present endemic foci. PMID:14163961

  11. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students in grades 5-8 learn about snail reproduction by observing and charting the activities of land snails, freshwater snails, and slugs. Instructions to implement and extend the activity are provided. (MDH)

  12. Minocycline inhibits D-amphetamine-elicited action potential bursts in a central snail neuron.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y-H; Lin, P-L; Wong, R-W; Wu, Y-T; Hsu, H-Y; Tsai, M-C; Lin, M-J; Hsu, Y-C; Lin, C-H

    2012-10-25

    Minocycline is a second-generation tetracycline that has been reported to have powerful neuroprotective properties. In our previous studies, we found that d-amphetamine (AMPH) elicited action potential bursts in an identifiable RP4 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac. This study sought to determine the effects of minocycline on the AMPH-elicited action potential pattern changes in the central snail neuron, using the two-electrode voltage clamping method. Extracellular application of AMPH at 300 μM elicited action potential bursts in the RP4 neuron. Minocycline dose-dependently (300-900 μM) inhibited the action potential bursts elicited by AMPH. The inhibitory effects of minocycline on AMPH-elicited action potential bursts were restored by forskolin (50 μM), an adenylate cyclase activator, and by dibutyryl cAMP (N(6),2'-O-Dibutyryladenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate; 1mM), a membrane-permeable cAMP analog. Co-administration of forskolin (50 μM) plus tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA; 5mM) or co-administration of TEA (5mM) plus dibutyryl cAMP (1mM) also elicited action potential bursts, which were prevented and inhibited by minocycline. In addition, minocycline prevented and inhibited forskolin (100 μM)-elicited action potential bursts. Notably, TEA (50mM)-elicited action potential bursts in the RP4 neuron were not affected by minocycline. Minocycline did not affect steady-state outward currents of the RP4 neuron. However, minocycline did decrease the AMPH-elicited steady-state current changes. Similarly, minocycline decreased the effects of forskolin-elicited steady-state current changes. Pretreatment with H89 (N-[2-(p-Bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide dihydrochloride; 10 μM), a protein kinase A inhibitor, inhibited AMPH-elicited action potential bursts and decreased AMPH-elicited steady-state current changes. These results suggest that the cAMP-protein kinase A signaling pathway and the steady-state current are involved in

  13. Predation potential of the water bugs Sphaerodema rusticum on the sewage snails Physa acuta.

    PubMed

    Aditya, G; Raut, S K

    2002-06-01

    The sewage snail Physa acuta is a serious threat to certain economic plants and to the purification plant of sewage works by rendering the biofilters ineffective. Various attempts are being made to control it. The efficacy of the predacious water bugs Sphaerodema rusticum was judged experimentally, in the laboratory in the potential control of P. acuta. It is revealed that, when supplied separately, the first, second and third instar and the adult S. rusticum did not attack P. acuta belonging to 3.1-8 mm, 5.1-8 mm, 7.1-8 mm and snails P. acuta.

  14. Ionic differences between somatic and axonal action potentials in snail giant neurones

    PubMed Central

    Wald, Flora

    1972-01-01

    1. The ionic requirements of the somatic and axonal action potentials of `H' neurones of the snail Cryptomphallus aspersa were studied using intracellular micro-electrodes. 2. The overshoot of the somatic action potential increased by 10 mV for a tenfold increase in [Ca2+]o. In calcium-free media the action potential decreased gradually to values of 50 to 90% of the control and they could be completely eliminated with 2 mM-EGTA. The maximum rate of rise also varied with [Ca2+]o. 3. After 2 hr in sodium-free solution the somatic action potential decreased 6% in overshoot and 24% in rate of rise. 4. The somatic action potential was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml. Procaine, 18 mM, reduced its rate of rise but did not eliminate it whereas 30 mM-CoCl2 did. 5. The size of the axonal action potential increased with increased [Na+]o, but decreased with an increase in [Ca2+]o. 6. Procaine, 18 mM, abolished the axonal action potential whereas it was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml., nor, usually, by 30 mM-CoCl2. 7. The results obtained by studying the compound action potential of the nerves were similar to those from axonal action potentials. 8. The possibility that the somatic action potential is mainly calcium dependent while the axonal action potential is mainly produced by sodium is discussed. PMID:5014099

  15. An artificial perch to help Snail Kites handle an exotic Apple Snail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pias, Kyle E.; Welch, Zach C.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) is a federally endangered species and restricted to the wetlands of south-central Florida where the current population numbers less than 1,500. The Snail Kite is an extreme dietary specialist, previously feeding almost exclusively on one species of snail, the Florida Apple Snail (Pomacea paludosa). Within the past decade, an exotic species of apple snail, the Island Apple Snail (Pomacea insularum), has become established on lakes in central Florida. Island Apple Snails are larger than the native Florida Apple Snails, and Snail Kites handle the exotic snails less efficiently. Juvenile Snail Kites, in particular, have lower daily energy balances while feeding on Island Apple Snails. An inexpensive, easy-to-construct platform was developed that would provide Snail Kites with a flat, stable surface on which to extract snails. The platform has the potential to reduce the difficulties Snail Kites experience when handling exotic snails, and may benefit the Snail Kite population as a whole. Initial observations indicate that Snail Kites use the platforms frequently, and snails extracted at the platforms are larger than snails extracted at other perches.

  16. Color polymorphism in a land snail Cepaea nemoralis (Pulmonata: Helicidae) as viewed by potential avian predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surmacki, Adrian; Ożarowska-Nowicka, Agata; Rosin, Zuzanna M.

    2013-06-01

    Avian predation is one of the most probable factors maintaining polymorphism of shell coloration in Cepaea nemoralis. This assumption is justified by the fact that birds frequently forage on snails and their prey choice varies with morph coloration. However, in all preceding studies, the conspicuousness of morphs was determined only by using human vision which is significantly different from birds' visual perception. In this study, we assessed how birds perceive colors of four Cepaea nemoralis morphs using physiological models of avian color vision. We calculated combined chromatic and achromatic contrast between shells and three habitat background types as a measure of shell conspicuousness. The degree of background color matching in Cepaea nemoralis depended on both shell morph and habitat type. On average, banded morphs were more conspicuous than unbanded morphs. Morphs were the most cryptic against dry vegetation and the most conspicuous on bare ground. We also found a significant interaction between habitat type and color morph. The relative conspicuousness of shell morphs depended on habitat and was the most variable against green vegetation. Our study provides the first insight into how potential avian predators view Cepaea nemoralis morphs. The results are discussed in light of multiple hypotheses explaining selective predation on Cepaea nemoralis morphs.

  17. Bursts of potential elicited by d-amphetamine in central snail neuron: effect of sodium azide.

    PubMed

    Lin, Pei-Lin; Lu, Kuan-Ling; Lee, Ya-Ling; Chen, Yi-Hung; Chang, Yu-Chi; Chou, Hong-Nong; Tsai, Ming-Cheng

    2007-10-01

    Effects of sodium azide (NaN(3)) on spontaneously generated action potential and bursts of potential elicited by d-amphetamine (d-amphetamine-elicited BoP) were studied on the right parietal 4 (RP4) neuron of the snail Achatina fulica Ferussac in vitro. Sodium azide altered the spontaneous action potential of RP4 neuron in a concentration-dependent manner. In lower concentrations, neither NaN(3) (30, 100, 300 microM; 1 and 3 mM) nor d-amphetamine (135 microM) affect the resting membrane potential, amplitude and frequency of RP4 neurons, while in the higher concentrations NaN(3) (30 mM) did abolish the spontaneous action potential on RP4 neurons and depolarized the RP4 neurons reversibly. At lower concentration, NaN(3) (30 microM) facilitated the d-amphetamine-elicited BoP. The BoP elicited by NaN(3) (30 microM) and d-amphetamine (135 microM) were decreased following treatment with KT5720 (protein kinase A inhibitor), or intracellular injection of EGTA [ethylene glycol-bis(2-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid]. However, the BoP was not affected by applying U73122 (1-[6-[((17beta)-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5[10]-trien-17-yl)amino]hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione) or neomycin (phospholipase inhibitors). Voltage clamp studies revealed that NaN(3) (30 microM) did not alter the total fast inwards currents (70 msec.) and the steady-state outwards currents (5 sec.). It appeared that the BoP elicited by NaN(3) (30 microM) and d-amphetamine (135 microM) was mainly due to protein kinase A-related messenger system and intracellular calcium. It is concluded that d-amphetamine-elicited BoP was not mainly due to inhibition of the function of mitochondria in the neuron while the function of mitochondria did alter the BoP elicited by amphetamine.

  18. Speciation of cone snails and interspecific hyperdivergence of their venom peptides. Potential evolutionary significance of introns.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Walker, C; Cartier, G E; Hooper, D; Santos, A D; Schoenfeld, R; Shetty, R; Watkins, M; Bandyopadhyay, P; Hillyard, D R

    1999-05-18

    All 500 species of cone snails (Conus) are venomous predators. From a biochemical/genetic perspective, differences among Conus species may be based on the 50-200 different peptides in the venom of each species. Venom is used for prey capture as well as for interactions with predators and competitors. The venom of every species has its own distinct complement of peptides. Some of the interspecific divergence observed in venom peptides can be explained by differential expression of venom peptide superfamilies in different species and of peptide superfamily branching in various Conus lineages into pharmacologic groups with different targeting specificity. However, the striking interspecific divergence of peptide sequences is the dominant factor in the differences observed between venoms. The small venom peptides (typically 10-35 amino acids in length) are processed from larger prepropeptide precursors (ca. 100 amino acids). If interspecific comparisons are made between homologous prepropeptides, the three different regions of a Conus peptide precursor (signal sequence, pro-region, mature peptide) are found to have diverged at remarkably different rates. Analysis of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates for the different segments of a prepropeptide suggests that mutation frequency varies by over an order of magnitude across the segments, with the mature toxin region undergoing the highest rate. The three sections of the prepropeptide which exhibit apparently different mutation rates are separated by introns. This striking segment-specific rate of divergence of Conus prepropeptides suggests a role for introns in evolution: exons separated by introns have the potential to evolve very different mutation rates. Plausible mechanisms that could underlie differing mutational frequency in the different exons of a gene are discussed.

  19. Guanine and inosine nucleotides, nucleosides and oxypurines in snail muscles as potential biomarkers of fluoride toxicity.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika E; Safranow, Krzysztof; Dołegowska, Barbara; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the toxicity of fluorides on energy metabolism in muscles of the Helix aspersa maxima snail. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of purine compounds was performed in slices of foot from mature snails with high-performance liquid chromatography. Fluoride concentrations were measured using an ion-selective electrode and gas chromatography. The results show that exposure to fluoride pollution was accompanied by a statistically significant increase in fluoride concentrations in soft tissues. This effect was already noticeable with the smallest fluoride dose. Accumulation was greatest in the shell. There is a significant and positive correlation between fluoride concentrations in foot muscles and guanine and inosine nucleotides or uridine content. The content of low-energy guanylate, inosylate and oxypurine in foot muscles significantly increased with rising dose of fluoride. The difference as compared with controls was significant only for the highest dose of fluoride. Interestingly, uric acid, the final product of purine catabolism, dominated quantitatively in the foot muscles of snails. In conclusion, increased low-energy guanylate and inosylate as well as decreased xanthine concentrations in snail muscle can be indicators of the toxic influence of fluoride on the organism. The measuring of fluoride accumulation in the shell is the most suitable bioindicator of fluoride pollution in the environment.

  20. Ecstasy and methamphetamine elicit action potential bursts via different mechanisms in a central snail neuron.

    PubMed

    Lin, Pei-Lin; Tsai, Ming-Cheng; Lu, Guan-Ling; Lu, Dah-Yuu; Chuang, Chieh-Min; Yang, Han-Yin; Huang, Shiang-Suo; Chen, Yi-Hung

    2010-01-01

    This study sought to determine the effects of (+) methamphetamine (METH) and its ring-substituted analog (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) on electrophysiological behavior and their relationships to second messenger systems in an identifiable RP4 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac. Extracellular application of MDMA at 1mM and METH at 3mM elicited action potential bursts that were not blocked after immersing the neurons in Ca(2+)-free solution. Notably, MDMA- (1mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM), but not by the PKA inhibitors KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM). The PKC activator phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu; 3 microM), but not the PKA activator forskolin (50 microM), facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by MDMA at a lower concentration (0.3mM). In contrast, METH- (3mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM), but not by chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM). Forskolin (50 microM), but not PDBu (3 microM) facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by METH at a lower concentration (1mM). Tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), a blocker of the delayed rectifying K(+) current (I(KD)), did not elicit bursts at a concentration of 5mM but did facilitate the induction of action potential bursts elicited by both METH and MDMA. Voltage clamp studies revealed that both METH and MDMA decreased the TEA-sensitive I(KD) of the RP4 neuron. Forskolin (50 microM) or dibutyryl cAMP (1mM), a membrane-permeable cAMP analog, alone did not elicit action potential bursts. However, co-administration with forskolin (50 microM) and TEA (5mM) or co-administration with dibutyryl cAMP (1mM) and TEA (50mM) elicited action potential bursts in the presence of the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine (20 microM). Similarly, PDBu (10 microM) or phorbol

  1. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

    The slime trails of snails lead the author's students to a better understanding of science as inquiry and the processes of science. During this five-day activity, students get up close and personal with one of her favorite creatures, the land snail. Students begin by observing the organism and recording their observations. After making initial…

  2. Snails home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunstan, D. J.; Hodgson, D. J.

    2014-06-01

    Many gardeners and horticulturalists seek non-chemical methods to control populations of snails. It has frequently been reported that snails that are marked and removed from a garden are later found in the garden again. This phenomenon is often cited as evidence for a homing instinct. We report a systematic study of the snail population in a small suburban garden, in which large numbers of snails were marked and removed over a period of about 6 months. While many returned, inferring a homing instinct from this evidence requires statistical modelling. Monte Carlo techniques demonstrate that movements of snails are better explained by drift under the influence of a homing instinct than by random diffusion. Maximum likelihood techniques infer the existence of two groups of snails in the garden: members of a larger population that show little affinity to the garden itself, and core members of a local garden population that regularly return to their home if removed. The data are strongly suggestive of a homing instinct, but also reveal that snail-throwing can work as a pest management strategy.

  3. Heavy metal concentrations in the freshwater snail Biomphalaria alexandrina uninfected or infected with cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and/or Echinostoma liei in Egypt: the potential use of this snail as a bioindicator of pollution.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, O M S; Mossa, A-T H; El Einin, H M A

    2014-12-01

    In spite of using aquatic snails as bioindicators for water pollution, little attention has been paid to the effect of parasitism upon the concentration of heavy metals (Al, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn) in these organisms. The present study therefore aimed to compare the concentrations of heavy metals in trematode-infected Biomphalaria alexandrina collected from Kafer Alsheikh and Menofia provinces, Egypt, with uninfected snails from the same sites, in order to assess the effect of parasitism on the use of these snails as bioindicators. The concentrations of heavy metals in the soft parts and shells of snails were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The results showed that the heavy metal profile in snails infected with Echinostoma liei was very different from that in snails infected with Schistosoma mansoni. The total concentration of heavy metals in E. liei-infected snails collected from Kafer Alsheikh or Menofia province was greater than in uninfected snails. In contrast, the total concentration of heavy metals in S. mansoni-infected snails was reduced compared with uninfected snails. In conclusion, the status of snails with respect to parasitic infection must be taken into consideration when these snails are used as bioindicators.

  4. Inhibition of potential uptake pathways for silver nanoparticles in the estuarine snail Peringia ulvae.

    PubMed

    Khan, Farhan R; Misra, Superb K; Bury, Nicolas R; Smith, Brian D; Rainbow, Philip S; Luoma, Samuel N; Valsami-Jones, Eugenia

    2015-05-01

    Mechanisms involved in the uptake of Ag NPs, and NPs in general, have been long debated within nano-ecotoxicology. In vitro studies provide evidence of the different available uptake pathways, but in vivo demonstrations are lacking. In this study, pharmacological inhibitors were employed to block specific uptake pathways that have been implicated in the transport of metal NPs and aqueous metal forms; phenamil (inhibits Na(+) channel), bafilomycin A1 (H(+) proton pump), amantadine (clathrin-mediated endocytosis), nystatin (caveolae-mediated endocytosis) and phenylarsine oxide (PAO, macropinocytosis). Peringia ulvae (snails) were exposed to 150 µg Ag L(-1) added as citrate capped Ag NPs or aqueous Ag (AgNO3) in combination with inhibitor treatment (determined by preliminary studies). Reductions in accumulated tissue burdens caused by the inhibitors were compared to control exposures (i.e. no inhibition) after 6 and 24 h. No inhibitor treatment completely eliminated the uptake of Ag in either aqueous or NP form, but all inhibitor treatments, except phenamil, significantly reduced the uptake of Ag presented as Ag NPs. Clathrin- and caveolae-mediated endocytosis appear to be mechanisms exploited by Ag NPs, with the latter pathway only active at 24 h. Inhibition of the H(+) proton pump showed that a portion of Ag NP uptake is achieved as aqueous Ag and is explained by the dissolution of the particles (∼25% in 24 h). This in vivo study demonstrates that uptake of Ag from Ag NPs is achieved by multiple pathways and that these pathways are simultaneously active.

  5. Lichen endozoochory by snails.

    PubMed

    Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Werth, Silke; Rüetschi, Jörg; Fischer, Markus

    2011-04-13

    Endozoochory plays a prominent role for the dispersal of seed plants. However, for most other plant taxa it is not known whether this mode of dispersal occurs at all. Among those other taxa, lichens as symbiotic associations of algae and fungi are peculiar as their successful dispersal requires movement of propagules that leaves the symbiosis functional. However, the potential for endozoochorous dispersal of lichen fragments has been completely overlooked. We fed sterile thalli of two foliose lichen species (Lobaria pulmonaria and Physcia adscendens) differing in habitat and air-quality requirements to nine snail species common in temperate Europe. We demonstrated morphologically that L. pulmonaria regenerated from 29.0% of all 379 fecal pellets, whereas P. adscendens regenerated from 40.9% of all 433 fecal pellets, showing that lichen fragments survived gut passage of all snail species. Moreover, molecular analysis of regenerated lichens confirmed the species identity for a subset of samples. Regeneration rates were higher for the generalist lichen species P. adscendens than for the specialist lichen species L. pulmonaria. Furthermore, lichen regeneration rates varied among snail species with higher rates after gut passage of heavier snail species. We suggest that gastropods generally grazing on lichen communities are important, but so far completely overlooked, as vectors for lichen dispersal. This opens new ecological perspectives and questions the traditional view of an entirely antagonistic relationship between gastropods and lichens.

  6. Cost-benefit analysis potential in feeding behavior of a predatory snail by integration of hunger, taste, and pain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillette, Rhanor; Huang, Rong-Chi; Hatcher, Nathan; Moroz, Leonid L.

    2000-03-01

    Hunger/satiation state interacts with appetitive and noxious stimuli to determine feeding and avoidance responses. In the predatory marine snail Pleurobranchaea californica, food chemostimuli induced proboscis extension and biting at concentration thresholds that varied directly with satiation state. However, food stimuli also tended to elicit avoidance behavior (withdrawal and avoidance turns) at concentration thresholds that were relatively low and fixed. When the feeding threshold for active feeding (proboscis extension with biting) was exceeded, ongoing avoidance and locomotion were interrupted and suppressed. Noxious chemostimuli usually stimulated avoidance, but, in animals with lower feeding thresholds for food stimuli, they often elicited feeding behavior. Thus, sensory pathways mediating appetitive and noxious stimuli may have dual access to neural networks of feeding and avoidance behavior, but their final effects are regulated by satiation state. These observations suggest that a simple cost-benefit computation regulates behavioral switching in the animal's foraging behavior, where food stimuli above or below the incentive level for feeding tend to induce feeding or avoidance, respectively. This decision mechanism can weigh the animal's need for nutrients against the potential risk from other predators and the cost of relative energy outlay in an attack on prey. Stimulation of orienting and attack by low-level noxious stimuli in the hungriest animals may reflect risk-taking that can enhance prey capture success. A simple, hedonically structured neural network model captures this computation.

  7. The potential role of CO2 in initiation and maintenance of estivation in the land snail Helix lucorum.

    PubMed

    Michaelidis, Basile; Vavoulidou, Dimitra; Rousou, Jenia; Pörtner, Hans O

    2007-01-01

    Elevated CO(2) levels are hypothesized to play a role in the initiation and maintenance of estivation in snails through disturbances of acid-base status. The aim of our study was to identify the ambient CO(2) threshold that induces disturbances in acid-base status in the air-breathing land snail Helix lucorum. Acid-base parameters were determined in the hemolymph of snails acclimated to 0.5%, 1%, 2%, 4%, and 8% CO(2) in air for 20 d. In addition, we evaluated the effects of long-term acclimation on metabolic rate and on levels of D-lactate dehydrogenase activity (D-LDH) and of D-lactate in snails after 20 d of exposure to increased CO(2) levels. Helix lucorum proved to be unable to compensate for a decrease in extracellular pH (pH(e)) when acclimated to levels higher than 1% CO(2) in air. The rate of oxygen consumption started to decrease when snails were acclimated to 0.5% CO(2) in air. However, there was no correlation between the drops in pH(e) and in metabolic rate. Long-term acclimation to elevated CO(2) levels induced an increase in the activity of D-LDH with a concomitant accumulation of D-lactate in tissues. This indicates that long-term acclimation to elevated ambient CO(2) levels could reduce the aerobic capacity of land snails and trigger expression of anaerobic pathways of ATP turnover. The threshold levels of ambient CO(2) that induce changes in acid-base status and elicit metabolic depression in adult land snails H. lucorum are higher than the future atmospheric levels that are expected to result from human use of fossil energy resources.

  8. Morphological and molecular characterization of lymnaeid snails and their potential role in transmission of Fasciola spp. in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Dung, Bui Thi; Doanh, Pham Ngoc; The, Dang Tat; Loan, Ho Thi; Losson, Bertrand; Caron, Yannick

    2013-12-01

    Freshwater snails of the family Lymnaeidae play an important role in the transmission of fascioliasis worldwide. In Vietnam, 2 common lymnaeid species, Lymnaea swinhoei and Lymnaea viridis, can be recognized on the basis of morphology, and a third species, Lymnaea sp., is known to exist. Recent studies have raised controversy about their role in transmission of Fasciola spp. because of confusion in identification of the snail hosts. The aim of this study is, therefore, to clarify the identities of lymnaeid snails in Vietnam by a combination of morphological and molecular approaches. The molecular analyses using the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA clearly showed that lymnaeids in Vietnam include 3 species, Austropeplea viridis (morphologically identified as L. viridis), Radix auricularia (morphologically identified as L. swinhoei) and Radix rubiginosa (morphologically identified as Lymnaea sp.). R. rubiginosa is a new record for Vietnam. Among them, only A. viridis was found to be infected with Fasciola spp. These results provide a new insight into lymnaeid snails in Vietnam. Identification of lymnaeid snails in Vietnam and their role in the liver fluke transmission should be further investigated.

  9. Assessment of metal contamination in the Hun River, China, and evaluation of the fish Zacco platypus and the snail Radix swinhoei as potential biomonitors.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xing; Wang, Shaofeng; Chen, Hongxing; Jiang, Zhiqiang; Chen, Hongwei; Gao, Mi; Bi, Ran; Klerks, Paul L; Wang, He; Luo, Yongju; Xie, Lingtian

    2017-01-10

    The Hun River is a major tributary of the Liao River in the northeast area of China and provides drinking water for 23 million local residents. This study was designed to assess the severity of metal contamination in the Hun River and the potential use of indigenous organisms (the fish Zacco platypus and the snail Radix swinhoei) as biomonitors of metal contamination. Water, sediment, and the native fish and snails were collected at four sampling sites that differed in their physicochemical characteristics and their contamination levels. The samples were analyzed for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn by ICP-MS. The results showed that although the overall potential ecological risks of the metals were low at our sampling sites, Cd posed a noteworthy ecological risk. Strong correlations were obtained between Cd concentrations in the organisms and in the environment. The results indicated that Z. platypus and R. swinhoei can be useful biomonitoring species for assessing Cd contamination. Biomonitoring with the snail may be most effective when focused on the gonad/digestive tissue (because of the high metal accumulation there), but further work is needed to confirm this.

  10. Akt Activation Correlates with Snail Expression and Potentially Determines the Recurrence of Prostate Cancer in Patients at Stage T2 after a Radical Prostatectomy

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei-Yu; Hua, Kuo-Tai; Lee, Wei-Jiunn; Lin, Yung-Wei; Liu, Yen-Nien; Chen, Chi-Long; Wen, Yu-Ching; Chien, Ming-Hsien

    2016-01-01

    Our previous work demonstrated the epithelial-mesenchymal transition factor, Snail, is a potential marker for predicting the recurrence of localized prostate cancer (PCa). Akt activation is important for Snail stabilization and transcription in PCa. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively investigate the relationship between the phosphorylated level of Akt (p-Akt) in radical prostatectomy (RP) specimens and cancer biochemical recurrence (BCR). Using a tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry, the expression of p-Akt was measured in benign and neoplastic tissues from RP specimens in 53 patients whose cancer was pathologically defined as T2 without positive margins. Herein, we observed that the p-Akt level was higher in PCa than in benign tissues and was significantly associated with the Snail level. A high p-Akt image score (≥8) was significantly correlated with a higher histological Gleason sum, Snail image score, and preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value. Moreover, the high p-Akt image score and Gleason score sum (≥7) showed similar discriminatory abilities for BCR according to a receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis and were correlated with worse recurrence-free survival according to a log-rank test (p < 0.05). To further determine whether a high p-Akt image score could predict the risk of BCR, a Cox proportional hazard model showed that only a high p-Akt image score (hazard ratio (HR): 3.12, p = 0.05) and a high Gleason score sum (≥7) (HR: 1.18, p = 0.05) but not a high preoperative PSA value (HR: 0.62, p = 0.57) were significantly associated with a higher risk of developing BCR. Our data indicate that, for localized PCa patients after an RP, p-Akt can serve as a potential prognostic marker that improves predictions of BCR-free survival. PMID:27455254

  11. Climate and pH Predict the Potential Range of the Invasive Apple Snail (Pomacea insularum) in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Byers, James E.; McDowell, William G.; Dodd, Shelley R.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Pintor, Lauren M.; Wilde, Susan B.

    2013-01-01

    Predicting the potential range of invasive species is essential for risk assessment, monitoring, and management, and it can also inform us about a species’ overall potential invasiveness. However, modeling the distribution of invasive species that have not reached their equilibrium distribution can be problematic for many predictive approaches. We apply the modeling approach of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) that is effective with incomplete, presence-only datasets to predict the distribution of the invasive island apple snail, Pomacea insularum. This freshwater snail is native to South America and has been spreading in the USA over the last decade from its initial introductions in Texas and Florida. It has now been documented throughout eight southeastern states. The snail’s extensive consumption of aquatic vegetation and ability to accumulate and transmit algal toxins through the food web heighten concerns about its spread. Our model shows that under current climate conditions the snail should remain mostly confined to the coastal plain of the southeastern USA where it is limited by minimum temperature in the coldest month and precipitation in the warmest quarter. Furthermore, low pH waters (pH <5.5) are detrimental to the snail’s survival and persistence. Of particular note are low-pH blackwater swamps, especially Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia (with a pH below 4 in many areas), which are predicted to preclude the snail’s establishment even though many of these areas are well matched climatically. Our results elucidate the factors that affect the regional distribution of P. insularum, while simultaneously presenting a spatial basis for the prediction of its future spread. Furthermore, the model for this species exemplifies that combining climatic and habitat variables is a powerful way to model distributions of invasive species. PMID:23451090

  12. Estrogen regulates Snail and Slug in the down-regulation of E-cadherin and induces metastatic potential of ovarian cancer cells through estrogen receptor alpha.

    PubMed

    Park, Se-Hyung; Cheung, Lydia W T; Wong, Alice S T; Leung, Peter C K

    2008-09-01

    Tumorigenesis is a multistep process involving dysregulated cell growth and metastasis. Considerable evidence implicates a mitogenic action of estrogen in early ovarian carcinogenesis. In contrast, its influence in the metastatic cascade of ovarian tumor cells remains obscure. In the present study, we showed that 17beta-estradiol (E2) increased the metastatic potential of human epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines. E2 treatment led to clear morphological changes characteristic of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and an enhanced cell migratory propensity. These morphological and functional alterations were associated with changes in the abundance of EMT-related genes. Upon E2 stimulation, expression and promoter activity of the epithelial marker E-cadherin were strikingly suppressed, whereas EMT-associated transcription factors, Snail and Slug, were significantly up-regulated. This up-regulation was attributed to the increase in gene transcription activated by E2. Depletion of endogenous Snail or Slug using small interfering RNA (siRNA) attenuated E2-mediated decrease in E-cadherin. In addition, E2-induced cell migration was also neutralized by the siRNAs, suggesting that both transcription factors are indispensable for the prometastatic actions of E2. More importantly, by using selective estrogen receptor (ER) agonists, forced expression, and siRNA approaches, we identified that E2 triggered the metastatic behaviors exclusively through an ERalpha-dependent pathway. We also showed that ERbeta had an opposing action on ERalpha because the presence of ERbeta completely inhibited the EMT and down-regulation of E-cadherin induced by ERalpha. Collectively, this study provides a compelling argument that estrogen can potentiate tumor progression by EMT induction and highlights the crucial role of ERalpha in ovarian tumorigenesis.

  13. VAV1 represses E-cadherin expression through the transactivation of Snail and Slug: a potential mechanism for aberrant epithelial to mesenchymal transition in human epithelial ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Wakahashi, Senn; Sudo, Tamotsu; Oka, Noriko; Ueno, Sayaka; Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Fujiwara, Kiyoshi; Ohbayashi, Chiho; Nishimura, Ryuichiro

    2013-09-01

    Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy in the western world. Although patients with early-stage ovarian cancer generally have a good prognosis, approximately 20%-30% of patients will die of the disease, and 5-year recurrence rates are 25%-45%, highlighting the need for improved detection and treatment. We investigated the role of VAV1, a protein with guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity, which is associated with survival in patients with early-stage ovarian cancer (International of Obstetrics and Gynecology [FIGO] stages I and II). We analyzed 88 samples from patients with primary epithelial ovarian cancer, which were divided into FIGO stages I and II (n = 46), and III and IV (n = 42). Prognostic analysis revealed that upregulated VAV1 expression correlated significantly with poor prognosis in patients with early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer (P ≤ 0.05), but not with other clinicopathologic features. Stable overexpression of VAV1 in human high-grade serous ovarian cancer SKOV3 cells induced morphologic changes indicative of loss of intercellular adhesions and organized actin stress fibers. Western blotting and real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that these cells had downregulated E-cadherin protein and messenger RNA levels, respectively. This downregulation is associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasive cancer. Furthermore, VAV1 overexpression in both SKOV3 and human ovarian surface epithelial cells demonstrated that its upregulation of an E-cadherin transcriptional repressor, Snail and Slug, was not confined to ovarian cancer cells. Conversely, knockdown of VAV1 by RNA interference reduced Snail and Slug. Our findings suggest that VAV1 may play a role in the EMT of ovarian cancer, and may serve as a potential therapeutic target.

  14. Snail Shell Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine

    1992-01-01

    Presents three inquiry-based lessons to develop the science process skills of observation, identification, and classification. Activities use whelk eggs and snail shells as the focus of the students' inquiries. Provides a list of 19 facts about whelks and snails. (MDH)

  15. The Classroom Animal: Snails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David S.

    1985-01-01

    Points out that snails are interesting and easily-managed classroom animals. One advantage of this animal is that it requires no special attention over weekends or holidays. Background information, anatomy, reproduction, and feeding are discussed, along with suggestions for housing aquatic and/or land snails. (DH)

  16. Potential human health risks from toxic metals via mangrove snail consumption and their ecological risk assessments in the habitat sediment from Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Wan Hee; Yap, Chee Kong

    2015-09-01

    Samples of mangrove snails Nerita lineata and surface sediments were collected from nine geographical sampling sites in Peninsular Malaysia to determine the concentrations of eight metals. For the soft tissues, the ranges of metal concentrations (μg g(-1) dry weight (dw)) were 3.49-9.02 for As, 0.69-6.25 for Cd, 6.33-25.82 for Cu, 0.71-6.53 for Cr, 221-1285 for Fe, 1.03-50.47 for Pb, and 102.7-130.7 for Zn while Hg as 4.00-64.0 μg kg(-1) dw(-1). For sediments, the ranges were 21.81-59.49 for As, 1.11-2.00 for Cd, 5.59-28.71 for Cu, 18.93-62.91 for Cr, 12973-48916 for Fe, 25.36-172.57 for Pb, and 29.35-130.34 for Zn while for Hg as 2.66-312 μg kg(-1) dw(-1). To determine the ecological risks on the surface habitat sediments, sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), the geochemical indices, and potential ecological risk index (PERI) were used. Based on the SQGs, all the metals investigated were most unlikely to cause any adverse effects. Based on geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor, the sediments were also not polluted by the studied metals. The PERI values based on As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Pb and Zn in this study were found as 'low ecological risk'. In order to assess the potential health risks, the estimated daily intakes (EDI) of snails were found to be all lower than the RfD guidelines for all metals, except for Pb in some sites investigated. Furthermore, the calculated target hazard quotients (THQ) were found to be less than 1. However, the calculated total target hazard quotients (TTHQ) from all sites were found to be more than 1 for high level consumers except KPPuteh. Therefore, moderate amount of intake is advisable to avoid human health risks to the consumers.

  17. Non-native molluscan colonizers on deliberately placed shipwrecks in the Florida Keys, with description of a new species of potentially invasive worm-snail (Gastropoda: Vermetidae).

    PubMed

    Bieler, Rüdiger; Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Rawlings, Timothy A; Sierwald, Petra; Collins, Timothy M

    2017-01-01

    Artificial reefs created by deliberately sinking ships off the coast of the Florida Keys island chain are providing new habitat for marine invertebrates. This newly developing fouling community includes the previously reported invasive orange tube coral Tubastraea coccinea and the non-native giant foam oyster Hyotissa hyotis. New SCUBA-based surveys involving five shipwrecks spanning the upper, middle, and lower Florida Keys, show T. coccinea now also established in the lower Keys and H. hyotis likewise extending to new sites. Two additional mollusks found on the artificial reefs, the amathinid gastropod Cyclothyca pacei and gryphaeid oyster Hyotissa mcgintyi, the latter also common in the natural reef areas, are discussed as potentially non-native. A new species of sessile, suspension-feeding, worm-snail, Thylacodes vandyensis Bieler, Rawlings & Collins n. sp. (Vermetidae), is described from the wreck of the USNS Vandenberg off Key West and discussed as potentially invasive. This new species is compared morphologically and by DNA barcode markers to other known members of the genus, and may be a recent arrival from the Pacific Ocean. Thylacodes vandyensis is polychromatic, with individuals varying in both overall head-foot coloration and mantle margin color pattern. Females brood stalked egg capsules attached to their shell within the confines of their mantle cavity, and give rise to crawl-away juveniles. Such direct-developing species have the demonstrated capacity for colonizing habitats isolated far from their native ranges and establishing rapidly growing founder populations. Vermetid gastropods are common components of the marine fouling community in warm temperate and tropical waters and, as such, have been tagged as potentially invasive or with a high potential to be invasive in the Pacific Ocean. As vermetids can influence coral growth/composition in the Pacific and have been reported serving as intermediate hosts for blood flukes of loggerhead turtles

  18. Non-native molluscan colonizers on deliberately placed shipwrecks in the Florida Keys, with description of a new species of potentially invasive worm-snail (Gastropoda: Vermetidae)

    PubMed Central

    Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Rawlings, Timothy A.; Sierwald, Petra; Collins, Timothy M.

    2017-01-01

    Artificial reefs created by deliberately sinking ships off the coast of the Florida Keys island chain are providing new habitat for marine invertebrates. This newly developing fouling community includes the previously reported invasive orange tube coral Tubastraea coccinea and the non-native giant foam oyster Hyotissa hyotis. New SCUBA-based surveys involving five shipwrecks spanning the upper, middle, and lower Florida Keys, show T. coccinea now also established in the lower Keys and H. hyotis likewise extending to new sites. Two additional mollusks found on the artificial reefs, the amathinid gastropod Cyclothyca pacei and gryphaeid oyster Hyotissa mcgintyi, the latter also common in the natural reef areas, are discussed as potentially non-native. A new species of sessile, suspension-feeding, worm-snail, Thylacodes vandyensis Bieler, Rawlings & Collins n. sp. (Vermetidae), is described from the wreck of the USNS Vandenberg off Key West and discussed as potentially invasive. This new species is compared morphologically and by DNA barcode markers to other known members of the genus, and may be a recent arrival from the Pacific Ocean. Thylacodes vandyensis is polychromatic, with individuals varying in both overall head-foot coloration and mantle margin color pattern. Females brood stalked egg capsules attached to their shell within the confines of their mantle cavity, and give rise to crawl-away juveniles. Such direct-developing species have the demonstrated capacity for colonizing habitats isolated far from their native ranges and establishing rapidly growing founder populations. Vermetid gastropods are common components of the marine fouling community in warm temperate and tropical waters and, as such, have been tagged as potentially invasive or with a high potential to be invasive in the Pacific Ocean. As vermetids can influence coral growth/composition in the Pacific and have been reported serving as intermediate hosts for blood flukes of loggerhead turtles

  19. The potential use of ultrasound to control the trematode bolbophorus confusus by eliminating the ram's horn snail planorbella trivolvis in commercial aquaculture settings

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One method in the investigation of acoustics to improve aquaculture production is the use of ultrasound to control the trematode, Bolbophorus confuses, in commercial catfish ponds. The trematode population can be controlled by eliminating the host ram’s horn snail, Planorbella trivolvis, which is ty...

  20. Microhabitats within venomous cone snails contain diverse actinobacteria.

    PubMed

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S; Hughen, Ronald W; Light, Alan R; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2009-11-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery.

  1. Microhabitats within Venomous Cone Snails Contain Diverse Actinobacteria▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S.; Hughen, Ronald W.; Light, Alan R.; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Schmidt, Eric W.

    2009-01-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery. PMID:19749071

  2. Aquatic snails, passive hosts of Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    PubMed

    Marsollier, Laurent; Sévérin, Tchibozo; Aubry, Jacques; Merritt, Richard W; Saint André, Jean-Paul; Legras, Pierre; Manceau, Anne-Lise; Chauty, Annick; Carbonnelle, Bernard; Cole, Stewart T

    2004-10-01

    Accumulative indirect evidence of the epidemiology of Mycobacterium ulcerans infections causing chronic skin ulcers (i.e., Buruli ulcer disease) suggests that the development of this pathogen and its transmission to humans are related predominantly to aquatic environments. We report that snails could transitorily harbor M. ulcerans without offering favorable conditions for its growth and replication. A novel intermediate link in the transmission chain of M. ulcerans becomes likely with predator aquatic insects in addition to phytophage insects. Water bugs, such as Naucoris cimicoides, a potential vector of M. ulcerans, were shown to be infected specifically by this bacterium after feeding on snails experimentally exposed to M. ulcerans.

  3. The potential significance to human health associated with the establishment of the snail Melanoides tuberculata in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Derraik, José G B

    2008-08-22

    The thiarid Melanoides tuberculata (Müller, 1774) (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia: Thiaridae) is considered to be invasive and have become established in numerous countries outside its native range. This species was discovered in the wild for the first time in New Zealand in 2001, when a population was found in a geothermally warmed stream at Golden Springs near Taupo. M. tuberculata is of human health significance as the intermediate host of a number of trematode parasites. Uncertainties hinder an accurate assessment of the risks to human health occasioned by this species in New Zealand, but it is theoretically possible that a number of parasites could become established in this country in association with M. tuberculata. However, their distribution would be potentially limited, as M. tuberculata is unlikely to find suitable habitats in New Zealand outside certain geothermally warmed water habitats.

  4. Movements of florida apple snails in relation to water levels and drying events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.; Miller, S.J.; Percival, H.F.

    2002-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea Paludosa) apparently have only a limited tolerance to wetland drying events (although little direct evidence exists), but their populations routinely face dry downs under natural and managed water regimes. In this paper, we address speculation that apple snails respond to decreasing water levels and potential drying events by moving toward refugia that remain inundated. We monitored the movements of apple snails in central Florida, USA during drying events at the Blue Cypress Marsh (BC) and at Lake Kissimmee (LK). We monitored the weekly movements of 47 BC snails and 31 LK snails using radio-telemetry. Snails tended to stop moving when water depths were 10 cm. Snails moved along the greatest positive depth gradient (i.e., towards deeper water) when they encountered water depths between 10 and 20 cm. Snails tended to move toward shallower water in water depths ???50 cm, suggesting that snails were avoiding deep water areas such as canals and sloughs. Of the 11 BC snails originally located in the area that eventually went dry, three (27%) were found in deep water refugia by the end of the study. Only one of the 31 LK snails escaped the drying event by moving to deeper water. Our results indicate that some snails may opportunistically escape drying events through movement. The tendency to move toward deeper water was statistically significant and indicates that this behavioral trait might enhance survival when the spatial extent of a dry down is limited. However, as water level falls below 10 cm, snails stop moving and become stranded. As the spatial extent of a dry down increases, we predict that the number of snails stranded would increase proportionally. Stranded Pomacea paludosa must contend with dry marsh conditions, possibly by aestivation. Little more than anecdotal information has been published on P. paludosa aestivation, but it is a common adaptation among other apple snails (Caenogastropoda: Ampullaridae). ?? 2002, The Society

  5. A protocol for geographically randomized snail surveys in schistosomiasis fieldwork using the global positioning system.

    PubMed

    Seto, E; Liang, S; Qiu, D; Gu, X; Spear, R C

    2001-01-01

    A protocol was created for performing geographically randomized snail surveys for schistosomiasis research using the global positioning system (GPS). This protocol differs from traditional surveys in its ability to accurately map and measure the spatial distribution of snail habitat. The protocol was used to map irrigation ditches, the primary habitat for Oncomelania hupensis, in two residence areas in Sichuan Province, China. From the 7,450 meters of mapped ditches, snail surveys were performed at 203 random sites along the ditch network. Of these, 116 (57.1%) sites had snails. The total number of living snails captured was 2,014, resulting in an average snail density of 0.27 snails per linear meter of potential habitat.

  6. 77 FR 54605 - Longworth Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ... for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and... addresses the potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to... project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in...

  7. 78 FR 14587 - Kelley-McDonough Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service... potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to occur... that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in their plan. We...

  8. 76 FR 41810 - Francis Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... the potential for ``take'' of the Federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta... includes the Francis Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail (HCP) that...

  9. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces land snails for use in inquiry-based science activities. Describes common characteristics and safety considerations while introducing students to land snails. Explains procedures for inquiry-based use of land snails in classrooms. (YDS)

  10. An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Chen; Ho, Richard Cheng Yong; Feng, Chen-Chieh; Namsanor, Jutamas; Sithithaworn, Paiboon

    2015-01-01

    knowledge gap in O. viverrini disease ecology and highlights the potential effect of anthropogenic irrigation practices on B.s. goniomphalos snail ecology.

  11. Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 gene in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ping; Meng, Hui-Min; Gao, Wei-Zhe; Chen, Lin; Liu, Xun-Hua; Xiao, Zheng-Quan; Liu, Yong-Xia; Sui, Hong-Mei; Zhou, Jun; Liu, Yu-Hong; Li, Jian-Ming

    2011-10-15

    The regulators of a key metastasis gene PRL-3 in colorectal cancer (CRC) are still largely unknown. We found three potential binding sites of Snail, a key transcriptional factor involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), in the region of PRL-3 promoter (located at -642 to -383). Moreover, our results showed that one of the Snail binding sites (located at -624 to -619) was the key element to maintain promoter activity of human PRL-3 gene. The transcriptional activity of PRL-3 promoter was abolished after the Snail binding site (located at -624 to -619) was mutated. Both promoter activity and protein expression of PRL-3 in CRC cell lines could be regulated by Snail. In clinical samples of CRC and metastatic lymph node of CRC, expression of PRL-3 protein was correlated with expression of Snail protein. Functional studies using gene over-expression and knockdown methods indicated that Snail promoted proliferation, cell adhesion and migration of human CRC cells. In SW480 cells with PRL-3 stable knockdown, cell proliferation increased after Snail was up-regulated. Our data first reveal transcriptional factor Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 in CRC. The link between Snail and PRL-3 suggests a new potential mechanism of Snail contributing to progression and metastasis of CRC.

  12. Overexpression of Snail in retinal pigment epithelial triggered epithelial–mesenchymal transition

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui; Li, Min; Xu, Ding; Zhao, Chun; Liu, Guodong; Wang, Fang

    2014-03-28

    Highlights: • First reported overexpression of Snail in RPE cells could directly trigger EMT. • Further confirmed the regulator role of Snail in RPE cells EMT in vitro. • Snail may be a potential therapeutic target to prevent the fibrosis of PVR. - Abstract: Snail transcription factor has been implicated as an important regulator in epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) during tumourigenesis and fibrogenesis. Our previous work showed that Snail transcription factor was activated in transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and may contribute to the development of retinal fibrotic disease such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). However, whether Snail alone has a direct role on retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition has not been investigated. Here, we analyzed the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human RPE cells. A vector encoding Snail gene or an empty vector were transfected into human RPE cell lines ARPE-19 respectively. Snail overexpression in ARPE-19 cells resulted in EMT, which was characterized by the expected phenotypic transition from a typical epithelial morphology to mesenchymal spindle-shaped. The expression of epithelial markers E-cadherin and Zona occludin-1 (ZO-1) were down-regulated, whereas mesenchymal markers a-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA) and fibronectin were up-regulated in Snail expression vector transfected cells. In addition, ectopic expression of Snail significantly enhanced ARPE-19 cell motility and migration. The present data suggest that overexpression of Snail in ARPE-19 cells could directly trigger EMT. These results may provide novel insight into understanding the regulator role of Snail in the development of retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition.

  13. First report of Toxocara cati in the domestic land snail Rumina decollata.

    PubMed

    Cardillo, Natalia; Prous, Cintia Gonzalez; Krivokapich, Silvio; Pittaro, Mariana; Ercole, Mariano; Perez, Matías; Pasqualetti, Mariana; Fariña, Fernando; Rosa, Adriana; Gatti, Graciana; Ribicich, Mabel

    The prospective role of the land snail Rumina decollata as a potential paratenic host of Toxocara cati for domestic cats was studied. R. decollata specimens and cats' feces were collected from the open spaces of a Buenos Aires city hospital. Cats' feces were analyzed and snails were digested to identify T. cati stages, by morphological and molecular analyses. T. cati larval eggs were recovered from 23.5% (4/17) of the sampled feces. Twenty percent of snail pools (5/25) were confirmed to be positive for Toxocara spp. third larval stage (L3) by PCR. The mean value of total larvae recovered per gram of snail in all positive pools was 5.1, with a maximum 33 L3/pool. This is the first report of T. cati infective larvae in R. decollata domestic snail as a paratenic host, since the relationship between infection in snails and in cats' feces could be demonstrated in a common environment.

  14. Effects of Snail Density on Growth, Reproduction and Survival of Biomphalaria alexandrina Exposed to Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Mangal, T. D.; Paterson, S.; Fenton, A.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of snail density on Biomphalaria alexandrina parasitized with Schistosoma mansoni were investigated. Laboratory experiments were used to quantify the impact of high density on snail growth, fecundity, and survival. Density-dependent birth rates of snails were determined to inform mathematical models, which, until now, have assumed a linear relationship between density and fecundity. The experiments show that the rate of egg-laying followed a negative exponential distribution with increasing density and this was significantly affected by exposure to parasitic infection. High density also affected the weight of snails and survival to a greater degree than exposure to parasitic infection. Although snail growth rates were initially constrained by high density, they retained the potential for growth suggesting a reversible density-dependent mechanism. These experimental data can be used to parameterise models and confirm that snail populations are regulated by nonlinear density-dependent mechanisms. PMID:20700427

  15. Phenotypic Plasticity of the Introduced New Zealand Mud Snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, Compared to Sympatric Native Snails

    PubMed Central

    Levri, Edward P.; Krist, Amy C.; Bilka, Rachel; Dybdahl, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is likely to be important in determining the invasive potential of a species, especially if invasive species show greater plasticity or tolerance compared to sympatric native species. Here in two separate experiments we compare reaction norms in response to two environmental variables of two clones of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, isolated from the United States, (one invasive and one not yet invasive) with those of two species of native snails that are sympatric with the invader, Fossaria bulimoides group and Physella gyrina group. We placed juvenile snails in environments with high and low conductivity (300 and 800 mS) in one experiment, and raised them at two different temperatures (16°C and 22°C) in a second experiment. Growth rate and mortality were measured over the course of 8 weeks. Mortality rates were higher in the native snails compared to P. antipodarum across all treatments, and variation in conductivity influenced mortality. In both experiments, reaction norms did not vary significantly between species. There was little evidence that the success of the introduced species is a result of greater phenotypic plasticity to these variables compared to the sympatric native species. PMID:24699685

  16. Phenotypic plasticity of the introduced New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, compared to sympatric native snails.

    PubMed

    Levri, Edward P; Krist, Amy C; Bilka, Rachel; Dybdahl, Mark F

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is likely to be important in determining the invasive potential of a species, especially if invasive species show greater plasticity or tolerance compared to sympatric native species. Here in two separate experiments we compare reaction norms in response to two environmental variables of two clones of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, isolated from the United States, (one invasive and one not yet invasive) with those of two species of native snails that are sympatric with the invader, Fossaria bulimoides group and Physella gyrina group. We placed juvenile snails in environments with high and low conductivity (300 and 800 mS) in one experiment, and raised them at two different temperatures (16 °C and 22 °C) in a second experiment. Growth rate and mortality were measured over the course of 8 weeks. Mortality rates were higher in the native snails compared to P. antipodarum across all treatments, and variation in conductivity influenced mortality. In both experiments, reaction norms did not vary significantly between species. There was little evidence that the success of the introduced species is a result of greater phenotypic plasticity to these variables compared to the sympatric native species.

  17. CCR7 pathway induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition through up-regulation of Snail signaling in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianping; Zhou, Yunzhe; Yang, Yonggang

    2015-02-01

    The chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) and Snail signaling have been linked to various types of cancers. The associations between these signalings and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are not clear in gastric cancer. Here, the expression of CCR7 and Snail was detected in gastric cancer by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Meanwhile, gastric cancer cells were subjected to CCL19, si-control, and si-Snail treatment. Cell cycle, migration, and invasion were also analyzed. The expression patterns of CCR7 and Snail were similar in either gastric cancer tissues or cells. The increased expression of CCR7 was closely associated with the increased Snail expression, which both were closely correlated with metastasis, stage and differentiation, and poor prognosis. The increased p-ERK, p-AKT, Snail, and MMP9 expression and the decreased E-cadherin were confirmed in MGC803 cells in a dose-dependent manner in response to CCL19 treatment. However, the blockade of Snail abrogated the up-regulation of MMP9 and down-regulation of E-cadherin. CCR7-induced ERK and PI3K pathway regulated Snail signaling. Besides si-Snail treatment led to MGC803 cell cycle arrest and affected the migration and invasion. In conclusion, our study suggested that CCR7 promotes Snail expression to induce the EMT, resulting in cell cycle progression, migration, and invasion in gastric cancer. CCR7-Snail pathway provided more potential regimens for cancer therapy.

  18. Copper uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa).

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Rogevich, Emily C; Rand, Gary M; Frakes, Robert A

    2008-10-01

    The present study characterized copper (Cu) uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) from water, soil, and diet. During a 28-day uptake period, juvenile apple snails were exposed to aqueous Cu and adult apple snails were exposed to Cu-contaminated soil, water, and food. In the follow-up 14-day depuration period, both juvenile and adult apple snails were held in laboratory freshwater with background Cu concentrations<4 microg/l. For juvenile apple snails, whole body Cu concentrations increased with time and reached a plateau after 14 days. The data followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics rather than a one compartment first order kinetics model. The mean Cu bioconcentration factor (BCF) for juvenile apple snails was 1493 and the depuration half-life was 10.5-13.8 days. For adult snails, dietary uptake of Cu resulted in higher bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) compared to uptake from soil. Most of the accumulated Cu was located in soft tissue (about 60% in the viscera and 40% in the foot). The shell contained <1% of the total accumulated copper. Soft tissue is usually consumed by predators of the apple snail. Therefore, the results of the present study show that Cu transfer through the food chain to the apple snail may lead to potential risk to its predators.

  19. Fasciola hepatica in snails collected from water-dropwort fields using PCR.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hwang-Yong; Choi, In-Wook; Kim, Yeon-Rok; Quan, Juan-Hua; Ismail, Hassan Ahmed Hassan Ahmed; Cha, Guang-Ho; Hong, Sung-Jong; Lee, Young-Ha

    2014-12-01

    Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that causes zoonosis mainly in cattle and sheep and occasionally in humans. Fascioliasis has been reported in Korea; however, determining F. hepatica infection in snails has not been done recently. Thus, using PCR, we evaluated the prevalence of F. hepatica infection in snails at 4 large water-dropwort fields. Among 349 examined snails, F. hepatica-specific internal transcribed space 1 (ITS-1) and/or ITS-2 markers were detected in 12 snails and confirmed using sequence analysis. Morphologically, 213 of 349 collected snails were dextral shelled, which is the same aperture as the lymnaeid snail, the vectorial host for F. hepatica. Among the 12 F. hepatica-infected snails, 6 were known first intermediate hosts in Korea (Lymnaea viridis and L. ollula) and the remaining 6 (Lymnaea sp.) were potentially a new first intermediate host in Korea. It has been shown that the overall prevalence of the snails contaminated with F. hepatica in water-dropwort fields was 3.4%; however, the prevalence varied among the fields. This is the first study to estimate the prevalence of F. hepatica infection using the vectorial capacity of the snails in Korea.

  20. Impact of the age of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails on Schistosoma mansoni transmission: modulation of the genetic outcome and the internal defence system of the snail

    PubMed Central

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy; Sadaka, Hayam Abd El-Monem; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Diab, Iman Hassan; Khedr, Safaa Ibrahim Abd El-Halim

    2015-01-01

    Of the approximately 34 identified Biomphalaria species,Biomphalaria alexandrina represents the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in Egypt. Using parasitological and SOD1 enzyme assay, this study aimed to elucidate the impact of the age of B. alexandrina snails on their genetic variability and internal defence against S. mansoni infection. Susceptible and resistant snails were reared individually for self-reproduction; four subgroups of their progeny were used in experiment. The young susceptible subgroup showed the highest infection rate, the shortest pre-patent period, the highest total cercarial production, the highest mortality rate and the lowest SOD1 activity. Among the young and adult susceptible subgroups, 8% and 26% were found to be resistant, indicating the inheritance of resistance alleles from parents. The adult resistant subgroup, however, contained only resistant snails and showed the highest enzyme activity. The complex interaction between snail age, genetic background and internal defence resulted in great variability in compatibility patterns, with the highest significant difference between young susceptible and adult resistant snails. The results demonstrate that resistance alleles function to a greater degree in adults, with higher SOD1 activity and provide potential implications for Biomphalaria control. The identification of the most susceptible snail age enables determination of the best timing for applying molluscicides. Moreover, adult resistant snails could be beneficial in biological snail control. PMID:26061235

  1. Parallel evolution of passive and active defence in land snails

    PubMed Central

    Morii, Yuta; Prozorova, Larisa; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions are major processes promoting phenotypic evolution. However, it remains unclear how predation causes morphological and behavioural diversity in prey species and how it might lead to speciation. Here, we show that substantial divergence in the phenotypic traits of prey species has occurred among closely related land snails as a result of adaptation to predator attacks. This caused the divergence of defensive strategies into two alternatives: passive defence and active defence. Phenotypic traits of the subarctic Karaftohelix land snail have undergone radiation in northeast Asia, and distinctive morphotypes generally coexist in the same regions. In these land snails, we documented two alternative defence behaviours against predation by malacophagous beetles. Furthermore, the behaviours are potentially associated with differences in shell morphology. In addition, molecular phylogenetic analyses indicated that these alternative strategies against predation arose independently on the islands and on the continent suggesting that anti-predator adaptation is a major cause of phenotypic diversity in these snails. Finally, we suggest the potential speciation of Karaftohelix snails as a result of the divergence of defensive strategies into passive and active behaviours and the possibility of species radiation due to anti-predatory adaptations. PMID:27833102

  2. Snails from heavy-metal polluted environments have reduced sensitivity to carbon dioxide-induced acidity.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, Hugh; Cleary, David A; Marble, Aaron M; Phillips, Morgan V; Stoddard, Timothy J; Tuthill, Lara M; Winslow, James R

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) which increases water acidity. While marine acidification has received recent consideration, less attention has been paid to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide on freshwater systems-systems that often have low buffering potential. Since many aquatic systems are already impacted by pollutants such as heavy metals, we wondered about the added effect of rising atmospheric CO2 on freshwater organisms. We studied aquatic pulmonate snails (Physella columbiana) from both a heavy-metal polluted watershed and snails from a reference watershed that has not experienced mining pollution. We used gaseous CO2 to increase water acidity and we then measured changes in antipredatory behavior and also survival. We predicted a simple negative additive effect of low pH. We hypothesized that snails from metal-polluted environments would be physiologically stressed and impaired due to defense responses against heavy metals. Instead, snails from populations that acclimated or evolved in the presence of heavy metal mining pollution were more robust to acidic conditions than were snails from reference habitats. Snails from mining polluted sites seemed to be preadapted to a low pH environment. Their short-term survival in acidic conditions was better than snails from reference sites that lacked metal pollution. In fact, the 48 h survival of snails from polluted sites was so high that it did not significantly differ from the 24 h survival of snails from control sites. This suggests that the response of organisms to a world with rising anthropogenic carbon dioxide levels may be complex and difficult to predict. Snails had a weaker behavioral response to stressful stimuli if kept for 1 month at a pH that differed from their lake of origin. We found that snails raised at a pH of 5.5 had a weaker response (less of a decrease in activity) to concentrated heavy metals than did snails raised at their natal pH of

  3. Cone snail venomics: from novel biology to novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Prashanth, Jutty Rajan; Brust, Andreas; Jin, Ai-Hua; Alewood, Paul F; Dutertre, Sébastien; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-10-01

    Peptide neurotoxins from cone snails called conotoxins are renowned for their therapeutic potential to treat pain and several neurodegenerative diseases. Inefficient assay-guided discovery methods have been replaced by high-throughput bioassays integrated with advanced MS and next-generation sequencing, ushering in the era of 'venomics'. In this review, we focus on the impact of venomics on the understanding of cone snail biology as well as the application of venomics to accelerate the discovery of new conotoxins. We also discuss the continued importance of medicinal chemistry approaches to optimize conotoxins for clinical use, with a descriptive case study of MrIA featured.

  4. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

    Neves, Jorge L B; Lin, Zhenjian; Imperial, Julita S; Antunes, Agostinho; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-10-16

    Cone snails are renowned for producing peptide-based venom, containing conopeptides and conotoxins, to capture their prey. A novel small-molecule guanine derivative with unprecedented features, genuanine, was isolated from the venom of two cone snail species. Genuanine causes paralysis in mice, indicating that small molecules and not just polypeptides may contribute to the activity of cone snail venom.

  5. Impact of the age of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails on Schistosoma mansoni transmission: modulation of the genetic outcome and the internal defence system of the snail.

    PubMed

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy; Sadaka, Hayam Abd El-Monem; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Diab, Iman Hassan; Khedr, Safaa Ibrahim Abd El-Halim

    2015-08-01

    Of the approximately 34 identified Biomphalariaspecies,Biomphalaria alexandrinarepresents the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoniin Egypt. Using parasitological and SOD1 enzyme assay, this study aimed to elucidate the impact of the age of B. alexandrinasnails on their genetic variability and internal defence against S. mansoniinfection. Susceptible and resistant snails were reared individually for self-reproduction; four subgroups of their progeny were used in experiment. The young susceptible subgroup showed the highest infection rate, the shortest pre-patent period, the highest total cercarial production, the highest mortality rate and the lowest SOD1 activity. Among the young and adult susceptible subgroups, 8% and 26% were found to be resistant, indicating the inheritance of resistance alleles from parents. The adult resistant subgroup, however, contained only resistant snails and showed the highest enzyme activity. The complex interaction between snail age, genetic background and internal defence resulted in great variability in compatibility patterns, with the highest significant difference between young susceptible and adult resistant snails. The results demonstrate that resistance alleles function to a greater degree in adults, with higher SOD1 activity and provide potential implications for Biomphalariacontrol. The identification of the most susceptible snail age enables determination of the best timing for applying molluscicides. Moreover, adult resistant snails could be beneficial in biological snail control.

  6. Combinatorial peptide libraries in drug design: lessons from venomous cone snails.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Hillyard, D R; Marsh, M; Yoshikami, D

    1995-10-01

    Many present-day drugs are derived from compounds that are natural products, a traditional source of which is fermentation broths of microorganisms. The venoms of cone snails are a new natural resource of peptides that may have a pharmaceutical potential equivalent to those from traditional sources, particularly for developing drugs that target cell-surface receptors or ion channels. In effect, cone snails have used a combinatorial library strategy to evolve their small, highly bioactive venom peptides. The methods by which the snails have generated thousands of peptides with remarkable specificity and high affinity for their targets may provide important lessons in designing combinatorial libraries for drug development.

  7. Molecular diversity of avian schistosomes in Danish freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Anne Ø; Olsen, Annette; Buchmann, Kurt; Kania, Per W; Nejsum, Peter; Vennervald, Birgitte J

    2016-03-01

    Avian schistosomes are widespread parasites of snails and waterfowl and may cause cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) in humans, a disease that is frequently reported in European countries. These parasites are known to occur in Denmark, but here, we applied a new approach using molecular tools to identify the parasites at species level. In order to do that, 499 pulmonate freshwater snails (Radix sp., Lymnaea stagnalis, Stagnicola sp. and Planorbarius corneus) were sampled from 12 lakes, ponds, and marshes in the greater Copenhagen area. Avian schistosome cercariae were identified by microscopy and subjected to molecular investigation by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 5.8S and ITS2 ribosomal DNA for species identification. Additionally, snail hosts belonging to the genus Radix were identified by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS2 ribosomal DNA. Three out of 499 snails shed different species of Trichobilharzia cercariae: Trichobilharzia szidati was isolated from L. stagnalis, Trichobilharzia franki from Radix auricularia and Trichobilharzia regenti from Radix peregra. In the light of the public health risk represented by bird schistosomes, these findings are of concern and, particularly, the presence of the potentially neuro-pathogenic species, T. regenti, in Danish freshwaters calls for attention.

  8. Phenotypic plasticity in the common garden snail: big guts and heavier mucus glands compete in snails faced with the dual challenge of poor diet and coarse substrate.

    PubMed

    Munn, Adam J; Treloar, Marguerite

    2016-12-26

    Phenotypic plasticity allows animals to manage environmental challenges. Studies aimed at quantifying plasticity often focus on one challenge, such as diet, and one organ system, such the gastrointestinal tract, but this approach may not adequately reflect how plasticity could buffer multiple challenges. Thus, we investigated the outcomes of a dual challenge experiment that fed land snails either a high-fibre (low quality) or a low-fibre (high quality) diet, and simultaneously exercised them daily over 1.2 m on either a smooth surface of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a rough sandpaper. By the end of 20 days, snails fed the poor quality diet had a longer crop and oesophagus and a heavier intestine and rectum than those offered a low-fibre diet. Additionally, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller spermoviduct and oviduct. When also exercised on sandpaper, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller digestive gland, a main energy store, than those exercised on PVC. All snails exercised on sandpaper had a heavier pedal mucus gland, used a loping gait and used less mucus than those on PVC plastic, but there was no difference in the average speed of snails on either surface, supporting the conclusion that loping is a mucus conserving gait. Notably, snails faced with both a diet and substrate challenge had a smaller kidney, which could directly effect fecundity. This demonstrates that our dual challenge approach has potential for evaluating the costs and limits of the plasticity necessary to fully appreciate the evolutionary significance of plasticity in snails and other species.

  9. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells

    SciTech Connect

    Haraguchi, Misako; Indo, Hiroko P.; Iwasaki, Yasumasa; Iwashita, Yoichiro; Fukushige, Tomoko; Majima, Hideyuki J.; Izumo, Kimiko; Horiuchi, Masahisa; Kanekura, Takuro; Furukawa, Tatsuhiko; Ozawa, Masayuki

    2013-03-22

    Highlights: ► MDCK/snail cells were more sensitive to glucose deprivation than MDCK/neo cells. ► MDCK/snail cells had decreased oxidative phosphorylation, O{sub 2} consumption and ATP content. ► TCA cycle enzyme activity, but not expression, was lower in MDCK/snail cells. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced PDH activity and increased PDK1 expression. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced expression of GLS2 and ACLY. -- Abstract: Snail, a repressor of E-cadherin gene transcription, induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and is involved in tumor progression. Snail also mediates resistance to cell death induced by serum depletion. By contrast, we observed that snail-expressing MDCK (MDCK/snail) cells undergo cell death at a higher rate than control (MDCK/neo) cells in low-glucose medium. Therefore, we investigated whether snail expression influences cell metabolism in MDCK cells. Although gylcolysis was not affected in MDCK/snail cells, they did exhibit reduced pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, which controls pyruvate entry into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Indeed, the activity of multiple enzymes involved in the TCA cycle was decreased in MDCK/snail cells, including that of mitochondrial NADP{sup +}-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH2), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and electron transport Complex II and Complex IV. Consequently, lower ATP content, lower oxygen consumption and increased survival under hypoxic conditions was also observed in MDCK/snail cells compared to MDCK/neo cells. In addition, the expression and promoter activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1), which phosphorylates and inhibits the activity of PDH, was increased in MDCK/snail cells, while expression levels of glutaminase 2 (GLS2) and ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), which are involved in glutaminolysis and fatty acid synthesis, were decreased in MDCK/snail cells. These results suggest that snail modulates cell metabolism by altering the expression and activity of

  10. Celss nutrition system utilizing snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Midorikawa, Y.; Fujii, T.; Ohira, A.; Nitta, K.

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants—rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry—were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m 3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B 2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the abovementioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  11. CELSS nutrition system utilizing snails.

    PubMed

    Midorikawa, Y; Fujii, T; Ohira, A; Nitta, K

    1993-08-01

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants--rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry--were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the above mentioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  12. Fungal farming in a snail

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; Newell, Steven Y.

    2003-01-01

    Mutualisms between fungi and fungus-growing animals are model systems for studying coevolution and complex interactions between species. Fungal growing behavior has enabled cultivating animals to rise to major ecological importance, but evolution of farming symbioses is thought to be restricted to three terrestrial insect lineages. Surveys along 2,000 km of North America's Atlantic coast documented that the marine snail Littoraria irrorata grazes fungus-infected wounds on live marsh grass throughout its range. Field experiments demonstrate a facultative, farming mutualism between Littoraria and intertidal fungi. Snails graze live grass primarily not to feed but to prepare substrate for fungal growth and consume invasive fungi. Fungal removal experiments show that snails and fungi act synergistically to suppress marsh grass production. These results provide a case of fungus farming in the marine environment and outside the class Insecta and reveal a previously undemonstrated ecological mechanism (i.e., facilitation of fungal invasion) by which grazers can exert top-down control of marine plant production. PMID:14657360

  13. Production of apple snail for space diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Motoki, Shigeru; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.; Katayama, Naomi

    For food production in space at recycling bio-elements under closed environment, appropriate organisms should be chosen to drive the closed materials recycle loop. We propose a combination of green algae, photosynthetic protozoa, and aquatic plants such as Wolffia spp., for the primary producer fixing solar energy to chemical form in biomass, and apple snail, Pomacea bridgesii, which converts this biomass to animal meat. Because of high proliferation rate of green algae or protozoa compared to higher plants, and direct conversion of them to apple snail, the efficiency of food production in this combination is high, in terms of energy usage, space for rearing, and yield of edible biomass. Furthermore, green algae and apple snail can form a closed ecological system with exchanging bio-elements between two member, i.e. excreta of snail turn to fertilizer of algae, and grown algae become feed for snail. Since apple snail stays in water or on wet substrate, control of rearing is easy to make. Mass production technology of apple snail has been well established to utilize it as human food. Nutrients of apple snail are also listed in the standard tables of food composition in Japan. Nutrients for 100 g of apple snail canned in brine are energy 340 kJ, protein 16.5 g, lipid 1.0 g, cholesterol 240 mg, carbohydrate 0.8 g, Ca 400 mg, Fe 3.9 mg, Zn 1.5 mg. It is rich in minerals, especially Ca and Fe. Vitamin contents are quite low, but K 0.005 mg, B2 0.09 mg, B12 0.0006 mg, folate 0.001 mg, and E 0.6 mg. The amino acid score of apple snail could not be found in literature. Overall, apple snail provides rich protein and animal lipid such as cholesterol. It could be a good source of minerals. However, it does not give enough vitamin D and B12 , which are supposed to be supplemented by animal origin foods. In terms of acceptance in food culture, escargot is a gourmet menu in French dishes, and six to ten snail, roughly 50 g, are served for one person. Apple snail reaches to 30 g

  14. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress.

    PubMed

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-02-08

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP.

  15. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates and amino acids in bait pellets.

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2010-12-01

    Snail control could play an important role in programmes against fascioliasis, especially if the methods used for molluscicide delivery could be improved, such as by the development of bait formulations containing both an effective attractant and a molluscicide, to ensure good levels of contact between the molluscicide and the target snail populations. In a recent study, the attractiveness to Lymnaea acuminata (an intermediate host of the digenean trematode Fasciola gigantica) of potential components of snail-attractant pellets was investigated. Carbohydrates (glucose, maltose, sucrose or starch, each at 10 mM) and amino acids (citrulline, tryptophan, proline or serine, each at 20 mM), were tested in aquaria, with the snails initially placed 22.5, 30 or 45 cm from an agar pellet containing the component under test. Under these conditions, starch and proline emerged as the strongest attractants for L. acuminata, followed by maltose and serine.

  16. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-01-01

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP. PMID:28176759

  17. Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp. (Decapoda, Palaemonidae): implications for control of schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Sokolow, Susanne H; Lafferty, Kevin D; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

    Human schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease endemic in many tropical and subtropical countries. One barrier to achieving long-term control of this disease has been re-infection of treated patients when they swim, bathe, or wade in surface fresh water infested with snails that harbor and release larval parasites. Because some snail species are obligate intermediate hosts of schistosome parasites, removing snails may reduce parasitic larvae in the water, reducing re-infection risk. Here, we evaluate the potential for snail control by predatory freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii, native to Asia and Africa, respectively. Both prawn species are high value, protein-rich human food commodities, suggesting their cultivation may be beneficial in resource-poor settings where few other disease control options exist. In a series of predation trials in laboratory aquaria, we found both species to be voracious predators of schistosome-susceptible snails, hatchlings, and eggs, even in the presence of alternative food, with sustained average consumption rates of 12% of their body weight per day. Prawns showed a weak preference for Bulinus truncatus over Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Consumption rates were highly predictable based on the ratio of prawn: snail body mass, suggesting satiation-limited predation. Even the smallest prawns tested (0.5-2g) caused snail recruitment failure, despite high snail fecundity. With the World Health Organization turning attention toward schistosomiasis elimination, native prawn cultivation may be a viable snail control strategy that offers a win-win for public health and economic development.

  18. Shell of snail Helix aspersa maxima (Helicidae) as a protection of bioaccumulation toxic sodium fluoride in soft tissue.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika Ewa; Stachowska, Ewa; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the extent of bioaccumulation of sodium fluorides in tissues of snails under strictly controlled conditions, and also to determine resistance and tolerance to sodium fluoride load in these organisms. The study was performed on snails removed from aestivation. Quantitation of fluoride levels was done in soft tissues (foot, hepatopancreas) and shells of mature snails. Results show that long exposure to sodium fluoride pollution at a low level results in accumulation principally in the soft tissues of the snails. Because of the possibility of fluoride accumulation in the foot, the number of snails used for culinary purposes must be controlled, as it can potentially cause chronic toxemia caused by this trace element. Results also show that the shells of snails offer protection against the bioaccumulation of toxic fluoride in the soft tissue. The Helix aspersa maxima snail is characterised by high resistance and tolerance to fluoride load. Fluoride levels in soft tissues of the snail cannot serve as an indicator for biomonitoring purposes. In contrast, levels in the shell rose significantly with the concentration of fluoride and can be used in biomonitoring of sodium fluoride pollution.

  19. Alterations of biochemical indicators in hepatopancreas of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, from paddy fields in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Wu, Jui-Pin; Hsieh, Tsung-Chih; Liang, Shih-Hsiung; Chen, Chien-Min; Huang, Da-Ji

    2014-07-01

    The freshwater golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, is one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. The snails' wide distribution, high abundance, and sensitivity to environmental pollution make them a potential bioindicator for environmental contamination. In this study, the biochemical status of golden apple snails collected from paddy fields throughout the island of Taiwan was examined. This study found that the biochemical status of apple snails collected from paddy fields differed from that of animals bred and maintained in the laboratory. Furthermore, certain biochemical endpoints of the snails collected from the paddy fields before and after agricultural activities were also different-hemolymphatic vitellogenin protein was induced in male snail after exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, the hepatic monooxygenase (1.97 +/- 0.50 deltaA(650mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and glutathione S transferase (0.02 +/- 0.01 delta A(340mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) snails exposed to pesticides, as well as the hepatopancreatic levels of aspartate aminotransferase (450.00 +/- 59.40 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and alanine aminotransferase (233.27 +/- 42.09 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) decreased the indicating that xenobiotics destroyed hepatopancreatic. The above findings reveal that apple snail could be used as a practical bioindicator to monitor anthropogenic environmental pollution.

  20. Dysregulated expression of Snail and E-cadherin correlates with gastrointestinal stromal tumor metastasis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Sheng; Liao, Guoqing; Ding, Jie; Ye, Ke; Zhang, Yi; Zeng, Liang; Chen, Senlin

    2014-09-01

    Snail, a zinc finger structure transcription inhibitory factor, has been reported to play an important role in the metastatic progression of several types of cancer. The aim of the study was to identify potential biomarkers for metastasis in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) by examining the expression levels of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in GISTs and investigate their clinical significance. The protein expression of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in 74 GIST specimens was detected by immunohistochemical analysis, and the correlation between expression levels and clinicopathological data was analyzed. Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin were positively expressed in 51.4% (38/74), 32.4% (24/74), and 68.9% (51/74) of GIST tissue samples, respectively. Snail protein expression was significantly higher in GISTs with distant metastasis compared with GISTs without distant metastasis (P<0.05). E-cadherin expression level was significantly lower in cases of GIST with distant metastasis compared with those without distant metastasis (P<0.05), whereas the expression level of Vimentin did not significantly change according to clinical and pathological characteristics (all P>0.05). Snail expression was significantly negatively correlated with E-cadherin expression (r's=-0.276, P=0.017) but not with Vimentin expression (r's=0.041, P=0.728) in GISTs. High Snail expression and low E-cadherin expression were significantly correlated with metastasis in GISTs, and Snail, because of positive correlation, is potentially a biomarker of GIST with distant metastasis.

  1. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

    Land snails are common invertebrates that fascinate children. Unfortunately, they are seldom used for activities in the science classroom. Snails are inexpensive, take up little space in the classroom, and require only low maintenance, and their learning dividends can be enormous. For example, students can use them in inquiry-based activities that…

  2. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

    Sharpe, S.E.; Whelan, J.F.; Forester, R.M.; Burdett, J.

    1995-09-01

    Modern and fossil molluscs (snails) occur in many localities in and semi-arid regions throughout the desert southwest. Live terrestrial snails are found under rocks and in forest litter and aquatic taxa inhabit springs, seeps, and/or wetlands. Molluscs uptake local water during their growing season (spring and summer) and incorporate its delta 180 signature into their shells. Preliminary 180 analysis of modem shells from the southern Great Basin indicates that the shells probably reflect meteoric water 180 values during the growing season. This provides a way to estimate the delta 180 value of precipitation and, thereby, the source of the moisture-bearing air masses. Significant 180 variability in shells analyzed include geographic location, elevation, taxonomy, and habitat (terrestrial, spring, or wetland). We found a rough inverse correlation with elevation in modem shells from the Spring Range in southern Nevada. The delta 180 values of modem and fossil shells are also very different; modem values in this location are much higher than those from nearby late Pleistocene-age molluscs suggesting that the Pleistocene summers were variously colder and wetter than today or less evaporative (more humid). Assuming shell material directly reflects the 180 of the growing-season environment, comparison of modem and fossil shell delta 180 values can potentially identify changes in air-mass moisture sources and can help to define seasonal precipitation change through time. Comprehension and quantification of community and isotopic variability in modem gastropods is required to create probabilistic valid transfer functions with fossil materials. Valid inferences about past environmental conditions can then be established with known confidence limits.

  3. Modeling apple snail population dynamics on the Everglades landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, Phil; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Romanach, Stephanie; Suir, Kevin J.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.

    2015-01-01

    Comparisons of model output to empirical data indicate the need for more data to better understand, and eventually parameterize, several aspects of snail ecology in support of EverSnail. A primary value of EverSnail is its capacity to describe the relative response of snail abundance to alternative hydrologic scenarios considered for Everglades water management and restoration.

  4. Impact of invasive apple snails on the functioning and services of natural and managed wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horgan, Finbarr G.; Stuart, Alexander M.; Kudavidanage, Enoka P.

    2014-01-01

    At least 14 species of apple snail (Ampullariidae) have been released to water bodies outside their native ranges; however, less than half of these species have become widespread or caused appreciable impacts. We review evidence for the impact of apple snails on natural and managed wetlands focusing on those studies that have elucidated impact mechanisms. Significant changes in wetland ecosystems have been noted in regions where the snails are established: Two species in particular (Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculata) have become major pests of aquatic crops, including rice, and caused enormous increases in molluscicide use. Invasive apple snails have also altered macrophyte community structure in natural and managed wetlands through selective herbivory and certain apple snail species can potentially shift the balance of freshwater ecosystems from clear water (macrophyte dominated) to turbid (plankton dominated) states by depleting densities of native aquatic plants. Furthermore, the introductions of some apple snail species have altered benthic community structure either directly, through predation, or indirectly, through exploitation competition or as a result of management actions. To date much of the evidence for these impacts has been based on correlations, with few manipulative field or mesocosm experiments. Greater attention to impact monitoring is required, and, for Asia in particular, a landscape approach to impact management that includes both natural and managed-rice wetlands is recommended.

  5. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum

    PubMed Central

    Soper, Deanna M; Delph, Lynda F; Lively, Curt M

    2012-01-01

    Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring. PMID:23301182

  6. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum.

    PubMed

    Soper, Deanna M; Delph, Lynda F; Lively, Curt M

    2012-12-01

    Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring.

  7. Mercury residues in south Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa)

    SciTech Connect

    Eisemann, J.D.; Beyer, W.N.; Morton, A.; Bennetts, R.E.

    1997-05-01

    Mercury concentrations in the sediments of south Florida wetlands have increased three fold in the last century. Because south Florida is home to many endemic and endangered species, it is important to understand the potential impacts of mercury in this ecosystem`s food web. Recent research by Malley et al. has shown mollusks to be sensitive indicators of methyl mercury which can reflect small differences in background methyl mercury concentrations. In this study, we attempted to determine if the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) or its eggs are good indicators of bioavailable mercury. Then, using the apple snail as an indicator, we attempted to determine geographic differences in the concentrations of mercury in south Florida. 12 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  8. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population*

    PubMed Central

    Jobin, W. R.; Michelson, E. H.

    1967-01-01

    Techniques for controlling the intermediate snail hosts of schistosomiasis have had to be evaluated by field trials, since the complexity of snail population dynamics has so far made it impossible to predict the effects of these techniques and thereby avoid costly field testing. However, in laboratory studies with Biomphalaria glabrata it was found that the fecundity of these snails was directly proportional to F/NV, where F is the total amount of food in the habitat, N the number of snails, and V the volume of the habitat. The use of this fecundity variable together with data published on snail longevity and fecundity made it possible to construct a mathematical model of a snail population which may eventually be useful for evaluating snail control methods. For preliminary verification of the model, its predictions were compared with a published history of a population of Bulinus globosus in a small pond. The general agreement of the predicted and observed population data indicated that the basic structure of the model was sound. PMID:5301741

  9. Snail regulates Nanog status during the epithelial–mesenchymal transition via the Smad1/Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway in non-small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chen-Wei; Li, Ching-Hao; Yi-Jen, Peng; Cheng, Yu-Wen; Chen, Huei-Wen; Liao, Po-Lin; Kang, Jaw-Jou; Yeng, Mao-Hsiung

    2014-01-01

    The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), a crucial step in cancer metastasis, is important in transformed cancer cells with stem cell-like properties. In this study, we established a Snail-overexpressing cell model for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and investigated its underlying mechanism. We also identified the downstream molecular signaling pathway that contributes to the role of Snail in regulating Nanog expression. Our data shows that high levels of Snail expression correlate with metastasis and high levels of Nanog expression in NSCLC. NSCLC cells expressing Snail are characterized by active EMT characteristics and exhibit an increased ability to migrate, chemoresistance, sphere formation, and stem cell-like properties. We also investigated the signals required for Snail-mediated Nanog expression. Our data demonstrate that LY294002, SB431542, LDN193189, and Noggin pretreatment inhibit Snail-induced Nanog expression during EMT. This study shows a significant correlation between Snail expression and phosphorylation of Smad1, Akt, and GSK3β. In addition, pretreatment with SB431542, LDN193189, or Noggin prevented Snail-induced Smad1 and Akt hyperactivation and reactivated GSK3β. Moreover, LY294002 pretreatment prevented Akt hyperactivation and reactivated GSK3β without altering Smad1 activation. These findings provide a novel mechanistic insight into the important role of Snail in NSCLC during EMT and indicate potentially useful therapeutic targets for NSCLC. PMID:25003810

  10. Cercarial Dermatitis Transmitted by Exotic Marine Snail

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Andrew N.; James, David; Hui, Lucia; Hom, Albert; Loker, Eric S.

    2010-01-01

    Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer’s itch) is caused by the penetration of human skin by cercariae of schistosome parasites that develop in and are released from snail hosts. Cercarial dermatitis is frequently acquired in freshwater habitats, and less commonly in marine or estuarine waters. To investigate reports of a dermatitis outbreak in San Francisco Bay, California, we surveyed local snails for schistosome infections during 2005–2008. We found schistosomes only in Haminoea japonica, an Asian snail first reported in San Francisco Bay in 1999. Genetic markers place this schistosome within a large clade of avian schistosomes, but do not match any species for which there are genetic data. It is the second known schistosome species to cause dermatitis in western North American coastal waters; these species are transmitted by exotic snails. Introduction of exotic hosts can support unexpected emergence of an unknown parasite with serious medical or veterinary implications. PMID:20735918

  11. Ichthyotoxicity caused by marine cone snail venoms?

    PubMed

    Mebs, Dietrich; Kauferstein, Silke

    2005-09-01

    Ten venoms from marine cone snails were tested for ichthyotoxic effects on zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) when added to the water. Only two venoms, from Conus capitaneus and Conus episcopatus, produced lethal effects at high concentrations (50-300 microg/ml) within 20-90 min. No sedative or hypnotic symptoms were observed. The experiments confirm that Conus venoms exert a quick and prompt activity only by parenteral injection into the prey as it is performed by the snail.

  12. Schistosomes and snails: a molecular encounter

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Arican-Goktas, Halime D.; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Odoemelam, Edwin C.; Miller, André N.; Bridger, Joanna M.

    2014-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata snails play an integral role in the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni, the causative agent for human schistosomiasis in the Western hemisphere. For the past two decades, tremendous advances have been made in research aimed at elucidating the molecular basis of the snail/parasite interaction. The growing concern that there is no vaccine to prevent schistosomiasis and only one effective drug in existence provides the impetus to develop new control strategies based on eliminating schistosomes at the snail-stage of the life cycle. To elucidate why a given snail is not always compatible to each and every schistosome it encounters, B. glabrata that are either resistant or susceptible to a given strain of S. mansoni have been employed to track molecular mechanisms governing the snail/schistosome relationship. With such snails, genetic markers for resistance and susceptibility were identified. Additionally, differential gene expression studies have led to the identification of genes that underlie these phenotypes. Lately, the role of schistosomes in mediating non-random relocation of gene loci has been identified for the first time, making B. glabrata a model organism where chromatin regulation by changes in nuclear architecture, known as spatial epigenetics, orchestrated by a major human parasite can now be investigated. This review will highlight the progress that has been made in using molecular approaches to describe snail/schistosome compatibility issues. Uncovering the signaling networks triggered by schistosomes that provide the impulse to turn genes on and off in the snail host, thereby controlling the outcome of infection, could also yield new insights into anti-parasite mechanism(s) that operate in the human host as well. PMID:25101114

  13. Molecular Evidence of Trichobilharzia Species (Digenea: Schistosomatidae) in the Snails of Lymnaea auricularia from Urmia Suburb, North West Iran

    PubMed Central

    YAKHCHALI, Mohammad; HOSSEINPANAHI, Asaad; MALEKZADEH-VIAYEH, Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: The present study was carried out to detect the infection of larval stages of Trichobilharzia species in the snail Lymnaea auricularia in northwestern Iran based on DNA analysis. Methods: A total number of 320 snails of L. auricularia were sampled from four water-bodies located in the suburb of Urmia City, North West Iran, during May to November 2011. The snails were first microscopically inspected for the infection with larval stages of trematodes. Genomic DNA was extracted from the snails and PCR was performed to amplify a fragment of the ribosomal DNA of Trichobilharzia species in the infected snails. Results: Microscopic examinations indicated that 11.25% (36 out of 320) of the snails were infected with larval stages of trematodes, while the PCR patterns showed a much higher infection rate (31.25%, 100/320). According to the PCR, the infections were caused by the larval stages of T. szidati (21.56%, 69/320) and T. franki (9.69%, 31/320) or both of them (8.44%, 27/320). The infected snails were observed in three out of the four studied sites. The highest infection rate in a single site was 50% (25/50). Only 7.81% (25 out of 320) of the infected snails were from the plain areas, while the remaining was from high altitudes. Conclusion: Results of this study contribute the utility of the employed technique for quick and accurate detection of the infection with trichobilharzian species in their intermediate host snails, which may have potential zoonotic role in the region. PMID:28127334

  14. Population genetics and the effects of a severe bottleneck in an ex situ population of critically endangered Hawaiian tree snails.

    PubMed

    Price, Melissa R; Hadfield, Michael G

    2014-01-01

    As wild populations decline, ex situ propagation provides a potential bank of genetic diversity and a hedge against extinction. These programs are unlikely to succeed if captive populations do not recover from the severe bottleneck imposed when they are founded with a limited number of individuals from remnant populations. In small captive populations allelic richness may be lost due to genetic drift, leading to a decline in fitness. Wild populations of the Hawaiian tree snail Achatinella lila, a hermaphroditic snail with a long life history, have declined precipitously due to introduced predators and other human impacts. A captive population initially thrived after its founding with seven snails, exceeding 600 captive individuals in 2009, but drastically declined in the last five years. Measures of fitness were examined from 2,018 captive snails that died between 1998 and 2012, and compared with genotypic data for six microsatellite loci from a subset of these deceased snails (N = 335), as well as live captive snails (N = 198) and wild snails (N = 92). Surprisingly, the inbreeding coefficient (Fis) declined over time in the captive population, and is now approaching values observed in the 2013 wild population, despite a significant decrease in allelic richness. However, adult annual survival and fecundity significantly declined in the second generation. These measures of fitness were positively correlated with heterozygosity. Snails with higher measures of heterozygosity had more offspring, and third generation offspring with higher measures of heterozygosity were more likely to reach maturity. These results highlight the importance of maintaining genetic diversity in captive populations, particularly those initiated with a small number of individuals from wild remnant populations. Genetic rescue may allow for an increase in genetic diversity in the captive population, as measures of heterozygosity and rarified allelic richness were higher in wild tree

  15. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates in snail-attractant pellets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Farindra; Singh, D. K.

    Snail control is one of the most important tools in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. In order to attain this objective, the method of bait formulation in order to contain an attractant and a molluscicide is an expedient approach to lure the target snail population to the molluscicide. This study identifies certain carbohydrates, namely sucrose, maltose, glucose, fructose and starch, for preparing such baits. These were tested on Lymnaea acuminata, an intermediate host of the digenean trematodes Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. The behavioural responses of snails to these carbohydrates were examined. Significant variations in behavioural responses were observed in the snail even when the five carbohydrates were used in low concentrations in snail-attractant pellets. Starch emerged as the strongest attractant for Lymnaea acuminata, followed by maltose.

  16. Genetic variation between Biomphalaria alexandrina snails susceptible and resistant to Schistosoma mansoni infection.

    PubMed

    El-Nassery, Suzanne M F; Abou-El-Naga, Iman F; Allam, Sonia R; Shaat, Eman A; Mady, Rasha F M

    2013-01-01

    Much effort has been made to control schistosomiasis infection in Egypt. However, enduring effects from such strategies have not yet been achieved. In this study, we sought to determine the genetic variability related to the interaction between Biomphalaria alexandrina snails and Schistosoma mansoni. Using RAPD-PCR with eight (10 mers) random primers, we were able to determine the polymorphic markers that differed between snails susceptible and resistant to Schistosoma mansoni infection using five primers out of the eight. Our results suggest that the RAPD-PCR technique is an efficient means by which to compare genomes and to detect genetic variations between schistosomiasis intermediate hosts. The RAPD technique with the above-noted primers can identify genomic markers that are specifically related to the Biomphalaria alexandrina/Schistosoma mansoni relationship in the absence of specific nucleotide sequence information. This approach could be used in epidemiologic surveys to investigate genetic diversity among Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. The ability to determine resistant markers in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails could potentially lead to further studies that use refractory snails as agents to control the spread of schistosomiasis.

  17. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California Salt Marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, K.D.; Dunham, E.J.

    2005-01-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system. ?? American Society of Parasitologists 2005.

  18. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Lafferty, K D; Dunham, E J

    2005-04-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system.

  19. [The interplay between schistosome and its snail host: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Dai, Jian-Rong

    2012-12-01

    As the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, the control of Oncomelania snails serves as a major part in schistosomiasis control. This review mainly demonstrates the following aspects: the invasion of schistosome miracidium into snails, the mechanism of resistance to miracidia, and the factors influencing this process. With a view to explore the methods of interrupting every phase during miracidium infection, this article focuses on the possibility for safeguarding human health through protecting snails, namely, achieving snails harmlessness.

  20. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

    1 AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494 TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation...REPORT TYPE Annual 3. DATES COVERED 1 July 2012 - 30 June 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 The Snail -induced...support: 1. Further characterization of Tetracycline inducible WT Snail and mutant Snail vectors and cell lines. 2. Demonstration that the PAPSS2

  1. Local adaptation along a continuous coastline: prey recruitment drives differentiation in a predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Worth, David J

    2010-03-01

    Recent work demonstrates that nearshore oceanography can generate strong variation in the delivery of resources (nutrients and larvae) to benthic marine communities over spatial scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. Moreover, variation in the strength of these bottom-up inputs is often spatially consistent, linked to regional centers of upwelling, coastal topography, and other stable features of the coastline. Whereas the ecological effects of these oceanographic links are increasingly clear, the possibility that these same bottom-up forces might impose spatially varying selection on consumers has not been addressed. Here, we test the hypothesis that a carnivorous snail (Nucella canaliculata) with direct development is locally adapted to persistent differences in prey recruitment within two adjacent oceanographic regions (northern California and Oregon, USA). Previous laboratory studies demonstrated that snails from Oregon rarely drilled the thick-shelled mussel Mytilus californianus, whereas snails from California readily drilled this prey. To test whether these differences reflect local adaptation, snails from two populations in each region were raised through two laboratory generations to minimize the potential influence of nongenetic effects. We then reciprocally outplanted these F2 generation snails to field enclosures at each of the four sites and monitored their growth for 11 months. Recruitment and availability of preferred prey (the acorn barnacle Balanus glandula and blue mussel Mytilus trossulus) at the experimental sites were 1-3 orders of magnitude lower in California than in Oregon. At the California sites, snails that originated from Oregon sources failed to drill larger M. californianus, encountered few alternative prey, and showed almost no growth. In contrast, snails from California drilled M. californianus and showed substantial growth. These results strongly suggest that the capacity of California snails to drill M. californianus allows

  2. Preference versus performance: body temperature of the intertidal snail Chlorostoma funebralis.

    PubMed

    Tepler, Sarah; Mach, Katharine; Denny, Mark

    2011-04-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that, in variable environments, it is advantageous for ectothermic organisms to prefer a body temperature slightly below the physiological optimum. This theory works well for many terrestrial organisms but has not been tested for animals inhabiting the hypervariable physical environment of intertidal shores. In laboratory experiments, we allowed the intertidal snail Chlorostoma funebralis to position itself on a temperature gradient, then measured its thermal preference and determined an index of how its performance varied with temperature. Snails performed a biased random walk along the temperature gradient, which, contrary to expectations, caused them to aggregate where body temperature was 15 to 17 °C below their temperature of optimum performance and near the species' lower thermal limit. This "cold-biased" behavioral response may guide snails to refuges in shaded cracks and crevices, but potentially precludes C. funebralis from taking full advantage of its physiological capabilities.

  3. Bugs as drugs, part two: worms, leeches, scorpions, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

    In this second of a two-part series analyzing the evidence for the use of organisms as medicine, the use of a number of different "bugs" (worms, leeches, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders) is detailed. Several live organisms are used as treatments: leeches for plastic surgery and osteoarthritis and the helminths Trichuris suis and Necator americanus for inflammatory bowel disease. Leech saliva is the source of a number of anticoagulants, including the antithrombin agent hirudin and its synthetic analogues, which have been approved for human use. Predatory arthropods, such as certain species of snails, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and ticks provide a trove of potential analgesic peptides in their venom. A synthetic analogue of a snail venom peptide, ziconotide, has been approved for human use and is used as an alternative to opioids in severe pain cases. Arthropods, such as ticks, have venom that contains anticoagulants and centipede venom has a protein that corrects abnormalities in lipid metabolism.

  4. Valproic acid (VPA) promotes the epithelial mesenchymal transition of hepatocarcinoma cells via transcriptional and post-transcriptional up regulation of Snail.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lei; Feng, Hua; Hu, Jinhua; Tian, Xiangguo; Zhang, Chunqing

    2016-12-01

    Due to the low cost and favorable safety profile, valproic acid (VPA) has been considered as a potential candidate drug for therapy of various cancers. Our present study revealed that VPA, at the concentration (1mM) which has no effect on cell proliferation, can significantly increase the in vitro migration and invasion of hepatocarcinoma (HCC) HepG2 and Huh7 cells via induction of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). VPA treatment can significantly increase the mRNA and protein expression of Snail, the key transcription factor of EMT. While knockdown of Snail can abolish VPA induced EMT of HCC cells. It suggested that Snail is essential for VPA induced EMT of HCC cells. VPA treatment also increased the phosphorylation of NF-κB p65. BAY 11-7082, the inhibitor of NF-κB, can significantly abolish VPA induced up regulation of Snail mRNA. Furthermore, VPA can increase the protein expression of Snail since 1h treatment via up regulation of half-lives of Snail protein. The increased protein stabilization of Snail can be attributed to VPA induced phosphorylation of Akt and GSK-3β. Collectively, our present study revealed that VPA can promote the EMT of HCC cells via up regulation of Snail through activation of NF-κB and Akt/GSK-3β signals.

  5. Toxicity of botanical insecticides on golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Ruamthum, W; Visetson, S; Milne, J R; Bullangpoti, V

    2010-01-01

    The molluscicidal activity of crude extracts from five highly potential plants, Annona squamosa seed, Nerium indicum Leaves, Stemona tuberose root, Cyperus rotundus corm and Derris elliptica root was assessed to Pomacea canaliculata. D. elliptica root and C. rotundus corm extracts showed the highest toxicity against 3-month old snails which have LC50 as 23.68 +/- 2.96 mg/l and 133.20 +/- 7.94 mg/l, respectively. The C. rotundus corm extracts were chosen for detoxification enzyme in vivo assay which shows esterase and glutathione S-transferase activity in stomach, intestinal tracts and digestive glands of survival treated P. canaliculata were inhibited.

  6. Eosinophilic meningitis risk associated with raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails consumption.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiun-Jye; Chung, Li-Yu; Lin, Rong-Jyh; Lee, June-Der; Lin, Chaio-Wen; Yen, Chuan-Min

    2011-05-01

    In Taiwan, Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection has been reported in foreign laborers who had consumed raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails. This study analyzed three foreign laborers who had contracted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-confirmed A cantonensis infection while working in Taiwan. All three workers had consumed either roasted snails or raw snails flavored with seasoning while drinking wine. This study investigated possible risk factors for A cantonensis, including naturally occurring A cantonensis in A canaliculatus snails, viability of third-stage A cantonensis larvae in raw seasoned snails and in roasted snails, infectivity of larvae, and effects of alcohol while consuming snails. Positive infection rates in snails from five different irrigation canals in south Taiwan ranged from 12.3% to 29.4% and the average number of motile larvae per infected snail ranged from 36 to 65. The number of motile and coiled larvae in snail meat after 120 minutes seasoning was 93 (27.7%) and 233 (69.3%), respectively. After 20 minutes of roasting, most larvae in the snail meat were dead. The infectivities of motile and coiled larvae from snail meat after 60 minutes seasoning were 53.2% and 33.2%, respectively, and those from snail meat after 5 minutes roasting were 33.2% and 7.0%, respectively. Eating Taiwan A canaliculatus snails raw is extremely risky given their high infection rates and infection intensities. Even after 120 minutes seasoning or after 20 minutes roasting, snail meat should be considered unsafe for human consumption. Finally, experimental rodent studies indicated that consuming alcohol while ingesting larvae does not significantly reduced infectivity.

  7. Implications of Changing Temperatures on the Growth, Fecundity and Survival of Intermediate Host Snails of Schistosomiasis: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Kalinda, Chester; Chimbari, Moses; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2017-01-01

    Climate change has been predicted to increase the global mean temperature and to alter the ecological interactions among organisms. These changes may play critical roles in influencing the life history traits of the intermediate hosts (IHs). This review focused on studies and disease models that evaluate the potential effect of temperature rise on the ecology of IH snails and the development of parasites within them. The main focus was on IH snails of schistosome parasites that cause schistosomiasis in humans. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost and PubMed databases using predefined medical subject heading terms, Boolean operators and truncation symbols in combinations with direct key words. The final synthesis included nineteen published articles. The studies reviewed indicated that temperature rise may alter the distribution, optimal conditions for breeding, growth and survival of IH snails which may eventually increase the spread and/or transmission of schistosomiasis. The literature also confirmed that the life history traits of IH snails and their interaction with the schistosome parasites are affected by temperature and hence a change in climate may have profound outcomes on the population size of snails, parasite density and disease epidemiology. We concluded that understanding the impact of temperature on the growth, fecundity and survival of IH snails may broaden the knowledge on the possible effects of climate change and hence inform schistosomiasis control programmes. PMID:28098789

  8. Implications of Changing Temperatures on the Growth, Fecundity and Survival of Intermediate Host Snails of Schistosomiasis: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Kalinda, Chester; Chimbari, Moses; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2017-01-13

    Climate change has been predicted to increase the global mean temperature and to alter the ecological interactions among organisms. These changes may play critical roles in influencing the life history traits of the intermediate hosts (IHs). This review focused on studies and disease models that evaluate the potential effect of temperature rise on the ecology of IH snails and the development of parasites within them. The main focus was on IH snails of schistosome parasites that cause schistosomiasis in humans. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost and PubMed databases using predefined medical subject heading terms, Boolean operators and truncation symbols in combinations with direct key words. The final synthesis included nineteen published articles. The studies reviewed indicated that temperature rise may alter the distribution, optimal conditions for breeding, growth and survival of IH snails which may eventually increase the spread and/or transmission of schistosomiasis. The literature also confirmed that the life history traits of IH snails and their interaction with the schistosome parasites are affected by temperature and hence a change in climate may have profound outcomes on the population size of snails, parasite density and disease epidemiology. We concluded that understanding the impact of temperature on the growth, fecundity and survival of IH snails may broaden the knowledge on the possible effects of climate change and hence inform schistosomiasis control programmes.

  9. The Dual Protection of a Micro Land Snail against a Micro Predatory Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Defense against a single predatory attack strategy may best be achieved not by a single trait but by a combination of different traits. We tested this hypothesis experimentally by examining the unique shell traits (the protruded aperture and the denticles within the aperture) of the micro land snail Bensonella plicidens. We artificially altered shell characteristics by removing the denticles and/or cutting the protruded aperture. These snails were offered to the carnivorous micro land snail Indoennea bicolor, which preys on the snails by gaining entry to their shell. B. plicidens exhibited the best defence when both of the traits studied were present; the defensive ability of B. plicidens decreased if either trait was removed and was further reduced if both traits were removed. These results suggest that a combination of different traits provides more effective defence against attack by the predator than either single trait by itself. PMID:23326582

  10. Predator-Induced Morphological Plasticity Across Local Populations of a Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Brönmark, Christer; Lakowitz, Thomas; Hollander, Johan

    2011-01-01

    The expression of anti-predator adaptations may vary on a spatial scale, favouring traits that are advantageous in a given predation regime. Besides, evolution of different developmental strategies depends to a large extent on the grain of the environment and may result in locally canalized adaptations or, alternatively, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity as different predation regimes may vary across habitats. We investigated the potential for predator-driven variability in shell morphology in a freshwater snail, Radix balthica, and whether found differences were a specialized ecotype adaptation or a result of phenotypic plasticity. Shell shape was quantified in snails from geographically separated pond populations with and without molluscivorous fish. Subsequently, in a common garden experiment we investigated reaction norms of snails from populations' with/without fish when exposed to chemical cues from tench (Tinca tinca), a molluscivorous fish. We found that snails from fish-free ponds had a narrow shell with a well developed spire, whereas snails that coexisted with fish had more rotund shells with a low spire, a shell morphology known to increase survival rate from shell-crushing predators. The common garden experiment mirrored the results from the field survey and showed that snails had similar reaction norms in response to chemical predator cues, i.e. the expression of shell shape was independent of population origin. Finally, we found significant differences for the trait means among populations, within each pond category (fish/fish free), suggesting a genetic component in the determination of shell morphology that has evolved independently across ponds. PMID:21818264

  11. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in “100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species”; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest “attack rates” a, shortest “handling times” h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  12. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T A; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species"; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest "attack rates" a, shortest "handling times" h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach.

  13. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. Methods To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. Results The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. Conclusions The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant

  14. Suppression of Na+/K+-ATPase activity during estivation in the land snail Otala lactea.

    PubMed

    Ramnanan, Christopher J; Storey, Kenneth B

    2006-02-01

    Entry into the hypometabolic state of estivation requires a coordinated suppression of the rate of cellular ATP turnover, including both ATP-generating and ATP-consuming reactions. As one of the largest consumers of cellular ATP, the plasma membrane Na+/K+-ATPase is a potentially key target for regulation during estivation. Na+/K+-ATPase was investigated in foot muscle and hepatopancreas of the land snail Otala lactea, comparing active and estivating states. In both tissues enzyme properties changed significantly during estivation: maximal activity was reduced by about one-third, affinity for Mg.ATP was reduced (Km was 40% higher), and activation energy (derived from Arrhenius plots) was increased by approximately 45%. Foot muscle Na+/K+-ATPase from estivated snails also showed an 80% increase in Km Na+ and a 60% increase in Ka Mg2+ as compared with active snails, whereas hepatopancreas Na+/K+-ATPase showed a 70% increase in I50 K+ during estivation. Western blotting with antibodies recognizing the alpha subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase showed no change in the amount of enzyme protein during estivation. Instead, the estivation-responsive change in Na+/K+-ATPase activity was linked to posttranslational modification. In vitro incubations manipulating endogenous kinase and phosphatase activities indicated that Na+/K+-ATPase from estivating snails was a high phosphate, low activity form, whereas dephosphorylation returned the enzyme to a high activity state characteristic of active snails. Treatment with protein kinases A, C or G could all mediate changes in enzyme properties in vitro that mimicked the effect of estivation, whereas treatments with protein phosphatase 1 or 2A had the opposite effect. Reversible phosphorylation control of Na+/K+-ATPase can provide the means of coordinating ATP use by this ion pump with the rates of ATP generation by catabolic pathways in estivating snails.

  15. KSHV-Mediated Regulation of Par3 and SNAIL Contributes to B-Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Hem C.; Sun, Zhiguo; Upadhyay, Santosh K.; El-Naccache, Darine W.; Singh, Rajnish K.; Sahu, Sushil K.; Robertson, Erle S.

    2016-01-01

    Studies have suggested that Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and transformation is an important step in progression to cancer. Par3 (partitioning-defective protein) is a crucial factor in regulating epithelial cell polarity. However, the mechanism by which the latency associated nuclear antigen (LANA) encoded by Kaposi's Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) regulates Par3 and EMTs markers (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) during viral-mediated B-cell oncogenesis has not been fully explored. Moreover, several studies have demonstrated a crucial role for EMT markers during B-cell malignancies. In this study, we demonstrate that Par3 is significantly up-regulated in KSHV-infected primary B-cells. Further, Par3 interacted with LANA in KSHV positive and LANA expressing cells which led to translocation of Par3 from the cell periphery to a predominantly nuclear signal. Par3 knockdown led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptotic induction. Levels of SNAIL was elevated, and E-cadherin was reduced in the presence of LANA or Par3. Interestingly, KSHV infection in primary B-cells led to enhancement of SNAIL and down-regulation of E-cadherin in a temporal manner. Importantly, knockdown of SNAIL, a major EMT regulator, in KSHV cells resulted in reduced expression of LANA, Par3, and enhanced E-cadherin. Also, SNAIL bound to the promoter region of p21 and can regulate its activity. Further a SNAIL inhibitor diminished NF-kB signaling through upregulation of Caspase3 in KSHV positive cells in vitro. This was also supported by upregulation of SNAIL and Par3 in BC-3 transplanted NOD-SCID mice which has potential as a therapeutic target for KSHV-associated B-cell lymphomas. PMID:27463802

  16. Biompha-LAMP: A New Rapid Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for Detecting Schistosoma mansoni in Biomphalaria glabrata Snail Host

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Goenaga, Juan; López-Abán, Julio; Vicente, Belén; Muro, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis remains one of the most common endemic parasitic diseases affecting over 230 million people worlwide. Schistosoma mansoni is the main species causing intestinal and hepatic schistosomiasis and the fresh water pulmonate snails of the genus Biomphalaria are best known for their role as intermediate hosts of the parasite. The development of new molecular monitoring assays for large-scale screening of snails from transmission sites to detect the presence of schistosomes is an important point to consider for snail control interventions related to schistosomiasis elimination. Our work was focussed on developing and evaluating a new LAMP assay combined with a simple DNA extraction method to detect S. mansoni in experimentally infected snails as a diagnostic tool for field conditions. Methodology/Principal findings A LAMP assay using a set of six primers targeting a sequence of S. mansoni ribosomal intergenic spacer 28S-18S rRNA was designed. The detection limit of the LAMP assay was 0.1 fg of S. mansoni DNA at 63°C for 50 minutes. LAMP was evaluated by examining S. mansoni DNA in B. glabrata snails experimentally exposed to miracidia at different times post-exposure: early prepatent period (before cercarial shedding), light infections (snails exposed to a low number of miracidia) and detection of infected snails in pooled samples (within a group of uninfected snails). DNA for LAMP assays was obtained by using a commercial DNA extraction kit or a simple heat NaOH extraction method. We detected S. mansoni DNA in all groups of snails by using no complicated requirement procedure for DNA obtaining. Conclusions/Significance Our LAMP assay, named Biompha-LAMP, is specific, sensitive, rapid and potentially adaptable as a cost-effective method for screening of intermediate hosts infected with S. mansoni in both individual snails and pooled samples. The assay could be suitable for large-scale field surveys for schistosomes control campaigns in endemic

  17. The spatial and seasonal distribution of Bulinus truncatus, Bulinus forskalii and Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the intermediate host snails of schistosomiasis, in N'Djamena, Chad.

    PubMed

    Moser, Wendelin; Greter, Helena; Schindler, Christian; Allan, Fiona; Ngandolo, Bongo N R; Moto, Daugla D; Utzinger, Jürg; Zinsstag, Jakob

    2014-11-01

    There is a paucity of epidemiological and malacological data pertaining to schistosomiasis in Chad. In view of a recently articulated elimination agenda, a deeper understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails is pivotal. We conducted cross-sectional malacological surveys during the dry season (April/May 2013) and after the short rainy season (October 2013) in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad. Snails were identified at the genus and species level using morphological keys and molecular DNA barcoding approaches. Those belonging to Bulinus and Biomphalaria were examined for cercarial shedding. Snail habitats were characterised and their predictive potential for the presence of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails explored. Seasonal patterns were studied using geographical information system and kriging in order to interpolate snail abundance data to make predictions at non-sampled locations across N'Djamena. Overall, 413 Bulinus truncatus, 369 Bulinus forskalii and 108 Biomphalaria pfeifferi snails were collected and subjected to cercarial shedding. During the dry season, one Bu. truncatus of 119 snails collected shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae (0.84%), while S. mansoni was shed by one of 108 Bi. pfeifferi snails (0.93%). None of the snails collected after the rainy season shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae. The abundance of Bu. truncatus and Bu. forskalii showed an inverse U-shape relationship with the square term of conductivity, i.e. low abundance at the lowest and highest levels of conductivity and high abundance at intermediate levels. Bi. pfeifferi showed a negative, linear association with pH in the dry seasons. It is planned to link these intermediate host snail data to infection data in human populations with the goal to draw a predictive risk map that can be utilised for control and elimination of schistosomiasis in N'Djamena.

  18. Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp. (Decapoda, Palaemonidae): implications for control of schistosomiasis

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2014-01-01

    Human schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease endemic in many tropical and subtropical countries. One barrier to achieving long-term control of this disease has been re-infection of treated patients when they swim, bathe, or wade in surface fresh water infested with snails that harbor and release larval parasites. Because some snail species are obligate intermediate hosts of schistosome parasites, removing snails may reduce parasitic larvae in the water, reducing re-infection risk. Here, we evaluate the potential for snail control by predatory freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii, native to Asia and Africa, respectively. Both prawn species are high value, protein-rich human food commodities, suggesting their cultivation may be beneficial in resource-poor settings where few other disease control options exist. In a series of predation trials in laboratory aquaria, we found both species to be voracious predators of schistosome-susceptible snails, hatchlings, and eggs, even in the presence of alternative food, with sustained average consumption rates of 12% of their body weight per day. Prawns showed a weak preference for Bulinus truncatus over Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Consumption rates were highly predictable based on the ratio of prawn: snail body mass, suggesting satiation-limited predation. Even the smallest prawns tested (0.5–2g) caused snail recruitment failure, despite high snail fecundity. With the World Health Organization turning attention toward schistosomiasis elimination, native prawn cultivation may be a viable snail control strategy that offers a win-win for public health and economic development. PMID:24388955

  19. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, V. S.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Kolmakova, A. A.

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007.

  20. Allying with armored snails: the complete genome of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Satoshi; Shimamura, Shigeru; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Suzuki, Yohey; Murakami, Shun-ichi; Watanabe, Tamaki; Fujiyoshi, So; Mino, Sayaka; Sawabe, Tomoo; Maeda, Takahiro; Makita, Hiroko; Nemoto, Suguru; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro; Watanabe, Hiromi; Watsuji, Tomo-o; Takai, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea vents harbor dense populations of various animals that have their specific symbiotic bacteria. Scaly-foot gastropods, which are snails with mineralized scales covering the sides of its foot, have a gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont in their enlarged esophageal glands and diverse epibionts on the surface of their scales. In this study, we report the complete genome sequencing of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont. The endosymbiont genome displays features consistent with ongoing genome reduction such as large proportions of pseudogenes and insertion elements. The genome encodes functions commonly found in deep-sea vent chemoautotrophs such as sulfur oxidation and carbon fixation. Stable carbon isotope (13C)-labeling experiments confirmed the endosymbiont chemoautotrophy. The genome also includes an intact hydrogenase gene cluster that potentially has been horizontally transferred from phylogenetically distant bacteria. Notable findings include the presence and transcription of genes for flagellar assembly, through which proteins are potentially exported from bacterium to the host. Symbionts of snail individuals exhibited extreme genetic homogeneity, showing only two synonymous changes in 19 different genes (13 810 positions in total) determined for 32 individual gastropods collected from a single colony at one time. The extremely low genetic individuality in endosymbionts probably reflects that the stringent symbiont selection by host prevents the random genetic drift in the small population of horizontally transmitted symbiont. This study is the first complete genome analysis of gastropod endosymbiont and offers an opportunity to study genome evolution in a recently evolved endosymbiont. PMID:23924784

  1. Characterizations of cholinesterases in golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiang-Hui; Xie, Heidi Qun-Hui; Zha, Guang-Cai; Chen, Vicky Ping; Sun, Yan-Jie; Zheng, Yu-Zhong; Tsim, Karl Wah-Keung; Dong, Tina Ting-Xia; Choi, Roy Chi-Yan; Luk, Wilson Kin-Wai

    2014-07-01

    Cholinesterases (ChEs) have been identified in vertebrates and invertebrates. Inhibition of ChE activity in invertebrates, such as bivalve molluscs, has been used to evaluate the exposure of organophosphates, carbamate pesticides, and heavy metals in the marine system. The golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) is considered as one of the worst invasive alien species harmful to rice and other crops. The ChE(s) in this animal, which has been found recently, but poorly characterized thus far, could serve as biomarker(s) for environmental surveillance as well as a potential target for the pest control. In this study, the tissue distribution, substrate preference, sensitivity to ChE inhibitors, and molecular species of ChEs in P. canaliculata were investigated. It was found that the activities of both AChE and BChE were present in all test tissues. The intestine had the most abundant ChE activities. Both enzymes had fair activities in the head, kidney, and gills. The BChE activity was more sensitive to tetra-isopropylpyrophosphoramide (iso-OMPA) than the AChE. Only one BChE molecular species, 5.8S, was found in the intestine and head, whereas two AChE species, 5.8S and 11.6S, were found there. We propose that intestine ChEs of this snail may be potential biomarkers for manipulating pollutions.

  2. Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Snail is a transcriptional factor which is known to influence the epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) by regulating adhesion proteins such as E-cadherin and claudins as well as matrix metalloproteases (MMP). Methods To evaluate the functional importance of snail, a transciptional factor involved in EMT in lung tumors, we investigated its expression in a large set of lung carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Expression of snail and effects of snail knockdown was studied in cell lines. Results Nuclear snail expression was seen in 21% of cases this being strongest in small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC). There was significantly greater snail expression in SCLC compared to squamous cell or adenocarcinoma. Positive snail expression was associated with poor survival in the whole material and separately in squamous cell and adenocarcinomas. In Cox regression analysis, snail expression showed an independent prognostic value in all of these groups. In several cell lines knockdown of snail reduced invasion in both matrigel assay and in the myoma tissue model for invasion. The influence of snail knockdown on claudin expression was cell type specific. Snail knockdown in these cell lines modified the expression of MMP2 and MMP9 but did not influence the activation of these MMPs to any significant degree. Conclusions The results show that snail plays an important role in the invasive characteristics of lung carcinoma influencing the survival of the patients. Snail knockdown might thus be one option for targeted molecular therapy in lung cancer. Snail knockdown influenced the expression of claudins individually in a cell-line dependent manner but did not influence MMP expressions or activations to any significant degree. PMID:23157169

  3. Novel pharmacological targets from Indian cone snails.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, M Santhana; Manikandan, S

    2011-02-01

    The oceans are a source of combinatorial library of unique natural products, 'not found in the terrestrial environment'. Marine invertebrates such as sponges, molluscs, bryozoans, tunicates (Urochordata) and their associated microorganisms are the major representatives of promising bioactive compounds. Among these, the predatory molluscan cone snails have evolved with highly structured small and complex array of peptides (more than 50,000) linked to their prey capture and defence. These peptides have become a valuable source of neuro pharmacological targets as many of them selectively modulate ion channels and transporters. A group of scientists from United States, Europe, Australia, Israel and China have been characterized drugs for neuropathic pain and pharmacological targets from the peptides of a few cone snail species. Several are now in Clinical and preclinical development. Less than 1% of the cono peptides are pharmacologically characterized. India has a diversity of 20-30% of total cone snail species distributed worldwide. A group of Indian Scientists have made promising drug discovery programs from Conus peptides. This review will focus on the Conus peptides from Indian cone snails species, their neuro pharmacological targets and future directions.

  4. Vector snail control in Qalyub, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    van der Schalie, Henry

    1958-01-01

    The author describes a pilot study in vector snail control carried out in 1953-54 by the Bilharziasis Control Project in Qalyub, Egypt. After giving a brief description of the site chosen for the Project—an area of some 5000 acres (2000 hectares) under perennial irrigation—he presents a detailed account of the various snail surveys of the irrigation canals and drains and of the molluscicidal treatment of infested channels. He points out that despite the thoroughness of the surveying and treatment the snails were not completely eliminated from the area and stresses that the high cost of the molluscicide used (copper sulfate) would prohibit its widespread and continual use. He considers, however, that pending the perfection of such long-term bilharziasis control measures as improved sanitation, better treatment facilities, and health education of the public, snail control is of the first importance and determined efforts should be made to find more efficient and cheaper methods of effecting it. PMID:13585074

  5. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissinger, S.R.; Snyder, N.F.R.

    1988-01-01

    Mate desertion during the breeding cycle was documented at 28 of 36 (78%) snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis nests in Florida between 1979 and 1983. Offspring mortality occurred at only one deserted nest, however. Parents that were deserted by their mates continued to care for their young until independence (3?5 additional weeks) and provided snails at a rate similar to that of both parents combined before desertion. Males and females deserted with nearly equal frequency, except in 1982 when more females deserted. No desertion occurred during drought years, whereas desertion occurred at nearly every nest during favourable conditions. The occurrence of mate desertion was generally related to indirect measures of snail abundance: foraging range, snail delivery rates to the young and growth rates. Small broods were deserted more frequently by females than by males and tended to be deserted earlier than large ones. After desertion, deserters had the opportunity to re-mate and nest again since breeding seasons were commonly lengthy, but whether they did so was impossible to determine conclusively in most cases. The deserted bird sometimes incurred increased energetic costs and lost breeding opportunities during periods of monoparental care.

  6. Xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase from an estivating land snail.

    PubMed

    Hermes-Lima, M; Storey, K B

    1995-01-01

    During arousal from estivation in land snails, Otala lactea, active metabolic functions are restored within minutes and oxygen consumption increases dramatically. During the transition from the hypoxic conditions of estivation to normoxia it is possible that xanthine oxidase (XO) in hepatopancreas contributes to the observed lipid peroxidation. Using a fluorometric assay that is based on the oxidation of pterin, the activities and some properties of XO and XO+XDH (sum of XO and xanthine dehydrogenase activities) were measured in hepatopancreas extracts. Km values for pterin for XO and XO+XDH were 9 and 6 microM, respectively, and the Km of XDH for methylene blue was 5 microM. Both XO+XDH and XO activities were inhibited by allopurinol (I50 = 2 microM), pre-incubation at 40 degrees C, and by 5 min H2O2 pre-exposure. Inclusion of azide in the reaction promoted a rise of approximately 70-fold in the inactivation power of H2O2 due to inhibition of high endogenous catalase activity. The I50 for H2O2 of XO+XDH and XO activities in the presence of azide was 0.04 and 0.11 mM, respectively. Unlike the situation for mammalian XO, a previous reduction of O. lactea XO (by pterin) was not necessary to make the enzyme susceptible to H2O2 effects. Interestingly, methylene blue partially prevented both heat- and H2O2-induced inactivation of XO+XDH activity. These data indicate that the formation of an enzyme-methylene blue complex induces protection against heat and oxidative damage at the FAD-active site. Both XO and XO+XDH activites were significantly higher in snails after 35 days of estivation compared with active snails 24 h after arousal from dormancy. The ratio of XO/(XO+XDH) activities was also slightly increased in estivating O. lactea (from 0.07 to 0.09; P < 0.025). XO activity was 0.03 nmol.min-1.mg protein-1 in estivating snails. Compared with hepatopancreas catalase, XO activity is probably too low to contribute significantly to the net generation of oxyradicals, and

  7. Nicotinic acid inhibits glioma invasion by facilitating Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiejing; Qu, Jiagui; Shi, Yu; Perfetto, Mark; Ping, Zhuxian; Christian, Laura; Niu, Hua; Mei, Shuting; Zhang, Qin; Yang, Xiangcai; Wei, Shuo

    2017-01-01

    Malignant glioma is a formidable disease that commonly leads to death, mainly due to the invasion of tumor cells into neighboring tissues. Therefore, inhibition of tumor cell invasion may provide an effective therapy for malignant glioma. Here we report that nicotinic acid (NA), an essential vitamin, inhibits glioma cell invasion in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of the U251 glioma cells with NA in vitro results in reduced invasion, which is accompanied by a loss of mesenchymal phenotype and an increase in cell-cell adhesion. At the molecular level, transcription of the adherens junction protein E-cadherin is upregulated, leading to accumulation of E-cadherin protein at the cell-cell boundary. This can be attributed to NA’s ability to facilitate the ubiquitination and degradation of Snail1, a transcription factor that represses E-cadherin expression. Similarly, NA transiently inhibits neural crest migration in Xenopus embryos in a Snail1-dependent manner, indicating that the mechanism of action for NA in cell migration is evolutionarily conserved. We further show that NA injection blocks the infiltration of tumor cells into the adjacent brain tissues and improves animal survival in a rat model of glioma. These results suggest that NA treatment may be developed into a potential therapy for malignant glioma. PMID:28256591

  8. The identity, distribution, and impacts of non-native apple snails in the continental United States

    PubMed Central

    Rawlings, Timothy A; Hayes, Kenneth A; Cowie, Robert H; Collins, Timothy M

    2007-01-01

    Background Since the mid 1990s populations of non-native apple snails (Ampullariidae) have been discovered with increasing frequency in the continental United States. Given the dramatic effects that introduced apple snails have had on both natural habitats and agricultural areas in Southeast Asia, their introduction to the mainland U.S. is cause for concern. We combine phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences with examination of introduced populations and museum collections to clarify the identities, introduced distributions, geographical origins, and introduction histories of apple snails. Results Based on sampling to date, we conclude there are five species of non-native apple snails in the continental U.S. Most significantly, we recognize three species within what has been called the channeled apple snail: Pomacea canaliculata (California and Arizona), Pomacea insularum, (Florida, Texas, and Georgia) and Pomacea haustrum (Florida). The first established populations of P. haustrum were discovered in the late 1970s in Palm Beach County Florida, and have not spread appreciably in 30 years. In contrast, populations of P. insularum were established in Texas by 1989, in Florida by the mid to late 1990s, and in Georgia by 2005, and this species continues to spread rapidly. Most introduced P. insularum haplotypes are a close match to haplotypes from the Río Uruguay near Buenos Aires, indicating cold tolerance, with the potential to spread from Florida, Georgia, and Texas through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Pomacea canaliculata populations were first discovered in California in 1997. Haplotypes of introduced P. canaliculata match native-range haplotypes from near Buenos Aires, Argentina, also indicating cold tolerance and the potential to establish farther north. Conclusion The term "channeled apple snail" is descriptive of a morphology found in many apple snail species. It does not identify a single species or a monophyletic group. Clarifying

  9. Salinity adaptation of the invasive New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in the Columbia River estuary (Pacific Northwest, USA): Physiological and molecular studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoy, Marshal; Boese, Bruce L.; Taylor, Louise; Reusser, Deborah; Rodriguez, Rusty

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we examine salinity stress tolerances of two populations of the invasive species New Zealand mud snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum, one population from a high salinity environment in the Columbia River estuary and the other from a fresh water lake. In 1996, New Zealand mud snails were discovered in the tidal reaches of the Columbia River estuary that is routinely exposed to salinity at near full seawater concentrations. In contrast, in their native habitat and throughout its spread in the western US, New Zealand mud snails are found only in fresh water ecosystems. Our aim was to determine whether the Columbia River snails have become salt water adapted. Using a modification of the standard amphipod sediment toxicity test, salinity tolerance was tested using a range of concentrations up to undiluted seawater, and the snails were sampled for mortality at daily time points. Our results show that the Columbia River snails were more tolerant of acute salinity stress with the LC50 values averaging 38 and 22 Practical Salinity Units for the Columbia River and freshwater snails, respectively. DNA sequence analysis and morphological comparisons of individuals representing each population indicate that they were all P. antipodarum. These results suggest that this species is salt water adaptable and in addition, this investigation helps elucidate the potential of this aquatic invasive organism to adapt to adverse environmental conditions.

  10. Compatibility of Ugandan Schistosoma mansoni isolates with Biomphalaria snail species from Lake Albert and Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Adriko, Moses; Standley, Claire J; Tinkitina, Benjamin; Mwesigwa, Gerald; Kristensen, Thomas K; Stothard, J Russell; Kabatereine, Narcis B

    2013-11-01

    In order to investigate the capacity of being intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni, the Ugandan F1 generation of Biomphalaria snail species that were laboratory-bred from parent populations originally collected from either Lake Victoria or Lake Albert was challenged with sympatric and non-sympatric S. mansoni isolates. After a prepatent period of 20 days, a daily 10-hourly snail shedding for cercariae was done to determine the infection rate, cercarial production per hour and survival period of infected snails. The study suggests that when parasite strains from a different geographical origin is used for infection, survival of infected snails increase, leading to an increased transmission potential. Although earlier literature had indicated that the Lake Victoria Biomphalaria sudanica is refractory to S. mansoni, we showed that all Ugandan Biomphalaria spp., including B. sudanica from all locations, were highly susceptible to the S. mansoni isolates. Thus if B. choanomphala, which is an efficient intermediate host in Lake Victoria, is given an opportunity to occupy Lake Albert, it will most likely be compatible with the Albertine S. mansoni parasites. Equally, if B. stanleyi, currently restricted to Lake Albert invades Lake Victoria, it is likely to act as an efficient intermediate host. Future work should concentrate on intraspecific population-level differences in compatibility.

  11. Characterization of gelatin/chitosan scaffold blended with aloe vera and snail mucus for biomedical purpose.

    PubMed

    López Angulo, Daniel Enrique; do Amaral Sobral, Paulo José

    2016-11-01

    Biologically active scaffolds used in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have been generating promising results in skin replacement. The present study aims to test the hypothesis that the incorporation of Aloe vera and snail mucus into scaffolds based on gelatin and chitosan could improve their structure, composition and biodegradability, with a potential effect on bioactivity. Homogeneous pore diameter as well as pore walls in the composite scaffold could be seen in the SEM image. The pores in the scaffolds were interconnected and their sizes ranged from 93 to 296μm. The addition of Aloe vera and snail mucus enlarged the mean pore size with increased porosity and caused changes in the pore architecture. The FTIR analysis has shown good affinity and interaction between the matrix and the Aloe, which may decrease water-binding sites, so this fact hindered the water absorption capacity of the material. The mechanical properties could explain the highest swelling capacity of the snail scaffold, because the high percentage of elongation could facilitate the entry of liquid in it, generating a matrix with plenty of fluid retention. The real innovation in the present work could be the use of these substances (Aloe and snail mucus) for tissue engineering.

  12. Sewage sludge application in a plantation: effects on trace metal transfer in soil-plant-snail continuum.

    PubMed

    Bourioug, Mohamed; Gimbert, Frédéric; Alaoui-Sehmer, Laurence; Benbrahim, Mohammed; Aleya, Lotfi; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr

    2015-01-01

    We studied the potential bioaccumulation of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd by the snail Cantareus aspersus and evaluated the risk of leaching after application of sewage sludge to forest plantation ecosystems. Sewage sludge was applied to the soil surface at two loading rates (0, and 6 tons ha(-1) in dry matter) without incorporation into the soil so as to identify the sources of trace metal contamination in soil and plants and to evaluate effects on snail growth. The results indicated a snail mortality rate of less than 1% during the experiment, while their dry weight decreased significantly (<0.001) in all treatment modalities. Thus, snails showed no acute toxicity symptoms after soil amendment with sewage sludge over the exposure period considered. Additions of sewage sludge led to higher levels of trace metals in forest litter compared to control subplots, but similar trace metal concentrations were observed in sampling plants. Bioaccumulation study demonstrated that Zn had not accumulated in snails compared to Cu which accumulated only after 28 days of exposure to amended subplots. However, Pb and Cd contents in snails increased significantly after 14 and 28 days of exposure in both the control and amended subplots. At the last sampling date, in comparison to controls the Cd increase was higher in snails exposed to amended subplots. Thus, sludge spread therefore appears to be responsible for the observed bioaccumulation for Cu and Cd after 28days of exposure. Concerning Pb accumulation, the results from litter-soil-plant compartments suggest that soil is this metal's best transfer source.

  13. Effects of the herbicide surfactant MON 0818 on oviposition and viability of eggs of the ramshorn snail (Planorbella pilsbryi).

    PubMed

    Prosser, Ryan S; Rodriguez-Gil, Jose L; Solomon, Keith R; Sibley, Paul K; Poirier, David G

    2017-02-01

    The surfactant mixture MON 0818 is an adjuvant in various commercial formulations of the herbicide glyphosate. Initial studies have shown that MON 0818 is more toxic to aquatic animals than the active ingredient. However, few studies have examined the effect of exposure to MON 0818 on species of mollusks, and no studies have examined the effect on gastropods. The present study investigated the effect of acute exposure (96 h) of MON 0818 to the eggs, juveniles, and adults of the file ramshorn snail (Planorbella pilsbryi). Concentrations of MON 0818 up to 9.9 mg/L did not have a significant effect on the viability of eggs (p > 0.05). Juvenile snails (50% lethal concentration [LC50] = 4.0 mg/L) were more sensitive than adult snails (LC50 = 4.9-9.1 mg/L). Oviposition was inhibited by exposure to MON 0818 (median effective concentration [EC50] = 0.4-2.0 mg/L). However, oviposition resumed when snails were removed to clean water, even after 96-h exposure to up to 4.9 mg/L of MON 0818. Exposure to a concentration ≥2.7 mg/L caused visible damage to the tentacles of adult snails, which could potentially impact chemoreception. A deterministic hazard assessment indicated that environmentally relevant concentrations of MON 0818 could pose a hazard to the deposition of eggs. However, because of the relatively short half-life of MON 0818 in aquatic systems and the ability of snails to resume oviposition following the dissipation of MON 0818, environmentally relevant concentrations of MON 0818 likely pose a de minimis risk to populations of ramshorn snails. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:522-531. © 2016 SETAC.

  14. SiRNA-mediated silencing of Snail-1 induces apoptosis and alters micro RNA expression in human urinary bladder cancer cell line.

    PubMed

    Musavi Shenas, Seyed Mohammad Hossein; Mansoori, Behzad; Mohammadi, Ali; Salehi, Shima; Kaffash, Behzad; Talebi, Behnaz; Babaloo, Zohreh; Shanehbandi, Dariush; Baradaran, Behzad

    2016-06-20

    Snail-1 known as one of the important transcription factor is a mediator of survival and cell migration, and expression is raised in numerous cancer types. Snail-1 gene may show a role in recurrence of several cancers including bladder cancer by down-regulating E-cadherin, inducing an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its related microRNAs (miRNAs). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a specific Snail-1 siRNA on apoptosis and alter EMT related miRNAs of EJ-138 (bladder cancer) cells. The cells were transfected with siRNAs using transfection reagent. The cytotoxic effects of Snail-1 siRNA, on bladder cancer cells were determined using MTT assay. Relative Snail-1 mRNA levels were measured by QRT- PCR, respectively. Apoptosis was measured by TUNEL test based on labeling of DNA strand breaks. We also evaluated miR-29b, miR-21, and miR-203 expression by QRT-PCR to determine alteration in miRNAs expression involved in EMT. Snail-1 siRNA significantly reduced mRNA expression levels in 48 h after transfection at the concentration of 60 pmol in bladder cancer cells. We also showed that the silencing of Snail-1 led to the induction of apoptosis. miR-21 and miR-29b depression have been shown in Snail-1 suppressed group in EJ-138 cells in vitro. These results propose that Snail-1 might play an important role in the progression of bladder cancer, and be a potential therapeutic target for trigger apoptosis and suppression of EMT-related miRNAs in bladder cancer.

  15. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494   TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation... Snail -Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Dr...provided funding for a 3-year project that has resulted in fundamental new insights into how the transcription factor Snail can control gene

  16. The effects of the herbicide atrazine on freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Belden, Jason B; Bolek, Matthew G

    2015-07-01

    Atrazine has been shown to affect freshwater snails from the subcellular to community level. However, most studies have used different snail species, methods, endpoints, and atrazine exposure concentrations, resulting in some conflicting results and limiting our understanding. The goal of this study was to address these concerns by (1) investigating the acute and chronic effects of atrazine on four species of freshwater snails (Biomphalaria glabrata, Helisoma trivolvis, Physa acuta, and Stagnicola elodes) using the same methods, endpoints, and concentrations, and (2) summarizing the current literature pertaining to the effects of atrazine on freshwater snails. We conducted a 48 h acute toxicity test with an atrazine concentration higher than what typically occurs in aquatic environments (1000 µg/L). Additionally, we exposed snails to environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations (0, 0.3, 3, and 30 µg/L) for 28 days and assessed snail survival, growth, and reproduction. We also summarized all known literature pertaining to atrazine effects on freshwater snails. The literature summary suggests snails are often affected by environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations at the subcellular and cellular levels. These effects are typically not transitive to effects on survival, growth, or reproduction at the same concentrations. Our acute exposures corroborate the general trend of no direct effect on snail populations as atrazine did not directly affect the survival of any of the four snail species. Similarly, environmentally relevant concentrations did not significantly affect the survival, growth, or reproduction of any snail species. These results indicate that, in the absence of other possible stressors, the direct effects of environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations may not be realized at the snail population level.

  17. Biogeography: molecular trails from hitch-hiking snails.

    PubMed

    Gittenberger, Edmund; Groenenberg, Dick S J; Kokshoorn, Bas; Preece, Richard C

    2006-01-26

    Darwin was fascinated by the transportation of land snails across great swathes of open ocean by birds--he even immersed snails in sea water to see how long they would survive. Here we follow a molecular phylogenetic trail that reveals the incredible transequatorial dispersal of the land snail Balea from Europe to the Azores and the Tristan da Cunha islands, and back again. This long-distance dispersal is unexpected for what are proverbially considered the most pedestrian of creatures.

  18. Biological studies on the snail, Bulinus truncatus, in central Iraq*

    PubMed Central

    Najarian, H. H.

    1961-01-01

    This paper presents some results of field and laboratory studies on Bulinus truncatus, the snail intermediate host of urinary bilharziasis in Iraq, made in 1958 as part of the work of the WHO Bilharziasis Control Project in that country. Observations on the linear distribution and size composition of Bulinus populations in the canals of central Iraq indicate that molluscicides might most suitably be applied in May before the entire snail population reaches breeding size, or early in November when most snails are juveniles. However, laboratory experiments appear to show that isolation of individual bulinid snails does not diminish, but may actually increase, their egg-laying capacity in comparison with that of grouped snails; this suggests that, even if the snail population were drastically reduced by treatment of the canals and all further importation of snails rendered impossible, the snail population would nevertheless soon renew itself from the few individuals remaining. Results are also given of laboratory experiments on egg masses, hatching and growth of B. truncatus and on the egg-laying of random populations of that snail. PMID:14478049

  19. Fecundity of the Chinese mystery snail in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephen, Bruce J.; Allen, Craig R.; Chaine, Noelle M.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.; Wong, Alec

    2013-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a non-indigenous, invasive species in freshwater ecosystems of North America. We provide fecundity estimates for a population of these snails in a Nebraska reservoir. We dissected 70 snails, of which 29 were females. Nearly all female snails contained developing young, with an average of 25 young per female. Annual fecundity was estimated at between 27.2 and 33.3 young per female per year. Based on an estimated adult population and the calculated fecundity, the annual production for this reservoir was between 2.2 and 3.7 million young.

  20. Effects of shorebird predation and snail abundance on an intertidal mudflat community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheverie, Anne V.; Hamilton, Diana J.; Coffin, Michael R. S.; Barbeau, Myriam A.

    2014-09-01

    Top-down effects of predation are well documented in a variety of ecological communities, including marine soft-sediment systems. It has been proposed that intertidal mudflats in the upper Bay of Fundy, Canada, which host a large population of foraging shorebirds each summer, may exhibit this community dynamic. Biofilm (consisting mainly of diatoms) forms the base of the mudflat community food web, which is dominated by the amphipod Corophium volutator. To assess the potential for a trophic cascade, we conducted a manipulative field experiment examining individual and combined effects of the shorebird Calidris pusilla, a primary predator of C. volutator, and the eastern mudsnail (Nassarius obsoletus), an intraguild predator, on community structure (including macrofauna and large meiofauna retained by a 250-μm screen). Snails exhibited density-dependent top-down effects, primarily from strong negative interactions with juvenile and adult C. volutator, likely due to interference, consumption and emigration. Medium and high densities of snails reduced chlorophyll a concentration (a measure of diatom abundance), likely through consumption and disturbance of the sediment. When present at higher densities, snails also increased variability in community structure. Shorebirds were less influential in determining community structure. They reduced C. volutator biomass through consumption, but there was no resulting effect on primary production. Top-down effects of snails and birds were cumulative on C. volutator, but did not generate a trophic cascade. We suggest that a combination of omnivory and intraguild predation by shorebirds and snails, coupled with relatively low grazing pressure by C. volutator, prevented transmission of top-down effects.

  1. A new calibration curve for carbonate clumped isotope thermometer of land snail shells (aragonite)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Yoshida, N.

    2013-12-01

    Clumped isotope data (Δ47) of carbonate is considered as a useful tool to reflect both the temperature and oxygen isotopic composition of water where the carbonate grew [1]. Zarrur et al. reported the relationship between snail shell calcification temperatures and the mean annual/ activity season ambient temperatures based on a calibration curve established by Ghosh et al. [2]. However, the clumped isotope temperature is always higher than the environment temperature. For better understanding this phenomenon, we present a new empirical calibration curve based on land snail shells (aragonite) cultured in the controlled temperature environment. In 2012, we cultured the land snails ';Euhadra' which were collected from Yokohama, Japan. They were cultured from eggs to adults around 6-8 months under the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. Each temperature group contains 15-20 snails. All of them were fed by cabbages during their life span. To study the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. Clumped isotope data for all samples were analyzed by a Thermo Finnigan MAT 253 Mass Spectrometer and calibrated by an ';absolute reference frame' [3]. We found an empirical linear relationship between Δ47 and controlled ambient temperature, which is slightly deviated from the published theoretical and experimental calibration curves based on both inorganic and biogenic materials. We will discuss the potential controlling factors caused this kind of deviation combine with the land snail growth environment. [1] Ghosh et al., 2006, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 70, 1439-1456 [2] Zaarur et al. 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75, 6859-6869 [3] Dennis et al., 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7117-7131

  2. Induction of VEGFA and Snail-1 by meningitic Escherichia coli mediates disruption of the blood-brain barrier

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ruicheng; Liu, Wentong; Miao, Ling; Yang, Xiaopei; Fu, Jiyang; Dou, Beibei; Cai, Aoling; Zong, Xin; Tan, Chen; Chen, Huanchun; Wang, Xiangru

    2016-01-01

    Escherichia coli is the most common Gram-negative bacterium that possesses the ability to cause neonatal meningitis, which develops as circulating bacteria penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, whether meningitic E. coli could induce disruption of the BBB and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Our current work highlight for the first time the participation of VEGFA and Snail-1, as well as the potential mechanisms, in meningitic E. coli induced disruption of the BBB. Here, we characterized a meningitis-causing E. coli PCN033, and demonstrated that PCN033 invasion could increase the BBB permeability through downregulating and remodeling the tight junction proteins (TJ proteins). This process required the PCN033 infection-induced upregulation of VEGFA and Snail-1, which involves the activation of TLR2-MAPK-ERK1/2 signaling cascade. Moreover, production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in response to infection also promoted the upregulation of VEGFA and Snail-1, therefore further mediating the BBB disruption. Our observations reported here directly support the involvement of VEGFA and Snail-1 in meningitic E. coli induced BBB disruption, and VEGFA and Snail-1 would therefore represent the essential host targets for future prevention of clinical E. coli meningitis. PMID:27588479

  3. Physiological and biochemical responses to cold and drought in the rock-dwelling pulmonate snail, Chondrina avenacea.

    PubMed

    Koštál, Vladimír; Rozsypal, Jan; Pech, Pavel; Zahradníčková, Helena; Šimek, Petr

    2013-08-01

    The pulmonate snail Chondrina avenacea lives on exposed rock walls where it experiences drastic daily and seasonal fluctuations of abiotic conditions and food availability. We found that tolerance to dry conditions was maintained at a very high level throughout the year and was mainly based on the snails' ability to promptly enter into estivation (quiescence) whenever they experienced drying out of their environment. Snails rapidly suppressed their metabolism and minimized their water loss using discontinuous gas exchange pattern. The metabolic suppression probably included periods of tissue hypoxia and anaerobism as indicated by accumulation of typical end products of anaerobic metabolism: lactate, alanine and succinate. Though the drought-induced metabolic suppression was sufficient to stimulate moderate increase of supercooling capacity, the seasonally highest levels of supercooling capacity and the highest tolerance to subzero temperatures were tightly linked to hibernation (diapause). Hibernating snails did not survive freezing of their body fluids and instead relied on supercooling strategy which allowed them to survive when air temperatures dropped to as low as -21 °C. No accumulation of low-molecular weight compounds (potential cryoprotectants) was detected in hibernating snails except for small amounts of the end products of anaerobic metabolism.

  4. Large-scale determinants of intestinal schistosomiasis and intermediate host snail distribution across Africa: does climate matter?

    PubMed

    Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Utzinger, Jürg; Vounatsou, Penelope; Hürlimann, Eveline; Schur, Nadine; Saarnak, Christopher F L; Simoonga, Christopher; Mubita, Patricia; Kabatereine, Narcis B; Tchuem Tchuenté, Louis-Albert; Rahbek, Carsten; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2013-11-01

    The geographical ranges of most species, including many infectious disease agents and their vectors and intermediate hosts, are assumed to be constrained by climatic tolerances, mainly temperature. It has been suggested that global warming will cause an expansion of the areas potentially suitable for infectious disease transmission. However, the transmission of infectious diseases is governed by a myriad of ecological, economic, evolutionary and social factors. Hence, a deeper understanding of the total disease system (pathogens, vectors and hosts) and its drivers is important for predicting responses to climate change. Here, we combine a growing degree day model for Schistosoma mansoni with species distribution models for the intermediate host snail (Biomphalaria spp.) to investigate large-scale environmental determinants of the distribution of the African S. mansoni-Biomphalaria system and potential impacts of climatic changes. Snail species distribution models included several combinations of climatic and habitat-related predictors; the latter divided into "natural" and "human-impacted" habitat variables to measure anthropogenic influence. The predictive performance of the combined snail-parasite model was evaluated against a comprehensive compilation of historical S. mansoni parasitological survey records, and then examined for two climate change scenarios of increasing severity for 2080. Future projections indicate that while the potential S. mansoni transmission area expands, the snail ranges are more likely to contract and/or move into cooler areas in the south and east. Importantly, we also note that even though climate per se matters, the impact of humans on habitat play a crucial role in determining the distribution of the intermediate host snails in Africa. Thus, a future contraction in the geographical range size of the intermediate host snails caused by climatic changes does not necessarily translate into a decrease or zero-sum change in human

  5. The influence of stream geology on the distribution of the bilharzia host snails, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus (physopsis) sp.

    PubMed

    Appleton, C C

    1975-06-01

    The Gladdespruit and Komati River surveys have shown that similar environmental conditions have developed where the watercourses flowed over particular rock types. In these watercourses a potentially useful association was found between the occurrence of permanent, lentic habitats produced by the weathering of bedrock with a hardness above 5 in Mohs' Scale of Hardness and the longitudinal distribution of persistent populations of the bilharzia intermediate host snails Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus (Physopsis) sp. Bilharzia transmission follows this pattern in these waterways. Weathering of bedrock with hardness below 5 in Mohs' scale, and/or flow over beds of alluvial sand, produced perpetually lotic (flowing) environments without persistent host snail populations because of the snail's inability to tolerate high current speeds. However a few temporary populations survived in temporarily lentic habitats during the dry winter season.

  6. Red-Rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus) - A Snail in Biscayne National Park, Florida - Harmful Invader or Just a Nuisance?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wingard, G. Lynn; Murray, James B.; Schill, W. Bane; Phillips, Emily C.

    2008-01-01

    Potentially harmful to humans and other animals, the red-rimmed melania snail (Melanoides tuberculatus; family Thiaridae) was discovered in Biscayne National Park, Florida, in 2003 by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers. The discovery raised concerns for park managers because this aquatic non-native snail is present in significant numbers in areas frequently used by park visitors and poses a risk of exposure. Researchers are addressing questions such as: Is this species a danger to human health? How widespread is it within the park? What factors control the distribution of the species? Is its presence a threat to native animals?

  7. Fossil land snails of East Africa and their palaeoecological significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickford, Martin

    1995-04-01

    This study deals with the Neogene and extant land snails of tropical East Africa and their implications for interpreting the paleoenvironments of the numerous localities at which they have been found. Of major significance to the study is the intimate association between the terrestrial molluscs and the rich mammalian faunas, hominoids included, of East Africa. Thus, palaeoecological reconstructions based on land snails are directly applicable to the mammalian faunas. Palaeoecological reconstructions are proposed for most of the Lower and Middle Miocene hominoids, including Proconsul, Rangwapithecus, Limnopithecus, Micropithecus, Nyanzapithecus, Kenyapithecus and others, and for the mid-Pliocene Australopithecus from Laetoli, Tanzania. The departure point for the palaeoecological reconstructions is a comprehensive study of extant terrestrial molluscs of East Africa, the habitat preferences of which are well documented. All the fossil gastropods studied comprise extant genera and even species, so the usual problems regarding the application of actualism to fossil assemblages is avoided. Furthermore, the fossil gastropod assemblages resemble extant ones, confirming their utility for such reconstructions. Among the parameters examined are rainfall, altitude, vegetation cover and type and zoogeography. A further point of interest is that the samples are more than adequate for the purposes of the study, many of the fossil localities having yielded several thousand specimens. Finally, more than 40% of the extant genera of East Africa have now been recognized in the fossil state. The molluscs are thus, by far, the best represented biological group known in the fossil record of Africa and as such hold great potential for understanding the past. This study ends with reconstructions of the palaeoecology of numerous fossiliferous localities in East Africa which have yielded molluscs and mammals. Changes through the geological column are documented and the habitat preferences

  8. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  9. Snailine: a possible diagnostic reagent from a common marine snail, the southern periwinkle, Littorina angulifera.

    PubMed

    Smith, A C

    1986-01-01

    A substance which strongly precipitates human serum proteins is released into the environment by the southern periwinkle, Littorina angulifera. Two-dimensional crossed immunoelectrophoresis revealed that the snail precipitin reacts with a number of human serum proteins, including 11 not detected by mammalian antiserum. The precipitin is readily collected in saline solution, which then is referred to as snailine, a potentially useful diagnostic reagent. Precipitins released into the environment by marine species may represent a little-known external immunologic system.

  10. North American Paleozoic land snails with a summary of other Paleozoic nonmarine snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solem, Alan; Yochelson, Ellis Leon

    1979-01-01

    Land snails from the Paleozoic of North America are known from the coal fields of eastern Canada, from the Dunkard basin west of the Allegheny Mountains, and from the western margin of the Illinois basin. The earliest finds were made about 125 years ago; essentially no new information has been recorded for a century. Large collections of Anthracopupa from the Dunkard basin sparked inquiry into the land snails from the other two areas. Studies using the SEM (scanning electron microscope) have provided considerable insight into microdetails of shell structure, which allow systematic assignment of these gastropods. All may be assigned to extant families, except one, for which insufficient material allows only superfamily assignment. The prosobranch Dawsonella is confirmed as being a terrestrial neritacean gastropod. To date, it is known only from the upper Middle Pennsylvanian of Illinois and Indiana. All the other Paleozoic land snails are stylommatophoran pulmonates; their current classification as nonmarine cyclophoraceans is not correct. Restudy of material from the Joggins section of Nova Scotia indicates that representatives of two ordinal groups of pulmonates appeared simultaneously in upper Lower Pennsylvanian strata; the oldest land prosobranch is found in only very slightly younger rocks. Zonites (Conulus) priscus is reassigned to the new genus Protodiscus in the extant family Discidae. Dendropupa is placed within the family Enidae, Anthraaopupa is placed in the family Tornatellinidae, and 'Pupa' bigsbii is assigned to the superfamily Pupillacea. All four of these family-level taxa are diverse and belong to two orders within the superorder Stylommatophora, heretofore considered a derived rather than an ancestral stock. Anthracopupa ohioensis Whitfield is a highly variable species, and two other species Naticopsis (?) diminuta and A.(?) dunkardona, both named by Stauffer and Schroyer, are placed in synonymy with it. To obtain taxonomic data to support the

  11. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Venomous Cone Snail Conus consors

    PubMed Central

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription. PMID:23236512

  12. The mitochondrial genome of the venomous cone snail Conus consors.

    PubMed

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription.

  13. An evaluation of techniques used in estimating snail populations

    PubMed Central

    Hairston, Nelson G.; Hubendick, Bengt; Watson, John M.; Olivier, Louis J.

    1958-01-01

    No uniform method, applicable to all situations, can be developed for the quantitative study of bilharziasis vector snail populations. The selection of survey technique and sampling device depends on the objectives of the study, the circumstances in which the work is carried out, the nature of the habitat and the resources available. The various techniques used in obtaining snail-population estimates are divided into two categories—direct methods and indirect methods. The former involve the collection of snails from a specified habitat or for a specified period of time, while the latter include techniques, such as snail marking and palm-leaf traps, in which the snails are not obtained through the efforts of a collector. Each method and device is described in detail, and its suitability under various conditions is discussed. PMID:13596889

  14. Studies on some kinetic parameters of aminotransferases in tissues of the snail, Pila globosa (Swainson) during malathion intoxication.

    PubMed

    Sahib, I K; Rao, K R

    1988-01-01

    The aspartate and alanine aminotransferases in the tissues of the snail, Pila globosa showed high catalytic potentials (low Km and high Vmax) during malathion exposure in vivo. In vitro addition of different concentrations of malathion did not influence aminotransferase activity. The results are discussed in relation to the regulative influence of the intracellular environment of the cell.

  15. Effects of sewage sludge amendment on snail growth and trace metal transfer in the soil-plant-snail food chain.

    PubMed

    Bourioug, Mohamed; Gimbert, Frédéric; Alaoui-Sehmer, Laurence; Benbrahim, Mohammed; Badot, Pierre-Marie; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr; Aleya, Lotfi

    2015-11-01

    Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd concentrations in a soil plant (Lactuca sativa) continuum were measured after sewage sludge amendment. The effects of sewage sludge on growth and trace metal bioaccumulation in snails (Cantareus aspersus) were investigated in a laboratory experiment specifically designed to identify contamination sources (e.g., soil and leaves). Application of sewage sludge increased trace metal concentrations in topsoil. However, except Zn, metal concentrations in lettuce leaves did not reflect those in soil. Lettuce leaves were the main source of Zn, Cu, and Cd in exposed snails. Bioaccumulation of Pb suggested its immediate transfer to snails via the soil. No apparent toxic effects of trace metal accumulation were observed in snails. Moreover, snail growth was significantly stimulated at high rates of sludge application. This hormesis effect may be due to the enhanced nutritional content of lettuce leaves exposed to sewage sludge.

  16. Muscadine grape skin extract can antagonize Snail-cathepsin L-mediated invasion, migration and osteoclastogenesis in prostate and breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Liza J.; Smith, Basil A.; Smith, Bethany N.; Loyd, Quentin; Nagappan, Peri; McKeithen, Danielle; Wilder, Catera L.; Platt, Manu O.; Hudson, Tamaro

    2015-01-01

    To develop new and effective chemopreventive agents against bone metastasis, we assessed the effects of muscadine grape skin extract (MSKE), whose main bioactive component is anthocyanin, on bone turnover, using prostate and breast cancer cell models overexpressing Snail transcription factor. MSKE has been shown previously to promote apoptosis in prostate cancer cells without affecting normal prostate epithelial cells. Snail is overexpressed in prostate and breast cancer, and is associated with increased invasion, migration and bone turnover/osteoclastogenesis. Cathepsin L (CatL) is a cysteine cathepsin protease that is overexpressed in cancer and involved in bone turnover. Snail overexpression in prostate (LNCaP, ARCaP-E) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cells led to increased CatL expression/activity and phosphorylated STAT-3 (pSTAT-3), compared to Neo vector controls, while the reverse was observed in C4-2 (the aggressive subline of LNCaP) cells with Snail knockdown. Moreover, CatL expression was higher in prostate and breast tumor tissue compared to normal tissue. MSKE decreased Snail and pSTAT3 expression, and abrogated Snail-mediated CatL activity, migration and invasion. Additionally, Snail overexpression promoted osteoclastogenesis, which was significantly inhibited by the MSKE as effectively as Z-FY-CHO, a CatL-specific inhibitor, or osteoprotegerin, a receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) antagonist. Overall, these novel findings suggest that Snail regulation of CatL may occur via STAT-3 signaling and can be antagonized by MSKE, leading to decreased cell invasion, migration and bone turnover. Therefore, inhibition using a natural product such as MSKE could potentially be a promising bioactive compound for bone metastatic cancer. PMID:26069256

  17. Modeling snail breeding in Bioregenerative Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, Vladimir; Tikhomirov, Alexander A.; Nickolay Manukovsky, D..

    It is known that snail meat is a high quality food that is rich in protein. Hence, heliciculture or land snail farming spreads worldwide because it is a profitable business. The possibility to use the snails of Helix pomatia in Biological Life Support System (BLSS) was studied by Japanese Researches. In that study land snails were considered to be producers of animal protein. Also, snail breeding was an important part of waste processing, because snails were capable to eat the inedible plant biomass. As opposed to the agricultural snail farming, heliciculture in BLSS should be more carefully planned. The purpose of our work was to develop a model for snail breeding in BLSS that can predict mass flow rates in and out of snail facility. There are three linked parts in the model called “Stoichiometry”, “Population” and “Mass balance”, which are used in turn. Snail population is divided into 12 age groups from oviposition to one year. In the submodel “Stoichiometry” the individual snail growth and metabolism in each of 12 age groups are described with stoichiometry equations. Reactants are written on the left side of the equations, while products are written on the right side. Stoichiometry formulas of reactants and products consist of four chemical elements: C, H, O, N. The reactants are feed and oxygen, products are carbon dioxide, metabolic water, snail meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs. If formulas of substances in the stoichiometry equations are substituted with their molar masses, then stoichiometry equations are transformed to the equations of molar mass balance. To get the real mass balance of individual snail growth and metabolism one should multiply the value of each molar mass in the equations on the scale parameter, which is the ratio between mass of monthly consumed feed and molar mass of feed. Mass of monthly consumed feed and stoichiometry coefficients of formulas of meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs should be determined experimentally

  18. Predator-prey interactions between shell-boring beetle larvae and rock-dwelling land snails.

    PubMed

    Baalbergen, Els; Helwerda, Renate; Schelfhorst, Rense; Castillo Cajas, Ruth F; van Moorsel, Coline H M; Kundrata, Robin; Welter-Schultes, Francisco W; Giokas, Sinos; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies.

  19. Predator-Prey Interactions between Shell-Boring Beetle Larvae and Rock-Dwelling Land Snails

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Cajas, Ruth F.; van Moorsel, Coline H. M.; Kundrata, Robin; Welter-Schultes, Francisco W.; Giokas, Sinos; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies. PMID:24964101

  20. Use of the land snail Helix aspersa for monitoring heavy metal soil contamination in Northeast Algeria.

    PubMed

    Larba, R; Soltani, N

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of anthropogenic activities on soil quality using the land snail Helix aspersa as a bioindicator. Soil samples and snails were collected from several sites in Northeast Algeria during the summer and winter of 2010. All of the sites were chosen due to their proximity to industrial factories-a potential source of soil pollution via heavy metal contamination. The concentration of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Mn, and Fe) in soil samples was analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Activity levels of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), indicators of oxidative stress and neurotoxicity, respectively, were measured in snails collected from each site. GST and AChE activity were found to vary between sites and by season. The highest levels of GST activity were registered during the summer at sites closest to potential sources of pollution. AChE activity levels also peaked during the summer with the highest values recorded at the site in El Hadjar. These increased levels of bioindicative stress response correlated with increasing metal concentration in soil samples collected at each site.

  1. Intoxication and biochemical responses of freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa to ethylbenzene.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shimei; Zhou, Qixing

    2017-01-01

    No acute toxic data of ethylbenzene on gastropod is available in literature. In the present study, the acute toxicity of ethylbenzene was assessed on a freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa, which was exposed to ethylbenzene concentration from 1 to 100 mg/L for 96 h. No mortality occurred, but a manifestation of intoxication (distress syndrome) was observed in part of exposed snails, and meanwhile, another part was moved normally. The distress syndrome showed clear dose- and time-dependent effects, and the 96-h EC50 value for distress syndrome was 13.3 mg/L in snail. The biochemical responses induced by ethylbenzene to the snail, including acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the whole body and superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and reduced glutathione (GSH) in the hepatopancreas, were evaluated both for distressed snail and moved snail. The AChE activity of distressed snail was all inhibited more than 45 %, and the inhibition of AChE activity in the moved snail was all less than 30 % and more than 20 %, demonstrating that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to both distressed snail and moved snail. Meanwhile, the difference for AChE activity between the two different response snails was significant. Among the antioxidant biomarkers (SOD, CAT, GST, and GSH), only GST displayed significant difference between the distressed snail and moved snail. However, the activities of enzymes (SOD, CAT, and GST) in the moved snail were greater than those in the distressed snail, no matter significantly or insignificantly, which indicated that the ability of antioxidant defense in the distressed snail was weaker than that in the moved snail. The findings here reported manifest that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to snail, and the snail with intoxication response (distress syndrome) presented larger inhibition on AChE activity and weaker antioxidant ability in comparison with the moved snail.

  2. Crawling beneath the free surface: Water snail locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sungyon; Bush, John W. M.; Hosoi, A. E.; Lauga, Eric

    2008-08-01

    Land snails move via adhesive locomotion. Through muscular contraction and expansion of their foot, they transmit waves of shear stress through a thin layer of mucus onto a solid substrate. Since a free surface cannot support shear stress, adhesive locomotion is not a viable propulsion mechanism for water snails that travel inverted beneath the free surface. Nevertheless, the motion of the freshwater snail, Sorbeoconcha physidae, is reminiscent of that of its terrestrial counterparts, being generated by the undulation of the snail foot that is separated from the free surface by a thin layer of mucus. Here, a lubrication model is used to describe the mucus flow in the limit of small-amplitude interfacial deformations. By assuming the shape of the snail foot to be a traveling sine wave and the mucus to be Newtonian, an evolution equation for the interface shape is obtained and the resulting propulsive force on the snail is calculated. This propulsive force is found to be nonzero for moderate values of the capillary number but vanishes in the limits of high and low capillary number. Physically, this force arises because the snail's foot deforms the free surface, thereby generating curvature pressures and lubrication flows inside the mucus layer that couple to the topography of the foot.

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

    PubMed

    Larcher, Marie; Crane, Adam L

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Mercury toxicity to terrestrial snails in a partial life cycle experiment.

    PubMed

    Gimbert, Frédéric; Perrier, Fanny; Caire, Ange-Lyne; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2016-02-01

    Despite growing concerns about the potential adverse effects of elevated mercury (Hg) concentrations in the terrestrial environment, only a few toxicity data are available for soil invertebrates. The chronic toxicity of inorganic Hg-Hg(II)--through food or soil contaminations was therefore assessed for the snail Cantareus aspersus, a well-recognized soil quality bioindicator. The 28-day EC50s (the concentrations causing 50% effect) for the snail growth were 600 and 5048 mg Hg kg(-1) for food and soil, respectively. A survey of growth over its entire duration (91 days) allowed to show that the effects took place rapidly after the beginning of exposure and persisted in the long term. Reproduction was also impaired, and we established 28-day EC50s for sexual maturation and fecundity of 831 and 339 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for food and 1719 and 53 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for soil. Total Hg analyses in snails exposed to contaminated matrices revealed important bioaccumulation capacities up to 2000 mg Hg kg(-1) viscera. Critical limits in internal Hg concentration of about 500 and 1000 mg Hg kg(-1) were determined as thresholds for the induction of growth toxicity through food and soil exposure, respectively. These different values underlined differences in the uptake and toxicological dynamics of Hg according to its bioavailability in the source of exposure.

  5. EMT transcription factors snail and slug directly contribute to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a molecular process through which an epithelial cell undergoes transdifferentiation into a mesenchymal phenotype. The role of EMT in embryogenesis is well-characterized and increasing evidence suggests that elements of the transition may be important in other processes, including metastasis and drug resistance in various different cancers. Methods Agilent 4 × 44 K whole human genome arrays and selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry were used to investigate mRNA and protein expression in A2780 cisplatin sensitive and resistant cell lines. Invasion and migration were assessed using Boyden chamber assays. Gene knockdown of snail and slug was done using targeted siRNA. Clinical relevance of the EMT pathway was assessed in a cohort of primary ovarian tumours using data from Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133 plus 2.0 arrays. Results Morphological and phenotypic hallmarks of EMT were identified in the chemoresistant cells. Subsequent gene expression profiling revealed upregulation of EMT-related transcription factors including snail, slug, twist2 and zeb2. Proteomic analysis demonstrated up regulation of Snail and Slug as well as the mesenchymal marker Vimentin, and down regulation of E-cadherin, an epithelial marker. By reducing expression of snail and slug, the mesenchymal phenotype was largely reversed and cells were resensitized to cisplatin. Finally, gene expression data from primary tumours mirrored the finding that an EMT-like pathway is activated in resistant tumours relative to sensitive tumours, suggesting that the involvement of this transition may not be limited to in vitro drug effects. Conclusions This work strongly suggests that genes associated with EMT may play a significant role in cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer, therefore potentially leading to the development of predictive biomarkers of drug response or novel therapeutic strategies for overcoming drug resistance. PMID

  6. The Planorbid Snail Biomphalaria glabrata Expresses a Hemocyanin-Like Sequence in the Albumen Gland

    PubMed Central

    Peña, Janeth J.; Adema, Coen M.

    2016-01-01

    The parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni, causative agent of human intestinal schistosomiasis in South America, relies importantly on the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata as intermediate host to achieve development of cercariae that infect humans. The recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) to integrate snail control in efforts to counter schistosomiasis transmission provides impetus for in depth study of B. glabrata biology. Our analysis indicates that two distinct hemocyanin-like genes (hcl-1 and hcl-2) are present in B. glabrata, a snail that uses hemoglobin for oxygen transport. Characterization of BAC clones yielded the full length hcl-1 gene, which is comprised of three functional unit (FU) domains at the amino acid level. Database searches and in silico analyses identified the second hcl gene (hcl-2), composed of six FU domains. Both genes are unusual for lacking canonical residues and having fewer FU domains than typical molluscan hemocyanins that contain 7–8 FUs. Reverse transcription PCR demonstrated that Hcl-1 is expressed in a manner that correlates with reproductive maturity in the albumen gland (AG), an immune- and reproduction-relevant organ. Immune cross-reactivity with anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (α-KLH) antiserum and tandem-mass spectrometry validated the presence of Hcl-1 protein in the AG and egg mass fluid (EMF). The evolutionary conservation of hemocyanin-like sequences in B. glabrata in the presence of the oxygen carrier hemoglobin, combined with our results, suggest that the Hcl-1protein has a functional role in general and/or reproductive biology. Further investigations are needed to explore Hcl-1 as a potential target for snail control. PMID:28036345

  7. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P

    2017-02-15

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3-Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer.

  8. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P.

    2017-01-01

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3–Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer. PMID:28198361

  9. Predation of schistosomiasis vector snails by ostracoda (crustacea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohn, I.G.; Kornicker, L.S.

    1972-01-01

    An ostracod species of Cypretta is an effective predator in laboratory experiments on 1- to 3-day-old Biomphalaria glabrata, a vector snail of the blood fluke that causes the tropical and subtropical disease schistosomiasis.

  10. Some aspects of snail ecology in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    de Meillon, B.; Frank, G. H.; Allanson, B. R.

    1958-01-01

    In this paper, the authors present the preliminary results of a recent ecological survey of some rivers in the Transvaal, Union of South Africa. Representative samples of the molluscan fauna of the rivers were collected and chemical analyses of the river waters were carried out. In addition, such characteristics as current speed, temperature, turbidity, biochemical oxygen demand, and amount of oxygen absorbed from potassium permanganate were determined. No evidence was obtained to show that the chemical composition of natural, unpolluted waters plays any part in determining vector snail habitats. Current speed was found to have some effect, bilharzia vector snails not being found in fast-flowing waters. Of the other factors, turbidity was shown to be of some importance, probably because it affects the growth of the algae on which certain snails seem to depend for their proper development, and severe pollution with sewage and industrial wastes also appeared to have an adverse affect on the snail population. PMID:13573112

  11. Factors controlling carbon isotopic composition of land snail shells estimated from lab culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Naizhong; Yamada, Keita; Yoshida, Naohiro

    2014-05-01

    Carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate is widely applied in reconstructing the C3/C4 vegetation distribution of paleo-environment, which is considered to reflect variations of some environmental parameters [1][2][3]. Land snail shell carbon has three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested carbonate (limestone) [4]. However, their relative contributions to shell carbonate have not been understood well yet [4][5][6][7][8]. More researches are necessary before we could apply this tool in paleo-environment reconstruction, especially inter-lab culturing experiment. A kind of land snail species, Acusta despecta sieboldiana, was collected at Yokohama, Japan and cultured under suitable environment to lay eggs. The second generations were growing up from eggs to adults around 6-12 months at the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. All of the snails at 25° and 30° and most of those at 20° were fed by cabbage (C3 plant) during their life span while others were fed by corn (C4 plant). To investigate the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. δ13C of shells were analyzed by an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (Thermo Finnigan MAT 253); δ13C of food and snail tissue were measured by a Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (Picarro G1121-i). At the same time, δ13C of eggshell and new born snails were analyzed by a Continuous Flow Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GasBench II). We confirmed that diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested limestone could be important sources controlling shell δ13C values. And the temperature could affect shell carbonate δ13C values, too. A simple but credible frame was raised to discuss the mechanism of how each possible source and environmental parameter could affect shell carbonate δ13C values based on previous works [4][6][8] and this study. According to this frame and some reasonable assumptions, we have estimated the

  12. Snail levels control the migration mechanism of mesenchymal tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    BELGIOVINE, CRISTINA; CHIESA, GIULIO; CHIODI, ILARIA; FRAPOLLI, ROBERTA; BONEZZI, KATIUSCIA; TARABOLETTI, GIULIA; D'INCALCI, MAURIZIO; MONDELLO, CHIARA

    2016-01-01

    Cancer cells use two major types of movement: Mesenchymal, which is typical of cells of mesenchymal origin and depends on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and amoeboid, which is characteristic of cells with a rounded shape and relies on the activity of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). The present authors previously demonstrated that, during neoplastic transformation, telomerase-immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) acquired a ROCK-dependent/MMP independent mechanism of invasion, mediated by the downregulation of the ROCK cellular inhibitor Round (Rnd)3/RhoE. In the present study, cen3tel transformation was also demonstrated to be paralleled by downregulation of Snail, a major determinant of the mesenchymal movement. To test whether Snail levels could determine the type of movement adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells, Snail was ectopically expressed in tumorigenic cells. It was observed that ectopic Snail did not increase the levels of typical mesenchymal markers, but induced cells to adopt an MMP-dependent mechanism of invasion. In cells expressing ectopic Snail, invasion became sensitive to the MMP inhibitor Ro 28–2653 and insensitive to the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, suggesting that, once induced by Snail, the mesenchymal movement prevails over the amoeboid one. Snail-expressing cells had a more aggressive behavior in vivo, and exhibited increased tumor growth rate and metastatic ability. These results confirm the high plasticity of cancer cells, which can adopt different types of movement in response to changes in the expression of specific genes. Furthermore, the present findings indicate that Rnd3 and Snail are possible regulators of the type of invasion mechanism adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells. PMID:27347214

  13. Snail levels control the migration mechanism of mesenchymal tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Belgiovine, Cristina; Chiesa, Giulio; Chiodi, Ilaria; Frapolli, Roberta; Bonezzi, Katiuscia; Taraboletti, Giulia; D'Incalci, Maurizio; Mondello, Chiara

    2016-07-01

    Cancer cells use two major types of movement: Mesenchymal, which is typical of cells of mesenchymal origin and depends on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and amoeboid, which is characteristic of cells with a rounded shape and relies on the activity of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). The present authors previously demonstrated that, during neoplastic transformation, telomerase-immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) acquired a ROCK-dependent/MMP independent mechanism of invasion, mediated by the downregulation of the ROCK cellular inhibitor Round (Rnd)3/RhoE. In the present study, cen3tel transformation was also demonstrated to be paralleled by downregulation of Snail, a major determinant of the mesenchymal movement. To test whether Snail levels could determine the type of movement adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells, Snail was ectopically expressed in tumorigenic cells. It was observed that ectopic Snail did not increase the levels of typical mesenchymal markers, but induced cells to adopt an MMP-dependent mechanism of invasion. In cells expressing ectopic Snail, invasion became sensitive to the MMP inhibitor Ro 28-2653 and insensitive to the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, suggesting that, once induced by Snail, the mesenchymal movement prevails over the amoeboid one. Snail-expressing cells had a more aggressive behavior in vivo, and exhibited increased tumor growth rate and metastatic ability. These results confirm the high plasticity of cancer cells, which can adopt different types of movement in response to changes in the expression of specific genes. Furthermore, the present findings indicate that Rnd3 and Snail are possible regulators of the type of invasion mechanism adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells.

  14. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25–131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48–128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest. PMID:27861504

  15. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs.

    PubMed

    Roda, Amy; Nachman, Gösta; Weihman, Scott; Yong Cong, Mary; Zimmerman, Fredrick

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25-131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48-128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest.

  16. Monoamines in the albumen gland, plasma, and central nervous system of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata during egg-laying.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Jon P; Yoshino, Timothy P

    2002-06-01

    The potential role of selected biogenic monoamines and related compounds in the reproductive physiology of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated. Extracts of the albumen gland (AG), plasma, and central nervous system (CNS) were subjected to high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ED), and under the extraction and separation conditions employed the following amines were detected: tyrosine, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), dopamine, and tryptophan in the AG; DOPA, tyrosine, and tryptophan in the plasma; DOPA, tyrosine, dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the CNS. These compounds were then quantified in individual samples taken from snails known to be in a particular stage of the egg-laying process. AG dopamine levels were highest in snails in the first stage of the reproductive process, when the AG is secreting perivitelline fluid around each fertilized ovum. Significant decreases in AG protein content during the later stages of the egg-laying process were also evident. Plasma tyrosine and DOPA levels were lowest in snails that contained a fully packaged egg mass, while no changes in monoamine content were observed in the CNS. These data provide insights into the role(s) that monoamines, especially catecholamine-related compounds, may play in B. glabrata reproductive physiology.

  17. Spotlight on the in vitro effect of artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate on Schistosoma mansoni and its snail host Biomphalaria alexandrina.

    PubMed

    El-Beshbishi, Samar N; El Bardicy, Samia; Tadros, Menerva; Ayoub, Magda; Taman, Amira

    2015-01-01

    Malaria and schistosomiasis are the two most important parasitic diseases in the tropics and sub-tropics with geographic overlap. Efforts have been made for developing new schistosomicidal drugs, or testing existing drugs originally used for non-related diseases. The antimalarial artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate combination (CO-ArNp) was recently reported to be a promising novel antischistosomal therapy with potent in vivo activity against Schistosoma mansoni. In this work, we report the in vitro dose- and time-response effect of CO-ArNp against the Egyptian strain of S. mansoni, and its snail host, Biomphalaria alexandrina. Incubation of adult S. mansoni with CO-ArNp at 40 or 20 μg/ml for 48 or 72 h killed all worms. Exposure of S. mansoni miracidia and cercariae to the molluscicidal LC50 of CO-ArNp (16.8 μg/ml) resulted in 100% mortality of the free larval stages within 90 and 15 min, respectively. Moreover, incubation of adult B. alexandrina snails with this drug combination killed all snails at 40 μg/ml within 24h. Scanning electron microscope revealed marked morphological and tegumental alterations on the different stages of the parasite and its snail soft tissue. Our study highlights the schistosomicidal and molluscicidal effects of artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate. No doubt more studies are needed to clarify its potential value to control schistosomiasis.

  18. Drivers of symbiont diversity in freshwater snails: a comparative analysis of resource availability, community heterogeneity, and colonization opportunities.

    PubMed

    McCaffrey, Keegan; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2017-04-01

    Decades of community ecology research have highlighted the importance of resource availability, habitat heterogeneity, and colonization opportunities in driving biodiversity. Less clear, however, is whether a similar suite of factors explains the diversity of symbionts. Here, we used a hierarchical dataset involving 12,712 freshwater snail hosts representing five species to test the relative importance of potential factors in driving symbiont richness. Specifically, we used model selection to assess the explanatory power of variables related to host species identity, resource availability (average body size, host density), ecological heterogeneity (richness of hosts and other taxa), and colonization opportunities (wetland size and amount of neighboring wetland area) on symbiont richness in 146 snail host populations in California, USA. We encountered a total of 23 taxa of symbionts, including both obligatory parasites such as digenetic trematodes as well as more commensal, mutualistic, or opportunistic groups such as aquatic insect larvae, annelids, and leeches. After validating richness estimates per host population using species accumulative curves, we detected positive effects on symbiont richness from host body size, total richness of the aquatic community, and colonization opportunities. Neither snail density nor the richness of snail species accounted for significant variation in symbiont diversity. Host species identity also affected symbiont richness, with higher gamma and average alpha diversity among more common host species with higher local abundances. These findings highlight the importance of multiple, concurrent factors in driving symbiont richness that extend beyond epidemiological measures of host abundance or host diversity alone.

  19. Proteomic Analysis of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Reveals Cross-talk between SNAIL and HDAC1 Proteins in Breast Cancer Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Palma, Camila de Souza; Grassi, Mariana Lopes; Thomé, Carolina Hassibe; Ferreira, Germano Aguiar; Albuquerque, Daniele; Pinto, Mariana Tomazini; Ferreira Melo, Fernanda Ursoli; Kashima, Simone; Covas, Dimas Tadeu; Pitteri, Sharon J.; Faça, Vitor M.

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)1 occurs naturally during embryogenesis, tissue repair, cancer progression, and metastasis. EMT induces cellular and microenvironmental changes resulting in loss of epithelial and acquisition of mesenchymal phenotypes, which promotes cellular invasive and migratory capabilities. EMT can be triggered by extracellular factors, including TGF-β, HGF, and EGF. Overexpression of transcription factors, such as SNAIL, SLUG, ZEB1/2, and TWIST1, also induces EMT and is correlated to cancer aggressiveness. Here, the breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF7 was transduced with SNAIL to identify specific mechanisms controlled by this transcription factor during EMT. Overexpression of SNAIL led to EMT, which was thoroughly validated by molecular, morphological, and functional experiments. Subcellular proteome enrichment followed by GEL-LC-MS/MS was performed to provide extensive protein fractionation and in-depth proteomic analysis. Quantitative analysis relied on a SILAC strategy, using the invasive breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 as a reference for quantitation. Subsets of proteins enriched in each subcellular compartment led to a complementary list of 4289 proteins identified with high confidence. A subset of differentially expressed proteins was validated by Western blot, including regulation in specific cellular compartments, potentially caused by protein translocation. Protein network analysis highlighted complexes involved in cell cycle control and epigenetic regulation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that SNAIL overexpression led to cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phases. Furthermore, down-regulation of HDAC1 was observed, supporting the involvement of epigenetic processes in SNAIL-induced EMT. When HDAC1 activity was inhibited, MCF7 not only apparently initiated EMT but also up-regulated SNAIL, indicating the cross-talk between these two proteins. Both HDAC1 inhibition and SNAIL overexpression activated the AKT pathway. These

  20. MicroRNA-130b improves renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis via repression of Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in diabetic nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Xiaoyan; Geng, Jian; Zhou, Zhanmei; Tian, Jianwei; Li, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNA-130b (miR-130b) downregulation has been identified in diabetes, but the role and mechanisms for miR-130b in mediating renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy (DN) remain unknown. We demonstrated that plasma miR-130b downregulation exhibited clinical and biological relevance as it was linked to increased serum creatinine, β2-microglobulin and proteinuria, increased Snail expression and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in renal biopsies of DN patients. MiR-130b inhibitor caused Snail upregulation and enhanced molecular features of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in high glucose (30 mM) cultured NRK-52E cells. In contrast, miR-130b mimic downregulated Snail expression and increased epithelial hallmarks. Notably, Snail was identified as an miR-130b direct target and inversely correlated with E-CADHERIN expression. Furthermore, the miR-130b-dependent effects were due to Snail suppression that in turn deregulated E-CADHERIN, VIMENTIN, COLLAGEN IV and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), key mediators of EMT. These effects were reproduced in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Thus, we propose a novel role of the miR-130b-SNAIL axis in fostering EMT and progression toward increased tubulointerstitial fibrosis in DN. Detection of plasma miR-130b and its association with SNAIL can be extrapolated to quantifying the severity of renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Targeting miR-130b could be evaluated as a potential therapeutic approach for DN. PMID:26837280

  1. Proteomic Analysis of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Reveals Cross-talk between SNAIL and HDAC1 Proteins in Breast Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Palma, Camila de Souza; Grassi, Mariana Lopes; Thomé, Carolina Hassibe; Ferreira, Germano Aguiar; Albuquerque, Daniele; Pinto, Mariana Tomazini; Ferreira Melo, Fernanda Ursoli; Kashima, Simone; Covas, Dimas Tadeu; Pitteri, Sharon J; Faça, Vitor M

    2016-03-01

    Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)(1) occurs naturally during embryogenesis, tissue repair, cancer progression, and metastasis. EMT induces cellular and microenvironmental changes resulting in loss of epithelial and acquisition of mesenchymal phenotypes, which promotes cellular invasive and migratory capabilities. EMT can be triggered by extracellular factors, including TGF-β, HGF, and EGF. Overexpression of transcription factors, such as SNAIL, SLUG, ZEB1/2, and TWIST1, also induces EMT and is correlated to cancer aggressiveness. Here, the breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF7 was transduced with SNAIL to identify specific mechanisms controlled by this transcription factor during EMT. Overexpression of SNAIL led to EMT, which was thoroughly validated by molecular, morphological, and functional experiments. Subcellular proteome enrichment followed by GEL-LC-MS/MS was performed to provide extensive protein fractionation and in-depth proteomic analysis. Quantitative analysis relied on a SILAC strategy, using the invasive breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 as a reference for quantitation. Subsets of proteins enriched in each subcellular compartment led to a complementary list of 4289 proteins identified with high confidence. A subset of differentially expressed proteins was validated by Western blot, including regulation in specific cellular compartments, potentially caused by protein translocation. Protein network analysis highlighted complexes involved in cell cycle control and epigenetic regulation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that SNAIL overexpression led to cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phases. Furthermore, down-regulation of HDAC1 was observed, supporting the involvement of epigenetic processes in SNAIL-induced EMT. When HDAC1 activity was inhibited, MCF7 not only apparently initiated EMT but also up-regulated SNAIL, indicating the cross-talk between these two proteins. Both HDAC1 inhibition and SNAIL overexpression activated the AKT pathway. These

  2. Snails and trematode infection after Indian Ocean tsunami in Phang-Nga Province, southern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sri-Aroon, Pusadee; Chusongsang, Phiraphol; Chusongsang, Yupa; Pornpimol, Surinthwong; Butraporn, Piyarat; Lohachit, Chantima

    2010-01-01

    The tsunami and non-tsunami affected areas of Takua Pa District, Phang-Nga Province were investigated for fresh- and brackish-water snails that transmit human parasitic diseases during 2006 and 2007. Among 46 snail species found, 17 species of 8 families were freshwater snails, 28 species of another 7 families were brackish-water snails, and 1 species was a land snail. Of these species, 11 freshwater snails, 4 brackish-water snails and 1 land snail were of medical importance. The fresh-water snails were Pomacea canaliculata, Pila angelica, P. gracilis, P. polita, Filopaludina (S.) martensi, F. (F.) s. polygramma, Melanoides tuberculata, Indoplanorbis exuxtus, Radix rubiginosa, Helicorbis umbilicalis, Gyraulus convexiusculus. Four brackish-water snails were Cerithidea cingulata, C. djadjarensis, C. alata, Sermyla riqueti and Achatina fulica was the land snail. I. exutus, M. tuberculata and F. (F.) s. polygramma harbored Xiphidio, Microcercus, Furocercus, Echinostome cercariae, and cercaria without eyespots or tail with hair. Three species of brackish-water snails, Cerithidia cingulata, C. djadjariensis, and C. alata presented with 6 types of trematode cercariae and rediae. Knowledge of medically important snails and their parasitic diseases, and prevention were given to Takua Pa people by poster, pamphlets and broadcasting through community radio.

  3. Celastrol inhibits TGF-β1-induced epithelial–mesenchymal transition by inhibiting Snail and regulating E-cadherin expression

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, Hyereen; Lee, Minjae; Jang, Sung-Wuk

    2013-08-09

    Highlights: •We investigated the effects of celastrol on TGF-β1-induced EMT in epithelial cells. •Celastrol regulates TGF-β1-induced morphological changes and E-cadherin expression. •Celastrol inhibits TGF-β1-induced Snail expression. •Celastrol strongly suppresses TGF-β1-induced invasion in MDCK and A549 cells. -- Abstract: The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a pivotal event in the invasive and metastatic potentials of cancer progression. Celastrol inhibits the proliferation of a variety of tumor cells including leukemia, glioma, prostate, and breast cancer; however, the possible role of celastrol in the EMT is unclear. We investigated the effect of celastrol on the EMT. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT-like morphologic changes and upregulation of Snail expression. The downregulation of E-cadherin expression and upregulation of Snail in Madin–Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) and A549 cell lines show that TGF-β1-mediated the EMT in epithelial cells; however, celastrol markedly inhibited TGF-β1-induced morphologic changes, Snail upregulation, and E-cadherin expression. Migration and invasion assays revealed that celastrol completely inhibited TGF-β1-mediated cellular migration in both cell lines. These findings indicate that celastrol downregulates Snail expression, thereby inhibiting TGF-β1-induced EMT in MDCK and A549 cells. Thus, our findings provide new evidence that celastrol suppresses lung cancer invasion and migration by inhibiting TGF-β1-induced EMT.

  4. Factors controlling shell carbon isotopic composition of land snail Acusta despecta sieboldiana estimated from lab culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Suzuki, N.; Yoshida, N.

    2014-05-01

    The carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate derives from three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2, and ingested carbonate (limestone). However, their relative contributions remain unclear. Under various environmental conditions, we cultured one land snail species, Acusta despecta sieboldiana collected from Yokohama, Japan, and confirmed that all of these sources affect shell carbonate δ13C values. Herein, we consider the influences of metabolic rates and temperature on the carbon isotopic composition of the shell carbonate. Based on previous works and on results obtained in this study, a simple but credible framework is presented for discussion of how each source and environmental parameter can affect shell carbonate δ13C values. According to this framework and some reasonable assumptions, we have estimated the contributions of different carbon sources for each snail individual: for cabbage (C3 plant) fed groups, the contributions of diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested limestone respectively vary as 66-80%, 16-24%, and 0-13%. For corn (C4 plant) fed groups, because of the possible food stress (lower consumption ability of C4 plant), the values vary respectively as 56-64%, 18-20%, and 16-26%. Moreover, we present new evidence that snails have discrimination to choose C3 and C4 plants as food. Therefore, we suggest that food preferences must be considered adequately when applying δ13C in paleo-environment studies. Finally, we inferred that, during egg laying and hatching of our cultured snails, carbon isotope fractionation is controlled only by the isotopic exchange of the calcite-HCO3--aragonite equilibrium.

  5. Calcium-activated potassium conductance noise in snail neurons.

    PubMed

    Westerfield, M; Lux, H D

    1982-11-01

    Current fluctuations were measured in small, 3-6 micrometers-diameter patches of soma membrane in bursting neurons of the snail, Helix pomatia. The fluctuations dramatically increased in magnitude with depolarization of the membrane potential under voltage clamp conditions. Two components of conductance noise were identified in the power spectra calculated from the membrane currents. One component had a corner frequency which increased with depolarization. This component was blocked by intracellular injection of TEA and was relatively insensitive to extracellular calcium levels (as long as the total number of effective divalent cations remained constant). It was identified as fluctuations of the voltage-dependent component of delayed outward current. The second component of conductance noise had a corner frequency which decreased with depolarization. It was relatively unaffected by TEA injection and was reversibly blocked by substitution of extracellular calcium with magnesium, cobalt, or nickel. This second component of noise was identified as fluctuations of the calcium-dependent potassium current. The results suggest that the two components of delayed outward current are conducted through physically distinct channels.

  6. Functional Changes in the Snail Statocyst System Elicited by Microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Balaban, Pavel M.; Malyshev, Aleksey Y.; Ierusalimsky, Victor N.; Aseyev, Nikolay; Korshunova, Tania A.; Bravarenko, Natasha I.; Lemak, M. S.; Roshchin, Matvey; Zakharov, Igor S.; Popova, Yekaterina; Boyle, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Background The mollusk statocyst is a mechanosensing organ detecting the animal's orientation with respect to gravity. This system has clear similarities to its vertebrate counterparts: a weight-lending mass, an epithelial layer containing small supporting cells and the large sensory hair cells, and an output eliciting compensatory body reflexes to perturbations. Methodology/Principal Findings In terrestrial gastropod snail we studied the impact of 16- (Foton M-2) and 12-day (Foton M-3) exposure to microgravity in unmanned orbital missions on: (i) the whole animal behavior (Helix lucorum L.), (ii) the statoreceptor responses to tilt in an isolated neural preparation (Helix lucorum L.), and (iii) the differential expression of the Helix pedal peptide (HPep) and the tetrapeptide FMRFamide genes in neural structures (Helix aspersa L.). Experiments were performed 13–42 hours after return to Earth. Latency of body re-orientation to sudden 90° head-down pitch was significantly reduced in postflight snails indicating an enhanced negative gravitaxis response. Statoreceptor responses to tilt in postflight snails were independent of motion direction, in contrast to a directional preference observed in control animals. Positive relation between tilt velocity and firing rate was observed in both control and postflight snails, but the response magnitude was significantly larger in postflight snails indicating an enhanced sensitivity to acceleration. A significant increase in mRNA expression of the gene encoding HPep, a peptide linked to ciliary beating, in statoreceptors was observed in postflight snails; no differential expression of the gene encoding FMRFamide, a possible neurotransmission modulator, was observed. Conclusions/Significance Upregulation of statocyst function in snails following microgravity exposure parallels that observed in vertebrates suggesting fundamental principles underlie gravi-sensing and the organism's ability to adapt to gravity changes. This

  7. CCL21 Facilitates Chemoresistance and Cancer Stem Cell-Like Properties of Colorectal Cancer Cells through AKT/GSK-3β/Snail Signals

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Lin-Lin; Chen, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Ge; Liu, Zong-Cai; Wu, Nong; Wang, Hao; Qi, Yi-Fei; Wang, Hong-Sheng; Cai, Shao Hui; Du, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Some evidence indicated that chemoresistance associates with the acquisition of cancer stem-like properties. Recent studies suggested that chemokines can promote the chemoresistance and stem cell properties in various cancer cells, while the underling mechanism is still not completely illustrated. In our study, we found that CCL21 can upregulate the expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and stem cell property markers such as Bmi-1, Nanog, and OCT-4 in colorectal cancer (CRC) HCT116 cells and then improve the cell survival rate and mammosphere formation. Our results suggested that Snail was crucial for CCL21-mediated chemoresistance and cancer stem cell property in CRC cells. Further, we observed that CCL21 treatment increased the protein but not mRNA levels of Snail, which suggested that CCL21 upregulates Snail via posttranscriptional ways. The downstream signals AKT/GSK-3β mediated CCL21 induced the upregulation of Snail due to the fact that CCL21 treatment can obviously phosphorylate both AKT and GSK-3β. The inhibitor of PI3K/Akt, LY294002 significantly abolished CCL21 induced chemoresistance and mammosphere formation of HCT116 cells. Collectively, our results in the present study revealed that CCL21 can facilitate chemoresistance and stem cell property of CRC cells via the upregulation of P-gp, Bmi-1, Nanog, and OCT-4 through AKT/GSK-3β/Snail signals, which suggested a potential therapeutic approach to CRC patients. PMID:27057280

  8. The feeding habits of the snail kite in Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1987-01-01

    The feeding habits of the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were observed intermittently from 1967-1980 in Florida, USA. Approximately 97% of all observed foraging bouts were over marshes having sparse emergent vegetation. The visually-hunting kite was unable to forage over floating mats of exotic water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). Male kites had shorter hunting bouts than females. For still-hunting, the birds' perches ranged from 0.15-4.6 m high and captures occurred an average of 5.8 m from perches. Females were significantly more successful (70%) for course-hunting than males (48%), but I found no difference for still-hunting. Birds tended to forage throughout the day, except for occasional inactive periods by some individuals during midday. On cooler days, foraging commenced slightly later in the morning than on warmer days. Kites probably capture freshwater apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) as deep as 16 cm. Capture rates for adults generally ranged from 1.7-3.4 snails per hour. Kites usually foraged over a common hunting area, and defense of foraging sites was rare. Handling of snails, from the kite's arrival at the feeding perch unit consumption, averaged 2.7 min, with no significant difference between sexes. However, adult females were more efficient at the extraction portion of this process than were adult males. Snails were usually extracted before being brought to the nest, except in the latter part of the nestling period when some snails were extracted at or near the nest and some were brought intact. Adults feed small chicks bill to bill, and both parents generally shared equally in care of the young, except at two nests where the females did 67% or more of the feeding. Mean length of snails taken by kites was 42.8 mm (range 25.2-71.3 n=697) and mean diameter was 45.8 mm (range 27.4-82.4, n=697). The most common size classes tkaen were 30-60 mm in length and diameter. Nutritional and gross energy values were determined for apple snails. Female

  9. Lactic acid microflora of the gut of snail Cornu aspersum

    PubMed Central

    Koleva, Zdravka; Dedov, Ivaylo; Kizheva, Joana; Lipovanska, Roxana; Moncheva, Penka; Hristova, Petya

    2014-01-01

    The intestinal lactic acid microflora of the edible snail Cornu aspersum was studied by culture-based methods and was phenotypically and molecularly characterized. The antibacterial activity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates was investigated. Snails in different stages of development were collected from farms located in several regions of Bulgaria. One hundred twenty-two isolates, belonging to the group of LAB, were characterized morphologically and were divided into four groups. Representative isolates from each morphological type were subjected to phenotypic characterization and molecular identification. The snail gut lactic acid microflora was composed by Enterococcus (17 isolates), Lactococcus (12 isolates), Leuconostoc (7 isolates), Lactobacillus (18 isolates) and Weissella (1 isolate). The species affiliation of Lactococcus lactis (12), Leuconostoc mesenteroides (4) and Lactobacillus plantarum (2) was confirmed by species-specific primers. The Lactobacillus isolates were identified by sequence analysis of 16S rDNA as Lactobacillus brevis (12), L. plantarum (2), Lactobacillus graminis (1) and Lactobacillus curvatus (3). The species L. brevis, L. graminis and L. curvatus were found in snails in a phase of hibernation, whereas L. plantarum was identified both in active and hibernation phases. Antibacterial activity (bacteriocine-like) was shown only by one strain of L. mesentereoides P4/8 against Propionibacterium acnes. The present study showed that the LAB are a component of the microbial communities in the snail digestive system. This is the first report on Lactobacillus strains detected in the gut of C. aspersum. PMID:26019550

  10. Antioxidants and oxidative stress in Helix pomatia snails during estivation.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, Anna; Swiderska-Kołacz, Grazyna; Rogalska, Justyna; Caputa, Michał

    2009-11-01

    Estivation enables land snails to survive a prolonged dryness but the return to active state imposes conditions of oxidative stress on internal organs due to a transient large increase in oxygen consumption, which augments mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species. Therefore, activities of antioxidant enzymes, concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) and TBARS as an index of lipid peroxidation, were evaluated in Helix pomatia snails (i) during summer activity, (ii) during estivation, which was induced experimentally, (iii) at the start of arousal from estivation, and (iv) being aroused for 24 h. Estivation induced significant decreases in activity of catalase in the kidney and hepatopancreas and glutathione peroxidase in the kidney. Activity of glutathione reductase was unaffected by estivation/arousal cycle. Summer-active and estivating snails maintained high activity of glutathione transferase. Concentration of GSH was organ-dependent and was positively affected by estivation. Lack of increase in TBARS concentration during estivation/arousal cycle suggests that antioxidant defence system of H. pomatia snails is highly efficacious. In conclusion, permanent maintenance of relatively high activities of the antioxidant enzymes and the high concentration of GSH in H. pomatia snails indicate that they have well-developed strategy of defence against oxidative injury.

  11. 75 FR 35424 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-22

    ...; Proposed Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail From Endangered to Threatened AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife...), propose to reclassify the tulotoma snail (Tulotoma magnifica) from endangered to threatened, under the... no longer correctly reflects the status of this snail. We have documented a substantial...

  12. The faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) invades the St. Louis River Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) now numbers among the aquatic invasive species present in the St. Louis River Estuary. This snail has been in the lower Great Lakes since the early 20th century but is new to the Lake Superior basin. We found faucet snails...

  13. New scope on the relationship between rotifers and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails

    PubMed Central

    Mossallam, Shereen Farouk; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of rotifer internalization into snail tissue on the development of schistosomes. Methods Susceptible laboratory-bred Biomphalaria alexandrina (B. alexandrina) snails were exposed to lab-maintained rotifers; Philodina spp., two weeks before and after being infected with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) miracidia. The consequent histopathological impact on snail tissues and cercarial biology were investigated before and after emergence from snails. Results Contamination of B. alexandrina snails with philodina, two weeks before miracidial exposure, was found to hinder the preliminary development of S. mansoni cercariae inside the snail tissues. Furthermore, when snails were contaminated with rotifers two weeks post miracidial exposure; growth of already established cercariae was found to be retarded. The consequent influence of internalized rotifers within the snail tissue was clearly reflected on cercarial emergence, activity and infectivity along the four weeks duration of shedding. In the present study, comparison of snail histopathological findings and altered cercarial biology observed between the experimental and control groups indicated that the rotifers may have affected the levels of snail's energy reservoirs, which eventually was found to have had an adverse impact on reproduction, growth and survival of the parasite within the snail host, coupled with its performance outside the snail. Conclusions In future biological control strategies of schistosomiasis, ritifers should be considered as a parasitic scourge of humanity. PMID:23905015

  14. Rapid transcription fosters coordinate snail expression in the Drosophila embryo.

    PubMed

    Boettiger, Alistair Nicol; Levine, Michael

    2013-01-31

    Transcription is commonly held to be a highly stochastic process, resulting in considerable heterogeneity of gene expression among the different cells in a population. Here, we employ quantitative in situ hybridization methods coupled with high-resolution imaging assays to measure the expression of snail, a developmental patterning gene necessary for coordinating the invagination of the mesoderm during gastrulation of the Drosophila embryo. Our measurements of steady-state mRNAs suggest that there is very little variation in snail expression across the different cells that make up the mesoderm and that synthesis approaches the kinetic limits of Pol II processivity. We propose that rapid transcription kinetics and negative autoregulation are responsible for the remarkable homogeneity of snail expression and the coordination of mesoderm invagination.

  15. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Ying; Miyazaki, Jun; Nishizawa, Haruki; Kurahashi, Hiroki; Leach, Richard; Wang, Kai

    2013-04-19

    Highlights: •Impaired MTA3, raised CGB5 and Snail expression are associated with preeclampsia. •Knock-down of MTA3 causes up-regulation of CGB5 and Snail genes in BeWo cells. •MTA3 occupies CGB5 and Snail gene promoters in BeWo cells. -- Abstract: Secreted by the placental trophoblast, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is an important hormone during pregnancy and is required for the maintenance of pregnancy. Previous studies have shown that dys-regulation of hCG expression is associated with preeclampsia. However, the exact relationship between altered hCG levels and development of preeclampsia is unknown. Metastasis associated protein 3 (MTA3), a chromatin remodeling protein, is abundantly expressed in the placental trophoblasts, but its function is unknown. In breast cancer, MTA3 has been shown to repress the expression of Snail and cell migration. However, whether MTA3 acts similarly in the trophoblast has not been investigated. In the present study, we examined the role of MTA3 in regulating the hCG β-subunit gene (gene name: CGB5) and Snail expression in the trophoblast cell line, BeWo, as well as its relevance to the high hCG expression levels seen in preeclampsia. First, we investigated MTA3 expression in preeclamptic placenta as compared to normal control placenta via gene expression microarray and qRT-PCR and found that MTA3 was significantly down-regulated, whereas both CGB5 and Snail were up-regulated in preeclamptic placenta. Secondly, we knocked down MTA3 gene in trophoblast cell line BeWo and found Snail and hCG were both up-regulated, suggesting that MTA3 represses Snail and hCG gene expression in trophoblasts. Next, we cloned the CGB5 and Snail promoters into the pGL3-basic vector individually and found that silencing of MTA3 by siRNA resulted in an increase of both CGB5 and Snail promoter activities. To confirm that this MTA3 inhibition is a direct effect, we performed a chromatin immune-precipitation (ChIP) assay and found that MTA3

  16. Slime-trail tracking in the predatory snail, Euglandina rosea.

    PubMed

    Clifford, Kavan T; Gross, Liaini; Johnson, Kwame; Martin, Khalil J; Shaheen, Nagma; Harrington, Melissa A

    2003-10-01

    Euglandina rosea, a predatory land snail, tracks prey and mates by following slime trails. Euglandina follow slime trails more than 80% of the time, following trails of their own species, but not those of prey snails, in the direction that they were laid. The attractive elements of prey slime are small, water-soluble compounds detected by specialized lip extensions. Although olfaction plays no role in trail following, strong odors disrupt tracking. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase also disrupts slime trail following, suggesting a role for nitric oxide in neural processing of slime trail stimuli. Euglandina can be conditioned to follow novel trails of glutamate or arginine paired with feeding on prey snails. These experiments demonstrate that slime-trail tracking in Euglandina is a robust, easily measured behavior that makes a good model system for studying sensory processing and learning in a novel modality.

  17. Prioritized phenotypic responses to combined predators in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E

    2009-06-01

    Although many species face numerous predators in nature, the combined impact of multiple predators on the inducible defenses of prey has rarely been studied. Prey may respond with an intermediate phenotype that balances the risk from several sources or may simply respond to the most dangerous predator. I examined the separate and combined effects of the presence of shell-breaking (crabs, Cancer productus) and shell-entry (seastars, Pisaster ochraceus) predators fed conspecific snails on the defensive shell morphology and antipredator behavior of a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa). When exposed to each feeding predator separately, snails responded with a combination of morphological defenses that reflect the attack mode of the predator and a generalized behavioral response. Snails responded to feeding crabs by increasing refuge use and producing a thick, rotund shell. Snails responded to feeding seastars with increased refuge use but produced elongate shells with high spires that allowed for greater retraction of the soft tissue. Seastar-induced phenotypes reduced susceptibility to seastars relative to crab-induced phenotypes, but crab-induced phenotypes did not significantly reduce susceptibility to crabs, indicating an asymmetrical functional trade-off. When feeding predators were combined, snails produced a morphological phenotype similar to that expressed in the presence of the predator that imposed the highest mortality at the population level, suggesting that predator-induced morphology was prioritized according to predation risk. These results suggest that prioritizing conflicting defenses according to predator danger may be a common strategy for prey responding to combined predators, particularly in conjunction with generalized behavioral responses that reduce overall risk in multiple-predator environments.

  18. Natural parasitic infection of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Keawjam, R S; Poonswad, P; Upatham, E S; Banpavichit, S

    1993-03-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected once a month during a year to search for their natural parasites. The collections were made at two localities having different ecological environments. Of 576 collected snails from a canal, 176 individuals (30.6%) were infected by three groups of metacercariae. These parasites were amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae, which had prevalences of 23.5, 19.5 and 0.5%, respectively. The incidence of infection was highest (68.4% in October) when the snail population was composed of the old, juvenile and young Pomacea. Amphistome metacercariae were found most frequently and echinostome metacercariae the least frequently; both parasites were localized in the foot muscle of the snails and had a Shannon index of zero. The range of amphistomes was 1 to 115 with the mean +/- SD of 1 +/- 2 and 95% CL of 1, 2. Distome metacercariae were found primarily in the heart (range: 1-13), and also in the foot muscle (range: 1-5) and kidney (range: 1-14), with a Shannon index of 0.4. The means +/- SD (with 95% CL) were 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 1, 5), 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 2, 4) and 2 +/- 1 (95% CL = 1, 2) for the foot muscle, heart and kidney, respectively. The snails from a pond, another locality, had a low proportion of infected individuals. Of 605 snails, only 24 individuals (4.0%) were infected, with the prevalence of amphistomes, distomes and echinostomes being 0.8, 1.8 and 2.1%, respectively. The incidence of infection for each month was zero or less than 10%, except in May when it was 30.2%.

  19. Effects of trematode parasitism on the shell morphology of snails from flow and nonflow environments.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-03-01

    The primary function of the gastropod shell is protection. However, shells that function well in one environment may be maladaptive in another. Upon infection, the snail shell protects internal parasites and it is to the parasite's advantage to optimize, or not interfere with, shell functionality. However, parasites, particularly trematodes, are often pathogenic and it is not clear if parasitism will induce environment-dependent or -independent changes to gastropod shells. We conducted a field study and a complementary laboratory experiment to examine the effects of trematode parasitism on shell characteristics (shape, size, and crush resistance) of Physa acuta snails in flow and nonflow environments using geometric morphometrics and crush assays. Field results indicate wetland (nonflow) snails had large, crush resistant shells with narrow apertures and tall spires. In contrast, stream (flow) snails had small, weak shells with wide apertures and short spires. Parasitism had no apparent effect on the crush resistance of wetland snails but significantly reduced the crush resistance of stream snails. Parasitism had no significant effect on overall shell shape in stream or wetland snails. Similar to the results of our field study, nonflow tank snails had significantly more crush resistant shells than flow tank snails. Additionally, the shapes of flow and nonflow tank snails significantly differed where nonflow tank snails resembled wetland snails and flow tank snails resembled stream snails. For laboratory snails, parasitism reduced crush resistance regardless of flow/nonflow treatment. Our results demonstrate that habitat and/or flow treatment was the primary factor affecting P. acuta shell morphology and that trematode parasitism played a secondary role.

  20. Optical Recording of Odor-Evoked Responses in the Olfactory Brain of the Naïve and Aversively Trained Terrestrial Snails

    PubMed Central

    Nikitin, Eugeny S.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2000-01-01

    Regular spontaneous oscillations were recorded both electro- and optophysiologically using a voltage-sensitive absorption dye in the olfactory part of the brain (procerebral lobe of the cerebral ganglia) of the gastropod mollusk Helix lucorum. Odor application caused transient changes in procerebral oscillations, and an odor-evoked potential was recorded in the procerebrum (PC). The wave of evoked potential originated near the place of olfactory nerve entrance into the PC and propagated via the procerebral neuropile toward the cell body layer. The spread of the odor-evoked potential corresponded roughly to the neuropile area, whereas the spontaneous oscillations were recorded in the cell body layer of the PC and were not observed in the neuropile. Evoked potential did not produce additional events intercalated into the ongoing spontaneous oscillations. Changes in parameters of spontaneous oscillations to the repeated presentations of the same odor were variable. To estimate the role of spontaneous oscillations in odor encoding, we trained the snail to avoid cineole, using paired presentations of cineole and electric shock. Elaboration of conditioned aversion to cineole applications resulted in distinct pairing-specific changes in behavior of the snails and procerebral activity. Responses to odor (cineole) applications were not different in amplitude or frequency of spontaneous oscillations in control and trained snails, whereas ratio of amplitudes of the same oscillation wave in proximal and distal regions of the procerebrum was significantly different in control and aversively trained snails, reflecting changes in neural firing in certain areas of the olfactory lobe. PMID:11112801

  1. Global assessment of schistosomiasis control over the past century shows targeting the snail intermediate host works best

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sokolow, Susanne H.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel J.; Swartz, Scott J.; Lopez, Melina; Hsieh, Michael H.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Rickards, Chloe; De Leo, Giulio A.

    2016-01-01

    Snail control has been the most effective way to reduce schistosomiasis prevalence. Despite evidence that snail control leads to long-term disease reduction and elimination, most current schistosomiasis control efforts emphasize MDA using praziquantel over snail control. Combining drug-based control programs with affordable snail control seems the best strategy for eliminating schistosomiasis.

  2. 78 FR 12346 - Jennings Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

    ... Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (= banded dune snail; Helminthoglypta walkeriana... mitigate project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as...

  3. Ivermectin efficacy against Biomphalaria, intermediate host snail vectors of Schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Katz, Naftale; Araújo, Neusa; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech; Morel, Carlos Medicis; Linde-Arias, Ana Rosa; Yamada, Takeshi; Horimatsu, Yuki; Suzuki, Koh; Sunazuka, Toshiaki; Ōmura, Satoshi

    2017-03-15

    The impact of ivermectin on adult snails of the genus Biomphalaria (B. glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. straminea), B. glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni, snail egg-masses cercariae and miracidia, as well as on guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) was examined and evaluated. Biomphalaria snails, egg-masses, parasite stages and guppies were all exposed to different concentrations of ivermectin for 24 h, followed by regular observations of mortality. The calculated lethal doses of ivermectin were around an LD50 of 0.03 μg ml(-1), and an LD90 of 0.3 μg ml(-1) for the three species of snails. Specimens of B. glabrata actually shedding parasite cercariae all died when exposed to ivermectin at a concentration of a mere 0.01 μg ml(-1). Ivermectin B1a, the major (80%) component of commercially available ivermectin, proved to be inactive, and it was the minor (20%) component, ivermectin B1b, which caused snail death. Snail egg-masses were not affected, even at the highest concentration of 100 μg ml(-1). With respect to S. mansoni parasite stages, 0.2 μg ml(-1) ivermectin killed 50% of cercariae and miracidia within five minutes, rising to 90% after 30 min. Mortality of guppy fish within 24 h of exposure to ivermectin at concentrations of 0.5 μg ml(-1) and 0.01 μg ml(-1), were 100% and 30%, respectively. The concentration of 0.01 μg ml(-1) that killed Schistosoma mansoni-infected snails only caused 30% mortality in guppy fish. Ivermectin can be considered a promising molluscicide, especially as it is more potent against infected snails than uninfected ones, although it has no impact on egg-masses. Ivermectin and its derivatives could be explored in the search for a new agent to help control schistosomiasis transmission.The Journal of Antibiotics advance online publication, 15 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ja.2017.31.

  4. One-trial reward learning in the snail Lymnea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Alexander, J; Audesirk, T E; Audesirk, G J

    1984-01-01

    We present evidence that the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is capable of aquisition and extensive retention of an appetitively reinforced feeding response after only a single training trial. Food-deprived snails presented with a single pairing of a phagostimulant (a mixture of sucrose and casein digest) and a novel, non-food chemostimulus (amyl acetate) subsequently made feeding responses to the amyl acetate and retained the association for at least 19 days. This demonstration of one-trial, non-aversive classical conditioning enhances the utility of Lymnaea stagnalis as a model system for the detailed analysis of neural mechanisms underlying plasticity.

  5. Nuclear ubiquitination by FBXL5 modulates Snail1 DNA binding and stability

    PubMed Central

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Frías, Álex; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Zhang, Kun; Longmore, Gregory D.; García de Herreros, Antonio; Díaz, Víctor M.

    2014-01-01

    The zinc finger transcription factor Snail1 regulates epithelial to mesenchymal transition, repressing epithelial markers and activating mesenchymal genes. Snail1 is an extremely labile protein degraded by the cytoplasmic ubiquitin-ligases β-TrCP1/FBXW1 and Ppa/FBXL14. Using a short hairpin RNA screening, we have identified FBXL5 as a novel Snail1 ubiquitin ligase. FBXL5 is located in the nucleus where it interacts with Snail1 promoting its polyubiquitination and affecting Snail1 protein stability and function by impairing DNA binding. Snail1 downregulation by FBXL5 is prevented by Lats2, a protein kinase that phosphorylates Snail1 precluding its nuclear export but not its polyubiquitination. Actually, although polyubiquitination by FBXL5 takes place in the nucleus, Snail1 is degraded in the cytosol. Finally, FBXL5 is highly sensitive to stress conditions and is downregulated by iron depletion and γ-irradiation, explaining Snail1 stabilization in these conditions. These results characterize a novel nuclear ubiquitin ligase controlling Snail1 protein stability and provide the molecular basis for understanding how radiotherapy upregulates the epithelial to mesenchymal transition-inducer Snail1. PMID:24157836

  6. Intraguild predation by shore crabs affects mortality, behavior, growth, and densities of California horn snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, J.; Hechinger, R.F.; Cooper, S. D.; Kuris, A. M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    The California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica, and the shore crabs, Pachygrapsus crassipesand Hemigrapsus oregonensis, compete for epibenthic microalgae, but the crabs also eat snails. Such intraguild predation is common in nature, despite models predicting instability. Using a series of manipulations and field surveys, we examined intraguild predation from several angles, including the effects of stage-dependent predation along with direct consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects on intraguild prey. In the laboratory, we found that crabs fed on macroalgae, snail eggs, and snails, and the size of consumed snails increased with predator crab size. In field experiments, snails grew less in the presence of crabs partially because snails behaved differently and were buried in the sediment (nonconsumptive effects). Consistent with these results, crab and snail abundances were negatively correlated in three field surveys conducted at three different spatial scales in estuaries of California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur: (1) among 61 sites spanning multiple habitat types in three estuaries, (2) among the habitats of 13 estuaries, and (3) among 34 tidal creek sites in one estuary. These results indicate that shore crabs are intraguild predators on California horn snails that affect snail populations via predation and by influencing snail behavior and performance.

  7. Habitat-associations of turban snails on intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Smoothey, Amy F

    2013-01-01

    subtidal turban snails and forms a basis for increasing the understanding of the potential underlying processes causing such patterns.

  8. Habitat-Associations of Turban Snails on Intertidal and Subtidal Rocky Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Smoothey, Amy F.

    2013-01-01

    intertidal and subtidal turban snails and forms a basis for increasing the understanding of the potential underlying processes causing such patterns. PMID:23675409

  9. Appearance of morphological novelty in a hybrid zone between two species of land snail.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Satoshi

    2005-08-01

    On the small oceanic island of Chichijima, two endemic species of land snails, Mandarina mandarina and M. chichijimana, have discrete distributions separated by a hybrid zone. This study investigates the potential of hybridization as a source of morphological novelty in these snails. Mandarina mandarina possesses a shell with a higher whorl expansion rate and a smaller protoconch than M. chichijimana, relative to shell size. The number of whorls and shell size of M. mandarina do not differ from those of M. chichijimana, because the effect of higher expansion rate on number of whorls and size of the former is compensated for by its smaller protoconch. The whorl expansion rate and protoconch diameter of the individuals from the hybrid populations are intermediate or typical of either of the two species, and their average values show clinal changes along the hybrid zone. However, the hybrid populations include exceptionally high shells with many whorls and flat shells with few whorls, which are never found in the pure populations of either species. In addition, gradual increases in variance in shell height and number of whorls were found from the edges to the center of the hybrid zone. A combination of low expansion rate (typical of M. chichijimana) and a small protoconch (typical of M. mandarina) produces a shell with an extremely large number of whorls because of the geometry of shell coiling. However, the combination of high expansion rate and a large protoconch produces a shell with an extremely small number of whorls. Because of the correlation between the number of whorls and shell height, shells with an exceptional number of whorls possess an extraordinarily high or flat spire. Hybrids can inherit a mosaic of characters that, as they play out during growth, lead to novel adult morphologies. These findings emphasize the importance of hybridization as a source of morphological variation and evolutionary novelty in land snails.

  10. Contryphan Genes and Mature Peptides in the Venom of Nine Cone Snail Species by Transcriptomic and Mass Spectrometric Analysis.

    PubMed

    Vijayasarathy, Marimuthu; Basheer, Soorej M; Franklin, Jayaseelan Benjamin; Balaram, Padmanabhan

    2017-02-03

    The occurrence of contryphans, a class of single-disulfide-bond-containing peptides, is demonstrated by the analysis of the venom of nine species of cone snails. Ten full gene sequences and two partial gene sequences coding for contryphan precursor proteins have been identified by next-generation sequencing and compared with available sequences. The occurrence of mature peptides in isolated venom has been demonstrated by LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis. De novo sequencing of reduced, alkylated contryphans from C. frigidus and C. araneosus provides evidence of sequence variation and post-translational modification, notably gamma carboxylation of glutamic acid. The characterization of Fr965 (C. frigidus) provides a rare example of a sequence lacking Pro at position 5 in the disulfide loop. The widespread occurrence of contryphan genes and mature peptides in the venom of diverse cone snails is suggestive of their potential biological significance.

  11. Effects of serotonin on the heartbeat of pond snails in a hunger state

    PubMed Central

    Yamagishi, Miki; Watanabe, Takayuki; Hatakeyama, Dai; Ito, Etsuro

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) is a multimodal transmitter that controls both feeding response and heartbeat in snails. However, the effects of 5-HT on the hunger state are still unknown. We therefore examined the relation among the hunger state, the heartbeat rate and the 5-HT action in food-starved snails. We found that the hunger state was significantly distinguished by the heartbeat rate in snails. The heartbeat rate was high in the food-satiated snails, whereas it was low in the food-starved snails. An increase in 5-HT concentration in the body boosted the heartbeat rate in the food-starved snails, but did not affect the rate in the food-satiated snails. These results suggest that 5-HT application may mimic the change from a starvation to a satiation state normally achieved by direct ingestion of food. PMID:27493507

  12. Histamine Immunoreactive Elements in the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems of the Snail, Biomphalaria spp., Intermediate Host for Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Habib, Mohamed R; Mohamed, Azza H; Osman, Gamalat Y; Sharaf El-Din, Ahmed T; Mossalem, Hanan S; Delgado, Nadia; Torres, Grace; Rolón-Martínez, Solymar; Miller, Mark W; Croll, Roger P

    2015-01-01

    Histamine appears to be an important transmitter throughout the Animal Kingdom. Gastropods, in particular, have been used in numerous studies establishing potential roles for this biogenic amine in the nervous system and showing its involvement in the generation of diverse behaviours. And yet, the distribution of histamine has only previously been described in a small number of molluscan species. The present study examined the localization of histamine-like immunoreactivity in the central and peripheral nervous systems of pulmonate snails of the genus Biomphalaria. This investigation demonstrates immunoreactive cells throughout the buccal, cerebral, pedal, left parietal and visceral ganglia, indicative of diverse regulatory functions in Biomphalaria. Immunoreactivity was also present in statocyst hair cells, supporting a role for histamine in graviception. In the periphery, dense innervation by immunoreactive fibers was observed in the anterior foot, perioral zone, and other regions of the body wall. This study thus shows that histamine is an abundant transmitter in these snails and its distribution suggest involvement in numerous neural circuits. In addition to providing novel subjects for comparative studies of histaminegic neurons in gastropods, Biomphalaria is also the major intermediate host for the digenetic trematode parasite, which causes human schistosomiasis. The study therefore provides a foundation for understanding potential roles for histamine in interactions between the snail hosts and their trematode parasites.

  13. Molluscicidal activity of the plant Eupatorium adenophorum against Oncomelania hupensis, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma japonicum.

    PubMed

    Zou, F C; Duan, G; Xie, Y J; Zhou, Y; Dong, G D; Lin, R Q; Zhu, X Q

    2009-09-01

    The potential molluscicidal activities of aqueous extracts of Eupatorium adenophorum have recently been evaluated against Oncomelania hupensis, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma japonicum. The snails were continuously exposed to extracts of the leaves, roots or stems [each at concentrations of 0.27%, 0.50% and 0.86% (w/v)], with survival recorded 6, 12, 24, 30, 36, 48, 52, 58, 70, 76, 82 and 96 h after the start of the exposure. Even at the lowest concentration tested (0.27%), the leaf extract caused mortality in excess of 50% after 58 h and 100% mortality after 82 h. This extract was significantly more effective against O. hupensis than the stem or root extract (P<0.05) but there was no statistically significant difference between the root and stem extracts in their molluscicidal effects (P>0.05). These preliminary results indicate that E. adenophorum may potentially provide a new molluscicide that could give effective and environmentally-friendly control of schistosomiasis in humans and livestock. The toxicity of E. adenophorum extracts, or molluscicidal compounds isolated from such extracts, to other snail hosts of human parasites and to non-target species of aquatic life will be investigated.

  14. Sex determination and gender expression: Reproductive investment in snails.

    PubMed

    Koene, Joris M

    2017-02-01

    Sex determination is generally seen as an issue of importance for separate-sexed organisms; however, when considering other sexual systems, such as hermaphroditism, sex allocation is a less-binary form of sex determination. As illustrated here, with examples from molluscs, this different vantage point can offer important evolutionary insights. After all, males and females produce only one type of gamete, whereas hermaphrodites produce both. In addition, sperm and accessory gland products are donated bidirectionally. For reciprocal mating, this is obvious since sperm are exchanged within one mating interaction; but even unilaterally mating species end up mating in both sexual roles, albeit not simultaneously. With this in mind, I highlight two factors that play an important role in how reproductive investment is divided in snails: First, the individual's motivation to preferentially donate rather than receive sperm (or vice versa) leads to flexible behavioral performance, and thereby investment, of either sex. Second, due to the presence of both sexual roles within the same individual, partners are potentially able to influence investment in both sexual functions of their partner to their own benefit. The latter has already led to novel insights into how accessory gland products may evolve. Moreover, the current evidence points towards different ways in which allocation to reproduction can be changed in simultaneous hermaphrodites. These often differ from the separate-sexed situation, highlighting that comparison across different sexual systems may help identify commonalities and differences in physiological, and molecular mechanisms as well as evolutionary patterns. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 84: 132-143, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbiota from the Crop of an Invasive Snail Reveals a Rich Reservoir of Novel Genes

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Cantão, Maurício E.; Thompson, Claudia E.; Flatschart, Roberto B.; Glogauer, Arnaldo; Scapin, Sandra M. N.; Sade, Youssef B.; Beltrão, Paulo J. M. S. I.; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Martins, Orlando B.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2012-01-01

    The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO2 emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH) domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%), very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont. PMID:23133637

  16. Effect of soil surface salt on the density and distribution of the snail Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Suwannatrai, Kulwadee; Haruay, Surat; Piratae, Supawadee; Thammasiri, Chalida; Khampoosa, Panita; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Tarbsripair, Pairat; Suwanwerakamtorn, Rasamee; Sukchan, Somsak; Boonmars, Thidarut; Malone, John B; Kearney, Michael T; Tesana, Smarn

    2011-05-01

    Opisthorchis viverrini infection is associated with human cholangiocarcinoma and northeast Thailand has the highest incidence of this disease in the world. Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos is the major freshwater snail intermediate host of O. viverrini in this area and an analysis based on geographical information systems was used to determine the effect of variation in soil surface salt on the density and distribution of this snail. A malacological survey was carried out in 56 water bodies in the Khorat basin, northeast Thailand at locations with various soil surface salt levels. Mollusk samples were collected from 10 ecologically representative water body sites with 10-20 sampling stations in each. The shoreline of clear, shallow water bodies was found to be the preferred B. s. goniomphalos habitat. The snails were exclusively found in water with salinity levels ranging between 0.05 and 22.11 parts per thousand (ppt), which supports the notion that B. s. goniomphalos prefers water with some saline content over pure, freshwater. The highest snail population densities were in rice fields, ponds, road-side ditches and canals within a water salinity range of 2.5-5.0 ppt. However, the presence of B. s. goniomphalos was negatively correlated with water salinity (P ≤0.05), both with regard to density and distribution. The areas with the highest density of B. s. goniomphalos were those with less than 1% soil surface salt (potential index = 0.314), while the lowest densities were found in areas exceeding 50% soil surface salt (potential index = 0.015).

  17. Factors controlling shell carbon isotopic composition of land snail Acusta despecta sieboldiana estimated from laboratory culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Suzuki, N.; Yoshida, N.

    2014-10-01

    The carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate derives from three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2, and ingested carbonate (limestone). However, their relative contributions remain unclear. Under various environmental conditions, we cultured one land snail subspecies, Acusta despecta sieboldiana, collected from Yokohama, Japan, and confirmed that all of these sources affect shell carbonate δ13C values. Herein, we consider the influences of metabolic rates and temperature on the carbon isotopic composition of the shell carbonate. Based on results obtained from previous works and this study, a simple but credible framework is presented to illustrate how each source and environmental parameter affects shell carbonate δ13C values. According to this framework and some reasonable assumptions, we estimated the contributions of different carbon sources for each snail individual: for cabbage-fed (C3 plant) groups, the contributions of diet, atmospheric CO2, and ingested limestone vary in the ranges of 66-80, 16-24, and 0-13%, respectively. For corn-fed (C4 plant) groups, because of the possible food stress (less ability to consume C4 plants), the values vary in the ranges of 56-64, 18-20, and 16-26%, respectively. Moreover, according to the literature and our observations, the subspecies we cultured in this study show preferences towards different plant species for food. Therefore, we suggest that the potential food preference should be considered adequately for some species in paleoenvironment studies. Finally, we inferred that only the isotopic exchange of the calcite-HCO3--aragonite equilibrium during egg laying and hatching of our cultured snails controls carbon isotope fractionation.

  18. Flying shells: historical dispersal of marine snails across Central America

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Osamu; Torchin, Mark E.; Bermingham, Eldredge; Jacobs, David K.; Hechinger, Ryan F.

    2012-01-01

    The geological rise of the Central American Isthmus separated the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans about 3 Ma, creating a formidable barrier to dispersal for marine species. However, similar to Simpson's proposal that terrestrial species can ‘win sweepstakes routes’—whereby highly improbable dispersal events result in colonization across geographical barriers—marine species may also breach land barriers given enough time. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether intertidal marine snails have crossed Central America to successfully establish in new ocean basins. We used a mitochondrial DNA genetic comparison of sister snails (Cerithideopsis spp.) separated by the rise of the Isthmus. Genetic variation in these snails revealed evidence of at least two successful dispersal events between the Pacific and the Atlantic after the final closure of the Isthmus. A combination of ancestral area analyses and molecular dating techniques indicated that dispersal from the Pacific to the Atlantic occurred about 750 000 years ago and that dispersal in the opposite direction occurred about 72 000 years ago. The geographical distribution of haplotypes and published field evidence further suggest that migratory shorebirds transported the snails across Central America at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico. Migratory birds could disperse other intertidal invertebrates this way, suggesting the Central American Isthmus may not be as impassable for marine species as previously assumed. PMID:21920976

  19. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes’ dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  20. Arsenic speciation in freshwater snails and its life cycle variation.

    PubMed

    Lai, Vivian W-M; Kanaki, Katerina; Pergantis, Spiros A; Cullen, William R; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2012-03-01

    Terrestrial snails are consumed by humans occasionally and they are an important food source for many creatures including fish and birds. Little is known about arsenic speciation in these gastropods, let alone life cycle variations. Here we report on the arsenic speciation in freshwater snails from Pender Island and Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, which was determined on methanol/water extracts (43-59% extraction efficiency) by using high performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) and HPLC-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. The tetramethylarsonium ion, oxo-arsenosugars and thio-arsenosugars are the main arsenic species encountered. Arsenobetaine, which is commonly found in the marine environment, is minor. Live bearing snails Viviparidae sp. from Pender Island were maintained in aquaria and the arsenic speciation in the unborn, newly born, and adult animals was monitored. Oxo-arsenosugars predominate in the adults, whereas thio-arsenosugars seem to predominate in juveniles, suggesting that these arsenicals are snail metabolites.

  1. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banks, Stephen W.; Shepherd, Deborah K.; Williams-Hart, Tara; Gossett, Dalton R.; Crnkovic, Amanda C.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is based upon a laboratory exercise designed for biology students in secondary schools or those taking introductory biology laboratory courses in colleges and universities. This exercise requires a set of calipers, a calculator and populations of snail shells collected either from the wild or obtained from a biological supply house. The…

  2. Food Choice in the Common Snail (Helix Aspersa).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

    The easily obtained common snail shows interesting dietary preferences which can be the source of several simple experiments. Specific student instructions are given for quantitative and comparative studies using cabbage, lettuce, carrot, rutabaga, and onion. Suggestions for laboratory setup and further work are included. (DH)

  3. Molluscicidal effect of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids against Oncomelania hupensis snails.

    PubMed

    Peng, Fei; Liu, Ming; Huang, Qiongyao; Liu, Nianmeng; Yang, Huazhong; Sun, Hui; Hu, Qi; Feng, Fang; Jiang, Chonghe

    2011-03-01

    The molluscicidal effects of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids (ECA) against Oncomelania hupensis snails were determined by immersion method. The molluscicidal effect was positively related to ECA concentration, immersion time and temperature of the immersion solution. The mortality of the snails reached 100% by 72 hours in ECA at a concentration of 2.5 mg/l at 25 degrees C. The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level of liver cells treated with ECA was higher than controls at 24 and 36 hours (57.7 and 60.3 U/l versus 39.2 and 49.2 U/1, respectively) but the level decreased at 48-72 hours after treatment. The decrease points to the toxic effect of ECA against liver cells. After ECA treatment, the liver cells were edematous with swollen or disintegrating nuclei; they were enlarged and had vacuolated rER; they had dilated and vesiculated mitochondria with broken crests further indicating a hepatotoxic effect of ECA in O. hupensis snails. ECA has a molluscicidal effect that may be of practical use in the field to control O. hupensis snails.

  4. Unimodal latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across northern Eurasian lowlands.

    PubMed

    Horsák, Michal; Chytrý, Milan

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness and their causes are still poorly understood for most terrestrial invertebrates, although invertebrates can add important insights into the mechanisms that generate regional and global biodiversity patterns. Here we explore the general plausibility of the climate-based "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis using the latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across extensive topographically homogeneous lowlands of northern Eurasia. We established a 1480-km long latitudinal transect across the Western Siberian Plain (Russia) from the Russia-Kazakhstan border (54.5°N) to the Arctic Ocean (67.5°N), crossing eight latitudinal vegetation zones: steppe, forest-steppe, subtaiga, southern, middle and northern taiga, forest-tundra, and tundra. We sampled snails in forests and open habitats each half-degree of latitude and used generalized linear models to relate snail species richness to climatic variables and soil calcium content measured in situ. Contrary to the classical prediction of latitudinal biodiversity decrease, we found a striking unimodal pattern of snail species richness peaking in the subtaiga and southern-taiga zones between 57 and 59°N. The main south-to-north interchange of the two principal diversity constraints, i.e. drought stress vs. cold stress, explained most of the variance in the latitudinal diversity pattern. Water balance, calculated as annual precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration, was a single variable that could explain 81.7% of the variance in species richness. Our data suggest that the "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis can apply not only at the global scale but also at subcontinental scales of higher latitudes, as water availability was found to be the primary limiting factor also in this extratropical region with summer-warm and dry climate. A narrow zone with a sharp south-to-north switch in the two main diversity constraints seems to constitute the dominant and general pattern of

  5. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the cone snails (Gastropoda, Conoidea).

    PubMed

    Puillandre, N; Bouchet, P; Duda, T F; Kauferstein, S; Kohn, A J; Olivera, B M; Watkins, M; Meyer, C

    2014-09-01

    We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny that includes 320 of the 761 recognized valid species of the cone snails (Conus), one of the most diverse groups of marine molluscs, based on three mitochondrial genes (COI, 16S rDNA and 12S rDNA). This is the first phylogeny of the taxon to employ concatenated sequences of several genes, and it includes more than twice as many species as the last published molecular phylogeny of the entire group nearly a decade ago. Most of the numerous molecular phylogenies published during the last 15years are limited to rather small fractions of its species diversity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses are mostly congruent and confirm the presence of three previously reported highly divergent lineages among cone snails, and one identified here using molecular data. About 85% of the species cluster in the single Large Major Clade; the others are divided between the Small Major Clade (∼12%), the Conus californicus lineage (one species), and a newly defined clade (∼3%). We also define several subclades within the Large and Small major clades, but most of their relationships remain poorly supported. To illustrate the usefulness of molecular phylogenies in addressing specific evolutionary questions, we analyse the evolution of the diet, the biogeography and the toxins of cone snails. All cone snails whose feeding biology is known inject venom into large prey animals and swallow them whole. Predation on polychaete worms is inferred as the ancestral state, and diet shifts to molluscs and fishes occurred rarely. The ancestor of cone snails probably originated from the Indo-Pacific; rather few colonisations of other biogeographic provinces have probably occurred. A new classification of the Conidae, based on the molecular phylogeny, is published in an accompanying paper.

  6. Optimal diet theory: behavior of a starved predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Perry, D M

    1987-06-01

    The tenets of optimal foraging theory are used to contrast the behavior of the predatory snail Acantina spirata when feeding on the barnacles Balanus glandula and Chthamalus fissus under conditions of satiation and starvation. As predicted in optimal diet models, A. spirata is less selective (ratio of attack frequency on a prey species to number of individuals available) when the higher ranking prey has low abundance. When given a choice, starved snails attack both barnacle species equally, whereas satiated individuals preferentially attack B. glandula, the more profitable prey (ash-free dry weight of barnacles ingested per unit handling time). Under starvation conditions, equal attack frequency does not result in equal prey species consumption because Acanthina spirata is more successful at attacking C. fissus than B. glandula.The assumption of constant prey encounter rates in optimal diet models is not met when A. spirata goes from a state of satiation to starvation. The encounter rate on B. glandula is lowered due to a decrease in attack success. A loss of feeding skills in starved A. spirata is responsible for the greater difficulty snails have in gaining access through the opercular plates of B. glandula.Behavioral changes in A. spirata as snails pass from satiation to hunger translate into an energetic disadvantage during feeding for hungry snails for two reasons. First, higher prey handling times result in a decreased rate of biomass intake. Second, alteration in the relative attack frequency between barnacle species, combined with a decrease in attack success on the more profitable prey leads to more frequent ingestion of the less profitable prey.

  7. Snail and serpinA1 promote tumor progression and predict prognosis in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jin Hwa; Lee, Ja Rang; Kim, Hye Kyung; Jo, Hong-jae; Kim, Hyun Sung; Oh, Nahmgun; Song, Geun Am; Park, Do Youn

    2015-01-01

    The role of Snail and serpin peptidase inhibitor clade A member 1 (serpinA1) in tumorigenesis has been previously identified. However, the exact role and mechanism of these proteins in progression of colorectal cancer (CRC) are controversial. In this study, we investigated the role of Snail and serpinA1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) and examined the mechanisms through which these proteins mediate CRC progression. Immunohistochemical analysis of 528 samples from patients with CRC showed that elevated expression of Snail or serpinA1 was correlated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, and poor prognosis. Moreover, we detected a correlation between Snail and serpinA1 expression. Functional studies performed using the CRC cell lines DLD-1 and SW-480 showed that overexpression of Snail or serpinA1 significantly increased CRC cell invasion and migration. Conversely, knockdown of Snail or serpinA1 expression suppressed CRC cell invasion and migration. ChIP analysis revealed that Snail regulated serpinA1 by binding to its promoter. In addition, fibronectin mediated Snail and serpinA1 signaling was involved in CRC cell invasion and migration. Taken together, our data showed that Snail and serpinA1 promoted CRC progression through fibronectin. These findings suggested that Snail and serpinA1 were novel prognostic biomarkers and candidate therapeutic targets in CRC. PMID:26015410

  8. Lymnaea glabra: progressive increase in susceptibility to Fasciola hepatica through successive generations of experimentally infected snails.

    PubMed

    Rondelaud, D; Teukeng, F F Djuikwo; Vignoles, P; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-07-01

    Experimental infections of Lymnaea glabra (two populations) with Fasciola hepatica were carried out during seven successive snail generations, to determine if prevalence and intensity of snail infection increased over time through descendants of snails already infected with F. hepatica. Controls were descendants coming from uninfected parents and infected according to the same protocol. No larval forms were found in the bodies of control snails coming from uninfected parents. In contrast, prevalence and intensity of F. hepatica infection in snails originating from infected parents progressively increased from the F2 or F3 to the F6 generation of L. glabra. In another experiment carried out with the F7 generations of L. glabra and a single generation of Galba truncatula (as controls), the prevalence of F. hepatica infection and the total number of cercariae were lower in L. glabra (without significant differences between both populations). If the number of cercariae shed by infected snails was compared to overall cercarial production noted in snails containing cercariae but dying without emission, the percentage was greater in G. truncatula (69% instead of 52-54% in L. glabra). Even if most characteristics of F. hepatica infection were lower in L. glabra, prevalence and intensity of parasite infection increased with snail generation when tested snails came from infected parents. This mode of snail infection with F. hepatica suggests an explanation for cases of fasciolosis occurring in cattle-breeding farms where paramphistomosis is lacking and G. truncatula is absent.

  9. Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Macedo, María Leopoldina; Vidal-Martínez, Victor M; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2011-11-01

    In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery.

  10. Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aguirre-Macedo, Maria Leopoldina; Vidal-Martinez, Victor M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery.

  11. A Pilot Study Testing a Natural and a Synthetic Molluscicide for Controlling Invasive Apple Snails (Pomacea maculata).

    PubMed

    Olivier, Heather M; Jenkins, Jill A; Berhow, Mark; Carter, Jacoby

    2016-03-01

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this pilot study snails were exposed to two molluscicides, a tea (Camellia sinensis) seed derivative (TSD) or niclosamide monohydrate (Pestanal(®), 2',5-dichloro-4'-nitrosalicylanilide, CAS #73360-56-2). Mortality was recorded after exposure to high or low concentrations (0.03 and 0.015 g/L for TSD, 1.3 and 0.13 mg/L for niclosamide). The TSD induced 100 % mortality at both concentrations. Niclosamide caused 100 % and 17 % mortality at high and low concentrations respectively. These molluscicides were also tested on potential biocontrol agents, the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus). No crayfish mortalities occurred at either concentration for either chemical, but sunfish experienced 100 % mortality with TSD (0.03 g/L), and 21 % mortality with niclosamide (0.13 mg/L).

  12. A pilot study testing a natural and a synthetic Molluscicide for controlling invasive apple snails (Pomacea maculata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olivier, Heather M.; Jenkins, Jill A.; Berhow, Mark; Carter, Jacoby

    2016-01-01

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this pilot study snails were exposed to two molluscicides, a tea (Camellia sinensis) seed derivative (TSD) or niclosamide monohydrate (Pestanal®, 2′,5-dichloro-4′-nitrosalicylanilide, CAS #73360-56-2). Mortality was recorded after exposure to high or low concentrations (0.03 and 0.015 g/L for TSD, 1.3 and 0.13 mg/L for niclosamide). The TSD induced 100 % mortality at both concentrations. Niclosamide caused 100 % and 17 % mortality at high and low concentrations respectively. These molluscicides were also tested on potential biocontrol agents, the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus). No crayfish mortalities occurred at either concentration for either chemical, but sunfish experienced 100 % mortality with TSD (0.03 g/L), and 21 % mortality with niclosamide (0.13 mg/L).

  13. Reversing the resistance phenotype of the Biomphalaria glabrata snail host Schistosoma mansoni infection by temperature modulation.

    PubMed

    Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Knight, Matty

    2012-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata snails that display either resistant or susceptible phenotypes to the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni provide an invaluable resource towards elucidating the molecular basis of the snail-host/schistosome relationship. Previously, we showed that induction of stress genes either after heat-shock or parasite infection was a major feature distinguishing juvenile susceptible snails from their resistant counterparts. In order to examine this apparent association between heat stress and snail susceptibility, we investigated the effect of temperature modulation in the resistant snail stock, BS-90. Here, we show that, incubated for up to 4 hrs at 32°C prior to infection, these resistant snails became susceptible to infection, i.e. shedding cercariae at 5 weeks post exposure (PE) while unstressed resistant snails, as expected, remained resistant. This suggests that susceptibility to infection by this resistant snail phenotype is temperature-sensitive (ts). Additionally, resistant snails treated with the Hsp 90 specific inhibitor, geldanamycin (GA) after heat stress, were no longer susceptible to infection, retaining their resistant phenotype. Consistently, susceptible snail phenotypes treated with 100 mM GA before parasite exposure also remained uninfected. These results provide direct evidence for the induction of stress genes (heat shock proteins; Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and the reverse transcriptase [RT] domain of the nimbus non-LTR retrotransposon) in B. glabrata susceptibility to S. mansoni infection and characterize the resistant BS-90 snails as a temperature-sensitive phenotype. This study of reversing snail susceptibility phenotypes to S. mansoni provides an opportunity to directly track molecular pathway(s) that underlie the B. glabrata snail's ability to either sustain or destroy the S. mansoni parasite.

  14. Multiple paternity and postcopulatory sexual selection in a hermaphrodite: what influences sperm precedence in the garden snail Helix aspersa?

    PubMed

    Evanno, Guillaume; Madec, Luc; Arnaud, Jean-François

    2005-03-01

    Sperm competition has been studied in many gonochoric animals but little is known about its occurrence in simultaneous hermaphrodites, especially in land snails. The reproductive behaviour of the land snail Helix aspersa involves several features, like multiple mating, long-term sperm storage and dart-shooting behaviour, which may promote sperm competition. Cryptic female choice may also occur through a spermatheca subdivided into tubules, which potentially allows compartmentalized sperm storage of successive mates. In order to determine the outcome of postcopulatory sexual selection in this species, we designed a cross-breeding experiment where a recipient ('female') mated with two sperm donors ('males'). Mates came from either the same population as the recipient or from a distinct one. To test for the influence a recipient can have on the paternity of its offspring, we excluded the effects of dart shooting by using only virgin snails as sperm donors because they do not shoot any dart before their first copulation. We measured the effects of size of mates as well as time to first and second mating on second mate sperm precedence (P2; established using microsatellite markers). Multiple paternity was detected in 62.5% of clutches and overall there was first-mate sperm precedence with a mean P2 of 0.24. Generalized linear modelling revealed that the best predictors of paternity were the time between matings and the time before first mating. Overall, both first and second mates that copulated quickly got greater parentage, which may suggest that postcopulatory events influence patterns of sperm precedence in the garden snail.

  15. Proteomic interrogation of venom delivery in marine cone snails: novel insights into the role of the venom bulb.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Young, Neil D; Williamson, Nicholas A; Purcell, Anthony W

    2010-11-05

    Cone snails of the genus Conus are predatory marine gastropods mainly found in the shallow waters of the tropics and warm temperate seas. To prey on other marine organisms including fish, cone snails have evolved complex venoms synthesized and delivered by a highly sophisticated venom apparatus. Upon prey discovery, the venom is perfused through a harpoon-like radula tooth and rapidly injected into the prey to cause paralysis. While the venom components of cone snails have been intensively characterized, the mechanism of venom translocation and loading prior to and during injection remains elusive. The involvement of the venom bulb, a muscular dilation of the venom gland has been suggested, however evidence is sparse. Here, we use a combination of proteomics, molecular biology, and morphological examination to elucidate the potential role of the venom bulb in venom translocation and delivery. Analysis of the venom bulb proteome clearly demonstrated a function of this organ in muscular movement and, more interestingly, in burst muscle contraction. Morphological examination revealed high structural similarities to the mantle muscle of squids, animals known for their rapid escape response. We sequenced and further characterized arginine kinase, a key protein of rapid muscular movement in invertebrates and show high concentrations of this enzyme in the bulb when compared to the venom gland and the foot muscle. Proteins characteristic for venom biosynthesis were low in abundance. On the basis of our findings, we suggest that the bulb of cone snails is a highly specialized organ of venom translocation. Delivery of venom is driven by burst contractions of the bulb rapidly forcing the venom through the radula tooth into the prey.

  16. Inhibitory effect of naringin on microcystin-LR uptake in the freshwater snail Sinotaia histrica.

    PubMed

    Xie, Liqiang; Hanyu, Tamami; Futatsugi, Noriko; Komatsu, Masaharu; Steinman, Alan D; Park, Ho-Dong

    2014-09-01

    Gastropods are an important food source for aquatic animals, and have been demonstrated to transfer microcystin (MC) to higher trophic levels through the food web. In this study, we performed an oral administration experiment to evaluate whether naringin can inhibit MC-LR uptake in the freshwater snail Sinotaia histrica. We also observed the effect of MC-LR on the organizational pathology of the hepatopancreas in S. histrica. Following exposure to cells of Microcystis ichthyoblabe, S. histrica showed vacuolization and separation of the basal lamina from cells in the hepatopancreas. Initial treatment with 1mM naringin resulted in the prevention of MC-LR uptake rate by approximately 60% over 8days, whereas initial treatment with 10mM naringin suppressed microcystin uptake in 2days, despite an increase in MC-LR levels in the snail from days 5 to 8. With continuous treatment of 10mM naringin, the uptake prevention rate was 100%. Overall, we observed a strong inhibitory effect against MC-LR with naringin treatment. This study provides a potential mechanism to prevent the uptake of microcystin in the aquatic food web, thereby limiting its toxicity in cyanobacterial bloom-polluted areas where the environment can be controlled and may have further applications in the aquaculture of gastropods.

  17. Thermal stress and predation risk trigger distinct transcriptomic responses in the intertidal snail Nucella lapillus.

    PubMed

    Chu, Nathaniel D; Miller, Luke P; Kaluziak, Stefan T; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Vollmer, Steven V

    2014-12-01

    Thermal stress and predation risk have profound effects on rocky shore organisms, triggering changes in their feeding behaviour, morphology and metabolism. Studies of thermal stress have shown that underpinning such changes in several intertidal species are specific shifts in gene and protein expression (e.g. upregulation of heat-shock proteins). But relatively few studies have examined genetic responses to predation risk. Here, we use next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to examine the transcriptomic (mRNA) response of the snail Nucella lapillus to thermal stress and predation risk. We found that like other intertidal species, N. lapillus displays a pronounced genetic response to thermal stress by upregulating many heat-shock proteins and other molecular chaperones. In contrast, the presence of a crab predator (Carcinus maenas) triggered few significant changes in gene expression in our experiment, and this response showed no significant overlap with the snail's response to thermal stress. These different gene expression profiles suggest that thermal stress and predation risk could pose distinct and potentially additive challenges for N. lapillus and that genetic responses to biotic stresses such as predation risk might be more complex and less uniform across species than genetic responses to abiotic stresses such as thermal stress.

  18. Histopathological changes in snail, Pomacea canaliculata, exposed to sub-lethal copper sulfate concentrations.

    PubMed

    Dummee, Vipawee; Tanhan, Phanwimol; Kruatrachue, Maleeya; Damrongphol, Praneet; Pokethitiyook, Prayad

    2015-12-01

    The acute toxicity test of Cu including range-finding and definitive test, was performed on golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata. The median lethal concentrations (LC50) of Cu at exposure times of 24, 48, 72 and 96 h were 330, 223, 177 and 146 µg/L, respectively. P. canaliculata were exposed to Cu at 146 µg/L for 96 h to study bioaccumulation and histopathological alterations in various organs. Snails accumulated elevated levels of Cu in gill, and lesser amounts in the digestive tract, muscle, and digestive gland. Histopathological investigation revealed several alterations in the epithelia of gill, digestive tract (esophagus, intestine, rectum), and digestive gland. The most striking changes were observed in the epithelium of the gill in which there was loss of cilia, an increase in number of mucus cells, and degeneration of columnar cells. Similar changes occurred in digestive tract epithelium. The digestive gland showed moderate alterations, vacuolization and degeneration of cells and an increase in the number of basophilic cells. We concluded that, P. canaliculata has a great potential as a bioindicator for Cu, and a biomarker for monitoring Cu contamination in aquatic environment.

  19. Cone snail milked venom dynamics--a quantitative study of Conus purpurascens.

    PubMed

    Chun, Joycelyn B S; Baker, Margaret R; Kim, Do H; Leroy, Majdouline; Toribo, Priamo; Bingham, Jon-Paul

    2012-07-01

    Milked venom from cone snails represent a novel biological resource with a proven track record for drug discovery. To strengthen this correlation, we undertook a chromatographic and mass spectrometric study of individual milked venoms from Conus purpurascens. Milked venoms demonstrate extensive peptide differentiation amongst individual specimens and during captivity. Individual snails were found to lack a consistent set of described conopeptides, but instead demonstrated the ability to change venom expression, composition and post-translational modification incorporation; all variations contribute to an increase in chemical diversity and prey targeting strategies. Quantitative amino acid analysis revealed that milked venom peptides are expressed at ranges up to 3.51-121.01 μM within single milked venom samples. This provides for a 6.37-20,965 fold-excess of toxin to induce apparent IC₅₀ for individual conopeptides identified in this study. Comparative molecular mass analysis of duct venom, milked venom and radula tooth extracts from single C. purpurascens specimens demonstrated a level of peptide continuity. Numerous highly abundant and unique conopeptides remain to be characterized. This study strengthens the notion that approaches in conopeptide drug lead discovery programs will potentially benefit from a greater understanding of the toxinological nature of the milked venoms of Conus.

  20. Putative gamma-conotoxins in vermivorous cone snails: the case of Conus delessertii.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Manuel B; López-Vera, Estuardo; Imperial, Julita S; Falcón, Andrés; Olivera, Baldomero M; de la Cotera, Edgar P Heimer

    2005-01-01

    Peptide de7a was purified from the venom of Conus delessertii, a vermivorous cone snail collected in the Yucatan Channel, Mexico. Its amino acid sequence was determined by automatic Edman degradation after reduction and alkylation. The sequence shows six Cys residues arranged in the pattern that defines the O-superfamily of conotoxins, and several post-translationally modified residues. The determination of its molecular mass by means of laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (average mass, 3170.0 Da) confirmed the chemical data and suggested amidation of the C-terminus. The primary structure (ACKOKNNLCAITgammaMAgammaCCSGFCLIYRCS*; O, hydroxyproline; gamma, gamma-carboxyglutamate; *, amidated C-terminus; calculated average mass, 3169.66 Da) of de7a contains a motif (gammaCCS) that has previously only been found in two other toxins, both from molluscivorous cone snails: TxVIIA from Conus textile and gamma-PnVIIA from Conus pennaceus. These toxins cause depolarization and increased firing of action potentials in molluscan neuronal systems, and toxin gamma-PnVIIA has been shown to act as an agonist of neuronal pacemaker cation currents. The similarities to toxins TxVIIA and gamma-PnVIIA suggest that peptide de7a might also affect voltage-gated nonspecific cation pacemaker channels.

  1. Thirty-four years of climatic selection in the land snail Theba pisana.

    PubMed

    Johnson, M S

    2011-05-01

    Few continuous, long-term studies have measured the intensity and variability of natural selection within a framework of clear adaptive hypotheses. In the snail Theba pisana, the proportion of effectively unbanded shells is higher in exposed habitats than in adjacent acacia thickets, which has been explained by microclimatic selection. Comparisons across an ecotone for 34 consecutive years determined the combined effects on morph frequencies of habitat and changes in weather conditions during summer. The long-term average (±s.e.) frequency of effectively unbanded shells was 0.577±0.011 in the open habitat when compared with 0.353±0.005 in the acacia. The persistent association of shell banding with habitat accounted for 34% of the variation in morph frequencies. Differences among years were also large, representing 23% of the variation. Higher proportions of effectively unbanded snails were associated with hotter, sunnier summers. Thus, temporal variation supports the hypothesis of microclimatic selection, consistent with the spatial association with habitat. Based on observed rates of change, the mean annual selection on this polymorphism was about 0.13, but with a large variance: s was as high as 0.5, but 0.05 in about 40% of the years. The large variance and frequent reversals in direction of selection indicate a potential for rapid genetic change, but with little net change in morph frequencies over three decades, highlighting the value of long-term continuous studies of populations facing natural environmental variation.

  2. Mitochondrial differentiation in a polymorphic land snail: evidence for Pleistocene survival within the boundaries of permafrost.

    PubMed

    Haase, M; Misof, B; Wirth, T; Baminger, H; Baur, B

    2003-05-01

    The genetic differentiation of populations having colonized formerly unsuitable habitats after the Pleistocene glaciations depends to a great extent on the speed of expansion. Slow dispersers maintain their refugial diversity whereas fast dispersal leads to a reduction of diversity in the newly colonized areas. During the Pleistocene, almost the entire current range of the land snail Arianta arbustorum has repeatedly been covered with ice or been subjected to permafrost. Owing to the low potential for dispersal of land snails, slow (re)colonization of the wide range from southern refugia can be excluded. Alternatively, fast, passive dispersal from southern refugia or survival in and expansion from multiple refugia within the area subjected to permafrost may account for the current distribution. To distinguish between these scenarios we reconstructed a phylogeography based on the sequences of a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase I from 133 individuals collected at 45 localities and analysed the molecular variance. Seventy-five haplotypes were found that diverged on average at 7.52% of positions. This high degree of diversity suggests that A. arbustorum is an old species in which the population structure, isolation and the hermaphroditic nature have reduced the probability of lineage extinction. The genetic structure was highly significant with the highest variance partition found among regions. Geographic distance and mitochondrial differentiation were not congruent. Lineages had overlapping ranges. The clear genetic differentiation and the patchy pattern of haplotype distribution suggest that colonization of formerly unsuitable habitats was mainly achieved from multiple populations from within the permafrost area.

  3. Molluscicidal activity of some marine substances against the snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca, Planorbidae).

    PubMed

    Miyasato, P A; Kawano, T; Freitas, J C; Berlinck, R G S; Nakano, E; Tallarico, L F

    2012-05-01

    Freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria play a major role as intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, the etiologic agent of schistosomiasis. While Biomphalaria spp. control by molluscicides is one of the main strategies to reduce the snail population in infected areas, there are few effective molluscicides commercially available. Natural products may be considered as potentially useful and safe molluscicides. We have evaluated the molluscicidal activity of 12 extracts from ten marine organisms on adult and embryonic stages of Biomphalaria glabrata. Only extracts of the red algae Liagora farinosa and of the sponge Amphimedon viridis presented molluscicidal activity. Lethal concentration (LC)(50) values obtained were 120 μg/mL for L. farinosa CH(2)Cl(2) extract (apolar fraction) and 20 μg/mL for A. viridis extract and halitoxin. The polar alga fraction and halitoxin had no effect on B. glabrata embryos. The algae apolar fraction was active on B. glabrata in all embryonic development stages, with LC(50) values for blastulae at 42 μg/mL, gastrulae at 124 μg/mL, trochophore at 180 μg/mL, and veliger at 222 μg/mL. This is the first report of extracts from marine organisms which presented molluscicidal activity.

  4. The effects of linalool on the excitability of central neurons of snail Caucasotachea atrolabiata.

    PubMed

    Vatanparast, Jafar; Bazleh, Sara; Janahmadi, Mahyar

    2017-02-01

    Linalool is a major constituent of the essential oil of several plant species and possesses several biological activities. In this work, we studied the effects of linalool on excitability of central neurons of land snail Caucasotachea atrolabiata and tried to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. The lower concentration of linalool (0.1mM) showed suppressive action on spontaneous activity and pentylenetetrazole-induced epileptiform activity. These effects were associated with elevation of the action potential threshold and reduction of action potential rising phase, supporting the inhibitory action of linalool on Na(+) channels. At this concentration it also prolonged the post stimulus inhibitory period that can take part in its antiepileptic effect and apparently results from increased action potential duration and indirect augmentation of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents. At higher concentration, however, linalool (0.4mM) increased the neuronal excitability and induced epileptiform activity. The modulatory effects on action potential waveform during preconvulsive period suggest that the recent effect is mainly dependent on the suppression of outward potassium currents underlying repolarization phase and afterhyperpolarization. The linalool-induced epileptiform activity was abolished by Ca2(+) channel blockers, nifedipine and nickel chloride, and selective inhibitor of protein kinase C, chelerythrine, suggesting that Ca2(+) inward currents and protein kinase C (PKC) activity are required for linalool-induced epileptiform activity. Our results support the antiepileptic activity of linalool at lower dose, but it shows epileptogenic activity when applied directly on snail neurons at higher dose. Linalool may also be a potential therapeutic agent for activating PKC.

  5. Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Elke I.; Ducrot, V.; Jager, T.; Koene, J.; Lagadic, L.; Kooijman, S. A. L. M.

    2014-11-01

    Under constant environmental conditions, most animals tend to grow following the von Bertalanffy growth curve. Deviations from this curve can point to changes in the environment that the animals experience, such as food limitation when the available food is not sufficient or suitable. However, such deviations can also point to a phenomenon called metabolic acceleration, which is receiving increasing attention in the field of Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) modeling. Reasons for such an acceleration are usually changes in shape during ontogeny, which cause changes in the surface area to volume ratio of the organism. Those changes, in turn, lead to changes in some of the model parameters that have length in their dimension. The life-history consequences of metabolic acceleration as implemented in the DEB theory are an s-shaped growth curve (when body size is expressed as a length measure) and a prolongation of the hatching time. The great pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis was earlier found to be food limited during the juvenile phase in laboratory experiments conducted under classical ecotoxicity test protocols. The pond snail has isomorphic shell growth but yet does not exhibit the expected von Bertalanffy growth curve under food limitation. When applying the standard DEB model to data from such life-cycle experiments, we also found that the hatching time is consistently underestimated, which could be a sign of metabolic acceleration. We here present an application of the DEB model including metabolic acceleration to the great pond snail. We account for the simultaneous hermaphroditism of the snail by including a model extension that describes the relative investment into the male and female function. This model allowed us to adequately predict the life history of the snail over the entire life cycle. However, the pond snail does not change in shape substantially after birth, so the original explanation for the metabolic acceleration does not hold. Since the change in shape

  6. Demography, environmental uncertainty, and the evolution of mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissinger, S.R.

    1986-01-01

    The Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis), an endangered hawk, has a unique mating system in Florida (Beissinger and Snyder 1987): when food is abundant, males or females desert their mates at nearly equal frequency (ambisexual mate desertion) in the midst of a nesting cycle. I examined the demographic and environmental constraints selecting for a clutch size that permits one parent to desert, yet optimizes the number of offspring produced by each parent. Demographic studies, conducted from 1979-1983, indicated that kites have (1) a very high nest failure rate (?= 68%) due most often to unstable nest sites and predation, (2) a variable nesting season (5-10 mo/yr), (3) an early age of first reproduction for a bird this size (10 mo), (4) a high degree of iteroparity (double and potentially triple clutching within a season), and (5) unstable populations. Both nesting success and population size were directly related to Everglades water levels and resultant snail densities. Kites responded to large annual changes in food abundance, not by adjusting clutch size but by deserting their mates and presumably attempting to renest. Kite demographic traits appear to be adaptations to or results of an uncertain environment. Based on 67 yr of Everglades water levels, environmental predictability, measured by spectral analysis and Colwell's (1974) index, was low and influenced by water management regimes: (1) water levels were lowered, (2) annual variation in levels increased and annual cycles became stronger, (3) the period length of long-term drought-flood cycles shifted from 10 or more yr toward 5 yr, and (4) levels became a less predictive cue for favorable nesting conditions. A potential evolutionary pathway from biparental care to mate desertion in Snail Kites is proposed. It is unlikely that mate desertion evolved solely from a context of conflict between the sexes, because kite nesting success is so low that it is probably maladaptive for a parent to desert and jeopardize

  7. δ-Conotoxin SuVIA suggests an evolutionary link between ancestral predator defence and the origin of fish-hunting behaviour in carnivorous cone snails.

    PubMed

    Jin, Ai-Hua; Israel, Mathilde R; Inserra, Marco C; Smith, Jennifer J; Lewis, Richard J; Alewood, Paul F; Vetter, Irina; Dutertre, Sébastien

    2015-07-22

    Some venomous cone snails feed on small fishes using an immobilizing combination of synergistic venom peptides that target Kv and Nav channels. As part of this envenomation strategy, δ-conotoxins are potent ichtyotoxins that enhance Nav channel function. δ-Conotoxins belong to an ancient and widely distributed gene superfamily, but any evolutionary link from ancestral worm-eating cone snails to modern piscivorous species has not been elucidated. Here, we report the discovery of SuVIA, a potent vertebrate-active δ-conotoxin characterized from a vermivorous cone snail (Conus suturatus). SuVIA is equipotent at hNaV1.3, hNaV1.4 and hNaV1.6 with EC50s in the low nanomolar range. SuVIA also increased peak hNaV1.7 current by approximately 75% and shifted the voltage-dependence of activation to more hyperpolarized potentials from -15 mV to -25 mV, with little effect on the voltage-dependence of inactivation. Interestingly, the proximal venom gland expression and pain-inducing effect of SuVIA in mammals suggest that δ-conotoxins in vermivorous cone snails play a defensive role against higher order vertebrates. We propose that δ-conotoxins originally evolved in ancestral vermivorous cones to defend against larger predators including fishes have been repurposed to facilitate a shift to piscivorous behaviour, suggesting an unexpected underlying mechanism for this remarkable evolutionary transition.

  8. Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ Complexes Control Skeletal Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yi; Feinberg, Tamar; Keller, Evan T.; Li, Xiao-Yan; Weiss, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Bone marrow-derived skeletal stem/stromal cell (SSC) self-renewal and function are critical to skeletal development, homeostasis and repair. Nevertheless, the mechanisms controlling SSC behavior, particularly bone formation, remain ill-defined. Using knockout mouse models that target the zinc-finger transcription factors, Snail, Slug or Snail and Slug combined, a regulatory axis has been uncovered wherein Snail and Slug cooperatively control SSC self-renewal, osteoblastogenesis and bone formation. Mechanistically, Snail/Slug regulate SSC function by forming complexes with the transcriptional co-activators, YAP and TAZ, in tandem with the inhibition of the Hippo pathway-dependent regulation of YAP/TAZ signaling cascades. In turn, the Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ axis activates a series of YAP/TAZ/TEAD and Runx2 downstream targets that control SSC homeostasis and osteogenesis. Together, these results demonstrate that SSCs mobilize Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ complexes to control stem cell function. PMID:27479603

  9. A speciation gene for left-right reversal in snails results in anti-predator adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hoso, Masaki; Kameda, Yuichi; Wu, Shu-Ping; Asami, Takahiro; Kato, Makoto; Hori, Michio

    2010-01-01

    How speciation genes can spread in a population is poorly understood. In land snails, a single gene for left-right reversal could be responsible for instant speciation, because dextral and sinistral snails have difficulty in mating. However, the traditional two-locus speciation model predicts that a mating disadvantage for the reversal should counteract this speciation. In this study, we show that specialized snake predation of the dextral majority drives prey speciation by reversal. Our experiments demonstrate that sinistral Satsuma snails (Stylommatophora: Camaenidae) survive predation by Pareas iwasakii (Colubroidea: Pareatidae). Worldwide biogeography reveals that stylommatophoran snail speciation by reversal has been accelerated in the range of pareatid snakes, especially in snails that gain stronger anti-snake defense and reproductive isolation from dextrals by sinistrality. Molecular phylogeny of Satsuma snails further provides intriguing evidence of repetitive speciation under snake predation. Our study demonstrates that a speciation gene can be fixed in populations by positive pleiotropic effects on survival.

  10. Measurement of Selected Enzymatic Activities in Solanum nigrum-Treated Biomphalaria arabica Snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Daihan, Sooad

    In the present study, glucose, acid and alkaline phosphatases (ACP and ALP), α-amylase and lipase were measured for the first time in tissue homogenates of Biomphalaria arabica snails, molluscan intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni in Saudi Arabia. Also, the effect of sublethal concentrations (LC25) of dry powdered Solanum nigrum leaf was tested as plant molluscicide against this snail species. The tested enzymes were altered in molluscicide-treated snails compared to control. While ALP and amylase were slightly affected, ACP and lipase were significantly altered. Glucose as an important energy source for a successful schistosome-snail relationship was significantly reduced in molluscicide-treated snails. In conclusion, sublethal concentration of the molluscicide showed potent effect in disturbing snail biochemistry which may render them physiologically unsuitable for the developing of schistosome parasite. This could be considered as a promising strategy to control the disease.

  11. Lumican Inhibits SNAIL-Induced Melanoma Cell Migration Specifically by Blocking MMP-14 Activity

    PubMed Central

    Stasiak, Marta; Boncela, Joanna; Perreau, Corinne; Karamanou, Konstantina; Chatron-Colliet, Aurore; Proult, Isabelle; Przygodzka, Patrycja; Chakravarti, Shukti; Maquart, François-Xavier; Kowalska, M. Anna; Wegrowski, Yanusz; Brézillon, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan, inhibits MMP-14 activity and melanoma cell migration in vitro and in vivo. Snail triggers epithelial-mesenchymal transitions endowing epithelial cells with migratory and invasive properties during tumor progression. The aim of this work was to investigate lumican effects on MMP-14 activity and migration of Snail overexpressing B16F1 (Snail-B16F1) melanoma cells and HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells. Lumican inhibits the Snail induced MMP-14 activity in B16F1 but not in HT-29 cells. In Snail-B16F1 cells, lumican inhibits migration, growth, and melanoma primary tumor development. A lumican-based strategy targeting Snail-induced MMP-14 activity might be useful for melanoma treatment. PMID:26930497

  12. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    inhibitors combined with the DNA alkylating agent Temozolomide are under investigation in several clinical trials. Due to the variance in cell...indicating that PARP1 becomes activated in response to DNA -damaging agent and promotes the interaction of Snail/LSD1 with PTEN promoter. Also as expected...by inhibiting PARG could enhance Snail-LSD1 interaction . In addition, we found that Snail could undergo poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation on DNA damage

  13. Co-expression and clinical utility of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiangshan; Shi, Ranran; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Papillary thyroid carcinoma is one of the most common subtypes of thyroid cancer and portends a good prognosis. N-cadherin (neural cadherin) is a member of the classical cadherin family and is often overexpressed in many types of cancers. Snail, a kind of zinc finger protein, is a transcriptional repressor which has been intensively studied in mammals. We investigate the immunohistochemical expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cells and then discuss the clinical value of Snail and N-cadherin expression. Immunohistochemical technique was performed to detect Snail and N-cadherin in 60 cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma and analyzed the relationship between the expression of Snail, N-cadherin, and clinicopathological indicators. Western blot was used to investigate the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin. In our study, the expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin was 85.0 % (51/60) and 78.3 % (47/60), respectively, in papillary thyroid carcinoma. The expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin in thyroid papillary carcinoma with metastatic lymph nodes was 93.3 and 86.7 %, respectively, while in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissue without lymph node metastasis, the expression rate was 60.0 and 53.3 %, respectively. The positive correlation of Snail and N-cadherin was observed (r = 0.721, p < 0.01). In addition, Western blot further identified the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cell lines. In conclusion, Snail and N-cadherin are constitutively and inducibly expressed in papillary thyroid carcinoma and may play important roles in the development and metastasis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Snail and N-cadherin may be used as an effective indicator.

  14. Removal of corallivorous snails as a proactive tool for the conservation of acroporid corals

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Margaret W.; Bright, Allan J.; Cameron, Caitlin M.

    2014-01-01

    Corallivorous snail feeding is a common source of tissue loss for the threatened coral, Acropora palmata, accounting for roughly one-quarter of tissue loss in monitored study plots over seven years. In contrast with larger threats such as bleaching, disease, or storms, corallivory by Coralliophila abbreviata is one of the few direct sources of partial mortality that may be locally managed. We conducted a field experiment to explore the effectiveness and feasibility of snail removal. Long-term monitoring plots on six reefs in the upper Florida Keys were assigned to one of three removal treatments: (1) removal from A. palmata only, (2) removal from all host coral species, or (3) no-removal controls. During the initial removal in June 2011, 436 snails were removed from twelve 150 m2 plots. Snails were removed three additional times during a seven month “removal phase”, then counted at five surveys over the next 19 months to track recolonization. At the conclusion, snails were collected, measured and sexed. Before-After-Control-Impact analysis revealed that both snail abundance and feeding scar prevalence were reduced in removal treatments compared to the control, but there was no difference between removal treatments. Recolonization by snails to baseline abundance is estimated to be 3.7 years and did not differ between removal treatments. Recolonization rate was significantly correlated with baseline snail abundance. Maximum snail size decreased from 47.0 mm to 34.6 mm in the removal treatments. The effort required to remove snails from A. palmata was 30 diver minutes per 150 m2 plot, compared with 51 min to remove snails from all host corals. Since there was no additional benefit observed with removing snails from all host species, removals can be more efficiently focused on only A. palmata colonies and in areas where C. abbreviata abundance is high, to effectively conserve A. palmata in targeted areas. PMID:25469321

  15. Creosote compounds in snails obtained from Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rostad, C.E.; Pereira, W.E.

    1987-01-01

    Snails, Thais haemostoma, were collected from two areas offshore in Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site. Tissue from the snails was extracted to isolate the lipophilic compounds and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Along with naturally occurring compounds, the snail tissue contained large concentrations of polycyclic aromatic compounds, such as phenanthrene, acridine, dibenzothiophene, dibenzofuran, and benzo[a]pyrene. Many of these compounds were characteristic of creosote contamination associated with the onshore hazardous-waste site.

  16. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-01

    1-0078 TITLE: BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail -LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Yiwei...COVERED (From - To) 1 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE BHC80 is critical in suppression of Snail -LSD1 interaction and 5a...distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT By using a tandem affinity-mass spectrometry coupled analysis, we identified Snail

  17. Storage excretion in the Indian apple snail, Pila globosa (Swainson), during aestivation.

    PubMed

    Athawale, Madhura S; Reddy, S Raghupathi Rami

    2002-11-01

    Uric acid accumulates in several tissues of the Indian apple snail, P. globosa, during aestivation. This accumulation is particularly high in the foot muscle and reproductive organs. Since the kidney, a tiny organ in the snail, has only a limited capacity to store uric acid, extrarenal tissues are used as storage depots of uric acid during aestivation. It is suggested that the aestivating snail, faced with a cleidoic situation, resorts to storage excretion, a phenomenon well documented in insects.

  18. Structure of mega-hemocyanin reveals protein origami in snails.

    PubMed

    Gatsogiannis, Christos; Hofnagel, Oliver; Markl, Jürgen; Raunser, Stefan

    2015-01-06

    Mega-hemocyanin is a 13.5 MDa oxygen transporter found in the hemolymph of some snails. Similar to typical gastropod hemocyanins, it is composed of 400 kDa building blocks but has additional 550 kDa subunits. Together, they form a large, completely filled cylinder. The structural basis for this highly complex protein packing is not known so far. Here, we report the electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) structure of mega-hemocyanin complexes from two different snail species. The structures reveal that mega-hemocyanin is composed of flexible building blocks that differ in their conformation, but not in their primary structure. Like a protein origami, these flexible blocks are optimally packed, implementing different local symmetries and pseudosymmetries. A comparison between the two structures suggests a surprisingly simple evolutionary mechanism leading to these large oxygen transporters.

  19. Factors determining the direction of ecological specialization in snail-feeding carabid beetles.

    PubMed

    Konuma, Junji; Nagata, Nobuaki; Sota, Teiji

    2011-02-01

    A stout-slender dimorphism in body shape is observed among carabid beetles of the subtribe Carabina, which feed on land snails. We hypothesized that this dimorphism has resulted from divergent ecological specialization for feeding on different-sized land snails. Therefore, we examined whether the geographic variation in the body shape of Damaster blaptoides, a representative snail-feeding species in Japan, is correlated with the size of Euhadra, a genus of land snails frequently consumed by D. blaptoides. An analysis of beetle specimens from the whole distribution area of D. blaptoides determined that more slender beetle populations occurred in localities harboring larger snails, whereas more stout beetles inhabited localities harboring smaller snails. This pattern could be adaptive because slender beetles exhibit high feeding performance for large snails by inserting their heads into the shells, whereas stout beetles do so for small snails by crushing the shells. The D. blaptoides populations showed a clear genetic isolation-by-distance pattern, which could be effective in promoting such local adaptation. Thus, food resources as well as geographic isolation may have promoted adaptive divergence of external morphology in the snail-feeding carabid beetles.

  20. Snail1 is required for the maintenance of the pancreatic acinar phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Loubat-Casanovas, Jordina; Peña, Raúl; Gonzàlez, Núria; Alba-Castellón, Lorena; Rosell, Santi; Francí, Clara; Navarro, Pilar; de Herreros, Antonio García

    2016-01-01

    The Snail1 transcriptional factor is required for correct embryonic development, yet its expression in adult animals is very limited and its functional roles are not evident. We have now conditionally inactivated Snail1 in adult mice and analyzed the phenotype of these animals. Snail1 ablation rapidly altered pancreas structure: one month after Snail1 depletion, acinar cells were markedly depleted, and pancreas accumulated adipose tissue. Snail1 expression was not detected in the epithelium but was in pancreatic mesenchymal cells (PMCs). Snail1 ablation in cultured PMCs downregulated the expression of several β-catenin/Tcf-4 target genes, modified the secretome of these cells and decreased their ability to maintain acinar markers in cultured pancreas cells. Finally, Snail1 deficiency modified the phenotype of pancreatic tumors generated in transgenic mice expressing c-myc under the control of the elastase promoter. Specifically, Snail1 depletion did not significantly alter the size of the tumors but accelerated acinar-ductal metaplasia. These results demonstrate that Snail1 is expressed in PMCs and plays a pivotal role in maintaining acinar cells within the pancreas in normal and pathological conditions. PMID:26735179

  1. Effects of an invasive ant on land snails in the Ogasawara Islands.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Shota; Mori, Hideaki; Kojima, Tsubasa; Hayama, Kayo; Sakairi, Yuko; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-12-01

    We investigated how Pheidole megacephala has affected endemic achatinellid snails because these snails are excellent indicators of the impact of ants and they have high conservation value in Ogasawara. In 2015 we surveyed the Minamizaki area of Hahajima Island of Ogasawara, designated a core zone of the World Heritage Site, for P. megacephala. In Minamizaki, we determined the distribution and density of achatinellid snails in 2015 and compared these data with their distribution and density in 2005. Land cover in the survey area was entirely forest. We also tested whether P. megacephala preyed on achatinellid snails in the laboratory. P. megacephala was present in the forested areas of Minamizaki. Achatinellid snails were absent in 19 of 39 sites where P. megacephala was present, whereas in other areas densities of the snails ranged from 2 to 228 individuals/site. In the laboratory, P. megacephala carried 6 of 7 achatinellid snails and a broken shell was found. Snail distribution and density comparisons and results of the feeding experiments suggest that the presence of P. megacephala has contributed to the decline of achatinellid snails in forests in the survey area. Yet, P. megacephala is not on the official list of invasive non-native species. Stakeholders using the list of invasive species to develop conservation programs should recognize that invasiveness of non-native species differs depending on the ecosystem and that official lists may not be complete.

  2. Differential expression of transcriptional repressor snail gene at implantation site in mouse uterus.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xing-Hong; Hu, Shi-Jun; Yu, Hao; Xu, Li-Bin; Yang, Zeng-Ming

    2006-02-01

    The snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors is involved in pronounced cell movements during both embryonic development and tumor progression. This study was to examine snail expression in mouse uterus during early pregnancy and its regulation under pseudopregnancy, delayed implantation, steroid hormone treatment, and artificial decidualization by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. There was a low level of snail mRNA signal and immunostaining in mouse uteri on day 1-4 of pregnancy. When embryo implanted on day 5, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were strongly detected in the subluminal stroma immediately surrounding the implanting blastocyst, but not detected in the inter-implantation sites. Under delayed implantation, there was no detectable snail expression. After delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen treatment and embryo implanted, there was a strong level of snail mRNA and immunostaining in the subluminal stroma surrounding the implanting blastocyst, which was similar to that on day 5 of pregnancy. Furthermore, there was no detectable snail expression in mouse uterus on day 5 of pseudopregnancy. From day 6-8 of pregnancy, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were detected in the decidua. Our data suggest that snail may play an important role during mouse embryo implantation.

  3. Action of SNAIL1 in Cardiac Myofibroblasts Is Important for Cardiac Fibrosis following Hypoxic Injury

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Hirak; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic injury to the heart results in cardiac fibrosis that leads to cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. SNAIL1 is a zinc finger transcription factor implicated in fibrosis following organ injury and cancer. To determine if the action of SNAIL1 contributed to cardiac fibrosis following hypoxic injury, we used an endogenous SNAIL1 bioluminescence reporter mice, and SNAIL1 knockout mouse models. Here we report that SNAIL1 expression is upregulated in the infarcted heart, especially in the myofibroblasts. Utilizing primary cardiac fibroblasts in ex vivo cultures we find that pro-fibrotic factors and collagen I increase SNAIL1 protein level. SNAIL1 is required in cardiac fibroblasts for the adoption of myofibroblast fate, collagen I expression and expression of fibrosis-related genes. Taken together this data suggests that SNAIL1 expression is induced in the cardiac fibroblasts after hypoxic injury and contributes to myofibroblast phenotype and a fibrotic scar formation. Resultant collagen deposition in the scar can maintain elevated SNAIL1 expression in the myofibroblasts and help propagate fibrosis. PMID:27706205

  4. Population estimate of Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaine, Noelle M.; Allen, Craig R.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Stephen, Bruce J.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.

    2012-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is an aquatic invasive species in North America. Little is known regarding this species' impacts on freshwater ecosystems. It is be lieved that population densities can be high, yet no population estimates have been reported. We utilized a mark-recapture approach to generate a population estimate for Chinese mystery snail in Wild Plum Lake, a 6.47-ha reservoir in southeast Nebraska. We calculated, using bias-adjusted Lincoln-Petersen estimation, that there were approximately 664 adult snails within a 127 m2 transect (5.2 snails/m2). If this density was consistent throughout the littoral zone (<3 m in depth) of the reservoir, then the total adult population in this impoundment is estimated to be 253,570 snails, and the total Chinese mystery snail wet biomass is estimated to be 3,119 kg (643 kg/ha). If this density is confined to the depth sampled in this study (1.46 m), then the adult population is estimated to be 169,400 snails, and wet biomass is estimated to be 2,084 kg (643 kg/ha). Additional research is warranted to further test the utility of mark-recapture methods for aquatic snails and to better understand Chinese mystery snail distributions within reservoirs.

  5. Activity of the mangrove snail Cerithidea decollata (Gastropoda: Potamididae) in a warm temperate South African estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, Alan N.; Dickens, John

    2012-08-01

    A population of Cerithidea decollata, an intertidal marine gastropod usually found within mangroves, was studied within an area of Juncus kraussii in the upper reaches of the warm temperate Knysna estuary, which is at the southern-most limit of the recorded distribution of this snail. Activity (migratory and homing behaviour, distances travelled during foraging) of the snails was monitored over spring and neap tides in four seasons. Migratory patterns of the snails were affected by season, time of low tide (day vs night), tidal magnitude (spring vs neap) and zonation. In the summer and spring, a greater proportion of snails migrated from J. kraussii leaves onto the mud during the day at spring low tide. During neap tides in these two seasons, most snails did not climb J. kraussii leaves and remained on the mud, which was nearly always exposed. In autumn a few snails only were active and in winter snails were almost completely inactive, probably due to low air temperatures. Snails travelled greater distances on the mud on spring tides, during the diurnal low tides, and in the summer. No snails were found to home to individual J. kraussii leaves; however, homing behaviour was recorded to wooden poles within the Juncus wetland.

  6. Morphological Variation in the New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrow, S.; Holomuzki, J. R.; Brunkow, P. E.

    2005-05-01

    The New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is a morphologically diverse species, showing variation in body shape and spine ornamentation. Native to New Zealand, the snail is highly invasive in the United States and Europe. As part of a broader study examining the role of morphological variation in hydrodynamic performance, we sought to quantify shell variation in snails from four different populations in New Zealand. Shells were mounted and photographed, and four characters (shell length and width, and aperture length and width) were digitized. Shell length differed significantly among populations. Sheared PCA revealed that shell shape, defined in terms of overall robustness (PC1) as well as the ratio between shell width and aperture width (PC2), also differed significantly among populations. Spined shells differed significantly from smooth shells with respect to shell shape (PC1 and PC2), with spined shells being generally more robust with larger apertures for their length. Shell shape differed significantly between spined and smooth shells in the two lotic habitats but not in the lentic habitats, suggesting a possible interaction between shell shape, presence of spines, and hydrodynamic environment. Further research will attempt to relate shell morphology and spine ornamentation to hydrodynamic drag and lift forces.

  7. Piscivorous behavior of a temperate cone snail, Conus californicus.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Julia; Gilly, William F

    2005-10-01

    Most of the more than 500 species of predatory marine snails in the genus Conus are tropical or semitropical, and nearly all are thought to be highly selective regarding type of prey. Conus californicus Hinds, 1844, is unusual in that it is endemic to the North American Pacific coast and preys on a large variety of benthic organisms, primarily worms and other molluscs, and also scavenges. We studied the feeding behavior of C. californicus in captivity and found that it regularly killed and consumed live prickleback fishes (Cebidichthys violaceus and Xiphister spp.). Predation involved two behavioral methods similar to those employed by strictly piscivorous relatives. One method utilized stings delivered by radular teeth; the other involved engulfing the prey without stinging. Both methods were commonly used in combination, and individual snails sometimes employed multiple stings to subdue a fish. During the course of the study, snails became aroused by the presence of live fish more quickly, as evidenced by more rapid initiation of hunting behavior. Despite this apparent adaptation, details of prey-capture techniques and effectiveness of stings remained similar over the same period.

  8. Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails.

    PubMed

    Booth, David J; Gribben, Paul; Parkinson, Kerryn

    2015-06-15

    In urban areas, cigarette butts are the most common discarded refuse articles. In marine intertidal zones, they often fall into tidepools. We tested how common intertidal molluscs were affected by butt leachate in a laboratory experiment, where snails were exposed to various leachate concentrations. Mortality was very high, with all species showing 100% mortality at the full leachate concentration (5 butts per litre and 2h soak time) after 8days. However, Austrocochlea porcata showed higher mortality than the other 2 species at lower concentrations (10%, 25%) which may affect the relative abundance of the 3 snails under different concentrations of leachate pollution. Also, sublethal effects of leachate on snail activity were observed, with greater activity of Nerita atramentosa than the other 2 species at higher concentrations, suggesting it is more resilient than the other 2 species. While human health concerns predominate with respect to smoking, we show strong lethal and sublethal (via behavioural modifications) impacts of discarded butts on intertidal organisms, with even closely-related taxa responding differently.

  9. Biological studies on the snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis with a special emphasis on using larval echinostomes as biocontrol agent against larval schistosomes and snails.

    PubMed

    Rashed, A A

    2002-12-01

    The present investigation deals with the infectivity of the two snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis, Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus collected from nine drains in Sharkia Governorate, Egypt. The rate of infection among the snails was general low being 0% in many drains. Regarding B. alexandrina, the rate of infection ranged from 4-16%, and in B. truncatus ranged from 4-8%. Infection with larval echinostomes was dominant over larval schistosomes in the two snail vectors. The distribution of larval schistosomes was restricted to the hepatopancreas of the two snail vectors, while larval echinostomes were distributed in head, foot, kidney, haemocoelic cavity, hepatopancreas...etc. The predation of larval schistosomes by larval echinostomes and the severe histopathological effects induced by larval ecbinostomes strongly enhances using them as biocontrol agent. The physico-chemical parameters and pollution condition in the drains seem to have no effect on the process of snails infectivity. It is concluded that larval echinostomes can resist the polluting conditions in the drain. The two snail vectors exhibit very minimal or rare host response against larval echinostomes. Probably, the toxicants and pollutants in the drain may act as stressor that makes the snails much more susceptible to infection by larval trematodes.

  10. ALTERNATE FOOD-CHAIN TRANSFER OF THE TOXIN LINKED TO AVIAN VACUOLAR MYELINOPATHY AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ENDANGERED FLORIDA SNAIL KITE (ROSTRHAMUS SOCIABILIS).

    PubMed

    Dodd, Shelley R; Haynie, Rebecca S; Williams, Susan M; Wilde, Susan B

    2016-04-28

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease causing recurrent mortality of Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) and American Coots ( Fulica americana ) at reservoirs and small impoundments in the southern US. Since 1994, AVM is considered the cause of death for over 170 Bald Eagles and thousands of American Coots and other species of wild birds. Previous studies link the disease to an uncharacterized toxin produced by a recently described cyanobacterium, Aetokthonos hydrillicola gen. et sp. nov. that grows epiphytically on submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). The toxin accumulates, likely in the gastrointestinal tract of waterbirds that consume SAV, and birds of prey are exposed when feeding on the moribund waterbirds. Aetokthonos hydrillicola has been identified in all reservoirs where AVM deaths have occurred and was identified growing abundantly on an exotic SAV hydrilla ( Hydrilla verticillata ) in Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) in central Florida. Toho supports a breeding population of a federally endangered raptor, the Florida Snail Kite ( Rostrhamus sociabilis ) and a dense infestation of an exotic herbivorous aquatic snail, the island applesnail ( Pomacea maculata ), a primary source of food for resident Snail Kites. We investigated the potential for transmission in a new food chain and, in laboratory feeding trials, confirmed that the AVM toxin was present in the hydrilla/A. hydrillicola matrix collected from Toho. Additionally, laboratory birds that were fed apple snails feeding on hydrilla/A. hydrillicola material from a confirmed AVM site displayed clinical signs (3/5), and all five developed brain lesions unique to AVM. This documentation of AVM toxin in central Florida and the demonstration of AVM toxin transfer through invertebrates indicate a significant risk to the already diminished population of endangered Snail Kites.

  11. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN REDUCES THE ACCUMULATION OF TESTOSTERONE AS FATTY ACID ESTERS IN THE MUD SNAIL (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated wit...

  12. Residential yards as designer ecosystems: effects of yard management on land snail species composition.

    PubMed

    Bergey, Elizabeth A; Figueroa, Laura L

    2016-12-01

    Residential yards comprise the majority of green space in urban landscapes, yet are an understudied system because of access issues and because yards may be considered biologically depauperate. Yards are purposely created and managed and, hence, qualify as designer ecosystems, a term borrowed from restoration ecology. We investigated whether yard management (watering regime, mulching, and chemical use) or dog presence affected land snail assemblage composition and described the pattern of native vs. nonnative species among yards. Land snails form an appropriate model system for yard-scale studies because snails are speciose, common, and have limited mobility. We found 32 land snail species in our survey of 61 yards in Norman, Oklahoma, USA (population size of 118,000). Snail richness in individual yards averaged nine species, with a range of three to 14 species. Native snails were found in all yards and nonnative snails were found in all but one yard. Although some of the nine nonnative species were rare, the most frequently encountered species was the nonnative Triodopsis hopetonensis. All encountered nonnative species also occur in Oklahoma plant nurseries, indicating possible introduction through the plant trade. Yard-scale watering regime and the presence of dogs were associated with differences in snail species composition but not species richness. Pesticide use and mulch type had little, if any, association with snail composition. Effects may have been diluted by treating yards as units, whereas snails were concentrated in specific microhabitats, such as under shrubs. Soil type also influenced snail assemblages and acted at a scale larger than individual yards. Considering yards as designer ecosystems facilitates investigation of how local variation in management affects biota within yards and across the residential landscape, and highlights the importance of variation among residential yards in understanding patterns of urban biodiversity.

  13. CDK4/6-dependent activation of DUB3 regulates cancer metastasis through SNAIL1.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tongzheng; Yu, Jia; Deng, Min; Yin, Yujiao; Zhang, Haoxing; Luo, Kuntian; Qin, Bo; Li, Yunhui; Wu, Chenming; Ren, Tao; Han, Yang; Yin, Peng; Kim, JungJin; Lee, SeungBaek; Lin, Jing; Zhang, Lizhi; Zhang, Jun; Nowsheen, Somaira; Wang, Liewei; Boughey, Judy; Goetz, Matthew P; Yuan, Jian; Lou, Zhenkun

    2017-01-09

    Tumour metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from the original tumour site followed by growth of secondary tumours at distant organs, is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths and remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that inhibition of CDK4/6 blocks breast tumour metastasis in the triple-negative breast cancer model, without affecting tumour growth. Mechanistically, we identify a deubiquitinase, DUB3, as a target of CDK4/6; CDK4/6-mediated activation of DUB3 is essential to deubiquitinate and stabilize SNAIL1, a key factor promoting epithelial-mesenchymal transition and breast cancer metastasis. Overall, our study establishes the CDK4/6-DUB3 axis as an important regulatory mechanism of breast cancer metastasis and provides a rationale for potential therapeutic interventions in the treatment of breast cancer metastasis.

  14. CDK4/6-dependent activation of DUB3 regulates cancer metastasis through SNAIL1

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tongzheng; Yu, Jia; Deng, Min; Yin, Yujiao; Zhang, Haoxing; Luo, Kuntian; Qin, Bo; Li, Yunhui; Wu, Chenming; Ren, Tao; Han, Yang; Yin, Peng; Kim, JungJin; Lee, SeungBaek; Lin, Jing; Zhang, Lizhi; Zhang, Jun; Nowsheen, Somaira; Wang, Liewei; Boughey, Judy; Goetz, Matthew P.; Yuan, Jian; Lou, Zhenkun

    2017-01-01

    Tumour metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from the original tumour site followed by growth of secondary tumours at distant organs, is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths and remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that inhibition of CDK4/6 blocks breast tumour metastasis in the triple-negative breast cancer model, without affecting tumour growth. Mechanistically, we identify a deubiquitinase, DUB3, as a target of CDK4/6; CDK4/6-mediated activation of DUB3 is essential to deubiquitinate and stabilize SNAIL1, a key factor promoting epithelial–mesenchymal transition and breast cancer metastasis. Overall, our study establishes the CDK4/6–DUB3 axis as an important regulatory mechanism of breast cancer metastasis and provides a rationale for potential therapeutic interventions in the treatment of breast cancer metastasis. PMID:28067227

  15. Studies on microwaves in medicine and biology: from snails to humans.

    PubMed

    Lin, James C

    2004-04-01

    This d'Arsonval Medal acceptance presentation highlights several research themes selected from Dr. Lin's published works, focusing on the microwave portion of the nonionizing electromagnetic spectrum. The topics discussed include investigation of microwave effects on the spontaneous action potentials and membrane resistance of isolated snail neurons, effects on the permeability of blood brain barriers in rats, the phenomenon and interaction mechanism for the microwave auditory effect (the hearing of microwave pulses by animals and humans), the development of miniature catheter antennas for microwave interstitial hyperthermia treatment of cancer, the application of transcatheter microwave ablation for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, and the use of noninvasive wireless technology for sensing of human vital signs and blood pressure pulse waves. The paper concludes with some observations on research and other endeavors in the interdisciplinary field of bioelectromagnetics.

  16. Conservation Status of a Recently Described Endemic Land Snail, Candidula coudensis, from the Iberian Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We assessed the distribution, population size and conservation status of Candidula coudensis, a recently described endemic land snail from Portugal. From March 2013 to April 2014, surveys were carried out in the region where the species was described. We found an extent of occurrence larger than originally described, but still quite small (13.5 km2). The species was found mainly in olive groves, although it occurred in a variety of other habitats with limestone soils, including grasslands, scrublands and stone walls. Minimum population estimate ranged from 110,000–311,000 individuals. The main identified potential threats to the species include wildfires, pesticides and quarrying. Following the application of IUCN criteria, we advise a conservation status of either “Least Concern” or “Near-threatened” under criterion D (restricted population). PMID:26379241

  17. Conservation Status of a Recently Described Endemic Land Snail, Candidula coudensis, from the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Francisco; Calado, Gonçalo; Dias, Susana

    2015-01-01

    We assessed the distribution, population size and conservation status of Candidula coudensis, a recently described endemic land snail from Portugal. From March 2013 to April 2014, surveys were carried out in the region where the species was described. We found an extent of occurrence larger than originally described, but still quite small (13.5 km2). The species was found mainly in olive groves, although it occurred in a variety of other habitats with limestone soils, including grasslands, scrublands and stone walls. Minimum population estimate ranged from 110,000-311,000 individuals. The main identified potential threats to the species include wildfires, pesticides and quarrying. Following the application of IUCN criteria, we advise a conservation status of either "Least Concern" or "Near-threatened" under criterion D (restricted population).

  18. Relative importance of natural disturbances and habitat degradation on snail kite population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, J.; Kitchens, W.M.; Cattau, Christopher E.; Oli, M.K.

    2008-01-01

    Natural disturbances and habitat degradation are major factors influencing the dynamics and persistence of many wildlife populations, yet few large-scale studies have explored the relative influence of these factors on the dynamics and persistence of animal populations. We used longterm demographic data and matrix population models to examine the potential effects of habitat degradation and natural disturbances on the dynamics of the endangered snail kite Rostrhamus sociabilis in Florida, USA. We found that estimates of stochastic population growth rate were low (0.90). Population growth rate (??) during the first half or our study period (1992 to 1998) was substantially greater than during the second half (1999 to 2005). These 2 periods were characterized by contrasting hydrological conditions. Although ?? was most sensitive to changes in adult survival, the analysis of life table response experiments revealed that a reduction in fertility of kites accounted for >80% of the observed decline in population growth rate. We examined the possibility that the reduction in ?? was caused by (1) habitat degradation due to management, (2) an increase in frequency of moderate drying events in recent years, and (3) both habitat degradation and an increase in frequency of moderate drying events. Our results suggest that both factors could potentially contribute to a large decrease in population growth rate. Our study highlights the importance of simultaneously considering short- and long-term effects of disturbances when modeling population dynamics. Indeed, focusing exclusively on one type of effect may be misleading to both our understanding of the ecological dynamics of the system and to management. The relevance of our results to management is heightened because the snail kite has been selected as a key performance measure of one of the most ambitious ecosystem restoration projects ever undertaken. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  19. Effects of pollution on land snail abundance, size and diversity as resources for pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca.

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Rainio, Kalle; Suominen, Otso

    2010-09-01

    Passerine birds need extra calcium during their breeding for developing egg shells and proper growth of nestling skeleton. Land snails are an important calcium source for many passerines and human-induced changes in snail populations may pose a severe problem for breeding birds. We studied from the bird's viewpoint how air pollution affects the shell mass, abundance and diversity of land snail communities along a pollution gradient of a copper smelter. We sampled remnant snail shells from the nests of an insectivorous passerine, the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, to find out how the availability of land snails varies along the pollution gradient. The total snail shell mass increased towards the pollution source but declined abruptly in the vicinity of the smelter. This spatial variation in shell mass was evident also within a single snail species and could not be wholly explained by spatially varying snail numbers or species composition. Instead, the total shell mass was related to their shell size, individuals being largest at the moderately polluted areas. Smaller shell size suggests inferior growth of snails in the most heavily polluted area. Our study shows that pollution affects the diversity, abundance (available shell mass) and individual quality of land snails, posing reproductive problems for birds that rely on snails as calcium sources during breeding. There are probably both direct pollution-related (heavy metal and calcium levels) and indirect (habitat change) effects behind the observed changes in snail populations.

  20. 76 FR 41811 - Kellaway Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, San Luis...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Shoulderband Snail, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of... ``take'' of the Federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta walkeriana) incidental to..., which includes the Kellaway Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail...

  1. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and…

  2. Single- or mixed-sex Schistosoma japonicum infections of intermediate host snails in hilly areas of Anhui, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Hui-Ping; Lu, Da-Bing; Shen, Lei; Shi, Tan; Gu, Jian

    2014-02-01

    Schistosomiasis japonicum is one of the most serious communicable diseases, and the transmission of the parasite is dependent of its complex life cycle on which many factors can have an impact. Multiple infections comprising both male and female schistosome within snail intermediate hosts, for example, would facilitate parasite transmission. However, no research on Schistosoma japonicum communities in field-collected Oncomelania hupensis hupensis in relation to schistosome sex has been reported. Therefore, snail survey was performed in a hilly region of Anhui, China, and single- or mixed-sex schistosome infections of snails were detected with final host mouse infection. A total of 8,563 snails were sampled in the field, and 67 were identified with schistosome infections. Of these infected snails, 46 were selected for final host infection. From this, 21 snails were infected with female schistosome, 23 with males and 2 with both males and females. More worms were recovered for snails with mixed-sex infections than with single-sex infection and for snails with male schistosome infection than with female infection (P<0.001). The observed frequency of mixed-sex infections of snails was significantly higher than would be expected if randomly distributed (P<0.01). The ratio male/female of schistosome infections in snails was nearly equal and up to 95.65 % (44/46) of infected snails were single-sex infection. Schistosome infections in snails collected from the hilly area of Anhui Province were not randomly distributed but over-dispersed.

  3. A pilot study testing a natural and a synthetic molluscicide for controlling invasive apple snails (Pomacea maculata)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this study snails were exposed to two mollusc...

  4. 75 FR 52272 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Utah (Desert) Valvata Snail From...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-25

    ... Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Utah (Desert) Valvata Snail From the Federal List of Endangered and... (Service), are removing the Utah (desert) valvata snail (Valvata utahensis) from the Federal List of... commercial data, we determined that the Utah valvata snail is more widespread and occurs in a greater...

  5. Sex ratio and susceptibility of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Banpavichit, S; Keawjam, R S; Upatham, E S

    1994-06-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected at two localities having different ecological environments. In both canal and pond, P. canaliculata males were found more than females during the dry season (summer and winter). In the canal, the male snails were highest in number (86.67%) in May. When rain started, they began decreasing and were lowest at 33.33% in August. Of 575 snails collected, 30.6% were infected by one or more of the three groups of amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae. There were two high peaks of infection in April and October, as 60.7% and 68.4%, respectively, during which there were more males than females. The average number of parasites per snail which was highest at 54 was found in the medium-sized males (25 out of 35 males) in October. The number of parasites per snail was significantly correlated with the collected males (p < 0.01), but such relationship was not occurred with the females. Of the females, only the large-sized individuals were infected. In the pond, the female snails were present in much greater numbers than the males during the reproductive time (June-September). The females were highest (94.23%) in August. Only 24 (4.0%) of 605 snails were infected; most of the infected snails were large.

  6. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  7. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  8. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  9. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  10. Exploring the temporal effects of seasonal water availability on the snail kite of Florida: Part III

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooij, Wolf M.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Bissonette, John A.; Storch, Ilse

    2007-01-01

    The Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is an endangered raptor that occurs as an isolated population, currently of about 2,000 birds, in the wetlands of southern and central Florida, USA. Its exclusive prey species, the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) is strongly influenced by seasonal changes in water abundance. Droughts during the snail kite breeding season have a direct negative effect on snail kite survival and reproduction, but droughts are also needed to maintain aquatic vegetation types favorable to snail kite foraging for snails. We used a spatially explicit matrix model to explore the effects of temporal variation in water levels on the viability of the snail kite population under different temporal drought regimes in its wetland breeding habitat. We focused on three aspects of variations in water levels that were likely to affect kites: (1) drought frequency; (2) drought duration; and (3) drought timing within the year. We modeled a 31-year historical scenario using four different scenarios in which the average water level was maintained constant, but the amplitude of water level fluctuations was modified. Our results reveal the complexity of the effects of temporal variation in water levels on snail kite population dynamics. Management implications of these results are discussed. In particular, management decisions should not be based on annual mean water levels alone, but must consider the intra-annual variability.

  11. The non-native faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) makes the leap to Lake Superior

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) has been present in the lower Great Lakes since the late 1800s but only very recently reached Lake Superior. Surveys from 2011 through 2013 found faucet snail to be abundant and wide-spread in the St. Louis River Estuary wi...

  12. Dry down impacts on apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) demography: Implications for wetland water management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.; Percival, H.F.

    2008-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa Say) are prey for several wetland-dependent predators, most notably for the endangered Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis Vieillot). Management concerns for kites have been raised regarding the impacts of wetland dry downs on snails, but little data exists to validate these concerns. We simulated drying events in experimental tanks, where we observed that snail survival patterns, regardless of hydrology, were driven by a post-reproductive die off. In contrast to earlier reports of little to no dry down tolerance, we found that 70% of pre-reproductive adult-sized snails survived a 12-week dry down. Smaller size classes of snails exhibited significantly lower survival rates (< 50% after eight weeks dry). Field surveys showed that 77% of egg production occurs in April-June. Our hydrologic analyses of six peninsular Florida wetlands showed that most dry downs overlapped a portion of the peak snail breeding season, and 70% of dry downs were ??? 12 weeks in duration. Dry down timing can affect recruitment by truncating annual egg production and stranding juveniles. Dry down survival rates and seasonal patterns of egg cluster production helped define a range of hydrologic conditions that support robust apple snail populations, and illustrate why multiple characteristics of dry down events should be considered in developing target hydrologic regimes for wetland fauna. ?? 2008, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  13. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  14. Studies on the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira on schistosomiasis transmitting snails.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Abdalla M; Abdel-Gawad, Mahfouz M; El-Nahas, Hanan A; Osman, Nadia S

    2015-04-01

    In the search for new molluscicidal plants for controlling the snail vectors of schistosomiasis, laboratory evaluation was made to assess the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira plants against Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. Results indicated that both plants have promising molluscicidal activity as the LC90 of the dry powder of both plants was 120 ppm. Both plants showed marked cercaricidal and miracidicidal potencies against S. mansoni larvae. The LC90 of both plants (120 ppm) killed most B. alexandrina eggs within 24 h of exposure. The sub-lethal concentrations of both plants markedly suppressed the survival rate of B. alexandrina snails and the mortality increased with increasing the concentrations and the exposure period up to 10 successive weeks. The accumulative toxic effect of these concentrations was continuous during the recovery period. Also, the reproductive rates of exposed snails were greatly affected even through the recovery period. This depression in reproductive ability of snails was accompanied by histological damage in the hermaphrodite glands of exposed snails. Meanwhile, the growth of snails was estimated weekly and it showed great inhibition in exposed snails comparing with the control ones.

  15. Snail/beta-catenin signaling protects breast cancer cells from hypoxia attack

    SciTech Connect

    Scherbakov, Alexander M.; Stefanova, Lidia B.; Sorokin, Danila V.; Semina, Svetlana E.; Berstein, Lev M.; Krasil’nikov, Mikhail A.

    2013-12-10

    The tolerance of cancer cells to hypoxia depends on the combination of different factors – from increase of glycolysis (Warburg Effect) to activation of intracellular growth/apoptotic pathways. Less is known about the influence of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and EMT-associated pathways on the cell sensitivity to hypoxia. The aim of this study was to explore the role of Snail signaling, one of the key EMT pathways, in the mediating of hypoxia response and regulation of cell sensitivity to hypoxia, using as a model in vitro cultured breast cancer cells. Earlier we have shown that estrogen-independent HBL-100 breast cancer cells differ from estrogen-dependent MCF-7 cells with increased expression of Snail1, and demonstrated Snail1 involvement into formation of hormone-resistant phenotype. Because Snail1 belongs to hypoxia-activated proteins, here we studied the influence of Snail1 signaling on the cell tolerance to hypoxia. We found that Snail1-enriched HBL-100 cells were less sensitive to hypoxia-induced growth suppression if compared with MCF-7 line (31% MCF-7 vs. 71% HBL-100 cell viability after 1% O{sub 2} atmosphere for 3 days). Snail1 knock-down enhanced the hypoxia-induced inhibition of cell proliferation giving the direct evidence of Snail1 involvement into cell protection from hypoxia attack. The protective effect of Snail1 was shown to be mediated, at least in a part, via beta-catenin which positively regulated expression of HIF-1-dependent genes. Finally, we found that cell tolerance to hypoxia was accompanied with the failure in the phosphorylation of AMPK – the key energy sensor, and demonstrated an inverse relationship between AMPK and Snail/beta-catenin signaling. Totally, our data show that Snail1 and beta-catenin, besides association with loss of hormone dependence, protect cancer cells from hypoxia and may serve as an important target in the treatment of breast cancer. Moreover, we suggest that the level of these proteins as well

  16. Prostaglandin E₂ receptor EP2 mediates Snail expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shan-Yu; Zhang, Hai; Zhang, Min; Xia, Shu-Kai; Bai, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Li; Ma, Juan; Rong, Rong; Wang, Yi-Pin; Du, Ming-Zhan; Wang, Jie; Chen, Meng; Shi, Feng; Yang, Qin-Yi; Leng, Jing

    2014-05-01

    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) has been shown to influence cell invasion and metastasis in several types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). however, the molecular mechanisms underlying it remain to be further elucidated. Snail, as one of key inducers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), plays pivotal roles in HCC invasion and metastasis. The present study was designed to evaluate the possible signaling pathways through which PGE2 regulates Snail protein expression in HCC cell lines. PGE2 markedly enhanced Huh-7 cell invasion and migration ability by upregulating the expression level of Snail protein, and EP2 receptor played an important role in this process. Src, EGFR, Akt and mTOR were all activated and involved in the regulation of snail protein expression. Our findings suggest that PGE2 could upregulate the expression level of Snail protein through the EP2/Src/EGFR/Akt/mTOR pathway in Huh-7 cells, which promotes HCC cell invasion and migration.

  17. Cercarial infection in Paludomus petrosus, freshwater snail in Pa La-U Waterfall.

    PubMed

    Krailas, Duangduen; Dechruksa, Wivitchuta; Ukong, Suluck; Janecharut, Tuenta

    2003-06-01

    Paludomus petrosus, the freshwater snails found in Pa La-U Waterfall, were examined for cercarial infection of trematodes. The snails were collected every other month from April, 2001 to February, 2002. Collections were taken from two sampling stations. The counts per unit of time' method was used for collection of the snails. The density of snails was highest in June 2001, and the highest of parasite infection rate was in February 2002. Four types of cercariae were found in the snails: Xiphidiocercariae, Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I, and Furcocercous cercariae type II. Xiphidiocercariae were found in April 2001 to February 2002. Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I and Furcocercous cercariae type II were found in February 2002.

  18. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P

    2008-08-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitor as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist, on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated training produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist, applications. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

  19. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail Helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, v P

    2008-11-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitors, as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after applications of metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect, whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

  20. Juveniles of Lymnaea 'smart' snails do not perseverate and have the capacity to form LTM.

    PubMed

    Shymansky, Tamila; Protheroe, Amy; Hughes, Emily; Swinton, Cayley; Swinton, Erin; Lukowiak, Kai S; Phillips, Iain; Lukowiak, Ken

    2017-02-01

    Previously, it was concluded that the nervous systems of juvenile snails were not capable of mediating long-term memory (LTM). However, exposure and training of those juvenile snails in the presence of a predator cue significantly altered their ability to learn and form LTM. In addition, there are some strains of Lymnaea which have been identified as 'smart'. These snails form LTM significantly better than the lab-bred strain. Here, we show that juveniles of two smart snail strains not only are capable of associative learning but also have the capacity to form LTM following a single 0.5 h training session. We also show that freshly collected 'wild' 'average' juveniles are also not able to form LTM. Thus, the smart snail phenotype in these strains is expressed in juveniles.

  1. Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in Oral epithelial and HNSCC cells

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Miranda; Wang, Guanyu; Luo, Jie; Lin, Yuan; Dohadwala, Mariam; Sidell, Douglas; DeConde, Adam; Abemayor, Elliot; Elashoff, David A.; Sharma, Sherven; Dubinett, Steven M.; St John, Maie A.

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE The presence of regional metastases in HNSCC patients is a common and adverse event associated with poor prognosis. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that mediate HNSCC metastasis may enable identification of novel therapeutic targets. Our recent work on human HNSCC tissues underlies Snail’s role as a molecular prognostic marker for HNSCC. Snail positivity is significantly predictive of poorly differentiated, lymphovascular invasive, as well as regionally metastatic tumors. We recently reported the role of Snail in the inflammation-induced promotion of EMT in HNSCC. However, other important Snail-dependent malignant phenotypes have not been fully explored. Here, we investigate the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human oral epithelial cell lines, and its ability to confer drug resistance. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Snail was overexpressed HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines. AIG assays, wound healing assays, invasion & migration assays, spheroid modeling, and cell survival assays were performed. RESULTS The overexpression of Snail in human HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines drives EMT. The sole transfection of Snail confers the expression of a mesenchymal molecular signature including down-regulation of the epithelial adherens, such as E-cadherin and β-catenin, and induction of mesenchymal markers, Snail overexpressing cell lines demonstrate rapid growth in Anchorage-independent growth assays; a decreased capacity to form tight spheroids; increased resistance to erlotinib; and have an increased capacity for invasion. CONCLUSION Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in HNSCC cells. Snail may prove to be a useful marker in predicting EGFR inhibitor responsiveness. PMID:22568942

  2. Snail family members and cell survival in physiological and pathological cleft palates.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Alvarez, Concepción; Blanco, María J; Pérez, Raquel; Rabadán, M Angeles; Aparicio, Marta; Resel, Eva; Martínez, Tamara; Nieto, M Angela

    2004-01-01

    Palate fusion is a complex process that involves the coordination of a series of cellular changes including cell death and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Since members of the Snail family of zinc-finger regulators are involved in both triggering of the EMT and cell survival, we decided to study their putative role in palatal fusion. Furthermore, Snail genes are induced by transforming growth factor beta gene (TGF-beta) superfamily members, and TGF-beta(3) null mutant mice (TGF-beta(3)-/-) show a cleft palate phenotype. Here we show that in the wild-type mouse at the time of fusion, Snail is expressed in a few cells of the midline epithelial seam (MES), compatible with a role in triggering of the EMT in a small subpopulation of the MES. We also find an intriguing relationship between the expression of Snail family members and cell survival associated to the cleft palate condition. Indeed, Snail is expressed in the medial edge epithelial (MEE) cells in TGF-beta(3)-/-mouse embryo palates, where it is activated by the aberrant expression of its inducer, TGF-beta(1), in the underlying mesenchyme. In contrast to Snail-deficient wild-type pre-adhesion MEE cells, Snail-expressing TGF-beta(3) mutant MEE cells survive as they do their counterparts in the chick embryo. Interestingly, Slug is the Snail family member expressed in the chick MEE, providing another example of interchange of Snail and Slug expression between avian and mammalian embryos. We propose that in the absence of TGF-beta(3), TGF-beta(1) is upregulated in the mesenchyme, and that in both physiological (avian) and pathological (TGF-beta(3)-/-mammalian) cleft palates, it induces the expression of Snail genes promoting the survival of the MEE cells and permitting their subsequent differentiation into keratinized stratified epithelium.

  3. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: Eexample of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, W.M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Snails and slugs damaging the cut foliage, Cordyline fruticosa and use of biorationals towards their management.

    PubMed

    Karthiga, S; Jegathambigai, V; Karunarathne, M D S D; Svinningen, A; Mikunthan, G

    2012-01-01

    Snails and slugs became a serious molluscan pests and damaging leaves of purple compacta, Cordyline fruticosa extensively grown for export at Green Farm Ltd, Sri Lanka. The export quality of leaves of C. fruticosa is lowered due to feeding of snails, Achantina fulica (Bowditch), Opeas pyrgula Schmacker and Boettgerx and Helix aspersa Muller and slugs incurring great loss to cut foliage industry. Paucity of information is available to understand snails and slugs damage and their host range that limits to develop suitable management practices. Therefore this study was aimed to determine damage, alternate hosts and to develop possible management practices. Snails and slugs damaged mainly fresh leaves of C. fruticosa. The severity of damage was 44.5% in infested field based on the visual rating method. Leaves of cassava, sting bean, okra, cucumber, passion fruit, papaya, Glyricidia and shoe flower were identified as alternate hosts and neem, Ixora and Dracaena spp were not served as alternate hosts. Among the plant materials tested for their repellence against snails and slugs revealed that neem seed powder was an irritant; neem leaves, mint leaves and Lantana leaves were acted as anti-feedant and Salt as chemical repellent. Among the barrier and bait experiments Bordeaux mixture exhibited a significant barrier effect against horizontal movement of snails. Baits made out of Metaldehyde bait, vegetables bait and jaggery had a strong effect in repelling the snails and slugs. Mulching with Madhuca longifolia punnac was the best to reduce the snails and slugs population compared to M. longifolia seed kernel powder. Oil from M. longifolia failed to reduce their population. Hence the results revealed that saponin containing M. longifolia punnac helped to eliminate snails and slugs when used as mulch. Metaldehyde, vegetable and jaggery baits are also useful to minimize their colonization further. Hence combination of these methods will help to prevent snails and slugs from

  5. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: example of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences.

  6. A flavonol present in cocoa [(-)epicatechin] enhances snail memory.

    PubMed

    Fruson, Lee; Dalesman, Sarah; Lukowiak, Ken

    2012-10-15

    Dietary consumption of flavonoids (plant phytochemicals) may improve memory and neuro-cognitive performance, though the mechanism is poorly understood. Previous work has assessed cognitive effects in vertebrates; here we assess the suitability of Lymnaea stagnalis as an invertebrate model to elucidate the effects of flavonoids on cognition. (-)Epicatechin (epi) is a flavonoid present in cocoa, green tea and red wine. We studied its effects on basic snail behaviours (aerial respiration and locomotion), long-term memory (LTM) formation and memory extinction of operantly conditioned aerial respiratory behaviour. We found no significant effect of epi exposure (15 mg l(-1)) on either locomotion or aerial respiration. However, when snails were operantly conditioned in epi for a single 0.5 h training session, which typically results in memory lasting ~3 h, they formed LTM lasting at least 24 h. Snails exposed to epi also showed significantly increased resistance to extinction, consistent with the hypothesis that epi induces a more persistent LTM. Thus training in epi facilitates LTM formation and results in a more persistent and stronger memory. Previous work has indicated that memory-enhancing stressors (predator kairomones and KCl) act via sensory input from the osphradium and are dependent on a serotonergic (5-HT) signalling pathway. Here we found that the effects of epi on LTM were independent of osphradial input and 5-HT, demonstrating that an alternative mechanism of memory enhancement exists in L. stagnalis. Our data are consistent with the notion that dietary sources of epi can improve cognitive abilities, and that L. stagnalis is a suitable model with which to elucidate neuronal mechanisms.

  7. Cisplatin promotes mesenchymal-like characteristics in osteosarcoma through Snail

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Shuo; Yu, Ling; Mei, Hongjun; Yang, Jian; Gao, Tian; Cheng, Anyuan; Guo, Weichun; Xia, Kezhou; Liu, Gaiwei

    2016-01-01

    More than 30% of patients with osteosarcoma succumb to pulmonary metastases. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a biological process by which tumor cells gain an increased capacity for invasiveness and metastasis. A previous study confirmed the phenomenon of EMT in osteosarcoma, a mesenchymal-derived tumor. However, whether chemotherapy affects EMT remains to be elucidated. In the present study, the osteosarcoma cells were exposed to a sublethal dose of cisplatin, and any surviving cells were assumed to be more resistant to cisplatin. In addition, these cells exhibited a more mesenchymal phenotype. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that the cisplatin treated cells had an increased long/short axis ratio and increased expression of N-cadherin compared with control cells. A panel of EMT-associated genes was subsequently assessed by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis, and they were observed to be significantly upregulated in the cisplatin treated cells. The in vitro wound healing and Transwell assay indicated that the cisplatin treated cells were more prone to migrate and invade. An in vivo assay showed that the cisplatin-treated xenograft had increased expression of EMT-associated genes, and exhibited increased pulmonary lesions compared with the control, which indicated an elevated capacity to metastasize. The expression of Snail was knocked down by specific small interfering RNA, and it was observed that Snail inhibition promoted cisplatin sensitivity, and cisplatin-induced EMT was significantly blocked. Taken together, the results of the present study supported that idea that Snail participates in cisplatin-induced EMT in osteosarcoma cells, and targeting EMT-transcription factors may offer promise for the therapeutics of osteosarcoma. PMID:28105207

  8. PPIase is associated with the diversity of conotoxins from cone snail venom glands.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Tang, Wei; Wang, Xiaomin; Chen, Yu; Wu, Yun; Qiang, Yuanyuan; Feng, Yuchao; Ren, Zhenghua; Chen, Shangwu; Xu, Anlong

    2015-05-01

    Cone snails are incredibly rich sources of bioactive conopeptides with potential for use in neuroscience research and novel drug development. In order to investigate the synthesis of diversified conopeptides in venom glands, the proteome and peptidome profiles of conus venom were analyzed using HPLC and mass spectrometry. The peptidome profile of the venom components with a molecular weight under 10 kDa showed that the peptides with unique mass values from the venom glands of Conus caracteristicus, Conus lividus and Conus textile are 188, 413 and 265, respectively, and there are 39 overlapping peptides among the three species. Proteome profiling of the components with molecular weights above 10 kDa showed that the most abundant proteins (38.6%) are involved in metabolism and that approximately 6.8% of proteins are involved in protein synthesis, folding and post-translational modification. Among these proteins, PPIase is one protein identified from C. textile based on proteomic analysis. Conus PPIase was successfully expressed as a fusion protein with TRX in an Escherichia coli expression system for further function study. In-vitro enzyme activity assays showed that cone snail PPIase could induce the cis-trans isomerization of the substrate succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe-p-nitroanilide. The HPLC mapping analyses of linear lt14a, a conotoxin with 3 prolines, showed that different lt14a isoforms appear after incubation with PPIase. Our results suggest that PPIase may modify conotoxins containing prolines and play an important role in the process of peptide folding and modification in venom glands and contribute to conotoxin diversity.

  9. Differential bioaccumulation patterns of nanosized and dissolved silver in a land snail Achatina fulica.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuanzhen; Si, Youbin; Zhou, Dongmei; Dang, Fei

    2017-03-01

    With the increasing application in antimicrobial products, silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are inevitably released into the terrestrial environment, and pose potential risks to invertebrates such as land snails Achatina fulica, which take up AgNP from food and water. Here we differentiate Ag uptake biodynamic between Ag forms (i.e., PVP-AgNP vs. AgNO3) and between exposure pathways. Snails assimilated Ag efficiently from lettuce leaves pre-exposed to AgNP, with assimilation efficiencies (AEs) averaging 62-85% and food ingestion rates of 0.11 ± 0.03 g g(-1) d(-1). Dietary Ag bioavailability was independent on Ag forms, as revealed by comparable AEs between AgNP and AgNO3. However, the uptake rate constant from water was much lower for AgNP relative to AgNO3 (2 × 10(-4) vs. 0.12 L g(-1) d(-1)). The elimination rate constants were 0.0093 ± 0.0037 d(-1) for AgNP and 0.019 ± 0.0077 d(-1) for AgNO3. Biodynamic modeling further showed that dietary exposure was the dominant uptake pathway for AgNP in most circumstances, while for AgNO3 the relative importance of waterborne and dietary exposure depended on Ag concentrations in food and water. Our findings highlight the importance of dietary uptake of AgNP during bioaccumulation, which should be considered in the risk assessment of these nanoparticles.

  10. Selective and universal primers for trematode barcoding in freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Routtu, J; Grunberg, D; Izhar, R; Dagan, Y; Guttel, Y; Ucko, M; Ben-Ami, F

    2014-07-01

    Trematodes are significant pathogens of high medical, veterinary, and environmental importance. They are hard to isolate from their intermediate hosts, and their early life stages are difficult to identify morphologically. Therefore, primers were developed for trematodes to create a species barcoding system and allow selective PCR amplification in mixed samples. The specific oligonucleotide primer was universal for trematodes that infected several freshwater snail species in Israel. The diagnostic tool is based on the 18S rDNA gene. In contrast to morphological identification, trematode barcoding is rapid as it is based on a sequence of only 800 bp, and it classifies species accurately due to high polymorphism between conserved areas.

  11. [Equipment for biological experiments with snails aboard piloted orbital stations].

    PubMed

    Gorgiladze, G I; Korotkova, E V; Kuznetsova, E E; Mukhamedieva, L N; Begrov, V V; Pepeliaev, Iu V

    2010-01-01

    To fly biological experiments aboard piloted orbital stations, research equipment was built up of an incubation container, filter system and automatic temperature controller. Investigations included analysis of the makeup and concentrations of gases produced by animals (snails) during biocycle, and emitted after death. Filters are chemisorption active fibrous materials (AFM) with high sorption rate and water receptivity (cation exchange fiber VION-KN-1 and anion exchange fiber VION-AS-1), and water-repellent carbon adsorbent SKLTS. AFM filters were effective in air cleaning and practically excluded ingress of chemical substances from the container into cabin atmosphere over more than 100 days.

  12. Exposure to parasites increases promiscuity in a freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Soper, D. M.; King, K. C.; Vergara, D.; Lively, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Under the Red Queen hypothesis, outcrossing can produce genetically variable progeny, which may be more resistant, on average, to locally adapted parasites. Mating with multiple partners may enhance this resistance by further increasing the genetic variation among offspring. We exposed Potamopyrgus antipodarum to the eggs of a sterilizing, trematode parasite and tested whether this altered mating behaviour. We found that exposure to parasites increased the number of snail mating pairs and the total number of different mating partners for both males and females. Thus, our results suggest that, in host populations under parasite-mediated selection, exposure to infective propagules increases the rate of mating and the number of mates. PMID:24759366

  13. Oxygen and carbon stable isotopes of modern land snail shells as environmental indicators from a low-latitude oceanic island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanes, Yurena; Romanek, Christopher S.; Delgado, Antonio; Brant, Heather A.; Noakes, John E.; Alonso, María R.; Ibáñez, Miguel

    2009-07-01

    indicate lower temperatures, lower δ 18O rain values and possibly, higher rainfall totals. A positive correlation between the mean δ 13C values of shells (δ 13C shell) and plants by site suggests that shells potentially record information about the surrounding vegetation. The δ 13C shell values varied between -15.7 and -0.6‰ (VPDB), indicating that snails consumed C 3 and C 4/CAM plants, where more negative δ 13C shell values probably reflects the preferential consumption of C 3 plants which are favored under wetter conditions. Individuals with more positive δ 13C shell values consumed a larger percentage of C 4 plants (other potential factors such as carbonate ingestion or atmospheric CO 2 contribution were unlikely) that were more common at lower elevations of the hotter and drier south facing transect. The relatively wide range of shell isotope values within a single site requires the analysis of numerous shells for meaningful paleoclimatic studies. Although small differences were observed in isotope composition among snail species collected at a single sampling site, they were not significant, suggesting that isotope signatures extracted from multi-taxa snail data sets may be used to infer environmental conditions over a broad range of habitats.

  14. Count Your Eggs Before They Invade: Identifying and Quantifying Egg Clutches of Two Invasive Apple Snail Species (Pomacea)

    PubMed Central

    Kyle, Colin H.; Plantz, Allyson L.; Shelton, Therese; Burks, Romi L.

    2013-01-01

    Winning the war against invasive species requires early detection of invasions. Compared to terrestrial invaders, aquatic species often thrive undetected under water and do not garner notice until too late for early action. However, fortunately for managers, apple snails (Family Ampullariidae, Genus Pomacea) provide their own conspicuous sign of invasion in the form of vibrantly colored egg clutches. Managers can potentially use egg clutches laid in the riparian zone as a means of early detection and species identification. To facilitate such efforts, we quantified differences in characteristics (length, width, depth, mass, egg number) of field-laid clutches for the two most common invasive species of apple snail, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, in native and non-native populations. Pomacea canaliculata native and non-native populations differed noticeably only in width. Native P. maculata clutches possessed significantly greater width, mass and eggs numbers compared with native P. canaliculata. Non-native P. maculata clutches significantly exceeded all other populations in all measured characteristics. Consequently, these traits may successfully distinguish between species. Fecundity data also allowed us to develop models that accurately estimated the number of eggs per clutch for each species based on clutch dimensions. We tested one, two and three dimensional models of clutches, including rendering a clutch as either a complete ellipsoid or an ellipsoid intersected by a cylinder to represent the oviposition site. Model comparisons found the product of length and depth, with a different function for each population, best predicted egg number for both species. Comparisons of egg number to clutch volume and mass implied non-native P. canaliculata may be food limited, while non-native P. maculata appeared to produce such enormous clutches by having access to greater nutrients than the native population. With these new tools, researchers and managers can quickly

  15. Count your eggs before they invade: identifying and quantifying egg clutches of two invasive apple snail species (Pomacea).

    PubMed

    Kyle, Colin H; Plantz, Allyson L; Shelton, Therese; Burks, Romi L

    2013-01-01

    Winning the war against invasive species requires early detection of invasions. Compared to terrestrial invaders, aquatic species often thrive undetected under water and do not garner notice until too late for early action. However, fortunately for managers, apple snails (Family Ampullariidae, Genus Pomacea) provide their own conspicuous sign of invasion in the form of vibrantly colored egg clutches. Managers can potentially use egg clutches laid in the riparian zone as a means of early detection and species identification. To facilitate such efforts, we quantified differences in characteristics (length, width, depth, mass, egg number) of field-laid clutches for the two most common invasive species of apple snail, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, in native and non-native populations. Pomacea canaliculata native and non-native populations differed noticeably only in width. Native P. maculata clutches possessed significantly greater width, mass and eggs numbers compared with native P. canaliculata. Non-native P. maculata clutches significantly exceeded all other populations in all measured characteristics. Consequently, these traits may successfully distinguish between species. Fecundity data also allowed us to develop models that accurately estimated the number of eggs per clutch for each species based on clutch dimensions. We tested one, two and three dimensional models of clutches, including rendering a clutch as either a complete ellipsoid or an ellipsoid intersected by a cylinder to represent the oviposition site. Model comparisons found the product of length and depth, with a different function for each population, best predicted egg number for both species. Comparisons of egg number to clutch volume and mass implied non-native P. canaliculata may be food limited, while non-native P. maculata appeared to produce such enormous clutches by having access to greater nutrients than the native population. With these new tools, researchers and managers can quickly

  16. Diaphanous gene mutation affects spiral cleavage and chirality in snails

    PubMed Central

    Kuroda, Reiko; Fujikura, Kohei; Abe, Masanori; Hosoiri, Yuji; Asakawa, Shuichi; Shimizu, Miho; Umeda, Shin; Ichikawa, Futaba; Takahashi, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    L-R (left and right) symmetry breaking during embryogenesis and the establishment of asymmetric body plan are key issues in developmental biology, but the onset including the handedness-determining gene locus still remains unknown. Using pure dextral (DD) and sinistral (dd) strains of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis as well as its F2 through to F10 backcrossed lines, the single handedness-determining-gene locus was mapped by genetic linkage analysis, BAC cloning and chromosome walking. We have identified the actin-related diaphanous gene Lsdia1 as the strongest candidate. Although the cDNA and derived amino acid sequences of the tandemly duplicated Lsdia1 and Lsdia2 genes are very similar, we could discriminate the two genes/proteins in our molecular biology experiments. The Lsdia1 gene of the sinistral strain carries a frameshift mutation that abrogates full-length LsDia1 protein expression. In the dextral strain, it is already translated prior to oviposition. Expression of Lsdia1 (only in the dextral strain) and Lsdia2 (in both chirality) decreases after the 1-cell stage, with no asymmetric localization throughout. The evolutionary relationships among body handedness, SD/SI (spiral deformation/spindle inclination) at the third cleavage, and expression of diaphanous proteins are discussed in comparison with three other pond snails (L. peregra, Physa acuta and Indoplanorbis exustus). PMID:27708420

  17. Imposex in the golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wen-Hui; Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Huang, Da-Ji; Liu, Ming-Yie; Lee, Ching-Chang; Liu, Li-Lian

    2006-12-01

    The golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822) was introduced into Taiwan intentionally in the early 1980s and has become a recurring pest that seriously threatens aquatic crops. In this study, a field description of imposex with a developed penis sheath and penis in female golden apple snails from crop/domestic wastewater drainage sites and a six-order river is presented for the first time. Based on the five field collections and the aquarium group, the vas deferens sequence (VDS) of P. canaliculata in imposex development was categorized into four stages, i.e., stage 0: without male genital system; stage 1: with rudimentary penis; stage 2: with rudimentary penis and penis sheath; and stage 3: the rudimentary penis developing into penis pouch and penis. The VDS indices varied between 1.07 and 2.82 and were lowest in the aquarium group and Yuanlin2. Regarding the severity of imposex, the aquarium group was less pronounced, as illustrated by the length of penis sheath and penis length, than the field collections (p<0.05). In respect of the penis length, males of the most imposex-affected site were up to 15% shorter than that of the aquarium group. Negative correlations between male penis length and female imposex characters (i.e., penis length and penis sheath length) were also observed.

  18. Extremely high secondary production of introduced snails in rivers.

    PubMed

    Hall, Robert O; Dybdahl, Mark F; VanderLoop, Maria C

    2006-06-01

    The functional importance of invasive animals may be measured as the degree to which they dominate secondary production, relative to native animals. We used this approach to examine dominance of invertebrate secondary production by invasive New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in rivers. We measured secondary production of mudsnails and native invertebrates in three rivers in the Greater Yellowstone Area (Wyoming, USA): Gibbon River, Firehole River, and Polecat Creek. Potamopyrgus production was estimated by measuring in situ growth rates and multiplying by monthly biomass; native invertebrate production was estimated using size frequency and instantaneous growth methods. Mudsnail growth rates were high (up to 0.06 d(-1)) for juvenile snails and much lower for adult females (0.003 d(-1)). Potamopyrgus production in Polecat Creek (194 g x m(-2) x yr(-1)) was one of the highest values ever reported for a stream invertebrate. Native invertebrate production ranged from 4.4 to 51 g x m(-2) x yr(-1). Potamopyrgus was the most productive taxon and constituted 65-92% of total invertebrate productivity. Native invertebrate production was low in all streams. Based on a survey of production measures from uninvaded rivers, the distribution of secondary production across taxa was much more highly skewed toward the invasive dominant Potamopyrgus in the three rivers. We suggest that this invasive herbivorous snail is sequestering a large fraction of the carbon available for invertebrate production and altering food web function.

  19. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, Robert G.; Vicente-Dueñas, Carolina; González-Herrero, Ines; Anderson, Catriona; Flores, Teresa; Hughes, Sharon; Tselepis, Chris; Ross, James A.; Sánchez-García, Isidro

    2007-01-01

    E-Cadherin (CDH1) expression is reduced in thyroid carcinomas by primarily unknown mechanisms. In several tissues, SNAIL (SNAI1) and SLUG (SNAI2) induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition by altering target gene transcription, including CDH1 repression, but these transcription factors have not been studied in thyroid carcinoma. Recently, our group has provided direct evidence that ectopic SNAI1 expression induces epithelial and mesenchymal mouse tumors. SNAI1, SNAI2, and CDH1 expression were analyzed in thyroid-derived cell lines and samples of human follicular and papillary thyroid carcinoma by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. The effect of SNAI1 expression on CDH1 transcription was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting in ori-3 cells. Thyroid carcinoma development was analyzed in CombitTA-Snail mice, in which SNAI1 levels are up-regulated. SNAI1 and SNAI2 were not expressed in cells derived from normal thyroid tissue, or in normal human thyroid samples, but were highly expressed in cell lines derived from thyroid carcinomas, in human thyroid carcinoma samples, and their metastases. SNAI1 expression in ori-3 cells repressed CDH1 transcription. Combi-TA mice developed papillary thyroid carcinomas, the incidence of which was increased by concomitant radiotherapy. In conclusion, SNAI1 and SNAI2 are ectopically expressed in thyroid carcinomas, and aberrant expression in mice is associated with papillary carcinoma development. PMID:17724139

  20. Reproduction and demography of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Beissinger, S.R.; Chandler, R.E.

    1989-01-01

    An 18-year study of reproduction and survival of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) has revealed the following: extremely poor nesting success (only 13.6% of nests found at the nest-building stage successful); extremely long breeding seasons (some reproductive activity in almost all months in good years); frequent multiple brooding and frequent multiple brooding and frequent renesting after failure; low egg hatchability (81%); high failure rates due to nest collapse, desertion, and predation; extremely high survival of juveniles and adults under good water conditions; and high vulnerability to drought due to near total dependency on a single species of drought-sensitive snail for food. Despite low nesting success, the species has increased rapidly under good conditions, mainly because of multiple nesting attempts within long breeding seasons and high survival rates of free-flying birds. Nesting success varied significantly between regions and nest substrates, but not as a function of seasons or solitary vs. colonial nesting. While nesting success was reduced in low water years, this effect was at least partly due to heavy use of poor nest substrates under such conditions. Clutch size and numbers of young per successful nest varied with regions, but not as a function of seasons or water levels. The effects of coloniality on clutch size and numbers of young were inconsistent. Significant effects of nest-substrate types on clutch size and numbers of young were apparently artifacts of substrate differences between regions.

  1. The snail hosts of schistosomiasis: some evolutionary and ecological perspectives in relation to control.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J D

    1995-01-01

    Despite opportunities for radiation provided by spatio-temporal isolation, the basic morphological plan of pulmonate snails has remained conservative. In consequence of the resulting dearth of morphological characters and their plasticity, there is a case for using biochemical characters such as exogenous chemicals released by the snails (e.g. amino acids) and their chemoreception niche as taxonomic aids to classify snails of medical importance. As these same chemicals are used by snails to distinguish conspecifics they could also be used as "environmental antibodies" in controlled release formulations (CRF's) designed to remove target snails in a specific, cost-effective and ecologically acceptable manner. The snails, surface-living bacteria, algae and macrophytic plants are considered as co-evolved, interactive modular systems with strong mutualistic elements. Recently, anthropogenic perturbations such as deforestation, and damming of flowing waters, have benefited these modules whereas others such as river canalization, acid deposition, accumulation of pesticide residues and eutrophication have harmed them. Research is needed to elucidate the factors which limit the growth of snails in primitive habitats, uninfluenced by man, as well as in those subject to harmful anthropogenic factors. The understanding thus gained could be applied to develop cost-effective primary health care strategies to reduce or prevent transmission of schistosomiasis and other water related diseases.

  2. Nrf2 inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition by suppressing snail expression during pulmonary fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wencheng; Mo, Xiaoting; Cui, Wenhui; Zhang, Zhihui; Li, Delin; Li, Liucheng; Xu, Liang; Yao, Hongwei; Gao, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a phenotype conversion that plays a critical role in the development of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). It is known that snail could regulate the progression of EMT. Nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), a key regulator of antioxidant defense system, protects cells against oxidative stress. However, it is not known whether Nrf2 regulates snail thereby modulating the development of PF. Here, bleomycin (BLM) was intratracheally injected into both Nrf2-knockout (Nrf2−/−) and wild-type mice to compare the development of PF. Rat type II alveolar epithelial cells (RLE-6TN) were treated with a specific Nrf2 activator sulforaphane, or transfected with Nrf2 and snail siRNAs to determine their effects on transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT. We found that BLM-induced EMT and lung fibrosis were more severe in Nrf2−/− mice compared to wild-type mice. In vitro, sulforaphane treatment attenuated TGF-β1-induced EMT, accompanied by the down-regulation of snail. Inversely, silencing Nrf2 by siRNA enhanced TGF-β1-induced EMT along with increased expression of snail. Interestingly, when snail was silenced by siRNA, sulforaphane treatment was unable to reduce the progression of EMT in RLE-6TN cells. These findings suggest that Nrf2 attenuates EMT and fibrosis process by regulating the expression of snail in PF. PMID:27982105

  3. Bacterial induction of Snail1 contributes to blood-brain barrier disruption

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Brandon J.; Hancock, Bryan M.; Bermudez, Andres; Cid, Natasha Del; Reyes, Efren; van Sorge, Nina M.; Lauth, Xavier; Smurthwaite, Cameron A.; Hilton, Brett J.; Stotland, Aleksandr; Banerjee, Anirban; Buchanan, John; Wolkowicz, Roland; Traver, David; Doran, Kelly S.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the CNS that results when blood-borne bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of neonatal meningitis; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate bacterial BBB disruption and penetration are not well understood. Here, we found that infection of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) with GBS and other meningeal pathogens results in the induction of host transcriptional repressor Snail1, which impedes expression of tight junction genes. Moreover, GBS infection also induced Snail1 expression in murine and zebrafish models. Tight junction components ZO-1, claudin 5, and occludin were decreased at both the transcript and protein levels in hBMECs following GBS infection, and this repression was dependent on Snail1 induction. Bacteria-independent Snail1 expression was sufficient to facilitate tight junction disruption, promoting BBB permeability to allow bacterial passage. GBS induction of Snail1 expression was dependent on the ERK1/2/MAPK signaling cascade and bacterial cell wall components. Finally, overexpression of a dominant-negative Snail1 homolog in zebrafish elevated transcription of tight junction protein–encoding genes and increased zebrafish survival in response to GBS challenge. Taken together, our data support a Snail1-dependent mechanism of BBB disruption and penetration by meningeal pathogens. PMID:25961453

  4. Snail up-regulates pro-inflammatory mediators and inhibits differentiation in oral keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, J. Guy; Patel, Vyomesh; Roue, Naomi C.; Fok, Sandra Y.; Soon, Lilian L.; Halliday, Gary M.; Gutkind, J. Silvio

    2008-01-01

    The transcriptional repressor, Snail2, is over-expressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) relative to non-malignant head and neck mucosal epithelium, and in locally recurrent relative to non-recurrent HNSCCs. We investigated the mechanisms by which Snails might contribute to the pathogenesis of HNSCCs using cell biological and molecular analyses. Oral keratinocytes that expressed Snails acquired an enhanced ability to attract monocytes and to invade a dense interstitial collagen matrix. They were also found to up-regulate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), which have previously been shown to correlate with malignancy. Induction of nuclear factor-kappa B transcriptional activity by Snails was weak and not sufficient to account for the elevated levels of COX2, interleukin-6, interleukin-8 or CXCL1. In addition, expression of Snails in oral keratinocytes impaired desquamation in vitro and strongly repressed expression of both ELF3 and matriptase-1, which play important roles in the terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. Re-expression of matriptase-1 in Snail-expressing cells partially rescued desquamation. This implicates Snails as contributing to malignancy both at the early stages, by impeding terminal differentiation, and at later stages, when invasion and inflammation are important. PMID:18559496

  5. Temperature dependence of Opisthorchis viverrini infection in first intermediate host snail, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos.

    PubMed

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Piratae, Supawadee; Khampoosa, Panita; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Laha, Thewarach; Grams, Rudi; Loukas, Alex; Tesana, Smarn

    2015-01-01

    Determining of the success of a parasite's infectiveness in its snail host clearly depends on environmental conditions. Temperature, one of the most influential factors impinging on metabolism of cold-blooded animals, is believed to be an important factor in parasitic infection in snails. In order to elucidate the influence of temperature, sex and size of snails on infectivity of Opisthorchis viverrini to its first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos, 960 snails were divided into 2 groups by sex. Each group was subdivided by their size into small and medium sub-groups. Each snail was fed with embryonated uterine-eggs of O. viverrini at different temperatures (16-37°C, 3°C intervals). Dissections were carried out 1, 7, 14, 28 and 56 days thereafter and detection of O. viverrini infection was undertaken by PCR using specific primers. Infection was strongly temperature-dependent, as temperature increases of 1°C resulted in increased odds of infection 5.4% (P<0.01). A temperature of 34°C gave the highest rate of infection of 44.14%. We also found that the odds of infection in small sized snails was 39.8% higher relative to medium sized snails (P<0.05). Relative to day 1, the decrease in the odds of infection was detected when the day post infection was longer (P<0.01). Proportion of infection in female was not different to male significantly.

  6. Comparative toxicity of Paraquat herbicide and some plant extracts in Lymnaea natalensis snails.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; Eleiwa, Mona E; Taha, Samir A; Ismil, Somya M

    2016-01-01

    Paraquat has been shown to be a highly toxic compound for humans and animals, and many cases of acute poisoning and death have been reported over the past few decades. The present study was undertaken to evaluate comprehensively herbicides (Paraquat) and some plant extracts to biochemical aspects of Lymnaea natalensis snails. It was found that the exposure of L. natalensis to Paraquat and plant extracts led to a significant reduction in the infectivity of Fasciola gigantica miracidia to the snail. The glucose level in hemolymph of exposed snails was elevated, while the glycogen showed a decrease in soft tissues when compared with the control group. In addition, the activity level of some enzymes representing glycolytic enzymes as hexokinase (HK), pyruvate kinase (PK), phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI) in snail's tissues were reduced in response to the treatment. It was concluded that the pollution of the aquatic environment by herbicide would adversely affect the metabolism of the L. natalensis snails. Snails treated with Agave attenuate, Ammi visnaga, and Canna iridiflora plant had less toxic effect compared to snails treated with Paraquat.

  7. Taken to the limit--Is desiccation stress causing precocious encystment of trematode parasites in snails?

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

    When hosts experience environmental stress, the quantity and quality of resources they provide for parasites may be diminished, and host longevity may be decreased. Under stress, parasites may adopt alternative strategies to avoid fitness reductions. Trematode parasites typically have complex life cycles, involving asexual reproduction in a gastropod first intermediate host. A rare phenomenon, briefly mentioned in the literature, and termed 'precocious encystment' involves the next stage in the parasites' life cycle (metacercarial cyst) forming within the preceding stage (redia), while still inside the snail. In the trematode Parorchis sp. NZ using rocky shore snails exposed to long periods outside water, we hypothesised that this might be an adaptive strategy against desiccation, preventing parasite emergence from the snail. To test this, we first investigated the effect of prolonged desiccation on the survival of two species of high intertidal snails. Secondly, we measured the reproductive output (cercarial production) of the parasite under wet and dry conditions. Finally, we quantified the influence of desiccation stress on the occurrence of precocious encystment. Snail mortality was higher under dry conditions, indicating stress, and it was somewhat exacerbated for infected snails. Parasite reproductive output differed between wet and dry conditions, with parasites of snails kept in dry conditions producing more cercariae when placed in water. Little variation was observed in the occurrence of precocious encystment, although some subtle patterns emerged. Given the stresses associated with living in high intertidal environments, we discuss precocious encystment as a possible stress response in this trematode parasite.

  8. Thermal tolerance and preference of exploited turbinid snails near their range limit in a global warming hotspot.

    PubMed

    Lah, Roslizawati Ab; Benkendorff, Kirsten; Bucher, Daniel

    2017-02-01

    Predicted global climate change has prompted numerous studies of thermal tolerances of marine species. The upper thermal tolerance is unknown for most marine species, but will determine their vulnerability to ocean warming. Gastropods in the family Turbinidae are widely harvested for human consumption. To investigate the responses of turbinid snails to future conditions we determined critical thermal maxima (CTMax) and preferred temperatures of Turbo militaris and Lunella undulata from the tropical-temperate overlap region of northern New South Wales, on the Australian east coast. CTMax were determined at two warming rates: 1°C/30min and 1°C/12h. The number of snails that lost attachment to the tank wall was recorded at each temperature increment. At the faster rate, T. militaris had a significantly higher CTMax (34.0°C) than L. undulata (32.2°C). At the slower rate the mean of both species was lower and there was no significant difference between them (29.4°C for T. militaris and 29.6°C for L. undulata). This is consistent with differences in thermal inertia possibly allowing animals to tolerate short periods at higher temperatures than is possible during longer exposure times, but other mechanisms are not discounted. The thermoregulatory behaviour of the turban snails was determined in a horizontal thermal gradient. Both species actively sought out particular temperatures along the gradient, suggesting that behavioural responses may be important in ameliorating short-term temperature changes. The preferred temperatures of both species were higher at night (24.0°C and 26.0°C) than during the day (22.0°C and 23.9°C). As the snails approached their preferred temperature, net hourly displacement decreased. Preferred temperatures were within the average seasonal seawater temperature range in this region. However, with future predicted water temperature trends, the species could experience increased periods of thermal stress, possibly exceeding CTMax and

  9. Multiple infection of amber Succinea putris snails with sporocysts of Leucochloridium spp. (Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Ataev, G L; Zhukova, A A; Tokmakova, А S; Prokhorova, Е E

    2016-08-01

    Amber Succinea putris snails were collected in the Leningrad Region (Russia). Some of them were infected with trematodes Leucochloridium paradoxum, Leucochloridium perturbatum and Leucochloridium vogtianum. One snail had triple infection with all these species. Genotyping of sporocysts by ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 nucleotide sequences of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and phylogenetic analysis were performed. The results confirmed the species identification of sporocysts of Leucochloridium based on the shape and colour of mature broodsacs. Sporocyst broodsacs could leave the host snail on their own, remaining viable in the environment for up to an hour. This ability of sporocysts may prevent the excessive infection of the molluscan host.

  10. Suppression of SCARA5 by Snail1 is essential for EMT-associated cell migration of A549 cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, J; Hu, G; Chen, D; Gong, A-Y; Soori, G S; Dobleman, T J; Chen, X-M

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) might be a key event for cancer progression. The upregulation of Snail1, one of the most extensively studied EMT regulators, has been implicated in cancer metastasis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to identify that Snail1 targets regulating EMT-associated cancer cell migration. Human lung carcinoma A549 cells were treated with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), and EMT-associated phenotypic and functional alterations were monitored. TGF-β1 induced typical EMT-like morphological changes, ‘cadherin switching' and cell migration in A549 cells. TGF-β1 stimulation induced rapid and persistent upregulation of Snail1. Moreover, Snail1 upregulation was required for EMT-associated cell migration. Several metastasis suppressors with putative Snail1-binding sites in their promoters were dramatically repressed in A549 cells during TGF-β1-induced EMT. Gain- and loss-of Snail1 function experiments demonstrated that scavenger receptor class A member 5 (SCARA5) was negatively regulated by Snail1. Importantly, SCARA5 downregulation was essential for EMT-induced migration in A549 cells. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that Snail1 could bind to the E-box elements in SCARA5 promoter, implying that SCARA5 is a direct Snail1 target modulating cancer cell mobility during EMT. In addition, we showed that DNA methyltransferase 1 was physically associated with Snail1 to silence SCARA5 expression with an unidentified DNA methylation-independent mechanism, suggesting the complexity of Snail1-mediated epigenetic regulation. Collectively, our data demonstrated that EMT-regulator Snail1 suppresses the expression of SCARA5 to promote cancer progression, highlighting the possibility to target Snail1 and SCARA5 for cancer treatment. PMID:24061576

  11. Suppression of SCARA5 by Snail1 is essential for EMT-associated cell migration of A549 cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, J; Hu, G; Chen, D; Gong, A-Y; Soori, G S; Dobleman, T J; Chen, X-M

    2013-09-23

    Accumulating evidence indicates that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) might be a key event for cancer progression. The upregulation of Snail1, one of the most extensively studied EMT regulators, has been implicated in cancer metastasis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to identify that Snail1 targets regulating EMT-associated cancer cell migration. Human lung carcinoma A549 cells were treated with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), and EMT-associated phenotypic and functional alterations were monitored. TGF-β1 induced typical EMT-like morphological changes, 'cadherin switching' and cell migration in A549 cells. TGF-β1 stimulation induced rapid and persistent upregulation of Snail1. Moreover, Snail1 upregulation was required for EMT-associated cell migration. Several metastasis suppressors with putative Snail1-binding sites in their promoters were dramatically repressed in A549 cells during TGF-β1-induced EMT. Gain- and loss-of Snail1 function experiments demonstrated that scavenger receptor class A member 5 (SCARA5) was negatively regulated by Snail1. Importantly, SCARA5 downregulation was essential for EMT-induced migration in A549 cells. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that Snail1 could bind to the E-box elements in SCARA5 promoter, implying that SCARA5 is a direct Snail1 target modulating cancer cell mobility during EMT. In addition, we showed that DNA methyltransferase 1 was physically associated with Snail1 to silence SCARA5 expression with an unidentified DNA methylation-independent mechanism, suggesting the complexity of Snail1-mediated epigenetic regulation. Collectively, our data demonstrated that EMT-regulator Snail1 suppresses the expression of SCARA5 to promote cancer progression, highlighting the possibility to target Snail1 and SCARA5 for cancer treatment.

  12. Central role of Snail1 in the regulation of EMT and resistance in cancer: a target for therapeutic intervention

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Snail1 is the founding member of the Snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors, which also includes Snail2 (Slug) and Snail3 (Smuc). The superfamily is involved in cell differentiation and survival, two processes central in cancer research. Encoded by the SNAI1 gene located on human chromosome 20q13.2, Snail1 is composed of 264 amino acids and usually acts as a transcriptional repressor. Phosphorylation and nuclear localization of Snail1, governed by PI3K and Wnt signaling pathways crosstalk, are critical in Snail1’s regulation. Snail1 has a pivotal role in the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the process by which epithelial cells acquire a migratory, mesenchymal phenotype, as a result of its repression of E-cadherin. Snail1-induced EMT involves the loss of E-cadherin and claudins with concomitant upregulation of vimentin and fibronectin, among other biomarkers. While essential to normal developmental processes such as gastrulation, EMT is associated with metastasis, the cancer stem cell phenotype, and the regulation of chemo and immune resistance in cancer. Snail1 expression is a common sign of poor prognosis in metastatic cancer, and tumors with elevated Snail1 expression are disproportionately difficult to eradicate by current therapeutic treatments. The significance of Snail1 as a prognostic indicator, its involvement in the regulation of EMT and metastasis, and its roles in both drug and immune resistance point out that Snail1 is an attractive target for tumor growth inhibition and a target for sensitization to cytotoxic drugs. PMID:25084828

  13. δ-Conotoxin SuVIA suggests an evolutionary link between ancestral predator defence and the origin of fish-hunting behaviour in carnivorous cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Ai-Hua; Israel, Mathilde R.; Inserra, Marco C.; Smith, Jennifer J.; Lewis, Richard J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Vetter, Irina; Dutertre, Sébastien

    2015-01-01

    Some venomous cone snails feed on small fishes using an immobilizing combination of synergistic venom peptides that target Kv and Nav channels. As part of this envenomation strategy, δ-conotoxins are potent ichtyotoxins that enhance Nav channel function. δ-Conotoxins belong to an ancient and widely distributed gene superfamily, but any evolutionary link from ancestral worm-eating cone snails to modern piscivorous species has not been elucidated. Here, we report the discovery of SuVIA, a potent vertebrate-active δ-conotoxin characterized from a vermivorous cone snail (Conus suturatus). SuVIA is equipotent at hNaV1.3, hNaV1.4 and hNaV1.6 with EC50s in the low nanomolar range. SuVIA also increased peak hNaV1.7 current by approximately 75% and shifted the voltage-dependence of activation to more hyperpolarized potentials from –15 mV to –25 mV, with little effect on the voltage-dependence of inactivation. Interestingly, the proximal venom gland expression and pain-inducing effect of SuVIA in mammals suggest that δ-conotoxins in vermivorous cone snails play a defensive role against higher order vertebrates. We propose that δ-conotoxins originally evolved in ancestral vermivorous cones to defend against larger predators including fishes have been repurposed to facilitate a shift to piscivorous behaviour, suggesting an unexpected underlying mechanism for this remarkable evolutionary transition. PMID:26156767

  14. Spatio-Temporal Variation in Age Structure and Abundance of the Endangered Snail Kite: Pooling across Regions Masks a Declining and Aging Population

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, William L.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2016-01-01

    While variation in age structure over time and space has long been considered important for population dynamics and conservation, reliable estimates of such spatio-temporal variation in age structure have been elusive for wild vertebrate populations. This limitation has arisen because of problems of imperfect detection, the potential for temporary emigration impacting assessments of age structure, and limited information on age. However, identifying patterns in age structure is important for making reliable predictions of both short- and long-term dynamics of populations of conservation concern. Using a multistate superpopulation estimator, we estimated region-specific abundance and age structure (the proportion of individuals within each age class) of a highly endangered population of snail kites for two separate regions in Florida over 17 years (1997–2013). We find that in the southern region of the snail kite—a region known to be critical for the long-term persistence of the species—the population has declined significantly since 1997, and during this time, it has increasingly become dominated by older snail kites (> 12 years old). In contrast, in the northern region—a region historically thought to serve primarily as drought refugia—the population has increased significantly since 2007 and age structure is more evenly distributed among age classes. Given that snail kites show senescence at approximately 13 years of age, where individuals suffer higher mortality rates and lower breeding rates, these results reveal an alarming trend for the southern region. Our work illustrates the importance of accounting for spatial structure when assessing changes in abundance and age distribution and the need for monitoring of age structure in imperiled species. PMID:27681854

  15. Spatio-temporal variation in age structure and abundance of the endangered snail kite: Pooling across regions masks a declining and aging population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reichert, Brian E.; Kendall, William; Fletcher, Robert J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2016-01-01

    While variation in age structure over time and space has long been considered important for population dynamics and conservation, reliable estimates of such spatio-temporal variation in age structure have been elusive for wild vertebrate populations. This limitation has arisen because of problems of imperfect detection, the potential for temporary emigration impacting assessments of age structure, and limited information on age. However, identifying patterns in age structure is important for making reliable predictions of both short- and long-term dynamics of populations of conservation concern. Using a multistate superpopulation estimator, we estimated region-specific abundance and age structure (the proportion of individuals within each age class) of a highly endangered population of snail kites for two separate regions in Florida over 17 years (1997–2013). We find that in the southern region of the snail kite—a region known to be critical for the long-term persistence of the species—the population has declined significantly since 1997, and during this time, it has increasingly become dominated by older snail kites (> 12 years old). In contrast, in the northern region—a region historically thought to serve primarily as drought refugia—the population has increased significantly since 2007 and age structure is more evenly distributed among age classes. Given that snail kites show senescence at approximately 13 years of age, where individuals suffer higher mortality rates and lower breeding rates, these results reveal an alarming trend for the southern region. Our work illustrates the importance of accounting for spatial structure when assessing changes in abundance and age distribution and the need for monitoring of age structure in imperiled species.

  16. miR-486-5p suppresses prostate cancer metastasis by targeting Snail and regulating epithelial–mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoguang; Zhang, Tong; Yang, Kuo; Zhang, Minghao; Wang, Keming

    2016-01-01

    The most common cause of death from prostate cancer (PCa) is metastases. There is an increasing body of evidence that microRNAs play an important role in the development of PCa by regulating target genes involved in tumor metastasis. Here, we identified that expression of miR-486-5p was decreased in metastatic C4-2 cells compared to non-metastatic LNCaP cells. Further validation in clinical samples showed that miR-486-5p expression was significantly decreased in metastatic PCa tissues compared to localized PCa tissues. Functional studies demonstrated that increased miR-486-5p expression can suppress cell migration and the invasive ability of C4-2 cells. Moreover, Snail, a key regulator of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition, was verified as a target gene of miR-486-5p. In conclusion, these findings suggest that miR-486-5p plays a suppressive role in mediating the migration and invasion of PCa by directly suppressing the protein expression of Snail and may provide a potential therapeutic target for the disease. PMID:27877055

  17. Antioxidant and oxidative stress related responses in the Mediterranean land snail Cantareus apertus exposed to the carbamate pesticide Carbaryl.

    PubMed

    Leomanni, A; Schettino, T; Calisi, A; Gorbi, S; Mezzelani, M; Regoli, F; Lionetto, M G

    2015-02-01

    The aim of the present work was to study the alterations of the antioxidant defenses and the overall susceptibility to oxidative stress of the terrestrial snail Cantareus apertus exposed to the carbamate pesticide Carbaryl at a low environmentally realistic concentration. The animals were exposed to Lactuca sativa soaked for 1h in 1μM Carbaryl. The temporal dynamics of the responses was assessed by measurements at 3, 7 and 14days of exposure. C. apertus exposed to Carbaryl activates a number of enzymatic antioxidant responses, represented by the early induction of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, followed by a delayed induction of superoxide dismutase. Concomitantly, a derangement of the total oxyradical scavenging of the tissues was observed, suggesting an overall impairment of the tissue capability to neutralize ROS probably resulting from the overall negative balance between enzymatic antioxidant defense capability and oxidative stress intensity. This negative balance exposed the animals to the risk of oxidative stress damages including genotoxic damage. Compared to acetylcholinesterase inhibition, the antioxidant responses developed to Carbaryl exposure at the low concentration utilized showed a greater percentage variation in exposed organisms. The results pointed out the high sensitivity of the antioxidant and oxidative stress related responses to Carbaryl exposure at an environmental realistic concentration, demonstrating their usefulness in environmental monitoring and risk assessment. The study highlights also the usefulness of the terrestrial snail C. apertus as potential bioindicator species for assessing the risk of pesticide environmental contamination.

  18. Specialisation of the venom gland proteome in predatory cone snails reveals functional diversification of the conotoxin biosynthetic pathway.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Siero, William A; Gorasia, Dhana G; Young, Neil D; Macmillan, David; Williamson, Nicholas A; Purcell, Anthony W

    2011-09-02

    Conotoxins, venom peptides from marine cone snails, diversify rapidly as speciation occurs. It has been suggested that each species can synthesize between 1000 and 1900 different toxins with little to no interspecies overlap. Conotoxins exhibit an unprecedented degree of post-translational modifications, the most common one being the formation of disulfide bonds. Despite the great diversity of structurally complex peptides, little is known about the glandular proteins responsible for their biosynthesis and maturation. Here, proteomic interrogations on the Conus venom gland led to the identification of novel glandular proteins of potential importance for toxin synthesis and secretion. A total of 161 and 157 proteins and protein isoforms were identified in the venom glands of Conus novaehollandiae and Conus victoriae, respectively. Interspecies differences in the venom gland proteomes were apparent. A large proportion of the proteins identified function in protein/peptide translation, folding, and protection events. Most intriguingly, however, we demonstrate the presence of a multitude of isoforms of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), the enzyme catalyzing the formation and isomerization of the native disulfide bond. Investigating whether different PDI isoforms interact with distinct toxin families will greatly advance our knowledge on the generation of cone snail toxins and disulfide-rich peptides in general.

  19. PRKAR1A is a functional tumor suppressor inhibiting ERK/Snail/E-cadherin pathway in lung adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shaoqiang; Cheng, Yuanda; Zheng, Yingying; He, Zhiwei; Chen, Wei; Zhou, Wolong; Duan, Chaojun; Zhang, Chunfang

    2016-01-01

    Protein Kinase cAMP-Dependent Regulatory Type I Alpha (PRKAR1A) is a tissue-specific extinguisher that transduces a signal through phosphorylation of different target proteins. Loss of PRKAR1A was frequently observed in endocrine neoplasia and stromal cell tumors. However, a few cases were seen in epithelial tumors. Previously, we first found that PRKAR1A was downregulated in lung adenocarcinoma patients. Thus, the present study aimed to clarify its clinical implication and biological function as a tumor suppressor in lung adenocarcinoma. The low levels of PRKAR1A transcript were correlated with tumor progression and poor overall survival. The re-expression of PRKAR1A in H1299 cells suppressed the tumor cell proliferation and migration; stable knockdown (KD) of PRKAR1A in A549 cells enhanced this function both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, KD of PRKAR1A in A549 cells promoted the statistical colonization of circulating tumor cells to the lungs in nude mice. These effects by PRKAR1A were attributed to inhibiting E-cadherin expression. Elevated E-cadherin significantly suppressed the PRKAR1A-KD induced cell proliferation and migration. Most notably, deletion of PRKAR1A inhibited E-cadherin by activating ERK/Snail signaling. In conclusion, PRKAR1A was a potent suppressor, and through the inhibition of PRKAR1A-ERK-Snail-E-cadherin axis could serve as a potential therapeutic target. PMID:27995993

  20. Palatability and chemical defense of Phragmites australis to the marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata.

    PubMed

    Hendricks, Lindsey G; Mossop, Hannah E; Kicklighter, Cynthia E

    2011-08-01

    Coastal marsh habitats are impacted by many disturbances, including habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive species. The common reed, Phragmites australis, has been particularly invasive in the mesohaline regions of the Chesapeake Bay, but few studies have investigated its role in trophic interactions with North American marsh consumers. The marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata is a common grazer in marshes and grazes on the native grass Spartina alterniflora. Whether this snail grazes on Phragmites has not been addressed. We found Spartina leaves to be tougher than those of Phragmites, but despite this, snails consumed significantly more Spartina than Phragmites. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that Phragmites is chemically deterrent to snails by an unknown, moderately polar, compound. Further studies are required to more fully understand the interactions between Phragmites, herbivores, and Spartina, and how they may impact marsh ecosystems.

  1. Specificity of Mechanisms of Memory Reconsolidation in Snails Trained for Rejection of Two Types of Food.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, V P; Kozyrev, S A; Solntseva, S V

    2017-01-01

    Specificity of behavioral and neuronal mechanisms of impairment of long-term memory reconsolidation was studied in edible snails trained for associative skill of rejection of two types of food: raw carrots (conditioned stimulus 1) and apple (conditioned stimulus 2). In 2 days after training, the snails received protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide and a reminder (conditioned stimulus 1 or 2). In 3 and 14 days after cycloheximide/reminder, we observed the absence of aversive responses to the conditioned stimulus used as the reminder and preserved responses to the conditioned stimulus not used as the reminder. Moreover, we observed specific suppression of synaptic responses of command neurons of snail defensive behavior induced by the conditioned stimulus used as the reminder after cycloheximide injection and preserved synaptic responses of neurons to the other conditioned stimulus. It was hypothesized that protein synthesis-dependent synapse-specific plasticity of command neurons can be a mechanism of selective preservation of conditioned food aversion memory in snails.

  2. Susceptibility of Iraqi fresh water snails to infection with Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni Egyptian strains.

    PubMed

    Wajdi, N A; Hussain, W I; El-Hawary, M F

    1979-01-01

    A great number of Egyptian workers and farmers are seeking settlement in Iraq and some of them proved to have either Schistosoma Haematobium (S.h.) or Schistosoma mansoni (S.m) or even mixed infection. Besides, there is the possibility that some of the Iraqi fresh water snails may prove to be susceptible to infection by one or both of the Schistosoma Egyptian strains. The present study deals with investigations on the susceptibility of Iraqi B. truncatus, Gyranaulus ehrenbergi, Physa c.f. fontinalis, Lymnea lagetis, Melanoides tuberculata and Melanopsis nodes by these parasites. Egyptian S. haematobium but not Egyptian S. mansoni infect Iraqi B. truncatus and both proved to be unable to infect any of the other snails included in the study. Yet, the number of cercariae shedded by B. truncatus snails infected with the Egyptian S. haematobium strain, was much less that the number of cercariae shedded by these snails when infected with the Iraqi S. Haematobium strain.

  3. Elongator Protein 3 (Elp3) stabilizes Snail1 and regulates neural crest migration in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiangcai; Li, Jiejing; Zeng, Wanli; Li, Chaocui; Mao, Bingyu

    2016-01-01

    Elongator protein 3 (Elp3) is the enzymatic unit of the elongator protein complex, a histone acetyltransferase complex involved in transcriptional elongation. It has long been shown to play an important role in cell migration; however, the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we showed that Elp3 is expressed in pre-migratory and migrating neural crest cells in Xenopus embryos, and knockdown of Elp3 inhibited neural crest cell migration. Interestingly, Elp3 binds Snail1 through its zinc-finger domain and inhibits its ubiquitination by β-Trcp without interfering with the Snail1/Trcp interaction. We showed evidence that Elp3-mediated stabilization of Snail1 was likely involved in the activation of N-cadherin in neural crest cells to regulate their migratory ability. Our findings provide a new mechanism for the function of Elp3 in cell migration through stabilizing Snail1, a master regulator of cell motility. PMID:27189455

  4. Gastropod-Borne Helminths: A Look at the Snail-Parasite Interplay.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Colella, Vito; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2016-03-01

    More than 300 million people suffer from a range of diseases caused by gastropod-borne helminths, predominantly flatworms and roundworms, whose life cycles are characterized by a diversified ecology and epidemiology. Despite the plethora of data on these parasites, very little is known of the fundamental biology of their gastropod intermediate hosts, or of the interactions occurring at the snail-helminth interface. In this article, we focus on schistosomes and metastrongylids of human and animal significance, and review current knowledge of snail-parasite interplay. Future efforts aimed at elucidating key elements of the biology and ecology of the snail intermediate hosts, together with an improved understanding of snail-parasite interactions, will aid to identify, plan, and develop new strategies for disease control focused on gastropod intermediate hosts.

  5. Wet Adhesion and Adhesive Locomotion of Snails on Anti-Adhesive Non-Wetting Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Shirtcliffe, Neil J.; McHale, Glen; Newton, Michael I.

    2012-01-01

    Creating surfaces capable of resisting liquid-mediated adhesion is extremely difficult due to the strong capillary forces that exist between surfaces. Land snails use this to adhere to and traverse across almost any type of solid surface of any orientation (horizontal, vertical or inverted), texture (smooth, rough or granular) or wetting property (hydrophilic or hydrophobic) via a layer of mucus. However, the wetting properties that enable snails to generate strong temporary attachment and the effectiveness of this adhesive locomotion on modern super-slippy superhydrophobic surfaces are unclear. Here we report that snail adhesion overcomes a wide range of these microscale and nanoscale topographically structured non-stick surfaces. For the one surface which we found to be snail resistant, we show that the effect is correlated with the wetting response of the surface to a weak surfactant. Our results elucidate some critical wetting factors for the design of anti-adhesive and bio-adhesion resistant surfaces. PMID:22693563

  6. Bioluminescent signals spatially amplified by wavelength-specific diffusion through the shell of a marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2011-01-01

    Some living organisms produce visible light (bioluminescence) for intra- or interspecific visual communication. Here, we describe a remarkable bioluminescent adaptation in the marine snail Hinea brasiliana. This species produces a luminous display in response to mechanical stimulation caused by encounters with other motile organisms. The light is produced from discrete areas on the snail's body beneath the snail's shell, and must thus overcome this structural barrier to be viewed by an external receiver. The diffusion and transmission efficiency of the shell is greater than a commercial diffuser reference material. Most strikingly, the shell, although opaque and pigmented, selectively diffuses the blue-green wavelength of the species bioluminescence. This diffusion generates a luminous display that is enlarged relative to the original light source. This unusual shell thus allows spatially amplified outward transmission of light communication signals from the snail, while allowing the animal to remain safely inside its hard protective shell. PMID:21159673

  7. Solar radio-transmitters on snail kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Beissinger, S.R.; Fuller, M.R.

    1989-01-01

    The effectiveness and safety of one- and two-stage solar radio-transmitters in tracking the movements and survival of adult and fledgling Snail Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were evaluated between 1979 and 1983 in southern Florida. Transmitters were attached to birds with back-pack arrangements using teflon ribbon straps. Accessory plastic shields minimized feather coverage of the solar cells. Intact transmitters were seen on birds up to 47 mo after installation. Operating lives ranged from 8 to 21 mo for one-stage, and 10 to 14 mo for two-stage transmitters. Because survival of adult and nestling radio-marked kites was high, we conclude that our transmitter-attachment method had little effect on the birds.

  8. HSP70 expression in Biomphalaria glabrata snails exposed to cadmium.

    PubMed

    da Silva Cantinha, Rebeca; Borrely, Sueli Ivone; Oguiura, Nancy; de Bragança Pereira, Carlos Alberto; Rigolon, Marcela M; Nakano, Eliana

    2017-06-01

    In this study, the effects of the heavy metal cadmium on the stress protein HSP70 are investigated in freshwater mollusks Biomphalaria glabrata. Adult snails were exposed for 96h to CdCl2 at concentrations ranging from 0.09 to 0.7mgL(-1) (LC50/96h=0.34 (0.30-0.37). Time and concentration-dependent increases in the expression of HSP70 were observed at sub-lethal levels in the immunoblotting assay. Further, an increased survival to a lethal heat shock was observed in animals pre-exposed to a nonlethal concentration of cadmium, evidencing the induction of acquired tolerance. The present study demonstrated the inducibility of B. glabrata HSP70 by cadmium, a relevant environmental contaminant, at non-lethal levels, providing evidences that the assessment of HSP70 in B. glabrata can be regarded as a suitable biomarker for ecotoxicological studies.

  9. Evening roosts of the snail kite in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

    A total of 36 roost sites of the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were studied in southern Florida, of which four (11%) were used regularly for 6 or more years. Major roosts were also used as nesting sites. All roosts were in flooded marshes and 33 (91.6%) were in stands of coastal-plain willow. Population increase and the number of roosts were strongly correlated. The number of kites arriving at roosts before sunset was smaller than arriving after sunset (37.8:62.2%), and gray birds (adult and subadult males) generally went to roost earlier than brown birds (all females and immature males). Rites tended to go to roost earlier on cloudy days. Morning departure from roosts was over a much shorter time than arrivals in the afternoon. Ninety-two percent of the kite roosts were also used by other species of birds for roosting, 8 1% of which were eight species of herons.

  10. Pesticide concentrations in snail kite eggs and nestlings in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

    From 1970-1977, unhatched snail kite eggs and young that were found dead at nests in Florida were analyzed by gas chromatography for residues of organochlorine pollutants. The 1970 and 1974 material showed measurable amounts of p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD, p,p'-DDT, and dieldrin. Dieldrin and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) residues were less than 0.1 ppm in the eggs and were detected in only one sample of muscle tissue at 0.11 ppm. Concentrations in ppm wet weight of p,p'-DDE, p,p' DDD, p,p'-DDT, dieldrin, and PCB for two samples of muscle and three of brain tissue (all 1977 material) were not detected at the limit of quantification (0.05 ppm).

  11. Copper toxicity to the fresh water snail, Lymnaea luteola

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, N.M.; Rao, P.V.

    1987-07-01

    Haemocyanins are found in arthropoda and mollusca and show a copper content characteristic for each phylum. Heavy metal accumulation by mollusks is widely reported. Approximately one third of the enzymes either required addition of a metal ion as a cofactor in order to exhibit maximum activity or contained a slightly bound metal ion which appeared to be involved in the catalytic process. Copper is the only metal which has been detected in significant amounts in amino oxidase. The present study is designed to evaluate the influence of such copper, which is of such common occurrence in biological material, on some of the lipolytic enzymes of fresh water pulmonate snail, Lymnaea luteola when added to ambient medium. The present study also highlights the possible detoxification mechanism prevailing in this fresh water mollusk.

  12. Optimal designs of mollusk shells from bivalves to snails

    PubMed Central

    Okabe, Takuya; Yoshimura, Jin

    2017-01-01

    Bivalve, ammonite and snail shells are described by a small number of geometrical parameters. Raup noted that the vast majority of theoretically possible shell forms do not occur in nature. The constraint factors that regulate the biased distribution of natural form have long since been an open problem in evolution. The problem of whether natural shell form is a result of optimization remains unsolved despite previous attempts. Here we solve this problem by considering the scaling exponent of shell thickness as a morphological parameter. The scaling exponent has a drastic effect on the optimal design of shell shapes. The observed characteristic shapes of natural shells are explained in a unified manner as a result of optimal utilization of shell material resources, while isometric growth in thickness leads to impossibly tight coiling. PMID:28186171

  13. Microbiological and Chemical Analysis of Land Snails Commercialised in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Cicero, Antonello; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Macaluso, Andrea; Currò, Vittoria; Galuppo, Lucia; Vargetto, Daniela; Vicari, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    In this study 160 samples of snails belonging to the species Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller were examined for chemical and microbiological analysis. Samples came from Greece and Poland. Results showed mean concentration of cadmium (0.35±0.036 mg/kg) and lead (0.05±0.013 mg/kg) much higher than the limit of detection. Mercury levels in both species were not detected. Microbiological analysis revealed the absence of Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. in both examined species. E. coli and K. oxytoca were observed in Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller. Furthermore, one case of fungi positivity in samples of Helix aspersa muller was found. The reported investigations highlight the need to create and adopt a reference legislation to protect the health of consumers. PMID:27800385

  14. Toxins from cone snails: properties, applications and biotechnological production.

    PubMed

    Becker, Stefan; Terlau, Heinrich

    2008-05-01

    Cone snails are marine predators that use venoms to immobilize their prey. The venoms of these mollusks contain a cocktail of peptides that mainly target different voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels. Typically, conopeptides consist of ten to 30 amino acids but conopeptides with more than 60 amino acids have also been described. Due to their extraordinary pharmacological properties, conopeptides gained increasing interest in recent years. There are several conopeptides used in clinical trials and one peptide has received approval for the treatment of pain. Accordingly, there is an increasing need for the production of these peptides. So far, most individual conopeptides are synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis. Here, we describe that at least some of these peptides can be obtained using prokaryotic or eukaryotic expression systems. This opens the possibility for biotechnological production of also larger amounts of long chain conopeptides for the use of these peptides in research and medical applications.

  15. Trematode parasites infect or die in snail hosts

    PubMed Central

    King, Kayla C.; Jokela, Jukka; Lively, Curtis M.

    2011-01-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis is based on the assumption that parasites must genetically match their hosts to infect them successfully. If the parasites fail, they are assumed to be killed by the host's immune system. Here, we tested this using sympatric (mostly susceptible) and allopatric (mostly resistant) populations of a freshwater snail and its trematode parasite. We determined whether parasites which do not infect are either killed or passed through the host's digestive tract and remain infectious. Our results show that parasites do not get a second chance: they either infect or are killed by the host. The results suggest strong selection against parasites that are not adapted to local host genotypes. PMID:20961880

  16. Diversity increases biomass production for trematode parasites in snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2008-01-01

    Increasing species diversity typically increases biomass in experimental assemblages. But there is uncertainty concerning the mechanisms of diversity effects and whether experimental findings are relevant to ecological process in nature. Hosts for parasites provide natural, discrete replicates of parasite assemblages. We considered how diversity affects standing-stock biomass for a highly interactive parasite guild: trematode parasitic castrators in snails. In 185 naturally occurring habitat replicates (individual hosts), diverse parasite assemblages had greater biomass than single-species assemblages, including those of their most productive species. Additionally, positive diversity effects strengthened as species segregated along a secondary niche axis (space). The most subordinate species—also the most productive when alone—altered the general positive effect, and was associated with negative diversity effects on biomass. These findings, on a previously unstudied consumer class, extend previous research to illustrate that functional diversity and species identity may generally both explain how diversity influences biomass production in natural assemblages of competing species.

  17. The Effect of Aquatic Plant Abundance on Shell Crushing Resistance in a Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Chaves-Campos, Johel; Coghill, Lyndon M.; García de León, Francisco J.; Johnson, Steven G.

    2012-01-01

    Most of the shell material in snails is composed of calcium carbonate but the organic shell matrix determines the properties of calcium carbonate crystals. It has been shown that the deposition of calcium carbonate is affected by the ingestion of organic compounds. We hypothesize that organic compounds not synthesized by the snails are important for shell strength and must be obtained from the diet. We tested this idea indirectly by evaluating whether the abundance of the organic matter that snails eat is related to the strength of their shells. We measured shell crushing resistance in the snail Mexipyrgus churinceanus and the abundance of the most common aquatic macrophyte, the water lily Nymphaea ampla, in ten bodies of water in the valley of Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico. We used stable isotopes to test the assumption that these snails feed on water lily organic matter. We also measured other factors that can affect crushing resistance, such as the density of crushing predators, snail density, water pH, and the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the water. The isotope analysis suggested that snails assimilate water lily organic matter that is metabolized by sediment bacteria. The variable that best explained the variation in crushing resistance found among sites was the local abundance of water lilies. We propose that the local amount of water lily organic matter provides organic compounds important in shell biomineralization, thus determining crushing resistance. Hence, we propose that a third trophic level could be important in the coevolution of snail defensive traits and predatory structures. PMID:22970206

  18. The effect of aquatic plant abundance on shell crushing resistance in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Chaves-Campos, Johel; Coghill, Lyndon M; García de León, Francisco J; Johnson, Steven G

    2012-01-01

    Most of the shell material in snails is composed of calcium carbonate but the organic shell matrix determines the properties of calcium carbonate crystals. It has been shown that the deposition of calcium carbonate is affected by the ingestion of organic compounds. We hypothesize that organic compounds not synthesized by the snails are important for shell strength and must be obtained from the diet. We tested this idea indirectly by evaluating whether the abundance of the organic matter that snails eat is related to the strength of their shells. We measured shell crushing resistance in the snail Mexipyrgus churinceanus and the abundance of the most common aquatic macrophyte, the water lily Nymphaea ampla, in ten bodies of water in the valley of Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico. We used stable isotopes to test the assumption that these snails feed on water lily organic matter. We also measured other factors that can affect crushing resistance, such as the density of crushing predators, snail density, water pH, and the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the water. The isotope analysis suggested that snails assimilate water lily organic matter that is metabolized by sediment bacteria. The variable that best explained the variation in crushing resistance found among sites was the local abundance of water lilies. We propose that the local amount of water lily organic matter provides organic compounds important in shell biomineralization, thus determining crushing resistance. Hence, we propose that a third trophic level could be important in the coevolution of snail defensive traits and predatory structures.

  19. Deterministic assembly of land snail communities according to species size and diet.

    PubMed

    Schamp, Brandon; Horsák, Michal; Hájek, Michal

    2010-07-01

    1. We investigated whether coexisting snail species in 145 treeless fen communities in the Western Carpathian Mountains differed more in size and diet than would be expected by chance, as predicted for traits commonly associated with competition and differential resource acquisition under limiting similarity theory. 2. Contrary to expectations, coexisting snail species were no more different in body size than expected by chance under a null model. However, variation in body size played a significant role in structuring snail communities: coexisting snail species were significantly more similar with respect to body size. 3. We developed two new test statistics to expand our investigation of limiting similarity to include diet, a nominal trait. We tested whether communities of snails were characterized by a greater richness of diet, and whether different diets were represented more or less evenly within communities. Communities of snails were significantly less evenly distributed than expected by chance, with detritivores being over-represented relative to predatory strategies. 4. We also examined the effect of water pH and conductivity, herbaceous cover, and bryophyte and vascular plant richness, on these trends by examining how the effect size of our tests varied across these gradients. Convergence in species size increased with increasing habitat pH. Specifically, smaller snail species were over-represented in fen communities in general, and this effect was accentuated in increasingly calcareous fens. 5. Theory predicts that traits related strongly to environmental conditions are more likely to be convergent. Our findings support this suggestion, as small snail species have an advantage in tolerating freezing conditions over winter when refuges are limited. 6. These results add to the growing body of literature demonstrating that variation in body size and diet play a strong role in structuring communities, although frequently in ways not predicted by limiting

  20. Shading decreases the abundance of the herbivorous California horn snail, Cerithidea californica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, Julio; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

    Most of the intertidal zone in estuaries of California, USA and Baja California, Mexico is covered with vascular vegetation. Shading by these vascular plants influences abiotic and biotic processes that shape benthic community assemblages. We present data on the effects of shading on the California horn snail, Cerithidea californica. This species is important because it is the most common benthic macrofaunal species in these systems and acts as an obligate intermediate host of several species of rematode parasites that infect several other species. Using observational and experimental studies, we found a negative effect of shade on the distribution and abundance of the California horn snail. We hypothesized that shading reduces the abundance of the epipelic diatoms that the snails feeds on, causing snails to leave haded areas. We observed a negative relationship between vascular plant cover, sub-canopy light levels, and snail density in Mugu Lagoon. Then we experimentally manipulated light regimes, by clipping vegetation and adding shade structures, and found higher snail densities at higher light levels. In Goleta Slough, we isolated the effect of shade from vegetation by documenting a negative relationship between the shade created by two bridges and diatom and snail densities. We also found that snails moved the greatest distances over shaded channel banks compared to unshaded channel banks. Further, we documented the effect of water depth and channel bank orientation on shading in this system. An additional effect of shading is the reduction of temperature, providing an alternative explanation for some of our results. These results broaden our knowledge of how variation in the light environment influences the ecology of estuarine ecosystems.

  1. Cytokines and mother sporocysts in susceptible and resistant Bulinus truncatus snails infected with Schistosoma haematobium.

    PubMed

    El-Din, Abdel Hakim Saad; Gawish, Fathiya Ali; Abu El Einin, Hanaa Mohamed; Mansour, Shereen Mahfouz

    2014-08-01

    The presence of immunoreactive interleukin (IL-2), interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in addition to the citation of mother sporscytes in cephalopodal musculature in the susceptible and resistance Bulinus truncatus the specific intermediate host for the trematode Schistosoma haematobium were investigated,. Using ELISA tests, Results indicated that the concentration of IL-2-like activity in the susceptible and resistant snails decreased significantly after infection then persisted at low levels until the 4th week post exposure (WPE) in susceptible snails, while in resistant snails elevated during the second WPE, and returned to initial level at 3 and 4 WPE. Susceptible snails had low detectable levels of TNF-α and INF-γ like-activity after infection. However, the resistant snails had significant low levels of TNF-α and INF-γ like-activity from 3 WPE until the 4th WPE without any sign of normalization. Histological sections in the head- foot region of susceptible and resistance B. truncatus infected with S. haematobium, mother sporocysts exists from 1 to 7(day post exposure) DPE, in the susceptible snail the mother sporocysts were found as single, multiple and mature types. No mother sporocysts were appear in the lip and mantle of the snail on 2, 5, 7 DPE and on 1-3, 6 DPE respectively. In the resistant snails few mother sporocysts were found in the lip, mantle and tentacles. The results showed that schistosome-resistant Bulinus can be an alternative strategy for the control of schistosomiasis.

  2. Effects of exposure of aquatic snails to sublethal concentrations of waste drilling fluid.

    PubMed

    Ekundayo, J A; Benka-Coker, M O

    1994-05-01

    Static bioassays were carried out using two aquatic snails (Pilia sp. and Lanistes sp.) as test organisms in soft natural dilution water, with waste drilling fluid as the test material, at 28±2°C. Comparison of results for the control and different concentrations of the waste drilling fluid were made by means of the F-statistic method. The waste drilling fluid was practically non-toxic to the two aquatic snails.

  3. The Giant Snail Achatina fulica as a Candidate Species for Advanced Bioregenerative Life Support Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbitskaya, Olga; Manukovsky, Nickolay; Kovalev, Vladimir

    Maintenance of crew health is of paramount importance for long duration space missions. Weight loss, bone and calcium loss, increased exposure to radiation and oxidative stress are critical concerns that need to be alleviated. Rational nutrition is a resource for mitigating the influence of unfavorable conditions. The insufficiency of vegetarian diet has been examined by the Japanese, Chinese and U.S. developers of bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS). Hence, inclusion of animals such as silkworm in BLSS looks justified. The giant snail is currently under studying as a source of animal food and a species of reducing waste in BLSS. An experimental system to conduct cultivation of giant snail was developed. It was established that there are some reasons to use the giant snails in BLSS. It could be a source of delicious meat. A. fulica is capable of consuming a wide range of feedstuffs including plant residues. Cultivation of snail in the limited volume does not demand the big expenditures of labor. The production of crude edible biomass and protein of A. fulica was 60±15 g and 7±1.8 g respectively per 1 kg of consumed forage (fresh salad leaves, root and leafy tops of carrot). To satisfy daily animal protein needs (30-35 g) a crewman has to consume 260-300 g of snail meat. To produce such amount of snail protein it takes to use 4.3-5.0 kg of plant forage daily. The nutritional composition of A. fulica whole bodies (without shell) and a meal prepared in various ways was quantitatively determined. Protein, carbohydrate, fat acid and ash content percentages were different among samples prepared in various ways. The protein content was highest (68 %) in the dry sample washed with CH3 COOH solution. Taking into consideration the experimental results a conceptual configuration of BLSS with inclusion of giant snail was developed and mass flow rates between compartments were calculated. Keywords: animal food; protein; giant snail; BLSS; conceptual configuration.

  4. Malacological survey and geographical distribution of vector snails for schistosomiasis within informal settlements of Kisumu City, western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Although schistosomiasis is generally considered a rural phenomenon, infections have been reported within urban settings. Based on observations of high prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infection in schools within the informal settlements of Kisumu City, a follow-up malacological survey incorporating 81 sites within 6 informal settlements of the City was conducted to determine the presence of intermediate host snails and ascertain whether active transmission was occurring within these areas. Methods Surveyed sites were mapped using a geographical information system. Cercaria shedding was determined from snails and species of snails identified based on shell morphology. Vegetation cover and presence of algal mass at the sites was recorded, and the physico-chemical characteristics of the water including pH and temperature were determined using a pH meter with a glass electrode and a temperature probe. Results Out of 1,059 snails collected, 407 (38.4%) were putatively identified as Biomphalaria sudanica, 425 (40.1%) as Biomphalaria pfeifferi and 227 (21.5%) as Bulinus globosus. The spatial distribution of snails was clustered, with few sites accounting for most of the snails. The highest snail abundance was recorded in Nyamasaria (543 snails) followed by Nyalenda B (313 snails). As expected, the mean snail abundance was higher along the lakeshore (18 ± 12 snails) compared to inland sites (dams, rivers and springs) (11 ± 32 snails) (F1, 79 = 38.8, P < 0.0001). Overall, 19 (1.8%) of the snails collected shed schistosome cercariae. Interestingly, the proportion of infected Biomphalaria snails was higher in the inland (2.7%) compared to the lakeshore sites (0.3%) (P = 0.0109). B. sudanica was more abundant in sites along the lakeshore whereas B. pfeifferi and B. globosus were more abundant in the inland sites. Biomphalaria and Bulinus snails were found at 16 and 11 out of the 56 inland sites, respectively. Conclusions The high abundance of Biomphalaria and

  5. Effects of dietary exposure to forest pesticides on the brown garden snail Helix aspersa mueller

    SciTech Connect

    Schuytema, G.S.; Nebeker, A.V.; Griffis, W.L.

    1994-01-01

    Brown garden snails, Helix aspersa, were fed prepared diets with 12 pesticides used in forest spraying practices where endangered arboreal and terrestrial snails may be at risk. Acephate, atrazine, glyphosate, hexazinone, and picloram were not lethal at concentrations of 5,000 mg/kg in 14-day screening tests. The remaining seven pesticides, lethal to 13-100% of the tested snails at 5,000 mg/kg, were evaluated in 10-day definitive feeding tests. Azinphosmethyl (Guthion) and aminocarb were the most toxic, with 10-day LC50s of 188 and 313 mg/kg, respectively. Paraquat, trichlorfon and fenitrothion had 10-day LC50s of 659, 664, and 7,058 mg/kg respectively. Avoidance of pesticide-containing foods occurred, e.g., 10-day LC50s of >10,000 mg/kg for carbaryl and ethyl parathion. Significant descreases (p<0.05) in snail weight (total, shell-only, body-only) or shell diameter were accompanied by a significant decrease in the amount of food consumed/snail/day. Concentrations of pesticide in tissues were measured in snails exposed to atrazine and azinphosmethyl; there was no bioaccumulation. (Copyright (c) 1994 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.)

  6. Integrating nonindigenous aquatic plant control with protection of snail kite nests in Florida.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, J A; Smith, H T; Thayer, D D

    2001-07-01

    The endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) feeds primarily on the freshwater apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) in Florida. The nonindigenous, floating water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) impede kites from finding snails. Effective control of these aquatic plants in the littoral zone of central and south Florida lakes benefits kites by maintaining open foraging habitat. However, incidental herbicide spraying of nesting substrates result in nest collapse when kites breed in nonwoody, emergent plants [cattail (Typha spp.) and giant bulrush (Scirpus validus)] in the outer littoral zone during lower lake levels. Many endangered species recovery plans and their implementation have experienced problems due to inaction and/or noncooperation by various governmental agencies and their personnel. Herein, we describe the development and implementation of a buffer zone strategy to prevent secondary impacts from an aquatic plant control program to snail kites nesting on lakes in central and south Florida. A strategy was jointly developed by personnel of five state and federal agencies to control herbicide application near kite nesting areas during the normal breeding season. Although requiring various modifications during its implementation, this cooperative effort successfully integrated aquatic plant control objectives with snail kite conservation on Lake Okeechobee during 1988. The program was expanded the following year to lakes Kissimmee and Tohopekaliga. Since the implementation of the snail kite impact preclusion program, no nest loss was attributed to incidental herbicide applications on lakes Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and Tohopekaliga.

  7. Endothelial Snail Regulates Capillary Branching Morphogenesis via Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 3 Expression.

    PubMed

    Park, Jeong Ae; Kim, Dong Young; Kim, Young-Myeong; Lee, In-Kyu; Kwon, Young-Guen

    2015-07-01

    Vascular branching morphogenesis is activated and maintained by several signaling pathways. Among them, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) signaling is largely presented in arteries, and VEGFR3 signaling is in veins and capillaries. Recent reports have documented that Snail, a well-known epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition protein, is expressed in endothelial cells, where it regulates sprouting angiogenesis and embryonic vascular development. Here, we identified Snail as a regulator of VEGFR3 expression during capillary branching morphogenesis. Snail was dramatically upregulated in sprouting vessels in the developing retinal vasculature, including the leading-edged vessels and vertical sprouting vessels for capillary extension toward the deep retina. Results from in vitro functional studies demonstrate that Snail expression colocalized with VEGFR3 and upregulated VEGFR3 mRNA by directly binding to the VEGFR3 promoter via cooperating with early growth response protein-1. Snail knockdown in postnatal mice attenuated the formation of the deep capillary plexus, not only by impairing vertical sprouting vessels but also by downregulating VEGFR3 expression. Collectively, these data suggest that the Snail-VEGFR3 axis controls capillary extension, especially in vessels expressing VEGFR2 at low levels.

  8. Unraveling the peptidome of the South African cone snails Conus pictus and Conus natalis.

    PubMed

    Peigneur, Steve; Van Der Haegen, Annelies; Möller, Carolina; Waelkens, Etienne; Diego-García, Elia; Marí, Frank; Naudé, Ryno; Tytgat, Jan

    2013-03-01

    Venoms from cone snails (genus Conus) can be seen as an untapped cocktail of biologically active compounds, being increasingly recognized as an emerging source of peptide-based therapeutics. Cone snails are considered to be specialized predators that have evolved the most sophisticated peptide chemistry and neuropharmacology system for their own biological purposes by producing venoms which contains a structural and functional diversity of neurotoxins. These neurotoxins or conotoxins are often small cysteine-rich peptides which have shown to be highly selective ligands for a wide range of ion channels and receptors. Local habitat conditions have constituted barriers preventing the spreading of Conus species occurring along the coast of South Africa. Due to their scarceness, these species remain, therefore, extremely poorly studied. In this work, the venoms of two South African cone snails, Conus pictus, a vermivorous snail and Conus natalis, a molluscivorous snail, have been characterized in depth. In total, 26 novel peptides were identified. Comparing the venoms of both snails, interesting differences were observed regarding venom composition and molecular characteristics of these components.

  9. Bacterial diversity in different regions of gastrointestinal tract of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica)

    PubMed Central

    Pawar, Kiran D; Banskar, Sunil; Rane, Shailendra D; Charan, Shakti S; Kulkarni, Girish J; Sawant, Shailesh S; Ghate, Hemant V; Patole, Milind S; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2012-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of invasive land snail Achatina fulica is known to harbor metabolically active bacterial communities. In this study, we assessed the bacterial diversity in the different regions of GI tract of Giant African snail, A. fulica by culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. Five 16S rRNA gene libraries from different regions of GI tract of active snails indicated that sequences affiliated to phylum γ-Proteobacteria dominated the esophagus, crop, intestine, and rectum libraries, whereas sequences affiliated to Tenericutes dominated the stomach library. On phylogenetic analysis, 30, 27, 9, 27, and 25 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from esophagus, crop, stomach, intestine, and rectum libraries were identified, respectively. Estimations of the total bacterial diversity covered along with environmental cluster analysis showed highest bacterial diversity in the esophagus and lowest in the stomach. Thirty-three distinct bacterial isolates were obtained, which belonged to 12 genera of two major bacterial phyla namely γ-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Among these, Lactococcus lactis and Kurthia gibsonii were the dominant bacteria present in all GI tract regions. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis indicated significant differences in bacterial load in different GI tract regions of active and estivating snails. The difference in the bacterial load between the intestines of active and estivating snail was maximum. Principal component analysis (PCA) of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism suggested that bacterial community structure changes only in intestine when snail enters estivation state. PMID:23233413

  10. Toxicity of copper sulfate and rotenone to Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haak, Danielle M.; Stephen, Bruce J.; Kill, Robert A.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Allen, Craig R.; Pope, Kevin L.

    2014-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a freshwater snail native to Southeast Asia, Japan, and Russia and is currently classified as an invasive species in at least 27 states in the USA. The species tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions, making management of established populations difficult. We tested the efficacy of two traditional chemical treatments, rotenone and copper sulfate, on the elimination of adult Chinese mystery snails in laboratory experiments. All snails (N=50) survived 72-hour exposure to rotenone-treated lake water, and 96% (N=25) survived 72-hour exposure to pre-determined rotenone concentrations of 0.25, 2.5, and 25.0 mg/L. All snails (N=10) survived exposure to 1.25 mg/L copper sulfate solution, 90% (N=10) survived exposure to 2.50 mg/L copper sulfate solution, and 80% (N=5) survived exposure to 5.0 mg/L copper sulfate solution. Neither rotenone nor copper sulfate effectively killed adult Chinese mystery snails in laboratory experiments, most likely due to their relatively large size, thick shell, and operculum. Therefore, it appears that populations will be very difficult to control once established, and management should focus on preventing additional spread or introductions of this species.

  11. Spatial distribution of Biomphalaria spp., the intermediate host snails of Schistosoma mansoni, in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Scholte, Ronaldo G C; Carvalho, Omar S; Malone, John B; Utzinger, Jürg; Vounatsou, Penelope

    2012-09-01

    Schistosomiasis mansoni remains an important parasitic disease of man, endemic in large parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. The aetiological agent is the trematode Schistosoma mansoni, whereas aquatic snails of the genus Biomphalaria act as intermediate hosts in the parasite life cycle. In Brazil, the distribution of Biomphalaria spp. is closely associated with the occurrence of schistosomiasis. The purpose of this study was to map and predict the spatial distribution of the intermediate host snails of S. mansoni across Brazil. We assembled snail "presenceonly" data and used a maximum entropy approach, along with climatic and environmental variables to produce predictive risk maps. We identified a series of risk factors that govern the distribution of Biomphalaria snails. We find that high-risk areas for B. glabrata are concentrated in the regions of Northeast and Southeast and the northern part of the South region. B. straminea are found in the Northeast and Southeast regions, and B. tenagophila are concentrated in the Southeast and South regions. Our findings confirm that the presence of the intermediate host snails is correlated with the occurrence of schistosomiasis mansoni. The generated risk maps of intermediate host snails might assist the national control programme for spatial targeting of control interventions and to ultimately move towards schistosomiasis elimination in Brazil.

  12. Are Sick Individuals Weak Competitors? Competitive Ability of Snails Parasitized by a Gigantism-Inducing Trematode

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Karvonen, Anssi; Kuosa, Marja; Haataja, Maarit; Jokela, Jukka

    2013-01-01

    Parasitized individuals are often expected to be poor competitors because they are weakened by infections. Many trematode species, however, although extensively exploiting their mollusc hosts, also induce gigantism (increased host size) by diverting host resources towards growth instead of reproduction. In such systems, alternatively to reduced competitive ability due to negative effects of parasitism on host performance, larger size could allow more efficient resource acquisition and thus increase the relative competitive ability of host individuals. We addressed this hypothesis by testing the effect of a trematode parasite Diplostomum pseudospathaceum on the competitive ability of its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis. We experimentally examined the growth of snails kept in pairs in relation to their infection status and intensity of resource competition (i.e. food availability). We found that parasitized snails grew faster and their reproduction was reduced compared to unparasitized individuals indicating parasite-induced gigantism. However, growth of the snails was faster when competing with parasitized individuals compared to unparasitized snails indicating reduced competitive ability due to parasitism. The latter effect, however, was relatively weak suggesting that the effects of the parasite on snail physiology may partly override each other in determining competitive ability. PMID:24205383

  13. Profound Effects of Population Density on Fitness-Related Traits in an Invasive Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Zachar, Nicholas; Neiman, Maurine

    2013-01-01

    Population density can profoundly influence fitness-related traits and population dynamics, and density dependence plays a key role in many prominent ecological and evolutionary hypotheses. Here, we evaluated how individual-level changes in population density affect growth rate and embryo production early in reproductive maturity in two different asexual lineages of Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail that is an important model system for ecotoxicology and the evolution of sexual reproduction as well as a potentially destructive worldwide invader. We showed that population density had a major influence on individual growth rate and early-maturity embryo production, effects that were often apparent even when comparing treatments that differed in population density by only one individual. While individual growth rate generally decreased as population density increased, we detected a hump-shaped relationship between embryo production and density, with females from intermediate-density treatments producing the most embryos and females from low- and high-density treatments producing the fewest embryos. The two lineages responded similarly to the treatments, indicating that these effects of population density might apply more broadly across P. antipodarum. These results indicate that there are profound and complex relationships between population density, growth rate, and early-maturity embryo production in at least two lineages of this important model system, with potential implications for the study of invasive populations, research on the maintenance of sex, and approaches used in ecotoxicology. PMID:24278240

  14. Profound effects of population density on fitness-related traits in an invasive freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Zachar, Nicholas; Neiman, Maurine

    2013-01-01

    Population density can profoundly influence fitness-related traits and population dynamics, and density dependence plays a key role in many prominent ecological and evolutionary hypotheses. Here, we evaluated how individual-level changes in population density affect growth rate and embryo production early in reproductive maturity in two different asexual lineages of Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail that is an important model system for ecotoxicology and the evolution of sexual reproduction as well as a potentially destructive worldwide invader. We showed that population density had a major influence on individual growth rate and early-maturity embryo production, effects that were often apparent even when comparing treatments that differed in population density by only one individual. While individual growth rate generally decreased as population density increased, we detected a hump-shaped relationship between embryo production and density, with females from intermediate-density treatments producing the most embryos and females from low- and high-density treatments producing the fewest embryos. The two lineages responded similarly to the treatments, indicating that these effects of population density might apply more broadly across P. antipodarum. These results indicate that there are profound and complex relationships between population density, growth rate, and early-maturity embryo production in at least two lineages of this important model system, with potential implications for the study of invasive populations, research on the maintenance of sex, and approaches used in ecotoxicology.

  15. Seasonal variation in abiotic factors and ferulic acid toxicity in snail-attractant pellets against the intermediate host snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2013-11-01

    Laboratory evaluation was made to access the seasonal variations in abiotic environmental factors temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, electrical conductivity and ferulic acid toxicity in snail-attractant pellets (SAP) against the intermediate host snail Lymnaea acuminata in each month of the years 2010 and 2011. On the basis of a 24-h toxicity assay, it was noted that lethal concentration values of 4.03, 3.73% and 4.45% in SAP containing starch and 4.16, 4.23% and 4.29% in SAP containing proline during the months of May, June and September, respectively, were most effective in killing the snails, while SAP containing starch/proline + ferulic acid was least effective in the month of January/February (24-h lethal concentration value was 7.67%/7.63% in SAP). There was a significant positive correlation between lethal concentration value of ferulic acid containing SAP and levels of dissolved O2 /pH of water in corresponding months. On the contrary, a negative correlation was observed between lethal concentration value and dissolved CO2 /temperature of test water in the same months. To ascertain that such a relationship between toxicity and abiotic factors is not co-incidental, the nervous tissue of treated (40% and 80% of 24-h lethal concentration value) and control group of snails was assayed for the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in each of the 12 months of the same year. There was a maximum inhibition of 58.43% of AChE, in snails exposed to 80% of the 24-h lethal concentration value of ferulic acid + starch in the month of May. This work shows conclusively that the best time to control snail population with SAP containing ferulic acid is during the months of May, June and September.

  16. Research on Dynamic Monitoring (1990-2010) of Schistosomiasis Vector-Snail at Xinmin Beach, Gaoyou Lake, Jiangsu Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhaoyan; Li, Chuanrong; Tang, Lingli; Zhou, Xiaonong; Ma, Lingling

    2014-11-01

    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that menaces human health. In terms of impact, this disease is second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease. Oncomelania hupensis (snail) is the unique intermediate host of schistosoma, so monitoring and controlling of the number of snail is key to reduce the risk of schistosomiasis transmission. Remote sensing technology can real-timely access the large-scale environmental factors related to snail breeding and reproduction, and can also provide the efficient information to determine the location, area, and spread tendency of snail. Based on the T-S (Takagi-Sugeno) fuzzy information theory, a quantitative remote sensing monitoring model of snail has been developed in previous wok. In a case study, this paper will take Xinmin beach, Gaoyou Lake as new research area, carry out 20 years (1990 - 2010) dynamic monitoring, to further validate the effectiveness of the T-S Fuzzy RS snail monitoring model.

  17. Research on Dynamic Monitoring (1990-2010)of Schistosomiasis Vector- Snail at Xinmin Beach, Gaoyou Lake, Jiangsu Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhaoyan; Li, Chuanrong; Tang, Lingli; Zhou, Xiaonong; Ma, Lingling

    2014-11-01

    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that menaces human health. In terms of impact, this disease is second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease. Oncomelania hupensis (snail) is the unique intermediate host of schistosoma, so monitoring and controlling of the number of snail is key to reduce the risk of schistosomiasis transmission. Remote sensing technology can real-timely access the large-scale environmental factors related to snail breeding and reproduction, and can also provide the efficient information to determine the location, area, and spread tendency of snail. Based on the T-S (Takagi-Sugeno) fuzzy information theory, a quantitative remote sensing monitoring model of snail has been developed in previous wok. In a case study, this paper will take Xinmin beach, Gaoyou Lake as new research area, carry out 20 years (1990 - 2010) dynamic monitoring, to further validate the effectiveness of the T-S Fuzzy RS snail monitoring model.

  18. The biocide tributyltin reduces the accumulation of testosterone as fatty acid esters in the mud snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta).

    PubMed Central

    Gooding, Meredith P; Wilson, Vickie S; Folmar, Leroy C; Marcovich, Dragoslav T; LeBlanc, Gerald A

    2003-01-01

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated with TBT, and direct exposure to testosterone has been shown to cause imposex. We discovered previously that the mud snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta)biotransforms and retains excess testosterone primarily as fatty acid esters. The purpose of this study was to determine whether TBT interferes with the esterification of testosterone, resulting in the elevated free (unesterified) testosterone levels associated with imposex. Exposure of snails to environmentally relevant concentrations of TBT (> or = 1.0 ng/L as tin) significantly increased the incidence of imposex. Total (free + esterified) testosterone levels in snails were not altered by TBT; however, free testosterone levels increased with increasing exposure concentration of TBT. TBT-exposed snails were given [14C

  19. Distribution and abundance of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis host snails along the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Dida, Gabriel O; Gelder, Frank B; Anyona, Douglas N; Matano, Ally-Said; Abuom, Paul O; Adoka, Samson O; Ouma, Collins; Kanangire, Canisius K; Owuor, Phillip O; Ofulla, Ayub V O

    2014-01-01

    We purposively selected 39 sampling sites along the Mara River and its two perennial tributaries of Amala and Nyangores and sampled snails. In addition, water physicochemical parameters (temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, alkalinity, salinity and pH) were taken to establish their influence on the snail abundance and habitat preference. Out of the 39 sites sampled, 10 (25.6%) had snails. The snail species encountered included Biomphalaria pfeifferi Krauss - the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni Sambon, Bulinus africanus - the intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium, and Lymnaea natalensis Krauss - the intermediate host of both Fasciola gigantica and F. hepatica Cobbold. Ceratophallus spp., a non-vector snail was also encountered. Most (61.0%) of the snails were encountered in streamside pools. Schistosomiasis-transmitting host snails, B. pfeifferi and B. africanus, were fewer than fascioliasis-transmitting Lymnaea species. All the four different snail species were found to be attached to different aquatic weeds, with B. pfeifferi accounting for over half (61.1%) of the snails attached to the sedge, followed by B. africanus and Lymnaea spp., accounting for 22.2 and 16.7%, respectively. Ceratophallus spp. were non-existent in sedge. The results from this preliminary study show that snails intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis exists in different habitats, in few areas along the Mara River, though their densities are still low to have any noticeable impacts on disease transmission in case they are infected. The mere presence of the vector snails in these focal regions calls for their immediate control and institution of proper regulations, management, and education among the locals that can help curtail the spread of the snails and also schistosomiasis and fascioliasis within the Mara River basin.

  20. Changes in epilithic communities due to individual and combined treatments of zinc and snail grazing in stream mesocosms

    SciTech Connect

    Genter, R.B.; Colwell, F.S.; Pratt, J.R.; Cherry, D.S.; Cairns, J. Jr.

    1988-06-01

    Effects of 0.5 mg/liter zinc (Zn) and snail grazing (400 snails/m2) on density of dominant algal and protozoan taxa, epilithic glucose respiration, and ash-free dry weight (AFDW) were examined using established (12-day colonization) periphyton communities in flow-through stream mesocosms with four treatments (Zn, snails, Zn and snails, control) for 30 days. Grazing and Zn similarly reduced the abundance of 5 of 10 dominant algal taxa and AFDW during the first 10 days of treatment. Abundance of these taxa and AFDW in grazed (ambient Zn) treatments approached control levels after 10 days as the effect due to snails decreased. Decreasing temperatures may have reduced snail activity. Snails, Zn, and the combination of these treatments contributed to higher rates of glucose respiration per unit AFDW. Protozoan species abundance was reduced to less than half by Zn but was unaffected by snails. Although Zn and snails individually altered structural and functional aspects of this microbial community, the effects when both treatments were combined could not always be inferred from the individual effects. Testing individual and combined variables that affect periphyton with a corresponding assessment of population dynamics, biomass, and community functional attributes will enhance understanding of the overall effects of pollutants on periphyton communities.

  1. Snail-Induced Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Enhances P-gp-Mediated Multi Drug Resistance in HCC827 Cells.

    PubMed

    Tomono, Takumi; Yano, Kentaro; Ogihara, Takuo

    2017-03-17

    Overexpression and/or activation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which mediates efflux transport of various anti-cancer drugs in cancer cells, are associated with multi-drug resistance (MDR). On the other hand, malignant cancer cells frequently undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), thereby acquiring high migratory mobility and invasive ability. Snail is a transcriptional factor that represses multiple other factors, and its overexpression is a trigger of EMT. Since both P-gp and Snail are involved in malignant evolution of cancer, in this work, we evaluated whether or not EMT induced by overexpression of Snail influences P-gp expression and/or activity. Snail-overexpressing cells showed downregulation of epithelial markers, E-cadherin, occludin and claudin-1, and upregulation of mesenchymal markers, vimenin and ZEB1. Although Western blot analysis showed that P-gp expression levels were similar in Mock and Snail-overexpressing cells, the results of P-gp functional assays with P-gp substrates rhodamine123 and paclitaxel indicated that P-gp is activated in Snail-overexpressing cells. Indeed, Snail-overexpressing cells showed greater viability than Mock cells in the presence of paclitaxel. We observed caveolin-1 dephosphorylation and decreased GRB2 expression in Snail-overexpressing cells. These findings suggest a novel pathway leading to cancer MDR, in which Snail induces EMT concomitantly with a decrease of GRB2-mediated caveolin-1 phosphorylation, resulting in activation of P-gp.

  2. FBXO11 promotes ubiquitination of the Snail family of transcription factors in cancer progression and epidermal development.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yue; Shenoy, Anitha K; Doernberg, Samuel; Chen, Hao; Luo, Huacheng; Shen, Huangxuan; Lin, Tong; Tarrash, Miriam; Cai, Qingsong; Hu, Xin; Fiske, Ryan; Chen, Ting; Wu, Lizi; Mohammed, Kamal A; Rottiers, Veerle; Lee, Siu Sylvia; Lu, Jianrong

    2015-06-28

    The Snail family of transcription factors are core inducers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here we show that the F-box protein FBXO11 recognizes and promotes ubiquitin-mediated degradation of multiple Snail family members including Scratch. The association between FBXO11 and Snai1 in vitro is independent of Snai1 phosphorylation. Overexpression of FBXO11 in mesenchymal cells reduces Snail protein abundance and cellular invasiveness. Conversely, depletion of endogenous FBXO11 in epithelial cancer cells causes Snail protein accumulation, EMT, and tumor invasion, as well as loss of estrogen receptor expression in breast cancer cells. Expression of FBXO11 is downregulated by EMT-inducing signals TGFβ and nickel. In human cancer, high FBXO11 levels correlate with expression of epithelial markers and favorable prognosis. The results suggest that FBXO11 sustains the epithelial state and inhibits cancer progression. Inactivation of FBXO11 in mice leads to neonatal lethality, epidermal thickening, and increased Snail protein levels in epidermis, validating that FBXO11 is a physiological ubiquitin ligase of Snail. Moreover, in C. elegans, the FBXO11 mutant phenotype is attributed to the Snail factors as it is suppressed by inactivation/depletion of Snail homologs. Collectively, these findings suggest that the FBXO11-Snail regulatory axis is evolutionarily conserved and critically governs carcinoma progression and mammalian epidermal development.

  3. Influence of copper on the feeding rate, growth and reproduction of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck.

    PubMed

    Peña, Silvia C; Pocsidio, Glorina N

    2007-12-01

    The influence of copper on feeding rate, growth, and reproduction of Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck was evaluated. Ten days of exposure to copper of relatively high concentration (67.5 microg/L) reduced the snails' feeding rate and retarded their growth. Exposure to 20 microg/L after 36 days increased feeding rate to 28%. After 20 days of exposure at 30 microg/L, snail's growth was significant but thereafter declined. Growth of all snails including control was negligible by day 50 when snails were in the reproductive state. Copper did not affect reproduction.

  4. Adaptive Radiation in the Larval Feeding Habits of the Snail-Killing Fly Genus Tetanocera (Diptera: Sciomyzidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foote, B. A.

    2005-05-01

    The genus Tetanocera consists of 29 species in North America. The genus is unusual in that its larvae occupy five of the 17 feeding groups recognized in the family, as most other genera of the family occupy only one or two trophic guilds. Seven species have larvae that attack pulmonate aquatic snails, three species attack pulmonate snails stranded on shorelines, four species attack amber snails of the family Succineidae, three species attack slugs, and two species are predators of terrestrial snails. The larval feeding behavior of representative species of each of the five trophic guilds will be described and illustrated.

  5. Effects of Washing Produce Contaminated with the Snail and Slug Hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis with Three Common Household Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, Norine W; Hayes, Kenneth A

    2013-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease angiostrongyliasis (rat lungworm disease) is caused by ingesting snails and slugs infected by the nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The definitive hosts of A. cantonensis are rats and the obligatory intermediate hosts are slugs and snails. Many cases result from accidentally ingesting infected snails or slugs on produce (eg, lettuce). This study assessed three readily available household products as washing solutions for removing snails and slugs from produce (romaine lettuce) to lower the probability of accidentally ingesting them. The solutions were acetic acid (vinegar), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and sodium chloride (domestic salt). Snail and slug species known to be intermediate hosts and that are common in the Hawaiian Islands were used in the experiments: the alien snail Succinea tenella, the alien semi-slug Parmarion martensi, and the alien slugs Veronicella cubensis and Deroceras laeve. None of the products was any more effective than washing and rinsing with tap water alone. Most snails and slugs were removed after treatment but some remained on the lettuce even after washing and rinsing the produce. Only washing, rinsing, and then rinsing each leaf individually resulted in complete removal of all snails and slugs. The study did not address removal of any remaining slime left by the snails and slugs, nor did it address killing of worms. PMID:23901391

  6. Effects of washing produce contaminated with the snail and slug hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis with three common household solutions.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Norine W; Hayes, Kenneth A; Cowie, Robert H

    2013-06-01

    The emerging infectious disease angiostrongyliasis (rat lungworm disease) is caused by ingesting snails and slugs infected by the nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The definitive hosts of A. cantonensis are rats and the obligatory intermediate hosts are slugs and snails. Many cases result from accidentally ingesting infected snails or slugs on produce (eg, lettuce). This study assessed three readily available household products as washing solutions for removing snails and slugs from produce (romaine lettuce) to lower the probability of accidentally ingesting them. The solutions were acetic acid (vinegar), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and sodium chloride (domestic salt). Snail and slug species known to be intermediate hosts and that are common in the Hawaiian Islands were used in the experiments: the alien snail Succinea tenella, the alien semi-slug Parmarion martensi, and the alien slugs Veronicella cubensis and Deroceras laeve. None of the products was any more effective than washing and rinsing with tap water alone. Most snails and slugs were removed after treatment but some remained on the lettuce even after washing and rinsing the produce. Only washing, rinsing, and then rinsing each leaf individually resulted in complete removal of all snails and slugs. The study did not address removal of any remaining slime left by the snails and slugs, nor did it address killing of worms.

  7. SNAIL transcription factor increases the motility and invasive capacity of prostate cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    OSORIO, LUIS A.; FARFÁN, NANCY M.; CASTELLÓN, ENRIQUE A.; CONTRERAS, HÉCTOR R.

    2016-01-01

    The incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer (PCa) are increasing, and PCa is almost the second-leading cause of cancer-associated mortality in men. During tumor progression, epithelial cells decrease the number of adhesion molecules, change their polarity and position, rearrange their cytoskeleton and increase their migratory and invasive capacities. These changes are known under the concept of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is characterized by an upregulation of certain transcription factors, including SNAIL1, which represses genes that are characteristic of an epithelial phenotype, including E-cadherin, and indirectly increase the expression levels of genes, which are associated with the mesenchymal phenotype. It has been suggested that the transcription factor, SNAIL1, decreases the proliferation and increases the migratory and invasive capacities of PCa cell lines. The present study was performed using LNCaP and PC3 cell lines, in which the expression levels of SNAIL1 were increased or silenced through the use of lentiviral vectors. The expression levels of EMT markers were quantified using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. In addition, cell survival was analyzed using an MTS assay; cell proliferation was examined using an antibody targeting Ki-67; migration on plates with 8 µm pores to allow the passage of cells; and invasiveness was analyzed using a membrane chamber covered in dried basement membrane matrix solution. The levels of apoptosis were determined using a Caspase 3/7 assay containing a substrate modified by caspases 3 and 7. The results demonstrated that the overexpression and silencing of SNAIL1 decreased cell proliferation and survival. However, the overexpression of SNAIL1 decreased apoptosis, compared with cells with the SNAIL1-silenced cells, in which cell apoptosis increased. The migration and invasive capacities increased in the cells overexpressing SNAIL1, and

  8. Investigations into the mechanism of lead toxicity to the freshwater pulmonate snail, Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Brix, Kevin V; Esbaugh, Andrew J; Munley, Kathleen M; Grosell, Martin

    2012-01-15

    The freshwater pulmonate snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, is the most sensitive aquatic organism tested to date for Pb with an estimated EC20 for juvenile snail growth of 3 μg l⁻¹. A previous study supported the hypothesis that this hypersensitivity to Pb was due to an extremely high Ca²⁺ uptake rate needed to support shell formation. The current study sought to build upon this working hypothesis and develop a mechanistic predictive model for inhibition of snail growth as a function of Pb exposure. Initial experiments confirmed previous predictions that juvenile snails have net Ca²⁺ uptake rates of 7000-8000 nmol g⁻¹ h⁻¹, approximately 100-fold higher than observed in a typical freshwater fish. However, an initial time course study revealed that the onset of growth inhibition occurs at least 4d prior to inhibition of net Ca²⁺ flux in Pb-exposed snails indicating the latter is not the primary mechanism of action. Qualitative observations during this experiment indicated snail feeding was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. A subsequent experiment demonstrated that when food is withheld from snails for even 24 h, net Ca²⁺ uptake is significantly (∼50%) reduced. A second time course study demonstrated quantitatively that snail feeding is inhibited by Pb exposure by up to 98% at relatively high Pb concentrations (57 μg l⁻¹) but no inhibition was observed at ≤ 10 μg l⁻¹ Pb indicating feeding inhibition is not causing observed growth effects at concentrations approximating the EC20 of 3 μg l⁻¹ Pb. A final experiment testing whether Pb-induced growth effects are related to inhibition of carbonic anhydrase activity in the snail mantle also failed to demonstrate an effect. We conclude that while both feeding and net Ca²⁺ uptake in snails are affected by Pb exposure, they appear to be secondary effects. The primary mechanism of action explaining L. stagnalis hypersensitivity to Pb remains to be identified.

  9. Distribution of trematodes in snails in ponds at integrated small-scale aquaculture farms.

    PubMed

    Boerlage, Annette S; Graat, Elisabeth A M; Verreth, Johan A; de Jong, Mart C M

    2013-03-01

    In integrated small-scale aquaculture farming, animal and human excreta maybe used as fish feed and pond fertilizer, thereby enhancing transmission of fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZTs) from final hosts, like humans, pigs and chickens, to snails. Areas within a pond could vary in trematode egg-load due to the immediate bordering land, and this might provide implications for control of these trematodes or sampling in field studies measuring FZT prevalence in snails. We therefore estimated the effect of bordering land use on prevalence and FZT burden in snails in different areas within small-scale aquaculture ponds. Nine sampling areas within a pond were assigned in six ponds. For each sampling area, about 120 Melanoides tuberculata snails were collected. Based on land use bordering a sampling area, these were categorized in 5 risk-categories: low-risk (road, rice planted in pond, agriculture, or middle of pond), human access point to pond, livestock sty (pigs or poultry), both human access point and livestock sty, and water connection to canal. In total, 5392 snails were collected. Percentages of snails with parapleurolophocercous cercariae varied between 6% in areas categorized as low-risk and areas with livestock sty only to 15% in areas with both human access point and livestock sty; only this 15% was significantly different from the prevalence in the low-risk category. Percentages of snails with xiphidio cercariae did not differ between risk-categories and varied between 5% and 10%. Mean snail size was 15.2mm, and was significantly associated with both the probability of infection as well as parasite burden. Very small differences in parasite burden were found at different land use areas; the maximum difference was about 11 cercariae. This study demonstrated only small differences between areas surrounding a pond on risk of snails to be infected with fish-borne trematodes within different pond areas. In field studies on FZTs in M. tuberculata snails in ponds

  10. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D. K.; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails. PMID:26925296

  11. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D K; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails.

  12. Spermatozoa Production by Triploid Males in the New Zealand Freshwater Snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum.

    PubMed

    Soper, D M; Neiman, M; Savytskyy, O P; Zolan, M E; Lively, C M

    2013-09-01

    Asexual lineages derived from dioecious taxa are typically assumed to be all female. Even so, asexual females from a variety of animal taxa occasionally produce males. The existence of these males sets the stage for potential gene flow across asexual lineages as well as between sexual and asexual lineages. A recent study showed that asexual triploid female Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail often used as a model to study sexual reproduction, occasionally produce triploid male offspring. Here, we show that these triploid male P. antipodarum 1) have testes that produce morphologically normal sperm, 2) make larger sperm cells that contain more nuclear DNA than the sperm produced by diploid sexual males, and 3) produce sperm that range in DNA content from haploid to diploid, and are often aneuploid. Analysis of meiotic chromosomes of triploid males showed that aberrant pairing during prophase I likely accounts for the high variation in DNA content among sperm. These results indicate that triploid male P. antipodarum produce sperm, but the extent to which these sperm are able to fertilize female ova remains unclear. Our results also suggest that the general assumption of sterility in triploid males should be more closely examined in other species in which such males are occasionally produced.

  13. Variation in asexual lineage age in Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand snail.

    PubMed

    Neiman, M; Jokela, J; Lively, C M

    2005-09-01

    Asexual lineages are thought to be subject to rapid extinction because they cannot generate recombinant offspring. Accordingly, extant asexual lineages are expected to be of recent derivation from sexual individuals. We examined this prediction by using mitochondrial DNA sequence data to estimate asexual lineage age in populations of a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) native to New Zealand and characterized by varying frequency of sexual and asexual individuals. We found considerable variation in the amount of genetic divergence of asexual lineages from sexual relatives, pointing to a wide range of asexual lineage ages. Most asexual lineages had close genetic ties (approximately 0.1% sequence divergence) to haplotypes found in sexual representatives, indicating a recent origin from sexual progenitors. There were, however, two asexual clades that were quite genetically distinct (> 1.2% sequence divergence) from sexual lineages and may have diverged from sexual progenitors more than 500,000 years ago. These two clades were found in lakes that had a significantly lower frequency of sexual individuals than lakes without the old clades, suggesting that the conditions that favor sex might select against ancient asexuality. Our results also emphasize the need for large sample sizes and spatially representative sampling when hypotheses for the age of asexual lineages are tested to adequately deal with potential biases in age estimates.

  14. A family of excitatory peptide toxins from venomous crassispirine snails: using Constellation Pharmacology to assess bioactivity.

    PubMed

    Imperial, Julita S; Cabang, April B; Song, Jie; Raghuraman, Shrinivasan; Gajewiak, Joanna; Watkins, Maren; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Fedosov, Alexander; Concepcion, Gisela P; Terlau, Heinrich; Teichert, Russell W; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2014-10-01

    The toxinology of the crassispirine snails, a major group of venomous marine gastropods within the superfamily Conoidea, is largely unknown. Here we define the first venom peptide superfamily, the P-like crassipeptides, and show that the organization of their gene sequences is similar to conotoxin precursors. We provide evidence that one peptide family within the P-like crassipeptide superfamily includes potassium-channel (K-channel) blockers, the κP-crassipeptides. Three of these peptides were chemically synthesized (cce9a, cce9b and iqi9a). Using conventional electrophysiology, cce9b was shown to be an antagonist of both a human Kv1.1 channel isoform (Shaker subfamily of voltage-gated K channels) and a Drosophila K-channel isoform. We assessed the bioactivity of these peptides in native mammalian dorsal root ganglion neurons in culture. We demonstrate that two of these crassipeptides, cce9a and cce9b, elicited an excitatory phenotype in a subset of small-diameter capsaicin-sensitive mouse DRG neurons that were also affected by κJ-conotoxin PlXIVA (pl14a), a blocker of Kv1.6 channels. Given the vast complexity of heteromeric K-channel isoforms, this study demonstrates that the crassispirine venoms are a potentially rich source for discovering novel peptides that can help to identify and characterize the diversity of K-channel subtypes expressed in native neurons and other cell types.

  15. Habitat characteristics for different freshwater snail species as determined biologically through macroinvertebrate information.

    PubMed

    El-Khayat, Hanaa M M; Mahmoud, Kadria M A; Mostafa, Bayomy B; Tantawy, Ahmad A; El-Deeb, Fatma A; Ragb, Fawzy M; Ismail, Nahed M; El-Said, Kalil M; Taleb, Hoda M Abu

    2011-12-01

    Macro-invertebrates including freshwater snails collected from 643 sites over 8 successive seasons among the River Nile, branches, main canals and certain drains in eight Egyptian Governorates. Thirteen snail species and one bivalve species were identified. The most distributed were Lanistus carinatus and Physa acuta while the most abundant were Cleopatra bulimoides and Physa acuta during the whole study. The sites that harbored each snail species in all the examined water-courses were grouped seasonally and their biological assessment was determined by their minimum and maximum total point similarity percentage to that of the corresponded reference site and mean of the total points. Habitats for most snail species attained minimum total point's similarity percentage less than 21% (very poor habitat) during autumn and winter then spring while during summer very poor habitat was harbored by only few snail species. P. acuta was the only survived snails in habitat which attained 0 as a minimum total point's similarity percentage during two seasons and L. carinatus and Succinea cleopatra during one season. With respect to medically important snails very poor sites constituted 23% of Biomphalaria alexandrina sites, 14% of Lymnaea natalensis and 9.4% of Bulinus truncatus sites. The studied macroinvertebrate matrices, total number of organisms, taxa richness, the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) index, ratio of EPT index to chironomidae, ratio of scraper to filtering collector, contribution of dominant macroinvertebrate major group, comparison revealed descending tolerances from B. alexanrina followed by L. natalensis then B. truncates, but Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) showed the same tolerance to organic pollution.

  16. Increased SNAIL expression and low syndecan levels are associated with high Gleason grade in prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    POBLETE, CRISTIAN E.; FULLA, JUAN; GALLARDO, MARCELA; MUÑOZ, VALENTINA; CASTELLÓN, ENRIQUE A.; GALLEGOS, IVAN; CONTRERAS, HECTOR R.

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is a leading male oncologic malignancy wideworld. During malignant transformation, normal epithelial cells undergo genetic and morphological changes known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Several regulatory genes and specific marker proteins are involved in PC EMT. Recently, syndecans have been associated with malignancy grade and Gleason score in PC. Considering that SNAIL is mainly a gene repressor increased in PC and that syndecan promoters have putative binding sites for this repressor, we propose that SNAIL might regulate syndecan expression during PC EMT. The aim of this study was to analyze immunochemically the expression of SNAIL, syndecans 1 and 2 and other EMT markers in a tissue microarray (TMA) of PC samples and PC cell lines. The TMAs included PC samples of different Gleason grade and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) samples, as non-malignant controls. PC3 and LNCaP cell lines were used as models of PC representing different tumorigenic capacities. Semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry was performed on TMAs and fluorescence immunocytochemistry and western blot analysis were conducted on cell cultures. Results show that SNAIL exhibits increased expression in high Gleason specimens compared to low histological grade and BPH samples. Accordingly, PC3 cells show higher SNAIL expression levels compared to LNCaP cells. Conversely, syndecan 1, similarly to E-cadherin (a known marker of EMT), shows a decreased expression in high Gleason grades samples and PC3 cells. Interestingly, syndecan 2 shows no changes associated to histological grade. It is concluded that increased SNAIL levels in advanced PC are associated with low expression of syndecan 1. The mechanism by which SNAIL regulates the expression of syndecan 1 remains to be investigated. PMID:24424718

  17. Detection and Genetic Analysis of Noroviruses and Sapoviruses in Sea Snail.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Hiroki; Kumazaki, Makoto; Ueki, Satoshi; Morita, Masahiro; Usuku, Shuzo

    2015-12-01

    An outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred at a restaurant in Yokohama in December 2011. Because many of the customers had consumed raw sea snail, sea snail was suspected to be the source of this outbreak. To determine whether sea snail contains Norovirus (NoV) or Sapovirus (SaV), we analyzed 27 sea snail samples collected over 5 months (May, June, August, October, and December 2012) and 59.3% were positive for NoV and/or SaV. The levels of NoV ranged from 1.5 × 10(3) to 1.5 × 10(5) copies/g tissue, and those of SaV from 1.5 × 10(2) to 1.3 × 10(3) copies/g tissue. The highest levels were observed in sea snails collected in December. A phylogenetic analysis of the NoVs showed that the viral strains were NoV genotypes GI.4, GI.6, GII.4, GII.12, GII.13, and GII.14, and the SaV strains were genotypes GI.2 and GI.3. The NoV GII.4 Sydney 2012 variants were only detected in December. This variant was a major source of gastroenteritis in Japan in the winter of 2012/2013. In contrast, the NoV GII.4 strains detected in May and June 2012 were not the Sydney 2012 variant. This study demonstrates that sea snail contains multiple genogroups and genotypes of NoV and SaV strains. We conclude that the sea snail presents a risk of gastroenteritis when consumed raw.

  18. Thermal tolerance and climate warming sensitivity in tropical snails.

    PubMed

    Marshall, David J; Rezende, Enrico L; Baharuddin, Nursalwa; Choi, Francis; Helmuth, Brian

    2015-12-01

    Tropical ectotherms are predicted to be especially vulnerable to climate change because their thermal tolerance limits generally lie close to current maximum air temperatures. This prediction derives primarily from studies on insects and lizards and remains untested for other taxa with contrasting ecologies. We studied the HCT (heat coma temperatures) and ULT (upper lethal temperatures) of 40 species of tropical eulittoral snails (Littorinidae and Neritidae) inhabiting exposed rocky shores and shaded mangrove forests in Oceania, Africa, Asia and North America. We also estimated extremes in animal body temperature at each site using a simple heat budget model and historical (20 years) air temperature and solar radiation data. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that HCT and ULT exhibit limited adaptive variation across habitats (mangroves vs. rocky shores) or geographic locations despite their contrasting thermal regimes. Instead, the elevated heat tolerance of these species (HCT = 44.5 ± 1.8°C and ULT = 52.1 ± 2.2°C) seems to reflect the extreme temperature variability of intertidal systems. Sensitivity to climate warming, which was quantified as the difference between HCT or ULT and maximum body temperature, differed greatly between snails from sunny (rocky shore; Thermal Safety Margin, TSM = -14.8 ± 3.3°C and -6.2 ± 4.4°C for HCT and ULT, respectively) and shaded (mangrove) habitats (TSM = 5.1 ± 3.6°C and 12.5 ± 3.6°C). Negative TSMs in rocky shore animals suggest that mortality is likely ameliorated during extreme climatic events by behavioral thermoregulation. Given the low variability in heat tolerance across species, habitat and geographic location account for most of the variation in TSM and may adequately predict the vulnerability to climate change. These findings caution against generalizations on the impact of global warming across ectothermic taxa and highlight how the consideration of nonmodel animals, ecological transitions

  19. Snail Promotes Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition in Breast Cancer Cells in Part via Activation of Nuclear ERK2

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Bethany N.; Burton, Liza J.; Henderson, Veronica; Randle, Diandra D.; Morton, Derrick J.; Smith, Basil A.; Taliaferro-Smith, Latonia; Nagappan, Peri; Yates, Clayton; Zayzafoon, Majd; Chung, Leland W. K.; Odero-Marah, Valerie A.

    2014-01-01

    Snail transcription factor is up-regulated in several cancers and associated with increased tumor migration and invasion via induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). MAPK (ERK1/2) signaling regulates cellular processes including cell motility, adhesion, and invasion. We investigated the regulation of ERK1/2 by Snail in breast cancer cells. ERK1/2 activity (p-ERK) was higher in breast cancer patient tissue as compared to normal tissue. Snail and p-ERK were increased in several breast cancer cell lines as compared to normal mammary epithelial cells. Snail knockdown in MDA-MB-231 and T47-D breast cancer cells decreased or re-localized p-ERK from the nuclear compartment to the cytoplasm. Snail overexpression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells induced EMT, increased cell migration, decreased cell adhesion and also increased tumorigenicity. Snail induced nuclear translocation of p-ERK, and the activation of its subcellular downstream effector, Elk-1. Inhibiting MAPK activity with UO126 or knockdown of ERK2 isoform with siRNA in MCF-7 Snail cells reverted EMT induced by Snail as shown by decreased Snail and vimentin expression, decreased cell migration and increased cell adhesion. Overall, our data suggest that ERK2 isoform activation by Snail in aggressive breast cancer cells leads to EMT associated with increased cell migration and decreased cell adhesion. This regulation is enhanced by positive feedback regulation of Snail by ERK2. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of ERK2 isoform may be beneficial for breast cancer. PMID:25122124

  20. Interaction of neurons at the level of cell bodies in the snail CNS. Heterogeneity of the neuroactive environment.

    PubMed

    Chistopol'skii, I A

    2005-09-01

    Experiments on the CNS of snail Lymnaea stagnalis in which a cell isolated from the serotonin cluster PeA was used as a mobile sensor neuron demonstrated the presence of neuroactive factors at the surface of the cellular "cortex" of the pedal ganglion. Apart from the previously known factor serotonin, effective concentrations of a factor suppressing the electrical activity of PeA were found at this site, along with a depolarizing factor which, unlike serotonin, narrowed PeA action potentials. The ability of these factors to control the electrical activity of the sensor neuron demonstrates the possible involvement of chemical agents in the intercellular space of the "cortex" in neuronal signaling.

  1. Effects of helium-neon laser irradiation and local anesthetics on potassium channels in pond snail neurons.

    PubMed

    Ignatov, Yu D; Vislobokov, A I; Vlasov, T D; Kolpakova, M E; Mel'nikov, K N; Petrishchev, I N

    2005-10-01

    Intracellular dialysis and membrane voltage clamping were used to show that He-Ne laser irradiation of a pond snail neuron at a dose of 0.7 x 10(-4) J (power density 1.5 x 10(2) W/m2) increases the amplitude of the potential-dependent slow potassium current, while a dose of 0.7 x 10(-3) J decreases this current. Bupivacaine suppresses the potassium current. Combined application of laser irradiation at a dose of 0.7 x 10(-3) J increased the blocking effect of 10 microM bupivacaine on the slow potassium current, while an irradiation dose of 0.7 x 10(-4) J weakened the effect of bupivacaine.

  2. The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir

    PubMed Central

    Macario, Kita D.; Alves, Eduardo Q.; Carvalho, Carla; Oliveira, Fabiana M.; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Chivall, David; Souza, Rosa; Simone, Luiz Ricardo L.; Cavallari, Daniel C.

    2016-01-01

    In Brazilian archaeological shellmounds, many species of land snails are found abundantly distributed throughout the occupational layers, forming a contextualized set of samples within the sites and offering a potential alternative to the use of charcoal for radiocarbon dating analyses. In order to confirm the effectiveness of this alternative, one needs to prove that the mollusk shells reflect the atmospheric carbon isotopic concentration in the same way charcoal does. In this study, 18 terrestrial mollusk shells with known collection dates from 1948 to 2004 AD, around the nuclear bombs period, were radiocarbon dated. The obtained dates fit the SH1-2 bomb curve within less than 15 years range, showing that certain species from the Thaumastus and Megalobulimus genera are reliable representatives of the atmospheric carbon isotopic ratio and can, therefore, be used to date archaeological sites in South America. PMID:27271349

  3. The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir.

    PubMed

    Macario, Kita D; Alves, Eduardo Q; Carvalho, Carla; Oliveira, Fabiana M; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Chivall, David; Souza, Rosa; Simone, Luiz Ricardo L; Cavallari, Daniel C

    2016-06-08

    In Brazilian archaeological shellmounds, many species of land snails are found abundantly distributed throughout the occupational layers, forming a contextualized set of samples within the sites and offering a potential alternative to the use of charcoal for radiocarbon dating analyses. In order to confirm the effectiveness of this alternative, one needs to prove that the mollusk shells reflect the atmospheric carbon isotopic concentration in the same way charcoal does. In this study, 18 terrestrial mollusk shells with known collection dates from 1948 to 2004 AD, around the nuclear bombs period, were radiocarbon dated. The obtained dates fit the SH1-2 bomb curve within less than 15 years range, showing that certain species from the Thaumastus and Megalobulimus genera are reliable representatives of the atmospheric carbon isotopic ratio and can, therefore, be used to date archaeological sites in South America.

  4. The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macario, Kita D.; Alves, Eduardo Q.; Carvalho, Carla; Oliveira, Fabiana M.; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Chivall, David; Souza, Rosa; Simone, Luiz Ricardo L.; Cavallari, Daniel C.

    2016-06-01

    In Brazilian archaeological shellmounds, many species of land snails are found abundantly distributed throughout the occupational layers, forming a contextualized set of samples within the sites and offering a potential alternative to the use of charcoal for radiocarbon dating analyses. In order to confirm the effectiveness of this alternative, one needs to prove that the mollusk shells reflect the atmospheric carbon isotopic concentration in the same way charcoal does. In this study, 18 terrestrial mollusk shells with known collection dates from 1948 to 2004 AD, around the nuclear bombs period, were radiocarbon dated. The obtained dates fit the SH1-2 bomb curve within less than 15 years range, showing that certain species from the Thaumastus and Megalobulimus genera are reliable representatives of the atmospheric carbon isotopic ratio and can, therefore, be used to date archaeological sites in South America.

  5. Methamphetamine enhances memory of operantly conditioned respiratory behavior in the snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Colin D; Houmes, Stephen W; Wyrick, Katherine L; Kammerzell, Samuel M; Lukowiak, Ken; Sorg, Barbara A

    2010-06-15

    Amphetamines have been used as cognitive enhancers to promote learning and memory. Amphetamines are also drugs of abuse that may promote the initiation of strong memories that ultimately lead to addiction. To understand how methamphetamine (Meth) may be augmenting learning and memory, we chose a relatively simple system, the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. We studied the effects of Meth exposure on the long-term memory (LTM), extinction and reinstatement of operantly conditioned aerial respiratory behavior in Lymnaea. We first determined doses of Meth that would acutely alter respiratory behavior. Next, we measured the impact of training snails in Meth solution or water (control group) using a training procedure that produces LTM (>6 h) in control conditions. Meth exposure impaired the expression of LTM 21 h after two training sessions, but this appeared to be a context-dependent effect only. However, snails exposed to 3.3 mumol l(-1) Meth during training had a decreased rate of extinction of the operantly conditioned memory. We then tested whether this decreased ability of snails to extinguish memory was due to enhanced LTM or impaired extinction of that memory. Snails were operantly conditioned in water and exposed to Meth 16 h after their last trial but 4-5 h prior to extinction. Meth produced an increase rather than a decrease in extinction rate. Thus, Meth impaired extinction only when snails were exposed to Meth during training. Last, we tested the effect of Meth on the ability to form LTM using a single training procedure that is suboptimal for LTM formation. Control snails did not demonstrate LTM, as expected, but pre-exposure of snails to 3.3 micromol l(-1) Meth 24 h prior to the single training session produced LTM 24 h later, indicating that Meth pre-exposure primed snails for LTM formation. Taken together, our studies suggest that LTM is strengthened by Meth such that extinction training is less effective. Lymnaea provides a simple and useful model

  6. Accelerated mutation accumulation in asexual lineages of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Neiman, Maurine; Hehman, Gery; Miller, Joseph T; Logsdon, John M; Taylor, Douglas R

    2010-04-01

    Sexual reproduction is both extremely costly and widespread relative to asexual reproduction, meaning that it must also confer profound advantages in order to persist. One theorized benefit of sex is that it facilitates the clearance of harmful mutations, which would accumulate more rapidly in the absence of recombination. The extent to which ineffective purifying selection and mutation accumulation are direct consequences of asexuality and whether the accelerated buildup of harmful mutations in asexuals can occur rapidly enough to maintain sex within natural populations, however, remain as open questions. We addressed key components of these questions by estimating the rate of mutation accumulation in the mitochondrial genomes of multiple sexual and asexual representatives of Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand snail characterized by mixed sexual/asexual populations. We found that increased mutation accumulation is associated with asexuality and occurs rapidly enough to be detected in recently derived asexual lineages of P. antipodarum. Our results demonstrate that increased mutation accumulation in asexuals can differentially affect coexisting and ecologically similar sexual and asexual lineages. The accelerated rate of mutation accumulation observed in asexual P. antipodarum provides some of the most direct evidence to date for a link between asexuality and mutation accumulation and implies that mutational buildup could be rapid enough to contribute to the short-term evolutionary mechanisms that favor sexual reproduction.

  7. A phylogeny of the land snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed Central

    Wade, C. M.; Mordan, P. B.; Clarke, B.

    2001-01-01

    We have undertaken the first large-scale molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Stylommatophora. Sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene-cluster were examined in 104 species of snails and slugs from 50 families, encompassing all the currently recognized major groups. It allows an independent test of the present classification based on morphology. At the level of families our molecular phylogeny closely supports the current taxonomy, but the deep branches within the tree do not. Surprisingly, a single assemblage including the families Achatinidae, Subulinidae and Streptaxidae lies near the base of the tree, forming a sister group to all remaining stylommatophorans. This primary division into 'achatinoid' and 'non-achatinoid' taxa is unexpected, and demands a radical reinterpretation of early stylommatophoran evolution. In particular, the Orthurethra appear to be relatively advanced within the 'non-achatinoid clade', and broadly equivalent to other super-familial clusters. This indicates that supposedly primitive features such as the orthurethran kidney are derived. The molecular tree also suggests that the origin of the Stylommatophora is much earlier than the main period of their diversification. PMID:11270439

  8. Myosin-dependent remodeling of adherens junctions protects junctions from Snail-dependent disassembly

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Mo

    2016-01-01

    Although Snail is essential for disassembly of adherens junctions during epithelial–mesenchymal transitions (EMTs), loss of adherens junctions in Drosophila melanogaster gastrula is delayed until mesoderm is internalized, despite the early expression of Snail in that primordium. By combining live imaging and quantitative image analysis, we track the behavior of E-cadherin–rich junction clusters, demonstrating that in the early stages of gastrulation most subapical clusters in mesoderm not only persist, but move apically and enhance in density and total intensity. All three phenomena depend on myosin II and are temporally correlated with the pulses of actomyosin accumulation that drive initial cell shape changes during gastrulation. When contractile myosin is absent, the normal Snail expression in mesoderm, or ectopic Snail expression in ectoderm, is sufficient to drive early disassembly of junctions. In both cases, junctional disassembly can be blocked by simultaneous induction of myosin contractility. Our findings provide in vivo evidence for mechanosensitivity of cell–cell junctions and imply that myosin-mediated tension can prevent Snail-driven EMT. PMID:26754645

  9. Polyethyleneimine (PEI) Mediated siRNA Gene Silencing in the Schistosoma mansoni Snail Host, Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Miller, Andre; Liu, Yijia; Scaria, Puthupparampil; Woodle, Martin; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn

    2011-01-01

    An in vivo, non-invasive technique for gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) in the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, has been developed using cationic polymer polyethyleneimine (PEI) mediated delivery of long double-stranded (ds) and small interfering (si) RNA. Cellular delivery was evaluated and optimized by using a ‘mock’ fluorescent siRNA. Subsequently, we used the method to suppress expression of Cathepsin B (CathB) with either the corresponding siRNA or dsRNA of this transcript. In addition, the knockdown of peroxiredoxin (Prx) at both RNA and protein levels was achieved with the PEI-mediated soaking method. B. glabrata is an important snail host for the transmission of the parasitic digenean platyhelminth, Schistosoma mansoni that causes schistosomiasis in the neotropics. Progress is being made to realize the genome sequence of the snail and to uncover gene expression profiles and cellular pathways that enable the snail to either prevent or sustain an infection. Using PEI complexes, a convenient soaking method has been developed, enabling functional gene knockdown studies with either dsRNA or siRNA. The protocol developed offers a first whole organism method for host-parasite gene function studies needed to identify key mechanisms required for parasite development in the snail host, which ultimately are needed as points for disrupting this parasite mediated disease. PMID:21765961

  10. Coordinating associative and ecological accounts of learning in the garden snail Cornu aspersum.

    PubMed

    Loy, I; Álvarez, B; Strempler-Rubio, E C; Rodríguez, M

    2017-03-08

    Pavlovian conditioning of tentacle lowering in the snail, Cornu aspersum, as an instance of associative learning, has proven effective to show evidence of paradigmatic associative phenomena (e.g., blocking) explained by current models of conditioning. Nevertheless, the available literature questions the biological function of the conditioned response (i.e., tentacle lowering) in snails since no advantages in terms of food finding had been observed. Ecological accounts of learning claim that learning abilities contribute to the adaptation to the environmental demands, and there is experimental evidence supporting this in several species (e.g., grasshoppers, fish, or antlions). However, there is a lack of evidence in snails, which is surprising given that the conditioned response of tentacle lowering is a robust finding that fits in with several predictions of associative learning theory (e.g., blocking or conditioned inhibition). The goal of this manuscript was to test whether food detection is affected by prior experience with the food, distance, and conditioning. We found that prior experience with a food source is necessary for snails to locate the same food item; that the optimal distance to test for food detection is between 5 and 7cm and that snails seem to use different food searching strategies after conditioning depending on the stimuli that are present. The data provided constitute a small contribution to the vindication of a greater coordination between the fruitful research tool provided by the associative account of learning and the evolutionary vocation of the ecological approach of learning.

  11. Fascioliasis Control: In Vivo and In Vitro Phytotherapy of Vector Snail to Kill Fasciola Larva

    PubMed Central

    Sunita, Kumari; Singh, D. K.

    2011-01-01

    Snail is one of the important components of an aquatic ecosystem, it acts as intermediate host of Fasciola species. Control of snail population below a certain threshold level is one of the important methods in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. Life cycle of the parasite can be interrupted by killing the snail or Fasciola larva redia and cercaria in the snail body. In vivo and in vitro toxicity of the plant products and their active component such as citral, ferulic acid, umbelliferone, azadirachtin, and allicin against larva of Fasciola in infected snail Lymnaea acuminata were tested. Mortality of larvae were observed at 2 h, 4 h, 6 h, and 8 h, of treatment. In in vivo treatment, azadirachtin caused highest mortality in redia and cercaria larva (8 h, LC50 0.11, and 0.05 mg/L) whereas in in vitro condition allicin was highly toxic against redia and cercaria (8 h, LC50 0.01, and 0.009 mg/L). Toxicity of citral was lowest against redia and cercaria larva. PMID:22132306

  12. Characterisation of Reproduction-Associated Genes and Peptides in the Pest Land Snail, Theba pisana

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Michael J.; Wang, Tianfang; Harding, Bradley I.; Bose, U.; Wyeth, Russell C.; Storey, Kenneth B.; Cummins, Scott F.

    2016-01-01

    Increased understanding of the molecular components involved in reproduction may assist in understanding the evolutionary adaptations used by animals, including hermaphrodites, to produce offspring and retain a continuation of their lineage. In this study, we focus on the Mediterranean snail, Theba pisana, a hermaphroditic land snail that has become a highly invasive pest species within agricultural areas throughout the world. Our analysis of T. pisana CNS tissue has revealed gene transcripts encoding molluscan reproduction-associated proteins including APGWamide, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and an egg-laying hormone (ELH). ELH isoform 1 (ELH1) is known to be a potent reproductive peptide hormone involved in ovulation and egg-laying in some aquatic molluscs. Two other non-CNS ELH isoforms were also present in T. pisana (Tpi-ELH2 and Tpi-ELH3) within the snail dart sac and mucous glands. Bioactivity of a synthetic ELH1 on sexually mature T. pisana was confirmed through bioassay, with snails showing ELH1-induced egg-laying behaviours, including soil burrowing and oviposition. In summary, this study presents a detailed molecular analysis of reproductive neuropeptide genes in a land snail and provides a foundation for understanding ELH function. PMID:27706146

  13. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes in Sexual and Asexual Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand Freshwater Snail.

    PubMed

    Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; King, Kayla; Van Horn, David; Larkin, Katelyn; Neiman, Maurine

    2016-01-01

    Different reproductive strategies and the transition to asexuality can be associated with microbial symbionts. Whether such a link exists within mollusks has never been evaluated. We took the first steps towards addressing this possibility by performing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes associated with Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail. A diverse set of 60 tissue collections from P. antipodarum that were genetically and geographically distinct and either obligately sexual or asexual were included, which allowed us to evaluate whether reproductive mode was associated with a particular bacterial community. 2624 unique operational taxonomic units (OTU, 97% DNA similarity) were detected, which were distributed across ~30 phyla. While alpha diversity metrics varied little among individual samples, significant differences in bacterial community composition and structure were detected between sexual and asexual snails, as well as among snails from different lakes and genetic backgrounds. The mean dissimilarity of the bacterial communities between the sexual and asexual P. antipodarum was 90%, largely driven by the presence of Rickettsiales in sexual snails and Rhodobacter in asexual snails. Our study suggests that there might be a link between reproductive mode and the bacterial microbiome of P. antipodarum, though a causal connection requires additional study.

  14. Formin Is Associated with Left-Right Asymmetry in the Pond Snail and the Frog

    PubMed Central

    Davison, Angus; McDowell, Gary S.; Holden, Jennifer M.; Johnson, Harriet F.; Koutsovoulos, Georgios D.; Liu, M. Maureen; Hulpiau, Paco; Van Roy, Frans; Wade, Christopher M.; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fengtang; Chiba, Satoshi; Davey, John W.; Jackson, Daniel J.; Levin, Michael; Blaxter, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    Summary While components of the pathway that establishes left-right asymmetry have been identified in diverse animals, from vertebrates to flies, it is striking that the genes involved in the first symmetry-breaking step remain wholly unknown in the most obviously chiral animals, the gastropod snails. Previously, research on snails was used to show that left-right signaling of Nodal, downstream of symmetry breaking, may be an ancestral feature of the Bilateria [1, 2]. Here, we report that a disabling mutation in one copy of a tandemly duplicated, diaphanous-related formin is perfectly associated with symmetry breaking in the pond snail. This is supported by the observation that an anti-formin drug treatment converts dextral snail embryos to a sinistral phenocopy, and in frogs, drug inhibition or overexpression by microinjection of formin has a chirality-randomizing effect in early (pre-cilia) embryos. Contrary to expectations based on existing models [3, 4, 5], we discovered asymmetric gene expression in 2- and 4-cell snail embryos, preceding morphological asymmetry. As the formin-actin filament has been shown to be part of an asymmetry-breaking switch in vitro [6, 7], together these results are consistent with the view that animals with diverse body plans may derive their asymmetries from the same intracellular chiral elements [8]. PMID:26923788

  15. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-02-10

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail's distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail.

  16. An overview of freshwater snails in Asia with main focus on Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Madsen, H; Hung, N M

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater snails have received much attention for their role as intermediate hosts for trematodes causing disease in people and animals such as schistosomiasis and various food-borne trematodes. While effective medical treatment exists for some of these diseases there is need for preventive measures to reduce transmission, e.g. control of intermediate hosts because transmission patterns are often complicated due to presence of reservoir final hosts. In order to implement control measures against the intermediate host snails with minimal impact on the freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity, a profound knowledge on transmission patterns of the trematodes is required and this is partly related to distribution, habitat preferences, and seasonal variation in density of the intermediate host species. Identification of snail species can be problematic on the basis of morphological and anatomical characters alone as some species show morphological plasticity and similarly morphological differentiation of cercariae found in snails may be difficult and this could lead to biased perceptions of intermediate host spectra and transmission patterns. In this paper, we give an overview of the snail families and their medical and veterinary importance in Asia but with main focus on Vietnam.

  17. Heat shock proteins and survival strategies in congeneric land snails (Sphincterochila) from different habitats.

    PubMed

    Mizrahi, Tal; Heller, Joseph; Goldenberg, Shoshana; Arad, Zeev

    2012-09-01

    Polmunate land snails are subject to stress conditions in their terrestrial habitat, and depend on a range of behavioural, physiological and biochemical adaptations for coping with problems of maintaining water, ionic and thermal balance. The involvement of the heat shock protein (HSP) machinery in land snails was demonstrated following short-term experimental aestivation and heat stress, suggesting that land snails use HSPs as part of their survival strategy. As climatic variation was found to be associated with HSP expression, we tested whether adaptation of land snails to different habitats affects HSP expression in two closely related Sphincterochila snail species, a desert species Sphincterochila zonata and a Mediterranean-type species Sphincterochila cariosa. Our study suggests that Sphincterochila species use HSPs as part of their survival strategy following desiccation and heat stress, and as part of the natural annual cycle of activity and aestivation. Our studies also indicate that adaptation to different habitats results in the development of distinct strategies of HSP expression in response to stress, namely the reduced expression of HSPs in the desert-inhabiting species. We suggest that these different strategies reflect the difference in heat and aridity encountered in the natural habitats, and that the desert species S. zonata relies on mechanisms and adaptations other than HSP induction thus avoiding the fitness consequences of continuous HSP upregulation.

  18. Development of the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior in Helix aspersa snails.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Annoscia, Giada; Di Cesare, Angela; Colella, Vito; Brianti, Emanuele; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Mutafchiev, Yasen; Otranto, Domenico

    2014-04-01

    Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Strongylida, Angiostrongylidae) and Troglostrongylus brevior (Strongylida, Crenosomatidae) are regarded as important lungworm species of domestic felids, with the latter considered an emerging threat in the Mediterranean region. The present study aimed to assess their concurrent development in the mollusc Helix aspersa (Pulmonata, Helicidae). Thirty snails were infested with 100 first-stage larvae (L1) of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, isolated from a naturally infested kitten. Larval development was checked by digesting five specimens at 2, 6 and 11 days post infestation. Larvae retrieved were morphologically described and their identification was confirmed by specific PCR and sequencing. All H. aspersa snails were positive for A. abstrusus and T. brevior, whose larval stages were simultaneously detected at each time point. In addition, snails were exposed to outdoor conditions and examined after overwintering, testing positive up to 120 days post infestation. Data herein presented suggest that A. abstrusus and T. brevior develop in H. aspersa snails and may eventually co-infest cats. Data on the morphology of both parasitic species in H. aspersa provide additional information on their development and identification, to better understand the population dynamics of these lungworms in receptive snails and paratenic hosts.

  19. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails.

    PubMed

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-05-28

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution.

  20. Do ice nucleating agents limit the supercooling ability of the land snail Cornu aspersum?

    PubMed

    Ansart, A; Nicolai, A; Vernon, P; Madec, L

    2010-01-01

    The supercooling ability of adults and eggs of the partially freezing tolerant land snail Cornu aspersum remains limited to high subzero temperatures (ca. -5 degree C) whatever the conditions, suggesting the presence of ice nucleating agents (INAs). In this study, we investigated the nucleation activity of the digestive tract of adult snails, eggs and their direct environment: food, faeces and soil. The mucous ribbon always present in the distal intestine of adults exhibited a heat-sensitive (i.e. organic) nucleation activity, close to that of the entire snails during dormant states (aestivation and hibernation). However, a microbial nature of these INAs could not be established in inactive snails. The food provided to active snails contained ice nucleating bacteria, which followed the digestive tract to be found in the intestine and in the faeces, but with a decreasing concentration along the transit. Eggshells also presented a heat-sensitive nucleation activity, which could be related to its structure. Moreover, eggs are laid directly in the soil which contained both organic and mineral INAs. This study is the first to demonstrate the implication of organic INAs in the cold hardiness of a terrestrial gastropod.

  1. Asymmetry of mandibular dentition is associated with dietary specialization in snail-eating snakes

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Background In vertebrates, the left-and-right pairs of homologous organs are generally present in equal numbers. A remarkable exception is snail-eating snakes in the family Pareidae: almost all the pareid snakes have much more teeth on the right mandible than on the left for functional specialization in feeding on the dextral majority of land snails. Because the only exceptional species with symmetric dentition has been regarded as a slug-eater, the extent of dietary specialization on slugs could shape the degree of the lateral asymmetry of mandibular dentition (dentition asymmetry) even among snail eaters. Methods To test this, I compared the morphology and behavior of two sympatric species of Taiwanese snail-eating snakes, Pareas atayal and P. formosensis. Results Specimens collected in the same locality showed that the dentition asymmetry of P. formosensis was significantly smaller than that of P. atayal. Congruent to its weak asymmetry, P. formosensis showed a strong preference of slugs to snails in the feeding experiment. Discussion The dietary specialization of P. formosensis on slugs would contribute to niche partitioning from the sympatric congener P. atayal. This study suggests that the diverse variation in the dentition asymmetry of pareid snakes is the result of their dietary specialization and divergence. PMID:28265502

  2. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes in Sexual and Asexual Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; King, Kayla; Van Horn, David; Larkin, Katelyn; Neiman, Maurine

    2016-01-01

    Different reproductive strategies and the transition to asexuality can be associated with microbial symbionts. Whether such a link exists within mollusks has never been evaluated. We took the first steps towards addressing this possibility by performing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes associated with Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail. A diverse set of 60 tissue collections from P. antipodarum that were genetically and geographically distinct and either obligately sexual or asexual were included, which allowed us to evaluate whether reproductive mode was associated with a particular bacterial community. 2624 unique operational taxonomic units (OTU, 97% DNA similarity) were detected, which were distributed across ~30 phyla. While alpha diversity metrics varied little among individual samples, significant differences in bacterial community composition and structure were detected between sexual and asexual snails, as well as among snails from different lakes and genetic backgrounds. The mean dissimilarity of the bacterial communities between the sexual and asexual P. antipodarum was 90%, largely driven by the presence of Rickettsiales in sexual snails and Rhodobacter in asexual snails. Our study suggests that there might be a link between reproductive mode and the bacterial microbiome of P. antipodarum, though a causal connection requires additional study. PMID:27563725

  3. Use of ice water and salt treatments to eliminate an exotic snail, red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus, from small immersible fisheries equipment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ice water and salt treatments were evaluated for disinfection of fisheries equipment contaminated with a non-indigenous tropical snail, the red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus. The snail can displace native snails and can transmit trematodes directly to fishes and indirectly to other animals, i...

  4. Phylogeography and historical demography of the Lusitanian snail Elona quimperiana reveal survival in unexpected separate glacial refugia

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    hypothesis of multiple refugia in Iberia during the last glaciations. The scenario of a spatial expansion of E. quimperiana from an Iberian refuge located in Asturias to northern areas provides the most probable explanation for the present distribution of this land snail. By harboring distinct haplotypes, the Basque Country populations appear to be of great importance in terms of potential adaptation, long term persistence and hence, the conservation of E. quimperiana. PMID:19099565

  5. Tropomyosin or not tropomyosin, what is the relevant allergen in house dust mite and snail cross allergies?

    PubMed

    Bessot, J C; Metz-Favre, C; Rame, J M; De Blay, F; Pauli, G

    2010-02-01

    Since tropomyosin is cross reactive in many arthropods, it was assumed that this highly conserved protein could be responsible for cross reactions in house dust mite (HDM) allergic patients who experienced adverse reactions after crustacean and mollusc ingestion. Here we report two clinical cases where the role of tropomyosin is a matter of debate. In the first case, the clinical history, as well as the results of in vivo and in vitro investigations, are in favour of a shrimp allergy without any snail allergy in a patient sensitized to HDM. In the second, the clinical history and the cutaneous tests are in favour of an allergy to snails without any allergy to shrimps in a patient suffering from HDM allergies. The clinical presentation is different in shrimp and snail allergies. In shrimp allergy, symptoms are mainly urticaria or angio-oedema. In snail allergies, adverse reactions are especially severe asthma. Shrimp tropomyosin is a dominant allergen in crustaceans whereas has a much less prominent role in HDM sensitization. Cross reactivities between HDM and snails have been confirmed by inhibition experiments. However, tropomyosin appears to be a minor allergen or even is not involved in snail allergy. It is necessary to clarify the allergens shared between HDMI and snails. The effects of HDM immunotherapy in snail allergy are questioned. Knowledge of taxonomy can contribute to more precise evaluation of cross reactivities between crustaceans and molluscs.

  6. Global Assessment of Schistosomiasis Control Over the Past Century Shows Targeting the Snail Intermediate Host Works Best

    PubMed Central

    Sokolow, Susanne H.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel J.; Lopez, Melina; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Rickards, Chloe; De Leo, Giulio A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite control efforts, human schistosomiasis remains prevalent throughout Africa, Asia, and South America. The global schistosomiasis burden has changed little since the new anthelmintic drug, praziquantel, promised widespread control. Methodology We evaluated large-scale schistosomiasis control attempts over the past century and across the globe by identifying factors that predict control program success: snail control (e.g., molluscicides or biological control), mass drug administrations (MDA) with praziquantel, or a combined strategy using both. For data, we compiled historical information on control tactics and their quantitative outcomes for all 83 countries and territories in which: (i) schistosomiasis was allegedly endemic during the 20th century, and (ii) schistosomiasis remains endemic, or (iii) schistosomiasis has been "eliminated," or is "no longer endemic," or transmission has been interrupted. Principal Findings Widespread snail control reduced prevalence by 92 ± 5% (N = 19) vs. 37 ± 7% (N = 29) for programs using little or no snail control. In addition, ecological, economic, and political factors contributed to schistosomiasis elimination. For instance, snail control was most common and widespread in wealthier countries and when control began earlier in the 20th century. Conclusions/Significance Snail control has been the most effective way to reduce schistosomiasis prevalence. Despite evidence that snail control leads to long-term disease reduction and elimination, most current schistosomiasis control efforts emphasize MDA using praziquantel over snail control. Combining drug-based control programs with affordable snail control seems the best strategy for eliminating schistosomiasis. PMID:27441556

  7. Survival and growth of freshwater pulmonate and nonpulmonate snails in 28-day exposures to copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Besser, John M.; Dorman, Rebecca A.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.

    2016-01-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta,Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails.

  8. Survival and Growth of Freshwater Pulmonate and Nonpulmonate Snails in 28-Day Exposures to Copper, Ammonia, and Pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Besser, John M; Dorman, Rebecca A; Hardesty, Douglas L; Ingersoll, Christopher G

    2016-02-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta, Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails.

  9. Failure of transmission of low-pathogenic avian influenza virus between Mallards and freshwater snails: an experimental evaluation.

    PubMed

    Oesterle, Paul T; Huyvaert, Kathryn P; Orahood, Darcy; Mooers, Nicole; Sullivan, Heather; Franklin, Alan B; Root, J Jeffrey

    2013-10-01

    In aquatic bird populations, the ability of avian influenza (AI) viruses to remain infectious in water for extended periods provides a mechanism that allows viral transmission to occur long after shedding birds have left the area. However, this also exposes other aquatic organisms, including freshwater invertebrates, to AI viruses. Previous researchers found that AI viral RNA can be sequestered in snail tissues. Using an experimental approach, we determined whether freshwater snails (Physa acuta and Physa gyrina) can infect waterfowl with AI viruses by serving as a means of transmission between infected and naïve waterfowl via ingestion. In our first experiment, we exposed 20 Physa spp. snails to an AI virus (H3N8) and inoculated embryonated specific pathogen-free (SPF) chicken eggs with the homogenized snail tissues. Sequestered AI viruses remain infectious in snail tissues; 10% of the exposed snail tissues infected SPF eggs. In a second experiment, we exposed snails to water contaminated with feces of AI virus-inoculated Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to evaluate whether ingestion of exposed freshwater snails was an alternate route of AI virus transmission to waterfowl. None of the immunologically naïve Mallards developed an infection, indicating that transmission via ingestion likely did not occur. Our results suggest that this particular trophic interaction may not play an important role in the transmission of AI viruses in aquatic habitats.

  10. Tristetraprolin suppresses the EMT through the down-regulation of Twist1 and Snail1 in cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Nal Ae; Jo, Hyun Gun; Lee, Unn Hwa; Park, Ji Hye; Yoon, Ji Eun; Ryu, Jinhyun; Kang, Sang Soo; Min, Young Joo; Ju, Seong-A; Seo, Eun Hui; Huh, In Young; Lee, Byung Ju; Park, Jeong Woo; Cho, Wha Ja

    2016-02-23

    Inhibition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-inducing transcription factors Twist and Snail prevents tumor metastasis but enhances metastatic growth. Here, we report an unexpected role of a tumor suppressor tristetraprolin (TTP) in inhibiting Twist and Snail without enhancing cellular proliferation. TTP bound to the AU-rich element (ARE) within the mRNA 3'UTRs of Twist1 and Snail1, enhanced the decay of their mRNAs and inhibited the EMT of cancer cells. The ectopic expression of Twist1 or Snail1 without their 3'UTRs blocked the inhibitory effects of TTP on the EMT. We also observed that TTP overexpression suppressed the growth of cancer cells. Our data propose a new model whereby TTP down-regulates Twist1 and Snail1 and inhibits both the EMT and the proliferation of cancer cells.

  11. The environmental effects of trace elements concentration in sea snails using atomic absorption spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Amri, F. A.

    2003-05-01

    Water pollution bas increased in heavy industrialised areas. Most industrial water wastes end up in the sea. Monitoring the elemental composition in marine organisms, such as snails, provides the essential elements in living organisms and through the food chain to man. 50 samples of each of two kinds of snails have been collected from the west coast of Libya. Samples were digeste with nitric acid and the concentration of Copper, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. The results shows that Mg has the highest value while the Copper has the lowest in both kind of snaiis. A pattern of the trace elements concentration was investigated regarding the size and kind of snails.

  12. Growing snails used as sentinels to evaluate terrestrial environment contamination by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Gomot de Vaufleury, A; Pihan, F

    2000-02-01

    Young garden snails (Helix aspersa) reared in standard conditions (aged two months, mean weight 4.6 +/- 0.5 g) set as sentinels in cages laid on the soil for four weeks, give data for biomonitoring the environmental impact of chemicals on soil ecosystems in the field. The survival and the growth of the snails are influenced by the nature of the biotope and the level of the pollutants. Assay of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc bioaccumulated in the tissues of the sentinel snails provides information on the bioavailability of metals in the environment. The encagement model, little used for terrestrial species, can be useful in monitoring (specific and global endpoints) metal pollution of the environment in reference to the trophic level of the primary consumers. Active biomonitoring is positively compared with the passive biomonitoring.

  13. Scope for growth in a tropical freshwater snail -- Implications for monitoring sublethal toxic stressors

    SciTech Connect

    Lai, P.C.C.; Lam, P.K.S.

    1995-12-31

    Scope for growth (SfG), the difference between the energy input to an organism from its food and the output from respiratory metabolism, has been used as a bioassay for environmental stress in the temperate region. Here, the same technique was applied to a tropical freshwater snail, Brotia hainanensis (Thiaridae), to investigate whether the technique is applicable to biological systems at lower latitudes. In this study, the effects of copper and low pH on the SfG of the snails were examined. The results show that both copper and low pH can significantly reduce the SfG of individual snails through a decrease in the amount of energy absorbed, while the change in energy expenditure is not apparent. It was also found that the SfG assay is most informative at stress levels too low to be detected by the corresponding acute tests.

  14. Venomous auger snail Hastula (Impages) hectica (Linnaeus, 1758): molecular phylogeny, foregut anatomy and comparative toxinology.

    PubMed

    Imperial, Julita S; Kantor, Yuri; Watkins, Maren; Heralde, Francisco M; Stevenson, Bradford; Chen, Ping; Hansson, Karin; Stenflo, Johan; Ownby, John-Paul; Bouchet, Philippe; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2007-12-15

    The >10,000 living venomous marine snail species [superfamily Conoidea (Fleming, 1822)] include cone snails (Conus), the overwhelming focus of research. Hastula hectica (Linnaeus, 1758), a venomous snail in the family Terebridae (Mörch, 1852) was comprehensively investigated. The Terebridae comprise a major monophyletic group within Conoidea. H. hectica has a striking radular tooth to inject venom that looks like a perforated spear; in Conus, the tooth looks like a hypodermic needle. H. hectica venom contains a large complement of small disulfide-rich peptides, but with no apparent overlap with Conus in gene superfamilies expressed. Although Conus peptide toxins are densely post-translationally modified, no post-translationally modified amino acids were found in any Hastula venom peptide. The results suggest that different major lineages of venomous molluscs have strikingly divergent toxinological and venom-delivery strategies.

  15. Large-scale facilitation of a sessile community by an invasive habitat-forming snail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thyrring, Jakob; Thomsen, Mads Solgaard; Wernberg, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    We provide an example of extensive facilitation of a sessile community throughout an invaded estuary by the invasive snail Batillaria australis. We show that B. australis greatly increases a limiting resource (attachment space) to a community of sessile organisms and estimate that a large part of the invaded estuary now contain ca. 50 times more sessile individuals associated with the invader than all native snails combined. We argue that native snails are unlikely to have been dramatically reduced by the invader, and we therefore suggest that the shell-attached sessile community, as a functional group, has benefitted significantly from this invasion. These results expand the current understanding of how invaded marine systems respond to habitat-forming invaders.

  16. Cranial adaptations for feeding on snails in species of Sibynomorphus (Dipsadidae: Dipsadinae).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Marina Meireles; da Silva, Fernanda Magalhães; Hingst-Zaher, Erika; Machado, Fabio Andrade; Zaher, Hussam El Dine; Prudente, Ana Lúcia da Costa

    2017-02-01

    Neotropical "goo-eating" dipsadine snakes display a set of morphological and histo-chemical adaptations linked to the capture of their soft-bodied, viscous invertebrate prey. Within this group, species from the genus Sibynomorphus feed chiefly on snails and slugs. Here, we analyzed a series of skull and mandible characters in S. mikanii, S. neuwiedi and S. turgidus using geometric morphometrics, with the aim of assessing morphological adaptations related to slug- and snail-feeding in that genus. We further compared the results with Leptodeira annulata, a species that feeds on vertebrates. To evaluate shape differences of the skull and mandible between species we performed a multivariate analysis of variance and a linear discriminant analysis. Our results show that the narrow, elongate skull in S. mikanii may help with slug ingestion, while asymmetry in teeth number and mandibular shape in S. neuwiedi and S. turgidus are likely related to snail feeding.

  17. Fasciola hepatica and lymnaeid snails occurring at very high altitude in South America.

    PubMed

    Mas-Coma, S; Funatsu, I R; Bargues, M D

    2001-01-01

    Fascioliasis due to the digenean species Fasciola hepatica has recently proved to be an important public health problem, with human cases reported in countries of the five continents, including severe symptoms and pathology, with singular epidemiological characteristics, and presenting human endemic areas ranging from hypo- to hyperendemic. One of the singular epidemiological characteristics of human fascioliasis is the link of the hyperendemic areas to very high altitude regions, at least in South America. The Northern Bolivian Altiplano, located at very high altitude (3800-4100 m), presents the highest prevalences and intensities of human fascioliasis known. Sequences of the internal transcribed spacers ITS-1 and ITS-2 of the nuclear ribosomal DNA of Altiplanic Fasciola hepatica and the intermediate snail host Lymnaea truncatula suggest that both were recently introduced from Europe. Studies were undertaken to understand how the liver fluke and its lymnaeid snail host adapted to the extreme environmental conditions of the high altitude and succeeded in giving rise to high infection rates. In experimental infections of Altiplanic lymnaeids carried out with liver fluke isolates from Altiplanic sheep and cattle, the following aspects were studied: miracidium development inside the egg, infectivity of miracidia, prepatent period, shedding period, chronobiology of cercarial emergence, number of cercariae shed by individual snails, survival of molluscs at the beginning of the shedding process, survival of infected snails after the end of the shedding period and longevity of shedding and non-shedding snails. When comparing the development characteristics of European F. hepatica and L. truncatula, a longer cercarial shedding period and a higher cercarial production were observed, both aspects related to a greater survival capacity of the infected lymnaeid snails from the Altiplano. These differences would appear to favour transmission and may be interpreted as strategies

  18. Intraspecific variation of venom injected by fish-hunting Conus snails.

    PubMed

    Jakubowski, Jennifer A; Kelley, Wayne P; Sweedler, Jonathan V; Gilly, William F; Schulz, Joseph R

    2005-08-01

    Venom peptides from two species of fish-hunting cone snails (Conus striatus and Conus catus) were characterized using microbore liquid chromatography coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry and electrospray ionization-ion trap-mass spectrometry. Both crude venom isolated from the venom duct and injected venom obtained by milking were studied. Based on analysis of injected venom samples from individual snails, significant intraspecific variation (i.e. between individuals) in the peptide complement is observed. The mixture of peptides in injected venom is simpler than that in the crude duct venom from the same snail, and the composition of crude venom is more consistent from snail to snail. While there is animal-to-animal variation in the peptides present in the injected venom, the composition of any individual's injected venom remains relatively constant over time in captivity. Most of the Conus striatus individuals tested injected predominantly a combination of two neuroexcitatory peptides (s4a and s4b), while a few individuals had unique injected-venom profiles consisting of a combination of peptides, including several previously characterized from the venom duct of this species. Seven novel peptides were also putatively identified based on matches of their empirically derived masses to those predicted by published cDNA sequences. Profiling injected venom of Conus catus individuals using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry demonstrates that intraspecific variation in the mixture of peptides extends to other species of piscivorous cone snails. The results of this study imply that novel regulatory mechanisms exist to select specific venom peptides for injection into prey.

  19. The endocrine disruptor effect of the herbicides atrazine and glyphosate on Biomphalaria alexandrina snails.

    PubMed

    Omran, Nahla Elsayed; Salama, Wesam Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Atrazine (AZ) and glyphosate (GL) are herbicides that are widely applied to cereal crops in Egypt. The present study was designed to investigate the response of the snailBiomphalaria alexandrina(Mollusca: Gastropoda) as a bioindicator for endocrine disrupters in terms of steroid levels (testosterone (T) and 17β-estradiol (E)), alteration of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity, total protein (TP) level, and gonadal structure after exposure to sublethal concentrations of AZ or GL for 3 weeks. In order to study the ability of the snails' recuperation, the exposed snails were subjected to a recovery period for 2 weeks. The results showed that the level of T, E, and TP contents were significantly decreased (p ≤ 0.05) in both AZ- and GL-exposed groups compared with control (unexposed) group. The level of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity increased significantly (p ≤ 0.05) in GL- and AZ-exposed snails and reach nearly a 50% increase in AZ-exposed group. Histological investigation of the ovotestis showed that AZ and GL caused degenerative changes including azoospermia and oocytes deformation. Interestingly, all the recovered groups did not return back to their normal state. It can be concluded that both herbicides are endocrine disrupters and cause cellular toxicity indicated by the decrease of protein content and the increase in CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity. This toxicity is irreversible and the snail is not able to recover its normal state. The fluctuation of CYP4501B1 suggests that this vertebrate-like enzyme may be functional also in the snail and may be used as a biomarker for insecticide toxicity.

  20. Physiological, Diurnal and Stress-Related Variability of Cadmium-Metallothionein Gene Expression in Land Snails.

    PubMed

    Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; Niederwanger, Michael; Kopp, Renate; Schnegg, Raimund; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial Roman snail Helix pomatia has successfully adapted to strongly fluctuating conditions in its natural soil habitat. Part of the snail's stress defense strategy is its ability to express Metallothioneins (MTs). These are multifunctional, cysteine-rich proteins that bind and inactivate transition metal ions (Cd(2+), Zn(2+), Cu(+)) with high affinity. In Helix pomatia a Cadmium (Cd)-selective, inducible Metallothionein Isoform (CdMT) is mainly involved in detoxification of this harmful metal. In addition, the snail CdMT has been shown to also respond to certain physiological stressors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and diurnal variability of CdMT gene expression in snails exposed to Cd and non-metallic stressors such as desiccation and oxygen depletion. CdMT gene expression was upregulated by Cd exposure and desiccation, whereas no significant impact on the expression of CdMT was measured due to oxygen depletion. Overall, Cd was clearly more effective as an inducer of the CdMT gene expression compared to the applied non-metallic stressors. In unexposed snails, diurnal rhythmicity of CdMT gene expression was observed with higher mRNA concentrations at night compared to daytime. This rhythmicity was severely disrupted in Cd-exposed snails which exhibited highest CdMT gene transcription rates in the morning. Apart from diurnal rhythmicity, feeding activity also had a strong impact on CdMT gene expression. Although underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, it is clear that factors increasing MT expression variability have to be considered when using MT mRNA quantification as a biomarker for environmental stressors.

  1. Seasonal modulation of free radical metabolism in estivating land snails Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Vasconcelos, Gabriella R; Cardoso, Luciano A; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2005-02-01

    We investigated the regulation of free radical metabolism in Helix aspersa snails during a cycle of 20-day estivation and 24-h arousal in summer in comparison with estivation/arousal in winter-snails. In winter-snails (J. Exp. Biol. 206, 675-685, 2003), we had already observed an increase in the selenium-dependent glutathione-peroxidase (Se-GPX) activity in foot muscle and hepatopancreas and in the contents of hepatopancreas GSH-equivalents (GSH-eq=GSH+2 GSSG) during estivation compared with 24-h aroused snails. Summer-estivation prompted a 3.6-fold increase in Se-GPX activity in hepatopancreas, though not in foot muscle. Total-superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in hepatopancreas decreased (by 30-40%) during summer-estivation; however, no changes occurred in the activities of glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the two organs. GSH-eq levels were increased (by 54%) in foot muscle during estivation, but were unchanged in hepatopancreas. In contrast with winter-snails, oxidative stress markers (lipid peroxidation, carbonyl protein, and the GSSG/GSH-eq ratio) were unaltered during estivation/arousal in summer. These results demonstrate that seasonality modulates not only the absolute activities/levels of antioxidants (enzymes and GSH-eq) in H. aspersa, but also the regulatory process that controls the snail's antioxidant capacity during estivation/arousal. These results suggest that H. aspersa has an "internal clock" controlling the regulation of free radical metabolism in the different seasons.

  2. Molluscicidal activity of crude water and hexane extracts of Hypericum species to snails (Radix peregra).

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Tânia; Rainha, Nuno; Rosa, José Silvino; Lima, Elisabete; Baptista, José

    2012-04-01

    In spite of intense research on both chemical constituency and biological activity of Hypericum species, potential applications of their active components for pest control have been less well investigated. In the present study, Hypericum androsaemum (tutsan), Hypericum foliosum (malfurada), and Hypericum undulatum (wavy St. John's wort) aqueous and hexane extracts were studied for their molluscicidal and ovicidal activities against Radix peregra. The molluscicidal activity of the aqueous extracts was low, except for H. androsaemum infusion (median lethal concentration [LC50](adults)  = 317.1 ppm; LC50(juveniles)  = 415 ppm), and less important compared with the toxicity of all three hexane extracts tested: H. androsaemum (LC50(adults)  = 30.47 ppm; LC50(juveniles)  = 73.25 ppm), H. undulatum (LC50(adults)  = 30.55 ppm; LC50(juveniles)  = 60.54 ppm), and H. foliosum (LC50(adults)  = 48.61 ppm; LC50(juveniles)  = 38.81 ppm). An ovicidal effect was observed only with H. androsaemum infusion (1.85% of hatching at 500 ppm) and H. foliosum hexane extract (0.0% of hatching at 100 ppm). A preliminary phytochemical investigation of the lipophylic extracts from these Hypericum sp. revealed a different chemical profile and confirmed the presence of ursolic acid only in H. undulatum as the main compound. The present study indicates that products from hexane extracts of the Hypericum sp. analyzed may be used as potential molluscicides to control snails responsible for transmitting fasciolosis.

  3. Susceptibility of Snails to Infection with Schistosomes is influenced by Temperature and Expression of Heat Shock Proteins.

    PubMed

    Knight, Matty; Elhelu, O; Smith, M; Haugen, B; Miller, A; Raghavan, N; Wellman, C; Cousin, C; Dixon, F; Mann, V; Rinaldi, G; Ittiprasert, W; Brindley, P J

    2015-06-01

    The freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata is the obligate intermediate host for the transmission of the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni the causative agent of the chronic debilitating neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis. We showed previously that in juvenile snails, early and significant induction of stress manifested by the expression of stress proteins, Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and reverse transcriptase (RT) of the non- LTR retrotransposon, nimbus, is a characteristic feature of juvenile susceptible NMRI but not resistant BS-90 snails. These latter, however, could be rendered susceptible after mild heat shock at 32°C, revealing that resistance in the BS-90 resistant snail to schistosomes is a temperature dependent trait. Here we tested the hypothesis that maintenance of BS-90 resistant snails at the permissive temperature for several generations affects the resistance phenotype displayed at the non-permissive temperature of 25°C. The progeny of BS-90 snails bred and maintained through several generations (F1 to F4) at 32°C were susceptible to the schistosome infection when returned to room temperature, shedding cercariae at four weeks post-infection. Moreover, the study of expression levels of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 protein by ELISA and western blot analysis, showed that this protein is also differentially expressed between susceptible and resistant snails, with susceptible snails expressing more protein than their resistant counterparts after early exposure to wild-type but not to radiation-attenuated miracidia. These data suggested that in the face of global warming, the ability to sustain a reduction in schistosomiasis by using refractory snails as a strategy to block transmission of the disease might prove challenging since non-lethal elevation in temperature, affects snail susceptibility to S. mansoni.

  4. Susceptibility of Snails to Infection with Schistosomes is influenced by Temperature and Expression of Heat Shock Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Elhelu, O; Smith, M; Haugen, B; Miller, A; Raghavan, N; Wellman, C; Cousin, C; Dixon, F; Mann, V; Rinaldi, G; Ittiprasert, W; Brindley, PJ

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata is the obligate intermediate host for the transmission of the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni the causative agent of the chronic debilitating neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis. We showed previously that in juvenile snails, early and significant induction of stress manifested by the expression of stress proteins, Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and reverse transcriptase (RT) of the non- LTR retrotransposon, nimbus, is a characteristic feature of juvenile susceptible NMRI but not resistant BS-90 snails. These latter, however, could be rendered susceptible after mild heat shock at 32°C, revealing that resistance in the BS-90 resistant snail to schistosomes is a temperature dependent trait. Here we tested the hypothesis that maintenance of BS-90 resistant snails at the permissive temperature for several generations affects the resistance phenotype displayed at the non-permissive temperature of 25°C. The progeny of BS-90 snails bred and maintained through several generations (F1 to F4) at 32°C were susceptible to the schistosome infection when returned to room temperature, shedding cercariae at four weeks post-infection. Moreover, the study of expression levels of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 protein by ELISA and western blot analysis, showed that this protein is also differentially expressed between susceptible and resistant snails, with susceptible snails expressing more protein than their resistant counterparts after early exposure to wild-type but not to radiation-attenuated miracidia. These data suggested that in the face of global warming, the ability to sustain a reduction in schistosomiasis by using refractory snails as a strategy to block transmission of the disease might prove challenging since non-lethal elevation in temperature, affects snail susceptibility to S. mansoni. PMID:26504668

  5. Insights into Embryo Defenses of the Invasive Apple Snail Pomacea canaliculata: Egg Mass Ingestion Affects Rat Intestine Morphology and Growth

    PubMed Central

    Gimeno, Eduardo J.; Heras, Horacio

    2014-01-01

    Background The spread of the invasive snail Pomacea canaliculata is expanding the rat lungworm disease beyond its native range. Their toxic eggs have virtually no predators and unusual defenses including a neurotoxic lectin and a proteinase inhibitor, presumably advertised by a warning coloration. We explored the effect of egg perivitellin fluid (PVF) ingestion on the rat small intestine morphology and physiology. Methodology/Principal Findings Through a combination of biochemical, histochemical, histopathological, scanning electron microscopy, cell culture and feeding experiments, we analyzed intestinal morphology, growth rate, hemaglutinating activity, cytotoxicity and cell proliferation after oral administration of PVF to rats. PVF adversely affects small intestine metabolism and morphology and consequently the standard growth rate, presumably by lectin-like proteins, as suggested by PVF hemaglutinating activity and its cytotoxic effect on Caco-2 cell culture. Short-term effects of ingested PVF were studied in growing rats. PVF-supplemented diet induced the appearance of shorter and wider villi as well as fused villi. This was associated with changes in glycoconjugate expression, increased cell proliferation at crypt base, and hypertrophic mucosal growth. This resulted in a decreased absorptive surface after 3 days of treatment and a diminished rat growth rate that reverted to normal after the fourth day of treatment. Longer exposure to PVF induced a time-dependent lengthening of the small intestine while switching to a control diet restored intestine length and morphology after 4 days. Conclusions/Significance Ingestion of PVF rapidly limits the ability of potential predators to absorb nutrients by inducing large, reversible changes in intestinal morphology and growth rate. The occurrence of toxins that affect intestinal morphology and absorption is a strategy against predation not recognized among animals before. Remarkably, this defense is rather similar to

  6. Linking calcification by exotic snails to stream inorganic carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Hotchkiss, Erin R; Hall, Robert O

    2010-05-01

    Biotic calcification is rarely considered in freshwater C budgets, despite calculations suggesting that calcifying animals can alter inorganic C cycling. Most studies that have quantified biocalcification in aquatic ecosystems have not directly linked CO(2) fluxes from biocalcification with whole-ecosystem rates of inorganic C cycling. The freshwater snail, Melanoides tuberculata, has achieved a high abundance and 37.4 g biomass m(-2) after invading Kelly Warm Springs in Grand Teton National Park. This high biomass suggests that introduced populations of Melanoides may alter ecosystem processes. We measured Melanoides growth rates and biomass to calculate the production of biomass, shell mass, and CO(2). We compared Melanoides biomass and inorganic C production with ecosystem C pools and fluxes, as well as with published rates of CO(2) production by other calcifying organisms. Melanoides calcification in Kelly Warm Springs produced 12.1 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1) during summer months. We measured high rates of gross primary productivity and respiration in Kelly Warm Springs (-378 and 533 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1), respectively); CO(2) produced from biocalcification increased net CO(2) production in Kelly Warm Springs from 155 to 167 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1). This rate of CO(2) production via biocalcification is within the published range of calcification by animals. But these CO(2) fluxes are small when compared to ecosystem C fluxes from stream metabolism. The influence of animals is relative to ecosystem processes, and should always be compared with ecosystem fluxes to quantify the importance of a specific animal in its environment.

  7. Molecular Evolution of Freshwater Snails with Contrasting Mating Systems.

    PubMed

    Burgarella, Concetta; Gayral, Philippe; Ballenghien, Marion; Bernard, Aurélien; David, Patrice; Jarne, Philippe; Correa, Ana; Hurtrez-Boussès, Sylvie; Escobar, Juan; Galtier, Nicolas; Glémin, Sylvain

    2015-09-01

    Because mating systems affect population genetics and ecology, they are expected to impact the molecular evolution of species. Self-fertilizing species experience reduced effective population size, recombination rates, and heterozygosity, which in turn should decrease the efficacy of natural selection, both adaptive and purifying, and the strength of meiotic drive processes such as GC-biased gene conversion. The empirical evidence is only partly congruent with these predictions, depending on the analyzed species, some, but not all, of the expected effects have been observed. One possible reason is that self-fertilization is an evolutionary dead-end, so that most current selfers recently evolved self-fertilization, and their genome has not yet been strongly impacted by selfing. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of two groups of freshwater snails in which mating systems have likely been stable for several millions of years. Analyzing coding sequence polymorphism, divergence, and expression levels, we report a strongly reduced genetic diversity, decreased efficacy of purifying selection, slower rate of adaptive evolution, and weakened codon usage bias/GC-biased gene conversion in the selfer Galba compared with the outcrosser Physa, in full agreement with theoretical expectations. Our results demonstrate that self-fertilization, when effective in the long run, is a major driver of population genomic and molecular evolutionary processes. Despite the genomic effects of selfing, Galba truncatula seems to escape the demographic consequences of the genetic load. We suggest that the particular ecology of the species may buffer the negative consequences of selfing, shedding new light on the dead-end hypothesis.

  8. Snail shells as larval habitat of Limatus durhamii (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Yungas of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Mangudo, Carolina; Campos, Raúl E; Rossi, Gustavo C; Gleiser, Raquel M

    2017-03-01

    The shells of dead snails collect water from rainfalls producing aquatic microenvironments called gastrotelmata. These habitats are small and hold simple detritus based on animal communities, being rotifers and culicids the most studied. Although a high diversity of aquatic microhabitats has been reported as larval habitats of mosquitoes in Argentina, the shell of snails has not been investigated yet. We report the shells of three species of native Megalobulimus genus as larval habitats of a neotropical mosquito and suspected vector of bunyaviruses, Limatus durhamii, and describe these microhabitats in the Yungas forest of Argentina.

  9. Snail control in urban sites in Brazil with slow-release hexabutyldistannoxane and pentachlorophenol*

    PubMed Central

    Toledo, J. V.; Da Silva, C. S. Monteiro; Bulhões, M. S.; Leme, L. A. Paes; Netto, J. A. Da Silva; Gilbert, B.

    1976-01-01

    Slow release formulations of hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) were tested for the control of Biomphalaria tenagophila in 52 urban sites in Rio de Janeiro. TBTO acted faster and lasted longer than PCP and at 15 g/m2 it eliminated snails from 76% of the treated sites for 1 year. Water pollution and rate of flow had no significant influence on the molluscicidal properties of either compound, but alkalinity lowered the activity of TBTO. Failure to control snail populations was due mainly to human interference and to the non-treatment of adjacent breeding sites that were temporarily dry and therefore overlooked. PMID:1088356

  10. Snail shape and growth rates: Evidence for plastic shell allometry in Littorina littorea

    PubMed Central

    Kemp, Paul; Bertness, Mark D.

    1984-01-01

    The periwinkle Littorina littorea exhibits morphological variation among southern New England populations that appear to be genetically continuous. In dense populations, individuals have relatively elongate shells in comparison to individuals in sparse populations, which have rounder, globose shells. We experimentally demonstrate that this shell variation is a function of snail growth rate. Rapidly growing snails develop thin, globose shells that accommodate more body mass than thicker, more elongate shells. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to interpreting morphological variation in extant gastropods and in the molluscan fossil record. PMID:16593415

  11. Silencing Snail suppresses tumor cell proliferation and invasion by reversing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and arresting G2/M phase in non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xueying; Han, Mengmeng; Han, Haibo; Wang, Bingjing; Li, Sheng; Zhang, Zhiqian; Zhao, Wei

    2017-04-01

    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is essential for tumor invasion and metastasis. Snail has been proven to be a key regulator of EMT. Several studies have shown compelling evidence that Snail is also an important regulator of tumor growth and aggression; however, the role of Snail in the cell cycle has not been clarified. We decreased Snail expression by siRNA transfection and lentiviral‑mediated RNAi, to explore the effect of silencing Snail on the tumorigenicity and migration of lung carcinoma (lung cancer) cells. The results showed that silencing Snail conferred significant anti-proliferative activity and inhibited cell migration, tumor growth and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. To understand the mechanism of these effects, we further investigated correlations among Snail expression, EMT and cell cycle. Significantly, Snail knockdown reversed EMT processes in lung cancer cells. Furthermore, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor P21 was upregulated after silencing Snail. P21 upregulation manifested its tumor suppressor effects and arrested cells in the G2/M phase, not the G1/S phase following Snail depletion in lung cancer cells. These data suggest that silencing Snail decreases the malignant behaviors of lung cancer cells by reversing EMT processes and causing cell cycle defects.

  12. Embryonic exposure to model naphthenic acids delays growth and hatching in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Christina U; Clothier, Lindsay N; Quesnel, Dean M; Gieg, Lisa M; Chua, Gordon; Hermann, Petra M; Wildering, Willem C

    2017-02-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs), a class of structurally diverse carboxylic acids with often complex ring structures and large aliphatic tail groups, are important by-products of many petrochemical processes including the oil sands mining activity of Northern Alberta. While it is evident that NAs have both acute and chronic harmful effects on many organisms, many aspects of their toxicity remain to be clarified. Particularly, while substantive data sets have been collected on NA toxicity in aquatic prokaryote and vertebrate model systems, to date, nothing is known about the toxic effects of these compounds on the embryonic development of aquatic invertebrate taxa, including freshwater mollusks. This study examines under laboratory conditions the toxicity of NAs extracted from oil sands process water (OSPW) and the low-molecular weight model NAs cyclohexylsuccinic acid (CHSA), cyclohexanebutyric acid (CHBA), and 4-tert-butylcyclohexane carboxylic acid (4-TBCA) on embryonic development of the snail Lymnaea stagnalis, a common freshwater gastropod with a broad Palearctic distribution. Evidence is provided for concentration-dependent teratogenic effects of both OSPW-derived and model NAs with remarkably similar nominal threshold concentrations between 15 and 20 mg/L and 28d EC50 of 31 mg/L. In addition, the data provide evidence for substantial toxicokinetic differences between CHSA, CHBA and 4-TBCA. Together, our study introduces Lymnaea stagnalis embryonic development as an effective model to assay NA-toxicity and identifies molecular architecture as a potentially important toxicokinetic parameter in the toxicity of low-molecular weight NA in embryonic development of aquatic gastropods.

  13. Sensitivity to dietary phosphorus limitation in native vs. invasive lineages of a New Zealand freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Neiman, Maurine; Krist, Amy

    2016-10-01

    Why some species and lineages are more likely to be invasive than others is one of the most important unanswered questions in basic and applied biology. In particular, the relative contributions to the invasion process of factors like pre-adaptation to invasiveness in the native range, evolution post-colonization, and random vs. non-random sampling of colonist lineages remain unclear. We use a powerful common garden approach to address the potential for a role for sensitivity to nutrient limitation in determining the invasiveness of particular lineages of Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail that has become globally invasive. We quantified specific growth rate (SGR), an important fitness-related trait in this species, under high phosphorus (P) vs. low-P conditions for a diverse set of native and invasive P. antipodarum. This experiment revealed that native-range P. antipodarum experience a more severe decline in SGR in low-P conditions relative to SGR in high-P conditions than their invasive range counterparts. Although these results suggest resilience to P limitation in invasive lineages, the absence of significant absolute differences in SGR between native and invasive lineages indicates that a straightforward connection between response to P limitation and invasiveness in P. antipodarum is unlikely. Regardless, our data demonstrate that invasive vs. native lineages of P. antipodarum exhibit consistently different responses to an important environmental variable that is rarely studied in the context of invasion success. Further studies directed at exploring and disentangling the roles of sampling effects, selection on preexisting variation, and evolution after colonization will be required to provide a comprehensive picture of the role (or lack thereof) of nutrient limitation in the global invasion of P. antipodarum, as well for as other invasive taxa.

  14. Role of the lymnaeid snail Pseudosuccinea columella in the transmission of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dar, Y; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-11-01

    Experimental infections of three Egyptian Pseudosuccinea columella populations with sympatric miracidia of Fasciola sp., coming from cattle- or sheep-collected eggs, were carried out to determine the capacity of this lymnaeid to support larval development of the parasite. Using microsatellite markers, the isolates of Egyptian miracidia were identified as Fasciola hepatica. Apart from being independent of snail origin, prevalences ranging from 60.4 to 75.5% in snails infected with five miracidia of F. hepatica were significantly higher than values of 30.4 to 42.2% in snails with bi-miracidial infections. The number of metacercariae ranged from 243 to 472 per cercarial-shedding snail and was independent of snail origin, parasite origin and miracidial dose used for infection. If P. columella was subjected to two successive bi-miracidial infections with F. hepatica, prevalence of infection was 63.3%, with a mean of 311 metacercariae per snail. These values were clearly greater than those already reported for Radix natalensis infected with the same parasite and the same protocol. Successful experimental infection of P. columella with F. hepatica suggests that this lymnaeid snail is an important intermediate host for the transmission of fascioliasis in Egypt.

  15. Survival of the faucet snail after chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water bath treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, A.J.; Cole, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    The faucet snail Bithynia tentaculata, a nonindigenous aquatic snail from Eurasia, was introduced into Lake Michigan in 1871 and has spread to the mid-Atlantic states, the Great Lakes region, Montana, and most recently, the Mississippi River. The faucet snail serves as intermediate host for several trematodes that have caused large-scale mortality among water birds, primarily in the Great Lakes region and Montana. It is important to limit the spread of the faucet snail; small fisheries equipment can serve as a method of snail distribution. Treatments with chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water baths were tested to determine their effectiveness as a disinfectant for small fisheries equipment. Two treatments eliminated all test snails: (1) a 24-h exposure to Hydrothol 191 at a concentration of at least 20 mg/L and (2) a treatment with 50??C heated water for 1 min or longer. Faucet snails were highly resistant to ethanol, NaCl, formalin, Lysol, potassium permanganate, copper sulfate, Baquacil, Virkon, household bleach, and pH extremes (as low as 1 and as high as 13).

  16. Reversibility of the Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition revealed by the Cre-loxP system.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Masayuki; Kobayashi, Wakako

    2015-03-13

    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key process in the tumor metastatic cascade, is characterized by the loss of cell-cell junctions and cell polarity, as well as the acquisition of migratory and invasive properties. Snail is an EMT-inducer whose expression in several different epithelial cells, e.g., Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK), leads to EMT. To further understand EMT induced by Snail expression, the Cre-loxP site-specific recombination system was used to investigate its reversibility. Transfection of MDCK cells with loxP-flanked Snail (Snail-loxP) resulted in EMT induction, which included the acquisition of a spindle-shaped fibroblastic morphology, the downregulation of epithelial markers, and the upregulation of mesenchymal markers. DNA methylation of the E-cadherin promoter, which often occurs during E-cadherin downregulation, was not observed in Snail+ cells. After Cre-mediated excision of Snail-loxP, the cells reacquired an epithelial morphology, upregulated epithelial markers, and downregulated mesenchymal markers. Thus, EMT induced by Snail expression was reversible.

  17. New insight in lymnaeid snails (Mollusca, Gastropoda) as intermediate hosts of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda, Digenea) in Belgium and Luxembourg

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The present study aims to assess the epidemiological role of different lymnaeid snails as intermediate hosts of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Belgium and Luxembourg. Methods During summer 2008, 7103 lymnaeid snails were collected from 125 ponds distributed in 5 clusters each including 25 ponds. Each cluster was located in a different biogeographic area of Belgium and Luxembourg. In addition, snails were also collected in sixteen other biotopes considered as temporary wet areas. These snails were identified as Galba truncatula (n = 2474) (the main intermediate host of F. hepatica in Europe) and Radix sp. (n = 4629). Moreover, several biological and non-biological variables were also recorded from the different biotopes. DNA was extracted from each snail collected using Chelex® technique. DNA samples were screened through a multiplex PCR that amplifies lymnaeid internal transcribed spacer 2 gene sequences (500–600 bp) (acting as an internal control) and a 124 bp fragment of repetitive DNA from Fasciola sp. Results Lymnaeid snails were found in 75 biotopes (53.2%). Thirty individuals of G. truncatula (1.31%) and 7 of Radix sp. (0.16%) were found to be positive for Fasciola sp. The seven positive Radix sp. snails all belonged to the species R. balthica (Linnaeus, 1758). Classification and regression tree analysis were performed in order to better understand links and relative importance of the different recorded factors. One of the best explanatory variables for the presence/absence of the different snail species seems to be the geographic location, whereas for the infection status of the snails no obvious relationship was linked to the presence of cattle. Conclusions Epidemiological implications of these findings and particularly the role of R. balthica as an alternative intermediate host in Belgium and Luxembourg were discussed. PMID:24524623

  18. Field and laboratory evaluation of the influence of copper-diquat on apple snails in southern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winger, P.V.; Imlay, M.J.; McMillan, W.E.; Martin, T.W.; Takekawa, J.; Johnson, W.W.

    1984-01-01

    The recent decline of apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) populations in canals surrounding Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Florida coincided with the use of copper-diquat for the control of the aquatic weed hydrilla (Hydrilla ver/icillara). Field and laboratory studies were designed to assess the effects of copper-diquat on apple snails, which are the primary food of the endangered snail kite Rostrhamus sociabilis (formerly known as the Everglade kite). Acute toxicities (96-h LC50 values) of Cutrine-Plus and Komeen (chelated formulations of copper) to immature apple snails were 22 and 241-?g/L, respectively. Diquat was toxic at a concentration of 1,800 I-?g/L and did not increase the toxicity of copper when the chemicals were used in combination. Evaluation of field samples indicated that copper concentrations were higher in detritus than in water. plants and mud, and that there was a gradient of copper concentration from the canal to the interior, the highest residues being in samples from the canal. Copper associated with detritus (up to 150 ?g/g) had no effect on growth or survival of apple snails in field cage and tank studies. Also, field applications of copper.diquat to hydrilla had no effect on survival of caged adult and immature snails. Copper from field applications was rapidly taken out of solution by plants and organic material in the water and subsequently incorporated into the bottom detritus. Although the effects of repeated applications of copper-diquat and high body burdens of copper (accumulated during exposure to herbicidal treatment) on survival and reproduction of apple snails are not known, the information available indicates that treatment of hydrilla with copper-diquat was probably not responsible for the decline in the apple snail population. Application at recommended rates should pose no threat to these snails in the organically rich waters of southern Florida.

  19. Elevated Snail Expression Mediates Tumor Progression in Areca Quid Chewing-Associated Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma via Reactive Oxygen Species

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shiuan-Shinn; Tsai, Chung-Hung; Yu, Cheng-Chia; Chang, Yu-Chao

    2013-01-01

    Background Snail is an important transcription factor implicated in several tumor progression and can be induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Areca quid chewing is a major risk factor of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Therefore, we hypothesize that the major areca nut alkaloid arecoline may induce Snail via ROS and involve in the pathogenesis of areca quid chewing-associated OSCC. Methodology/Principal Finding Thirty-six OSCC and ten normal oral epithelium specimens were examined by immunohistochemistry and analyzed by the clinico-pathological profiles. Cytotoxicity, 2′, 7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate assay, and western blot were used to investigate the effects of arecoline in human oral keratinocytes (HOKs) and oral epithelial cell line OECM-1 cells. In addition, antioxidants N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), curcumin, and epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) were added to find the possible regulatory mechanisms. Initially, Snail expression was significantly higher in OSCC specimens (p<0.05). Elevated Snail expression was associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.031) and poor differentiation (p = 0.017). Arecoline enhanced the generation of intracellular ROS at the concentration higher than 40 µg/ml (p<0.05). Arecoline was also found to induced Snail expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner (p<0.05). Treatment with NAC, curcumin, and EGCG markedly inhibited arecoline induced Snail expression (p<0.05). Conclusion/Significance: Our results suggest that Snail overexpression in areca quid chewing-associated OSCC is associated with tumors differentiation and lymph node metastasis. Arecoline-upregulated Snail expression may be mediated by ROS generation. In addition, arecoline induced Snail expression was downregulated by NAC, curcumin, and EGCG. PMID:23874481

  20. Intensity of parasitic mite infection decreases with hibernation duration of the host snail.

    PubMed

    Haeussler, E M; Pizá, J; Schmera, D; Baur, B

    2012-07-01

    Temperature can be a limiting factor on parasite development. Riccardoella limacum, a haematophagous mite, lives in the mantle cavity of helicid land snails. The prevalence of infection by R. limacum in populations of the land snail Arianta arbustorum is highly variable (0-78%) in Switzerland. However, parasitic mites do not occur in host populations at altitudes of 1290 m or higher. It has been hypothesized that the host's hibernation period might be too long at high elevations for mites and their eggs to survive. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally infected snails and allowed them to hibernate at 4°C for periods of 4-7 months. Winter survival of host snails was negatively affected by R. limacum. The intensity of mite infection decreased with increasing hibernation duration. Another experiment with shorter recording intervals revealed that mites do not leave the host when it buries in the soil at the beginning of hibernation. The number of mites decreased after 24 days of hibernation, whereas the number of eggs attached to the lung tissue remained constant throughout hibernation. Thus, R. limacum survives the winter in the egg stage in the host. Low temperature at high altitudes may limit the occurrence of R. limacum.

  1. Tropical sea snail shells: Possible exotic sources for ceramic biomaterial synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Oktar, F. N.; Kiyici, I. A.; Gökçe, H.; Ağaogulları, D.; Kayali, E. S.

    2013-12-16

    In this study, chemical and structural properties of sea snail shell based bioceramic materials (i.e. hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and other phases) are produced by using mechano-chemical (ultrasonic) conversion method. For this purpose, differential thermal and gravimetric analysis (DTA/TG), X-ray diffraction, infra-red (IR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies are performed.

  2. A multiplex PCR for the detection of Fasciola hepatica in the intermediate snail host Galba cubensis.

    PubMed

    Alba, Annia; Vázquez, Antonio A; Hernández, Hilda; Sánchez, Jorge; Marcet, Ricardo; Figueredo, Mabel; Sarracent, Jorge; Fraga, Jorge

    2015-07-30

    Fasciolosis is a snail-borne trematode infection that has re-emerged as a human disease, and is considered a significant problem for veterinary medicine worldwide. The evaluation of the transmission risk of fasciolosis as well as the efficacy of the strategies for its control could be carried out through epidemiological surveillance of the snails that act as intermediate hosts of the parasites. The present study aimed to develop the first multiplex PCR to detect Fasciola hepatica in Galba cubensis, an important intermediate host of the parasite in the Americas and especially in the Caribbean basin. The multiplex PCR was optimized for the amplification of a 340 bp fragment of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) of F. hepatica rDNA, while another set of primers was designed and used to amplify a conserved segment of the nuclear 18S rDNA of the snail (451 bp), as an internal control of the reaction. The assay was able to detect up to 100 pg of the parasite even at high concentrations of snail DNA, an analytical sensitivity that allows the detection of less than a single miracidium, which is the minimal biological infestation unit. A controlled laboratory-reared G. cubensis - F. hepatica system was used for the evaluation of the developed multiplex PCR, and 100% sensitivity and specificity was achieved. This assay constitutes a novel, useful and suitable technique for the survey of fasciolosis transmission through one of the main intermediate hosts in the Western hemisphere.

  3. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Galápagos Endemic Land Snail Naesiotus nux

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Samuel S.; Settles, Matthew L.; New, Daniel D.; Parent, Christine E.

    2016-01-01

    We report herein the draft mitochondrial genome sequence of Naesiotus nux, a Galápagos endemic land snail species of the genus Naesiotus. The circular genome is 15 kb and encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 21 tRNA genes. PMID:26798085

  4. Effect of snails (Elimia clavaeformis) on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities

    SciTech Connect

    Jay, E.A.

    1993-10-01

    In this study, the author examined the effect of grazing on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities using the snail Elimia clavaeformis. Phosphorus cycling fluxes and turnover rates were measured in a laboratory and in a natural stream, respectively, using radioactive tracer techniques.

  5. Hormone-like peptides in the venoms of marine cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Samuel D.; Li, Qing; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Gajewiak, Joanna; Yandell, Mark; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Purcell, Anthony W.; Norton, Raymond S.; Safavi-Hemami, Helena

    2015-01-01

    The venoms of cone snails (genus Conus) are remarkably complex, consisting of hundreds of typically short, disulfide-rich peptides termed conotoxins. These peptides have diverse pharmacological targets, with injection of venom eliciting a range of physiological responses, including sedation, paralysis and sensory overload. Most conotoxins target the prey’s nervous system but evidence of venom peptides targeting neuroendocrine processes is emerging. Examples include vasopressin, RFamide neuropeptides and recently also insulin. To investigate the diversity of hormone/neuropeptide-like molecules in the venoms of cone snails we systematically mined the venom gland transcriptome