The ovary of neonatal nonhuman primates contains the highest number of immature oocytes, but its cryopreservation has not yet been sufficiently investigated in all life stages. In the current study, we investigated cryodamage after vitrification/warming of neonatal ovaries from a nonhuman primate, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). A Cryotop was used for cryopreservation of whole ovaries. The morphology of the vitrified/warmed ovaries was found to be equivalent to that of fresh ovaries. No significant difference in the number of oocytes retaining normal morphology per unit area in histological sections was found between the two groups. In an analysis of dispersed cells from the ovaries, however, the cell viability of the vitrified/warmed group tended to be decreased. The results of a comet assay showed no significant differences in DNA damage. These results show that cryopreservation of neonatal marmoset ovaries using vitrification may be useful as a storage system for whole ovaries.
Accumulating evidence suggests that reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by endogenous metabolic enzymes are involved in a variety of intracellular mechanisms. In particular, superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase (Nox) 1 is highly expressed in the colon and has been implicated in physiological and pathophysiological states of colon tissues. However, its role in tissue repair following colitis has not been fully elucidated. Our study using experimental colitis in mice showed that repair of the mucosal layer did not occur in Nox1-deficient mice following dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. This was accompanied by inhibition of proliferation, cell survival, migration, and terminal differentiation (generation of goblet cells) of crypt progenitor cells, as determined by histochemical analyses. Furthermore, Nox1 expression as well as ROS production in the colon crypt was increased during the repair process, and Nox1 deficiency suppressed these events. The results suggest that Nox1 promotes colon mucosal wound repair by sustaining the bioactivity of crypt progenitor cells and plays a crucial role in the epithelial restitution in the case of damage associated with colitis.
Neuronal voltage-gated Cav2.1 channel controls a broad array of functions, including neurotransmitter release, neuronal excitability, activity-dependent gene expression, and neuronal survival. The Cav2.1 channel is molecular complexes consisting of several subunits: α1, α2/δ, β, and γ. The pore-forming subunit, α1, is encoded by the Cacna1a gene. Tottering-6j mice, generated by the Neuroscience Mutagenesis Facility at The Jackson Laboratory, are a recessive mutant strain in which the mutation has been chemically induced by ethylnitrosourea. In tottering-6j mice, mutation in the Cacna1a gene results in a base substitution (C-to-A) in the consensus splice acceptor sequence, which results in deletion of a part of the S4-S5 linker, S5, and a part of S5-S6 linker domain I in the α1 subunit of Cav2.1 channel. The mice display motor dysfunctions and absence-like seizures. However, protein expression in the cerebellum of tottering-6j mice has not been investigated. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and histological analyses of the cerebellum of tottering-6j mice revealed high expression levels of tyrosine hydroxylase, zebrin II, and ryanodine receptor 3 compared with those of wild-type mice. Conversely, a low level of calretinin expression was found compared with wild-type mice. These results indicate that Cacna1a mutation plays a significant role in protein expression patterns and that the tottering-6j mouse is a useful model for understanding protein expression mechanisms.
The present study aimed to evaluate the preventive effect of sildenafil treatment on pulmonary hypertension (PH) induced by monocrotaline (MCT) in rats. Fifty-four 12-week-old male Sprague–Dawley rats were injected with MCT or saline solution (MCT-injected rats: n=36; saline: n=18). Serial echocardiography and right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) measurements via a cardiac catheter were performed at 2, 4 and 6 weeks after the injection. After injection of MCT, rats received oral sildenafil (MCT/sildenafil group: n=18) or no treatment (MCT group: n=18) until undergoing echocardiography and cardiac catheterization. RVSP in the MCT/sildenafil group was lower than that in the MCT group at 4 (P<0.001) and 6 weeks (P<0.001). The septal curvature was improved in the MCT/sildenafil group compared with the MCT group. This finding showed that sildenafil prevented flattening of the interventricular septum because of right ventricular pressure overload. The ratio of peak trans-tricuspid early diastolic wave velocity to active filling with atrial systolic velocity showed that sildenafil improved diastolic function. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion and tricuspid annular systolic velocity in the MCT/sildenafil group did not show preserved myocardial contraction after administration of sildenafil. Administration of sildenafil leads to a reduction in RVSP and improvement in cardiac function in rats with PH induced by MCT. The vasodilatory action of sildenafil improves right ventricular diastolic function, but the intrinsic, positive, inotropic effect of sildenafil is minimal.
Representative inhalant anesthetic agent, isoflurane is commonly used during surgery in rats. However, isoflurane mediates relatively strong respiratory depression. In human and veterinary medicine, sedatives and analgesics are co-administered to complement the anesthetic action of inhalant anesthesia. The present study aimed to establish the novel balanced anesthesia that combines midazolam and butorphanol with isoflurane (MBI) in rats. Male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 2 groups, and administered either isoflurane monoanesthesia or isoflurane with midazolam (2.5 mg/kg, ip) and butorphanol (2.0 mg/kg, ip). The minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) in each group was evaluated. Induction and recovery times were measured in each group. Adverse reactions during induction were also recorded. In each group, vital signs were assessed for 1 h under 1.5×MAC of isoflurane. Instability of vital signs was assessed under each anesthesia by calculating coefficient of variance. Compared with isoflurane monoanesthesia, MBI anesthesia caused 32% MAC reduction (isoflurane monoanesthesia: 1.30 ± 0.09%, MBI 0.87 ± 0.08%, P<0.05). MB premedication mediated smooth sedating action with low incidence of adverse reactions such as urination and defecation. Isoflurane monoanesthsesia remarkably decreased respiratory rate and saturation O2 (SPO2). In contrast, MBI anesthesia resulted in a relatively stable respiratory rate without decreases in SPO2 during the anesthetic period. In summary, MB premedication is effective for attenuating respiratory depression induced by isoflurane, and achieving smooth induction. This anesthetic protocol serves as a novel option for appropriate anesthesia in rats.
Temporal genetic modification of mice using the ligand-inducible Cre/loxP system is an important technique that allows the bypass of embryonic lethal phenotypes and access to adult phenotypes. In this study, we generated a tamoxifen-inducible Cre-driver mouse strain for the purpose of widespread and temporal Cre recombination. The new line, named CM32, expresses the GFPneo-fusion gene in a wide variety of tissues before FLP recombination and tamoxifen-inducible Cre after FLP recombination. Using FLP-recombined CM32 mice (CM32Δ mice) and Cre reporter mouse lines, we evaluated the efficiency of Cre recombination with and without tamoxifen administration to adult mice, and found tamoxifen-dependent induction of Cre recombination in a variety of adult tissues. In addition, we demonstrated that conditional activation of an oncogene could be achieved in adults using CM32Δ mice. CM32Δ;T26 mice, which harbored a Cre recombination-driven, SV40 large T antigen-expressing transgene, were viable and fertile. No overt phenotype was found in the mice up to 3 months after birth. Although they displayed pineoblastomas (pinealoblastomas) and/or thymic enlargement due to background Cre recombination by 6 months after birth, they developed epidermal hyperplasia when administered tamoxifen. Collectively, our results suggest that the CM32Δ transgenic mouse line can be applied to the assessment of adult phenotypes in mice with loxP-flanked transgenes.
Hirschsprung disease (HSCR), or colonic aganglionosis, is a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of intramural ganglia along variable lengths of the colon, resulting in intestinal obstruction. It is the most common cause of congenital intestinal obstruction, with an incidence of 1 in 5,000 live births. N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutagenesis is a powerful tool for the study of gene function and the generation of human disease models. In the current study, a novel mutant mouse with aganglionic megacolon and coat color spotting was generated by ENU-induced mutagenesis. Histological and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) whole-mount staining analysis showed a lack of ganglion cells in the colon in mutant mice. The mutation was mapped to chromosome 14 between markers rs30928624 and D14Mit205 (Chr 14 positions 103723921 bp and 105054651 bp). The Ednrb (Chr 14 position 103814625–103844173 bp) was identified as a potential candidate gene in this location. Mutation analysis revealed a T>C missense mutation at nucleotide 857 of the cDNA encoding endothelin receptor B (EDNRB) in which a proline was substituted for the highly conserved Lys-286 residue (L286P) in the fifth transmembrane (TM V) domain of this G protein-coupled receptor. The mutant mouse was named Ednrbm1yzcm (Ednrb; mutation 1, Yangzhou University Comparative Medicine Center). The results of the present study implicate the structural importance of the TM V domain in Ednrb function, and the Ednrbm1yzcm mouse represents a valuable model for the study of HSCR in humans.
Previously, we have identified a calcium-binding protein that is specifically expressed in spermatids and localized to the flagella of the mature sperm in mouse, so-called mCABS1. However, the physiological roles of CABS1 in the male reproductive system have not been fully elucidated yet. In the current study, we aimed to localize and clarify the role of CABS1 in porcine (pCABS1). We determined for the first time the full nucleotides sequence of pCABS1 mRNA. pCABS1 protein was detected on SDS-PAGE gel as two bands at 75 kDa and 70 kDa in adult porcine testis, whereas one band at 70 kDa in epididymal sperm. pCABS1 immunoreactivity in seminiferous tubules was detected in the elongated spermatids, and that in the epididymal sperm was found in the acrosome as well as flagellum. The immunoreactivity of pCABS1 in the acrosomai region disappeared during acrosome reaction. We also identified that pCABS1 has a transmembrane domain using computational prediction of the amino acids sequence. The treatment of porcine capacitated sperm with anti-pCABS1 antiserum significantly decreased acrosome reactions. These results suggest that pCABS1 plays an important role in controlling calcium ion signaling during the acrosome reaction.
It is important to establish experimental animal techniques that are applicable to the newborn and infant phases for nutrition and pharmacological studies. Breeding technology using the artificial suckling method without breast milk is very effective for the study of newborn nutrition. Using this method, we separated newborn mice from dams within 48 h of birth and provided them with artificial milk. We evaluated mouse anxiety levels after early postnatal maternal separation. Artificially reared mice were subjected to elevated plus-maze tests to assess emotional behavior at 9 weeks of age. Artificially reared mice showed a significantly lower frequency of entries and dipping into the open arms of the maze compared with dam-reared mice. This result indicates that the anxiety level of artificially reared mice was higher than that of dam-reared mice. Moreover, the concentration of monoamines in the brain was determined after the behavioral experiment. The hippocampal norepinephrine, serotonin, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels in the artificially reared mice were significantly higher than those of the dam-reared mice. These results suggest that maternal-offspring interactions are extremely important for the emotional development of newborn infants during the lactation period. In future studies, it is necessary to consider the environmental factors and conditions that minimize the influence of artificial rearing on emotional behavior.
The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful genome editing tool for the production of genetically modified animals. To produce mutant mice, chimeric single-guide RNA (sgRNA) is cloned in a plasmid vector and a mixture of sgRNA and Cas9 are microinjected into the fertilized eggs. An issue associated with gene manipulation using the CRISPR/Cas9 system is that there can be off-target effects. To simplify the production of mutant mice with low risks of off-target effects caused by the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we demonstrated that genetically modified mice can be efficiently obtained using chemically synthesized CRISPR RNA (crRNA), trans-activating crRNA (tracrRNA), and modified Cas9s, such as the nickase version and FokI-fused catalytically inactive Cas9, by microinjection into fertilized eggs. Using this method, it is no longer necessary to clone sgRNA into a plasmid vector, and this enables high-throughput production of mutant mice.
Previous studies have shown that intermittent cold stress (ICS) induces depression-like behaviors in mammals. Tupaia belangeri (the tree shrew) is the only experimental animal other than the chimpanzee that has been shown to be susceptible to infection by hepatitis B and C viruses. Moreover, full genome sequence analysis has revealed strong homology between host proteins in Tupaia and in humans and other primates. Tupaia neuromodulator receptor proteins are also known to have a high degree of homology with their corresponding primate proteins. Based on these similarities, we hypothesized that induction of ICS in Tupaia would provide a useful animal model of stress responses. We exposed young adult Tupaia to ICS and observed decreases in body temperature and body weight in both female and male Tupaia, suggesting that Tupaia are an appropriate animal model for ICS studies. We further examined the efficacy of a new small-molecule compound, C737, against the effects of ICS. C737 mimics the helical structure of neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF/REST), which regulates a wide range of target genes involved in neuronal function and pain modulation. Treatment with C737 significantly reduced stress-induced weight loss in female Tupaia; these effects were stronger than those elicited by the antidepressant agomelatine. These results suggest that Tupaia represents a useful non-rodent ICS model. Our data also provide new insights into the function of NRSF/REST in stress-induced depression and other disorders with epigenetic influences or those with high prevalence in women.
Essential tremor (ET) is a common movement disorder with a poorly understood etiology. The TRM/Kyo mutant rat, showing spontaneous tremor, is an animal model of ET. Recently, we demonstrated that tremors in these rats emerge when two mutant loci, a missense mutation in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated potassium channel 1 (Hcn1) and the tremor (tm) deletion, are present simultaneously. However, we did not identify which gene within the tm deletion causes tremor expression in TRM/Kyo rats. A strong candidate among the 13 genes within the tm deletion is aspartoacylase (Aspa), because some Aspa-knockout mouse strains show tremor. Here, we generated Aspa-knockout rats using transcription activator-like effector nuclease technology and produced Aspa/Hcn1 double-mutant rats by crossing Aspa-knockout rats with Hcn1-mutant rats. The Aspa-knockout rats carried nonsense mutations in exon 4; and ASPA proteins were not detectable in their brain extracts. They showed elevated levels of N-acetyl-L-aspartate (NAA) in urine and spongy vacuolation and abnormal myelination in the central nervous system, but no tremor. By contrast, Aspa/Hcn1 double-mutant rats spontaneously showed tremors resembling those in TRM/Kyo rats, and the tremor was suppressed by drugs therapeutic for ET but not for parkinsonian tremor. These findings indicated that the lack of the Aspa gene caused tremor expression in TRM/Kyo rats. Our animal model suggested that the interaction of NAA accumulation due to ASPA deficiency with an unstable neuronal membrane potential caused by HCN1 deficiency was involved in tremor development.
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a strong oxidant that possesses an antimicrobial activity. We demonstrated here that ClO2 gas is easily generated by mixing 3.35% sodium chlorite solution (Purogene) and 85% phosphoric acid at a 10:1 volume ratio without using an expensive machine. In a test room (87 m3), experiments were carried out using various amounts of sodium chlorite solution (0.25 ml/m3 to 20.0 ml/m3). The gas concentration increased in a sodium chlorite volume-dependent manner and reached peak values of from 0.8 ppm to 40.8 ppm at 2 h–3 h, and then gradually decreased. No differences in gas concentrations were observed between 0.1 and 2.5 m above the floor, indicating that the gas was evenly distributed. Under high-humidity (approximately 80% relative humidity), colony formation of both Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli was completely inhibited by ClO2 gas exposure at 1.0 ml/m3 sodium chlorite solution (mean maximal concentration of 3.0 ppm). Exposure at 4.0 ml/m3 sodium chlorite solution (mean maximal concentration of 10.6 ppm) achieved complete inactivation of Bacillus atrophaeus spores. In contrast, without humidification, the efficacy of ClO2 gas was apparently attenuated, suggesting that the atmospheric moisture is indispensable. Delicate electronic devices (computer, camera, etc.) operated normally, even after being subjected to more than 20 times of fumigation. Considering that our method for gas generation is simple, reproducible, and highly effective at decontaminating microbes, our approach is expected to serve as an inexpensive alternative method for cleaning and disinfecting animal facilities.
Regenerative therapy with stem cell transplantation is used to treat various diseases such as coronary syndrome and Buerger’s disease. For instance, stem-cell transplantation into the infarcted myocardium is an innovative and promising strategy for treating heart failure due to ischemic heart disease. Basic studies using small animals have shown that transplanted cells improve blood flow in the infarcted region. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can noninvasively identify and track transplanted cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO). Although clinical regenerative therapies have been clinically applied to patients, the fate of implanted cells remains unknown. In addition, follow-up studies have shown that some adverse events can occur after recovery. Therefore, the present study evaluated the ability of MRI using a 3T scanner to track implanted peripheral blood mononuclear cells labeled with SPIO on days 0 and 7 after intramuscular (i.m.) and intravenous (i.v.) injection into a cynomolgus monkey. Labeled cells were visualized at the liver and triceps surae muscle on MR images using T1- and T2-weighted sequences and histologically localized by Prussian blue staining. The transplanted cells were tracked without abnormal clinical manifestations throughout this study. Hence, MRI of cynomolgus monkey transplanted SPIO-labeled cells is a safe and efficient method of tracking labeled cells that could help to determine the mechanisms involved in regenerative therapy.
In the present study, we generated novel cre driver mice for gene manipulation in pancreatic β cells. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, stop codon sequences of Ins1 were targeted for insertion of cre, including 2A sequences. A founder of C57BL/6J-Ins1em1 (cre) Utr strain was produced from an oocyte injected with pX330 containing the sequences encoding gRNA and Cas9 and a DNA donor plasmid carrying 2A-cre. (R26GRR x C57BL/6J-Ins1em1 (cre) Utr) F1 mice were histologically characterized for cre-loxP recombination in the embryonic and adult stages; cre-loxP recombination was observed in all pancreatic islets examined in which almost all insulin-positive cells showed tdsRed fluorescence, suggesting β cell-specific recombination. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in results of glucose tolerance test among genotypes (homo/hetero/wild). Taken together, these observations indicated that C57BL/6J-Ins1em1 (cre) Utr is useful for studies of glucose metabolism and the strategy of bicistronic cre knock-in using the CRISPR/Cas9 system could be useful for production of cre driver mice.