The cerebellar calcification (CC) rat is a new neurodegenerative mutant with severe Purkinje cell loss and symmetrical calcifications in the cerebellar cortex manifesting ataxia: lack of coordination in body movements. In the present study, histopathological features were examined in the Purkinje cell degeneration in postnatal homozygous suckling rats without clinical signs, which were genotyped by microsatellite markers. In addition, the calcified Purkinje cells were investigated ultrastructurally and elemental analysis was performed on the deposits. Body weight of the homozygous (cc/cc) rats was already slightly lower compared with the heterozygotes (cc/+) in the neonatal stage. The degeneration of the Purkinje cells in the cc/cc rats was recognized obviously in lobules VI, VII, VIII and IX from 14 days after birth, a few days before the appearance of the ataxic behavior. The Purkinje cells in the region along the fissure between the VIII and IX lobule areas were intensely positive for periodic acid-Schiff reaction specific to glycoconjugates, and in this region, calcium depositions were weakly positive for von Kossa's stain. Electron microscopy also revealed that the calcified Purkinje cells possessed numerous electron-dense bodies containing inclusions with cystic structures such as vesicles, mitochondria and lysosomes, and these bodies were mainly composed of calcium and phosphorous. These findings suggest abnormal storage of glycoconjugates might be a trigger of Purkinje cell degeneration and serves as a matrix for accumulation of calcium phosphate in the cerebellum of CC rats.
Ear skin responses to picryl chloride (PCL)-induced contact dermatitis were compared in detail between IQI/Jic mice developed in Japan and BALB/c mice often used for the investigation of contact dermatitis. PCL was applied to the left ear of each mouse 4 (1st), 11 (2nd), 18 (3rd) and 25 days (4th) after sensitization of the abdominal skin with PCL. Time course examinations were carried out on the ear swelling responses, total IgE levels, skin histology and immunohistochemistry for infiltrated cells after the 1st and 4th application. In IQI mice, the peak time of the ear swelling responses tended to shift from 24 h to 9 h with marked elevation of total IgE levels and marked increase of mast cells showing degranulation after the 4th application when CD8+ cells as well as CD4+ cells also prominently increased. In BALB/c mice, except for the total IgE levels and the number of mast cells, the degrees of ear swelling responses, histological changes and increase of CD4+ and CD8+ cells were much less severe. Female IQI mice are considered to be a useful mouse strain for further investigations on the role of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the pathogenesis of contact dermatitis.
The FGS/Nga mouse strain, established from an outcross between CBA/N and RFM/Nga mice strains, has previously been reported as a spontaneous mouse model for focal glomerular sclerosis (FGS) and is considered to have two pairs of autosomal recessive genes associated with FGS. In this study, we examined the changes of seven renal lesion-related parameters, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, albumin and total protein in plasma, urinary protein, systolic blood pressure, and a glomerulosclerosis index on histological observation, in 20-week-old FGS/Nga mice and their age-matched two parental strains, CBA/N and RFM/Nga. The levels of plasma BUN and creatinine, urinary protein and systolic blood pressure were significantly increased in FGS/Nga, compared with those of the parental strains. RFM/Nga mice showed slightly elevated levels of all biochemical makers. In histological analysis, a higher glomerulosclerosis index was observed in FGS/Nga than the two parental strains. RFM/Nga mice appeared to have slight sclerotic lesions of glomeruli, but no renal failure was observed in CBA/N mice. These results suggest that at least one mutant gene that causes the progression of renal lesion in FGS/Nga mice is derived from RFM/Nga.
Transgenes can affect transgenic mice via transgene expression or via the so-called positional effect. DNA sequences can be localized in chromosomes using recently established mouse genomic databases. In this study, we describe a chromosomal mapping method that uses the genomic walking technique to analyze genomic sequences that flank transgenes, in combination with mouse genome database searches. Genomic DNA was collected from two transgenic mouse lines harboring pCAGGS-based transgenes, and adaptor-ligated, enzyme restricted genomic libraries for each mouse line were constructed. Flanking sequences were determined by sequencing amplicons obtained by PCR amplification of genomic libraries with transgene-specific and adaptor primers. The insertion positions of the transgenes were located by BLAST searches of the Ensembl genome database using the flanking sequences of the transgenes, and the transgenes of the two transgenic mouse lines were mapped onto chromosomes 11 and 3. In addition, flanking sequence information was used to construct flanking primers for a zygosity check. The zygosity (homozygous transgenic, hemizygous transgenic and non-transgenic) of animals could be identified by differential band formation in PCR analyses with the flanking primers. These methods should prove useful for genetic quality control of transgenic animals, even though the mode of transgene integration and the specificity of flanking sequences needs to be taken into account.
In order to ensure a widespread distribution in the lung and to avoid the effect of anesthesia, bleomycin at a total dose of 4.5 or 6.0 mg/kg was administered in four divided doses (0.5 ml/kg/time) at intervals of 2 h to male rats via a catheter (tracheotomy tube) without anesthesia. In comparison to vehicle (saline) controls, bleomycin-treated rats showed a significant suppression of body weight gain that was observed transiently at 4.5 mg/kg and continuously (throughout the 3-week observation period) at 6.0 mg/kg. Histopathologically, interstitial pneumonitis, thickening of alveolar walls, thickening of pulmonary arterial walls, foamy cells in alveoli, and hemorrhage were observed in both 4.5 and 6 mg/kg groups, and also emphysema in the 6 mg/kg group. Both groups exhibited a significant decrease in the partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) and a significant increase in alveolar-arterial oxygen tension difference (AaDO2), and a significant increase in erythrocyte count was observed in the 6 mg/kg group. Furthermore, both treated groups showed a significant increase in the ratio of the right ventricular weight versus left ventricle plus septum weights. The significant increase in erythrocyte count might have been caused by diffusion disturbance and ventilation-perfusion imbalance due to the pulmonary damage. These findings suggest that the present experimental method will be useful for clarification of the pulmonary damage induced by bleomycin in rats.
We studied the characteristics of the rhythmicity of heart rate (HR), body temperature (BT), locomotor activity (LA) and autonomic nervous activity in bronchial-hypersensitive (BHS) and bronchial-hyposensitive (BHR) guinea pigs. For this purpose, HR, BT, LA, and electrocardiogram (ECG) were recorded from conscious and unrestrained guinea pigs using a telemetry system. Autonomic nervous activity was analyzed by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability. Nocturnal patterns, in which the values in the dark phase (20:00-06:00) were higher than those in the light phase (06:00-20:00), were observed in HR, BT and LA in both strains of guinea pigs. The autonomic nervous activity in BHS guinea pigs showed a daily pattern, although BHR guinea pigs did not show such a rhythmicity. The high frequency (HF) power in BHS guinea pigs was higher than that in BHR guinea pigs throughout the day. Moreover, the low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio in BHS guinea pigs was lower than that in BHR guinea pigs throughout the day. These results suggest that parasympathetic nervous activity may be predominant in BHS guinea pigs.
We have established a new mouse strain with vertebral deformities caused by an autosomal single recessive mutation (oma). The mutant mice showed short trunk and short and kinky tail. The skeletal preparations of newborn and prenatal mice showed disorganized vertebrae and numerous vertebral and rib fusions which are thought to be caused by patterning defects at the stage of somitegenesis. Linkage analysis localized the oma locus on the proximal region of mouse chromosome 7 close to Dll3 gene. Dll3 is the gene involved in the Notch signaling pathway and null-mutation of the gene has been reported to cause vertebral deformities. The phenotypic similarity between oma and Dll3 null-mutant mice suggests that the causative gene for the oma mutant is the Dll3 gene. We, therefore, investigated the nucleotide sequence of the Dll3 gene of the oma mouse and found a single nucleotide substitution of G to T which causes missense mutation of glycine to cysteine at codon 409. Since the amino acid substitution is a nonconservative amino acid substitution at the conserved portion of the Dll3 protein, and the substitution is specific to the mutant mice, we concluded that the nucleotide substitution of the Dll3 gene is responsible for the skeletal deformities of the oma mouse.
We investigated the characteristics of autonomic nervous function in Zucker-fatty and Zucker-lean rats. For this purpose, a long-term electrocardiogram (ECG) was recorded from conscious and unrestrained rats using a telemetry system, and the autonomic nervous function was investigated by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV). Although heart rate (HR) in Zucker-fatty rats was lower than that in Zucker-lean rats throughout 24 h, apparent diurnal variation in HR was observed in both strains and HR during the dark period was significantly higher than that in light period. Diurnal variation in locomotor activity (LA) in Zucker-fatty rats was also observed, but LA was lower than that in Zucker lean rats, especially during the dark period. There were no significant differences, however, in high-frequency (HF) power, low-frequency (LF) power, and the LF/HF ratio between Zucker-fatty and Zucker-lean rats. The circadian rhythm of these parameters was mostly preserved in both strains of rats. Moreover, the effect of autonomic blockades on HRV was nearly the same in Zucker-fatty and Zucker-lean rats. These results suggest that the autonomic nervous function of insulin-resistant Zucker-fatty rats remain normal, from the aspect of power spectral analysis of HRV.
To examine the relation between functional development of oligodendrocytes and open-field behavior during the postnatal period, a mouse monoclonal antibody termed 14F7, which predominantly labels stage-specific immature oligodendrocytes, was employed. Antibody 14F7 was administered intraperitoneally into male pups on day 3 and 4 after birth. The open-field test was performed on days 12 and 18 of the postnatal period. Horizontal activity increased remarkably with the growth of pups. On day 18, horizontal activity in the group with 14F7 was significantly higher than the control, while there was no significant difference between treatments on day 12. In contrast to the horizontal activity, the frequency of hind leg rearing, vertical activity, in the group with 14F7 was significantly lower than that in the control. On day 12, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities in the cerebral cortex were similar between the groups. These activities increased with the growth of pups in both groups. In the 14F7 group on day 18, ChAT activity was the same as the control, whereas AChE activity was significantly lower compared with the control. These results suggest that neonatal exposure to 14F7 induces abnormal neurotransmission by reducing the degradation of acetylcholine and alters the spontaneous activities in developing rats.
We updated a database of microsatellite marker polymorphisms found in inbred strains of the mouse, most of which were derived from the wild stocks of four Mus musculus subspecies, M. m. domesticus, M. m. musculus, M. m.castaneus and M. m. molossinus. The major aim of constructing this database was to establish the genetic status of these inbred strains as resources for linkage analysis and positional cloning. The inbred strains incorporated in our database are A/J, C57BL/6J, CBA/J, DBA/2J, SM/J, SWR/J, 129Sv/J, MSM/Ms, JF1/Ms, CAST/Ei, NC/Nga, BLG2/Ms, NJL/Ms, PGN2/Ms, SK/CamEi and SWN/Ms, which have not or have only been poorly incorporated in the Whitehead Institute/MIT (WI/MIT) microsatellite database. The number of polymorphic microsatellite loci incorporated in our database is over 1,000 in all strains, and the URL site for our database is located at http:// www.shigen.nig.ac.jp /mouse/mmdbj/mouse.html.
The rat carrying the rdw mutation (rdw rat) is a dwarf mutant with hypothyroidism that is caused by a single G to C transversion in the thyroglobulin gene. Therefore, the development of a simple method for molecular-based genotyping of this mutation has been problematic. We have developed a rapid and simple genotyping method that provides identification of both the rdw and wild-type allele. This polymerase chain reaction with an allele-specific primer (PCR-ASP) method amplifies only the specific allele, wild or mutant type, by using 3'-terminal mismatched primers that pair only with the respective alleles. This assay should be of value for rdw colony control and rapid discrimination of rdw/rdw, rdw/+ and +/+ rats.
We developed myocardial infarction-prone rabbits (WHHLMI rabbits) by selectively breeding coronary atherosclerosis-prone WHHL rabbits. To examine the serum/plasma biochemical parameters of this animal model, we assayed the lipid and glucose levels, and enzyme activities of WHHLMI rabbits from 2 to 26 months of age using solid phase analysis. The results showed a good correlation with those measured with a conventional method. The serum enzyme activities and lipid levels varied with aging despite almost no change in the plasma glucose levels. Gender differences were observed in the total cholesterol, triglyceride, and lactate dehydrogenase activity levels. The data on these serum/plasma biochemical parameters will be useful in studies of myocardial infarction or pharmacological studies using this model.
Pregnant mice of the BALB/c CrSlc strain were experimentally infected with the D variant of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMC-D, 5 × 102 PFU/head) on three different gestational days (GD). Mice were intraperitoneally inoculated with EMC-D on 11, 13 and 15 GD and sacrificed 3 days post inoculation. There was no significant difference in the fetal mortality among all inoculation groups. Placenta showed higher virus titer than fetus and dam's serum in all inoculation groups, and the virus titer of the fetus was lowest in the 15GD group. Histopathological changes and signals of viral RNAs detected by in situ hybridization were observed almost restricted to the spongiotrophoblast layer of the placenta in all inoculation groups, and the signals were strongest in the 11GD group. In the fetus of the11GD group, signals of viral RNAs were also seen in myocardium and hepatocytes. Ultrastructurally, intracytoplasmic aggregations of virus-like particles in crystalline array were observed in trophoblast cells and giant cells in the spongiotrophoblast layer in all inoculation groups.
The non-radioisotopic modification of murine local lymph node assay (LLNA) by using 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) was conducted to investigate the strain-related difference of the responsiveness of mice to p-benzoquinone (PBQ) with BALB/cAnN, CBA/JN and CD-1 mouse strains. Strain and dose related differences were analyzed by two-way analysis of variance (two-way ANOVA). CBA/JN was considered to be the highest responsive strain to PBQ, and interaction was detected between CD-1 and each of the other inbred strains. These results support the recommendation in the OECD test guideline 429 and the skin sensitization test guideline of US-EPA with regard to the selection of mouse strain for LLNA.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN), a major cause of end-stage chronic renal failure, is histologically characterized by glomerulosclerosis. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of DN, it is important to establish a stable model of glomerulosclerosis in mice, because genomic manipulation techniques (such as gene destruction or transgene insertion) are well established in rodent species. In this study, we found that repeated administrations of streptozotocin led to early onset of glomerular sclerotic lesions in C57BL/6 mice, accompanied with renal dysfunction. During the natural course of DN, glomerular endothelial cells decreased at 10 weeks after the start of streptozotocin-injections, whereas myofibroblastic mesangial cells became evident. Our results provide an animal tool to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of DN, for example to investigate vascular pathology in diabetic glomerular diseases.