In our previous study, diazepam (DZP), a benzodiazepine receptor agonist, failed to suppress foot-shock-elicited ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) in adult rats that had been neonatally lesioned in the neocortex. Because neonatal lesion of the neocortex did not influence the production of USVs, the presence of an anxiolytic mechanism of DZP is suggested apart from any anxiogenic mechanism in the brain. However, the previous study did not indicate any specific cortical regional lesions that impaired the normal development of the anxiolytic mechanism in the brain. The present study was undertaken in order to examine whether neonatal lesion of the neocortex, smaller and more localized than that in the previous study, abolishes the anxiolytic effect of DZP on foot-shock-elicited and air-puff-elicited USVs. A neonatal lesion about 2 mm diameter was made in the unilateral frontal cortex frontal to the hindlimb area or in the occipital cortex caudal to the hindlimb area. The attenuating effect of DZP on the USVs elicited by both aversive stimuli was found to be abolished only in the frontal cortex-lesioned rats. This finding indicates that the frontal cortex is likely to be specifically involved in the normal development of the benzodiazepine-anxiolytic mechanism in the brain.
Carbonyl compounds in the blood stream tend to accumulate in the kidney of diabetic or end stage renal failure subjects. Previously we isolated cDNA encoding dicarbonyl/L-xylulose reductase (DCXR) from a mouse kidney cDNA library. In the present study, transgenic (Tg) mice were generated to study the functional role of DCXR in the kidney. With a six-fold increase in the DCXR protein expression levels in the kidney, the homozygous Tg mice did not show any notable histological abnormalities. While the elevated DCXR expression was observed throughout the body, its renal distribution was similar to that of the endogenous DCXR protein, namely, the major expression site was the collecting tubules, along with moderate expression in other tubules and Bowman's capsule, but it was absent from the interstitial area and glomeruli. The Tg mice were crossed with KK-Ay diabetic model mice to examine the role of DCXR in the progression of diabetic nephropathy. The resulting progeny, Tg/Ay, showed lighter body weight, lower levels of blood glucose, water uptake and creatinine clearance compared to their +/Ay littermates. Although remarkable pathological differences were not observed at the microscopic level and in the renal accumulation of carboxymethyl lysine, the data imply that DCXR might function in the metabolism of glucose or carbonyl compounds, and play a protective role in a kidney which is under hyperglycemic pressure. The DCXR Tg mice and the Tg × KK-Ay hybrid mice, therefore, serve as specific models for carbonyl metabolism in the kidney with diabetic background.
The purpose of this study was to investigate spontaneous eye disease in New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits, which are commonly used for toxicity tests, and to provide reference materials for pharmaceutical companies and research centers. A total of 586 NZW rabbits were randomly chosen without sex preference and were examined using ocular equipment, including a direct ophthalmoscope, an indirect ophthalmoscope, a slit-lamp biomicroscope, a focal illuminator, and a fundus camera. This study showed that the incidence rate of temporary cataracts, regarded as a change within normal variation, was 0.5% in the NZW rabbits. Regarding abnormal ophthalmic disease, blepharitis was the most commonly observed ocular disease. Other findings included cataract, conjunctivitis, choroidal hypoplasia, keratitis, corneal scarring, eyelid laceration, posterior synechiae, uveitis, dacryocystitis, and persistent pupillary membrane. In total, the incidence rate of ophthalmic diseases was 9.6%. Based on sex and age distributions, females had more ocular diseases than males, and rabbits were less susceptible to eye diseases as they got older. In this study, photographs were taken to document findings, such as normal fundus, normal variations, ophthalmic disease, and histopathologic examination.
The effects of treatment with trientine, a specific copper-chelating agent, on the accumulation of copper and induction of DNA strand breaks were investigated in Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats, an animal model for human Wilson's disease. Copper accumulated in the kidneys of LEC rats in an age-dependent manner from 12 to 18 weeks of age. When LEC rats were treated with trientine from 10 weeks of age, renal copper contents did not increase and were maintained at the same levels as those in 4-week-old LEC rats. Estimation of the amounts of DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) by comet assay showed that SSBs of DNA were induced in a substantial population of LEC rat renal cortex cells around 12 weeks of age and that the amounts of SSBs increased in an age-dependent manner from 12 to 18 weeks of age. When LEC rats were treated with trientine from 10 weeks of age, the observed number of cells with DNA damage decreased, suggesting that induction of SSBs of DNA was inhibited and/or SSBs were repaired during the period of treatment with trientine. The results show that SSBs of DNA in LEC rat kidney cells are induced prior to occurrence of clinical signs of hepatic injury and that treatment of LEC rats with trientine decreases the number of DNA strand breaks.
To distinguish recent ischemic myocardial changes in myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHLMI) rabbits from general postmortem myocardial degeneration, we examined hearts of WHHLMI rabbits after sudden death and postmortem hearts of non-atherogenic rabbits. Hearts of 8 WHHLMI rabbits were excised within 30 min of sudden death and hearts of 27 non-atherosclerotic rabbits were excised at designated periods after sacrifice. A large number of myocardial cells from WHHLMI rabbits exhibited features characteristic of ischemia (intercellular gap, intracellular edema, eosinophilia, disappearance of myocardial cells, indistinct nuclei, wavy myocardial fibers) simultaneously at regions close to proximal occluded coronary arteries. Although postmortem hearts of non-atherosclerotic rabbits exhibited similar characteristics, several features characteristic of autolyzed myocytes were also randomly observed in the left ventricle wall. Each feature was detected independently in myocardial cells or regions of the ventricle wall. In conclusion, we found several unique characteristics associated with myocardial infarction which enable discrimination between recent ischemic myocardial changes and myocardial degeneration following death.
Hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow can be mobilized into peripheral blood by cytokine administration. Cytokine-mobilized peripheral blood stem cells are of great use in clinical applications. We previously established a modified procedure for the collection of cytokine-mobilized peripheral blood cells from rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulata) using a commercially available apparatus originally developed for human subjects. In this study, we examined the efficacy and safety of this method with even smaller macaques, cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), which are equivalent to human newborns in body weight (mean = 3.3 kg). Using the manufacturer's unmodified protocol (n=6), one monkey died of cardiac failure and three developed severe anemia. In contrast, using our modified procedure (n=6), no such complication was observed in any animal. In addition, the harvested nuclear cell, mononuclear cell and CD34+ cell counts were significantly higher with the modified method. The modified method should allow safe and efficient collection of cytokine-mobilized peripheral blood cells from non-human primates as small as human newborns in a non-invasive manner.
In a previous study, we reported the development of grossly observable dry skin in all of the Naruto Research Institute Otsuka Atrichia (NOA) mice that were housed individually. In the present study, dermal physiological function tests were conducted and the usefulness of this dry skin model for evaluating the efficacy of topical moisturizers was assessed. As a result, we have confirmed a marked reduction in the water content of the stratum corneum in these animals. Therefore, the development of dry skin in the NOA mouse strain under individual housing conditions may be expected to serve as a useful animal model for evaluating topical moisturizers. Specifically, the water content of the stratum corneum was restored in proportion to the oil content of the ointment base used to treat the animals, and the moisturizing effects of urea were confirmed in animals treated with urea-containing ointment. In addition, when the animals that had been housed individually were returned to group housing conditions, the water content of the stratum corneum was restored, with a corresponding improvement in dry skin. This finding suggests that socio-psychological factors are involved in the etiology of dry skin in individually housed NOA mice.
The development of the intestinal microbiota and the evolution of the fecal IgA in mice were analyzed from 18 to 40 days old by PCR temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) and ELISA, respectively. There were two events for the diversification of the intestinal microbiota from suckling to maturity. The first change occurred between days 21 and 22 after birth, when the diversity of the intestinal microbiota showed a remarkable increase at this time. The second change occurred from days 27 to 30 after birth, and the increase in the diversity of the intestinal microbiota ceased. The amount of fecal IgA decreased from days 18 to 20, remained low until day 22, on day 23, it recovered and then continued to increase. This study suggests that there are possible interactions between the development of intestinal microbiota and the evolution of intestinal secretion of IgA in mice, the same as in rats, although the second change in mice intestinal microbiota occurred a few days later than in rats. The decline in maternal IgA supply as the suckling period proceeded presumably allowed the bacterial colonization. As a consequence of this increase in bacterial colonization, the secretion of the self-SIgA was accelerated in the pups.
This study investigated strain differences in brain damage among male A/J, C57BL/6JNrs and C3H/HeNrs mice after local brain irradiation. Whole brains were irradiated with a single dose of 30 GyE carbon ion beams and then locomotor activity was determined as body heat of each animal. The daily locomotor activities of untreated mice differed among strains. Non-irradiated C57BL/6JNrs mice were more active than A/J mice. This variance became more obvious immediately after irradiation, when the activity of A/J and C3H/HeNrs mice diminished, whereas that of C57BL/6JNrs mice increased at the beginning of the active phase and remained elevated for three days after irradiation. The altered activities of all three strains of irradiated mice gradually recovered to normal within three to four days.
The localizations of steroidogenic enzymes (P450scc, 3βHSD, P450c17 and P450arom) in testes of Shiba goats were investigated by immunohistochemistry. P450scc, 3βHSD, P450c17 and P450arom were detected in all Leydig cells of adults. P450scc and P450c17 were observed in most Leydig cells in the fetus (90 days) and neonate (15 days). 3βHSD and P450arom were found in some Leydig cells of the fetus with weak immunostaining but the numbers of immunopositive Leydig cells and intense immunostaining were increased in Leydig cells of the neonate. These results suggest that Shiba goat testes have the ability to synthesize progestin, androgen and estrogen in the fetus, neonate and adult, and synthesis of these steroid hormones showed an age-related rise.
The rdw rat was initially reported as having hereditary dwarfism caused by pituitary dysfunction. Subsequent studies on the rdw rat, however, have demonstrated that the primary cause of rdw dwarfism is present in the thyroid gland but not in the pituitary gland. The primary cause of rdw rat disorders is a missense mutation of the thyroglobulin (Tg) gene by a one-point mutation. In the present study, we attempted to rescue the dwarfism of the rdw rats using a diet supplemented with thyroid powder (T-powder) and a thyroid graft (T-graft). The infants of the rdw rat were successfully raised to a mature stage body weight, accompanied by elevation of serum growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL), by the T-powder. Furthermore, the T-graft successfully increased the body weight with fertility. The serum GH and PRL levels in the T-graft rdw rat significantly increased. The serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in the T-graft rdw rat were significantly decreased but were significantly higher than those in the control rat. The GH and PRL mRNA expression in the rdw rat with the T-graft was virtually the same as that of the control, but the TSH β mRNA differed from that of the control rats. Thus, the dwarfism in the rdw rat is rescued by thyroid function compensation, such as that afforded by T-powder and T-graft.
WBN/Kob-Ht rats (Ht-rats) raised under conventional conditions spontaneously developed dermatitis. In this study, we carried out histopathological analysis to elucidate the pathological features of the dermatitis in Ht-rats. We then tried to detect Staphylococcus species recovered from the skin lesions of Ht-rats. We also measured the serum levels of total IgE, IL-4 and IFN-γ in these rats. The histopathological data indicated that inflammatory cells had infiltrated the skin lesions. Staphylococcus aureus was recovered from the skin lesions, and the serum levels of total IgE and IL-4 were elevated in Ht-rats with dermatitis. These results suggest that dermatitis in Ht-rats is similar to that in the DS-Nh mice, which has recently been proposed as an animal model for human atopic dermatitis.