Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a hereditary disorder with abnormal cellular proliferation, fluid accumulation in numerous cysts, remodeling of extracellular matrix, inflammation, and fibrosis in the kidney and liver. The two major types of PKD show autosomal dominant (ADPKD) or autosomal recessive inheritance (ARPKD). ADPKD is one of the most common genetic diseases, with an incidence of 1:500–1,000. Approximately 50% of patients with ADPKD develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by the age of 60. On the other hand, ARPKD is relatively rare, with an incidence of approximately 1:20,000–40,000. ARPKD is diagnosed early in life, often prenatally. The gene products responsible for ADPKD and ARPKD distribute in primary cilia and are thought to control intercellular Ca2+. Two types of animal model of PKD have been established: spontaneous hereditary models identified by the typical manifestations of PKD and gene-engineered models established by modification of human orthologous genes. Both types of animal models are used to study the mechanism of cystogenesis and efficacy of medical treatments. In PKD progression, critical roles of signaling pathways including MAPK, mTOR, and PPAR-γ have been discovered with these models. Therefore, experimental animal models are indispensable for investigating molecular mechanisms of PKD onset and progression as well as potential therapeutic treatments.
Transgenic (Tg) mice have been extensively used as valuable tools for analyses of gene function and have also served as models for many human diseases. Typically, a transgenic mouse is created by microinjection of DNA into pronuclei in which the DNA gets integrated at random locations in the genome. Frequently however, the random integration of multiple copies of a transgene results in transgene silencing, probably because of a positional effect and/or repeat-induced gene silencing. The transgene silencing issue has been overcome by single-copy transgene integration into a predetermined locus through ES cell-mediated transgenesis, despite it being expensive and more time-consuming compared with pronuclear injection (PI)-mediated transgenesis. Recently, several groups have reported novel approaches that employ PI for targeted transgenesis. They are based on site-specific recombination catalyzed by a recombinase or an integrase or homologous recombination enhanced by a zinc-finger nuclease via PI. These next-generation transgenesis methods, which we termed as PI-based Targeted Transgenesis (PITT), are more convenient and faster than ES cell-based transgenesis. Furthermore, the Tg mice generated by these newer methods contain a single-copy transgene and exhibit reliable expression of the transgene. The objective of this review is to present the recent progress in mouse targeted transgenesis.
Understanding the genetic basis of complex traits has become one of the major issues in genetics, but recent advances in this field are still faced with a difficulty, the so-called “missing heritability.” It is speculated that missing heritability mainly stems from a large number of variants of small effect that are poorly detected by currently available methods. In order to overcome this problem, many recent genetic studies of complex traits have actively used outbred stocks of mice. However, most of the available outbred stocks have a limited amount of genetic variation, because many stocks originate from Swiss mouse colonies. We have repeatedly shown that wild-derived strains are a useful mouse resource since there is a large genetic diversity among these strains. Here, we give an overview of mouse resources produced by crossing different founder mice. Finally, we propose an advantage of new attempts to conduct selective breeding using heterogeneous stocks created by mixing genomes of wild-derived inbred strains of mice when studying complex traits.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the modifications of some physiological parameters during moderate treadmill exercise in seven healthy Beagle dogs. All animals were submitted to treadmill exercise consisting of walking (15 min), trotting (20 min) and walking (10 min). At every step, rectal temperature (RT) was measured, and the mean heart rate (HR) was assessed. Venous blood samples were collected immediately before starting the treadmill exercise session (at rest), after the end of walking (15 min), trotting (20 min) and walking (10 min), and after 30 min of passive recovery. For immediate assessment of lactate and glucose concentration, blood was analyzed with portable blood lactate and blood glucose analyzers, respectively. Blood was also transferred into sterile glass tubes containing K3-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (K3-EDTA) for evaluation of red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets (PLT), hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). One-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant effect of treadmill exercise (P<0.05) on RT, HR, lactate, glucose, RBC and Hct. Considering these significant variations, the knowledge of RT, HR, glucose and lactate concentrations, RBC, and Hct, the most suitable and sensitive indicators of response to treadmill exercise in untrained dogs, is essential in order to evidence the individual levels of exercise tolerance, to investigate exercise-related problems and to design specific and individual treadmill protocols.
Our prime objective was to establish an optimal model animal for studying avoidance learning and memory in rodents. The two-way rat inbred strains of Hatano high- (HAA) and low-avoidance (LAA) animals were originally selected and bred in accordance with their high or low performance respectively in the shuttle-box active avoidance task. Previous studies demonstrated that they have clear strain differences in endocrine stress response, which is related to acquisition of aversive learning and emotional reactivity. To evaluate the effect of selection by the shuttle-box task on avoidance performance and emotional reactivity, male Hatano rats underwent passive avoidance, open field and elevated plus maze tests. The present results show that the avoidance performance in the passive task was significantly greater in HAA rats than in LAA rats. Furthermore, HAA rats showed high anxiety-like behaviors compared with LAA rats in open field and elevated plus maze tests. Taken together, this study demonstrated that 1) selection and breeding of Hatano HAA and LAA strain rats by shuttle-box task had been properly carried out with the criterion of high and low avoidance performance respectively and that 2) HAA rats were predisposed to high anxiety compared with LAA rats. These results indicated that Hatano HAA and LAA rats can be useful models for studying avoidance learning and memory.
Tensin family members are cytoplasmic proteins that are localized to the integrin-mediated cell-basement membrane junctions and implicated in cytoskeletal organization, cell migration, and proliferation. The mammalian genome contains four paralogs, Tns1, Tns2, Tns3, and Tns4. Murine mutations in the Tns1 and Tns2 genes cause polycystic kidney disease and glomerular sclerosis, respectively, and Tns3-null mice exhibit an impaired intestinal epithelial development. However, the knowledge concerning the localization of each tensin is still fragmentary. In this study, the cellular and subcellular distributions of tensin members were defined and compared with each other. RT-PCR analysis indicated that Tns2 and Tns3 were more abundant in isolated glomeruli and that Tns1 was highly expressed in areas other than the glomeruli, but no Tns4 expression was observed in the kidney. All tensin members were detected in the small intestine. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that Tns1 was predominantly localized to the mesangium of glomeruli and renal tubules. In contrast, Tns2 and Tns3 were highly expressed in the podocytes and the partial collecting system. In the small intestine, Tns2 and Tns3 were highly expressed in crypt and villous epithelial cells. Furthermore, we found that Tns3 was colocalized with TJ protein ZO-1 in renal tubules. These results indicate distinct differences in the cellular expression of Tns1, Tns2, and Tns3, and suggest that they may be able to function independently of each other in the kidney and the small intestine.
In this study, the cryopreservation methods for Bama miniature pig semen were investigated and optimized. First, using an orthogonal experimental design, the semen freezing-thawing procedure for Bama miniature boars was optimized based on analysis of the effects of concentrations of LDL (LC, parameter A), trehalose (TC, parameter B) and glycerol (GC, parameter C), the equilibration time at 15°C (ET, parameter D), and the thawing method (TM, parameter E) on sperm motility. The results showed that the effects of the parameters could be arranged as A>C>B>D>E. The LDL concentration and final glycerol concentration had exceedingly significant effects on the motility of thawed spermatozoa (P<0.01), and the effects of the trehalose concentration, equilibration time at 15°C, and the thawing method were not significant (P>0.05). Scheme 2 (A3B4C2D3E1) gave a motility of 52.26% after thawing. Then, using sperm motility, acrosome integrity, plasma membrane integrity, and DNA injury rate as indicators, four combinations, on the basis of scheme 2, were designed to analyze the protective effects of different combinations of LDL, glycerol, and trehalose; the results showed that combination of 9% LDL, 200 mM trehalose, and 2% glycerol (i.e., combination 4) demonstrated significantly better protective effects than the other combinations (P<0.05), further verifying that scheme 2 was the best for cryopreservation of Bama miniature boar semen. In this way, a method with favorable performance was established for cryopreservation of semen of Bama miniature boars.
A total of 21 male SD rats were divided into three groups to investigate the effects of consecutive cyclic heat stress or vitamin C under heat stress on heat shock protein (HSP) 70, inflammatory cytokines, and antioxidant systems. The heat stress (HS) and vitamin C supplementation during heat stress (HS+VC) groups were exposed to cyclic heat stress (23 to 38 to 23°C) for 2 h on each of seven consecutive days. The HS+VC group had free access to water containing 0.5% vitamin C throughout the experiment. Hepatic HSP70 mRNA in the HS group was significantly (P<0.05) higher than that in the control (CON) or HS+VC group. The mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the HS group were greater (P<0.05) than those in the CON group. The HS+VC group showed significantly (P<0.05) lower mRNA levels of hepatic interleukin-6 and TNF-α than the HS group. However, thymic HSP70 and inflammatory cytokines were unaffected by treatments. In the hepatic antioxidant system, the mRNA and activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPX) were greater (P<0.05) in the HS than in the CON group, whereas the HS+VC group showed markedly (P<0.05) lower GPX mRNA and activity than the HS group. However, superoxide dismutase, glutathione S-transferase, and malondialdehyde were unaffected by treatments. In conclusion, cyclic heat stress activated hepatic HSP70, TNF-α, iNOS, and GPX genes, whereas vitamin C during heat stress ameliorated heat stress-induced cellular responses in rats.
The purpose of this experiment was to clarify the effects of dietary protein levels on the gonadal development and sex hormones in male rats kept under constant darkness as a model of disturbed daily rhythm. Four-week-old male rats (Fischer 344 strain) were kept under constant darkness or normal lighting (12-h light/dark cycle). Two kinds of experimental diet were prepared, one with low dietary protein levels (9% casein) and one with normal levels (18% casein). Harper mineral mixture and Panvitan were used as mineral and vitamin sources, respectively. After 4 weeks, gonadal weight, serum testosterone, and other hormone contents were evaluated. The gonadal weight in the constant darkness groups (D-groups) was lower than that in the normal lighting groups (N-groups). Although the low-protein diet in the D-groups significantly reduced gonadal weight, the normal-protein diet mitigated the reduction of gonadal weight in rats kept under constant darkness. Serum testosterone and androstenedione concentrations were lower in D-group rats fed the low-protein diet. There were no effects of lighting condition or protein levels on serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle- stimulating hormone (FSH), or progesterone concentrations. These results indicate that the suppression of gonadal development in D-group rats fed the low-protein diet was caused by low testosterone, which we attribute to the inhibition of synthesized androstenedione, a precursor of testosterone. The present study showed that constant darkness and the low- protein diet inhibited the synthetic pathway from progesterone to androstenedione.