This review compiles the results of a series of studies on Hatano high- and low-avoidance animals (HAA and LAA, respectively) established at the Hatano Research Institute, Food and Drug Safety Center, Japan. The HAA and LAA lines were selected and bred from Sprague Dawley rats for high and low avoidance learning, respectively, in a shuttlebox task since 1985. Although Hatano rats were selected only based on their behavioral traits in the active avoidance task, strain differences between the HAA and LAA lines were also observed in their stress responses and reproductive functions. However, the most noticeable finding of Hatano rats is a matched result in both active and passive avoidance tasks. The HAA and LAA lines are useful for next-generation toxicological studies, because the hereditary characters of behaviors or endocrine functions are well controlled.
The changes in intra-atrial blood coagulability of acute phase after development of atrial fibrillation (AF) have not been elucidated in human. In the present study, blood coagulability were examined in the intra-atrial and peripheral regions during the acute phase after development of rapid atrial pacing (RAP) in experimentally created model dog similar to AF, using Total Thrombus-formation Analysis System (T-TAS) that is capable of comprehensively evaluating thrombogenicity in the bloodstream in the microvascular channel. According to the results, both the coagulating function-evaluating time to +10 kPa (T10) and occlusion time (OT) of the AR chip (chip for thrombus analysis mixed with coagulation and platelet) were significantly shortened in the atrial blood as early as 30 min after pacing (T10, 150.5 ± 40.5 s; OT, 212.4 ± 44.3 s) compared to the pre-pacing levels (T10, 194.5 ± 47.5 s; OT, 259.9 ± 49.5 s) (P<0.05). The OT of PL chip (chip for platelet thrombus analysis) was significantly shortened 30 min after pacing (231.8 ± 57.6 s), compared to the pre-pacing level (289.5 ± 96.0 s) (P<0.05). Meanwhile, none of T10 and OT of AR and PL chips showed any significant changes in the peripheral blood. The study demonstrated increase of blood coagulability 30 min after development of RAP. While no significant changes were observed in the peripheral blood in the present study, the outcome suggested that the anti-thrombus treatments are better to be started early after AF even if coagulability of the peripheral blood shows no change.
Owing to changes in lifestyle, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a common form of chronic liver injury. NAFLD comprises a wide variety of disease stages, from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which is a risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Because animal models for NAFLD are needed to investigate the precise pathogenesis, we aimed to establish a new mouse model employing mice deficient for apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage (AIM−/−), which exhibit accelerated lipid storage in the liver and high susceptibility to developing HCC in response to a high-fat diet (HFD). AIM−/− mice were fed the D09100301 diet, which contains 40 kcal% fat (trans fat 30 kcal%), high cholesterol (2%), and 40 kcal% carbohydrates (20 kcal% fructose), and then features of obesity and NAFLD including steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and HCC development were analyzed. Although a comparable grade of liver steatosis was promoted in AIM−/− mice by the D09100301 diet and the standard HFD (60 kcal% largely lard fat), significantly less lipid storage in visceral fat was observed when the mice were fed the D09100301 diet. Accelerated liver inflammation was promoted by the D09100301 diet compared with the HFD, but interestingly, HCC development was decreased in mice fed the D09100301 diet. Our findings suggest that AIM−/− mice fed the D09100301 diet exhibited a phenotype that resembled nonobese NAFLD patients and thus could be an appropriate tool to study the pathophysiology by which obesity increases the risk of HCC.
Inhalation of pathogenic bacteria transported by particulate matter (PM) presents an important potential threat to human health. Therefore, the pulmonary toxicity in mice caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and PM as individual matter and mixtures was studied. PM and S. aureus were instilled intratracheally into Kunming mice at doses of 0.2 mg/mouse and 5.08 × 106 CFU /mouse, respectively, as individual matter and in combination two times at 5-day intervals. After the exposure period, oxidative stress markers and nitric oxide (NO) in the lung, cellular infiltration, neurotrophins, chemokines, and cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and immunoglobulin (Ig) in sera were examined. Exposure to the combination of PM and S. aureus caused significant increases in malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and NO and significant decreases in total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) and the ratio of reduced glutathione (GSH) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in the lung. Meanwhile, the ratio of interleukin (IL)-4 to interferon (INF)-γ, the IL-4 level in BALF, and the IgE concentration in sera were significantly increased in the groups exposed to S. aureus or the combination of PM and S. aureus. Substance P and IL-8 in BALF were significantly increased in mice exposed to PM, S. aureus or their combination. In addition, PM, S. aureus, and their combination caused infiltration of leukocytes into the alveolar tissue spaces. The results suggested that exposure to the combination of PM and S. aureus induced a lung inflammatory response that was at least partly caused by oxidative stress and mediators from the activated eosinophils, neutrophils, alveolar macrophages, and epithelial cells.
Norovirus is a highly prevalent pathogen that can infect a wide range of host species. Thus far, there have only been two reports of norovirus infection in rats. Diagnostic assays for the detection of norovirus are well established, but a specific molecular assay for the diagnosis of norovirus infection in laboratory rats has not yet been reported. In this study, we describe the development of a sensitive, semi-nested RT-PCR assay for detection of norovirus in fecal samples from Rattus norvegicus, reared in animal facilities under different sanitary barrier conditions. Additionally, we describe the first report of the presence of norovirus in rat colonies from Brazilian animal facilities.
The genetic characteristics and diversity of 21 experimental chicken lines registered with the National BioResource Project of Japan were examined using mitochondrial D-loop sequences and 54 microsatellite DNA markers. A total of 12 haplotypes were detected in the 500-bp mitochondrial DNA sequences of the hypervariable segment I for 349 individuals of 21 lines. The 12 haplotypes belonged to three (A, D, and E) haplogroups, out of the eight (A‒H) common haplogroups in domestic chickens and red junglefowls. The haplogroups A and D were widely represented in indigenous chickens in the Asian and Pacific regions, and the haplogroup E was the most prevalent in domestic chickens. Genetic clustering by discriminant analysis of principal components with microsatellite markers divided 681 individuals of 21 lines into three groups that consisted of Fayoumi-, European-, and Asian- derived lines. In each of the cladograms constructed with Nei’s genetic distances based on allele frequencies and the membership coefficients provided by STRUCTURE and with the genetic distance based on the proportion of shared alleles, the genetic relationships coincided well with the breeding histories of the lines. Microsatellite markers showed remarkably lower genetic heterozygosities (less than 0.1 observed heterozygosity) for eight lines (GSP, GSN/1, YL, PNP, BM-C, WL-G, BL-E, and #413), which have been maintained as closed colonies for more than 40 years (except for #413), indicating their usefulness as experimental chicken lines in laboratory animal science research.
To investigate the effects of environmental enrichment on laboratory monkeys, we studied behavioral and physiological differences following changes in housing conditions. Ten male and female juvenile cynomolgus monkeys were first housed in pairs for 8 weeks after quarantine/acclimatization (singly housed) and subsequently housed alone for the next 8 weeks. Monkeys were subjected to evaluations of body weight gain, stereotypic or affiliative behaviors, cortisol, 4-ethylphenyl sulfate (4EPS) and catecholamine concentrations in biological samples, and blood chemistry tests under both housing conditions. Under paired housing, the stereotypic behavioral score decreased in both sexes, and the affiliative behavioral score increased in males and showed an increasing trend in females. Under single housing, the stereotypic score increased in both sexes, and the affiliative score decreased in males. Paired housing decreased serum calcium and urine cortisol concentrations in both sexes and decreased plasma cortisol in males and plasma 4EPS concentrations in females. The stereotypic score was positively correlated with serum calcium, plasma and urine cortisol, and plasma 4EPS concentration and negatively correlated with the affiliative score. The feces painting score, affiliative score, and plasma cortisol and serum calcium concentrations showed sex differences, suggesting differences in responsiveness to environmental changes between males and females. In conclusion, paired housing improved behavioral abnormalities in juvenile cynomolgus monkeys, suggesting that it may be an effective environmental enrichment paradigm. Calcium, cortisol, and 4EPS concentrations in biological samples may be useful indices for evaluating the effects of environmental enrichment.
It was identified that microRNAs were involved in the regulation of chronic neuropathic pain. However, the role of miR-206-3p in neuropathic pain was still unclear. In the current study, the role of miR-206-3p, a type of mature miR-206, in neuropathic pain was investigated. The potential mechanisms were also explored. We found that the expression of miR-206-3p decreased in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of chronic constriction sciatic nerve injury (CCI) rats, whereas the While histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) level increased. Further exploration showed that administration of a miR-206-3p mimic alleviated neuropathic pain and reduced the level of HDAC4, a predicted target of miR-206-3p. Overexpression of HDAC4 attenuated the effects of miR-206-3p on neuropathic pain. Our data revealed a miR-206-3p-HDAC4 signal that played a potentially important role in CCI-induced neuropathic pain.
Sulforaphane (SFN) is abundant in cruciferous plants, providing significant protection against many chronic diseases. With the aim of clarifying the efficacy of sulforaphane in diabetic retinopathy (DR), a series of systematic studies were carried out in the present study. Male Sprague Dawley rats were intraperitoneally injected with streptozotocin (STZ, 65 mg/kg), and those with confirmed diabetes mellitus were given different doses of SFN (0.5 and 1 mg/kg/d) for 12 weeks. In vitro, Müller cells exposed to 25 mM glucose were treated with 2.5 µM SFN. The results indicated that SFN significantly reduced the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β) and enhanced the activity of antioxidant enzymes (GSH, SOD, and CAT) in the retina of STZ rats. Further, SFN enhanced the nuclear accumulation of Nrf2 and increased the expression of HO-1 and NQO1, two major antioxidants downstream to Nrf2, in the injured retina. In addition, retinal expression levels of NLRP3, cleaved caspase-1 p20, IL-1β p17, and ASC were dramatically increased in STZ-induced DR, and this was abolished by SFN intervention. In vitro, high glucose-induced inflammation and oxidative stress damage in Müller cells were attenuated by SFN. SFN also exerted antioxidant effects, activated the Nrf2 pathway, and inhibited the NLRP3 inflammasome in Müller cells. In conclusion, our work demonstrates that SFN attenuates retinal inflammation and oxidative stress induced by high glucose and activates the antioxidative Nrf2 pathway and inhibits the formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in vivo and in vitro.
Tonsils are mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues located at the openings of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, which play a key role in the surveillance of inhaled or ingested pathogens and can concurrently be reservoirs of infectious agents. Therefore, tonsils are important for the immunology and hygiene management of domestic animals, including pigs. However, the process of their fetal developmental has been poorly described, at least in part, because rodents lack tonsils. Therefore, we performed a histological analysis of porcine tonsils of the soft palate from 60 to 100 days of gestation (DG) and from 2 to 14 days post partum (DP). This analysis showed that lymphoid aggregations first appear at DG65, gradually develop during the fetal stage, and expand after birth. In addition, the mRNA expression of chemokine genes involved in lymphoid aggregation and localization was analyzed. CCL19 expression showed the most marked increase and a sharp peak after birth. CCL21 expression changed moderately but showed an interesting bimodal pattern. CXCL13 expression steadily increased throughout the study period. Thus, we demonstrated the mRNA expression of chemokine characteristically changed accompanying tonsillar development.