Many carcasses of animals have been collected by Laboratory of Anatomy, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine via many routes and used for research and/or education. The sources of the carcasses of wild animals were due to A: dead bodies of unknown cause under wild environment, B: road kill, C: captured individuals by hunting, harmful wildlife control, scientific research program and bycatch, and D: dead bodies donated from zoological parks and aquariums. It is thought that the data and specimens acquired from the carcasses of wild animals need to be positively introduced into the education of veterinary medicine for the enriched contents of zoo and wildlife medicine and the bringing up of veterinarian with rich knowledge. It is desirable that animal carcasses are extensively utilized for social and school educations and researches, and interdependently used among educational and research facilities
The veterinary anatomy has not functioned as science of morphology in Japan. The basic veterinary medical science is not interested in the specimen curating, since the staff of the veterinary morphology is actually collecting the scientific results in the fields of cell and molecular biology or the applied anatomy that has no relationships with the natural history in the philosophy of science. Here we advocate the concept of the dead body science. The dead body science consists of collection, dissection, curating and storage of dead bodies and specimens, and strongly develops the three-dimensional digitalized morphology in the natural history outside the veterinary medicine. The new philosophy of the dead body science will continuously introduce the fruitful results to the zoo and wildlife medicine in the future.
Environmental Specimen Banking, a long-term storage of biological samples collected for environmental monitoring under low temperature, is an efficient back-up for the monitoring by enabling retrospective analysis of unattended / unanalyzed pollutants / biomarkers using advanced, more sensitive analytical methods in future. An outline and history of the related activities in Japan as well as in the world, together with the Environmental Time Capsule program being conducted in the National Institute for Environmental Studies, will be presented.
The final aim of this study is the development of Japanese serow's individual group management method and grasp of present condition. Takizawa forest (Field Science Center, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University) is the isolated forest of Morioka City suburb. In 1980's, Japanese serow of 8-27 heads inhabited in the forest. However, in the present, the surrounding environment of its forest changes by the construction of a new railway station etc. Therefore, it is thought that the genetic background and habitat environment of them changes, too. In this study, we researched about wild animal medicine (blood type, DNA individual identification, parasites) and ecology (inhabitable number, food property, territory and behavior) of the Japanese serows inhabiting Takizawa forest. As the results, we observed seven heads and succeeded to capture one of them. He inhabited in 10 ha territory with mother until two years old. But after that, he had a own territory left 2 km from mother's territory. As for the serum protein polymorphism of Japanese serow which have inhabited in the suburbs of Morioka-shi, the serum albumin and transferrin in particular, two types and six types were observed. DNA collected from feces were amplified with PCR. The banding pattern from 200 to 300 by of PCR products were a one band (Amelogenin gene XX) for female and three bands including a miner band (Amelogenin gene XY) for male. Finally, the probability of sexing from feces using this method was 95%. It was indicated that this method was effective for sexing using feces piles (Tamefun in Japanese). In addition, many parasites were observed in these Japanese serow. The wild animal medical research must continue by many researcher's cooperation.
It is considered that global warming and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals can influence reproduction and hibernation of wildlife. However, environmental factors responsible for such behavioral differences are not well recognized. Therefore, in this study we analyzed environmental conditions that are critical for inducing hibernation. Non-seasonal hibernators, Syrian hamsters were used in this study. It has been pointed out that a low environmental temperature is an important factor to induce hibernation. So, hamsters were kept at a cold room. After about two or three months, they hibernated. Next, food restriction under the cold environment was performed. When the hamsters were fed sunflower seeds or high fat food not standard laboratory chow and then food supply was restricted, they efficiently hibernated in a shorter time period compared with those which were given free access to food. This suggests that the quantity and nutritional composition of food can affect hibernating behavior in addition to a low environmental temperature. We noticed that hibernation is more efficiently induced in obese hamsters than in thin ones. This may indicate that hormones derived from adipose tissue including leptin could be related to hibernation. These results suggest that hibernation might be associated with external environmental factors (environmental temperature and food composition).
Lead poisoning is still one of big problems in conservation of waterfowls. It is necessary to survey periodically lead contents in the organs of water fowls as it was considered to cause secondary poisoning in humans as well as wildlife management. We tried to assess risks of lead in wild and zoo birds for conservation and food safety for humans. Twenty-one swans rescued in Fukushima and Gifu Prefecture, 100 wild ducks captured in Gifu, and a penguin suspected of lead poisoning clinically in a zoo were necropsied to analyze lead content in the liver and kidneys. In swans, 21 of 13 had a higher level of lead content of more than 10,000 ng/g in the liver and kidney, of which the kidney showed a tendency to have more than 50,000 ng/g lead content. In ducks, 3 of 100 had a higher lead content of more than 500 ng/g, of which one had more than 10,000 ng/g lead content. A penguin had 49,800 and 8,530 ng/g in the liver and kidney, respectively. A metal blade in the stomach had 96.3% lead. Hisologically, the penguin had eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions in the epithelial cells of the urinary tubules, which were thought to be one of characteristics of lead poisoning. The swans frequently had lead shots in the gizzard, and a dark greenish colored liver and distended gall bladder with dense bile contents, and the most prominent histological finding was a marked deposition of brown hemosiderin pigment in the liver, spleen and kidney, with the liver showing varying degrees of necrosis. There were no marked alterations in the ducks with high lead contents. As there were occasional wild water fowls with higher content of lead, it is estimated that sporadic outbreaks of lead poisoning might be still occurring in some parts of Japan. It may be essential to monitor harmful metals including lead in waterfowls to prevent poisoning in wildlife as well as humans.
Important information for cryopreservation and in vitro culture could be obtained through ultrastructural observation of minke whale oocytes. In the present study, transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the ultrastructure of immature and in vitro mature Antarctic minke whale oocytes before and after freezing and thawing. Close communication existed between ooplasm and cumulus cell projections, and between mitochondria and membranous organelles, including the smooth endoplasmic reticulum in the ooplasm of minke whale immature oocytes. Cytoplasmic organelles, such as mitochondria and lipid droplets, were clustered in the ooplasm cortex region, while vesicles were located centrally in the ooplasm. After in vitro maturation, cytoplasmic organelles were observed to have distributed throughout the ooplasm, and the morphology of the mitochondria was changed. Cytoplasmic degeneration was observed in the minke whale oocytes after freezing and thawing. The slow freezing procedures employed in this study appeared to generate extensive and severe ultrastructural damages in minke whale ooplasms.
Because Japanese black bears are regarded as copulatory ovulators, the establishment of an ovulation induction method would facilitate artificial insemination and embryonic transfer in this species. The purpose of this study was to examine the method of ovulation induction by administration of human and/or equine chorionic gonadotropin (hCG and eCG) in Japanese black bears. Nine adult captive females were divided into 3 groups (A, B and C) : Group A, 3 females administered hCG (50 IU/kg, i.m.) in mating season; Group B, 3 females administered eCG (1,000 IU/animal, i.m.), and then hCG (35 IU/kg, i.m.) after approx. 80 hr in mating season; and Group C, 3 females not treated (controls) and isolated from males during mating season. Females in Group A exhibited no elevation of progesterone levels after mating season, which suggests that they did not ovulate. In two of the three females in Group B, relatively small corpora lutea were observed by macroscopical and histological observation of excised ovaries after about a month of hCG treatments, suggesting that they might have ovulated. The other female which did not ovulate had given birth in the current year, and this may be the reason for no sensitivity to exogenous gonadotropins. From observation of excised ovaries in late August, females in Group C possessed no corpus luteum, suggesting that they did not ovulate. In conclusion, sole administration of hCG would not induce ovulation, and administration of both eCG and hCG was supposed to induce ovulation in Japanese black bears.
A seven-year-two-month-old male reindeer showed soft feces for several days, and suddenly died at a zoo in Chiba Prefecture in July 2003. Macroscopically, the liver was dark brown. Histopathologically, small necrotic foci were accompanied by degenerated neutrophils in the liver, and many Kupffer cells contained abundant hemosiderin. In addition, numerous copper stain-positive granules and small vacuoles were prominent in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes. The copper contents in liver, kidney and blood were 266.6 ppm, 21.7 ppm and 197.75μg/dl, respectively. These levels were apparently higher than those in the healthy reindeer and/or sheep. This reindeer was diagnosed as a case of copper poisoning.
A female Japanese rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus japonicus) in captivity died of an unknown reason in 1985. The carcass was stored at -15℃ until 2005 and then examined to define the cause of death. Finding a nodular lesion on the cere, avian poxvirus (APV) infection was suspected. An APV-specific 4b core gene sequence was detected in DNA samples prepared from lung, liver and the nodular lesion by PCR. The nucleotide sequence of the PCR product showed 100% identity to seven sequences of fowlpox virus (FWPV) previously reported. Integration of nearly intact reticuloendotheliosis virus gene which specifically found in virulent FWPV was also detected. These results indicate that the Japanese rock ptarmigan was died with FWPV infection.