Fibrotic degeneration was examined in the kidneys of ICR-derived glomerulonephritis (ICGN) mice, a novel inbred mouse line with a hereditary nephrotic syndrome of unknown etiology considered to be a good model of human idiopathic nephrotic syndrome. In the present study, we histochemically revealed changes in accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components and in localization of integrins, cellular receptors for ECM, in the kidneys of ICGN mice with the progression of renal failure. Excessive accumulation of basement membrane (laminin and collagen IV) and interstitial (type III collagen) ECM components were demonstrated in the glomeruli and tubulointerstitum of ICGN mice. Marked deposition of type I collagen and tenascin was seen only in the glomeruli of ICGN mice but not in those of ICR mice as normal controls. Increased expression of integrin α1-, α2-, α5- and β1-subunits in glomeruli with fibrotic degeneration and abnormal distribution of α6-subunit were noted in the kidneys of ICGN mice. Excessive laminin, a ligand of α6β1-integrin, was demonstrated on the tubular basement membrane, but α6-subunit diffusely disappeared on the basal side of the tubular epithelial cells. We presumed that abnormal integrin expression in renal tubules causes epithelial cell detachment, and consequently tubular nephropathy, and results in disorder of ECM metabolism causing excessive accumulation of ECM components in the kidneys of ICGN mice.
It has been recognized that ionized alkali mineral complex (IAMC)-fed farm animals demonstrate higher weight gains but less incidence of diseases than the unfed ones. However, how these beneficial effects in the IAMC-fed animals are induced has not yet been elucidated clearly. In this study, porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were cultured for 4, 24, and 48 hr in the presence of IAMC, and the effects of IAMC on mRNA expression of porcine cytokines were evaluated via a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Expression levels of IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10 in IAMC-treated cells were usually higher than those in the untreated ones. However, IAMC-treated cells demonstrated a reduced expression of IL-2. In addition, expression of IFN-γ was generally reduced in the cells treated with IAMC. The expression of IL-12 p35 and IL-12 p40 was not detectable in both the untreated and the IAMC-treated cells. Therefore, these results indicate that IAMC has immunomodulatory effects in vitro on the expression of porcine Th1-and Th2-type cytokines.
Fifteen and eight mature beagles, without (normal group) and with experimental mitral regurgitation (MR group), respectively, were given 0.02 mg /kg/day digoxin powder for 10 days orally. The optimum time for sample collection after administration of digoxin was observed to be 8-18 hr and 10-22 hr in the normal and MR groups, respectively. In both groups, a stable concentration was reached after 3-5 days of treatment. No differences in plasma level were observed between sexes. The optimum concentration of digoxin was attained at an earlier stage than has been previously reported for both dogs and humans.
Left atrial /aorta ratio (LA/AO) by echocardiography and the plasma level of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) were measured in 32 dogs with left heart insufficiency. There was a significant correlation between plasma ANP concentration and LA/AO (r=0.66, p<0.001). The authors obtained the result that the degree of expansion of the left atrial diameter seemed to have a close relationship with plasma ANP concentration. Plasma ANP concentration decreased when the clinical signs of the patients improved. However, the LA/AO ratio after treatment did not decrease. From these findings, we concluded that plasma ANP concentration has the possibility to become a significant index in the diagnosis and prognosis of heart disease in dogs.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate seasonal influences on thyroid hormone levels of healthy outdoor dogs in Hokkaido. We surveyed serum basal total thyroxine (tT4), free thyroxine (fT4), and canine thyroid-stimulating hormone (cTSH) levels, and tT4 levels after administration of TSH for a year. Basal tT4 levels decreased in January, and increased in August and September. fT4 levels increased in January and November. No significant seasonal variation was found in cTSH. tT4 levels after administration of TSH in August and November increased. These results suggested that the thyroid gland may have been activated in November. We should take seasonal variation into consideration when thyroid function is tested.
Fifty-six hamsters with demodicosis were treated with daily oral administration of ivermectin (0.3 mg/kg). Thirty-three cases (58.9%) were cured and 6 cases (10.7%) had improved clinically but needed to continue treatment. Of 5 cases (8.9%) who relapsed within 3 months and were retreated with ivermectin, 4 were cured and 1 needed further treatment. Five cases (8.9%) had improved clinically but died within 3 months. Seven cases (12.5%) had not improved and died within 3 months. Overall 49 (87.5%) hamsters had improved clinically. No significant differences in prognosis of demodicosis were detected according to sex, breed, age and clinical features, but the prognosis of demodicosis in hamsters with concurrent disease was poor.
Twelve (54.5%) of 22 free-roaming dogs in Ishigaki Island had tick infestation identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus. There were 121 ticks recovered and consisted of 28 females, 58 males, 22 nymphs and 3 larvae. Infection of dogs possibly with canine ehrlichial pathogens was examined by both indirect immunofluorescence assay and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two dogs of the 13 examined were sero-positive for the human granulocytic ehrlichia agent, and one of two dogs was PCR positive for Ehrlichia platys. This dog had platelet numbers slightly lower than normal value, however, no morulae were found within platelet on peripheral blood smear stained with Giemsa.
A 22-year-old female mandrill (Mandrillus sphinix) with continuously growing mass at the right mammary gland area was found dead, and a postmortem examination was performed. At necropsy, an elevated firm subcutaneous mass about 5 cm in diameter was present at the right mammary gland area. Axillary, mediastinal, and tracheobronchial lymph nodes were enlarged 2 to 4 times their normal sizes. Numerous metastatic foci 2 to 5 mm in diameter were scattered in the lung. Histologically, the tumor was diagnosed as mammary gland adenocarcinoma. Metastasis to the regional lymph nodes and lung was also confirmed. This is the first reported case of a mammary gland tumor in mandrill in Asia.
A 4-year-old female thoroughbred race horse died of acute peritonitis caused by necrotizing granulomatous duodenitis. Yersinia enterocolitica was immunohistochemically demonstrated in macrophages in granulomas developed in the duodenum, lung, liver and abdominal lymph nodes. The yeast-like fungi were found in the cytoplasmic vacuoles of macrophages in the lung that infiltrated into the granulomas and surrounding alveoli with congestive edema. The yeast-like fungi were positively stained by Gomori-Grocott chromic acid methenamine silver stain and immuno-histochemically stained with anti-histoplasma antibody. In this case, it was considered that granulomas formed in the duodenum, lung, liver and abdominal lymph nodes were primarily caused by Yersinia enterocolitica due to idiopathic weakening of the immune system. Yeast-like fungi immunohistochemically identified as histoplasmas secondarily infected the lung. This is the first case regarded as equine histoplasmosis capsulati in Japan.
An apocrine adenocarcinoma was observed in the subcutis of the abdomen of golden hamster. Histologically, the tumor cells irregularly formed multiple layers of cysts and some detached cells were presented in the cystic space. PAS stain with α-amylase digestion revealed PAS-positive α-amylase-resistant granules in the cytoplasm. Immunohistochemically, cytokeratin was demonstrated in the tumor cells. By electron microscopy, the tumor cells had an oval nucleus with invagination, abundant cytoplasmic organelles and microvilli protruding into the intercellular spaces.
Microsatellite 15 TKY System was characterized for parentage verification of horse registry. The Microsatellite 15 TKY System was constructed by using 15 microsatellites, TKY279, TKY287, TKY294, TKY297, TKY301, TKY312, TKY321, TKY325, TKY333, TKY337, TKY341, TKY343, TKY344, TKY374, and TKY394, to provide stringent PCR-based microsatellite typing specifically optimized for multicolor fluorescence detection. The Microsatellite 15 TKY System showed good resolutions for 250 unrelated Thoroughbred horses, and the probability of exclusion (PE) at each microsatellite ranged from 0.437 to 0.621, resulting in a total PE value of 99.998% for Thoroughbred horses. These results indicated that the Microsatellite 15 TKY System is useful for paternity testing of Thoroughbred horses. A paternity testing case for a Thoroughbred horse family, in which candidate sires had close relations, was analyzed using the Microsatellite 15 TKY System. In this case, the Microsatellite 15 TKY System excluded paternity of a false sire. We concluded that the Microsatellite 15 TKY System can give sufficient and reliable information for paternity testing.
This study is to (1) investigate the prevalence of Chlamydophila abortus infection in cows and goats in Taiwan, and (2) compare the genetic properties of Taiwanese isolates with abortion strains from other sources. Approximately 71% of aborted cows and 58% of aborted does had IgG against C. abortus in their sera. The seroprevalence rate in cows may be overestimated, because a certain degree of cross-reactivity with C. pecorum cannot be ruled out. Only 22.7% (from aborted cows) and 33.3% (from aborted does) of vaginal swabs that tested positive by polymerase chain reaction led to successful isolation of C. abortus by inoculation into chicken embryos, equivalent to 7.1% and 7.9% of isolation rates, respectively. The major outer membrane protein gene of 15 Taiwanese abortion isolates was compared with that of various strains by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and nucleotide sequencing. Restriction enzyme CfoI was able to distinguish Taiwanese ruminant isolates, which have identical RFLP patterns, from C. felis (feline) and C. psittaci (avian) strains. Taiwanese isolates had 98.8-100% homology with known ruminant abortion strains and were phylogenetically closest to bovine LW508 strain.
Salmonella enteritidis is the cause of human salmonellosis associated with contaminated eggs. In this study, we artificially challenged S. enteritidis to chicks just after hatching, and the effects of breeding conditions on the intestinal carriage of S. enteritidis were examined. S. enteritidis was not directly detected from spleen, liver and blood, but were constantly isolated from the cecal contents throughout the experiment. When chicks were reared in the unsanitary conditions and in the high housing density, the numbers of S. enteritidis increased. The subsequent experiment was undertaken to examine whether the antibacterial additive in a feed would have any impact on S. enteritidis colonization in chicks. Some antibiotic effective on the growth promotion had an influence on S. enteritidis colonization.
To establish an accurate method for parentage testing in dogs, microsatellite DNA repeat length polymorphisms were examined. We selected twenty microsatellite markers reported previously and examined their application for parentage testing in Beagles and Labrador Retrievers. Heterozygosity (He), Polymorphism Information Content (PIC), the probabilities of Paternity Exclusion (PE) and the combined PE were calculated from allelic frequencies of the markers. All markers amplified by polymerase chain reactions were polymorphic and many markers showed high He and PIC in the both breeds. The final combined PEs in Beagles and Labrador Retrievers were 0.999994 and 0.999920, respectively. The results suggest that the twenty markers can be applied for routine parentage testing in dogs.
Endocrine disrupters are exogenous compounds thought to mimic the action of estrogen or other hormones and influence endocrine activity in the body (Juberg, 2000). These chemicals have adverse effects not only in the reproductive system but also in the central nervous system during development and throughout life. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a class of environmentally persistent and widespread halogenated hydrocarbons. It has been reported that PCBs are potential neurotoxicants. Endosulfan is an organochlorine insecticide that is extensively used to control pests in vegetables, cotton, and fruits. To determine the effect of 2, 2', 4, 4', 5, 5',-hexachlorobiphenyl(2, 4, 5-HCB) and endosulfan on embryo nervous system, we isolated neural stem cells from rat brain at embryonic day 17. Isolated neural stem cells showed pluripotenty. Stem cells could differentiate into neurons and glia. Neurite formation in endosulfan and 2, 4, 5-HCB treated cells. And it appeared to be decreased as compared with that in untreated cells. In order to know the neuro-toxic mechanisms of 2, 4, 5-HCB and endosulfan in neuronal stem cells, we investigated mitogen-activated protein kinase activity (MAPK) and gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Endosulfan decreased the MAPK activity in dose dependent manner. Endosulfan and 2, 4, 5-HCB inhibited GJIC compared to the untreated cell by scrape loading dye transfer (SL/DT). 2, 4, 5-HCB and endosulfan decreased the expression of connexin 43 in dose dependent manner. These results indicated that 2, 4, 5-HCB and endosulfan may inhibit differentiation and proliferation of neural stem cells and gap junctional intercellular communication which play a crucial role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis.
Duck parvovirus (DPV) and Goose parvovirus (GPV) isolated from infected waterfowls with Derzsy's disease in the year 1999 were identified by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing. The nucleotide sequences of their viral capsid proteins (VPs) show that they share 77% similarity at the DNA, and 84.6% at the protein level. The most variable region between DPV and GPV resides in the N-terminal of VP2 before the initiation codon of VP3 with 35% (19/54) amino acids divergence. Viral capsid protein sequences diverge 4.1 to 4.4% among 1990-99 isolated strains. Variant amino acids cluster in the common regions of VP3 at residues 203-266 and 482-534 which overlaps with the regions proposed to expose on the outer surfaces of parvoviral particles, implying that selective pressure from host immune system might play a part. These data provide useful information for antigenic epitope prediction. This study also reveal the presence of conserved strain-specific residues in VPs and these residues seldom vary among different viral isolates, suggesting that they might be functionally important and worth further investigation.
For the epidemiological survey of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) isolated in Japan, the open reading frame (ORF) 5 gene of 37 field isolates in Chiba prefecture from 1991 to 1999 were analyzed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Reverse tanscription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplifying the ORF 5 gene detected 35 field isolates except for 2 isolates. RFLP analysis with MluI, HincII, SacII, HaeIII and MspI demonstrated that 35 field isolates were divided into 14 distinct codes and 34 isolates were distinguished from VR2332-derived modified live PRRSV vaccine, indicating the existence of genetic diversity in PRRSV field isolates in Japan. Only one strain 98-4A had an RFLP pattern identical to the vaccine strain. Nine out of the 35 field isolates (25.7%) had the RFLP code 1-3-2-1-1 and these patterns occurred throughout the examination period. This suggests that these isolates are the prevailing strain of PRRS in Chiba prefecture. RFLP with 5 enzymes demonstrated that various strains existed in the same year, and that there were different codes on the same farm according to the year. These observations indicate that there is a genetic variation among field isolates in very limited regions and some viruses possess the ability to cause their own genomic substitutions within a herd in a short time.
A serodiagnostic ELISA utilizing the recombinant nucleoprotein (rN protein) of transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) was developed, and evaluated by examining a panel of 141 virus neutralization (VN) positive and 101 negative sera. The rN protein-based ELISA (rnELISA) appeared to be highly sensitive and specific (98.6% and 98.0%, respectively) when it was compared to the VN test. The result was similar to that of an ELISA based on purified viral antigens with showing good correlation (R=0.829). No cross-reaction was detected with antisera against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, hog cholera virus, type A rotavirus, pseudorabies virus and swine vesicular disease virus in this ELISA. The rnELISA can be an alternative for the diagnosis of TGE with a great advantage in antigen preparation.