Morphology of the modern cetaceans represents the results of adaptation of the ancestral terrestrial mammals to aquatic life through their evolutional processes. Some of the primitive fossil cetaceans are known to have both fore and hind limbs, whereas the pelvic bones of modern cetaceans are, in general, a pair of slender rod-like structures within the abdominal wall muscles just anterior to the anus with no articulations to the axial skeleton in poth sexies. It is interesting and important to consider the causes and processes of how the hind limbs were lost and how the pelvis was reduced during the process of adaptation. In the present study, we tried to evaluate the topography and function of rudimentary pelvic bones of the finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides), one of the members of the odontocete cetaceans, with special references to the structures around the pelvic bones. Some soft tissues such as M. ischiocavernosus relating to the pelvic bone are transformed following the drastic reduction of the pelvis. This transformation tells us that the cetaceans adapted to the aquatic life during evolutional processes chose the tail flukes driven by the powerful trunk muscles for locomotion, instead of modifying the hind limbs into hind flippers as seen in pinnipeds. On the other hand, it is evident that a function of the pelvic bones of the male finless porpoise was supporting the penis as those of terrestrial mammals. It is noteworthy that the morphological features of the ancestral terrestrial mammals can be traced when they are carefully compared with those of the finless porpoise.
The ICR-derived glomerulonephritis (ICGN) mouse, a novel inbred mouse strain with a hereditary nephrotic syndrome, develops severe anemia associated with chronic renal failure. To reveal the pathogenic mechanism of anemia in ICGN mice, we subcutaneously administered recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO; 5 IU/mouse/day) or saline for 5 days to ICGN mice. In terminal-stage ICGN mice with severe anemia, rhEPO significantly increased hematocrit (Ht), red blood cells (RBC) and hemoglobin levels. Endogenous EPO levels in peripheral blood were reduced by rhEPO injection. No histopathological changes in bone marrow and kidneys were induced by rhEPO injection. Insufficiency of EPO may cause anemia in ICGN mice.
Four-day-old specific-pathogen-free chickens were inoculated by eyedrop with four different strains (Gray, JMK, CV56b, and Wolgemuth) of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Birds were monitored clinically and euthanatized at 1, 4, 7, and 14 days postinfection and tissues were collected for virus isolation, histopathologic examination, in situ hybridization (ISH), and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Clinical disease was severe in chickens infected with Wolgemuth, but no overt disease was observed with the other strains. Virus was isolated from the kidneys of chickens infected with the Gray-, CV56b-, and Wolgemuth-strains of IBV. Histologically, interstitial nephritis was evident in chickens infected with these same 3 strains. However, viral nucleic acid and antigen were detected only with Wolgemuth-infected kidneys by ISH and IHC. These results indicate that the pathological changes in kidneys from chickens infected with Gray and CV56b may not have resulted from the cytolytic action of the virus.
The antigenic properties of Brachyspira (B.) alvinipulli ATCC 51933 and strain C2 were analyzed and compared with those of B. hyodysenteriae ATCC 27164 and ATCC 31212, B. pilosicoli ATCC 51139, B. innocens ATCC 29796 and B. aalborgi NCTC 11492. In gel immunodiffusion tests, a protein in B. alvinipulli ATCC 51933 reacted strongly with anti-B. alvinipulli ATCC 51933-serum and formed two precipitin lines. Furthermore, by an immunoblotting technique, the 105-kilodaltons (kDa) protein in B. alvinipulli ATCC 51933 reacted strongly with each of the antisera to B. hyodysenteriae, B. pilosicoli, B. innocens and B. aalborgi. Therefore, the 105-kDa protein could be applied to diagnosis of chicken infection by B. alvinipulli and B. pilosicoli. But the 105-kDa protein reacting with the anti-B. alvinipulli ATCC 51933-serum was not confirmed in B. hyodysenteriae, B. pilosicoli, B. innocens and B. aalborgi. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the 105-kDa protein isolated from B. alvinipulli ATCC 51933 was Met-Lys-Lys-Met-Val-Tyr-Phe-Phe-Gly-Asn. The amino acid alignment of this protein possessed 50% homology with the periplasmic-iron-binding protein BitC in B. hyodysenteriae.
A long-term study was performed on the prevalence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157 in bovine faeces. The present study was conducted on heifers raised on a farm showing a high isolation rate of EHEC O157 in previous years. The prevalence of EHEC O157 isolated from faecal samples was 10.6% (222/2104), 5.6% (181/3225), and 5.6% (153/2744) from 1998 to 2000, respectively. The numbers of EHEC O157-positive heifers for the same 3 years were 46.3% (185/400), 36.8% (147/399), and 31.7% (130/410), respectively. The seasonal prevalence of EHEC O157 varied according to the year. Most positive heifers excreted the EHEC O157 only once during the survey, though it was excreted 2 or 3 times by some heifers. The results obtained in the present study showed that the farm examined was heavily contaminated with EHEC O157. It is assumed that EHEC O157 does not remain in individual cattle long-term, but does exist long-term on farms due to repeated infection.
Two of four weak β-hemolytic isolates of intestinal spirochetes isolated from pigs in Japan possessed a unique base alignment of TTTTTT on the 16S ribosomal DNA of Brachyspira pilosicoli and were identified as B. pilosicoli. The other two isolates were not identified by this technique. The identified isolates were 4.2 to 11 μm in length and 0.2 to 0.3 μm in diameter, 4 periplasmic flagella at each end were observed dominantly. The isolates were hippurate positive but indole negative. This is the first report on the isolation of B. pilosicoli from pigs in Japan.
The effect of sulfatide, a sulfated sphingolipid, on phosphorylation of endogenous proteins by protein kinase C (PKC) was examined in cow mammary gland. Several proteins, including 21-kDa, 43-kDa and 56-kDa proteins in the cytosolic fraction, were found to be substrates for PKC by phosphorylation in the absence or presence of the cofactors 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG), phosphatidylserine (PS) and Ca2+. Sulfatide inhibited the 21-kDa phosphorylation, whereas it enhanced the 56-kDa and 43-kDa phosphorylation. Experiments were then conducted to examine whether other sphingolipids, including sphingosine, dihydrosphingosine, ceramides, galactocerebrosides, psychosine and sphingomyelin, modulated phosphorylation of the PKC substrates. Sphingosine, dihydrosphingosine and psychosine did not inhibit the 21-kDa phosphorylation; however, they enhanced the 56-kDa and 43-kDa phosphorylation. Ceramides, galactocerebrosides and sphingomyelin did not inhibit the 21-kDa or enhance the 56-kDa and 43-kDa phosphorylation. The inhibition by sulfatide of the 21-kDa phosphorylation was reversed by excess addition of PS, but not by OAG or Ca2+; whereas the enhancement by sulfatide, as well as sphingosine, dihydrosphingosine and psychosine, of 56-kDa and 43-kDa phosphorylation was not affected by PS, OAG or Ca2+. It is suggested that sulfatide is involved in the regulation of PKC-dependent phosphorylation by modulating the association of PKC substrates, in particular the 21-kDa protein, with membrane phospholipids in cow mammary gland.
To evaluate the presence of centrosome amplification and the resulting chromosomal instability in cat tumors, a newly established feline lymphoma cell line and four already established feline lymphoma cell lines were examined using immunohistochemical analysis of centrosomes. The number of chromosomes were subsequently counted by metaphase spread. Moreover, to explore whether mutational inactivation of the p53 gene or inactivation of the P53 protein caused by mdm2 gene overexpression, occurred in the feline lymphoma cell lines, mutational analysis of the feline p53 gene was carried out. The expression of feline mdm2 mRNA was evaluated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Centrosome amplification and chromosomal instability was observed in three out of the five feline lymphoma cell lines. Of these three feline lymphoma cell lines, one had aberrations in the P53 amino-acid sequence, whereas the others had none. There was no significant difference in the expression of mdm2 mRNA between peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from a normal cat and that of the five feline lymphoma cell lines. These findings indicate that centrosome amplification also occurs in cat tumors and is strongly correlated with chromosomal instability, suggesting that the immunostaining of centrosomes could be an alternative method for the examination of the chromosomal instability. Furthermore, this study suggests the presence of unknown mechanism that leads to the centrosome amplification in feline lymphomas.
Lactoferrin (Lf), a member of the transferrin family protein, is an iron-binding protein that is known to interact with mammalian cells through a specific receptor. We examined binding of Lf to Jurkat human lymphoblastic T cell line (Jurkat cells) by far Western blotting, and found that bovine Lf and human Lf bound to the same protein components of Jurkat cells, and that pepsin digestion of Lf disrupts the sites responsible for binding to cellular proteins. We also found that the sugar chains of bovine Lf are not involved in binding between bovine Lf and Jurkat cells. Bovine Lf, bovine transferrin and ovotransferrin bound to the same proteins of Jurkat cells, which had molecular weights of about 35 kDa.
Various canine breeds are remarkably different from each other not only in their sizes and shapes but also in behavioral traits, suggesting that some of them are under genetic control. Although dopaminergic neurotransmission system is considered to affect animal behavior, little is known about related genes in canine. Relations between specific alleles in polymorphic regions of the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) and personality or psychiatric disorders have been reported in humans, and we first found polymorphism in exon III region of the gene in 4 canine breeds. In this study we surveyed allele frequency distribution in 23 breeds including a total of 1,535 unrelated individuals. In exon III, 8 alleles including a novel allele were identified. A group of breeds in which the alleles 447b, 498 and 549 were frequent tended toward high scores in aggression-related behavioral traits than that with frequent alleles 435 and 447a. Moreover, a polymorphism based on 24 bp insertion/deletion was found in exon I region for the first time in dogs. This information may be of use for candidate gene studies of behavioral variation in dogs.
A panel of chicken monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) was developed against prion protein (PrP), the sequence of which is a highly conserved molecule among mammals. A portion of the splenocytes from chickens immunized with recombinant mouse PrP was fused with the chicken B cell line, MuH1. The remaining splenocytes were used to generate the recombinant mAbs by phage display. A total of 36 anti-PrP mAbs, 2 from cell fusion and 34 from phage display were established. The specificity of these mAbs was determined by Western blot and ELISA using various PrP antigens including recombinant PrPs, synthetic PrP peptides and PrPs from brains or scrapie-infected neuroblastoma cell line. These mAbs were classified into three main groups, protease K (PK)-sensitive (Group I), PK cleavage site proximal (Group II) and PK-resistant (Group III), based on their abilities to recognize PrP following PK-treatment. Some mAbs were found to selectively recognize different glycoforms of PrP as well as the metabolic fragments of PrP. Furthermore, we found that PrP recognition by chickens differed from that by PrP-knockout mouse. These results indicate that these newly generated PrP antibodies from chickens will help to research the PrP and to establish the diagnosis of prion disease.
The inhibitory effects of 45 plant extracts selected from Central Kalimantan, Indonesia on Babesia gibsoni in vitro and their acute toxicity to mice were evaluated. Of these plant extracts studied, Arcangelisia flava, Curcuma zedoaria, Garcinia benthamiana, Lansium domesticum and Peronema canescens were found to have appreciable antibabesial activity with IC50 values from 5.3 to 49.3 μg/ml without acute toxicity in mice at the intraperitoneal dose of 0.7 g/kg of body weight.
Age-related changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and cross-sectional area and bone strength index (SSI) of the femur, tibia, humerus, and first lumbar vertebra in female Wistar (WM/MsNrs) rats were examined by a quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) method. One hundred and sixteen virgin female Wistar (WM/MsNrs) rats aged 2-33 months were used. The data indicate that the total BMD values of metaphyses and diaphyses of long bones increased until 12 months, then decreased to a varying degree depending on the bone after 15-24 months, but the values of cortical and trabecular BMD with age were not always similar to the total BMD value. Nevetheless, the values for cross-sectional area and SSI in the long bones increased regardless of the total BMD decrease with age, indicating that this increase might have been due to a characteristic of the modeling pattern in rats. The total and cortical BMD values in the first lumbar vertebra decreased after 18 months, and SSI did after 15 months. The data obtained in this study were compared with those obtained from males in a previous study. In conclusion, it was indicated that in this strain the rats over 12 months with the highest total BMD values in the femur and tibia, and before the onset of various tumors, are useful as a model animal for osteoporosis experiments and observation of senile bone change.
The Cryptsosporidium isolate from chickens in Japan by Itakura et al. is not yet accurately identified because of several discrepancies in phenotypic features. We attempted to identify this isolate by analyzing the partial sequences of the 18S rRNA, COWP and HSP70 genes. The chicken isolate showed nearly 100% homology in each gene with C. baileyi, but less than 91% homology with C. meleagridis. In addition, these genes were classified into the same cluster with C. baileyi other than C. meleagridis by phylogenetic analysis. From these results, the Cryptosporidium isolate from chickens in Japan is considered to be one of the strains of C. baileyi.
Sixty yaks were autopsied to determine the migration pattern of warble fly larvae. In August, first instars were observed in the body of yak for the first time. These larvae peaked in number in October. From November to February, second instars were detected and their number peaked in January. Third instars appeared in January and peaked in March. Forty-five yaks were administered with ivermectin: 15 animals in September, 15 in October and 15 in November. Between December and June, the number of warbles was checked by palpation. Although some warbles were observed in the September - and November -treated groups, no warbles were detected in the October-treated group. Treatment of yaks with ivermectin was most effective for warble fly in October.
DNA extraction and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were developed for the detection of Haemophilus parasuis from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. The results for nested PCR were compared with those determined by in situ hybridization. The optimal results obtained show that use of xylene deparaffinization, digestion with proteinase K followed by nested PCR is a reliable detection method. A distinct positive signal was detected in 20 pigs naturally infected with H. parasuis by in situ hybrdization. The rate of agreement between nested PCR and in situ hybridization for the detection of H. parasuis in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues was 100%. The nested PCR could be applied successfully to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues for the detection of H. parasuis with bacterial isolation.
A 9-year, 7-month-old female German shepherd weighing 26.6 kg was admitted to the hospital for pica and diarrhea. A large mass was found in the right ovary and removed, and cross section of the mass revealed a multilobular tumor consisting of several cystic cavities which contained tufts of dark hair in thick creamy-white sebaceous fluid. Histologically, the tumor consisted of adipose tissue, central nervous tissue, crystalline lens, cartilage and bone. In the central nervous tissue, lens and lesions like nonsuppurative inflammation comprizing of accumulation of glial cells and lymphocytic perivascular cuffing were observed. The tumor was diagnosed as a mature cystic teratoma.
We previously reported that small wild rodents in Japan harbor two types of novel Babesia microti-like parasites (designated as Hobetsu and Kobe types), but not the type commonly found in the northeastern United States (U.S. type) where human babesiosis is endemic. To determine whether these new types of parasites are distributed in places surrounding Japan, an epizootiologic survey was undertaken in three geographically distant areas in northeastern Eurasia; South Korea, Vladivostok in Russia, and Xinjiang in China. Blood samples were collected from a total of 387 animals comprising 24 species. DNAs extracted from the samples were tested by nested PCR targeting babesial nuclear small-subunit rRNA gene (rDNA), which revealed that small rodents harboring B. microti exist in all three survey areas. Sequence analysis showed that all PCR-positive samples had rDNA sequences virtually identical to that of U.S.-type B. microti. However, when β-tubulin gene sequences were compared, evident geographic variations were seen. By use of primers specific for each of the β-tubulin genes of Kobe-, Hobetsu-, and U.S.-type parasites, a type-specific PCR was developed. Parasite with Hobetsu- or Kobe-type sequence was not detected from any of the three survey areas. These findings suggest that U.S.-type B. microti is widely distributed among small wild mammals in temperate zones of not only North America, but also Eurasia, whereas that Hobetsu- and Kobe-type parasites may be uniquely distributed in Japan.
An alkaline decomposition method employing a KOH/alcohol solution was studied, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in particles remaining in canine lung were measured. As a result, BaA, BkF, BaP, and BghiP were found. By this method, PAHs extracted from the lungs of 32 dogs were 13.0-166.0 ng (mean, 63.0 ng) for BaA, 6.6-90.2 ng (mean, 27.4 ng) for BkF, 9.8-167.4 ng (mean 47.2 ng) for BaP, and 10.8-206.0 ng (mean, 61.8 ng) for BghiP. The results showed no correlation between the age and the concentration of PAHs in the lung, but some correlation was found between the age and the lung weight (p<0.01). There were significant correlations among the concentrations of the compounds in the lung (p<0.01). These results suggest that dogs, like humans, are affected by automobile exhaust and other common generation sources of such substances.
It has been shown that certain slow neurological diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (also known as "mad cow" disease) could be transmitted through contaminated food intake by animals; therefore, the examination of meat components in commercial feeds is important for the control of the disease in public health. The combination of polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphisms (PCR-RFLPs) technique was applied to examine the meat components in dog and cat commercial feeds. The partial nucleotide sequence (359 bp) of animal mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb, CYT) gene was amplified by PCR and then digested with restriction enzyme Alu I or Mbo I. In this work, eight brands of commercial dog and cat feeds available in Taiwan were examined. All brands of dog feeds that were tested contained meat from four different animals (cattle, pig, goat and chicken). In cat feeds, the chicken meat was found in five out of eight brands.
Basic studies were carried out to apply frozen allogeneic nerve grafts in dogs after wide-ranging defects of the brachial plexus due to surgical resection of tumor. In this study, morphological variations in branching patterns of the brachial plexus were examined in ten beagle dogs, to evaluate whether the brachial plexus might represent a useful source of allogeneic nerve grafts. Spatial relationships between the axillary lymph node, which had the possibility of carcinomatous metastasis, and the musculocutaneous (MC) nerve, which was important for the function of the forelimbs, were also investigated. In all ten cases examined, the brachial plexus received ventral roots from the fifth cervical nerve to the first thoracic nerve. No significant variation in the branching pattern was found in any nerve except the phrenic, MC and dorsal thoracic nerves. Four communicating branches were observed and had some morphological variations which might be negligible for nerve grafting. Considering previous physiological and anatomical reports, the most important nerve to be reunited in graft operations for functional recovery is the radial nerve. The MC nerve and median or ulnar nerve should also be considered as possibilities for reuniting. Distances between the axillary lymph nodes and the MC nerve ranged from 11.2 mm to 21 mm (mean ± SD: 16.1 ± 2.3 mm). In conclusion, it was suggested that morphological variations in the brachial plexus were technically acceptable to apply allogeneic nerve grafts at least in beagle dogs.
The usefulness of myelography with multiple views (lateral, ventrodorsal, left and right oblique view) in the diagnosis of the exact circumferential location of herniated disc material around the spinal cord in 80 dogs diagnosed with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation at surgery was assessed by comparison of clinical and surgical findings. The circumferential location of the compressing mass was diagnosed in 94% of dogs on myelography. The oblique view was of more benefit than the ventrodorsal view in diagnosing the circumferential distribution of the compressing mass. Only the oblique view contributed to a diagnosis of lateralization of the compressing mass in 45% of dogs. Fourteen percent of dogs had clinical lateralization contralateral to myelographic lateralization. The myelographic localization agreed with the surgical localization in 97% of dogs with regard to the exact location of herniated disc material. The presence of clinical lateralization contralateral to myelographic lateralization and a high proportion of agreement of myelographic and surgical localization documents that myelography with multiple views is useful and essential to accurately determine the circumferential location of disc material around the spinal cord.
Vinclozolin (VCZ) is a systemic dicarboximide fungicide with antiandrogenic activity. Reproductive toxicity of VCZ was investigated in male rats exposed to VCZ during puberty. Sprague-Dawley male rats aged with 35 days were assigned to six different groups; negative control, positive control receiving flutamide (100 mg/kg), VCZ (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg), and a combination of VCZ (200 mg/kg) + methyltestosterone (100 mg/kg). The animals were treated with test compounds by oral gavage daily during 35 to 44 days of age. In pubertal rats sacrificed on the next day after final treatment, VCZ or flutamide-treated group showed a decrease in weights of prostate, epididymis, and seminal vesicle, hypertrophy of Leydig cells in the testis, detached debris and sloughed cells in the tubules of the caput epididymis, and an increase in serum testosterone levels. On the other hand, combined treatment of VCZ + methyltestosterone decreased testicular weight, increased seminal vesicle weight, and induced degeneration of spermatocytes. In adult rats sacrificed at five weeks after final treatment, flutamide decreased testicular sperm counts, and VCZ, flutamide and VCZ + methyltestosterone also decreased epididymal sperm counts. In addition, treatment of VCZ (400 mg) or VCZ + methyltestosterone decreased some motion kinematic parameters of sperms including curvilinear velocity, mean angular displacement and lateral head displacement. Flutamide treatment also decreased lateral head displacement. These results indicate that VCZ exposure during pubertal period in male rats causes reproductive disorders in puberty and adulthood.
Genetic and phylogenetic analyses of the region containing the glycoprotein (G) gene, which is related to pathogenicity and antigenicity, and the G-L intergenic region were carried out in 14 Brazilian rabies virus isolates. The isolates were classified as dog-related rabies virus (DRRV) or vampire bat-related rabies virus (VRRV), by nucleoprotein (N) analysis. The nucleotide and amino acid (AA) homologies of the area containing the G protein gene and G-L intergenic region were generally lower than those of the ectodomain. In both regions, nucleotide and deduced AA homologies were lower among VRRVs than among DRRVs. There were AA differences between DRRV and VRRV at 3 antigenic sites and epitopes (IIa, WB+ and III), suggesting that DRRV and VRRV can be distinguished by differences of antigenicity. In a comparison of phylogenetic trees between the ectodomain and the area containing the G protein gene and G-L intergenic region, the branching patterns of the chiropteran and carnivoran rabies virus groups differed, whereas there were clear similarities in patterns within the DRRV and VRRV groups. Additionally, the VRRV isolates were more closely related to chiropteran strains isolated from Latin America than to Brazilian DRRV. These results indicate that Brazilian rabies virus isolates can be classified as DRRV or VRRV by analysis of the G gene and the G-L intergenic region, as well as by N gene analysis.
Only two strains (Shintoku and porcine-like WD534tc) of group C rotavirus (GCR) from cattle have been reported to date. A GCR designated the Yamagata strain was the only pathogen detected in an outbreak of adult cow diarrhea accompanied by a decrease in milk production. The nucleotide sequences of the VP6 and VP7 genes from strain Yamagata were determined. Comparative sequence analysis showed that the sequence identities between strains Yamagata and Shintoku were markedly high in both VP6 gene (98.1%) and VP7 gene (93.5%), and that these strains belonged to the same clusters which were distinguished from GCRs from different host species in phylogenetic trees of these genes. These results suggested strongly that cattle species is one of the natural hosts of GCR infection, and that GCRs are a cause of adult cow diarrhea.