The ICR-derived glomerulonephritis (ICGN) mouse is an appropriate model for anemia associated with chronic renal disorder (CRD). Insufficient renal production of erythropoietin (EPO) induces the anemia associated with CRD. EPO mRNA is expressed in both kidneys and liver of progressing-stage ICGN mice. Hypoxic stimulation induced the EPO mRNA expression in the liver as well as in the kidneys of ICGN mice. The localization of EPO-producing cells in the liver remains controversial. Present study using an amplified in situ hybridization technique identified that nonparenchymal cells were the source of hepatic EPO production in ICGN mice under both normoxia and hypoxia.
The expression of protein kinase C (PKC) was studied in the bovine retina by immunohistochemical analysis. Western blot analysis showed that PKC isoforms, including α, βI, δ and θ, were detected in the bovine retina. By immunohistochemistry, both PKC α and βI were expressed in all retinal layers, with an intense localization of both PKC α and βI detected in bipolar cells in the inner nuclear cell layer and in some glial cells in ganglion cell layers. The immunoreactivity of both PKC δ and θ was quite weak in the retinal layers, compared with that of PKC α and βI. These findings suggest that both conventional and novel PKCs are differentially expressed in the bovine retina.
The expression of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) mRNA was examined in mammary gland with or without lactation, and during periparturient period in a Holstein cow and a Jersey cow. In the lactating mammary gland, PTHrP was detected in alveolar epithelial cells and the lumen by immunohistochemical analysis. The relative expression levels of PTHrP mRNA in mammary gland from lactating cows were significantly higher than those from non-lactating cows (P<0.05). During periparturient period, relative PTHrP mRNA level was remarkably low before the parturition in a Jersey and a Holstein cow, however, both levels were gradually increased and reached a peak level at 5-6 weeks after the parturition. In addition, the peak level in a Jersey cow was approximately 3-fold higher than that in a Holstein cow. From these results, PTHrP was synthesized and secreted in alveolar epithelial cells in mammary gland and increased subsequently with the lactation, suggesting a possible mechanism for the regulation of local calcium homeostasis.
Pulmonary alveolar echinococcosis (AE) caused by the metacestode of Echinococcus multilocularis is a lethal zoonosis and is a lesion secondarily induced by hematogenous dissemination from hepatic AE lesions. In the present study, a hematogenous pulmonary AE model was experimentally induced in rats by the injection of echinococcal larval tissue homogenate to the tail vein, and then the pathological and diagnostic aspects of pulmonary AE were examined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Histological primary, mature and degenerated AE lesions were observed 5, 18 and 50 weeks after injection, respectively. These lesions were discriminated as signal-void, hypointense and hyperintense regions in T1-weighted MRI (T1WI), respectively. The change in signal intensity in T1WI might reflect the content of proteinaceous fluid as a result of AE cyst degeneration. Western blot analysis of sera with antibodies of two epitopes (Em18 and Em16) of E. multilocularis provided evidence for AE infection in the early stage. T1WI in combination with Western blot analysis could possibility become definitive and early signs of hematogenous pulmonary AE infection.
To assess relationships between nucleotide polymorphisms of the prion protein (PRNP) gene and susceptibility to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), we investigated polymorphisms in the open reading frame (ORF) and 2 upper regions of the PRNP gene from 2 Japanese cattle breeds: 863 healthy Holstein cattle, 6 BSE-affected Holstein cattle, and 186 healthy Japanese Black (JB) cattle. In the ORF, we found single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at nucleotide positions 234 and 576 and found 5 or 6 copies of the octapeptide repeat, but we did not find any amino acid substitutions. In the upper region, we examined 2 sites of insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms: a 23-bp indel in the upper region of exon 1, and a 12-bp indel in the putative promoter region of intron 1. A previous report suggests that the 23-bp indel polymorphism is associated with susceptibility to BSE, but we did not find a difference in allele frequency between healthy and BSE-affected Holstein cattle. There were differences in allele frequency between healthy Holstein and JB cattle at the 23- and 12-bp indels and at the SNPs at nucleotide positions 234 and 576, but there was no difference in allele frequency of the octapeptide repeat. We identified a unique PRNP gene lacking a 288-bp segment (96 amino acids) in DNA samples stocked in our laboratory, but this deletion was not found in any of the 1049 cattle examined in the present study. The present results provide data about variations and distribution of the bovine PRNP gene.
Age-associated changes of visual evoked potentials by flash stimulation (flash VEP) were evaluated in 53 beagle dogs aged from 1- to 15-year-old. Among the components of flash VEP consisted of 3 positive (P1, P2 and P3) and 2 negative (N1 and N2) peaks by 150 msec, the latency of P2 and the later peaks (N2 and P3) were significantly delayed with aging. Both amplitudes of the P2-N2 and N2-P3 also showed a significant correlation with aging. The flash VEP is considered to be an available and useful technique to evaluate not only for visual pathway, but also some disturbance of neurological functions, like as those reported in demented human.
Recently we reported that a chimeric molecule containing mouse transferrin receptor and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) Fc, mTR-Fc, induced higher immune responses and can be used as a vaccine adjuvant. In this study, the immunological property of the molecule was investigated. Although, the mTR-Fc did not activate complement classical pathway, it was recognized by activated macrophage as like intact IgG Fc, which is recognized by macrophage via Fcγ receptor. In addition, we found that splenocyte simultaneously exposed to lipopolysaccaride (LPS) and mTR-Fc produced higher amount of interleukin-10, comparing to that exposed to only LPS. These results suggest that the mTR-Fc molecules conserved the IgG Fc property to biasing immune responses via modulation of cytokine production by antigen presenting cell.
Recently, it has been reported that intermittent administration of nitrate, with a nitrate-free interval of 10 to 12 hr eliminated expression of tolerance, and maintained its hypotensive effect. In the present study, we evaluated whether nitrate tolerance developed or not with an intermittent administration of sr-ISDN (5 mg/kg/ once a day) in Wistar rats. The effect of this administration protocol for sr-ISDN on the volume overload heart model, aortovenous fistula, was also examined. Furthermore, blood pressure was monitored by radio telemetry during sr-ISDN (5 mg/kg/once a day) administration. Nitrate tolerance did not develop, and eccentric hypertrophy due to volume overload was moderated by sr-ISDN administration. Sr-ISDN administration maintained blood pressure lower level than the placebo group. In conclusion, prolonged intermittent administration of sr-ISDN maintained its hypotensive effect during the entire experiment period, without developing tolerance, and moderated efferent hypertrophy with attenuated volume overload.
We examined the effective diagnostic indicator using the concanavalin A (Con A) low-affinity lactoferrin (Lf) to mastitic drying cows. The concentrations of both Lf and Con A low-affinity Lf in mammary gland secretions (MGSs) were lower than normal MGSs at the early and middle dry periods and colostrums. On the other hand, the levels of Con A low-affinity Lf in MGSs increased following the appearance of mastitis symptoms, and decreased when the mastitic symptoms were cured. Moreover, IgG1 concentrations of colostrums decrease on the quarters where a high level of Con A low-affinity Lf was determined after the onset of dry period. These results suggest that this method could be used as a useful indicator to mastitic drying cows.
The effect of dietary administration of bananas on immunocytes in calves was investigated. Twenty Fl hybrid calves were used in this study (treated group n=10, control group n=10). Banana (2 g/kg BW) was administered to the calves for 5 days. Leukocyte subsets were examined on days 0, 5, 10, and 15. The numbers CD3+, CD3+CD45R-, and CD3+TcR+ cells significantly increased between day 0 and day 5 in the treated group (P<0.01), and were significantly higher on day 5 in the treated group relative to the control group (P<0.05). These data showed that feeding banana to calves increased T-lymphocytes, suggesting it might be possibile to enhance protective functions against infections.
Most isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans (teleomorph: Filobasidiella neoformans) from human patients and from environmental materials in Japan have been identified as serotype A mating type a by the seroagglutination test and mating experiments. A PCR method using the mating type α allele-specific primer of the STE12 gene and the serotype- and mating type-specific primers of the STE20 gene for identification of C. neoformans has been developed. Using the PCR method, conserved strains and clinical isolates from feline cryptococcosis were examined for serotype and the mating type. The results showed that all clinical isolates examined were identified as serotype A, MATα, indicating that feline cryptococcsis cases in Japan are caused by C. neoformans serotype A, MATα, as is the case in humans.
This report deals with three additional canine cases of sterile panniculitis treated by oral administration of tacrolimus and prednisolone. The oral tacrolimus treatment was proved to be an affordable medical protocol for canine sterile panniculitis with good efficacy and without adverse effects.
A 2-year-old domestic shorthair cat was presented to us with decreased activity and anorexia. Hematologic findings revealed a mild non-regenerative anemia, thrombocytopenia, and leukocytosis with an increase in blast cells. Bone marrow aspirates also revealed a marked increase of blasts. The blastic cells were shown to be positive for peroxidase. Acute myeloblastic leukemia without maturation (M1) was diagnosed according to the FAB classification. Chemotherapy was initiated with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisolone, and cytosine arabinoside. The cat responded partially. In total, the cats were given 7 blood transfusions. The cat died 14 weeks after first being presented to us.
Intestinal helminth and protozoan infection in the quarantined dogs in Taiwan were examined using fecal examination between January to December, 2004. Of the 376 dogs imported from 11 countries, 63 (16.8%) were found to be infected with at least one species of intestinal parasite. The parasites detected were oocysts of Isospora canis and eggs of Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis and hookworms. Of the 63 infected dogs, 11 were found to have a mixed infection of two different species of parasites. This paper illustrates that parasites are transmitted from one country to another through the transport of animals. Moreover, there is also a possibility of parasitic infection among quarantined dogs as well as the zoonotic potential for quarantine officers during the quarantine period.
An ocular Thelazia callipaeda infestation was found in a male domestic dog in Taiwan during regular examination. This is the first report of the parasite from pet animal in Taiwan. The infested dog showed normal bodily condition but slight conjunctival congestion. This parasite has been reported in humans in southeast Asia, China and Korea. In 1998, first human case was reported in the central area of Taiwan. The dogs infected with T. callipaeda may have important implication in the infestation of this parasite to humans as reservoir hosts.
Ethanol is principal ingredient of alcohol beverage, but considered as human carcinogen, and has neurotoxicity. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy often causes fetal alcohol syndrome. The DNA damage is one of the important factors in carcinogenicity or teratogenicity. To detect the DNA damage induced by ethanol, we used an in vivo alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet) assay in pregnant mice organs and embryos. Pregnant ICR mice on Day 7 of gestation were treated with 2, 4 or 8 g/kg ethanol, and maternal organs/tissues and embryos were subjected to the Comet assay at 4, 8, 12 and 24 hr after ethanol treatment. Four and 8 g/kg ethanol induced DNA damage in brain, lung and embryos at 4 or 8 hr after the treatment. Two g/kg ethanol did not cause any DNA damage, and 8 g/kg ethanol only increased the duration of DNA damage without distinct increase in the degree of the damage. No significant DNA damage was observed in the liver. To detect the effect of acetaldehyde, disulfiram, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor, was administered before 4 g/kg ethanol treatment. No significant increase of DNA damage was observed in the disulfiram pre-treated group. These data indicate that ethanol induces DNA damage, which might be related to ethanol toxicity. Since pre-treatment of disulfiram did not increase DNA damage, DNA damage observed in this study might not be the effect of acetaldehyde.
In the summer of 2003, sporadic cases and an outbreak of human leptospirosis probably related to recreation in rivers occurred in the northern part of Okinawa Main Island. Sixteen of 22 suspected cases were definitely diagnosed as leptospirosis by serological test or isolation. The infective leptospiral serovar in 14 cases was presumed to be Hebdomadis. Transmission was thought to occur by exposure to river water that was contaminated by the urine of infected animals. The findings indicate that recreation in rivers in this area is a significant risk factor for infection with leptospires.
Acute diabetes insipidus-like symptoms have been reported as a complication after hypophysectomy in dogs. These symptoms are believed to be the consequence of deficiency of arginine vasopressin (AVP) secretion. The symptoms spontaneously resolve within 2 weeks, but the mechanism is unclear. In the present study, AVP secretion related to increases in Na+ concentration and serum osmotic pressure was measured, and immunohistochemical analysis in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei was perfomed after hypophysectomy in normal dog. In the hypertonic saline test, the plasma AVP concentration slightly increased in hypophysectomized dogs, although the increase was markedly smaller than that in normal dogs. An immunohistochemical study of the hypothalamus nucleus revealed that, AVP-positive cells tended to decrease after hypophysectomy. It suggests that excision of the posterior lobe by surgery injured the axon of magnocellular neuron in the hypothalamus. A decrease in the function and the number of AVP-producing and -secreting magnocellular neurons after hypophysectomy, suggests that the clinical improvement of postoperative diabetes insipidus-like symptoms may not be related to the recovery of AVP secretion.
Previous studies on human uterine and placental tissues have found variants, derived from alternatively spliced mRNAs, of preproendothelin-2 (PPET2) that lack a post-translational proteolytic site essential for normal processing. Here we report a splice variant of cat PPET2 mRNA expressed in the stomach. After cloning the full-length cDNA of cat PPET2, organ distribution analysis of the transcript by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed. In addition to the fragment with a size predicted based on the cDNA sequence obtained by cloning, an additional PCR fragment of smaller size was detected in stomach tissue. Subsequent cloning and sequence analysis of the smaller PCR product demonstrated that it derives from a splice variant with full-length deletion of a region corresponding to exon 4 of the PPET2 gene.
Canine coronavirus (CCoV) has been reported to cause acute diarrhea mainly in young pups. CCoV and feline coronavirus are classified as group 1 coronaviruses. However, it has recently been reported in the United Kingdom that the group 2 coronavirus gene, which is more closely related to the bovine coronavirus (BCoV) and human coronavirus strain OC43, has been detected in respiratory tract tissue samples from dogs with respiratory disease. In this study, we examined the prevalence of antibodies to group 2 coronaviruses in domestic dogs and cats in Japan by a neutralization test using BCoV. All 104 feline serum samples were negative (<1:5) for anti-BCoV antibodies. In contrast, of the 898 canine serum samples, 160 (17.8%) were positive for anti-BCoV antibodies, and the antibody titers ranged from 1:5 to more than 1:640, with 1:160 being the most frequent. No correlation was found between the titers of the anti-BCoV and anti-CCoV antibodies in the 198 serum samples of dogs with a known history of CCoV vaccination. We amplified, by RT-PCR, group 2 coronavirus-specific hemagglutination/esterase genes in the oral swabs of a total of 10 young pups presenting with or having recovered from respiratory signs, or having anti-BCoV antibodies, with the result that 2 pups were positive for the hemagglutination/esterase genes. These results strongly suggest that an unknown group 2 coronavirus as well as the known enteritis-causing CCoV (group 1 coronavirus) is prevalent among domestic dogs in Japan.
To improve the sensitivity of a kit, ESPLINE® INFLUENZA A&B for rapid diagnosis of influenza by detecting influenza A or B virus specific nucleoproteins (NP), the ESPLINE® INFLUENZA A&B-N was developed by using newly established monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the respective NP molecule. MAbs FVA2-11 and FrB1-03 recognize the epitope on the amino acid region 59-130aa of the NP molecule of influenza A virus, and that on the region 72-191aa of the NP of influenza B virus, respectively. The new kit detected influenza A and B virus antigens with a detection limit of 102.0-10 2.7 pfu/test, which is 4-1000 times higher than that of the original kit. Importantly, this kit detected each of influenza A viruses of the known hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes (H1-H15) including the H5N1 viruses recently isolated from human and avian sources in Asia. The kit also detected all of the 15 representative influenza B virus strains tested. The ESPLINE® INFLUENZA A&B-N is thus a rapid and highly sensitive and specific kit for the diagnosis of either influenza A or B virus infections.