After prion infection, an abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc) converts the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrPC) into PrPSc. PrPC-to-PrPSc conversion leads to PrPSc accumulation and PrPC deficiency, contributing etiologically to induction of prion diseases. Presently, most of the diagnostic methods for prion diseases are dependent on PrPSc detection. Highly sensitive/accurate specific detection of PrPSc in many different samples is a prerequisite for attempts to develop reliable detection methods. Towards this goal, several methods have recently been developed to facilitate sensitive and precise detection of PrPSc, namely, protein misfolding cyclic amplification, conformation-dependent immunoassay, dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluorescent immunoassay, capillary gel electrophoresis, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, flow microbead immunoassay, etc. Additionally, functionally relevant prion-susceptible cell culture models that recognize the complexity of the mechanisms of prion infection have also been pursued, not only in relation to diagnosis, but also in relation to prion biology. Prion protein (PrP) gene-deficient neuronal cell lines that can clearly elucidate PrPC functions would contribute to understanding of the prion infection mechanism. In this review, we describe the trend in recent development of diagnostic methods and cell culture models for prion diseases and their potential applications in prion biology.
The possibility of persorption of prefixed bovine serum albumin-coated sheep erythrocytes (BSA-SEs) from mucous epithelial cells and its mechanisms were investigated in rats orally immunized by BSA for 14 consecutive days. On the day after the final oral immunization, the rats were duodenally perfused by BSA-SEs or non-coated SEs. BSA-SEs were also duodenally perfused in non-immunized rats. Thirty min after perfusion, BSA-SEs were significantly more engulfed by late-apoptotic-stage villous columnar epithelial cells in the orally immunized rats than those in other experiments. The specific antibody (SpAb) was detected on the surfaces of BSA-SEs in rats with oral immunization. In Peyer's patches of all animals, no SEs reached the follicle-associated epithelium, because of the close attachment of follicle-associated intestinal villi and the thick mucous layer. BSA-SEs were more frequently persorbed into portal blood in the orally immunized rats than in other rats. Small numbers of BSA-SEs or SEs were detected in the systemic blood of all animals. BSA-SEs were also histologically found in the blood vessels of the liver, but not in mesenteric lymph nodes. These findings suggest that sensitized antigenic particulates are taken up by late-apoptotic-stage villous columnar epithelial cells in the small intestine and are finally persorbed into the systemic blood circulation. The uptake of antigenic particulates might be mediated by its luminal SpAb.
In 1976, men who were exposed to the highest concentrations of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) after an explosion at a chemical plant near Seveso, Italy, produced more girls than boys. However, few studies have examined the possibility that the exposure of laboratory animals to TCDD, especially that of males, could lead to a lower male/female sex ratio. The aim of this study was to investigate whether direct paternal exposure to TCDD affects the sex ratio of offspring using a relatively large-scale experimental design. Male ICR mice (n=120) were randomly assigned to three, one of which served as a vehicle control, the other two were administered TCDD orally with an initial loading dose of 2 or 2,000 ng TCDD/kg, followed by a weekly maintenance dose of 0.4 (T2/0.4 group) or 400 (T2000/400 group) ng/kg prior to mating. The major organs of each mouse were weighed and histopathologically and immunohistologically investigated, and the sex ratio of offspring [males/(males + females) × 100] was calculated in each dam. There were no significant effects on organ weights, or on the structure of the testis and epididymis between the control and TCDD-exposed males, but TCDD administration produced a significantly lower proportion of male offspring from T2000/400-exposed sires despite no alteration in litter size (Control: 53.1 ± 1.7; T2/0.4: 48.8 ± 2.5; T2000/400: 46.2 ± 2.1). In addition, we further divided the T2000/400 group into 3 subgroups based on the proportion of CYP1A1-immunoreactive areas in the liver; there was a significant correlation between sex ratio and CYP1A1 immunoreactivity. Thus, the present study confirms that direct paternal exposure to TCDD might be associated with an alteration in the sex ratio of offspring. Possible mechanisms through which TCDD might decrease the fertility potential of Y-bearing gametes before conception are discussed.
Histological sections of femoral diaphysis from adult sheep were investigated in this study. The qualitative characteristics in microstructure of the compact bone were examined in anterior, posterior, medial and lateral views; the quantitative ones were assessed using the software Scion Image. Areas, perimeters, minimum and maximum diameters of the Haversian canals, the Haversian systems and the primary osteons' vascular canals were measured. Our results indicate that ovine diaphysis of the femur is occupied mainly with primary vascular plexiform (laminar, fibrolamellar) tissue. In addition, irregular and dense Haversian bone tissues were observed. All measured variables disposed lower values in comparison with other artiodactyls (cattle and pig).
We observed a significant difference in the organic acid profile of diarrheal feces between pigs infected with and free from pathogenic spirochetes. Diarrhea and loose feces were collected from growing pigs, held at 15 different commercial farms. A total of 106 samples were measured for organic acid concentration by HPLC and were checked for the presence of B. hyodysenteriae and B. pilosicoli by PCR. B. hyodysenteriae was detected in 3 samples collected from one farm. B. pilosicoli was detected in 5 samples collected from another farm. Lower concentrations of iso-butyrate and iso-valerate were likely associated with development of pathogenic spirochete infection.
Dolphins in a captive environment are exposed to various kinds of stresses. Handling and transportation are stressful events for terrestrial mammals, and such stress may affect immune system function and increase susceptibility to infectious diseases. The same phenomenon could occur in dolphins, however, few studies have reported this in dolphins. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between stress and polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell function of dolphins during transportation. Four bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were transported for 6 hr by truck. Serum cortisol levels, leukograms, phagocytosis, and superoxide production of PMN cells were evaluated during handling and transportation compared to resting values. The mean serum cortisol level was significantly increased during handling and transportation (p<0.05) when compared with the resting values. White blood cell (WBC) counts, eosinophil counts, phagocytosis, and superoxide production of PMN cells during handling and transportation stages decreased significantly in comparison with the resting stage (p<0.05). The concentration of serum cortisol was significantly correlated with the results of the WBC counts, eosinophil counts, superoxide production, and phagocytosis (p<0.01, p<0.05, p<0.05, and p<0.001, respectively). The present results indicate that handling and transportation are stressful events for dolphins and could affect their PMN cell functions, thereby leading to the impairment of the immune system.
The effects of vitamin D (VD) deficiency on calcium (Ca) metabolism during pregnancy were evaluated in rats fed VD-repleted (VD-repleted rats) and VD-depleted (VD-depleted rats) diets. In the VD-depleted rats, the plasma concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and Ca decreased severely, whereas the parathyroid hormone concentrations increased. The Ca contents of the feces of the VD-depleted rats were higher than those of the VD-repleted rats. The fetal Ca contents of the VD-repleted and VD-depleted rats increased continuously, but that of the VD-depleted rats was lower. These data reveal that VD deficiency during pregnancy induces severe hypocalcemia due to reduced intestinal absorption of Ca and elevated fetal demand for Ca.
Humic substances are formed during the decomposition of organic matter in humus, and are found in many natural environments in which organic materials and microorganisms have been present. In the present study, oral administration of humus extract to common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) induced effective protection against experimental atypical Aeromonas salmonicida infection. Mortality of fish and development of skin lesions such as hemorrhages and ulcers were significantly suppressed in carp treated with 10%, 5% or 1% humus extract adsorbed on dry feeding pellets. The median surviving days was also greater in fish treated with 10% or 5% humus extract than in untreated fish. Atypical A. salmonicida was isolated from ulcerative lesions of part of dead fish, but Aeromonas hydrophila and Flavobacterium sp. were also isolated from these fish, verifying bacterial population changes during the progression of skin lesions. These results clearly show that treatment of fish with humus extract is effective in preventing A. salmonicida disease.
Pimobendan has a dual mechanism of action: it increases myocardial contractility by increasing calcium sensitization to troponin C and it promotes vasodilation by inhibiting PDEIII. This study examined the effects of pimobendan on cardiac function, hemodynamics, and neurohormonal factors in dogs with mild mitral regurgitation (MR). The dogs were given 0.25 mg/kg of pimobendan orally every 12 hr for 4 weeks. With pimobendan, the heart rate and stroke volume did not change, but the systolic blood pressure gradually decreased and the degree of mitral valve regurgitation tended to decrease. Renal blood flow was significantly increased and the glomerular filtration rate was slightly increased at 2 and 4 weeks. Furthermore, over the 4-week period, the plasma norepinephrine concentration decreased significantly, the systolic index increased slightly, the left atrial diameter and the left ventricular diameters decreased significantly, and the heart size improved. Given these results, pimobendan appears to be useful for treating MR in dogs. However, further long-term studies of pimobendan involving a larger number of dogs with mild and moderate MR are needed to establish the safety of pimobendan and document improvements in quality of life.
A 3.5-year-old, male West Highland White Terrier was diagnosed as having hyperplastic dermatosis by clinical and histopathological findings. Controlling of Malassezia overgrowth by antifungal drugs provided a temporal improvement of the skin lesions, but the disease was deteriorated within the next 2 months despite the negative demonstration of the yeasts. Induction of recombinant canine interferon-γ (rCaIFN-γ) therapy resulted in almost complete cure of the skin lesions within 2 months after the initiation of the therapy. No adverse effects were detected during the therapy. Our results suggested that the rCaIFN-γ therapy is potential to be a novel therapeutic option for controlling the breed-specific hyperplastic skin disease.
Serological analysis was performed to detect Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum infection in seals in Hokkaido. Serum samples were collected from 322 Kuril harbor seals (Phoca vitulina stejnegeri) at Nosappu, Akkeshi and Erimo, from 46 spotted seals (P. largha) at Nosappu, Erimo, Yagishiri Island, Hamamasu and Syakotan, and from 4 ribbon seals (P. fasciata) and a bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) at Nosappu between 1998 and 2006. Recombinant surface antigen of T. gondii (SAG2t) and N. caninum (NcSAG1t) were used as antigens for ELISA to detect antibodies. Antibodies against SAG2t were detected from 4% of 77 Kuril harbor seals at Nosappu in 2005. Antibodies against NcSAG1t were detected from 2% (1/66) in 2003, 5% (4/79) in 2004 and 10% (8/77) in 2005 of Kuril harbor seals and 11% of 9 spotted seals in 2004 sampled at Nosappu. Eight percent of 12 Kuril harbor seals from Akkeshi and 25% of 4 spotted seals from Erimo in 2005 also contained antibodies against NcSAG1t. These suggest sporadic infection of T. gondii and N. caninum in Kuril harbor seals and spotted seals in Hokkaido. Of the ELISA-positive seals, 2 seals having anti-SAG2t antibodies and 3 seals having anti-NcSAG1t antibodies in 2005 were judged to be juveniles that have no maternal antibodies. These suggest that the protozoan infections have occurred in recent years. Infection of terrestrial protozoa such as T. gondii and N. caninum in seals indicates that the sea environment has been contaminated with protozoa.
An epidemiological survey of bovine Setaria collected from the abdominal cavities was performed morphologically on the cattle in Aomori and Kumamoto Prefectures, Japan, between August 2005 and July 2006. Fifty Setaria worms were collected from the cattle in Aomori Prefecture and 847 from those in Kumamoto Prefecture. Of these worms, 35 were identified as Setaria digitata, 14 as S.marshalli, and one as S. labiatopapillosa in Aomori Prefecture, while 816 were identified as S. digitata and 31 as S. marshalli in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Prevalence of lung worms belonging to the genus Metastrongylus was surveyed on 42 Japanese wild boars (Sus scrofa leucomystax) captured officially for wildlife damage control in the western parts of Tokyo, Japan from April 2000 to April 2001. The number of parasites was the highest in the caudal lung lobes. Four species, M. elongatus (ME), M. salmi (MS), M. asymmetricus (MA) and M. pudendotectus (MP), were identified. All the boars were infected with 2 or more species, and 64.3% of the boars had all 4 species. The composition of species, ME:MS:MA:MP=1.3:3.4:1.0:1.4, was drastically different from the previous reports. The peak of the average number of the parasites was observed in the period of January to March 2001 because of the increase of MS.
It is known that different breeds of cattle display differential susceptibilities to Trypanosome congolense infections, and that N'Dama cattle remain more productive after infection than Boran cattle which are more susceptible to T. congolense. Macrophages from both breeds were cultured in vitro and the expressions of a number of cytokines and iNOS mRNA were analyzed using real time RT-PCR after stimulation with antibody-opsonized trypanosomes. No significant difference was seen between the responses of the two breeds. However, RNA levels of TNF-α in the IFN-γ-primed macrophages were about 100-fold higher than those in the non-primed macrophages. A significant ten-fold decrease was seen for the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. These results indicate that priming of the cells with IFN-γ cause a serious shift toward an inflammatory response.
A neonatal calf developed nervous symptoms followed by diarrhea. The principal pathological changes were fibrinopurulent meningitis with necrosis of the cerebral parenchyma, and attaching and effacing lesions in the intestine. Cerebral necrosis was frequently associated with vascular changes. Enterobacter cloacae was isolated from the brain and Escherichia coli (O128) from the intestinal content. These suggest that cerebral and intestinal lesions were caused by the isolated organisms, and that most necrosis of the cerebral parenchyma might be infarctive.
A 6-month-old barrow presented with lethargy, inappetence and dysstasia. At necropsy, multiple coalescing hemorrhagic foci were detected in the margins of the spleen. Gram-positive bacilli were isolated from the spleen, kidney, muscle and liver. Comparative 16S rDNA gene sequencing analysis of the isolates (TO16177) revealed that they would be the same species of unpublished Arcanobacterium species strain HJ57-14E (accession no. gi 18873551) (99.7% similarity based on a comparison of 675 bp). Histologic examination of the splenic tissue sections revealed extensive necrosis and inflammation, and Gram-positive bacilli were discernible. Multifocal necrosis was also detected in the liver. Immunohistochemically, the isolates were cross-reacted with polyclonal antibodies against Arcanobacterium pyogenes and Actinomyces naeslundii, and the reaction was strong for the latter. Similar reactions were found in the suppurative lesions of the tonsil, and occasionally in the spleen and lymph nodes. The present results indicate that the unpublished Arcanobacterium species induced multiple organ failure accompanied by acute hemorrhagic necrotizing splenitis in this growing-finishing pig.
Transient receptor potential ion channel of the vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1)-dependent pathway, consisting of capsaicin-sensitive tachykininergic primary afferent and myenteric nitrergic neurons, was suggested to mediate the inhibitory effect of capsaicin on the vagally mediated striated muscle contractions in the rat esophagus. These primary afferent neurons upon entering into the esophagus are distributed through the myenteric plexus, terminating either in the myenteric ganglia or en route to the mucosa where they branch into a delicate net of fine varicose fibers. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate whether the mucosal primary afferents are a main mediator for the capsaicin inhibitory influence on vagally mediated contractions in the mouse esophagus. For this purpose, the vagally induced contractile activity of a thoracic esophageal segment was measured in the circular direction with a force transducer. Vagal stimulation (30 μsec, 25 V, 1-50 Hz for 1 sec) produced monophasic contractile responses, whose amplitudes were frequency-dependent. These contractions were completely abolished by d-tubocurarine (5 μM) while resistant to atropine (1 μM) and hexamethonium (100 μM). Capsaicin (30 μM) significantly inhibited the vagally induced contractions in esophagi with intact mucosa while its effect on preparations without mucosa was insignificant. Additionally, immunocytochemistry revealed the presence of TRPV1-positive nerve fibers in the tunica mucosa. Taken together, we conclude that in the mouse esophagus, capsaicin inhibits the vagally mediated striated muscle contractions mainly through its action on mucosal primary afferents, which in turn activate the presumed inhibitory local reflex arc.
Colleagues and I previously performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis on plasma total-cholesterol (T-CHO) levels in C57BL/6J (B6) × RR F2 mice. We identified only one significant QTL (Cq6) on chromosome 1 in a region containing the Apoa2 gene locus, a convincing candidate gene for Cq6. Because Cq6 was a highly significant QTL, we considered that the detection of other potential QTLs might be hindered. In the present study, QTL analysis was performed in B6.KK-Apoa2b N(8) × RR F2 mice [B6.KK-Apoa2b N(8) is a partial congenic strain carrying the Apoa2b allele from the KK strain, and RR also has the Apoa2b allele] by controlling of the effects of the Apoa2 allele, for identifying additional QTLs. Although no significant QTLs were identified, 2 suggestive QTLs were found on chromosomes 2 and 3 in place of the effects of the Apoa2 allele. A significant body weight QTL was identified on chromosome 3 (Bwq7, peak LOD score 5.2); its effect on body weight was not significant in previously analyzed B6 × RR F2 mice. Suggestive body weight QTL that had been identified in B6 × RR F2 mice on chromosome 4 (LOD score 3.8) was not identified in B6.KK-Apoa2b N(8) × RR F2 mice. Thus, contrary to expectation, the genetic control of body weight was also altered significantly by controlling of the effects of the Apoa2 allele. The QTL mapping strategy by controlling of the effects of a major QTL facilitated the identification of additional QTLs.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the biological and genetic characterization of persistent Salmonella isolates in an integrated broiler chicken operation, in an attempt to elucidate the source of contamination. From the breeder farm, the hatchery, the broiler farm and the chicken slaughter house of an integrated broiler chicken operation, a total of 6 serotypes were observed. Although S. Heidelberg was not detected in the broiler farm, it was consistently found in the breeder farm, the hatchery and the chicken slaughter house. Also, S. Enteritidis and S. Senftenberg were found in the hatchery and the chicken slaughter house, and the hatchery and the broiler farm, respectively. S. Gallinarum and S. Blockley were found only in the broiler farm, and S. Virchow was only recovered in the chicken slaughter house. Isolated S. Heidelberg, S. Enteritidis and S. Senftenberg strains were divided into 3, 5 and 7 types, respectively, on the basis of all properties. Especially, S. Senftenberg isolates, divided into four types by their antimicrobial resistance patterns, were all obviously the XbaI PFGE pattern. Also, four S. Enteritidis isolates resistant to nalidixic acid showed a difference in phage type and PFGE pattern. Such a different pattern was shown despite Salmonella isolates originating from an integrated broiler operation, suggesting that further epidemiological studies on many integrated chicken companies in Korea are needed.
The interaction between oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prednisolone administered concurrently for 30 days was studied in 18 healthy dogs divided into 3 groups of 6 dogs each: a drug-free negative control group (NC group) given 2 gelatin capsules; a group given meloxicam (0.1 mg/kg) and prednisolone (0.5 mg/kg) (MP group); and a group given a reduced dosage of ketoprofen (0.25 mg/kg, PO) and prednisolone (0.5 mg/kg, PO) (KP group). The dogs were periodically monitored by physical examinations, blood analyses, endoscopic examinations, fecal occult blood tests, renal function tests [effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR)], urinalyses [urinary sediments, and urinary micro-albumin to creatinine ratio (UAlb/Cre)], urinary enzyme indices, and haemostatic function tests [buccal mucosa bleeding time (BMBT), cuticle bleeding time (CBT)]. Significant changes were observed in the KP group, including a decrease of ERPF and GFR, an increased UAlb/Cre ratio, prolonged BMBT and CBT, as well as the presence of more severe grades of endoscopic lesions and fecal occult blood. In both the MP and KP groups, abnormal enzymuria with exfoliation of renal tubular epithelial cells in the urine was found. However, no significant changes in any of the other tests were observed in the MP group compared with the NC group. These findings suggest that the combination of NSAIDs, even selective COX-2 inhibitors, with prednisolone may be contraindicated due to the potential for serious adverse effects on the kidneys, the platelets, and the gastrointestinal tract.
The effect of anesthetizing with a 1:1 combination of tiletamine hydrochloride and zolazepam hydrochloride (TZ) was evaluated in 75 Japanese black bears. TZ was administered to 43 captive and 11 wild, 8 captives and 13 hibernating captive bears at the doses of approximately 9.0 mg/kg (usual dosage), 18.0 mg/kg (high dosage) and 5.0 mg/kg (low dosage), respectively. Sufficient anesthetic effects were achieved in all bears, and rectal temperatures, heart rates and respiratory rates did not change significantly during an hour handling. Complete blood cell examinations showed no abnormal data. A combination of TZ would be an efficient and safe drug for chemical immobilization of Japanese black bears.
A two-month-old male long coated Chihuahua, which had symptoms including anorexia and decreased growth, was diagnosed with pulmonic valvular stenosis. Echocardiography showed the severe progression of pulmonary arterial velocity (6.29 m/s, Pressure gradient (PG); 158 mmHg). Transventricular pulmonic dilation valvuloplasty (Brock) was conducted, and stenosed valve was dilated by the oto forceps. Pleural effusion was observed postoperatively, however, it was diminished under the intensive care for five days after the surgery. The right ventricular systolic pressure was decreased to 60mmHg in angiocardiography conducted two months postoperatively and the dog has kept a good general condition with recovered vigor and appetite.
The ovarian dynamics and uterine and ovarian blood flows of a 6-year-old (2 parturitions) Holstein Friesian cow with right uterine horn aplasia were observed during two estrous cycles. In one estrous cycle, a corpus luteum (CL) formed in the right ovary, but regression of the CL and subsequent ovulation were not observed. In the other estrous cycle, a CL formed in the left ovary and delayed regression of the CL and subsequent ovulation were observed. The blood velocity of the right uterine artery was lower than that of the left uterine artery throughout both estrous cycles when a CL formed in either the right and left ovary. The blood velocities of the right and left ovarian arteries were unaffected by right uterine horn aplasia and changed depending on the presence of a CL. These results indicated that the blood flow of the right uterine artery was very weak and that aplasia of one uterine horn affects the estrous cycle, especially CL regression.