Nitric oxide (NO) is produced by three NO synthases (NOS), iNOS, eNOS, and nNOS. Production of NO by iNOS plays key roles in neurodegeneration, while eNOS is a protective enzyme. This study investigated the neuroprotective effect of melatonin and the levels of NOS isoforms induced by melatonin in ischemic brain injury. Adult male rats were treated with melatonin (5 mg/kg) or vehicle prior to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Brains samples were collected at 24 hr after the onset of occlusion. Results confirmed that melatonin significantly reduces infarct area. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate the expression levels of iNOS, eNOS, and nNOS. The level of iNOS and nNOS increased in vehicle-treated animals, while melatonin prevented injury-induced increase of iNOS. In contrast to iNOS levels, eNOS levels decreased in vehicle-treated animals, while melatonin prevented the injury-induced decrease of eNOS. This study provides further evidence that melatonin exerts neuroprotective effects, and the regulation of NOS isoforms by melatonin may contribute to the neuroprotective effects.
Brucella abortus (B. abortus) is a facultative intracellular pathogen that can survive inside macrophages and trophoblast giant cells, and the causative agent of brucellosis. In the present study, we found that production of regulated upon activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) due to B. abortus infection contributes to abortion in pregnant mice. B. abortus infected pregnant interferon-γ (IFN-γ) knockout mice died within 15 days of infection, but non-pregnant IFN-γ knockout mice were still alive. With infection by wild type B. abortus, a large amount of RANTES production was observed in pregnant IFN-γ knockout mice, and induction of RANTES was also observed in normal pregnant mice infected with the wild type, but not in those infected with the intracellular replication-defective mutant. Production of RANTES and IFN-γ were inhibited in mice inoculated with the respective RANTES or IFN-γ antibody. Neutralization of RANTES, induced by B. abortus infection, served to prevent abortion. These results indicate that the production and function of RANTES are correlated with IFN-γ in pregnant mice infected with B. abortus.
Lawsonia intracellularis is an obligate intracellular pathogenic bacterium that causes proliferative enteropathy in domestic and experimental animals. In this study, we improved the in vitro cultivation method of L. intracellularis to increase the passage efficiency and showed that L. intracellularis isolated from a rabbit and a pig have different antigenic properties. Bacteria should be recovered from infected cells before cell death due to infection to obtain higher bacterial passage efficiency, and measurement of LDH activity in the cell culture medium was useful for determining the timing of bacterial passage. L. intracellularis isolated from the rabbit and pig showed different band patterns in immunoblotting. Our results should be helpful in the development of serological diagnosis and epidemiological investigation methods.
SraP, a platelet-binding surface protein of Staphylococcus aureus, is involved in the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis. In this study, we investigated the importance of SraP in the pathogenesis of bovine mastitis. By means of PCR, sraP was detected in all the isolates tested from bovine bulk milk and humans. However, SraP was not expressed on the cell surface in half of the bovine isolates. Moreover, disruption of sraP did not affect the ability of S. aureus to adhere to cultured bovine mammary epithelial cells. These results suggest that SraP does not seem to be an important factor for S. aureus to adhere to the bovine mammary epithelia.
In the present study, the changes of gene expression profile in dendritic cell (DC)-derived DC2.4 cells sensitized with two allergenic chemicals were analyzed by microarray analysis to develop a basis for an in vitro assessment system of type IV allergenic chemicals. Consequently, 26 genes were significantly up-regulated, and 53 were down-regulated in both groups. Interestingly, some of up-regulated genes were associated with the maturation process of DCs. A set of genes was further evaluated by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to identify the gene expression changes specifically induced by type IV allergy-inducible chemicals in DC2.4 cells, and 2 possible candidates, syndecan-1 (Sdc1) and smoothened (SMO) genes were identified. Thus, up-regulation of Sdc1 gene and down-regulation of SMO gene in DC2.4 cells may be diagnostic markers for the screening of type IV-allergenic chemicals.
In rodents, intracerebroventricular oxytocin administration attenuated hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses and anxiety behavior during stress. We examined the effects of intracerebroventricular injection of oxytocin on isolation-induced stress responses in cattle. In a methodological test, we determined the dosage of oxytocin applied in a main test which did not induce an increase in plasma cortisol concentration or stereotyped behaviors. In a main test, 5 steers aged from 199 to 250 days were assigned to the following three treatments randomly: T1, no isolation after injection of 200 μl of artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF); T2, isolation after aCSF injection; and T3, isolation after 0.5 μg of oxytocin in 200 μl aCSF injection. The isolation was conducted by leaving the experimental steer alone in its stall for one hour while its peers were taken outside. In T2, the isolation induced a rapid increase in plasma cortisol concentration. The maximum %-changes from the pre-isolation value were significantly attenuated by oxytocin injection (T2 vs. T3, p<0.05). The isolation also induced an increase in the frequency (number of occurrences/1 hr isolation) of vocalizations and body orientation changes, and a decrease in the percentage of time spent lying and ruminating. The effect of oxytocin on these behavioral responses to isolation was not apparent. These results indicate that intracerebroventricularly injected oxytocin at low dose attenuated the cortisol response to isolation in steers while the effect on behavior was very small in this experimental condition.
Seventeen out of 24 human flora-associated (HFA) piglets died after oral administration of whole fecal flora from an apparently healthy human donor. The bacteria isolated from the organs of the infected piglets were identified as Klebsiella pneumoniae by bacteriological and biochemical tests and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The identical K. pneumoniae strain was also isolated from the donor's fecal flora. All three neonatal piglets inoculated with K. pneumoniae from the donor's fecal flora developed severe diarrhea, with 2 eventually dying. This strongly suggests that the opportunistic pathogen K. pneumoniae from the human donor caused the fatal infection in the HFA piglets. The results underscore the importance of safety evaluation of the human donor's fecal flora for HFA piglet development.
Umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells, which can differentiation into cells of connective tissue and neural lineages. This study investigated the potential for neuronal differentiation of red fluorescent protein (RFP)-transgenic cat UCB-derived MSCs. The cells were cultured in pre-induction medium for 24 hr and in neuronal-induction medium for 72 hr. Immunofluorescent staining showed that 6.85% of the total cells were β III-tubulin-positive, 3.37% were neurofilament light (NF-L)-positive and 7.04% were neurofilament medium (NF-M)-positive. A β III-tubulin band was detected by western blot analysis. Our results demonstrate that RFP-transgenic UCB-derived MSCs can be differentiated into neuronal cells in vitro. Thus, RFP-transgenic MSCs could provide alternative tracing material for stem cell transplantation.
The prevalence of Hepatozoon canis infections in dogs in Nigeria was surveyed using molecular methods. DNA was extracted from blood samples obtained from 400 dogs. A primer set that amplified the Babesia canis 18S rRNA gene, which has high similarity to the H. canis 18S rRNA gene, was used for the PCR. As a result, samples from 81 dogs (20.3%) produced 757 bp bands, which differed from the 698 bp band that corresponded to B. canis infection. The sequence of the PCR products of 10 samples were determined, all of which corresponded with the H. canis sequence.
A 10-year-old Golden Retriever dog had a solitary tumor mass arising from the greater omentum. Histologically, the tumor showed varying cellularity and patterns of cellular arrangement. In dense cellular areas, spindle-shaped cells were arranged in interlacing bundles. The sparse cellular area was characterized by loosely arranged fusiform cells. The neoplastic cells frequently contained PAS-positive eosinophilic globules in the cytoplasm, and mitotic figures were frequently observed. The tumor cells were positive to vimentin, S-100 protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein, myelin basic protein, neuron-specific enolase and myoglobin. The present tumor was diagnosed as a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) with eosinophilic cytoplasmic globules arising from the greater omentum. To our knowledge, this may be the first case of primary omental MPNST in domestic animals.
A microplate agglutination test (MAT) was compared with the tube agglutinin test (TAT), a standard test for the diagnosis of Brucella canis, in terms of the sensitivity and specificity. The results showed that MAT was more sensitive, simpler to perform and easier to read the results than TAT. On top of that the MAT allows us to handle a larger number of samples at once. Using this method we conducted sero-surveillance of the prevalence of B. canis in dogs kept in an Animal Shelter located in Kanagawa Prefecture. Twelve of 485 (2.5%) showed seropositive against B. canis. These results indicate that B. canis infection in dogs is still occurring in Japan.
The contrast effects of three different contrast media preparations (iohexol 180 mgI/ml, iohexol 240 mgI/ml and iotrolan 240 mgI/ml) in conventional and CT myelography were compared. Three beagle dogs were used and the study employed a cross-over method (total of 9) for each contrast media. The result of CT myelography showed that the contrast effect of iohexol (180 mgI/ml), which had low viscosity, was highest in cranial sites, and the contrast effect of high-viscosity iotrolan (240 mgI/ml) was highest in caudal sites 5 min after injection of the contrast media preparations. This shows that the diffusion of contrast media preparations in the subarachnoid space is influenced by viscosity. The results of conventional myelography also showed that the diffusion of contrast media preparations is influenced by viscosity. Therefore, it is important to identify the location of spinal lesions in veterinary practice, and low viscosity contrast medium preparation with wide spread contrast effects is considered suitable for myelography.
The posterior lobe of the pituitary gland (PL) normally shows characteristic high signal intensity (SI) on T1-weighted MR images (T1WI) in humans. The high SI is thought to represent storage of arginine vasopressin (AVP) in the PL. Normal dogs also show a high SI on T1WIs, but the origin is unclear. In the present study, we investigated whether the high SI in the PL on T1WIs in normal dogs is caused by AVP. We examined the SI in the PL on T1WIs, plasma AVP concentrations and plasma osmolality in normal dogs after excessive AVP secretion was induced by hypertonic saline overload. In addition, functional changes in the supraoptic nucleus and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus under AVP secretion-stimulated conditions were examined immunohistologically. Under hypertonic saline overload, plasma osmolality and plasma AVP concentrations gradually increased, while the SI of the PL gradually decreased. This suggests that AVP secretion was stimulated by elevated osmolality. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between plasma AVP concentrations and the SI ratio of the PL. An immunohistochemical study of the hypothalamus nucleus revealed that AVP-immunopositive cells significantly increased in the hypertonic saline loaded dogs. We concluded that the high SI in the PL in T1WIs in normal dogs was caused by AVP stored at the site, and examination of the SI in the PL using MRI is useful for diagnosis of abnormal pituitary glands.
We investigated the epidemiological characteristics of intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH) in Japan in a large population using a retrospective study. The sample population was dogs (n=297) with IVDH in Japan. Medical records were reviewed for breed, sex, age, affected interspace and neurological severity. The dogs were comprised of 132 cases of cervical IVDH (C-IVDH) and 165 cases of thoracolumbar IVDH (TL-IVDH). In Japan, the Dachshund, Beagle and Shih Tzu tended to suffer from both C-IVDH and TL-IVDH. The Shiba Inu, a characteristic Japanese dog breed, suffered from both C-IVDH and TL-IVDH, although there was little data relating to the whole breed. Male dogs tended to suffer from C-IVDH and TL-IVDH at a rate almost twice that of females in Japan. Among the three predominant dog breeds, the Dachshund, Beagle and Shih Tzu, the Dachshund tended to suffer from both C-IVDH and TL-IVDH at an earlier age than the Beagle, and the Beagle tended to suffer from both C-IVDH and TL-IVDH earlier than the Shih Tzu. Among the three predominant breeds, the Shih Tzu, in particular, tended to suffer from both C-IVDH and TL-IVDH at multiple sites. Our data from Japan were in partial agreement with previous data from the U.S.A., and epidemiological characteristics of IVDH peculiar to Japan were also identified.
Computed tomography (CT) was used for diagnosis of brain abscess in a 6-month-old, Japanese black calf presented with neurological dysfunction, compulsive circling and vision disturbance. CT images showed asymmetric lateral ventricles, and presence of intra-cranial multiple low absorption lesions surrounded by capsule suggestive of abscess in the right cerebral hemisphere. Postmortem examination revealed marked swelling of right cerebral hemisphere and olfactory bulb. Multilocular large abscess containing creamy pus was found to occupy most area of periventricular and lateral ventricle. Fusobacterium necrophrum was isolated from the abscess contents as the causative agent. These results demonstrate that CT is useful tool for tentative diagnosis of bovine brain abscess.
We applied previously published PCR primer pairs to amplify alleles at three polymorphic microsatellite loci to determine the genetic relationship of 6 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that were living together in a Japanese aquarium. The three microsatellite loci were sufficient to determine the haplotype relationships of the six dolphins, which represented three different generations. It was confirmed that this genotyping method is simple and economical for assessing, establishing and maintaining genetic diversity in captive populations and will become a very effective technique for ex situ conservation in aquariums and zoos.
We cloned and sequenced a full-length open reading frame turtle dmrt1 cDNA (Crdmrt1) that was 1,504 bp in length and encoded 371 amino acid residues. RT-PCR analysis in different tissues of adult male turtle showed that the Crdmrt1 cDNA fragment was only detected in the testis. The amino acid sequence derived from Crdmrt1 demonstrated high homology to sequences from dmrt1 of Pelodiscus sinensis (92% identities and 93% positives) and Elaphe quadrivirgata (75% identities and 83% positives). The deduced amino acid from Crdmrt1 contained a conserved DM domain, a male-specific motif, and a P/S-rich region. In DMRT1 from reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians, and fish, the amino acid identities and positives for DM domains were 85-100% and 88-100%, respectively, those for male-specific motifs were 47-100% and 60-100%, and those for P/S-rich regions were 24-100% and 35-100%. The module consisted of intertwined CCHC and HCCC Zn2+-binding sites in the DM domain and was conserved in all 11 species analyzed in this study. Amino acid sequences of Crdmrt1 and previously reported DMRT1s, DMRT2s, and DMRT3s were subjected to phylogenetic analysis. The resulting tree showed that CrDMRT1 belongs to DMRT1, and turtles are a sister group to a cluster of birds and snakes. This is the first study of the cloning of full-length dmrt1 from a reptile.
At least two biotypes were observed at the 2nd passage stage after the isolation of Foot-and-mouth disease Virus (FMDV) O/JPN/2000 strain. These 2 types of viruses differed from their plaque phenotypes and were distinguishable by using a monoclonal antibody (MAb) 64G8 that was made for the FMDV O/JPN/2000 strain. One of these 2 biotypes formed small plaque (SP) and with immuno staining showed a positive reaction to MAb 64G8, while the other formed clear large plaque (LP) and did not react with MAb 64G8. The amino acid sequences of the capsid coding region (VP1-VP4) of the SP virus (SPV) and the LP virus (LPV) revealed two substitutions on the 133rd amino acid in VP2, and the 56th amino acid in VP3. These amino acid changes of SPV and LPV are Asn to Asp, Arg to His, respectively. The Arg of the 56th amino acid in VP3 that have been known as critical position of cell culture adapted virus. Only LPV showed high pathogenicity in suckling mice, and its LD50 was calculated to be about 102 TCID50/0.1 ml. These results showed that the SPV that existed at the 2nd passage stage from isolation was a low virulence virus, which may suggest why the pathogenicity of O/JPN/2000 did not show clear symptoms in infected cattle.
The purpose of this study was to genetically characterize CPV isolates from Korea. The VP2 gene of 31 isolates was characterized by DNA sequencing and their phylogeny. Among the 31 field CPV isolates, 28 isolates were classified as type 2a and other 3 isolates as type 2b. The isolates in 2a-I, II and III subclusters have unique mutations. The isolates in 2a-IV and V subclusters had similar amino acid sequences to type 2a isolates from other parts of the world. The isolates in type 2b had similar amino acid sequences to type 2b isolates from Asia, Italy, and U.S.A. The molecular analysis of VP2 gene of CPV provided the useful information for the identification of CPV types and the understanding of their genetic relationship.