Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the rate-limiting enzyme of dopamine (DA) biosynthesis, which is up-regulated by vitamin C administration. Nurr1 gene is highly expressed in brain and important for midbrain DAergic cell development and survival. But, the role of vitamin C and/or vitamin E during Nurr1 expression is yet to be known. Further, the synergistic effect of vitamins C and E on TH expression has not yet been explored clinically. Therefore, we studied the effects of single or co- administration of vitamin C (0.5 mM) and vitamin E (1 mM) for 72 hr, on both TH and Nurr1 expression in in vitro primary cultured gestational days (GD) 13.5 rat ventral mesencephalon (VM) by Western blot and immunocytochemistry. Our study revealed highest expressions of both TH and Nurr1 in the vitamin C + vitamin E treated group. TH expression was also increased in the vitamin C treated group than that of the control group, but the vitamin E treated group did not show any statistically significant effect. However, both the vitamin C and the vitamin E treated groups revealed increased expression of Nurr1 protein as compared with the control group. The present experimental data suggest that vitamin C can up-regulate the protein expression of TH, but Nurr1 level was elevated either by vitamin C or by vitamin E administration. Further, vitamin E acts synergistically with vitamin C to elevate TH and Nurr1 expression, which is the most novel finding of our study and for the first time; we reported this result, since there have been no published data on the synergistic effect of both the antioxidant vitamins on TH and Nurr1 expression in VM. As the motor function defect due to the progressive loss of DAergic neuron is the major reason of Parkinsonism, therefore, the results of our study finally suggest the effective role of vitamin C and vitamin E during early treatment of Parkinsonism.
We examined the usefulness of PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and species-specific PCR combined with a newly devised rapid biochemical test using microplates for identifying weakly beta-hemolytic intestinal spirochetes (WBHIS) isolated from pigs. WBHIS strains showing atypical biochemical characteristics were decisively identified at the species level by PCR-RFLP and species-specific PCR. Identification of WBHIS at the species level in routine diagnostic work will certainly contribute to clarifying the pathogenicity of WBHIS.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a sequence-specific RNA degradation process. To inhibit feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) replication by RNAi, we generated a lentiviral vector expressing a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) that targeted the gag gene of FIV (shGag). shGag transfer significantly inhibited viral replication in cell lines that were chronically infected with FIV, i.e., the 3201/UK8low, 3201/UK8high, FL4, and CRFK/FIV cell lines. Moreover, 3201 cells were transduced with the lentiviral vectors and then inoculated with FIV. Although the amount of FIV proviral DNA in shGag-transduced cells was similar to that in the cells transduced with unrelated shRNA or mock-transduced cells, the amount of reverse transcriptase (RT) activity was significantly reduced in the culture supernatant of shGag-expressing cells from 15 to 27 days after inoculation. Thirty days after inoculation, no significant difference was observed in the RT activities but virus with a mutation in the target region of shGag was detected in approximately 21% of the replicated viruses. Therefore, abolishment of the silencing effect of shGag may be due to reasons other than the emergence of escape mutants. These results are useful for developing an RNAi-based gene therapy strategy for controlling FIV infection.
GM2 gangliosidosis variant 0 (human Sandhoff disease) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by simultaneous deficiencies of acid β-hexosaminidase (Hex) A and Hex B due to an abnormality of β-subunit, a common component in these enzyme molecules, which is coded by the HEXB gene. In the present study, a retrospective diagnosis was performed in 2 previous suspected cases of feline Sandhoff-like disease using a DNA test to detect the causative mutation identified previously in 4 cats in 2 other families of Japanese domestic cats. Enzymic analysis was also performed using stored leukocytes and plasma collected from the subject families in order to investigate the usefulness of enzymic diagnosis and genotyping of carriers. The DNA test suggested that the 2 cases were homozygous recessive for the mutation. Consequently, 6 cats homozygous for the same mutation have been found in 4 separate locations of Japan, suggesting that this mutant allele may be spread widely in the Japanese domestic cat populations. In enzymic analysis, Hex A and Hex B activities in leukocytes and plasma measured using 4-methylumbelliferyl N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminide as a substrate were negligible in affected cats, compared with those in normal and carrier cats. However, there was a wide overlap in enzyme activity between normal and carrier cats. Therefore, it was concluded that enzymic analysis is useful for diagnosis of affected cats, but is not acceptable for genotyping of carriers.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of implanting an Antigen Release Devices (ARD) into dairy cows during the lactation cycle to induce an immune response. Subsequently, the concentrations of lactoferrin in serum and milk were measured. Forty healthy adult Chinese Holstein cows were divided into two equal groups: a test group and a control group. Animals in the test group received ARD implants, whereas the control group animals were not treated. An even spread across the two groups was maintained with animal selection based on parity, the lactation days and milk yields. The concentrations of lactoferrin in the serum and milk of all forty animals were measured using an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The results show that the implantation of an ARD did not significantly increase the concentration of lactoferrin in the serum and milk throughout the whole experiment period except on two occasions. The levels of lactoferrin in the milk and serum significantly increased on day 7 and on day 11 after implantation (p<0.05). There was a strong correlation between milk lactoferrin and serum lactoferrin (r=0.564, P<0.01). Three separate ARDs were used releasing its antigen load on day 0, 14 and 28 to induce a primary, secondary and tertiary response respectively. As the significant increases in the lactoferrin levels were only observed after the first ARD release, the effects of lactoferrin appears to be associated with the early phase of the immune response, consistent with its role in the host's innate defense system.
A monoclonal antibody, K9BYU, was generated using Escherichia coli recombinant extracellular domain of canine neural-cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) as an antigen. Immunoreactivity of K9BYU to insect cell recombinant canine N-CAM was demonstrated by Western blotting using Sf9 insect cells transfected with the canine N-CAM gene. In Western blotting against canine brain tissue, K9BYU detected three isoforms of N-CAM that correspond to three major isoforms of human and mouse N-CAM (N-CAM-120, -140, and -180). From these results, K9BYU was considered to be a useful tool for research of canine N-CAM.
The goal of the present study was to measure the total glutathione level and glutathione reductase activity in bovine erythrocytes and liver biopsy. Five cows were injected intraperitoneally with DL-ethionine (12.5 mg/kg B.W.), and two control cows were injected with normal saline (0.9% NaCl). Ultrasonography guided liver biopsy, and blood samples were collected at 0, 4, 7 and 10 days after injection. The hepatic total glutathione level was significantly increased on Days 7 (p<0.05) and 10 (p<0.01), and hepatic glutathione reductase activity was significantly increased on Days 4 (p<0.05), 7 (p<0.01) and 10 (p<0.01). There were insignificant changes in the erythrocytic total glutathione level. The present study demonstrated that liver biopsy is a valuable tool for detecting oxidative stress and for diagnosing hepatic dysfunction in cattle from the viewpoint of the status of glutathione and glutathione reductase.
The concentration of fecal secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in neonate and weaning piglets was measured daily from 1 day after birth to 50 days of age. The concentration of fecal sIgA started from the level of 104 μg/g wet feces 1 day after birth and then increased to a maximal value of up to 105 μg/g within a few days of birth. The values constantly declined to between 101 and 102 μg/g for the next 10 days and were relatively constant until weaning. The level of sIgA in the feces remained very low until at least 50 days of age. The vulnerability of pre- or post-weaning piglets can be explained, at least in part, by this low level of sIgA in the intestine.
Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is an autoimmune blistering skin disease that affects certain mammals including dogs. In canine PF, neutrophils are infiltrated intensely into pustular lesions including acantholytic cells, although neutrophilic infiltration is not characterized in human PF. The roles of the neutrophils in the cutaneous lesions of canine PF have not yet been understood. The purpose of this study was to characterize the ultrastructural features underlying the acantholysis with pustule formation in canine PF. Four dogs diagnosed as PF on the basis of clinical signs, histopathological findings, and direct and indirect immunofluorescence examinations were performed. Electron microscopy revealed that the acantholytic cells were adjacent to multiple neutrophils in the pustules. At the contact points between neutrophils and acantholytic keratinocytes, half-desmosomes of acantholytic keratinocytes with intact attachment plaques were observed within invaginations of neutrophils. Furthermore, on the surface of acantholytic cells in the pustules, neutrophil granules seemed to be secreted to the surface of acantholytic cells and to degenerate the half-desmosome structures. Neutrophils were also observed within the epidermis adjacent to the pustule. At the intercellular gap between two dissociated keratinocytes, neutrophils inserted its pseudopodia into the gap between the two half-desmosomes of keratinocytes. These findings taken together suggested that, at least in the areas where we analyzed ultrastructurally, neutrophils contact desmosomal structures and seem to play some parts in separation of keratinocytes and degeneration of split-desmosomes in pustules of dogs with PF.
The correlation between skin barrier function and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was evaluated in dogs. Stratum corneum (SC) of 10 healthy dogs was removed by tape stripping (TS), which decreased the corneal layer to allow for permeation of fluorescent dye into skin. TEWL of damaged skin was measured with the closed-chamber-type TEWL analyzer, CC-01. The frequency of TS was directly related to the decrease of SC and the increased permeation of fluorescent dye, and TEWL increased with increasing impairment of skin barrier function. The results suggest that increased TEWL reflects impaired canine skin barrier function.
Epidermal keratinocytes have the potential to produce inflammatory mediators that are considered to play an important role in skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD). Thus, cell lines of canine epidermal keratinocytes are useful for studying the biological reactivity of keratinocytes in vitro. However, there has been no report on properly analyzing the phenotype of canine keratinocyte cell lines. In this work, we performed phenotypic analysis of CPEK, which was derived from the epidermis of an adult dog in order to examine the phenotypic similarity with epidermal keratinocytes. The present findings indicated that CPEK cells expressed markers for epidermal keratinocytes including cytokeratin 14, α6 integrin and PCNA. Our findings demonstrated that CPEK could be a useful cell line for investigating the central role of epidermal keratinocytes in the pathogenesis of AD in vitro.
The clinical utility of the urine albumin/creatinine ratio (UAC) using a simplified analyzer for estimation of proteinuria was studied in cats and dogs. Measurement results for diluted feline and canine albumin standard solutions showed linearity. Although conversion formulas (y=1.28x+1.04 and y=1.67x+10.47 for cats and dogs, respectively) were necessary, urine albumin concentrations could be determined in both animals. In cats and dogs with proteinuria, the UAC changed parallel with the urine protein/ creatinine ratio (UPC), and the Log UAC and Log UPC were significantly correlated (r=0.803 (p<0.01) in cats, r=0.801 (p<0.01) in dogs). The UAC using an UAC analyzer could be used clinically as one of the basic in-hospital laboratory tests for estimation of proteinuria in cats and dogs.
Despite the immense socio-economic repercussions of African trypanosomosis (AT), there is currently no effective control measure against the disease. Characterization of mechanisms governing resistance and/or susceptibility to AT could suggest interventions that might lead to more effective disease control. The present study was designed in an attempt to address the possible role of CD4+CD25 + T cells during an acute lethal infection of mice with Trypanosoma congolense, the causative agent of AT in domestic animals, through selective depletion using anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody. Accordingly, CD4+CD25+ T-cell-depletion resulted in a significant reduction or delay in parasitemia, pathology, and mortality, as compared to controls. The apparent resistance in CD4+CD25 +-T-cell-depleted mice correlated with a profound suppression of Th2 cytokines in vitro and in vivo, culminating in a net Th1 cytokine environment. Cumulatively, these findings suggest that CD4+CD25+ T-cell- depletion improves the trypanotolerance of highly susceptible BALB/c mice acutely infected with the lethal T. congolense.
A seroepidemiological survey of Neospora caninum infection among dogs in Japan was conducted using species-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with recombinant surface antigen (Nc-SAG1t). Among 1,206 dogs examined, 126 dogs (10.4%) from 30 prefectures from Hokkaido to Okinawa were positive to N. caninum infections, which were more frequently detected in females than males. Siberian Huskies showed the highest positive rate compared with the other breeds. Dogs with pyometra and diabetes mellitus showed the higher positive rates than dogs with other diseases or without diseases.
Skeletal muscle contains several progenitor/stem cells with myogenicity as well as adipogenicity such as satellite cells. Our previous study demonstrated that forced expression of PPARγ is sufficient to induce transdifferentiation of predetermined myoblasts in vitro. In the present study, we examined whether introduction of PPARγ gene could induce adipogenesis of satellite cells in vivo. A plasmid vector containing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) or PPARγ gene was introduced into rat tibialis anterior muscle by electroporation. Histological analyses revealed that electroporation induces degenerative/regenerative response in skeletal muscle, including activation of satellite cells. When EGFP gene was introduced, newly formed myotubes resulted from fusion of activated satellite cells, showed EGFP expression, indicating that electroporation could transfect satellite cells with exogenously introduced gene. Gene transfer of PPARγ resulted in an increase of PPARγ-positive mononucleated cells on day 3 after electroporation but failed to induce adipogenesis thereafter. These results suggested that, in addition to an expression of PPARγ, niches that support adipogenesis are required for satellite cells to enter adipogenesis in vivo.
A 9-year-old male Shih Tzu with osteosarcoma had a forelimb amputation and underwent chemotherapy. During chemo-theapy, the right eye was enucleated due to refractory glaucoma, and was diagnosed as anterior uveal malignant melanoma. The dog lived for 4 months after the enucleation without treatment. After the dog died, the mass in the eye was re-evaluated immunohistochemically, and it was diagnosed as metastasis of appendicular osteosarcoma. Metastasis of appendicular osteosarcoma to the anterior chamber is quite rare, and the clinical course which showed clinically detectable metastases to the eye before systemic multi-organ metastases was quite unique.
A 24-day-old female Holstein calf had a soft, painless fluctuating swelling on the median plane in the frontal region, but did not show any clinical symptoms including neurological signs. Computer tomography (CT) distinctly showed the cyst filled with fluid and part of the encephalon. Hence, this swelling was diagnosed as meningoencephalocele, but not meningocele. The meningoencephalocele was successfully repaired surgically. Meningoencephalocele can thus be easily recognised by CT in a calf.
The aim of this study was to determine the most effective light intensity for flash electroretinogram (ERG) examination in conscious dogs using ERG equipment with a contact lens electrode with a built-in LED light source. ERG was performed on the bilateral eyes of ten clinically healthy Miniature Schnauzers at 6 different intensities (0.025, 0.079, 0.25, 0.79, 2.5 and 7.9 cd·s/m2) after dark adaptation for 20 min. With the increase in stimulus intensity, the most significant increase in a and b-wave amplitudes were observed at 2.5 cd·s/m2 (p<0.05). As the intensity of light was increased, the implicit times of both waves significantly decreased. Therefore, the most effective intensity of stimulus was 2.5 cd·s/m2 in the conscious Miniature Schnauzers. This suggests that this procedure would be applicable for evaluation of retinal function in conscious dogs, especially in high-risk patients.
Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) is a hemopoietic cytokine with a primary role in placental physiology. Gene expression of M-CSF in the bovine endometrium shows a temporal upward trend during early and mid pregnancy. This study determined the plasma M-CSF levels during pregnancy using ELISA. In experiment 1, to investigate the relationship between the concentration of M-CSF in peripheral blood and pregnancy, the plasma M-CSF levels were determined in 125 pregnant and 21 non-pregnant Japanese Black cows. The pregnant animals were divided into nine groups based on the month of pregnancy. An ELISA for bovine M-CSF established previously was used according to the authors' instructions. In experiment 2, the plasma M-CSF level was determined to investigate the temporal changes in its concentration in the peripheral blood during pregnancy. In experiment 1, the plasma M-CSF level varied from month to month during pregnancy; the mean level in the first-month of pregnancy was significantly higher than those in the third and last months of pregnancy and non-pregnancy (P<0.05). In experiment 2, the plasma M-CSF level varied with the day of pregnancy (P<0.05). The mean level of plasma M-CSF decreased gradually until 6 weeks of pregnancy; it appeared to increase during weeks 7-9, then varied with several small peaks until 27 weeks of pregnancy and finally decreased gradually until parturition. These results suggest that the plasma M-CSF level may be related to changes in the uterus and placenta as pregnancy progresses.
Fifty-five canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV) samples, 12 fecal specimens and 43 cell culture isolates, were examined for their genetic characteristics of VP2 gene. They were collected from the diseased dogs at various districts of Japan during 27 years from 1980 to 2006. A fragment of VP2 gene was analyzed by restriction fragment length polymorphism assay and DNA sequencing. The original antigenic type 2 of CPV (CPV-2) was no longer found in the samples since 1984, and two antigenic variants CPV-2a and CPV-2b replaced CPV-2 as predominant types for about 5 years from 1982. A new genetic variant of prototype CPV-2a with non-synonymous substitution at the VP2 amino acid residue 297 from Ser to Ala was first detected in 1987. New CPV-2b with the same amino acid substitution at position 297 as new CPV-2a was also detected from the samples collected in 1997. Since then new CPV-2b has been the predominant CPV over the field of Japan. Several additional amino acid substitutions were detected in the VP2 gene of some recent CPV strains. Neither CPV-2c(a), CPV-2c(b), nor "Glu-426" of the antigenic variants previously found outside the country was detected in any samples tested. Reactivity of new CPV-2a and 2b variants against antibodies produced by the current vaccine products was determined by a cross hemagglutination-inhibition test. The recent field CPV isolates reacted more efficiently to the antibodies produced in dogs vaccinated with the new CPV-2b vaccine strain than the conventional CPV-2 vaccine strain.
Cats have an infectious endogenous retrovirus, named RD114 virus, and there is a possibility that RD114 virus has contaminated live attenuated vaccines, for which feline cells are used as a substrate. To monitor infectious RD114 virus in vaccines for cats, we developed a LacZ marker rescue assay to detect infectious RD114 virus. Among four human cell lines examined, TE671 cells (human rhabdomyosarcoma) were most susceptible to RD114 virus and supported RD114 replication efficiently. Infection was enhanced approximately 5 times by the addition of polybrene at concentrations of 2 to 8 μg/ml in the medium during viral adsorption. A 4-hr viral adsorption period was sufficient to obtain the maximum titer. By inoculating samples into TE671 cells transduced with the lacZ marker gene, the limiting diluted sample (i.e., less than 10 infectious units) was detected at 12 days post-inoculation by the LacZ marker rescue assay. Based on the results obtained in this study, we propose a standard protocol of the LacZ marker rescue assay to detect infectious RD114 virus.
The prevalence of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) was studied in chickens, which had not been vaccinated against IBD. Fifty sera and forty-six bursae of Fabricius from chickens showing impaired growth, collected from 7 IBD vaccination-free farms in Japan were used for virus neutralization (VN) tests and RT-PCR for detection of IBDV genome corresponding to the VP2 hypervariable region. Of the fifty sera, 39 sera (78%) from 6 farms were VN antibodies positive. Of the forty-six bursae, 37 bursae (80.4%) from 6 farms were positive in the RT-PCR assay. The sequences of all the RT-PCR products detected in this study were closely related or identical to those of the vaccine strains. These results show that vaccine-like IBDV is prevalent even in IBD vaccine-free chicken farms in Japan.