This study aimed to investigate the function of estrogen receptors (ERs) in myoregeneration and intermuscular adipogenesis. Ovariectomized (OVX) ERα knockout (KO) mice and ERβ KO mice were used to assess the effect of estrogen on the myoregenerative process. Tibialis anterior muscle was collected on days 7, 10, and 14 after cardiotoxin injection to assess myotube morphology and adipogenesis area. Regenerated myotubes from OVX-ERβ KO mice were consistently smaller in diameter than those from OVX-ERα KO and OVX-wild-type mice, whereas the adipogenesis area of OVX-ERβ KO mice was consistently greater than that of the other types. Therefore, ERβ may be an influential factor in promoting myoregeneration and adipogenesis inhibition compared to ERα.
Research on sex-determining region Y-box 2 (SOX2)-positive pituitary stem/progenitor cells, as a source of hormone-producing cells, is progressing rapidly in rodents. However, the stem/progenitor cells supplying hormone-producing cells that are essential for growth, reproduction, and lactation in bovines have not yet been identified. In this study, we characterized SOX2-positive cells in the pituitary gland of dairy cattle (Holstein heifers) after sexual maturity. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that the localization pattern of SOX2-positive cells in the dairy cattle pituitary gland was similar to that observed in the rodent pituitary gland; the marginal cell layer (MCL), dense cell clusters, and single cells scattered in the parenchyma of the anterior lobe. Furthermore, most of the SOX2-positive cells were positive for the pituitary stem/progenitor cell niche markers E-cadherin and cytokeratin 8+18, which have been reported in rodents. In addition, in the MCL of the anterior lobe, there was a subpopulation of SOX2-positive cells positive for paired-related homeobox 1 and 2, whereas negative for S100β. Moreover, in the parenchyma of the anterior lobe, co-localization of SOX2 and pituitary hormones was infrequent. In summary, this study reveals the localization of putative pituitary stem/progenitor cells positive for SOX2 in dairy cattle. These results provide valuable information to support further investigation of cell supply in the dairy cattle pituitary gland.
The effect of lactoferrin (LF) on embryo development was investigated by using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated mouse sperm. For the development rate of the 2-cell stage embryo, the embryo derived from LPS- and LF-treated sperm showed similar survival rate to the control embryo. On day 12 after the embryo transfer into the recipient, the frequent abnormality was observed in the embryo derived from LPS-treated sperm, and the abnormality was tended to be inhibited in the embryo derived from LPS- and LF-treated sperm. These results imply that LF treatment on sperm contaminated with bacteria may facilitate the embryo development, which contribute to the improvement of infertility.
Salmonella enterica serovar Gallinarum biovar Gallinarum (S. Gallinarum) is a host-specific pathogen causing systemic infection in poultry, which leads to significant economic losses due to high mortality. However, little is known about the dynamic process of systemic infection and pathogenic characteristics of S. Gallinarum in chickens. In the present study, we developed an oral infection model that reproduces the pathology of S. Gallinarum and clarified the host immune response of the infected chickens. Chickens at 20 days of age orally inoculated at a dose of 108 colony forming unit (CFU) showed typical clinical signs of fowl typhoid and died between 6 and 10 days post infection. The inoculated S. Gallinarum rapidly disseminated to multple organs and the bacterial counts increased in the liver and spleen at 3 days post infection. Pathological changes associated wirh inflammation in the liver and spleen became apparent at 4 days post infection, and increased expression of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleuikin (IL)-12 in the liver and spleen did not observed until 3 days post infection. These results indicate that S. Gallinarum rapidly spread to entire body through intestine, and the low-level of inflammatory responses in the liver during the early stage of infection may contribute to rapid, systemic dissemination of the bacteria. Our infection model and findings will contribute to the better understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of S. Gallinarum, and provide new insights into the prevention and control of fowl typhoid.
We isolated ascomycetous yeasts including Candida species, that originally belonged to the genus Candida, from bulk milk in the Aichi area of Japan, and determined the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antifungal drugs on these isolates by conducting E-tests. We isolated 7 human pathogenic species (14 isolates) from 14 bulk milk samples: 5 Candida species of yeasts, and 2 Candida-related species. Two isolates of C. albicans and C. inconspicua were resistant to fluconazole (MIC >32 mg/l). One isolate of C. krusei was resistant to both azoles (fluconazole: >256 mg/ml and itraconazole: 4 mg/l). One isolate of C. catenulata might be resistant to amphotericin B (>32 mg/l).
The J wave has never been documented in the electrocardiogram (ECG) of cats presenting with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The present study aimed to describe the presence, morphology, amplitude, and duration of J waves in cats with HCM. It included 20 apparently healthy cats and 45 cats diagnosed with HCM based on clinical, echocardiographic, ECG, and radiographic examination. The cats were of different breeds (Persian: 40, domestic short hair: 21, Siamese: 4), ages (6.01 ± 4.34 years), sexes (male: 33, female: 32), and weights (3.30 ± 1.51 kg). The J wave was absent in the ECGs of the healthy population, but was detected in 29 out of 45 cats with HCM (63%). The J waves were observed at the QRS-ST junction in more than one limb lead of the ECG. Only positive deflections with an amplitude ≥0.05 mV were included, as measured by an ECG ruler in three consecutive heart cycles. The J waves were mainly present in leads II (n=20) and III (n=16), with amplitudes of 0.06 ± 0.02 and 0.08 ± 0.03 mV; their mean (± SD) duration was 0.16 ± 0.05 msec in lead II and 0.18 ± 0.05 msec in lead III. They occurred in both notched and slurred morphologies, with the latter being more common. In conclusion, J waves were a common finding in the ECGs of cats with HCM.
We investigated changes in the predicted functions of the rumen bacterial community in Japanese Black beef cattle during fattening. Nine cattle were fed a high-concentrate diet during the early, middle, and late fattening stages consecutively (10–14, 15–22, and 23–30 months of age, respectively). The rumen fluid and solid samples collected at each stage were subjected to sequencing analyses. The sequencing results were clustered and classified into operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Representative sequences and a raw counting table for each OTU were submitted to the Piphillin website. The predicted functions were revealed by the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database as the ratio of the total sequence. In the early stage, “Biosynthesis of secondary metabolites” was significantly higher in the fluid fraction than in the solid fraction. “Two-component system” in the middle stage was significantly lower and “Purine metabolism” in the late stage was significantly higher in the fluid fraction than those in the solid fraction. The fluid fraction was significantly correlated with acetic acid, propionic acid, and bacterial metabolism, such as “Biosynthesis of secondary metabolites” and “Sugar metabolism.” Moreover, the solid fraction was correlated with “Purine metabolism” and “Biosynthesis of secondary metabolism”. These results suggest that the rumen bacterial community in Japanese Black beef cattle adapts to changes in rumen conditions by altering their functions in response to a long-term high-grain diet.
This study aimed to identify the causes of death in dogs that were buried at pet cemeteries. Using data obtained from a questionnaire completed by 5,118 dog owners from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, we estimated the life expectancy and the odds ratio for principal causes of death using multiple logistic regression analysis with potential risk factors as independent variables. The life expectancy determined at birth was 13.98 years. The commonest cause of death was senility. The odds ratios of dying of senility being significantly higher in Labrador Retrievers and Shiba breeds and aged dogs, and significantly lower in Chihuahuas, dogs living indoors and neutered dogs.
A 12-year-old, 3.5-kg, intact female dog was presented with polyuria, polydipsia, and a pendulous abdomen. Laboratory examinations showed elevated hepatobiliary enzyme levels and neutrophilic leukocytosis. The adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation test confirmed hyperadrenocorticism (HAC). Trilostane therapy managed the clinical condition and cortisol concentration. However, lymphocytosis and nonregenerative anemia developed after HAC remission. Bone marrow aspiration analysis revealed a lymphoproliferative disorder with a clonal T-cell population. Accordingly, the patient was diagnosed with T-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and concurrent HAC. Thereafter, chemotherapy was initiated, which improved the lymphocytosis. However, euthanasia was performed because of worsening quality of life at 45 weeks after the first presentation. These results suggested that CLL could be masked by excessive endogenous cortisol and discovered after HAC remission.
The aim of this study is to examine 1) muscle fiber type composition, 2) myofiber diameter, and 3) aquaporin (AQP) 7 and AQP 9 mRNA expressions by quantitative PCR in muscles of obese db/db mice. The myofiber type composition of skeletal muscle was not statistically significantly different between db/db mice and control mice; while the average myofiber diameter ratio showed a decrease in db/db mice. The expression of AQP7 but not AQP9 mRNA in the skeletal and cardiac muscles was significantly upregulated in db/db mice. Thus this study revealed quantitatively that type 2 myofiber atrophy was shown in the skeletal muscles of db/db mice. AQP7 mRNA expression was upregulated in the skeletal and cardiac muscles of db/db mice.
Inflammasomes play a pivotal role in gastrointestinal homeostasis and inflammation. However, it remains elusive whether the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor (NLR) family inflammasomes, such as NLR family pyrin domain-containing (NLRP) 3, NLRP6, and NLRP12, are involved in the pathogenesis of canine chronic enteropathy (CE), which includes antibiotic-responsive enteropathy (ARE), food-responsive enteropathy (FRE), immunosuppressant-responsive enteropathy (IRE), and non-responsive enteropathy (NRE). Thus, we measured mRNA expression of NLRP3, NLRP6, and NLRP12 in the intestinal mucosa of 35 dogs with CE (ARE, four dogs; FRE, 11 dogs; IRE and NRE, 20 dogs) and seven healthy dogs. As per real-time PCR analysis, significant increases in mRNA expression of NLRP3 and NLRP12 were noted in the colonic but not in the duodenal mucosa of dogs with FRE compared to healthy dogs. These findings suggested that the NLRP3 and NLRP12 inflammasomes might contribute to the development of colitis in dogs with FRE.
One calf died (No. 1) and another was euthanized following astasia (No. 2). Histopathological examination revealed suppurative meningoencephalitis in these calves. Klebsiella pneumoniae antigens were detected in lesions. Thymocytes were decreased in the thymus cortex in both cases. 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the No. 1 isolate and bacterial extracts from formalin fixed paraffin embedded sections of No. 2 revealed that both samples were K. pneumoniae. The No. 1 isolate showed multidrug resistance against penicillin antibiotics, fosfomycin, streptomycin, macrolide antibiotics, tetracycline antibiotics, and clindamycin. Immunosuppression is a significant septicemic K. pneumoniae infection risk factor. Our study provides new aspects regarding K. pneumoniae infections in cattle, bacterial meningoencephalitis differentiation, and K. pneumoniae and bacterial meningoencephalitis treatments.
Staphylococcus aureus produces staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) and causes food poisoning. It is known that almost all SE-encoding genes are present on various types of mobile genetic elements and can mobilize among S. aureus populations. Further, plasmids comprise one of SE gene carriers. Previously, we reported novel SEs, SES and SET, harbored by the plasmid pF5 from Fukuoka5. In the present study, we analyzed the distribution of these SEs in various S. aureus isolates in Japan. We used 526 S. aureus strains and found 311 strains positive for at least one SE/SE-like toxin gene, but only two strains (Fukuoka5 and Hiroshima3) were positive for ses and set among the specimens. We analyzed two plasmids (pF5 and pH3) from these strains and found that they were different. Whereas these plasmids partially shared similar sequences involved in the ser/selj/set/ses gene cluster, other sequences were different. A comparison of these plasmids with those deposited in the NCBI database revealed that only one plasmid had the ser/selj/set/ses cluster with a stop mutation in set similar to that in pH3. In addition, the chromosomes of Fukuoka5 and Hiroshima3, positive for ses and set, were classified into different genotypes. Despite the low rate of gene positivity for these SEs, it is suggested that there is diversity in plasmids and strains carrying these two SEs. Consequently, regarding the entire feature of SE prevalence, we improved the multiplex PCR detection method for the SE superfamily to obtain further insight.
Immunohistochemical investigations of the expression of surfactant protein A (SP-A) and surfactant protein D (SP-D) in the uterine and placental tissues of 13 pregnant mares were performed using anti-horse monoclonal primary antibodies. Strong positive reactions for both SP-A and SP-D were observed in the trophoblasts in the microcotyledons of the placentae at 182 to 314 days of gestation; in uterine glandular epithelial cells, faint-to-weak reactions were observed during gestation. This study describes, for the first time, the changes in the SP-A and SP-D expression levels in the endometrium of mares during gestation; the SP-A and SP-D expression levels increased after the second trimester of gestation.
Oxidative stress owing to an imbalance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is a major contributor to male infertility. We investigated the effects of the reduced form of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) supplementation on semen quality in dogs with poor semen quality. Three dogs received 100 mg of ubiquinol orally once daily for 12 weeks. Semen quality, serum testosterone, and seminal plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were examined at 2-week intervals from 2 weeks before ubiquinol supplementation to 4 weeks after the treatment. Ubiquinol improved sperm motility, reduced morphologically abnormal sperm, and increased seminal plasma SOD activity; however, it had no effect on testosterone level, semen volume, and sperm number. Ubiquinol supplementation could be used as a non-endocrine therapy for infertile dogs.
We reported the involvement of oxidative stress and prostaglandins including thromboxane and prostacyclin in pre-cardiac edema (early edema) caused by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). While the involvement of oxidative stress in TCDD-induced toxicity has been frequently reported, the mechanism of its action is still unclear. In the present study, oxidative stress inducers including paraquat, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and rotenone augmented early edema (edema) induced by a low concentration of TCDD (0.1 ppb) at 55 hr post fertilization (hpf), while each of them alone did not cause edema. Edema caused by TCDD plus oxidative stress inducers was almost abolished by antioxidants, an antagonist for thromboxane receptor (ICI-192,605) and an agonist for prostacyclin receptor (beraprost), suggesting that the site of action of these inducers was in the regular signaling pathway after activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor type 2 (AHR2) by TCDD. Oxidative stress inducers also enhanced edema caused by an agonist for the thromboxane receptor (U46619), and the enhancement was also inhibited by antioxidants. Sulforaphane and auranofin, activators of Nrf2 that is a master regulator of anti-oxidative response, did not affect U46619-evoked edema but almost abolished TCDD-induced edema and potentiation by paraquat in both TCDD- and U46619-induced edema. Taken together, the results suggest that oxidative stress augments pre-cardiac edema caused by TCDD via activation of thromboxane receptor-mediated signaling in developing zebrafish. As paraquat and other oxidative stress inducers used also are environmental pollutants, interaction between dioxin-like compounds and exogenous source of oxidative stress should also be considered.
Leptospirosis is an exacerbating factor responsible for the drastic decline of sloth bear population in India. In this study, a multipronged approach based on antigen detection using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) employing G1/G2 and LigBF/LigBR primers, antibody detection using Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) and recombinant LigBCon1-5 antigen based Latex Agglutination Test (rLigBCon1-5 LAT), serum biochemistry using hepatic (serum glutamate oxalo acetic transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamate pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) and renal biomarkers (blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine) and gross/histopathological evidence in liver and kidneys were employed to investigate leptospirosis in captive sloth bears. A total of 133 serum samples collected from Agra (n=113) and Bannerghatta (n=20) sloth bear rescue centers were screened using MAT and rLigBCon1-5 LAT. A total of 87 and 78 sera tested positive by MAT and LAT respectively. Pyrogenes was the leading serovar obtained using MAT followed by Icterohaemorrhagiae, Javanica, Grippotyphosa, Canicola and Tarassovi. The relative sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of rLigBCon1-5 LAT in comparison to MAT were 89.66%, 100% and 93.23% respectively. PCR performed on hepatic and renal tissues showed amplicon of 285 and 219 base pairs for G1/G2 and LigBF/LigBR primers respectively. Gross evidence (icteric liver, severely engorged hepatic sinusoids, congested kidneys with necrotic white spots on sub capsular surface), histopathology (severe hepatic degeneration and tubulointerstitial nephritis) and elevated hepatic/renal biomarkers were suggestive of leptospirosis. This study suggests that rLigBCon1-5 LAT can be employed as a pen-side test for detecting leptospirosis in sloth bears.
Here, we performed next-generation sequencing (NGS) on six large flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus) collected in Indonesia. Seventy-five virus species in the liver tissue of each specimen were listed. Viral homologous sequences in the bat genome were identified from the listed viruses. This finding provides collateral evidence of viral endogenization into the host genome. We found that two of the six specimens bore partial sequences that were homologous to the plant pathogens Geminiviridae and Luteoviridae. These sequences were absent in the P. vampyrus chromosomal sequences. Hence, plant viral homologous sequences were localized to the hepatocytes as extrachromosomal DNA fragments. Therefore, this suggests that the bat is a potential carrier or vector of plant viruses. The present investigation on wild animals offered novel perspectives on viral invasion, variation, and host interaction.
Pinnipeds have evolved enlarged ocular bulbs to catch fish in the dark. However, their large protruding eyes are easily damaged, which increases the risk of blindness and death in these animals. In captivity, ophthalmic disorders, manifested as keratitis and cataracts, are common among pinnipeds. In this study, we investigated symptoms of ophthalmic disorders in pinniped species using a questionnaire distributed to 32 zoos and aquariums throughout Japan. We conducted this study in cooperation with the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The survey included 295 pinnipeds from four otariid species, five phocid species, and one odobenid species. Of these, 43.1% of the pinnipeds had diseases affecting the lens, cornea, and/or other eye parts. Age was positively associated with lens disorders in California sea lions, South American sea lions, and spotted seals. Conflicts and public appearances were also associated with corneal and/or lens disorders in California sea lions. Treatments were evaluated as effective for corneal disorders and conjunctivitis. The results of this study indicate that ophthalmic disorders in pinnipeds are related to the conditions of their captive environment. Aquariums and zoos should be encouraged to share information regarding optimal maintenance practices to improve the living conditions of pinnipeds.
Although the causes have not been specified yet, wild populations of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) have been decreasing, which is why conservation techniques such as captive breeding and health maintenance should be established. Hematological parameters can be used to maintain the health status of northern fur seals kept in captivity for artificial reproduction and public education. Year-round fluctuations of blood parameters have not been examined for northern fur seals due to the difficulties in obtaining serial blood samples from wild animals during the oceanic migration period from late autumn to spring. In this study, blood samples were collected from four captive northern fur seals and analyzed monthly for more than three years to clarify the seasonal fluctuation patterns in 14 hematological parameters. Many hematological parameters seemed to be seasonal patterns: summer–autumn and winter–spring; leukocyte-related parameters were higher in summer and autumn than in winter and spring; erythrocyte-related parameters were lower in summer and autumn than in winter and spring. Significant seasonal differences in nine of the 14 parameters were observed using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) analysis. These results have improved our understanding of the seasonal patterns of hematological characteristics in the northern fur seal and can contribute to the health care of protected or captive northern fur seals.
From 2012 to 2017, serial ultrasonographic evaluation of 5 healthy bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, were performed over the course of 6 pregnancies in Enoshima Aquarium. A total of 98 ultrasonographic examinations were included in the study. In three out of six cases, two embryos were observed between umbilicus and genital slit, and side of umbilicus in the dam’s body. All embryos were located in right below the peritoneum and observed from 308 to 325 days pre-partum. These days were corresponding to from 58 to 61 days after copulation respectively. The diameter of the embryo sac was approximately 4 cm. In three cases, the fetal head was located in the dam’s left lateral between umbilicus and genital slit from approximately 90 days pre-partum to the parturition. A snout of fetus is at the top of the uterine horn, and the tail lies close to the cervix. All six calves were fluke-first births (breech presentation). It was conjectured that the contraction of the dam’s uterus during parturition forced the fetus to invert, and the fetal tail fluke was expelled from the dam’s body. In three cases, judging from orientation of fetal tail fluke faced towards left side of the dam, a fetal position might be RSL (Right Sacrum-Lateral) within the birth canal. In the other three cases, the left and right positions of the fetus and the dam’s body are reversed during pregnancy and parturition.
The placenta of the Korean water deer was anatomically examined to accumulate basic information regarding its reproductive system. The convex placentomes with five to nine well-developed pedicles were observed in the whole uterine horns, and therefore, the placenta was classified as oligocotyledonary. The evidence indicating the migration of binucleate cells (BNCs) from trophectoderm to the uterine epithelium led to the histological classification of the placenta as synepitheliochorial. The number of fetuses was markedly higher than that in other ruminant species. However, the number of placentomes was found to be similar to the other Cervidae species. Therefore, these results suggest that the Korean water deer may possess special mechanisms or structures at the fetus attachment site to maintain this unusally high number of fetuses.
Hydrocephalus is one of the most common central nervous system malformations in domestic dogs, yet they are poorly documented and studied in wild carnivoran mammals. A pup of raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) was rescued and brought to Wildlife Center. The pup showed generalized ataxia, a domed skull, and an open bregmatic fontanelle. Ultrasound and MRI showed severe enlargement of the lateral ventricle with the loss of septum pellucidum resulting in a single large ventricle and cervical syringohydromyelia. Although treatment was attempted, the animal was euthanized due to poor prognosis. At necropsy, macroscopic findings were identical to the diagnostic imaging, where marked enlargement of the calvarium, and attenuated gyri and sulci were observed. Finally, hydrocephalus was confirmed. Here, we describe a case of hydrocephalus in a raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides).