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Animal Behaviour

Bruno C L Macena, Fábio H V Hazin
Whale sharks are generally associated with environmental factors that drive their movements to specific locations where food availability is high. Consequently, foraging is believed to be the main reason for the formation of whale shark aggregations. Feeding aggregations occur mainly in nearshore areas and are composed primarily of immature individuals. Conversely, aggregations of mature adults are rarely observed, and their occurrence is correlated with oceanic environments. Despite an increase in the number of whale shark studies, information on mating and parturition grounds is still lacking...
2016: PloS One
D Michieletto
One of the most challenging problems in polymer physics is providing a theoretical description for the behaviour of rings in dense solutions and melts. Although it is nowadays well established that the overall size of a ring in these conditions scales like that of a collapsed globule, there is compelling evidence that rings may exhibit ramified and tree-like conformations. In this work I show how to characterise these local tree-like structures by measuring the local writhing of the rings' segments and by identifying the patterns of intra-chain contacts...
October 26, 2016: Soft Matter
Lydia E Belton, Elissa Z Cameron, Fredrik Dalerum
Increasing human population growth has led to elevated levels of human-carnivore conflict. However, some carnivore populations have adapted to urban environments and the resources they supply. Such associations may influence carnivore ecology, behaviour and life-history. Pockets of urbanisation sometimes occur within protected areas, so that anthropogenic influences on carnivore biology are not necessarily confined to unprotected areas. In this study we evaluated associations between human infrastructure and related activity and space use of spotted hyaenas within one of the largest protected areas in South Africa, the Kruger National Park...
2016: PeerJ
Mahmoud A Alfaqih, Emma H Allott, Robert J Hamilton, Michael R Freeman, Stephen J Freedland
An increasing amount of data supports an inverse association between statin use and cancer risk. The findings for prostate cancer, particularly advanced disease, are the most promising of all cancers studied. Use of these agents seems to also be associated with improved prostate- cancer-specific survival, particularly in men undergoing radiotherapy, suggesting usefulness of statins in secondary and tertiary prevention. Some study results might be influenced by increased PSA screening and health-conscious behaviour in statin users but these factors are unlikely to completely account for observed beneficial effects...
October 25, 2016: Nature Reviews. Urology
Keisuke Shoji, Yutaka Suzuki, Sumio Sugano, Toru Shimada, Susumu Katsuma
PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) play essential roles in the defense system against selfish elements in animal germ line cells by cooperating with PIWI proteins. A subset of piRNAs is predicted to be generated via the "ping-pong" cascade, which is mainly controlled by two different PIWI proteins. Here we established a cell-based artificial piRNA production system using a silkworm ovarian cultured cell line that is believed to possess a complete piRNA pathway. In addition, we took advantage of a unique silkworm sex-determining one-to-one ping-pong piRNA pair, which enabled us to precisely monitor the behaviour of individual artificial piRNAs...
October 24, 2016: RNA
Frederike Alwes, Camille Enjolras, Michalis Averof
Regeneration is a complex and dynamic process, mobilizing diverse cell types and remodelling tissues over long time periods. Tracking cell fate and behaviour during regeneration in active adult animals is especially challenging. Here, we establish continuous live imaging of leg regeneration at single-cell resolution in the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis. By live recordings encompassing the first 4-5 days after amputation, we capture the cellular events that contribute to wound closure and morphogenesis of regenerating legs with unprecedented resolution and temporal detail...
October 25, 2016: ELife
Ranjit Singh, Ranju Bansal
Neuroinflammatory mechanisms mediated by activated glial and cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β) might contribute neuronal degeneration leading to Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is an inflammogen derived from the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria, which promotes neuroinflammation and subsequent neurodegeneration. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone have been reported as neuroprotective steroids useful for the treatment of various neurodegenerative disorders. In the present study, several 16-arylidene steroidal derivatives have been evaluated as neuroprotective agents in LPS-treated animal models...
October 24, 2016: ACS Chemical Neuroscience
Lorenzini Luca, Giuliani Alessandro, Sivilia Sandra, Baldassarro Vito Antonio, Fernandez Mercedes, Lotti Margotti Matteo, Giardino Luciana, Fontani Vania, Rinaldi Salvatore, Calzà Laura
The search for new therapeutic approaches to Alzheimer disease (AD) is a major goal in medicine and society, also due to the impressive economic and social costs of this disease. In this scenario, biotechnologies play an important role. Here, it is demonstrated that the Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyer (REAC), an innovative technology platform for neuro- and bio-modulation, used according to the neuro-regenerative protocol (RGN-N), significantly increases astroglial reaction around the amyloid plaques in an AD mouse model, as evaluated by GFAP-immunoreactivity, and reduces microglia-associated neuroinflammation markers, as evaluated by Iba1-immunoreactivity and mRNA expression level of inflammatory cytokines TREM...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Pasquale Marrazzo, Francesco Paduano, Francesca Palmieri, Massimo Marrelli, Marco Tatullo
Dental pulp is an accessible source of multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). The perspective role of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) in regenerative medicine demands an in vitro expansion and in vivo delivery which must deal with the safety issues about animal serum, usually required in cell culture practice. Human platelet lysate (PL) contains autologous growth factors and has been considered as valuable alternative to fetal bovine serum (FBS) in cell cultures. The optimum concentration to be added of such supplement is highly dependent on its preparation whose variability limits comparability of results...
2016: Stem Cells International
Minoo Heidari Kani, Eng-Cheng Chan, Roger C Young, Trent Butler, Roger Smith, Jonathan W Paul
Research insights into uterine function and the mechanisms of labour have been hindered by the lack of suitable animal and cellular models. The use of traditional culturing methods limits the exploration of complex uterine functions, such as cell interactions, connectivity and contractile behaviour, as it fails to mimic the three-dimensional (3D) nature of uterine cell interactions in vivo. Animal models are an option, however, use of these models is constrained by ethical considerations as well as translational limitations to humans...
October 21, 2016: Annals of Biomedical Engineering
Luisa Iacovelli, Luisa Di Menna, Daniel Peterlik, Christina Stangl, Rosamaria Orlando, Gemma Molinaro, Antonio De Blasi, Valeria Bruno, Giuseppe Battaglia, Peter J Flor, Nicole Uschold-Schmidt, Ferdinando Nicoletti
We studied the interaction between mGlu7 and α1-adrenergic receptors in heterologous expression systems, brain slices, and living animals. L-2-Amino-4-phosphonobutanoate (L-AP4), and l-serine-O-phosphate (L-SOP), which activate group III mGlu receptors, restrained the stimulation of polyphosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis induced by the α1-adrenergic receptor agonist, phenylephrine, in HEK 293 cells co-expressing α1-adrenergic and mGlu7 receptors. The inibitory action of L-AP4 was abrogated by (i) the mGlu7 receptor antagonist, XAP044; (ii) the C-terminal portion of type-2 G protein coupled receptor kinase; and (iii) the MAP kinase inhibitors, UO126 and PD98059...
October 18, 2016: Neuropharmacology
Seth Bybee, Alex Córdoba-Aguilar, M Catherine Duryea, Ryo Futahashi, Bengt Hansson, M Olalla Lorenzo-Carballa, Ruud Schilder, Robby Stoks, Anton Suvorov, Erik I Svensson, Janne Swaegers, Yuma Takahashi, Phillip C Watts, Maren Wellenreuther
Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) present an unparalleled insect model to integrate evolutionary genomics with ecology for the study of insect evolution. Key features of Odonata include their ancient phylogenetic position, extensive phenotypic and ecological diversity, several unique evolutionary innovations, ease of study in the wild and usefulness as bioindicators for freshwater ecosystems worldwide. In this review, we synthesize studies on the evolution, ecology and physiology of odonates, highlighting those areas where the integration of ecology with genomics would yield significant insights into the evolutionary processes that would not be gained easily by working on other animal groups...
2016: Frontiers in Zoology
Robert P Ellis, Mauricio A Urbina, Rod W Wilson
Exponentially rising CO2 (currently ~400 μatm) is driving climate change and causing acidification of both marine and freshwater environments. Physiologists have long known that CO2 directly affects acid-base and ion regulation, respiratory function and aerobic performance in aquatic animals. More recently, many studies have demonstrated that elevated CO2 projected for end of this century (e.g. 800-1000 μatm) can also impact physiology, and have substantial effects on behaviours linked to sensory stimuli (smell, hearing and vision) both having negative implications for fitness and survival...
October 20, 2016: Global Change Biology
Joseph F O'Grady, Laura S Hoelters, Martin T Swain, David C Wilcockson
BACKGROUND: Talitrus saltator is an amphipod crustacean that inhabits the supralittoral zone on sandy beaches in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean. T. saltator exhibits endogenous locomotor activity rhythms and time-compensated sun and moon orientation, both of which necessitate at least one chronometric mechanism. Whilst their behaviour is well studied, currently there are no descriptions of the underlying molecular components of a biological clock in this animal, and very few in other crustacean species...
2016: PeerJ
Yong Li, Julia Hoffmann, Yang Li, Flora Stephano, Iris Bruchhaus, Christine Fink, Thomas Roeder
The monoamines octopamine (OA) and tyramine (TA) modulate numerous behaviours and physiological processes in invertebrates. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether these invertebrate counterparts of norepinephrine are important regulators of metabolic and life history traits. We show that flies (Drosophila melanogaster) lacking OA are more resistant to starvation, while their overall life span is substantially reduced compared with control flies. In addition, these animals have increased body fat deposits, reduced physical activity and a reduced metabolic resting rate...
October 19, 2016: Scientific Reports
Alberto Ugolini, Laura S Hoelters, Alice Ciofini, Vittorio Pasquali, David C Wilcockson
Animals that use astronomical cues to orientate must make continuous adjustment to account for temporal changes in azimuth caused by Earth's rotation. For example, the Monarch butterfly possesses a time-compensated sun compass dependent upon a circadian clock in the antennae. The amphipod Talitrus saltator possesses both a sun compass and a moon compass. We reasoned that the time-compensated compass mechanism that enables solar orientation of T. saltator is located in the antennae, as is the case for Monarch butterflies...
October 19, 2016: Scientific Reports
Linda J Gormezano, Scott R McWilliams, David T Iles, Robert F Rockwell
Trade-offs between locomotory costs and foraging gains are key elements in determining constraints on predator-prey interactions. One intriguing example involves polar bears pursuing snow geese on land. As climate change forces polar bears to spend more time ashore, they may need to expend more energy to obtain land-based food. Given that polar bears are inefficient at terrestrial locomotion, any extra energy expended to pursue prey could negatively impact survival. However, polar bears have been regularly observed engaging in long pursuits of geese and other land animals, and the energetic worth of such behaviour has been repeatedly questioned...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Giulia Umbrello, Susanna Esposito
BACKGROUND: The microbiota colonizing the gastrointestinal tract have been associated with both gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal diseases. In recent years, considerable interest has been devoted to their role in the development of neurologic diseases, as many studies have described bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and the gut, the so-called "microbiota-gut-brain axis". Considering the ability of probiotics (i.e., live non-pathogenic microorganisms) to restore the normal microbial population and produce benefits for the host, their potential effects have been investigated in the context of neurologic diseases...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Translational Medicine
M Ayyub, A K Najmi, M Akhtar
Objective: Oxidative stress and alternation of renin-angiotensin system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of various cardio vascular, endocrine including mood and anxiety disorders. The present study evaluated the role of irbesartan in stress induced different models of depression. Materials and method: Mice were treated with irbesartan (40 mg/kg), fluoxetine (25 mg/kg) alone in combination orally. Drugs treatment started after 2 weeks from the beginning of the unpredictable mild stress (UCMS) protocol...
October 18, 2016: Drug Research
Ana G Pereira, Marta A Moita
Avoiding or escaping a predator is arguably one of the most important functions of a prey's brain, hence of most animals' brains. Studies on fear conditioning have greatly advanced our understanding of the circuits that regulate learned defensive behaviours. However, animals possess a multitude of threat detection mechanisms, from hardwired circuits that ensure innate responses to predator cues, to the use of social information. Surprisingly, only more recently have these circuits captured the attention of a wider range of researchers working on different species and behavioural paradigms...
October 14, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
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