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Steven D Briscoe, Clifton W Ragsdale
The evolutionary relationships of the mammalian neocortex and avian dorsal telencephalon (DT) nuclei have been debated for more than a century. Despite their central importance to this debate, non-avian reptiles remain underexplored with modern molecular techniques. Reptile studies harbor great potential for understanding the changes in DT organization that occurred in the early evolution of amniotes. They may also help clarify the specializations in the avian DT, which comprises a massive, cell-dense dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR) and a nuclear dorsal-most structure, the Wulst...
March 9, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Mohammad Khalil, Korina Alliger, Carl Weidinger, Cansu Yerinde, Stefan Wirtz, Christoph Becker, Matthias Agop Engel
Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels are widely expressed in several tissues throughout the mammalian organism. Originally, TRP channel physiology was focusing on its fundamental meaning in sensory neuronal function. Today, it is known that activation of several TRP ion channels in peptidergic neurons does not only result in neuropeptide release and consecutive neurogenic inflammation. Growing evidence demonstrates functional extra-neuronal TRP channel expression in immune and epithelial cells with important implications for mucosal immunology...
2018: Frontiers in Immunology
Steven D Briscoe, Caroline B Albertin, Joanna J Rowell, Clifton W Ragsdale
The avian dorsal telencephalon has two vast territories, the nidopallium and the mesopallium, both of which have been shown to contribute substantially to higher cognitive functions. From their connections, these territories have been proposed as equivalent to mammalian neocortical layers 2 and 3, various neocortical association areas, or the amygdala, but whether these are analogies or homologies by descent is unknown. We investigated the molecular profiles of the mesopallium and the nidopallium with RNA-seq...
February 14, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Karin Brigit Holthaus, Bettina Strasser, Julia Lachner, Supawadee Sukseree, Wolfgang Sipos, Anton Weissenbacher, Erwin Tschachler, Lorenzo Alibardi, Leopold Eckhart
The epidermis of amniotes forms a protective barrier against the environment and the differentiation program of keratinocytes, the main cell type in the epidermis, has undergone specific alterations in the course of adaptation of amniotes to a broad variety of environments and lifestyles. The epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) is a cluster of genes expressed at late stages of keratinocyte differentiation in both sauropsids and mammals. In the present study we identified and analyzed the crocodilian equivalent of the EDC...
February 12, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Derek Nelson, Dane A Crossley, Ruth M Elsey, Kevin B Tate
American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) deposit eggs in a mound nest, potentially subjecting embryos to daily variations in temperature. Whilst adult crocodilian cardiovascular responses to changes in temperature have been investigated, similar studies in alligator embryos are limited. We investigated cardiovascular function of embryonic alligators during heating and cooling as well as at different temperatures. We measured arterial blood pressure (Pm) and heart rate (fH) in response to cooling (30-26 °C), heating (26-36 °C), followed by a reciprocal cooling event (36-26 °C) and assessed the cardiac baroreflex at 30 and 36 °C...
January 27, 2018: Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Sheng-Zhou Zhang, Ting Meng, Xue Zhu, Huan Wang, Yong-Kang Zhou, Xiao-Bing Wu
The Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis), a freshwater crocodilian endemic to China, is one of the most endangered crocodilian species; up to this date, very little is known about the endocrine regulation of its metabolic activities during different physiological states. In this study, we characterized the structure of the prepro-vasoactive intestinal peptide in Chinese alligator (prepro-caVIP) for the first time and examined its expression profiles in various tissues during the active and hibernating periods...
February 2017: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Joseph Caspermeyer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 11, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Mu Liu, Fang Zhou, Xiaoyun Pan, Zhijie Zhang, Milton B Traw, Bo Li
Herbivory-induced responses in plants can both negatively affect subsequently colonizing herbivores and mitigate the effect of herbivory on the host. However, it is still less known whether plants exhibit specific responses to specialist and generalist herbivores in non-secondary metabolite traits and how specificity to specialists and generalists differs between invasive and native plant populations. We exposed an invasive plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides, to Agasicles hygrophila (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae; specialist), Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae; generalist), manual clipping, or application of exogenous jasmonic acid and examined both the specificity of elicitation in traits of fitness (e...
January 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Angela M Bosco-Lauth, Airn E Hartwig, Richard A Bowen
Chikungunya virus is an emerging arbovirus of significant human-health concern. Little is known about its sylvatic cycle, including whether ectothermic vertebrates are permissive to infection. In this study, individuals from ten species of reptiles and amphibians were inoculated with chikungunya virus and samples of blood were tested to characterize viremia and seroconversion. Viremia was not detected in cane toads, house geckos, or American alligators, but most of the green iguanas, red-eared sliders, ball and Burmese pythons, leopard frogs, Texas toads, and garter snakes developed viremia...
January 8, 2018: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Priya Crosby, Nathaniel P Hoyle, John S O'Neill
Luciferase-based reporters of cellular gene expression are in widespread use for both longitudinal and end-point assays of biological activity. In circadian rhythms research, for example, clock gene fusions with firefly luciferase give rise to robust rhythms in cellular bioluminescence that persist over many days. Technical limitations associated with photomultiplier tubes (PMT) or conventional microscopy-based methods for bioluminescence quantification have typically demanded that cells and tissues be maintained under quite non-physiological conditions during recording, with a trade-off between sensitivity and throughput...
December 13, 2017: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Satomi Kohno, Yoshinao Katsu, Nicholas Cipoletti, Lina C Wang, Zachary G Jorgenson, Shinichi Miyagawa, Heiko L Schoenfuss
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are ubiquitous in aquatic environments with well-established endocrine-disrupting effects. A data matrix of 559 water samples was queried to identify two commonly occurring CECs mixtures in Great Lakes tributaries. One mixture consisted of eight agricultural CECs (AG), while another contained 11 urban CECs (UB). The known estrogenic compounds bisphenol A, estrone and nonylphenol were present in both mixtures. According to the EPA Tox21 in ToxCast database, AG and UB mixture at an environmentally relevant concentration were estimated to account for 6...
December 26, 2017: Journal of Applied Toxicology: JAT
Cameron E Williams, Nicole A McNabb, Arnold Brunell, Russell H Lowers, Yoshinao Katsu, Demetri D Spyropoulos, Satomi Kohno
Deepwater Horizon spilled over 200 million gallons of oil into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. In an effort to contain the spill, chemical dispersants were applied to minimize the amount of oil reaching coastal shorelines. However, the biological impacts of chemically-dispersed oil are not well characterized, and there is a particular lack of knowledge concerning sublethal long-term effects of exposure. This study examined potential estrogenic effects of CWAF, Corexit 9500-enhanced water-accommodated fraction of oil, by examining its effect on estrogen receptors and sex determination in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis...
December 5, 2017: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Ke-Yi Tang, Xin Wang, Qiu-Hong Wan, Sheng-Guo Fang
The β-defensin, one of the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), is a significant component of the innate immune with a broad range of antimicrobial activities. Differing from the widely-studied mammals and birds, limited information about β-defensins has been reported in reptiles, especially in crocodilians. As a same ancient species as dinosaurs and the most endangered species of 23 crocodilians, the survival of Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) means a powerful immune system and possible involvement of AMPs in its immune resistance...
April 2018: Developmental and Comparative Immunology
Israel Solano-Zavaleta, Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca
The widely distributed, Central American anguid lizard Mesaspis moreletii is currently recognized as a polytypic species with five subspecies (M. m. fulvus, M. m. moreletii, M. m. rafaeli, M. m. salvadorensis, and M. m. temporalis). We reevaluated the species limits within Mesaspis moreletii using DNA sequences of one mitochondrial and three nuclear genes. The multi-locus data set included samples of all of the subspecies of M. moreletii, the other species of Mesaspis in Central America (M. cuchumatanus and M...
March 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Jessica J Tipton, Louis J Guillette, Susan Lovelace, Benjamin B Parrott, Thomas R Rainwater, Jessica L Reiner
Exposure to perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) has been linked to many harmful health effects including reproductive disorders, developmental delays, and altered liver and kidney function. Most human exposure to environmental contaminants, including PFAAs, occurs through consumption of contaminated food or drinking water. This study uses PFAA data from meat samples collected from recreationally harvested American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in South Carolina to assess potential dietary exposure of hunters and their families to PFAAs...
November 2017: Journal of Environmental Sciences (China)
Jessica J Tipton, Louis J Guillette, Susan Lovelace, Benjamin B Parrott, Thomas R Rainwater, Jessica L Reiner
Environmental contamination resulting from the production or release of harmful chemicals can lead to negative consequences for wildlife and human health. Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) were historically produced as protective coatings for many household items and currently persist in the environment, wildlife, and humans. PFAAs have been linked to immune suppression, endocrine disruption, and developmental toxicity in wildlife and laboratory studies. This study examines the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, as an important indicator of ecosystem contamination and a potential pathway for PFAA exposure in humans...
November 2017: Journal of Environmental Sciences (China)
Ping Wu, Jie Yan, Yung-Chih Lai, Chen Siang Ng, Ang Li, Xueyuan Jiang, Ruth M Elsey, Randall Widelitz, Ruchi Bajpai, Wen-Hsiung Li, Cheng-Ming Chuong
The origin of feathers is an important question in Evo-Devo studies, with the eventual evolution of vaned feathers which are aerodynamic, allowing feathered dinosaurs and early birds to fly and venture into new ecological niches. Studying how feathers and scales are developmentally specified provides insight into how a new organ may evolve. We identified feather-associated genes using genomic analyses. The candidate genes were tested by expressing them in chicken and alligator scale forming regions. Ectopic expression of these genes induced intermediate morphotypes between scales and feathers which revealed several major morphogenetic events along this path: Localized growth zone formation, follicle invagination, epithelial branching, feather keratin differentiation, and dermal papilla formation...
February 1, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
T Monowid, A Bocheńska, S Lew, A Pomianowski
In this research two kinds of stimulation electrodes were compared in motor nerve conduction study: needle electrodes used in human medicine and electrodes made of injection needles connected to the stimulator via alligator-type electrodes. A study was conducted in 22 mixed-breed dogs. The resulting values of the potential amplitudes of the stimulus, the parameters of the complex muscle potentials, and the motor nerve conduction velocity were statistically compared. There was no statistical difference between the parameters obtained with the two types of stimulation electrodes...
September 26, 2017: Polish Journal of Veterinary Sciences
Huan Wang, Peng Yan, Shengzhou Zhang, Long Sun, Min Ren, Hui Xue, Fang Zhang, Rong Wu, Xiaobing Wu
The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis is a critically endangered species endemic to China. Knowledge about reproductive strategies of a species contributes to their conservation. Little is, however, known about the reproductive strategies and its impact on the population. In the present study, an easy and non-invasive genetic method was used to improve the understanding of mating system of Chinese alligators and its effect on the population genetic diversity by nine polymorphic microsatellite loci. There was a high incidence of multiple paternity among 50 clutches, with a total 60% of the clutches having multiple paternity and up to three males contributing to single clutches...
October 26, 2017: Animal Reproduction Science
Rabia Tabassum
Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) play critical role in oxidative metabolism of numerous xenobiotics and endogenous compounds. The first CYP3A subfamily member in saltwater crocodile has been cloned and modelled for three-dimensional (3D) structure. The full-length cDNA was obtained employing reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) strategy and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The cDNA sequence of 1659 nucleotides includes 132 nucleotides from 5' untranslated region (UTR), an open reading frame of 1527 nucleotides encoding 509 amino acids designated as CYP3A163...
October 17, 2017: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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