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Sebastiaan Bol, Jana Caspers, Lauren Buckingham, Gail Denise Anderson-Shelton, Carrie Ridgway, C A Tony Buffington, Stefan Schulz, Evelien M Bunnik
BACKGROUND: Olfactory stimulation is an often overlooked method of environmental enrichment for cats in captivity. The best known example of olfactory enrichment is the use of catnip, a plant that can cause an apparently euphoric reaction in domestic cats and most of the Pantherinae. It has long been known that some domestic cats and most tigers do not respond to catnip. Although many anecdotes exist of other plants with similar effects, data are lacking about the number of cats that respond to these plants, and if cats that do not respond to catnip respond to any of them...
March 16, 2017: BMC Veterinary Research
Zi T Wang, Shiv K Verma, Jitender P Dubey, L David Sibley
The Toxoplasma gondii genome contains two aromatic amino acid hydroxylase genes, AAH1 and AAH2 encode proteins that produce L-DOPA, which can serve as a precursor of catecholamine neurotransmitters. It has been suggested that this pathway elevates host dopamine levels thus making infected rodents less fearful of their definitive Felidae hosts. However, L-DOPA is also a structural precursor of melanins, secondary quinones, and dityrosine protein crosslinks, which are produced by many species. For example, dityrosine crosslinks are abundant in the oocyst walls of Eimeria and T...
March 2017: PLoS Pathogens
Marcela Randau, Anjali Goswami
Morphological integration and modularity, which describe the relationships among morphological attributes and reflect genetic, developmental, and functional interactions, have been hypothesized to be major influences on trait responses to selection and thus morphological evolution. The mammalian presacral vertebral column shows little variation in vertebral count and therefore specialization for function occurs primarily through modification of vertebral shape. However, vertebral shape has been suggested to be under strong control from developmental canalization, although this has never been explicitly tested...
February 17, 2017: Evolution & Development
Sharleen T Sakai, Bradley M Arsznov, Ani E Hristova, Elise J Yoon, Barbara L Lundrigan
Broad-based species comparisons across mammalian orders suggest a number of factors that might influence the evolution of large brains. However, the relationship between these factors and total and regional brain size remains unclear. This study investigated the relationship between relative brain size and regional brain volumes and sociality in 13 felid species in hopes of revealing relationships that are not detected in more inclusive comparative studies. In addition, a more detailed analysis was conducted of four focal species: lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus), cougars (Puma concolor), and cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
Soonok Kim, Yun Sung Cho, Hak-Min Kim, Oksung Chung, Hyunho Kim, Sungwoong Jho, Hong Seomun, Jeongho Kim, Woo Young Bang, Changmu Kim, Junghwa An, Chang Hwan Bae, Youngjune Bhak, Sungwon Jeon, Hyejun Yoon, Yumi Kim, JeHoon Jun, HyeJin Lee, Suan Cho, Olga Uphyrkina, Aleksey Kostyria, John Goodrich, Dale Miquelle, Melody Roelke, John Lewis, Andrey Yurchenko, Anton Bankevich, Juok Cho, Semin Lee, Jeremy S Edwards, Jessica A Weber, Jo Cook, Sangsoo Kim, Hang Lee, Andrea Manica, Ilbeum Lee, Stephen J O'Brien, Jong Bhak, Joo-Hong Yeo
BACKGROUND: There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. RESULTS: We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous dietary specializations, focusing on Felidae (domestic cat, tiger, lion, cheetah, and leopard), Hominidae, and Bovidae genomes...
October 11, 2016: Genome Biology
Mario Alvarado-Rybak, Laia Solano-Gallego, Javier Millán
Piroplasmids are tick-borne protozoan parasites that infect blood cells (erythrocytes, lymphocytes or other leukocytes) or endothelial cells of numerous wild and domestic vertebrates worldwide. They cause severe disease in livestock, dogs, cats, wild mammals and, occasionally, in humans. Piroplasmid infections are prevalent in wild carnivores worldwide although there is limited information about their clinical and epidemiological importance. There are currently nine recognized species of Babesia, two of Theileria, two of Cytauxzoon and one of Rangelia infecting captive and wild carnivores, including members of Canidae, Felidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae, Ursidae, Viverridae, Hyaenidae and Herpestidae in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa...
October 10, 2016: Parasites & Vectors
Ximena A Olarte-Castillo, Heribert Hofer, Katja V Goller, Vito Martella, Patricia D Moehlman, Marion L East
The genus Sapovirus, in the family Caliciviridae, includes enteric viruses of humans and domestic animals. Information on sapovirus infection of wildlife is limited and is currently lacking for any free-ranging wildlife species in Africa. By screening a large number of predominantly fecal samples (n = 631) obtained from five carnivore species in the Serengeti ecosystem, East Africa, sapovirus RNA was detected in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta, family Hyaenidae), African lion (Panthera leo, family Felidae), and bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis, family Canidae), but not in golden or silver-backed jackals (Canis aureus and C...
2016: PloS One
Qinyong Gu, Zeli Zhang, Lucía Cano Ortiz, Ana Cláudia Franco, Dieter Häussinger, Carsten Münk
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) Vif protein counteracts feline APOBEC3s (FcaA3s) restriction factors by inducing their proteasomal degradation. The functional domains in FIV Vif for interaction with FcaA3s are poorly understood. Here, we have identified several motifs in FIV Vif that are important for selective degradation of different FcaA3s. Cats (Felis catus) express three types of A3s: single-domain A3Z2, single-domain A3Z3, and double-domain A3Z2Z3. We proposed that FIV Vif would selectively interact with the Z2 and the Z3 A3s...
December 1, 2016: Journal of Virology
Lucas Trevisan Gressler, Jéssica Caroline Gomes Noll, Ítallo Barros de Freitas, Silvia Gonzalez Monteiro
Parasitic diseases reflect the health and balance of ecosystems, affecting not only individuals but also entire populations or communities. The aim of this study was to report on the diversity of parasitic helminths detected in the feces of a wild feline in southern Brazil. Parasites were obtained from fecal samples, and four techniques were used for parasitological examination: direct examination, centrifugal flotation with zinc sulfate (Faust technique), simple sedimentation (Hoffman technique) and Baermann-Moraes...
July 2016: Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária, Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology
Zeli Zhang, Qinyong Gu, Ananda Ayyappan Jaguva Vasudevan, Anika Hain, Björn-Philipp Kloke, Sascha Hasheminasab, Daniel Mulnaes, Kei Sato, Klaus Cichutek, Dieter Häussinger, Ignacio G Bravo, Sander H J Smits, Holger Gohlke, Carsten Münk
BACKGROUND: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a global pathogen of Felidae species and a model system for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-induced AIDS. In felids such as the domestic cat (Felis catus), APOBEC3 (A3) genes encode for single-domain A3Z2s, A3Z3 and double-domain A3Z2Z3 anti-viral cytidine deaminases. The feline A3Z2Z3 is expressed following read-through transcription and alternative splicing, introducing a previously untranslated exon in frame, encoding a domain insertion called linker...
2016: Retrovirology
Mary K Boudreaux, Sara Madison Barnes
BACKGROUND: There is limited information regarding the nucleotides encoding or the predicted amino acid composition of protease-activated receptors (PAR) in cats. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to determine the nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid composition of the activation peptide regions of protease-activated receptors PAR1, PAR3, and PAR4 in Felidae family members. METHODS: Genomic DNA isolated from whole blood samples collected from 10 domestic cats and 45 big cats representing 11 species was subjected to PCR using primers flanking the coding regions for the activation peptides of PAR1, PAR3, and PAR4...
September 2016: Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Edoardo Pozio
Trichinella pseudospiralis is one of the three species whose larvae do not encapsulate after muscle cell differentiation, and the only one infecting both mammals and birds. More than 40 years after its discovery, the epidemiology remains, at least in part, still enigmatic. The aim of this work was to reconsider the current knowledge on the T. pseudospiralis epidemiology by collecting the information available in the literature and in the website of the International Trichinella Reference Center. Over the last decade, there was an increasing number of reports of T...
November 15, 2016: Veterinary Parasitology
Andrew R Cuff, Emily L Sparkes, Marcela Randau, Stephanie E Pierce, Andrew C Kitchener, Anjali Goswami, John R Hutchinson
In quadrupeds the musculature of the hindlimbs is expected to be responsible for generating most of the propulsive locomotory forces, as well as contributing to body support by generating vertical forces. In supporting the body, postural changes from crouched to upright limbs are often associated with an increase of body mass in terrestrial tetrapods. However, felids do not change their crouched limb posture despite undergoing a 300-fold size increase between the smallest and largest extant species. Here, we test how changes in the muscle architecture (masses and lengths of components of the muscle-tendon units) of the hindlimbs and lumbosacral region are related to body mass, to assess whether there are muscular compensations for the maintenance of a crouched limb posture at larger body sizes...
2016: Journal of Anatomy
Andrew R Cuff, Emily L Sparkes, Marcela Randau, Stephanie E Pierce, Andrew C Kitchener, Anjali Goswami, John R Hutchinson
The body masses of cats (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae) span a ~300-fold range from the smallest to largest species. Despite this range, felid musculoskeletal anatomy remains remarkably conservative, including the maintenance of a crouched limb posture at unusually large sizes. The forelimbs in felids are important for body support and other aspects of locomotion, as well as climbing and prey capture, with the assistance of the vertebral (and hindlimb) muscles. Here, we examine the scaling of the anterior postcranial musculature across felids to assess scaling patterns between different species spanning the range of felid body sizes...
2016: Journal of Anatomy
Suvi Viranta, Hanna Lommi, Katja Holmala, Juha Laakkonen
Mammalian carnivores adhere to two different feeding strategies relative to their body masses. Large carnivores prey on animals that are the same size or larger than themselves, whereas small carnivores prey on smaller vertebrates and invertebrates. The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) falls in between these two categories. Lynx descend from larger forms that were probably large prey specialists, but during the Pleistocene became predators of small prey. The modern Eurasian lynx may be an evolutionary reversal toward specializing in large prey again...
June 2016: Journal of Morphology
Kentaro Kato, Yuho Murata, Noriyuki Horiuchi, Atsuko Inomata, Mohamad Alaa Terkawi, Akiko Ishiwa, Yohsuke Ogawa, Shinya Fukumoto, Fumikazu Matsuhisa, Kenji Koyama
BACKGROUND: Toxoplasma gondii is a highly prevalent protozoan that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Its definitive hosts are Felidae and its intermediate hosts include various other mammals and birds, including pigs. It is found in the meat of livestock which is a major source of human infection. Hence the control of toxoplasmosis in pigs is important for public health. We previously showed that dextran sulfate (DS), especially DS10 (dextran sulfate MW 10 kDa), is effective against T...
March 9, 2016: Parasites & Vectors
Pavel Dobrynin, Shiping Liu, Gaik Tamazian, Zijun Xiong, Andrey A Yurchenko, Ksenia Krasheninnikova, Sergey Kliver, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Klaus-Peter Koepfli, Warren Johnson, Lukas F K Kuderna, Raquel García-Pérez, Marc de Manuel, Ricardo Godinez, Aleksey Komissarov, Alexey Makunin, Vladimir Brukhin, Weilin Qiu, Long Zhou, Fang Li, Jian Yi, Carlos Driscoll, Agostinho Antunes, Taras K Oleksyk, Eduardo Eizirik, Polina Perelman, Melody Roelke, David Wildt, Mark Diekhans, Tomas Marques-Bonet, Laurie Marker, Jong Bhak, Jun Wang, Guojie Zhang, Stephen J O'Brien
BACKGROUND: Patterns of genetic and genomic variance are informative in inferring population history for human, model species and endangered populations. RESULTS: Here the genome sequence of wild-born African cheetahs reveals extreme genomic depletion in SNV incidence, SNV density, SNVs of coding genes, MHC class I and II genes, and mitochondrial DNA SNVs. Cheetah genomes are on average 95 % homozygous compared to the genomes of the outbred domestic cat (24.08 % homozygous), Virunga Mountain Gorilla (78...
2015: Genome Biology
Jan E Janecka, Simone S E Nielsen, Sidsel D Andersen, Federico G Hoffmann, Roy E Weber, Trevor Anderson, Jay F Storz, Angela Fago
Genetically based modifications of hemoglobin (Hb) function that increase blood-O2 affinity are hallmarks of hypoxia adaptation in vertebrates. Among mammals, felid Hbs are unusual in that they have low intrinsic O2 affinities and reduced sensitivities to the allosteric cofactor 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG). This combination of features compromises the acclimatization capacity of blood-O2 affinity and has led to the hypothesis that felids have a restricted physiological niche breadth relative to other mammals...
August 2015: Journal of Experimental Biology
Yao Ning, Hui Liu, Guangshun Jiang, Jianzhang Ma
The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is an Endangered species in northeast China. We first obtained muscle sample, extracted the sample DNA and sequenced the whole mtDNA genome of lynx from northeast China. We reconstructed the phylogenetic tree of Eurasian lynx and 10 other most closely related Felidae species. This lynx's complete mitogenome is 17 054bp in length, includes 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and one control region. The phylogenetic tree confirmed previous research results.
September 2016: Mitochondrial DNA. Part A. DNA Mapping, Sequencing, and Analysis
Mayu Kakehi, Yoshinori Ikenaka, Shouta M M Nakayama, Yusuke K Kawai, Kensuke P Watanabe, Hazuki Mizukawa, Kei Nomiyama, Shinsuke Tanabe, Mayumi Ishizuka
There are various interspecies differences in xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes. It is known that cats show slow glucuronidation of drugs such as acetaminophen and strong side effects due to the UGT1A6 pseudogene. Recently, the UGT1A6 pseudogene was found in the Northern elephant seal and Otariidae was suggested to be UGT1A6-deficient. From the results of measurements of uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) activity using liver microsomes, the Steller sea lion, Northern fur seal, and Caspian seal showed UGT activity toward 1-hydroxypyrene and acetaminophen as low as in cats, which was significantly lower than in rat and dog...
October 2015: Toxicological Sciences: An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology
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