Chronic stress has been associated with impairment of memory, learning, and social cognition. In animal studies, chronic stress has been shown to impair rodent sociability behaviour which mimics social withdrawal as observed in depression patients. The effect of chronic stress on social recognition, however, is uncertain. Moreover, with reference to spatial learning and memory, the effect of chronic stress is dependent on the type of behavioural task: an appetitively or aversively motivated tasks. The effect of chronic stress was consistent in impairing spatial learning and memory in the appetitive task; however, the effect was inconsistent in an aversive task like the Morris water maze. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effect of chronic restraint stress on sociability and social recognition by using a modified protocol of the three-chamber paradigm and the effect of chronic restraint stress on spatial learning and memory by using the Morris water maze test in young adult C57BL/6J male mice. The present report also describes a modified protocol of the three-chamber paradigm. Our modification is based on measurement of sniffing behaviour, which is a direct social interaction that represents sociability. We used the chronic restraint stress paradigm for 6 h/day for 21 days to induce depression-like symptoms in male C57BL/6J mice which were validated by forced-swim test. We observed that the stressed group had impairments in their sociability behaviour but that social recognition was not affected. Furthermore, we confirmed that chronic stress produced no significant impairment in spatial learning and memory of the mice in the water maze.
2,3,5-Triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining is a commonly used method to determine the volume of the cerebral infarction in experimental stroke models. The TTC staining protocol is considered to interfere with downstream analyses, and it is unclear whether TTC-stained brain samples can be used for biochemistry analyses. However, there is evidence indicating that, with proper optimization and handling, TTC-stained brains may remain viable for protein analyses. In the present study, we aimed to rigorously assess whether TTC can reliably be used for western blotting of various markers. In this study, brain samples obtained from C57BL/6 male mice were treated with TTC (TTC+) or left untreated (TTC-) at 1 week after photothrombotic occlusion or sham surgery. Brain regions were dissected into infarct, thalamus, and hippocampus, and proteins were extracted by using radioimmunoprecipitation assay buffer. Protein levels of apoptosis, autophagy, neuronal, glial, vascular, and neurodegenerative-related markers were analyzed by western blotting. Our results showed that TTC+ brains display similar relative changes in most of the markers compared with TTC- brains. In addition, we validated that these analyses can be performed in the infarct as well as other brain regions such as the thalamus and hippocampus. Our findings demonstrate that TTC+ brains are reliable for protein analyses using western blotting. Widespread adoption of this approach will be key to lowering the number of animals used while maximizing data.
Over the past several decades, many studies concerning peripheral nerve damage or regeneration have been performed. Mice have been widely used for many of these studies, with the sciatic nerve being the most targeted and preferred nerve. Therefore, techniques for harvesting mouse sciatic nerves of a maximum length that is sufficient for different analyses will be highly valuable. Here we describe a simple step-by-step guide for harvesting the maximum length of mouse sciatic nerve and compare the length of the harvested nerves gathered with the proposed method with nerves obtained using a conventional mid-thigh incision approach.
The intraspecific variation of four laboratory-reared isolates of Taenia taeniaformis the SRN and KRN isolates from Norway rats, Rattus norvegicus, captured in Japan and Malaysia, respectively; the BMM isolated from a house mouse, Mus musculus, captured in Belgium; and the ACR isolate from a gray red-backed vole, Clethrionomys rufocanus bedfordiae, captured in Japan was examined by various criteria. Eggs of each of the four isolates were orally inoculated into several species of intermediate host. They were most infective to the rodent species from which the original metacestode of each isolate had been isolated in the field, and only the ACR isolate was infective to the gray red-backed vole. Although little difference was found between the SRN, KRN, and BMM isolates by the other criteria, including the morphology of rostellar hooks, the protein composition of the metacestode, and restriction endonuclease analysis of DNA, the ACR isolate was clearly different from the others. It was considered that the ACR isolate was independent as a strain distinct from the other three isolates.
AIM: To determine the usefulness of prednisolone in increasing the number of Toxoplasma (T.) gondii tachyzoites and bradyzoites in mice.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The mice were water-fasted prior to being immunosuppressed with oral inoculation of prednisolone. Tachyzoites of 7T gondii RH strain were inoculated into mice and the number of the parasites in the intraperitoneal fluids was then determined at 96 hs post-infection. In addition, tachyzoites of T. gondii ME49 strains were orally introduced into mice and the number of brain cysts formed was observed by microscopic observation at 45 days post-infection.
RESULTS: T. gondii propagation was found to be significantly improved by introduction of the prednisolone (p = 0.0004); and the number of parasite showed positive correlation with the increment in dosage of prednisolone (r = 0.9051).
CONCLUSIONS: The use of prednisolone greatly improved the number of parasite formed in mice: both tachyzoite and cyst forms.
AIM: A method was developed to separate contaminant-free viable Toxoplasma gondii cysts from brain samples of infected mice for molecular biology studies and reinfection.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The mice brains were homogenized and washed with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) Tween 80 prior to fractionation using 19-22% dextran solution. Finally, the supernatant was purified by two-step membrane filtration (100-160 microm and < 10 microm) to obtain pure T. gondii cyst. The isolates were analyzed through microscopic observation, qPCR and by reinfection of new batch of mice.
RESULTS: T. gondii cysts were best isolated with 21% dextran solution and two step filtration.
CONCLUSIONS: The method was observed not to disrupt the integrity of the cysts containing bradyzoites. In addition, the isolated cysts in the filtrate were found to be contaminant-free, viable and able to infect healthy mice when introduced orally; which, mimics the natural infectivity pathway.
Mice were chronically infected with cysts of ME49 strain of Toxoplasma gondii. At different periods post-infection, their spleens were removed and single cell suspensions were made. Lymphocyte transformation experiments were performed on the lymphocyte suspensions using three different kinds of antigens of ME49 strain of T. gondii, namely soluble, excretory/secretory and cystic forms. The results showed that the pattern of lymphocyte responsiveness was dependent on the kind of antigen employed for induction of the blastogenesis. Using soluble and cystic forms of the antigen, different periods of lymphocyte suppression and lymphocyte proliferation were demonstrated. However, with the use of excretory/secretory antigen, no significant suppression of lymphocyte stimulation was noted throughout the course of infection. Thus excretory/secretory antigen may be the best form of antigen for stimulation of the cell-mediated immune response and hence it appears to be a good candidate for vaccine in toxoplasmosis.
C57BL/6 mice were orally infected with different doses of cysts of ME49 strain of Toxoplasma gondii to produce groups of acutely and chronically infected mice. Sera were obtained at different periods post-infection. SDS-PAGE was ran with excretory/secretory antigens of ME49 and RH strains of T. gondii, followed by Western blot analyses using the above sera and anti- IgA, IgM, IgG as conjugates. The SDS-PAGE profiles of the two antigens were similar. However the antigenic bands showed variations in all blots, most evidently in IgA blots of chronic sera. IgG blots showed greatest similarities in reactive bands. In IgM blots, more common bands were shown in chronic sera than in acute sera. Variations and similarities in prominence of some bands and time of their appearance were also noted, especially in IgM and IgG blots of chronic sera. Thus antigenic variations and similarities are present in excretory/secretory products of different strains of T. gondii.
Structured lipid medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols (MLCT) are claimed to be able to manage obesity. The present study investigated the body fat influence of enzymatically interesterifed palm-based medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols (P-MLCT) on diet-induced obesity (DIO) C57BL/6J mice compared with commercial MLCT oil (C-MLCT) and a control, which was the non enzymatically modified palm kernel and palm oil blend (PKO-PO blend). It also investigated the low fat and high fat effects of P-MLCT. DIO C57BL/6J mice were fed ad libitum with low fat (7%) and high fat (30%) experimental diets for 8 weeks before being sacrificed to obtain blood serum for analysis. From the results, there is a trend that P-MLCT fed mice were found to have the lowest body weight, body weight gain, total fat pad accumulation (perirenal, retroperitoneal, epididymal and mesenteric), total triglyceride levels and efficiency in controlling blood glucose level, compared with C-MLCT and the PKO-PO blend in both low fat and high fat diets. Nevertheless, the PKO-PO blend and P-MLCT caused significantly (P < 0.05) higher total cholesterol levels compared to C-MLCT. P-MLCT present in low fat and high fat dosage were shown to be able to suppress body fat accumulation. This effect is more prominent with the low fat dosage.
Background: The tumor microenvironment and its stromal cells play an important role in cancer development and metastasis. Bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs), a rich source of hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, putatively contribute to this tumoral stroma. However their characteristics and roles within the tumor microenvironment are unclear. In the present study, BMDCs in the tumor microenvironment were traced using the green fluorescent protein (GFP) bone marrow transplantation model. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were irradiated and rescued by bone marrow transplantation from GFP-transgenic mice. Lewis lung cancer cells were inoculated into the mice to generate subcutaneous allograft tumors or lung metastases. Confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry for GFP, α-SMA, CD11b, CD31, CD34 and CD105, and double-fluorescent immunohistochemistry for GFP-CD11b, GFP-CD105 and GFP-CD31 were performed. Results: Round and dendritic-shaped GFP-positive mononuclear cells constituted a significant stromal subpopulation in primary tumor peripheral area (PA) and metastatic tumor area (MA) microenvironment, thus implicating an invasive and metastatic role for these cells. CD11b co-expression in GFP-positive cells suggests that round/dendritic cell subpopulations are possibly BM-derived macrophages. Identification of GFP-positive mononuclear infiltrates co-expressing CD31 suggests that these cells might be BM-derived angioblasts, whereas their non-reactivity for CD34, CD105 and α-SMA implies an altered vascular phenotype distinct from endothelial cells. Significant upregulation of GFP-positive, CD31-positive and GFP/CD31 double-positive cell densities positively correlated with PA and MA (P<0.05). Conclusion: Taken together, in vivo evidence of traceable GFP-positive BMDCs in primary and metastatic tumor microenvironment suggests that recruited BMDCs might partake in cancer invasion and metastasis, possess multilineage potency and promote angiogenesis.
Medium-and-Long Chain Triacylglycerol (MLCT) is a type of structured lipid that is made up of medium chain, MCFA (C8-C12) and long chain, LCFA (C16-C22) fatty acid. Studies claimed that consumption of MLCT has the potential in reducing visceral fat accumulation as compared to long chain triacylglycerol, LCT. This is mainly attributed to the rapid metabolism of MCFA as compared to LCFA. Our study was designed to compare the anti-obesity effects of a enzymatically interesterified MLCT (E-MLCT) with physical blend of palm kernel and palm oil (B-PKOPO) having similar fatty acid composition and a commercial MLCT (C-MLCT) made of rapeseed/soybean oil on Diet Induced Obesity (DIO) C57BL/6J mice for a period of four months in low fat, LF (7%) and high fat, HF (30%) diet. The main aim was to determine if the anti-obesity effect of MLCT was contributed solely by its triacylglycerol structure alone or its fatty acid composition or both. Out of the three types of MLCT, mice fed with Low Fat, LF (7%) E-MLCT had significantly (P<0.05) lower body weight gain (by ~30%), body fat accumulation (by ~37%) and hormone leptin level as compared to both the LF B-PKOPO and LF C-MLCT. Histological examination further revealed that dietary intake of E-MLCT inhibited hepatic lipid accumulation. Besides, analysis of serum profile also demonstrated that consumption of E-MLCT was better in regulating blood glucose compared to B-PKOPO and C-MLCT. Nevertheless, both B-PKO-PO and E-MLCT which contained higher level of myristic acid was found to be hypercholesterolemic compared to C-MLCT. In summary, our finding showed that triacylglycerol structure, fatty acid composition and fat dosage play a pivotal role in regulating visceral fat accumulation. Consumption of E-MLCT in low fat diet led to a significantly lesser body fat accumulation. It was postulated that the MLM/MLL/LMM/MML/LLM types of triacylglycerol and C8-C12 medium chain fatty acids were the main factors that contributed to the visceral fat suppressing effect of MLCT. Despite being able to reduce body fat, the so called healthful functional oil E-MLCT when taken in high amount do resulted in fat accumulation. In summary, E-MLCT when taken in moderation can be used to manage obesity issue. However, consumption of E-MLCT may lead to higher total cholesterol and LDL level.
Notch signalling pathway is involved in the proliferation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs), to inhibit neuronal cell commitment and to promote glial cell fate. Notch protein is cleaved by gamma-secretase, a multisubunit transmembrane protein complex that releases the Notch intracellular domain (NICD) and subsequently activates the downstream targets. Down syndrome (DS) individuals exhibit an increased number of glial cells (particularly astrocytes), and reduced number of neurons suggesting the involvement of Notch signalling pathway in the neurogenic-to-gliogenic shift in DS brain. Ts1Cje is a DS mouse model that exhibit similar neuropathology to human DS individuals. To date, the spatiotemporal gene expression of the Notch and gamma-secretase genes have not been characterised in Ts1Cje mouse brain. Understanding the expression pattern of Notch and gamma-secretase genes may provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanism that leads to the shift. Gene expression analysis using RT-qPCR was performed on early embryonic and postnatal development of DS brain. In the developing mouse brain, mRNA expression analysis showed that gamma-secretase members (Psen1, Pen-2, Aph-1b, and Ncstn) were not differentially expressed. Notch2 was found to be downregulated in the developing Ts1Cje brain samples. Postnatal gene expression study showed complex expression patterns and Notch1 and Notch2 genes were found to be significantly downregulated in the hippocampus at postnatal day 30. Results from RT-qPCR analysis from E15.5 neurosphere culture showed an increase of expression of Psen1, and Aph-1b but downregulation of Pen-2 and Ncstn genes. Gamma-secretase activity in Ts1Cje E15.5 neurospheres was significantly increased by fivefold. In summary, the association and the role of Notch and gamma-secretase gene expression throughout development with neurogenic-to-gliogenic shift in Ts1Cje remain undefined and warrant further validation.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have great potentials for regenerative medicine. However, serious concerns such as the use of the viral-mediated reprogramming strategies and exposure of iPSCs to animal products from feeder cells and serum-containing medium have restricted the application of iPSCs in the clinics. Therefore, the generation of iPSCs with minimal viral integrations and in non-animal sourced and serum-free medium is necessary. In this report, a polycistronic lentiviral vector carrying Yamanaka's factors was used to reprogram mouse fibroblasts into iPSCs in feeder- and xeno-free culture environment. The generated iPSCs exhibited morphology and self-renewal properties of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), expression of specific pluripotent markers, and potentials to differentiate into the three-major distinct specialized germ layers in vitro. The iPSCs were also shown to have the potential to differentiate into neural precursor and neurons in culture, with greater than 95% expression of nestin, Pax6 and βIII-tubulin. This body of work describes an alternative method of generating iPSCs by using polycistronic lentiviral vector that may minimize the risks associated with viral vector-mediated reprogramming and animal derived products in the culture media.
Introduction: Down syndrome (DS) is caused by trisomy of human chromosome 21 (HSA21). Motor dysfunction due to hypotonia has limited labour productivity and have significant effects on socio-economic status in DS individuals. Ts1Cje, a mouse model of DS that exhibits muscle weakness was employed, to investigate the expression profile of selected trisomic and disomic genes involved in skeletal muscle structure and function. Methods: Quadriceps and triceps were harvested from the Ts1Cje (C57BL/6) postnatal day 60-70 mice and corresponding wild-type littermates. Total RNA extracted from these tissues was subjected for quantitative expression profiling of three trisomic genes (Itsn1, Synj1 and Rcan1) involved in neurotransmission and six disomic genes (Lamc1, Leprel1, Myl6b, Msn, Pgm5 and Tmod1) essential for maintenance of muscle structure and function. Real-time quantitative PCR method was used for the profiling. Results: Differential gene expression in DS is reflected by 1.5-fold or more increase in the level of expression as predicted by the gene dosage imbalance hypothesis. The analysis showed no significant changes in the expression level of trisomic genes (Itsn1, Synj1 and Rcan1). On contrary, disomic genes, Leprel1 and Pgm5, were upregulated for more than 1.5-fold in DS quadriceps whereas Lamc1, Myl6b and Pgm5 were upregulated for more than 1.5 fold in DS triceps as compared to the wild-type group. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the dysregulation of Lamc1, Leprel1, Myl6b and Pgm5 genes is associated to muscle weakness seen in Ts1Cje and may play a role in molecular pathogenesis of muscle weakness in DS.
Fibrosis is known to be the hallmarks of chronic inflammation of the bowel. Epithelial damage due to inflammation compromises the barrier function of the gastrointestinal tract. This barrier dysfunction leads to further spread of inflammation resulting in a chronic state of inflammation. This chronic inflammation leads to development of fibrosis, which has very limited therapeutic options and usually requires surgical removal of the affected tissue. Our previous work has shown that Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent, found in propolis, has been found to be protective in experimental colitis via enhancement of epithelial barrier function. However, the impact of CAPE on resolution of fibrosis in the long-term is unknown. The aim of this follow up study was to investigate the effect of CAPE on colon fibrosis in a chronic model of Dextran sulphate sodium induced colitis in mice. Dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) 2.5% w/v was administered in drinking water to induce colitis in C57/BL6 mice for 5 days on the 6th day DSS was stopped and test group mice were treated with intraperitoneal administration of CAPE (30 mg kg-1 day-1) for a further 7 days. Disease activity index (DAI) score, colon length and tissue histology and level of tissue fibrosis was observed. CAPE-treated mice had significantly lower levels of DAI, tissue inflammation scores and fibrosis as compared with control group. Our results show that CAPE is effective in resolving colon fibrosis in chronic inflammation. Thus, we can conclude CAPE could be a potential therapeutic agent for further clinical investigations for treatment of fibrosis in inflammatory bowel diseases in humans.
The increased prevalence of obesity and associated insulin resistance calls for effective therapeutic treatment of metabolic diseases. The current PPARγ-targeting antidiabetic drugs have undesirable side effects. The present study investigated the anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects of withaferin A (WFA) in diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6J mice and also the anti-adipogenic effect of WFA in differentiating 3T3- F442A cells. DIO mice were treated with WFA (6 mg/kg) or rosiglitazone (10 mg/kg) for 8 weeks. At the end of the treatment period, metabolic profile, liver function and inflammatory parameters were obtained. Expression of selective genes controlling insulin signaling, inflammation, adipogenesis, energy expenditure and PPARγ phosphorylation-regulated genes in epididymal fats were analyzed. Furthermore, the anti-adipogenic effect of WFA was evaluated in 3T3- F442A cell line. WFA treatment prevented weight gain without affecting food or caloric intake in DIO mice. WFA-treated group also exhibited lower epididymal and mesenteric fat pad mass, an improvement in lipid profile and hepatic steatosis and a reduction in serum inflammatory cytokines. Insulin resistance was reduced as shown by an improvement in glucose and insulin tolerance and serum adiponectin. WFA treatment upregulated selective insulin signaling (insr, irs1, slc2a4 and pi3k) and PPARγ phosphorylation-regulated (car3, selenbp1, aplp2, txnip, and adipoq) genes, downregulated inflammatory (tnf-α and il-6) genes and altered energy expenditure controlling (tph2 and adrb3) genes. In 3T3- F442A cell line, withaferin A inhibited adipogenesis as indicated by a decrease in lipid accumulation in differentiating adipocytes and protein expression of PPARγ and C/EBPα. The effect of rosiglitazone on physiological and lipid profiles, insulin resistance, some genes expression and differentiating adipocytes were markedly different. Our data suggest that WFA is a promising therapeutic agent for both diabetes and obesity.
The decrease in serotonergic neurotransmission during aging can increase the risk of neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression in elderly population and decline the reproductive system. Therefore, it is important to understand the age-associated molecular mechanisms of brain aging. In this study, the effect of aging and chronic escitalopram (antidepressant) treatment to admit mice was investigated by comparing transcriptomes in the preoptic area (POA) which is a key nucleus for reproduction. In the mid-aged brain, the immune system-related genes were increased and hormone response-related genes were decreased. In the escitalopram treated brains, transcription-, granule cell proliferation- and vasoconstriction-related genes were increased and olfactory receptors were decreased. Since homeostasis and neuroprotection-related genes were altered in both of mid-age and escitalopram treatment, these genes could be important for serotonin related physiologies in the POA.
Dopamine (DA) is one of the key neurotransmitters in the striatum, which is functionally important for a variety of cognitive and motor behaviours. It is known that the striatum is vulnerable to damage from traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, a therapeutic approach has not yet been established to treat TBI. Hence, the present work aimed to evaluate the ability of Normobaric hyperoxia treatment (NBOT) to recover dopaminergic neurons following a fluid percussion injury (FPI) as a TBI experimental animal model. To examine this, mice were divided into four groups: (i) Control, (ii) Sham, (iii) FPI and (iv) FPI+NBOT. Mice were anesthetized and surgically prepared for FPI in the striatum and immediate exposure to NBOT at various time points (3, 6, 12 and 24 h). Dopamine levels were then estimated post injury by utilizing a commercially available ELISA method specific to DA. We found that DA levels were significantly reduced at 3 h, but there was no reduction at 6, 12 and 24 h in FPI groups when compared to the control and sham groups. Subjects receiving NBOT showed consistent increased DA levels at each time point when compared with Sham and FPI groups. These results suggest that FPI may alter DA levels at the early post-TBI stages but not in later stages. While DA levels increased in 6, 12 and 24 h in the FPI groups, NBOT could be used to accelerate the prevention of early dopaminergic neuronal damage following FPI injury and improve DA levels consistently.
Nipah virus and Hendra virus are closely related and following natural or experimental exposure induce similar clinical disease. In humans, encephalitis is the most serious outcome of infection and, hitherto, research into the pathogenesis of henipavirus encephalitis has been limited by the lack of a suitable model. Recently we reported a wild-type mouse model of Hendra virus (HeV) encephalitis that should facilitate detailed investigations of its neuropathogenesis, including mechanisms of disease recrudescence. In this study we investigated the possibility of developing a similar model of Nipah virus encephalitis.