(1/4973) Assaying potential carcinogens with Drosophila.

Drosophila offers many advantages for the detection of mutagenic activity of carcinogenic agents. It provides the quickest assay system for detecting mutations in animals today. Its generation time is short, and Drosophila is cheap and easy to breed in large numbers. The simple genetic testing methods give unequivocal answers about the whole spectrum of relevant genetic damage. A comparison of the detection capacity of assays sampling different kinds of genetic damage revealed that various substances are highly effective in inducing mutations but do not produce chromosome breakage effects at all, or only at much higher concentrations than those required for mutation induction. Of the different assay systems available, the classical sex-linked recessive lethal test deserves priority, in view of its superior capacity to detect mutagens. Of practical importance is also its high sensitivity, because a large number of loci in one fifth of the genome is tested for newly induced forward mutations, including small deletions. The recent findings that Drosophila is capable of carrying out the same metabolic activation reactions as the mammalian liver makes the organism eminently suitable for verifying results obtained in prescreening with fast microbial assay systems. An additional advantage in this respect is the capacity of Drosophila for detecting short-lived activation products, because intracellular metabolic activation appears to occur within the spermatids and spermatocytes.  (+info)

(2/4973) Experimental axonal injury triggers interleukin-6 mRNA, protein synthesis and release into cerebrospinal fluid.

Diffuse axonal injury is a frequent pathologic sequel of head trauma, which, despite its devastating consequences for the patients, remains to be fully elucidated. Here we studied the release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) into CSF and serum, as well as the expression of IL-6 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) and protein in a weight drop model of axonal injury in the rat. The IL-6 activity was elevated in CSF within 1 hour and peaked between 2 and 4 hours, reaching maximal values of 82,108 pg/mL, and returned to control values after 24 hours. In serum, the levels of IL-6 remained below increased CSF levels and did not exceed 393 pg/mL. In situ hybridization demonstrated augmented IL-6 mRNA expression in several regions including cortical pyramidal cells, neurons in thalamic nuclei, and macrophages in the basal subarachnoid spaces. A weak constitutive expression of IL-6 protein was shown by immunohistochemical study in control brain. After injury, IL-6 increased at 1 hour and remained elevated through the first 24 hours, returning to normal afterward. Most cells producing IL-6 were cortical, thalamic, and hippocampal neurons as confirmed by staining for the neuronal marker NeuN. These results extend our previous studies showing IL-6 production in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with severe head trauma and demonstrate that neurons are the main source of IL-6 after experimental axonal injury.  (+info)

(3/4973) A technique for dual determination of cytotoxic and helper lymphocyte precursor frequency by a miniaturized dye release method.

Helper (HTLPf) and cytotoxic (CTLPf) lymphocyte precursor frequency assays are increasingly used in bone marrow stem cell and organ transplant compatibility testing. Current techniques require large cell numbers and radioisotopes. To improve the technique, we developed a miniaturized fluorescent read-out combined HTLPf/CTLPf limiting dilution assay. The assay requires only 5 x 10(6) stimulators, 2 x 10(6) responders and 0.24 x 10(6) target cells in Terasaki plates (40 microl/well). For the HTLPf, culture supernatants from each well were assayed for IL-2 production. The IL-2-dependent proliferation of the mouse 9.12 cell line was detected by a semi-automated fluorescent dye technique. After addition of rhIL-2 (recombinant human IL-2) on days 3 and 7, CTLPs were detected on day 10 by measuring the lysis of dye-labeled targets. Results were comparable to standard radioisotope-based techniques. The assay had a coefficient of variation of approximately 30%. The assay detected helper CD4 cells, pure cytotoxic CD8, helper CD8 cells and helper/cytotoxic CD8 cells. Discrimination was demonstrated between HLA-matched related and non-related pairs. The ease of testing and small cell numbers required should facilitate further evaluation of HTLPf and CTLPf for compatibility testing in unrelated donor transplantation and monitoring immune responses following adoptive transfer of lymphocytes.  (+info)

(4/4973) Overexpression of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry2Aa2 protein in chloroplasts confers resistance to plants against susceptible and Bt-resistant insects.

Evolving levels of resistance in insects to the bioinsecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) can be dramatically reduced through the genetic engineering of chloroplasts in plants. When transgenic tobacco leaves expressing Cry2Aa2 protoxin in chloroplasts were fed to susceptible, Cry1A-resistant (20,000- to 40,000-fold) and Cry2Aa2-resistant (330- to 393-fold) tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens, cotton bollworm Helicoverpa zea, and the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, 100% mortality was observed against all insect species and strains. Cry2Aa2 was chosen for this study because of its toxicity to many economically important insect pests, relatively low levels of cross-resistance against Cry1A-resistant insects, and its expression as a protoxin instead of a toxin because of its relatively small size (65 kDa). Southern blot analysis confirmed stable integration of cry2Aa2 into all of the chloroplast genomes (5, 000-10,000 copies per cell) of transgenic plants. Transformed tobacco leaves expressed Cry2Aa2 protoxin at levels between 2% and 3% of total soluble protein, 20- to 30-fold higher levels than current commercial nuclear transgenic plants. These results suggest that plants expressing high levels of a nonhomologous Bt protein should be able to overcome or at the very least, significantly delay, broad spectrum Bt-resistance development in the field.  (+info)

(5/4973) Binding of annexin V to plasma membranes of human spermatozoa: a rapid assay for detection of membrane changes after cryostorage.

When the cell membrane is disturbed, phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is translocated from the inner to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. This is one of the earliest signs of apoptosis and can be monitored by the calcium-dependent binding of annexin V. Therefore, annexin V-binding, in conjunction with flow cytometry, was used to evaluate the integrity of the sperm plasma membrane after different cryostorage protocols: i.e. 10% (v/v) glycerol; sperm maintenance medium (MM); freezing medium TEST yolk buffer (TYB); or cryostorage without protection (cryoshock). Using a combination of two fluorescent dyes, annexin V and propidium iodide (PI), led to three groups of spermatozoa being identified: (i) viable spermatozoa (annexin V-negative and PI-negative); (ii) dead spermatozoa (annexin V-positive and PI-positive); and (iii) cells with impaired but integer plasma membrane (annexin V-positive and PI-negative). The percentage of vital annexin V-negative spermatozoa increased significantly (P < 0.05) from spermatozoa treated by cryoshock (15.0+/-1.2%) to spermatozoa cryopreserved by TYB (26.6+/-2.2%) via cryopreservation by 10% (v/v) glycerol (19.9+/-1.6%) and by MM (22.2 1.8%) and was associated with the percentage of motile spermatozoa (17.6+/-3.4% by glycerol; 19.6+/-3.7% by MM and 22.6+/-3.9% by TYB; P = 0.0001). Of the spermatozoa, 12-22% were annexin V-positive even though they did not bind to PI, indicating viability before as well as after cryostorage. The percentage of vital annexin V-positive spermatozoa was significantly correlated with different sperm motility parameters (velocity straight linear, r = 0.601, P = 0.018; percentage of linearly motile spermatozoa: r = 0.549, P = 0.034). We, therefore, concluded that annexin V-binding is more sensitive in detecting a deterioration of membrane functions than PI staining, and that a considerable percentage of spermatozoa might have dysfunctional plasma membranes besides dead or moribund cells. Of the cryopreservation protocols tested, TYB yielded the most viable spermatozoa. Therefore, we advocate the use of the annexin V-binding assay for the evaluation of the quality and integrity of spermatozoa.  (+info)

(6/4973) Enterotoxin-producing bacteria and parasites in stools of Ethiopian children with diarrhoeal disease.

Enterotoxinogenic bacteria were isolated from 131 (37%) of 354 Ethiopian infants and children with acute gastrointestinal symptoms. Only one of these isolates belonged to the classical enteropathogenic serotypes of Esch. coli. Two colonies from each patient were isolated and tested for production of enterotoxin by the rabbit ileal loop test, the rabbit skin test, and an adrenal cell assay. However, only 38% of the isolated enterotoxinogenic strains were Esch. coli; the others belonged to Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Proteus, Citrobacter, Serratia, and Aeromonas. In 18 patients both isolates were toxinogenic and belonged to different species. The incidence of intestinal parasites was 35% with no apparent correlation to the occurrence of toxinogenic bacteria in the stools.  (+info)

(7/4973) Animals as sentinels of human health hazards of environmental chemicals.

A workshop titled "Using Sentinel Species Data to Address the Potential Human Health Effects of Chemicals in the Environment," sponsored by the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research, the National Center for Environmental Assessment of the EPA, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, was held to consider the use of sentinel and surrogate animal species data for evaluating the potential human health effects of chemicals in the environment. The workshop took a broad view of the sentinel species concept, and included mammalian and nonmammalian species, companion animals, food animals, fish, amphibians, and other wildlife. Sentinel species data included observations of wild animals in field situations as well as experimental animal data. Workshop participants identified potential applications for sentinel species data derived from monitoring programs or serendipitous observations and explored the potential use of such information in human health hazard and risk assessments and for evaluating causes or mechanisms of effect. Although it is unlikely that sentinel species data will be used as the sole determinative factor in evaluating human health concerns, such data can be useful as for additional weight of evidence in a risk assessment, for providing early warning of situations requiring further study, or for monitoring the course of remedial activities. Attention was given to the factors impeding the application of sentinel species approaches and their acceptance in the scientific and regulatory communities. Workshop participants identified a number of critical research needs and opportunities for interagency collaboration that could help advance the use of sentinel species approaches.  (+info)

(8/4973) Inhibitory effect of plasma obtained from hypophysectomized and control women on the assay of bioactive luteinizing hormone.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of components of female plasma on the value of bioactive luteinizing hormone (LH), especially in the presence of low immunological LH value. Using both an immunoradiometric assay (IRMA) and rat Leydig cell bioassay, immunoreactive (I) and bioactive (B) LH were assessed in plasma collected from women during a gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) test performed on day 7 of a spontaneous cycle. Two modes of response to an acute administration of GnRH were defined: normal production of gonadotrophins (group I) and excessive secretion (group II) associated with a significant difference in the B/I-LH ratio between the two groups. The B/I-LH ratio did not vary with sampling time during the test in either group. The addition of LH-free plasma collected from hypophysectomized women caused a 30% decrease in testosterone production compared to control values (in the presence or absence of hLH standard). A partial restoration of testosterone production was observed if plasma was first treated with PEG 12%. The inhibitory factor(s) was also present in plasma from ovulatory women, even after treatment by an antibody against the entire LH molecule. The effect of normal (A) or low I-LH plasma (B) on testosterone production varied strongly according to the plasma volume added to the bioassay, as well as to plasma treatments. Diethylether treatment caused a 50% decrease in testosterone secretion for plasma B (but not for A) whereas a diminution of the steroidogenesis is observed after a PEG treatment of plasma A (but not for B), suggesting that different inhibitory factors are present in plasmas A and B. Therefore the LH bioactivity measured in the rat Leydig cell assay, in terms of testosterone output, seems to represent a balance between the LH molecule and the presence of inhibitory factors in the plasma.  (+info)