The chemical ecology of Biomphalaria glabrata: the effects of ammonia on the growth rate of juvenile snails.
When juvenile specimens of Biomphalaria glabrata were subjected to concentrations of ammonia ranging from 1-100 mug/ml in various media the following effects were observed: the addition of ammonia to borate buffered media caused mortality. Both borate and tris-buffered media caused a decrease in the growth rate of snails when compared with controls in SSW. The growth rates of the snails could be enhanced by increasing the concentration of ammonia to critical thresholds, but further increases beyond these thresholds resulted in growth inhibition. The toxicity of ammonia in ambient water was augmented by an an increase in pH. The possible causation and ecological significance of these effects are discussed. There are indications that the snails are physiologically well-adapted to utilize ammonia when required and also to control its excretion and uptake from the medium. (+info
Carbon 13 NMR study of nonenzymatic reactions of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate with selected amino acids and of related reactions.
Carbon 13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used to monitor the nonenzymatic reactions of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate with glycine, alanine, valine, serine, and with several other model compounds. Isotopically enriched amino acids were employed so that low concentrations could be utilized while still allowing relatively rapid acquisition of spectral data. The results for alanine and serine are particularly noteworthy in that alanine is deaminated to pyruvate and pyruvate is aminated to alanine, but contrary to the enzymatic reactions of various serine dehydratases wherein serine is converted to pyruvate, the nonenzymatic reaction utilizing serine results in hydroxypruvate rather than pyruvate formation. In the reverse reaction, hydroxypyruvate is aminated to serine but very inefficiently relative to the amination of pyruvate to alanine. The experimental results have been formulated into a proposed reaction mechanism for deamination of amino acids by pyridoxal-P. (+info
RFLP of rRNA genes and sequencing of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria: a phylogenetic approach.
It has been established that 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny gives a low resolution between members of the chemoautotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) belonging to the beta-subclass of the Proteobacteria. In this study, 12 isolates of AOB were ribotyped, and the sequences of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region (ISR) were determined and used in a phylogenetic study. 16S and 23S rDNA ribotyping revealed that the AOB studied contain only one rrn operon per genome, in contrast to most bacteria, which have 5-10 copies of the rRNA genes per genome. It is likely that the presence of only one set of rRNA genes is related to the slow growth of the AOB. The 16S and 23S rRNA genes of the AOB were shown to be arranged in the classical way: a 16S rRNA gene, an ISR and a 23S rRNA gene. Despite the close phylogenetic relationship among the AOB, the relative location of the rRNA genes in the genome appears to vary considerably. The size of the ISR was approximately 400 bp in the Nitrosomonas isolates and 645-694 bp in the Nitrosospira isolates, suggesting a species-specific size difference in the ISR. The ISR contained two potential tRNA genes in the 5' end in all isolates studied. The similarity values between the ISR sequences of the AOB are low (42.9-96.2%) compared with the 16S rDNA sequence similarity values, and therefore the ISR sequences are valuable as a complementary phylogenetic tool in combination with 16S rRNA gene sequences. The phylogenetic analysis of the AOB based on ISR sequences confirms the 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny but has the benefit of giving a higher resolution. (+info
Contributory and exacerbating roles of gaseous ammonia and organic dust in the etiology of atrophic rhinitis.
Pigs reared commercially indoors are exposed to air heavily contaminated with particulate and gaseous pollutants. Epidemiological surveys have shown an association between the levels of these pollutants and the severity of lesions associated with the upper respiratory tract disease of swine atrophic rhinitis. This study investigated the role of aerial pollutants in the etiology of atrophic rhinitis induced by Pasteurella multocida. Forty, 1-week-old Large White piglets were weaned and divided into eight groups designated A to H. The groups were housed in Rochester exposure chambers and continuously exposed to the following pollutants: ovalbumin (groups A and B), ammonia (groups C and D), ovalbumin plus ammonia (groups E and F), and unpolluted air (groups G and H). The concentrations of pollutants used were 20 mg m-3 total mass and 5 mg m-3 respirable mass for ovalbumin dust and 50 ppm for ammonia. One week after exposure commenced, the pigs in groups A, C, E, and G were infected with P. multocida type D by intranasal inoculation. After 4 weeks of exposure to pollutants, the pigs were killed and the extent of turbinate atrophy was assessed with a morphometric index (MI). Control pigs kept in clean air and not inoculated with P. multocida (group H) had normal turbinate morphology with a mean MI of 41.12% (standard deviation [SD], +/- 1. 59%). In contrast, exposure to pollutants in the absence of P. multocida (groups B, D, and F) induced mild turbinate atrophy with mean MIs of 49.65% (SD, +/-1.96%), 51.04% (SD, +/-2.06%), and 49.88% (SD, +/-3.51%), respectively. A similar level of atrophy was also evoked by inoculation with P. multocida in the absence of pollutants (group G), giving a mean MI of 50.77% (SD, +/-2.07%). However, when P. multocida inoculation was combined with pollutant exposure (groups A, C, and E) moderate to severe turbinate atrophy occurred with mean MIs of 64.93% (SD, +/-4.64%), 59.18% (SD, +/-2.79%), and 73.30% (SD, +/-3.19%), respectively. The severity of atrophy was greatest in pigs exposed simultaneously to dust and ammonia. At the end of the exposure period, higher numbers of P. multocida bacteria were isolated from the tonsils than from the nasal membrane, per gram of tissue. The severity of turbinate atrophy in inoculated pigs was proportional to the number of P. multocida bacteria isolated from tonsils (r2 = 0.909, P < 0.05) and nasal membrane (r2 = 0.628, P < 0.05). These findings indicate that aerial pollutants contribute to the severity of lesions associated with atrophic rhinitis by facilitating colonization of the pig's upper respiratory tract by P. multocida and also by directly evoking mild atrophy. (+info
Helicobacter pylori infection potentiates the inhibition of gastric acid secretion by omeprazole.
BACKGROUND: Omeprazole has a greater intragastric pH elevating effect in Helicobacter pylori positive than negative subjects. Ammonia production by H pylori has been suggested as a probable mechanism. AIMS: To assess the effect of H pylori status on gastric acid secretion during omeprazole treatment, and to examine the possible role of ammonia neutralisation of intragastric acid in increased omeprazole efficacy in infected subjects. METHODS: Twenty H pylori positive and 12 H pylori negative healthy volunteers were examined before and six to eight weeks after commencing omeprazole 40 mg/day. On both occasions plasma gastrin and acid output were measured basally and in response to increasing doses of gastrin 17 (G-17). Gastric juice ammonium concentrations were also measured. RESULTS: Prior to omeprazole, measurements were similar in the H pylori positive and negative subjects. During omeprazole, median basal intragastric pH was higher in the H pylori positive (7.95) versus negative (3.75) subjects (p<0.002). During omeprazole basal, submaximal (180 pmol/kg/h G-17), and maximal acid outputs (800 pmol/kg/h G-17) were lower in H pylori positive subjects (0.0, 3.6, 6.0 mmol/h respectively) versus negative subjects (0.3, 14.2, 18.6 mmol/h) (p<0.03 for each). This effect was not explained by neutralisation by ammonia. CONCLUSION: The presence of H pylori infection leads to a more profound suppression of acid secretion during omeprazole treatment. The effect cannot be explained by neutralisation of intragastric acid by bacterial ammonia production and its precise mechanism has to be explained. (+info
Reciprocal ST-segment depression associated with exercise-induced ST-segment elevation indicates residual viability after myocardial infarction.
OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the clinical significance of reciprocal ST-segment depression associated with exercise-induced ST-segment elevation for detecting residual viability within the infarcted area. BACKGROUND: Although the relation between residual viability and exercise-induced ST-segment elevation has been described, there are no reports focusing on the relation between myocardial viability and reciprocal ST-segment depression associated with exercise-induced ST-segment elevation. METHODS: We evaluated regional blood flow and glucose utilization using N-13 ammonia (NH3) and F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in 30 patients with a previous Q-wave myocardial infarction (anterior in 15, inferior in 15). All subjects had single-vessel disease and had exercise-induced ST-segment elevations (> or =1 mm) in electrocardiographic leads. RESULTS: Reciprocal ST-segment depression (> or =1 mm) was present in 16 patients (Group A; anterior in 6, inferior in 10) but not in the remaining 14 patients (Group B). The degree of exercise-induced ST-segment elevation (1.8+/-0.2 vs. 2.0+/-0.2 mm) and the time from the onset of infarction to the study (75+/-49 vs. 74+/-52 days) did not differ between groups. There were no significant differences between groups in the severity of left ventricular dysfunction and the residual luminal narrowing in the infarct-related artery (45+/-21 vs. 48+/-25%). The presence and site of infarction were confirmed by NH3-PET in all patients. FDG-PET demonstrated residual tissue viability within infarct-related area in all patients in Group A and in 3 (21%) of 14 patients in Group B (p < 0.01). The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of reciprocal ST-segment depression associated with exercise-induced ST-segment elevation for detecting residual viability were 84%, 100% and 90%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of reciprocal ST-segment depression associated with exercise-induced ST segment elevation in patients with a previous Q-wave infarction who had single-vessel disease indicates residual tissue viability within the infarct-related area. (+info
13N-ammonia myocardial blood flow and uptake: relation to functional outcome of asynergic regions after revascularization.
OBJECTIVES: In this study we determined whether 13N-ammonia uptake measured late after injection provides additional insight into myocardial viability beyond its value as a myocardial blood flow tracer. BACKGROUND: Myocardial accumulation of 13N-ammonia is dependent on both regional blood flow and metabolic trapping. METHODS: Twenty-six patients with chronic coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction underwent prerevascularization 13N-ammonia and 18F-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography, and thallium single-photon emission computed tomography. Pre- and postrevascularization wall-motion abnormalities were assessed using gated cardiac magnetic resonance imaging or gated radionuclide angiography. RESULTS: Wall motion improved in 61 of 107 (57%) initially asynergic regions and remained abnormal in 46 after revascularization. Mean absolute myocardial blood flow was significantly higher in regions that improved compared to regions that did not improve after revascularization (0.63+/-0.27 vs. 0.52+/-0.25 ml/min/g, p < 0.04). Similarly, the magnitude of late 13N-ammonia uptake and FDG uptake was significantly higher in regions that improved (90+/-20% and 94+/-25%, respectively) compared to regions that did not improve after revascularization (67+/-24% and 71+/-25%, p < 0.001 for both, respectively). However, late 13N-ammonia uptake was a significantly better predictor of functional improvement after revascularization (area under the receiver operating characteristic [ROC] curve = 0.79) when compared to absolute blood flow (area under the ROC curve = 0.63, p < 0.05). In addition, there was a linear relationship between late 13N-ammonia uptake and FDG uptake (r = 0.68, p < 0.001) as well as thallium uptake (r = 0.76, p < 0.001) in all asynergic regions. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that beyond its value as a perfusion tracer, late 13N-ammonia uptake provides useful information regarding functional recovery after revascularization. The parallel relationship among 13N-ammonia, FDG, and thallium uptake supports the concept that uptake of 13N-ammonia as measured from the late images may provide important insight regarding cell membrane integrity and myocardial viability. (+info
The rostral ventrolateral medulla mediates the sympathoactivation produced by chemical stimulation of the rat nasal mucosa.
1. We sought to outline the brainstem circuit responsible for the increase in sympathetic tone caused by chemical stimulation of the nasal passages with ammonia vapour. Experiments were performed in alpha-chloralose-anaesthetized, paralysed and artificially ventilated rats. 2. Stimulation of the nasal mucosa increased splanchnic sympathetic nerve discharge (SND), elevated arterial blood pressure (ABP), raised heart rate slightly and inhibited phrenic nerve discharge. 3. Bilateral injections of the broad-spectrum excitatory amino acid receptor antagonist kynurenate (Kyn) into the rostral part of the ventrolateral medulla (RVLM; rostral C1 area) greatly reduced the effects of nasal mucosa stimulation on SND (-80 %). These injections had no effect on resting ABP, resting SND or the sympathetic baroreflex. 4. Bilateral injections of Kyn into the ventrolateral medulla at the level of the obex (caudal C1 area) or into the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) greatly attenuated the baroreflex and significantly increased the baseline levels of both SND and ABP. However they did not reduce the effect of nasal mucosa stimulation on SND. 5. Single-unit recordings were made from 39 putative sympathoexcitatory neurons within the rostral C1 area. Most neurons (24 of 39) were activated by nasal mucosa stimulation (+65.8 % rise in discharge rate). Responding neurons had a wide range of conduction velocities and included slow-conducting neurons identified previously as C1 cells. The remaining putative sympathoexcitatory neurons were either unaffected (n = 8 neurons) or inhibited (n = 7) during nasal stimulation. We also recorded from ten respiratory-related neurons, all of which were silenced by nasal stimulation. 6. In conclusion, the sympathoexcitatory response to nasal stimulation is largely due to activation of bulbospinal presympathetic neurons within the RVLM. We suggest that these neurons receive convergent and directionally opposite polysynaptic inputs from arterial baroreceptors and trigeminal afferents. These inputs are integrated within the rostral C1 area as opposed to the NTS or the caudal C1 area. (+info