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(1/61862) In vitro effects of 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D) on bovine cells.

Bovine fetal muscle cells were exposed to culture media containing 2 mg and 20 mg per liter of 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D) for varying intervals to determine the in vitro response of mammalian cells to this compound. The concentrations of 2,4-D used were comparable to those used in spray programmes although the residues normally found in pasture are much lower since 2,4-D is rapidly degraded under field conditions. Untreated and treated cultures were analyzed for total cell count, mitotic index and the percentages of differentiating and degenerating cells. The response of cultures to treatment was similar irrespective of the concentrations of 2,4-D used although in higher concentrations there was an initial drop in mitotic index. Other changes noted in treated cultures included an increase in differentiating and degenerating cells compared to those in control. The mitotic cells in treated cultures exhibited unipolar and tripolar spindles and a variety of other abnormalities including malorientation of the mitotic apparatus in relation to the axis of the cell. Myoblasts in initial stages of myogenesis were noted to be in mitosis in treated cultures suggesting that 2,4-D may have a stimulatory effect on myoblasts which in normal myogenesis are in post mitotic stage.  (+info)

(2/61862) Separation of shoot and floral identity in Arabidopsis.

The overall morphology of an Arabidopsis plant depends on the behaviour of its meristems. Meristems derived from the shoot apex can develop into either shoots or flowers. The distinction between these alternative fates requires separation between the function of floral meristem identity genes and the function of an antagonistic group of genes, which includes TERMINAL FLOWER 1. We show that the activities of these genes are restricted to separate domains of the shoot apex by different mechanisms. Meristem identity genes, such as LEAFY, APETALA 1 and CAULIFLOWER, prevent TERMINAL FLOWER 1 transcription in floral meristems on the apex periphery. TERMINAL FLOWER 1, in turn, can inhibit the activity of meristem identity genes at the centre of the shoot apex in two ways; first by delaying their upregulation, and second, by preventing the meristem from responding to LEAFY or APETALA 1. We suggest that the wild-type pattern of TERMINAL FLOWER 1 and floral meristem identity gene expression depends on the relative timing of their upregulation.  (+info)

(3/61862) Stromal cells mediate retinoid-dependent functions essential for renal development.

The essential role of vitamin A and its metabolites, retinoids, in kidney development has been demonstrated in vitamin A deficiency and gene targeting studies. Retinoids signal via nuclear transcription factors belonging to the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and retinoid X receptor (RXR) families. Inactivation of RARaplpha and RARbeta2 receptors together, but not singly, resulted in renal malformations, suggesting that within a given renal cell type, their concerted function is required for renal morphogenesis. At birth, RARalpha beta2(-) mutants displayed small kidneys, containing few ureteric bud branches, reduced numbers of nephrons and lacking the nephrogenic zone where new nephrons are continuously added. These observations have prompted us to investigate the role of RARalpha and RARbeta2 in renal development in detail. We have found that within the embryonic kidney, RARalpha and RARbeta2 are colocalized in stromal cells, but not in other renal cell types, suggesting that stromal cells mediate retinoid-dependent functions essential for renal development. Analysis of RARalpha beta2(-) mutant kidneys at embryonic stages revealed that nephrons were formed and revealed no changes in the intensity or distribution of molecular markers specific for different metanephric mesenchymal cell types. In contrast the development of the collecting duct system was greatly impaired in RARalpha beta2(-) mutant kidneys. Fewer ureteric bud branches were present, and ureteric bud ends were positioned abnormally, at a distance from the renal capsule. Analysis of genes important for ureteric bud morphogenesis revealed that the proto-oncogene c-ret was downregulated. Our results suggest that RARalpha and RARbeta2 are required for generating stromal cell signals that maintain c-ret expression in the embryonic kidney. Since c-ret signaling is required for ureteric bud morphogenesis, loss of c-ret expression is a likely cause of impaired ureteric bud branching in RARalpha beta2(-) mutants.  (+info)

(4/61862) Inhibition of in vitro enteric neuronal development by endothelin-3: mediation by endothelin B receptors.

The terminal colon is aganglionic in mice lacking endothelin-3 or its receptor, endothelin B. To analyze the effects of endothelin-3/endothelin B on the differentiation of enteric neurons, E11-13 mouse gut was dissociated, and positive and negative immunoselection with antibodies to p75(NTR )were used to isolate neural crest- and non-crest-derived cells. mRNA encoding endothelin B was present in both the crest-and non-crest-derived cells, but that encoding preproendothelin-3 was detected only in the non-crest-derived population. The crest- and non-crest-derived cells were exposed in vitro to endothelin-3, IRL 1620 (an endothelin B agonist), and/or BQ 788 (an endothelin B antagonist). Neurons and glia developed only in cultures of crest-derived cells, and did so even when endothelin-3 was absent and BQ 788 was present. Endothelin-3 inhibited neuronal development, an effect that was mimicked by IRL 1620 and blocked by BQ 788. Endothelin-3 failed to stimulate the incorporation of [3H]thymidine or bromodeoxyuridine. Smooth muscle development in non-crest-derived cell cultures was promoted by endothelin-3 and inhibited by BQ 788. In contrast, transcription of laminin alpha1, a smooth muscle-derived promoter of neuronal development, was inhibited by endothelin-3, but promoted by BQ 788. Neurons did not develop in explants of the terminal bowel of E12 ls/ls (endothelin-3-deficient) mice, but could be induced to do so by endothelin-3 if a source of neural precursors was present. We suggest that endothelin-3/endothelin B normally prevents the premature differentiation of crest-derived precursors migrating to and within the fetal bowel, enabling the precursor population to persist long enough to finish colonizing the bowel.  (+info)

(5/61862) oko meduzy mutations affect neuronal patterning in the zebrafish retina and reveal cell-cell interactions of the retinal neuroepithelial sheet.

Mutations of the oko meduzy (ome) locus cause drastic neuronal patterning defect in the zebrafish retina. The precise, stratified appearance of the wild-type retina is absent in the mutants. Despite the lack of lamination, at least seven retinal cell types differentiate in oko meduzy. The ome phenotype is already expressed in the retinal neuroepithelium affecting morphology of the neuroepithelial cells. Our experiments indicate that previously unknown cell-cell interactions are involved in development of the retinal neuroepithelial sheet. In genetically mosaic animals, cell-cell interactions are sufficient to rescue the phenotype of oko meduzy retinal neuroepithelial cells. These cell-cell interactions may play a critical role in the patterning events that lead to differentiation of distinct neuronal laminae in the vertebrate retina.  (+info)

(6/61862) Retinoids are produced by glia in the lateral ganglionic eminence and regulate striatal neuron differentiation.

In order to identify molecular mechanisms involved in striatal development, we employed a subtraction cloning strategy to enrich for genes expressed in the lateral versus the medial ganglionic eminence. Using this approach, the homeobox gene Meis2 was found highly expressed in the lateral ganglionic eminence and developing striatum. Since Meis2 has recently been shown to be upregulated by retinoic acid in P19 EC cells (Oulad-Abdelghani, M., Chazaud, C., Bouillet, P., Sapin, V., Chambon, P. and Dolle, P. (1997) Dev. Dyn. 210, 173-183), we examined a potential role for retinoids in striatal development. Our results demonstrate that the lateral ganglionic eminence, unlike its medial counterpart or the adjacent cerebral cortex, is a localized source of retinoids. Interestingly, glia (likely radial glia) in the lateral ganglionic eminence appear to be a major source of retinoids. Thus, as lateral ganglionic eminence cells migrate along radial glial fibers into the developing striatum, retinoids from these glial cells could exert an effect on striatal neuron differentiation. Indeed, the treatment of lateral ganglionic eminence cells with retinoic acid or agonists for the retinoic acid receptors or retinoid X receptors, specifically enhances their striatal neuron characteristics. These findings, therefore, strongly support the notion that local retinoid signalling within the lateral ganglionic eminence regulates striatal neuron differentiation.  (+info)

(7/61862) T-cell development: a new marker of differentiation state.

Differentiation of T cells is a complicated affair and there has been a dearth of markers that faithfully reflect thymocyte phenotype. A new strategy based on T-cell receptor gene sequencing has revealed a marker that can be used to monitor thymocyte differentiation with fidelity and without perturbation.  (+info)

(8/61862) Expression of the naturally occurring truncated trkB neurotrophin receptor induces outgrowth of filopodia and processes in neuroblastoma cells.

We have investigated the effects of the truncated trkB receptor isoform T1 (trkB.T1) by transient transfection into mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. We observed that expression of trkB.T1 leads to a striking change in cell morphology characterized by outgrowth of filopodia and processes. A similar morphological response was also observed in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells and NIH3T3 fibroblasts transfected with trkB.T1. N2a cells lack endogenous expression of trkB isoforms, but express barely detectable amounts of its ligands, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4). The morphological change was ligand-independent, since addition of exogenous BDNF or NT-4 or blockade of endogenous trkB ligands did not influence this response. Filopodia and process outgrowth was significantly suppressed when full-length trkB.TK+ was cotransfected together with trkB.T1 and this inhibitory effect was blocked by tyrosine kinase inhibitor K252a. Transfection of trkB.T1 deletion mutants showed that the morphological response is dependent on the extracellular, but not the intracellular domain of the receptor. Our results suggest a novel ligand-independent role for truncated trkB in the regulation of cellular morphology.  (+info)