Comparative hypocholesterolemic effects of five animal oils in cholesterol-fed rats.
The hypocholesterolemic efficacy of various animal oils was compared in rats given a cholesterol-enriched diet. After acclimatization for one week, male F344 DuCrj rats (8 weeks of age) that had been fed with a conventional diet were assigned to diets containing 5% of oil from emu (Dromaius), Japanese Sika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis, Heude), sardine, beef tallow, or lard with 0.5% cholesterol for 6 weeks. After this feeding period, the concentrations of serum total cholesterol and of very-low-density lipoprotein + intermediate-density lipoprotein + low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol in the sardine oil group were significantly lower than those in the other groups. The serum high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentration in the Japanese Sika deer oil group was significantly higher than that in the other groups. The atherosclerotic index and liver cholesterol concentration in the sardine oil and Japanese Sika deer oil groups were significantly lower than those in the other groups. The fecal cholesterol excretion by the Japanese Sika deer oil group was significantly higher than that of the other groups, except for the sardine oil group, and the fecal bile acid excretion by the sardine oil group was significantly higher than that of the other groups, except for the lard group. These results suggest that Japanese Sika deer oil reduced the atherosclerotic index and liver cholesterol concentration in the presence of excess cholesterol in the diet as well as sardine oil did by increasing the excretion of cholesterol from the intestines of rats. (+info)
Pregnancy detection and the effects of age, body weight, and previous reproductive performance on pregnancy status and weaning rates of farmed fallow deer (Dama dama).
Fallow does (n = 502) of different ages (mature, 2-yr-old, and yearling) were maintained with bucks for a 60-d breeding season to determine whether previous reproductive performance and changes in BW affect doe pregnancy rates and to compare the effectiveness of ultrasonography and serum pregnancy-specific protein B (PSPB) for the detection of pregnancy in fallow does. Ultrasonography was performed, blood samples collected, and BW recorded at buck removal (d 0) and at 30 and 90 d after buck removal. Lactational status (lactating = WET; nonlactating = DRY) were determined from farm records taken at weaning prior to each breeding season (autumn 1990 through autumn 1994). Ultrasonography and PSPB for determining pregnancy were in agreement 93% of the time. Overall pregnancy rates did not differ (P>.10) relative to age of the doe; the combined pregnancy rate was 92%. We also determined that 82.9% of does conceived early in the breeding season and that the incidence of embryonal-fetal mortality during the first 90 d after buck removal was 2.8%. In general, mature and 2-yr-old DRY does were heavier and had lower pregnancy rates than WET does. The overall weaning rate for all does was 77.9%. Loss in the number of fawns from pregnancy detection to weaning was equivalent to 14.8% for mature does, 24.7% for 2 yr old does, and 42.5% for yearling does. These data indicate that even though pregnancy rates were relatively high, further study is needed to determine the causes associated with subsequent fawn losses, particularly among yearling does. As a production tool, lactational WET/ DRY status testing was found to be an acceptable means for determining the reproductive potential of individual does within the herd. In addition, serum PSPB may be used in place of ultrasonography for pregnancy diagnosis in fallow deer as early as d 30 after buck removal. (+info)
Observations on animal and human health during the outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis in game farm wapiti in Alberta.
This report describes and discusses the history, clinical, pathologic, epidemiologic, and human health aspects of an outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic wapiti in Alberta between 1990 and 1993, shortly after legislative changes allowing game farming. The extent and seriousness of the outbreak of M. bovis in wapiti in Alberta was not fully known at its onset. The clinical findings in the first recognized infected wapiti are presented and the postmortem records for the herd in which the animal resided are summarized. Epidemiologic findings from the subsequent field investigation are reviewed, the results of recognition and investigation of human exposure are updated, and recommendations for reduction of human exposure are presented. (+info)
Direct imaging of DNA in living cells reveals the dynamics of chromosome formation.
Individual chromosomes are not directly visible within the interphase nuclei of most somatic cells; they can only be seen during mitosis. We have developed a method that allows DNA strands to be observed directly in living cells, and we use it to analyze how mitotic chromosomes form. A fluorescent analogue (e.g., Cy5-dUTP) of the natural precursor, thymidine triphosphate, is introduced into cells, which are then grown on the heated stage of a confocal microscope. The analogue is incorporated by the endogenous enzymes into DNA. As the mechanisms for recognizing and removing the unusual residues do not prevent subsequent progress around the cell cycle, the now fluorescent DNA strands can be followed as they assemble into chromosomes, and segregate to daughters and granddaughters. Movies of such strands in living cells suggest that chromosome axes follow simple recognizable paths through their territories during G2 phase, and that late replicating regions maintain their relative positions as prophase chromosomes form. Quantitative analysis confirms that individual regions move little during this stage of chromosome condensation. As a result, the gross structure of an interphase chromosome territory is directly related to that of the prophase chromosome. (+info)
Lesions and transmission of experimental adenovirus hemorrhagic disease in black-tailed deer fawns.
Adenovirus infection was the cause of an epizootic of hemorrhagic disease that is believed to have killed thousands of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in California during the latter half of 1993. A systemic vasculitis with pulmonary edema and hemorrhagic enteropathy or a localized vasculitis associated with necrotizing stomatitis/pharyngitis/glossitis or osteomyelitis of the jaw were common necropsy findings in animals that died during this epizootic. To study transmission of adenovirus infection in deer and susceptibility of black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) fawns to adenovirus infection, six 3-6-month-old black-tailed fawns were divided into two treatment groups. One group was inoculated intravenously and the other group was inoculated through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth with purified adenovirus. Each treatment group also included two additional fawns (four total) that were not inoculated but were exposed to inoculated animals (contact animals). One fawn served as a negative control. Between 4 and 16 days postinoculation, 8/10 fawns developed systemic or localized infection with lesions identical to lesions seen in animals with natural disease that died during the epizootic. Transmission was by direct contact, and the route of inoculation did not affect the incubation period or the distribution of the virus (systemic or the localized infection). Immunohistochemical analysis using polyclonal antiserum against bovine adenovirus type 5 demonstrated staining in endothelial cells of vessels in numerous tissues in animals with systemic infection and endothelial staining only in vessels subtending necrotic foci in the upper alimentary tract in animals with the localized form of the disease. All inoculated or exposed animals had staining in the tonsillar epithelium. Transmission electron microscopic examination of lung and ileum from two fawns with pulmonary edema and hemorrhagic enteropathy demonstrated endothelial necrosis and adenovirus virions in endothelial cell nuclei. Adenovirus was reisolated in black-tailed deer pulmonary artery endothelial cells using lung homogenate of the first fawn that developed systemic adenovirus infection. Serum virus neutralization test results suggest that this deer adenovirus is a new serotype. (+info)
Diagnosis of malignant catarrhal fever by PCR using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues.
A previously described polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay (amplification of a 238-bp fragment of ovine herpesvirus 2 [OHV-2] genomic DNA) for diagnosis of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) was adapted for use on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. Variables affecting its use were examined. Archived tissues from cattle, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and bison (Bison bison) diagnosed with MCF by clinical signs or histologic lesions were obtained from 2 veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Tissues from healthy animals and from animals diagnosed with other common bovine viral diseases were examined as controls. A total of 86 blocks from 37 suspect MCF cases were examined. Forty-one blocks from healthy animals and animals with unrelated viral diseases were examined as controls. The assay was specific for sheep-associated MCF and did not yield false-positive signals from healthy animals or from cases of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine virus diarrhea, mucosal disease, or parainfluenza-3 virus infection. A wide variety of tissues were suitable substrates, including spleen, lymph node, intestine, brain, lung, and kidney. Extracted DNA provided a more suitable target than did unextracted tissue lysate. The highest levels of viral DNA were present in lymphoid organs and intestine, but the data indicate that in acute clinical cases, most organs contain sufficient viral DNA to serve as a suitable diagnostic specimen. Fixation of 0.5-cm3 blocks of tissue in 10% neutral buffered formalin was deleterious to the target DNA, and PCR signals progressively diminished after fixation for >45 days. Detection of genomic DNA of OHV-2 by PCR was successful for archived tissues that were 15 years old. (+info)
Low-temperature sensitivity and enhanced Bohr effect in red deer (Cervus elaphus) haemoglobin: a molecular adaptive strategy to life at high altitude and low temperature.
A study of the functional properties of haemoglobin from red deer (Cervus elaphus) whose habitat varies over a wide range of latitude, was performed. The oxygen-binding properties of the most common haemoglobin phenotype from the species living in Sardinia were examined with particular attention to the effect of pH, chloride, 2, 3-bisphosphoglycerate and temperature. Results indicate that red deer haemoglobin, like all haemoglobins from ruminants so far examined, is characterized by a low intrinsic oxygen affinity, with chloride being its main physiological modulator in vivo. The functional results and the low temperature sensitivity of the oxygen affinity are discussed in the light of the amino acid sequence of closely related ruminant haemoglobins. (+info)
Environmental variation shapes sexual dimorphism in red deer.
Sexual dimorphism results from dichotomous selection on male and female strategies of growth in relation to reproduction. In polygynous mammals, these strategies reflect sexual selection on males for access to females and competitive selection on females for access to food. Consequently, in such species, males display rapid early growth to large adult size, whereas females invest in condition and early sexual maturity at the expense of size. Hence, the magnitude of adult size dimorphism should be susceptible to divergence of the sexes in response to environmental factors differentially influencing their growth to reproduction. We show that divergent growth of male and female red deer after 32 years of winter warming and 15 years of contemporaneously earlier plant phenology support this prediction. In response to warmer climate during their early development, males grew more rapidly and increased in size, while female size declined. Conversely, females, but not males, responded to earlier plant phenology with increased investment in condition and earlier reproduction. Accordingly, adult size dimorphism increased in relation to warmer climate, whereas it declined in relation to forage quality. Thus, the evolutionary trajectories of growth related to reproduction in the sexes (i) originate from sexual and competitive selection, (ii) produce sexual size dimorphism, and (iii) are molded by environmental variation. (+info)