Technical note: The ability of mathematical models to describe the shape of lactation curves. (73/1110)

Seven of the best-known mathematical models based on least squares linear regression were fitted to data following the peaking (standard) lactation curve, termed type I, and a continuously decreasing lactation curve, termed type II. The Wood (1967) gamma function, the Cobby and Le du (1978) weighed least squares gamma function, quadratic and the Sikka (1950) model fitted to both types of curve. In contrast, the Jenkins and Ferrell (1984) and the inverse polynomial model always produced curves of type I, whereas the Brody et al. (1923) model always produced curves of type II. Data should be carefully examined to prevent the use of models unable to render the appropriate curve type described by yield data.  (+info)

Recolonizing carnivores and naive prey: conservation lessons from Pleistocene extinctions. (74/1110)

The current extinction of many of Earth's large terrestrial carnivores has left some extant prey species lacking knowledge about contemporary predators, a situation roughly parallel to that 10,000 to 50,000 years ago, when naive animals first encountered colonizing human hunters. Along present-day carnivore recolonization fronts, brown (also called grizzly) bears killed predator-naive adult moose at disproportionately high rates in Scandinavia, and moose mothers who lost juveniles to recolonizing wolves in North America's Yellowstone region developed hypersensitivity to wolf howls. Although prey that had been unfamiliar with dangerous predators for as few as 50 to 130 years were highly vulnerable to initial encounters, behavioral adjustments to reduce predation transpired within a single generation. The fact that at least one prey species quickly learns to be wary of restored carnivores should negate fears about localized prey extinction.  (+info)

Different functional modulation by heterotropic ligands (2,3-diphosphoglycerate and chlorides) of the two haemoglobins from fallow-deer (Dama dama). (75/1110)

Two haemoglobin components have been identified and purified from fallow-deer (Dama dama) erythrocytes. They are present in similar amounts and the two tetrameric molecules share the same alpha chain, while two different beta chains are detected in the two components. The beta chains differ by 14 residues, even though they both have 145 amino-acid residues, which account for a molecular mass of 16,023 and 16,064 Da, respectively, while alpha chain has 141 residues, yielding a molecular mass of 15,142 Da. Compared with human Hb, the N-terminal region of both beta chains shows deletion of Val beta 1 and the replacement of His beta 2 by a methionyl residue, a modification which is common to most ruminant haemoglobins. Although both isolated components show a low intrinsic affinity for oxygen, meaningful differences between the two haemoglobins have been found with respect to the effect of heterotropic effectors, such as 2,3-diphosphoglycerate and chloride ions. In view of the high sequence homology between the two components, the different effect of heterotropic ligands has been tentatively correlated to possible localized structural variations between beta chains of the two haemoglobin components.  (+info)

Cells in regenerating deer antler cartilage provide a microenvironment that supports osteoclast differentiation. (76/1110)

Deer antlers are a rare example of mammalian epimorphic regeneration. Each year, the antlers re-grow by a modified endochondral ossification process that involves extensive remodelling of cartilage by osteoclasts. This study identified regenerating antler cartilage as a site of osteoclastogenesis in vivo. An in vitro model was then developed to study antler osteoclast differentiation. Cultured as a high-density micromass, cells from non-mineralised cartilage supported the differentiation of large numbers of osteoclast-like multinucleated cells (MNCs) in the absence of factors normally required for osteoclastogenesis. After 48 h of culture, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive mononuclear cells (osteoclast precursors) were visible, and by day 14 a large number of TRAP-positive MNCs had formed (783+/-200 per well, mean +/- s.e.m., N=4). Reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that receptor activator of NF &kgr; B ligand (RANKL) and macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) mRNAs were expressed in micromass cultures. Antler MNCs have the phenotype of osteoclasts from mammalian bone; they expressed TRAP, vitronectin and calcitonin receptors and, when cultured on dentine, formed F-actin rings and large resorption pits. When cultured on glass, antler MNCs appeared to digest the matrix of the micromass and endocytose type I collagen. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) may play a role in the resorption of this non-mineralised matrix since it is highly expressed in 100 % of MNCs. In contrast, cathepsin K, another enzyme expressed in osteoclasts from bone, is only highly expressed in resorbing MNCs cultured on dentine. This study identifies the deer antler as a valuable model that can be used to study the differentiation and function of osteoclasts in adult regenerating mineralised tissues.  (+info)

Arcanobacterium pluranimalium sp. nov., isolated from porpoise and deer. (77/1110)

Two strains of a previously undescribed Arcanobacterium-like bacterium were isolated from a dead harbour porpoise and a dead sallow deer. Biochemical testing and PAGE analysis of whole-cell proteins indicated that the strains were phenotypically closely related to each other and distinct from previously described Actinomyces and Arcanobacterium species. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies showed the bacterium to be a hitherto unknown subline within the genus Arcanobacterium. Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic evidence, it is proposed that the unknown bacterium be classified as Arcanobacterium pluranimalium sp. nov. The type strain of Arcanobacterium pluranimalium is CCUG 42575T (= CIP 106442T).  (+info)

Cryptosporidium parvum infection involving novel genotypes in wildlife from lower New York State. (78/1110)

Cryptosporidium, an enteric parasite of humans and a wide range of other mammals, presents numerous challenges to the supply of safe drinking water. We performed a wildlife survey, focusing on white-tailed deer and small mammals, to assess whether they may serve as environmental sources of Cryptosporidium. A PCR-based approach that permitted genetic characterization via sequence analysis was applied to wildlife fecal samples (n = 111) collected from September 1996 to July 1998 from three areas in lower New York State. Southern analysis revealed 22 fecal samples containing Cryptosporidium small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA; these included 10 of 91 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) samples, 3 of 5 chipmunk (Tamias striatus) samples, 1 of 2 white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) samples, 1 of 2 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) samples, 1 of 5 racoon (Procyon lotor) samples, and 6 of 6 muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) samples. All of the 15 SSU PCR products sequenced were characterized as Cryptosporidium parvum; two were identical to genotype 2 (bovine), whereas the remainder belonged to two novel SSU sequence groups, designated genotypes 3 and 4. Genotype 3 comprised four deer-derived sequences, whereas genotype 4 included nine sequences from deer, mouse, chipmunk, and muskrat samples. PCR analysis was performed on the SSU-positive fecal samples for three other Cryptosporidium loci (dihydrofolate reductase, polythreonine-rich protein, and beta-tubulin), and 8 of 10 cloned PCR products were consistent with C. parvum genotype 2. These data provide evidence that there is sylvatic transmission of C. parvum involving deer and other small mammals. This study affirmed the importance of wildlife as potential sources of Cryptosporidium in the catchments of public water supplies.  (+info)

Experimental and field studies of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in white-tailed deer. (79/1110)

Studies were conducted to evaluate fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in a small group of inoculated deer, determine the prevalence of the bacterium in free-ranging white-tailed deer, and elucidate relationships between E. coli O157:H7 in wild deer and domestic cattle at the same site. Six young, white-tailed deer were orally administered 10(8) CFU of E. coli O157:H7. Inoculated deer were shedding E. coli O157:H7 by 1 day postinoculation (DPI) and continued to shed decreasing numbers of the bacteria throughout the 26-day trial. Horizontal transmission to an uninoculated deer was demonstrated. Although E. coli O157:H7 bacteria were recovered from the gastrointestinal tracts of deer necropsied from 4 to 26 DPI, attaching and effacing lesions were not apparent in any deer. Results are similar to those of inoculation studies in calves and sheep. In field studies, E. coli O157 was not detected in 310 fresh deer fecal samples collected from the ground. It was detected in feces, but not in meat, from 3 of 469 free-ranging deer in 1997. In 1998, E. coli O157 was not detected in 140 deer at the single positive site found in 1997; however, it was recovered from 13 of 305 dairy and beef cattle at the same location. Isolates of E. coli O157:H7 from deer and cattle at this site differed with respect to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and genes encoding Shiga toxins. The low overall prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 and the identification of only one site with positive deer suggest that wild deer are not a major reservoir of E. coli O157:H7 in the southeastern United States. However, there may be individual locations where deer sporadically harbor the bacterium, and venison should be handled with the same precautions recommended for beef, pork, and poultry.  (+info)

Androgen receptors are only present in mesenchyme-derived dermal papilla cells of red deer (Cervus elaphus) neck follicles when raised androgens induce a mane in the breeding season. (80/1110)

Red deer stags produce an androgen-dependent mane of long hairs only in the breeding season; in the non-breeding season, when circulating androgen levels are low, the neck hair resembles the rest of the coat. This study was designed to determine whether androgen receptors are present in deer follicles throughout the year or only in the mane (neck) follicles when circulating testosterone levels are high in the breeding season. Although androgens regulate much human hair growth the mechanisms are not well understood; they are believed to act on the hair follicle epithelium via the mesenchyme-derived dermal papilla. The location of androgen receptors in the follicle was investigated by immunohistochemistry and androgen binding was measured biochemically in cultured dermal papilla cells derived from mane and flank follicles during the breeding season and from neck follicles during the non-breeding season. Immunohistochemistry of frozen skin sections using a polyclonal antibody to the androgen receptor localised nuclear staining only in the dermal papilla cells of mane follicles. Saturation analysis assays of 14 primary dermal papilla cell lines using [(3)H]-mibolerone demonstrated high-affinity, low-capacity androgen receptors were present only in mane (breeding season neck) cells; competition studies with other steroids confirmed the specificity of the receptors. Androgen receptors were not detectable in cells from either the breeding season flank nor the non-breeding season neck follicles. The unusual biological model offered by red deer of androgen-dependent hair being produced on the neck in the breeding, but not the non-breeding season, has allowed confirmation that androgen receptors are required in follicle dermal papilla cells for an androgen response; this concurs with previous human studies. In addition, the absence of receptors in the non-breeding season follicles demonstrates that receptors are not expressed unless the follicle is responding to androgens. Androgen receptors may be induced in mane follicles by seasonal changes in circulating hormone(s).  (+info)