(1/4478) Central peptidergic neurons are hyperactive during collateral sprouting and inhibition of activity suppresses sprouting.

Little is known regarding the effect of chronic changes in neuronal activity on the extent of collateral sprouting by identified CNS neurons. We have investigated the relationship between activity and sprouting in oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) neurons of the hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory system (MNS). Uninjured MNS neurons undergo a robust collateral-sprouting response that restores the axon population of the neural lobe (NL) after a lesion of the contralateral MNS (). Simultaneously, lesioned rats develop chronic urinary hyperosmolality indicative of heightened neurosecretory activity. We therefore tested the hypothesis that sprouting MNS neurons are hyperactive by measuring changes in cell and nuclear diameters, OT and VP mRNA pools, and axonal cytochrome oxidase activity (COX). Each of these measures was significantly elevated during the period of most rapid axonal growth between 1 and 4 weeks after the lesion, confirming that both OT and VP neurons are hyperactive while undergoing collateral sprouting. In a second study the hypothesis that chronic inhibition of neuronal activity would interfere with the sprouting response was tested. Chronic hyponatremia (CH) was induced 3 d before the hypothalamic lesion and sustained for 4 weeks to suppress neurosecretory activity. CH abolished the lesion-induced increases in OT and VP mRNA pools and virtually eliminated measurable COX activity in MNS terminals. Counts of the total number of axon profiles in the NL revealed that CH also prevented axonal sprouting from occurring. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that increased neuronal activity is required for denervation-induced collateral sprouting to occur in the MNS.  (+info)

(2/4478) Interaction of process partitions in phylogenetic analysis: an example from the swallowtail butterfly genus Papilio.

In this study, we explored how the concept of the process partition may be applied to phylogenetic analysis. Sequence data were gathered from 23 species and subspecies of the swallowtail butterfly genus Papilio, as well as from two outgroup species from the genera Eurytides and Pachliopta. Sequence data consisted of 1,010 bp of the nuclear protein-coding gene elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1 alpha) as well as the entire sequences (a total of 2,211 bp) of the mitochondrial protein-coding genes cytochrome oxidase I and cytochrome oxidase II (COI and COII). In order to examine the interaction between the nuclear and mitochondrial partitions in a combined analysis, we used a method of visualizing branch support as a function of partition weight ratios. We demonstrated how this method may be used to diagnose error at different levels of a tree in a combined maximum-parsimony analysis. Further, we assessed patterns of evolution within and between subsets of the data by implementing a multipartition maximum-likelihood model to estimate evolutionary parameters for various putative process partitions. COI third positions have an estimated average substitution rate more than 15 times that of EF-1 alpha, while COII third positions have an estimated average substitution rate more than 22 times that of EF-1 alpha. Ultimately, we found that although the mitochondrial and nuclear data were not significantly incongruent, homoplasy in the fast-evolving mitochondrial data confounded the resolution of basal relationships in the combined unweighted parsimony analysis despite the fact that there was relatively strong support for the relationships in the nuclear data. We conclude that there may be shortcomings to the methods of "total evidence" and "conditional combination" because they may fail to detect or accommodate the type of confounding bias we found in our data.  (+info)

(3/4478) Evolutionary dynamics of a mitochondrial rearrangement "hot spot" in the Hymenoptera.

The arrangement of tRNA genes at the junction of the cytochrome oxidase II and ATPase 8 genes was examined across a broad range of Hymenoptera. Seven distinct arrangements of tRNA genes were identified among a group of wasps that have diverged over the last 180 Myr (suborder Apocrita); many of the rearrangements represent evolutionarily independent events. Approximately equal proportions of local rearrangements, inversions, and translocations were observed, in contrast to vertebrate mitochondria, in which local rearrangements predominate. Surprisingly, homoplasy was evident among certain types of rearrangement; a reversal of the plesiomorphic gene order has arisen on three separate occasions in the Insecta, while the tRNA(H) gene has been translocated to this locus on two separate occasions. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that this gene translocation is real and is not an artifactual translocation resulting from the duplication of a resident tRNA gene followed by mutation of the anticodon. The nature of the intergenic sequences surrounding this region does not indicate that it should be especially prone to rearrangement; it does not generally have the tandem or inverted repeats that might facilitate this plasticity. Intriguingly, these findings are consistent with the view that during the evolution of the Hymenoptera, rearrangements increased at the same time that the rate of point mutations and compositional bias also increased. This association may direct investigations into mitochondrial genome plasticity in other invertebrate lineages.  (+info)

(4/4478) Functional integrity of mitochondrial genomes in human platelets and autopsied brain tissues from elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease.

To determine whether pathogenic mutations in mtDNA are involved in phenotypic expression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the transfer of mtDNA from elderly patients with AD into mtDNA-less (rho0) HeLa cells was carried out by fusion of platelets or synaptosomal fractions of autopsied brain tissues with rho0 HeLa cells. The results showed that mtDNA in postmortem brain tissue survives for a long time without degradation and could be rescued in rho0 HeLa cells. Next, the cybrid clones repopulated with exogenously imported mtDNA from patients with AD were used for examination of respiratory enzyme activity and transfer of mtDNA with the pathogenic mutations that induce mitochondrial dysfunction. The presence of the mutated mtDNA was restricted to brain tissues and their cybrid clones that formed with synaptosomes as mtDNA donors, whereas no cybrid clones that isolated with platelets as mtDNA donors had detectable mutated mtDNA. However, biochemical analyses showed that all cybrid clones with mtDNA imported from platelets or brain tissues of patients with AD restored mitochondrial respiration activity to almost the same levels as those of cybrid clones with mtDNA from age-matched normal controls, suggesting functional integrity of mtDNA in both platelets and brain tissues of elderly patients with AD. These observations warrant the reassessment of the conventional concept that the accumulation of pathogenic mutations in mtDNA throughout the aging process is responsible for the decrease of mitochondrial respiration capacity with age and with the development of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases.  (+info)

(5/4478) Altered gene expression and functions of mitochondria in human nephrotic syndrome.

The molecular basis of glomerular permselectivity remains largely unknown. The congenital nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type (CNF) characterized by massive proteinuria already present but without extrarenal symptoms is a unique human disease model of pure proteinuria. In search of genes and pathophysiologic mechanisms associated with proteinuria, we used differential display-PCR to identify differences in gene expression between glomeruli from CNF and control kidneys. A distinctly underexpressed PCR product of the CNF kidneys showed over 98% identity with a mitochondrially encoded cytochrome c oxidase (COX I). Using a full-length COX I cDNA probe, we verified down-regulation of COX I mRNA to 1/4 of normal kidney values on Northern blots. In addition, transcripts of other mitochondrially encoded respiratory chain complexes showed a similar down-regulation whereas the respective nuclearly encoded complexes were expressed at comparable levels. Additional studies using histochemical, immunohistochemical, in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, and biochemical and electron microscopic methods all showed a mitochondrial involvement in the diseased kidneys but not in extrarenal blood vessels. As a secondary sign of mitochondrial dysfunction, excess lipid peroxidation products were found in glomerular structures in CNF samples. Our data suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in the kidneys of patients with CNF, with subsequent lipid peroxidation at the glomerular basement membrane. Our additional studies have revealed similar down-regulation of mitochondrial functions in experimental models of proteinuria. Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction may be a crucial pathophysiologic factor in this symptom.  (+info)

(6/4478) Differential expression of mitochondrial genes between queens and workers during caste determination in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

The nourishment received by female honeybee larvae determines their differentiation into queens or workers. In this study, we report the first molecular analysis of differences that occur between queens and workers during the caste-determination process. RNA-differential display experiments identified a clone that encodes for a gene that is homologous to the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial translation initiation factor (AmIF-2mt). Semi-quantitative analysis by reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) throughout honeybee development detected a higher level of expression of this gene in queen larvae than in worker larvae. Analysis of two other genes encoding mitochondrial proteins, cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COX-1; mitochondrial-encoded) and cytochrome c (cyt c; nuclear-encoded) also showed differential expression of these two genes between queens and workers. In particular, the cyt c transcript is more abundant in queen larvae and throughout the metamorphosis of the queen. These results indicate that the higher respiratory rate previously documented in queen larvae is accomplished through a higher level of expression of both nuclear- and mitochondrial-encoded genes for mitochondrial proteins.  (+info)

(7/4478) Enzyme histochemical study of germanium dioxide-induced mitochondrial myopathy in rats.

The purpose of this study were 1) to determine the earliest pathological changes of germanium dioxide (GeO2)-induced myopathy; 2) to determine the pathomechanism of GeO2-induced myopathy; and 3) to determine the minimal dose of GeO2 to induce myopathy in rats. One hundred and twenty five male and female Sprague-Dawley rats, each weighing about 150 gm, were divided into seven groups according to daily doses of GeO2. Within each group, histopathological studies were done at 4, 8, 16, and 24 weeks of GeO2 administration. Characteristic mitochondrial myopathy was induced in the groups treated daily with 10 mg/kg of GeO2 or more. In conclusion, the results were as follows: 1) The earliest pathological change on electron microscope was the abnormalities of mitochondrial shape, size and increased number of mitochondria; 2) The earliest pathological change on light microscope was the presence of ragged red fibers which showed enhanced subsarcolemmal succinate dehydrogenase and cytochrome c oxidase reactivity; 3) GeO2 seemed to affect the mitochondrial oxidative metabolism of muscle fibers; 4) GeO2 could induce mitochondrial myopathy with 10 mg/kg of GeO2 for 4 weeks or less duration in rats.  (+info)

(8/4478) An mtDNA mutation in the initiation codon of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit II gene results in lower levels of the protein and a mitochondrial encephalomyopathy.

A novel heteroplasmic 7587T-->C mutation in the mitochondrial genome which changes the initiation codon of the gene encoding cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COX II), was found in a family with mitochondrial disease. This T-->C transition is predicted to change the initiating methionine to threonine. The mutation load was present at 67% in muscle from the index case and at 91% in muscle from the patient's clinically affected son. Muscle biopsy samples revealed isolated COX deficiency and mitochondrial proliferation. Single-muscle-fiber analysis revealed that the 7587C copy was at much higher load in COX-negative fibers than in COX-positive fibers. After microphotometric enzyme analysis, the mutation was shown to cause a decrease in COX activity when the mutant load was >55%-65%. In fibroblasts from one family member, which contained >95% mutated mtDNA, there was no detectable synthesis or any steady-state level of COX II. This new mutation constitutes a new mechanism by which mtDNA mutations can cause disease-defective initiation of translation.  (+info)