Vibrio parahaemolyticus thermostable direct hemolysin modulates cytoskeletal organization and calcium homeostasis in intestinal cultured cells. (1/13134)

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a marine bacterium known to be the leading cause of seafood gastroenteritis worldwide. A 46-kDa homodimer protein secreted by this microorganism, the thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH), is considered a major virulence factor involved in bacterial pathogenesis since a high percentage of strains of clinical origin are positive for TDH production. TDH is a pore-forming toxin, and its most extensively studied effect is the ability to cause hemolysis of erythrocytes from different mammalian species. Moreover, TDH induces in a variety of cells cytotoxic effects consisting mainly of cell degeneration which often leads to loss of viability. In this work, we examined the cellular changes induced by TDH in monolayers of IEC-6 cells (derived from the rat crypt small intestine), which represent a useful cell model for studying toxins from enteric bacteria. In experimental conditions allowing cell survival, TDH induces a rapid transient increase in intracellular calcium as well as a significant though reversible decreased rate of progression through the cell cycle. The morphological changes seem to be dependent on the organization of the microtubular network, which appears to be the preferential cytoskeletal element involved in the cellular response to the toxin.  (+info)

The Golgi apparatus plays a significant role in the maintenance of Ca2+ homeostasis in the vps33Delta vacuolar biogenesis mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (2/13134)

The vacuole is the major site of intracellular Ca2+ storage in yeast and functions to maintain cytosolic Ca2+ levels within a narrow physiological range. In this study, we examined how cellular Ca2+ homeostasis is maintained in a vps33Delta vacuolar biogenesis mutant. We found that growth of the vps33Delta strain was sensitive to high or low extracellular Ca2+. This strain could not properly regulate cytosolic Ca2+ levels and was able to retain only a small fraction of its total cellular Ca2+ in a nonexchangeable intracellular pool. Surprisingly, the vps33Delta strain contained more total cellular Ca2+ than the wild type strain. Because most cellular Ca2+ is normally found within the vacuole, this suggested that other intracellular compartments compensated for the reduced capacity to store Ca2+ within the vacuole of this strain. To test this hypothesis, we examined the contribution of the Golgi-localized Ca2+ ATPase Pmr1p in the maintenance of cellular Ca2+ homeostasis. We found that a vps33Delta/pmr1Delta strain was hypersensitive to high extracellular Ca2+. In addition, certain combinations of mutations effecting both vacuolar and Golgi Ca2+ transport resulted in synthetic lethality. These results indicate that the Golgi apparatus plays a significant role in maintaining Ca2+ homeostasis when vacuolar biogenesis is compromised.  (+info)

Utero-ovarian interaction in the regulation of reproductive function. (3/13134)

The physiological regulation of fertile reproductive cycle in mammals depends on interactions between hypothalamus-pituitary, ovarian and uterine stimuli. Over the past 20 years, much has been learned about the interrelation between the affluent and effluent lymph and vascular drainage in and around both ovarian and uterine tissues. An essential feature in the regulation of the fertile cycle is the functional status of the ovary, particularly the corpus luteum. During the time of implantation and the early pregnancy, an active corpus luteum is essential. As human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) is important in the maintenance of the corpus luteum, we investigated if it was produced by the cyclic endometrium. Immunohistochemical and in-situ hybridization reactions were performed but neither identified the presence of HCG during the proliferative phase. Positive staining and beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-HCG) mRNA were observed during the secretory phase in the glandular cells of the endometrium. The results were confirmed by Western blotting of secretory phase endometrium extracts and assessment of the functional secretory capacity of primary endometrial cultures. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) investigations showed a positive result in the secretory phase. We postulate that, based on the very close morphological interrelation between the uterus and the ovary, the beta-HCG of the endometrium is the primary factor for the maintenance of the corpus luteum and early pregnancy.  (+info)

Osteopenia in the patient with cancer. (4/13134)

Osteopenia is defined as a reduction in bone mass. It is commonly known to occur in elderly people or women who are postmenopausal due to hormonal imbalances. This condition, however, can result because of many other factors, such as poor nutrition, prolonged pharmacological intervention, disease, and decreased mobility. Because patients with cancer experience many of these factors, they are often predisposed to osteopenia. Currently, patients with cancer are living longer and leading more fulfilling lives after treatment. Therefore, it is imperative that therapists who are responsible for these patients understand the risk factors for osteopenia and their relevance to a patient with cancer.  (+info)

Long-term effects of growth hormone (GH) on body fluid distribution in GH deficient adults: a four months double blind placebo controlled trial. (5/13134)

OBJECTIVE: Short-term growth hormone (GH) treatment normalises body fluid distribution in adult GH deficient patients, but the impact of long-term treatment on body fluid homeostasis has hitherto not been thoroughly examined in placebo controlled trials. To investigate if the water retaining effect of GH persists for a longer time we examined the impact of 4 months GH treatment on extracellular volume (ECV) and plasma volume (PV) in GH deficient adults. DESIGN: Twenty-four (18 male, 6 female) adult GH deficient patients aged 25-64 years were included and received either GH (n=11) or placebo (n=13) in a double blind parallel design. METHODS: Before and at the end of each 4 month period ECV and PV were assessed directly using 82Br- and 125I-albumin respectively, and blood samples were obtained. RESULTS: During GH treatment ECV increased significantly (before: 20.48+/-0.99 l, 4 months: 23.77+/-1.38 l (P<0.01)), but remained unchanged during placebo administration (before: 16.92+/-1.01 l, 4 months: 17.60+/-1.24 l (P=0.37)). The difference between the groups was significant (P<0.05). GH treatment also increased PV (before: 3.39+/-0.27 l. 4 months: 3.71+/-0.261 (P=0.01)), although an insignificant increase in the placebo treated patients (before: 2.81+/-0.18 l, 4 months: 2.89+/-0.20 l (P=0.37)) resulted in an insignificant treatment effect (P=0.07). Serum insulin-like growth factor-I increased significantly during GH treatment and was not affected by placebo treatment. Plasma renin (mIU/l) increased during GH administration (before: 14.73+/-2.16, 4 months: 26.00+/-6.22 (P=0.03)) and remained unchanged following placebo (before: 20.77+/-5.13, 4 months: 20.69+/-6.67 (P=0.99)) leaving no significant treatment effect (P=0.08). CONCLUSION: The long-term impact of GH treatment on body fluid distribution in adult GH deficient patients involves expansion of ECV and probably also PV. These data substantiate the role of GH as a regulator of fluid homeostasis in adult GH deficiency.  (+info)

Inactivation of the winged helix transcription factor HNF3alpha affects glucose homeostasis and islet glucagon gene expression in vivo. (6/13134)

Mice homozygous for a null mutation in the winged helix transcription factor HNF3alpha showed severe postnatal growth retardation followed by death between P2 and P12. Homozygous mutant mice were hypoglycemic despite unchanged expression of HNF3 target genes involved in hepatic gluconeogenesis. Whereas insulin and corticosteroid levels were altered as expected, plasma glucagon was reduced markedly in the mutant animals despite the hypoglycemia that should be expected to increase glucagon levels. This correlated with a 70% reduction in pancreatic proglucagon gene expression. We also showed that HNF3alpha could bind to and transactivate the proglucagon gene promoter. These observations invoke a central role for HNF3alpha in the regulatory control of islet genes essential for glucose homeostasis in vivo.  (+info)

Regulation of fatty acid homeostasis in cells: novel role of leptin. (7/13134)

It is proposed that an important function of leptin is to confine the storage of triglycerides (TG) to the adipocytes, while limiting TG storage in nonadipocytes, thus protecting them from lipotoxicity. The fact that TG content in nonadipocytes normally remains within a narrow range, while that of adipocytes varies enormously with food intake, is consistent with a system of TG homeostasis in normal nonadipocytes. The facts that when leptin receptors are dysfunctional, TG content in nonadipocytes such as islets can increase 100-fold, and that constitutively expressed ectopic hyperleptinemia depletes TG, suggest that leptin controls the homeostatic system for intracellular TG. The fact that the function and viability of nonadipocytes is compromised when their TG content rises above or falls below the normal range suggests that normal homeostasis of their intracellular TG is critical for optimal function and to prevent lipoapoptosis. Thus far, lipotoxic diabetes of fa/fa Zucker diabetic fatty rats is the only proven lipodegenerative disease, but the possibility of lipotoxic disease of skeletal and/or cardiac muscle may require investigation, as does the possible influence of the intracellular TG content on autoimmune and neoplastic processes.  (+info)

Autoinhibition of serotonin cells: an intrinsic regulatory mechanism sensitive to the pattern of usage of the cells. (8/13134)

After periods of high-frequency firing, the normal rhythmically active serotonin (5HT)-containing neurosecretory neurons of the lobster ventral nerve cord display a period of suppressed spike generation and reduced synaptic input that we refer to as "autoinhibition." The duration of this autoinhibition is directly related to the magnitude and duration of the current injection triggering the high-frequency firing. More interesting, however, is that the autoinhibition is inversely related to the initial firing frequency of these cells within their normal range of firing (0.5-3 Hz). This allows more active 5HT neurons to resume firing after shorter durations of inhibition than cells that initially fired at slower rates. Although superfused 5HT inhibits the spontaneous firing of these cells, the persistence of autoinhibition in saline with no added calcium, in cadmium-containing saline, and in lobsters depleted of serotonin suggests that intrinsic membrane properties account for the autoinhibition. A similar autoinhibition is seen in spontaneously active octopamine neurons but is absent from spontaneously active gamma-aminobutyric acid cells. Thus, this might be a characteristic feature of amine-containing neurosecretory neurons. The 5HT cells of vertebrate brain nuclei share similarities in firing frequencies, spike shapes, and inhibition by 5HT with the lobster cells that were the focus of this study. However, the mechanism suggested to underlie autoinhibition in vertebrate neurons is that 5HT released from activated or neighboring cells acts back on inhibitory autoreceptors that are found on the dendrites and cell bodies of these neurons.  (+info)