Production of prostaglandin f2alpha and its metabolite by endometrium and yolk sac placenta in late gestation in the tammar wallaby, Macropus Eugenii. (1/399)

In this study, we investigated production of prostaglandin (PG) F2alpha and its metabolite, PGFM, by uterine tissues from tammar wallabies in late pregnancy. Endometrial explants were prepared from gravid and nongravid uteri of tammars between Day 18 of gestation (primitive streak) and Day 26.5 (term) and were incubated in Ham's F-10 medium supplemented with glutamine and antibiotics for 20 h. PGF2alpha and PGFM in the medium were assayed by specific, validated RIAs. Control tissues (leg muscle) did not produce detectable amounts of either PG. Both gravid and nongravid endometria secreted PGF2alpha, and production increased significantly in both gravid and nongravid uteri towards term. PGFM was produced in small amounts by both gravid and nongravid uteri, and the rate of production did not increase. Neither oxytocin nor dexamethasone stimulated PG production in vitro in any tissue at any stage. Thus, the surge in peripheral plasma PGFM levels seen at parturition may arise from increased uterine PG production, but further study is needed to define what triggers this release.  (+info)

Cortisol in fetal fluids and the fetal adrenal at parturition in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). (2/399)

Glucocorticoid hormones may play a critical role in initiating parturition in tammar wallabies. In this study, we investigated the concentration of cortisol in fetal fluids and cortisol production by fetal adrenals over the last 3 days of the 26-day pregnancy and within 24 h postpartum. The fetal adrenals almost doubled in size between Days 24 and 26 of pregnancy, and their cortisol content increased over 10-fold during this period, from 10 pg to over 100 pg per adrenal pair. After birth, neonatal adrenals continued to grow, but cortisol content fell dramatically to 20 pg. The prepartum increase in adrenal cortisol was reflected by a substantial rise in cortisol concentrations in yolk sac fluid, allantoic fluid, and fetal blood, which were below 10 ng/ml on Day 24 and rose to over 40 ng/ml by Day 26. Cortisol concentrations in neonatal blood decreased postpartum, mirroring decreased cortisol content in neonatal adrenals. Cortisol production by the fetal adrenal was stimulated in vitro by ACTH and prostaglandin E2, suggesting that the in vivo increase may be stimulated by release of ACTH from the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary axis and prostaglandin E2 from the placenta. These results indicate that increasing cortisol production by the fetal adrenal is a characteristic of late pregnancy in the tammar wallaby and support the suggestion that fetal cortisol may trigger the initiation of parturition in this marsupial species.  (+info)

Reactivity of the immunoglobulin E in bovine gelatin-sensitive children to gelatins from various animals. (3/399)

It has been reported that most children who showed anaphylaxis to measles, mumps and rubella vaccines containing bovine gelatin as a stabilizer have anti-bovine gelatin IgE. The present study was designed to investigate the reactivity of IgE in bovine gelatin-sensitive children to gelatins from various animals, and the antigenic cross-reactivity between the gelatins. Serum samples taken from 10 children who showed anaphylaxis to vaccines containing bovine gelatin were used in this study. The level of anti-bovine gelatin IgE in these serum samples ranged from 11.0 to 251 Ua/ml. The IgE in most of the children reacted to kangaroo and mouse gelatins, to which they had had little or no exposure as a food or a vaccine stabilizer. The IgE binding to kangaroo and mouse gelatins was completely inhibited by bovine gelatin, whereas reciprocal inhibition was not complete, indicating that antigenic cross-reactivity is present between the mammalian gelatins. Only one child had strong IgE reactivity to fish gelatins, and this reactivity was not inhibited by bovine gelatin, indicating that no antigenic cross-reactivity exists between bovine and fish gelatins. Most of the children who displayed sensitivity to bovine gelatin showed IgE reactivity to other mammalian gelatins. This reactivity may be due primarily to the antigenic cross-reactivity between mammalian gelatins.  (+info)

Kangaroo IGF-II is structurally and functionally similar to the human [Ser29]-IGF-II variant. (4/399)

Kangaroo IGF-II has been purified from western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) serum and characterised in a number of in vitro assays. In addition, the complete cDNA sequence of mature IGF-II has been obtained by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Comparison of the kangaroo IGF-II cDNA sequence with known IGF-II sequences from other species revealed that it is very similar to the human variant, [Ser29]-hIGF-II. Both the variant and kangaroo IGF-II contain an insert of nine nucleotides that encode the amino acids Leu-Pro-Gly at the junction of the B and C domains of the mature protein. The deduced kangaroo IGF-II protein sequence also contains three other amino acid changes that are not observed in human IGF-II. These amino acid differences share similarities with the changes described in many of the IGF-IIs reported for non-mammalian species. Characterisation of human IGF-II, kangaroo IGF-II, chicken IGF-II and [Ser29]-hIGF-II in a number of in vitro assays revealed that all four proteins are functionally very similar. No significant differences were observed in the ability of the IGF-IIs to bind to the bovine IGF-II/cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor or to stimulate protein synthesis in rat L6 myoblasts. However, differences were observed in their abilities to bind to IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) present in human serum. Kangaroo, chicken and [Ser29]-hIGF-II had lower apparent affinities for human IGFBPs than did human IGF-II. Thus, it appears that the major circulating form of IGF-II in the kangaroo and a minor form of IGF-II found in human serum are structurally and functionally very similar. This suggests that the splice site that generates both the variant and major form of human IGF-II must have evolved after the divergence of marsupials from placental mammals.  (+info)

Acrosome formation during sperm transit through the epididymis in two marsupials, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). (5/399)

In certain Australian marsupials including the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), formation of the acrosome is not completed in the testis but during a complex differentiation process as spermatozoa pass through the epididymis. Using transmission and scanning electron microscopy this paper defined the process of acrosome formation in the epididymis, providing temporal and spatial information on the striking reorganisation of the acrosomal membranes and matrix and of the overlying sperm surface involved. On leaving the testis wallaby and possum spermatozoa had elongated 'scoop'-shaped acrosomes projecting from the dorsal surface of the head. During passage down the epididymis, this structure condensed into the compact button-like organelle found on ejaculated spermatozoa. This condensation was achieved by a complex process of infolding and fusion of the lateral projections of the 'scoop'. In the head of the epididymis the rims of the lateral scoop projections became shorter and thickened and folded inwards, to eventually meet midway along the longitudinal axis of the acrosome. As spermatozoa passed through the body of the epididymis the lateral projections fused together. Evidence of this fusion of the immature outer acrosomal membrane is the presence of vesicles within the acrosomal matrix which persist even in ejaculated spermatozoa. When spermatozoa have reached the tail of the epididymis the acrosome condenses into its mature form, as a small button-like structure contained within the depression on the anterior end of the nucleus. During the infolding process, the membranes associated with the immature acrosome are either engulfed into the acrosomal matrix (outer acrosomal membrane), or eliminated from the sperm head as tubular membrane elements (cytoplasmic membrane). Thus the surface and organelles of the testicular sperm head are transient structures in those marsupials with posttesticular acrosome formation and this must be taken into consideration in attempts to dissect the cell and molecular biology of fertilisation.  (+info)

Reactivating tammar wallaby blastocysts oxidize fatty acids and amino acids. (6/399)

The tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, has a ruminant-like digestive system which may make a significant concentration of amino acids and fatty acids available to the blastocyst via uterine fluids. Fluorescent and radioisotope analyses were performed to determine the rate of glutamine and palmitate use by blastocysts recovered on day 0, 3, 4, 5 and 10 after reactivation induced by removal of pouch young (RPY). Between day 0 and 4 glutamine uptake increased from 15.6 +/- 6.6 to 36.1 +/- 2.7 pmol per embryo h-1 (P < 0.01) and ammonium production increased from 8.2 +/- 4.3 to 26.6 +/- 3.0 pmol per embryo h-1 (P < 0.01). Glutamine oxidation did not increase until day 10 after RPY (P < 0.01), but the percentage of glutamine oxidized increased from 4.5 +/- 3.1% during diapause to 31.2 +/- 12.6% (P < 0.01) by day 5 after RPY and increased further to 51.0 +/- 15.8% (P < 0.01) by day 10 after RPY. Palmitate oxidation also increased from 0.3 +/- 0.1 by day 0 blastocysts to 3.8 +/- 1.7 pmol per embryo h-1 (P < 0.01) by day 4 blastocysts. This increase provides a greater potential for ATP production, possibly to supply increased demand due to the coincident resumption of mitoses. The ATP:ADP ratio within blastocysts had reduced by the time of the first measurement at day 3 (0.5 +/- 0.2 pmol per embryo h-1; P < 0.01) compared with day 0 blastocysts (1.4 +/- 0.3 pmol per embryo h-1). It is likely that metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids contributes to the energy supply during reactivation of tammar wallaby blastocysts after embryonic diapause.  (+info)

Origin of gene overlap: the case of TCP1 and ACAT2. (7/399)

The human acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase 2 gene, ACAT2, codes for a thiolase, an enzyme involved in lipid metabolism. The human T-complex protein 1 gene, TCP1, encodes a molecular chaperone of the chaperonin family. The two genes overlap by their 3'-untranslated regions, their coding sequences being located on opposite DNA strands in a tail-to-tail orientation. To find out how the overlap might have arisen in evolution, the homologous genes of the zebrafish, the African toad, caiman, platypus, opossum, and wallaby were identified. In each species, standard or long polymerase chain reactions were used to determine whether the ACAT2 and TCP1 homologs are closely linked and, if so, whether they overlap. The results reveal that the overlap apparently arose during the transition from therapsid reptiles to mammals and has been retained for >200 million years. Part of the overlapping untranslated region shows remarkable sequence conservation. The overlap presumably arose during the chromosomal rearrangement that brought the two unrelated and previously separated genes together. One or both of the transposed genes found by chance signals that are necessary for the processing of their transcripts to be present on the noncoding strand of the partner gene.  (+info)

3-D organization of ribosomal transcription units after DRB inhibition of RNA polymerase II transcription. (8/399)

In each bead of the nucleolar necklace, using adenosine analog DRB-treated PtK1 cells, we investigated the three components of rDNA transcription, i.e. the gene, transcription factor UBF and transcripts. In situ hybridization revealed the unraveling and 3-D dispersion of most of the rDNA coding sequences within the nucleus. The signals were small, of similar intensity and tandemly organized in the necklace. This observation is compatible with the fact that they might correspond to single gene units. Active transcription was visualized in these units, demonstrating that they were active functional units. Transcript labeling was not similar for each unit, contrary to UBF labeling. UBF and rRNA transcripts were only partially colocalized, as demonstrated by 3-D image analysis and quantification. As visualized by electron microscopy, the necklace was composed of a small fibrillar center partially surrounded by a dense fibrillar component. The 3-D arrangement of this individual unit in the necklace, investigated both by confocal and electron microscopy in the same cells, showed that the individual beads were linked by a dense fibrillar component. The reversibility of this organization after removal of DRB indicated that the beads in the necklace are certainly the elementary functional domain of the nucleolus. In addition, these results lead us to suggest that the organization of a functional domain, presumably corresponding to a single gene, can be studied by in situ approaches.  (+info)