Central pattern generator for escape swimming in the notaspid sea slug Pleurobranchaea californica. (1/2436)

Escape swimming in the notaspid opisthobranch Pleurobranchaea is an episode of alternating dorsal and ventral body flexions that overrides all other behaviors. We have explored the structure of the central pattern generator (CPG) in the cerebropleural ganglion as part of a study of neural network interactions underlying decision making in normal behavior. The CPG comprises at least eight bilaterally paired interneurons, each of which contributes and is phase-locked to the swim rhythm. Dorsal flexion is mediated by hemiganglion ensembles of four serotonin-immunoreactive neurons, the As1, As2, As3, and As4, and an electrically coupled pair, the A1 and A10 cells. When stimulated, A10 commands fictive swimming in the isolated CNS and actual swimming behavior in whole animals. As1-4 provide prolonged, neuromodulatory excitation enhancing dorsal flexion bursts and swim cycle number. Ventral flexion is mediated by the A3 cell and a ventral swim interneuron, IVS, the soma of which is yet unlocated. Initiation of a swim episode begins with persistent firing in A10, followed by recruitment of As1-4 and A1 into dorsal flexion. Recurrent excitation within the As1-4 ensemble and with A1/A10 may reinforce coactivity. Synchrony among swim interneuron partners and bilateral coordination is promoted by electrical coupling among the A1/A10 and As4 pairs, and among unilateral As2-4, and reciprocal chemical excitation between contralateral As1-4 groups. The switch from dorsal to ventral flexion coincides with delayed recruitment of A3, which is coupled electrically to A1, and with recurrent inhibition from A3/IVS to A1/A10. The alternating phase relation may be reinforced by reciprocal inhibition between As1-4 and IVS. Pleurobranchaea's swim resembles that of the nudibranch Tritonia; we find that the CPGs are similar in many details, suggesting that the behavior and network are primitive characters derived from a common pleurobranchid ancestor.  (+info)

Training in swimming reduces blood pressure and increases muscle glucose transport activity as well as GLUT4 contents in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. (2/2436)

Exercise improves muscle insulin sensitivity and GLUT4 contents. We investigated the beneficial effects of swimming training on insulin sensitivity and genetic hypertension using stroke-prone hypertensive rats (SHRSP). We studied the relationship between genetic hypertension and insulin resistance in SHRSP and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) as a control. The systolic blood pressure of SHRSP was significantly reduced by 4-week swimming training (208.4 +/- 6.8 mmHg vs. 187.2 +/- 4.1 mmHg, p < 0.05). The swimming training also resulted in an approximately 20% increase in the insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity (p < 0.05) of soleus muscle strips and an approximately 3-fold increase in the plasma membrane GLUT4 protein expression (p < 0.01) in SHRSP. However, basal and insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity and GLUT4 contents were not significantly different between WKY and SHRSP. There was no difference in insulin resistance in skeletal muscle of SHRSP as compared with WKY. Our results indicated swimming training exercise improved not only hypertension but also muscle insulin sensitivity and GLUT4 protein expression in SHRSP.  (+info)

Increased neurodegeneration during ageing in mice lacking high-affinity nicotine receptors. (3/2436)

We have examined neuroanatomical, biochemical and endocrine parameters and spatial learning in mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) during ageing. Aged beta2(-/-) mutant mice showed region-specific alterations in cortical regions, including neocortical hypotrophy, loss of hippocampal pyramidal neurons, astro- and microgliosis and elevation of serum corticosterone levels. Whereas adult mutant and control animals performed well in the Morris maze, 22- to 24-month-old beta2(-/-) mice were significantly impaired in spatial learning. These data show that beta2 subunit-containing nAChRs can contribute to both neuronal survival and maintenance of cognitive performance during ageing. beta2(-/-) mice may thus serve as one possible animal model for some of the cognitive deficits and degenerative processes which take place during physiological ageing and in Alzheimer's disease, particularly those associated with dysfunction of the cholinergic system.  (+info)

Characterization of socio-psychological stress-induced antinociception in the formalin test in mice. (4/2436)

The antinociceptive effect induced by exposure to socio-psychological (PSY) stress using a communication box was assessed by the formalin test in mice, compared with those by exposure to footshock (FS) stress and forced swimming (SW) stress. After the termination of stress exposure, whereas exposure to FS- and SW-stress resulted in the attenuation of the formalin-induced biphasic pain response over 15 min, no appreciable antinociceptive effect was found in the case of PSY stress. When exposure to PSY stress was started during the period of early or late phase of pain after the formalin injection, the antinociceptive effect was maintained for 5-15 min; however, further exposure to PSY stress was not effective for producing antinociception. In the tail-pinch test, likewise, exposure to PSY stress longer than 5 min rather decreased the intensity of antinociception. We conclude that PSY stress in this tonic pain paradigm produces antinociception, but further continuous exposure to the emotional stress caused mice to become recuperative even in such a fear-inducing situation.  (+info)

Swimming-associated outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7. (5/2436)

In 1997 the first outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections involving 14 cases occurred in Finland. A case was defined as a resident of Alavus with an episode of diarrhoea between 5 and 17 July 1997, and from whom E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from stool. The investigation included case searching and a population-based case control study. Five primary and eight symptomatic secondary cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness were detected. In the 10 days before the outbreak, all 5 primary patients (aged 3-8 years), but only 6 of 32 population controls from the same age range (Fisher's test, P < 0.001) and 4 of 10 sibling controls (P < 0.05) had visited (but had not necessarily bathed in) a shallow beach popular among young children. Four out of 5 primary cases had remained within 5 m of the beach while swimming and had swallowed lake water compared to 1 of 5 population controls. These analytical epidemiologic findings incriminated fresh lake water as the vehicle of E. coli O157:H7 transmission.  (+info)

Characterization of progressive motor deficits in mice transgenic for the human Huntington's disease mutation. (6/2436)

Transgenic mice expressing exon 1 of the human Huntington's disease (HD) gene carrying a 141-157 CAG repeat (line R6/2) develop a progressive neurological phenotype with motor symptoms resembling those seen in HD. We have characterized the motor deficits in R6/2 mice using a battery of behavioral tests selected to measure motor aspects of swimming, fore- and hindlimb coordination, balance, and sensorimotor gating [swimming tank, rotarod, raised beam, fore- and hindpaw footprinting, and acoustic startle/prepulse inhibition (PPI)]. Behavioral testing was performed on female hemizygotic R6/2 transgenic mice (n = 9) and female wild-type littermates (n = 22) between 5 and 14 weeks of age. Transgenic mice did not show an overt behavioral phenotype until around 8 weeks of age. However, as early as 5-6 weeks of age they had significant difficulty swimming, traversing the narrowest square (5 mm) raised beam, and maintaining balance on the rotarod at rotation speeds of 33-44 rpm. Furthermore, they showed significant impairment in prepulse inhibition (an impairment also seen in patients with HD). Between 8 and 15 weeks, R6/2 transgenic mice showed a progressive deterioration in performance on all of the motor tests. Thus R6/2 mice show measurable deficits in motor behavior that begin subtly and increase progressively until death. Our data support the use of R6/2 mice as a model of HD and indicate that they may be useful for evaluating therapeutic strategies for HD, particularly those aimed at reducing the severity of motor symptoms or slowing the course of the disease.  (+info)

Development of ergometer attachment for power and maximum anaerobic power measurement in swimming. (7/2436)

The ergometer can be a versatile means of measurement if attachments are developed for special purposes or if attachment is developed for multi-uses. In this study, an ergometer attachment for the measurement of power was designed and the measurement of power and the maximum anaerobic power in swimming was tested. A rotation drum was attached to one pedal of an ergometer. The rotation of this drum was synchronized with the rotation of the pedal. One end of a wire for a traction by a swimmer was connected to the drum. The other end of the wire was attached to a belt around the waist of a swimmer. The swimmer swam at full strength, thus causing the drum to rotate. The rotational velocity of the drum was detected as voltage by a magnetic permanent motor and transformed to wire tractional velocity; this velocity was equal to swimming velocity. The wire tension (= load) was controlled by a load adjusting lever of the ergometer. This wire tension was equal to the load which was added to the swimmer. The power calculation was based on a curved regression equation approximated from the load and the velocity. This equation was shown as follows; (P + a) (v + b) = (P0 + a)b or its development (P + a)v = b(P0 - P) and provided that P: force or load, v: swimming velocity, P0: maximum tractional force, a and b: constants. This ergometer attachment made it possible to measure and evaluate the power and the maximum anaerobic power in swimming with ease and at low cost. Measurement and evaluation are easily performed using the system, which is just one example of the possible applications of the ergometer.  (+info)

High aerobic capacities in the skeletal muscles of pinnipeds: adaptations to diving hypoxia. (8/2436)

The objective was to assess the aerobic capacity of skeletal muscles in pinnipeds. Samples of swimming and nonswimming muscles were collected from Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus, n = 27), Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus, n = 5), and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina, n = 37) by using a needle biopsy technique. Samples were either immediately fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde or frozen in liquid nitrogen. The volume density of mitochondria, myoglobin concentration, citrate synthase activity, and beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase was determined for all samples. The swimming muscles of seals had an average total mitochondrial volume density per volume of fiber of 9.7%. The swimming muscles of sea lions and fur seals had average mitochondrial volume densities of 6.2 and 8.8%, respectively. These values were 1.7- to 2.0-fold greater than in the nonswimming muscles. Myoglobin concentration, citrate synthase activity, and beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase were 1.1- to 2. 3-fold greater in the swimming vs. nonswimming muscles. The swimming muscles of pinnipeds appear to be adapted for aerobic lipid metabolism under the hypoxic conditions that occur during diving.  (+info)

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