Mercury and mink. I. The use of mercury contaminated fish as a food for ranch mink. (1/5700)

Adult female and juvenile ranch mink were fed rations containing 50 and 75% of fish containing 0.44 ppm total mercury over a 145 day period. There was no clinical or pathological evidence of intoxication in these animals and mercury concentrations in tissue appeared to be at a level below that associated with toxicity.  (+info)

Three receptor genes for plasminogen related growth factors in the genome of the puffer fish Fugu rubripes. (2/5700)

Plasminogen related growth factors (PRGFs) and their receptors play major roles in embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and neoplasia. In order to investigate the complexity and evolution of the PRGF receptor family we have cloned and sequenced three receptors for PRGFs in the teleost fish Fugu rubripes, a model vertebrate with a compact genome. One of the receptor genes isolated encodes the orthologue of mammalian MET, whilst the other two may represent Fugu rubripes orthologues of RON and SEA. This is the first time three PRGF receptors have been identified in a single species.  (+info)

Subunit dissociation in fish hemoglobins. (3/5700)

The tetramer-dimer dissociation equilibria (K 4,2) of several fish hemoglobins have been examined by sedimentation velocity measurements with a scanner-computer system for the ultracentrifuge and by flash photolysis measurements using rapid kinetic methods. Samples studied in detail included hemoglobins from a marine teleost, Brevoortia tyrannus (common name, menhaden); a fresh water teleost, Cyprinus carpio, (common name, carp); and an elasmobranch Prionace glauca (common name, blue shark). For all three species in the CO form at pH 7, in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, sedimentation coefficients of 4.3 S (typical of tetrameric hemoglobin) are observed in the micromolar concentration range. In contrast, mammalian hemoglobins dissociate appreciably to dimers under these conditions. The inability to detect dissociation in three fish hemoglobins at the lowest concentrations examined indicates that K 4,2 must have a value of 10(-8) M or less. In flash photolysis experiments on very dilute solutions in long path length cells, two kinetic components were detected with their proportions varying as expected for an equilibrium between tetramers (the slower component) and dimers (the faster component); values of K 4,2 for the three fish hemoglobins in the range 10(-9) to 10(-8) M were calculated from these data. Thus, the values of K 4,2 for liganded forms of the fish hemoglobins appear to be midway between the value for liganded human hemoglobin (K 4,2 approximately 10(-6) M) and unliganded human hemoglobin (K 4,2 approximately 10(-12) M). This conclusion is supported by measurements on solutions containing guanidine hydrochloride to enhance the degree of dissociation. All three fish hemoglobins are appreciably dissociated at guanidine concentrations of about 0.8 M, which is roughly midway between the guanidine concentrations needed to cause comparable dissociation of liganded human hemoglobin (about 0.4 M) and unliganded human hemoglobin (about 1.6 M). Kinetic measurements on solutions containing guanidine hydrochloride indicated that there are changes in both the absolute rates and the proportions of the fast and slow components, which along with other factors complicated the analysis of the data in terms of dissociation constants. Measurements were also made in solutions containing urea to promote dissociation, but with this agent very high concentrations (about 6 M) were required to give measureable dissociation and the fish hemoglobins were unstable under these conditions, with appreciable loss of absorbance spectra in both the sedimentation and kinetic experiments.  (+info)

Evidence for a correlation between the number of marginal band microtubules and the size of vertebrate erthrocytes. (4/5700)

In 23 species of vertebrates the dimensions of erythrocytes and the number of their marginal band microtubules were examined. A positive correlation was found between the size of erythrocytes and the number of microtubules. The absence of microtubules in diskoid erythrocytes of mammals-Camelidae-is discussed.  (+info)

Importance of air and water breathing in relation to size of the African lungfish Protopterus amphibius Peters. (5/5700)

1. Oxygen uptakes from air and water have been measured in relation to weight of the African lungfish Protopterus amphibius Peters. 2. Combined O2 uptake from air and water ranged from 60 ml O2 kg-1 h-1 STPD, in a 3-7 g specimen, to 30 ml O2kg-1 h-1, in a 255 g specimen. 3. While the combined O2 uptake changed by a factor of 2, within the weight range under study, the aquatic O2 uptake changed 8-fold within the same range. The smaller fish satisfy 70% of their O2 requirement by aquatic breathing compared to 10-15% in the grown specimens. 4. The pattern of bimodal breathing in P. amphibius is discussed in relation to the natural habitat of the species.  (+info)

Midbrain combinatorial code for temporal and spectral information in concurrent acoustic signals. (6/5700)

All vocal species, including humans, often encounter simultaneous (concurrent) vocal signals from conspecifics. To segregate concurrent signals, the auditory system must extract information regarding the individual signals from their summed waveforms. During the breeding season, nesting male midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus) congregate in localized regions of the intertidal zone and produce long-duration (>1 min), multi-harmonic signals ("hums") during courtship of females. The hums of neighboring males often overlap, resulting in acoustic beats with amplitude and phase modulations at the difference frequencies (dFs) between their fundamental frequencies (F0s) and harmonic components. Behavioral studies also show that midshipman can localize a single hum-like tone when presented with a choice between two concurrent tones that originate from separate speakers. A previous study of the neural mechanisms underlying the segregation of concurrent signals demonstrated that midbrain neurons temporally encode a beat's dF through spike synchronization; however, spectral information about at least one of the beat's components is also required for signal segregation. Here we examine the encoding of spectral differences in beat signals by midbrain neurons. The results show that, although the spike rate responses of many neurons are sensitive to the spectral composition of a beat, virtually all midbrain units can encode information about differences in the spectral composition of beat stimuli via their interspike intervals (ISIs) with an equal distribution of ISI spectral sensitivity across the behaviorally relevant dFs. Together, temporal encoding in the midbrain of dF information through spike synchronization and of spectral information through ISI could permit the segregation of concurrent vocal signals.  (+info)

Characterization of K+ currents underlying pacemaker potentials of fish gonadotropin-releasing hormone cells. (7/5700)

Endogenous pacemaker activities are important for the putative neuromodulator functions of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-immunoreactive terminal nerve (TN) cells. We analyzed several types of voltage-dependent K+ currents to investigate the ionic mechanisms underlying the repolarizing phase of pacemaker potentials of TN-GnRH cells by using the whole brain in vitro preparation of fish (dwarf gourami, Colisa lalia). TN-GnRH cells have at least four types of voltage-dependent K+ currents: 1) 4-aminopyridine (4AP)-sensitive K+ current, 2) tetraethylammonium (TEA)-sensitive K+ current, and 3) and 4) two types of TEA- and 4AP-resistant K+ currents. A transient, low-threshold K+ current, which was 4AP sensitive and showed significant steady-state inactivation in the physiological membrane potential range (-40 to -60 mV), was evoked from a holding potential of -100 mV. This current thus cannot contribute to the repolarizing phase of pacemaker potentials. TEA-sensitive K+ current evoked from a holding potential of -100 mV was slowly activating, long lasting, and showed comparatively low threshold of activation. This current was only partially inactivated at steady state of -60 to -40 mV, which is equivalent to the resting membrane potential. TEA- and 4AP-resistant sustained K+ currents were evoked from a holding potential of -100 mV and were suggested to consist of two types, based on the analysis of activation curves. From the inactivation and activation curves, it was suggested that one of them with low threshold of activation may be partly involved in the repolarizing phase of pacemaker potentials. Bath application of TEA together with tetrodotoxin reversibly blocked the pacemaker potentials in current-clamp recordings. We conclude that the TEA-sensitive K+ current is the most likely candidate that contributes to the repolarizing phase of the pacemaker potentials of TN-GnRH cells.  (+info)

Activities of citrate synthase, NAD+-linked and NADP+-linked isocitrate dehydrogenases, glutamate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase in nervous tissues from vertebrates and invertebrates. (8/5700)

1. The activities of citrate synthase and NAD+-linked and NADP+-linked isocitrate dehydrogenases were measured in nervous tissue from different animals in an attempt to provide more information about the citric acid cycle in this tissue. In higher animals the activities of citrate synthase are greater than the sum of activities of the isocitrate dehydrogenases, whereas they are similar in nervous tissues from the lower animals. This suggests that in higher animals the isocitrate dehydrogenase reaction is far-removed from equilibrium. If it is assumed that isocitrate dehydrogenase activities provide an indication of the maximum flux through the citric acid cycle, the maximum glycolytic capacity in nervous tissue is considerably greater than that of the cycle. This suggest that glycolysis can provide energy in excess of the aerobic capacity of the tissue. 2. The activities of glutamate dehydrogenase are high in most nervous tissues and the activities of aspartate aminotransferase are high in all nervous tissue investigated. However, the activities of alanine aminotransferase are low in all tissues except the ganglia of the waterbug and cockroach. In these insect tissues, anaerobic glycolysis may result in the formation of alanine rather than lactate.  (+info)