Forssman penta- and tetraglycosylceramide are xenoantigens of ostrich kidney and liver.
The heterophile antigens Galalpha1-->3Gal and N-glycolylneuraminic acid are the major obstacle to grafting mammal organs, especially from pig, to man. Lack of expression of these common xenoantigens by birds has raised interest in ostrich as a potential organ donor for xenotransplantation. Glycosphingolipids of ostrich liver and kidney were investigated for their carbohydrate determinants. Both organs were found similar in their glycolipid composition with three major species, mono-, di-, and pentaglycosylceramide. The pentaglycosylceramide was characterized as the Forssman antigen. In both organs, the ceramide portion was highly hydroxylated with prevalence of alpha-hydroxylated fatty acids, C18 phytosphingosine in kidney and C18 sphingosine in liver Forssman glycolipid. These data indicate that hydroxylation of kidney glycosphingolipids, which is found in mammals, has been maintained since the divergence of birds from other vertebrates. Characterization of a minor glycolipid as a Forssman tetraglycosylceramide built on the galabiosylceramide core indicates that the Forssman tetraglycosylceramide also exists in vivo. Its precursors, galactosyl- and galabiosylceramide, were characterized in kidney and liver. The Forssman antigen is the third heterophile antigen against which man raises natural antibodies. Its localization in the vascular endothelium and connective tissue makes ostrich an unpromising organ or cell donor for xenotransplantation to man. (+info)
A novel pentaglycosylceramide in ostrich liver, IV4-beta-Gal-nLc4Cer, with terminal Gal(beta1-4)Gal, a xenoepitope recognized by human natural antibodies.
Thin layer chromatograms of ostrich liver neutral glycosphingolipids were immunostained with human sera. In addition to the expected staining of the Forssman pentaglycosylceramide by some sera, more polar and less abundant unknown glycolipids could be stained. Among them, the shortest carbohydrate chain glycolipid was purified and structurally characterized by mass spectrometry, proton NMR and methylation analysis. It was a novel pentaglycosylceramide of the neolactoseries terminated with the Gal(beta1-4)Gal determinant which is not expressed in mammalian species. Human antibodies affinity-purified on a synthetic Gal(beta1-4)Gal(beta1-4)Glc-Sepharose column recognized the newly characterized Gal(beta1-4)Gal-terminated pentaglycosylceramide, and, in addition, longer chain glycolipids. Occurrence of antibodies directed at the Gal(beta1-4)Gal epitope was studied by ELISA on 108 human sera. Anti-Gal(beta1-4)Gal antibodies were predominantly IgM, and their distribution was similar to that of anti-Gal(alpha1-3)Gal and anti-Forssman IgMs. It was concluded that anti-Gal(beta1-4)Gal are natural antibodies, not previously identified in man. They can be considered as xenoantibodies directed at species which express Gal(beta1-4)Gal-terminated carbohydrate chains. (+info)
Detection and quantification of antibodies to Newcastle disease virus in ostrich and rhea sera using a liquid phase blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
A liquid phase blocking ELISA (LPB-ELISA) was adapted for the detection and quantification of antibodies to Newcastle disease virus. Sera from vaccinated and unvaccinated commercial flocks of ostriches (Struthio camelus) and rheas (Rhea americana) were tested. The purified and nonpurified virus used as the antigen and the capture and detector antibodies were prepared and standardized for this purpose. The hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) test was regarded as the reference method. The cutoff point for the LPB-ELISA was determined by a two-graph receiver operating characteristic analysis. The LPB-ELISA titers regressed significantly (P < 0.0001) on the HI titers with a high correlation coefficient (r = 0.875). The two tests showed good agreement (kappa = 0.82; P < 0.0001), relative sensitivity (90.91%) and specificity (91.18%), and accuracy (91.02%), suggesting that they are interchangeable. (+info)
Retinal photoreceptors of paleognathous birds: the ostrich (Struthio camelus) and rhea (Rhea americana).
Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the absorbance spectra of both rod and cone visual pigments and oil droplets from the retinae of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) and rhea (Rhea americana). Light and fluorescence microscopy of whole fresh tissue mounts were used to determine the relative numbers and distribution of oil droplets in the retinae. Both species possessed rods, double cones and four classes of single cone identified by their oil droplets. The rods had lambda max at about 505 nm, whereas three cone pigments were recorded with lambda max at 570, 505 and 445 nm. The P570 pigment was located in both members of the double cones and in a class of single cone containing an R-type oil droplet (lambda cut at 555 nm). The P505 and P445 cone pigments were found in populations of single cones containing Y-type and C-type oil droplets (lambda cut of 500 and 420 nm, respectively). The fourth class of single cone contained a T-type droplet and in the ostrich contained a visual pigment with lambda max at about 405 nm. Double cones possessed a P-type droplet in the principal member and an A-type droplet in the accessory member. The complement of visual pigments and oil droplets, and the ratio of cone types in the ostrich and rhea, are remarkably similar to those found in many groups of neognathous birds. (+info)
Three-dimensional kinematics of skeletal elements in avian prokinetic and rhynchokinetic skulls determined by Roentgen stereophotogrammetry.
Several different types of cranial kinesis are present within modern birds, enabling them to move (part of) the upper bill relative to the braincase. This movement of the upper bill results from movement of the quadrate and the pterygoid-palatine complex (PPC). The taxon Palaeognathae is characterised by a very distinct PPC and a special type of cranial kinesis (central kinesis) that is very different from that found in the Neognathae. This has led some authors to hypothesise that there is a functional relationship between the morphology of the PPC and the type of cranial kinesis. This hypothesis is tested here by analysing the movement pattern of both the upper bill and the PPC in birds with three different types of cranial kinesis: prokinesis, distal rhynchokinesis and central rhynchokinesis. Movement patterns were determined using a Roentgen stereophotogrammetry method, which made it possible to detect very small displacements (0.5 mm) of bony elements in three dimensions, while the jaw muscles and ligaments remained intact. We found that in all types of kinesis investigated the movements of the quadrate, jugal bars and PPC are similar. Movement of the quadrate is transferred to the upper beak by the jugal bar and the PPC, which moves almost exclusively forwards and backwards, thereby elevating or depressing the upper bill. The differences between the types of kinesis lie only in the position of the point of rotation. These findings indicate that there is no correlation between the specific morphology of the PPC and the type of cranial kinesis. Several other factors, including the external forces applied during food acquisition, may influence the morphology of the PPC. Differences in PPC morphology therefore appear to be the result of different functional demands acting on the system simultaneously but with different strengths, depending on the species. (+info)
Complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequences of extinct birds: ratite phylogenetics and the vicariance biogeography hypothesis.
The ratites have stimulated much debate as to how such large flightless birds came to be distributed across the southern continents, and whether they are a monophyletic group or are composed of unrelated lineages that independently lost the power of flight. Hypotheses regarding the relationships among taxa differ for morphological and molecular data sets, thus hindering attempts to test whether plate tectonic events can explain ratite biogeography. Here, we present the complete mitochondrial DNA genomes of two extinct moas from New Zealand, along with those of five extant ratites (the lesser rhea, the ostrich, the great spotted kiwi, the emu and the southern cassowary and two tinamous from different genera. The non-stationary base composition in these sequences violates the assumptions of most tree-building methods. When this bias is corrected using neighbour-joining with log-determinant distances and non-homogeneous maximum likelihood, the ratites are found to be monophlyletic, with moas basal, as in morphological trees. The avian sequences also violate a molecular clock, so we applied a non-parametric rate smoothing algorithm, which minimizes ancestor-descendant local rate changes, to date nodes in the tree. Using this method, most of the major ratite lineages fit the vicariance biogeography hypothesis, the exceptions being the ostrich and the kiwi, which require dispersal to explain their present distribution. (+info)
A qualitative and quantitative study of the lung of an ostrich, Struthio camelus.
The ostrich lung, with its lack of interparabronchial septa, the presence of very shallow atria and exceptional morphometric refinement, structurally resembles those of small, energetic flying birds, whereas it also displays features characteristic of the flightless ratites in which the neopulmo is relatively poorly developed and a segmentum accelerans may be generally lacking. The large size of the bronchial system of the ostrich may help explain the unique shifts in the airflow pathways that must occur from resting to panting breathing, explaining its insensitivity to acid-base imbalance of the blood during sustained panting under thermal stress. The mass-specific volume of the lung is 39.1 cm(3)kg(-1) and the volume density of the exchange tissue is remarkably high (78.31%). The blood-gas (tissue) barrier is relatively thick (0.56 microm) but the plasma layer is very thin (0.14 microm). In this flightless ratite bird, the mass-specific surface area of the tissue barrier (30.1 cm(2)g(-1)), the mass-specific anatomical diffusing capacity of the tissue barrier for oxygen (0.00 22 ml O(2) s(-1) Pa(-1) kg(-1)), the mass-specific volume of pulmonary capillary blood (6.25 cm(3)kg(-1)) and the mass-specific total anatomical diffusing capacity for oxygen (0.00073 ml O(2) s(-1) Pa(-1) kg(-1)) are equivalent to or exceed those of much smaller highly aerobic volant birds. The distinctive morphological and morphometric features that seem to occur in the ostrich lung may explain how it achieves and maintains high aerobic capacities and endures long thermal panting without experiencing respiratory alkalosis. (+info)
Characterization of ostrich (Struthio camelus) beta-microseminoprotein (MSP): identification of homologous sequences in EST databases and analysis of their evolution during speciation.
Beta-microseminoprotein, alternatively called prostatic secretory protein of 94 amino acids, is a hydrophilic, unglycosylated, small protein rich in conserved half-cystine residues. Originally found in human seminal plasma and prostatic fluids, its presence was later shown in numerous secretions and its homologs were described in many vertebrate species. These studies showed that this protein had rapidly evolved, but they failed to unambiguously identify its biological role. Here, we show that a protein isolated from ostrich pituitary gland is closely related to a similar one isolated from chicken serum and that the two are structurally related to the mammalian beta-microseminoprotein. The complete 90-amino acid sequence of the ostrich molecule was established through a combination of automated Edman degradation and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometric procedures, including postsource decay (PSD) and ladder sequencing analyses. This study documents for the first time that beta-microseminoprotein is present in aves. It is also the first report of a C-terminal amidated form for a member of this protein family and the first in which the disulfide linkages are established. Database searches using the herein-described amino acid sequence allowed identification of related proteins in numerous species such as cow, African clawed frog, zebrafish, and Japanese flounder. These small proteins show a strikingly high rate of amino acid substitutions, especially across phyla boundaries. Noticeably, no beta-microseminoprotein-related gene could be found in the recently completed fruit fly genome, indicating that if such a gene exists in arthropods, it must have extensively diverged from the vertebrate ones. (+info)