Melbourne Veterinary School - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 151
K(Ca)3.1 Channel-Blockade Attenuates Airway Pathophysiology in a Sheep Model of Chronic Asthma
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-06-24)
BACKGROUND: The Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel K(Ca)3.1 is expressed in several structural and inflammatory airway cell types and is proposed to play an important role in the pathophysiology of asthma. The aim of the current study was to determine whether inhibition of K(Ca)3.1 modifies experimental asthma in sheep. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Atopic sheep were administered either 30 mg/kg Senicapoc (ICA-17073), a selective inhibitor of the K(Ca)3.1-channel, or vehicle alone (0.5% methylcellulose) twice daily (orally). Both groups received fortnightly aerosol challenges with house dust mite allergen for fourteen weeks. A separate sheep group received no allergen challenges or drug treatment. In the vehicle-control group, twelve weeks of allergen challenges resulted in a 60±19% increase in resting airway resistance, and this was completely attenuated by treatment with Senicapoc (0.25±12%; n = 10, P = 0.0147). The vehicle-control group had a peak-early phase increase in lung resistance of 82±21%, and this was reduced by 58% with Senicapoc treatment (24±14%; n = 10, P = 0.0288). Senicapoc-treated sheep also demonstrated reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, requiring a significantly higher dose of carbachol to increase resistance by 100% compared to allergen-challenged vehicle-control sheep (20±5 vs. 52±18 breath-units of carbachol; n = 10, P = 0.0340). Senicapoc also significantly reduced eosinophil numbers in bronchoalveolar lavage taken 48 hours post-allergen challenge, and reduced vascular remodelling. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that K(Ca)3.1-activity contributes to allergen-induced airway responses, inflammation and vascular remodelling in a sheep model of asthma, and that inhibition of K(Ca)3.1 may be an effective strategy for blocking allergen-induced airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in humans.
Altered neuronal markers following treatment with mood stabilizer and antipsychotic drugs indicate an increased likelihood of neurotransmitter release.
(Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2012-04)
OBJECTIVE: Given the ability of mood stabilizers and antipsychotics to promote cell proliferation, we wanted to determine the effects of these drugs on neuronal markers previously reported to be altered in subjects with psychiatric disorders. METHODS: Male Sprauge-Dawley rats were treated with vehicle (ethanol), lithium (25.5 mg per day), haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg), olanzapine (1.0 mg/kg) or a combination of lithium and either of the antipsychotic drugs for 28 days. Levels of cortical synaptic (synaptosomal associated protein-25, synaptophysin, vesicle associated protein and syntaxin) and structural (neural cell adhesion molecule and alpha-synuclein) proteins were determined in each treatment group using Western blots. RESULTS: Compared to the vehicle treated group; animals treated with haloperidol had greater levels of synaptosomal associated protein-25 (p<0.01) and neural cell adhesion molecule (p<0.05), those treated with olanzapine had greater levels of synaptophysin (p<0.01) and syntaxin (p<0.01). Treatment with lithium alone did not affect the levels of any of the proteins. Combining lithium and haloperidol resulted in greater levels of synaptophysin (p<0.01), synaptosomal associated protein-25 (p<0.01) and neural cell adhesion molecule (p<0.01). The combination of lithium and olanzapine produced greater levels of synaptophysin (p<0.01) and alpha-synuclein (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Lithium alone had no effect on the neuronal markers. However, haloperidol and olanzapine affected different presynaptic markers. Combining lithium with olanzapine additionally increased alpha-synuclein. These drug effects need to be taken into account by future studies examining presynaptic and neuronal markers in tissue from subjects with psychiatric disorders.
Cholinergic connectivity: it's implications for psychiatric disorders
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2013-05-03)
Acetylcholine has been implicated in both the pathophysiology and treatment of a number of psychiatric disorders, with most of the data related to its role and therapeutic potential focusing on schizophrenia. However, there is little thought given to the consequences of the documented changes in the cholinergic system and how they may affect the functioning of the brain. This review looks at the cholinergic system and its interactions with the intrinsic neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-amino butyric acid as well as those with the projection neurotransmitters most implicated in the pathophysiologies of psychiatric disorders; dopamine and serotonin. In addition, with the recent focus on the role of factors normally associated with inflammation in the pathophysiologies of psychiatric disorders, links between the cholinergic system and these factors will also be examined. These interfaces are put into context, primarily for schizophrenia, by looking at the changes in each of these systems in the disorder and exploring, theoretically, whether the changes are interconnected with those seen in the cholinergic system. Thus, this review will provide a comprehensive overview of the connectivity between the cholinergic system and some of the major areas of research into the pathophysiologies of psychiatric disorders, resulting in a critical appraisal of the potential outcomes of a dysregulated central cholinergic system.
A Molecular Diagnostic Tool to Replace Larval Culture in Conventional Faecal Egg Count Reduction Testing in Sheep
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-05-22)
The accurate diagnosis of parasitic nematode infections in livestock (including sheep and goats) is central to their effective control and the detection of the anthelmintic resistance. Traditionally, the faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT), combined with the technique of larval culture (LC), has been used widely to assess drug-susceptibility/resistance in strongylid nematodes. However, this approach suffers from a lack of specificity, sensitivity and reliability, and is time-consuming and costly to conduct. Here, we critically assessed a specific PCR assay to support FECRT, in a well-controlled experiment on sheep with naturally acquired strongylid infections known to be resistant to benzimidazoles. We showed that the PCR results were in close agreement with those of total worm count (TWC), but not of LC. Importantly, albendazole resistance detected by PCR-coupled FECRT was unequivocally linked to Teladorsagia circumcincta and, to lesser extent, Trichostrongylus colubriformis, a result that was not achievable by LC. The key findings from this study demonstrate that our PCR-coupled FECRT approach has major merit for supporting anthelmintic resistance in nematode populations. The findings also show clearly that our PCR assay can be used as an alternative to LC, and is more time-efficient and less laborious, which has important practical implications for the effective management and control strongylid nematodes of sheep.
Increased Mast Cell Density and Airway Responses to Allergic and Non-Allergic Stimuli in a Sheep Model of Chronic Asthma
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-05-14)
BACKGROUND: Increased mast cell (MC) density and changes in their distribution in airway tissues is thought to contribute significantly to the pathophysiology of asthma. However, the time sequence for these changes and how they impact small airway function in asthma is not fully understood. The aim of the current study was to characterise temporal changes in airway MC density and correlate these changes with functional airway responses in sheep chronically challenged with house dust mite (HDM) allergen. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: MC density was examined on lung tissue from four spatially separate lung segments of allergic sheep which received weekly challenges with HDM allergen for 0, 8, 16 or 24 weeks. Lung tissue was collected from each segment 7 days following the final challenge. The density of tryptase-positive and chymase-positive MCs (MC(T) and MC(TC) respectively) was assessed by morphometric analysis of airway sections immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against MC tryptase and chymase. MC(T) and MC(TC) density was increased in small bronchi following 24 weeks of HDM challenges compared with controls (P<0.05). The MC(TC)/MC(T) ratio was significantly increased in HDM challenged sheep compared to controls (P<0.05). MC(T) and MC(TC) density was inversely correlated with allergen-induced increases in peripheral airway resistance after 24 weeks of allergen exposure (P<0.05). MC(T) density was also negatively correlated with airway responsiveness after 24 challenges (P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: MC(T) and MC(TC) density in the small airways correlates with better lung function in this sheep model of chronic asthma. Whether this finding indicates that under some conditions mast cells have protective activities in asthma, or that other explanations are to be considered requires further investigation.
Caspase-3, myogenic transcription factors and cell cycle inhibitors are regulated by leukemia inhibitory factor to mediate inhibition of myogenic differentiation
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2011-01-01)
BACKGROUND: Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is known to inhibit myogenic differentiation as well as to inhibit apoptosis and caspase-3 activation in non-differentiating myoblasts. In addition caspase-3 activity is required for myogenic differentiation. Therefore the aim of this study was to further investigate mechanisms of the differentiation suppressing effect of LIF in particular the possibility of a caspase-3 mediated inhibition of differentiation. RESULTS: LIF dependent inhibition of differentiation appeared to involve several mechanisms. Differentiating myoblasts that were exposed to LIF displayed increased transcripts for c-fos. Transcripts for the cell cycle inhibitor p21 as well as muscle regulatory factors myoD and myogenin were decreased with LIF exposure. However, LIF did not directly induce a proliferative effect under differentiation conditions, but did prevent the proportion of myoblasts that were proliferating from decreasing as differentiation proceeded. LIF stimulation decreased the percentage of cells positive for active caspase-3 occurring during differentiation. Both the effect of LIF inhibiting caspase-3 activation and differentiation appeared dependent on mitogen activated protein kinase and extracellular signal regulated kinase kinase (MEK) signalling. The role of LIF in myogenic differentiation was further refined to demonstrate that myoblasts are unlikely to secrete LIF endogenously. CONCLUSIONS: Altogether this study provides a more comprehensive view of the role of LIF in myogenic differentiation including LIF and receptor regulation in myoblasts and myotubes, mechanisms of inhibition of differentiation and the link between caspase-3 activation, apoptosis and myogenic differentiation.
Assessment of Peripheral Airway Function following Chronic Allergen Challenge in a Sheep Model of Asthma
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2011-12-12)
BACKGROUND: There is increasing evidence that the small airways contribute significantly to the pathophysiology of asthma. However, due to the difficulty in accessing distal lung regions in clinical settings, functional changes in the peripheral airways are often overlooked in studies of asthmatic patients. The aim of the current study was to characterize progressive changes in small airway function in sheep repeatedly challenged with house dust mite (HDM) allergen. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Four spatially separate lung segments were utilized for HDM challenges. The right apical, right medial, right caudal and left caudal lung segments received 0, 8, 16 and 24 weekly challenges with HDM respectively. A wedged-bronchoscope technique was used to assess changes in peripheral resistance (R(p)) at rest, and in response to specific and non-specific stimuli throughout the trial. Allergen induced inflammatory cell infiltration into bronchoalveolar lavage and increases in R(p) in response to HDM and methacholine were localized to treated lung segments, with no changes observed in adjacent lung segments. The acute response to HDM was variable between sheep, and was significantly correlated to airway responsiveness to methacholine (r(s) = 0.095, P<0.01). There was no correlation between resting R(p) and the number of weeks of HDM exposure. Nor was there a correlation between the magnitude of early-phase airway response and the number of HDM-challenges. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that airway responses to allergic and non-allergic stimuli are localized to specific treated areas of the lung. Furthermore, while there was a decline in peripheral airway function with HDM exposure, this decrease was not correlated with the length of allergen challenge.
Potential Molecular and Cellular Mechanism of Psychotropic Drugs
(KOREAN COLL NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, 2014-08-01)
Psychiatric disorders are among the most debilitating of all medical illnesses. Whilst there are drugs that can be used to treat these disorders, they give sub-optimal recovery in many people and a significant number of individuals do not respond to any treatments and remain treatment resistant. Surprisingly, the mechanism by which psychotropic drugs cause their therapeutic benefits remain unknown but likely involves the underlying molecular pathways affected by the drugs. Hence, in this review, we have focused on recent findings on the molecular mechanism affected by antipsychotic, mood stabilizing and antidepressant drugs at the levels of epigenetics, intracellular signalling cascades and microRNAs. We posit that understanding these important interactions will result in a better understanding of how these drugs act which in turn may aid in considering how to develop drugs with better efficacy or increased therapeutic reach.
Nebulized perflubron and carbon dioxide rapidly dilate constricted airways in an ovine model of allergic asthma
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2014-09-16)
BACKGROUND: The low toxicity of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), their high affinity for respiratory gases and their compatibility with lung surfactant have made them useful candidates for treating respiratory diseases such as adult respiratory distress syndrome. We report results for treating acute allergic and non-allergic bronchoconstriction in sheep using S-1226 (a gas mixture containing carbon dioxide and small volumes of nebulized perflubron). The carbon dioxide, which is highly soluble in perflubron, was used to relax airway smooth muscle. METHODS: Sheep previously sensitized to house dust mite (HDM) were challenged with HDM aerosols to induce early asthmatic responses. At the maximal responses (characterised by an increase in lung resistance), the sheep were either not treated or treated with one of the following; nebulized S-1226 (perflubron + 12% CO2), nebulized perflubron + medical air, 12% CO2, salbutamol or medical air. Lung resistance was monitored for up to 20 minutes after cessation of treatment. RESULTS: Treatment with S-1226 for 2 minutes following HDM challenge resulted in a more rapid, more profound and more prolonged decline in lung resistance compared with the other treatment interventions. Video bronchoscopy showed an immediate and complete (within 5 seconds) re-opening of MCh-constricted airways following treatment with S-1226. CONCLUSIONS: S-1226 is a potent and rapid formulation for re-opening constricted airways. Its mechanism(s) of action are unknown. The formulation has potential as a rescue treatment for acute severe asthma.
Oriental theileriosis in dairy cows causes a significant milk production loss
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2014-02-19)
BACKGROUND: Oriental theileriosis is a tick-borne, protozoan disease of cattle caused by members of the Theileria orientalis-complex. Recent outbreaks of this disease in eastern Australia have caused major concerns to the dairy and beef farming communities, but there are no published studies of the economic impact of this disease. On a farm in Victoria, Australia, we assessed whether oriental theileriosis has an impact on milk production and reproductive performance in dairy cows. METHODS: Blood samples collected from all 662 cows on the farm were tested using an established molecular test. For individual cows, milk production and reproductive performance data were collected. A clinical assessment of individual cows was performed. Based on clinical findings and molecular test results, the following groups of cows were classified: group 1, with cardinal clinical signs of oriental theileriosis and molecular test-positive for T. orientalis; group 2, with mild or suspected signs of theileriosis and test-positive; group 3, with no clinical signs and test-positive; and group 4, with no clinical signs and test-negative. Milk production and reproductive performance data for groups 1, 2 and 3 were each compared with those for group 4 using linear and logistic regression analyses, respectively. RESULTS: At 100 days of lactation, group 1 cows produced significantly less milk (288 l; P = 0.001), milk fat (16.8 kg; P < 0.001) and milk protein (12.6 kg; P < 0.001) compared with group 4. At this lactation point, group 2 also produced significantly less milk fat (13.6 kg; P = 0.002) and milk protein (8.6 kg; P = 0.005) than group 4. At 305 days of lactation, group 1 cows produced significantly less milk (624 l; P = 0.004), milk fat (42.9 kg; P < 0.001) and milk protein (26.0 kg; P < 0.001) compared with group 4 cows. Group 2 cows also produced significantly less milk fat (21.2 kg; P = 0.033) at this lactation point. No statistically significant difference in reproductive performance was found upon pairwise comparisons of groups 1-3 with group 4 cows. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings demonstrate that clinical oriental theileriosis can cause significant milk production losses in dairy cattle.
Impacts of the Callipyge Mutation on Ovine Plasma Metabolites and Muscle Fibre Type
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-06-17)
The ovine Callipyge mutation causes postnatal muscle hypertrophy localized to the pelvic limbs and torso, as well as body leanness. The mechanism underpinning enhanced muscle mass is unclear, as is the systemic impact of the mutation. Using muscle fibre typing immunohistochemistry, we confirmed muscle specific effects and demonstrated that affected muscles had greater prevalence and hypertrophy of type 2X fast twitch glycolytic fibres and decreased representation of types 1, 2C, 2A and/or 2AX fibres. To investigate potential systemic effects of the mutation, proton NMR spectra of plasma taken from lambs at 8 and 12 weeks of age were measured. Multivariate statistical analysis of plasma metabolite profiles demonstrated effects of development and genotype but not gender. Plasma from Callipyge lambs at 12 weeks of age, but not 8 weeks, was characterized by a metabolic profile consistent with contributions from the affected hypertrophic fast twitch glycolytic muscle fibres. Microarray analysis of the perirenal adipose tissue depot did not reveal a transcriptional effect of the mutation in this tissue. We conclude that there is an indirect systemic effect of the Callipyge mutation in skeletal muscle in the form of changes of blood metabolites, which may contribute to secondary phenotypes such as body leanness.
Validating reference genes using minimally transformed qpcr data: findings in human cortex and outcomes in schizophrenia
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2016-05-20)
BACKGROUND: It is common practice, when using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), to normalise levels of mRNA to reference gene mRNA which, by definition, should not vary between tissue, with any disease aetiology or after drug treatments. The complexity of human CNS means it unlikely that any gene could fulfil these criteria. METHODS: To address this issue we measured levels of mRNA for six potential reference genes (GAPDH, PPIA, SNCA, NOL9, TFB1M and SKP1) in three cortical regions (Brodmann's areas (BA) 8, 9 and 44) from 30 subjects with schizophrenia and 30 age and sex matched controls. We used a structured statistical approach to examine the characteristics of these data to determine their suitability as reference genes. We also analysed our data using reference genes selected by rank as defined using the average of the standard deviation of pair-gene ΔCt and the BestKeeper, NormFinder and geNorm algorithms to determine if they suggested the same reference genes. RESULTS: Our minimally derived data showed that levels of mRNA for all of the six genes varied between cortical regions and therefore no gene fulfilled the absolute requirements for use as reference genes. As levels of some mRNA for some genes did not vary with diagnoses within a cortical region from subjects with schizophrenia compared to controls, we normalised levels of mRNA for all the other genes to mRNA for one, two or three reference genes in each cortical region. This showed that using the geometric mean of at least two reference genes gave more reproducible results. Finally, using the reference gene ranking protocols the average of the standard deviation of pair-gene ΔCt, BestKeeper, NormFinder and geNorm we showed that these approaches ranked potential reference genes differently. We then showed that outcomes of comparing data from subjects with schizophrenia and controls varied depending on the reference genes chosen. CONCLUSIONS: Our data shows that the selection of reference genes is a significant component of qPCR study design and therefore the process by which reference genes are selected must be clearly listed as a potential confound in studying gene expression in human CNS. This should include showing that, using minimally derived qPCR data, levels of mRNA for proposed reference genes does not vary with variables such as diagnoses and CNS region.