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Department of Biological Sciences
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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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Department of Electrical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: In male vertebrates, two conflicting paradigms-the energetic costs of high dominance rank and the chronic stress of low rank-have been proposed to explain patterns of immune function and parasitism. To date, neither paradigm has provided a complete explanation for status-related differences in male health. Here, we applied meta-analyses to test for correlations between male social status, immune responses and parasitism. We used an ecoimmunological framework, which proposes that males should re-allocate investment in different immune components depending on the costs of dominance or subordination. Spanning 297 analyses, from 77 studies on several vertebrate taxa, we found that most immune responses were similar between subordinate and dominant males, and neither dominant nor subordinate males consistently invested in predictable immune components. However, subordinate males displayed significantly lower delayed-type hypersensitivity and higher levels of some inflammatory cytokines than dominant males, while dominant males exhibited relatively lower immunoglobulin responses than subordinate males. Despite few differences in immunity, dominant males exhibited consistently higher parasitism than subordinate males, including protozoan blood parasites, ectoparasites and gastrointestinal helminths. We discuss our results in the context of the costs of dominance and subordination and advocate future work that measures both parasitism and immune responses in wild systems.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 05/2015; 370(1669). DOI:10.1098/rstb.2014.0109
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    ABSTRACT: Carrying out chemical analysis of antimalarials to detect low-quality medications before they reach a patient is a costly venture. Here, we show that a library of chemical color tests embedded on a paper card can presumptively identify formulations corresponding to very low quality antimalarial drugs. The presence or absence of chloroquine (CQ), doxycycline (DOX), quinine, sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, and primaquine antimalarial medications, in addition to fillers used in low-quality pharmaceuticals, are indicated by patterns of colors that are generated on the test cards. Test card sensitivity for detection of these pure components ranges from 90% to 100% with no false positives in the absence of pharmaceutical. The color intensities from reactions characteristic of CQ or DOX allowed visual detection of formulations of these medications cut with 60% or 100% filler, although samples cut with 30% filler could not be reliably detected colorimetrically. However, the addition of unexpected fillers, even in 30% quantities, or substitute pharmaceuticals, could sometimes be detected by other color reactions on the test cards. Tests are simple and inexpensive enough to be carried out in clinics, pharmacies, and ports of entry and could provide a screening method to presumptively indicate very low quality medicines throughout the supply chain. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 04/2015; 92(Suppl 6). DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0384
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that establish nephron segments are poorly understood. The zebrafish embryonic kidney, or pronephros, is a simplified yet conserved genetic model to study this renal development process because its nephrons contain segments akin to other vertebrates, including the proximal convoluted and straight tubules (PCT, PST). The zebrafish pronephros is also associated with the corpuscles of Stannius (CS), endocrine glands that regulate calcium and phosphate homeostasis, but whose ontogeny from renal progenitors is largely mysterious. Initial patterning of zebrafish renal progenitors in the intermediate mesoderm involves the formation of rostral and caudal domains, the former being reliant on retinoic acid (RA) signaling, and the latter being repressed by elevated RA levels. Here, using expression profiling to gain new insights into nephrogenesis, we discovered that the gene single minded family bHLH transcription factor 1a (sim1a) is dynamically expressed in the renal progenitors—first marking the caudal domain, then becoming restricted to the proximal segments, and finally exhibiting specific CS expression. In loss of function studies, sim1a knockdown expanded the PCT and abrogated both the PST and CS populations. Conversely, overexpression of sim1a expanded the PST and CS, while it reduced the PCT. These results show that sim1a activity is necessary and sufficient to induce PST and CS fates, and suggest that sim1a may inhibit PCT fate and/or negotiate the PCT/PST boundary. Interestingly, the sim1a expression domain in renal progenitors is responsive to altered levels of RA, suggesting that RA regulates sim1a, directly or indirectly, during nephrogenesis. sim1a deficient embryos treated with exogenous RA formed nephrons with predominant PCT segments that lacked the enlarged PST observed in RA treated wild-types, indicating that RA is not sufficient to rescue the PST in the absence of sim1a expression. Alternately, when sim1a knockdowns were exposed to the RA biosynthesis inhibitor diethylaminobenzaldehyde (DEAB), the CS was abrogated rather than expanded as in DEAB treated wild-types, demonstrating that sim1a is required for CS formation even in the absence of the repressive effects of RA. Taken together, these data reveal previously unappreciated roles for sim1a in nephron proximal tubule and CS patterning, and are consistent with the model that sim1a acts downstream of RA to mitigate the formation of these lineages. Thus, our study identifies an essential gene for teleost CS formation, and provides novel insights into the genetic pathways that dictate zebrafish nephron segmentation.
    Developmental Biology 03/2015; 399(1):100-116. DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.12.020

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Conservation Biology 07/2008; 22(3):534-43. DOI:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00951.x
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Science 04/2000; 287(5459):1770-4. DOI:10.1126/science.287.5459.1770
81 Downloads

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