[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Soils are currently being degraded at an alarming rate due to increasing pressure from different sources of environmental degradation. Consequently, we carried out a 4-month microcosm experiment to measure the impact of different sources of environmental degradation (biodiversity loss, nitrogen deposition and climate change) on soil health in a non-polluted (non-degraded) and a heavily metal-polluted (degraded) soil, and to compare their responses. To this aim, we determined a variety of soil microbial properties with potential as bioindicators of soil health: basal respiration; β-glucosaminidase and protease activities; abundance (Q-PCR) of bacterial, fungal and chitinase genes; richness (PCR-DGGE) of fungal and chitinase genes. Non-polluted and metal-polluted soils showed different response microbial dynamics when subjected to sources of environmental degradation. The non-polluted soil appeared resilient to "biodiversity loss" and "climate change" treatments. The metal-polluted soil was probably already too severely affected by the presence of high levels of toxic metals to respond to other sources of stress. Our data together suggests that soil microbial activity and biomass parameters are more sensitive to the applied sources of environmental degradation, showing immediate responses of greater magnitude, while soil microbial diversity parameters do not show such variations.
Science of The Total Environment 07/2012; 433:264-72. · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stress-induced rise in circulating catecholamines (CAs), followed by modulation of β-adrenergic receptors (adrenoceptors, ARs), is one of the pathways involved in the stress-mediated effects of immune functions. The spleen is an organ with a high number of lymphocytes and provides a unique microenvironment in which they reside. Thus, lymphocytes may respond differently to CAs in the spleen than in the circulation. No reports exist concerning the involvement of β-ARs in stress-mediated effects on T and B cells isolated from the spleen. Therefore, our aim was to investigate the effect of single stress exposure on gene expression and cellular localization of β-adrenoceptor subtypes in splenic T and B cells. We tried to correlate changes in adrenoceptors with the expression of apoptotic proteins.
Immobilization (IMMO) was used as a stress model. T and B cells were isolated from rat spleen using magnetically labeled antibodies. The gene expression of individual adrenoceptors and apoptotic proteins was evaluated by real-time PCR. Immunofluorescence was used to evaluate localization and adrenoceptor expression.
We have found T cells to be more vulnerable to stress compared to B cells, because of increased β₁-, β₂- and β₃-ARs after a single IMMO. Moreover, β₂-ARs translocated from the nucleus to the plasma membrane in T cells after IMMO. The rise in β-ARs most probably led to the rise of Bax mRNA and Bax to Bcl-2 mRNA ratio. This might suggest the induction of an apoptotic process in T cells.
Higher susceptibility of T cells to stress via modulation of β-ARs and apoptotic proteins might shift the immune responsiveness in the spleen.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myxovirus resistance A (MxA) is a major interferon (IFN)-inducible antiviral protein. Promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of MxA near the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) have been frequently associated with various viral diseases, including emerging respiratory infections. We investigated the expression profile of MxA transcripts with distinct first exons in human bronchial epithelial cells. For primary culture, the bronchial epithelium was isolated from lung tissues with different genotypes, and total RNA was subjected to real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The previously reported MxA transcript (T1) and a recently registered transcript with a distinct 5' first exon (T0) were identified. IFN-β and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid induced approximately 100-fold higher expression of the T1 transcript than that of the T0 transcript, which also had a potential ISRE motif near its transcription start site. Even without inducers, the T1 transcript accounted for approximately two thirds of the total expression of MxA, levels of which were significantly associated with its promoter and exon 1 SNPs (rs17000900, rs2071430, and rs464138). Our results suggest that MxA observed in respiratory viral infections is possibly dominated by the T1 transcript and partly influenced by relevant 5' SNPs.
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