[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mRNA expression patterns of EGF, HB-EGF, Amphiregulin, EGF receptor, IGF-1, CSF-1, IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-1 receptor type 1, IL-1 receptor antagonist, LIF, COX-1, COX-2, Mucin-1, calcitonin, and rat USAG-1 mouse homologue, all of which are involved in the process of conceptus implantation to the endometrium, were examined during the estrous cycle by means of real-time quantitative PCR. COX-2, HB-EGF, LIF, Mucin-1, CSF-1, IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, and IL-1 receptor antagonist were temporally regulated during the estrous cycle and highly expressed during the estrous stage. In the case of COX-1, EGF, IGF-1, and EGF receptor, the highest mRNA expression was during the diestrous stage. In contrast, the rat USAG-1 mouse homologue mRNA expression did not change during the estrous cycle. These results indicate that rat USAG-1 mouse homologue expression at implantation might be specifically regulated by embryonic factors rather than the maternal environment.
Journal of Reproduction and Development 01/2006; 51(6):787-98. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well-known that there are considerable strain differences in the relative copulation rates between male and superovulated female mice. In particular, the C57BL/6J strain of mice has a lower rate of successful copulation. We examined the effect of exposure to an electric field on sexual behavior in C57BL/6J male mice. When C57BL/6J males were exposed to a 50 Hz, 45 kV/m electric field for 30 min per day for 11 days and placed in a cage with a superovulated female of the same strain, the successful copulation rates of males was significantly improved compared with unexposed males (P<0.05). These results suggest that the exposure of C57BL/6J male mice to an electric field improves their sub-fertility activity in mating with superovulated females.
Journal of Reproduction and Development 06/2005; 51(3):393-7. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that SAG1 transgenic (tg) mice have an elevated susceptibility resulting from their inability to elicit strong Th1-based protection against Toxoplasma gondii infection. Here, we demonstrate that SAG1 tg mice were protected against T. gondii infection, characterized by a decline in IFN-gamma levels, following administration of a lethal dose of T. gondii. Moreover, immunization with T. gondii homogenate conferred protection and induced production of IgG, with IgG1 and IgG2a subclasses driven by Th2 and Th1 responses, respectively, in both SAG1 tg and wild-type (wt) mice. IgG titers were significantly higher from day 10 after immunization in wt mice compared to those in SAG1 tg mice. There were no significant differences observed in levels of IgG1 in both groups. However, significantly lower IgG2a titers were measured in the sera from SAG1 tg mice on days 10, 15 and 20. IFN-gamma levels in sera were significantly lower in SAG1 tg mice compared to those in wt mice on day 20 after immunization. When challenged with a lethal dose of the Beverley strain of T. gondii, 80 and 100% survival rates were observed in SAG1 tg and wt mice, respectively, indicating that SAG1 tg mice were protected to a lesser extent from challenge due to the decrease in protective immunity. These results suggest that SAG1 plays a critical role in eliciting protection, hence a target antigen for the development of protective Th1-based responses against T. gondii infection in mice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using macrophage scavenger receptor-A knockout (SRKO) mice, we examined the role of macrophage class A scavenger receptors (MRS-A) on the immune response and acquisition of host resistance against repeated infestation with Haemaphysalis longicornis. Except for one batch of nymphs that infested one of the SRKO (SR-/-) mice and showed no appreciable reduction in body weight, all the other groups of nymphs manifested significant decrease in body weight. Both SR-/- and wild type (SR+/+) mice showed a sustained increase in anti-tick antibody titers, but SR+/+ mice showed significantly higher titers. The IFN-gamma assayed in SR-/- mouse immune sera was substantially less compared with that in SR+/+ mice. Immune sera from SR-/- and SR+/+ mice recognized the 51 and 44 kDa, and 44 kDa proteins, respectively, of the salivary gland antigen. The difference in the level of anti-tick resistance manifested by both groups of mice may be influenced by less efficient trapping and processing of tick antigens by macrophages in mice lacking for the macrophage scavenger receptors, and consequently affected the cascade of Th1 and Th2 responses. We have thus obtained valuable data that strongly infer the role of MSR-A in enhancing host defense against repeated infestation with H. longicornis.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 05/2002; 64(4):355-9. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the immunological mechanisms of acquired resistance to tick infestation, interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) deficient mice (IFN-gamma mice) were used to assess interleukin-4 (IL-4) and antibody production levels against tick salivary gland antigen on three successive infestations with Haemoaphysalis longicornis Neumann nymphs. The engorged body weight of the ticks decreased during the second and third infestations. Similar observations were noted in IFN-gamma+/+ mice. However, the engorged body weight of the ticks from IFN-gamma +/+ mice were considerably lower than those from IFN-gamma-/- mice. A marked increase in antibody production during the second and third infestations was observed indicating that IFN-gamma-/- mice could acquire immunological resistance against H. longicornis nymphs. Moreover, IL-4 levels were higher during the first and third infestations but decreased during the second infestation. IL-4 levels were significantly higher in IFN-gamma-/- mice than in IFN-gamma+/+ mice. We have shown here that the statistically significant high IL-4 levels observed in IFN-gamma-/- mice may be a result of type 2 helper cell (Th2) polarization. However, the apparently higher IL-4 levels during the first and third infestations and the notable decline during the second infestation suggest that other cytokines or factors in the host immune system may play a part in regulating IL-4 levels.
Journal of Medical Entomology 02/2002; 39(1):173-6. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance to Toxoplasma gondii involves the development of a highly polarized Th1-type cytokine expression. SAG1 transgenic mice are highly susceptible to T. gondii infection due to their non-reactivity to SAG1 of the protozoan parasite. Here we describe cytokine profiles during the acute phase of T. gondii infection, which are associated with the susceptibility of SAG1 transgenic mice. SAG1 transgenic mice showed a 4.5-fold increase in susceptibility upon inoculation with a sublethal dose of the Beverley strain of T. gondii compared to their wild-type counterparts (mortality: 81 vs. 18%, respectively). When analysis of the most important cytokines involved in the mediation of resistance to infection was carried out, SAG1 transgenic mice exhibited low production levels of IL-12, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in sera during the acute phase of T. gondii infection. Antibody and T cells specific for SAG1 were not mounted upon SAG1 stimulation in SAG1 transgenic mice. Moreover, in vitro studies indicated that in SAG1 transgenic mice IFN-gamma and IL-12 production was lower than in their wild-type counterparts, although levels of TNF-alpha increased in SAG1 transgenic mice on day 9 after infection. Low IgG2a levels were detected in SAG1 transgenic mouse sera. Unresponsiveness to SAG1 of T. gondii renders SAG1 transgenic mice unable to develop a strong Th1-based protection against T. gondii infection. These results provide evidence that SAG1 is a pivotal antigen involved in the induction of immune responses towards the development of Th1-protective immunity during T. gondii infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gene encoding the entire Babesia equi merozoite antigen 1 (EMA-1) was inserted into a baculovirus transfer vector, and a recombinant virus expressing EMA-1 was isolated. The expressed EMA-1 was transported to the surface of infected insect cells, as judged by an indirect fluorescent-antibody test (IFAT). The expressed EMA-1 was also secreted into the supernatant of a cell culture infected with recombinant baculovirus. Both intracellular and extracellular EMA-1 reacted with a specific antibody in Western blots. The expressed EMA-1 had an apparent molecular mass of 34 kDa that was identical to that of native EMA-1. The secreted EMA-1 was used as an antigen in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The ELISA differentiated B. equi-infected horse sera from Babesia caballi-infected horse sera or normal horse sera. The ELISA was more sensitive than the complement fixation test and IFAT. These results demonstrated that the recombinant EMA-1 expressed in insect cells might be a useful diagnostic reagent for detection of antibodies to B. equi.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 03/2001; 39(2):705-9. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were produced against Babesia caballi (USDA strain) to define a species-specific antigen for use in diagnosis and vaccine development. Eight positive clones of B. caballi mAbs determined by indirect immunofluorescent antibody test were selected for purification and further characterisation. Confocal laser microscopy showed that the antigens recognised by the mAbs were located on the surface/cytoplasm, central part, and/or anterior end of B. caballi parasites, with five different reactive patterns. These mAbs seemed to be species-specific, since they did not cross-react with Babesia equi-infected erythrocytes or uninfected erythrocytes. In Western blotting analysis, 18, 20, 34, 36, 48, and 155 kDa proteins of B. caballi merozoites were recognised by six different mAbs. When added to in vitro cultures, four of the mAbs significantly inhibited the in vitro growth of B. caballi parasites. These results provide a rationale for evaluating antigens for the development of diagnostic methods or vaccines.
International Journal for Parasitology 11/1999; 29(11):1785-91. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SAG-1, one of the major surface proteins of Toxoplasma gondii, has been reported to play an important role in immune and pathogenic mechanisms of the parasites but its exact function is still unclear. We investigated the time courses of T. gondii infection in B6C3F1 transgenic mice carrying the SAG-1 gene. SAG-1 transgenic mice were infected intraperitoneally with a high virulent RH strain or a low virulent Beverley strain of T. gondii. When infected with RH strain tachyzoites, no significant differences in time courses of survivals between SAG-1 transgenic and wild-type mice were observed. Both groups succumbed to an acute infection within 8 days after infection. However, a lower survival rate (20%) was observed in SAG-1 transgenic mice than in wild-type (80%), when infected with Beverley strain cysts. This result indicates that SAG-1 transgenic mice are more susceptible to T. gondii infection as compared with their wild-type counterpart. ELISA using recombinant SAG-1 protein indicates that SAG-1 transgenic mice do not produce antibodies to the SAG-1 molecule. These findings may provide a critical tool for analysing the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and host immune responses during toxoplasmosis.
International Journal for Parasitology 10/1999; 29(9):1433-6. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Babesia microti produces a self-limiting infection in mice, and recovered mice are resistant to reinfection. In the present study, the role of T cells in protective immunity against challenge infection was examined. BALB/c mice which recovered from primary infection showed strong protective immunity against challenge infection. In contrast, nude mice which failed to control the primary infection and were cured with an antibabesial drug did not show protection against challenge infection. Treatment of immune mice with anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody (MAb) diminished the protective immunity against challenge infection, but treatment with anti-CD8 MAb had no effect on the protection. Transfer of CD4(+) T-cell-depleted spleen cells resulted in higher parasitemia than transfer of CD8(+) T-cell-depleted spleen cells. A high level of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), which was produced by CD4(+) T cells, was observed for the culture supernatant of spleen cells from immune mice, and treatment of immune mice with anti-IFN-gamma MAb partially reduced the protection. Moreover, no protection against challenge infection was found in IFN-gamma-deficient mice. On the other hand, treatment of immune mice with MAbs against interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, or tumor necrosis factor alpha did not affect protective immunity. These results suggest essential requirements for CD4(+) T cells and IFN-gamma in protective immunity against challenge infection with B. microti.
Infection and Immunity 09/1999; 67(8):4143-8. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-12, Interferon-gamma and Interleukin-4 mRNA levels in cells of the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes of cats following primary and secondary infection with Toxoplasma gondii were examined by a semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method. Expression of Interleukin-12p40 mRNA and Interferon-gamma mRNA was observed after primary and secondary oral infection with Toxoplasma gondii. In contrast, no expression of IL-4 mRNA in the spleen and little expression in the mesenteric lymph nodes were observed after primary infection when the cats shed oocysts, however, the expression of IL-4 mRNA observed in the cats after secondary inoculation.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 08/1999; 61(7):819-21. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reactivity of antibodies in mice and cats to feline enteroepithelial stages of Toxoplasma gondii was examined by means of an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test. Mice immunized with feline enteroepithelial stage (FES) parasites produced antibodies not only against FES, but also against tachyzoites, sporozoites/oocysts, tissue cysts and one part of the infected feline enterocytes. After absorption with tachyzoites, the titer of antibodies reactive to enterocytes was significantly reduced. In contrast, the titer of antibodies reactive to FES remained unchanged. The antibodies from cats immunized with FES, reacted specifically to FES, but not to tachyzoites, tissue cysts or enterocytes. These results suggest that FES parasites may have stage-specific antigen(s).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The infectivity of the feline enteroepithelial stages of Toxoplasma gondii isolated by Percoll-density gradient centrifugation was examined by the trypan blue dye exclusion method by assaying their penetration into feline fibroblast cells in vitro and by inoculation of the intestinal mucosa of cats. A large population of the parasites showed trypan blue dye exclusion activity. When feline fibroblast cells were inoculated with feline enteroepithelial stage parasites, no intracellular parasites were found 18 h post-inoculation. Kittens inoculated intraduodenally with 2 x 10(6) feline enteroepithelial stage parasites shed oocysts between 2 and 8 days post-inoculation. These results indicate that the isolated feline enteroepithelial stage parasites display infectivity towards enterocytes of cats and are capable of gametogenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The carbohydrates present on Eimeria stiedai sporozoites and their functional role in the process of invasion of host cells were examined. Lectin-binding sites on the surface of sporozoites were detected by means of peroxidase-conjugated lectins. Sporozoites showed specific binding with UEA-I and PNA lectins, which bind L-fucose and D-galactose, respectively. Exposure of sporozoites to 100 microg/ml UEA-I significantly reduced their ability to invade primary rabbit liver biliary epithelial cells, but similar treatment with PNA had no such effect. Pre-incubation of these cells in Dulbecco's minimum essential medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum and 1% L-fucose suppressed the invasion activity of the sporozoites, but pre-incubation of the sporozoites in the same medium without L-fucose had no effect on cell penetration. D-galactose added to the medium had no effect on the invasion activity of sporozoites. These results indicate that L-fucose residues on E. stiedai sporozoites and L-fucose-binding sites on host cells both are associated with the recognition and/or invasion process.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclodextrin, which stimulates cholesterol efflux from cells, was examined for its ability to induce capacitation of mouse spermatozoa. A chemically defined, protein-free medium was used for in vitro fertilization of cumulus-free mouse eggs. Fertilization did not occur in modified Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate medium (TYH) supplemented with 1 mg/ml polyvinylalcohol instead of BSA. However, fertilization was observed when spermatozoa were preincubated with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MBCD); fertilization rates increased dose-dependently from 0.25 to 0.75 mM MBCD. The fertilization rate decreased when 0.75 mM MBCD was added to both preincubation and fertilization media versus only the preincubation medium (21% vs. 53%); in sharp contrast, fertilization increased when 4 mg/ml BSA was present in both of the media versus the preincubation medium only (66% vs. 25%). At 0.75 mM, 2-hydroxy-beta-cyclodextrin had a lower ability to capacitate spermatozoa in vitro than MBCD (14% vs. 41%). Eggs fertilized by spermatozoa treated with MBCD (0.75 mM) developed to blastocysts (45%, 36 of 80) when cultured in KSOM. When 160 fertilized eggs were transferred to ICR recipients, 62 live offspring were born. After incubation of mouse spermatozoa for 90 min in 0.75 mM MBCD in TYH medium, the cholesterol content of the spermatozoa was significantly (p < 0.01) lower than that of the control (2.27 +/- 0.09 vs. 4.13 +/- 0.09 nmol unesterified cholesterol/10(7) sperm; mean +/- SEM, n = 5). The proportion of capacitated (B pattern) spermatozoa determined by chlortetracycline fluorescence was higher with MBCD treatment for 90 min than for the control (45% vs. 15%; p < 0.01). The proportion of acrosome-reacted (AR pattern) spermatozoa was not different between MBCD treatment and the control. Therefore, MBCD increased capacitation rather than the acrosome reaction of spermatozoa.
Biology of Reproduction 01/1999; 59(6):1328-33. · 4.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasion specificity of Eimeria stiedai sporozoites in cultured cells was examined. Intracellular sporozoites were observed in hepatobiliary epithelial cells, as early as 3 hours post inoculation (p.i.) but the infection rate was monitored for 6 hours. No intracellular parasites were found in rabbit parenchymal hepatocytes and rabbit kidney cells, even on prolonged culturing. In the hepatobiliary epithelial cells inoculated with fixed sporozoites, no intracellular parasite were found. Sporozoites attached on the cell surface of the hepatobiliary epithelial cells fixed with paraformaldehyde but did not penetrate. The carbohydrates present on Eimeria stiedai sporozoites and their functional role in the process of invasion of host cells were also examined. Lectin binding sites on the surface of sporozoites were detected by means of peroxidase-conjugated lectins. Sporozoites showed specific binding with UEA-I and PNA lectins, which bind L-fucose and D-galactose, respectively. Exposure of sporozoites to 100 microg/ml UEA-I significantly reduced their ability to invade primary rabbit hepatobiliary epithelial cells, but similar treatment with PNA had no such effect. Preincubation of these cells in Dulbecco's minimum essential medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum and 1% L-fucose suppressed the invasion activity of the sporozoites, but preincubation of the sporozoites in the same medium without L-fucose had no effect on cell penetration. D-galactose added to the medium had no effect on the invasion activity of sporozoites. These results indicate that L-fucose residues on E. stiedai sporozoites and L-fucose binding sites on host cells both are associated with recognition and/or invasion process.
The Tokai journal of experimental and clinical medicine 01/1999; 23(6):365-71.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In-vitro-propagated Babesiacaballi parasites were examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Many small pores were observed over the entire
surface of infected erythrocytes on scanning electron microscopy, and on transmission electron microscopy these small pores
were found to be openings of tubular structures. By the examination of a number of infected cells the tubular structures were
found to be connected with the parasite, and this observation might indicate that the tubular structures arose from the edge
of the parasite and terminated at an invagination on the surface of the erythrocyte. These findings suggest that intraerythrocytic
stages of B.caballi come into direct contact with culture medium.
Parasitology Research 12/1998; 85(3):171-175. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Canine parvovirus (CPV) suddenly appeared in the late 1970s after which it showed continuous antigenic changes. Virological and molecular genetic analyses mainly focused on feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV) were conducted in this study because FPLV is the suspected ancestor of CPV; the way in which FPLV evolves may help to explain the emergence of CPV. Analysis of escape mutants against FPLV-specific monoclonal antibody showed that viruses possessing CPV-like properties were not easily detected in FPLV virus stocks. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) and capsid protein 2 (VP2) genes of FPLV changed with time. A similar tendency, however, was not observed in the FPLV VP2 proteins. In contrast, the topology of the phylogenetic tree of VP2 proteins of CPV basically concurred with that of the VP2 genes. Analysis of the ratio of nonsynonymous and synonymous substitutions revealed that synonymous substitutions exceeded nonsynonymous substitutions in both the NS1 and VP2 genes of FPLV, even when the analysis focused on specific regions in the VP2 gene that are known to be located on the capsid surface. Comparison of the CPV VP2 genes revealed that nonsynonymous substitution was found to dominate over synonymous substitution in one specific region in the VP2 gene. These results suggested that FPLV has changed mainly by random genetic drift. In contrast, after the appearance of CPV, changes in the CPV VP2 gene appear to be partly selected by certain positive selection forces. CPV and FPLV are known to be closely related viruses genetically and biologically, but the evolutionary mechanisms of the two viruses appeared to be different.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Monoclonal antibody (MAb) BEG3 was produced against Babesia equi parasites to define a species-specific antigen for diagnostic use. The MAb reacted with single, paired, and Maltese cross forms of B. equi, and no reaction was observed with this MAb on acetone-fixed Babesia caballi, Babesia ovata, or Babesia microti parasites in the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test. Confocal laser and immunoelectron microscopic studies showed that the antigen which was recognized by this MAb was located on the surface of B. equi parasites. This MAb recognized a 19-kDa protein of B. equi antigen and did not react with B. caballi antigen or normal horse erythrocytes in immunoblot analysis. This MAb also significantly inhibited the in vitro growth of the B. equi parasite. Preliminary studies using partially purified antigen, which was separated by high-pressure liquid chromatography and recognized by the MAb, suggested that it is a suitable antigen for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detection of anti-B. equi antibodies in naturally infected horse sera.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 08/1998; · 4.07 Impact Factor