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1.  Canine Distemper Virus Infection Leads to an Inhibitory Phenotype of Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells In Vitro with Reduced Expression of Co-Stimulatory Molecules and Increased Interleukin-10 Transcription 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e96121.
Canine distemper virus (CDV) exhibits a profound lymphotropism that causes immunosuppression and increased susceptibility of affected dogs to opportunistic infections. Similar to human measles virus, CDV is supposed to inhibit terminal differentiation of dendritic cells (DCs), responsible for disturbed repopulation of lymphoid tissues and diminished antigen presenting function in dogs. In order to testify the hypothesis that CDV-infection leads to an impairment of professional antigen presenting cells, canine DCs have been generated from peripheral blood monocytes in vitro and infected with CDV. Virus infection was confirmed and quantified by transmission electron microscopy, CDV-specific immunofluorescence, and virus titration. Flow cytometric analyses revealed a significant down-regulation of the major histocompatibility complex class II and co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 in CDV-infected DCs, indicative of disturbed antigen presenting capacity. Molecular analyses revealed an increased expression of the immune inhibitory cytokine interleukin-10 in DCs following infection. Results of the present study demonstrate that CDV causes phenotypical changes and altered cytokine expression of DCs, which represent potential mechanisms to evade host immune responses and might contribute to immune dysfunction and virus persistence in canine distemper.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096121
PMCID: PMC4000198  PMID: 24769532
2.  Transcriptional Changes in Canine Distemper Virus-Induced Demyelinating Leukoencephalitis Favor a Biphasic Mode of Demyelination 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95917.
Canine distemper virus (CDV)-induced demyelinating leukoencephalitis in dogs (Canis familiaris) is suggested to represent a naturally occurring translational model for subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and multiple sclerosis in humans. The aim of this study was a hypothesis-free microarray analysis of the transcriptional changes within cerebellar specimens of five cases of acute, six cases of subacute demyelinating, and three cases of chronic demyelinating and inflammatory CDV leukoencephalitis as compared to twelve non-infected control dogs. Frozen cerebellar specimens were used for analysis of histopathological changes including demyelination, transcriptional changes employing microarrays, and presence of CDV nucleoprotein RNA and protein using microarrays, RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry. Microarray analysis revealed 780 differentially expressed probe sets. The dominating change was an up-regulation of genes related to the innate and the humoral immune response, and less distinct the cytotoxic T-cell-mediated immune response in all subtypes of CDV leukoencephalitis as compared to controls. Multiple myelin genes including myelin basic protein and proteolipid protein displayed a selective down-regulation in subacute CDV leukoencephalitis, suggestive of an oligodendrocyte dystrophy. In contrast, a marked up-regulation of multiple immunoglobulin-like expressed sequence tags and the delta polypeptide of the CD3 antigen was observed in chronic CDV leukoencephalitis, in agreement with the hypothesis of an immune-mediated demyelination in the late inflammatory phase of the disease. Analysis of pathways intimately linked to demyelination as determined by morphometry employing correlation-based Gene Set Enrichment Analysis highlighted the pathomechanistic importance of up-regulated genes comprised by the gene ontology terms “viral replication” and “humoral immune response” as well as down-regulated genes functionally related to “metabolite and energy generation”.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095917
PMCID: PMC3995819  PMID: 24755553
3.  Transcriptomic Meta-Analysis of Multiple Sclerosis and Its Experimental Models 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86643.
Background
Multiple microarray analyses of multiple sclerosis (MS) and its experimental models have been published in the last years.
Objective
Meta-analyses integrate the information from multiple studies and are suggested to be a powerful approach in detecting highly relevant and commonly affected pathways.
Data sources
ArrayExpress, Gene Expression Omnibus and PubMed databases were screened for microarray gene expression profiling studies of MS and its experimental animal models.
Study eligibility criteria
Studies comparing central nervous system (CNS) samples of diseased versus healthy individuals with n >1 per group and publically available raw data were selected.
Material and Methods
Included conditions for re-analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were MS, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in rats, proteolipid protein-induced EAE in mice, Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus-induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD), and a transgenic tumor necrosis factor-overexpressing mouse model (TNFtg). Since solely a single MS raw data set fulfilled the inclusion criteria, a merged list containing the DEGs from two MS-studies was additionally included. Cross-study analysis was performed employing list comparisons of DEGs and alternatively Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA).
Results
The intersection of DEGs in MS, EAE, TMEV-IDD, and TNFtg contained 12 genes related to macrophage functions. The intersection of EAE, TMEV-IDD and TNFtg comprised 40 DEGs, functionally related to positive regulation of immune response. Over and above, GSEA identified substantially more differentially regulated pathways including coagulation and JAK/STAT-signaling.
Conclusion
A meta-analysis based on a simple comparison of DEGs is over-conservative. In contrast, the more experimental GSEA approach identified both, a priori anticipated as well as promising new candidate pathways.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086643
PMCID: PMC3903571  PMID: 24475162
4.  Schwann cell-free adult canine olfactory ensheathing cell preparations from olfactory bulb and mucosa display differential migratory and neurite growth-promoting properties in vitro 
BMC Neuroscience  2013;14:141.
Background
Transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) and Schwann cells (SC) is a promising therapeutic strategy to promote axonal growth and remyelination after spinal cord injury. Previous studies mainly focused on the rat model though results from primate and porcine models differed from those in the rat model. Interestingly, canine OECs show primate-like in vitro characteristics, such as absence of early senescence and abundance of stable p75NTR expression indicating that this species represents a valuable translational species for further studies. So far, few investigations have tested different glial cell types within the same study under identical conditions. This makes it very difficult to evaluate contradictory or confirmatory findings reported in various studies. Moreover, potential contamination of OEC preparations with Schwann cells was difficult to exclude. Thus, it remains rather controversial whether the different glial types display distinct cellular properties.
Results
Here, we established cultures of Schwann cell-free OECs from olfactory bulb (OB-OECs) and mucosa (OM-OECs) and compared them in assays to Schwann cells. These glial cultures were obtained from a canine large animal model and used for monitoring migration, phagocytosis and the effects on in vitro neurite growth. OB-OECs and Schwann cells migrated faster than OM-OECs in a scratch wound assay. Glial cell migration was not modulated by cGMP and cAMP signaling, but activating protein kinase C enhanced motility. All three glial cell types displayed phagocytic activity in a microbead assay. In co-cultures with of human model (NT2) neurons neurite growth was maximal on OB-OECs.
Conclusions
These data provide evidence that OB- and OM-OECs display distinct migratory behavior and interaction with neurites. OB-OECs migrate faster and enhance neurite growth of human model neurons better than Schwann cells, suggesting distinct and inherent properties of these closely-related cell types. Future studies will have to address whether, and how, these cellular properties correlate with the in vivo behavior after transplantation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2202-14-141
PMCID: PMC3840578  PMID: 24219805
Glia; Scratch wound assay; Large animal model; Human NT-2 neurons; Regeneration
5.  Effects of Murine and Human Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Cuprizone Induced Demyelination 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69795.
For the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis there are no regenerative approaches to enhance remyelination. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been proposed to exert such regenerative functions. Intravenous administration of human MSC reduced the clinical severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model mimicking some aspects of multiple sclerosis. However, it is not clear if this effect was achieved by systemic immunomodulation or if there is an active neuroregeneration in the central nervous system (CNS). In order to investigate remyelination and regeneration in the CNS we analysed the effects of intravenously and intranasally applied murine and human bone marrow-derived MSC on cuprizone induced demyelination, a toxic animal model which allows analysis of remyelination without the influence of the peripheral immune system. In contrast to EAE no effects of MSC on de- and remyelination and glial cell reactions were found. In addition, neither murine nor human MSC entered the lesions in the CNS in this toxic model. In conclusion, MSC are not directed into CNS lesions in the cuprizone model where the blood-brain-barrier is intact and thus cannot provide support for regenerative processes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069795
PMCID: PMC3724887  PMID: 23922802
6.  Immunophenotyping of Inflammatory Cells Associated with Schmallenberg Virus Infection of the Central Nervous System of Ruminants 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e62939.
Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is a recently discovered Bunyavirus associated mainly with abortions, stillbirths and malformations of the skeletal and central nervous system (CNS) in newborn ruminants. In this study, a detailed immunophenotyping of the inflammatory cells of the CNS of affected animals was carried out in order to increase our understanding of SBV pathogenesis. A total of 82 SBV-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive neonatal ruminants (46 sheep lambs, 34 calves and 2 goat kids) were investigated for the presence of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. The study focused on 15 out of 82 animals (18.3%) showing inflammation in the CNS. All 15 neonates displayed lymphohistiocytic meningoencephalomyelitis affecting most frequently the mesencephalon and the parietal and temporal lobes. The majority of infiltrating cells were CD3-positive T cells, followed by CD79α-positive B cells and CD68-positive microglia/macrophages. Malformations like por- and hydranencephaly, frequently found in the temporal lobe, showed associated demyelination and axonal loss. SBV antigen was detected in 37 out of 82 (45.1%) neonatal brains by immunohistochemistry. In particular, SBV antigen was found in 93.3% (14 out of 15 ruminants) and 32.8% (22 out of 67 ruminants) of animals with and without encephalitis, respectively. Highest amounts of virus-protein expression levels were found in the temporal lobe. Our findings suggest that: (i) different brain regions display differential susceptibility to SBV infection; (ii) inflammatory cells in the CNS are found only in a minority of virus infected animals; (iii) malformations occur in association with and without inflammation in the CNS; and (iv) viral antigen is strongly associated with the presence of inflammation in naturally infected animals. Further studies are required to explore the cell tropism and pathogenesis of SBV infection in ruminants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062939
PMCID: PMC3646890  PMID: 23667545
7.  Schmallenberg Virus Pathogenesis, Tropism and Interaction with the Innate Immune System of the Host 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(1):e1003133.
Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is an emerging orthobunyavirus of ruminants associated with outbreaks of congenital malformations in aborted and stillborn animals. Since its discovery in November 2011, SBV has spread very rapidly to many European countries. Here, we developed molecular and serological tools, and an experimental in vivo model as a platform to study SBV pathogenesis, tropism and virus-host cell interactions. Using a synthetic biology approach, we developed a reverse genetics system for the rapid rescue and genetic manipulation of SBV. We showed that SBV has a wide tropism in cell culture and “synthetic” SBV replicates in vitro as efficiently as wild type virus. We developed an experimental mouse model to study SBV infection and showed that this virus replicates abundantly in neurons where it causes cerebral malacia and vacuolation of the cerebral cortex. These virus-induced acute lesions are useful in understanding the progression from vacuolation to porencephaly and extensive tissue destruction, often observed in aborted lambs and calves in naturally occurring Schmallenberg cases. Indeed, we detected high levels of SBV antigens in the neurons of the gray matter of brain and spinal cord of naturally affected lambs and calves, suggesting that muscular hypoplasia observed in SBV-infected lambs is mostly secondary to central nervous system damage. Finally, we investigated the molecular determinants of SBV virulence. Interestingly, we found a biological SBV clone that after passage in cell culture displays increased virulence in mice. We also found that a SBV deletion mutant of the non-structural NSs protein (SBVΔNSs) is less virulent in mice than wild type SBV. Attenuation of SBV virulence depends on the inability of SBVΔNSs to block IFN synthesis in virus infected cells. In conclusion, this work provides a useful experimental framework to study the biology and pathogenesis of SBV.
Author Summary
Schmallenberg virus (SBV) was discovered in Germany (near the town of Schmallenberg) in November 2011 and since then has been found to be the cause of malformations and stillbirths in ruminants. SBV has spread very rapidly to many European countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. Very little is known about the biological properties of this virus and there is no vaccine available. In this study (i) we developed an approach (called reverse genetics) that allows the recovery of “synthetic” SBV under laboratory conditions; (ii) we developed a mouse model of infection for SBV; (iii) we showed that SBV replicates in neurons of experimentally infected mice similar to naturally infected lambs and calves; (iv) we developed viral mutants that are not as pathogenic as the original virus due to the inability to counteract the host cell defenses; and v) we identified mutations that are associated with increased virulence. This work provides the experimental tools to understand how this newly emerged virus causes disease in ruminants. In addition, it will now be possible to manipulate the SBV genome in order to develop highly effective vaccines.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003133
PMCID: PMC3542112  PMID: 23326235
8.  Schmallenberg Virus in Central Nervous System of Ruminants 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(1):154-155.
doi:10.3201/eid1901.120764
PMCID: PMC3557993  PMID: 23260872
Schmallenberg virus; in situ-hybridization; ruminants; malformation; brain; inflammation; central nervous system; CNS; viruses
9.  Canine muscle cell culture and consecutive patch-clamp measurements - a new approach to characterize muscular diseases in dogs 
Background
The recognition of functional muscular disorders, (e.g. channelopathies like Myotonia) is rising in veterinary neurology. Morphologic (e.g. histology) and even genetic based studies in these diseases are not able to elucidate the functional pathomechanism. As there is a deficit of knowledge and skills considering this special task, the aim of the current pilot study was to develop a canine muscle cell culture system derived from muscle biopsies of healthy client-owned dogs, which allows sampling of the biopsies under working conditions in the daily veterinary practise.
Results
Muscular biopsies from 16 dogs of different age and breed were taken during standard surgical procedures and were stored for one to three days at 4°C in a transport medium in order to simulate shipping conditions. Afterwards biopsies were professionally processed, including harvesting of satellite cells, inducing their proliferation, differentiating them into myotubes and recultivating myotubes after long-term storage in liquid nitrogen. Myogenic origin of cultured cells was determined by immunofluorescence, immunohistology and by their typical morphology after inducing differentiation. Subsequent to the differentiation into myotubes feasibility of patch-clamp recordings of voltage gated ion channels was successfully.
Conclusion
We have developed a canine muscle cell culture system, which allows sampling of biopsies from young and old dogs of different breeds under practical conditions. Patch clamp measurements can be carried out with the cultured myotubes demonstrating potential of these cells as source for functional research.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-227
PMCID: PMC3539935  PMID: 23171640
Myotubes; Voltage gated ion channels; Functional; Dog; Animal models
10.  TNF-Overexpression in Borna Disease Virus-Infected Mouse Brains Triggers Inflammatory Reaction and Epileptic Seizures 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41476.
Proinflammatory state of the brain increases the risk for seizure development. Neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV)-infection of mice with neuronal overexpression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF) was used to investigate the complex relationship between enhanced cytokine levels, neurotropic virus infection and reaction pattern of brain cells focusing on its role for seizure induction. Viral antigen and glial markers were visualized by immunohistochemistry. Different levels of TNF in the CNS were provided by the use of heterozygous and homozygous TNF overexpressing mice. Transgenic TNF, total TNF (native and transgenic), TNF-receptor (TNFR1, TNFR2), IL-1 and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor subunit 2B (NR2B) mRNA values were measured by real time RT-PCR. BDV-infection of TNF-transgenic mice resulted in non-purulent meningoencephalitis accompanied by epileptic seizures with a higher frequency in homozygous animals. This correlated with lower weight gain, stronger degree and progression of encephalitis and early, strong microglia activation in the TNF-transgenic mice, most obviously in homozygous animals. Activation of astroglia could be more intense and associated with an unusual hypertrophy in the transgenic mice. BDV-antigen distribution and infectivity in the CNS was comparable in TNF-transgenic and wild-type animals. Transgenic TNF mRNA-expression was restricted to forebrain regions as the transgene construct comprised the promoter of NMDA-receptor subunit2B and induced up-regulation of native TNF mRNA. Total TNF mRNA levels did not increase significantly after BDV-infection in the brain of transgenic mice but TNFR1, TNFR2 and IL-1 mRNA values, mainly in the TNF overexpressing brain areas. NR2B mRNA levels were not influenced by transgene expression or BDV-infection. Neuronal TNF-overexpression combined with BDV-infection leads to cytokine up-regulation, CNS inflammation and glial cell activation and confirmed the presensitizing effect of elevated cytokine levels for the development of spontaneous epileptic seizures when exposed to additional infectious noxi.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041476
PMCID: PMC3405098  PMID: 22848506
11.  Sustained viral load and late death in Rag2-/- mice after influenza A virus infection 
Virology Journal  2010;7:172.
The importance of the adaptive immune response for secondary influenza infections and protection from a lethal challenge after vaccination has been well documented. However, some controversy still exists concerning the specific involvement of B and T cells during a primary infection. Here, we have followed the survival, weight loss, viral load and lung pathology in Rag2-/- knock-out mice after infection with influenza A virus (H1N1). Infected wild type mice initially lost weight early after infection but then cleared the virus and recovered. Rag2-/- mice, however, showed similar weight loss kinetics in the early stages after infection but weight loss continued post infection and culminated in death. In contrast to wild type mice, Rag2-/- mice were not able to clear the virus, despite an increased inflammatory response. Furthermore, they did not recruit virus-specific lymphocytes into the lung in the later stages after infection and exhibited sustained pulmonary lesions.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-172
PMCID: PMC2919473  PMID: 20667098
12.  Cellular localization of Y-box binding protein 1 in brain tissue of rats, macaques, and humans 
BMC Neuroscience  2009;10:28.
Background
The Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) is considered to be one of the key regulators of transcription and translation. However, so far only limited knowledge exists regarding its cellular distribution in the adult brain.
Results
Analysis of YB-1 immunolabelling as well as double-labelling with the neuronal marker NeuN in rat brain tissue revealed a predominant neuronal expression in the dentate gyrus, the cornu ammonis pyramidal cell layer, layer III of the piriform cortex as well as throughout all layers of the parahippocampal cortex. In the hilus of the hippocampus single neurons expressed YB-1. The neuronal expression pattern was comparable in the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex of adult macaques and humans. Double-labelling of YB-1 with the endothelial cell marker Glut-1, the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein, and the astrocytic marker GFAP did not indicate a co-localization. Following status epilepticus in rats, no induction of YB-1 occurred in brain capillary endothelial cells and neurons.
Conclusion
In conclusion, our study demonstrates that YB-1 is predominantly expressed in neurons in the adult brain of rats, macaques and humans. Lack of a co-localization with Glut-1 and P-glycoprotein argues against a direct role of YB-1 in the regulation of blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein.
doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-28
PMCID: PMC2666744  PMID: 19323802
13.  Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis Infection in 2 Pet Dogs, Germany 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2008;14(6):988-990.
doi:10.3201/eid1406.071463
PMCID: PMC2600286  PMID: 18507926
Canis familiaris; dog; mycobacteriosis; Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex; Mycobacterium avium subsp. Hominissuis; zoonoses; letter
14.  Distemper in a Dolphin 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(12):1959-1961.
doi:10.3201/eid1312.070309
PMCID: PMC2876748  PMID: 18258062
Dolphin; distemper; morbillivirus; encephalitis; letter
15.  Phocine Distemper in German Seals, 2002 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2004;10(4):723-725.
Approximately 21,700 seals died during a morbillivirus epidemic in northwestern Europe in 2002. Phocine distemper virus 1 was isolated from seals in German waters. The sequence of the P gene showed 97% identity with the Dutch virus isolated in 1988. There was 100% identity with the Dutch isolate from 2002 and a single nucleotide mismatch with the Danish isolate.
doi:10.3201/eid1004.030591
PMCID: PMC3323098  PMID: 15200869
harbor seal; phocine distemper virus; germany; RT-PCR; immunohistochemistry; serology
16.  In Vitro Identification and Characterization of a Virus Isolated from a Dog with Neurological Dysfunction 
Infection and Immunity  1981;31(3):1177-1183.
A virus, 78-238, isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of a dog with neurological dysfunction, was characterized as a paramyxovirus. This conclusion was supported by viral cytopathic effects and morphological appearance of virions and nucleocapsids in infected cells. Nucleocapsids were found in the cytoplasm of all infected cells and in the nuclei of 0.001% of these cells. Growth curves revealed that a high percentage (≥76%) of infectious progeny virus was cell released. Persistent infection of Vero cells with 78-238 showed a consistently high percentage of fluorescence-positive cells and a low proportion of hemadsorption-positive cells. Serological studies indicate that the virus was closely related to Simian virus 5 and reference canine parainfluenza virus.
Images
PMCID: PMC351440  PMID: 7228400

Results 1-16 (16)