In rodents, many aspects of sociosexual behavior are mediated by chemosignals released by opposite-sex conspecifics. These chemosignals are relayed via the main (MOS) and accessory olfactory systems (AOS) to the medial amygdala (Me). The Me is subdivided into anterior (MeA) and posterior (MeP) subnuclei, and lesions targeting these regions have different effects on proceptive courtship behaviors in female mice. Differential behavioral effects of MeA vs. MeP lesions could reflect a difference in the projections of neurons located in these Me subnuclei. To examine this question, we injected female mice with the anterograde tracer, Fluoro-Ruby into either the MeA or MeP and quantified labeled puncta in 11 forebrain target sites implicated in courtship behaviors using confocal fluorescence microscopy. We found that the MeP more densely innervates the medial and intermediate regions of the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBNST) and the posteromedial cortical amygdala (PMCo), while the MeA more densely innervates the horizontal diagonal band of Broca (HDB) and the medial olfactory tubercle (mOT), a region that may be a component of the circuitry responsible for olfactory-mediated motivated behaviors.
Medial Amygdala; axon terminal; sociosexual behavior; olfactory; anterograde tracing
We present a consensus document that proposes a standardized case definition and diagnostic guidelines for evaluation of adults and children with suspected encephalitis. In addition, areas of research priority, including host genetics and selected emerging infections, are discussed.
Background. Encephalitis continues to result in substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Advances in diagnosis and management have been limited, in part, by a lack of consensus on case definitions, standardized diagnostic approaches, and priorities for research.
Methods. In March 2012, the International Encephalitis Consortium, a committee begun in 2010 with members worldwide, held a meeting in Atlanta to discuss recent advances in encephalitis and to set priorities for future study.
Results. We present a consensus document that proposes a standardized case definition and diagnostic guidelines for evaluation of adults and children with suspected encephalitis. In addition, areas of research priority, including host genetics and selected emerging infections, are discussed.
Conclusions. We anticipate that this document, representing a synthesis of our discussions and supported by literature, will serve as a practical aid to clinicians evaluating patients with suspected encephalitis and will identify key areas and approaches to advance our knowledge of encephalitis.
encephalitis; guidelines; viral; autoimmune; host genetics
A long-held view has been that interest of male mice in female body odors reflects an activation of reward circuits in the male brain following their detection by the vomeronasal organ (VNO) and processing via the accessory olfactory system. We found that adult, sexually naïve male mice acquired a conditioned place preference (CPP) after repeatedly receiving estrous female urine on the nose and being placed in an initially non-preferred chamber with soiled estrous bedding on the floor. CPP was not acquired in control mice that received saline on the nose before being placed in a non-preferred chamber with clean bedding. Robust acquisition of a CPP using estrous female odors as the reward persisted in separate groups of mice in which VNO-accessory olfactory function was disrupted by bilateral lesioning of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) or in which main olfactory function was disrupted by zinc sulfate lesions of the main olfactory epithelium (MOE). By contrast, no CPP was acquired for estrous odors in males that received combined AOB and MOE lesions. Either the main or the accessory olfactory system suffices to mediate the rewarding effects of estrous female odors in the male mouse, even in the absence of prior mating experience. The main olfactory system is part of the circuitry that responds to chemosignals involved in motivated behavior, a role that may be particularly important for humans which lack a functional accessory olfactory system.
vomeronasal organ; conditioned place preference; reward circuits
TICs are characterized by their ability to self-renew, differentiate and initiate tumor formation. miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that bind to mRNAs resulting in regulation of gene expression and biological functions. The role of miRNAs and TICs in cancer progression led us to hypothesize that miRNAs may regulate genes involved in TIC maintenance. Using whole genome miRNA and mRNA expression profiling of TICs from primary prostate cancer cells, we identified a set of up-regulated miRNAs and a set of genes down-regulated in PSs. Inhibition of these miRNAs results in a decrease of prostatosphere formation and an increase in target gene expression. This study uses genome-wide miRNA profiling to analyze expression in TICs. We connect aberrant miRNA expression and deregulated gene expression in TICs. These findings can contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing TIC development/maintenance and the role that miRNAs have in the fundamental biology of TICs.
Tumor-initiating cell; Prostatospheres; Prostate Cancer; Cancer Stem Cells; microRNA
Previous research showed that axonal inputs to both anterior and posterior subdivisions of the medial amygdala from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs of female mice, respectively, process volatile and non-volatile pheromonal signals from male conspecifics. In the present study we found that bilateral electrolytic lesions that included posterior portions, but not the anterior subdivision alone of the medial amygdala (Me) blocked the preference of estrous female mice to investigate volatile urinary odors from testes-intact vs. castrated males. Similar results were obtained in separate tests in which nasal contact with urinary stimuli was permitted. In addition, total time investigating volatile urinary stimuli was reduced in subjects with posterior Me lesions. Subjects were able to discriminate volatile urinary odors from testes-intact vs. castrated male mice, suggesting that this disruption of odor preference did not result from the inability of females given amygdaloid lesions to discriminate these male urinary odors. Bilateral lesions of the Me that were either restricted to the anterior or posterior subdivisions, or included areas of both regions, caused significant reductions in the display of lordosis behavior in estrous female mice. Our results suggest that the Me is a critical segment of the olfactory circuit that controls both mate recognition and mating behavior in the female mouse.
Sexual behavior; partner preference; estradiol; progesterone
During the period 2008 to 2010, we identified 11,386 serum samples with increased (positive) levels of antibodies recognizing Bordetella pertussis antigens. We sought to characterize the distribution of positive antibody result patterns in relation to patient age. IgG and IgA antibodies recognizing pertussis toxin (PT) and filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) were quantified using a multianalyte immunodetection assay. Four mutually exclusive positive result patterns were observed: increased FHA antibodies only, increased PT IgA but not IgG, increased PT IgG but not IgA, and increased PT IgG and IgA. In patients <21 years old, the predominant pattern was increased PT IgG but not IgA, whereas in patients ≥21 years old, it was increased FHA antibodies only. The proportion of positive serum samples exhibiting increased PT IgA but not IgG was <20% in all age categories but showed a stepwise rise with age. The proportions of positive serum samples exhibiting increased PT IgG and IgA were similar (26 to 32%) in the age categories spanning 11 to 60 years of age but lower in the <11- and >60-year-old groups. In 3 of 5 age categories, a significant rise in the proportion of positive serum samples exhibiting increased FHA antibodies only occurred in 2010. Patterns of positive B. pertussis antibody results varied with age. The predominance of increased FHA antibodies only in patients >20 years old suggests that many adults thought to have B. pertussis infections actually have other infections that induce FHA-reactive antibodies. Similarly, the 2010 rise in the frequency of increased FHA antibodies only in some age groups suggests an increase in non-B. pertussis infections.
Existing clinical case definitions of pertussis are decades old and based largely on clinical presentation in infants and children, yet an increasing burden is borne by adolescents and adults who may manifest distinct signs/symptoms. Therefore, a “one-size-fits-all” clinical case definition is no longer appropriate. Seeking to improve pertussis diagnosis, the Global Pertussis Initiative (GPI) developed an algorithm that delineates the signs/symptoms of pertussis most common to 3 age groups: 0–3 months, 4 months to 9 years, and ≥10 years. These case definitions are based on clinical presentation alone, but do include recommendations on laboratory diagnostics. Until pertussis can be accurately diagnosed, its burden will remain underestimated, making the introduction of epidemiologically appropriate preventive strategies difficult. The proposed definitions are intended to be widely applicable and to encourage the expanded use of laboratory diagnostics. Determination of their utility and their sensitivity and/or specificity versus existing case definitions is required.
A whole-mount, flattened cortex preparation was developed to compare profiles of axonal projections from main olfactory bulb (MOB) and accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) mitral and tufted (M/T) cells. After injections of the anterograde tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin, mapping of labeled axons using a Neurolucida system showed that M/T cells in the AOB sent axons primarily to the medial and posterior lateral cortical amygdala, with minimal branching into the piriform cortex. By contrast, M/T cells in the MOB displayed a network of collaterals that branched off the primary axon at several levels of the lateral olfactory tract (LOT). Collaterals emerging from the LOT into the anterior piriform cortex were often observed crossing into the posterior piriform cortex. M/T cells in the dorsal MOB extended fewer collaterals from the primary axon in the rostral LOT than did M/T cells from the anterior or ventral MOB. MOB M/T cells that projected to the medial amygdala did not do so exclusively, also sending collaterals to the anterior cortical amygdala as well as to olfactory cortical regions. This arrangement may be related to the ability of social experience to modify the response of mice to volatile pheromones detected by the main olfactory system.
axon collaterals; lateral olfactory tract; medial amygdala; PHA-L; piriform cortex
We previously reported that some main olfactory bulb (MOB) mitral/tufted (M/T) cells send a direct projection to the ‘vomeronasal’ amygdala in female mice and selectively respond to volatile male mouse urinary odors. We asked whether MOB M/T cells that project to the vomeronasal amygdala exist in male mice and whether there is a sexually dimorphic response of these neurons to volatile male urinary pheromones. Gonadectomized male and female mice received bilateral injections of the retrograde tracer, Cholera toxin-B (CTb) into the medial amygdala (Me), which is part of the vomeronasal amygdala. All subjects were then treated with estradiol benzoate and progesterone before being exposed to volatile male urinary odors whereupon they were sacrificed 90 min later. Sections of the MOB were immunostained for Fos protein and/or CTb. Male mice, like females, displayed a small population of MOB M/T cells that project to the Me. While the general localization of these cells was similar in the two sexes, there were statistically significant sex differences in the percentage of MOB M/T cells in the anterior and posterior medial segments of the MOB that were retrogradely labeled by CTb. Male urinary volatiles stimulated equivalent, significant increases in Fos expression by MOB M/T neurons projecting to the Me in the two sexes. By contrast, in the same mice exposure to male urinary volatiles stimulated a significant increase in Fos expression by mitral cells in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) only in female subjects. Thus any sexually dimorphic behavioral or neuroendocrine responses to male urinary volatiles likely depend on the differential processing of these odor inputs in the AOB and/or other downstream forebrain structures after their detection by the main olfactory system.
pheromone; accessory olfactory bulb; Fos protein; estradiol; progeste
The link between reproductive life history and incidence of ovarian tumors is well known. Periods of reduced ovulations may confer protection against ovarian cancer. Using phenotypic data available for mouse, a possible association between the ovarian transcriptome, reproductive records and spontaneous ovarian tumor rates was investigated in four mouse inbred strains. NIA15k-DNA microarrays were employed to obtain expression profiles of BalbC, C57BL6, FVB and SWR adult ovaries.
Linear regression analysis with multiple-test control (adjusted p ≤ 0.05) resulted in ovarian tumor frequency (OTF) and number of litters (NL) as the top-correlated among five tested phenotypes. Moreover, nearly one-hundred genes were coincident between these two traits and were decomposed in 76 OTF(–) NL(+) and 20 OTF(+) NL(–) genes, where the plus/minus signs indicate the direction of correlation. Enriched functional categories were RNA-binding/mRNA-processing and protein folding in the OTF(–) NL(+) and the OTF(+) NL(–) subsets, respectively. In contrast, no associations were detected between OTF and litter size (LS), the latter a measure of ovulation events in a single estrous cycle.
Literature text-mining pointed to post-transcriptional control of ovarian processes including oocyte maturation, folliculogenesis and angiogenesis as possible causal relationships of observed tumor and reproductive phenotypes. We speculate that repetitive cycling instead of repetitive ovulations represent the actual link between ovarian tumorigenesis and reproductive records.
In a previous study, it was found that the antibody response to a nonvaccine pertussis antigen in children who were vaccine failures was reduced compared with the response in nonvaccinated children who had pertussis. In two acellular pertussis vaccine efficacy trials in Sweden, we studied the convalescent-phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) geometric mean values (GMVs) in response to pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin (PRN), and fimbriae (FIM 2/3) in vaccine failures and controls with pertussis. In Germany, the antibody responses to Bordetella pertussis antigens PT, FHA, PRN, and FIM-2 were analyzed by ELISA according to time of serum collection after onset of illness in children with pertussis who were vaccine failures or who were previously unvaccinated. Antibody values were also compared by severity of clinical illness. In Sweden, infants who had received a PT toxoid vaccine and who were vaccine failures had a blunted response to the nonvaccine antigen FHA compared with the response in children who had received a PT/FHA vaccine. Similarly, infants who had pertussis and who had received a PT/FHA vaccine had a blunted response to the nonvaccine antigens PRN and FIM 2/3 compared with the response in children who were vaccine failures and who had received a PT, FHA, PRN, and FIM 2/3 vaccine. In Germany, in sera collected from 0 to 15 days after pertussis illness onset, the GMVs for all 4 antigens (PT, FHA, PRN, and FIM-2) were significantly lower in an unvaccinated group than in children who were diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine failures. In the unvaccinated group, the GMV of the PT antibody rose rapidly over time so that it was similar to that of the DTaP vaccine recipients at the 16- to 30-day period. In contrast, the antibody responses to FHA, PRN, and FIM-2 at all time periods were lower in the diphtheria-tetanus vaccine (DT) recipients than in the DTaP vaccine failures. In both Sweden and Germany, children with less severe illness had lower antibody responses than children with typical pertussis. Our findings indicate that upon exposure and infection, previous vaccinees have more-robust antibody responses to the antigens contained in the vaccine they had received than to Bordetella antigens that were not in the vaccine they had received. In addition, over time the antibody responses to FHA, PRN, and FIM-2 were greater in children with vaccine failure (primed subjects) than in unvaccinated children (unprimed subjects) whereas the responses to PT were similar in the primed and unprimed children, as determined from sera collected after 15 days of illness. Our findings lend support to the idea that DTaP vaccines should contain multiple antigens.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure is a risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and PAHs are ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). This study measured the expression of AhR and related genes in frozen esophageal cell samples from patients exposed to different levels of indoor air pollution, who did or did not have high-grade squamous dysplasia (HGD), and who did or did not have a family history (FH) of upper gastrointestinal cancer (UGI Ca).
147 samples were evaluated, including 23 (16%) from patients with HGD and 48 (33%) from patients without DYS who heated their homes with coal, without a chimney (a “high” indoor air pollution group), and 27 (18%) from patients with HGD and 49 (33%) from patients without DYS who did not heat their homes at all (a “low” indoor air pollution group). Nearly half (64 (44%)) had a FH of UGI Ca. RNA was extracted and Quantitative-PCR analysis was performed.
AhR gene expression was detectable in 85 (58%) of the samples, and was more than 9-fold higher in those with a FH of UGI Ca (median expression (IQR) -1964 (-18000, -610) versus -18000 (-18000, -1036) Wilcoxon P = 0.02). Heating status, dysplasia category, age, gender, and smoking were not associated with AhR expression (linear regression, all P-values ≥0.1).
AhR expression was higher in patients with a FH of UGI Ca. Such individuals may be more susceptible to the deleterious effects of PAH exposure, including PAH-induced cancer.
Gastrointestinal tract cancer; Esophagus; Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; family history of cancer; gene expression; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
We measured IgA and IgG antibodies to pertussis toxin (PT) and filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) in sera from 203 1-year-old children who had received one to three doses of a monocomponent PT toxoid vaccine. Ten children (5%) had IgA antibody to PT indicating recent infection; seven of these children had received three doses of vaccine. PT IgA responders did not have significantly longer coughing episodes than PT IgA non-responders. Since an IgA antibody response occurs in only ∼50% of infected children, the actual infection rate in our cohort is estimated to ∼10%. The apparent high Bordetella pertussis infection rate in Danish infants suggests that the monocomponent PT toxoid vaccine used in Denmark has limited efficacy against B. pertussis infection. A prospective immunization study comparing a multi-component vaccine with the present monocomponent PT toxoid vaccine should be undertaken.
Pertussis; Pertussis toxin; Pertussis IgA; Pertussis epidemiology
The main olfactory system, like the accessory olfactory system, responds to pheromones involved in social communication. Whereas pheromones detected by the accessory system are transmitted to the hypothalamus via the medial (‘vomeronasal’) amygdala, the pathway by which pheromones are detected and transmitted by the main system is not well understood. We examined in female mice whether a direct projection from mitral/tufted (M/T) cells in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) to the medial amygdala exists, and whether medial amygdala-projecting M/T cells are activated by volatile urinary odors from conspecifics or a predator (cat). Simultaneous anterograde tracing using Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin and Fluoro-Ruby placed in the MOB and accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), respectively, revealed that axons of MOB M/T cells projected to superficial laminae of layer Ia in anterior and posterodorsal subdivisions of the medial amygdala, whereas projection neurons from the AOB sent axons to non-overlapping, deeper layer Ia laminae of the same subdivisions. Placement of the retrograde tracer cholera toxin B into the medial amygdala labeled M/T cells that were concentrated in the ventral MOB. Urinary volatiles from male mice, but not from female conspecifics or cat, induced Fos in medial amygdala-projecting MOB M/T cells of female subjects, suggesting that information about male odors is transmitted directly from the MOB to the ‘vomeronasal’ amygdala. The presence of a direct MOB-to-medial amygdala pathway in mice and other mammals could enable volatile, opposite-sex pheromones to gain privileged access to diencephalic structures that control mate recognition and reproduction.
anterograde; mating; pheromone; retrograde; sex; vomeronasal organ
Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is required for lymphocyte development and homeostasis although the actual sites of IL-7 production have never been clearly identified. We produced a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mouse expressing ECFP in the Il7 locus. The construct lacked a signal peptide and ECFP (enhanced cyan fluorescent protein ) accumulated inside IL-7-producing stromal cells in thoracic thymus, cervical thymus and bone marrow. In thymus, an extensive reticular network of IL-7-containing processes extended from cortical and medullary epithelial cells, closely contacting thymocytes. Central memory CD8 T cells, which require IL-7 and home to bone marrow, physically associated with IL-7-producing cells as we demonstrate by intravital imaging.
The ability of an anesthetized estrous female to induce a conditioned place preference (CPP) response was assessed in male mice from which the vomeronasal organ (VNO) had either been removed (VNOx) or left intact (VNOi) in an initial effort to assess the possible contribution of VNO-accessory olfactory inputs to the intrinsically rewarding properties of opposite-sex body odorants. Both VNOi and VNOx male mice acquired a CPP after repeated pairing of an initially non-preferred test chamber with an anesthetized estrous female mouse, suggesting that odorants detected by the main olfactory system and/or visual and tactile cues from the anesthetized estrous female can compensate for absent VNO inputs to establish a CPP. Subsequent exposure to this conditioning chamber alone caused significant increases in the number of Fos-immunoreactive cells in the mitral and granule cell layers of the accessory olfactory bulb as well as in the medial amygdala and ventral tegmental area of VNOi but not of VNOx males. These results suggest that activity in distal segments of the VNO-accessory olfactory pathway, in addition to the mesolimbic dopamine reward system, can be conditioned to respond to non-odor cues.
Conditioned place preference; Accessory olfactory bulb; Ventral tegmental area; c-fos; Pheromones; Anesthetized estrous female
Four experiments were conducted to determine whether vomeronasal organ (VNO) inputs in male mice mediate the rewarding properties of estrous female urinary odors. Sexually naive male mice with either an intact (VNOi) or lesioned (VNOx) VNO preferred to investigate female urine over water in Y-maze tests. Subsequently, VNOi males ran significantly more quickly and remained in nasal contact longer with estrous female urine than with male urine, whereas VNOx males investigated these odors equally. In home-cage habituation–dishabituation tests, VNOi males also investigated female urine significantly longer than did VNOx males, although both groups investigated female urine longer than other non-body odors. Finally, female urinary odors induced Fos in the nucleus accumbens core of VNOi males but not of VNOx males. Our results suggest that female urinary odors retain some incentive value in VNOx males. However, once direct nasal contact is made with female urine, VNO inputs further activate forebrain mechanisms that amplify the reward salience of this stimulus for the male mouse.
accessory olfactory bulb; nucleus accumbens; pheromones; sexual behavior
Mucosal tolerance to E-selectin has been shown to prevent stroke and reduce brain infarcts in experimental stroke models. However, the effective E-selectin dose range required to achieve mucosal tolerance and the precise mechanisms of neuroprotection remain unclear. We sought to examine the mechanisms of cytoprotection using gene expression profiling of tissues in the setting of mucosal tolerance and inflammatory challenge. Using spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), we achieved immune tolerance with 0.1 to 5 μg E-selectin per nasal instillation and observed a dose-related anti-E-selectin immunoglobulin G antibody production. We also show the distinct patterns of gene expression changes in the brain and spleen with the different tolerizing doses and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure. Prominent differences were seen with such genes as insulin-like growth factors in the brain and downregulation of those encoding the major histocompatibility complex class I molecules in the spleen. In all, mucosal tolerance to E-selectin and subsequent exposure to LPS resulted in significant tissue changes. These changes, while giving an insight to the underlying mechanisms, serve as possible targets for future studies to facilitate translation to human clinical trials.
E-selectin; gene expression; immune tolerance; inflammation
Bordetella respiratory infections are common in people (B. pertussis) and in animals (B. bronchiseptica). During the last two decades, much has been learned about the virulence determinants, pathogenesis, and immunity of Bordetella. Clinically, the full spectrum of disease due to B. pertussis infection is now understood, and infections in adolescents and adults are recognized as the reservoir for cyclic outbreaks of disease. DTaP vaccines, which are less reactogenic than DTP vaccines, are now in general use in many developed countries, and it is expected that the expansion of their use to adolescents and adults will have a significant impact on reducing pertussis and perhaps decrease the circulation of B. pertussis. Future studies should seek to determine the cause of the unique cough which is associated with Bordetella respiratory infections. It is also hoped that data gathered from molecular Bordetella research will lead to a new generation of DTaP vaccines which provide greater efficacy than is provided by today's vaccines.
Although the hallmark of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection is pneumonia, the organism is also responsible for a protean array of other symptoms. With an increased awareness of the board clinical spectrum of M. pneumoniae disease and the ready availability of the cold agglutinin and M. pneumoniae complement-fixation tests, interested clinicians will note additional clinical-mycoplasmal associations in their patients.
A simple parabiotic chamber which is easy to manipulate, does not leak, allows microscopic examination of organ cultures, and is easy to sterilize is described.
A virus plaque method that consistently gives good visual contrast for macroscopic observation and also permits microscopic study is described. Cells are grown in plastic flasks and the gelled overlay medium can be of any desired agar concentration or volume. A fixing solution is used prior to removal of the agar overlay, and dye is added to the fixing solution or staining can follow fixation and agar removal. The bottom of the flask with the fixed monolayer is separated from the rest of the container and handled as a slide. A new mounting medium is described.