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1.  Postnatal programming of the innate immune response 
A host’s defensive response to a pathogen is a phylogenetically ancient reaction that consists of a CNS-mediated series of autonomic, hormonal and behavioral responses that combine to combat infection. The absence of such defense results in greater morbidity and mortality and thus, these responses are essential for survival. The postnatal period represents a malleable phase in which the long-term behavior and physiology of the developing organism, including its immune responses, can be influenced. Postnatal challenge of the immune system by introduction of live replicating infections, or administration of bacterial and viral mimetics, can result in a multidomain alteration to the defenses of the adult host. Findings from our laboratory and others’ indicate that the postnatal administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (PolyI:C), which mimic bacterial and viral infections respectively, can influence the neuroimmune response (generation of fever and production of cytokines) to a second challenge to the immune system in adulthood. This long-lasting alteration in the innate immune response is associated with myriad other effects on the animal’s physiology and appears to be primarily mediated by a sensitized hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Thus, a transient immunological perturbation to a developing animal may program the organism for subsequent health complications as an adult. In this review we discuss some of the potential mechanisms for these phenomena.
PMCID: PMC3547974  PMID: 21665816 CAMSID: cams2606
2.  Elasmobranch immune cells as a source of novel tumor cell inhibitors: Implications for public health 
Integrative and comparative biology  2006;46(6):1072-1081.
Reports that elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays) may have a low incidence of disease have stimulated interest in understanding the role of their immune system in this apparent resistance. Although research in this area may potentially translate into applications for human health, a basic understanding of the elasmobranch immune system components and how they function is essential. As in higher vertebrates, elasmobranch fishes possess thymus and spleen, but in the absence of bone marrow and lymph nodes, these fish have evolved unique lymphomyeloid tissues, namely epigonal and Leydig organs. As conditions for short-term culture of elasmobranch immune cells have become better understood, the opportunity to examine functional activity of cytokine-like factors derived from conditioned culture medium has resulted in the identification of growth inhibitory activity against a variety of tumor cell lines. Specifically, the medium enriched by short term culture of bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) epigonal cells (epigonal conditioned medium, ECM) has been shown to inhibit the growth of mammalian tumor cell lines, including fibrosarcoma (WEHI-164), melanoma (A375.S2), B-cell lymphoma (Daudi), T-cell leukemia (Jurkat), pancreatic cancer (PANC-1), ovarian cancer (NIH:OVCAR-3), and three breast carcinoma cell lines (MCF7, HCC38, Hs578T). Of the cell lines tested, WEHI-164, A375.S2, Daudi, and Jurkat cells were among the most sensitive to growth inhibitory activity of ECM whereas PANC-1 and NIH:OVCAR-3 cells were among the least sensitive. In addition, ECM demonstrated preferential growth inhibition of malignant cells in assays against two different malignant/non-malignant cell line pairs (HCC38/HCC38 BL and Hs 578T/Hs 578Bst). Separation of protein components of ECM using SDS-PAGE resulted in a very reproducible pattern of three major bands corresponding to molecular sizes of approximately 40–42 kD, 24 kD, and 17 kD. Activity is lost after heating at 75°C for 30 min, and can be diminished by treatment with proteinase K and protease. Activity is not affected by treating with trypsin, DNase I or RNase A.
PMCID: PMC2664222  PMID: 19343108
3.  Genetic regulation of canine skeletal traits: trade-offs between the hind limbs and forelimbs in the fox and dog 
Genetic variation in functionally integrated skeletal traits can be maintained over 10 million years despite bottlenecks and stringent selection. Here, we describe an analysis of the genetic architecture of the canid axial skeleton using populations of the Portuguese Water Dog Canis familiaris) and silver fox (Vulpes vulpes). Twenty-one skeletal metrics taken from radiographs of the forelimbs and hind limbs of the fox and dog were used to construct separate anatomical principal component (PC) matrices of the two species. In both species, 15 of the 21 PCs exhibited significant heritability, ranging from 25% to 70%. The second PC, in both species, represents a trade-off in which limb-bone width is inversely correlated with limb-bone length. PC2 accounts for approximately 15% of the observed skeletal variation, ~30% of the variation in shape. Many of the other significant PCs affect very small amounts of variation (e.g., 0.2–2%) along trade-off axes that partition function between the forelimbs and hind limbs. These PCs represent shape axes in which an increase in size of an element of the forelimb is associated with a decrease in size of an element of the hind limb and vice versa. In most cases, these trade-offs are heritable in both species and genetic loci have been identified in the Portuguese Water Dog for many of these. These PCs, present in both the dog and the fox, include ones that affect lengths of the forelimb versus the hind limb, length of the forefoot versus that of the hind foot, muscle moment (i.e., lever) arms of the forelimb versus hind limb, and cortical thickness of the bones of the forelimb versus hind limb. These inverse relationships suggest that genetic regulation of the axial skeleton results, in part, from the action of genes that influence suites of functionally integrated traits. Their presence in both dogs and foxes suggests that the genes controlling the regulation of these PCs of the forelimb versus hind limb may be found in other tetrapod taxa.
PMCID: PMC2367254  PMID: 18458753
4.  From Single Motor Unit Activity to Multiple Grip Forces: Mini‐review of Multi‐digit Grasping1 
This paper is a mini review of kinetic and kinematic evidence on the control of the hand with emphasis on grasping. It is not meant to be an exhaustive review, rather it summarizes current research examining the mechanisms through which specific patterns of coordination are elicited and observed during reach to grasp movements and static grasping. These coordination patterns include the spatial and temporal covariation of the rotation at multiple joints during reach to grasp movements. A basic coordination between grip forces produced by multiple digits also occurs during whole hand grasping such that normal forces tend to be produced in a synchronous fashion across pairs of digits. Finally, we address current research that suggests that motor unit synchrony across hand muscles and muscle compartments might be one of the neural mechanisms underlying the control of grasping.
PMCID: PMC2293287  PMID: 18414593

Results 1-4 (4)