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1.  Delayed leukocytosis after hard strength and endurance exercise: Aspects of regulatory mechanisms 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:14.
During infections, polymorphonuclear neutrophilic granulocytes (PMN) are mobilized from their bone marrow stores, travel with blood to the affected tissue, and kill invading microbes there. The signal(s) from the inflammatory site to the marrow are unknown, even though a number of humoral factors that can mobilize PMN, are well known. We have employed a standardized, non-infectious human model to elucidate relevant PMN mobilizers. Well-trained athletes performed a 60-min strenuous strength workout of leg muscles. Blood samples were drawn before, during and just after exercise, and then repeatedly during the following day. Cortisol, GH, ACTH, complement factors, high-sensitive CRP (muCRP), IL-6, G-CSF, IL-8 (CXCL8) and MIP-1β (CCL4) were measured in blood samples. PMN chemotaxins in test plasma was assessed with a micropore membrane technique.
About 5 hr after the workout, blood granulocytosis peaked to about 150% of baseline. Plasma levels of GH increased significantly 30 min into and 5 min after the exercise, but no increase was recorded for the other hormones. No significant correlation was found between concentrations of stress hormones and the subjects' later occurring PMN increases above their individual baselines. Plasma G-CSF increased significantly – but within the normal range – 65 min after the workout. IL-6 increased very slightly within the normal range, and the chemokines IL-8 and MIP-1β did not increase consistently. However, we found a significant increase of hitherto non-identified PMN-chemotactic activity in plasma 35, 50, and 60 min after the exercise. No systemic complement activation was detected, and (mu)CRP was within the reference range at rest, 5 h and 23 h after the exercise. After endurance exercise, similar findings were made, except for a cortisol response, especially from non-elite runners.
Apparently, a multitude of humoral factors can – directly or indirectly – mobilize PMN from marrow to blood; some of the factors are, others are not known to be, chemotactic. Under different conditions, different selections of these mobilizers may be used. In the late granulocytosis after heavy, long-lasting exercise a number of factors thought capable of mimicking the granulocytosis of infectious diseases were apparently irrelevant.
PMCID: PMC317276  PMID: 14667246
neutrophil granulocytes; stress hormones; chemotaxis; cytokines; chemokines; CRP; complement system
2.  Regulation of amylin release from cultured rabbit gastric fundic mucosal cells 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:13.
Amylin (islet amyloid polypeptide) is a hormone with suggested roles in the regulation of glucose homeostasis, gastric motor and secretory function and gastroprotection. In the gastric mucosa amylin is found co-localised with somatostatin in D-cells. The factors regulating gastric amylin release are unknown. In this study we have investigated the regulation of amylin release from gastric mucosal cells in primary culture. Rabbit fundic mucosal cells enriched for D-cells by counterflow elutriation were cultured for 40 hours. Amylin and somatostatin release over 2 hours in response to agonists were assessed.
Amylin release was significantly enhanced by activation of protein kinase C with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate, adenylate cyclase with forskolin and elevation of intracellular calcium with A23187. Cholecystokinin (CCK), epinephrine and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) each stimulated amylin release in a dose-dependent manner. Maximal CCK-stimulated release was greater than either epinephrine or GLP-1, even when the effects of the latter two were enhanced by isobutylmethylxanthine. Stimulated amylin release was significantly inhibited by carbachol (by 51–59%) and octreotide (by 33–42%). Somatostatin release paralleled that of amylin.
The cultured D-cell model provides a means of studying amylin release. Amylin secretion is stimulated by receptor-dependent and -independent activation of Ca2+/protein kinase C and adenylate cyclase pathways. Inhibition involves activation of muscarinic receptors and auto-regulation by somatostatin.
PMCID: PMC269984  PMID: 14572315
3.  Single amino acids in the carboxyl terminal domain of aquaporin-1 contribute to cGMP-dependent ion channel activation 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:12.
Aquaporin-1 (AQP1) functions as an osmotic water channel and a gated cation channel. Activation of the AQP1 ion conductance by intracellular cGMP was hypothesized to involve the carboxyl (C-) terminus, based on amino acid sequence alignments with cyclic-nucleotide-gated channels and cGMP-selective phosphodiesterases.
Voltage clamp analyses of human AQP1 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated that the nitric oxide donor, sodium nitroprusside (SNP; 3–14 mM) activated the ionic conductance response in a dose-dependent manner. Block of soluble guanylate cyclase prevented the response. Enzyme immunoassays confirmed a linear dose-dependent relationship between SNP and the resulting intracellular cGMP levels (up to 1700 fmol cGMP /oocyte at 14 mM SNP). Results here are the first to show that the efficacy of ion channel activation is decreased by mutations of AQP1 at conserved residues in the C-terminal domain (aspartate D237 and lysine K243).
These data support the idea that the limited amino acid sequence similarities found between three diverse classes of cGMP-binding proteins are significant to the function of AQP1 as a cGMP-gated ion channel, and provide direct evidence for the involvement of the AQP1 C-terminal domain in cGMP-mediated ion channel activation.
PMCID: PMC269983  PMID: 14561230
4.  Fine structure of the low-frequency spectra of heart rate and blood pressure 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:11.
The aim of this study was to explore the principal frequency components of the heart rate and blood pressure variability in the low frequency (LF) and very low frequency (VLF) band. The spectral composition of the R–R interval (RRI) and systolic arterial blood pressure (SAP) in the frequency range below 0.15 Hz were carefully analyzed using three different spectral methods: Fast Fourier transform (FFT), Wigner-Ville distribution (WVD), and autoregression (AR). All spectral methods were used to create time–frequency plots to uncover the principal spectral components that are least dependent on time. The accurate frequencies of these components were calculated from the pole decomposition of the AR spectral density after determining the optimal model order – the most crucial factor when using this method – with the help of FFT and WVD methods.
Spectral analysis of the RRI and SAP of 12 healthy subjects revealed that there are always at least three spectral components below 0.15 Hz. The three principal frequency components are 0.026 ± 0.003 (mean ± SD) Hz, 0.076 ± 0.012 Hz, and 0.117 ± 0.016 Hz. These principal components vary only slightly over time. FFT-based coherence and phase-function analysis suggests that the second and third components are related to the baroreflex control of blood pressure, since the phase difference between SAP and RRI was negative and almost constant, whereas the origin of the first component is different since no clear SAP–RRI phase relationship was found.
The above data indicate that spontaneous fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure within the standard low-frequency range of 0.04–0.15 Hz typically occur at two frequency components rather than only at one as widely believed, and these components are not harmonically related. This new observation in humans can help explain divergent results in the literature concerning spontaneous low-frequency oscillations. It also raises methodological and computational questions regarding the usability and validity of the low-frequency spectral band when estimating sympathetic activity and baroreflex gain.
PMCID: PMC270047  PMID: 14552660
5.  Independence of circadian entrainment state and responses to melatonin in male Siberian hamsters 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:10.
Seasonal fluctuations in physiology and behavior depend on the duration of nocturnal melatonin secretion programmed by the circadian system. A melatonin signal of a given duration, however, can elicit different responses depending on whether an animal was previously exposed to longer or shorter photoperiod signals (i.e., its photoperiodic history). This report examined in male Siberian hamsters which of two aspects of photoperiod history – prior melatonin exposure or entrainment state of the circadian system – is critical for generating contingent responses to a common photoperiodic signal.
In Experiment #1, daily melatonin infusions of 5 or 10 h duration stimulated or inhibited gonadal growth, respectively, but had no effect on entrainment of the locomotor activity rhythm to long or short daylengths, thereby demonstrating that melatonin history and entrainment status could be experimentally dissociated. These manipulations were repeated in Experiment #2, and animals were subsequently exposed to a 12 week regimen of naturalistic melatonin signals shown in previous experiments to reveal photoperiodic history effects. Gonadal responses differed as a function of prior melatonin exposure but were unaffected by the circadian entrainment state. Experiment #3 demonstrated that a new photoperiodic history could be imparted during four weeks of exposure to long photoperiods. This effect, moreover, was blocked in animals treated concurrently with constant release melatonin capsules that obscured the endogenous melatonin signal: Following removal of the implants, the gonadal response depended not on the immediately antecedent circadian entrainment state, but on the more remote photoperiodic conditions prior to the melatonin implant.
The interpretation of photoperiodic signals as a function of prior conditions depends specifically on the history of melatonin exposure. The photoperiodic regulation of circadian entrainment state contributes minimally to the interpretation of melatonin signals.
PMCID: PMC270046  PMID: 14527347
6.  Red light accelerates and melatonin retards metamorphosis of frog tadpoles 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:9.
Earlier studies from this laboratory reported that light and its spectra influence reproduction in the Indian skipper frog Rana cyanophlyctis through both ocular and extra ocular photoreception. During the course of our ongoing studies on chromotactic behaviour of the tadpoles, we noticed that tadpoles held in red light metamorphosed earlier than those held in white or other colours of light. The focus of the present study therefore was to examine the effect of red light on metamorphosis of the tadpoles.
Tadpoles, both intact and blind (optectomised), held in red light metamorphosed earlier than those held in white light. Addition of melatonin to aquarium water (5 micrograms/litre) prevented the red light-induced acceleration of metamorphosis both in intact and blinded tadpoles.
Both ocular and extra-ocular perception of light is involved in red light-induced precocious metamorphosis. Melatonin inhibits the red light-induced acceleration of metamorphosis. The mechanism by which red light accelerates metamorphosis is not yet known. Melatonin counteracts red-light induced acceleration of metamorphosis in this tadpole.
PMCID: PMC212554  PMID: 13678424
7.  Monitoring immediate-early gene expression through firefly luciferase imaging of HRS/J hairless mice 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:8.
Gene promoters fused to the firefly luciferase gene (luc) are useful for examining gene regulation in live transgenic mice and they provide unique views of functioning organs. The dynamics of gene expression in cells and tissues expressing luciferase can be observed by imaging this enzyme's bioluminescent oxidation of luciferin. Neural pathways involved in specific behaviors have been identified by localizing expression of immediate-early genes such as c-fos. A transgenic mouse line with luc controlled by the human c-fos promoter (fos::luc) has enabled gene expression imaging in brain slice cultures. To optimize imaging of immediate-early gene expression throughout intact mice, the present study examined fos::luc mice and a second transgenic mouse containing luc controlled by the human cytomegalovirus immediate-early gene 1 promoter and enhancer (CMV::luc). Because skin pigments and hair can significantly scatter light from underlying structures, the two transgenic lines were crossed with a hairless albino mouse (HRS/J) to explore which deep structures could be imaged. Furthermore, live anesthetized mice were compared with overdosed mice.
Bioluminescence imaging of anesthetized mice over several weeks corresponded with expression patterns in mice imaged rapidly after a lethal overdose. Both fos::luc and CMV::luc mice showed quantifiable bright bioluminescence in ear, nose, paws, and tail whether they were anesthetized or overdosed. CMV::luc and fos::luc neonates had bioluminescence patterns similar to those of adults, although intensity was significantly higher in neonates. CMV::luc mice crossed with HRS/J mice had high expression in bone, claws, head, pancreas, and skeletal muscle, but less in extremities than haired CMV::luc mice. Imaging of brain bioluminescence through the neonatal skull was also practical. By imaging luciferin autofluorescence it was clear that substrate distribution did not restrict bioluminescence imaging to capillaries after injection. Luciferin treatment and anesthesia during imaging did not adversely affect circadian rhythms in locomotor activity.
Imaging of gene expression patterns with luciferase can be extended from studies of live animals to rapid imaging of mice following a pentobarbital overdose before significant effects from postmortem changes occurs. Bioluminescent transgenic mice crossed with HRS/J mice are valuable for examining gene expression in deep tissues.
PMCID: PMC194750  PMID: 12927048
8.  Daily and estrous rhythmicity of body temperature in domestic cattle 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:7.
Rhythmicity in core body temperature has been extensively studied in humans and laboratory animals but much less in farm animals. Extending the study of rhythmicity of body temperature to farm animals is important not only from a comparative perspective but also from an economic perspective, as greater knowledge of this process can lead to improvements in livestock production practices. In this study in cattle, we investigated the maturation of the daily rhythm of body temperature in newborn calves, characterized the parameters of the daily rhythm in young cows, and studied the oscillation in body temperature associated with the estrous cycle in adult cows.
We found that the daily rhythm of body temperature is absent at birth but matures fully during the first two months of life. The mature rhythm had a mean level of 38.3°C, a range of excursion of 1.4°C, and was more robust than that of any mammalian species previously studied (90% of maximal robustness). Sexually mature cows also exhibited a robust estrous rhythm of body temperature. An elevation of about 1.3°C was observed every 21 days on the day of estrus. Small seasonal variations in this pattern were observed.
In conclusion, calves exhibit a very robust daily rhythm of body temperature, although this rhythm is absent at birth and develops during the first two months of life. Adult cows exhibit also 21-day rhythmicity in body temperature reflecting the duration of the estrous cycle.
PMCID: PMC184454  PMID: 12882649
9.  Chronic treatment with Carvedilol improves ventricular function and reduces myocyte apoptosis in an animal model of heart failure 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:6.
β-blocker treatment has emerged as an effective treatment modality for heart failure. Interestingly, β-blockers can activate both pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic pathways. Nevertheless, the mechanism for improved cardiac function seen with β-blocker treatment remains largely unknown. Carvedilol is a non-selective β-blocker with α-receptor blockade and antioxidant properties. We therefore studied the impact of the effects of carvedilol in an animal model of end-stage heart failure.
To test whether chronic treatment with β-blockade decreases apoptosis, we treated myopathic turkeys with two dosages of carvedilol, 1 mg/kg (DCM1) and 20 mg/kg (DCM20), for four weeks and compared them to non-treated DCM animals (DCM0) and to control turkeys (CON). Echocardiographic measurements showed that non-treated DCM animals had a significantly lower fractional shortening (FS) when compared to CON (68.73 ± 1.37 vs. 18.76 ± 0.59%, p < 0.001). Both doses of carvedilol significantly improved FS (33.83 ± 10.11 and 27.73 ± 6.18% vs. 18.76 ± 0.59 % for untreated DCM, p < 0.001). DCM left ventricles were characterized by a higher percentage of apoptotic nuclei when compared to CON (5.64 ± 0.49 vs. 1.72 ± 0.12%, respectively p < 0.001). Both doses of carvedilol significantly reduced the number of apoptotic nuclei (2.32 ± 0.23% and 2.36 ± 0.26% 1 mg and 20 mg/kg respectively).
Carvedilol improves ventricular function. Furthermore, treatment with carvedilol decreased the incidence of apoptosis in cardiac myocytes from failing hearts at both doses. These data suggest that the inhibition of apoptosis with carvedilol may lead to improvement in ventricular function and may underlie a beneficial effect of β-blockade independent of heart rate lowering effects.
PMCID: PMC212709  PMID: 12873352
Heart failure; carvedilol myocyte; β-blocker
10.  Role of glucocorticoids in mediating effects of fasting and diabetes on hypothalamic gene expression 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:5.
Fasting and diabetes are characterized by elevated glucocorticoids and reduced insulin, leptin, elevated hypothalamic AGRP and NPY mRNA, and reduced hypothalamic POMC mRNA. Although leptin replacement can reverse changes in hypothalamic gene expression associated with fasting and diabetes, leptin also normalizes corticosterone; therefore the extent to which the elevated corticosterone contributes to the regulation of hypothalamic gene expression in fasting and diabetes remains unclear. To address if elevated corticosterone is necessary for hypothalamic responses to fasting and diabetes, we assessed the effects of adrenalectomy on hypothalamic gene expression in 48-hour-fasted or diabetic mice. To assess if elevated corticosterone is sufficient for the hypothalamic responses to fasting and diabetes, we assessed the effect of corticosterone pellets implanted for 48 hours on hypothalamic gene expression.
Fasting and streptozotocin-induced diabetes elevated plasma glucocorticoid levels and reduced serum insulin and leptin levels. Adrenalectomy prevented the rise in plasma glucocorticoids associated with fasting and diabetes, but not the associated reductions in insulin or leptin. Adrenalectomy blocked the effects of fasting and diabetes on hypothalamic AGRP, NPY, and POMC expression. Conversely, corticosterone implants induced both AGRP and POMC mRNA (with a non-significant trend toward induction of NPY mRNA), accompanied by elevated insulin and leptin (with no change in food intake or body weight).
These data suggest that elevated plasma corticosterone mediate some effects of fasting and diabetes on hypothalamic gene expression. Specifically, elevated plasma corticosterone is necessary for the induction of NPY mRNA with fasting and diabetes; since corticosterone implants only produced a non-significant trend in NPY mRNA, it remains uncertain if a rise in corticosterone may be sufficient to induce NPY mRNA. A rise in corticosterone is necessary to reduce hypothalamic POMC mRNA with fasting and diabetes, but not sufficient for the reduction of hypothalamic POMC mRNA. Finally, elevated plasma corticosterone is both necessary and sufficient for the induction of hypothalamic AGRP mRNA with fasting and diabetes.
PMCID: PMC179893  PMID: 12848900
11.  Adrenalectomy stimulates hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin expression but does not correct diet-induced obesity 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:4.
Elevated glucocorticoid production and reduced hypothalamic POMC mRNA can cause obese phenotypes. Conversely, adrenalectomy can reverse obese phenotypes caused by the absence of leptin, a model in which glucocorticoid production is elevated. Adrenalectomy also increases hypothalamic POMC mRNA in leptin-deficient mice. However most forms of human obesity do not appear to entail elevated plasma glucocorticoids. It is therefore not clear if reducing glucocorticoid production would be useful to treat these forms of obesity. We hypothesized that adrenalectomy would increase hypothalamic POMC mRNA and reverse obese phenotypes in obesity due to a high-fat diet as it does in obesity due to leptin deficiency.
Retired breeder male mice were placed on a high-fat diet or a low-fat diet for two weeks, then adrenalectomized or sham-adrenalectomized. The high-fat diet increased body weight, adiposity, and plasma leptin, led to impaired glucose tolerance, and slightly stimulated hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) expression. Adrenalectomy of mice on the high-fat diet significantly reduced plasma corticosterone and strikingly increased both pituitary and hypothalamic POMC mRNA, but failed to reduce body weight, adiposity or leptin, although slight improvements in glucose tolerance and metabolic rate were observed.
These data suggest that neither reduction of plasma glucocorticoid levels nor elevation of hypothalamic POMC expression is effective to significantly reverse diet-induced obesity.
PMCID: PMC165436  PMID: 12795810
12.  Heat induced HSP20 phosphorylation without increased cyclic nucleotide levels in swine carotid media 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:3.
Heat pretreatment of swine carotid artery has been shown to increase ser16-heat shock protein 20 (HSP20) phosphorylation and suppress force, i.e., reduce force with only minimal reduction in ser19-myosin regulatory light chain (MRLC) phosphorylation.
We further investigated this response in intact histamine stimulated swine carotid artery rings. There was a heat threshold such that increased ser16-HSP20 phosphorylation and force suppression were observed between 43°C and 46°C. The increased ser16-HSP20 phosphorylation persisted up to 16 hours after 44.5°C heat treatment. Pretreatment of swine carotid media at 44.5°C increased ser16-HSP20 phosphorylation without increases in [cAMP] or [cGMP], suggesting an alternate mechanism, perhaps phosphatase inhibition, for the increase in ser16-HSP20 phosphorylation. Heat pretreatment at 47.5°C reduced force by decreasing MRLC phosphorylation rather than by large increases in ser16-HSP20 phosphorylation. HSP20 phosphorylation at the putative PKC site did not change with any treatment.
These results demonstrate that multiple mechanisms can induce force suppression that is correlated with ser16-HSP20 phosphorylation: 1) nitrovasodilators via cGMP, 2) forskolin via cAMP, and 2) thermal stress in a cyclic nucleotide independent manner.
PMCID: PMC155685  PMID: 12716456
cyclic AMP; cyclic GMP; heat shock proteins; vascular smooth muscle
13.  Is there evidence of fetal-maternal heart rate synchronization? 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:2.
The prenatal condition offers a unique possibility of examining physiological interaction between individuals. Goal of this work was to look for evidence of coordination between fetal and maternal cardiac systems.
177 magnetocardiograms were recorded in 62 pregnancies (16th–42nd week of gestation). Fetal and maternal RR interval time series were constructed and the phases, i.e. the timing of the R peaks of one time series in relation to each RR interval of the other were determined. The distributions of these phases were examined and synchrograms were constructed for real and surrogate pairs of fetal and maternal data sets. Synchronization epochs were determined for defined n:m coupling ratios.
Differences between real and surrogate data could not be found with respect to number of synchronization epochs found (712 vs. 741), gestational age, subject, recording or n:m combination. There was however a preference for the occurrence of synchronization epochs in specific phases in real data not apparent in the surrogate for some n:m combinations.
The results suggest that occasional coupling between fetal and maternal cardiac systems does occur.
PMCID: PMC156603  PMID: 12702214
14.  The bradykinin BK2 receptor mediates angiotensin II receptor type 2 stimulated rat duodenal mucosal alkaline secretion 
BMC Physiology  2003;3:1.
This study investigates bradykinin and nitric oxide as potential mediators of AT2-receptor-stimulated duodenal mucosal alkaline secretion. Duodenal mucosal alkaline secretion was measured in methohexital- and α-chloralose-anaesthetised rats by means of in situ pH-stat titration. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot were used to identify the BK2 receptors.
The AT2 receptor agonist CGP42112A (0.1 μg kg-1 min-1) administered intravenously increased the duodenal mucosal alkaline secretion by ~50 %. This increase was sensitive to the selective BK2 receptor blocker HOE140 (100 ng/kg iv), but not to luminal administration of the NOS blocker L-NAME (0.3 mM). Mean arterial pressure did not differ between groups during the procedures. Immunohistochemistry showed a distinct staining of the crypt epithelium and a moderate staining of basal cytoplasm in villus enterocytes.
The results suggest that the AT2-receptor-stimulated alkaline secretion is mediated via BK2 receptors located in the duodenal cryptal mucosal epithelium.
PMCID: PMC152638  PMID: 12597777

Results 1-14 (14)