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Fei R.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Tang M.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Wu Y.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Zhou Y.,Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction | Lu C.,Nanjing Forestry University
Comparative Clinical Pathology | Year: 2015

As the numbers and density of the farmed Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) increase, diseases are more common. Death often occurs during the recovery period from hibernation and this phenomenon is particularly prominent in juveniles. A practical way is therefore needed to monitor the health of the alligator. Research on hematology can provide an early warning and a rapid diagnosis of a disease and will help decrease mortality during recovery from hibernation. The aim of this study was to determine the hematologic values of the Chinese alligator at different stages of hibernation. We collected 30 blood samples from each of three age groups (adults, sub-adults, juveniles) during deep and late hibernation. We obtained counts of red blood cells, thrombocytes, and total and different white blood cells using manual methods. The thrombocyte numbers in the three groups decreased significantly during late compared with deep hibernation. The white blood cell counts for the sub-adults and juveniles increased significantly during late hibernation, whereas this did not occur in the adults. The immunity of the sub-adults and juveniles clearly increased during late hibernation. The results suggest that, for breeding programs, environmental stress may be the cause of the higher mortality in the juveniles during recovery from hibernation. © 2014, Springer-Verlag London.

Zheng L.-R.,Wannan Medical College | Wang R.-P.,Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction | Zhou Y.-K.,Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction
Acta Anatomica Sinica | Year: 2013

Objective: To investigate sequential changes of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) expressed in the post-embryonic development in cerebral cortex of Alligator sinensis. Methods: Immunohistochemistry technique and Western blotting assay were used to detect the temporal expression concerning its variation at location and content of BDNF and NT-3 in the cerebral cortex of the Chinese alligator by postembryonic age of 0 year (newly hatched), 1 year and 2 years. Results: Immunohistochemical test showed that BDNF-positive cells were seen at the 4 layers of cerebral cortex from the alligator aged 0 and increased with ages. By 2 years, the cell body for BDNF-positive cells gradually expanded, with the increased nerve processes that were mostly observed at the transition zone of the cell layer and the outer plexiform layer, which was consistent with Western blotting findings. NT3-positive cells were also seen in cerebral cortex of the newly hatched alligator, concentrated in the cell layer and the outer plexiform layer, and gradually increased by 1 year of age, with more intensive positive cells in the outer plexiform layer. By 2 years, NT3-positive cells increased in the molecular layer at lateral zone, and similarly, cell projections tended to increase with ages, which agreed with the results by Western blotting assay. Conclusion: Both BDNF and NT-3 are involved in the post-embryonic development in cerebral cortex of Chinese alligator within 2 years of age.

Zheng L.,Anhui Normal University | Zheng L.,Wannan Medical College | Chen F.,Anhui Normal University | Wang R.,Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction | And 2 more authors.
Anatomical Record | Year: 2013

Expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) in structures of the partial central nervous system of the Yangtze alligator, Alligator sinensis (Reptilia, Crocodylia) was examined during early postnatal growth using immunohistochemistry and Western blot assays. In animals 0-2 years of age NGF-positive cells in the cerebral cortex increased gradually in number and size, and were predominantly distributed in the molecular layer. NGF-positive cells in the midbrain showed similar increases but with predominant distribution in the ependymal layer. NGF-positive cells increased in the cerebellum between 0 and 1 years of age, with increased NGF expression being seen during the first 2 years of life mostly in the ependymal layer. NGF-positive cells were mainly found in the gray matter of the spinal cord with decreasing cell numbers, NGF expression levels being seen from 0 to 2 years and small processes without synaptic connection from 1 to 2 years. These results suggest that NGF is involved in the early postnatal growth of several structures of Yangtze alligator partial central nervous system, suggesting a possible role of NGF in the Yangtze alligator partial central nervous system. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Wang J.,Anhui Normal University | Wu X.,Anhui Normal University | Tian D.,Anhui Normal University | Zhu J.,Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction | And 2 more authors.
Asian Herpetological Research | Year: 2011

Nest-site and nesting material used by the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) was studied at the Gaojingmiao Breeding Farm, Langxi County, Anhui, China from May to September 2009. In this study, artifcial nesting materials were placed in 43 potential nesting sites before the nesting season, 11 of which were used. Additionally, eight nests were built at natural sites without artifcial nesting materials provided. Seven environmental variables were measured at each nest site: distance from water, height from water surface, sunlight duration, nearest bank slope, nest site slope, vegetation coverage and concealment. Statistical analyses indicated that concealment was significantly different between used and unused nest sites, with concealment being signifcantly correlated to the use of materials-placed sites. In comparing the nests at artificial vs. natural sites, only the nearest bank slope differed significantly. Further, principal component analysis of natural nests indicated that the duration of nest exposure to sunlight and vegetation coverage were more infuential than the other factors studied.

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