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Carella F.,University of Naples Federico II | Culurgioni J.,University of Cagliari | Aceto S.,University of Naples Federico II | Fichi G.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany | And 4 more authors.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2013

The wedge clam Donax trunculus Linnaeus, 1758 is one of the most common bivalve molluscs inhabiting the sandy shores of the Mediterranean Sea and is considered an important commercial resource. In this study, we report the first molecular, morphological and histopathological descriptions of metacercariae from a trematode belonging to the genus Postmonorchis (Digenea: Monorchiidae) that infects D. trunculus in natural beds of the Italian Tyrrhenian coast (Campania, Lazio and Tuscany). Morphological analysis of the parasite revealed a combination of features that exist in the 3 previously identified species of Postmonorchis, viz. P. donacis, P. variabilis and P. orthopristis, with the addition of new, distinctive morphological characteristics. The pathogen exhibited a predilection for the gill; however, it was also present in the labial palp and mantle in addition to the gut, kidney epithelium and foot. The inflammatory response was characterised by either a focal or diffuse haemocyte infiltration followed by the formation of multiple, large multi-layered capsules associated with tissue destruction. The prevalence of the pathogen ranged from 75 to 100%, while the infection intensity fluctuated among the study areas. Further studies regarding the life cycle of this parasite and the identification of other larval and adult stages and their respective hosts may confirm the identification of a new species of Postmonorchis that infects wedge clams in Mediterranean waters. The study of the parasite is completed by molecular analysis of the ITS1 and ITS2 rDNA sequences. © Inter-Research 2013 · www.int-res.com. Source

Castigliego L.,University of Pisa | Armani A.,University of Pisa | Li X.,University of Pisa | Grifoni G.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany | And 2 more authors.
Analytical Biochemistry | Year: 2010

In this study, we assessed the expression stability of eight genes (GADPH, ACTB, 18S, YWHAZ, SDHA, HMBS, SF3A1, and EEF1A) in the white blood cells of lactating buffalos and their possible use as reference genes for studies on growth hormone (GH)-treated animals. All of the genes showed acceptable stability according to the threshold values suggested by some of the software that was used to analyze them, although the differences between the most stable (SF3A1 and ACTB) and the least stable (18S) were considerable. GH treatment did not influence their expression levels. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

Castigliego L.,University of Pisa | Armani A.,University of Pisa | Grifoni G.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany | Mazzi M.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | And 4 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2016

Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) is a peptide hormone used to increase milk yield in cows and buffalos. In Europe, its use has been banned. However, rbST is sometimes illegally included in zootechnical practices for profit purposes, undermining the fair trade and the law prescriptions. For this reason, efficient and reliable analytical techniques are required to contrast rbST misuse. A few LC-MS-MS methods have been developed to detect, in cow serum, methyonil-rbST, one of the two main rbST forms available on the market. The other form, which is widespread, is identical to the most abundant variant of bovine somatotropin (bST) and differs from the buffalo somatotropin for one amino acid in the N-terminus. For this reason, it is technically possible to distinguish both rbST forms in serum of buffalos. In this work, we describe a novel LC-MS-MS-based method, capable to quantify, with a high sensitivity and selectivity, the methyonil-rbST and the other bST-identical recombinant form in buffalo serum, previously purified using a solid-phase extraction procedure. The method was internally validated and used to analyse 152 serum samples, collected from eight buffalos administered with rbST for a period of 3 months, according to conventional protocols. The obtained results confirmed the suitability of the method in the detection of illegal hormonal treatments. [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Castigliego L.,University of Pisa | Armani A.,University of Pisa | Grifoni G.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany | Rosati R.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany | And 3 more authors.
Domestic Animal Endocrinology | Year: 2010

This study focused on the expression of somatotropic axis genes in the skeletal muscle of dairy cattle. A slow-release recombinant bovine growth hormone (GH) (rbGH) formulation was administered to 5 cows, and saline solution (control) was administered to another 5 cows every 2 wk for a total of 10 wk, starting from the peak of lactation. Tissue and blood samples were collected on days 2 and 14 after each rbGH injection. As target genes insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, IGF-2, IGFBPs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), acute labile subunit (ALS), IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), GH receptor (GHR), and the known GHR 5'-UTR variants were selected as target genes, and their relative expression was measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction. In GH-treated cows, an increase in expression was observed for GHR 5'-UTR variant 1I on day 14 (P < 0.05), whereas a significant down-regulation of GHR (P < 0.05) was found after comparing values of treated cows between day 2 and day 14. However, only IGF binding proteins (BP)-5 was found to be appreciably up-regulated in GH-treated cows (P < 0.001), which may indicate the importance of this gene in the overall molecular response to GH administration. Our study indicated that GH treatment did not affect the expression of most somatotropic axis genes, despite the marked increase in GH and IGF-1 in blood (P < 0.001). Nor did it have a large impact on the proportion of GHR 5'-UTR variants in the skeletal muscle of lactating cows. Finally, although we observed a significant variation in the expression of some genes, it would appear that the differences between GH-treated cows and controls were not great enough to be considered as reliable indirect indicators of GH treatment in dairy cattle. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

Castigliego L.,University of Pisa | Li X.-N.,Guangxi University | Armani A.,University of Pisa | Razzano M.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | And 4 more authors.
Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

The use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) to increase milk yield in cows is banned in some countries. In others, where it is authorised, it has triggered harsh debates on labelling of dairy products. If many studies have been performed on bovines, there is a lack of information on buffaloes, which are sometimes treated with rbGH and re-present an important economical resource for dairy products in some countries. Analytical methods with legal value for surveillance of rbGH treatments do not yet exist. Research on gene expression biomarkers is one of the most promising approaches to this purpose. For this reason, we treated five buffaloes for 10 weeks with a sustained-release formulation of rbGH and analysed the response of 20 somatotropic axis genes in leucocytes by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Overall changes in gene expression levels were of low magnitude and sometimes affected by the 'time' factor. Only the IGFBP-1 gene showed a significant under-expression (about two-fold; p <0.001) in treated animals. Taken together, these results give evidence that expression analysis of the somatotropic axis genes in leuco-cytes is little helpful for discrimination of rbGH-treated buffaloes, but do not exclude that another array of genes could provide useful patterns of variation. © 2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston 2011. Source

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