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Teles A.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg | Teles A.,University of Coimbra | Schumacher A.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg | Kuhnle M.-C.,German Cancer Research Center | And 6 more authors.
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2013

Implantation of the fertilized egg into the maternal uterus depends on the fine balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes. Whilst regulatory T cells (Tregs) are reportedly involved in protection of allogeneic fetuses against rejection by the maternal immune system, their role for pregnancy to establish, e.g., blastocyst implantation, is not clear. By using 2-photon imaging we show that Foxp3+ cells accumulated in the mouse uterus during the receptive phase of the estrus cycle. Seminal fluid further fostered Treg expansion. Depletion of Tregs in two Foxp3.DTR-based models prior to pairing drastically impaired implantation and resulted in infiltration of activated T effector cells as well as in uterine inflammation and fibrosis in both allogeneic and syngeneic mating combinations. Genetic deletion of the homing receptor CCR7 interfered with accumulation of Tregs in the uterus and implantation indicating that homing of Tregs to the uterus was mediated by CCR7. Our results demonstrate that Tregs play a critical role in embryo implantation by preventing the development of a hostile uterine microenvironment. © 2013 Teles, Schumacher, Kühnle, Linzke, Thuere, Reichardt, Tadokoro, Hämmerling and Zenclussen.

Chaouiya C.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencias | Naldi A.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Remy E.,iML Inc | Thieffry D.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Control Applications | Year: 2010

The logical formalism is a convenient framework to qualitatively model regulatory networks for which detailed quantitative information is barely available. In this discrete framework, network behaviours are usually represented by means of state transition graphs. However, as network sizes increase, state transition graphs often become too large to be effectively constructed, let alone analysed. © 2010 IEEE.

Porto A.,Washington University in St. Louis | Porto A.,University of Sao Paulo | Shirai L.T.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencias | de Oliveira F.B.,University of Sao Paulo | Marroig G.,University of Sao Paulo
Evolution | Year: 2013

Allometry is a major determinant of within-population patterns of association among traits and, therefore, a major component of morphological integration studies. Even so, the influence of size variation over evolutionary change has been largely unappreciated. Here, we explore the interplay between allometric size variation, modularity, and life-history strategies in the skull from representatives of 35 mammalian families. We start by removing size variation from within-species data and analyzing its influence on integration magnitudes, modularity patterns, and responses to selection. We also carry out a simulation in which we artificially alter the influence of size variation in within-taxa matrices. Finally, we explore the relationship between size variation and different growth strategies. We demonstrate that a large portion of the evolution of modularity in the mammalian skull is associated to the evolution of growth strategies. Lineages with highly altricial neonates have adult variation patterns dominated by size variation, leading to high correlations among traits regardless of any underlying modular process and impacting directly their potential to respond to selection. Greater influence of size variation is associated to larger intermodule correlations, less individualized modules, and less flexible responses to natural selection. © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

Schmerse F.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg | Woidacki K.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg | Riek-Burchardt M.,Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology | Riek-Burchardt M.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg | And 4 more authors.
Reproduction | Year: 2014

Transgenic mice expressing fluorescent proteins in specific cell populations are widely used for the study of in vivo behavior of these cells. We have recently reported that uterine mast cells (uMCs) are important for implantation and placentation. However, their in vivo localization in uterus before and during pregnancy is unknown. Herein, we report the direct observation of uMCs in vivo using double-transgenic C57BL/6J Mcpt5-Cre ROSA26-EYFP mice with high expression of enhanced yellow fluorescent protein in MC protease 5 (Cma1 (Mcpt5))-expressing cells by intravital two-photon microscopy. We were able to monitor MCs live in utero during the murine estrous cycle and at different days of pregnancy. We demonstrated that uMCs accumulated during the receptive phase of the female (estrus) and persisted in large numbers at early pregnancy stages and around mid-gestation and declined in number in non-pregnant animals at diestrus. This intravital microscopy technique, including a custom-made microscope stage and the adaption of the surgical procedure, allowed the access of the uterus and implantations for imaging. The introduced application of intravital microscopy to C57BL/6J-Mcpt5-Cre ROSA26-EYFP mice offers a novel and powerful in vivo approach to further address the evident relevance of uMCs to reproductive processes with obvious clinical implications. © 2014 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

Rasteiro R.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencias
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2012

Cultural practices can deeply influence genetic diversity patterns. The Neolithic transitions that took place at different times and locations around the world led to major cultural and demographic changes that influenced and therefore left their marks on human genetic diversity patterns. Several studies on the European Neolithic transition suggest that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome data can exhibit different patterns, which could be owing to different demographic histories for females and males. Archaeological and anthropological data suggest that the transition from hunter-gatherers (HGs) to farmers' societies is probably associated with changes in social organization, particularly in post-marital residence (PMR) rules (i.e. patrilocality, matrilocality or bilocality). The movements of humans and genes associated with these rules can be seen as sex-biased short-range migrations. We developed a new individual-based simulation approach to explore the genetic consequences of 45 different scenarios, where we varied the patterns of PMR and admixture between HGs and farmers. We recorded mtDNA and Y-chromosome data and analysed their diversity patterns within and between populations, through time and space. We also collected published mtDNA and Y-chromosome data from European and Near-Eastern populations in order to identify the scenarios that would best explain them. We show that: (i) different PMR systems can lead to different patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation, (ii) asymmetries between mtDNA and Y-chromosome can be owing to different behaviours between males and females, but also to different mutations rates, and (iii) patrilocality in farmers explains the present patterns of genetic diversity better than matrilocality or bilocality. Moreover, we found that (iv) the genetic diversity of farmers change depending on the HGs PMR rules even though they are assumed to disappear more than 5000 years ago in our simulations.

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