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Ishioka T.,Japan Institute for Environmental Sciences
Cell biology international | Year: 2011

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)-induced pneumonia and bronchiolitis may be associated with hyperresponsive conditions, including asthma. Eosinophilic proteins such as MBP (major basic protein) may also be associated with the pathophysiology of asthma. To elucidate the roles of RSV infection and MBP in the pathogenesis of pneumonia with hyperresponsiveness, we investigated the effects of RSV infection and MBP on A549 (alveolar epithelial) cells. CPE (cytopathic effects) in A549 cells were observed by microscopy. Apoptosis and cell death was evaluated by flow cytometric analysis and modified MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay. We also measured 15 types of cytokines and chemokines in A549 cell supernatants. Although RSV alone did not affect the CPE of A549, high concentrations of MBP resulted in cell death within 24 h. Combinations of RSV and MBP synergistically induced cell death. In A549 cells infected with RSV alone, the release of GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) was significantly enhanced compared with control cells (no infection). In the cells treated with MBP alone, the production of IL (interleukin)-2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 17, IFN (interferon)-γ, GM-CSF, G-CSF (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) and MIP (macrophage inflammatory protein)-1β was significantly increased compared with control cells. Notably, the levels of GM-CSF and IL-17 in RSV/MBP-treated cells were significantly higher than those treated with MBP alone. These results suggest that MBP synergistically enhanced the release of various cytokines/chemokines and the cell death of RSV-infected A549 cells, indicating that MBP may be closely associated with the pathophysiology of allergic reactions in bronchiolitis/pneumonia due to RSV.

Smolders E.,Catholic University of Leuven | Tsukada H.,Japan Institute for Environmental Sciences
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management | Year: 2011

The recent events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan, have raised questions about radiocesium (137Cs) transfer from soil to agricultural plants. This transfer has been studied extensively in Europe following the Chernobyl accident, in Soviet Ukraine in 1986. This article briefly discusses whether that transfer may be different in Japan in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident. © 2011 SETAC.

Yamazaki K.,Japan Institute for Environmental Sciences
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2011

Plants employ various defensive tactics against herbivores but are rarely considered to use rapid movements to resist predation. However, the aboveground parts of plants are often forcefully moved by wind and rain. This passive movement has been overlooked as an anti-herbivore trait. The leaves of many plant species, such as aspens, Indian sacred fig, bamboos, and palms, tremble even in a slight breeze. Leaves that are easily moved by gentle winds can sometimes resist strong winds and may have other benefits as well. In the present study, it is proposed that the movement of such plant leaves physically deters arthropod herbivory and pathogen infection by repelling colonization and oviposition by herbivorous insects. This leads to herbivores and pathogens being dislodged from the plants, and the ensuing death of the herbivores on the ground or at least their recolonization to other plants, as well as the interruption of feeding, intraspecific communication and the mating behaviour of herbivores, thus lowering their performance on the plant or increasing enemy attack of the herbivores. In addition, passive leaf movements may undermine herbivore camouflage and expose them to predation, and may also allow plant volatiles to diffuse efficiently to repel herbivores and attract natural enemies. Thus, the mechanistic properties of these leaves may have anti-herbivore effects in the wind and rain. This hypothesis can also be applied to aquatic plants that tremble in gentle water currents. In addition, genetic manipulation of the tendency for leaf movement may be beneficial for the management of pest insects and pathogens with reduced pesticides in forestry and agriculture. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London.

Abe N.,Japan Institute for Environmental Sciences | Matsubara K.,Banquet Animal Hospital
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2015

The Cryptosporidium horse genotype, a zoonotic protozoan parasite first found in a Prezewalski wild horse, has not been found in any other mammal but calves, horses, and humans. Hedgehogs, popular exotic pet animals in Japan, are a reservoir of two zoonotic Cryptosporidum: C. parvum and C. erinacei (previously known as the hedgehog genotype). Recently, after finding Cryptosporidium infection in a four-toed hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris), we identified the isolate genetically as the Cryptosporidium horse genotype. Its subtype (VIbA13) was the same as that of an isolate from a pet shop employee with severe clinical symptoms, as reported previously from sequencing analysis of the partial Cryptosporidum 60. kDa glycoprotein gene sequence. The occurrence of this genotype in hedgehog indicates that the horse genotype has broad host specificity. This report is the first of a study identifying isolates from pet reptiles genetically in Japan. The study identified a new host (Teratoscincus scincus) in C. serpentis lizard genotype by sequencing analysis of partial SSU rRNA and actin genes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Yamazaki K.,Japan Institute for Environmental Sciences
Entomological Science | Year: 2012

Seasonal relationships among stranded wrack quantity, seaweed fly abundances, and parasitism at the pupal stage were studied along three sandy beaches in central Japan. The seasonal occurrence patterns of puparia of seaweed flies Coelopa frigida and Fucellia spp. generally corresponded to seaweed deposition, which peaked in May-July and October-December. Parasitoids use fly puparia in these seasons. However, the occurrence of seaweed flies and their parasitoids varied among the three sandy beaches and did not correspond to the wrack amounts. These findings suggest that populations of seaweed flies and their parasitoids are seasonally, but not spatially, regulated by bottom-up processes. The parasitoid assemblage of fly puparia was composed of two Aleochara (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), two Trichopria (Hymenoptera: Diapriidae), and five pteromalid species (Hymenoptera), but the rate of parasitism was less than 20% and might have had little effect on fly populations. © 2011 The Entomological Society of Japan.

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