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Melendez G.C.,Section on Cardiology | Manteufel E.J.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Dehlin H.M.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Register T.C.,Section on Comparative Medicine | Levick S.P.,Medical College of Wisconsin
Heart Lung and Circulation | Year: 2015

Background: The sensory nerve neuropeptide substance P (SP) regulates cardiac fibrosis in rodents under pressure overload conditions. Interestingly, SP induces transient increased expression of specific genes in isolated rat cardiac fibroblasts, without resultant changes in cell function. This suggests that SP 'primes' fibroblasts, but does not directly activate them. We investigated whether these unusual findings are specific to rodent fibroblasts or are translatable to a larger animal model more closely related to humans. Methods: We compared the effects of SP on genes associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) regulation, cell-cell adhesion, cell-matrix adhesion and ECM in cardiac fibroblasts isolated from a non-human primate and Sprague-Dawley rats. Results: We found that rodent and non-human primate cardiac fibroblasts showed similar responses in genes that relate to ECM regulation and cell adhesion in response to SP. There were large discrepancies in ECM component genes, however, this did not result in collagen or laminin synthesis in rat or non-human primate fibroblasts in response to SP. Conclusions: This study further supports the notion that SP serves as a 'primer' for fibroblasts rather than initiating direct effects and suggests that rodent fibroblasts are a suitable model for studying gene and functional responses to SP in the absence of human or non-human primate fibroblasts. © 2014 Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). Source


Svensson-Arvelund J.,Linkoping University | Ernerudh J.,Linkoping University | Buse E.,Covance | Cline J.M.,Section on Comparative Medicine | And 6 more authors.
Toxicologic Pathology | Year: 2014

During pregnancy, the maternal immune system is challenged by the semiallogeneic fetus, which must be tolerated without compromising fetal or maternal health. This review updates the systemic and local immune changes taking place during human pregnancy, including some examples in rodents. Systemic changes are induced by contact of maternal blood with placental factors and include enhanced innate immunity with increased activation of granulocytes and nonclassical monocytes. Although a bias toward T helper (Th2) and regulatory T cell (Treg) immunity has been associated with healthy pregnancy, the relationship between different circulating Th cell subsets is not straightforward. Instead, these adaptations appear most evidently at the fetal-maternal interface, where for instance Tregs are enriched and promote fetal tolerance. Also innate immune cells, that is, natural killer cells and macrophages, are enriched, constituting the majority of decidual leukocytes. These cells not only contribute to immune regulation but also aid in establishing the placenta by promoting trophoblast recruitment and angiogenesis. Thus, proper interaction between leukocytes and placental trophoblasts is necessary for normal placentation and immune adaptation. Consequently, spontaneous maladaptation or interference of the immune system with toxic substances may be important contributing factors for the development of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, and recurrent miscarriages. © 2013 by The Author(s). Source


Buse E.,Covance | Haeger J.-D.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Svensson-Arvelund J.,Linkoping University | Markert U.R.,University Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Toxicologic Pathology | Year: 2014

The immune system represents a key defense mechanism against potential pathogens and adverse non-self materials. During pregnancy, the placenta is the point of contact between the maternal organism and non-self proteins of the fetal allograft and hence undoubtedly fulfils immune functions. In the placenta bacteria, foreign (non-self) proteins and proteins that might be introduced in toxicological studies or by medication are barred from reaching the progeny, and the maternal immune system is primed for acceptance of non-maternal fetal protein. Both immunologic protection of the fetus and acceptance of the fetus by the mother require effective mechanisms to prevent an immunologic fetomaternal conflict and to keep both organisms in balance. This is why the placenta requires toxicological consideration in view of its immune organ function. The following articles deal with placenta immune-, control-, and tolerance mechanisms in view of both fetal and maternal aspects. Furthermore, models for experimental access to placental immune function are addressed and the pathological evaluation is elucidated. "The Placenta as an Immune Organ and Its Relevance in Toxicological Studies" was subject of a continuing education course at the 2012 Society of Toxicologic Pathology meeting held in Boston, MA. © 2013 by The Author(s). Source


Willard S.L.,Integrative Neuroscience Graduate Program | Shively C.A.,Section on Comparative Medicine
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2012

Depressive disorders are prevalent, costly, and poorly understood. Male rodents in stress paradigms are most commonly used as animal models, despite the two-fold increased prevalence of depression in women and sex differences in response to stress. Although these models have provided valuable insights, new models are needed to move the field forward. Social stress-associated behavioral depression in adult female cynomolgus macaques closely resembles human depression in physiological, neurobiological, and behavioral characteristics, including reduced body mass, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis perturbations, autonomic dysfunction, increased cardiovascular disease risk, reduced hippocampal volume, altered serotonergic function, decreased activity levels, and increased mortality. In addition, behaviorally depressed monkeys also have low ovarian steroid concentrations, even though they continue to have menstrual cycles. Although this type of ovarian dysfunction has not been reported in depressed women and is difficult to identify, it may be the key to understanding the high prevalence of depression in women. Depressive behavior in female cynomolgus monkeys is naturally occurring and not induced by experimental manipulation. Different social environmental challenges, including isolation vs. subordination, may elicit the depression-like response in some animals and not others. Similarly, social subordination is stressful and depressive behavior is more common in socially subordinate monkeys. Yet, not all subordinates exhibit behavioral depression, suggesting individual differences in sensitivity to specific environmental stressors and enhanced risk of behavioral depression in some individuals. The behavior and neurobiology of subordinates is distinctly different than that of behaviorally depressed monkeys, which affords the opportunity to differentiate between stressed and depressed states. Thus, behaviorally depressed monkeys exhibit numerous physiological, neurobiological, and behavioral characteristics same as those of depressed human beings. The nonhuman primate model represents a new animal model of depression with great promise for furthering our understanding of this prevalent and debilitating disease and identifying novel therapeutic targets. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Fang X.,Wake forest University | Gyabaah K.,Wake forest University | Nickkholgh B.,Wake forest University | Cline J.M.,Section on Comparative Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Prostate | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND The epithelial layer of prostate glands contains several types of cells, including luminal and basal cells. Yet there is paucity of animal models to study the cellular origin of normal or neoplastic development in the prostate to facilitate the treatment of heterogenous prostate diseases by targeting individual cell lineages. METHODS We developed a mouse model that expresses different types of fluorescent proteins (XFPs) specifically in prostatic cells. Using an in vivo stochastic fluorescent protein combinatorial strategy, XFP signals were expressed specifically in prostate of Protein Kinase D1 (PKD1) knock-out, K-RasG12D knock-in, and Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and PKD1 double knock-out mice under the control of PB-Cre promoter. RESULTS In vivo XFP signals were observed in prostate of PKD1 knock-out, K-RasG12D knock-in, and PTEN PKD1 double knock-out mice, which developed normal, hyperplastic, and neoplastic prostate, respectively. The patchy expression pattern of XFPs in neoplasia tissue indicated the clonal origin of cancer cells in the prostate. CONCLUSIONS The transgenic mouse models demonstrate combinatorial fluorescent protein expression in normal and cancerous prostatic tissues. This novel prostate-specific fluorescent labeled mouse model, which we named Prorainbow, could be useful in studying benign and malignant pathology of prostate. Prostate 75:988-1000, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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