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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (7)
Articles by Wendy Imlach in JoVE
Electrophysiological Methods for Recording Synaptic Potentials from the NMJ of Drosophila Larvae
Wendy Imlach, Brian D. McCabe
Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Here we describe electrophysiological methods for measuring synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larva. Evoked release is initiated artificially by stimulating the motor neuron axons, and transmission through the NMJ can be measured by the postsynaptic response evoked in the muscle.
Other articles by Wendy Imlach on PubMed
Orf Virus-encoded Interleukin-10 Stimulates the Proliferation of Murine Mast Cells and Inhibits Cytokine Synthesis in Murine Peritoneal Macrophages
The Journal of General Virology. May, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 11961259
Orf virus (ORFV) is the type species of the parapoxvirus genus and produces cutaneous pustular lesions in sheep, goats and humans. The genome encodes a polypeptide with remarkable homology to interleukin-10 (IL-10), particularly ovine IL-10, and also to IL-10-like proteins encoded by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and equine herpesvirus. IL-10 is a pleiotropic cytokine that can exert either immunostimulatory or immunosuppressive effects on many cell types. We have expressed and purified C-terminal FLAG and His(6)-tagged versions of ORFV-IL-10 and shown that ORFV-IL-10 costimulates murine mast cells (MC/9) and inhibits tumour necrosis factor-alpha synthesis in activated mouse peritoneal macrophages. Our results demonstrate that although ORFV-IL-10 is structurally similar to EBV-IL-10 it has evolved a different spectrum of activities. EBV-IL-10 does not stimulate the proliferation of thymocytes or mast cells whereas ORFV-IL-10 has both of these activities. Recent studies show that the critical difference in molecular structure of human IL-10 and EBV-IL-10, which may be the basis of their functional differences, is linked to a single amino acid substitution. Consistent with the activity spectrum reported here for ORFV-IL-10, the viral gene encodes the critical amino acid seen in human IL-10. Although the ORFV-IL-10 gene has clearly undergone significant evolutionary change at the nucleotide level compared with ovine IL-10, it has largely retained the polypeptide structure and functional characteristics of its ovine counterpart, suggesting that mutations of the gene to a potentially more potent immunosuppressive form may compromise the co-existence of host and virus.
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. Sep, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12072264
Orf virus encodes a range of immuno-modulatory genes that interfere with host anti-virus immune and inflammatory effector mechanisms. The function of these reflects the pathogenesis of orf. The orf virus interferon resistance protein (OVIFNR) and virus IL-10 (vIL-10) inhibit interferon production and activity. In addition the vIL-10 suppresses inflammatory cytokine production by activated macrophages and keratinocytes. The virus GM-CSF inhibitory factor (GIF) is a novel virus protein that binds to and inhibits the biological activity of GM-CSF and IL-2. Together, these immuno-modulators target key effector mechanisms of host anti-virus immunity to allow time for virus replication in epidermal cells.
A Comparison of the Anti-inflammatory and Immuno-stimulatory Activities of Orf Virus and Ovine Interleukin-10
Virus Research. Dec, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12457984
Orf virus causes pustular skin lesions (orf) in sheep, goats and humans. The virus encodes an interleukin-10 (orfvIL-10) that is identical in amino acid composition to ovine IL-10 (ovIL-10) over the C terminal two-thirds of the polypeptide, but not in the N terminal third. The immuno-suppressive and immuno-stimulatory activities of orfvIL-10 and ovIL-10 were compared. Both orfvIL-10 and ovIL-10 inhibited TNF-alpha and IL-8 cytokine production from stimulated ovine macrophages and keratinocytes and IFN-gamma and GM-CSF production from peripheral blood lymphocytes. OrfvIL-10 and ovIL-10 co-stimulated both ovine and murine mast cell proliferation in conjunction with IL-3 (ovine) or IL-4 (murine). Isoleucine at position 87 (Ile(87)) of the mature human IL-10 (huIL-10) has been reported as essential for the immuno-stimulatory activity of huIL-10. In spite of the differences in amino acids within the N-terminal third of orfvIL-10 compared with ovIL-10 and substitution of Ile(87) with Ala(87) in ovIL-10, these variants of ovIL-10 and orfvIL-10 all co-stimulated mast cell proliferation and inhibited macrophage IL-8 production. As ovIL-10 and orfvIL-10 have a similar structure to huIL-10 and conserved receptor-binding residues, it was concluded that Ile(87) is not essential for IL-10 immuno-stimulatory activity. Finally, ovine keratinocytes do not express ovIL-10. This might explain why orf virus has evolved a viral IL-10.
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18801945
"Ryegrass staggers" is a neurological condition of unknown mechanism that impairs motor function in livestock. It is caused by infection of perennial ryegrass pastures by an endophytic fungus that produces neurotoxins, predominantly the indole-diterpenoid compound lolitrem B. Animals grazing on such pastures develop uncontrollable tremors and become uncoordinated in their movement. Lolitrem B and the structurally related tremor inducer paxilline both act as potent large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel inhibitors. Using patch clamping, we show that their different apparent affinities correlate with their toxicity in vivo. To investigate whether the motor function deficits produced by lolitrem B and paxilline are due to inhibition of BK ion channels, their ability to induce tremor and ataxia in mice deficient in this ion channel (Kcnma1(-/-)) was examined. Our results show that mice lacking Kcnma1 are unaffected by these neurotoxins. Furthermore, doses of these substances known to be lethal to wild-type mice had no effect on Kcnma1(-/-) mice. These studies reveal the BK channel as the molecular target for the major components of the motor impairments induced by ryegrass neurotoxins. Unexpectedly, when the response to lolitrem B was examined in mice lacking the beta4 BK channel accessory subunit (Kcnmb4(-/-)), only low-level ataxia was observed. Our study therefore reveals a new role for the accessory BK beta4 subunit in motor control. The beta4 subunit could be considered as a potential target for treatment of ataxic conditions in animals and in humans.
Structural Determinants of Lolitrems for Inhibition of BK Large Conductance Ca2+-activated K+ Channels
European Journal of Pharmacology. Mar, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19210977
Lolitrem B is an indole-diterpenoid neurotoxin which is the main causative agent of ryegrass staggers, an animal disease associated with tremors and incoordination. It is also a potent inhibitor of large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel activity (IC(50)=4 nM). Furthermore, we have recently shown that the motor function deficits induced by lolitrem B are specifically mediated by BK channels, making the toxin a valuable tool for investigating the molecular function and physiological roles of these channels. To determine what structural features of BK channel agents are required for high potency, the effect of lolitrem B and seven structurally-related lolitrems on BK channel activity has been measured. Concentration-responses and conductance-voltage (G-V) relationships were determined for each compound and related to the different structure types. This study has identified seven new BK channel inhibitors and has allowed the identification of two key structural features required for high potency BK channel activity by lolitrems.
PloS One. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20090847
The heart generates and propagates action potentials through synchronized activation of ion channels allowing inward Na(+) and Ca(2+) and outward K(+) currents. There are a number of K(+) channel types expressed in the heart that play key roles in regulating the cardiac cycle. Large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) ion channels are not thought to be directly involved in heart function. Here we present evidence that heart rate can be significantly reduced by inhibiting the activity of BK channels. Agents that specifically inhibit BK channel activity, including paxilline and lolitrem B, slowed heart rate in conscious wild-type mice by 30% and 42%, respectively. Heart rate of BK channel knock-out mice (Kcnma1(-/-)) was not affected by these BK channel inhibitors, suggesting that the changes to heart rate were specifically mediated through BK channels. The possibility that these effects were mediated through BK channels peripheral to the heart was ruled out with experiments using isolated, perfused rat hearts, which showed a significant reduction in heart rate when treated with the BK channel inhibitors paxilline (1 microM), lolitrem B (1 microM), and iberiotoxin (0.23 microM), of 34%, 60%, and 42%, respectively. Furthermore, paxilline was shown to decrease heart rate in a dose-dependent manner. These results implicate BK channels located in the heart to be directly involved in the regulation of heart rate.
Mechanism of Action of Lolitrem B, a Fungal Endophyte Derived Toxin That Inhibits BK Large Conductance Ca²+-activated K+ Channels
Toxicon : Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21300077
The aim of this study was to compare the mode of action of the commonly used BK inhibitor paxilline with that of the more recently discovered lolitrem B. Similarities and differences in characteristics of inhibition between the two compounds were investigated. We have previously shown that lolitrem B does not affect the BK channel G-V, in contrast to the rightward shift produced by paxilline. These different effects on the voltage-dependence of activation suggest different modes of action for these two compounds. In this study we show that inhibition by both paxilline and lolitrem B is characterized by an open state preference for BK (hSlo) channels. Both compounds had a 3-fold higher apparent affinity under conditions likely to favour the open state, suggesting they have a similar BK conformational preference for binding. Furthermore, both compounds had a calcium concentration-dependence to their inhibitory effects. The G-V shift induced by paxilline was calcium concentration-dependent.