Abstract Several studies reported that chronic alcohol consumption alters the intestinal mucosa barrier, and subsequent entrance of endotoxins into the bloodstream. In many tissues endotoxin exposure causes the expression of calprotectin (CP) and the receptor for advanced glycation -end products (RAGE). In this study we investigated whether chronic alcohol administration causes expression of CP and RAGE in mouse testis. The distribution of free and loosely bound Zn(2+) (FLB-Zn(2+)) in the testicular tissues was also evaluated. Alcohol-induced testicular damage was documented by measuring testosterone blood levels and by light and electron microscope studies. Twenty mice were treated daily for three weeks with 3.0?g/kg of a 25% solution of alcohol. Ten mice were treated in the same period of time with a solution of maltose dextrins, isocaloric to alcohol. Twenty untreated mice were used as controls. Alcohol treated mice showed diffuse expression of CP and RAGE in the interstitial cells. RAGE was found also in the basal compartment of the seminiferous tubules. Depletion of FLB-Zn(2+) was observed in the adluminal compartment of the seminiferous tubules. Expression of CP and RAGE was not found in control mice and maltose dextrin treated mice. Our results indicated novel mechanisms by which alcohol acts in testis. Indeed, CP and RAGE may cause the generation of oxidants and inflammatory mediators, with negative impact on testicular functions. Depletion of FLB-Zn(2+) may contribute to the dysregulation of spermatogenesis.
In the present paper, we analyze the cell number within lamina X at the end stage of disease in a G93A mouse model of ALS; the effects induced by lithium; the stem-cell like phenotype of lamina X cells during ALS; the differentiation of these cells towards either a glial or neuronal phenotype. In summary we found that G93A mouse model of ALS produces an increase in lamina X cells which is further augmented by lithium administration. In the absence of lithium these nestin positive stem-like cells preferentially differentiate into glia (GFAP positive), while in the presence of lithium these cells differentiate towards a neuron-like phenotype ( ? III-tubulin, NeuN, and calbindin-D28K positive). These effects of lithium are observed concomitantly with attenuation in disease progression and are reminiscent of neurogenetic effects induced by lithium in the subependymal ventricular zone of the hippocampus.
A century has passed since the discovery of the paratympanic organ (PTO), a mechanoreceptive sense organ in the middle ear of birds and other tetrapods. This luminal organ contains a sensory epithelium with typical mechanosensory hair cells and may function as a barometer and altimeter. The organ is arguably the most neglected sense organ in living tetrapods. The PTO is believed to be homologous to a lateral line sense organ, the spiracular sense organ of nonteleostean fishes. Our review summarizes the current state of knowledge of the PTO and draws attention to the astounding lack of information about the unique and largely unexplored sensory modality of barometric perception.
Several works have reported that nitric oxide and free oxygen radicals are up-regulated in nasal polyposis. This study aimed to assess the distribution of peroxynitrite in nasal polyps from nonatopic patients. Occurrence of peroxynitrite also was analyzed in relation with eosinophil infiltration and epithelial alterations.
One-hundred years ago, the Italian anatomist Giovanni Vitali reported the discovery of the paratympanic organ, a sense organ in the middle ear of birds, in two issues of the Anatomischer Anzeiger (1911, 1912). In this minireview, we summarize Vitalis biography, and examine the scientific impact of his discovery of this sense organ. We also compile - for the first time - the entire bibliography of published papers on the paratympanic organ. Vitali described the ontogenetic development of this sense organ, examined its distribution among species, recognized its evolutionary relationship with the spiracular sense organ of fishes, and he developed the theory that it functions as a detector of changes in air pressure. He was the first to postulate that the paratympanic and spiracular sense organs were homologous organs that originate from homologous placodes - currently a hotly debated topic. His morphological work indicating the sensory nature of the PTO was validated by subsequent ultrastructural studies. Vitalis discovery of the paratympanic organ prompted his nomination for the Nobel Prize in 1934. Nevertheless, the paratympanic organ and the presumed barometric sense of hundreds of billions of living birds have failed to receive the recognition they deserve. Conclusive evidence of the function of the paratympanic organ remains a formidable challenge in vertebrate sensory physiology.
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