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Mullerian inhibiting substance is present in embryonic testes of dogs with persistent mullerian duct syndrome

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) causes regression of the Mullerian ducts during a critical period in embryonic development in male mammals. In Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome (PMDS), an autosomal recessive trait in humans and dogs, the Mullerian ducts fail to regress in otherwise normal males. Previously we reported that PMDS-affected dogs produce bioactive testicular MIS postnatally. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether PMDS-affected canine embryos appropriately express MIS mRNA and protein during the critical period for Mullerian duct regression. Homozygous (PMDS-affected) and normal canine embryos were removed from timed pregnancies. Gonadal sex and the degree of Mullerian duct regression were determined from histologic sections. Positive immunohistochemical staining for MIS was found in testis sections of PMDS-affected and normal male embryos. A 1.8-kb MIS mRNA transcript was detected in testes of PMDS-affected males and normal male embryos and neonates. Furthermore, equal amounts of MIS mRNA transcript were detected in testes of PMDS-affected embryos and normal male littermates during the critical period for Mullerian duct regression. These data support a hypothesis of target organ resistance, such as an abnormality in the putative MIS receptor, as the etiology of the defect in this dog model.

Mullerian inhibiting substance in the diagnosis and management of intersex and gonadal abnormalities

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS), a gonadal hormone important in sexual differentiation, is high (10 to 70 ng/mL) in human male serum postnatally for several years before declining during the peripubertal period, but is undetectable in female serum until the onset of puberty. The sexually dimorphic secretion of MIS suggested possibilities for its use in several clinical settings. Thirty-one patients with intersex and gonadal anomalies from 17 institutions were therefore evaluated between 1989 and 1992 with an MIS enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Serum MIS levels correlated with the presence of testicular tissue in two patients with suspected anorchia, five patients with male pseudohermaphroditism, and eight other intersex patients with undescended testes, dysgenetic gonads, or ovotestes. In these latter patients, serial MIS values were also helpful to confirm complete removal of gonadal tissue postoperatively. MIS may be a more sensitive marker for the presence of testicular tissue than serum testosterone levels, both before and after the neonatal androgen surge, and, consequently, may obviate the need for human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation in the evaluation of certain intersex disorders. In values were useful in differentiating the underlying etiology of the disorder. Four patients with undetectable levels have presumptive MIS gene mutations, while 7 others with MIS values of 2 to 45 ng/mL may have bioinactive hormone of MIS receptor defects. Finally, two young girls with ovarian granulosa cell tumors had elevated MIS values that fell from 18 to 2 ng/mL and from 6.5 to 1 ng/mL during postoperative follow-up. The MIS level in the latter patient has recently increased to 7.2 ng/mL, raising the question of residual tumor. Data in adults with similar sex cord tumors suggest that serum MIS can be followed in these patients as a marker for persistent or recurrent disease. Thus, the determination of serum MIS concentrations is useful in the diagnosis and management of patients with a variety of intersex and gonadal abnormalities.

Mullerian inhibiting substance messenger ribonucleic acid expression in granulosa and Sertoli cells coincides with their mitotic activity

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

In males, Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) mRNA was first detected on the medial aspect of the urogenital ridge early on the morning of day 13 of gestation before testicular differentiation was evident, and localized to the more obvious Sertoli cells later on embryonic day 13. MIS transcripts remained at maximal levels between 14.5 and 17.5 days gestation, while the Mullerian duct involutes, and remained high until birth. MIS gene expression decreased progressively after birth and, as germ cell meiosis increased, became barely detectable in the Sertoli cells of the seminiferous tubules. In female rats, MIS mRNA was first detected in the single layer of cuboidal granulosa cells surrounding larger primary follicles 3 days after birth, coincident with the initiation of follicular growth. As follicular growth progressed, MIS mRNA expression was high in preantral and small antral follicles, especially in those granulosa cells closest to the oocyte. MIS mRNA expression decreased gradually in larger antral follicles, remaining prominent only in the cumulus cells and the dividing population of granulosa cells closest to the lumen. MIS gene expression was absent in follicles with features of atresia and in the larger antral follicles. The expression of MIS mRNA in actively dividing Sertoli and granulosa cells correlates with the stages of germ cell division. These findings are suggestive of a role for MIS in the control of germ cell maturation.

Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Serum GH concentrations are increased in fasted or malnourished human subjects. We investigated the dynamic mechanisms underlying this phenomenon in nine normal men by analyzing serum GH concentrations measured in blood obtained at 5-min intervals over 24 h on a control (fed) day and on the second day of a fast with a multiple-parameter deconvolution method to simultaneously resolve endogenous GH secretory and clearance rates. Two days of fasting induced a 5-fold increase in the 24-h endogenous GH production rate [78 +/- 12 vs. 371 +/- 57 micrograms/Lv (Lv, liter of distribution volume) or 0.24 +/- 0.038 vs. 1.1 +/- 0.16 mg/m2 (assuming a distribution volume of 7.9% body weight), P = 0.0001]. This enhanced GH production rate was accounted for by 2-fold increases in the number of GH secretory bursts per 24 h (14 +/- 2.3 vs. 32 +/- 2.4, P = 0.0006) and the mass of GH secreted per burst (6.3 +/- 1.2 vs. 11 +/- 1.6 micrograms/Lv, P = 0.002). The latter was a result of increased secretory-event amplitudes (maximal rates of GH release attained within a burst) with unchanged secretory burst durations. GH was secreted in complex volleys composed of multiple discrete secretory bursts. These secretory volleys were separated by shorter intervals of secretory quiescence in the fasted than fed state (respectively, 88 +/- 4.2 vs. 143 +/- 14 min, P = 0.0001). Similarly, within volleys of GH release, constituent individual secretory bursts occurred more frequently during the fast [every 33 +/- 0.64 (fasted) vs. every 44 +/- 2.0 min (fed), P = 0.0001]. The t1/2 of endogenous GH was not significantly altered by fasting [18 +/- 2.2 (fasted) vs. 20 +/- 1.5 min (fed), P = 0.47]. Serum insulin-like growth factor I concentrations were unchanged after 56 h of fasting. In conclusion, the present data suggest that starvation-induced enhancement of GH secretion is mediated by an increased frequency of GHRH release, and longer and more pronounced periods of somatostatin withdrawal.

Isolation of the rat gene for Mullerian inhibiting substance

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS), a testicular glycoprotein also known as anti-Mullerian hormone, plays a key role in male sexual development by causing regression of the Mullerian duct, the anlagen of the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, and part of the vagina. MIS is also expressed in the postnatal ovary, but its precise function is still not known. We report here the complete nucleotide sequence of the rat MIS gene. Rat MIS is encoded in five exons and is synthesized as a precursor of 553 amino acids, containing a 24-amino-acid leader. Based on homology with human MIS, we predict that the rat protein undergoes proteolytic processing at a site 108 amino acids from the C-terminus. Expression of the rat MIS mRNA is high in the 1-day-postnatal testis and decreases to a low level in the adult testis. In contrast, expression is not detected in the 1-day ovary, but increases to an intermediate level in the adult ovary. The rat gene should provide a good model for studying transcriptional regulation of MIS in the testis and ovary.

Developmentally regulated polyadenylation of two discrete messenger ribonucleic acids for mullerian inhibiting substance

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) is a 140-kilodalton homodimeric glycoprotein that causes regression of the Mullerian ducts in male embryos, and may also have a role in both males and females in the regulation of germ cell maturation. We examined the ontogeny of MIS messenger RNA (mRNA) in rat testes from midgestation through adulthood and found two discrete MIS mRNA species that are developmentally regulated. The larger 2.0-kilobase species is abundant at embryonic day 14, then decreases in late gestation, and is barely detectable after birth. The smaller 1.8-kilobase species is first noted at embryonic day 18 and is the major species detected postnatally. Both species are abundant just prior to birth, at embryonic day 21, then decrease markedly after birth. This variation in MIS mRNA levels correlates with the developmental expression of MIS protein. A series of oligonucleotide-directed ribonuclease H mapping experiments determined that the two mRNA species differ at their 3' ends in the extent of polyadenylation. Thus, differential polyadenylation of MIS mRNA may be an additional mechanism for regulating MIS expression during fetal and postnatal development.

Mullerian inhibiting substance production and cleavage is modulated by gonadotropins and steroids

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Analysis of the ontogeny and localization of the amino (N)-terminal and carboxy (C)-terminal cleavage products of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) and their modulation by hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis by immunohistochemistry and Northern analysis led to the discovery of a novel mode of posttranslational regulation of this differentiating agent. Antibody to both holo- and C-terminal MIS identically stained the cytosol of testicular Sertoli cells from 21-day fetal rats, whereas staining of antibody to N-terminal MIS localized to the basement membrane of seminiferous tubules. In addition, when studied longitudinally, basement membrane staining for N-terminal MIS persisted; cytosolic staining for C-terminal MIS was no longer detectable in post-natal testes, but marked basement membrane staining for the N-terminal fragment could still be observed in the testes of untreated 7-day postnatal animals. When 19-day fetuses were injected with FSH, testes collected 2 days later showed less immunohistochemical staining for holo-, N-, and C-terminal MIS, and less MIS messenger RNA. This suggested that FSH downregulates MIS transcription, as had been shown previously in neonatal testes treated with FSH. Testes collected at 21 days from fetuses treated at day 19 in utero with human CG or testosterone, also showed less staining for holo-MIS, but, surprisingly, increased staining for the N- and C-terminal fragments. These changes in MIS protein were accompanied by no or minimal changes in MIS messenger RNA levels, indicating that human CG and testosterone do not affect transcription, but may regulate the cleavage and/or dissociation of MIS. This study describes a form of post-translational regulation of MIS and shows that both transcription and processing of MIS may be differentially modulated by gonadotropins and sex steroids.

Mullerian inhibiting substance ontogeny and its modulation by follicle-stimulating hormone in the rat testes

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) production in rat testes from the late fetal to the adult period and its modulation by gonadotropins in neonatal testes were studied using immunohistochemistry, northern analysis, and a graded organ culture bioassay for MIS. The intense immunohistochemical staining for MIS seen in fetal and newborn testes began to decrease gradually after the third postnatal day, then decreased dramatically on the fifth postnatal day. MIS immunohistochemical activity was then present at a low level until about the 20th postnatal day, after which it was barely detectable. The testes from rats treated with FSH at birth showed a considerable drop in MIS immunohistochemical activity on the third postnatal day to 29% of control testes, and a less profound decrease on the second and fourth postnatal days to 46% and 61% of control, respectively; thereafter MIS levels were the same in treated and untreated animals. With shorter courses of FSH treatment, immunohistochemical staining showed less depression of MIS on the third day, and no difference by the fourth postnatal day, indicating that the inhibitory effect on testicular MIS production may require continued FSH exposure. Three-day testes that had been treated with FSH for 2-1/2 days had less MIS messenger RNA compared to control testes of the same age, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of FSH on MIS production could be transcriptionally mediated. In contrast LH treatment produced no difference in either messenger RNA expression or immunohistochemical staining for MIS. These findings suggested that FSH may be a modulator of MIS production in neonatal testes.

Serum adrenal steroid concentrations in premature infants

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

To evaluate serum adrenal steroid concentrations in preterm infants, 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP), 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 11-deoxycortisol, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate, androstenedione, 18-hydroxycorticosterone, and aldosterone values were determined in 9 sick and 13 healthy premature infants. Serum steroid concentrations were compared to previously reported data from healthy full-term infants. 17-OHP, 11-deoxycortisol, and aldosterone values were higher in sick preterm infants than in healthy preterm infants. Compared to healthy full-term infants, the premature infants-had significantly higher 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 17-OHP, and DHEA sulfate concentrations. Cortisol values were not different between the sick and healthy preterm infants and were similar to full-term values. Aldosterone values were also similar between the premature and the full-term infants. The findings of elevated steroid precursors in preterm infants and low cortisol levels in stressed sick preterm infants may indicate a relative immaturity of adrenal enzyme activity and inadequate adrenal reserve for stress.

Alterations in the pulsatile mode of growth hormone release in men and women with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

The mechanisms responsible for the elevated levels of circulating GH observed in diabetes mellitus (DM) remain incompletely defined. To assess the episodic fluctuations in serum GH as a reflection of hypothalamic-pituitary activity, we accumulated GH concentration-time series in a total of 48 adult men and women with and without insulin-dependent DM by obtaining serum samples at 10-min intervals over 24 h. Significant pulses of GH release were subsequently identified and characterized by an objective, statistically based pulse detection algorithm (Cluster) and fixed circadian (24-h) periodicities of secretory activity, resolved using Fourier expansion timeseries analysis.

Compared to those in age-matched controls, integrated 24-h concentrations of GH were 2- to 3.5-fold higher in diabetic men (P = 0.002) and women (P = 0.0005). Both men and women with DM had over 50% more GH pulses per 24 h than their non- DM counterparts. In addition, maximal GH pulse amplitude was markedly elevated in the men and women with DM (P = 0.0019 and 0.0189, respectively). That the increase in maximal pulse amplitude was accounted for by greater baseline levels was documented by a higher interpulse valley mean GH concentration in the diabetics compared to the controls (P = 0.0437 and 0.0056, men and women, respectively) and the absence of any difference in incremental pulse amplitude for either sex (P > 0.05). DM men had larger GH pulse areas (P = 0.039) than control men, apparently accounted for by greater pulse width (P = 0.0037). Pulse areas in DM and non-DM women were indistinguishable. Time-series analysis revealed that the 24-h (circadian) rhythms of serum GH concentrations exhibited significantly increased amplitudes in the diabetic group as a whole (compared to the controls, P = 0.011). However, the times of maximal GH concentrations (acrophases) were not significantly different. As a group, serum insulin-like growth factor-I was lower in DM vs. non-DM individuals (P = 0.0014), although when separated by sex this difference did not reach statistical significance in women (P = 0.317).

The present data confirm the higher circulating levels of GH previously reported to occur in individuals with poorly controlled DM. The altered frequency of GH pulses together with enhanced interpulse GH concentrations and an amplified circadian GH rhythm are compatible with hypothalamic dysfunction associated with dysregulation of somatostatin and/or GHRH secretion. Since similar patterns in GH concentration-time series can be seen in non-DM men during fasting, a specific nutrient and/ or metabolic derangement rather than diabetes per semay contribute to this abnormality.

Campylobacter meningitis in childhood

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:50pm

Environmental and Infectious Causes of Malignancy

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 11:30am

This chapter in the Cancer Concepts textbook presents a summary of the most relevant causative agents of cancer. Exposure to many environmental agents is associated with an increased incidence of certain malignancies, although causation is usually difficult to prove. Certain chemicals, infections (parasitic, viral, and bacterial) and ionizing radiation are known carcinogens. Variable genetic susceptibility to carcinogenesis is apparent. Up to 2/3 of human cancers are believed to have an environmental component.

Cell biology of mRNA decay

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:53am

Studying single mRNA molecules has added new dimensions to our understanding of gene expression and the life cycle of mRNA in cells. Advances in microscopes and detection technology have opened access to single molecule research to most researchers interested in molecular biology. Here we provide an overview technique for single molecule studies of RNA in either fixed samples or in living cells. As part of a volume on mRNA turnover, it is increasingly relevant, because many of the recent advances in studies of mRNA turnover have suggested that there is non-homogeneous distribution of turnover factors in the cell. For this reason, understanding of spatial relationships between mRNA and mRNA turnover factors should enrich our understanding of this process.

Diffusion and binding properties investigated by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:48am

During the last years, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) has proven to be a powerful tool for basic research in many applications. The combination of a minimal detection volume in the femtoliter range coupled with very high sensitivity extends the possibilities to design sensitive homogeneous tests. In this article we illustrate the analysis of binding processes with FCS based on the changes in diffusion characteristics of GFP upon binding to an antibody. Problems induced by highly heterogeneous samples are discussed and differences of GFP binding to a monoclonal and a polyclonal antibody are shown and analyzed. We stress data processing, limitations and useful approximations in FCS methodology. Basic ideas of data acquisition and processing as well as new developments and applications are presented.

Nuclear transport of single molecules: dwell times at the nuclear pore complex

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:48am

The mechanism by which macromolecules are selectively translocated through the nuclear pore complex (NPC) is still essentially unresolved. Single molecule methods can provide unique information on topographic properties and kinetic processes of asynchronous supramolecular assemblies with excellent spatial and time resolution. Here, single-molecule far-field fluorescence microscopy was applied to the NPC of permeabilized cells. The nucleoporin Nup358 could be localized at a distance of 70 nm from POM121-GFP along the NPC axis. Binding sites of NTF2, the transport receptor of RanGDP, were observed in cytoplasmic filaments and central framework, but not nucleoplasmic filaments of the NPC. The dwell times of NTF2 and transportin 1 at their NPC binding sites were 5.8 +/- 0.2 and 7.1 +/- 0.2 ms, respectively. Notably, the dwell times of these receptors were reduced upon binding to a specific transport substrate, suggesting that translocation is accelerated for loaded receptor molecules. Together with the known transport rates, our data suggest that nucleocytoplasmic transport occurs via multiple parallel pathways within single NPCs.

Direct observation of single protein molecules in aqueous solution

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:48am

Single molecule tracking (SMT) by fluorescence video microscopy has matured to be a well established method in the last few years. In this report we demonstrate the imaging and tracking of single protein molecules in a phosphate/Hepes buffer with high sensitivity at frame rates of 350 Hz.

Intranuclear binding kinetics and mobility of single native U1 snRNP particles in living cells

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:48am

Uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (U snRNPs) are splicing factors, which are diffusely distributed in the nucleoplasm and also concentrated in nuclear speckles. Fluorescently labeled, native U1 snRNPs were microinjected into the cytoplasm of living HeLa cells. After nuclear import single U1 snRNPs could be visualized and tracked at a spatial precision of 30 nm at a frame rate of 200 Hz employing a custom-built microscope with single-molecule sensitivity. The single-particle tracks revealed that most U1 snRNPs were bound to specific intranuclear sites, many of those presumably representing pre-mRNA splicing sites. The dissociation kinetics from these sites showed a multiexponential decay behavior on time scales ranging from milliseconds to seconds, reflecting the involvement of U1 snRNPs in numerous distinct interactions. The average dwell times for U1 snRNPs bound at sites within the nucleoplasm did not differ significantly from those in speckles, indicating that similar processes occur in both compartments. Mobile U1 snRNPs moved with diffusion constants in the range from 0.5 to 8 microm2/s. These values were consistent with uncomplexed U1 snRNPs diffusing at a viscosity of 5 cPoise and U1 snRNPs moving in a largely restricted manner, and U1 snRNPs contained in large supramolecular assemblies such as spliceosomes or supraspliceosomes.

Single-molecule tracking in eukaryotic cell nuclei

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:48am

Visualization of single fluorescent molecules (single-molecule tracking, SMT) within cells provides a real-time molecular view of physiological processes in vivo.