Abstract: Cartilaginous and bony fish are the most primitive vertebrates with a thymus, and possess T cells equivalent to those in mammals. There are a number of studies in fish demonstrating that the thymus is the essential organ for development of T lymphocytes from early thymocyte progenitors to functionally competent T cells. A high number of T cells in the intestine and gills has been reported in several fish species. Involvement of CD4+ and CD8α+ T cells in allograft rejection and graft-versus-host reaction (GVHR) has been demonstrated using monoclonal antibodies. Conservation of CD4+ helper T cell functions among teleost fishes has been suggested in a number studies employing mixed leukocyte culture (MLC) and hapten/carrier effect. Alloantigen- and virus-specific cytotoxicity has also been demonstrated in ginbuna and rainbow trout. Furthermore, the important role of cell-mediated immunity rather than humoral immunity has been reported in the protection against intracellular bacterial infection. Recently, the direct antibacterial activity of CD8α+, CD4+ T-cells and sIgM+ cells in fish has been reported. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in T cell research focusing on the tissue distribution and function of fish T cells.
Abstract: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been identified throughout the metazoa suggesting their evolutionarily conserved nature and their presence in teleosts is no exception. AMPs are short (18–46 amino acids), usually cationic, amphipathic peptides. While AMPs are diverse in amino acid sequence, with no two AMPs being identical, they collectively appear to have conserved functions in the innate immunity of animals towards the pathogens they encounter in their environment. Fish AMPs are upregulated in response to pathogens and appear to have direct broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity towards both human and fish pathogens. However, an emerging role for AMPs as immunomodulatory molecules has become apparent—the ability of AMPs to activate the innate immune system sheds light onto the multifaceted capacity of these small peptides to combat pathogens through direct and indirect means. Herein, this review focuses on the role of teleost AMPs as modulators of the innate immune system and their regulation in response to pathogens or other exogenous molecules. The capacity to regulate AMP expression by exogenous factors may prove useful in modulating AMP expression in fish to prevent disease, particularly in aquaculture settings where crowded conditions and environmental stress pre-dispose these fish to infection.
Abstract: A key event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and the loss of synapses. In cultured neurons Aβ triggered synapse damage as measured by the loss of synaptic proteins. α-synuclein (αSN), aggregates of which accumulate in Parkinson’s disease, also caused synapse damage. Synapse damage was associated with activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), an enzyme that regulates synapse function and structure, and the production of prostaglandin (PG) E2. In synaptosomes PGE2 increased concentrations of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) which suppressed the activation of cPLA2 demonstrating an inhibitory feedback system. Thus, Aβ/αSN-induced activated cPLA2 produces PGE2 which increases cAMP which in turn suppresses cPLA2 and, hence, its own production. Neurons pre-treated with pentoxifylline and caffeine (broad spectrum phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors) or the PDE4 specific inhibitor rolipram significantly increased the Aβ/αSN-induced increase in cAMP and consequently protected neurons against synapse damage. The addition of cAMP analogues also inhibited cPLA2 and protected neurons against synapse damage. These results suggest that drugs that inhibit Aβ-induced activation of cPLA2 and cross the blood–brain barrier may reduce synapse damage in AD.
Abstract: Homeostasis is conventionally thought of merely as a synchronic (same time) servo-mechanism that maintains the status quo for organismal physiology. However, when seen from the perspective of developmental physiology, homeostasis is a robust, dynamic, intergenerational, diachronic (across-time) mechanism for the maintenance, perpetuation and modification of physiologic structure and function. The integral relationships generated by cell-cell signaling for the mechanisms of embryogenesis, physiology and repair provide the needed insight to the scale-free universality of the homeostatic principle, offering a novel opportunity for a Systems approach to Biology. Starting with the inception of life itself, with the advent of reproduction during meiosis and mitosis, moving forward both ontogenetically and phylogenetically through the evolutionary steps involved in adaptation to an ever-changing environment, Biology and Evolution Theory need no longer default to teleology.
Abstract: DNA-Microarrays have become a potent technology for high-throughput analysis of genetic regulation. However, the wide dynamic range of signal intensities of fluorophore-based microarrays exceeds the dynamic range of a single array scan by far, thus limiting the key benefit of microarray technology: parallelization. The implementation of multi-scan techniques represents a promising approach to overcome these limitations. These techniques are, in turn, limited by the fluorophores’ susceptibility to photobleaching when exposed to the scanner’s laser light. In this paper the photobleaching characteristics of cyanine-3 and cyanine-5 as part of solid state DNA microarrays are studied. The effects of initial fluorophore intensity as well as laser scanner dependent variables such as the photomultiplier tube’s voltage on bleaching and imaging are investigated. The resulting data is used to develop a model capable of simulating the expected degree of signal intensity reduction caused by photobleaching for each fluorophore individually, allowing for the removal of photobleaching-induced, systematic bias in multi-scan procedures. Single-scan applications also benefit as they rely on pre-scans to determine the optimal scanner settings. These findings constitute a step towards standardization of microarray experiments and analysis and may help to increase the lab-to-lab comparability of microarray experiment results.
Abstract: α-Helices often recognize their target proteins at protein–protein interfaces through more than one recognition face. This review describes the state-of-the-art in the design of non-peptidic α-helix mimetics that reproduce functionality from multiple faces of an α-helix.