Special Issue "Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paola Scocco
Website
Guest Editor
School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino MC, Italy
Interests: histochemistry; morphometry; animal welfare; food-intake; digestive apparatus; reproductive apparatus; mammary gland; ruminants; environmental sustainability
Dr. Elena De Felice
Website
Guest Editor
School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino (MC), Italy
Interests: molecular biology; immunohistochemistry; food intake; regulation of food intake; gut-brain axis; aging
Prof. Alessandro Malfatti
Website
Guest Editor
School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino (MC), Italy
Interests: animal welfare; animal behavior; sexual hormones; ruminant’s fertility

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to the application of immunohistochemical and physiological studies carried out on farm animals (swine, sheep, goat, bovine, buffalo, rabbit, poultry, horse, and donkey).

Farm species play very important economic and sociocultural roles, such as food supply, source of income, asset saving, source of employment, soil fertility, livelihood, transport, agricultural traction, agricultural diversification, and sustainable agricultural production. For this reason, it is essential to study in deeper detail the anatomy and physiology of these species. In the last couple of decades, there has been an exponential increase in publications on immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunocytochemistry techniques, reflecting the currently position that IHC mostly holds in pathological laboratories. This Special Issue will attempt to provide the relevance of immunohistochemical analysis and of their relationships with functions also in farm animals. However, taking into account that multiple methods (Western blot, FISH, etc.) are necessary to perform more reliable conclusions, the use of these methods is also welcomed. Original manuscripts, review articles, as well as short communications are invited. Particularly welcome will be research with a potential applied purpose, studies whose results could be useful in improving farm management practices and the responsible use of natural resources, enhancing the nutraceutical properties of animal derived products, and promoting the circular economy and, in turn, the sustainability of livestock.
You are cordially invited to contribute on this theme or related research topics in order to improve the anatomical and physiological knowledge of farm animals.

Prof. Paola Scocco
Dr. Elena De Felice
Prof. Alessandro Malfatti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • farm animals (swine, sheep, goat, bovine, buffalo, rabbit, poultry, horse, donkey)
  • immunohistochemistry and special staining
  • immunohistochemical analysis
  • physiological parameters
  • endocrinology
  • animal behavioral features
  • livestock farming
  • sustainability

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Immunohistochemical Analysis of Intestinal and Central Nervous System Morphology in an Obese Animal Model (Danio rerio) Treated with 3,5-T2: A Possible Farm Management Practice?
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071131 (registering DOI) - 03 Jul 2020
Abstract
The 3,5-diiodo-L-thyronine (3,5-T2) is an endogenous metabolite of thyroid hormones, whose administration to rodents fed high-fat diet (HFD) prevents body weight increase and reverts the expression pattern of pro-inflammatory factors associated to HFD. The diet-induced obese (D.I.O.) zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been recently [...] Read more.
The 3,5-diiodo-L-thyronine (3,5-T2) is an endogenous metabolite of thyroid hormones, whose administration to rodents fed high-fat diet (HFD) prevents body weight increase and reverts the expression pattern of pro-inflammatory factors associated to HFD. The diet-induced obese (D.I.O.) zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been recently used as an experimental model to investigate fundamental processes underlying central and peripheral obesity-driven inflammation. Herein, we aim to understand the role of 3,5-T2 in regulating central and peripheral inflammation in D.I.O. model of zebrafish. 3,5-T2 (10 nM and 100 nM) was administered with the obesity-inducing diet (D.I.O. with 3,5-T2) or after 4 weeks of obesity-inducing diet (D.I.O. flw 3,5-T2). 3,5-T2 significantly increased the body weight and serum triglyceride levels in D.I.O. zebrafish in both conditions. Moreover, 3,5-T2 sustained or increased inflammation in the anterior (AI) and mid (MI) intestine when administered with the obesity-inducing diet, as indicated by the immunoexpression of the inflammatory markers tumor-necrosis factor-α (TNFα), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), calnexin, caspase 3, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). On the contrary, when 3,5-T2 was administered after the obesity-inducing diet, partly reverted the intestinal alteration induced by D.I.O. In addition, brain inflammation, as indicated by the increase in the activation of microglia, was detected in D.I.O. zebrafish and D.I.O. treated with 3,5-T2. These findings reveal that the effects of 3,5-T2 on fish intestine and brain can deviate from those shown in obese mammals, opening new avenues to the investigation of the potential impact of this thyroid metabolite in different diseases including obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Different Feed Physical Forms on Mandibular Gland in Growing Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(5), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050910 - 24 May 2020
Abstract
A study was performed on the mandibular gland obtained from growing pigs enrolled in a wide research project aiming to test the effects of different feed physical forms on animal health, production and welfare. We used 48 pigs fed for four weeks with [...] Read more.
A study was performed on the mandibular gland obtained from growing pigs enrolled in a wide research project aiming to test the effects of different feed physical forms on animal health, production and welfare. We used 48 pigs fed for four weeks with different dietary treatments based on different grinding intensities and compactions of the same diet, namely coarsely ground meal (CM), finely ground pelleted (FP) and coarsely ground pelleted (CP) diets. Samples were analyzed by conventional histochemistry to identify the glycohistochemical profile and by immunohistochemistry to localize aquaporin 5, apelin and apelin receptor. Statistical elaborations were performed using the Stats R-package, version 3.5.3. Pig mandibular gland adenomere increased both the quantity and acidity of produced glycoconjugates from CM to FP and CP diets. This probably calls forth higher watery saliva, thus promoting a better feed softening facilitating the amalgamation of the bolus. Mandibular gland increased aquaporin 5 positivity in the CP diet, supporting the hypothesis of an augmented demand for water. Based on apelin/receptor localization, it was hypothesized that in pig mandibular gland the apelinergic system likely performs an endocrine control on the demilunes activity and a paracrine control on ducts, facilitating the production of a more fluid saliva. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Endometritis Changes the Neurochemical Characteristics of the Caudal Mesenteric Ganglion Neurons Supplying the Gilt Uterus
Animals 2020, 10(5), 891; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050891 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
This study analyzed the influence of uterine inflammation on the neurochemical characteristics of the gilt caudal mesenteric ganglion (CaMG) uterus-supplying neurons. The horns of uteri were injected with retrograde tracer Fast Blue on day 17 of the first studied estrous cycle. Twenty-eight days [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the influence of uterine inflammation on the neurochemical characteristics of the gilt caudal mesenteric ganglion (CaMG) uterus-supplying neurons. The horns of uteri were injected with retrograde tracer Fast Blue on day 17 of the first studied estrous cycle. Twenty-eight days later (the expected day 3 of the third studied estrous cycle), either saline or Escherichia coli suspension were administered into each uterine horn. Only the laparotomy was done in the control gilts. After 8 days, the CaMGs and uteri were harvested. The infected gilts presented a severe acute endometritis. In the CaMGs, the populations of uterine perikarya possessing dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) and/or neuropeptide Y (NPY), somatostatin (SOM), galanin (GAL) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) were analyzed using the double immunofluorescence method. In the CaMG, bacterial injection decreased the total number of the perikarya (Fast Blue-positive), the small and large perikarya populations in the dorsal and central regions, and the small and large perikarya populations coded DβH+/GAL- and DβH-/NPY+. After bacterial treatment, there was an increase in the numbers of small and large perikarya coded DβH+/NPY+, small perikarya coded DβH+/GAL+ and DβH+/SOM- and large perikarya coded DβH+/VIP+. To summarize, uterine inflammation influences the neurochemical characteristics of the CaMG uterus-supplying neurons, which may be important for pathologically changed organ functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
A Detailed Study of Rainbow Trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) Intestine Revealed That Digestive and Absorptive Functions Are Not Linearly Distributed along Its Length
Animals 2020, 10(4), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040745 - 24 Apr 2020
Abstract
To increase the sustainability of trout farming, the industry requires alternatives to fish-based meals that do not compromise animal health and growth performances. To develop new feeds, detailed knowledge of intestinal morphology and physiology is required. We performed histological, histochemical, immunohistochemical and morphometric [...] Read more.
To increase the sustainability of trout farming, the industry requires alternatives to fish-based meals that do not compromise animal health and growth performances. To develop new feeds, detailed knowledge of intestinal morphology and physiology is required. We performed histological, histochemical, immunohistochemical and morphometric analysis at typical time points of in vivo feeding trials (50, 150 and 500 g). Only minor changes occurred during growth whereas differences characterized two compartments, not linearly distributed along the intestine. The first included the pyloric caeca, the basal part of the complex folds and the villi of the distal intestine. This was characterized by a significantly smaller number of goblet cells with smaller mucus vacuoles, higher proliferation and higher apoptotic rate but a smaller extension of fully differentiated epithelial cells and by the presence of numerous pinocytotic vacuolization. The second compartment was formed by the proximal intestine and the apical part of the posterior intestine complex folds. Here we observed more abundant goblet cells with bigger vacuoles, low proliferation rate, few round apoptotic cells, a more extended area of fully differentiated cells and no pinocytotic vacuoles. Our results suggest that rainbow trout intestine is physiologically arranged to mingle digestive and absorptive functions along its length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Diurnal Rhythm of Plasma Melatonin Concentration in the Domestic Turkey and Its Regulation by Light and Endogenous Oscillators
Animals 2020, 10(4), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040678 - 13 Apr 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to characterize the diurnal rhythm of plasma melatonin (MLT) concentration and its regulation by light and endogenous oscillators in 10-week-old domestic turkeys. Three experiments were performed to examine (i) the course of daily changes in plasma MLT [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to characterize the diurnal rhythm of plasma melatonin (MLT) concentration and its regulation by light and endogenous oscillators in 10-week-old domestic turkeys. Three experiments were performed to examine (i) the course of daily changes in plasma MLT concentration in turkeys kept under a 12 h light: 12 h dark (12L:12D) cycle; (ii) the influence of night-time light exposure lasting 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 h on the plasma MLT level; and (iii) the occurrence of circadian fluctuations in plasma MLT levels in birds kept under continuous dim red light and the ability of turkeys to adapt their pineal secretory activity to a reversed light-dark cycle (12D:12L). The plasma MLT concentration was measured with a direct radioimmunoassay. The plasma MLT concentration in turkeys kept under a 12L:12D cycle changed significantly in a daily rhythm. It was low during the photophase and increased stepwise after the onset of darkness to achieve the maximal level in the middle of the scotophase. Next, it decreased during the second half of the night. The difference between the lowest level of MLT and the highest level was approximately 18-fold. The exposure of turkeys to light during the scotophase caused a rapid, large decrease in plasma MLT concentration. The plasma MLT concentration decreased approximately 3- and 10-fold after 0.5 and 1 h of light exposure, respectively, and reached the day-time level after 2 h of exposure. In turkeys kept under continuous darkness, the plasma MLT level was approximately 2.5-fold higher at 02:00 h than at 14:00 h. In birds kept under 12D:12L, the plasma MLT level was significantly higher at 14:00 h than at 02:00 h. The results showed that plasma MLT concentrations in 10-week-old turkeys have a prominent diurnal rhythm, which is endogenously generated and strongly influenced by environmental light. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Acrylamide Supplementation on the CART-, VAChT-, and nNOS-Immunoreactive Nervous Structures in the Porcine Stomach
Animals 2020, 10(4), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040555 - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
Acrylamide is found in food products manufactured with high-temperature processing, and exposure to acrylamide contained in food products may cause a potential risk to human health. The aim of this investigation was to demonstrate the changes in the population of CART-, nNOS-, and [...] Read more.
Acrylamide is found in food products manufactured with high-temperature processing, and exposure to acrylamide contained in food products may cause a potential risk to human health. The aim of this investigation was to demonstrate the changes in the population of CART-, nNOS-, and VAChT-immunoreactive enteric neurons in the porcine stomach in response to supplementation of low and high acrylamide doses. The study was carried out with 15 Danish landrace gilts divided into three experimental groups: the control group—animals were administered empty gelatine capsules; the low-dose group—animals were administrated a tolerable daily intake (TDI) dose (0.5 µg/kg of body weight (b.w.)/day) of acrylamide capsules, and the high-dose group—animals were administrated high-dose (ten times higher than TDI: 5 µg/kg b.w./day) acrylamide capsules for 28 days. Using the double immunofluorescence staining method, it was established that supplementation with low and high doses of acrylamide resulted in alterations of the porcine stomach neuron phenotype, which was reflected in an increased number of CART-, VAChT-, and nNOS-immunoreactive neurons. These changes were accompanied by an increased density of CART-, VAChT-, and nNOS-positive fibres. The results suggest that the enteric nervous system plays an important role in protecting the gastrointestinal tract during acrylamide intoxication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Impaired Mitochondrial Function Results from Oxidative Stress in the Full-Term Placenta of Sows with Excessive Back-Fat
Animals 2020, 10(2), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020360 - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of excessive back-fat (BF) of sows on placental oxidative stress, ATP generation, mitochondrial alterations in content and structure, and mitochondrial function in isolated trophoblasts. Placental tissue was collected by vaginal delivery from BFI [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of excessive back-fat (BF) of sows on placental oxidative stress, ATP generation, mitochondrial alterations in content and structure, and mitochondrial function in isolated trophoblasts. Placental tissue was collected by vaginal delivery from BFI (15–20 mm, n = 10) and BFII (21–27 mm, n = 10) sows formed according to BF at mating. Our results demonstrated that excessive back-fat contributed to augmented oxidative stress in term placenta, as evidenced by excessive production of ROS, elevated protein carbonylation, and reduced SOD, GSH-PX, and CAT activities (p < 0.05). Indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction, reduced mitochondrial respiration in cultured trophoblasts was linked to decreased ATP generation, lower mitochondrial Complex I activity and reduced expression of electron transport chain subunits in placenta of BFII sows (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, we observed negative alterations in mitochondrial biogenesis and structure in the placenta from BFII group (p < 0.05). Finally, our in vitro studies showed lipid-induced ROS production resulted in mitochondrial alterations in trophoblasts, and these effects were blocked by antioxidant treatment. Together, these data reveal that excessive back-fat aggravates mitochondrial injury induced by increased oxidative stress in pig term placenta, which may have detrimental consequences on placental function and therefore impaired fetal growth and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
The Expression of ERK1/2 in Female Yak (Bos grunniens) Reproductive Organs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020334 - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
The main reproductive organs undergo different histological appearances and physiological processes under different reproductive statuses. The variation of these organs depends on a delicate regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2 (ERK1/2) are members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) [...] Read more.
The main reproductive organs undergo different histological appearances and physiological processes under different reproductive statuses. The variation of these organs depends on a delicate regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2 (ERK1/2) are members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) super family. They have important roles in regulating various biological processes of different cells, tissues, and organ types. Activated ERK1/2 generally promotes cell survival, but under certain conditions, ERK1/2 also have the function of inducing apoptosis. It is widely believed that ERK1/2 play a significant role in regulating the reproductive processes of mammals. The goal of our research is to investigate the expression and distribution of ERK1/2 in the yak’s main reproductive organs during different stages. In the present study, samples of the ovary, oviduct, and uterus of 15 adult female yak were collected and used in the experiment. The ERK1/2 proteins, localization, and quantitative expression of their mRNA were investigated using immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blot (WB) and relative quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results indicated that ERK1/2 proteins and their mRNA were highly expressed in the ovary of the luteal phase and gestation period, in the oviduct of the luteal phase, and in the uterus of the luteal phase and gestation period. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a strong distribution of ERK1/2 proteins in follicular granulosa cells, granular luteal cells, villous epithelial cells of the oviduct, endometrial glandular epithelium, and luminal epithelium. These results demonstrated that the expression of ERK1 and ERK2 proteins and their mRNA in the yak’s ovary, oviduct, and uterus varies with the stage of the reproductive cycle. The variation character of ERK1 and ERK 2 expression in the yak’s main reproductive organs during different stages implies that they play an important role in regulating the reproductive function under different physiological statuses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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