• Volume 5, Issue 2

      June 1983,   pages  107-180

    • Inhibition of avian myeloblastosis virus reverse transcriptase by an RNA-binding protein from plasma membranes of normal and tumor cells

      Veena K Parnaik Pramod K Srivastava M R Das

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      Purified plasma membranes from normal rat liver, a rat hepatoma and a rat hepatic fibrosarcoma have been shown to contain a protein which drastically inhibits avian myeloblastosis virus reverse transcriptase activity. The inhibition is caused by the binding of the protein to the template. The binding and the consequent inhibition of enzyme activity are template-specific; copying of RNA templates is inhibited whilst that of DNA templates remains unaffected. Investigations using different templates suggest that the inhibitory protein has a stronger binding affinity for G, C-rich templates. The inhibitor appears to have a wide distribution in plasma membranes from diverse sources.

    • Biological characteristics of a factor suppressing follicle stimulating hormone (inhibin) from ovine testes

      H M Shashidhara Murthy N R Moudgal

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      Inhibin (follicle stimulating hormone suppressing factor) isolated from ovine testes has been characterized for its biological activity using a variety of tests. The bioassay used — inhibition of the human chorionic gonadotropin induced increment in the mouse uterine weight-demonstrates that there is a significant increment in specific activity (approx. 300-fold) with the progress of purification. Eventhough the final product has not been obtained in a homogenous state it has been possible to show that(a) [125I]-labelled inhibin is preferentially taken up and retained by the pituitary, pretreatment of rats with testosterone facilitating this uptake;(b) it is able to suppress specifically the levels of follicle stimulating hormone in castrated as well as immature intact rats and (c) treatment of immature male rats with inhibin preparation for ten days results in impairment of testicular function as judged by3H-thymidine incorporation into testicular DNA and testicular hyaluronidase activity.

    • Ontogeny of insulin-receptor interaction: Correlation with circulatory insulin levels

      Anil K Balapure A K Rastogi M K Sahib

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      Interaction of [125I]-insulin with intact hepatocytes and its correlation with circulatory insulin level was examined. The hepatocytes from new-born rats bound lowest amount of [125I]-insulin (1.39±0.41 pM/mg cell protein) when circulatory insulin level was high (8±1.5 ΜU/ml). Hepatocytes from 7 day and 21 day old animals demonstrated a more or less similar relationship, Cells from 31 day old animals exhibited maximum insulin binding, activity (5.13±0.18.pM/mg cell protein) against a low serum insulin level (4.25±0.25 ΜU/ ml). Scatchard analysis of insulin binding shows that the affinity is higher in the hepatocytes from new-born animals than in the hepatocytes of 31 day old animals. Higher binding observed in the latter case may be due to a greater number of binding sites. Hepatocytes from one year old rats bound very little insulin (2.50±0.36 pM/mg cell protein) against a high circulatory insulin level (9.25±0.85 ΜU/ml). In view of these results, it appears that the down-regulation hypothesis holds true during ontogeny too.

    • Surface membrane changes in lepromatous macrophages affecting the adherence ofMycobacterium leprae

      Shashikant J Lad Padmini R Salgame P R Mahadevan

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      Macrophages from lepromatous leprosy patients showed poor adherence toMycobacterium leprae. The phagocytic activity of the macrophages was not correlated to the influence on the adherence ability. Based on the phagocytic behaviour of macrophages from normal individuals and from lepromatous leprosy, patients as well as the action of neuraminidase in reversing the extent of adherence, it is suggested that macrophages from lepromatous leprosy patients differ from those from normal individuals in regard to their surface properties. There was no relationship between the degree of adherence and the concentration of Fc receptors of the macrophages. It was also shown that an extract of lysed macrophages from lepromatous leprosy patient was able to reduce the adherence ofMycobacterium leprae to normal macrophages. This study shows that adherence is a good indicator of the surface property of macrophages which in turn could play an important role in the cell mediated immunity of the patient. The observations suggest altered macrophage membrane structure in the long term-treated, otherwise normal, lepromatous leprosy patients.

    • Plasma gonadotropin, prolactin levels and hypothalamic tyrosine hydroxylase activity in rats during estrous cycle, after overiectomy and after blockade of catecholamine biosynthesis

      G Nagesh Babu E Vijayan

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      Plasma gonadotropin, prolactin levels and hypothalamic tyrosine hydroxylase activity were evaluated at 0900, 1200 and 1700 h during diestrus, proestrus and estrus, ovariectomized and after systemic administration of reserpine or α-methyl p-tyrosine, which interfere with catecholamine biosynthesis, in rats. Gonadotropin and prolactin levels showed peak values during the afternoon of proestrus, while hypothalamic tyrosine hydroxylase activity was markedly lowered at 1200 on proestrus. Gonadotropin levels were slightly lowered whereas prolactin concentrations and hypothalamic tyrosine hydroxylase activity were significantly increased by reserpine. Depletion of hypothalamic dopamine by reserpine apparently resulted in significant elevation of prolactin levels which inturn induce tyrosine hydroxylase. Gonadotropin levels and hypothalamic tyrosine hydroxylase activity were significantly suppressed after the administration of α-methyl p-tyrosine. Prolactin levels, however, were elevated significantly. These results indicate that catecholamines are involved in the control of gonadotropin and prolactin release during estrous cycle and inhibition of catecholamines biosynthesis by α-methyl p-tyrosine could result in suppression of gonadotropin levels, whereas removal of tonic inhibition of hypothalamic dopamine by α-methyl-p-tyrosine elevate prolactin levels.

    • Physico-chemical characterisation and molecular organisation of the collagen from the skin of an air-breathing fish (Ophiocephalus striatus)

      S Rama Gowri Chandrakasan

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      Collagen has been prepared from the skin of an air-breathing Indian fish(Ophiocephalus striatus) by extraction with cold 0.5M acetic acid and purification by alternate precipitation with NaCl and dialysis against 0.02M Na2HPO4. The purified collagen was characterised with respect to physico-chemical properties, amino acid composition and chromatography of the denatured collagen. The fish collagen has a higher shrinkage temperature and denaturation temperature compared to that of the allied teleosts living in exclusively aquatic medium. These differences could possibly be reflections of the response to the rigours of the environment. As found for other vertebrate collagens, the fish collagen contains two kinds of single chains the α1 and α2 chains as revealed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamidegel electrophoresis and carboxymethylcellulose chromatography.

    • Fluorescence studies on the interaction of some ligands with carcinoscorpin, the sialic acid specific lectin, from the horseshoe crab,Carcinoscorpius rotundacauda

      S Mohan D Thambi Dorai S Srimal B K Bachhawat M K Das

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      The binding affinities of some ligands towards the sialic acid-specific lectin carcinoscorpin, from hemolymph of the horseshoe crabCarcinoscorpius rotundacauda have been determined by protein fluorescence quenching in presence of ligands. Among the ligands studied, the disaccharide O-(N-acetylneuraminyl)-(2→6)-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-D-galactitol has the highest Ka(l.15 × 106 M-1) for carcinoscorpin. Studies on the effect of pH on Ka values of disaccharide suggests the possible involvement of amino acid residues having pKa values around 6.0 and 9.0 in the binding activity of carcinoscorpin. There were distinct changes in the accessibility of the fluorescent tryptophan residues of carcinoscorpin by ligand-binding as checked through potassium iodide quenching.

    • Effect of sealing on the incorporation of pyrene in goat erythrocyte ghosts — A fluorescence study

      P Nandy M Dutta Choudhury P Chakrabarti

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      The incorporation of pyrene within the membrane interior of goat erythrocyte ghost has been estimated from its fluorescence spectrum. The excimer to monomer fluorescence intensity ratio of embedded pyrene is a function of the fluidity of its environment and the magnitude of its incorporation. Our study shows that this ratio is considerably less (30%) in a pre-sealed ghost than in the non-sealed ghost revealing that the site of incorporation of the probe is indeed the hydrophobic interior of the membrane; as in the later case, the probe has access to the membrane interior from both sides of the membrane. Our study on kinetics of molecular exchange indicates a very fast (of the order of seconds) transfer rate of pyrene from probed to unprobed erythrocyte ghosts through the aqueous phase rather than actual fusion of the membranes.

    • Comparative study of major lipid constituents in human and monkey aorta

      Rajvir Dahiya S Majumdar N K Ganguly R N Chakravarti

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      The contents of total lipids, phospholipids, cholesterol, triglyceride and free fatty acid in intima and media of thoracic and abdominal segments of aorta from normal human subjects and rhesus monkeys were determined. An increase in total lipids in intima as compared to that of media was noted in both species. A comparison of lipid contents of thoracic and abdominal segments from both species revealed that abdominal segment contained significantly greater lipid. Further, human thoracic and abdominal aortic intima and media had higher content of cholesterol as compared to that of monkey aorta. The differences in lipid profile in aorta of these two species have been highlighted to provide a clue with respect to the differences in the prevalence and morphology of atherosclerosis as seen in monkey and man.

    • Differential contractile response of normal vas deferens of rodents in correlation to their calcium and electrolyte levels

      N J Chinoy M R Chinoy

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      The contractile pattern of the vas deferens in three different rodents, rat, guinea pig and mouse was studied in response to adrenaline and noradrenaline. The left vas deferens of rat was more responsive to the graded doses of adrenaline and noradrenaline than the right. The same was also true for guinea pig and mouse vas deferens. This differential response has been correlated with the greater concentrations of calcium and sodium in the right vas deferens in rats and guinea pigs and it might also be related to the levels of membrane-bound and intracellular calmodulin-bound calcium. It is suggested that the left vas deferens might possess more calmodulin-bound calcium than the right, which might have instead, more membrane-bound calcium.

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