• Volume 21, Issue 1

      March 1996,   pages  1-100

    • Galactocerebroside mediated transmembrane Ca2+ signalling in U-87 MG cells: Possible involvement of phosphoinositides

      Sudha Mishra Preeti G Joshi

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      Antibody to galactocerebroside (anti- GalC) has been shown to evoke a Ca2+ response in cultured glioma U- 87 MG cells. The rise in [Ca2+]i was due to release of Ca2+ from the intracellular stores and influx through the plasma membrane. The rise in [Ca2+]i was markedly inhibited by neomycin sulphate and phorbol dibutyrate suggesting the involvement of phosphoinositides in Ca2+ mobilization. The Ca2+ response induced by anti- GalC was rapidly desensitized and repeated addition of anti- GalC did not elevate the [Ca2+]i. Heterologous desensitization was observed with bradykinin and adenosine triphosphate. The intracellular Ca2+ store mobilized by anti- GalC appears to be the IPin3 sensitive pool of endoplasmic reticulum. The influx of Ca2+ is mediated by a channel. The Ca2+ influx was also prevented by pretreatment of cells with neomycin sulphate or phorbol dibutyrate. We propose that galactocerebroside may be associated with phospholipase C or other proteins linked to the phosphoinositide pathway of transmembrane signalling and anti- GalC activates the breakdown of phosphoinositides and thus mobilizes Ca2+ in U-87 MG cells.

    • Partial purification and characterization of a novel human factor that augments the expression of class I MHC antigens on tumour cells

      R K Saxena Q B Saxena T L Whiteside R H Goldfarb R B Herberman

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      A cytokine which augments the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) I antigens on K562 and gastric carcinoma tumour (HR) cells, has been isolated from the culture supernatant of Concanavalin-A (Con-A) activated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The factor, termed MHC augmenting factor (MHC- AF) has been partially purified by Sephadex G- 100 column chromatography, preparative isoelectric focusing and HPLC with ion- exchange as well as sizing columns. MHC-AF activity is associated with a 35 kDa molecule which has pI of 6.0. Interferon (IFN)-α, \, tumour necrosis factor (TNF), Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-5 and IL-7 had no significant effect in MHC- AF bioassay, but IFN-γ had significant MHC-AF activity. Antibodies to IFN-α, IFN-\ and TNF-α did not block the activity of MHC-AF, but anti-IFN-y antibodies could partially neutralize the activity. However, unlike IFN-γ, MHC-AF activity was resistant to pH 2.0 treatment. Purified MHC-AF preparations did not have any activity in WISH cell/encephalo myocarditis virus (EMC) IFN bioassays. In addition, anti-IFN-y affinity column did not retain MHC-AF activity. These results indicate that a MHC-AF distinct from IFN-γ, is produced by activated human mononuclear cells.

    • Detection of filarial antigen by inhibition enzyme linked immunosorbent assay using fractionatedBrugia malayi microfilarial excretory secretory antigen

      V Chenthamarakshan M V R Reddy B C Harinath

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      Detection of filarial antigen in blood or urine samples would provide an accurate indication of active infection. The absence of a simple, well established animal model and limitations in getting the required amount of parasite material from human sources have been the main obstacles for the diagnosis ofWuchereria bancrofti infection. An inhibition ELISA has been developed for detection of filarial antigen using a partially purifiedBrugia malayi mf ES antigen (BmE DE1) and its affinity purified antibodies. Filarial antigen was detected in the sera of 88% of microfilaraemic, 60% of chronic filarial, 17% of endemic normal and none of the non- endemic normal subjects. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were 88% and 89% respectively. Moreover, undiluted urine samples from 82% of microfilaraemic and 17% of endemic normal, but none of the non- endemic normal samples showed the presence of filarial antigen. With the limitations on the availability of sufficient homologous parasite materials, the inhibition ELISA using BmE DE1 and anti BmE DE1 antibodies shows promise for the detection of active infection in bancroftian filariasis in man. Moreover, its detection in urine makes it more possible to test patients in field areas.

    • Role of hydroxyl radical in superoxide induced microsomal lipid peroxidation: Protective effect of anion channel blocker

      Salil K Ghosh Tapati Chakraborti Arun B Banerjee Sujata Roychoudhury Sajal Chakraborti

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      Treatment of bovine pulmonary artery smooth muscle microsomes with the superoxide radical generating system hypoxanthine plus xanthine oxidase stimulated iron release, hydroxyl radical production and lipid peroxidation. Pretreatment of the microsomes with deferoxamine or dime thy lthiourea markedly inhibited lipid peroxidation, and prevented hydroxyl radical production without appreciably altering iron release. The superoxide radical generating system did not alter the ambient superoxide dismutase activity. However,addition of exogenous superoxide dismutase prevented superoxide radical induced iron release,hydroxyl radical production and lipid peroxidation. Simultaneous treatment of the microsomes with deferoxamine, dimethylthiourea or superoxide dismutase prevented hydroxyl radical production and liqid peroxidation. While deferoxamine or dimethylthiourea did not appreciably alter iron release, superoxide dismutase prevented iron release. However, addition of deferoxamine, dimethylthiourea or superoxide dismutase even 2 min after treatment did not significantly inhibit lipid peroxidation, hydroxyl radical production and iron release. Pretreatment of microsomes with the anion channel blocker 4,4’- dithiocyano 2,′- disulphonic acid stilbine did not cause any discernible change in chemiluminiscence induced by the superoxide radical generating system but markedly inhibited lipid peroxidation without appreciably altering iron release and hydroxial radical production.

    • Analysis of octopine left border-directed DNA transfer fromAgrobacterium to plants

      Vai Ramanathan K Veluthambi

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      We constructed a binary plasmid, pVR30, with a neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII) plant expression cassette flanked by a pTiA6 left border on its right and a pTiA6 right border on its left. This plasmid was used to study transfer of DNA to plants from a left border in the presence of a right border. Infection of tobacco leaf discs with a wild type octopine strain ofAgrobacterium tumefaciens harbouring the binary plasmid resulted in the generation of kanamycin resistant calli at 18 to 26% frequency. Southern hybridization analysis of DNA isolated from eight transformed lines to different probes indicated that left border could mediate DNA transfer to plants in the presence of a right border in cis. Our results also suggest that transfer events corresponding to transfer of T- centre DNA of octopine Ti plasmid pTiA6 do occur. We have shown the relevance of left border- initiated T- DNA transfer by specifically selecting for such events and have confirmed it by Southern hybridization analysis. We also found that a border could be skipped in a few T- DNA transsfer events.

    • Life-history ofNeurospora intermedia in a sugar cane field

      Alka Pandit Ramesh Maheshwari

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      The life-history ofNeurospora in nature has remained largely unknown. The present study attempts to remedy this. The following conclusions are based on observation ofNeurospora on fire-scorched sugar cane in agricultural fields, and reconstruction experiments using a colour mutant to inoculate sugar cane burned in the laboratory. The fungus persists in soil as heat- resistant dormant ascospores. These are activated by a chemical(s) released into soil from the burnt substrate. The chief diffusible activator of ascospores is furfural and the germinating ascospores infect the scorched substrate. An invasive mycelium grows progressively upwards inside the juicy sugar cane and produces copious macroconidia externally through fire- induced openings formed in the plant tissue, or by the mechanical rupturing of the plant epidermal tissue by the mass of mycelium. The loose conidia are dispersed by wind and/or foraged by microfauna. It is suggested that the constant production of macroconidia, and their ready dispersal, serve a physiological role: to drain the substrate of minerals and soluble sugars, thereby creating nutritional conditions which stimulate sexual reproduction by the fungus. Sexual reproduction in the sugar- depleted cellulosic substrate occurs after macroconidiation has ceased totally and is favoured by the humid conditions prevailing during the monsoon rains. Profuse micro-conidiophores and protoperithecia are produced simultaneously in the pockets below the loosened epidermal tissue. Presumably protoperithecia are fertilized by microconidia which are possibly transmitted by nematodes active in the dead plant tissue. Mature perithecia release ascospores in situ which are passively liberated in the soil by the disintegration of the plant material and are, apparently, distributed by rain or irrigation water.

    • Pituitary gonadotropins regulate spermatogonial differentiation and proliferation in the rat‡

      Jagatpala Shetty Gopal K Marathe Suresh Ramaswamy Rajan R Dighe

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      The relative regulatory roles of the pituitary gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone in the spermatogonial proliferation has been studied using specific antibodies against these hormones in the immature rats. Immunoneutralization of lu teinizing hormone for 7 days resulted in significant reduction in tetraploid cells and total absence of haploid cells,while there was a relative increase in the diploid population. This was also accomopanied by a decrease in spermatogonial proliferation as indicated by a decrease in [3H] thymidine incorpor-ation into DNA by purified spermatogonia. Administration of follicle stimulating hormone a/s for 7 days also caused a significant decrease in the rate of spermatogonial proliferation. Withdrawal of follicle stimulating hormone led to a significant reduction in tetraploid and haploid cells. However interestingly,it failed to totally abolish the appearance of these cells. Administration of testosterone (3 mg/day/rat) for 2 days along with the gonadotropin a/s could partially reverse the effect on spermatogonial proliferation. It is concluded that (i) both luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone are involved in spermatogonial proliferation, (ii) lack of testosterone consequent of the neutralization of luteinizing hormone prevented the entry of spermatogonial cells into meiosis, (iii) testosterone may be involved in spermatogonia] proliferation providing a mitotic signal and (v) both follicle stimulating hormone and testosterone act synergistically and lack of any one of the hormones results in impairment of spermatogonial proliferation.

    • Chaotic dynamics may determine the effect of inter-patch migration on metapopulation survival

      Graeme D Ruxton

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      A simple, strategic model of a system of habitat fragments connected by conservation corridors is presented. The intrinsic dynamics of the population on each fragment are stochastic. In addition, at each generation there is a probability of a catastrophic event occurring which affects all the habitat fragments by greatly reducing the size of the population on each. Global extinction is considered to occur when all the populations simultaneously fall below a threshold value. If the intrinsic dynamics on each fragment are simple cycles or a stable equilibrium, then the addition of conservation corridors does not reduce the frequency of global extinction. This is because migration between fragments induces their populations to have values which are similar to each other. However, if the intrinsic population dynamics are chaotic then the probability of global extinction is greatly reduced by the introduction of conservation corridors. Although local extinction is likely, the chaos acts to oppose the synchronising effect of migration. Often a subset of the populations survive a catastrophe and can recolonize the other patches.

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