The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

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Feed restriction inhibits early follicular development in broiler-breeder hens

Feed restriction inhibits early follicular development in broiler-breeder hens

Expression of adiponectin and its receptors in avian species

Adipose tissue is a dynamic endocrine organ secreting a variety of hormones that affect physiological functions within the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive, and immune systems. The endocrine role of avian adipose tissue remains enigmatic as many of the classical hormones found in mammalian adipose tissue have not been found in avians. This mini-review summarizes our current knowledge on avian adiponectin, one of the most abundant adipose tissue hormones, and its receptors.

Bone morphogenetic protein 4 supports the initial differentiation of hen (Gallus gallus) granulosa cells

In the hen ovary, selection of a follicle into the preovulatory hierarchy occurs from a small cohort of prehierarchal (6-8 mm) follicles. Prior to follicle selection the granulosa layer remains in an undifferentiated state despite elevated follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) expression. The present studies describe a role for bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) in supporting FSHR mRNA expression in granulosa cells from prehierarchal follicles and promoting differentiation at follicle selection

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, estradiol, and inhibin regulation of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone surges: implications for follicle emergence and selection in heifers

Mechanisms regulating gonadotropin surges and gonadotropin requirements for follicle emergence and selection were studied in heifers

Zinc-dependent lysosomal enlargement in TRPML1-deficient cells involves MTF-1 transcription factor and ZnT4 (Slc30a4) transporter.

Zinc is critical for a multitude of cellular processes, including gene expression, secretion and enzymatic activities. Cellular zinc is controlled by zinc-chelating proteins and by zinc transporters. The recent identification of zinc permeability of the lysosomal ion channel TRPML1 (transient receptor potential mucolipin 1), and the evidence of abnormal zinc levels in cells deficient in TRPML1, suggested a role for TRPML1 in zinc transport. In the present study we provide new evidence for such a role and identify additional cellular components responsible for it.

New motor lateralization model verified through virtual reality experiments could revolutionize post-stroke rehabilitation

A new model of brain lateralization for movement, proposed by Huck Institutes affiliate Robert Sainburg and confirmed through novel virtual reality and brain lesion experiments, could dramatically improve the future of rehabilitation for stroke patients.

Role of immune cells in the corpus luteum

During the luteal phase, changes in the population of macrophages, eosinophils, neutrophils, and T lymphocytes occur at critical functional stages of the CL. In addition to their role in facilitating ovulation, immune cells may have an important role in luteal function. Evidence shows that cytokines secreted by immune cells modulate both luteotropic and luteolytic processes. However, the decision to pursue either function may depend on the environment provided by luteal cells. It is suggested that understanding the role immune cells play could lead to identification of new strategies to improve fertility in dairy cattle and other species.

Differential expression of PRAMEL1, a cancer/testis antigen, during spermatogenesis in the mouse

The objective of this study is to characterize the temporal and spatial expression of the mouse Pramel1 gene, and to determine the cellular localization of the PRAMEL1 protein during the mouse spermatogenesis. Our results indicated that the mouse Pramel1 was expressed in testis only. The mRNA and protein expression level was low in the newborn testes, and gradually increased from 1- to 3-week-old testes, and then remained constant after three weeks of age.

Discovery of subdivisions in rat motor cortex has potential to advance human brain studies

A recent find by Huck Institutes researchers Jared Smith and Kevin Alloway at the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering shows that rats' brains are more like ours than scientists previously thought.

Researchers use fMRI and state-of-the-art brain mapping techniques to study alcohol's effects on first-year students

The team, which includes several scientists affiliated with the Huck Institutes, recently completed a first-of-its-kind longitudinal pilot study aimed at better understanding how the neural processes that underlie responses to alcohol-related cues change across students' first year of college.

Malaria infection risk influenced by daily temperature variations

Identifying areas of malarial infection risk depends more on daily temperature variation than on the average monthly temperatures, according to a team of researchers who believe that their results may also apply to environmentally temperature-dependent organisms other than the malaria parasite.

Climate change effect on plant communities is buffered by large herbivores, new research suggests

The question of whether existing ecological communities can persist intact as temperatures rise is of increasing relevance in the field of climate change, and is the focus of a new study by Eric Post.

Flu outbreaks are modeled by a new study of classroom schedules

Using high-school schedule data for a community of students, teachers, and staff, Marcel Salathe and Timo Smieszek have developed a low-cost but effective method to determine how to focus disease-control strategies based on which individuals are most likely to spread the infection.

Oocytecumulus cell interactions regulate free intracellular zinc in mouse oocytes

Zinc increases in the oocyte during maturation and is required for progression and completion of meiosis. The objective of this study was to determine whether cumulus cells regulate the levels of free intracellular zinc in the oocyte during maturation. In the cumulus-oocyte complex (COC) the relative level of free intracellular zinc was almost fourfold higher in cumulus cells compared with the resident germinal vesicle-stage oocyte.

Parasite burden is linked positively to rank in a primate social network

Alex Hernandez and a team of researchers find that high-ranking Japanese macaque females are more likely to become key hosts or even "superspreaders" in the transmission of parasites within their social groups.

Virus-host interactions influence vector behavior

A research team including Kerry Mauck, Consuelo De Moraes, and Mark Mescher finds that transmission mechanisms can shape the effects of viral infections on plant host-vector interactions.

In vivo observations of a fluorescent protein may spark development of novel cancer treatments

Using a technique known as Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC), Zhi-Chun Lai and his lab have directly visualized the activation of the Hippo (Hpo) tumor-suppressor pathway in living cells.