May 20, 2007

2007 Week 20: Ferret Medical Studies

ENTIRE CATALOG OF FERRET PROTEINS TO DATE


The effect of inflammation on Fos expression in the ferret trigeminal nucleus
We have previously carried out detailed characterization and identification of Fos expression within the trigeminal nucleus after tooth pulp stimulation in ferrets. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of pulpal inflammation on the excitability of central trigeminal neurons following tooth pulp stimulation. Adult ferrets were prepared under anesthesia to allow tooth pulp stimulation, recording from the digastric muscle, and intravenous injections at a subsequent experiment. In some animals, pulpal inflammation was induced by introducing human caries into a deep buccal cavity. After 5 d, animals were re-anaethetized, and the teeth were stimulated at 10 times the threshold of the jaw-opening reflex. Stimulation of all tooth pulps induced ipsilateral Fos in the trigeminal subnuclei caudalis and oralis. All non-stimulated animals showed negligible Fos labeling, with no differences recorded between inflamed and non-inflamed groups. Following tooth pulp stimulation, Fos expression was greater in animals with inflamed teeth than in animals with non-inflamed teeth, with the greatest effect seen in the subnucleus caudalis. These results suggest that inflammation increases the number of trigeminal brainstem neurons activated by tooth pulp stimulation; this may be mediated by peripheral or central mechanisms.

Neuronal vacuolation in an adult ferret
The brain of a ferret showing abnormal neurologic signs was evaluated by histopathologic, histochemical, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural examinations. Extensive neuronal vacuolation was observed. Since the brain was negative for protease-resistant protein prion (PrP'"), it was concluded that this was not a case of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.


Bioelectric properties of chloride channels in human, pig, ferret, and mouse airway epithelia

In the study reported here, we sought to comparatively characterize the bioelectric properties of in vitro polarized airway epithelia--from human, mouse, pig and ferret--grown at the air-liquid interface (ALI). Bioelectric properties analyzed include amiloride-sensitive Na(+) transport, 4,4'-diisothiocyanato-stilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS)-sensitive Cl(-) transport, and cAMP-sensitive Cl(-) transport. In addition, as an index for CFTR functional conservation, we evaluated the ability of four CFTR inhibitors, including glibenclamide, 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropyl-amino)-benzoic acid, CFTR (inh)-172, and CFTR(inh)-GlyH101, to block cAMP-mediated Cl(-) transport. Compared with human epithelia, pig epithelia demonstrated enhanced amiloride-sensitive Na(+) transport. In contrast, ferret epithelia exhibited significantly reduced DIDS-sensitive Cl(-) transport. Interestingly, although the four CFTR inhibitors effectively blocked cAMP-mediated Cl(-) secretion in human airway epithelia, each species tested demonstrated unique differences in its responsiveness to these inhibitors. These findings suggest the existence of substantial species-specific differences at the level of the biology of airway epithelial electrolyte transport, and potentially also in terms of CFTR structure/function.

High-throughput immunophenotyping of 43 ferret lymphomas using tissue microarray technology
To validate the use of the tissue microarray (TMA) method for immunophenotyping of ferret lymphomas, a TMA was constructed containing duplicate 1-mm cores sampled from 112 paraffin-embedded lymphoma tissue specimens obtained from 43 ferret lymphoma cases. Immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of CD3, CD79alpha, and Ki-67 (MIB-1) was determined by TMA and whole mount (WM) staining of each individual case for result comparison. There was a high correlation between CD79alpha and CD3 results comparing ferret TMA and WM sections (kappa statistic 0.71-0.73 for single-core TMA and 0.79-0.95 for duplicate-core TMA) and between continuous data from Ki-67 staining of ferret TMA sections and WM sections (concordance correlation coefficients 0.77 for single cores and 0.87 for duplicate cores). Subsequently, a panel of commercially available antibodies was applied to the TMA for the analysis of expression in ferret lymphomas. The results of this study confirmed previously published results suggesting specific cross-reactivity of the applied IHC markers (CD3, CD79alpha, Ki67) with ferret lymphoma tissue. Other IHC markers (CD45Ro, bcl2, bcl10, MUM1, CD30, vimentin) were also expressed in subsets of the included ferret lymphomas. Further studies are necessary to determine the usefulness of these markers for diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of ferret lymphomas. In conclusion, the TMA technology was useful for rapid and accurate analysis of protein expression in large archival cohorts of ferret lymphoma cases.


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