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PublicationMolecular cloning and characterisation of the mouse preprogalanin gene
Using a probe obtained by PCR amplification from mouse genomic DNA, a genomic clone was isolated covering the entire mouse preprogalanin gene. The mouse gene has an exon:intron organisation very similar to that of the rat and human genes. The first exon is noncoding while exons 2-5 carry the coding region. Exon 6 also encodes the stop codon and a polyadenylation signal. The deduced amino-acid sequence of mouse preprogalanin is 94% and 68% identical to the rat and human peptide, respectively. The amino-acid sequence of mouse galanin was confirmed by RT-PCR amplification of mouse brain RNA. The cloning of the mouse galanin gene should allow elucidation of the regulatory characteristics of its promoter and facilitate transgenic approaches to the analysis of galanin gene function in this species.
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PublicationPathology of genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic exocrine cancer: consensus report and recommendations
Several diverse genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic exocrine neoplasia have been developed. These mouse models have a spectrum of pathologic changes; however, until now, there has been no uniform nomenclature to characterize these changes. An international workshop, sponsored by The National Cancer Institute and the University of Pennsylvania, was held from December 1 to 3, 2004 with the goal of establishing an internationally accepted uniform nomenclature for the pathology of genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic exocrine neoplasia. The pancreatic pathology in 12 existing mouse models of pancreatic neoplasia was reviewed at this workshop, and a standardized nomenclature with definitions and associated images was developed. It is our intention that this nomenclature will standardize the reporting of genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic exocrine neoplasia, that it will facilitate comparisons between genetically engineered mouse models and human pancreatic disease, and that it will be broad enough to accommodate newly emerging mouse models of pancreatic neoplasia.
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PublicationResponses of mouse airway epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages to virulent and avirulent strains of influenza A virus
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection is associated with outcomes ranging from subclinical infection to severe pneumonia. In this study, we compared IAV strains BJx109 (H3N2), HKx31 (H3N2), and PR8 (H1N1), for their ability to elicit innate immune responses from mouse airway cells in vitro and their virulence in mice. The viruses differed markedly in their ability to induce disease in mice (PR8 > HKx31 > BJx109). In particular, PR8 infection was associated with high levels of virus replication and pulmonary inflammation. We next compared the ability of each virus strain to infect and induce inflammatory mediators from mouse airway cells. First, major differences were observed in the ability of viruses to infect and induce chemokines and cytokines from mouse alveolar macrophages (BJx109 > HKx31 > PR8), but not from airway epithelial cells (AEC) in vitro. Second, C-type lectins of the innate immune system in mouse lung fluids blocked the ability of BJx109, but not PR8, to infect mouse macrophages and AEC. The failure of the virulent PR8 virus to elicit responses from airway macrophages, combined with resistance to antiviral proteins in mouse airway fluids, likely contribute to virulence in mice. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms underlying disease severity in the mouse model of influenza infection.
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PublicationDo individually ventilated cage systems generate a problem for genetic mouse model research?
Technological developments over recent decades have produced a novel housing system for laboratory mice, so-called 'individually ventilated cage' (IVC) systems. IVCs present a cage environment which is different to conventional filter-top cages (FILTER). Nothing is known about the consequences of IVC housing on genetic mouse models, despite studies reporting IVC-mediated changes to the phenotypes of inbred mouse strains. Thus, in this study, we systematically compared the established behavioural phenotype of a validated mouse model for the schizophrenia risk gene neuregulin 1 (TM Nrg1 HET) kept in FILTER housing with Nrg1 mutant mice raised in IVC systems. We found that particular schizophrenia-relevant endophenotypes of TM Nrg1 HETs which had been established and widely published using FILTER housing were altered when mice were raised in IVC housing. IVCs diminished the schizophrenia-relevant prepulse inhibition deficit of Nrg1 mutant males. Furthermore, IVC housing had a sex-dependent moderate effect on the locomotive phenotype of Nrg1 mice across test paradigms. Behavioural effects of IVC housing were less prominent in female mice. Thus, transferring the breeding colony of mouse mutants from FILTER to IVC systems can shift disease-relevant behaviours and therefore challenge the face validity of these mice. Researchers facing an upgrade of their mouse breeding or holding facilities to IVC systems must be aware of the potential impact this upgrade might have on their genetic mouse models. Future publications should provide more details on the cage system used to allow appropriate data comparison across research sites.
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PublicationThe mouse auditory system
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PublicationMouse strain-dependent variation in obesity and glucose homeostasis in response to high-fat feeding
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Metabolic disorders are commonly investigated using knockout and transgenic mouse models. A variety of mouse strains have been used for this purpose. However, mouse strains can differ in their inherent propensities to develop metabolic disease, which may affect the experimental outcomes of metabolic studies. We have investigated strain-dependent differences in the susceptibility to diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in five commonly used inbred mouse strains (C57BL/6J, 129X1/SvJ, BALB/c, DBA/2 and FVB/N). METHODS: Mice were fed either a low-fat or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks. Whole-body energy expenditure and body composition were then determined. Tissues were used to measure markers of mitochondrial metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress and lipid accumulation. RESULTS: BL6, 129X1, DBA/2 and FVB/N mice were all susceptible to varying degrees to HFD-induced obesity, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, but BALB/c mice exhibited some protection from these detrimental effects. This protection could not be explained by differences in mitochondrial metabolism or oxidative stress in liver or muscle, or inflammation in adipose tissue. Interestingly, in contrast with the other strains, BALB/c mice did not accumulate excess lipid (triacylglycerols and diacylglycerols) in the liver; this is potentially related to lower fatty acid uptake rather than differences in lipogenesis or lipid oxidation. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Collectively, our findings indicate that most mouse strains develop metabolic defects on an HFD. However, there are inherent differences between strains, and thus the genetic background needs to be considered carefully in metabolic studies.
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PublicationY-receptor-like genes GPR72 and GPR73: molecular cloning, genomic organisation and assignment to human chromosome 11q21.1 and 2p14 and mouse chromosome 9 and 6
Two novel G-protein-coupled receptors, one from human, GPR72, and one from mouse, GPR73 have been isolated, sequenced and their genomic organisation determined. Non-isotopic in situ hybridisation and radiation hybrid mapping have identified GPR72 to be localised on human chromosome 11q21.1, and GPR73 on human chromosome 2p14. Interspecific mouse backcross mapping has localised the genes to mouse chromosomes 9 and 6, respectively. Northern analysis reveals GPR72 mRNA expression only in brain tissue. However, GPR73 mRNA can be found in heart, skeletal muscle and pancreas. Both receptors are closely related with 36 and 33% overall amino acid identity, respectively, to the Y-receptor family. However, although successful cell surface expression in a heterologous expression system can be achieved no specific binding to this ligand family can be detected, indicating that perhaps additional factors are required for binding.
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PublicationStructural organization of the mouse and human GALR1 galanin receptor genes (Galnr and GALNR) and chromosomal localization of the mouse gene
The neuropeptide galanin elicits a range of biological effects by interaction with specific G-protein-coupled receptors. Human and rat GALR1 galanin receptor cDNA clones have previously been isolated using expression cloning. We have used the human GALR1 cDNA in hybridization screening to isolate the gene encoding GALR1 in both human (GALNR) and mouse (Galnr). The gene spans approximately 15-20 kb in both species; its structural organization is conserved and is unique among G-protein-coupled receptors. The coding sequence is contained on three exons, with exon 1 encoding the N-terminal end of the receptor and the first five transmembrane domains. Exon 2 encodes the third intracellular loop, while exon 3 encodes the remainder of the receptor, from transmembrane domain 6 to the C-terminus of the receptor protein. The mouse and human GALR1 receptor proteins are 348 and 349 amino acids long, respectively, and display 93% identity at the amino acid level. The mouse Galnr gene has been localized to Chromosome 18E4, homoeologous with the previously reported localization of the human GALNR gene to 18q23 in the same syntenic group as the genes encoding nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic 1, and myelin basic protein.
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PublicationImproved definition of the mouse transcriptome via targeted RNA sequencing
Targeted RNA sequencing (CaptureSeq) uses oligonucleotide probes to capture RNAs for sequencing, providing enriched read coverage, accurate measurement of gene expression, and quantitative expression data. We applied CaptureSeq to refine transcript annotations in the current murine GRCm38 assembly. More than 23,000 regions corresponding to putative or annotated long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and 154,281 known splicing junction sites were selected for targeted sequencing across five mouse tissues and three brain subregions. The results illustrate that the mouse transcriptome is considerably more complex than previously thought. We assemble more complete transcript isoforms than GENCODE, expand transcript boundaries, and connect interspersed islands of mapped reads. We describe a novel filtering pipeline that identifies previously unannotated but high-quality transcript isoforms. In this set, 911 GENCODE neighboring genes are condensed into 400 expanded gene models. Additionally, 594 GENCODE lncRNAs acquire an open reading frame (ORF) when their structure is extended with CaptureSeq. Finally, we validate our observations using current FANTOM and Mouse ENCODE resources.
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PublicationCharacterization of specific growth hormone binding sites in mouse fibroblasts
The demonstration that mouse embryo mesenchymal cells produce somatomedin-like immunoreactivity suggests that fibroblasts may be a target tissue for GH action. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction of GH with mouse fibroblasts. Specific binding sites for GH in mouse fibroblasts (BALB/c and Swiss 3T3) have been characterized. Binding of [125I]iodo-human GH (hGH) was rapid, reversible, and time and temperature dependent. Maximal binding was achieved within 2 h at 30 C and was rapidly dissociable at this temperature with or without excess unlabeled hormone. Specific binding of [125I]iodo-hGH was similar over the pH range 6.6-8.2. Half-maximal inhibition of specific binding was obtained with 10 ng/ml hGH. A linear relationship between specific binding and cell number was found and negligible degradation of [125I]iodo-hGH occurred during the binding studies. Somatogenic hormones from various species, including mouse GH, rat GH, porcine GH, and bovine GH competed for binding with [125I]iodo-hGH. Lactogenic hormones did not displace [125I]iodo-hGH at low concentrations. Scatchard analysis revealed curvilinear plots suggesting that [125I]iodo-hGH was binding to two sites. The affinity constants and capacities of these binding sites on BALB/c 3T3 cells were 7.46 X 10(9) M-1 and 4,000 sites per cell and 0.26 X 10(9) M-1 and 67,000 sites per cell. Using [125I]iodo-bovine GH and [125I]iodo-human placental lactogen as labeled ligands two distinct binding sites were found with affinity constants of 6.1 X 10(9) M-1 and 1.1 X 10(9) M-1, respectively. These data are consistent with the presence of cell surface somatogenic and lactogenic receptors in mouse fibroblasts and suggest GH receptors may be present on many cell types not previously considered to be target tissues for GH action. The mouse fibroblast GH receptor may provide a useful model for somatogenic receptors, particularly if it is coupled to somatomedin production as appears to be the case with human fibroblasts.
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PublicationDown-regulation by growth hormone of specific growth hormone receptors on mouse fibroblasts
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PublicationIntravital FRAP imaging using an E-cadherin-GFP mouse reveals disease and drug-dependent dynamic regulation of cell-cell junctions in live tissue
E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell junctions play a prominent role in maintaining the epithelial architecture. The disruption or deregulation of these adhesions in cancer can lead to the collapse of tumor epithelia that precedes invasion and subsequent metastasis. Here we generated an E-cadherin-GFP mouse that enables intravital photobleaching and quantification of E-cadherin mobility in live tissue without affecting normal biology. We demonstrate the broad applications of this mouse by examining E-cadherin regulation in multiple tissues, including mammary, brain, liver, and kidney tissue, while specifically monitoring E-cadherin mobility during disease progression in the pancreas. We assess E-cadherin stability in native pancreatic tissue upon genetic manipulation involving Kras and p53 or in response to anti-invasive drug treatment and gain insights into the dynamic remodeling of E-cadherin during in situ cancer progression. FRAP in the E-cadherin-GFP mouse, therefore, promises to be a valuable tool to fundamentally expand our understanding of E-cadherin-mediated events in native microenvironments.
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PublicationHuman and murine osteocalcin gene expression: conserved tissue restricted expression and divergent responses to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in vivo
Human and murine osteocalcin genes demonstrate similar cell-specific expression patterns despite significant differences in gene locus organization and sequence variations in cis-acting regulatory elements. To investigate whether differences in these regulatory regions result in an altered response to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3] in vivo, we compared the response of the endogenous mouse osteocalcin gene to a bacterial reporter gene directed by flanking regions of the human osteocalcin gene in transgenic mice. Transgene expression colocalized with endogenous osteocalcin expression in serial sections, being detected in osteoblasts, osteocytes and hypertrophic chondrocytes. In calvarial cell culture lysates from transgenic and nontransgenic mice, the endogenous mouse osteocalcin gene did not respond to 1,25-(OH)2D3 treatment. Despite this, transgene activity was significantly increased in the same cells. Similarly, Northern blots of total cellular RNA and in situ hybridization studies of transgenic animals demonstrated a maximal increase in transgene expression at 6 h after 1,25-(OH)2D3 injection (23.6+/-3.6-fold) with a return to levels equivalent to uninjected animals by 24 h (1.2+/-0.1-fold). This increase in transgene expression was also observed at 6 h after 1,25-(OH)2D3 treatment in animals on a low calcium diet (25.2+/-7.7-fold) as well as in transgenic mice fed a vitamin D-deficient diet containing strontium chloride to block endogenous 1,25-(OH)2D3 production (7.5+/-0.9-fold). In contrast to the increased transgene expression levels, neither endogenous mouse osteocalcin mRNA levels nor serum osteocalcin levels were significantly altered after 1,25-(OH)2D3 injection in transgenic or nontransgenic mice, regardless of dietary manipulations, supporting evidence for different mechanisms regulating the response of human and mouse osteocalcin genes to 1,25-(OH)2D3. Although the cis- and trans-acting mechanisms directing cell-specific gene expression appear to be conserved in the mouse and human osteocalcin genes, responsiveness to 1,25-(OH)2D3 is not. The mouse osteocalcin genes do not respond to 1,25-(OH)2D3 treatment, but the human osteocalcin-directed transgene is markedly upregulated under the same conditions and in the same cells. The divergent responses of these homologous genes to 1,25-(OH)2D3 are therefore likely to be due to differences in mouse and human osteocalcin-regulatory sequences rather than to variation in the complement of trans-acting factors present in mouse osteoblastic cells. Increased understanding of these murine-human differences in osteocalcin regulation may shed light on the function of osteocalcin and its regulation by vitamin D in bone physiology.
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Mouse Genotyping
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A “biosensor mouse” that can predict the spread of pancreatic cancer
Scientists from Australia and the UK have created a “biosensor mouse”, enabling them to watch as pancreatic cancer cells begin to “unzip” from each other in real time – a signal that cells are on the verge of spreading from the primary tumour. Remarkably, the researchers successfully rezipped these cancer cells by treating mice with anti-cancer therapies, stopping the spread of cancer before it had begun.
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