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Animals, Newborn - Top 30 Publications

Supplemental feeding of captive neonatal koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).

Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are cautious animals, making supplemental feeding of neonates challenging because of disturbances to the normal routine. However, supplemental feeding is beneficial in improving juvenile nutrition using less formula than required for hand-rearing, and allowing maternal bonding to continue through suckling. In this study, two neonatal koalas, delivered by the same mother in 2 years, exhibited insufficient growth post-emergence from the pouch; supplemental feeding was therefore initiated. The amount of formula fed was determined according to the product instructions, and offspring weight was monitored. Slower than normal growth was not initially noticed in the first offspring. This caused delayed commencement of supplemental feeding. An attempt was made to counteract this by providing more formula for a longer period; however, this meant No. 1 was unable to eat enough eucalyptus when weaning. Supplemental feeding was started earlier for the second offspring than for the first, and was terminated at weaning; this juvenile showed a healthy body weight increase. Furthermore, it was able to eat eucalyptus leaves at an earlier stage than No. 1. Although No. 1 showed delayed growth, both koalas matured and are still living. This study showed that supplemental feeding is useful for koalas, if the mother will accept human intervention. The key factors for successful supplemental feeding of koalas identified by comparing the two feeding systems observed in this study are that: (1) it should be initiated as soon as insufficient growth is identified; and (2) it should be terminated before weaning age. Zoo Biol. 36:62-65, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

High concentration of vitamin E supplementation in sow diet during the last week of gestation and lactation affects the immunological variables and antioxidative parameters in piglets.

An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of a high concentration of vitamin E supplementation in sow diet during the last week of gestation and lactation on the performance, milk composition, and vital immunological variables and antioxidative parameters in sows and piglets. The experiment started on day 107 of gestation and lasted until the piglets were weaned on day 21 of lactation. 48 sows were divided into two groups and fed either a basal diet with 44 IU/kg of vitamin E or a basal diet supplemented with additional vitamin E, total content of 250 IU/kg. Sow milk and blood samples were obtained on day 0 (farrowing) and on day 21 of lactation. One 21-day-old piglet per litter was selected to collect plasma. Results showed that supplementation of the maternal diet with 250 IU/kg vitamin E improved the average daily gain (ADG) and weaning weight of piglets (P < 0·05), and the concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin A (IgA) in sow plasma, colostrum and milk. The concentrations of fat in the colostrum and milk were significantly increased by supplementation with 250 IU/kg of vitamin E (P < 0·05). The level of plasma IgG, IgA, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) and catalase (CAT) were all higher (P < 0·05) in piglets from sows that were fed 250 IU/kg of vitamin E than in those from the control group. The high concentration of vitamin E supplementation to the sows enhanced the concentrations of α-tocopherol in the sow milk and plasma as well as piglet plasma (P < 0·05). In conclusion, the addition to the maternal diet of vitamin E at high concentration improved the weight of piglets at weaning, and enhanced humoral immune function and antioxidant activity in sows and piglets.

Invited review: Pre- and postnatal adipose tissue development in farm animals: from stem cells to adipocyte physiology.

Both white and brown adipose tissues are recognized to be differently involved in energy metabolism and are also able to secrete a variety of factors called adipokines that are involved in a wide range of physiological and metabolic functions. Brown adipose tissue is predominant around birth, except in pigs. Irrespective of species, white adipose tissue has a large capacity to expand postnatally and is able to adapt to a variety of factors. The aim of this review is to update the cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with pre- and postnatal adipose tissue development with a special focus on pigs and ruminants. In contrast to other tissues, the embryonic origin of adipose cells remains the subject of debate. Adipose cells arise from the recruitment of specific multipotent stem cells/progenitors named adipose tissue-derived stromal cells. Recent studies have highlighted the existence of a variety of those cells being able to differentiate into white, brown or brown-like/beige adipocytes. After commitment to the adipocyte lineage, progenitors undergo large changes in the expression of many genes involved in cell cycle arrest, lipid accumulation and secretory functions. Early nutrition can affect these processes during fetal and perinatal periods and can also influence or pre-determinate later growth of adipose tissue. How these changes may be related to adipose tissue functional maturity around birth and can influence newborn survival is discussed. Altogether, a better knowledge of fetal and postnatal adipose tissue development is important for various aspects of animal production, including neonatal survival, postnatal growth efficiency and health.

Minimizing cows' stress when calves were early weaned using the two-step method with nose flaps.

Early weaning may be used in beef cattle production to improve reproduction rates in range conditions. However, weaning causes a stress response in cows, which may be especially strong in early weaning management, as the bond between the cow and the calf is still strong. We hypothesized that weaning calves in two steps, with the aid of anti-sucking devices (nose flaps) would reduce the behavioural stress response in the cows separated from their calves 2 months after parturition. We compared the behaviour frequency and weight change in cows that were weaned abruptly, by separation of the calf on day 0 of the study, or in two steps, consisting of the use of anti-sucking nose flaps for 5 days before permanent separation; a third group was not weaned to serve as control. Thirty-six crossbred multiparous Aberdeen Angus×Hereford cows and their calves (n=12/treatment) were managed in three paddocks with similar pasture availability, with four dyads from each treatment per paddock. Cows' behaviour was observed by direct visual instantaneous sampling, at 10 min intervals from days -3 to 11. Weaning the calves in two steps clearly attenuated the behavioural stress response observed in abruptly weaned cows, which included reductions in grazing and lying, and increases in pacing, walking and vocalizing. Our results corroborate those previously shown for cows nursing older calves, and indicate that step weaning can reduce the behavioural stress response of cows at weaning, even when the calf is weaned shortly after birth, when the bond between the cow and calf is still very strong.

Periparturient characteristics of mares and their foals on a New Zealand Thoroughbred stud farm.

To describe selected periparturient variables in a sample of Thoroughbred mares and their foals on a commercial stud farm in New Zealand.

Lying behaviour and IgG-levels of newborn calves after feeding colostrum via tube and nipple bottle feeding.

Oesophageal tube feeding colostrum is used to ensure sufficient colostrum intake in newborn calves but the impact of tube feeding on animal behaviour is unclear. Therefore the objective of this study was to compare lying behaviour of tube-fed or bottle-fed dairy calves. Calves (n = 37) in 3 groups were offered 3·5 l colostrum 2 h after birth. Calves of the bottle group were fed with a nipple bottle. Calves of the placebo tubing group were tubed for 4 min but no colostrum was given and they were then fed with a nipple bottle. Calves of the tubing group received 3·5 l colostrum via tube feeding. Consumed amount of bottle and placebo tubing calves was recorded. If they refused some of the offered 3·5 l the rest was offered in a second feeding 2 h later. Lying behaviour was measured by data loggers fitted to right hind leg for 3 d. Blood samples were taken 24 h after birth for determination of IgG concentration. The voluntary colostrum intake differed significantly between bottle-fed and placebo tubed calves at first feeding. Considering both colostrum feedings, bottle-fed calves consumed 3·44 ± 0·14 l and placebo tubed calves consumed 3·20 ± 0·38 l colostrum. ImmunoglobulinG intake (255·6 ± 77·5 g IgG), serum IgG concentration 24 h after birth (22·8 ± 6·7 g/l) and total serum protein concentration (6·1 ± 0·6 g/dl) did not differ between groups. None of the calves had a failure of passive transfer. There was no effect of tubing on lying behaviour.

Comparison of diagnostic tests for determining the prevalence of failure of passive transfer in New Zealand dairy calves.

To evaluate the level of agreement of three indirect testing methods with concentrations of IgG in serum, and to determine their test characteristics for diagnosing failure of passive transfer (FPT), in dairy calves in New Zealand.

Prevalence of failure of passive transfer of maternal antibodies in dairy calves in the Manawatu region of New Zealand.

To determine the prevalence of failure of passive transfer (FPT) of maternal antibodies, to identify management factors associated with FPT, and to determine the relationship between interval from the start of calving and calf management practices on concentrations of total protein in the serum of calves, from a sample of spring-calving dairy herds in the Manawatu region of New Zealand.

Shaping cattle behavior.

Fond memories of veterinary mentors.

Limited effects of preterm birth and the first enteral nutrition on cerebellum morphology and gene expression in piglets.

Preterm pigs show many signs of immaturity that are characteristic of preterm infants. In preterm infants, the cerebellum grows particularly rapid and hypoplasia and cellular lesions are associated with motor dysfunction and cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that functional brain delays observed in preterm pigs would be paralleled by both structural and molecular differences in the cerebellum relative to term born piglets. Cerebella were collected from term (n = 56) and preterm (90% gestation, n = 112) pigs at 0, 5, and 26 days after birth for stereological volume estimations, large-scale qPCR gene expression analyses (selected neurodevelopmental genes) and western blot protein expression analysis (Sonic Hedgehog pathway). Memory and learning was tested using a T-maze, documenting that preterm pigs showed delayed learning. Preterm pigs also showed reduced volume of both white and gray matter at all three ages but the proportion of white matter increased postnatally, relative to term pigs. Early initiation of enteral nutrition had limited structural or molecular effects. The Sonic Hedgehog pathway was unaffected by preterm birth. Few differences in expression of the selected genes were found, except consistently higher mRNA levels of Midkine, p75, and Neurotrophic factor 3 in the preterm cerebellum postnatally, probably reflecting an adaptive response to preterm birth. Pig cerebellar development appears more affected by postconceptional age than by environmental factors at birth or postnatally. Compensatory mechanisms following preterm birth may include faster white matter growth and increased expression of selected genes for neurotrophic factors and regulation of angiogenesis. While the pig cerebellum is immature in 90% gestation preterm pigs, it appears relatively mature and resilient toward environmental factors.

Protective efficacy by various doses of Salmonella ghost vaccine candidate carrying enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli fimbrial antigen against neonatal piglet colibacillosis.

Humoral immune responses and protective efficacy by various doses of Salmonella ghost cells carrying enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) fimbrial antigens for protection against piglet colibacillosis were studied. All groups were orally primed and boosted at 11 and 14 wk of pregnancy, respectively. Group A sows were inoculated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and groups B, C, and D sows were immunized with 2 × 10(9), 2 × 10(10), and 2 × 10(11) ghost cells, respectively. Serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G, and colostrum IgG and IgA levels of groups C and D sows were significantly higher than those of group A sows. In addition, serum IgG and IgA levels in group C and D piglets were significantly increased compared to those of group A piglets. After challenge with wild-type ETEC, diarrhea and mortality were not observed in group C and D piglets, while diarrhea was observed in 88.9% and 58.8% of groups A and B piglets, respectively, and 16.7% mortality was observed in group A piglets. These findings indicate that oral immunization of sows with 2 × 10(10) or 10(11) ghost cells can effectively protect their offspring from colibacillosis.

Involuntary reduction in vigour of calves born from sexed semen.

The objective of this study was to compare the reproductive traits of heifers and the development characteristics of their calves following artificial insemination (AI) with sexed and non-sexed semen. The analysed characteristics included conception rate, gestation length, calf birth weight, calf vigour, stillbirth rate, and twinning rate. Data of 530 calves produced with sexed and 1,163 calves produced with non-sexed semen were analysed. The General Linear Model (GLM) was applied to assess the influence of semen type, farm, season of insemination, the calf's sex and the inseminating sire on gestation length and calf birth weight. With the exception of gestation length (P > 0.05), all other traits studied were significantly (P < 0.01) influenced by the type of semen. The conception rate was 55% for conventional and 44% for sexed semen, and the average gestation length was 274.6 and 274.9 days, respectively. The mean calf birth weight was 37.47 kg for non-sexed and 36.75 kg for sexed semen. The stillbirth rate was 6.19% for conventional and 7.54% for sexed semen, while the twinning rate was 3.78% for conventional and 1.13% for sexed semen. The calves produced with non-sexed and sexed semen differed significantly in viability (P < 0.001), the latter having a lower calf vigour score. The use of conventional semen did not affect the ratio of female and male calves (52.7:47.3%; P > 0.05); however, artificial insemination with X-sorted sexed semen significantly altered the sex ratio of calves (85.1:14.9%, P < 0.01). The results obtained in this investigation are in agreement with the majority of studies which compared the fertility traits, sex ratio and calf characteristics depending on the application of artificial insemination with sexed or conventional semen.

Neonatal Mortality, Vesicular Lesions and Lameness Associated with Senecavirus A in a U.S. Sow Farm.

A 300-sow farrow-to-finish swine operation in the United States experienced a sudden and severe increase in mortality in neonatal piglets with high morbidity followed by vesicular lesions on the snout and feet of adult females and males. Affected live piglets were submitted for diagnostic investigation. Samples tested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) negative for foot-and-mouth disease virus, porcine delta coronavirus, porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus, porcine rotavirus types A, B and C, transmissible gastroenteritis virus, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Senecavirus A (SV-A) formerly known as Seneca Valley virus was detected by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) from serum, skin and faeces of piglets and from serum and faeces of sows. SV-A was isolated in cell culture from piglet samples. SV-A VP1 gene region sequencing from piglet tissues was also successful. A biosecurity and disease entry evaluation was conducted and identified potential biosecurity risks factors for the entry of new pathogens into the operation. This is the first case report in the United States associating SV-A with a clinical course of severe but transient neonatal morbidity and mortality followed by vesicular lesions in breeding stock animals. Veterinarians and animal caretakers must remain vigilant for vesicular foreign animal diseases and report suspicious clinical signs and lesions to state animal health authorities for diagnostic testing and further investigation.

Maternal IgG and IgA Antibodies Dampen Mucosal T Helper Cell Responses in Early Life.

To maintain a symbiotic relationship between the host and its resident intestinal microbiota, appropriate mucosal T cell responses to commensal antigens must be established. Mice acquire both IgG and IgA maternally; the former has primarily been implicated in passive immunity to pathogens while the latter mediates host-commensal mutualism. Here, we report the surprising observation that mice generate T cell-independent and largely Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent IgG2b and IgG3 antibody responses against their gut microbiota. We demonstrate that maternal acquisition of these antibodies dampens mucosal T follicular helper responses and subsequent germinal center B cell responses following birth. This work reveals a feedback loop whereby T cell-independent, TLR-dependent antibodies limit mucosal adaptive immune responses to newly acquired commensal antigens and uncovers a broader function for maternal IgG.

Isolation and identification of group A rotaviruses among neonatal diarrheic calves, Morocco.

Group A rotaviruses (RVA) are the main cause of neonatal calve diarrhea (NCD) in Morocco. In this study, we isolated RVA strains from NCD clinical samples in order to support RVA disease control in Morocco. This isolation process constitutes a first step toward vaccine development.

The development of newborn object recognition in fast and slow visual worlds.

Object recognition is central to perception and cognition. Yet relatively little is known about the environmental factors that cause invariant object recognition to emerge in the newborn brain. Is this ability a hardwired property of vision? Or does the development of invariant object recognition require experience with a particular kind of visual environment? Here, we used a high-throughput controlled-rearing method to examine whether newborn chicks (Gallus gallus) require visual experience with slowly changing objects to develop invariant object recognition abilities. When newborn chicks were raised with a slowly rotating virtual object, the chicks built invariant object representations that generalized across novel viewpoints and rotation speeds. In contrast, when newborn chicks were raised with a virtual object that rotated more quickly, the chicks built viewpoint-specific object representations that failed to generalize to novel viewpoints and rotation speeds. Moreover, there was a direct relationship between the speed of the object and the amount of invariance in the chick's object representation. Thus, visual experience with slowly changing objects plays a critical role in the development of invariant object recognition. These results indicate that invariant object recognition is not a hardwired property of vision, but is learned rapidly when newborns encounter a slowly changing visual world.

Nutrient-intake-level-dependent regulation of intestinal development in newborn intrauterine growth-restricted piglets via glucagon-like peptide-2.

The objective of the present study was to investigate the intestinal development of newborn intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) piglets subjected to normal nutrient intake (NNI) or restricted nutrient intake (RNI). Newborn normal birth weight (NBW) and IUGR piglets were allotted to NNI or RNI levels for 4 weeks from day 8 postnatal. IUGR piglets receiving NNI had similar growth performance compared with that of NBW piglets. Small intestine length and villous height were greater in IUGR piglets fed the NNI than that of piglets fed the RNI. Lactase activity was increased in piglets fed the NNI compared with piglets fed the RNI. Absorptive function, represented by active glucose transport by the Ussing chamber method and messenger RNA (mRNA) expressions of two main intestinal glucose transporters, Na+-dependent glucose transporter 1 (SGLT1) and glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2), were greater in IUGR piglets fed the NNI compared with piglets fed the RNI regimen. The apoptotic process, characterized by caspase-3 activity (a sign of activated apoptotic cells) and mRNA expressions of p53 (pro-apoptotic), bcl-2-like protein 4 (Bax) (pro-apoptotic) and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) (anti-apoptotic), were improved in IUGR piglets fed the NNI regimen. To test the hypothesis that improvements in intestinal development of IUGR piglets fed NNI might be mediated through circulating glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2), GLP-2 was injected subcutaneously to IUGR piglets fed the RNI from day 8 to day 15 postnatal. Although the intestinal development of IUGR piglets fed the RNI regimen was suppressed compared with those fed the NNI regimen, an exogenous injection of GLP-2 was able to bring intestinal development to similar levels as NNI-fed IUGR piglets. Collectively, our results demonstrate that IUGR neonates that have NNI levels could improve intestinal function via the regulation of GLP-2.

Renal effects of angiotensin II in the newborn period: role of type 1 and type 2 receptors.

Evidence suggests a critical role for the renin-angiotensin system in regulating renal function during postnatal development. However, the physiological relevance of a highly elevated renin-angiotensin system early in life is not well understood, nor which angiotensin receptors might be involved. This study was designed to investigate the roles of angiotensin receptors type 1 (AT1R) and type 2 (AT2R) in regulating glomerular and tubular function during postnatal development.

IL-12p40/IL-10 Producing preCD8α/Clec9A+ Dendritic Cells Are Induced in Neonates upon Listeria monocytogenes Infection.

Infection by Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) causes serious sepsis and meningitis leading to mortality in neonates. This work explored the ability of CD11c(high) lineage DCs to induce CD8+ T-cell immune protection against Lm in mice before 7 days of life, a period symbolized by the absence of murine IL-12p70-producing CD11c(high)CD8α+ dendritic cells (DCs). We characterized a dominant functional Batf3-dependent precursor of CD11c(high) DCs that is Clec9A+CD205+CD24+ but CD8α- at 3 days of life. After Lm-OVA infection, these pre-DCs that cross-present Ag display the unique ability to produce high levels of IL-12p40 (not IL-12p70 nor IL-23), which enhances OVA-specific CD8+ T cell response, and regulatory IL-10 that limits OVA-specific CD8+ T cell response. Targeting these neonatal pre-DCs for the first time with a single treatment of anti-Clec9A-OVA antibody in combination with a DC activating agent such as poly(I:C) increased the protection against later exposure to the Lm-OVA strain. Poly(I:C) was shown to induce IL-12p40 production, but not IL-10 by neonatal pre-DCs. In conclusion, we identified a new biologically active precursor of Clec9A+ CD8α- DCs, endowed with regulatory properties in early life that represents a valuable target to augment memory responses to vaccines.

Sex-related differences in long-term pulmonary outcomes of neonatal hyperoxia in mice.

Premature infants are often exposed to hyperoxia to maintain adequate oxygenation, which may lead to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Sex-specific differences exist in the development and severity of BPD. Only a few studies have examined the mechanisms underlying these sex-related differences. The aim of the present study is to examine the sex-related long-term effects of neonatal hyperoxia on the lungs of adult mice.

Managing scour in calves.

Dietary administration of probiotics to sows and/or their neonates improves the reproductive performance, incidence of post-weaning diarrhea and histopathological parameters in the intestine of weaned piglets.

Probiotics have gained considerable attention with respect to their beneficial effects on livestock performance and health. The most significant effects of probiotics on the gut microbiota and the host animals take place when they are included in diets during particularly stressful periods such as weaning and/or at the beginning of the lactation period. The probiotics Bacillus mesentericus strain TO-A at 1 × 10(8)  colony forming units (CFU)/g, Clostridium butyricum strain TO-A at 1 × 10(8)  CFU/g and Enterococcus faecalis strain T-110 at 1 × 10(9)  CFU/g were used. Litter weight at delivery and ratio of return to estrous improved significantly (17% and 24% improvement, respectively) by probiotic administration to sows (0.2% (w/w)). Furthermore, the feed intake of the probiotics-administered sows was greater than that of the control sows during the late lactation period. Post-weaning diarrheal incidence and growth performance was improved by probiotics administration to neonates (0.02% (w/w)), while the combined use of probiotics in sows and their neonates induced the enlargement of villous height and prevented muscle layer thinning in the small intestine of weaning piglets. The administration of probiotics of three species of live bacteria improved the porcine reproductive performance around stressful periods of sows (farrowing) and piglets (weaning). [Corrections added on 26 April 2016, after first online publication: 'Enterococcus faecalis strain T-100' has been corrected to 'Enterococcus faecalis strain T-110' in the above paragraph and in the 'Probiotics' section under the Materials and Methods heading.].

Sex-dependent differences in avian malaria prevalence and consequences of infections on nestling growth and adult condition in the Tawny pipit, Anthus campestris.

Parasites play pivotal roles in host population dynamics and can have strong ecological impacts on hosts. Knowledge of the effects of parasites on hosts is often limited by the general observation of a fraction of individuals (mostly adults) within a population. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of malaria parasites in adult (≥ 1 year old) and nestling (7-11 day old) Tawny pipits Anthus campestris, to evaluate the influence of the host sex on parasite prevalence in both groups of age, and explore the association between infections and body condition (adults) and growth (nestlings).

The effect of colostrum ingestion during the first 24 hours of life on early postnatal development of piglet immune systems.

It has been suggested that colostrum is important not only for direct protection from pathogens but also for proper development of immune systems in piglets. In this study, we focused on the effect of colostrum ingestion during the first 24 h of life on early postnatal development of piglet immune systems. Thirty-six piglets from five litters were divided into colostrum-fed (CoF) and colostrum-deprived (CoD) groups. The former group was allowed to suckle normally while formula milk was fed to the latter group during the first 24 h of life. At the weaning period, the concentrations of fecal immunoglobulin (Ig) A and plasma IgG as well as the number of blood leukocyte subsets were analyzed. Fecal IgA and plasma IgG concentrations in the CoF group were more than twice as high as those in the CoD group (P < 0.01). In addition, the number of blood B cells was significantly higher in the CoF group than that in the CoD group (P < 0.05). This study demonstrates that colostrum ingestion during the first 24 h plays a significant role in early postnatal development of both mucosal and systemic immunity of piglets.

Midkine Deteriorates Cardiac Remodeling via Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling in Chronic Kidney Disease.

In chronic kidney disease, activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) leads to cardiac hypertrophy, which affects morbidity and mortality. In patients with renal insufficiency and heart failure, the expression of midkine, a heparin-binding growth factor, is increased. Therefore, we investigated the association between midkine and EGFR in the induction of cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction in chronic kidney disease. We performed subtotal nephrectomies in midkine-knockout mice and wild-type mice. We found that subtotal nephrectomy-induced cardiac hypertrophy and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and AKT were attenuated in midkine-knockout mice compared with wild-type mice. An antiphosphotyrosine receptor antibody array was used to demonstrate that EGFR phosphorylation in the heart was also lower in midkine-knockout mice than in wild-type mice. Midkine induced EGFR, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, and AKT phosphorylation and led to hypertrophy in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Pretreatment with EGFR inhibitors or EGFR silencing suppressed midkine-stimulated phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and AKT, induction of fetal cardiac gene expression, and hypertrophy in cardiomyocytes. To confirm the association between midkine and EGFR in vivo, mice subjected to subtotal nephrectomy were treated with the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib. Gefitinib treatment attenuated subtotal nephrectomy-induced cardiac hypertrophy. These results indicate that midkine might be a key mediator of cardiorenal interactions through EGFR activation, which plays a crucial role in cardiac hypertrophy in chronic kidney disease.

Maternal administration of nanomaterials elicits hemoglobin upregulation in the neonatal brain of non-human primates.

To investigate the influence of nanomaterial exposure during fetal development, diesel exhaust particles (DEPs), carbon black (CB), or titanium dioxide (TiO2) was injected intradermally to pregnant rhesus macaques. The hippocampus and cerebellum of newborn infants were then examined. DNA microarray and quantitative real-time RT-PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemical analyses were used to measure the expression of the hemoglobin genes, HBA, HBB, and HBG. Of the nanomaterials tested, DEP elicited the greatest increase in mRNA and protein levels of hemoglobin genes in the brain tissues. Strong signal of HbA protein was detected in the pyramidal cell layer, the polymorphic cell layer and in the alveus of the hippocampi of the DEP-treated animals. The altered gene expression was likely due to responses to oxidative or nitrosative stress and/or hypoxia in the fetal/neonatal brain. Since excessive hemoglobin is reportedly neurotoxic, the vulnerability of developing brains by long-term upregulation of hemoglobin should be considered. Maternal exposure to nanomaterials may increase the risk of brain dysfunction in offspring.

Artificially reared mice exhibit anxiety-like behavior in adulthood.

It is important to establish experimental animal techniques that are applicable to the newborn and infant phases for nutrition and pharmacological studies. Breeding technology using the artificial suckling method without breast milk is very effective for the study of newborn nutrition. Using this method, we separated newborn mice from dams within 48 h of birth and provided them with artificial milk. We evaluated mouse anxiety levels after early postnatal maternal separation. Artificially reared mice were subjected to elevated plus-maze tests to assess emotional behavior at 9 weeks of age. Artificially reared mice showed a significantly lower frequency of entries and dipping into the open arms of the maze compared with dam-reared mice. This result indicates that the anxiety level of artificially reared mice was higher than that of dam-reared mice. Moreover, the concentration of monoamines in the brain was determined after the behavioral experiment. The hippocampal norepinephrine, serotonin, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels in the artificially reared mice were significantly higher than those of the dam-reared mice. These results suggest that maternal-offspring interactions are extremely important for the emotional development of newborn infants during the lactation period. In future studies, it is necessary to consider the environmental factors and conditions that minimize the influence of artificial rearing on emotional behavior.

Rhodococcus equi hyperimmune plasma decreases pneumonia severity after a randomised experimental challenge of neonatal foals.

Since a vaccine is not available against Rhodococcus equi, R equi-specific hyperimmune plasma (HIP) is commonly used, although its efficacy remains controversial. The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of a commercially available HIP to prevent clinical rhodococcal pneumonia in neonatal foals after experimental challenge.

Toxic Effects of Lithium Chloride during Early Neonatal Period of Rat Development.

Lithium chloride (85, 255, or 255+127 μg/kg) or dexamethasone (0.2 or 2 mg/kg) were subcutaneously injected to 3-day-old rat pups, whose excretory system did not yet attain functional maturity. Both agents retarded the growth of rat pups and delayed the appearance of negative geotaxis. LD50 and therapeutic index of lithium chloride were 255 μg/kg and TI≤3, respectively. Thus, lithium salts even in low doses can be highly toxic for the developing organism.