27 research outputs found

    Congruence in teaching : Enhancing congruity on the masters course Sensory Biology

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    Tun formation is not a prerequisite for desiccation tolerance in the marine tidal tardigrade Echiniscoides sigismundi

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    The so-called ‘tun’ state is best known from limno-terrestrial tardigrades and rotifers that rely on this compact body shape for anhydrobiotic survival. Little is known of tun formation in marine species and the evolutionary origin of the state is presently unknown. Here, we investigate desiccation tolerance and tun formation in the marine tidal echiniscoidean tardigrade, Echiniscoides sigismundi (M. Schultze, 1865). Groups of approximately 20 E. sigismundi sampled from Lynæs (Denmark) were dehydrated on filter paper from seawater as well as ultrapurified water and kept for 48 h at 5 °C, after which they were rehydrated in seawater. The activity and behaviour of the tardigrades was examined under a light microscope, whereas scanning electron microscopy was used for high-resolution three-dimensional imaging. When dehydrated from seawater, E. sigismundi enters a tun, however, when exposed to ultrapurified water, the tardigrade swells and becomes incapable of movement, and thus incapable of tun formation. Nonetheless, E. sigismundi tolerates being dehydrated from ultrapurified water, revealing an exceptional and unparalleled resilience towards losing structural integrity. Our results confirm previous investigations, which suggest that tun formation relies on a functional musculature. They further suggest that tun formation may have evolved as a response to elevated external pressure rather than desiccation per se

    A novel role of Drosophila cytochrome P450-4e3 in permethrin insecticide tolerance

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    The exposure of insects to xenobiotics, such as insecticides, triggers a complex defence response necessary for survival. This response includes the induction of genes that encode key Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase detoxification enzymes. Drosophila melanogaster Malpighian (renal) tubules are critical organs in the detoxification and elimination of these foreign compounds, so the tubule response induced by dietary exposure to the insecticide permethrin was examined. We found that expression of the gene encoding Cytochrome P450-4e3 (Cyp4e3) is significantly up-regulated by Drosophila fed on permethrin and that manipulation of Cyp4e3 levels, specifically in the principal cells of the Malpighian tubules, impacts significantly on the survival of permethrin-fed flies. Both dietary exposure to permethrin and Cyp4e3 knockdown cause a significant elevation of oxidative stress-associated markers in the tubules, including H2O2 and lipid peroxidation byproduct, HNE (4-hydroxynonenal). Thus, Cyp4e3 may play an important role in regulating H2O2 levels in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where it resides, and its absence triggers a JAK/STAT and NF-κB-mediated stress response, similar to that observed in cells under ER stress. This work increases our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of insecticide detoxification and provides further evidence of the oxidative stress responses induced by permethrin metabolism

    The corticotropin-releasing factor-like diuretic hormone 44 (DH44) and kinin neuropeptides modulate desiccation and starvation tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster

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    Malpighian tubules are critical organs for epithelial fluid transport and stress tolerance in insects, and are under neuroendocrine control by multiple neuropeptides secreted by identified neurons. Here, we demonstrate roles for CRF-like diuretic hormone 44 (DH44) and Drosophila melanogaster kinin (Drome-kinin, DK) in desiccation and starvation tolerance. Gene expression and labelled DH44 ligand binding data, as well as highly selective knockdowns and/or neuronal ablations of DH44 in neurons of the pars intercerebralis and DH44 receptor (DH44-R2) in Malpighian tubule principal cells, indicate that suppression of DH44 signalling improves desiccation tolerance of the intact fly. Drome-kinin receptor, encoded by the leucokinin receptor gene, LKR, is expressed in DH44 neurons as well as in stellate cells of the Malpighian tubules. LKR knockdown in DH44-expressing neurons reduces Malpighian tubule-specific LKR, suggesting interactions between DH44 and LK signalling pathways. Finally, although a role for DK in desiccation tolerance was not defined, we demonstrate a novel role for Malpighian tubule cell-specific LKR in starvation tolerance. Starvation increases gene expression of epithelial LKR. Also, Malpighian tubule stellate cell-specific knockdown of LKR significantly reduced starvation tolerance, demonstrating a role for neuropeptide signalling during starvation stress

    The cell adhesion molecule Fasciclin2 regulates brush border length and organization in Drosophila renal tubules

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    Multicellular organisms rely on cell adhesion molecules to coordinate cell–cell interactions, and to provide navigational cues during tissue formation. In Drosophila, Fasciclin 2 (Fas2) has been intensively studied due to its role in nervous system development and maintenance; yet, Fas2 is most abundantly expressed in the adult renal (Malpighian) tubule rather than in neuronal tissues. The role Fas2 serves in this epithelium is unknown. Here we show that Fas2 is essential to brush border maintenance in renal tubules of Drosophila. Fas2 is dynamically expressed during tubule morphogenesis, localizing to the brush border whenever the tissue is transport competent. Genetic manipulations of Fas2 expression levels impact on both microvilli length and organization, which in turn dramatically affect stimulated rates of fluid secretion by the tissue. Consequently, we demonstrate a radically different role for this well-known cell adhesion molecule, and propose that Fas2-mediated intermicrovillar homophilic adhesion complexes help stabilize the brush border

    Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia)

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development: the pronephroi, mesonephroi and metanephroi. The pronephric duct is the first or primary ureter of these kidney systems. Its role as a key player in the induction of nephrogenic mesenchyme is well established. Here we investigate whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian <it>Ambystoma mexicanum </it>(axolotl) as model.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light and transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy on fixed tissue and applying the microperfusion technique on isolated pronephric ducts in combination with single cell microelectrode impalements. Our data show that the fully differentiated pronephric duct is composed of a single layered epithelium consisting of one cell type comparable to the principal cell of the renal collecting duct system. The cells are characterized by a prominent basolateral labyrinth and a relatively smooth apical surface with one central cilium. Cellular impalements demonstrate the presence of apical Na<sup>+ </sup>and K<sup>+ </sup>conductances, as well as a large K<sup>+ </sup>conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Immunolabeling experiments indicate heavy expression of Na<sup>+</sup>/K<sup>+</sup>-ATPase in the basolateral labyrinth.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>We propose that the pronephric duct is important for the subsequent modification of urine produced by the pronephros. Our results indicate that it reabsorbs sodium and secretes potassium via channels present in the apical cell membrane with the driving force for ion movement provided by the Na<sup>+</sup>/K<sup>+ </sup>pump. This is to our knowledge the first characterization of the pronephric duct, the precursor of the collecting duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding the evolution of vertebrate kidney systems and human diseases associated with congenital malformations.</p

    Tracing the evolutionary origins of insect renal function

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    Knowledge on neuropeptide receptor systems is integral to understanding animal physiology. Yet, obtaining general insight into neuropeptide signalling in a clade as biodiverse as the insects is problematic. Here we apply fluorescent analogues of three key insect neuropeptides to map renal tissue architecture across systematically chosen representatives of the major insect Orders, to provide an unprecedented overview of insect renal function and control. In endopterygote insects, such as Drosophila, two distinct transporting cell types receive separate neuropeptide signals, whereas in the ancestral exopterygotes, a single, general cell type mediates all signals. Intriguingly, the largest insect Order Coleoptera (beetles) has evolved a unique approach, in which only a small fraction of cells are targets for neuropeptide action. In addition to demonstrating a universal utility of this technology, our results reveal not only a generality of signalling by the evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide families but also a clear functional separation of the types of cells that mediate the signal

    Compromised junctional integrity phenocopies age-dependent renal dysfunction in Drosophila Snakeskin mutants

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    Transporting epithelia provide a protective barrier against pathogenic insults while allowing the controlled exchange of ions, solutes and water with the external environment. In invertebrates, these functions depend on formation and maintenance of ‘tight’ septate junctions (SJs). However, the mechanism by which SJs affect transport competence and tissue homeostasis, and how these are modulated by ageing, remain incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that the Drosophila renal (Malpighian) tubules undergo an age-dependent decline in secretory capacity, which correlates with mislocalisation of SJ proteins and progressive degeneration in cellular morphology and tissue homeostasis. Acute loss of the septate junction protein Snakeskin in adult tubules induces progressive changes in cellular and tissue architecture, including altered expression and localisation of junctional proteins with concomitant loss of cell polarity and barrier integrity, demonstrating that compromised junctional integrity is sufficient to replicate these ageing-related phenotypes. Taken together, our work demonstrates a crucial link between epithelial barrier integrity, tubule transport competence, renal homeostasis and organismal viability, as well as providing novel insights into the mechanisms underpinning age-onset and renal disease

    A nutrient-responsive hormonal circuit mediates an inter-tissue program regulating metabolic homeostasis in adult Drosophila

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    Animals maintain metabolic homeostasis by modulating the activity of specialized organs that adjust internal metabolism to external conditions. However, the hormonal signals coordinating these functions are incompletely characterized. Here we show that six neurosecretory cells in the Drosophila central nervous system respond to circulating nutrient levels by releasing Capa hormones, homologs of mammalian neuromedin U, which activate the Capa receptor (CapaR) in peripheral tissues to control energy homeostasis. Loss of Capa/CapaR signaling causes intestinal hypomotility and impaired nutrient absorption, which gradually deplete internal nutrient stores and reduce organismal lifespan. Conversely, increased Capa/CapaR activity increases fluid and waste excretion. Furthermore, Capa/CapaR inhibits the release of glucagon-like adipokinetic hormone from the corpora cardiaca, which restricts energy mobilization from adipose tissue to avoid harmful hyperglycemia. Our results suggest that the Capa/CapaR circuit occupies a central node in a homeostatic program that facilitates the digestion and absorption of nutrients and regulates systemic energy balance
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