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The Role of Lipolysis in Regulating Plasma Glucose Concentrations in Mourning Doves

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Birds have unusually high plasma glucose concentrations compared to mammals of similar size despite their high metabolic rate. While birds use lipids as their main source of energy, it is still unclear how and why they maintain high plasma glucose

Birds have unusually high plasma glucose concentrations compared to mammals of similar size despite their high metabolic rate. While birds use lipids as their main source of energy, it is still unclear how and why they maintain high plasma glucose concentrations. To investigate a potential underlying mechanism, this study looks at the role of lipolysis in glucose homeostasis. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of decreased glycerol availability (through inhibition of lipolysis) on plasma glucose concentrations in mourning doves. The hypothesis is that decreased availability of glycerol will result in decreased production of glucose through gluconeogenesis leading to reduced plasma glucose concentrations. In the morning of each experiment, mourning doves were collected at the Arizona State University Tempe campus, and randomized into either a control group (0.9% saline) or experimental group (acipimox, 50mg/kg BM). Blood samples were collected prior to treatment, and at 1, 2, and 3 hours post-treatment. At 3 hours, doves were euthanized, and tissue samples were collected for analysis. Acipimox treatment resulted in significant increases in blood glucose concentrations at 1 and 2 hours post- treatment as well as renal triglyceride concentrations at 3 hours post-treatment. Change in plasma free glycerol between 0h and 3h followed an increasing trend for the acipimox treated animals, and a decreasing trend in the saline treated animals. These results do not support the hypothesis that inhibition of lipolysis should decrease blood glycerol and blood glucose levels. Rather, the effects of acipimox in glucose homeostasis appear to differ significantly between birds and mammals suggesting differing mechanisms for glucose homeostasis.

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2015-05

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A comparison of the impact of temperature and glucose concentration on percent glycated serum albumin between chickens and humans

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The glycation of plasma proteins leading to the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and subsequent damage is a driving factor in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications. The overall research objective was to elucidate the mechanisms by which birds

The glycation of plasma proteins leading to the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and subsequent damage is a driving factor in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications. The overall research objective was to elucidate the mechanisms by which birds prevent protein glycation in the presence of naturally high plasma glucose concentrations. This was accomplished through the specific purpose of examining the impact of temperature and glucose concentration on the percent glycation of chicken serum albumin (CSA) in comparison to human serum albumin (HSA). Purified CSA and HSA solutions prepared at four different glucose concentrations (0 mM, 5.56 mM, 11.11 mM, and 22.22 mM) were incubated at three different temperatures (37.0°C, 39.8°C, and 41.4°C) on separate occasions for seven days with aliquots extracted on days 0, 3, and 7. Samples were analyzed by LC-ESI-MS for percent glycation of albumin. The statistically significant interaction between glucose concentration, temperature, albumin type, and time as determined by four-way repeated measures ANOVA (p = 0.032) indicated that all independent variables interacted to affect the mean percent glycation of albumin. As glucose concentration increased, the percent glycation of both HSA and CSA increased over time at all temperatures. In addition, HSA was glycated to a greater extent than CSA at the two higher glucose concentrations examined for all temperature conditions. Temperature differentially affected percent glycation of HSA and CSA wherein glycation increased with rising temperatures for HSA but not CSA. The results of this study suggest an inherent difference between the human and chicken albumin that contributes to the observed differences in glycation. Further research is needed to characterize this inherent difference in an effort to elucidate the mechanism by which birds protect plasma proteins from glycation. Future related work has the potential to lead to the development of novel therapies to prevent or reverse protein glycation prior to the formation of AGEs in humans, thus preventing the development and devastating effects of numerous diabetic complications.

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Date Created
2016

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Mitochondrial physiology in avian and mammalian skeletal muscle

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While exercising mammalian muscle increasingly relies on carbohydrates for fuel as aerobic exercise intensity rises above the moderate range, flying birds are extraordinary endurance athletes and fuel flight, a moderate-high intensity exercise, almost exclusively with lipid. In addition, Aves have

While exercising mammalian muscle increasingly relies on carbohydrates for fuel as aerobic exercise intensity rises above the moderate range, flying birds are extraordinary endurance athletes and fuel flight, a moderate-high intensity exercise, almost exclusively with lipid. In addition, Aves have long lifespans compared to weight-matched mammals. As skeletal muscle mitochondria account for the majority of oxygen consumption during aerobic exercise, the primary goal was to investigate differences in isolated muscle mitochondria between these species and to examine to what extent factors intrinsic to mitochondria may account for the behavior observed in the intact tissue and whole organism. First, maximal enzyme activities were assessed in sparrow and rat mitochondria. Citrate synthase and aspartate aminotransferase activity were higher in sparrow compared to rat mitochondria, while glutamate dehydrogenase activity was lower. Sparrow mitochondrial NAD-linked isocitrate dehydrogenase activity was dependent on phosphate, unlike the mammalian enzyme. Next, the rate of oxygen consumption (JO), electron transport chain (ETC) activity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were assessed in intact mitochondria. Maximal rates of fat oxidation were lower than for carbohydrate in rat but not sparrow mitochondria. ETC activity was higher in sparrows, but no differences were found in ROS production between species. Finally, fuel selection and control of respiration at three rates between rest and maximum were assessed. Mitochondrial fuel oxidation and selection mirrored that of the whole body; in rat mitochondria the reliance on carbohydrate increased as the rate of oxygen consumption increased, whereas fat dominated under all conditions in the sparrow. These data indicate fuel selection, at least in part, can be modulated at the level of the mitochondrial matrix when multiple substrates are present at saturating levels. As an increase in matrix oxidation-reduction potential has been linked to a suppression of fat oxidation and high ROS production, the high ETC activity relative to dehydrogenase activity in avian compared to mammalian mitochondria may result in lower matrix oxidation-reduction potential, allowing fatty acid oxidation to proceed while also resulting in low ROS production in vivo.

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2012

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High-Intensity Exercise Preconditioning Prevents Downregulation of eNOS Expression in the Aorta Following Doxorubicin Treatment

Description

The anthracycline drug Doxorubicin (DOX) is a highly effective treatment for breast cancer, but its clinical utility is limited by dose-dependent cardiovascular toxicity. The toxic effects are partly attributed to DOX-induced generation of reactive oxygen species, which may impair nitric

The anthracycline drug Doxorubicin (DOX) is a highly effective treatment for breast cancer, but its clinical utility is limited by dose-dependent cardiovascular toxicity. The toxic effects are partly attributed to DOX-induced generation of reactive oxygen species, which may impair nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation. Exercise training activates antioxidant defense mechanisms and is thus hypothesized to counteract oxidative stress when initiated prior to DOX administration. Adult 8-week old, ovariectomized female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 groups: sedentary + vehicle (Sed+Veh); Sed+DOX; exercise + veh (Ex+Veh); and Ex+DOX. Rats in the exercise groups were preconditioned with high intensity interval training consisting of 4x4 minute bouts of exercise at 85-95% of VO2peak separated by 2 minutes of active recovery performed 5 days per week. Exercise was implemented one week prior to the first injection and continued throughout the study. Animals received either DOX (4mg/kg) or veh (saline) intraperitoneal injections bi-weekly for a cumulative dose of 12 mg/kg per animal. Five days following the final injection, animals were anesthetized with isoflurane, decapitated and aortas and perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) were removed for western blot analyses. No significant differences in aortic protein expression were detected for inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) or the upstream activator of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), Akt, across groups (p>0.05), whereas eNOS protein expression was significantly downregulated in Sed+DOX (p=0.003). In contrast, eNOS expression was not altered in Ex+DOX treated animals. Protein expression of iNOS in PVAT was upregulated with exercise in the DOX-treated groups (p=0.039). These findings suggest that exercise preconditioning may help mitigate vascular effects of DOX by preventing downregulation of eNOS in the aorta.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Effect of a short term high fat diet on kidney morphology and function

Description

Long term high fat diets (HFD) are correlated with the development of diabetes

and kidney disease. However, the impact of short term high fat intake on the etiology of kidney disease has not been well-studied. Therefore, this study examined the impact

Long term high fat diets (HFD) are correlated with the development of diabetes

and kidney disease. However, the impact of short term high fat intake on the etiology of kidney disease has not been well-studied. Therefore, this study examined the impact of a six week HFD (60% fat) on kidney structure and function in young male Sprague-Dawley rats. Previous studies have shown that these animals develop indices of diabetes compared to rats fed a standard rodent chow (5% fat) for six weeks. The hypothesis of this study is that six weeks of HFD will lead to early stages of kidney disease as evidenced by morphological and functional changes in the kidney. Alterations in morphology were determined by measuring structural changes in the kidneys (changes in mass, fatty acid infiltration, and structural damage). Alterations in kidney function were measured by analyzing urinary biomarkers of oxidative RNA/DNA damage, renal tissue lipid peroxidation, urinary markers of impaired kidney function (urinary protein, creatinine, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)), markers of inflammation (tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6)), as well as cystatin C, a plasma biomarker of kidney function. The results of these studies determined that short term HFD intake is not sufficient to induce early stage kidney disease. Beyond increases in renal mass, there were no significant differences between the markers of renal structure and function in the HFD and standard rodent chow-fed rats.

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Date Created
2015

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The effects of omega 3 supplementation on markers of obesity and endothelial function in healthy subjects

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ABSTRACT The hormone leptin is an important regulator of body weight and energy balance, while nitric oxide (NO) produced in the blood vessels is beneficial for preventing disease-induced impaired vasodilation and hypertension. Elevations in the free radical superoxide can result

ABSTRACT The hormone leptin is an important regulator of body weight and energy balance, while nitric oxide (NO) produced in the blood vessels is beneficial for preventing disease-induced impaired vasodilation and hypertension. Elevations in the free radical superoxide can result in impaired vasodilation through scavenging of NO. Omega 3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is beneficial at reducing body weight and in lowering many cardiovascular risk factors like atherosclerosis. The present study was designed to examine the change in plasma concentrations of leptin, nitric oxide, and the antioxidant superoxide dismutase in addition to examining the association between leptin and NO in healthy normal weight adult female subjects before and following omega 3 intakes. Participants were randomly assigned to either a fish oil group (600 mg per day) or a control group (1000 mg of coconut oil per day) for 8 weeks. Results showed no significant difference in the percent change of leptin over the 8 week supplementation period for either group (15.3±31.9 for fish oil group, 7.83±27 for control group; p=0.763). The percent change in NO was similarly not significantly altered in either group (-1.97±22 decline in fish oil group, 11.8±53.9 in control group; p=0.960). Likewise, the percent change in superoxide dismutase for each group was not significant following 8 weeks of supplementation (fish oil group: 11.94±20.94; control group: 11.8±53.9; p=0.362). The Pearson correlation co-efficient comparing the percent change of both leptin and NO was r2= -0.251 demonstrating a mildly negative, albeit insignificant, relationship between these factors. Together, these findings suggest that daily supplementation with 600 mg omega 3 in healthy females is not beneficial for improving these cardiovascular risk markers. Future studies in this area should include male subjects as well as overweight subjects with larger doses of fish oil that are equivalent to three or more servings per week. The importance of gender cannot be underestimated since estrogen has protective effects in the vasculature of females that may have masked any further protective effects of the fish oil. In addition, overweight individuals are often leptin-resistant and develop impaired vasodilation resulting from superoxide-mediated scavenging of nitric oxide. Therefore, the reported antioxidant and weight loss properties of omega 3 supplementation may greatly benefit overweight individuals.

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Date Created
2014

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Where Have the Carotenoids Gone? Physiology of Carotenoid Absorption And Distribution in Birds

Description

Organisms regularly face the challenge of having to accumulate and allocate limited resources toward life-history traits. However, direct quantification of how resources are accumulated and allocated is rare. Carotenoids are among the best systems for investigating resource allocation, because they

Organisms regularly face the challenge of having to accumulate and allocate limited resources toward life-history traits. However, direct quantification of how resources are accumulated and allocated is rare. Carotenoids are among the best systems for investigating resource allocation, because they are diet-derived and multi-functional. Birds have been studied extensively with regard to carotenoid allocation towards life-history traits, but direct quantification of variation in carotenoid distribution on a whole-organism scale has yet to be done. Additionally, while we know that scavenger receptor B1 (SCARB1) is important for carotenoid absorption in birds, little is known about the factors that predict how SCARB1 is expressed in wild populations. For my dissertation, I first reviewed challenges associated with statistically analyzing tissue distributions of nutrients (nutrient profiles) and tested how tissue carotenoid distributions (carotenoid profiles) varied by sex, season, health state, and coloration in two bird species, house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Then, I investigated the relationship between dietary carotenoid availability, relative expression of SCARB1, and extent of carotenoid-based coloration in a comparative study of wood-warblers (Parulidae). In my review of studies analyzing nutrient profiles, I found that multivariate analyses were the most common, but studies rarely reported intercorrelations among nutrient types. In house finches, all tissue carotenoid profiles varied by sex, season, and coloration. For example, males during autumn (molt) had higher concentrations of 3-hydroxyechinenone (the major red carotenoid in sexually attractive male feathers) in most but not all tissues compared to other season and sex combinations. However, the relationship between color and carotenoid profiles depended on the color metric. In zebra finches, only muscle and spleen carotenoid profiles varied between immune-challenged and control birds. In wood-warblers, I found that capacity to absorb carotenoids was positively correlated with the evolution of carotenoid-based coloration but negatively associated with liver carotenoid accumulation. Altogether, my dissertation illustrates (a) the context-dependence of tissue carotenoid profile variation, (b) that carotenoid-based integumentary coloration is a reflection of tissue carotenoid profiles, and (c) that digestive physiology (e.g., carotenoid absorption) is an important consideration in the study of diet and coloration in wild birds.

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Date Created
2021

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The Pursuit of Parenthood: Expanding Horizons of Reproductive Physiology and Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Description

The desire to start a family is something millions of people around the globe strive to achieve. However, many factors such as the societal changes in family planning due to increasing maternal age, use of birth control, and ever-changing lifestyles

The desire to start a family is something millions of people around the globe strive to achieve. However, many factors such as the societal changes in family planning due to increasing maternal age, use of birth control, and ever-changing lifestyles have increased the number of infertility cases seen in the United States each year. Infertility can manifest as a prolonged inability to conceive, or inability to carry a pregnancy full-term. Modern advancements in the field of reproductive medicine have begun to promote the use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) to circumvent reduced fertility in both men and women. Implementation of techniques such as In Vitro Fertilization, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, and Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing have allowed many couples to conceive. There is continual effort being made towards developing more effective and personalized fertility treatments. This often begins in the form of animal research—a fundamental step in biomedical research. This dissertation examines infertility as a medical condition through the characterization of normal reproductive anatomy and physiology in the introductory overview of reproduction. Specific pathologies of male and female-factor infertility are described, which necessitates the use of ARTs. The various forms of ARTs currently utilized in a clinical setting are addressed including history, preparations, and protocols for each technology. To promote continual advancement of the field, both animal studies and human trials provide fundamental stepping-stones towards the execution of new techniques and protocols. Examples of research conducted for the betterment of human reproductive medicine are explored, including an animal study conducted in mice exploring the role of tyramine in ovulation. With the development and implementation of new technologies and protocols in the field, this also unearths ethical dilemmas that further complicate the addition of new technologies in the field. Combining an extensive review in assisted reproduction, research and clinical fieldwork, this study investigates the history and development of novel research conducted in reproductive medicine and explores the broader implications of new technologies in the field.

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Date Created
2021

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Consequences of Negative Energy Balance on Avian Reproductive Physiology: Endocrine and Metabolic Mediators

Description

Reproduction is energetically costly and seasonal breeding has evolved to capitalize on predictable increases in food availability. The synchronization of breeding with periods of peak food availability is especially important for small birds, most of which do not store an

Reproduction is energetically costly and seasonal breeding has evolved to capitalize on predictable increases in food availability. The synchronization of breeding with periods of peak food availability is especially important for small birds, most of which do not store an extensive amount of energy. The annual change in photoperiod is the primary environmental cue regulating reproductive development, but must be integrated with supplementary cues relating to local energetic conditions. Photoperiodic regulation of the reproductive neuroendocrine system is well described in seasonally breeding birds, but the mechanisms that these animals use to integrate supplementary cues remain unclear. I hypothesized that (a) environmental cues that negatively affect energy balance inhibit reproductive development by acting at multiple levels along the reproductive endocrine axis including the hypothalamus (b) that the availability of metabolic fuels conveys alterations in energy balance to the reproductive system. I investigated these hypotheses in male house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus, caught in the wild and brought into captivity. I first experimentally reduced body condition through food restriction and found that gonadal development and function are inhibited and these changes are associated with changes in hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). I then investigated this neuroendocrine integration and found that finches maintain reproductive flexibility through modifying the release of accumulated GnRH stores in response to energetic conditions. Lastly, I investigated the role of metabolic fuels in coordinating reproductive responses under two different models of negative energy balance, decreased energy intake (food restriction) and increased energy expenditure (high temperatures). Exposure to high temperatures lowered body condition and reduced food intake. Reproductive development was inhibited under both energy challenges, and occurred with decreased gonadal gene expression of enzymes involved in steroid synthesis. Minor changes in fuel utilization occurred under food restriction but not high temperatures. My results support the hypothesis that negative energy balance inhibits reproductive development through multilevel effects on the hypothalamus and gonads. These studies are among the first to demonstrate a negative effect of high temperatures on reproductive development in a wild bird. Overall, the above findings provide important foundations for investigations into adaptive responses of breeding in energetically variable environments.

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Date Created
2018