Publications by authors named "Eric D Jensen"

77 Publications

Histone deacetylase 5 is a phosphorylation substrate of protein kinase D in osteoclasts.

Bone 2022 06 19;159:116393. Epub 2022 Mar 19.

Department of Diagnostic & Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. Electronic address:

Protein kinase D (PRKD) family kinases are required for formation and function of osteoclasts. However, the substrates of PRKD in osteoclasts are unknown. To identify PRKD-dependent protein phosphorylation in osteoclasts, we performed a quantitative LC-MS/MS phosphoproteomics screen for proteins showing differential phosphorylation in osteoclasts after treatment with the PRKD inhibitor CRT0066101. We identified 757 phosphopeptides showing significant changes following PRKD inhibition. Among the changes, we found a group of 13 proteins showing decreased phosphorylation at PRKD consensus phosphorylation motifs. This group includes histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5), which is a previously validated PRKD target. Considering this known interaction, work suggesting HDACs may be important regulators of osteoclasts, and studies suggesting potential functional redundancy between HDACs, we further investigated the relationship between PRKD and class IIa HDACs in osteoclasts. We confirmed that CRT0066101 inhibits phosphorylation of endogenous HDAC5 and to a lesser extent HDAC4, whereas HDAC7 phosphorylation was not affected. Osteoclast cultures from Hdac5 global knockout mice displayed impaired differentiation and reduced ability to resorb bone, while conditional knockout of Hdac4 in osteoclasts showed no phenotype in vitro or in vivo. The inhibitory effect of CRT0066101 was reduced in Hdac5 KO osteoclasts. Together these data indicate that the PRKD/HDAC5 axis contributes to osteoclast formation in vitro and suggest that this pathway may contribute to regulation of skeletal dynamics in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2022.116393DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9035101PMC
June 2022

Cardiac assessments of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Northern Gulf of Mexico following exposure to Deepwater Horizon oil.

PLoS One 2021 14;16(12):e0261112. Epub 2021 Dec 14.

National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, California, United States of America.

The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill profoundly impacted the health of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Barataria Bay, LA (BB). To comprehensively assess the cardiac health of dolphins living within the DWH oil spill footprint, techniques for in-water cardiac evaluation were refined with dolphins cared for by the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program in 2018 and applied to free-ranging bottlenose dolphins in BB (n = 34) and Sarasota Bay, Florida (SB) (n = 19), a non-oiled reference population. Cardiac auscultation detected systolic murmurs in the majority of dolphins from both sites (88% BB, 89% SB) and echocardiography showed most of the murmurs were innocent flow murmurs attributed to elevated blood flow velocity [1]. Telemetric six-lead electrocardiography detected arrhythmias in BB dolphins (43%) and SB dolphins (31%), all of which were considered low to moderate risk for adverse cardiac events. Echocardiography showed BB dolphins had thinner left ventricular walls, with significant differences in intraventricular septum thickness at the end of diastole (p = 0.002), and left ventricular posterior wall thickness at the end of diastole (p = 0.033). BB dolphins also had smaller left atrial size (p = 0.004), higher prevalence of tricuspid valve prolapse (p = 0.003), higher prevalence of tricuspid valve thickening (p = 0.033), and higher prevalence of aortic valve thickening (p = 0.008). Two dolphins in BB were diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension based on Doppler echocardiography-derived estimates and supporting echocardiographic findings. Histopathology of dolphins who stranded within the DWH oil spill footprint showed a significantly higher prevalence of myocardial fibrosis (p = 0.003), regardless of age, compared to dolphins outside the oil spill footprint. In conclusion, there were substantial cardiac abnormalities identified in BB dolphins which may be related to DWH oil exposure, however, future work is needed to rule out other hypotheses and further elucidate the connection between oil exposure, pulmonary disease, and the observed cardiac abnormalities.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0261112PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8670661PMC
January 2022

Dietary effects on urinary physicochemistry in Navy bottlenose dolphins () for the prevention of ammonium urate kidney stones.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2021 11 15;321(5):R723-R731. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, California.

Bottlenose dolphins are susceptible to developing ammonium urate (NHU) kidney stones. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that diet influences the urinary physicochemistry risk factors associated with nephrolithiasis in dolphins. A comprehensive nutrient analysis was performed revealing that the baseline diet (BD) commonly fed to dolphins under professional care had a greater purine content and a more negative dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) when compared with a model diet consumed by free-ranging dolphins. A modified diet (MD) was formulated to include free-ranging diet fish species and achieve a more positive DCAD. The BD had a more negative DCAD (-52 mEq/Mcal metabolizable energy) when compared with the MD (+51 mEq/Mcal ME), which more closely approximated the DCAD of the free-ranging model diet (+152 mEq/Mcal ME). Six dolphins (with stones) were fed the BD followed by the MD for a minimum of 4 wk. At the end of each feeding trial, a 6-h continuous urine collection was performed to compare urine parameters of dolphins fed the BD versus MD. Dolphins consuming the MD demonstrated a significant decrease in urinary ammonium, net acid excretion, saturation index of ammonium urate, and phosphorous, and a significant increase in urinary citrate and net gastrointestinal (GI) alkali absorption, as compared with urine parameters assessed when fed the BD. Increasing the proportion of free-ranging diet fish species and optimizing the DCAD positively influenced some of the risk factors believed to be associated with NHU kidney stone development in bottlenose dolphins under professional care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00056.2021DOI Listing
November 2021

Biochemical and hematological biomarkers of reproductive failure in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

Dis Aquat Organ 2021 May 27;144:197-208. Epub 2021 May 27.

National Marine Mammal Foundation, 2240 Shelter Island Drive, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92106, USA.

The physiological demands of pregnancy inevitably result in alterations in both biochemical and hematological parameters as fetal development occurs. The shifts observed in successful pregnancy in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus to support both fetal physiological needs and maternal basal requirements have been established according to each trimester. Detecting aberrations in blood-based biomarkers could help facilitate diagnosis of gestational abnormalities, improve our understanding of factors influencing reproductive outcomes and aid in prediction of reproductive failure. This study retrospectively analyzed 263 blood samples from 15 bottlenose dolphins in 21 failed pregnancies over 28 yr (1989-2017). Most samples remained within normal pregnancy reference ranges; however, significant shifts were observed between trimesters. Hematological alterations, compared to successful pregnancy reference ranges from previously published data, were consistent across failed pregnancies and included an increased prevalence of elevated 2nd and 3rd trimester neutrophils, elevated 2nd trimester monocytes and decreased 3rd trimester eosinophils. In addition, low hematocrit and low red blood cells were more prevalent in the 2nd trimester. Biochemical shifts included an increased prevalence of elevated creatine phosphokinase in the 3rd trimester outside of the normal reference ranges. Across failed pregnancies, calcium and iron were decreased in the 3rd trimester. Significantly decreased progesterone in the 3rd trimester was a negative prognostic indicator of pregnancy outcome with decreasing 3rd trimester progesterone associated with failed pregnancy. This study demonstrates the use of blood-based biomarkers as possible predictors of pregnancy outcome in bottlenose dolphins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03591DOI Listing
May 2021

Standardization of Dolphin Cardiac Auscultation and Characterization of Heart Murmurs in Managed and Free-Ranging Bottlenose Dolphins ().

Front Vet Sci 2020 28;7:570055. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, CA, United States.

Cardiac auscultation is an important, albeit underutilized tool in aquatic animal medicine due to the many challenges associated with in-water examinations. The aims of this prospective study were to (1) establish an efficient and repeatable in-water cardiac auscultation technique in bottlenose dolphins (), (2) describe the presence and characterization of heart murmurs detected in free-ranging and managed dolphins, and (3) characterize heart murmur etiology through echocardiography in free-ranging dolphins. For technique development, 65 dolphins cared for by the Navy Marine Mammal Program (Navy) were auscultated. The techniques were then applied to two free-ranging dolphin populations during capture-release health assessments: Sarasota Bay, Florida (SB), a reference population, and Barataria Bay, LA (BB), a well-studied population of dolphins impacted by the oil spill. Systolic heart murmurs were detected at a frequent and similar prevalence in all dolphin populations examined (Navy 92%, SB 89%, and BB 88%), and characterized as fixed or dynamic. In all three populations, sternal cranial and left cranial were the most common locations for murmur point of maximal intensity (PMI). An in-water transthoracic echocardiogram technique was refined on a subset of Navy dolphins, and full echocardiographic exams were performed on 17 SB dolphins and 29 BB dolphins, of which, 40 had murmurs. Spectral Doppler was used to measure flow velocities across the outflow tracts, and almost all dolphins with audible murmurs had peak outflow velocities ≥1.6 m/s (95%, 38/40); three dolphins also had medium mitral regurgitation which could be the source of their murmurs. The presence of audible murmurs in most of the free-ranging dolphins (88%) was attributed to high velocity blood flow as seen on echocardiography, similar to a phenomenon described in other athletic species. These innocent murmurs were generally characterized as Grade I-III systolic murmurs with PMI in the left or sternal cranial region. This study is the first to describe an efficient technique for in-water dolphin cardiac auscultation, and to present evidence that heart murmurs are common in bottlenose dolphins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.570055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7678442PMC
October 2020

A 25-y longitudinal dolphin cohort supports that long-lived individuals in same environment exhibit variation in aging rates.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 08 10;117(34):20950-20958. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc., San Diego, CA 92106.

While it is believed that humans age at different rates, a lack of robust longitudinal human studies using consensus biomarkers meant to capture aging rates has hindered an understanding of the degree to which individuals vary in their rates of aging. Because bottlenose dolphins are long-lived mammals that develop comorbidities of aging similar to humans, we analyzed data from a well-controlled, 25-y longitudinal cohort of 144 US Navy dolphins housed in the same oceanic environment. Our analysis focused on 44 clinically relevant hematologic and clinical chemistry measures recorded during routine blood draws throughout the dolphins' lifetimes. Using stepwise regression and general linear models that accommodate correlations between measures obtained on individual dolphins, we demonstrate that, in a manner similar to humans, dolphins exhibit independent and linear age-related declines in four of these measures: hemoglobin, alkaline phosphatase, platelets, and lymphocytes. Using linear regressions and analyses of covariance with post hoc Tukey-Kramer tests to compare slopes (i.e., linear age-related rates) of our four aging rate biomarkers among 34 individual dolphins aging from 10 y to up to 40 y old, we could identify slow and accelerated agers and differentiate subgroups that were more or less likely to develop anemia and lymphopenia. This study successfully documents aging rate differences over the lifetime of long-lived individuals in a controlled environment. Our study suggests that nonenvironmental factors influencing aging rate biomarkers, including declining hemoglobin and anemia, may be targeted to delay the effects of aging in a compelling model of human biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1918755117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7456138PMC
August 2020

Linking longitudinal and cross-sectional biomarker data to understand host-pathogen dynamics: Leptospira in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) as a case study.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 06 29;14(6):e0008407. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.

Confronted with the challenge of understanding population-level processes, disease ecologists and epidemiologists often simplify quantitative data into distinct physiological states (e.g. susceptible, exposed, infected, recovered). However, data defining these states often fall along a spectrum rather than into clear categories. Hence, the host-pathogen relationship is more accurately defined using quantitative data, often integrating multiple diagnostic measures, just as clinicians do to assess their patients. We use quantitative data on a major neglected tropical disease (Leptospira interrogans) in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) to improve individual-level and population-level understanding of this Leptospira reservoir system. We create a "host-pathogen space" by mapping multiple biomarkers of infection (e.g. serum antibodies, pathogen DNA) and disease state (e.g. serum chemistry values) from 13 longitudinally sampled, severely ill individuals to characterize changes in these values through time. Data from these individuals describe a clear, unidirectional trajectory of disease and recovery within this host-pathogen space. Remarkably, this trajectory also captures the broad patterns in larger cross-sectional datasets of 1456 wild sea lions in all states of health but sampled only once. Our framework enables us to determine an individual's location in their time-course since initial infection, and to visualize the full range of clinical states and antibody responses induced by pathogen exposure. We identify predictive relationships between biomarkers and outcomes such as survival and pathogen shedding, and use these to impute values for missing data, thus increasing the size of the useable dataset. Mapping the host-pathogen space using quantitative biomarker data enables more nuanced understanding of an individual's time course of infection, duration of immunity, and probability of being infectious. Such maps also make efficient use of limited data for rare or poorly understood diseases, by providing a means to rapidly assess the range and extent of potential clinical and immunological profiles. These approaches yield benefits for clinicians needing to triage patients, prevent transmission, and assess immunity, and for disease ecologists or epidemiologists working to develop appropriate risk management strategies to reduce transmission risk on a population scale (e.g. model parameterization using more accurate estimates of duration of immunity and infectiousness) and to assess health impacts on a population scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7351238PMC
June 2020

Loss of myocyte enhancer factor 2 expression in osteoclasts leads to opposing skeletal phenotypes.

Bone 2020 09 6;138:115466. Epub 2020 Jun 6.

Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA 55455. Electronic address:

Osteoclasts are multinuclear cells that resorb bone. Osteoclast differentiation is regulated by multiple transcription factors which may be acting in a single or multiple factor complex to regulate gene expression. Myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) is a family of transcription factors whose role during osteoclast differentiation has not been well characterized. Because MEF2A and MEF2D are the family members most highly expressed during osteoclast differentiation, we created conditional knockout mice models for MEF2A and/or MEF2D. In vitro cultures of A- and D-KO osteoclasts were smaller and less numerous than wild type cultures, while AD-KO osteoclasts were almost completely devoid of TRAP positive mononuclear cells. Female A-KO mice are osteopetrotic while male A- and D-KO mice of either sex had no significant in vivo skeletal phenotype, suggesting a sex-specific regulation of osteoclasts by MEF2A. Lastly, in vivo male AD-KO mice are osteopenic, indicating while MEF2 is required for M-CSF and RANKL-stimulated osteoclastogenesis in vitro, osteoclasts can form in the absence of MEF2 in vivo via a RANKL-alternative pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2020.115466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7443313PMC
September 2020

Modified fish diet shifted serum metabolome and alleviated chronic anemia in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Potential role of odd-chain saturated fatty acids.

PLoS One 2020 7;15(4):e0230769. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, United States of America.

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are long-lived mammals that can develop chronic aging-associated conditions similar to humans, including metabolic syndrome. Initial studies suggest that these conditions may be attenuated in dolphins using a modified fish diet. Serum metabolomics, fatty acid panels, and blood-based health indices were compared between 20 dolphins on a modified, 50% wild-type diet (50% mullet, 25% capelin, and 25% squid and/or herring) and 10 dolphins on a baseline diet (75% capelin and 25% squid and/or herring). Blood samples were collected at Months 0, 1, 3 and 6. Dolphins on the modified diet had lower insulin (7.5 ± 4.0 and 14.8 ± 14.0 μIU/ml, P = 0.039), lower cholesterol (160 ± 26 and 186 ± 24 mg/dl, P = 0.015) and higher hematocrit (46 ± 3 and 44 ± 3%, P = 0.043) by Month 1 compared to controls. Dolphins with anemia (hemoglobin ≤ 12.5 g/dl, n = 6) or low-normal hemoglobin (12.5-13.5 g/dl, n = 3) before placed on the modified diet had normal hemoglobin concentrations (> 13.5 g/dl) by Month 3. The modified diet caused a significant shift in the metabolome, which included 664 known metabolites. Thirty prioritized metabolites at Months 1 and 3 were 100% predictive of dolphins on the modified diet. Among 25 prioritized lipids, 10 (40%) contained odd-chain saturated fatty acids (OCFAs); C15:0 was the highest-prioritized OCFA. Increased dietary intake of C15:0 (from 1.3 ± 0.4 to 4.5 ± 1.1 g/day) resulted in increased erythrocyte C15:0 concentrations (from 1.5 ± 0.3 to 5.8 ± 0.8 μg/ml, P < 0.0001), which independently predicted raised hemoglobin. Further, increasing age was associated with declining serum C15:0 (R2 = 0.14, P = 0.04). While higher circulating OCFAs have been previously associated with lower risks of cardiometabolic diseases in humans, further studies are warranted to assess potential active roles of OCFAs, including C15:0, in attenuating anemia.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230769PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7138614PMC
July 2020

Regulation of Osteoclast Differentiation at Multiple Stages by Protein Kinase D Family Kinases.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Feb 5;21(3). Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.

Balanced osteoclast and osteoblast activity is necessary for skeletal health, whereas unbalanced osteoclast activity causes bone loss in many skeletal conditions. A better understanding of pathways that regulate osteoclast differentiation and activity is necessary for the development of new therapies to better manage bone resorption. The roles of Protein Kinase D (PKD) family of serine/threonine kinases in osteoclasts have not been well characterized. In this study we use immunofluorescence analysis to reveal that PKD2 and PKD3, the isoforms expressed in osteoclasts, are found in the nucleus and cytoplasm, the mitotic spindle and midbody, and in association with the actin belt. We show that PKD inhibitors CRT0066101 and CID755673 inhibit several distinct aspects of osteoclast formation. Treating bone marrow macrophages with lower doses of the PKD inhibitors had little effect on M-CSF + RANKL-dependent induction into committed osteoclast precursors, but inhibited their motility and subsequent differentiation into multinucleated mature osteoclasts, whereas higher doses of the PKD inhibitors induced apoptosis of the preosteoclasts. Treating post-fusion multinucleated osteoclasts with the inhibitors disrupted the osteoclast actin belts and impaired their resorptive activity. In conclusion, these data implicate PKD kinases as positive regulators of osteoclasts, which are essential for multiple distinct processes throughout their formation and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7036879PMC
February 2020

Ultrasonographic findings associated with normal pregnancy and fetal well-being in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2020 Mar 3;61(2):215-226. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, California.

Reproductive success is vital in sustaining free-ranging and managed bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations. Ultrasonography is an invaluable, non-invasive tool in assessing the fetomaternal unit in humans and animals, including dolphins and horses. The purpose of this prospective longitudinal cohort study was to develop a protocol for fetomaternal ultrasonographic monitoring in dolphins and to report normal measurements and descriptive findings correlated with a positive outcome. From 2010 to 2017, serial ultrasonographic evaluations of 12 healthy dolphins were performed over the course of 16 pregnancies. A total of 203 ultrasound examinations were included in the study. Several metrics were accurate in predicting fetal age. Fetal biparietal diameter (BPD), thoracic width in dorsal and transverse planes, thoracic height in a sagittal plane, aortic diameter, and blubber thickness all demonstrated high correlation with gestational age (r > 0.94, P < .00001). Regional uteroplacental thickness significantly increased with each trimester (range 0.22-0.40 cm; P < .00011 cranial uterus, P < .00057 mid, and P < .000011 caudal). Lung:liver mean pixel intensity was 2.57 ± 0.46 (95% confidence interval 2.47-2.67). Ultrasonographic characteristics of normal pregnancy in dolphins are described and an equation for prediction of parturition date in Tursiops is reported: days to parturition = 348.16 - (26.03 × BPD(cm)) (R = 0.99). Future applications of these normal data will help identify in utero abnormalities indicative of fetal morbidity, and improve understanding of reproductive failure in wild and managed populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7155047PMC
March 2020

Pregnancy profiles in the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): Clinical biochemical and hematological variations during healthy gestation and a successful outcome.

Theriogenology 2020 Jan 23;142:92-103. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

National Marine Mammal Foundation, 2240 Shelter Island Drive, Suite 200, San Diego, CA, 92106, United States. Electronic address:

The physiological demands of pregnancy inevitably result in changes of both biochemical and hematological parameters as the fetus develops. Alterations in blood parameters have been observed to shift according to both trimester and species, to support fetal physiological needs and maternal basal requirements. Establishing normal reference ranges for each stage in gestation is important to facilitate diagnosis of underlying health concerns and prevent over-diagnosing abnormalities. Despite bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) being one of the most highly studied cetaceans, the blood profile changes occurring as a result of pregnancy have not been previously described. A retrospective analysis was performed from blood samples obtained from 42 successful pregnancies from 20 bottlenose dolphins in a managed population over 30 years. Samples were compared to non-pregnant states and among trimesters of pregnancy. Blood profile fluctuations occurred throughout gestation, however significant alterations predominantly occurred between the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Hematological changes from the 2nd to the 3rd trimester included a decrease in lymphocytes, decrease in platelet count, and hemoconcentration with increased hematocrit and hemoglobin. Biochemical changes in the 3rd trimester included significant reductions in ALKP (alkaline phosphatase), ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) with significant increases observed in albumin, globulins, total protein, cholesterol, triglycerides and CO. It's important to note that despite significant shifts occurring between the 2nd and 3rd trimester, there was no significant change in platelets, hematocrit, hemoglobin, lymphocytes or CO between non-pregnant and 3rd trimester blood samples. The normal reference ranges for each trimester established herein, will enable future identification of abnormalities occurring during pregnancy and help improve our understanding of factors potentially influencing a failed or successful pregnancy outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.09.028DOI Listing
January 2020

Labeled quantitative mass spectrometry to study the host response during aspergillosis in the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

Vet Microbiol 2019 May 30;232:42-49. Epub 2019 Mar 30.

University of Miami, Division of Comparative Pathology, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, 33136, USA. Electronic address:

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused by Aspergillus molds that can affect both humans and animals. Despite advances in diagnostics and therapy, medical management of this disease remains difficult. Expansion of the basic knowledge regarding its pathophysiology in animals is critical to aid in the identification of new biomarkers of infection for diagnosis and therapeutic targets. For such a purpose, proteomics can be used by addressing protein changes during various disease processes. In the present study, a mass spectrometry analysis based on isobaric tagging for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) was applied for direct identification and relative quantitation of proteins in blood collected from 32 Aspergillus-diseased common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, 32 samples) in comparison with blood from 55 other dolphins (55 samples from 41 clinically-normal controls and from 14 cetaceans with miscellaneous non-Aspergillus inflammation diseases) and ten convalescent dolphins (28 samples). Sixty-six and 40 proteins were found to be ≥2.0-fold over- and underrepresented versus miscellaneous non-Aspergillus inflammatory dolphins, respectively, and most were confirmed vs. clinically-normal controls and convalescents. Many proteins which play a role in the adaptive immune response were identified, including MHC proteins and others involved in catalytic activity like the NADPH-ubiquinone oxido-reductases. Overall, iTRAQ appears to be a convenient proteomic tool greatly suited for exploratory ex vivo studies focusing on pathophysiology. This technique should be considered as a preliminary step before validation of new diagnostic markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.03.030DOI Listing
May 2019

Surgical Management of a Chronic Neck Abscess in a U.S. Navy Bottlenose Dolphin.

Mil Med 2019 07;184(7-8):e360-e364

Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Surgical intervention on cetaceans is rarely performed due to challenges including general anesthesia and post-operative wound healing. This report describes the evaluation and treatment of an adult female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with the US Navy Marine Mammal Program, with a chronic ventral cervical abscess caused by Candida glabrata. Despite aspiration and lavage along with multiple antifungal drugs, the patient developed inspiratory stridor with decreased performance level and surgical treatment was pursued. Under general anesthesia with the dolphin in dorsal recumbency position a 12-cm longitudinal ventral midline neck incision was used for exploration. Intraoperative ultrasound aided the identification of surgical landmarks and the abscess cavity. After adequate drainage and curettage, a closed-suction drain was placed in the surgical site. Retention sutures were used to close the incision and the external drain bulb was secured to a pectoral fin strap. One-year post-op, the dolphin was clinically normal and follow-up imaging showed no significant recurrence of the abscess. This case demonstrates a novel surgical approach of managing abscesses in dolphins, including placement and management of a negative suction drain in a submerged patient. The successful collaboration between veterinary anesthesiology, veterinary medicine, radiology, and general surgery allowed the patient to continue her normal activities as a full-duty service member.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usy316DOI Listing
July 2019

SMAD1/5 signaling in osteoclasts regulates bone formation via coupling factors.

PLoS One 2018 6;13(9):e0203404. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, Division of Orthodontics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.

Bone remodeling occurs via coupling between bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts. The mechanisms that regulate osteoclast signals to osteoblasts are not well understood. Published studies have reported that BMP signaling in osteoclasts regulate osteoclast coupling targets. To investigate the necessity of canonical BMP signaling on osteoclast differentiation and coupling, we mated Smad1fl/fl; Smad5fl/fl mice to c-Fms-Cre mice. We analyzed male mice at 3 months of age to determine the skeletal phenotype of the Smad1fl/fl; Smad5fl/fl;c-Fms-Cre (SMAD1/5 cKO) mice. There was a 1.2-fold decrease in trabecular BV/TV in SMAD1/5 cKO. Analyses of osteoclast serum markers in SMAD1/5 cKO mice, showed a significant increase in CTX-1 (1.5 fold) and TRAP ELISA (3 fold) compared to control mice. In these same mice, there was a 1.3-fold increase in cortical thickness. Consistent with the increase in cortical thickness, we found a 3-fold increase in osteoblast activity as measured by P1NIP ELISA assay from SMAD1/5 cKO mice. To explain the changes in cortical thickness and P1NP activity, we determined conditioned media from SMAD1/5 cKO osteoclast cultures enhanced mineralization of an osteoblast cell line and coupling factors expressed by osteoclasts that regulate osteoblast activity Wnt1 (4.5-fold increase), Gja1 (3-fold increase) and Sphk1 (1.5-fold increase) were all upregulated in osteoclasts from SMAD1/5 cKO compared to control osteoclasts. Lastly osteoclasts treated with dorsomorphin, a chemical inhibitor of SMAD1/5 signaling, demonstrates an increase in Wnt1 and Gja1 expression similar to the SMAD1/5 cKO mice. Previous studies demonstrated that TGF-β signaling in osteoclasts leads to increases in WNT1 expression by osteoclasts. Therefore, our data suggest that TGF-β and BMP signaling pathways in osteoclasts could act in an antagonistic fashion to regulate osteoblast activity through WNT1 and other coupling factors.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203404PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6126839PMC
February 2019

Seroprevalence Survey for Microsporidia in Common Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus): Example of a Quantitative Approach Based on Immunoblotting.

J Wildl Dis 2018 10 9;54(4):870-873. Epub 2018 May 9.

1 Division of Comparative Pathology, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 1600 NW 10th Avenue #7101A, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.

Little is known about microsporidiosis pathogenicity in cetaceans. Here we report seroprevalence of 76% for microsporidia in blood samples from common bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus), from animals managed under human care ( n=108) or captured for health assessments ( n=13) and released.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2017-11-287DOI Listing
October 2018

Comparison of potential dietary and urinary risk factors for ammonium urate nephrolithiasis in two bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) populations.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2018 08 4;315(2):F231-F237. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Mineral Metabolism and Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center , Dallas, Texas.

Dietary and urinary risk factors have been implicated in conditions favoring ammonium urate nephrolithiasis in managed dolphins compared with free-ranging dolphins. In this study, urine samples were collected from 16 dolphins (8 cases, 8 controls) from the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program for the purposes of assessing changes in urinary biomarkers after a large meal. Urinary biomarkers and nephrolithiasis presence were assessed opportunistically in 15 long-term resident free-ranging dolphins living in Sarasota Bay, Florida. Additionally, the total purine contents of fish commonly consumed by each dolphin population were measured to evaluate potential dietary risk factors. Populations were compared for total dietary purine composition, recently fed status, nephrolithiasis presence, and differences in urinary biochemical, acid-base, and physicochemical parameters via Wilcoxon rank sum analysis and least square means. Managed dolphins had higher urinary pH and ammonium ([Formula: see text]) in both pre- and postprandial conditions and higher urinary uric acid and saturation indices of NHU in the postprandial condition compared with free-ranging dolphins ( P < 0.05). The purine content was greater ( P < 0.0001) in the diet consumed by managed dolphins [7 mmol/Mcal metabolizable energy (ME)] than in the free-ranging dolphin diet (4 mmol/Mcal ME). Free-ranging dolphins did not show evidence of nephrolithiasis. Observed differences in urinary biomarkers and dietary purine content in these two dolphin populations suggest a pathophysiologic basis for the role of fish types on the risk of NHU stone formation. Future research should investigate fish type and feeding frequency, inhibitors and promoters, and alkalinizing therapy for reducing NHU nephrolithiasis in dolphins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00606.2017DOI Listing
August 2018

Development and testing of species-specific ELISA assays to measure IFN-γ and TNF-α in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

PLoS One 2018 5;13(1):e0190786. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Ames, IA, United States of America.

Monitoring the immune status of cetaceans is important for a variety of health conditions. Assays to quantify cytokines, especially pro-inflammatory cytokines, could be employed, in addition to currently available diagnostic assays, to screen for alterations in the health status of an animal. Though a number of immunological assays are readily available for humans and mice, specific assays for many veterinary species, including cetaceans such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), are more limited. Herein, we describe the development of IFN-gamma (IFN-γ) and TNF-alpha (TNF-α) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) specific to bottlenose dolphins. Utilizing these assays, we monitored the immune status of bottlenose dolphins from a managed population over a period of eleven months. The ELISA assays developed for bottlenose dolphins were used to measure IFN-γ and TNF-α in serum or in culture supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with varying concentrations of mitogens concanavalin A (ConA) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Induction of TNF-α in PBMC cultures was consistently highest with 1 μg/mL ConA, while 1 μg/mL PHA induced the highest secretion of IFN-γ. Serum levels of TNF-α and IFN-γ remained relatively constant for each animal over the time period examined. CBC and plasma chemistry variables measured concurrently in the bottlenose dolphins were then examined as independent predictors of cytokine levels. We found these clinical variables were more likely to predict linear changes in serum IFN-γ and TNF-α levels compared to concentrations of these cytokines in mitogen-stimulated PBMC culture supernatants. Cytokine assays developed will be of substantial benefit in monitoring bottlenose dolphin health as an adjunct to currently available diagnostic tests.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0190786PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5755893PMC
February 2018

Monitoring bottlenose dolphin leukocyte cytokine mRNA responsiveness by qPCR.

PLoS One 2017 22;12(12):e0189437. Epub 2017 Dec 22.

Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Ames, Iowa, United States of America.

Both veterinarians caring for dolphins in managed populations and researchers monitoring wild populations use blood-based diagnostics to monitor bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) health. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) can be used to assess cytokine transcription patterns of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). This can supplement currently available blood tests with information on immune status. Full realization of this potential requires establishment of normal ranges of cytokine gene transcription levels in bottlenose dolphins. We surveyed four dolphins over the span of seven months by serial bleeds. PBMC were stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin (1, 5, and 10 μg/mL) and concanavalin A (1 μg/mL) for 48 H in vitro. RNA from these cultures was probed by qPCR using Tursiops truncatus-specific primers (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, IL-18, IFN-γ and TNF-α). Two blood samples from an additional bottlenose dolphin diagnosed with acute pulmonary disease add further perspective to the data. We observed that mitogen choice made a significant difference in the magnitude of gene transcription observed. On the other hand, most cytokines tested exhibited limited intra-animal variation. However, IL-6 and IL-12p40 differed between older and younger dolphins. Furthermore, the magnitude of mitogenic response clusters the tested cytokines into three groups. The data provide a reference for the selection of target cytokine mRNAs and their expected range of mitogen-stimulated cytokine gene transcription for future studies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0189437PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741220PMC
January 2018

Evaluation of a genus-specific ELISA and a commercial Aspergillus Western blot IgG® immunoblot kit for the diagnosis of aspergillosis in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

Med Mycol 2018 Oct;56(7):847-856

University of Miami, Division of Comparative Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL - USA.

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection with high mortality and morbidity rates. As in humans, its definitive diagnosis is difficult in animals, and thus new laboratory tools are required to overcome the diagnostic limitations due to low specificity and lack of standardization. In this study of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), we evaluated the diagnostic performance of a new commercial immunoblot kit that had been initially developed for the serologic diagnosis of chronic aspergillosis in humans. Using this in a quantitative approach, we first established its positive cutoff within an observation cohort of 32 serum samples from dolphins with "proven" or "probable" diagnosis of aspergillosis and 55 negative controls. A novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test was also developed for detecting anti-Aspergillus antibodies, and results were compared between the two assays. Overall, the diagnostic performance of immunoblot and ELISA were strongly correlated (P < .0001). The former showed lower sensitivity (65.6% versus 90.6%), but higher specificity (92.7% vs. 69.1%), with no cross-reaction with other fungal infections caused by miscellaneous non-Aspergillus genera. When assessing their use in a validation cohort, the immunoblot kit and the ELISA enabled positive diagnosis before mycological cultures in 42.9% and 33.3% subjects addressed for suspicion of aspergillosis, respectively. There was also significant impact of antifungal treatment on the results of the two tests (P < .05). In all, these new serological methods show promise in aiding in the diagnosis of aspergillosis in dolphins, and illustrate the opportunity to adapt commercial reagents directed for human diagnostics to detect similar changes in other animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mmy/myx114DOI Listing
October 2018

Identification of monoclonal antibodies cross-reactive with bottlenose dolphin orthologues of the major histocompatibility complex and leukocyte differentiation molecules.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2017 Oct 3;192:54-59. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, WA, USA.

The slow progress in understanding immunotoxic effects of environmental contaminants and their influence on disease susceptibility in whales is largely due to the limited information available on the immune systems and immune function of species included in the Cetancodontamorpha clade. Studies in species in the other major clades included in the Artiodactylamorpha, Ruminantiamorpha, Suinamorpha, and Camelidamorpha have revealed the immune systems are similar, but not identical. The present study was undertaken to expand the available monoclonal antibody reagents needed to gain insight into the composition, function, and evolution of the immune system in Cetancodontamorpha, using the dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a model cetacean species. Screening of a set of mAbs that recognize highly conserved epitopes expressed on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and leukocyte differentiation molecules (LDMs) in cattle by flow cytometry revealed some of the mAbs recognize epitopes conserved on dolphin orthologues of MHC class I, MHC class II, CD11a, CD14, CD16, CD18, CD163 and CD172a. Comparison of the amino acid sequences of dolphin and bovine orthologues revealed limited changes in sequence have occurred during speciation, suggesting an approach for developing cross-reactive mAbs for use in cetacean research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2017.09.007DOI Listing
October 2017

Breast cancer cell-derived fibroblast growth factors enhance osteoclast activity and contribute to the formation of metastatic lesions.

PLoS One 2017 2;12(10):e0185736. Epub 2017 Oct 2.

Department of Lab Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.

Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their receptors (FGFRs) have been implicated in promoting breast cancer growth and progression. While the autocrine effects of FGFR activation in tumor cells have been extensively studied, little is known about the effects of tumor cell-derived FGFs on cells in the microenvironment. Because FGF signaling has been implicated in the regulation of bone formation and osteoclast differentiation, we hypothesized that tumor cell-derived FGFs are capable of modulating osteoclast function and contributing to growth of metastatic lesions in the bone. Initial studies examining FGFR expression during osteoclast differentiation revealed increased expression of FGFR1 in osteoclasts during differentiation. Therefore, studies were performed to determine whether tumor cell-derived FGFs are capable of promoting osteoclast differentiation and activity. Using both non-transformed and transformed cell lines, we demonstrate that breast cancer cells express a number of FGF ligands that are known to activate FGFR1. Furthermore our results demonstrate that inhibition of FGFR activity using the clinically relevant inhibitor BGJ398 leads to reduced osteoclast differentiation and activity in vitro. Treatment of mice injected with tumor cells into the femurs with BGJ398 leads to reduced osteoclast activity and bone destruction. Together, these studies demonstrate that tumor cell-derived FGFs enhance osteoclast function and contribute to the formation of metastatic lesions in breast cancer.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185736PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5624603PMC
October 2017

Class II and IV HDACs function as inhibitors of osteoclast differentiation.

PLoS One 2017 27;12(9):e0185441. Epub 2017 Sep 27.

Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.

Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are negative regulators of transcription and have been shown to regulate specific changes in gene expression. In vertebrates, eighteen HDACs have thus far been identified and subdivided into four classes (I-IV). Key roles for several HDACs in bone development and biology have been elucidated through in vitro and in vivo models. By comparison, there is a paucity of data on the roles of individual HDACs in osteoclast formation and function. In this study, we investigated the gene expression patterns and the effects of suppressing individual class II (Hdac4, 5, 6, 9, and 10) and class IV (Hdac11) HDACs during osteoclast differentiation. We demonstrated that HDAC class II and IV members are differentially expressed during osteoclast differentiation. Additionally, individual shRNA-mediated suppression of Hdac4, 5, 9, 10 and 11 expression resulted in increased multinucleated osteoclast size and demineralization activity, with little to no change in the overall number of multinucleated osteoclasts formed compared with control shRNA-treated cells. We also detected increased expression of genes highly expressed in osteoclasts, including c-Fos, Nfatc1, Dc-stamp and Cathepsin K. These observations indicate that HDACs cooperatively regulate shared targets in a non-redundant manner.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185441PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5617211PMC
October 2017

Regulation of Osteoclast Differentiation by Myosin X.

Sci Rep 2017 08 8;7(1):7603. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455, USA.

Osteoclasts begin as mononuclear cells that fuse to form multinuclear cells able to resorb bone. The mechanisms that regulate all the steps of osteoclast differentiation are not entirely known. MYO10, an unconventional myosin, has previously been shown in mature osteoclasts to play a role in attachment and podosome positioning. We determined that MYO10 is also expressed early during osteoclast differentiation. Loss of MYO10 expression in osteoclast precursors inhibits the ability of mononuclear osteoclasts to fuse into multinuclear osteoclasts. Expression of Nfatc1, Dc-stamp, Ctsk, and β integrin is reduced in the osteoclasts with reduced MYO10 expression. A slight reduction in the osteoclasts ability to migrate, as well as a reduction in SMAD 1/5/8 phosphorylation are also noted with reduced MYO10 expression. Interestingly we also detected a change in the ability of the osteoclast precursors to form tunneling nanotubes (TNTs), which suggests that MYO10 may regulate the presence of TNTs through its interaction with the cytoskeletal proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07855-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548914PMC
August 2017

Effects of oral megestrol acetate administration on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2017 Jul;251(2):217-223

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the impact of oral megestrol acetate (MA) administration on adrenal function in male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). DESIGN Serial cross-sectional study. ANIMALS 8 adult male dolphins, all of which were receiving MA at various daily doses (range, 0 to 60 mg, PO) for the control of reproductive behavior. PROCEDURES Blood samples were collected every 2 weeks for 1 year from dolphins trained to voluntarily provide them. Cortisol, ACTH, and other hormone concentrations were measured in serum or plasma via radioimmunoassay or ELISA. Fecal samples, also provided by dolphins voluntarily, were assayed for glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations. Effects of daily MA dose on hormone concentrations were evaluated. RESULTS Daily MA doses as low as 10 mg strongly suppressed cortisol secretion in nearly all dolphins, and except for a single measurement, no dolphin had measurable serum concentrations at doses ≥ 20 mg. Variations in serum cortisol concentration were unrelated to season but were directly related to ACTH concentrations, suggesting primary effects upstream of the adrenal gland. Cessation of MA administration resulted in almost immediate restoration of measurable serum cortisol concentrations, although concentrations continued to rise in a few dolphins over the following weeks to months. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Caution should be exercised when administering MA to control reproductive behavior in male dolphins. Because the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis appeared to be sensitive to even small doses of MA in dolphins, duration of treatment may be the most critical consideration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.251.2.217DOI Listing
July 2017

Clinical management of Candida albicans keratomycosis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

Vet Ophthalmol 2018 May 11;21(3):298-304. Epub 2017 Jan 11.

U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, CA, 92152, USA.

Objective: Corneal ulceration secondary to trauma commonly affects marine mammals, often with opportunistic secondary bacterial or fungal infections. This report characterizes the combined use of auriculopalpebral and ophthalmic nerve blocks, adipose-derived stem cells, and subconjunctival injections for successful treatment of corneal trauma and infection in dolphins.

Animal Studied: An 11-year-old, female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presented with bilateral diffuse corneal opacities, which progressed to keratomycosis caused by Candida albicans.

Procedure: Aggressive medical management was employed, including the use of subconjunctival injections of adipose-derived stem cells, plasma, topical and oral antifungals and antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Anesthetic block of the auriculopalpebral and ophthalmic nerves was employed to evaluate the corneas.

Conclusion: Subconjunctival injections were employed over 52 days, followed by topical drops for 5 months. At last evaluation, there was no evidence of blepharospasm bilaterally. Only a faint superficial gray corneal opacity remained OS. A temporal paraxial corneal opacity was present OD, with receding inactive vascularization and a small amount of melanosis temporally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vop.12459DOI Listing
May 2018

Marine mammals harbor unique microbiotas shaped by and yet distinct from the sea.

Nat Commun 2016 Feb 3;7:10516. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Marine mammals play crucial ecological roles in the oceans, but little is known about their microbiotas. Here we study the bacterial communities in 337 samples from 5 body sites in 48 healthy dolphins and 18 healthy sea lions, as well as those of adjacent seawater and other hosts. The bacterial taxonomic compositions are distinct from those of other mammals, dietary fish and seawater, are highly diverse and vary according to body site and host species. Dolphins harbour 30 bacterial phyla, with 25 of them in the mouth, several abundant but poorly characterized Tenericutes species in gastric fluid and a surprisingly paucity of Bacteroidetes in distal gut. About 70% of near-full length bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA sequences from dolphins are unique. Host habitat, diet and phylogeny all contribute to variation in marine mammal distal gut microbiota composition. Our findings help elucidate the factors structuring marine mammal microbiotas and may enhance monitoring of marine mammal health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10516DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4742810PMC
February 2016

Increased Dietary Intake of Saturated Fatty Acid Heptadecanoic Acid (C17:0) Associated with Decreasing Ferritin and Alleviated Metabolic Syndrome in Dolphins.

PLoS One 2015 22;10(7):e0132117. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, San Diego, California, United States of America.

Similar to humans, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can develop metabolic syndrome and associated high ferritin. While fish and fish-based fatty acids may protect against metabolic syndrome in humans, findings have been inconsistent. To assess potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome related to fish diets, fatty acids were compared between two dolphin populations with higher (n = 30, Group A) and lower (n = 19, Group B) mean insulin (11 ± 12 and 2 ± 5 μIU/ml, respectively; P < 0.0001) and their dietary fish. In addition to higher insulin, triglycerides, and ferritin, Group A had lower percent serum heptadecanoic acid (C17:0) compared to Group B (0.3 ± 0.1 and 1.3 ± 0.4%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Using multivariate stepwise regression, higher percent serum C17:0, a saturated fat found in dairy fat, rye, and some fish, was an independent predictor of lower insulin in dolphins. Capelin, a common dietary fish for Group A, had no detectable C17:0, while pinfish and mullet, common in Group B's diet, had C17:0 (41 and 67 mg/100g, respectively). When a modified diet adding 25% pinfish and/or mullet was fed to six Group A dolphins over 24 weeks (increasing the average daily dietary C17:0 intake from 400 to 1700 mg), C17:0 serum levels increased, high ferritin decreased, and blood-based metabolic syndrome indices normalized toward reference levels. These effects were not found in four reference dolphins. Further, higher total serum C17:0 was an independent and linear predictor of lower ferritin in dolphins in Group B dolphins. Among off the shelf dairy products tested, butter had the highest C17:0 (423mg/100g); nonfat dairy products had no detectable C17:0. We hypothesize that humans' movement away from diets with potentially beneficial saturated fatty acid C17:0, including whole fat dairy products, could be a contributor to widespread low C17:0 levels, higher ferritin, and metabolic syndrome.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0132117PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4511797PMC
May 2016

Deletion of histone deacetylase 7 in osteoclasts decreases bone mass in mice by interactions with MITF.

PLoS One 2015 15;10(4):e0123843. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.

Molecular regulators of osteoclast formation and function are an important area of research due to the central role of osteoclasts in bone resorption. Transcription factors such as MITF are essential for osteoclast generation by regulating expression of the genes required for cellular differentiation and resorptive function. We recently reported that histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7) binds to and represses the transcriptional activity of MITF in osteoclasts, and that loss of HDAC7 in vitro accelerated osteoclastogenesis. In the current study, we extend this initial observation by showing that conditional deletion of HDAC7 in osteoclasts of mice leads to an in vivo enhancement in osteoclast formation, associated with increased bone resorption and lower bone mass. Expression of multiple MITF target genes is increased in bone marrow derived osteoclast cultures from the HDAC7 knockout mice. Interestingly, multiple regions of the HDAC7 amino-terminus can bind to MITF or exert repressive activity. Moreover, mutation or deletion of the HDAC7 conserved deacetylase catalytic domain had little effect on repressive function. These observations identify HDAC7 in osteoclasts as an important molecular regulator of MITF activity and bone homeostasis, but also highlight a gap in our understanding of exactly how HDAC7 functions as a corepressor.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123843PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4398560PMC
January 2016

Evaluation of annual survival and mortality rates and longevity of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) at the United States Navy Marine Mammal Program from 2004 through 2013.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015 Apr;246(8):893-8

National Marine Mammal Foundation, 2240 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106.

Objective-To evaluate annual survival and mortality rates and the longevity of a managed population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Design-Retrospective cohort study. Animals-103 bottlenose dolphins at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program (MMP). Procedures-Population age structures, annual survival and crude mortality rates, and median age at death for dolphins > 30 days old were determined from 2004 through 2013. Results-During 2004 through 2013, the annual survival rates for MMP dolphins ranged from 0.98 to 1.0, and the annual crude mortality rates ranged from 0% to 5%, with a mean of 2.7%. The median age at death was 30.1 years from 2004 through 2008 and increased to 32 years from 2009 through 2013. The maximum age for a dolphin in the study was 52 years. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results indicated that the annual mortality rates were low and survival rates were high for dolphins in the MMP from 2004 through 2013 and that the median age at death for MMP dolphins during that time was over 10 years greater than that reported in free-ranging dolphins. These findings were likely attributable to the continually improving care and husbandry of managed dolphin populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.246.8.893DOI Listing
April 2015
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