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See detailKinetics of IL-7 and IL-15 Levels after Allogeneic Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation following Nonmyeloablative Conditioning
De Bock, Muriel; Fillet, Marianne ULg; Hannon, Muriel ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(2), 55876

Background: We analysed kinetics of IL-7 and IL-15 levels in 70 patients given peripheral blood stem cells after nonmyeloablative conditioning. Methods: EDTA-anticoagulated plasma and serum samples were ... [more ▼]

Background: We analysed kinetics of IL-7 and IL-15 levels in 70 patients given peripheral blood stem cells after nonmyeloablative conditioning. Methods: EDTA-anticoagulated plasma and serum samples were obtained before conditioning and about once per week after transplantation until day 100. Samples were aliquoted and stored at 280uC within 3 hours after collection until measurement of cytokines. IL-7 and IL-15 levels were measured by ELISAs. Results: Median IL-7 plasma levels remained below 6 pg/L throughout the first 100 days, although IL-7 plasma levels were significantly higher on days 7 (5.1 pg/mL, P = 0.002), 14 (5.2 pg/mL, P,0.001), and 28 (5.1 pg/mL, P = 0.03) (but not thereafter) than before transplantation (median value of 3.8 pg/mL). Median IL-15 serum levels were significantly higher on days 7 (12.5 pg/mL, P,0.001), 14 (10.5 pg/mL, P,0.001), and 28 (6.2 pg/mL, P,0.001) than before transplantation (median value of 2.4 pg/mL). Importantly, IL-7 and IL-15 levels on days 7 or 14 after transplantation did not predict grade II–IV acute GVHD. Conclusions: These data suggest that IL-7 and IL-15 levels remain relatively low after nonmyeloablative transplantation, and that IL-7 and IL-15 levels early after nonmyeloablative transplantation do not predict for acute GVHD. [less ▲]

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See detailThe stranding anomaly as population indicator: the case of harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in North-Western Europe.
Peltier, Helene; Baagoe, Hans J.; Camphuysen, Kees C. J. et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(4), 62180

Ecological indicators for monitoring strategies are expected to combine three major characteristics: ecological significance, statistical credibility, and cost-effectiveness. Strategies based on stranding ... [more ▼]

Ecological indicators for monitoring strategies are expected to combine three major characteristics: ecological significance, statistical credibility, and cost-effectiveness. Strategies based on stranding networks rank highly in cost-effectiveness, but their ecological significance and statistical credibility are disputed. Our present goal is to improve the value of stranding data as population indicator as part of monitoring strategies by constructing the spatial and temporal null hypothesis for strandings. The null hypothesis is defined as: small cetacean distribution and mortality are uniform in space and constant in time. We used a drift model to map stranding probabilities and predict stranding patterns of cetacean carcasses under H0 across the North Sea, the Channel and the Bay of Biscay, for the period 1990-2009. As the most common cetacean occurring in this area, we chose the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena for our modelling. The difference between these strandings expected under H0 and observed strandings is defined as the stranding anomaly. It constituted the stranding data series corrected for drift conditions. Seasonal decomposition of stranding anomaly suggested that drift conditions did not explain observed seasonal variations of porpoise strandings. Long-term stranding anomalies increased first in the southern North Sea, the Channel and Bay of Biscay coasts, and finally the eastern North Sea. The hypothesis of changes in porpoise distribution was consistent with local visual surveys, mostly SCANS surveys (1994 and 2005). This new indicator could be applied to cetacean populations across the world and more widely to marine megafauna. [less ▲]

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See detailInsight into the peopling of mainland southeast Asia from thai population genetic structure.
Wangkumhang, Pongsakorn; Shaw, Philip James; Chaichoompu, Kridsadakorn ULg et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(11), 79522

There is considerable ethno-linguistic and genetic variation among human populations in Asia, although tracing the origins of this diversity is complicated by migration events. Thailand is at the center ... [more ▼]

There is considerable ethno-linguistic and genetic variation among human populations in Asia, although tracing the origins of this diversity is complicated by migration events. Thailand is at the center of Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA), a region within Asia that has not been extensively studied. Genetic substructure may exist in the Thai population, since waves of migration from southern China throughout its recent history may have contributed to substantial gene flow. Autosomal SNP data were collated for 438,503 markers from 992 Thai individuals. Using the available self-reported regional origin, four Thai subpopulations genetically distinct from each other and from other Asian populations were resolved by Neighbor-Joining analysis using a 41,569 marker subset. Using an independent Principal Components-based unsupervised clustering approach, four major MSEA subpopulations were resolved in which regional bias was apparent. A major ancestry component was common to these MSEA subpopulations and distinguishes them from other Asian subpopulations. On the other hand, these MSEA subpopulations were admixed with other ancestries, in particular one shared with Chinese. Subpopulation clustering using only Thai individuals and the complete marker set resolved four subpopulations, which are distributed differently across Thailand. A Sino-Thai subpopulation was concentrated in the Central region of Thailand, although this constituted a minority in an otherwise diverse region. Among the most highly differentiated markers which distinguish the Thai subpopulations, several map to regions known to affect phenotypic traits such as skin pigmentation and susceptibility to common diseases. The subpopulation patterns elucidated have important implications for evolutionary and medical genetics. The subpopulation structure within Thailand may reflect the contributions of different migrants throughout the history of MSEA. The information will also be important for genetic association studies to account for population-structure confounding effects. [less ▲]

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See detailA new method for in vitro detection of bromodeoxyuridine in serum: a proof of concept in a songbird species, the canary.
Barker, Jennifer M.; Charlier, Thierry D.; Ball, Gregory F. et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(5), 63692

Systemic injection of a thymidine analogue such as bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) in vertebrates is commonly used to detect and study cell production during development, adulthood, and pathology, particularly ... [more ▼]

Systemic injection of a thymidine analogue such as bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) in vertebrates is commonly used to detect and study cell production during development, adulthood, and pathology, particularly in studies of adult neurogenesis. Although researchers are applying this technique to multiple species in various physiological conditions, the rate of BrdU clearance from the serum remains unknown in most cases. Changes in this clearance rate as a function of the species, sex or endocrine condition could however profoundly affect the interpretation of the results. We describe a rapid, sensitive, but simple bioassay for post-injection detection and quantification of BrdU in serum. This procedure was shown to be suitable for determining the length of time a thymidine analogue remains in the bloodstream of one avian species and seems applicable to any vertebrate provided sufficiently large blood samples can be collected. This technique was used to demonstrate that, in canaries, BrdU injected at a dose of 100 mg/kg is no longer available for incorporation into DNA between 30 and 60 min post-injection, a delay shorter than anticipated based on the available literature. Preliminary data suggest a similar fast clearance in Japanese quail and mice. [less ▲]

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See detailThe proline-rich motif of the proDer p 3 allergen propeptide is crucial for protease-protease interaction.
Dumez, Marie-Eve ULg; Herman, Julie; Campisi, Vincenzo ULg et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(9), 68014

The majority of proteases are synthesized in an inactive form, termed zymogen, which consists of a propeptide and a protease domain. The propeptide is commonly involved in the correct folding and specific ... [more ▼]

The majority of proteases are synthesized in an inactive form, termed zymogen, which consists of a propeptide and a protease domain. The propeptide is commonly involved in the correct folding and specific inhibition of the enzyme. The propeptide of the house dust mite allergen Der p 3, NPILPASPNAT, contains a proline-rich motif (PRM), which is unusual for a trypsin-like protease. By truncating the propeptide or replacing one or all of the prolines in the non-glycosylated zymogen with alanine(s), we demonstrated that the full-length propeptide is not required for correct folding and thermal stability and that the PRM is important for the resistance of proDer p 3 to undesired proteolysis when the protein is expressed in Pichia pastoris. Additionally, we followed the maturation time course of proDer p 3 by coupling a quenched-flow assay to mass spectrometry analysis. This approach allowed to monitor the evolution of the different species and to determine the steady-state kinetic parameters for activation of the zymogen by the major allergen Der p 1. This experiment demonstrated that prolines 5 and 8 are crucial for proDer p 3-Der p 1 interaction and for activation of the zymogen. [less ▲]

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See detailProteomic characterization of murid herpesvirus 4 extracellular virions.
Vidick, Sarah ULg; Leroy, Baptiste; Gonon Rodrigues Palmeira, Leonor ULg et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(12), 83842

Gammaherpesvirinae, such as the human Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are highly prevalent pathogens that have been associated with several neoplastic ... [more ▼]

Gammaherpesvirinae, such as the human Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are highly prevalent pathogens that have been associated with several neoplastic diseases. As EBV and KSHV are host-range specific and replicate poorly in vitro, animal counterparts such as Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) have been widely used as models. In this study, we used MuHV-4 in order to improve the knowledge about proteins that compose gammaherpesviruses virions. To this end, MuHV-4 extracellular virions were isolated and structural proteins were identified using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomic approaches. These analyses allowed the identification of 31 structural proteins encoded by the MuHV-4 genome which were classified as capsid (8), envelope (9), tegument (13) and unclassified (1) structural proteins. In addition, we estimated the relative abundance of the identified proteins in MuHV-4 virions by using exponentially modified protein abundance index analyses. In parallel, several host proteins were found in purified MuHV-4 virions including Annexin A2. Although Annexin A2 has previously been detected in different virions from various families, its role in the virion remains controversial. Interestingly, despite its relatively high abundance in virions, Annexin A2 was not essential for the growth of MuHV-4 in vitro. Altogether, these results extend previous work aimed at determining the composition of gammaherpesvirus virions and provide novel insights for understanding MuHV-4 biology. [less ▲]

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See detailPan-African Genetic Structure in the African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer): Investigating Intraspecific Divergence
Smitz, Nathalie ULg; Berthouly, C.; Cornélis, D. et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(2),

The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) exhibits extreme morphological variability, which has led to controversies about the validity and taxonomic status of the various recognized subspecies. The present ... [more ▼]

The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) exhibits extreme morphological variability, which has led to controversies about the validity and taxonomic status of the various recognized subspecies. The present study aims to clarify these by inferring the pan-African spatial distribution of genetic diversity, using a comprehensive set of mitochondrial D-loop sequences from across the entire range of the species. All analyses converged on the existence of two distinct lineages, corresponding to a group encompassing West and Central African populations and a group encompassing East and Southern African populations. The former is currently assigned to two to three subspecies (S. c. nanus, S. c. brachyceros, S. c. aequinoctialis) and the latter to a separate subspecies (S. c. caffer). Forty-two per cent of the total amount of genetic diversity is explained by the between-lineage component, with one to seventeen female migrants per generation inferred as consistent with the isolation-with-migration model. The two lineages diverged between 145 000 to 449 000 years ago, with strong indications for a population expansion in both lineages, as revealed by coalescent-based analyses, summary statistics and a star-like topology of the haplotype network for the S. c. caffer lineage. A Bayesian analysis identified the most probable historical migration routes, with the Cape buffalo undertaking successive colonization events from Eastern toward Southern Africa. Furthermore, our analyses indicate that, in the West-Central African lineage, the forest ecophenotype may be a derived form of the savanna ecophenotype and not vice versa, as has previously been proposed. The African buffalo most likely expanded and diverged in the late to middle Pleistocene from an ancestral population located around the current-day Central African Republic, adapting morphologically to colonize new habitats, hence developing the variety of ecophenotypes observed today. © 2013 Smitz et al. [less ▲]

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See detailUnique gene expression and MR T2 relaxometry patterns define chronic murine dextran sodium sulphate colitis as a model for connective tissue changes in human Crohn's disease.
Breynaert, Christine; Dresselaers, Tom; Perrier, Clementine et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(7), 68876

INTRODUCTION: Chronically relapsing inflammation, tissue remodeling and fibrosis are hallmarks of inflammatory bowel diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in connective tissue in a ... [more ▼]

INTRODUCTION: Chronically relapsing inflammation, tissue remodeling and fibrosis are hallmarks of inflammatory bowel diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in connective tissue in a chronic murine model resulting from repeated cycles of dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) ingestion, to mimic the relapsing nature of the human disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were exposed to DSS in drinking water for 1 week, followed by a recovery phase of 2 weeks. This cycle of exposure was repeated for up to 3 times (9 weeks in total). Colonic inflammation, fibrosis, extracellular matrix proteins and colonic gene expression were studied. In vivo MRI T 2 relaxometry was studied as a potential non-invasive imaging tool to evaluate bowel wall inflammation and fibrosis. RESULTS: Repeated cycles of DSS resulted in a relapsing and remitting disease course, which induced a chronic segmental, transmural colitis after 2 and 3 cycles of DSS with clear induction of fibrosis and remodeling of the muscular layer. Tenascin expression mirrored its expression in Crohn's colitis. Microarray data identified a gene expression profile different in chronic colitis from that in acute colitis. Additional recovery was associated with upregulation of unique genes, in particular keratins, pointing to activation of molecular pathways for healing and repair. In vivo MRI T2 relaxometry of the colon showed a clear shift towards higher T2 values in the acute stage and a gradual regression of T2 values with increasing cycles of DSS. CONCLUSIONS: Repeated cycles of DSS exposure induce fibrosis and connective tissue changes with typical features, as occurring in Crohn's disease. Colonic gene expression analysis revealed unique expression profiles in chronic colitis compared to acute colitis and after additional recovery, pointing to potential new targets to intervene with the induction of fibrosis. In vivo T2 relaxometry is a promising non-invasive assessment of inflammation and fibrosis. [less ▲]

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See detailDepletion of the p43 Mitochondrial T3 Receptor Increases Sertoli Cell Proliferation in Mice
Fumel, Betty; Roy, Stéphanie; Fourchecourt, Sophie et al

in PLoS ONE (2013)

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See detailCharacterization of amylolysin, a novel lantibiotic from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens GA1
Arias, A. A.; Ongena, Marc ULg; Devreese, B. et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(12),

Background: Lantibiotics are heat-stable peptides characterized by the presence of thioether amino acid lanthionine and methyllanthionine. They are capable to inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria ... [more ▼]

Background: Lantibiotics are heat-stable peptides characterized by the presence of thioether amino acid lanthionine and methyllanthionine. They are capable to inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus or Bacillus cereus, the causative agents of food-borne diseases or nosocomial infections. Lantibiotic biosynthetic machinery is encoded by gene cluster composed by a structural gene that codes for a pre-lantibiotic peptide and other genes involved in pre-lantibiotic modifications, regulation, export and immunity. Methodology/Findings: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens GA1 was found to produce an antimicrobial peptide, named amylolysin, active on an array of Gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin resistant S. aureus. Genome characterization led to the identification of a putative lantibiotic gene cluster that comprises a structural gene (amlA) and genes involved in modification (amlM), transport (amlT), regulation (amlKR) and immunity (amlFE). Disruption of amlA led to loss of biological activity, confirming thus that the identified gene cluster is related to amylolysin synthesis. MALDI-TOF and LC-MS analysis on purified amylolysin demonstrated that this latter corresponds to a novel lantibiotic not described to date. The ability of amylolysin to interact in vitro with the lipid II, the carrier of peptidoglycan monomers across the cytoplasmic membrane and the presence of a unique modification gene suggest that the identified peptide belongs to the group B lantibiotic. Amylolysin immunity seems to be driven by only two AmlF and AmlE proteins, which is uncommon within the Bacillus genus. Conclusion/Significance: Apart from mersacidin produced by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strains Y2 and HIL Y-85,544728, reports on the synthesis of type B-lantibiotic in this species are scarce. This study reports on a genetic and structural characterization of another representative of the type B lantibiotic in B. amyloliquefaciens. Copyright: © 2013 Arguelles Arias et al. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling Species Distributions from Heterogeneous Data for the Biogeographic Regionalization of the European Bryophyte Flora
Mateo, R. G. A; Vanderpoorten, Alain ULg; Muñoz, J. B D et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(2),

The definition of biogeographic regions provides a fundamental framework for a range of basic and applied questions in biogeography, evolutionary biology, systematics and conservation. Previous research ... [more ▼]

The definition of biogeographic regions provides a fundamental framework for a range of basic and applied questions in biogeography, evolutionary biology, systematics and conservation. Previous research suggested that environmental forcing results in highly congruent regionalization patterns across taxa, but that the size and number of regions depends on the dispersal ability of the taxa considered. We produced a biogeographic regionalization of European bryophytes and hypothesized that (1) regions defined for bryophytes would differ from those defined for other taxa due to the highly specific eco-physiology of the group and (2) their high dispersal ability would result in the resolution of few, large regions. Species distributions were recorded using 10,000 km2 MGRS pixels. Because of the lack of data across large portions of the area, species distribution models employing macroclimatic variables as predictors were used to determine the potential composition of empty pixels. K-means clustering analyses of the pixels based on their potential species composition were employed to define biogeographic regions. The optimal number of regions was determined by v-fold cross-validation and Moran's I statistic. The spatial congruence of the regions identified from their potential bryophyte assemblages with large-scale vegetation patterns is at odds with our primary hypothesis. This reinforces the notion that post-glacial migration patterns might have been much more similar in bryophytes and vascular plants than previously thought. The substantially lower optimal number of clusters and the absence of nested patterns within the main biogeographic regions, as compared to identical analyses in vascular plants, support our second hypothesis. The modelling approach implemented here is, however, based on many assumptions that are discussed but can only be tested when additional data on species distributions become available, highlighting the substantial importance of developing integrated mapping projects for all taxa in key biogeographically areas of Europe, and the Mediterranean peninsulas in particular. © 2013 Mateo et al. [less ▲]

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See detailMagnitude Representations in Williams Syndrome: Differential Acuity in Time, Space and Number Processing.
Rousselle, Laurence ULg; Dembour, Guy; Noël, Marie-Pascale

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(8), 72621

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See detailOverview on the diversity of sounds produced by clownfishes (Pomacentridae): importance of acoustic signals in their peculiar way of life.
Colleye, Orphal ULg; Parmentier, Eric ULg

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(11),

Background: Clownfishes (Pomacentridae) are brightly colored coral reef fishes well known for their mutualistic symbiosis with tropical sea anemones. These fishes live in social groups in which there is a ... [more ▼]

Background: Clownfishes (Pomacentridae) are brightly colored coral reef fishes well known for their mutualistic symbiosis with tropical sea anemones. These fishes live in social groups in which there is a size-based dominance hierarchy. In this structure where sex is socially controlled, agonistic interactions are numerous and serve to maintain size differences between individuals adjacent in rank. Clownfishes are also prolific callers whose sounds seem to play an important role in the social hierarchy. Here, we aim to review and to synthesize the diversity of sounds produced by clownfishes in order to emphasize the importance of acoustic signals in their way of life. Methodology/Principal Findings: Recording the different acoustic behaviors indicated that sounds are divided into two main categories: aggressive sounds produced in conjunction with threat postures (charge and chase), and submissive sounds always emitted when fish exhibited head shaking movements (i.e. a submissive posture). Both types of sounds showed size-related intraspecific variation in dominant frequency and pulse duration: smaller individuals produce higher frequency and shorter duration pulses than larger ones, and inversely. Consequently, these sonic features might be useful cues for individual recognition within the group. This observation is of significant importance due to the size-based hierarchy in clownfish group. On the other hand, no acoustic signal was associated with the different reproductive activities. Conclusions/Significance: Unlike other pomacentrids, sounds are not produced for mate attraction in clownfishes but to reach and to defend the competition for breeding status, which explains why constraints are not important enough for promoting call diversification in this group. [less ▲]

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See detailProtective role of P2Y(2) receptor against lung infection induced by pneumonia virus of mice
Vanderstocken, Gilles; Van de Paar, Els; Robaye, Benoit et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(11), 50385

ATP released in the early inflammatory processes acts as a danger signal by binding to purinergic receptors expressed on immune cells. A major contribution of the P2Y2 receptor of ATP/UTP to dendritic ... [more ▼]

ATP released in the early inflammatory processes acts as a danger signal by binding to purinergic receptors expressed on immune cells. A major contribution of the P2Y2 receptor of ATP/UTP to dendritic cell function and Th2 lymphocyte recruitment during asthmatic airway inflammation was previously reported. We investigated here the involvement of P2Y2 receptor in lung inflammation initiated by pneumonia virus of mice infection. We demonstrated that P2Y2-/- mice display a severe increase in morbidity and mortality rate in response to the virus. Lower survival of P2Y2-/- mice was not correlated with excessive inflammation despite the higher level of neutrophil recruiters in their bronchoalveolar fluids. Interestingly, we observed reduced ATP level and lower numbers of dendritic cells, CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells in P2Y2-/- compared to P2Y2+/+ infected lungs. Lower level of IL-12 and higher level of IL-6 in bronchoalveolar fluid support an inhibition of Th1 response in P2Y2-/- infected mice. Quantification of DC recruiter expression revealed comparable IP-10 and MIP-3 levels but a reduced BRAK level in P2Y2-/- compared to P2Y2+/+ bronchoalveolar fluids. Higher morbidity and mortality of P2Y2-/- mice appear to result from defective dendritic cell and T cell infiltration that were correlated with higher virus titer. In conclusion, P2Y2 receptor previously described as a target in cystic fibrosis therapy and as a mediator of Th2 response in asthma, may also regulate Th1 response protecting mice against lung viral infection. [less ▲]

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See detailCombined Mitochondrial and Nuclear Markers Revealed a Deep Vicariant History for Leopoldamys neilli, a Cave-Dwelling Rodent of Thailand
Latinne, Alice ULg; Waengsothorn, Surachit; Rojanadilok, Prateep et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(10), 47670

Background: Historical biogeography and evolutionary processes of cave taxa have been widely studied in temperate regions. However, Southeast Asian cave ecosystems remain largely unexplored despite their ... [more ▼]

Background: Historical biogeography and evolutionary processes of cave taxa have been widely studied in temperate regions. However, Southeast Asian cave ecosystems remain largely unexplored despite their high scientific interest. Here we studied the phylogeography of Leopoldamys neilli, a cave-dwelling murine rodent living in limestone karsts of Thailand, and compared the molecular signature of mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Methodology/Principal Findings: We used a large sampling (n = 225) from 28 localities in Thailand and a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers with various evolutionary rates (two intronic regions and 12 microsatellites). The evolutionary history of L. neilli and the relative role of vicariance and dispersal were investigated using ancestral range reconstruction analysis and Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers support a large-scale population structure of four main groups (west, centre, north and northeast) and a strong finer structure within each of these groups. A deep genealogical divergence among geographically close lineages is observed and denotes a high population fragmentation. Our findings suggest that the current phylogeographic pattern of this species results from the fragmentation of a widespread ancestral population and that vicariance has played a significant role in the evolutionary history of L. neilli. These deep vicariant events that occurred during Plio-Pleistocene are related to the formation of the Central Plain of Thailand. Consequently, the western, central, northern and northeastern groups of populations were historically isolated and should be considered as four distinct Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs). Conclusions/Significance: Our study confirms the benefit of using several independent genetic markers to obtain a comprehensive and reliable picture of L. neilli evolutionary history at different levels of resolution. The complex genetic structure of Leopoldamys neilli is supported by congruent mitochondrial and nuclear markers and has been influenced by the geological history of Thailand during Plio-Pleistocene. [less ▲]

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See detailIn Vivo Tumorigenesis Was Observed after Injection of In Vitro Expanded Neural Crest Stem Cells Isolated from Adult Bone Marrow
Wislet, Sabine ULg; Poulet, Christophe ULg; Neirinckx, Virginie ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(10), 46425

Bone marrow stromal cells are adult multipotent cells that represent an attractive tool in cellular therapy strategies. Several studies have reported that in vitro passaging of mesenchymal stem cells ... [more ▼]

Bone marrow stromal cells are adult multipotent cells that represent an attractive tool in cellular therapy strategies. Several studies have reported that in vitro passaging of mesenchymal stem cells alters the functional and biological properties of those cells, leading to the accumulation of genetic aberrations. Recent studies described bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) as mixed populations of cells including mesenchymal (MSC) and neural crest stem cells (NCSC). Here, we report the transformation of NCSC into tumorigenic cells, after in vitro long-term passaging. Indeed, the characterization of 6 neural crest-derived clones revealed the presence of one tumorigenic clone. Transcriptomic analyses of this clone highlighted, among others, numerous cell cycle checkpoint modifications and chromosome 11q down-regulation (suggesting a deletion of chromosome 11q) compared with the other clones. Moreover, unsupervised analysis such as a dendrogram generated after agglomerative hierarchical clustering comparing several transcriptomic data showed important similarities between the tumorigenic neural crest-derived clone and mammary tumor cell lines. Altogether, it appeared that NCSC isolated from adult bone marrow represents a potential danger for cellular therapy, and consequently, we recommend that phenotypic, functional and genetic assays should be performed on bone marrow mesenchymal and neural crest stem cells before in vivo use, to demonstrate whether their biological properties, after ex vivo expansion, remain suitable for clinical application. [less ▲]

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See detailEvidence for a role of a cortico-subcortical network for automatic and unconscious motor inhibition of manual responses
D'Ostilio, Kevin ULg; Collette, Fabienne ULg; Phillips, Christophe ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012)

It is now clear that non-consciously perceived stimuli can bias our decisions. Although previous researches highlighted the importance of automatic and unconscious processes involved in voluntary action ... [more ▼]

It is now clear that non-consciously perceived stimuli can bias our decisions. Although previous researches highlighted the importance of automatic and unconscious processes involved in voluntary action, the neural correlates of such processes remain unclear. Basal ganglia dysfunctions have long been associated with impairment in automatic motor control. In addition, a key role of the medial frontal cortex has been suggested by administrating a subliminal masked prime task to a patient with a small lesion restricted to the supplementary motor area (SMA). In this task, invisible masked arrows stimuli were followed by visible arrow targets for a left or right hand response at different interstimuli intervals (ISI), producing a traditional facilitation effect for compatible trials at short ISI and a reversal inhibitory effect at longer ISI. Here, by using fast event-related fMRI and a weighted parametric analysis, we showed BOLD related activity changes in a cortico-subcortical network, especially in the SMA and the striatum, directly linked to the individual behavioral pattern. This new imaging result corroborates previous works on subliminal priming using lesional approaches. This finding implies that one of the roles of these regions was to suppress a partially activated movement below the threshold of awareness. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the resistance of SJL/J mice to pneumonia virus of mice, a model for infantile bronchiolitis due to a respiratory syncytial virus
Glineur, Stéphanie ULg; bui tran anh, dao; Sarlet, Michaël ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(10), 44581

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a prominent cause of airway morbidity in children, maintains an excessive hospitalization rate despite decades of research. Host factors are assumed to influence the ... [more ▼]

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a prominent cause of airway morbidity in children, maintains an excessive hospitalization rate despite decades of research. Host factors are assumed to influence the disease severity. As a first step toward identifying the underlying resistance mechanisms, we recently showed that inbred mouse strains differ dramatically as regards their susceptibility to pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), the murine counterpart of RSV. PVM infection in mice has been shown to faithfully mimic the severe RSV disease in human infants. This study aimed at dissecting the remarkable PVM-resistance shown by the SJL/J strain. To characterize its genetic component, we assessed clinical, physiopathological, and virological resistance/susceptibility traits in large first (F1) and second (F2) generations obtained by crossing the SJL/J (resistant) and 129/Sv (susceptible) strains. Then, to acquire conclusive in vivo evidence in support of the hypothesis that certain radiosensitive hematopoietic cells might play a significant role in PVM-resistance, we monitored the same resistance/susceptibility traits in mock- and γ-irradiated SJL/J mice. Segregation analysis showed that (i) PVM-resistance is polygenic, (ii) the resistance alleles are recessive, and (iii) all resistance-encoding alleles are concentrated in SJL/J. Furthermore, there was no alteration of SJL/J PVM resistance after immunosuppression by γ-irradiation, which suggests that adaptive immunity is not involved. We conclude that host resistance to pneumoviruses should be amenable to genetic dissection in this mouse model and that radioresistant lung epithelial cells and/or alveolar macrophages may control the clinical severity of pneumovirus-associated lung disease. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh inorganic triphosphatase activities in bacteria and mammalian cells: Identification of the enzymes involved.
Kohn, Grégory ULg; Delvaux, David ULg; Lakaye, Bernard ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(9), 43879

Background: We recently characterized a specific inorganic triphosphatase (PPPase) from Nitrosomonas europaea. This enzyme belongs to the CYTH superfamily of proteins. Many bacterial members of this ... [more ▼]

Background: We recently characterized a specific inorganic triphosphatase (PPPase) from Nitrosomonas europaea. This enzyme belongs to the CYTH superfamily of proteins. Many bacterial members of this family are annotated as predicted adenylate cyclases, because one of the founding members is CyaB adenylate cyclase from A. hydrophila. The aim of the present study is to determine whether other members of the CYTH protein family also have a PPPase activity, if there are PPPase activities in animal tissues and what enzymes are responsible for these activities. Methodology/Principal Findings: Recombinant enzymes were expressed and purified as GST- or His-tagged fusion proteins and the enzyme activities were determined by measuring the release of inorganic phosphate. We show that the hitherto uncharacterized E. coli CYTH protein ygiF is a specific PPPase, but it contributes only marginally to the total PPPase activity in this organism, where the main enzyme responsible for hydrolysis of inorganic triphosphate (PPPi) is inorganic pyrophosphatase. We further show that CyaB hydrolyzes PPPi but this activity is low compared to its adenylate cyclase activity. Finally we demonstrate a high PPPase activity in mammalian and quail tissue, particularly in the brain. We show that this activity is mainly due to Prune, an exopolyphosphatase overexpressed in metastatic tumors where it promotes cell motility. Conclusions and General Significance: We show for the first time that PPPase activities are widespread in bacteria and animals. We identified the enzymes responsible for these activities but we were unable to detect significant amounts of PPPi in E. coli or brain extracts using ion chromatography and capillary electrophoresis. The role of these enzymes may be to hydrolyze PPPi, which could be cytotoxic because of its high affinity for Ca2+, thereby interfering with Ca2+ signaling. [less ▲]

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