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Colostrum plays an essential role in ensuring the survival, growth and health of piglets by providing energy, nutrients, immunoglobulins, growth factors and many other bioactive components and cells. Both colostrum yield and composition are highly variable among sows, yet mechanisms and factors that regulate colostrogenesis are not fully known. Unlike sow milk yield, sow colostrum yield is not highly determined by litter size and suckling intensity but is largely driven by sow-related factors. Colostrum synthesis is under hormonal control, with prolactin and progesterone concentrations prepartum having, respectively, positive and negative influences on colostrum yield. Less is known about the endocrine control of the end of colostrogenesis in swine, which is characterized by the closure of tight junctions in the mammary epithelium and the cessation of transfer of immunoglobulin G (IgG) into lacteal secretions. Recent studies indicate that exogenous hormones may influence colostrogenesis. Inducing parturition by injecting prostaglandin F2α on day 114 of gestation in combination with an oxytocin-like molecule reduced colostrum yield, and injection of prostaglandin F2α alone either reduced colostrum yield or had no effect. Injecting a supraphysiological dose of oxytocin to sows in the early postpartum period delayed the tightening of mammary tight junctions, thereby prolonging the colostral phase and increasing concentrations of IGF-I and IgG and IgA in early milk. The development of strategies to improve colostrum composition in swine through maternal feeding has been largely explored but very few attempts were made to increase colostrum yield. This is most likely because of the difficulty in measuring colostrum yield in swine. The fatty acid content of colostrum greatly depends on the amount of lipids provided in the sow diet during late gestation, whereas the fatty acid profile is largely influenced by the type of lipid being fed to the pregnant sow. Moreover, various ingredients that presumably have immuno-modulating effects (such as fish oil, prebiotics and probiotics) increased concentrations of IgG, IgA and/or IgM in sow colostrum when they were provided during the last weeks of gestation. Finally, there is some evidence that sow nutrition during late gestation may influence colostrum yield but this clearly warrants more research. This review emphasizes that although progress has been made in understanding the control of colostrogenesis in swine, and that strategies exist to manipulate fat and immunoglobulin contents of colostrum, ways to increase colostrum yield are still lacking.
Mammary development takes place during the growing and gestation periods in swine but it also continues after farrowing. In fact, a significant proportion of mammary accretion occurs during lactation and is stimulated by suckling. After piglets are weaned, there is involution of the mammary glands and the process of mammogenesis starts again during the next parity. Suckling of a teat for the first 12 to 14 h after farrowing is not sufficient to maintain lactation, and mammary involution accompanied by alterations in gene transcription will take place. The involution process is reversible within 1 day postpartum but is not reversible if a mammary gland is unsuckled for 3 days. Mammary glands that undergo involution early in lactation do not show further involution in the post-weaning period. The action of a teat being suckled does not only affect mammary development in the ongoing lactation but it also impacts mammogenesis in the following lactation. Indeed, when a mammary gland is not suckled in first parity it has a diminished development and lower milk yield in second parity. Furthermore, it was shown that suckling of a teat for only the first 2 days postpartum in primiparous sows is sufficient to ensure optimal mammary development and milk yield from that teat in the next lactation. The behavior of nursing piglets in early lactation is also affected by whether or not a teat was previously used. Such knowledge on lactation biology is essential in order to develop the best adapted management strategies for the currently used hyperprolific sow lines and to optimize growth rate of their piglets. This review gives an update on the role of suckling for mammary development in lactating sows and on how it can affect management strategies of primiparous sows.
Background: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) are congenital structural abnormalities of the brain, and represent the most common cause of medication-resistant focal epilepsy in children and adults. Recent studies have shown that somatic mutations (i.e. mutations arising in the embryo) in mTOR pathway genes underlie some FCD cases. Specific therapies targeting the mTOR pathway are available. However, testing for somatic mTOR pathway mutations in FCD tissue is not performed on a clinical basis, and the contribution of such mutations to the pathogenesis of FCD remains unknown. Aim: To investigate the feasibility of screening for somatic mutations in resected FCD tissue and determine the proportion and spatial distribution of FCDs which are due to low-level somatic mTOR pathway mutations. Methods: We performed ultra-deep sequencing of 13 mTOR pathway genes using a custom HaloPlexHS target enrichment kit (Agilent Technologies) in 16 resected histologically-confirmed FCD specimens. Results: We identified causal variants in 62.5% (10/16) of patients at an alternate allele frequency of 0.75–33.7%. The spatial mutation frequency correlated with the FCD lesion’s size and severity. Conclusions: Screening FCD tissue using a custom panel results in a high yield, and should be considered clinically given the important potential implications regarding surgical resection, medical management and genetic counselling.
For analysts as much as for advocates of ethnic nationalism, language is an important elemental symbol of national identity. The relationship between language and nationalism has received attention in the scholarly literature, as has the role of linguistic problems in the resurgence of minority nationalism in the USSR, along with state-sponsored intervention in linguistic processes in that country.
The purpose of this study is to present some preliminary and necessarily tentative results of a larger, ongoing and incomplete quantitative study of ethnic recruitment to and participation in central decision-making institutions in Communist societies. The time frame of the study is the post-Stalin period, more precisely, the 20th through the 25th CPSU Congresses, 1956-76. The concern of the larger study is to develop a model of consociationalism versus imperium as alternative approaches to the governance of multi-ethnic Communist societies. Clearly, a country such as Yugoslavia more closely approximates the former model, and the USSR the latter.
This study considers the relationships between first-year law students' admission credentials, the amount of time they spend in study, and the grades they receive on examination. Findings include that there is a significant drop in effort during the first year, that while effort invested in study pays off in improved grades this effort is much less significant in explaining grades than is student ability as measured by LSAT and undergraduate grades, that students in the middle and bottom of the class are helped more by substantial study than are those in the top, that class attendance is much more valuable in raising grades than is equivalent time in other study, and that none of the various study techniques examined could be linked with major differences in results.
The chemical composition of soil from the Glasgow (UK) urban area was used to identify the controls on the availability of potentially harmful elements (PHEs) in soil to humans. Total and bioaccessible concentrations of arsenic (As), chromium (Cr) and lead (Pb) in 27 soil samples, collected from different land uses, were coupled to information on their solid-phase partitioning derived from sequential extraction data. The total element concentrations in the soils were in the range <0.1–135mgkg–1 for As; 65–3680mgkg–1 for Cr and 126–2160mgkg–1 for Pb, with bioaccessible concentrations averaging 27, 5 and 27% of the total values, respectively. Land use does not appear to be a predictor of contamination; however, the history of the contamination is critically important. The Chemometric Identification of Substrates and Element Distribution (CISED) sequential chemical extraction and associated self-modelling mixture resolution analysis identified three sample groupings and 16 geochemically distinct phases (substrates). These were related to iron (n=3), aluminium–silicon (Al–Si; n=2), calcium (n=3), phosphorus (n=1), magnesium (Mg; n=3), manganese (n=1) and easily extractable (n=3), which was predominantly made up of sodium and sulphur. As, Cr and Pb were respectively found in 9, 10 and 12 of the identified phases, with bioaccessible As predominantly associated with easily extractable phases, bioaccessible Cr with the Mg-dominated phases and bioaccessible Pb with both the Mg-dominated and Al–Si phases. Using a combination of the Unified Barge Method to measure the bioaccessibility of PHEs and CISED to identify the geochemical sources has allowed a much better understanding of the complexity of PHE mobility in the Glasgow urban environment. This approach can be applied to other urban environments and cases of soil contamination, and made part of land-use planning.
A considerable proportion of beef produced in the UK is a byproduct of the dairy industry. Young animals from this source are generally regarded as low in quality and meat from animals of this type is usually destined for the commodity minced beef market. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of slaughter weight on sensory characteristics of meat from Holstein-Friesian bulls and steers offered a cereal-based ration.
To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
Silymarin is an extract from the plant milk thistle that was shown to have antioxidant and hyperprolactinemic properties. Taking into account the essential role of prolactin for lactating sows and the systemic oxidative stress occurring during lactation, it is of interest to investigate the potential beneficial effects of silymarin on lactating sows. A study was therefore carried out to determine the effects of providing either 1 or 8 g/day of the plant extract silymarin to lactating sows. Sows in first, second or third parity were fed conventional diets during gestation and, at farrowing, were assigned as controls (CTL, n=33), or were fed 1 g/day (SYL1, n=33) or 8 g/day (SYL8, n=33) of silymarin. The silymarin was provided in two equal amounts per day, and was fed throughout a 20-day lactation. The performance of sows and their litters was assessed and circulating concentrations of prolactin (days 7 and 18), urea (days 7 and 18) and oxidative status, via protein carbonyls and superoxide dismutase activity (day 18), were measured in sows. Milk samples were obtained on day 18 to measure standard composition. There was no effect of silymarin (P>0.10) on circulating prolactin or urea, or on oxidative damage to proteins or antioxidant potential in sows. Lactation feed intake, backfat and BW of sows were unaffected by treatment (P>0.10) as was the case for milk composition and piglet growth (P>0.10). Results demonstrate that providing up to 8 g/day of the plant extract silymarin to lactating sows had no beneficial effects in terms of circulating prolactin concentrations or oxidative status of sows, or in terms of performances of sows and their litters.
Extensive eruptions of alkalic basalt from low-elevation fissures and vents on the southern flank of the dormant volcano, Cerro Evermann, accompanied the most recent phase of volcanic activity on Socorro Island, and created the Lomas Coloradas, a broad, gently sloping terrain comprising the southern part of the island. We obtained 14C ages of 4690 ± 270 BP (5000–5700 cal BP) and 5040 ± 460 BP (5300–6300 cal BP) from lacustrine deposits that occur within volcanic sequences of the lower Lomas Coloradas. Apparently, the sediments accumulated within a topographic depression between two scoria cones shortly after they formed. The lacustrine environment was destroyed when the cones were breached by headward erosion of adjacent stream drainages. This was followed by the eruption of a thin basaltic flow from fissures near the base of the northernmost cone. The flow moved downslope for a short distance and into the drainages that presently bound the study area on the east and west. The flow postdates development of the present drainage system and may be very recent. Our 14C data, along with historical accounts of volcanic activity over the last century, including submarine eruptions that occurred a few km west of Socorro in early 1993, underscore the high risk for explosive volcanism in this region and the need for a detailed volcanic hazards plan and seismic monitoring.
Due to their functional similarity to estradiol, phytoestrogens could prove to be beneficial in late gestating sows. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of providing the phytoestrogen genistein during late pregnancy on the performance of sows and their litters. In total, 56 gilts were equally divided into the two following groups on day 90 of gestation: (1) controls (CTL); and (2) two daily i.m. injections of 220 mg of genistein (GEN). Treatments were carried out until farrowing. Jugular blood samples were collected from 16 gilts/treatment on days 89 and 110 of gestation, and on days 3 and 21 of lactation. Milk samples were also obtained from those sows on day 3 of lactation. A male piglet from 16 CTL and 15 GEN litters was slaughtered at 24 h postpartum and a blood sample was obtained. The liver, heart and visceral organs were weighed and the semitendinosus (ST) muscle was collected and carcass composition was determined. The treatment increased (P<0.05) the concentrations of genistein and daidzein in the plasma of gilts on day 110 of gestation and of genistein in the plasma of piglets at 24 h postpartum. It also increased IGF1 concentrations in gilts at the end of the treatment period (P<0.05). Genistein had no impact (P>0.1) on weight or backfat loss of sows during lactation, milk composition or weights of piglets. The pre-weaning mortality rate of piglets was very low (<7%), yet the odds ratio comparing CTL with GEN sows indicated almost twice as many chances of pre-weaning deaths occurring in litters from CTL than GEN sows. Weights of the piglet carcasses were similar for both treatments, as well as weights of the various organs and of the ST muscle (P>0.1). However, carcasses from GEN litters contained more fat than those from CTL litters (9.63% v. 8.34%, P<0.05). None of the biochemical properties of the ST muscle differed between groups (P>0.1). In conclusion, injecting gilts with 440 mg/day of genistein in late gestation increased IGF1 concentrations in gilts and carcass fat in neonatal piglets, but had minimal effect on muscle development of piglets at birth and on the performance of lactating sows and their litters.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common and disabling condition with well-established heritability and environmental risk factors. Gene–environment interaction studies in MDD have typically investigated candidate genes, though the disorder is known to be highly polygenic. This study aims to test for interaction between polygenic risk and stressful life events (SLEs) or childhood trauma (CT) in the aetiology of MDD.
The RADIANT UK sample consists of 1605 MDD cases and 1064 controls with SLE data, and a subset of 240 cases and 272 controls with CT data. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were constructed using results from a mega-analysis on MDD by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. PRS and environmental factors were tested for association with case/control status and for interaction between them.
PRS significantly predicted depression, explaining 1.1% of variance in phenotype (p = 1.9 × 10−6). SLEs and CT were also associated with MDD status (p = 2.19 × 10−4 and p = 5.12 × 10−20, respectively). No interactions were found between PRS and SLEs. Significant PRSxCT interactions were found (p = 0.002), but showed an inverse association with MDD status, as cases who experienced more severe CT tended to have a lower PRS than other cases or controls. This relationship between PRS and CT was not observed in independent replication samples.
CT is a strong risk factor for MDD but may have greater effect in individuals with lower genetic liability for the disorder. Including environmental risk along with genetics is important in studying the aetiology of MDD and PRS provide a useful approach to investigating gene–environment interactions in complex traits.
Intrauterine variations in nutrient allowance can alter body composition and tissue features of the porcine offspring around birth. This study aimed to determine the effects of fetal weight variations between littermates and of maternal dietary regimen during gestation on fetal muscle traits just before birth. Fourteen pregnant gilts were reared under a conventional (control, CTL; n=7) or an experimental (treatment, TRT; n=7) dietary regimen during gestation. The dietary treatment provided 70% of the protein and digestible energy contents of the CTL diet during the first 70 days of gestation and then, 115% of the protein and digestible energy contents up to farrowing. At 110 days of gestation, sows were sacrificed and one fetus having a low (824±140 g) and one having a normal (1218±192 g) BW per litter were sampled. Irrespective of maternal dietary regimen, the longissimus muscle of the small fetuses exhibited higher expression levels of DLK1/Pref1 and NCAM1/CD56, two genes known to be downregulated during normal skeletal muscle development. Expression levels of the embryonic isoform of the myosin heavy chain (MyHC), both at the mRNA and at the protein levels, were also higher in small fetuses. In addition, the ratios of perinatal to embryonic and of adult fast to developmental MyHC isoforms were generally lower in light fetuses compared with their medium-weight littermates. These modifications suggest a delayed myofiber development in spontaneous growth-retarded fetuses. Finally, GLUT1 was expressed to a lesser extent in the muscle of small v. normal fetuses, suggesting decreased ability for glucose uptake in muscle. Initial feed restriction and subsequent overfeeding of sows during gestation led to a lower expression of the myogenic factor MYOD1, a prerequisite for myogenic initiation in skeletal muscle. This maternal strategy was also associated with a lower expression level of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGFR) but an upregulation of IGF2. This suggests an altered susceptibility of muscle cells to IGFs’ signal in fetuses from treated sows. Altogether, intrauterine growth restriction impaired fetal muscle development, and restricted feeding followed by overfeeding of gestating sows did not allow small fetuses to recover normal contractile and metabolic characteristics.
Background: Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) is a devastating entity characterized by acute onset of refractory epileptic status preceded by a febrile infection, for which no aetiology has been identified so far. Methods: We report the cases of two males presenting with typical FIRES, for whom extensive investigations revealed no specific aetiology. Failure of controlling seizures with multiple anticonvulsants as well as barbiturate coma lead to the decision to try immunotherapy. The first patient received plasma exchange after a negative trial of IVIGs, while the second received plasma exchange in the beginning. Results: Significant improvement in the seizure frequency and intensity was obtained following plasma exchange, and weaning of barbiturate coma was successful in the days following treatment. Both patients remain with significant temporal lobe epilepsy, requiring treatment with 3 anti epileptics. However, cognitive outcome is surprisingly good for both, both exhibiting normal IQs and normal everyday function, with the second patient showing even better recovery, possibly due to earlier treatment with plasma exchange. Conclusion: Our findings of favourable outcome with plasma exchange favours the auto-immune hypothesis often discussed in FIRES. While awaiting further insight onto the aetiology of this syndrome, we suggest a trial of plasma exchange in patients affected.