UNT Theses and Dissertations - 36 Matching Results

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The Adolescent Stress Response to a Naturalistic Driving Stressor

Description: The proposed study examined the role of anxiety and risk-taking in driving performance in adolescents. In addition to examining the sample as a whole, gender differences were assessed given earlier reports from our laboratory and others indicating that males and females differ with respect to risky behaviors to driving performance and anxiety. Adolescents' subjective and physiological responses to a driving simulator task were assessed. Anxiety was measured via self report and salivary cortisol. Participants provided a baseline saliva sample and 3 post-task samples for cortisol analysis. Subjective anxiety scores were obtained at both baseline and following the driving stressor. Information concerning impulsivity, as well as other psychological constructs was also collected at baseline. Unlike the pilot study, there were no relationships (with or without respect to gender) between salivary cortisol and both self-reported anxiety (state and trait) or impulsively measures for this sample. These results suggest that this group of adolescents may not have been anxious about the driving task. This discrepancy may stem from error introduced by the smaller sample size obtained from the initial findings or to other factors remaining outside the parameters of the current study. The task did, however, induce a slight hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis response indicating some physiological arousal. Males had significantly higher cortisol levels at baseline than females and at time point 3 while approaching significance at time points 2 and 4. Females possessed significantly higher trait anxiety than males and all post task cortisol levels were positively correlated to age while time points 2 and 4 (with time point 3 approaching significance, p=0.09) were inversely correlated with Self Depreciation scores. Additionally, females had Persecutory Ideas scores that were also negatively correlated with cortisol at time points 3 and 4. For both the entire sample and males only, the correlation between post-task ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Wingo, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Age-Dependent Effects Of Chronic GABAA Receptor Blockade In Barrel Cortex

Description: GABAA receptor binding is transiently increased in rat whisker barrels during the second postnatal week, at a time when neurons in the developing rat cortex are vulnerable to excitotoxic effects. To test whether these GABAA receptors might serve to protect neurons from excessive excitatory input, polymer implants containing the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline were placed over barrel cortex for a 4-day period in young (postnatal days 8 - 12) and adult rats. In the cortex of young, but not adult rats, the chronic blockade of GABAA receptors resulted in substantial tissue loss and neuron loss. The greater loss of neurons in young rats supports the hypothesis that a high density of GABAA receptors protects neurons from excessive excitatory input during a sensitive period in development.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Gargan, Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Application of Cultured Neuronal Networks for Use as Biological Sensors in Water Toxicology and Lipid Signaling.

Description: This dissertation research explored the capabilities of neuronal networks grown on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays in vitro to be applied to toxicological research and lipid signaling. Chapter 1 details the effects of chlorine on neuronal network spontaneous electrical activity and pharmacological sensitivity. This study demonstrates that neuronal networks can maintain baseline spontaneous activity, and respond normally to pharmacological manipulations in the present of three times the chlorine present in drinking water. The findings suggest that neuronal networks may be used as biological sensors to monitor the quality of water and the presence of novel toxicants that cannot be detected by conventional sensors. Chapter 2 details the neuromodulatory effects of N-acylethanolamides (NAEs) on the spontaneous electrical activity of neuronal networks. NAEs are a group of lipids that can mimic the effects of marijuana and can be derived from a variety of plant sources including soy lecithin. The most prominent NAEs in soy lecithin, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and linoleoylethanolamide (LEA), were tested individually and were found to significantly inhibit neuronal spiking and bursting activity. These effects were potentiated by a mixture of NAEs as found in a HPLC enriched fraction from soy lecithin. Cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1-R) antagonists and other cannabinoid pathway modulators indicated that the CB1-R was not directly involved in the effects of NAEs, but that enzymatic degradation and cellular uptake were more likely targets. The results demonstrate that neuronal networks may also be a viable platform for the elucidation of biochemical pathways and drug mechanisms of action.
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Date: August 2004
Creator: Dian, Emese Emöke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automated Low-cost Instrument for Measuring Total Column Ozone

Description: Networks of ground-based and satellite borne instruments to measure ultraviolet (UV) sunlight and total column ozone have greatly contributed to an understanding of increased amounts of UV reaching the surface of the Earth caused by stratospheric ozone depletion. Increased UV radiation has important potential effects on human health, and agricultural and ecological systems. Observations from these networks make it possible to monitor total ozone decreases and to predict ozone recovery trends due to global efforts to curb the use of products releasing chemicals harmful to the ozone layer. Thus, continued and expanded global monitoring of ozone and UV is needed. However, existing automatic stratospheric ozone monitors are complex and expensive instruments. The main objective of this research was the development of a low-cost fully automated total column ozone monitoring instrument which, because of its affordability, will increase the number of instruments available for ground-based observations. The new instrument is based on a high-resolution fiber optic spectrometer, coupled with fiber optics that are precisely aimed by a pan and tilt positioning mechanism and with controlling programs written in commonly available software platforms which run on a personal computer. This project makes use of novel low-cost fiber optic spectrometer technology. A cost advantage is gained over available units by placing one end of the fiber outdoors to collect sunlight and convey it indoors, thereby allowing the spectrometer and computer to be placed in a controlled environment. This reduces the cost of weatherproofing and thermal compensation. Cost savings also result from a simplified sun targeting system, because only a small pan and tilt device is required to aim the lightweight fiber optic ends. Precision sun-targeting algorithms, optical filter selection, and software to derive ozone from spectral measurements by the spectrometer are a major contribution of this project. This system is a flexible platform ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Nebgen, Gilbert Bernard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Autoradiographic Localization of Carbachol-Induced Second Messenger Response in the Rat Spinal Cord Following Inflammation.

Description: This study examined central mechanisms of persistent pain using an autoradiographic technique to localize phosphoinositide hydrolysis (PI) in the rat spinal cord dorsal horn. The lateral half of laminae I-II showed the highest levels of baseline PI turnover and carbachol-stimulated PI turnover in normal animals as well as after inflammation. Inflammation resulted in increased baseline PI turnover in this region of the ipsilateral (76%) and contralateral (65%) dorsal horns. Carbachol increased PI turnover in this region in normal rats (55%) and following inflammation (ipsilateral: 46%, contralateral: 45%). The absolute magnitudes of these increases were 1.85, 2.71, and 2.51 nCi/mg, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate the involvement of PI turnover in neural mechanisms of persistent pain, and provide evidence for the involvement of cholinergic systems in this process. Because spinal cholinergic systems have been reported to be anti-nociceptive, the present results appear to reflect an upregulation of anti-nociceptive activity in response to inflammation. Thus, the spinal cholinergic system may be a regulatory site within the anti-nociceptive pathway, and may provide an attractive target for the development of new therapeutic agents.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Moore, Jack
Partner: UNT Libraries

Biogeography of Montane Mammals on the Colorado Plateau and Adjacent Regions

Description: This study identifies the biogeographic factors that structure small mammal communities on mountains of the Colorado Plateau and adjacent regions. Forty six isolated ranges were characterized across a 5-state study area encompassing the Colorado Plateau, including the central high plateaus of Utah and the Basin and Range Province (i.e. the Great Basin and mountains of Arizona and New Mexico). Presence/absence data of 25 montane mammal species were used to explore the interactions between historical and ecological processes affecting local and regional diversity patterns. Multivariate analyses, such as non-metric dimensional scaling, were used to explore factors which influence community composition. Results of these analyses revealed the Colorado River as a significant biogeographic barrier that affects montane mammal community structure. MtDNA cytochrome b sequence variation was analyzed among populations of the long-tailed vole, Microtus longicaudus, sampled from five interior ranges of the Colorado Plateau- Abajo, LaSal, Henry, and Chuska Mts., and Boulder Mountain of the Aquarius Plateau-and analyzed using traditional phylogenetic approaches (parsimony and likelihood) as well as nested clade analysis. Results support previous documentation of a major east-west phylogeographic break occurring between populations southeast of the Colorado River (eastern Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico) and all other western populations, which include a central clade, a northwest clade, and an Alaskan island clade. Evidence also supports differentiation of a 'southern Rockies' clade and a distinct 'southwest island' clade. Populations of M. longicaudus north and west of the Colorado River (Boulder and Henry Mts.) share two haplotypes, form a well-supported subclade with populations from the Kaibab plateau, and are closely related to the Northwest clade. Past approaches to studying montane mammal communities utilizing theory based on island biogeography have overemphasized area and isolation as the only forces structuring insular communities. As a result, there has been a lack of recognition of the ...
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Carr, Carla B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cardio-Respiratory Ontogeny and the Transition to Bimodal Respiration in an Air Breathing Fish: Morphological and Physiological Development in Normoxia and Hypoxia.

Description: As selection pressures exist for not only adults, but for every life history stage, it is important to understand how environmental factors shape developing animals. Despite the significance placed on aquatic hypoxia as a driving force in the evolution of air breathing, this is the first known study to examine the effects of hypoxia on cardio-respiratory ontogeny of an air breathing fish. Blue gouramis are obligatory air breathing fish that possess a labyrinth-like structure that serves as the air breathing organ. Gouramis were reared for up to 90 d in normoxia or hypoxia, and morphological and physiological development was observed. Hypoxic larvae had increased lamellar and labyrinth organ surface areas. Bradycardia and increased gill ventilation rates were observed when larvae from either rearing group were briefly exposed to hypoxia. Hypoxic larvae also showed a reduced heart rate and gill ventilation rate in the absence of a hypoxic stimulus, possibly indicative of a more comprehensive, long-term respiratory plasticity. The similarity of routine oxygen consumption between rearing groups suggests that metabolic demand did not change for hypoxic larvae, but that they were more efficient at oxygen acquisition. This is further supported by increased resistance time of hypoxic gouramis to extreme hypoxia. The onset of air breathing was between 20 and 25 d post-fertilization, and was not affected by either rearing or exposure environment. It may be that this behavior is associated with the inability of smaller larvae to successfully overcome water surface tension, rather than with the necessity of aerial respiration at this stage. Hypoxia is commonly experienced by most air breathing fishes, and studies of hypoxia-induced developmental effects may provide critical insights into the evolution of air breathing. The studies presented here provide novel data on the plasticity of cardio-respiratory development of an air breathing fish reared in hypoxia, and can ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Blank, Tara M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative biochemistry and genetic analysis of nucleoside hydrolase in Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas fluorescens.

Description: The pyrimidine salvage enzyme, nucleoside hydrolase, is catalyzes the irreversible hydrolysis of nucleosides into the free nucleic acid base and D-ribose. Nucleoside hydrolases have varying degrees of specificity towards purine and pyrimidine nucleosides. In E. coli, three genes were found that encode homologues of several known nucleoside hydrolases in protozoa. All three genes (designated yaaF, yeiK, and ybeK) were amplified by PCR and cloned. Two of the gene products (yeiK and ybeK) encode pyrimidine-specific nucleoside hydrolases, while the third (yaaF) encodes a nonspecific nucleoside hydrolase. All three were expressed at low levels and had different modes of regulation. As a comparative analysis, the homologous genes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and P. fluorescens (designated nuh) were cloned. Both were determined to encode nonspecific nucleoside hydrolases. The nucleoside hydrolases of the pseudomonads exhibited markedly different modes of regulation. Both have unique promoter structures and genetic organization. Furthermore, both pseudomonad nucleoside hydrolase were found to contain an N-terminal extension of 30-35 amino acids that is shown to act as a periplasmic-signaling sequence. These are the first two nucleoside hydrolases, to date,that have been conclusively demonstrated to be exported to the periplasmic space. The physiological relevance of this is explained.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Fields, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative Morphology of Sensilla Styloconica on the Proboscis of North American Nymphalidae and Other Selected Taxa: Systematic and Ecological Considerations.

Description: Sensilla styloconica on the proboscis of 107 species of North American and tropical butterflies were comparatively studied using the scanning electron microscope. Focus was on 76 species of North American Nymphalidae representing 45 genera and 11 subfamilies. Nomenclature for generalized and specific types of nymphalid sensilla is proposed. Written descriptions and micrographs are presented for each species studied. Morphological features were generally consistent for all or most species within genera and sometimes within subfamilies, with specified exceptions. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences for six of eight variables tested between two distinct feeding guilds of North American Nymphalidae. Average number, density, extent of proboscis coverage with sensilla, their total length, and shoulder spine length were all significantly greater in the non-nectar feeding guild than in nectar feeders, and may indicate adaptation for greater efficiency in feeding on flat surfaces. The greater frequency of apical shoulder spines in non-nectar feeders may represent adaptation for protection of sensory pegs from mechanical abrasion during feeding, or for anchoring the flexible proboscis tip to the surface. Correlation analysis revealed 9 out of 28 positive correlations in nectar feeders and 5 out of 28 in non-nectar feeders. Results of preliminary cladistic analysis were not considered to be meaningfully robust due to few available characters. The stylar characters identified in this study should be more useful in future analyses when included with characters from other lines of evidence. The presence of sensilla styloconica in all subfamilies of Nymphalidae, except Danainae, largely supports Ehrlich's (1958) higher classification concept for the family. The presence of less conspicuous sensilla in the Danainae, and other characteristics are presented as further evidence that they should be reconsidered for full family status. Sensilla styloconica in nymphalid butterflies appear to function as extensions that provide greater sensory reach during feeding. The role of these ...
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Date: December 2001
Creator: Petr, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Contravention of Established Principles of Interspecific Allometric Metabolic Scaling in Developing Silkworms, Bombyx Mori.

Description: Established interspecific metabolic allometric relationships do not adequately describe the complexity and variable physiological states of developing animals. Consequently, intraspecific allometric relationships of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production as a function of body mass; the respiratory quotient; the function of the silk cocoon; and body composition were investigated for each distinct developmental stage of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Whole animal O2 consumption in Bombyx ranged from 0.00064 + 0.000047 ml O2 .hr-1 at larval instar I to 0.77 + 0.06 ml O2 .hr-1 in pre-pupal, falling to 0.21+ 0.01 ml O2 .hr-1 in the pupae. Those instars having a significant relationship between O2 consumption as a function of body mass, the slope of the line relating O2 consumption to body mass varied between 0.99 and 1.02, while across all instars the slope was 0.82. Developmental allometry should be presented for individual developmental stages because the individual allometric exponents of the stages can be significantly different from the overall allometric exponent throughout development and in some cases, the overall allometric exponent can be a statistical artifact. The first larval instar of Bombyx mori has the lowest cross sectional area of high metabolic tissue of the midgut (27%) and had one of the highest percentages of some metabolically inert tissues (i.e. lipid, 7.5%). Body composition of the first instar does not support the idea that smaller mass animals having the highest O2 consumption are composed of a greater percentage of metabolically active organs when compared to larger animals. However, this developmental stage has the highest percentage of the mitochondrial marker cytochrome oxidase, which correlates well with the high O2 consumption rate of the smaller mass. Therefore, established interspecific principles should not be assumed to function as valid models for intraspecific developmental relationships of metabolism as a function of body mass. Developmental ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Blossman-Myer, Bonnie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Developmental Physiology of the Zebrafish: Influence of Environment and Cardiovascular Attributes

Description: Temperature effects on the development of the zebrafish embryos and larvae and adults were examined. It was found that the earlier in development a temperature change was performed on an embryo, the more significant the change in survival and/or subsequent development. Thus, viable temperature ranges for zebrafish widened significantly as development proceeded. Adults reared and bred at 25oC produced embryos that were significantly more successful at the lower range of rearing temperatures compared to embryos produced from adults reared at 28oC. The majority of this study focused on the physiological effects of swim training during development in the zebrafish. The earlier in development the zebrafish larvae were trained, the greater the mortality. Trained free swimming larvae had a significantly higher routine oxygen consumption after 11 days of training, and a higher mass specific routine metabolic rate after 8 and 11 days of training. Trained free swimming larvae consumed significantly less oxygen during swimming and were more efficient at locomotion, compared to control larvae. Training enhanced survival during exposure to extreme hypoxia in all age groups. Performance aspects of training were investigated in attempt to quantify training effects and in most cases, trained fish performed significantly better than controls. As blood vessels formed during development, they decreased in cross sectional area from days two to six. It was also shown that the variability in visual stroke volume measurements could be reduced significantly by using a third dimension in the analysis with a more accurate volume equation. Finally, the ontogeny of cardiac control was evaluated. The adrenergic receptors were the first to respond to pharmacological stimulation but were closely followed by cholinergic pharmacological stimulation a few days later. There was a significant cholinergic tone present in day 15 zebrafish larvae which persisted. Although an adrenergic tone was not documented in this study, ...
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Bagatto, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Methanol, Atrazine, and Copper on the Ultrastructure of Pseudokirchneriella Subcapitata (Selenastrum Capricornutum).

Description: The toxicity of methanol, atrazine, and copper to Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (Korshikov) Hindák historically referred to as Selenastrum capricornutum Printz were determined following 96 hrs growth in a modified Goram's growth media. Methanol and atrazine inhibited fluorescence readings in the cultures by 50% (IC50) at concentrations of 2% and 82 µg/l respectively. These toxicity values compared favorably to other published reports. The IC50 for copper was 160 µg/l which is substantially higher than reported values. This is understandable because of the high chelating capacity of Goram's media. The use of stereologically derived relative volume in the chloroplasts, mitochondria, lipid bodies, phosphate bodies, and nucleus was investigated to determine if it could be used as a sensitive endpoint in toxicity tests. The volume fractions for the chloroplasts and mitochondria were normally distributed in control cells while the nuclei, phosphate bodies, and lipid bodies were not. The chloroplasts were the most dominate organelle occupying a mean relative volume of 46% and mitochondria occupied a mean relative volume of 3%. The nucleus and phosphate bodies occupied a median relative volume of 7% and 2% respectively. The lipid bodies were rare in section profile and no meaningful median relative volume could be calculated. Up to the 82nd percentile of sectioned profiles contained no recognizable lipid bodies. The use of relative volume was not a sensitive endpoint for use in toxicity tests. No significant differences in relative volume could be detected in the nucleus or phosphate bodies following any treatment. Limited differences were detected in the mitochondria, chloroplasts, and lipid bodies. The only significant differences that appear to be biologically significant occurred in methanol treated cells where an increase in the lipid bodies' relative volume was apparently concentration dependent. Significant differences in the relative volume of mitochondria and chloroplasts do not appear to be biologically significant.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Garrett, David C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Triclosan, Triclocarban, and Caffeine Exposure on the Development of Amphibian Larvae.

Description: Triclosan and triclocarban are antimicrobials found in numerous consumer products, while caffeine is the most commonly consumed stimulant by humans. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of triclosan, triclocarban, and caffeine on the development and physiology of amphibian larvae. LC50 values of triclosan and triclocarban were determined after 96 hours for three North American larval species: Acris crepitans blanchardii, Bufo woodhousii woodhousii, Rana sphenocephala, and for a common amphibian developmental model: Xenopus laevis. Amphibian larvae were most sensitive to triclosan and triclocarban exposure during early development based upon 96-hour LC50 values. Heart rates for X. laevis and North American larvae exposed to triclosan were variable throughout development. However, significantly lower heart rates were observed in all larvae exposed to triclocarban. Metabolic rates of X. laevis and R. sphenocephala larvae exposed to triclosan were significantly affected in larvae exposed to ½ LC50 and the LC50 concentration. Metabolic rates of X. laevis larvae exposed to triclocarban were significantly affected by exposure to ½ LC50 concentrations in three of four stages investigated. No significant differences were observed in North American larvae exposed to triclocarban. Tissue uptake, lipid uptake, tissue bioconcentration factor (BCF) and lipid BCF of triclosan and triclocarban were investigated in three developmental stages of X. laevis, and in one developmental stage of B. woodhousii woodhousii, and R. sphenocephala. For most tissue and lipid uptake values, a significant increase was observed as exposure concentration increased. Tissue and lipid BCF values were dependent upon both stage and species. Chronic and acute effects of caffeine were determined in X. laevis larvae. Acute 96-hour LC50 values in four developmental stages were > 75,000 ug L-1 caffeine and heart rates were significantly different at the two earliest developmental stages. Larvae chronically exposed to caffeine reached metamorphosis at the same time as controls. Changes in ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Palenske, Nicole Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Whisker-Trimming on GABAA Receptors in S1 Cortex

Description: A number of studies have shown that sensory deprivation is associated with selective decreases in GABA, GAD, and GABA receptors, in deprived areas of visual and somatosensory cortex. Those studies focused on layer 4, a recipient of direct thalamocortical sensory input. However, supragranular layers 2/3 have been recently identified as a major locus of functional plasticity in sensory deprivation and long-term potentiation. To examine whether GABAA receptors in layers 2/3 are affected by sensory deprivation, rats had mystacial vibrissae in middle row C or rows ABDE trimmed for 6 weeks beginning in early adulthood. Layers 2/3 above the deprived and adjacent whisker barrels were located in tangential sections, using patterns of radial blood vessels as fiducial marks. In deprived whisker barrel columns, [3H]muscimol binding to GABAA receptors decreased by 12.8% ± 1.2 (P &lt; 0.001) in layers 2/3 and 11.4% ± 1.2 (P<0.001) in layer 4. Altered levels of GABAA α1 subunit (Fritschy et al., 1994) were indicated by reduced optical density of immunostaining, both in deprived layers 2/3 (6.4% ± 0.7; P&lt; 0.001) and in layer 4 (3.4% ± 1.0; P &lt; 0.005). Interestingly, Nissl staining density also decreased in deprived layers 2/3 (12.7% ± 1.8 P &lt; 0.001) and in 4 (6.0 ± 0.7 (P &lt; 0.001). The percent decreases were greater in layers 2/3 than in 4 for both GABAA α1 (P &lt; 0.05) and Nissl substance (P &lt; 0.005). The present results suggest that down-regulation in GABAA receptors may underlie the physiological signs of disinhibition observed in neurons of layer 2/3 and 4 in deprived whisker barrel columns.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Salazar, Eduardo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Establishing genetic and physiological baselines for the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).

Description: The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) has experienced dramatic declines over much of its historical range due to habitat loss, plague, poisonings, and shootings. Many populations now occur as isolated genetic relicts. A multiple locus genetic profile was obtained using microsatellite analyses of six polymorphic nucleotide repeats from 319 black-tailed prairie dogs collected from 16 colonies throughout the state of Texas. This assessment revealed that existing populations have sufficient variation at all six loci to verify the usefulness of this approach as a primary genetic tool in conservation and preservation. The data reveals regional-dependent frequency patterns as well as support for founder/bottleneck effects for several of the 16 sites. Although the prairie dog population in Texas as a whole may appear genetically diverse, considerable genetic divergence has already occurred among the subpopulations (FST = 0.164). Isolation by distance is supported by genic differentiation analysis (P < 0.001) and pairwise correlation analysis between genetic distance and geographic distance (P < 0.001). Prairie dogs from six (COC, LUBA, LUBC, LUBD, LUBE, and TAR) of the original 16 sites have been relocated or exterminated, or were in the process of being relocated. Results indicated the following colonies (COT, DAL, HOW, and HUD) are of sufficient size and possess ample genetic diversity to be characterized as candidate foundation populations for future preservation efforts. The proximity of small colonies (< 20 hectares) such as HEMB, LUBB, and PEC, to other colonies should be examined to determine if they are isolated or part of a metapopulation. Colonies (HAR, HEMA, and SCH) with low genetic diversity would be ideal candidates for supplementation. Alternatively, these colonies could be relocated or blended with other similar but genetically distinct colonies. Baselines for healthy, pet prairie dog hematology and blood chemistries were also established. Results signify that data gathered from pet ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Biggs, Cindy Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of City of Denton Sub-Watershed by Benthic Macroinvertebrate Field Experimental Approach

Description: In this study, two different field experiments were designed to assess the relative influence of urbanization on benthic communities. During spring and summer, four urban and one reference sites from Denton County, Texas were selected for benthic macroinvertebrate evaluation. Statistically significant differences in colonized benthic macroinvertebrate taxa on artificial substrates were observed among the four urban sites and the reference site. Oligochaetes and chironomids were the dominant taxa at all sites. Identification of chironomid larvae at the subfamily and genus level to detect differences between sites had higher statistical power than the evaluation based on total chironomids. At the reference site, Caenis, Cladotanytarsus, Orthocladius, and Ceratopogonidae were the dominant taxa, while the urban sites were dominated by Dero, Physella, Ancylidae, Chironomus, Dicrotendipes, Glyptotendipes, Polypedilum, Pseudochironomus, Stenochironomus, and Tanytarsus. These differences may have been dependent upon differences in hydrologic regime and water quality between sites. Significant differences (ANOVA, p < 0.01) in water quality parameters (alkalinity, hardness, nitrates, phosphates, chlorides, sulfates, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and triazine) were found among water samples collected from the reference and urban sites. During the transfer period, most of the Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera taxa and a few other taxa disappeared from artificial substrates that were colonized at the reference site and then moved to the urban sites. Also, local abundant taxa from the urban site significantly (t test, p < 0.05) increased in number on the transferred artificial substrates. Seasonal differences in colonization patterns were also observed between the spring and summer experimental periods, which indicate that temporal variation is equally important, as is the anthropogenic effect in benthic community evaluation. Field survival and growth experiments using Erpetogomphus designatus larvae were designed to detect differences between evaluated sites. Larvae were collected from the reference site, measured in the laboratory, and exposed at the urban sites for ...
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Mahato, Mahendra
Partner: UNT Libraries

Genetic Mechanisms for Anoxia Survival in C. Elegans

Description: Oxygen deprivation can be pathological for many organisms, including humans. Consequently, there are several biologically and economically relevant negative impacts associated with oxygen deprivation. Developing an understanding of which genes can influence survival of oxygen deprivation will enable the formulation of more effective policies and practices. In this dissertation, genes that influence adult anoxia survival in the model metazoan system, C. elegans, are identified and characterized. Insulin-like signaling, gonad function and gender have been shown to influence longevity and stress resistance in the soil nematode, C. elegans. Thus, either of these two processes or gender may influence anoxia survival. The hypothesis that insulin-like signaling alters anoxia survival in C. elegans is tested in Aim I. The hypotheses that gonad function or gender modulates anoxia survival are tested in Aim II. Insulin-like signaling affects anoxia survival in C. elegans. Reduction of insulin-like signaling through mutation of the insulin-like receptor, DAF-2, increases anoxia survival rates in a gpd-2/3 dependent manner. The glycolytic genes gpd-2/3 are necessary for wild-type response to anoxia, and sufficient for increasing anoxia survival through overexpression. Gonad function and gender both affect anoxia survival in C. elegans. A reduction of ovulation and oocyte maturation, as measured by oocyte flux, is associated with enhanced anoxia survival in all cases examined to date. Reduction of function of several genes involved in germline development and RTK/Ras/MAPK signaling reduce ovulation and oocyte maturation while concurrently increasing anoxia survival. The act of mating does not influence anoxia survival, but altering ovulation through breeding or chemical treatment does. The male phenotype also increases anoxia survival rates independent of genotype. These studies have identified and characterized over ten different genotypes that affect adult survival of anoxia in C. elegans. Before these studies were conducted, there were no genes known to influence adult anoxia survival in C. ...
Date: August 2008
Creator: Mendenhall, Alexander R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Head Trauma Release of Histamine from Dural Mast Cells Alters Blood-Brain Barrier: Attenuation with Zolantidine

Description: This study employed a new model of mild-to-moderate head trauma to specifically identify the role of dural mast cell (MC) histamine in trauma-induced increased permeability in the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A single line was scored partially through the left dorsal parietal skull. Immediately following the trauma, degranulation was seen in 39% of the MCs on the left and in 2% on the right. After a 20 min survival period, left duras showed 55% with MC degranulation (fewer with complete degranulation) compared to 34% on the right. In the other experiments two parallel lines were scored following the injection of Evan's blue. Histamine assay showed histamine increased in the left cortex to 154% at 5 min, 174% at 10 min, and 151% at 20 min. Fluorescent quantitation of extravasated Evan's blue at 20 min following the trauma gave an increase of 1385% over the value measured for the right cortex. Zolantidine, a selective histamine H2 receptor antagonist, administered at 10- and 20- mg/kg 30 min before the trauma blocked 65% of the Evan's blue extravasation compared with the control and 2.5 mg group.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Laufer, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hypoxic and hyperoxic incubation affects the ductus arteriosus in the developing chicken embryo (Gallus gallus).

Description: Developing chicken embryos have two ductus arteriosus (DA) that shunt blood away from the lungs and to the chorioallantoic membrane, the embryonic gas exchanger. In mammals, DA closure is stimulated by an increase in blood gas O2 that occurs as the animal begins to breathe with its lungs. The goal of this study was to determine the influence of O2 levels during incubation on the vascular reactivity and morphology of the O2-sensitive DA and to examine the effects of changing O2 levels during late incubation on the morphology of the DA from chicken embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia (15%) reduced venous O2 levels in day 16 and day 18 embryos and reduced aircell O2 values in day 16, day 18, and internally pipped (IP) embryos, whereas hyperoxia (30%) increased venous O2 levels and aircell O2 level in day 16, day 18, and IP embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia delayed closure of the DA, whereas hyperoxia accelerated DA closure. In comparison to the left DA from externally pipped (EP) normoxic embryos, the left DA from EP hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to O2. The DA from day 18 hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to norepinephrine and phenylephrine when compared with the DA from day 18 normoxic and hyperoxic embryos. The effect of incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia during different developmental windows on the DA O2-induced contractile response was observed only in IP embryos that were incubated in normoxia for 16 days and were then moved to hyperoxia. Incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia resulted in differences in embryo mass, yolk mass, and heart mass. There is an association between the decreased contractile response to O2 and delayed closure in the proximal portion of the DA from hypoxic embryos; as well as an increased contractile ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Copeland, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries

In vitro Cultures of Morus alba for Enhancing Production of Phytoestrogens

Description: Plant estrogens have long been associated with health benefits. The potential of tissue culture techniques for the production of several secondary metabolites has been known for many years. Tissue cultures stimulate the production or induce the biosynthesis of novel compounds not found in the mature plant. Tissue culture of Morus alba, family Moraceae, is known to contain phytoestrogens, was established on plant-hormone supplemented Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. Petiole and the stem tissue from mature trees were the best explants for initiation and proliferation of calli. The best callus proliferation was obtained on MS medium containing 1-napthalene acetic acid (1mg/ml) and benzylaminopurine (0.5mg/ml) for M. alba. Comparison of phytoestrogens of Moraceae species from in vivo and in vitro tissue isolation were carried out. The estrogenic activities of callus extracts were assayed in an estrogen-responsive yeast system expressing the human estrogen receptor alpha. Male callus extracts had higher estrogenic activity than male and female extracts from in vivo and in vitro tissues. Isolation and characterization of phytoestrogens from above tissues were carried out using solid phase extraction, high perfomance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques. Biochanin A, an isoflavonoid, was isolated as one of the compounds in male callus extracts. Biochanin A has been known to have an antiestrogenic acitivity in mammals. Isoflavonoid compounds have been characterized as strong protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors in variety of animal cells. Isoflavones are structurally similar to estradiol, and display agonistic and antagonistic interactions with the estrogen receptor. Isoflavones possess therapeutic and preventive properties such as being used for postmenopausal osteoporosis, breast cancer, and inhibition of tumors.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Bakshi, Vibhu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Incubation humidity as an environmental stressor on the osmoregulatory developmental program of the chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus.

Description: Fetal programming results from stressors during fetal development and may influence the occurrence of disease later in life. Maternal nutritional status and/or environment can affect renal development by inducing limited nephron endowment at birth, which results in diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease in mammals. Birds are likely to be effective models for this process because, like mammals, they have high pressure cardiovascular systems, mammalian-type nephrons and are homeothermic. This project uses the chicken embryo to explore physiological responses of disrupted hydration state thereby providing insights into renal fetal programming. Under normal conditions the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and developing avian kidney work in unison to ensure a proper balance of ions and water within the egg. White leghorn chicken eggs were incubated at 37.5oC±0.5oC and either <35%, 55-60% (normal) or >85% relative humidity. Amniotic fluid serves as the drinking source for the embryo late in development; its composition is important to salt and water homeostasis. High amniotic fluid osmolality increased the blood osmolality for embryos exposed to low humidity incubation thereby indirectly influencing the renal developmental program of the embryos from this group. Indeed estimated filtering capacity was doubled in the low humidity group (6.77 ± 0.43 mm3) compared to normal (4.80 ± 0.33 mm3) and high (3.97 ± 0.30 mm3) humidity groups. The increased filtering capacity seen for those embryos from low humidity may indicate the ability for more efficient recovery of water if similarly stressed as an adult bird. All embryo populations maintained similar oxygen consumption (0.075 ml/min - 0.37 ml/min), hematocrit (15 % - 32 %) and hemoglobin values (4 g/dl - 9 g/dl), thus displaying control over these aspects of the internal environment despite the obvious environmental insult of extreme incubation humidity. These results signify the embryo's immature kidney, along with lower gastrointestinal tract, ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bolin, Greta M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigation of Pyrimidine Salvage Pathways to Categorize Indigenous Soil Bacteria of Agricultural and Medical Importance and Analysis of the Pyrimidine Biosynthetic Pathway's Enzyme Properties for Correlating Cell Morphology to Function in All Phases of Growth

Description: This dissertation comprises three parts and is presented in two chapters. Chapter 1 concerns Arthrobacter, a bacterium with an intriguing growth cycle. Whereas most bacteria exist as either a rod or coccus, this bacterium shares the rod/coccus lifestyle. It therefore seemed important to examine the growth regulatory pathways from the rod and coccus. The committed step, that catalyzed by aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase), in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway was chosen. The ATCase in Arthrobacter is like the well known Pseudomonas enzyme except that it has an active dihydroorotase (DHOase) associated. Included in Chapter 1 is the description of a microorganism, Burkholderia cepacia, whose ATCase has characteristics that are at once reminiscent of bacteria, mammals, and fungi. It differs in size or aggregation based on environmental conditions. In addition, it has an active DHOase associated with the ATCase, like Arthrobacter. B. cepacia is important both medically and for bioremediation. Since B. cepacia is resistant to most antibiotics, its unique ATCase is a prime target for inhibition. Whereas the first chapter deals with the de novo pathway to making pyrimidines, which is found mainly in the lag and log phase, Chapter 2 addresses the salvage pathway, which comes more into play during the stationary phase. This section focuses on the isolation, identification, and grouping of a number of natural soil bacteria from various soil locations. These organisms are important agriculturally, medically, and industrially. Addition of these soil isolates to poor soils has been found to improve the soil. In a previous study by D.A. Beck, the salvage schemes for a number of laboratory strains of microorganisms were determined. Nine separate classes of salvage were designated by determining the salvage enzymes present. In this study emphasis has been placed on soil bacteria, which had not previously been analyzed. A number of species of soil ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Meixner, Jeffery Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigations of neuronal network responses to electrical stimulation in murine spinal cultures.

Description: Spontaneous activity in neuronal networks in vitro is common and has been well documented. However, alteration of spontaneous activity in such networks via conditioning electrical stimulation has received much less experimental attention. Two different patterns of electrical stimulation were used to enhance or depress the level of spontaneous activity in spinal cord cultures. High-frequency stimulation (HFS), a method routinely shown to increase the efficacy of synaptic transmission, was employed to augment spontaneous activity. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS), the technique often applied to depress synaptic efficacy, was employed to decrease spontaneous activity. In addition, LFS was used to reverse the effect of HFS on spontaneous activity. Likewise, HFS was applied to counter the effect of LFS. Because these networks were grown on multi-microelectrode plates (MMEPs), this allowed the simultaneous stimulation of any combination of the 64 electrodes in the array. Thus, the possible differences in response to single versus multi-electrode stimulation were also addressed. Finally, test-pulses were delivered before and after the conditioning stimulation on the same stimulation electrode(s) in order to assess the change in mean evoked action potentials (MEAPs). Dissociated spinal tissue from embryonic mice was allowed to mature into self-organized networks that exhibited spontaneous bursting activity after two weeks of incubation. Spontaneous activity was monitored from up to 14 recording channels simultaneously. Although uniform responses to stimulation across all recording electrodes were rarely observed, a large majority of the recording channels had similar responses. Spontaneous activity was increased in 52% of 89 HFS trials, whereas activity was decreased in 35% of 75 LFS trials. The duration of most of these increases was less than 5 minutes. When there were substantial and long-term (> 15 min) changes in spontaneous activity, the opposing stimulation pattern successfully reversed the effect of the previous stimulation. The percent change in MEAPs following conditioning stimulation ...
Date: December 2001
Creator: Sparks, Christopher A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Metabolic, cardiac and ventilatory regulation in early larvae of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

Description: Early development of O2 chemoreception and hypoxic responses under normoxic (150 mmHg) and chronically hypoxic (110 mmHg) conditions were investigated in Xenopus laevis from hatching to 3 weeks post fertilization. Development, growth, O2 consumption, ventilatory and cardiac performance, and branchial neuroepithelial cells (NEC) density and size were determined. At 3 days post fertilization (dpf), larvae started gill ventilation at a rate of 28 ± 4 beats/min and showed increased frequency to 60 ± 2 beats/min at a PO2 of 30 mmHg. Also at 3 dpf, NECs were identified in the gill filament buds using immunohistochemical methods. Lung ventilation began at 5 dpf and exhibited a 3-fold increase in frequency from normoxia to a PO2 of 30 mmHg. Hypoxic tachycardia developed at 5 dpf, causing an increase of 20 beats/min in heart rate, which led to a 2-fold increase in mass-specific cardiac output at a PO2 of 70 mmHg. At 10 dpf, gill ventilatory sensitivity to hypoxia increased, which was associated with the increase in NEC density, from 15 ± 1 to 29 ± 2 cells/mm of filament at 5 and 10 dpf, respectively. Unlike the elevated rate, cardiac and ventilatory volumes were independent of acute hypoxia. Despite increased cardioventilatory frequency, larvae experienced an average of 80% depression in during acute hypoxia. Chronic hypoxia (PO2 of 110 mmHg) decreased mass-specific cardiac performance before 10 dpf. In older larvae (10 to 21 dpf), chronic hypoxia decreased acute branchial and pulmonary hypoxic hyperventilation and increased NEC size. Collectively, these data suggest that larvae exhibit strong O2-driven acute hypoxic responses post-hatching, yet are still O2 conformers. All acute hypoxic responses developed before 5 dpf, and then the effects of chronic hypoxia started to show between 7 and 21 dpf. Thus, the early formation of acute hypoxic responses is susceptible to the environment and can ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Pan, Tien-Chien
Partner: UNT Libraries