Beneficial Effects of a Flavonoid Fraction of Herba Epimedii on Bone Metabolism in Ovariectomized Rats. PUMID/DOI：DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1558294 Planta Med. 2016 Mar;82(4):322-9. A flavonoid fraction of Herba Epimedii, including eight flavonoid glycoside compounds, epimedoside A, ikarisoside F, baohuoside II, sagittatoside A, sagittatoside B, 7-O-rhamnosyl icariside II, 2"-O-rhamnosyl icariside II, and baohuoside I, was isolated and prepared from the leaves of Herba Epimedii. This study was conducted to assess the potential effect of the flavonoid fraction of Herba Epimedii on osteoporosis in ovariectomized rats. Rats received repeated administration of a vehicle (ovariectomized), the flavonoid fraction of Herba Epimedii (7.5, 15, 30 mg/kg/d), and ipriflavone (200 mg/kg/d) once a day for 8 weeks, beginning 4 weeks after ovariectomization. Then, the bone turnover markers, bone biomechanical properties, trabecular architecture, and related protein expressions were evaluated by biochemical assay kits, mechanical testing, microcomputed tomography, immunohistochemical evaluation, and Western blot analysis. Treatment with the flavonoid fraction of Herba Epimedii (15, 30 mg/kg/d) and ipriflavone (200 mg/kg/d) significantly increased bone strength while dramatically inhibiting the serum alkaline phosphatase and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase levels in ovariectomized rats. Furthermore, the flavonoid fraction of Herba Epimedii also increased osteoprotegerin protein expression and reduced the receptor activator of nuclear factor-?B ligand protein expression compared with ovariectomized rats. In addition, the microcomputed tomography results showed that the flavonoid fraction of Herba Epimedii treatment significantly improved trabecular bone mineral density and restored the bone microarchitecture in ovariectomized rats. Therefore, our results indicated that the flavonoid fraction of Herba Epimedii might be beneficial for improving postmenopausal osteoporosis and should be considered as a promising candidate for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis. Flavonoids from Herba epimedii selectively activate estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) and stimulate ER-dependent osteoblastic functions in UMR-106 cells. PUMID/DOI：DOI: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2014.02.019 J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Sep;143:141-51. Total flavonoids in Herba epimedii (HEP) have been demonstrated to protect against bone loss and bone deterioration associated with estrogen deficiency without exerting any uterotrophic effects. However, it is unclear how flavonoids in HEP exert their protective effects on bone and if different flavonoids exert estrogenic actions in bone cells via similar mechanism of actions. The present study aims to investigate the bone anabolic effects of four major flavonoids isolated from HEP, namely icariin, baohuoside-I, epimedin B and sagittatoside A as well as the mechanism involved in mediating their estrogenic actions in rat osteoblastic-like UMR-106 cells. All tested compounds significantly stimulated the cell proliferation rate, alkaline phosphate (ALP) activity and osteoprotegerin (OPG)/receptor activator of nuclear factor ?-B ligand (RANKL) mRNA expression in UMR-106 cells and their effects could be abolished by co-incubation with 10(-6)M ICI 182,780. None of the flavonoids exhibited binding affinities toward ERa and ER? However, sagittatoside A selectively activated estrogen response element (ERE)-luciferase activity via ERa. In addition, icariin and sagittatoside A induced ERa phosphorylation at serine 118 residue. Taken together, our results indicated that all four flavonoids from HEP stimulated ER-dependent osteoblastic functions in UMR-106 cells, but only two of them appeared to exert their actions by ligand-independent activation of ERa. Our study provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the estrogen-like protective effects on bone by flavonoids are mediated via mechanisms that are distinct from the classical actions of estrogen.
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Opportunities to conduct large-scale field experiments are rare, but provide a unique opportunity to reveal the complex processes that operate within natural ecosystems. Here, we review the design of existing, large-scale forest fragmentation experiments. Based on this review, we develop a design for the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project, a new forest fragmentation experiment to be located in the lowland tropical forests of Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia). The SAFE Project represents an advance on existing experiments in that it: (i) allows discrimination of the effects of landscape-level forest cover from patch-level processes; (ii) is designed to facilitate the unification of a wide range of data types on ecological patterns and processes that operate over a wide range of spatial scales; (iii) has greater replication than existing experiments; (iv) incorporates an experimental manipulation of riparian corridors; and (v) embeds the experimentally fragmented landscape within a wider gradient of land-use intensity than do existing projects. The SAFE Project represents an opportunity for ecologists across disciplines to participate in a large initiative designed to generate a broad understanding of the ecological impacts of tropical forest modification.
Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, Calling Lake Fragmentation Experiment, deforestation, hierarchical sampling design, Savannah River Site Corridor Experiment, Wog Wog Habitat Fragmentation Experiment
A large-scale forest fragmentation experiment: the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems Project
Robert M. Ewers,1,* Raphael K. Didham,2,3,4 Lenore Fahrig,5 Goncalo Ferraz,6,7 Andy Hector,8 Robert D. Holt,9 Valerie Kapos,10,11 Glen Reynolds,12 Waidi Sinun,13 Jake L. Snaddon,8,11 and Edgar C. Turner1,11
2011 Nov 27;
A model linking within- and between-host pathogen dynamics via pathogen shedding (emission of pathogens throughout the course of infection) is developed, and several aspects of host availability and co-infection are considered. In this model, the rate of pathogen shedding affects both the pathogen population size within a host (also affecting host mortality) and the rate of infection of new hosts. Our goal is to ascertain how the rate of shedding is likely to evolve, and what factors permit coexistence of alternative shedding rates in a pathogen population. For a constant host population size (where an increase in infected hosts necessarily decreases susceptible hosts), important differences arise depending on whether pathogens compete only for susceptible (uninfected) hosts, or whether co-infection allows for competition for infected hosts. With no co-infection, the pathogen type that can persist with the lowest number of susceptible hosts will outcompete any other, which under the assumptions of the model is the pathogen with the highest basic reproduction number. This is often a pathogen with a relatively high shedding rate (s). If within-host competition is allowed, a trade-off develops due to the conflicting effects of shedding on within- and between-host pathogen dynamics, with within-host competition favoring clones with low shedding rates while between-host competition benefits clones with higher shedding rates. With within-host competition for the same host cells, low shedding rate clones should eliminate high-s clones in a co-infected host, if equilibrium is reached. With co-infection, but no within-host competition, pathogen clones still interact by affecting the mortality of co-infected hosts; here, coexistence is more likely. With co-infection, two clones can coexist if one is the superior competitor for uninfected hosts and the other for co-infected hosts.
pathogen dynamics, shedding, co-infection, limited host population
The role of pathogen shedding in linking within- and between-host pathogen dynamics
Michael Barfield,1,* Maria E. Orive,2 and Robert D. Holt1
2016 Dec 1.
Extant Crocodylia are exceptional because they employ almost the full range of quadrupedal footfall patterns (“gaits”) used by mammals; including asymmetrical gaits such as galloping and bounding. Perhaps this capacity evolved in stem Crocodylomorpha, during the Triassic when taxa were smaller, terrestrial, and long-legged. However, confusion about which Crocodylia use asymmetrical gaits and why persists, impeding reconstructions of locomotor evolution. Our experimental gait analysis of locomotor kinematics across 42 individuals from 15 species of Crocodylia obtained 184 data points for a wide velocity range (0.15-4.35 ms−1). Our results suggest either that asymmetrical gaits are ancestral for Crocodylia and lost in the alligator lineage, or that asymmetrical gaits evolved within Crocodylia at the base of the crocodile line. Regardless, we recorded usage of asymmetrical gaits in 7 species of Crocodyloidea (crocodiles); including novel documentation of these behaviours in 5 species (3 critically endangered). Larger Crocodylia use relatively less extreme gait kinematics consistent with steeply decreasing athletic ability with size. We found differences between asymmetrical and symmetrical gaits in Crocodylia: asymmetrical gaits involved greater size-normalized stride frequencies and smaller duty factors (relative ground contact times), consistent with increased mechanical demands. Remarkably, these gaits did not differ in maximal velocities obtained: whether in Alligatoroidea or Crocodyloidea, trotting or bounding achieved similar velocities, revealing that the alligator lineage is capable of hitherto unappreciated extreme locomotor performance despite a lack of asymmetrical gait usage. Hence asymmetrical gaits have benefits other than velocity capacity that explain their prevalence in Crocodyloidea and absence in Alligatoroidea—and their broader evolution.
Subject terms: Evolution, Biomechanics, Herpetology
Divergent evolution of terrestrial locomotor abilities in extant Crocodylia
John R. Hutchinson,corresponding author1 Dean Felkler,1 Kati Houston,2 Yu-Mei Chang,3 John Brueggen,2 David Kledzik,2 and Kent A. Vliet2,4