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Coagulation factor IX precursor (EC (Christmas factor) (Plasma thromboplastin component) (PTC) [Contains: Coagulation factor IXa light chain; Coagulation factor IXa heavy chain]


Hypermaintenance and hypofunction of aged spermatogonia: insight from age-related increase of Plzf expression.

Like stem cells in other tissues, spermatogonia, including spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) at the foundation of differentiation hierarchy, undergo age-related decline in function. The promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (Plzf) protein plays an essential role in spermatogonia maintenance by preventing their differentiation. To evaluate whether there is an age-related change in Plzf expression, we found that aged mouse testes exhibited a robust "Plzf overexpression" phenotype, in that they showed not only a higher frequency of Plzf-expressing cells but also an increased level of Plzf expression in these cells. Moreover, some Plzf-expressing cells in aged testes even aberrantly appeared in the differentiating spermatogonia compartment, which is usually low or negative for Plzf expression. Importantly, ectopic Plzf expression in F9 cells suppressed retinoic acid (RA)-induced Stra8 activation, a gene required for meiosis initiation. These data, together with our observation of a lack of meiosis-initiating spermatocytes associated with high Plzf-expressing spermatogonia in the aged testes, particularly in the degenerative seminiferous tubules, suggest that age-related increase in Plzf expression represents a novel molecular signature of spermatogonia aging by functionally arresting their differentiation.

MeSH Terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Promyelocytic Leukemia Zinc Finger Protein
  • Spermatogonia


  • Gerotarget
  • Plzf
  • aging
  • differentiation
  • mTORC1
  • spermatogonial stem cell

eHealth literacy and Web 2.0 health information seeking behaviors among baby boomers and older adults.

Baby boomers and older adults, a subset of the population at high risk for chronic disease, social isolation, and poor health outcomes, are increasingly utilizing the Internet and social media (Web 2.0) to locate and evaluate health information. However, among these older populations, little is known about what factors influence their eHealth literacy and use of Web 2.0 for health information. The intent of the study was to explore the extent to which sociodemographic, social determinants, and electronic device use influences eHealth literacy and use of Web 2.0 for health information among baby boomers and older adults. A random sample of baby boomers and older adults (n=283, mean 67.46 years, SD 9.98) participated in a cross-sectional, telephone survey that included the eHealth literacy scale (eHEALS) and items from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) assessing electronic device use and use of Web 2.0 for health information. An independent samples t test compared eHealth literacy among users and non-users of Web 2.0 for health information. Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine associations between sociodemographic, social determinants, and electronic device use on self-reported eHealth literacy and use of Web 2.0 for seeking and sharing health information. Almost 90% of older Web 2.0 users (90/101, 89.1%) reported using popular Web 2.0 websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to find and share health information. Respondents reporting use of Web 2.0 reported greater eHealth literacy (mean 30.38, SD 5.45, n=101) than those who did not use Web 2.0 (mean 28.31, SD 5.79, n=182), t217.60=-2.98, P=.003. Younger age (b=-0.10), more education (b=0.48), and use of more electronic devices (b=1.26) were significantly associated with greater eHealth literacy (R(2) =.17, R(2)adj =.14, F9,229=5.277, P<.001). Women were nearly three times more likely than men to use Web 2.0 for health information (OR 2.63, Wald= 8.09, df=1, P=.004). Finally, more education predicted greater use of Web 2.0 for health information, with college graduates (OR 2.57, Wald= 3.86, df =1, P=.049) and post graduates (OR 7.105, Wald= 4.278, df=1, P=.04) nearly 2 to 7 times more likely than non-high school graduates to use Web 2.0 for health information. Being younger and possessing more education was associated with greater eHealth literacy among baby boomers and older adults. Females and those highly educated, particularly at the post graduate level, reported greater use of Web 2.0 for health information. More in-depth surveys and interviews among more diverse groups of baby boomers and older adult populations will likely yield a better understanding regarding how current Web-based health information seeking and sharing behaviors influence health-related decision making.

MeSH Terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Literacy
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Information Seeking Behavior
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Media
  • Telemedicine


  • Web 2.0
  • aging
  • health literacy
  • social media

Multipotent adult germ-line stem cells, like other pluripotent stem cells, can be killed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes despite low expression of major histocompatibility complex class I molecules.

Multipotent adult germ-line stem cells (maGSCs) represent a new pluripotent cell type that can be derived without genetic manipulation from spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) present in adult testis. Similarly to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), they could provide a source of cellular grafts for new transplantation therapies of a broad variety of diseases. To test whether these stem cells can be rejected by the recipients, we have analyzed whether maGSCs and iPSCs can become targets for cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) or whether they are protected, as previously proposed for embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We have observed that maGSCs can be maintained in prolonged culture with or without leukemia inhibitory factor and/or feeder cells and still retain the capacity to form teratomas in immunodeficient recipients. They were, however, rejected in immunocompetent allogeneic recipients, and the immune response controlled teratoma growth. We analyzed the susceptibility of three maGSC lines to CTL in comparison to ESCs, iPSCs, and F9 teratocarcinoma cells. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules were not detectable by flow cytometry on these stem cell lines, apart from low levels on one maGSC line (maGSC Stra8 SSC5). However, using a quantitative real time PCR analysis H2K and B2m transcripts were detected in all pluripotent stem cell lines. All pluripotent stem cell lines were killed in a peptide-dependent manner by activated CTLs derived from T cell receptor transgenic OT-I mice after pulsing of the targets with the SIINFEKL peptide. Pluripotent stem cells, including maGSCs, ESCs, and iPSCs can become targets for CTLs, even if the expression level of MHC class I molecules is below the detection limit of flow cytometry. Thus they are not protected against CTL-mediated cytotoxicity. Therefore, pluripotent cells might be rejected after transplantation by this mechanism if specific antigens are presented and if specific activated CTLs are present. Our results show that the adaptive immune system has in principle the capacity to kill pluripotent and teratoma forming stem cells. This finding might help to develop new strategies to increase the safety of future transplantations of in vitro differentiated cells by exploiting a selective immune response against contaminating undifferentiated cells. This article was reviewed by Bhagirath Singh, Etienne Joly and Lutz Walter.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Multipotent Stem Cells
  • Peptides
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Serpins
  • Spermatozoa
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Temperature
  • Teratoma

Sex differences in endogenous retinoid release in the post-embryonic spinal cord of the western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis affinis.

In this study we have shown sex differences in endogenous retinoic acid synthesis and retinaldehyde dehydrogenase activity in the post-embryonic spinal cords of immature female and male G. a. affinis. The F9 reporter cell assay and the zymography bioassay showed that the endogenous retinoic acid levels correlated with the levels of the endogenous enzyme(s) responsible for retinoic acid synthesis. These data also showed that both the endogenous retinoic acid levels and the enzyme(s) were higher in spinal cord segments 8-16 of immature males than in immature females. We have also shown that exogenous treatment of 17 alpha-methyltestosterone results in the masculinization of the immature female's anal fin and its appendicular support elements as well as the endogenous synthesis of retinoic acid and retinaldehyde dehydrogenase activity. The F9 reporter cell assay showed that the endogenous retinoic acid levels were relatively unchanged in spinal cord segments 8-16 of immature males treated with 17 alpha-methyltestosterone. However, the F9 reporter cell assay showed that the endogenous retinoic acid levels in spinal cord segments 8-16 of immature females treated with 17 alpha-methyltestosterone were markedly higher than levels observed in the immature males. The data also showed that the activity of the enzyme(s) responsible for the synthesis of endogenous retinoic acid was higher in spinal cord segments 8-16 of immature females treated with 17 alpha-methyltestosterone than in immature males treated with 17 alpha-methyltestosterone. Currently under investigation is the question of what role the endogenous enzyme(s) responsible for the synthesis of retinoic acid plays either alone or in concert with androgen in organizing hormone-dependent sexually dimorphic areas in the teleost body plan.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases
  • Animals
  • Cyprinodontiformes
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Male
  • Methyltestosterone
  • Retinal Dehydrogenase
  • Retinoids
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Spinal Cord
  • Tretinoin

Vgr-1, a mammalian gene related to Xenopus Vg-1, is a member of the transforming growth factor beta gene superfamily.

The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-related products of the Xenopus Vg-1 and Drosophila decapentaplegic (DPP) genes have been implicated in the control of growth and differentiation during embryogenesis. We have isolated a mouse cDNA, Vgr-1, that encodes a polypeptide structurally related to Xenopus Vg-1. Sequence comparisons indicate that the Vgr-1 protein belongs to a family of DPP-like gene products within the TGF-beta superfamily. The levels of Vgr-1 RNA were determined in embryos and tissues isolated at various stages of development. A 3.5-kilobase mRNA increases throughout development and into adulthood in many tissues and in F9 teratocarcinoma cells differentiating into endoderm in response to retinoic acid and cAMP. The amino acid homologies and patterns of expression suggest that, like the DPP gene product, Vgr-1 plays a role at various stages of development.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Drosophila
  • Genes
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Organ Specificity
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Transforming Growth Factors
  • Xenopus

Neurochemical and behavioral effects of diet related perinatal folic acid restriction.

Some effects of restricting dietary folic acid during the perinatal period on tissue folate and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) concentrations and on behavior were examined in 35-day-old DBA/2J mice. In one study dams were started on diets containing no folate (FO), 1.1 mg of folic acid/kg diet (F1.1) or 9.9 mg of folic acid/kg diet (F9.9) on the day of parturition. In a second study some mice were started on the FO or F9.9 diets 6-7 days prior to parturition and some remained on lab chow (LC). The dams and their pups remained on their assigned diets until offspring were killed for biochemical assays. The major findings of the 2 studies are: (1) that eliminating folic acid from diets of dams and developing pups from birth or 1 week prior to birth causes a reduction of folate in brain tissue; (2) that reduction in brain tissue is not as severe as that of liver; (3) that initiating the folate free diet 1 week prior to birth caused reductions in body, liver, and brain weights and in activity levels of surviving offspring; and (4) that offspring of dams started on either the FO or F9.9 diet one week prior to parturition are less viable and have lower levels of SAM in brain tissue than animals reared on the LC diets.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Body Weight
  • Brain
  • Diet
  • Escape Reaction
  • Female
  • Folic Acid
  • Folic Acid Deficiency
  • Liver
  • Mice
  • Organ Size
  • Pregnancy
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Stress, Physiological

Expression of murine Ia antigens during embryonic development.

An immunochemical analysis of the kinetics of appearance of Ia antigens during embryonic development was performed. Ia antigens first appear on the surface of embryonic cells 11 days postconception and their expression between days 11 and 16 of gestation is confined to the fetal liver. Ia antigen synthesis by fetal liver cells is detectable at day 14. Ia seems to precede Ig as a surface marker of embryonic liver cells, since Ig cannot be detected until day 16 of gestation. H-2 antigens may be immunoprecipitated from day 10 whole embryo cells. F9 primitive teratocarcinoma cells are Ia negative and H-2 negative.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Antigens
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Epitopes
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Immunity
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Liver
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Pregnancy
  • Teratoma