Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Equine cloning’s triple play sheds light on calcium, cell signaling, human disease

16.02.2004


The successful cloning of three mules and their excellent health is important to the horse industry, a University of Idaho scientist said Monday at Seattle.



More important is the potential human health aspects of the cloning project. Dr. Gordon Woods, UI professor of animal and veterinary science, said the work aided understanding of calcium’s role in cell signaling and possibly in the progression of human disease.

Woods, who directs the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory at UI, said increasing calcium levels in the fluid surrounding cloned equine embryos proved the key to equine cloning.


Woods was scheduled to participate in a Feb. 16 panel discussion, Cloning Controversies: Ethics, Science and Society, during the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

The birth of the mule foal Idaho Gem on May 4, 2003, marked the first successful equine cloning. The births June 9 of Utah Pioneer and July 27 of Idaho Star, two more mules cloned from the same fetal mule skin cell line, added to the success of the University of Idaho-Utah State University project.

All three mule foals were born unassisted after prototypical pregnancies. All three are vigorous, healthy and developing normally. The triplets were displayed in Seattle during Family Science Day Feb. 15 during the AAAS annual meeting.

"The manipulation of calcium concentrations to achieve success in equine cloning may have implications for other assisted equine reproduction techniques," Woods said. "Increasing intracellular calcium in horses may increase their fertility in general."

Woods began to focus on calcium after becoming interested in why horses appear to be more resistant to some forms of cancer. It is not unusual for light-colored horses to develop melanomas or skin cancers that do not metastasize. Woods found the veterinary literature was devoid of a report of a stallion with prostate cancer. The cancer mortality rate for horses is approximately 8 percent for horses and 24 percent for humans, he said.

Blood samples from men and stallions heightened his interest in calcium. Tests showed intracellular calcium concentrations in horse red blood cells were 2.3 times less than in human red blood cells. Extracellular calcium concentrations were reversed, with 1.5 times greater calcium concentrations outside cells in equines than in humans.

The lower concentrations of calcium within horse cells supported a model proposed by Woods. He postulated the equine system was "slower" physiologically than the human system. The lower cancer rates in equines appeared to support that idea.

Woods connected that hypothesis to embryonic development. "There are electrifying similarities between cancer metastasis and embryo division," said Woods.

Woods’ collaborators agreed to try stimulating embryonic development by increasing calcium concentrations in the surrounding medium. Dr. Dirk Vanderwall, UI assistant professor of animal and veterinary science, and Dr. Ken White, Utah State University professor of animal, dairy and veterinary science, teamed with Woods on the project.

The results were immediate, Woods said, generating a seven-fold increase in the two-week pregnancy rate of transferred clone embryos. Only two pregnancies lasted two weeks without manipulating calcium levels. Nineteen pregnancies lasted two weeks or more with calcium treatments. Of 21 pregnancies detected at two weeks, 11 lasted 30 days and five lasted 45 days. Three pregnancies lasted past 60 days, and all of them survived full term and resulted in normal births.

The cloning project provided insight into calcium’s role in cell signaling. As some human diseases progress, calcium levels escalate.

"The connection between calcium and many forms of human disease is well documented," Woods said. Calcium functions as a universal intracellular messenger, controlling processes as diverse as gene transcription, muscle transcription and cell proliferation, Woods noted. A breakdown in calcium regulation is implicated in diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes, heart disease and neurological disorders.

Gordon Woods | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nerl.uidaho.edu/
http://www.uidaho.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>