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Concept: Glands


BACKGROUND: Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis (CVL) is a zoonotic disease caused by Leishmania infantum, transmitted by the bite of Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies. Dogs are the main domestic reservoir of the parasite. The establishment of an experimental model that partially reproduces natural infection in dogs is very important to test vaccine candidates, mainly regarding those that use salivary proteins from the vector and new therapeutical approaches. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this report, we describe an experimental infection in dogs, using intradermal injection of Leishmania infantum plus salivary gland homogenate (SGH) of Lutzomyia longipalpis. Thirty-five dogs were infected with 1×10(7) parasites combined with five pairs of Lutzomyia longipalpis salivary glands and followed for 450 days after infection and clinical, immunological and parasitological parameters were evaluated. Two hundred and ten days after infection we observed that 31,4% of dogs did not display detectable levels of anti-Leishmania antibodies but all presented different numbers of parasites in the lymph nodes. Animals with a positive xenodiagnosis had at least 3,35×10(5) parasites in their lymph nodes. An increase of IFN-γ and IL-10 levels was detected during infection. Twenty two percent of dogs developed symptoms of CVL during infection. CONCLUSION: The infection model described here shows some degree of similarity when compared with naturally infected dogs opening new perspectives for the study of CVL using an experimental model that employs the combination of parasites and sand fly saliva both present during natural transmission.

Concepts: Immune system, Saliva, Leishmaniasis, Leishmania, Glands, Salivary gland, Zoonosis, Phlebotominae


Perspiration-based wearable biosensors facilitate continuous monitoring of individuals' health states with real-time and molecular-level insight. The inherent inaccessibility of sweat in sedentary individuals in large volume (≥10 µL) for on-demand and in situ analysis has limited our ability to capitalize on this noninvasive and rich source of information. A wearable and miniaturized iontophoresis interface is an excellent solution to overcome this barrier. The iontophoresis process involves delivery of stimulating agonists to the sweat glands with the aid of an electrical current. The challenge remains in devising an iontophoresis interface that can extract sufficient amount of sweat for robust sensing, without electrode corrosion and burning/causing discomfort in subjects. Here, we overcame this challenge through realizing an electrochemically enhanced iontophoresis interface, integrated in a wearable sweat analysis platform. This interface can be programmed to induce sweat with various secretion profiles for real-time analysis, a capability which can be exploited to advance our knowledge of the sweat gland physiology and the secretion process. To demonstrate the clinical value of our platform, human subject studies were performed in the context of the cystic fibrosis diagnosis and preliminary investigation of the blood/sweat glucose correlation. With our platform, we detected the elevated sweat electrolyte content of cystic fibrosis patients compared with that of healthy control subjects. Furthermore, our results indicate that oral glucose consumption in the fasting state is followed by increased glucose levels in both sweat and blood. Our solution opens the possibility for a broad range of noninvasive diagnostic and general population health monitoring applications.

Concepts: Health, Electrochemistry, Cystic fibrosis, Gland, Exocrine gland, Glands, Exocrine system, Sweat gland


Abstract :  Theilerioses and babesioses are important diseases in Iranian sheep. The present study was undertaken to identify and classify/specify Theileria spp. and Babesia spp. in sheep and vector ticks. Investigation was carried out from 2009 to 2011 in the Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran. In total, 302 sheep originating from 60 different flocks were clinically examined and their blood collected. In addition, from the same flocks, ixodid ticks were sampled. Stained blood smears were microscopically examined for the presence of Theileria and Babesia organisms, and a semi-nested PCR was used for subsequent molecular specification. From the ticks, salivary glands and uterus were isolated and subsequently analyzed by semi-nested PCR. Piroplasm organisms were observed in 29% of the blood smears with low parasitemia, whereas 65% of the blood samples yielded positive PCR findings. The presence of Theileria ovis (55.6%), Theileria lestoquardi, and mixed infection with Theileria spp. and Babesia ovis were detected by semi-nested PCR in 0.3%, 5.6%, and 0.99%, respectively. In total, 429 ixodid ticks were collected from different areas of the province. The most prevalent ticks were Rhipicephalus turanicus (n = 376; 87.6% of the total), followed by Hyalomma marginatum turanicum (n = 30; 7.0%), Dermacentor raskemensis (n = 12; 2.8%), Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum (n = 7; 1.6%), Dermacentor marginatus (n = 2; 0.5%), Rhipicephalus bursa (n = 1; 0.2%), and Haemaphysalis sp. (n = 1; 0.2%). Of the positive R. turanicus samples, 5 (5.7%) were infected with T. ovis and 2 (2.9%) with T. lestoquardi. Neither Babesia ovis nor Babesia motasi infection was detected in salivary glands or uterine samples of the ticks. The results also suggest that R. turanicus could be the vector responsible for transmission of the 2 Theileria species.

Concepts: Lyme disease, Tick, Ixodidae, Acari, Babesiosis, Glands, Theileria, Piroplasmida


The presence of the leptin receptor (ObR) has already been highlighted in the human major salivary glands and it has been hypothesized that leptin may act by regulating the gland’s growth. No data are reported on domestic animals so, considering the important role that these glands play, not only related to food ingestion and digestion, and the important functional role hypothesized to explain the presence of ObR in humans salivary glands, the aim of the present work was to investigate the presence and the distribution of the leptin receptor in horse parotid and mandibular glands, by immunohistochemical techniques. The presence of ObR was evidenced in parotid and mandibular glands, exclusively localized in duct epithelial cells; their positivity was localized in the cytoplasm and was most evident near its apical portion. Immuno-positivity not only affects the intralobular ducts (intercalated and striated) but also the interlobular ones. Our results indicate that horse major salivary glands, like those of humans, are likely targets of leptin actions, suggesting a functional role of leptin on these glands.

Concepts: Protein, Digestive system, Epithelium, Gland, Glands, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland


Blue-ringed octopuses (genus Hapalochlaena) possess the potent neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX). We examined the microdistribution of TTX in ten tissues of Hapalochlaena lunulata and Hapalochlaena fasciata by immunolabeling for fluorescent light microscopy (FLM). We visualized TTX throughout the posterior salivary gland, but the toxin was concentrated in cells lining the secretory tubules within the gland. Tetrodotoxin was present just beneath the epidermis of the integument (mantle and arms) and also concentrated in channels running through the dermis. This was suggestive of a TTX transport mechanism in the blood of the octopus, which would also explain the presence of the toxin in the blood-rich brachial hearts, gills, nephridia, and highly vascularized Needham’s sac (testes contents). We also present the first report of TTX in any cephalopod outside of the genus Hapalochlaena. A specimen of Octopus bocki from French Polynesia contained a small amount of TTX in the digestive gland.

Concepts: Glands, Tetrodotoxin, Neurotoxin, Cephalopod, Blue-ringed octopus, Octopus, Octopodidae, Greater Blue-ringed Octopus


Protein interactions play a critical role in the regulation of many biological events and their study in a high-throughput format has become a key area of proteomic research. Nucleid Acid Programmable Protein Arrays (NAPPA) technology allows the construction of protein arrays from cDNA expression libraries in high-throughput cell-free systems to study protein interaction and functions. Tick saliva contains antihemostatic, anti-inflammatory, and immunosuppressive proteins that counteract the host hemostatic, immune, and inflammatory responses allowing the ingestion of host blood and facilitating its infection by the tick-borne pathogens. Identification of such proteins and their functions could help in the selection of antigenic targets for the development of antitick and transmission-blocking vaccines. With that aim, we have prepared a cDNA expression library from the salivary glands of Ornithodoros moubata and subsequently produced a self-assembled protein microarray using 480 randomly selected clones from that library. The reproducibility of the array, its representativeness of the tick salivary protein repertoire, and the functionality of the in situ expressed proteins have been checked, demonstrating that it is a suitable tool for the identification and functional characterization of soft tick salivary molecules that interact with host proteins. Several clones in the array were shown to bind to human recombinant P-selectin. One of them was a likely secreted tick phospholipase A2, which may represent a potential new ligand for P-selectin. As these salivary molecules are likely involved in blood meal acquisition through the modulation of the host immune and hemostatic responses, this new high-throughput tool could open new avenues for development of new therapeutic agents and control strategies against ticks and tick-borne pathogens.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, DNA, Protein, Gene expression, Saliva, Proteomics, Glands


Over a century since Ronald Ross discovered that malaria is caused by the bite of an infectious mosquito it is still unclear how the number of parasites injected influences disease transmission. Currently it is assumed that all mosquitoes with salivary gland sporozoites are equally infectious irrespective of the number of parasites they harbour, though this has never been rigorously tested. Here we analyse >1000 experimental infections of humans and mice and demonstrate a dose-dependency for probability of infection and the length of the host pre-patent period. Mosquitoes with a higher numbers of sporozoites in their salivary glands following blood-feeding are more likely to have caused infection (and have done so quicker) than mosquitoes with fewer parasites. A similar dose response for the probability of infection was seen for humans given a pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate targeting circumsporozoite protein (CSP), and in mice with and without transfusion of anti-CSP antibodies. These interventions prevented infection more efficiently from bites made by mosquitoes with fewer parasites. The importance of parasite number has widespread implications across malariology, ranging from our basic understanding of the parasite, how vaccines are evaluated and the way in which transmission should be measured in the field. It also provides direct evidence for why the only registered malaria vaccine RTS,S was partially effective in recent clinical trials.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Malaria, Vaccine, Vaccination, Yellow fever, Tuberculosis, Glands


Human sweat glands are heterogeneous in their structures and functions. Accordingly, eccrine, apocrine, and apoeccrine glands are distinguished.

Concepts: Pituitary gland, Structure, Gland, Exocrine gland, Glands, Perspiration, Exocrine system, Sweat gland


: Melatonin is synthesized in the pineal gland and is an important circadian phase marker, especially in the determination of sleep patterns. Both temporary and permanent abnormal sleep patterns occur in children; therefore, it is desirable to have methods for monitoring melatonin in biological fluids in the diagnosis and treatment of such disorders.

Concepts: Sleep, Sleep disorder, Pineal gland, Circadian rhythm, Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, Glands, Chronotype, Melatonin


Salivary glands, although widely considered as typically exocrine, may also release specific proteins in an endocrine manner. However, endocrine release of salivary gland proteins is not generally acknowledged since the evidences are not easily demonstrable. Submandibular salivary glands (SMG) of male Syrian hamsters express male-specific secretory proteins (MSP) visible in SDS-PAGE of SMG extracts, as major bands and also detectable in immunoblots of whole-saliva and urine as low MSP crossreactions. We report here that MSP is localized in acinar cells of SMG and acute treatment with isoproterenol (IPR; non-specific β1/β2-adrenergic agonist) results in considerable release of MSP in SMG-saliva. Moreover, acute IPR treatment markedly depletes SMG-MSP in a dose- and time-dependent manner. However, MSP depleted from SMG, far exceeds that recovered in SMG-saliva. Blood, submandibular lymph nodes and kidney of IPR-treated males showed MSP crossreactions and SDS-PAGE of their urine revealed profuse MSP excretion; this was undetectable in IPR-treated-SMG-ablated males, confirming that a substantial amount of MSP depleted from SMG after IPR treatment enters circulation and is excreted in urine. Treatments with specific β1- or β2-adrenergic agonists also reduced SMG-MSP levels and resulted in copious urinary excretion of MSP. Co-treatments with specific β1/β2-blockers indicated that above effects of IPR, β1- and even β2-agonists are very likely mediated by β1-adrenoceptors. MSP’s detection by SDS-PAGE in urine after β-agonist treatment is a compelling and easily demonstrable evidence of release into circulation of a salivary gland protein. The possible means (endocrine-like or otherwise) of MSP’s release into circulation and significance of its presence in saliva, blood and urine of male hamsters are discussed.

Concepts: Blood, Secretion, Pancreas, Glands, Hamster, Salivary gland, Exocrine system, Submandibular gland