* Consideration of breed specific fetal trunk diameter for the estimation of gestation age using trans-abdominal ultrasonography in sheep.
- The study aim was to estimate gestational age (GA), expected parturition date (EPD) and growth rate by determining fetal trunk diameter (TD). Effects of fetal-dam pelvis alignment and in utero fetal position at time of ultrasonography (UG) on fetal numbers and sex determination were also studied. Trans-abdominal UG (3-6.5 MHz) was conducted on 37 ewes with known breeding dates from Days 25-120 of pregnancy. Errors in GA and EPD were studied using an equation in the same ewes at their successive breeding when date of breeding was unknown. There were four equations, Y = 1.28861X+32.656 (R2 = 0.92), for Indigenous; Y = 1.2603X+38.075 (R2 = 0.85), for Indigenous × Garole; and Y = 0.8932X+45.916 (R² = 0.99), for Garole fetuses; and the equation, Y = 1.3565X + 32.604 (R2 = 0.94), independent of breed were computed to estimate GA and the relationship between GA and TD of different breeds. The error in estimated GA and EPD using these four equations was determined and there was comparison with the data collected using US and the previously described equations. Results indicate there was the greatest (P < 0.01) error for GA and EPD values using the US TD equation for all breeds. There was the least error in estimated EPD using the breed specific equations. Error in the sex determination was 4.8 % and fetal number determination was 16.7 % with singleton and 7.7 % twin fetuses. The results indicate there is a breed specific fetal TD that is useful for predicting GA in sheep.
* Adipocyte Specific HO-1 Gene Therapy is Effective in Antioxidant Treatment of Insulin Resistance and Vascular Function in an Obese Mice Model.
- : Obesity is a risk factor for vascular dysfunction and insulin resistance. The study aim was to demonstrate that adipocyte-specific HO-1 (heme oxygenase-1) gene therapy is a therapeutic approach for preventing the development of obesity-induced metabolic disease in an obese-mice model. Specific expression of HO-1 in adipose tissue was achieved by using a lentiviral vector expressing HO-1 under the control of the adiponectin vector (Lnv-adipo-HO-1). Mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) developed adipocyte hypertrophy, fibrosis, decreased mitochondrial respiration, increased levels of inflammatory adipokines, insulin resistance, vascular dysfunction, and impaired heart mitochondrial signaling. These detrimental effects were prevented by the selective expression of HO-1 in adipocytes. Lnv-adipo-HO-1-transfected mice on a HFD display increased cellular respiration, increased oxygen consumption, increased mitochondrial function, and decreased adipocyte size. Moreover, RNA arrays confirmed that targeting adipocytes with HO-1 overrides the genetic susceptibility of adiposopathy and correlated with restoration of the expression of anti-inflammatory, thermogenic, and mitochondrial genes. Our data demonstrate that HO-1 gene therapy improved adipose tissue function and had positive impact on distal organs, suggesting that specific targeting of HO-1 gene therapy is an attractive therapeutic approach for improving insulin sensitivity, metabolic activity, and vascular function in obesity.