Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Equine Cloning's Triple Play Sheds Light On Calcium, Cell Signaling, Human Disease

Date:
February 17, 2004
Source:
University Of Idaho
Summary:
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.

SEATTLE - 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.

###

Further information about the cloning project is available on the Internet at http://www.nerl.uidaho.edu/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Idaho. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Idaho. "Equine Cloning's Triple Play Sheds Light On Calcium, Cell Signaling, Human Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040216082745.htm>.
University Of Idaho. (2004, February 17). Equine Cloning's Triple Play Sheds Light On Calcium, Cell Signaling, Human Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040216082745.htm
University Of Idaho. "Equine Cloning's Triple Play Sheds Light On Calcium, Cell Signaling, Human Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040216082745.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins