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Sci Rep 2020 Jul 16;101:11737. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-67975-7.
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Predation threats for a 24-h period activated the extension of axons in the brains of Xenopus tadpoles.

Mori T , Kitani Y , Hatakeyama D , Machida K , Goto-Inoue N , Hayakawa S , Yamamoto N , Kashiwagi K , Kashiwagi A .

The threat of predation is a driving force in the evolution of animals. We have previously reported that Xenopus laevis enhanced their tail muscles and increased their swimming speeds in the presence of Japanese larval salamander predators. Herein, we investigated the induced gene expression changes in the brains of tadpoles under the threat of predation using 3'-tag digital gene expression profiling. We found that many muscle genes were expressed after 24 h of exposure to predation. Ingenuity pathway analysis further showed that after 24 h of a predation threat, various signal transduction genes were stimulated, such as those affecting the actin cytoskeleton and CREB pathways, and that these might increase microtubule dynamics, axonogenesis, cognition, and memory. To verify the increase in microtubule dynamics, DiI was inserted through the tadpole nostrils. Extension of the axons was clearly observed from the nostril to the diencephalon and was significantly increased (P ≤ 0.0001) after 24 h of exposure to predation, compared with that of the control. The dynamic changes in the signal transductions appeared to bring about new connections in the neural networks, as suggested by the microtubule dynamics. These connections may result in improved memory and cognition abilities, and subsequently increase survivability.

PubMed ID: 32678123
PMC ID: PMC7367293
Article link: Sci Rep
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: acta1 acta2 acta4 actc1 actg1 actn1 actr2 alg10 apc arhgdia arpc2 atp2a1 bcl10 ckm creb1 cyp2c8.1 dpp6 epo epor ezr fgf13 fgf8 focad gipc1 gpr35 grik5l hif1a hif1an hras hsd17b7 limk2 map2k1 med11 myh11 myh4 myl1 myl11 nckap1 ocm4 pak2 pde4b pfn2 pik3r4 pip4k2a pip4k2c prnp rab23 rchy1l rdx rhbdd2 rhoa rock1 rock2 rpl21 rpl28 rps16 rras2 serbp1 sesn1 sgcb slc25a5 sptlc2 tcf7l2 tln2 tnni2 tnnt3 tpm3 ttn vav2 was wasf1 ythdc1 ywhag

Phenotypes: Xla wt + predator (Fig. 7 C 6h) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Adamec, Neural plasticity, neuropeptides and anxiety in animals--implications for understanding and treating affective disorder following traumatic stress in humans. 1998, Pubmed