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Disease relevance of Opossums


High impact information on Opossums

  • Recent investigations on marsupial neurohypophysial hormones have revealed that species belonging to the Australian family Macropodidae and the American family Didelphidae have, apart from an oxytocin-like hormone, two vasopressin-like peptides which can be separated either by ion-exchange chromatography or chromatoelectrophoresis [4].
  • The objective of the present investigation was to examine the role of VIP in IAS relaxation in response to the rectoanal reflex in intact opossums with the use of VIP antagonists, [4CI-D-Phe6,Leu17] VIP and (N-AC-Tyr1,D-Phe2)-GRF (1-29)-NH2 [5].
  • METHODS: Anesthetized adult opossums were given CL316243 and isoproterenol intravenously as boluses before and after continuous infusion of L748337 (a specific beta3 antagonist), propranolol, and bethanechol [6].
  • RESULTS: Manometrically, the LES of BAC-treated opossums showed higher pressures (38.7 +/- 12 mm Hg vs. 17 +/- 3.0 mm Hg) and reduced esophageal body contraction amplitudes (4.2 +/- 3 mm Hg vs. 27.4 +/- 12 mm Hg) [7].
  • Four groups of opossums (n = 6 in each) were perfused with either normal saline control) or 10, 20, or 100 mmol/L isoosmolar hydrochloric acid at 2 mL/min for 90 minutes using a midesophageal catheter [8].

Biological context of Opossums


Anatomical context of Opossums


Associations of Opossums with chemical compounds

  • In contrast, luminal HCl stimulated AS in opossums three- to fourfold above basal values, and neither the acid-stimulated nor basal AS in the opossum was blocked by i.v. atropine [19].
  • Intravenous administration of nicotine sulfate caused a dose-dependent reduction in the lower exophagel sphincter pressure in anesthetized opossums [20].
  • In new-born opossums both carnosine and OMP are already co-expressed in primary olfactory neurones and in those axons that extend towards the olfactory bulb [21].
  • In vivo, the NO synthase inhibitor, L-NAME, administered into the local artery caused a raise in intraluminal pressure of the ICJ in anaesthetized SA opossums in a L-arginine-preventable manner [22].
  • Following treatment with estradiol and progesterone, gonadectomized male as well as female gray opossums received penile intromissions from intact stimulus males [23].

Gene context of Opossums

  • We found that, while opossums had an orthologue for DNMT3L, chickens and fish did not have this gene [24].
  • Although M6P/IGF2R is clearly imprinted in opossums and rodents, its imprint status in humans remains ambiguous [25].
  • The effect of motilin on LES pressure and on gastrointestinal myoelectric activity was examined in 8 unanesthetized opossums [26].
  • Hemagglutination-inhitibion (HI) and neutralization antibody tests of sera showed that wild terrestrial mammals (opossums and rodents), humans, and dogs, but not wild birds, were frequently infected [27].
  • In this study, we have examined the distribution of estrogen receptor-like immunoreactive (ER-LI) cells in the brains of gonadectomized male and female Brazilian opossums using Abbott H222 rat monoclonal estrogen receptor antibody (H222 is a gift of Abbott Labs) [28].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Opossums

  • Fifteen opossums (D. virginiana) were injected with 10-15 mL 4 mM BAC or saline in the distal oesophagus and along with controls underwent oesophagoscopy, manometry and barium oesophagrams [29].
  • Here we demonstrate that irradiation of opossums with PRL either before or following treatment with exogenous cis-urocanic acid, significantly reduced the degree of immunosuppression [30].
  • 1. Polyethyleneglycol-modified bovine adenosine deaminase was administered (10-20 U/kg/week) intramuscularly to two opossums for 15 weeks and changes in red cell adenine ribo- and deoxyribonucleotides quantitated by HPLC [31].


  1. Effect of endotoxin on opossum gallbladder motility: a model of acalculous cholecystitis. Cullen, J.J., Maes, E.B., Aggrawal, S., Conklin, J.L., Ephgrave, K.S., Mitros, F.A. Ann. Surg. (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. Experimentally induced ameloblastomas: a critical review. Gardner, D.G. J. Oral Pathol. Med. (1992) [Pubmed]
  3. Dexamethasone treatment induces susceptibility of outbred Webster mice to experimental infection with Besnoitia darlingi isolated from opossums (Didelphis virginiana). Elsheikha, H.M., Rosenthal, B.M., Mansfield, L.S. Parasitol. Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Phenypressin (Phe2-Arg8-vasopressin), a new neurohypophysial peptide found in marsupials. Chauvet, M.T., Hurpet, D., Chauvet, J., Acher, R. Nature (1980) [Pubmed]
  5. Role of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in the internal anal sphincter relaxation of the opossum. Nurko, S., Rattan, S. J. Clin. Invest. (1988) [Pubmed]
  6. Beta3 adrenergic stimulation inhibits the opossum lower esophageal sphincter. Dimarino, M., Banwait, K., Rattan, S., Cohen, S., DiMarino, A.J. Gastroenterology (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Electrophysiological and pharmacological responses of chronically denervated lower esophageal sphincter of the opossum. Gaumnitz, E.A., Bass, P., Osinski, M.A., Sweet, M.A., Singaram, C. Gastroenterology (1995) [Pubmed]
  8. Microvascular permeability increases early in the course of acid-induced esophageal injury. Zijlstra, F.G., Hynna-Liepert, T.T., Dinda, P.K., Beck, I.T., Paterson, W.G. Gastroenterology (1991) [Pubmed]
  9. Effect of galanin and galanin antagonists on peristalsis in esophageal smooth muscle in the opossum. Yamato, S., Hirano, I., Goyal, R.K. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Neurogenesis and migration of receptor neurons in the vomeronasal sensory epithelium in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Jia, C., Halpern, M. J. Comp. Neurol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  11. Extracellular matrix in fetal kidney after experimental obstruction. Liapis, H., Barent, B., Steinhardt, G.F. J. Urol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. Non 5-HT1A/5-HT1C [3H]5-HT binding sites in the hamster, opossum, and rabbit brain show similar regional distribution but different sensitivity to beta-adrenoceptor antagonists. Waeber, C., Palacios, J.M. Synapse (1992) [Pubmed]
  13. Seasonal energetics of opossums (Didelphis virginiana) in Ohio. Hsu, M., Harder, J.D., Lustick, S.I. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. A, Comparative physiology. (1988) [Pubmed]
  14. Mechanism of cholecystokinin-induced contraction of the opossum gallbladder. Hanyu, N., Dodds, W.J., Layman, R.D., Hogan, W.J., Chey, W.Y., Takahashi, I. Gastroenterology (1990) [Pubmed]
  15. Influence of loperamide on the internal anal sphincter in the opossum. Rattan, S., Culver, P.J. Gastroenterology (1987) [Pubmed]
  16. Prouroguanylin and proguanylin: purification from colon, structure, and modulation of bioactivity by proteases. Hamra, F.K., Fan, X., Krause, W.J., Freeman, R.H., Chin, D.T., Smith, C.E., Currie, M.G., Forte, L.R. Endocrinology (1996) [Pubmed]
  17. Serotonin increases the velocity of propagation and frequency of the migrating myoelectric complexes. Coelho, J.C., Gouma, D.J., Moody, F.G., Li, Y.F., Weisbrodt, N.W. Eur. J. Clin. Invest. (1986) [Pubmed]
  18. Breakdown of the blood-brain barrier to proteins in white matter of the developing brain following systemic inflammation. Stolp, H.B., Dziegielewska, K.M., Ek, C.J., Habgood, M.D., Lane, M.A., Potter, A.M., Saunders, N.R. Cell Tissue Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
  19. In vivo alkaline secretion by mammalian esophagus. Hamilton, B.H., Orlando, R.C. Gastroenterology (1989) [Pubmed]
  20. Effect of nicotine on the lower esophageal sphincter. Studies on the mechanism of action. Rattan, S., Goyal, R.K. Gastroenterology (1975) [Pubmed]
  21. Development and migration of olfactory neurones in the nervous system of the neonatal opossum. Tarozzo, G., Peretto, P., Biffo, S., Varga, Z., Nicholls, J.G., Fasolo, A. Proc. Biol. Sci. (1995) [Pubmed]
  22. In vitro and in vivo effects of nitric oxide synthase inhibitors and nitric oxide inactivators on the South American opossum ileocolonic junction. Matsuda, N.M., Feitosa, R.L., Lemos, M.C., De Oliveira, R.B., Ballejo, G. Neurogastroenterol. Motil. (1998) [Pubmed]
  23. Male gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) receive penile intromissions when treated with estrogen and progesterone in adulthood. Fadem, B.H., Erianne, D.C. Hormones and behavior. (1997) [Pubmed]
  24. Evolution of the vertebrate DNMT3 gene family: a possible link between existence of DNMT3L and genomic imprinting. Yokomine, T., Hata, K., Tsudzuki, M., Sasaki, H. Cytogenet. Genome Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
  25. Divergent evolution in M6P/IGF2R imprinting from the Jurassic to the Quaternary. Killian, J.K., Nolan, C.M., Wylie, A.A., Li, T., Vu, T.H., Hoffman, A.R., Jirtle, R.L. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2001) [Pubmed]
  26. Motilin: a mechanism incorporating the opossum lower esophageal sphincter into the migrating motor complex. Holloway, R.H., Blank, E., Takahashi, I., Dodds, W.J., Layman, R.D. Gastroenterology (1985) [Pubmed]
  27. Ecologic studies of Venezuelan encephalitis virus and isolations of Nepuyo and Patois viruses during 1968-1973 at a marsh habitat near the epicenter of the 1969 outbreak in Guatemala. Scherer, W.F., Dickerman, R.W., Ordonez, J.V., Seymour, C., Kramer, L.D., Jahrling, P.B., Powers, C.D. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. (1976) [Pubmed]
  28. Localization of cells containing estrogen receptor-like immunoreactivity in the Brazilian opossum brain. Fox, C.A., Ross, L.R., Handa, R.J., Jacobson, C.D. Brain Res. (1991) [Pubmed]
  29. Evaluation of early events in the creation of amyenteric opossum model of achalasia. Singaram, C., Sweet, M.A., Gaumnitz, E.A., Bass, P., Snipes, R.L. Neurogastroenterol. Motil. (1996) [Pubmed]
  30. Cis-urocanic-acid-induced suppression of contact hypersensitivity in Monodelphis domestica is prevented by ultraviolet A radiation/photoreactivating light. Reeve, V.E., Ley, R.D. Int. Arch. Allergy Immunol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  31. The effect of enzyme replacement on red cell adenine deoxyribonucleotides in adenosine deaminase-deficient erythrocytes of the opossum, Didelphis virginiana. Bethlenfalvay, N.C., Lima, J.E., Banks, R.E. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., B (1993) [Pubmed]
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