Abstract Hibernation is a natural condition of animals that lives in the temperate zone, although some tropical lizards also experience hibernation annually, such as the lizard native from South America, Salvator merianae, or “tegu” lizard. Even though physiological and metabolic characteristic associated with hibernation have been extensively studied, possible alterations in the red blood cells (RBC) integrity during this period remains unclear. Dehydration and fasting are natural consequences of hibernating for several months and it could be related to some cellular modifications. In this study, we investigated if the osmotic tolerance of RBCs of tegu lizard under hibernation is different from the cells obtained from animals while normal activity. Additionally, we indirectly investigated if the RBCs membrane of hibernating tegus could be associated with oxidation by quantifying oxidized biomolecules and the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Our findings suggest that RBCs are more fragile during the hibernation period, although we did not find evidence of an oxidative stress scenario associated with the accentuated fragility. Even though we did not exclude the possibility of oxidative damage during hibernation, we suggested that an increased RBCs volume as a consequence of hypoosmotic blood during hibernation could also affect RBCs integrity as noted.
Gurltia paralysans, a metastrongyloid nematode, parasitizes in meningeal vessels in the thoracolumbar spinal cord of cats in South America and causes progressive paraparesis. Recently, the first report outside of South America described gurltiosis in a cat in Spain. As this parasitic disease has so far been largely neglected, especially outside of South America, the aim of the present case study was to add knowledge to the histologic and immunohistochemical characterization of central nervous lesions. To this purpose, formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples from the spinal cord and brain of five cats affected by clinical signs caused by Gurltia paralysans and of three control cats without CNS lesions were histopathologically examined using hematoxylin and eosin stain (HE), Elastica van Gieson stain, as well as periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) reaction. Moreover, immuno- histochemistry for alpha smooth muscle actin and Factor VIII-related antigen were performed to characterize vascular lesions. Lesions were consistent with previous descriptions and were mainly located in the spinal cord and consisted of chronic suppurative or lymphoplasmahistiocytic meningi tis as well as suppurative vasculitis, congestion and varicosis of meningeal veins. In view of the recent detection of this parasite in Europe and the increasing inner-European transport of rescued domestic cats, veterinarians in Europe should be aware of the clinical and pathomorphological presentation of this disease.
The identity of Carex trichodes, a species only known from the collection of the type material made in 1854 is clarified after finding it in the wild in the vicinity of the type locality. It is concluded that C. trichodes was proposed based on stressed plants corresponding to the same taxon later described as C. lateriflora.