Biological Communications <p>Biological Communications is a rebranded new title of the former journal «Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Series 3. Biology». The journal was founded as «Vestnik of Leningrad University» in 1946.&nbsp;Since 1953, it was published under several series. In 1956 the series «Biology» was first established.&nbsp;As its predecessors, Biological Communications is published at a quarterly&nbsp;basis.</p> en-US <p>Articles of <em>Biological Communications</em> are open access distributed under the terms of the <a title="License Agreement" href="/about/submissions#LicenseAgreement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">License Agreement</a> with Saint Petersburg State University, which permits to the authors unrestricted distribution and self-archiving free of charge.</p> (Yegor B. Malashichev) (Roman G. Khalikov) Wed, 29 Aug 2018 18:40:55 +0300 OJS 60 Distinct molecular mechanisms for development of brain asymmetries? <p>Brain and behavioral asymmetries are often associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, but have yet uncovered genetic and developmental mechanisms. A recent study (Vingerhoets et al., 2018), published in <em>Brain Structure and Function</em>, examined neural structural and functional asymmetries in a cohort of patients with situs inversus totalis, with and without primary ciliarly dyskinesia as a second diagnosis. The authors showed a potential for independent randomization of handedness, language dominance, and visceral laterality; this provides the first experimental hint that different mechanisms for symmetry breaking and molecular cascades may be involved in producing asymmetry of body and brain.</p> Yegor Malashichev ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0300 Muscle contraction: theory and facts <p>All living organisms and many of their parts are organised in an essentially similar manner: they are closed cavitary bodies. This organisation allows living bodies to change shape by employing hydrostatic forces. It was recently shown that the hydrostatic mechanism lies in the basis of very different morphogenetic processes, and in the basis of muscle contraction (Borkhvardt, 2017). The new hypothesis on the mechanism of muscle contraction explained many issues, but lacked direct proof. Now it seems that such proof has been found.</p> Valentin Borkhvardt ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0300 Content of available forms of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in ornithogenic and other soils of the Fildes Peninsula (King George Island, Western Antarctica) <p>Maritime Antarctica is an interesting object for soil scientists because most of them nowadays or recently were exposed to ornitogenic effect. Soils of the Fildes Peninsula have been investigated in terms of chemical composition and available nutrients concentration. Four groups of soils with various ornitogenic effect were selected for chemical analyses: current ornitogenic soils, soils of former birds habitats — organogenic mates, natural soils without current evident bird effect — Lithosols and Technosols. Ornitogenic effect is evident in soil formation in three types of soils investigated. The maximum effect of organic matter transportation and accumulation is pronounced in Ornitogenic soils and Organogenic mat. The last one are considered as recently been colonized by birds and this fact was the reason for initiation of formation of organogenic mats due to accumulation of nutrients. Some residual effect of birds can be revealed in Lithosols, where increased content of ammonium ions and available phosphorus was fixed. Thechnosols as soils constructed from local mineral grounds have no any evidences of ornitogenic accumulation. We suggest that, majority of soils, situated on Fildes peninsula recently were exposed to ornitogenic effect. Ornitogenic effect resulted in formation of modern soil cover of the Fildes Peninsula.</p> Evgeny Abakumov ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0300 Osteogenic potential of adipose mesenchymal stem cells is not correlated with aortic valve calcification <p>Osteogenic transformation as a result of cellular plasticity could be both beneficial, in the case of bone formation, and hazardous, in the case of vascular calcification. Mechanisms driving vascular calcification remain poorly understood, while calcification of the vessels is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. In particular, calcification of the aortic valve is a serious complication requiring surgical intervention. The mechanisms behind aortic valve calcification and the origin of cells driving osteogenic transformation of the aortic valve remain questionable. A circulating stem cell theory supports the view that pathologic calcification could originate not only from valve cells, but also from other sources. The aim of this study was to estimate the osteogenic potential of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from people with calcification of the aortic valve versus MSCs from healthy people; further, to compare the capacity of osteogenic differentiation between MSCs and valve interstitial cells (VICs) from healthy donors and patients with severe calcification of the aortic valve. MSCs and VICs were isolated from either healthy donors or from patients with aortic valve calcification. The cells were immunophenotyped for conventional MSC markers by flow cytometry. Osteogenic differentiation was induced by addition of specific osteogenic inductors to the culture medium. Osteogenic differentiation was assessed by alizarin red staining and by estimation of <em>RUNX2</em> expression by qPCR. The MSCs of healthy donors were capable of efficient osteogenic differentiation, while MSCs of the patients with aortic valve calcification were not capable of osteogenic differentiation. We conclude that there is no correlation between the capacity of adipose MSCs to osteogenically transform and calcification of the aortic valve. Most likely, peripheral MSCs of adipose origin could not be a source of aortic valve calcification.</p> Anna Malashicheva, Olga Irtyuga, Aleksandra Kostina, Elena Ignatieva, Ekaterina Zhiduleva, Daria Semenova, Alexey Golovkin, Mikhail Gordeev, Olga Moiseeva, Anna Kostareva ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0300 Allogeneic bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in the epineurium and perineurium of the recipient rat <p>Achievements in regenerative medicine have demonstrated that using different kinds of stem cells can have some stimulating effect on the reparative regeneration processes of the nervous system. To stimulate nerve regeneration, the experimental elaboration of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation is carried out actively. There is evidence that MSCs promote growth of the recipient regenerating axons after transplantation into the damaged nerve or the conduit. However, processes that happen in transplanted cells and these cells’ differentiation are poorly studied. The aim of the present study is to describe the localization and morphologically peculiar properties of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells after their allotransplantation into the injured nerve of a rat. MSCs from Wistar—Kyoto rats were cultivated for seven days and labeled with BrdU three days before using. The sciatic nerves of adult Wistar—Kyoto rats were damaged, and suspensions of BrdU-labeled cultured MSCs were immediately transplanted into the damaged sciatic nerves. Five to seven days after transplantation, the surviving MSCs were found. Using fluorescent microscopy, we found that some of the transplanted cells were localized in the epineurium and in the perineurium. Some of the transplanted MSCs differentiated into adipocytes and cells of the perineurium.</p> Elena Petrova, Elena Isaeva, Elena Kolos, Dmitrii Korzhevskii ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0300 Mirrors inhibit growth and stimulate lateralized response to prey in larvae of the Mexican axolotl <em>Ambystoma mexicanum</em> <p>Laterality of brain and behavior at the individual and/or group level is a characteristic of all vertebrate classes, including amphibians. It is well recognized that the right-eye/left-hemisphere system is more efficient in discrimination of edible and non-edible items. However, the ontogenesis of this or other lateralized responses has rarely been investigated. Here we present the first evidence of ontogenesis of right-eye/left-hemisphere response to live food in the Mexican axolotl, <em>Ambystoma mexicanum</em>. Furthermore, we test a possible influence of mirror images imitating the presence of conspecifics on laterality of the reaction to food, as well as on the growth and development of axolotls; we then compare the results to those known for anuran tadpoles. We placed the newly hatched axolotls into aquaria either with transparent or mirror walls individually (first experiment), or in a group of 25 animals (second experiment). The larvae were fed <em>Artemia salina</em> nauplii and regularly scored for the number and direction (either left or right) of their attacks towards the prey. Body length was measured twice a month. The statistically significant lateralized response to food was first detected in only three-week-old larvae and was right-sided, suggesting processing of visual information in the left brain hemisphere. At the same age, the left hemisphere seems to start its specialization in more efficient perception of prey. In both experiments we found a significant difference between the larvae growing in the transparent and mirror aquaria, with a tendency towards a stronger right-sided lateralization in the mirror aquaria. Also, the mirror walls inhibited larval growth, especially at the age of 60–75 days. A similar phenomenon is known in overcrowding of anuran tadpoles, which is discussed in terms of visual brain stimulation.</p> Ekaterina Ognevaja, Dmitry Lajus, Evgeny Izvekov, Valentin Nepomnyashchikh, Yegor Malashichev ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0300 Prospects of settlement of bison (<em>Bison bonasus</em>) from free-ranging populations in Orlovskoye Polesie National Park <p>Here we summarize the results of long-term work on the formation of large free-ranging populations of the European bison (<em>Bison bonasus</em>) in Central Russia (Orel, Kaluga, and Bryansk region). We characterize its dynamic processes and justify the volume of harvest from the population that does not violate population stability. We present the unique experience of bison settlement in other wild populations and provide examples of forecasting population growth with the use of mathematical modeling.</p> Andrey Karpachev, Oleg Prigoryanu ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0300