Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by a build-up of fatty plaques and cholesterol in the arteries. The lumen of the vessels is obliterated resulting in restricted blood supply to tissues. In ischemic conditions, the cytosolic Ca2+ level of skeletal muscle may increase, indicating the alteration of Ca2+ removal mechanisms. Ca2+ is transported from cytosol into the sarcoplasmic reticulum by Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA), with its 1a isoform expressed in adult, while its 1b isoform in neonatal and regenerating fast-twitch skeletal muscle. To investigate the role of these isoforms in ischemic skeletal muscle, biopsies from musculus biceps femoris of patients who underwent amputation due to atherosclerosis were examined. Samples were removed from the visibly healthy and hypoxia-affected tissue. Significantly increased SERCA1a expression was detected under the ischemic conditions (246 ± 69%; p < 0.05) compared with the healthy tissue. Furthermore, the ratio of SERCA1a-positive fibers was slightly increased (46 ± 4% in healthy tissue and 60 ± 5% in ischemic tissue; p > 0.05), whereas SERCA2a did not change. In addition, in primary cultures derived from hypoxia-affected tissue, the diameter and fusion index of myotubes were significantly increased (30 ± 1.6 µm vs. 41 ± 2.4 µm and 31 ± 4% vs. 45 ± 3%; p < 0.05). We propose that the increased SERCA1a expression indicates the existence and location of compensating mechanisms in ischemic muscle.
The main motive of the present work was to detect and confirm the presence of the 1BL.1RS wheat-rye translocation in elite Hellenic bread wheat germplasm. For this, a molecular method was employed and seven Hellenic bread wheat cultivars (Acheloos, Acheron, Chios, Elisavet, Myconos, Orpheus, and Vergina) were studied. A rye population originated from Florina, and cultivar Kavkaz/Cgn, one of the donors of the 1BL.1RS translocation to bread wheat, were used as positive checks. The polymerase chain reaction was applied and two promoters for bread wheat gene alleles located on short arm of chromosome 1B (GLU-B3, GLI-B3) and one promoter for a rye gene (SEC I) located on short arm of chromosome 1R, were involved. It was demonstrated that cultivars Acheron, Elisavet and Orpheus do carry the 1BL.1RS translocation, whereas the rest of the varieties studied, they do not it. It was concluded that cultivars Acheron, Elisavet and Orpheus that carry the translocation, could be crossed to other elite genotypes lucking the translocation and produce new varieties possessing the advantages of the 1BL.1RS translocation. A special attention should be given to cultivar Acheron since this cultivar, despite the presence of the translocation carries favourable alleles in other gene loci affecting positively the quality of the produced bread.