Toxins2015, 7(10), 4006-4022; doi:10.3390/toxins7104006 (registering DOI) - published 8 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Microcystins (MCs) are a major group of cyanotoxins with side effects in many organisms; thus, compounds in this group are recognized as potent stressors and health hazards in aquatic ecosystems. In order to assess the toxicity of MCs and detoxification mechanism of freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium nipponense, the full-length cDNAs of the glutathione S-transferase (gst) and catalase (cat) genes were isolated from the hepatopancreas.The transcription level and activity changes in the biotransformation enzyme (glutathione S-transferase (GST)) and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx)) in the hepatopancreas of M. nipponense exposed to MC-LR (0.2, 1, 5, and 25 μg/L) for 12, 24, 72 and 96 h were analyzed. The results showed that the isolated full-length cDNAs of cat and gst genes from M. nipponense displayed a high similarity to other crustaceans, and their mRNAs were mainly expressed in the hepatopancreas. MC-LR caused significant increase of GST activity following 48–96 h (p < 0.05) and an increase in SOD activity especially in 24- and 48-h exposures. CAT activity was activated when exposed to MC-LR in 12-, 24- and 48-h exposures and then it was inhibited at 96-h exposure. There was no significant effect on GPx activity after the 12- and 24-h exposures, whereas it was significantly stimulated after the 72- and 96-h exposures (p < 0.05). The transcription was altered similarly to enzyme activity, but the transcriptional response was generally more immediate and had greater amplitude than enzymatic response, particularly for GST. All of the results suggested that MC-LR can induce antioxidative modulation variations in M. nipponense hepatopancreas in order to eliminate oxidative damage.
Toxins2015, 7(10), 3989-4005; doi:10.3390/toxins7103989 (registering DOI) - published 8 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Anuran secretions are rich sources of bioactive molecules, including antimicrobial and antitumoral compounds. The aims of this study were to investigate the therapeutic potential of Physalaemus nattereri skin secretion against skin cancer cells, and to assess its cytotoxic action mechanisms on the murine melanoma cell line B16F10. Our results demonstrated that the crude secretion reduced the viability of B16F10 cells, causing changes in cell morphology (e.g., round shape and structure shrinkage), reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential, increase in phosphatidylserine exposure, and cell cycle arrest in S-phase. Together, these changes suggest that tumor cells die by apoptosis. This skin secretion was also subjected to chromatographic fractioning using RP-HPLC, and eluted fractions were assayed for antiproliferative and antibacterial activities. Three active fractions showed molecular mass components in a range compatible with peptides. Although the specific mechanisms causing the reduced cell viability and cytotoxicity after the treatment with crude secretion are still unknown, it may be considered that molecules, such as the peptides found in the secretion, are effective against B16F10 tumor cells. Considering the growing need for new anticancer drugs, data presented in this study strongly reinforce the validity of P. nattereri crude secretion as a rich source of new anticancer molecules.
Abstract: High accumulations of phytoplankton species that produce toxins are referred to as harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs represent one of the most important sources of contamination in marine environments, as well as a serious threat to public health, fisheries, aquaculture-based industries, and tourism. Therefore, methods effectively controlling HABs with minimal impact on marine ecology are required. Marine dinoflagellates of the genera Dinophysis and Prorocentrum are representative producers of okadaic acid (OA) and dinophysistoxins responsible for the diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) which is a human intoxication caused by the consumption of shellfish that bioaccumulate those toxins. In this work we explore the use of natural clay for removing Prorocentrum lima. We evaluate the adsorption properties of clays in seawater containing thedinoflagellates. The experimental results confirmed the cell removal through the flocculation of algal and mineral particles leading to the formation of aggregates, which rapidly settle and further entrain cells during their descent. Moreover, the microscopy images of the samples enable one to observe the clays in aggregates of two or more cells where the mineral particles were bound to the outer membranes of the dinoflagellates. Therefore, this preliminary data offers promising results to use these clays for the mitigation of HABs.
Abstract: The principal portal for anthrax infection in natural animal outbreaks isthe digestive tract. Enteric exposure to anthrax, which is difficult to detect or prevent in a timely manner, could be exploited as an act of terror through contamination of human or animal food. Our group has developed a novel animal model of gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax for evaluation of disease pathogenesis and experimental therapeutics, utilizing vegetative Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) administered to A/J mice (a complement-deficient strain) by oral gavage. We hypothesized that a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) * that neutralizes the protective antigen (PA) component of B. anthracis lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) could be an effective treatment. Although the efficacy of this anti-anthrax PA mAb has been shown in animal models of inhalational anthrax, its activity in GI infection had not yet been ascertained. We hereby demonstrate that passive immunotherapy with anti-anthrax PA mAb, administered at the same time as gastrointestinal exposure to B. anthracis, prevents lethal sepsis in nearly all cases (>90%), while a delay of up to forty-eight hours in treatment still greatly reduces mortality following exposure (65%). Moreover, passive immunotherapy protects against enteric invasion, associated mucosal injury and subsequent dissemination by gastrointestinal B. anthracis, indicating that it acts to prevent the initial stages of infection. * Expired raxibacumab being cycled off the Strategic National Stockpile; biological activity confirmed by in vitro assay.
Abstract: For the first time the presence of dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1) in a culture of Prorocentrum foraminosum was revealed in cells and in the culture medium. The clone was isolated from coastal waters of the Sea of Japan and identified by molecular analyses of SSU and D1/D2 regions of LSU rDNA. The concentration of DTX-1 in cells was 8.4 ± 2.5 pg/cell and, in cell-free media, 27.9 ± 14.7 µg/L. The toxin presence was confirmed by HPLC with high-resolution tandem mass-spectrometry.
Abstract: As protein binding of uremic toxins is not well understood, neither in chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression, nor during a hemodialysis (HD) session, we studied protein binding in two cross-sectional studies. Ninety-five CKD 2 to 5 patients and ten stable hemodialysis patients were included. Blood samples were taken either during the routine ambulatory visit (CKD patients) or from blood inlet and outlet line during dialysis (HD patients). Total (CT) and free concentrations were determined of p-cresylglucuronide (pCG), hippuric acid (HA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indoxyl sulfate (IS) and p-cresylsulfate (pCS), and their percentage protein binding (%PB) was calculated. In CKD patients, %PB/CT resulted in a positive correlation (all p < 0.001) with renal function for all five uremic toxins. In HD patients, %PB was increased after 120 min of dialysis for HA and at the dialysis end for the stronger (IAA) and the highly-bound (IS and pCS) solutes. During one passage through the dialyzer at 120 min, %PB was increased for HA (borderline), IAA, IS and pCS. These findings explain why protein-bound solutes are difficult to remove by dialysis: a combination of the fact that (i) only the free fraction can pass the filter and (ii) the equilibrium, as it was pre-dialysis, cannot be restored during the dialysis session, as it is continuously disturbed.