Toxins2013, 5(12), 2420-2433; doi:10.3390/toxins5122420 - published online 6 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The neurotoxic effects produced by a tentacle venom extract and a fraction were analyzed and correlated by in vivo and in vitro approaches. The tentacle venom extract exhibited a wide range of protein components (from 24 to >225 kDa) and produced tetanic reactions, flaccid paralysis, and death when injected into crabs. Two chromatography fractions also produced uncontrolled appendix movements and leg stretching. Further electrophysiological characterization demonstrated that one of these fractions potently inhibited ACh-elicited currents mediated by both vertebrate fetal and adult muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) subtypes. Receptor inhibition was concentration-dependent and completely reversible. The calculated IC50 values were 1.77 μg/μL for fetal and 2.28 μg/μL for adult muscle nAChRs. The bioactive fraction was composed of a major protein component at ~90 kDa and lacked phospholipase A activity. This work represents the first insight into the interaction of jellyfish venom components and muscle nicotinic receptors.
Toxins2013, 5(12), 2403-2419; doi:10.3390/toxins5122403 - published online 4 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this work, we describe the molecular cloning and pharmacological properties of an acidic phospholipase A2 (PLA2) isolated from Bothrops pauloensissnake venom. This enzyme, denominated BpPLA2-TXI, was purified by four chromatographic steps and represents 2.4% of the total snake venom protein content. BpPLA2-TXI is a monomeric protein with a molecular mass of 13.6 kDa, as demonstrated by Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) analysis and its theoretical isoelectric point was 4.98. BpPLA2-TXI was catalytically active and showed some pharmacological effects such as inhibition of platelet aggregation induced by collagen or ADP and also induced edema and myotoxicity. BpPLA2-TXI displayed low cytotoxicity on TG-180 (CCRF S 180 II) and Ovarian Carcinoma (OVCAR-3), whereas no cytotoxicity was found in regard to MEF (Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast) and Sarcoma 180 (TIB-66). The N-terminal sequence of forty-eight amino acid residues was determined by Edman degradation. In addition, the complete primary structure of 122 amino acids was deduced by cDNA from the total RNA of the venom gland using specific primers, and it was significantly similar to other acidic D49 PLA2s. The phylogenetic analyses showed that BpPLA2-TXI forms a group with other acidic D49 PLA2s from the gender Bothrops, which are characterized by a catalytic activity associated with anti-platelet effects.
Toxins2013, 5(12), 2384-2402; doi:10.3390/toxins5122384 - published online 2 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) produce heat-labile (LT) and/or heat-stable enterotoxins (ST). Despite that, the mechanism of action of both toxins are well known, there is great controversy in the literature concerning the in vitro production and release of LT and, for ST, no major concerns have been discussed. Furthermore, the majority of published papers describe the use of only one or a few ETEC isolates to define the production and release of these toxins, which hinders the detection of ETEC by phenotypic approaches. Thus, the present study was undertaken to obtain a better understanding of ST and LT toxin production and release under laboratory conditions. Accordingly, a collection of 90 LT-, ST-, and ST/LT-producing ETEC isolates was used to determine a protocol for toxin production and release aimed at ETEC detection. For this, we used previously raised anti-LT antibodies and the anti-ST monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies described herein. The presence of bile salts and the use of certain antibiotics improved ETEC toxin production/release. Triton X-100, as chemical treatment, proved to be an alternative method for toxin release. Consequently, a common protocol that can increase the production and release of LT and ST toxins could facilitate and enhance the sensitivity of diagnostic tests for ETEC using the raised and described antibodies in the present work.
Toxins2013, 5(12), 2366-2384; doi:10.3390/toxins5122366 - published online 29 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cell-based biosensors (CBBs) utilize the principles of cell-based assays (CBAs) by employing living cells for detection of different analytes from environment, food, clinical, or other sources. For toxin detection, CBBs are emerging as unique alternatives to other analytical methods. The main advantage of using CBBs for probing biotoxins and toxic agents is that CBBs respond to the toxic exposures in the manner related to actual physiologic responses of the vulnerable subjects. The results obtained from CBBs are based on the toxin-cell interactions, and therefore, reveal functional information (such as mode of action, toxic potency, bioavailability, target tissue or organ, etc.) about the toxin. CBBs incorporate both prokaryotic (bacteria) and eukaryotic (yeast, invertebrate and vertebrate) cells. To create CBB devices, living cells are directly integrated onto the biosensor platform. The sensors report the cellular responses upon exposures to toxins and the resulting cellular signals are transduced by secondary transducers generating optical or electrical signals outputs followed by appropriate read-outs. Examples of the layout and operation of cellular biosensors for detection of selected biotoxins are summarized.
Toxins2013, 5(12), 2353-2365; doi:10.3390/toxins5122353 - published online 29 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cisplatin is used as a treatment for various types of solid tumors. Renal injury severely limits the use of cisplatin. Renal cell apoptosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation contribute to cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity. Previously, we found that an extract of Rhodobacter sphaeroides (Lycogen™) inhibited proinflammatory cytokines and the production of nitric oxide in activated macrophages in a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis model. Here, we evaluated the effect of Lycogen™, a potent anti-inflammatory agent, in mice with cisplatin-induced renal injury. We found that attenuated renal injury correlated with decreased apoptosis due to a reduction in caspase-3 expression in renal cells. Oral administration of Lycogen™ significantly reduced the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β in mice with renal injury. Lycogen™ reduces renal dysfunction in mice with cisplatin-induced renal injury. The protective effects of the treatment included blockage of the cisplatin-induced elevation in serum urea nitrogen and creatinine. Meanwhile, Lycogen™ attenuated body weight loss and significantly prolonged the survival of mice with renal injury. We propose that Lycogen™ exerts anti-inflammatory activities that represent a promising strategy for the treatment of cisplatin-induced renal injury.
Toxins2013, 5(12), 2341-2352; doi:10.3390/toxins5122341 - published online 28 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Fusariotoxins such as fumonisin B1 (FB1) and deoxynivalenol (DON) cause deleterious effects on the intestine of pigs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of these mycotoxins, alone and in combination, on jejunal explants from piglets, using histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural assays. Five 24-day old pigs were used for sampling the explants. Forty-eight explants were sampled from each animal. Explants were incubated for 4 hours in culture medium and medium containing FB1 (100 µM), DON (10 µM) and both mycotoxins (100 µM FB1 plus 10 µM DON). Exposure to all treatments induced a significant decrease in the normal intestinal morphology and in the number of goblet cells, which were more severe in explants exposed to DON and both mycotoxins. A significant reduction in villus height occurred in groups treated with DON and with co-contamination. Expression of E-cadherin was significantly reduced in explants exposed to FB1 (40%), DON (93%) and FB1 plus DON (100%). The ultrastructural assay showed increased intercellular spaces and no junction complexes on enterocytes exposed to mycotoxins. The present data indicate that FB1 and DON induce changes in cell junction complexes that could contribute to increase paracellular permeability. The ex vivo model was adequate for assessing intestinal toxicity induced by exposure of isolated or associated concentrations of 100 µM of FB1 and 10 µM of DON.