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Toxins, Volume 15, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 37 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Ascochyta fabae poses a global threat to faba beans. We aimed to explore the potential role of secondary metabolites in symptom development, its ability to produce phytotoxins. Cultured in Czapek-Dox, PDB, and rice substrates, the fungus produced metabolites analyzed using NMR and LC-HRMS methods, revealing seven metabolites varying according to cultural substrates. Phytotoxicity assessments on primary hosts showed that Vicia spp. were particularly susceptible, with faba bean vulnerable to all crude exudates and metabolites, especially at higher concentrations. Notably, ascosalitoxin and benzoic acid exhibited the highest phytotoxicity, suggesting a significant role in necrosis development. View this paper
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16 pages, 1650 KiB  
Article
Effects of Harmful Cyanobacteria on Drinking Water Source Quality and Ecosystems
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120703 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1322
Abstract
A seasonal plethora of cyanobacteria in the plankton community can have severe implications, not only for water ecosystems but also for the availability of treated water. The catchment of the Obrzyca River (a source of drinking water) is seasonally exposed to harmful cyanobacterial [...] Read more.
A seasonal plethora of cyanobacteria in the plankton community can have severe implications, not only for water ecosystems but also for the availability of treated water. The catchment of the Obrzyca River (a source of drinking water) is seasonally exposed to harmful cyanobacterial bloom. Previous studies (2008–2012; 2019) revealed that the most polluted water of the Obrzyca River was Uście, close to the outlet of Rudno Lake (at the sampling point). Therefore, the effect on this lake was specifically examined in this study. Sampling was performed from May to September at that site and from July to September 2020 at Rudno Lake. The conducted analysis revealed a massive growth of Aphanizomenon gracile, especially in Rudno Lake. The results showed not only the distinct impact of cyanobacterial bloom on phytoplankton biodiversity but also the presence of microcystins and other cyanopeptides in both sampling points. The maximal total concentration of microcystins (dmMC-RR, MC-RR, dmMC-LR, MC-LR, MC-LY, MC-YR) equaled 57.3 μg/L and the presence of cyanopeptides (aeruginosin, anabaenopeptin) was originally determined in Rudno Lake, August 2021. The presence of these toxins was highlighted in our results for the first time. The same samples from the lake were the most toxic in biotoxicological investigations using the planarian Dugesia tigrina. The performed bioassays proved that D. tigrina is a sensitive bioindicator for cyanotoxins. The physical and chemical indicators of water quality, i.e., color, temperature, total suspended solids, and total nitrogen and phosphorus, showed a significant correlation among each other and towards cyanobacterial abundance and microcystin concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospective Studies on Harmful Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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23 pages, 17428 KiB  
Article
Novel Endophytic Pseudescherichia sp. GSE25 Strain Significantly Controls Fusarium graminearum and Reduces Deoxynivalenol in Wheat
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120702 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1161
Abstract
Fusarium heading blight (FHB) is a devastating disease in wheat, primarily caused by field invasion of Fusarium graminearum. Due to the scarcity of resistant wheat varieties, the agricultural sector resorts to chemical fungicides to control FHB incidence. On the other hand, biocontrol [...] Read more.
Fusarium heading blight (FHB) is a devastating disease in wheat, primarily caused by field invasion of Fusarium graminearum. Due to the scarcity of resistant wheat varieties, the agricultural sector resorts to chemical fungicides to control FHB incidence. On the other hand, biocontrol represents a promising, eco-friendly approach aligned with sustainable and green agriculture concepts. In the present study, a bacterial endophyte, Pseudescherichia sp. (GSE25), was isolated from wheat seeds and identified through complete genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. In vitro testing of this endophytic strain demonstrated strong antifungal activity against F. graminearum PH-1 by inhibiting spore germination, suppressing germ tube growth, and causing cell membrane damage. Under field conditions, the strain GSE25 significantly reduced the FHB incidence and the associated deoxynivalenol mycotoxin accumulation by over 60% and 80%, respectively. These findings highlight the potential of the isolated bacterial endophyte Pseudescherichia sp. GSE25 strain as a biocontrol agent in protecting wheat from FHB-caused F. graminearum. This is the first report showing a biocontrol effect of Pseudescherichia sp. a strain against phytopathogens. Full article
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13 pages, 3958 KiB  
Article
Cytotoxicity and Radiosensitizing Potentials of Pilosulin-3, a Recombinant Ant Venom, in Breast Cancer Cells
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120701 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Venom peptides are promising agents in the development of unconventional anticancer therapeutic agents. This study explored the potential of Pilosulin-3, a recombinant peptide from the venom of the Australian jack jumper ant “Myrmecia pilosula”, as a cytotoxic and radiosensitizing agent in [...] Read more.
Venom peptides are promising agents in the development of unconventional anticancer therapeutic agents. This study explored the potential of Pilosulin-3, a recombinant peptide from the venom of the Australian jack jumper ant “Myrmecia pilosula”, as a cytotoxic and radiosensitizing agent in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer (BC) cell lines. Pilosulin-3’s cytotoxicity was evaluated across a wide range of concentrations using a proliferation assay. Cell cycle progression and apoptosis were examined at the inhibitory concentration 25% (IC25) and IC50 of Pilosulin-3, both with and without a 4Gy X-ray irradiation dose. Radiosensitivity was assessed at IC25 using the clonogenic survival assay. The study revealed that Pilosulin-3 exerted a concentration-dependent cytotoxic effect, with IC25 and IC50 values of 0.01 and 0.5 µM, respectively. In silico screening indicated high selectivity of Pilosulin-3 peptide, which was predicted to be the most likely anticancer agent (PROB = 0.997) with low hemolytic activity (PROP = 0.176). Although Pilosulin-3 exhibited a significant (p < 0.05) G2/M cell cycle arrest in combination with radiation, there was no discernible effect on apoptosis induction or cell survival following irradiation. In conclusion, Pilosulin-3 proved to be cytotoxic to BC cells and induced a cytostatic effect (G2/M arrest) when combined with radiation. However, it did not enhance the efficacy of cell killing by irradiation. While it holds potential as a cytotoxic agent in breast cancer treatment, its application as a radiosensitizer does not find support in these results. Full article
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14 pages, 12481 KiB  
Article
The Role of α3β1 Integrin Modulation on Fabry Disease Podocyte Injury and Kidney Impairment
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120700 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Podocyte dysfunction plays a crucial role in renal injury and is identified as a key contributor to proteinuria in Fabry disease (FD), primarily impacting glomerular filtration function (GFF). The α3β1 integrins are important for podocyte adhesion to the glomerular basement membrane, and disturbances [...] Read more.
Podocyte dysfunction plays a crucial role in renal injury and is identified as a key contributor to proteinuria in Fabry disease (FD), primarily impacting glomerular filtration function (GFF). The α3β1 integrins are important for podocyte adhesion to the glomerular basement membrane, and disturbances in these integrins can lead to podocyte injury. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the effects of chloroquine (CQ) on podocytes, as this drug can be used to obtain an in vitro condition analogous to the FD. Murine podocytes were employed in our experiments. The results revealed a dose-dependent reduction in cell viability. CQ at a sub-lethal concentration (1.0 µg/mL) induced lysosomal accumulation significantly (p < 0.0001). Morphological changes were evident through scanning electron microscopy and immunofluorescence, highlighting alterations in F-actin and nucleus morphology. No significant changes were observed in the gene expression of α3β1 integrins via RT-qPCR. Protein expression of α3 integrin was evaluated with Western Blotting and immunofluorescence, demonstrating its lower detection in podocytes exposed to CQ. Our findings propose a novel in vitro model for exploring secondary Fabry nephropathy, indicating a modulation of α3β1 integrin and morphological alterations in podocytes under the influence of CQ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicity of Uremic Compounds: Recent Research & Development)
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39 pages, 4591 KiB  
Review
Hosts and Heterologous Expression Strategies of Recombinant Toxins for Therapeutic Purposes
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120699 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1306
Abstract
The production of therapeutic recombinant toxins requires careful host cell selection. Bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells are common choices, but no universal solution exists. Achieving the delicate balance in toxin production is crucial due to potential self-intoxication. Recombinant toxins from various sources find [...] Read more.
The production of therapeutic recombinant toxins requires careful host cell selection. Bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells are common choices, but no universal solution exists. Achieving the delicate balance in toxin production is crucial due to potential self-intoxication. Recombinant toxins from various sources find applications in antimicrobials, biotechnology, cancer drugs, and vaccines. “Toxin-based therapy” targets diseased cells using three strategies. Targeted cancer therapy, like antibody–toxin conjugates, fusion toxins, or “suicide gene therapy”, can selectively eliminate cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed. Notable toxins from various biological sources may be used as full-length toxins, as plant (saporin) or animal (melittin) toxins, or as isolated domains that are typical of bacterial toxins, including Pseudomonas Exotoxin A (PE) and diphtheria toxin (DT). This paper outlines toxin expression methods and system advantages and disadvantages, emphasizing host cell selection’s critical role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunotoxins: Current Status and Future Perspectives)
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17 pages, 6666 KiB  
Article
Lake Avernus Has Turned Red: Bioindicator Monitoring Unveils the Secrets of “Gates of Hades”
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120698 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1076
Abstract
Lake Avernus is a volcanic lake located in southern Italy. Since ancient times, it has inspired numerous myths and legends due to the occurrence of singular phenomena, such as coloring events. Only recently has an explanation been found for them, i.e., the recurring [...] Read more.
Lake Avernus is a volcanic lake located in southern Italy. Since ancient times, it has inspired numerous myths and legends due to the occurrence of singular phenomena, such as coloring events. Only recently has an explanation been found for them, i.e., the recurring color change over time is due to the alternation of cyanobacterial blooms that are a consequence of natural nutrient inputs as well as pollution resulting from human activities. This current report specifically describes the red coloring event that occurred on Lake Avernus in March 2022, the springtime season in this region of Italy. Our innovative multidisciplinary approach, the ‘Fast Detection Strategy’ (FDS), was devised to monitor cyanobacterial blooms and their toxins. It integrates remote sensing data from satellites and drones, on-site sampling, and analytical/bioinformatics analyses into a cohesive information flow. Thanks to FDS, we determined that the red color was attributable to a bloom of Planktothrix rubescens, a toxin-producing cyanobacterium. Here, we report the detection and identification of 14 anabenopeptins from this P. rubescens strain, seven of which are known and seven are newly reported herein. Moreover, we explored the mechanisms and causes behind this cyclic phenomenon, confirming cyanobacteria’s role as reliable indicators of environmental changes. This investigation further validates FDS’s effectiveness in detecting and characterizing cyanobacterial blooms and their associated toxins, expanding its potential applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Cyano Blooms around the World and Related Molecules)
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16 pages, 767 KiB  
Article
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Active Control, Multicenter, Phase 3 Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Liztox® versus Botox® in Post-Stroke Upper Limb Spasticity
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120697 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1189
Abstract
Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injection is a commonly used therapeutic intervention for upper limb spasticity in stroke patients. This study was designed as a randomized, active-drug-controlled, double-blind, multicenter, phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Liztox® in [...] Read more.
Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injection is a commonly used therapeutic intervention for upper limb spasticity in stroke patients. This study was designed as a randomized, active-drug-controlled, double-blind, multicenter, phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Liztox® in comparison to onabotulinum toxin A (Botox®) for individuals with post-stroke upper limb spasticity. The primary outcome was the alteration in wrist flexor muscle tone from the initial assessment to the fourth week, evaluated using the modified Ashworth scale (MAS). Secondary outcomes included MAS score changes for the wrist at weeks 8 and 12 from baseline; MAS score changes for finger and elbow flexors; and changes in the Disability Assessment Scale (DAS), Subject’s Global Assessment (SGA), the Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA), and Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS) at weeks 4, 8, and 12 from baseline. The MAS score for wrist flexor spasticity decreased by −1.14 ± 0.59 in the Liztox® group and −1.22 ± 0.59 in the Botox® group from baseline to week 4. The difference [97.5% confidence interval (CI)] between the test and control groups was 0.08 [−∞, 0.26], confirming the non-inferiority of the test group compared to the control group. Furthermore, there were consistent improvements in the IGA, SGA, and CBS scores across all assessment intervals, with no statistically significant variances detected between the two groups. No safety-related concerns were reported during the study. In conclusion, Liztox® injection proved to be a secure and efficacious intervention for managing upper extremity spasticity in post-stroke patients. Full article
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20 pages, 10251 KiB  
Review
Piperine: Chemistry and Biology
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120696 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Piperine is a plant-derived promising piperamide candidate isolated from the black pepper (Piper nigrum L.). In the last few years, this natural botanical product and its derivatives have aroused much attention for their comprehensive biological activities, including not only medical but also [...] Read more.
Piperine is a plant-derived promising piperamide candidate isolated from the black pepper (Piper nigrum L.). In the last few years, this natural botanical product and its derivatives have aroused much attention for their comprehensive biological activities, including not only medical but also agricultural bioactivities. In order to achieve sustainable development and improve survival conditions, looking for environmentally friendly pesticides with low toxicity and residue is an extremely urgent challenge. Fortunately, plant-derived pesticides are rising like a shining star, guiding us in the direction of development in pesticidal research. In the present review, the recent progress in the biological activities, mechanisms of action, and structural modifications of piperine and its derivatives from 2020 to 2023 are summarized. The structure-activity relationships were analyzed in order to pave the way for future development and utilization of piperine and its derivatives as potent drugs and pesticides for improving the local economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities and Potential Applications of Phytotoxins)
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11 pages, 670 KiB  
Review
Cellular Uptake and Cytotoxicity of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120695 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin is composed of two separate proteins: a binding protein (Ib) that recognizes a host cell receptor and promotes the cellular uptake of a catalytic protein and (Ia) possessing ADP-ribosyltransferase activity that induces actin cytoskeleton disorganization. Ib exhibits the overall structure [...] Read more.
Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin is composed of two separate proteins: a binding protein (Ib) that recognizes a host cell receptor and promotes the cellular uptake of a catalytic protein and (Ia) possessing ADP-ribosyltransferase activity that induces actin cytoskeleton disorganization. Ib exhibits the overall structure of bacterial pore-forming toxins (PFTs). Lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) is defined as a host cell receptor for Ib. The binding of Ib to LSR causes an oligomer formation of Ib in lipid rafts of plasma membranes, mediating the entry of Ia into the cytoplasm. Ia induces actin cytoskeleton disruption via the ADP-ribosylation of G-actin and causes cell rounding and death. The binding protein alone disrupts the cell membrane and induces cytotoxicity in sensitive cells. Host cells permeabilized by the pore formation of Ib are repaired by a Ca2+-dependent plasma repair pathway. This review shows that the cellular uptake of iota-toxin utilizes a pathway of plasma membrane repair and that Ib alone induces cytotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ADP-Ribosylation and Beyond)
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15 pages, 5518 KiB  
Article
Bile Acids Promote Hepatic Biotransformation and Excretion of Aflatoxin B1 in Broiler Chickens
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120694 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1477
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a hazardous mycotoxin that often contaminates animal feed and may potentially induce severe liver damage if ingested. The liver is the primary organ responsible for AFB1 detoxification through enzyme-catalyzed xenobiotic metabolism and bile acid (BA)-associated excretion. In this study, [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a hazardous mycotoxin that often contaminates animal feed and may potentially induce severe liver damage if ingested. The liver is the primary organ responsible for AFB1 detoxification through enzyme-catalyzed xenobiotic metabolism and bile acid (BA)-associated excretion. In this study, we sought to investigate whether exogenous BA improves hepatic AFB1 detoxification to alleviate AFB1-induced liver injury in broiler chickens. Five-day-old broiler chicks were randomly assigned to three groups. CON and AFB1 received a basal diet; AFB1 + BA received a basal diet with 250 mg/kg BA for 20 days. After a 3-day pre-feed, AFB1 and AFB1 + BA were daily gavaged with 250 μg/kg BW AFB1, while CON received gavage solvent for AFB1 treatment. Dietary BA supplementation protected chickens from AFB1-induced hepatic inflammation and oxidative stress. The hepatic biotransformation of AFB1 to its metabolite AFBO was improved, with accelerated excretion to the gallbladder and cecum. Accordantly, AFB1-induced down-regulation of detoxification genes, including cytochrome P450 enzymes, glutathione S-transferases, and the bile salt export pump, was rescued by BA supplementation. Moreover, liver X receptor α, suppressed by AFB1, was enhanced in BA-treated broiler chickens. These results indicate that dietary BA supplementation improves hepatic AFB1 detoxification and excretion through LXRα-involved regulation of xenobiotic enzymes. Full article
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17 pages, 1783 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Secondary Metabolites Produced by Ascochyta fabae under In Vitro Conditions and Their Phytotoxicity on the Primary Host, Vicia faba, and Related Legume Crops
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120693 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1533
Abstract
Ascochyta blight, caused by Ascochyta fabae, poses a significant threat to faba bean and other legumes worldwide. Necrotic lesions on stems, leaves, and pods characterize the disease. Given the economic impact of this pathogen and the potential involvement of secondary metabolites in [...] Read more.
Ascochyta blight, caused by Ascochyta fabae, poses a significant threat to faba bean and other legumes worldwide. Necrotic lesions on stems, leaves, and pods characterize the disease. Given the economic impact of this pathogen and the potential involvement of secondary metabolites in symptom development, a study was conducted to investigate the fungus’s ability to produce bioactive metabolites that might contribute to its pathogenicity. For this investigation, the fungus was cultured in three substrates (Czapek-Dox, PDB, and rice). The produced metabolites were analyzed by NMR and LC-HRMS methods, resulting in the dereplication of seven metabolites, which varied with the cultural substrates. Ascochlorin, ascofuranol, and (R)-mevalonolactone were isolated from the Czapek-Dox extract; ascosalipyrone, benzoic acid, and tyrosol from the PDB extract; and ascosalitoxin and ascosalipyrone from the rice extract. The phytotoxicity of the pure metabolites was assessed at different concentrations on their primary hosts and related legumes. The fungal exudates displayed varying degrees of phytotoxicity, with the Czapek-Dox medium’s exudate exhibiting the highest activity across almost all legumes tested. The species belonging to the genus Vicia spp. were the most susceptible, with faba bean being susceptible to all metabolites, at least at the highest concentration tested, as expected. In particular, ascosalitoxin and benzoic acid were the most phytotoxic in the tested condition and, as a consequence, expected to play an important role on necrosis’s appearance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities and Potential Applications of Phytotoxins)
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15 pages, 25300 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic Variation of Tri1 Gene and Development of PCR–RFLP Analysis for the Identification of NX Genotypes in Fusarium graminearum Species Complex
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120692 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1128
Abstract
NX toxins have been described as a novel group of type A trichothecenes produced by members of the Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC). Differences in structure between NX toxins and the common type B trichothecenes arise from functional variation in the trichothecene biosynthetic [...] Read more.
NX toxins have been described as a novel group of type A trichothecenes produced by members of the Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC). Differences in structure between NX toxins and the common type B trichothecenes arise from functional variation in the trichothecene biosynthetic enzyme Tri1 in the FGSC. The identified highly conserved changes in the Tri1 gene can be used to develop specific PCR-based assays to identify the NX-producing strains. In this study, the sequences of the Tri1 gene from type B trichothecene- and NX-producing strains were analyzed to identify DNA polymorphisms between the two different kinds of trichothecene producers. Four sets of Polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) methods were successfully developed to distinguish the common type B trichothecene producers and NX producers within FGSC. These promising diagnostic methods can be used for high-throughput genotype detection of Fusarium strains as a step forward for crop disease management and mycotoxin control in agriculture. Additionally, it was found that the Tri1 gene phylogeny differs from the species phylogeny, which is consistent with the previous studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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18 pages, 4867 KiB  
Article
Comparison of the Effects of Botulinum Toxin Doses on Nerve Regeneration in Rats with Experimentally Induced Sciatic Nerve Injury
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120691 - 08 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
This study was designed to compare the effects of various doses of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) on nerve regeneration. Sixty-five six-week-old rats with sciatic nerve injury were randomly allocated to three experimental groups, a control group, and a sham group. The experimental groups [...] Read more.
This study was designed to compare the effects of various doses of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) on nerve regeneration. Sixty-five six-week-old rats with sciatic nerve injury were randomly allocated to three experimental groups, a control group, and a sham group. The experimental groups received a single session of intraneural BoNT/A (3.5, 7.0, or 14 U/kg) injection immediately after nerve-crushing injury. The control group received normal intraneural saline injections after sciatic nerve injury. At three, six, and nine weeks after nerve damage, immunofluorescence staining, an ELISA, and toluidine blue staining was used to evaluate the regenerated nerves. Serial sciatic functional index analyses and electrophysiological tests were performed every week for nine weeks. A higher expression of GFAP, S100β, GAP43, NF200, BDNF, and NGF was seen in the 3.5 U/kg and 7.0 U/kg BoNT/A groups. The average area and myelin thickness were significantly greater in the 3.5 U/kg and 7.0 U/kg BoNT/A groups. The sciatic functional index and compound muscle action potential amplitudes exhibited similar trends. These findings indicate that the 3.5 U/kg and 7.0 U/kg BoNT/A groups exhibited better nerve regeneration than the 14 U/kg BoNT/A and control group. As the 3.5 U/kg and the 7.0 U/kg BoNT/A groups exhibited no statistical difference, we recommend using 3.5 U/kg BoNT/A for its cost-effectiveness. Full article
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10 pages, 3171 KiB  
Article
Detection of Cleaved Stx2a in the Blood of STEC-Infected Patients
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120690 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 972
Abstract
Typical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is mainly caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) releasing Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2). Two different structures of this AB5 toxin have been described: uncleaved, with intact B and A chains, and cleaved, with intact B and a [...] Read more.
Typical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is mainly caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) releasing Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2). Two different structures of this AB5 toxin have been described: uncleaved, with intact B and A chains, and cleaved, with intact B and a nicked A chain consisting of two fragments, A1 and A2, connected by a disulfide bond. Despite having the same toxic effect on sensitive cells, the two forms differ in their binding properties for circulating cells, serum components and complement factors, thus contributing to the pathogenesis of HUS differently. The outcome of STEC infections and the development of HUS could be influenced by the relative amounts of uncleaved or cleaved Stx2 circulating in patients’ blood. Cleaved Stx2 was identified and quantified for the first time in four out of eight STEC-infected patients’ sera by a method based on the inhibition of cell-free translation. Cleaved Stx2 was present in the sera of patients with toxins bound to neutrophils and in two out of three patients developing HUS, suggesting its involvement in HUS pathogenesis, although in association with other bacterial or host factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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17 pages, 1786 KiB  
Review
Botulinum Toxin Treatment for Cancer-Related Disorders: A Systematic Review
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120689 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1321
Abstract
This systematic review investigates the effect of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) therapy on cancer-related disorders. A major bulk of the literature is focused on BoNT’s effect on pain at the site of surgery or radiation. All 13 published studies on this issue indicated reduction [...] Read more.
This systematic review investigates the effect of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) therapy on cancer-related disorders. A major bulk of the literature is focused on BoNT’s effect on pain at the site of surgery or radiation. All 13 published studies on this issue indicated reduction or cessation of pain at these sites after local injection of BoNTs. Twelve studies addressed the effect of BoNT injection into the pylorus (sphincter between the stomach and the first part of the gut) for the prevention of gastroparesis after local resection of esophageal cancer. In eight studies, BoNT injection was superior to no intervention; three studies found no difference between the two approaches. One study compared the result of intra-pyloric BoNT injection with preventive pyloromyotomy (resection of pyloric muscle fibers). Both approaches reduced gastroparesis, but the surgical approach had more serious side effects. BoNT injection was superior to saline injection in the prevention of esophageal stricture after surgery (34% versus 6%, respectively, p = 0.02) and produced better results (30% versus 40% stricture) compared to steroid (triamcinolone) injection close to the surgical region. All 12 reported studies on the effect of BoNT injection into the parotid region for the reduction in facial sweating during eating (gustatory hyperhidrosis) found that BoNT injections stopped or significantly reduced facial sweating that developed after parotid gland surgery. Six studies showed that BoNT injection into the parotid region prevented the development of or healed the fistulas that developed after parotid gland resection—parotidectomy gustatory hyperhidrosis (Frey syndrome), post-surgical parotid fistula, and sialocele. Eight studies suggested that BoNT injection into masseter muscle reduced or stopped severe jaw pain after the first bite (first bite syndrome) that may develop as a complication of parotidectomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Botulinum Toxins in Diseases Treatment)
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15 pages, 5276 KiB  
Article
A Hydrolase Produced by Rhodococcus erythropolis HQ Is Responsible for the Detoxification of Zearalenone
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120688 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1092
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEN), an estrogenic mycotoxin, is one of the prevalent contaminants found in food and feed, posing risks to human and animal health. In this study, we isolated a ZEN-degrading strain from soil and identified it as Rhodococcus erythropolis HQ. Analysis of degradation [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEN), an estrogenic mycotoxin, is one of the prevalent contaminants found in food and feed, posing risks to human and animal health. In this study, we isolated a ZEN-degrading strain from soil and identified it as Rhodococcus erythropolis HQ. Analysis of degradation products clarified the mechanism by which R. erythropolis HQ degrades ZEN. The gene zenR responsible for degrading ZEN was identified from strain HQ, in which zenR is the key gene for R. erythropolis HQ to degrade ZEN, and its expression product is a hydrolase named ZenR. ZenR shared 58% sequence identity with the hydrolase ZenH from Aeromicrobium sp. HA, but their enzymatic properties were significantly different. ZenR exhibited maximal enzymatic activity at pH 8.0–9.0 and 55 °C, with a Michaelis constant of 21.14 μM, and its enzymatic activity is 2.8 times that of ZenH. The catalytic triad was identified as S132-D157-H307 via molecular docking and site-directed mutagenesis. Furthermore, the fermentation broth of recombinant Bacillus containing ZenR can be effectively applied to liquefied corn samples, with the residual amount of ZEN decreased to 0.21 μg/g, resulting in a remarkable ZEN removal rate of 93%. Thus, ZenR may serve as a new template for the modification of ZEN hydrolases and a new resource for the industrial application of biological detoxification. Consequently, ZenR could potentially be regarded as a novel blueprint for modifying ZEN hydrolases and as a fresh resource for the industrial implementation of biological detoxification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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17 pages, 1087 KiB  
Article
Turmeric Powder Counteracts Oxidative Stress and Reduces AFB1 Content in the Liver of Broilers Exposed to the EU Maximum Levels of the Mycotoxin
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120687 - 07 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
The most frequent adverse effects of AFB1 in chicken are low performance, the depression of the immune system, and a reduced quality of both eggs and meat, leading to economic losses. Since oxidative stress plays a major role in AFB1 toxicity, natural products [...] Read more.
The most frequent adverse effects of AFB1 in chicken are low performance, the depression of the immune system, and a reduced quality of both eggs and meat, leading to economic losses. Since oxidative stress plays a major role in AFB1 toxicity, natural products are increasingly being used as an alternative to mineral binders to tackle AFB1 toxicosis in farm animals. In this study, an in vivo trial was performed by exposing broilers for 10 days to AFB1 at dietary concentrations approaching the maximum limits set by the EU (0.02 mg/kg feed) in the presence or absence of turmeric powder (TP) (included in the feed at 400 mg/kg). The aims were to evaluate (i) the effects of AFB1 on lipid peroxidation, antioxidant parameters, histology, and the expression of drug transporters and biotransformation enzymes in the liver; (ii) the hepatic accumulation of AFB1 and its main metabolites (assessed using an in-house-validated HPLC-FLD method); (iii) the possible modulation of the above parameters elicited by TP. Broilers exposed to AFB1 alone displayed a significant increase in lipid peroxidation in the liver, which was completely reverted by the concomitant administration of TP. Although no changes in glutathione levels and antioxidant enzyme activities were detected in any treatment group, AFB1 significantly upregulated and downregulated the mRNA expression of CYP2A6 and Nrf2, respectively. TP counteracted such negative effects and increased the hepatic gene expression of selected antioxidant enzymes (i.e., CAT and SOD2) and drug transporters (i.e., ABCG2), which were further enhanced in combination with AFB1. Moreover, both AFB1 and TP increased the mRNA levels of ABCC2 and ABCG2 in the duodenum. The latter changes might be implicated in the decrease in hepatic AFB1 to undetectable levels (<LOD) in the TP supplemented group. Overall, our findings further support the use of TP as an effective feeding strategy to prevent AFB1-related adverse effects in broilers. Full article
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26 pages, 4219 KiB  
Review
Secondary Metabolites of Biscogniauxia: Distribution, Chemical Diversity, Bioactivity, and Implications of the Occurrence
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120686 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1064
Abstract
The genus Biscogniauxia, a member of the family Xylariaceae, is distributed worldwide with more than 50 recognized taxa. Biscogniauxia species is known as a plant pathogen, typically acting as a parasite on tree bark, although certain members of this genus also function [...] Read more.
The genus Biscogniauxia, a member of the family Xylariaceae, is distributed worldwide with more than 50 recognized taxa. Biscogniauxia species is known as a plant pathogen, typically acting as a parasite on tree bark, although certain members of this genus also function as endophytic microorganisms. Biscogniauxia endophytic strain has received attention in many cases, which includes constituent research leading to the discovery of various bioactive secondary metabolites. Currently, there are a total of 115 chemical compounds belonging to the class of secondary metabolites, and among these compounds, fatty acids have been identified. In addition, the strong pharmacological agents of this genus are (3aS,4aR,8aS,9aR)-3a-hydroxy-8a-methyl-3,5-dimethylenedecahydronaphto [2,3-b]furan-2(3H)-one (HDFO) (antifungal), biscopyran (phytotoxic activity), reticulol (antioxidant), biscogniazaphilone A and B (antimycobacterial), and biscogniauxone (Enzyme GSK3 inhibitor). This comprehensive research contributes significantly to the potential discovery of novel drugs produced by Biscogniauxia and holds promise for future development. Importantly, it represents the first-ever review of natural products originating from the Biscogniauxia genus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Toxins)
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12 pages, 320 KiB  
Article
The Effect of OnabotulinumtoxinA on Headache Intensity and Number of Monthly Headache Days in Individuals with Chronic Migraine with Different Levels of Neck Disability
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120685 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 974
Abstract
One of the treatment methods used in chronic migraine is OnabotulinumtoxinA. The effects of OnabotulinumtoxinA on headache intensity (HI) and number of monthly headache days (NMHD) in chronic migraine (CM) patients classified according to neck disability levels are unknown. Our aim was to [...] Read more.
One of the treatment methods used in chronic migraine is OnabotulinumtoxinA. The effects of OnabotulinumtoxinA on headache intensity (HI) and number of monthly headache days (NMHD) in chronic migraine (CM) patients classified according to neck disability levels are unknown. Our aim was to investigate the effect of OnabotulinumtoxinA on the HI and the NMHD in individuals with CM with different levels of neck disability. One hundred sixteen patients were enrolled in the study. The OnabotulinumtoxinA protocol was administered as per Follow-the-Pain PREEMPT. The Neck Disability Index was used to evaluate neck disability. Primary outcome measures were headache intensity, assessed with the Visual Analogue Scale, and the number of monthly headache days recorded from patients’ diaries. Secondary outcome measures were migraine disability, assessed with the Migraine Disability Assessment Test, and quality-of-life, assessed with the Headache Impact Test-6. All assessments were made at baseline and end of the treatment. The OnabotulinumtoxinA treatment showed a greater improvement effect in the number of monthly headache days (p = 0.000) and migraine disability (p = 0.000) parameters in the severe and complete disability groups. CM patients with complete and severe neck disability received the most benefit in reducing the NMHD at 3 months after OnabotulinumtoxinA treatment, but the HI decreased at a similar level in all neck disability groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Botulinum Toxins in Diseases Treatment)
16 pages, 2864 KiB  
Article
Microcystin Concentrations, Partitioning, and Structural Composition during Active Growth and Decline: A Laboratory Study
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120684 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Microcystin can be present in variable concentrations, phases (dissolved and particulate), and structural forms (congeners), all which impact the toxicity and persistence of the algal metabolite. Conducting incubation experiments with six bloom assemblages collected from the Chowan River, North Carolina, we assessed microcystin [...] Read more.
Microcystin can be present in variable concentrations, phases (dissolved and particulate), and structural forms (congeners), all which impact the toxicity and persistence of the algal metabolite. Conducting incubation experiments with six bloom assemblages collected from the Chowan River, North Carolina, we assessed microcystin dynamics during active growth and biomass degradation. Upon collection, average particulate and dissolved microcystin ranged between 0.2 and 993 µg L−1 and 0.5 and 3.6 µg L−1, respectively. The presence of congeners MC-LA, -LR, -RR, and -YR was confirmed with MC-RR and MC-LR being the most prevalent. Congener composition shifted over time and varied between dissolved and particulate phases. Particulate microcystin exponentially declined in five of six incubations with an average half-life of 10.2 ± 3.7 days, while dissolved microcystin remained detectable until the end of the incubation trials (up to 100 days). Our findings suggest that concerns about food-web transfer via intracellular toxins seem most warranted within the first few weeks of the bloom peak, while dissolved toxins linger for several months in the aftermath of the event. Also, it was indicated there were differences in congener profiles linked to the sampling method. We believe this study can inform monitoring strategies and aid microcystin-exposure risk assessments for cyanobacterial blooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospective Studies on Harmful Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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8 pages, 1909 KiB  
Communication
Biochemical Stability and Microbial Control of Reconstituted DaxibotulinumtoxinA-lanm for Injection
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120683 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
DaxibotulinumtoxinA-lanm for injection (DAXI) is a unique US Food and Drug Administration-approved product comprising daxibotulinumtoxinA and a stabilizing excipient peptide (RTP004). DAXI has a longer-labeled shelf life (72 h) following reconstitution than other botulinum toxin type A products. Here, we report the stability [...] Read more.
DaxibotulinumtoxinA-lanm for injection (DAXI) is a unique US Food and Drug Administration-approved product comprising daxibotulinumtoxinA and a stabilizing excipient peptide (RTP004). DAXI has a longer-labeled shelf life (72 h) following reconstitution than other botulinum toxin type A products. Here, we report the stability and microbial control of reconstituted DAXI when stored at 2 °C–8 °C over a period of 36 days (Study 1) and 7 days (Study 2) following reconstitution with unpreserved or preserved saline. The pH and biological activity of reconstituted DAXI in the 50 U/vial and 100 U/vial formats remained stable at the final assessed time point in both preserved and unpreserved saline when refrigerated (2 °C–8 °C). No changes in recoverable 150 kDa neurotoxin (measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) were observed over 6 days of refrigeration. Bacterial growth or pathogen proliferation was not observed in DAXI reconstituted in preserved or unpreserved saline in both studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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11 pages, 5132 KiB  
Article
Potential Toxicity and Mechanisms of T-2 and HT-2 Individually or in Combination on the Intestinal Barrier Function of Porcine Small Intestinal Epithelial Cells
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120682 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 983
Abstract
Under natural conditions, T-2 toxin can be easily metabolized to HT-2 toxin by deacetylation, and T-2 and HT-2 are usually co-contaminated in grain and feed at a high detected rate. Our previous information indicated that T-2 toxin could injure the function of the [...] Read more.
Under natural conditions, T-2 toxin can be easily metabolized to HT-2 toxin by deacetylation, and T-2 and HT-2 are usually co-contaminated in grain and feed at a high detected rate. Our previous information indicated that T-2 toxin could injure the function of the intestinal barrier, but the combined toxicity and mechanism of T-2 and HT-2 on the intestinal cells of porcines are still unknown. Therefore, we aimed to explore T-2 and HT-2 individually and combined on cellular viability, cell membrane integrity, the expression of tight junction-related proteins, and the generation of inflammatory factors in porcine intestinal epithelial cells (IPEC-J2). The results showed that T-2 and HT-2, individually or in combination, could induce a decrease in cell viability, an increase in LDH release and IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α generation, and a decrease in the anti-inflammatory factor IL-10. Based on the analysis of immunofluorescence staining, real-time PCR, and western blotting, the tight junction protein expressions of Claudin-1, Occludin, and ZO-1 were significantly decreased in the T-2 and HT-2 individual or combination treated groups compared with the control. Furthermore, all the parameter changes in the T-2 + HT-2 combination group were much more serious than those in the individual dose groups. These results suggest that T-2 and HT-2, individually and in combination, could induce an intestinal function injury related to an inflammatory response and damage to the intestinal barrier function in porcine intestinal epithelial cells. Additionally, T-2 and HT-2 in combination showed a synergistic toxic effect, which will provide a theoretical basis to assess the risk of T-2 + HT-2 co-contamination in porcine feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins and Fungal Toxins: Current Status and Future Perspectives)
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9 pages, 3041 KiB  
Communication
Poisoning by Baccharis coridifolia in Early-Weaned Beef Calves: Pathological Study and New Macrocyclic Trichothecene Identification
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120681 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
This study investigated two outbreaks of spontaneous poisoning by Baccharis coridifolia (Asteraceae) in early-weaned beef calves in Tacuarembó, Uruguay. A total of 34 affected calves showed signs of salivation, anorexia, apathy, marked dehydration, and diarrhea. Deaths occurred 36–72 h after consumption and mortality [...] Read more.
This study investigated two outbreaks of spontaneous poisoning by Baccharis coridifolia (Asteraceae) in early-weaned beef calves in Tacuarembó, Uruguay. A total of 34 affected calves showed signs of salivation, anorexia, apathy, marked dehydration, and diarrhea. Deaths occurred 36–72 h after consumption and mortality varied from 37.5% to 43.3% for outbreak 1 and outbreak 2, respectively. The main pathological findings include diffuse severe necrosis of the prestomachs and lymphoid tissues. Ultrastructurally, epithelial cells of the rumen showed swelling, lysis of the organelles, degradation of intercellular attachments, and degradation of the nuclear chromatin. Using LC-MS with diagnostic fragmentation filtering, 56 macrocyclic trichothecenes including glycosyl and malonyl conjugates were identified. The total concentration of macrocyclic trichothecenes, including conjugates, was estimated to be 1.2 ± 0.1 mg/g plant material. This is the first report of these malonyl–glucose conjugates from Baccharis coridifolia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxins: 15th Anniversary)
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7 pages, 663 KiB  
Communication
Hymenoptera Allergy Diagnosis through Their Presence on Human Food
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120680 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Venom immunotherapy (VIT) protects up to 98% of treated Hymenoptera allergy patients from reactions with new stings. A correct diagnosis with the identification of the venom causing the allergic reaction is essential to implementing it. The knowledge of the Hymenoptera foraging habits when [...] Read more.
Venom immunotherapy (VIT) protects up to 98% of treated Hymenoptera allergy patients from reactions with new stings. A correct diagnosis with the identification of the venom causing the allergic reaction is essential to implementing it. The knowledge of the Hymenoptera foraging habits when the sting takes place in a food environment would allow the culprit insect to be known. Images of Hymenoptera occurring in environments where there was human food were recorded in Spain, including the date of the image, the place description and its geolocation. The insects’ genus and species were identified by an entomologist. Results: One hundred and fifty-five images depicting 71 insects were analyzed. The identified insects were Vespula (56), Vespa (7), Polistes (4), Cerceris (2), Bombus (1) and Apis (1). Most (97.1%) of the images were obtained in summer and early autumn, outdoors in terraces (64%). Meat was the food associated with 47.9% of the images. In protein-rich foods, Vespula was found in 89%. Conclusions: Vespula was the main Hymenoptera associated with food environments in our country (78.87%), and in most of the cases (71%), the food involved is a source of protein, such as meat or seafood. In that environment, the probability that the insect is a Vespula would be 89%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Venom Immunology and Allergy)
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15 pages, 3050 KiB  
Article
Quercetin Attenuates the Combined Effects of Zearalenone and Lipopolysaccharide on IPEC-J2 Cell Injury through Activating the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120679 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin with an estrogen-like effect that is widely found in feed. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) derived from Gram-negative bacteria are a common endotoxin, and both toxins have effects on human and livestock health. During animal feeding, ZEA as an exotoxin and [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin with an estrogen-like effect that is widely found in feed. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) derived from Gram-negative bacteria are a common endotoxin, and both toxins have effects on human and livestock health. During animal feeding, ZEA as an exotoxin and LPS as an endotoxin have the potential to co-exist in organisms. At present, other studies have only focused on the hazards of single toxins, but there are fewer studies on the coexistence and interaction between ZEA and LPS. Therefore, a further study to investigate the combined toxic effects of different concentrations of ZEA and LPS is warranted. Quercetin (QUE) is a natural flavonoid compound with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is unclear whether QUE can mitigate the combined effects of ZEA and LPS. IPEC-J2, isolated from the jejunum of non-breastfed neonatal piglets, is an ideal model for the study of epithelial cell transport, intestinal bacterial interactions, and the nutrient modulation of intestinal function. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to demonstrate the effect of QUE in alleviating the combined toxic effect of ZEA and LPS on IPEC-J2 cell damage. Cell viability was measured after treating IPEC-J2 cells sequentially with 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 100 μM ZEA, 1, 10, 50, and 100 μg/mL LPS, and 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, and 200 μM QUE for 24 h. Based on the cell viability results, 20 μM ZEA and 1 μg/mL LPS were selected as the most suitable concentrations for further analysis. For QUE, 20 μM increased the cell viability, while 40–200 μM QUE decreased the cell viability. Therefore, for the subsequent study, 20 μM QUE was selected in combination with 20 μM ZEA and 1 μg/mL LPS. The results showed that QUE increased the cellular viability and decreased the LDH content more compared to the effects of the ZEA+LPS group. At the gene level, QUE addition up-regulated the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, SOD2, and NQO1 at the gene or protein level compared to those of the ZEA+LPS group. The measurement of tight junction-related genes and proteins showed QUE up-regulated the expression of Claudin, ZO-1, and Occludin genes and proteins more than in the ZEA+LPS group. QUE addition reduced the rate of apoptosis more than that in the ZEA+LPS group. The expressions of Bcl-2 and Bax were examined at the gene level, and QUE addition significantly reduced the Bax gene expression level compared to that of the ZEA+LPS group, but there was no apparent variation in the expression level of Bcl-2. In summary, QUE can alleviate the combined toxic effects of ZEA and LPS on IPEC-J2 cells via modulating the Nrf2 signaling pathway, up-regulating the expression of antioxidative genes, and enhancing the intestinal barrier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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13 pages, 1950 KiB  
Article
Recombinant Oxidase from Armillaria tabescens as a Potential Tool for Aflatoxin B1 Degradation in Contaminated Cereal Grain
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120678 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Forage grain contamination with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a global problem, so its detoxification with the aim of providing feed safety and cost-efficiency is still a relevant issue. AFB1 degradation by microbial enzymes is considered to be a promising detoxification approach. In this [...] Read more.
Forage grain contamination with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a global problem, so its detoxification with the aim of providing feed safety and cost-efficiency is still a relevant issue. AFB1 degradation by microbial enzymes is considered to be a promising detoxification approach. In this study, we modified an previously developed Pichia pastoris GS115 expression system using a chimeric signal peptide to obtain a new recombinant producer of extracellular AFB1 oxidase (AFO) from Armillaria tabescens (the yield of 0.3 g/L), purified AFO, and selected optimal conditions for AFO-induced AFB1 removal from model solutions. After a 72 h exposure of the AFB1 solution to AFO at pH 6.0 and 30 °C, 80% of the AFB1 was degraded. Treatments with AFO also significantly reduced the AFB1 content in wheat and corn grain inoculated with Aspergillus flavus. In grain samples contaminated with several dozen micrograms of AFB1 per kg, a 48 h exposure to AFO resulted in at least double the reduction in grain contamination compared to the control, while the same treatment of more significantly (~mg/kg) AFB1-polluted samples reduced their contamination by ~40%. These findings prove the potential of the tested AFO for cereal grain decontamination and suggest that additional studies to stabilize AFO and improve its AFB1-degrading efficacy are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aspergillus flavus and Aflatoxins (Volume III))
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10 pages, 1725 KiB  
Communication
Onabotulinumtoxin-A: Previous Prophylactic Treatment Might Improve Subsequent Anti-CGRP Monoclonal Antibodies Response in Patients with Chronic Migraine
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120677 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether previous preventive treatment with onabotulinumtoxin-A might influence subsequent clinical response following a switch to anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The present retrospective study was conducted at the Headache Centre—Neurology Clinic at the Spedali Civili [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether previous preventive treatment with onabotulinumtoxin-A might influence subsequent clinical response following a switch to anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The present retrospective study was conducted at the Headache Centre—Neurology Clinic at the Spedali Civili Hospital of Brescia between November 2018 and May 2023. The primary objective was to assess clinical outcome (monthly headache days (MHDs), monthly migraine days (MMDs), mean analgesics consumption, and clinical disability according to Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS)) following three months (T3) of preventive treatment with anti-CGRP mAbs comparing patients who did and those who did not previously receive treatment with Onabotulinumtoxin-A. Moreover, we aimed to evaluate whether the clinical response to anti-CGRP mAbs was affected by the number of previous Onabotulinumtoxin-A administrations. At T3, compared to Onabotulinumtoxin-A naïve patients, patients who previously received Onabotulinumtoxin-A documented fewer MMDs (3.3 ± 3.7 versus 5.2 ± 5.0; p = 0.017) and a lower MIDAS score (23.2 ± 20.9 versus 37.4 ± 39.6; p = 0.013). Patients who received at least 3 onabotulinumtoxin-A administrations documented, at T3, lower MMDs compared to those who received fewer cycles (respectively, 2.1 ± 2.7 vs. 6.5 ± 4.4; p = 0.024). In conclusion, according to our data, previous treatment with onabotulinumtoxin-A might improve subsequent response to anti-CGRP mAbs preventive treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Botulinum Toxin and Migraine: Goals and Perspectives)
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15 pages, 2130 KiB  
Communication
Selecting Goals and Target Muscles for Botulinum Toxin A Injection Using the Goal Oriented Facilitated Approach to Spasticity Treatment (GO-FAST) Tool
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120676 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1722
Abstract
The objective of this article is to introduce the GO-FAST Tool (developed by the Toxnet group) to clinicians working in the field of neurological rehabilitation, specifically post-stroke spasticity management. The concepts utilized in the Tool and described in this article can be broadly [...] Read more.
The objective of this article is to introduce the GO-FAST Tool (developed by the Toxnet group) to clinicians working in the field of neurological rehabilitation, specifically post-stroke spasticity management. The concepts utilized in the Tool and described in this article can be broadly grouped into five topics: the principles of patient-centred goal-setting; an algorithm for setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed) treatment goals; goal-related target muscles and botulinum toxin type A dose determinants; goal attainment follow-up, scoring, and interpretation; and the multimodal approach to spasticity management. The Tool can enhance clinical practice by providing guided assistance with goal-setting and target muscle selection for botulinum toxin type A treatment. It also provides support with the follow-up evaluation of goal attainment and calculation of treatment success. The Tool is designed to be used by clinicians with varying levels of expertise in the field of neurological rehabilitation and post-stroke spasticity management, from those who are new to the field to those with many years of experience. A case study is presented in the Results Section of the article to illustrate the utility of the Tool in setting SMART treatment goals in the management of patients with post-stroke spasticity. Full article
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15 pages, 549 KiB  
Review
Clinical Risk Factors Associated with Poor Outcomes in Snake Envenoming: A Narrative Review
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120675 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Snakebite-related fatalities disproportionately affect populations in impoverished socio-economic regions, marked by limited access to adequate healthcare and constrained antivenom availability. Early medical intervention is pivotal in mitigating mortality and morbidity associated with snakebite envenoming (SBE). While clinical assessment remains fundamental in treating SBE, [...] Read more.
Snakebite-related fatalities disproportionately affect populations in impoverished socio-economic regions, marked by limited access to adequate healthcare and constrained antivenom availability. Early medical intervention is pivotal in mitigating mortality and morbidity associated with snakebite envenoming (SBE). While clinical assessment remains fundamental in treating SBE, this review aims to spotlight objective parameters that could also affect outcomes. Selected studies that identify factors associated with poor outcomes are predominantly region-specific, single-site, and observational, yet collectively reveal similar findings. They consistently report factors such as treatment delays, susceptibility in vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women, as well as various biochemical and haematological abnormalities. Acute kidney injury (AKI), low platelets, leucocytosis, abnormal coagulation, and elevated creatine kinase (CK) all show an association with poor outcomes. Furthermore, recognising rare and unusual SBE presentations such as adrenal insufficiency, severe hypertension, intracranial haemorrhage, acute angle closure glaucoma, and bowel ischaemia also has a bearing on outcomes. Despite the integration of these parameters into clinical decision tools and guidelines, the validation of this evidence is limited. This review underscores the imperative for high-quality, multi-centre studies aligned with consensus-driven Core Outcome Sets (COS) and Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) to validate and strengthen the current evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Past and Current Topics on Snakebite Research)
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19 pages, 3322 KiB  
Article
A Probiotic Bacillus amyloliquefaciens D-1 Strain Is Responsible for Zearalenone Detoxifying in Coix Semen
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120674 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEN) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium spp., which commonly and severely contaminate food/feed. ZEN severely affects food/feed safety and reduces economic losses owing to its carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, endocrine effects, and immunotoxicity. To explore efficient methods to detoxify ZEN, we [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEN) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium spp., which commonly and severely contaminate food/feed. ZEN severely affects food/feed safety and reduces economic losses owing to its carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, endocrine effects, and immunotoxicity. To explore efficient methods to detoxify ZEN, we identified and characterized an efficient ZEN-detoxifying microbiota from the culturable microbiome of Pseudostellaria heterophylla rhizosphere soil, designated Bacillus amyloliquefaciens D-1. Its highest ZEN degradation rate reached 96.13% under the optimal condition. And, D-1 can almost completely remove ZEN (90 μg·g−1) from coix semen in 24 h. Then, the D-1 strain can detoxify ZEN to ZEM, which is a new structural metabolite, through hydrolyzation and decarboxylation at the ester group in the lactone ring and amino acid esterification at C2 and C4 hydroxy. Notably, ZEM has reduced the impact on viability, and the damage of cell membrane and nucleus DNA and can significantly decrease the cell apoptosis in the HepG2 cell and TM4 cell. In addition, it was found that the D-1 strain has no adverse effect on the HepG2 and TM4 cells. Our findings can provide an efficient microbial resource and a reliable reference strategy for the biological detoxification of ZEN. Full article
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