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Toxins, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2015) , Pages 1005-1395

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Open AccessReview
One Health and Cyanobacteria in Freshwater Systems: Animal Illnesses and Deaths Are Sentinel Events for Human Health Risks
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1374-1395; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041374
Received: 27 January 2015 / Revised: 10 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3539 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms have adversely impacted human and animal health for thousands of years. Recently, the health impacts of harmful cyanobacteria blooms are becoming more frequently detected and reported. However, reports of human and animal illnesses or deaths associated with harmful cyanobacteria blooms [...] Read more.
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms have adversely impacted human and animal health for thousands of years. Recently, the health impacts of harmful cyanobacteria blooms are becoming more frequently detected and reported. However, reports of human and animal illnesses or deaths associated with harmful cyanobacteria blooms tend to be investigated and reported separately. Consequently, professionals working in human or in animal health do not always communicate findings related to these events with one another. Using the One Health concept of integration and collaboration among health disciplines, we systematically review the existing literature to discover where harmful cyanobacteria-associated animal illnesses and deaths have served as sentinel events to warn of potential human health risks. We find that illnesses or deaths among livestock, dogs and fish are all potentially useful as sentinel events for the presence of harmful cyanobacteria that may impact human health. We also describe ways to enhance the value of reports of cyanobacteria-associated illnesses and deaths in animals to protect human health. Efficient monitoring of environmental and animal health in a One Health collaborative framework can provide vital warnings of cyanobacteria-associated human health risks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Key Role of Peltate Glandular Trichomes in Symbiota Comprising Clavicipitaceous Fungi of the Genus Periglandula and Their Host Plants
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1355-1373; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041355
Received: 18 January 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2531 | PDF Full-text (2258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Clavicipitaceous fungi producing ergot alkaloids were recently discovered to be epibiotically associated with peltate glandular trichomes of Ipomoea asarifolia and Turbina corymbosa, dicotyledonous plants of the family Convolvulaceae. Mediators of the close association between fungi and trichomes may be sesquiterpenes, main components [...] Read more.
Clavicipitaceous fungi producing ergot alkaloids were recently discovered to be epibiotically associated with peltate glandular trichomes of Ipomoea asarifolia and Turbina corymbosa, dicotyledonous plants of the family Convolvulaceae. Mediators of the close association between fungi and trichomes may be sesquiterpenes, main components in the volatile oil of different convolvulaceous plants. Molecular biological studies and microscopic investigations led to the observation that the trichomes do not only secrete sesquiterpenes and palmitic acid but also seem to absorb ergot alkaloids from the epibiotic fungal species of the genus Periglandula. Thus, the trichomes are likely to have a dual and key function in a metabolic dialogue between fungus and host plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergot Alkaloids: Chemistry, Biology and Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary l-Arginine Supplementation Protects Weanling Pigs from Deoxynivalenol-Induced Toxicity
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1341-1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041341
Received: 2 February 2015 / Revised: 1 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2070 | PDF Full-text (769 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was conducted to determine the positive effects of dietary supplementation with l-arginine (Arg) on piglets fed a deoxynivalenol (DON)-contaminated diet. A total of eighteen, 28-day-old healthy weanling pigs were randomly assigned into one of three groups: uncontaminated basal diet (control group), [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to determine the positive effects of dietary supplementation with l-arginine (Arg) on piglets fed a deoxynivalenol (DON)-contaminated diet. A total of eighteen, 28-day-old healthy weanling pigs were randomly assigned into one of three groups: uncontaminated basal diet (control group), 6 mg/kg DON-contaminated diet (DON group) and 6 mg/kg DON + 1% l-arginine (DON + ARG group). After 21 days of Arg supplementation, piglets in the DON and DON + ARG groups were challenged by feeding 6 mg/kg DON-contaminated diet for seven days. The results showed that DON resulted in damage to piglets. However, clinical parameters, including jejunal morphology, amino acid concentrations in the serum, jejunum and ileum, were improved by Arg (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the mRNA levels for sodium-glucose transporter-1 (SGLT-1), glucose transporter type-2 (GLUT-2) and y+l-type amino acid transporter-1 (y+LAT-1) were downregulated in the DON group, but the values were increased in the DON + ARG group (p < 0.05). Collectively, these results indicate that dietary supplementation with Arg exerts a protective role in pigs fed DON-contaminated diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Different Shellfish Matrices on the Separation of PSP Toxins Using a Postcolumn Oxidation Liquid Chromatography Method
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1324-1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041324
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 3 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1915 | PDF Full-text (445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The separation of PSP toxins using liquid chromatography with a post-column oxidation fluorescence detection method was performed with different matrices. The separation of PSP toxins depends on several factors, and it is crucial to take into account the presence of interfering matrix peaks [...] Read more.
The separation of PSP toxins using liquid chromatography with a post-column oxidation fluorescence detection method was performed with different matrices. The separation of PSP toxins depends on several factors, and it is crucial to take into account the presence of interfering matrix peaks to produce a good separation. The matrix peaks are not always the same, which is a significant issue when it comes to producing good, reliable results regarding resolution and toxicity information. Different real shellfish matrices (mussel, scallop, clam and oyster) were studied, and it was seen that the interference is not the same for each individual matrix. It also depends on the species, sampling location and the date of collection. It was proposed that separation should be accomplished taking into account the type of matrix, as well as the concentration of heptane sulfonate in both solvents, since the mobile phase varies regarding the matrix. Scallop and oyster matrices needed a decrease in the concentration of heptane sulfonate to separate GTX4 from matrix peaks, as well as dcGTX3 for oysters, with a concentration of 6.5 mM for solvent A and 6.25 mM for solvent B. For mussel and clam matrices, interfering peaks are not as large as they are in the other group, and the heptane sulfonate concentration was 8.25 mM for both solvents. Also, for scallops and oysters, matrix interferences depend not only on the sampling site but also on the date of collection as well as the species; for mussels and clams, differences are noted only when the sampling site varies. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Acidic Residues in Helices TH8–TH9 in Membrane Interactions of the Diphtheria Toxin T Domain
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1303-1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041303
Received: 5 February 2015 / Revised: 6 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2109 | PDF Full-text (2764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The pH-triggered membrane insertion of the diphtheria toxin translocation domain (T domain) results in transferring the catalytic domain into the cytosol, which is relevant to potential biomedical applications as a cargo-delivery system. Protonation of residues is suggested to play a key role in [...] Read more.
The pH-triggered membrane insertion of the diphtheria toxin translocation domain (T domain) results in transferring the catalytic domain into the cytosol, which is relevant to potential biomedical applications as a cargo-delivery system. Protonation of residues is suggested to play a key role in the process, and residues E349, D352 and E362 are of particular interest because of their location within the membrane insertion unit TH8–TH9. We have used various spectroscopic, computational and functional assays to characterize the properties of the T domain carrying the double mutation E349Q/D352N or the single mutation E362Q. Vesicle leakage measurements indicate that both mutants interact with the membrane under less acidic conditions than the wild-type. Thermal unfolding and fluorescence measurements, complemented with molecular dynamics simulations, suggest that the mutant E362Q is more susceptible to acid destabilization because of disruption of native intramolecular contacts. Fluorescence experiments show that removal of the charge in E362Q, and not in E349Q/D352N, is important for insertion of TH8–TH9. Both mutants adopt a final functional state upon further acidification. We conclude that these acidic residues are involved in the pH-dependent action of the T domain, and their replacements can be used for fine tuning the pH range of membrane interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessReview
Genetics, Genomics and Evolution of Ergot Alkaloid Diversity
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1273-1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041273
Received: 6 March 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 2802 | PDF Full-text (2908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ergot alkaloid biosynthesis system has become an excellent model to study evolutionary diversification of specialized (secondary) metabolites. This is a very diverse class of alkaloids with various neurotropic activities, produced by fungi in several orders of the phylum Ascomycota, including plant pathogens [...] Read more.
The ergot alkaloid biosynthesis system has become an excellent model to study evolutionary diversification of specialized (secondary) metabolites. This is a very diverse class of alkaloids with various neurotropic activities, produced by fungi in several orders of the phylum Ascomycota, including plant pathogens and protective plant symbionts in the family Clavicipitaceae. Results of comparative genomics and phylogenomic analyses reveal multiple examples of three evolutionary processes that have generated ergot-alkaloid diversity: gene gains, gene losses, and gene sequence changes that have led to altered substrates or product specificities of the enzymes that they encode (neofunctionalization). The chromosome ends appear to be particularly effective engines for gene gains, losses and rearrangements, but not necessarily for neofunctionalization. Changes in gene expression could lead to accumulation of various pathway intermediates and affect levels of different ergot alkaloids. Genetic alterations associated with interspecific hybrids of Epichloë species suggest that such variation is also selectively favored. The huge structural diversity of ergot alkaloids probably represents adaptations to a wide variety of ecological situations by affecting the biological spectra and mechanisms of defense against herbivores, as evidenced by the diverse pharmacological effects of ergot alkaloids used in medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergot Alkaloids: Chemistry, Biology and Toxicology)
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Open AccessArticle
Dose-Dependent Effects on Sphingoid Bases and Cytokines in Chickens Fed Diets Prepared with Fusarium Verticillioides Culture Material Containing Fumonisins
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1253-1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041253
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 13 April 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2375 | PDF Full-text (675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In chickens, the effect of mycotoxins, especially fumonisins (FB), in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is not well documented. Thus, this study in broiler chicks determined the effects of consuming diets prepared with Fusarium verticillioides culture material containing FB on intestinal gene expression and [...] Read more.
In chickens, the effect of mycotoxins, especially fumonisins (FB), in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is not well documented. Thus, this study in broiler chicks determined the effects of consuming diets prepared with Fusarium verticillioides culture material containing FB on intestinal gene expression and on the sphinganine (Sa)/sphingosine (So) ratio (Sa/So; a biomarker of FB effect due to disruption of sphingolipid metabolism). Male broilers were assigned to 6 diets (6 cages/diet; 6 birds/cage) from hatch to 20 days containing 0.4, 5.6, 11.3, 17.5, 47.8, or 104.8 mg FB/kg diet. Exposure to FB altered the Sa/So ratio in all tissues analyzed, albeit to varying extents. Linear dose-responses were observed in the kidney, jejunum and cecum. The liver and the ileum were very sensitive and data fit a cubic and quadratic polynomial model, respectively. Gene expression in the small intestine revealed low but significant upregulations of cytokines involved in the pro-inflammatory, Th1/Th17 and Treg responses, especially at 10 days of age. Interestingly, the cecal tonsils exhibited a biphasic response. Unlike the sphingolipid analysis, the effects seen on gene expression were not dose dependent, even showing more effects when birds were exposed to 11.3 mg FB/kg. In conclusion, this is the first report on the disruption of the sphingolipid metabolism by FB in the GIT of poultry. Further studies are needed to reach conclusions on the biological meaning of the immunomodulation observed in the GIT, but the susceptibility of chickens to intestinal pathogens when exposed to FB, at doses lower than those that would cause overt clinical symptoms, should be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
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Open AccessArticle
Binding Studies on Isolated Porcine Small Intestinal Mucosa and in vitro Toxicity Studies Reveal Lack of Effect of C. perfringens Beta-Toxin on the Porcine Intestinal Epithelium
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1235-1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041235
Received: 29 January 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3285 | PDF Full-text (3636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Beta-toxin (CPB) is the essential virulence factor of C. perfringens type C causing necrotizing enteritis (NE) in different hosts. Using a pig infection model, we showed that CPB targets small intestinal endothelial cells. Its effect on the porcine intestinal epithelium, however, could not [...] Read more.
Beta-toxin (CPB) is the essential virulence factor of C. perfringens type C causing necrotizing enteritis (NE) in different hosts. Using a pig infection model, we showed that CPB targets small intestinal endothelial cells. Its effect on the porcine intestinal epithelium, however, could not be adequately investigated by this approach. Using porcine neonatal jejunal explants and cryosections, we performed in situ binding studies with CPB. We confirmed binding of CPB to endothelial but could not detect binding to epithelial cells. In contrast, the intact epithelial layer inhibited CPB penetration into deeper intestinal layers. CPB failed to induce cytopathic effects in cultured polarized porcine intestinal epithelial cells (IPEC-J2) and primary jejunal epithelial cells. C. perfringens type C culture supernatants were toxic for cell cultures. This, however, was not inhibited by CPB neutralization. Our results show that, in the porcine small intestine, CPB primarily targets endothelial cells and does not bind to epithelial cells. An intact intestinal epithelial layer prevents CPB diffusion into underlying tissue and CPB alone does not cause direct damage to intestinal epithelial cells. Additional factors might be involved in the early epithelial damage which is needed for CPB diffusion towards its endothelial targets in the small intestine. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrative Monitoring of Marine and Freshwater Harmful Algae in Washington State for Public Health Protection
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1206-1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041206
Received: 14 February 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3037 | PDF Full-text (1110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The more frequent occurrence of both marine and freshwater toxic algal blooms and recent problems with new toxic events have increased the risk for illness and negatively impacted sustainable public access to safe shellfish and recreational waters in Washington State. Marine toxins that [...] Read more.
The more frequent occurrence of both marine and freshwater toxic algal blooms and recent problems with new toxic events have increased the risk for illness and negatively impacted sustainable public access to safe shellfish and recreational waters in Washington State. Marine toxins that affect safe shellfish harvest in the state are the saxitoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), domoic acid that causes amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) and the first ever US closure in 2011 due to diarrhetic shellfish toxins that cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). Likewise, the freshwater toxins microcystins, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsins, and saxitoxins have been measured in state lakes, although cylindrospermopsins have not yet been measured above state regulatory guidance levels. This increased incidence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) has necessitated the partnering of state regulatory programs with citizen and user-fee sponsored monitoring efforts such as SoundToxins, the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) partnership and the state’s freshwater harmful algal bloom passive (opportunistic) surveillance program that allow citizens to share their observations with scientists. Through such integrated programs that provide an effective interface between formalized state and federal programs and observations by the general public, county staff and trained citizen volunteers, the best possible early warning systems can be instituted for surveillance of known HABs, as well as for the reporting and diagnosis of unusual events that may impact the future health of oceans, lakes, wildlife, and humans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Goal Attainment in Patients with Post-Stroke Upper Limb Spasticity Following Treatment with Botulinum Toxin A in Real-Life Clinical Practice: Sub-Analyses from the Upper Limb International Spasticity (ULIS)-II Study
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1192-1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041192
Received: 15 December 2014 / Revised: 16 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2578 | PDF Full-text (533 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this post-hoc analysis of the ULIS-II study, we investigated factors influencing person-centred goal setting and achievement following botulinum toxin-A (BoNT-A) treatment in 456 adults with post-stroke upper limb spasticity (ULS). Patients with primary goals categorised as passive function had greater motor impairment [...] Read more.
In this post-hoc analysis of the ULIS-II study, we investigated factors influencing person-centred goal setting and achievement following botulinum toxin-A (BoNT-A) treatment in 456 adults with post-stroke upper limb spasticity (ULS). Patients with primary goals categorised as passive function had greater motor impairment (p < 0.001), contractures (soft tissue shortening [STS]) (p = 0.006) and spasticity (p = 0.02) than those setting other goal types. Patients with goals categorised as active function had less motor impairment (0.0001), contracture (p < 0.0001), spasticity (p < 0.001) and shorter time since stroke (p = 0.001). Patients setting goals for pain were older (p = 0.01) with more contractures (p = 0.008). The proportion of patients achieving their primary goal was not impacted by timing of first-ever BoNT-A injection (medium-term (≤1 year) vs. longer-term (>1 year)) post-stroke (80.0% vs. 79.2%) or presence or absence of severe contractures (76.7% vs. 80.6%), although goal types differed. Earlier BoNT-A intervention was associated with greater achievement of active function goals. Severe contractures impacted negatively on goal achievement except in pain and passive function. Goal setting by patients with ULS is influenced by impairment severity, age and time since stroke. Our findings resonate with clinical experience and may assist patients and clinicians in selecting realistic, achievable goals for treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Investigation of the Efficacy of Three Different Adsorbents against OTA-Induced Toxicity in Broiler Chickens
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1174-1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041174
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 5 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2301 | PDF Full-text (2660 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of our study was to determine the efficacy of three different adsorbents, inorganic (modified zeolite), organic (esterified glucomannans) and mixed (inorganic and organic components, with the addition of enzymes), in protecting broilers from the toxic effects of ochratoxin A in feed. [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to determine the efficacy of three different adsorbents, inorganic (modified zeolite), organic (esterified glucomannans) and mixed (inorganic and organic components, with the addition of enzymes), in protecting broilers from the toxic effects of ochratoxin A in feed. Broilers were fed diets containing 2 mg/kg of ochratoxin A (OTA) and supplemented with adsorbents at the recommended concentration of 2 g/kg for 21 days. The presence of OTA led to a notable reduction in body weight, lower weight gain, increased feed conversion and induced histopathological changes in the liver and kidneys. The presence of inorganic, organic and mixed adsorbents in contaminated feed only partially reduced the negative effects of OTA on the broiler performances. Broilers that were fed with adsorbent-supplemented feed reached higher body weight (17.96%, 19.09% and 13.59%), compared to the group that received only OTA. The presence of adsorbents partially alleviated the reduction in feed consumption (22.68%, 12.91% and 10.59%), and a similar effect was observed with feed conversion. The applied adsorbents have also reduced the intensity of histopathological changes caused by OTA; however, they were not able to prevent their onset. After the withdrawal of the toxin and adsorbents from the feed (21–42 days), all previously observed disturbances in broilers were reduced, but more remarkably in broilers fed with adsorbents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detoxification of Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Shiga Toxins by Lateral Flow Assay
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1163-1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041163
Received: 4 March 2015 / Revised: 26 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2528 | PDF Full-text (697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) produce shiga toxins (Stxs) that can cause human disease and death. The contamination of food products with STEC represents a food safety problem that necessitates rapid and effective detection strategies to mitigate risk. In this manuscript, we report [...] Read more.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) produce shiga toxins (Stxs) that can cause human disease and death. The contamination of food products with STEC represents a food safety problem that necessitates rapid and effective detection strategies to mitigate risk. In this manuscript, we report the development of a colorimetric lateral flow assay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Stxs in <10 min using a pair of monoclonal antibodies that bind epitopes common to Stx1 and six Stx2 variants. This LFA provides a rapid and sensitive test for the detection of Stxs directly from STEC culture supernatants or at risk food samples with a 0.1 ng/mL limit of detection (LOD) for Stx2a. This Stx LFA is applicable for use in the rapid evaluation of Stx production from cultured E. coli strains or as a tool to augment current methods as part of food safety testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Shiga Toxins)
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Open AccessCommunication
Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Cell Wall Components as Tools for Ochratoxin A Decontamination
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1151-1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041151
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 16 March 2015 / Accepted: 27 March 2015 / Published: 2 April 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2217 | PDF Full-text (1568 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall preparations in the adsorption of ochratoxin A (OTA). The study involved the use of a brewer’s yeast cell wall devoid of protein substances, glucans obtained by water and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall preparations in the adsorption of ochratoxin A (OTA). The study involved the use of a brewer’s yeast cell wall devoid of protein substances, glucans obtained by water and alkaline extraction, a glucan commercially available as a dietary supplement for animals and, additionally, dried brewer’s yeast for comparison. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis of the obtained preparations showed bands characteristic for glucans in the resulting spectra. The yeast cell wall preparation, water-extracted glucan and the commercial glucan bound the highest amount of ochratoxin A, above 55% of the initial concentration, and the alkaline-extracted glucan adsorbed the lowest amount of this toxin. It has been shown that adsorption is most effective at a close-to-neutral pH, while being considerably limited in alkaline conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Ochratoxins-Collection)
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Open AccessReview
Three Valuable Peptides from Bee and Wasp Venoms for Therapeutic and Biotechnological Use: Melittin, Apamin and Mastoparan
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1126-1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041126
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
Cited by 81 | Viewed by 4271 | PDF Full-text (261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While knowledge of the composition and mode of action of bee and wasp venoms dates back 50 years, the therapeutic value of these toxins remains relatively unexploded. The properties of these venoms are now being studied with the aim to design and develop [...] Read more.
While knowledge of the composition and mode of action of bee and wasp venoms dates back 50 years, the therapeutic value of these toxins remains relatively unexploded. The properties of these venoms are now being studied with the aim to design and develop new therapeutic drugs. Far from evaluating the extensive number of monographs, journals and books related to bee and wasp venoms and the therapeutic effect of these toxins in numerous diseases, the following review focuses on the three most characterized peptides, namely melittin, apamin, and mastoparan. Here, we update information related to these compounds from the perspective of applied science and discuss their potential therapeutic and biotechnological applications in biomedicine. Full article
Open AccessReview
Clostridium Perfringens Enterotoxin (CPE) and CPE-Binding Domain (c-CPE) for the Detection and Treatment of Gynecologic Cancers
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1116-1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041116
Received: 28 January 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2437 | PDF Full-text (411 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) is a three-domain polypeptide, which binds to Claudin-3 and Claudin-4 with high affinity. Because these receptors are highly differentially expressed in many human tumors, claudin-3 and claudin-4 may provide an efficient molecular tool to specifically identify and target biologically [...] Read more.
Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) is a three-domain polypeptide, which binds to Claudin-3 and Claudin-4 with high affinity. Because these receptors are highly differentially expressed in many human tumors, claudin-3 and claudin-4 may provide an efficient molecular tool to specifically identify and target biologically aggressive human cancer cells for CPE-specific binding and cytolysis. In this review we will discuss these surface proteins as targets for the detection and treatment of chemotherapy-resistant gynecologic malignancies overexpressing claudin-3 and -4 using CPE-based theranostic agents. We will also discuss the use of fluorescent c-CPE peptide in the operative setting for real time detection of micro-metastatic tumors during surgery and review the potential role of CPE in other medical applications. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Alteration in the Expression of Cytochrome P450s (CYP1A1, CYP2E1, and CYP3A11) in the Liver of Mouse Induced by Microcystin-LR
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1102-1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041102
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2696 | PDF Full-text (621 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microcystins (MCs) are cyclic heptapeptide toxins and can accumulate in the liver. Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) play an important role in the biotransformation of endogenous substances and xenobiotics in animals. It is unclear if the CYPs are affected by MCs exposure. The objective of [...] Read more.
Microcystins (MCs) are cyclic heptapeptide toxins and can accumulate in the liver. Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) play an important role in the biotransformation of endogenous substances and xenobiotics in animals. It is unclear if the CYPs are affected by MCs exposure. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of microcystin-LR (MCLR) on cytochrome P450 isozymes (CYP1A1, CYP2E1, and CYP3A11) at mRNA level, protein content, and enzyme activity in the liver of mice the received daily, intraperitoneally, 2, 4, and 8 µg/kg body weight of MCLR for seven days. The result showed that MCLR significantly decreased ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) (CYP1A1) and erythromycin N-demthylase (ERND) (CYP3A11) activities and increased aniline hydroxylase (ANH) activity (CYP2E1) in the liver of mice during the period of exposure. Our findings suggest that MCLR exposure may disrupt the function of CYPs in liver, which may be partly attributed to the toxicity of MCLR in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessReview
Chlorotoxin: A Helpful Natural Scorpion Peptide to Diagnose Glioma and Fight Tumor Invasion
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1079-1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041079
Received: 12 November 2014 / Revised: 22 December 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 3893 | PDF Full-text (730 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chlorotoxin is a small 36 amino-acid peptide identified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Initially, chlorotoxin was used as a pharmacological tool to characterize chloride channels. While studying glioma-specific chloride currents, it was soon discovered that chlorotoxin possesses targeting properties [...] Read more.
Chlorotoxin is a small 36 amino-acid peptide identified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Initially, chlorotoxin was used as a pharmacological tool to characterize chloride channels. While studying glioma-specific chloride currents, it was soon discovered that chlorotoxin possesses targeting properties towards cancer cells including glioma, melanoma, small cell lung carcinoma, neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. The investigation of the mechanism of action of chlorotoxin has been challenging because its cell surface receptor target remains under questioning since two other receptors have been claimed besides chloride channels. Efforts on chlorotoxin-based applications focused on producing analogues helpful for glioma diagnosis, imaging and treatment. These efforts are welcome since gliomas are very aggressive brain cancers, close to impossible to cure with the current therapeutic arsenal. Among all the chlorotoxin-based strategies, the most promising one to enhance patient mean survival time appears to be the use of chlorotoxin as a targeting agent for the delivery of anti-tumor agents. Finally, the discovery of chlorotoxin has led to the screening of other scorpion venoms to identify chlorotoxin-like peptides. So far several new candidates have been identified. Only detailed research and clinical investigations will tell us if they share the same anti-tumor potential as chlorotoxin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel Neurotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Harmful Algal Bloom Characterization at Ultra-High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1065-1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041065
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
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Abstract
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) degrade water quality and produce toxins. The spatial distribution of HAbs may change rapidly due to variations wind, water currents, and population dynamics. Risk assessments, based on traditional sampling methods, are hampered by the sparseness of water sample data [...] Read more.
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) degrade water quality and produce toxins. The spatial distribution of HAbs may change rapidly due to variations wind, water currents, and population dynamics. Risk assessments, based on traditional sampling methods, are hampered by the sparseness of water sample data points, and delays between sampling and the availability of results. There is a need for local risk assessment and risk management at the spatial and temporal resolution relevant to local human and animal interactions at specific sites and times. Small, unmanned aircraft systems can gather color-infrared reflectance data at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions, with full control over data collection timing, and short intervals between data gathering and result availability. Data can be interpreted qualitatively, or by generating a blue normalized difference vegetation index (BNDVI) that is correlated with cyanobacterial biomass densities at the water surface, as estimated using a buoyant packed cell volume (BPCV). Correlations between BNDVI and BPCV follow a logarithmic model, with r2-values under field conditions from 0.77 to 0.87. These methods provide valuable information that is complimentary to risk assessment data derived from traditional risk assessment methods, and could help to improve risk management at the local level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cyanobacteria and Algae Blooms: Review of Health and Environmental Data from the Harmful Algal Bloom-Related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS) 2007–2011
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1048-1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041048
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
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Abstract
Algae and cyanobacteria are present in all aquatic environments. We do not have a good sense of the extent of human and animal exposures to cyanobacteria or their toxins, nor do we understand the public health impacts from acute exposures associated with recreational [...] Read more.
Algae and cyanobacteria are present in all aquatic environments. We do not have a good sense of the extent of human and animal exposures to cyanobacteria or their toxins, nor do we understand the public health impacts from acute exposures associated with recreational activities or chronic exposures associated with drinking water. We describe the Harmful Algal Bloom-related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS) and summarize the collected reports describing bloom events and associated adverse human and animal health events. For the period of 2007–2011, Departments of Health and/or Environment from 11 states funded by the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contributed reports for 4534 events. For 2007, states contributed 173 reports from historical data. The states participating in the HABISS program built response capacity through targeted public outreach and prevention activities, including supporting routine cyanobacteria monitoring for public recreation waters. During 2007–2010, states used monitoring data to support196 public health advisories or beach closures. The information recorded in HABISS and the application of these data to develop a wide range of public health prevention and response activities indicate that cyanobacteria and algae blooms are an environmental public health issue that needs continuing attention. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Acute Cardiotoxicity Evaluation of the Marine Biotoxins OA, DTX-1 and YTX
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1030-1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041030
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
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Abstract
Phycotoxins are marine toxins produced by phytoplankton that can get accumulated in filter feeding shellfish. Human intoxication episodes occur due to contaminated seafood consumption. Okadaic acid (OA) and dynophysistoxins (DTXs) are phycotoxins responsible for a severe gastrointestinal syndrome called diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP). [...] Read more.
Phycotoxins are marine toxins produced by phytoplankton that can get accumulated in filter feeding shellfish. Human intoxication episodes occur due to contaminated seafood consumption. Okadaic acid (OA) and dynophysistoxins (DTXs) are phycotoxins responsible for a severe gastrointestinal syndrome called diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP). Yessotoxins (YTXs) are marine toxins initially included in the DSP class but currently classified as a separated group. Food safety authorities from several countries have regulated the content of DSPs and YTXs in shellfish to protect human health. In mice, OA and YTX have been associated with ultrastructural heart damage in vivo. Therefore, this study explored the potential of OA, DTX-1 and YTX to cause acute heart toxicity. Cardiotoxicity was evaluated in vitro by measuring hERG (human èter-a-go-go gene) channel activity and in vivo using electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings and cardiac damage biomarkers. The results demonstrated that these toxins do not exert acute effects on hERG channel activity. Additionally, in vivo experiments showed that these compounds do not alter cardiac biomarkers and ECG in rats acutely. Despite the ultrastructural damage to the heart reported for these toxins, no acute alterations of heart function have been detected in vivo, suggesting a functional compensation in the short term. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on Acute Toxicity and the Behavioral Effects of Methanolic Extract from Psilocybin Mushrooms and Psilocin in Mice
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1018-1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041018
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3156 | PDF Full-text (612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pharmacological activities and acute toxicity of the psilocin (PC) and dried residues of the crude extracts of psychotropic mushrooms were investigated in mice. The hallucinogenic substances were effectively isolated, by using methanol, from the species of Psilocybe semilanceata and Pholiotina cyanopus, [...] Read more.
The pharmacological activities and acute toxicity of the psilocin (PC) and dried residues of the crude extracts of psychotropic mushrooms were investigated in mice. The hallucinogenic substances were effectively isolated, by using methanol, from the species of Psilocybe semilanceata and Pholiotina cyanopus, that were collected in the north-east region of Poland. The chemical analysis of these extracts, which was performed by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry detection (LC-MS), indicated the presence of psilocin and other hallucinogenic substances, including indolealkylamines and their phosphorylated analogues. When the pure psilocin or fungal extracts were used, slight differences in determined LD50 values were observed. However, the application of PC evoked the highest level of toxicity (293.07 mg/kg) compared to the activity of extracts from Ph. cyanopus and P. semilanceata, where the level of LD50 was 316.87 mg/kg and 324.37 mg/kg, respectively. Furthermore, the behavioral test, which considered the head-twitching response (HTR), was used to assess the effects of the studied psychotropic factors on the serotonergic system. Both, the fungal extracts and psilocin evoked characteristic serotoninergic effects depending on the dose administered to mice, acting as an agonist/partial agonist on the serotonergic system. A dose of 200 mg/kg 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) induced spontaneous head-twitching in mice (100% effect), as a result of the formation of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in the brain. Compared to the activity of 5-HTP, the intraperitoneal administration of 1mg/kg of psilocin or hallucinogenic extracts of studied mushrooms (Ph. cyanopus and P. semilanceata) reduced the number of head-twitch responses of about 46% and 30%, respectively. In contrast, the administration of PC exhibited a reduction of about 60% in HTR numbers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Contribution of Organ Vasculature in Rat Renal Analysis for Ochratoxin A: Relevance to Toxicology of Nephrotoxins
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1005-1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041005
Received: 10 November 2014 / Revised: 12 December 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 24 March 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1884 | PDF Full-text (1157 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assumptions surrounding the kidney as a target for accumulation of ochratoxin A (OTA) are addressed because the contribution of the toxin in blood seems invariably to have been ignored. Adult rats were maintained for several weeks on toxin-contaminated feed. Using standard perfusion techniques, [...] Read more.
Assumptions surrounding the kidney as a target for accumulation of ochratoxin A (OTA) are addressed because the contribution of the toxin in blood seems invariably to have been ignored. Adult rats were maintained for several weeks on toxin-contaminated feed. Using standard perfusion techniques, animals were anaesthetised, a blood sample was taken, one kidney was ligated, and the other kidney perfused with physiological saline in situ under normal blood pressure. Comparative analysis of OTA in pairs of kidneys showed marked reduction in the perfused organ in the range 37%–98% (mean 75%), demonstrating the general efficiency of perfusion supported also by histology, and implying a major role of blood in the total OTA content of kidney. Translation of OTA values in plasma to whole blood, and its predicted contribution as a 25% vascular compartment in kidney gave values similar to those in non-perfused kidneys. Thus, apparent ‘accumulation’ of OTA in kidney is due to binding to plasma proteins and long half-life in plasma. Attention should be re-focused on whole animal pharmacokinetics during chronic OTA exposure. Similar principles may be applied to DNA-OTA adducts which are now recognised as occurring in blood; application could also extend to other nephrotoxins such as aristolochic acid. Thus, at least, quantitative reassessment in urological tissues seems necessary in attributing adducts specifically as markers of potentially-tumourigenic exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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