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Toxins, Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2016)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Box jelly tentacles eject thousands of microscopic, venom-filled tubules during stings that cause [...] Read more.
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Toxins in 2015
Received: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
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Abstract
The editors of Toxins would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms
Received: 22 December 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4130 | PDF Full-text (2473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to [...] Read more.
Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Venoms)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Master Transcription Factor mtfA Governs Aflatoxin Production, Morphological Development and Pathogenicity in the Fungus Aspergillus flavus
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2299 | PDF Full-text (5515 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aspergillus flavus produces a variety of toxic secondary metabolites; among them, the aflatoxins (AFs) are the most well known. These compounds are highly mutagenic and carcinogenic, particularly AFB1. A. flavus is capable of colonizing a number of economically-important crops, such as [...] Read more.
Aspergillus flavus produces a variety of toxic secondary metabolites; among them, the aflatoxins (AFs) are the most well known. These compounds are highly mutagenic and carcinogenic, particularly AFB1. A. flavus is capable of colonizing a number of economically-important crops, such as corn, cotton, peanut and tree nuts, and contaminating them with AFs. Molecular genetic studies in A. flavus could identify novel gene targets for use in strategies to reduce AF contamination and its adverse impact on food and feed supplies worldwide. In the current study, we investigated the role of the master transcription factor gene mtfA in A. flavus. Our results revealed that forced overexpression of mtfA results in a drastic decrease or elimination of several secondary metabolites, among them AFB1. The reduction in AFB1 was accompanied by a decrease in aflR expression. Furthermore, mtfA also regulates development; conidiation was influenced differently by this gene depending on the type of colonized substrate. In addition to its effect on conidiation, mtfA is necessary for the normal maturation of sclerotia. Importantly, mtfA positively affects the pathogenicity of A. flavus when colonizing peanut seeds. AF production in colonized seeds was decreased in the deletion mtfA strain and particularly in the overexpression strain, where only trace amounts were detected. Interestingly, a more rapid colonization of the seed tissue occurred when mtfA was overexpressed, coinciding with an increase in lipase activity and faster maceration of the oily part of the seed. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aflatoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Recombinant HSA-CMG2 Is a Promising Anthrax Toxin Inhibitor
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 25 December 2015 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
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Abstract
Anthrax toxin is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis. Protective antigen (PA) is the key component of the toxin and has been confirmed as the main target for the development of toxin inhibitors. The inhibition of the binding of PA [...] Read more.
Anthrax toxin is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis. Protective antigen (PA) is the key component of the toxin and has been confirmed as the main target for the development of toxin inhibitors. The inhibition of the binding of PA to its receptor, capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2), can effectively block anthrax intoxication. The recombinant, soluble von Willebrand factor type A (vWA) domain of CMG2 (sCMG2) has demonstrated potency against anthrax toxin. However, the short half-life of sCMG2 in vivo is a disadvantage for its development as a new anthrax drug. In the present study, we report that HSA-CMG2, a protein combining human serum albumin (HSA) and sCMG2, produced in the Pichia pastoris expression system prolonged the half-life of sCMG2 while maintaining PA binding ability. The IC50 of HSA-CMG2 is similar to those of sCMG2 and CMG2-Fc in in vitro toxin neutralization assays, and HSA-CMG2 completely protects rats from lethal doses of anthrax toxin challenge; these same challenge doses exceed sCMG2 at a sub-equivalent dose ratio and overwhelm CMG2-Fc. Our results suggest that HSA-CMG2 is a promising inhibitor of anthrax toxin and may contribute to the development of novel anthrax drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Anthrax Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Preventive Effects of Bee Venom Derived Phospholipase A2 on Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Pain in Mice
Received: 5 December 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1957 | PDF Full-text (6088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Oxaliplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat colorectal cancer, induces specific sensory neurotoxicity signs that are aggravated by cold and mechanical stimuli. Here we examined the preventive effects of Bee Venom (BV) derived phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) on oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain [...] Read more.
Oxaliplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat colorectal cancer, induces specific sensory neurotoxicity signs that are aggravated by cold and mechanical stimuli. Here we examined the preventive effects of Bee Venom (BV) derived phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) on oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain in mice and its immunological mechanism. The cold and mechanical allodynia signs were evaluated by acetone and von Frey hair test on the hind paw, respectively. The most significant allodynia signs were observed at three days after an injection of oxaliplatin (6 mg/kg, i.p.) and then decreased gradually to a normal level on days 7–9. The oxaliplatin injection also induced infiltration of macrophages and upregulated levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β in the lumbar dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Daily treatment with bvPLA2 (0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) for five consecutive days prior to the oxaliplatin injection markedly inhibited the development of cold and mechanical allodynia, and suppressed infiltration of macrophages and the increase of IL-1β level in the DRG. Such preventive effects of bvPLA2 were completely blocked by depleting regulatory T cells (Tregs) with CD25 antibody pre-treatments. These results suggest that bvPLA2 may prevent oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain by suppressing immune responses in the DRG by Tregs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Venoms)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reduction of Aflatoxins in Apricot Kernels by Electronic and Manual Color Sorting
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
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Abstract
The efficacy of color sorting on reducing aflatoxin levels in shelled apricot kernels was assessed. Naturally-contaminated kernels were submitted to an electronic optical sorter or blanched, peeled, and manually sorted to visually identify and sort discolored kernels (dark and spotted) from healthy ones. [...] Read more.
The efficacy of color sorting on reducing aflatoxin levels in shelled apricot kernels was assessed. Naturally-contaminated kernels were submitted to an electronic optical sorter or blanched, peeled, and manually sorted to visually identify and sort discolored kernels (dark and spotted) from healthy ones. The samples obtained from the two sorting approaches were ground, homogenized, and analysed by HPLC-FLD for their aflatoxin content. A mass balance approach was used to measure the distribution of aflatoxins in the collected fractions. Aflatoxin B1 and B2 were identified and quantitated in all collected fractions at levels ranging from 1.7 to 22,451.5 µg/kg of AFB1 + AFB2, whereas AFG1 and AFG2 were not detected. Excellent results were obtained by manual sorting of peeled kernels since the removal of discolored kernels (2.6%–19.9% of total peeled kernels) removed 97.3%–99.5% of total aflatoxins. The combination of peeling and visual/manual separation of discolored kernels is a feasible strategy to remove 97%–99% of aflatoxins accumulated in naturally-contaminated samples. Electronic optical sorter gave highly variable results since the amount of AFB1 + AFB2 measured in rejected fractions (15%–18% of total kernels) ranged from 13% to 59% of total aflatoxins. An improved immunoaffinity-based HPLC-FLD method having low limits of detection for the four aflatoxins (0.01–0.05 µg/kg) was developed and used to monitor the occurrence of aflatoxins in 47 commercial products containing apricot kernels and/or almonds commercialized in Italy. Low aflatoxin levels were found in 38% of the tested samples and ranged from 0.06 to 1.50 μg/kg for AFB1 and from 0.06 to 1.79 μg/kg for total aflatoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aflatoxins)
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Open AccessReview Reactive Oxygen Species as Additional Determinants for Cytotoxicity of Clostridium difficile Toxins A and B
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
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Abstract
Clostridium difficile infections can induce mild to severe diarrhoea and the often associated characteristic pseudomembranous colitis. Two protein toxins, the large glucosyltransferases TcdA and TcdB, are the main pathogenicity factors that can induce all clinical symptoms in animal models. The classical molecular mode [...] Read more.
Clostridium difficile infections can induce mild to severe diarrhoea and the often associated characteristic pseudomembranous colitis. Two protein toxins, the large glucosyltransferases TcdA and TcdB, are the main pathogenicity factors that can induce all clinical symptoms in animal models. The classical molecular mode of action of these homologous toxins is the inhibition of Rho GTPases by mono-glucosylation. Rho-inhibition leads to breakdown of the actin cytoskeleton, induces stress-activated and pro-inflammatory signaling and eventually results in apoptosis of the affected cells. An increasing number of reports, however, have documented further qualities of TcdA and TcdB, including the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by target cells. This review summarizes observations dealing with the production of ROS induced by TcdA and TcdB, dissects pathways that contribute to this phenomenon and speculates about ROS in mediating pathogenesis. In conclusion, ROS have to be considered as a discrete, glucosyltransferase-independent quality of at least TcdB, triggered by different mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exposure to the Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Producer Alexandrium catenella Increases the Susceptibility of the Oyster Crassostrea gigas to Pathogenic Vibrios
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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Abstract
The multifactorial etiology of massive Crassostrea gigas summer mortalities results from complex interactions between oysters, opportunistic pathogens and environmental factors. In a field survey conducted in 2014 in the Mediterranean Thau Lagoon (France), we evidenced that the development of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium [...] Read more.
The multifactorial etiology of massive Crassostrea gigas summer mortalities results from complex interactions between oysters, opportunistic pathogens and environmental factors. In a field survey conducted in 2014 in the Mediterranean Thau Lagoon (France), we evidenced that the development of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella, which produces paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), was concomitant with the accumulation of PSTs in oyster flesh and the occurrence of C. gigas mortalities. In order to investigate the possible role of toxic algae in this complex disease, we experimentally infected C. gigas oyster juveniles with Vibrio tasmaniensis strain LGP32, a strain associated with oyster summer mortalities, after oysters were exposed to Alexandrium catenella. Exposure of oysters to A. catenella significantly increased the susceptibility of oysters to V. tasmaniensis LGP32. On the contrary, exposure to the non-toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense or to the haptophyte Tisochrysis lutea used as a foraging alga did not increase susceptibility to V. tasmaniensis LGP32. This study shows for the first time that A. catenella increases the susceptibility of Crassostrea gigas to pathogenic vibrios. Therefore, in addition to complex environmental factors explaining the mass mortalities of bivalve mollusks, feeding on neurotoxic dinoflagellates should now be considered as an environmental factor that potentially increases the severity of oyster mortality events. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Year Assessment of Toxic Genotypes and Microcystin Concentration in Northern Lake Taihu, China
Received: 13 August 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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Abstract
Lake Taihu is the third-largest freshwater lake in China and has been suffering from cyanobacterial blooms for over two decades. The northern part of the lake, Meiliang Bay, is known to be at high risk of dense and sustained Microcystis blooms and toxins. [...] Read more.
Lake Taihu is the third-largest freshwater lake in China and has been suffering from cyanobacterial blooms for over two decades. The northern part of the lake, Meiliang Bay, is known to be at high risk of dense and sustained Microcystis blooms and toxins. This study aimed to investigate and record the annual and seasonal dynamics of toxic genotype, Microcystis morphospecies succession and microcystin variation. It also aimed to find out the underlying driving factors influencing the dynamic changes. Microcystin (MC) and the Microcystis genotype were quantified using HPLC and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. Our study, over three consecutive years, showed that the pattern of morphospecies succession was seasonally distinct and annually consistent. During the same period in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the average MC were, on dry weight basis, 733 μg·g−1, 844 μg·g−1, 870 μg·g−1, respectively. The proportion of toxic Microcystis accounted for 41%, 44% and 52%, respectively. Cell bound microcystin was found to correlate with the percentage of toxic Microcystis. Based on historical and current data, we conclude that annual bloom toxicity was relatively stable or possibly increased over the last decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Incobotulinum Toxin-A Improves Post-Surgical and Post-Radiation Pain in Cancer Patients
Received: 21 August 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 13 January 2016
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Abstract
Cancer patients who undergo surgery or radiation can develop persistent focal pain at the site of radiation or surgery. Twelve patients who had surgery or radiation for local cancer and failed at least two analgesic medications for pain control were prospectively enrolled in [...] Read more.
Cancer patients who undergo surgery or radiation can develop persistent focal pain at the site of radiation or surgery. Twelve patients who had surgery or radiation for local cancer and failed at least two analgesic medications for pain control were prospectively enrolled in a research protocol. Patients were injected up to 100 units of incobotulinum toxin A (IncoA) intramuscularly or subcutaneously depending on the type and location of pain (muscle cramp or neuropathic pain). Two patients passed away, one dropped out due to a skin reaction and another patient could not return for the follow up due to his poor general condition. All remaining 8 subjects (Age 31–70, 4 female) demonstrated significant improvement of Visual Analog Scale (VAS) (3 to 9 degrees, average 3.9 degrees) and reported significant satisfaction in Patients’ Global Impression of Change scale (PGIC) (7 out of 8 reported the pain as much improved). Three of the 8 patients reported significant improvement of quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Botulinum Toxins on Human Pain)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Effect of Co-Administration of Death Camas (Zigadenus spp.) and Low Larkspur (Delphinium spp.) in Cattle
Received: 20 November 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
In many rangeland settings, there is more than one potential poisonous plant. Two poisonous plants that are often found growing simultaneously in the same location in North American rangelands are death camas (Zigadenus spp.) and low larkspur (Delphinium spp.). The objective [...] Read more.
In many rangeland settings, there is more than one potential poisonous plant. Two poisonous plants that are often found growing simultaneously in the same location in North American rangelands are death camas (Zigadenus spp.) and low larkspur (Delphinium spp.). The objective of this study was to determine if co-administration of death camas would exacerbate the toxicity of low larkspur in cattle. Cattle dosed with 2.0 g of death camas/kg BW showed slight frothing and lethargy, whereas cattle dosed with both death camas and low larkspur showed increased clinical signs of poisoning. Although qualitative differences in clinical signs of intoxication in cattle co-treated with death camas and low larkspur were observed, there were not any significant quantitative differences in heart rate or exercise-induced muscle fatigue. Co-treatment with death camas and low larkspur did not affect the serum zygacine kinetics, however, there was a difference in the larkspur alkaloid kinetics in the co-exposure group. Overall, the results from this study suggest that co-exposure to death camas and low larkspur is not significantly more toxic to cattle than exposure to the plants individually. The results from this study increase our knowledge and understanding regarding the acute toxicity of death camas and low larkspur in cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Toxicity of Natural Alkaloids)
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Open AccessArticle Preparative Separation of Main Ustilaginoidins from Rice False Smut Balls by High-Speed Counter-Current Chromatography
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
Ustilaginoidins are bis-naphtho-γ-pyrone mycotoxins isolated from the rice false smut balls (FSBs) infected by the pathogen Villosiclava virens in rice spikelets on panicles. In order to obtain large amounts of pure ustilaginoidins to further evaluate their biological activities and functions, phytotoxicity on rice, [...] Read more.
Ustilaginoidins are bis-naphtho-γ-pyrone mycotoxins isolated from the rice false smut balls (FSBs) infected by the pathogen Villosiclava virens in rice spikelets on panicles. In order to obtain large amounts of pure ustilaginoidins to further evaluate their biological activities and functions, phytotoxicity on rice, security to human and animals as well as to accelerate their applications as pharmaceuticals, preparative high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) was successfully applied to the isolation and purification of seven bis-naphtho-γ-pyrone mycotoxins, namely ustilaginoidins A (1), G (2), B (3), H (4), I (5), C (6), and J (7) from the ethyl acetate crude extract of rice FSBs. Both 1 and 2 were prepared by HSCCC from the low-polarity fraction of the crude extract using the two-phase solvent system composed of n-hexane-ethyl acetate-methanol-water at the volume ratio of 6.5:3.5:5.0:5.0. Similarly, 3, 4 and 5 were prepared from the medium-polarity fraction using the system at the volume ratio of 4.0:5.0:5.0:6.0, and 6 and 7 were prepared from the higher-polarity fraction using the system at volume ratio of 3.0:5.0:4.0:6.7. A total of 6.2 mg of 1, 5.1 mg of 2, 3.9 mg of 3, 1.2 mg of 4, 5.7 mg of 5, 3.5 mg of 6, and 6.1 mg of 7 with purities of 88%, 82%, 91%, 80%, 92%, 81% and 83%, respectively, were yielded from total 62 mg fraction samples in three independent HSCCC runs. The structures of the purified ustilaginoidins were characterized by means of physicochemical and spectrometric analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Assays to Assess the Efficacy of Vinegar and Other Topical First-Aid Approaches on Cubozoan (Alatina alata) Tentacle Firing and Venom Toxicity
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 January 2016 / Published: 11 January 2016
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Abstract
Despite the medical urgency presented by cubozoan envenomations, ineffective and contradictory first-aid management recommendations persist. A critical barrier to progress has been the lack of readily available and reproducible envenomation assays that (1) recapitulate live-tentacle stings; (2) allow quantitation and imaging of cnidae [...] Read more.
Despite the medical urgency presented by cubozoan envenomations, ineffective and contradictory first-aid management recommendations persist. A critical barrier to progress has been the lack of readily available and reproducible envenomation assays that (1) recapitulate live-tentacle stings; (2) allow quantitation and imaging of cnidae discharge; (3) allow primary quantitation of venom toxicity; and (4) employ rigorous controls. We report the implementation of an integrated array of three experimental approaches designed to meet the above-stated criteria. Mechanistically overlapping, yet distinct, the three approaches comprised (1) direct application of test solutions on live tentacles (termed tentacle solution assay, or TSA) with single image- and video-microscopy; (2) spontaneous stinging assay using freshly excised tentacles overlaid on substrate of live human red blood cells suspended in agarose (tentacle blood agarose assays, or TBAA); and (3) a “skin” covered adaptation of TBAA (tentacle skin blood agarose assay, or TSBAA). We report the use and results of these assays to evaluate the efficacy of topical first-aid approaches to inhibit tentacle firing and venom activity. TSA results included the potent stimulation of massive cnidae discharge by alcohols but only moderate induction by urine, freshwater, and “cola” (carbonated soft drink). Although vinegar, the 40-year field standard of first aid for the removal of adherent tentacles, completely inhibited cnidae firing in TSA and TSBAA ex vivo models, the most striking inhibition of both tentacle firing and subsequent venom-induced hemolysis was observed using newly-developed proprietary formulations (Sting No More™) containing copper gluconate, magnesium sulfate, and urea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessCase Report Ultrasound-Guided Nerve Block with Botulinum Toxin Type A for Intractable Neuropathic Pain
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 2 January 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
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Abstract
Neuropathic pain includes postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), and trigeminal neuralgia, and so on. Although various drugs have been tried to treat neuropathic pain, the effectiveness of the drugs sometimes may be limited for chronic intractable neuropathic pain, especially when they [...] Read more.
Neuropathic pain includes postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), and trigeminal neuralgia, and so on. Although various drugs have been tried to treat neuropathic pain, the effectiveness of the drugs sometimes may be limited for chronic intractable neuropathic pain, especially when they cannot be used at an adequate dose, due to undesirable severe side effects and the underlying disease itself. Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) has been known for its analgesic effect in various pain conditions. Nevertheless, there are no data of nerve block in PHN and PDN. Here, we report two patients successfully treated with ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve block using BoNT-A for intractable PHN and PDN. One patient had PHN on the left upper extremity and the other patient had PDN on a lower extremity. Due to side effects of drugs, escalation of the drug dose could not be made. We injected 50 Botox units (BOTOX®, Allergan Inc., Irvine, CA, USA) into brachial plexus and lumbar plexus, respectively, under ultrasound. Their pain was significantly decreased for about 4–5 months. Ultrasound-guided nerve block with BoNT-A may be an effective analgesic modality in a chronic intractable neuropathic pain especially when conventional treatment failed to achieve adequate pain relief. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Botulinum Toxins on Human Pain)
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Open AccessEditorial Enterotoxins: Microbial Proteins and Host Cell Dysregulation
Received: 29 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
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Abstract
The special issue “Enterotoxins: Microbial Proteins and Host Cell Dysregulation” is comprised of research articles and reviews covering a diverse group of toxins that affect the gut and dysregulate host immune response in mechanistically different ways. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Hepatic Transcriptome Responses of Domesticated and Wild Turkey Embryos to Aflatoxin B1
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1999 | PDF Full-text (2254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The mycotoxin, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a hepatotoxic, immunotoxic, and mutagenic contaminant of food and animal feeds. In poultry, AFB1 can be maternally transferred to embryonated eggs, affecting development, viability and performance after hatch. Domesticated turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo [...] Read more.
The mycotoxin, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a hepatotoxic, immunotoxic, and mutagenic contaminant of food and animal feeds. In poultry, AFB1 can be maternally transferred to embryonated eggs, affecting development, viability and performance after hatch. Domesticated turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) are especially sensitive to aflatoxicosis, while Eastern wild turkeys (M. g. silvestris) are likely more resistant. In ovo exposure provided a controlled AFB1 challenge and comparison of domesticated and wild turkeys. Gene expression responses to AFB1 in the embryonic hepatic transcriptome were examined using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). Eggs were injected with AFB1 (1 μg) or sham control and dissected for liver tissue after 1 day or 5 days of exposure. Libraries from domesticated turkey (n = 24) and wild turkey (n = 15) produced 89.2 Gb of sequence. Approximately 670 M reads were mapped to a turkey gene set. Differential expression analysis identified 1535 significant genes with |log2 fold change| ≥ 1.0 in at least one pair-wise comparison. AFB1 effects were dependent on exposure time and turkey type, occurred more rapidly in domesticated turkeys, and led to notable up-regulation in cell cycle regulators, NRF2-mediated response genes and coagulation factors. Further investigation of NRF2-response genes may identify targets to improve poultry resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aflatoxins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Vitamin B12 Uptake by the Gut Commensal Bacteria Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron Limits the Production of Shiga Toxin by Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
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Abstract
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are foodborne pathogens responsible for the development of bloody diarrhea and renal failure in humans. Many environmental factors have been shown to regulate the production of Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), the main virulence factor of EHEC. Among them, soluble [...] Read more.
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are foodborne pathogens responsible for the development of bloody diarrhea and renal failure in humans. Many environmental factors have been shown to regulate the production of Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), the main virulence factor of EHEC. Among them, soluble factors produced by human gut microbiota and in particular, by the predominant species Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (B. thetaiotaomicron), inhibit Stx2 gene expression. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the B. thetaiotaomicron-dependent inhibition of Stx2 production by EHEC. We determined that Stx2-regulating molecules are resistant to heat treatment but do not correspond to propionate and acetate, two short-chain fatty acids produced by B. thetaiotaomicron. Moreover, screening of a B. thetaiotaomicron mutant library identified seven mutants that do not inhibit Stx2 synthesis by EHEC. One mutant has impaired production of BtuB, an outer membrane receptor for vitamin B12. Together with restoration of Stx2 level after vitamin B12 supplementation, these data highlight vitamin B12 as a molecule produced by gut microbiota that modulates production of a key virulence factor of EHEC and consequently may affect the outcome of an infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Shiga Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Identification and Quantification of a Toxigenic and Non-Toxigenic Aspergillus flavus Strain in Contaminated Maize Using Quantitative Real-Time PCR
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
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Abstract
Aflatoxins, which are produced by Aspergillus flavus, are toxic to humans, livestock, and pets. The value of maize (Zea mays) grain is markedly reduced when contaminated with aflatoxin. Plant resistance and biological control using non-toxin producing strains are considered effective [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins, which are produced by Aspergillus flavus, are toxic to humans, livestock, and pets. The value of maize (Zea mays) grain is markedly reduced when contaminated with aflatoxin. Plant resistance and biological control using non-toxin producing strains are considered effective strategies for reducing aflatoxin accumulation in maize grain. Distinguishing between the toxin and non-toxin producing strains is important in determining the effectiveness of bio-control strategies and understanding inter-strain interactions. Using polymorphisms found in the fungal rRNA intergenic spacer region (IGS) between a toxigenic strain of A. flavus (NRRL 3357) and the non-toxigenic strain used in the biological control agent Afla-Guard® (NRRL 21882), we developed a set of primers that allows for the identification and quantification of the two strains using quantitative PCR. This primer set has been used to screen maize grain that was inoculated with the two strains individually and co-inoculated with both strains, and it has been shown to be effective in both the identification and quantification of both strains. Screening of co-inoculated ears from multiple resistant and susceptible genotypic crosses revealed no significant differences in fungal biomass accumulation of either strain in the field tests from 2010 and 2011 when compared across the means of all genotypes. Only one genotype/year combination showed significant differences in strain accumulation. Aflatoxin accumulation analysis showed that, as expected, genotypes inoculated with the toxigenic strain accumulated more aflatoxin than when co-inoculated with both strains or inoculated with only the non-toxigenic strain. Furthermore, accumulation of toxigenic fungal mass was significantly correlated with aflatoxin accumulation while non-toxigenic fungal accumulation was not. This primer set will allow researchers to better determine how the two fungal strains compete on the maize ear and investigate the interaction between different maize lines and these A. flavus strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aflatoxins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Rapid Microfluidic Assay for the Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin in Animal Sera
Received: 9 December 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
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Abstract
Potent Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) represent a threat to public health and safety. Botulism is a disease caused by BoNT intoxication that results in muscle paralysis that can be fatal. Sensitive assays capable of detecting BoNTs from different substrates and settings are essential to [...] Read more.
Potent Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) represent a threat to public health and safety. Botulism is a disease caused by BoNT intoxication that results in muscle paralysis that can be fatal. Sensitive assays capable of detecting BoNTs from different substrates and settings are essential to limit foodborne contamination and morbidity. In this report, we describe a rapid 96-well microfluidic double sandwich immunoassay for the sensitive detection of BoNT-A from animal sera. This BoNT microfluidic assay requires only 5 μL of serum, provides results in 75 min using a standard fluorescence microplate reader and generates minimal hazardous waste. The assay has a <30 pg·mL−1 limit of detection (LOD) of BoNT-A from spiked human serum. This sensitive microfluidic BoNT-A assay offers a fast and simplified workflow suitable for the detection of BoNT-A from serum samples of limited volume in most laboratory settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Rapid Detection of Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Alkaloids from Veratrum taliense Exert Cardiovascular Toxic Effects via Cardiac Sodium Channel Subtype 1.5
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 20 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1710 | PDF Full-text (2446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Several species of the genus Veratrum that produce steroid alkaloids are commonly used to treat pain and hypertension in China and Europe. However, Veratrum alkaloids (VAs) induce serious cardiovascular toxicity. In China, Veratrum treatment often leads to many side effects and even causes [...] Read more.
Several species of the genus Veratrum that produce steroid alkaloids are commonly used to treat pain and hypertension in China and Europe. However, Veratrum alkaloids (VAs) induce serious cardiovascular toxicity. In China, Veratrum treatment often leads to many side effects and even causes the death of patients, but the pathophysiological mechanisms under these adverse effects are not clear. Here, two solanidine-type VAs (isorubijervine and rubijervine) isolated from Veratrum taliense exhibited strong cardiovascular toxicity. A pathophysiological study indicated that these VAs blocked sodium channels NaV1.3–1.5 and exhibited the strongest ability to inhibit NaV1.5, which is specifically expressed in cardiac tissue and plays an essential role in cardiac physiological function. This result reveals that VAs exert their cardiovascular toxicity via the NaV1.5 channel. The effects of VAs on NaV1.3 and NaV1.4 may be related to their analgesic effect and skeletal muscle toxicity, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Toxicity of Natural Alkaloids)
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Open AccessArticle Determination of Gonyautoxin-4 in Echinoderms and Gastropod Matrices by Conversion to Neosaxitoxin Using 2-Mercaptoethanol and Post-Column Oxidation Liquid Chromatography with Fluorescence Detection
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1612 | PDF Full-text (1249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Paralytic Shellfish Toxin blooms are common worldwide, which makes their monitoring crucial in the prevention of poisoning incidents. These toxins can be monitored by a variety of techniques, including mouse bioassay, receptor binding assay, and liquid chromatography with either mass spectrometric or pre- [...] Read more.
Paralytic Shellfish Toxin blooms are common worldwide, which makes their monitoring crucial in the prevention of poisoning incidents. These toxins can be monitored by a variety of techniques, including mouse bioassay, receptor binding assay, and liquid chromatography with either mass spectrometric or pre- or post-column fluorescence detection. The post-column oxidation liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection method, used routinely in our laboratory, has been shown to be a reliable method for monitoring paralytic shellfish toxins in mussel, scallop, oyster and clam species. However, due to its high sensitivity to naturally fluorescent matrix interferences, when working with unconventional matrices, there may be problems in identifying toxins because of naturally fluorescent interferences that co-elute with the toxin peaks. This can lead to erroneous identification. In this study, in order to overcome this challenge in echinoderm and gastropod matrices, we optimized the conversion of Gonyautoxins 1 and 4 to Neosaxitoxin with 2-mercaptoethanol. We present a new and less time-consuming method with a good recovery (82.2%, RSD 1.1%, n = 3), requiring only a single reaction step. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Rapid LC-HRMS Method for the Determination of Domoic Acid in Urine Using a Self-Assembly Pipette Tip Solid-Phase Extraction
Received: 17 October 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2078 | PDF Full-text (2853 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, we developed a self-assembly pipette tip solid-phase extraction (PTSPE) method using a high molecular weight polymer material (PAX) as the adsorbent for the determination of domoic acid (DA) in human urine samples by liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) analysis. [...] Read more.
In this study, we developed a self-assembly pipette tip solid-phase extraction (PTSPE) method using a high molecular weight polymer material (PAX) as the adsorbent for the determination of domoic acid (DA) in human urine samples by liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) analysis. The PTSPE cartridge, assembled by packing 9.1 mg of PAX as sorbent into a 200 μL pipette tip, showed high adsorption capacity for DA owing to the strong cationic properties of PAX. Compared with conventional SPE, the PTSPE is simple and fast, and shows some advantages in the aspects of less solvent consumption, low cost, the absence of the evaporation step, and short time requirement. All the parameters influencing the extraction efficiency such as pH, the amount of sorbent, the number of aspirating/dispensing cycles, and the type and volume of eluent in PTSPE were carefully investigated and optimized. Under the optimized conditions, the limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) values of DA were 0.12 μg/L and 0.37 μg/L respectively. The extraction recoveries of DA from the urine samples spiked at four different concentrations were in a range from 88.4% to 102.5%. The intra- and inter-day precisions varied from 2.1% to 7.6% and from 2.6% to 12.7%, respectively. The accuracy ranged from −1.9% to −7.4%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Development of an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Method Specific for the Detection of G-Group Aflatoxins
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 December 2015 / Published: 28 December 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2378 | PDF Full-text (1484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To detect and monitor G-group aflatoxins in agricultural products, we generated class-specific monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognized aflatoxins G1 and G2. Of the final three positive and stable hybridomas obtained, clone 2G6 produced a monoclonal antibody that had equal sensitivity [...] Read more.
To detect and monitor G-group aflatoxins in agricultural products, we generated class-specific monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognized aflatoxins G1 and G2. Of the final three positive and stable hybridomas obtained, clone 2G6 produced a monoclonal antibody that had equal sensitivity to aflatoxins G1 and G2, and did not cross-react with aflatoxins B1, B2, or M1. Its IC50 values for aflatoxins G1 and G2 were 17.18 ng·mL−1 and 19.75 ng·mL−1, respectively. Using this new monoclonal antibody, we developed a competitive indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CI-ELISA); the method had a limit of detection of 0.06 ng·mL−1. To validate this CI-ELISA, we spiked uncontaminated peanut samples with various amounts of aflatoxins G1 and G2 and compared recovery rates with those determined by a standard HPLC method. The recovery rates of the CI-ELISA ranging from 94% to 103% were comparable to those of the HPLC (92% to 102%). We also used both methods to determine the amounts of G-group aflatoxins in five peanut samples contaminated by aflatoxin B1-positive, and their relative standard deviations ranged from 8.4% to 17.7% (under 20%), which demonstrates a good correlation between the two methods. We further used this CI-ELISA to assess the ability of 126 fungal strains isolated from peanuts or field soils to produce G-group aflatoxins. Among these, seven stains producing different amounts of G-group aflatoxins were identified. Our results showed that the monoclonal antibody 2 G6-based CI-ELISA was suitable for the detection of G-group aflatoxins present in peanuts and also those produced by fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Biorecognition Assays for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Snake Venomics and Antivenomics of Bothrops diporus, a Medically Important Pitviper in Northeastern Argentina
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1964 | PDF Full-text (3368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Snake species within genus Bothrops are responsible for more than 80% of the snakebites occurring in South America. The species that cause most envenomings in Argentina, B. diporus, is widely distributed throughout the country, but principally found in the Northeast, the region [...] Read more.
Snake species within genus Bothrops are responsible for more than 80% of the snakebites occurring in South America. The species that cause most envenomings in Argentina, B. diporus, is widely distributed throughout the country, but principally found in the Northeast, the region with the highest rates of snakebites. The venom proteome of this medically relevant snake was unveiled using a venomic approach. It comprises toxins belonging to fourteen protein families, being dominated by PI- and PIII-SVMPs, PLA2 molecules, BPP-like peptides, L-amino acid oxidase and serine proteinases. This toxin profile largely explains the characteristic pathophysiological effects of bothropic snakebites observed in patients envenomed by B. diporus. Antivenomic analysis of the SAB antivenom (Instituto Vital Brazil) against the venom of B. diporus showed that this pentabothropic antivenom efficiently recognized all the venom proteins and exhibited poor affinity towards the small peptide (BPPs and tripeptide inhibitors of PIII-SVMPs) components of the venom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Venomics, Venom Proteomics and Venom Transcriptomics)
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Open AccessArticle Occurrence and Seasonal Variations of Lipophilic Marine Toxins in Commercial Clam Species along the Coast of Jiangsu, China
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1944 | PDF Full-text (1646 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recent studies have examined lipophilic marine toxins (LMTs) in shellfish and toxic algae worldwide, but the occurrence and seasonal variations of LMTs in commercial clams (including Mactra veneriformis, Ruditapes philippinarum, Meretrix meretrix, and Cyclina sinensis) at their major culturing [...] Read more.
Recent studies have examined lipophilic marine toxins (LMTs) in shellfish and toxic algae worldwide, but the occurrence and seasonal variations of LMTs in commercial clams (including Mactra veneriformis, Ruditapes philippinarum, Meretrix meretrix, and Cyclina sinensis) at their major culturing area in Jiangsu, China, remain largely unexplored. In this study, a new solid phase extraction (SPE) in combination with an ultra-fast liquid chromatography and triple-quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometry (UFLC-TQ-MS) method was developed to determine the presence of 10 typical LMTs (okadaic acid (OA), yessotoxins (YTXs), azaspiracids (AZA1-3), pectenotoxins (PTX2), gymnodimine (GYM), dinophysistoxins (DTX1&2), and spirolides (SPX1)) in the aforementioned four clam matrices. After confirmation of its sensitivity and precision, this method was used to evaluate the amounts of LMTs in clam samples harvested in five aquaculture zones of the Jiangsu coastal area. Monthly variations of GYM, PTX2, OA, and DTX1&2 in 400 clam samples from the sample areas were determined from January 2014 through August 2015. Peak values were observed during May and August. This is the first systematic report of LMTs detected in clam samples harvested in Jiangsu. Follow-up research and the implementation of protective measures are needed to ensure the safety of clams harvested in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Identification and Characterization of Carboxylesterases from Brachypodium distachyon Deacetylating Trichothecene Mycotoxins
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2155 | PDF Full-text (1184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Increasing frequencies of 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3-ADON)-producing strains of Fusarium graminearum (3-ADON chemotype) have been reported in North America and Asia. 3-ADON is nearly nontoxic at the level of the ribosomal target and has to be deacetylated to cause inhibition of protein biosynthesis. Plant cells [...] Read more.
Increasing frequencies of 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3-ADON)-producing strains of Fusarium graminearum (3-ADON chemotype) have been reported in North America and Asia. 3-ADON is nearly nontoxic at the level of the ribosomal target and has to be deacetylated to cause inhibition of protein biosynthesis. Plant cells can efficiently remove the acetyl groups of 3-ADON, but the underlying genes are yet unknown. We therefore performed a study of the family of candidate carboxylesterases (CXE) genes of the monocot model plant Brachypodium distachyon. We report the identification and characterization of the first plant enzymes responsible for deacetylation of trichothecene toxins. The product of the BdCXE29 gene efficiently deacetylates T-2 toxin to HT-2 toxin, NX-2 to NX-3, both 3-ADON and 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (15-ADON) into deoxynivalenol and, to a lesser degree, also fusarenon X into nivalenol. The BdCXE52 esterase showed lower activity than BdCXE29 when expressed in yeast and accepts 3-ADON, NX-2, 15-ADON and, to a limited extent, fusarenon X as substrates. Expression of these Brachypodium genes in yeast increases the toxicity of 3-ADON, suggesting that highly similar genes existing in crop plants may act as susceptibility factors in Fusarium head blight disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Characterization and in Vitro Cytotoxicity on Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells of Carica Papaya Leaf Extracts
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2531 | PDF Full-text (2342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In traditional medicine, Carica papaya leaf has been used for a wide range of therapeutic applications including skin diseases and cancer. In this study, we investigated the in vitro cytotoxicity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Carica papaya leaves on the human oral [...] Read more.
In traditional medicine, Carica papaya leaf has been used for a wide range of therapeutic applications including skin diseases and cancer. In this study, we investigated the in vitro cytotoxicity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Carica papaya leaves on the human oral squamous cell carcinoma SCC25 cell line in parallel with non-cancerous human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. Two out of four extracts showed a significantly selective effect towards the cancer cells and were found to contain high levels of phenolic and flavonoid compounds. The chromatographic and mass spectrometric profiles of the extracts obtained with Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Quadrupole Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry were used to tentatively identify the bioactive compounds using comparative analysis. The principal compounds identified were flavonoids or flavonoid glycosides, particularly compounds from the kaempferol and quercetin families, of which several have previously been reported to possess anticancer activities. These results confirm that papaya leaf is a potential source of anticancer compounds and warrant further scientific investigation to validate the traditional use of papaya leaf to treat cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Efficacy and Safety of a New Botulinum Toxin Type A Free of Complexing Proteins
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
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Abstract
MT10107 is botulinum neurotoxin type A derived drug which utilizes the 150 kDa portion without complexing proteins and human serum albumin contents. To evaluate the efficacy and the safety of MT10107, it was compared with onabotulinumtoxinA in this double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five [...] Read more.
MT10107 is botulinum neurotoxin type A derived drug which utilizes the 150 kDa portion without complexing proteins and human serum albumin contents. To evaluate the efficacy and the safety of MT10107, it was compared with onabotulinumtoxinA in this double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five healthy males received a randomly selected dose of MT10107 into the extensor digitorum brevis (EDB) muscle of one foot, and an equivalent dose of onabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX) was injected into the contralateral EDB muscle. While efficacy of the administered substance was determined by measuring paretic effects on the EDB, the local spread of toxin effects was evaluated by the paretic effects on the nearby abductor hallucis (AH) and abductor digiti quinti (ADQ) muscles. Paretic effects were defined as the percentage of reduction of the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitudes, measured at 14, 30, 90 days after the injection, compared to the baseline value. Intergroup (MT10107 and onabotulinumtoxinA) differences were not significant in the percentage reduction of the amplitudes in the EDB muscles. In this study, there was no significant difference in efficacy and safety between the two test drugs. MT10107 may be effective and safe as much as onabotulinumtoxinA to produce the desired paretic effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessReview Scorpions from Mexico: From Species Diversity to Venom Complexity
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 9 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3738 | PDF Full-text (2141 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some [...] Read more.
Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world’s medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Venoms)
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Open AccessArticle Does Dietary Deoxynivalenol Modulate the Acute Phase Reaction in Endotoxaemic Pigs?—Lessons from Clinical Signs, White Blood Cell Counts, and TNF-Alpha
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 27 November 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2178 | PDF Full-text (3007 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We studied the interaction between deoxynivalenol (DON)-feeding and a subsequent pre- and post-hepatic immune stimulus with the hypothesis that the liver differently mediates the acute phase reaction (APR) in pigs. Barrows (n = 44) were divided into a DON-(4.59 mg DON/kg feed) [...] Read more.
We studied the interaction between deoxynivalenol (DON)-feeding and a subsequent pre- and post-hepatic immune stimulus with the hypothesis that the liver differently mediates the acute phase reaction (APR) in pigs. Barrows (n = 44) were divided into a DON-(4.59 mg DON/kg feed) and a control-diet group, surgically equipped with permanent catheters pre- (V. portae hepatis) and post-hepatic (V. jugularis interna) and infused either with 0.9% NaCl or LPS (7.5 µg/kg BW). Thus, combination of diet (CON vs. DON) and infusion (CON vs. LPS, jugular vs. portal) created six groups: CON_CONjug.-CONpor., CON_CONjug.-LPSpor., CON_LPSjug.-CONpor., DON_CONjug.-CONpor., DON_CONjug.-LPSpor., DON_LPSjug.-CONpor.. Blood samples were taken at −30, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 120, 150, 180 min relative to infusion and analyzed for leukocytes and TNF-alpha. Concurrently, clinical signs were scored and body temperature measured during the same period. LPS as such induced a dramatic rise in TNF-alpha (p < 0.001), hyperthermia (p < 0.01), and severe leukopenia (p < 0.001). In CON-fed pigs, an earlier return to physiological base levels was observed for the clinical complex, starting at 120 min post infusionem (p < 0.05) and persisting until 180 min. DON_LPSjug.-CONpor. resulted in a lower temperature rise (p = 0.08) compared to CON_LPSjug.-CONpor.. In conclusion, APR resulting from a post-hepatic immune stimulus was altered by chronic DON-feeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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