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Toxics, Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Health threat from cadmium contamination of our dietary staples and the air we breathe. Cadmium is [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Design of Stripping Columns Applied to Drinking Water to Minimize Carcinogenic Risk from Trihalomethanes (THMs)
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study is the application of a software tool to the design of stripping columns to calculate the removal of trihalomethanes (THMs) from drinking water. The tool also allows calculating the rough capital cost of the column and the decrease
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study is the application of a software tool to the design of stripping columns to calculate the removal of trihalomethanes (THMs) from drinking water. The tool also allows calculating the rough capital cost of the column and the decrease in carcinogenic risk indeces associated with the elimination of THMs and, thus, the investment to save a human life. The design of stripping columns includes the determination, among other factors, of the height (HOG), the theoretical number of plates (NOG), and the section (S) of the columns based on the study of pressure drop. These results have been compared with THM stripping literature values, showing that simulation is sufficiently conservative. Three case studies were chosen to apply the developed software. The first case study was representative of small-scale application to a community in Córdoba (Spain) where chloroform is predominant and has a low concentration. The second case study was of an intermediate scale in a region in Venezuela, and the third case study was representative of large-scale treatment of water in the Barcelona metropolitan region (Spain). Results showed that case studies with larger scale and higher initial risk offer the best capital investment to decrease the risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Contaminants in Water: Is It still a Conundrum?)
Open AccessArticle County-Level Radon and Incidence of Female Thyroid Cancer in Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, USA
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
Background: Few studies have investigated the association between radon and thyroid cancer despite the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radiation. Our goal is to investigate the association between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in the US States of Iowa,
[...] Read more.
Background: Few studies have investigated the association between radon and thyroid cancer despite the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radiation. Our goal is to investigate the association between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in the US States of Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Methods: Thyroid cancer incidence data were provided by individual state cancer registries and span 1990–2013. Radon data come from a publicly available third-party database, AirChek, accessed in 2017. We tabulated the percent of radon above four picocuries per liter and the female thyroid cancer incidence rate in each county. Quantile maps were constructed, and an ordinary least-squares regression model was run using Geoda 1.10.0.8 (Chicago, IL, USA). Results: No association was observed between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in any of the States: New Jersey (β = 0.06, p = 0.23); Iowa (β = −0.07, p = 0.07); or Wisconsin (β = −0.01, p = 0.78). A spatial regression model was considered, but the Moran’s I of the residuals from each of the models was not significant, so no spatial term was required. Discussion: In this county-level ecological study across three different States in the US, we did not find an association between elevated radon and thyroid cancer incidence in women. While this ecologic study reports null findings, due to the ecologic fallacy, individual-level studies of this association may still be warranted. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Cadmium Nephrotoxicity Is Associated with Altered MicroRNA Expression in the Rat Renal Cortex
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a nephrotoxic environmental pollutant that causes a generalized dysfunction of the proximal tubule characterized by polyuria and proteinuria. Even though the effects of Cd on the kidney have been well-characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have not been fully
[...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is a nephrotoxic environmental pollutant that causes a generalized dysfunction of the proximal tubule characterized by polyuria and proteinuria. Even though the effects of Cd on the kidney have been well-characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have not been fully elucidated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate cellular and physiologic function by modulating gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The goal of the present study was to determine if Cd affects renal cortex miRNA expression in a well-established animal model of Cd-induced kidney injury. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with subcutaneous injections of either isotonic saline or CdCl2 (0.6 mg/kg) 5 days a week for 12 weeks. The 12-week Cd-treatment protocol resulted in kidney injury as determined by the development of polyuria and proteinuria, and a significant increase in the urinary biomarkers Kim-1, β2 microglobulin and cystatin C. Total RNA was isolated from the renal cortex of the saline control and Cd treated animals, and differentially expressed miRNAs were identified using µParafloTM microRNA microarray analysis. The microarray results demonstrated that the expression of 44 miRNAs were significantly increased and 54 miRNAs were significantly decreased in the Cd treatment group versus the saline control (t-test, p ≤ 0.05, N = 6 per group). miR-21-5p, miR-34a-5p, miR-146b-5p, miR-149-3p, miR-224-5p, miR-451-5p, miR-1949, miR-3084a-3p, and miR-3084c-3p demonstrated more abundant expression and a significant two-fold or greater increased expression in the Cd-treatment group versus the saline control group. miR-193b-3p, miR-455-3p, and miR-342-3p demonstrated more abundant expression and a significant two-fold or greater decreased expression in the Cd-treatment group versus the saline control group. Real-time PCR validation demonstrated (1) a significant (t-test, p ≤ 0.05, N = 6 per group) increase in expression in the Cd-treated group for miR-21-5p (2.7-fold), miR-34a-5p (10.8-fold), miR-146b-5p (2-fold), miR-224-5p (10.2-fold), miR-3084a-3p (2.4-fold), and miR-3084c-3p (3.3-fold) and (2) a significant (t-test, p ≤ 0.05, N = 6 per group) 52% decrease in miR-455-3p expression in the Cd-treatment group. These findings demonstrate that Cd significantly alters the miRNA expression profile in the renal cortex and raises the possibility that dysregulated miRNA expression may play a role in the pathophysiology of Cd-induced kidney injury. In addition, these findings raise the possibility that Cd-dysregulated miRNAs might be used as urinary biomarkers of Cd exposure or Cd-induced kidney injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cadmium Sources and Toxicity)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Dietary Cadmium Intake and Its Effects on Kidneys
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
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Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a food-chain contaminant that has high rates of soil-to-plant transference. This phenomenon makes dietary Cd intake unavoidable. Although long-term Cd intake impacts many organ systems, the kidney has long been considered to be a critical target of its toxicity. This
[...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is a food-chain contaminant that has high rates of soil-to-plant transference. This phenomenon makes dietary Cd intake unavoidable. Although long-term Cd intake impacts many organ systems, the kidney has long been considered to be a critical target of its toxicity. This review addresses how measurements of Cd intake levels and its effects on kidneys have traditionally been made. These measurements underpin the derivation of our current toxicity threshold limit and tolerable intake levels for Cd. The metal transporters that mediate absorption of Cd in the gastrointestinal tract are summarized together with glomerular filtration of Cd and its sequestration by the kidneys. The contribution of age differences, gender, and smoking status to Cd accumulation in lungs, liver, and kidneys are highlighted. The basis for use of urinary Cd excretion to reflect body burden is discussed together with the use of urinary N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) and β2-microglobulin (β2-MG) levels to quantify its toxicity. The associations of Cd with the development of chronic kidney disease and hypertension, reduced weight gain, and zinc reabsorption are highlighted. In addition, the review addresses how urinary Cd threshold levels have been derived from human population data and their utility as a warning sign of impending kidney malfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cadmium Sources and Toxicity)
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Open AccessArticle Proposal for a Monitoring Concept for Veterinary Medicinal Products with PBT Properties, Using Parasiticides as a Case Study
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this work is to prepare a proposal for the post-authorization monitoring (PAM) of veterinary medicinal products (VMP), in particular parasiticides. Such a monitoring might especially be useful for parasiticides identified as Persistence Bioaccumulation Toxicity (PBT) substances, i.e., chemicals that are
[...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to prepare a proposal for the post-authorization monitoring (PAM) of veterinary medicinal products (VMP), in particular parasiticides. Such a monitoring might especially be useful for parasiticides identified as Persistence Bioaccumulation Toxicity (PBT) substances, i.e., chemicals that are toxic (T), persist in the environment (P) and bioaccumulate (B) in food chains and, thus, pose a hazard to ecosystems. Based on a literature search, issues to be considered when performing such a PAM are discussed (e.g., residue analysis, compartments to be included, selection of organisms and the duration of monitoring studies). The outcome of this discussion is that—and despite that there are huge challenges in detail (e.g., in terms of analytical chemistry or taxonomy)—the technical performance of such a PAM is not the main problem, since most of the chemical and biological methods to be used are well-known (partly even standardized) or could be adapted. However, it is very difficult to define in detail where and when a monitoring should be performed. The main problem is to link exposure to effects of a certain parasiticide in a way that any impact can directly be related to the use of this parasiticide. Therefore, a “Targeted Environmental Monitoring” (TEM) is proposed, which is essentially a combination between a field study and a PAM. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Risk Assessment of Pesticide Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle Hematological Abnormality, Oxidative Stress, and Genotoxicity Induction in the Greenhouse Pesticide Sprayers; Investigating the Role of NQO1 Gene Polymorphism
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
The widespread use of pesticides in agriculture represents a threat to the human populations exposed to them. In this cross-sectional study, the hematological and biochemical parameters, plasma cholinesterase (PChE) activity, oxidative stress, genotoxicity, and NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) C609T polymorphism were measured
[...] Read more.
The widespread use of pesticides in agriculture represents a threat to the human populations exposed to them. In this cross-sectional study, the hematological and biochemical parameters, plasma cholinesterase (PChE) activity, oxidative stress, genotoxicity, and NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) C609T polymorphism were measured in 100 greenhouse workers occupationally exposed to pesticide mixture and 104 normal healthy controls. There was a decrease in erythrocytes (5.45%, p = 0.026) and hemoglobin (3.26%, p = 0.025), and an increase in mean corpuscular hemoglobin (3.54%, p = 0.013) in the exposed workers. Sprayers showed a reduction in PChE (23%) and GSH (50%) levels, and an increase in lipid peroxidation (LPO) (55%), protein carbonyl (145%), Superoxide dismutase activity (61%), and total antioxidant capacity (35%) (p < 0.001 for all parameters but LPO: p = 0.009). Genotoxicity parameters were significantly high in the exposed cases (for all parameters: p < 0.001 but tail length: p = 0.002). There was a significant correlation between oxidative stress and genotoxicity parameters, and also between these biomarkers and PChE activity. The NQO1 C609T polymorphism was not significantly associated with studied biomarkers. The findings indicate that occupational exposure to a mixture of pesticides can induce hematotoxicity, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity in greenhouse workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Risk Assessment of Pesticide Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle Cytotoxicity Enhancement in Breast Cancer Cells with Carbonate Apatite-Facilitated Intracellular Delivery of Anti-Cancer Drugs
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
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Abstract
Pharmacotherapy as the mainstay in the management of breast cancer has demonstrated various drawbacks, including non-targeted bio distribution and narrow therapeutic and safety windows. Thus, enhancements in pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of the classical anti-cancer drugs could lead to improved efficacy against cancer
[...] Read more.
Pharmacotherapy as the mainstay in the management of breast cancer has demonstrated various drawbacks, including non-targeted bio distribution and narrow therapeutic and safety windows. Thus, enhancements in pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of the classical anti-cancer drugs could lead to improved efficacy against cancer cells. Therefore, inorganic pH-dependent carbonate apatite (CA) nanoparticles were utilized to efficiently deliver various drugs into cancer cells. Following characterization and various modifications in the structure of CA complexes with different drugs, lifted outcomes were achieved. Markedly, complexing paclitaxel with CA resulted in 20.71 ± 4.34% loading efficiency together with 24.14 ± 2.21% enhancement in cytotoxicity on MCF-7 cells plus superior in vivo anti-tumour efficacy compared to free paclitaxel. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Degradation of Organophosphorus and Pyrethroid Insecticides in Beverages: Implications for Risk Assessment
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
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Abstract
Since urinary insecticide metabolites are commonly used as biomarkers of exposure, it is important that we quantify whether insecticides degrade in food and beverages in order to better perform risk assessment. This study was designed to quantify degradation of organophosphorus and pyrethroid insecticides
[...] Read more.
Since urinary insecticide metabolites are commonly used as biomarkers of exposure, it is important that we quantify whether insecticides degrade in food and beverages in order to better perform risk assessment. This study was designed to quantify degradation of organophosphorus and pyrethroid insecticides in beverages. Purified water, white grape juice, orange juice, and red wine were fortified with 500 ng/mL diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, permethrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, and deltamethrin, and aliquots were extracted several times over a 15-day storage period at 2.5 °C. Overall, statistically significant loss of at least one insecticide was observed in each matrix, and at least five out of seven insecticides demonstrated a statistically significant loss in all matrices except orange juice. An investigation of an alternative mechanism of insecticide loss—adsorption onto the glass surface of the storage jars—was carried out, which indicated that this mechanism of loss is insignificant. Results of this work suggest that insecticides degrade in these beverages, and this degradation may lead to pre-existing insecticide degradates in the beverages, suggesting that caution should be exercised when using urinary insecticide metabolites to assess exposure and risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Environmental Risk Assessments)
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Open AccessEditorial Announcing the 2018 Toxics Travel Award for Post-Doctoral Fellows
Received: 26 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
This year we enjoyed a large number of very highly meritorious applications for our annual Toxics Travel Award. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Toxics in 2017
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Toxics maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Joint Toxicity of Two Benzophenone-Type UV Filters on the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with Response Surface Methodology
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
The widespread occurrence of benzophenone-type ultraviolet (UV) filter has raised the public concerns over the ecotoxicological effects of these chemicals. The present study assessed the joint toxicity of two representative benzophenones, benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3), on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using
[...] Read more.
The widespread occurrence of benzophenone-type ultraviolet (UV) filter has raised the public concerns over the ecotoxicological effects of these chemicals. The present study assessed the joint toxicity of two representative benzophenones, benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3), on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using response surface methodologies (RSM). Specific growth rate and photosynthetic pigments were used as endpoints to evaluate the toxic effects. Generally, exposure to the combined BP-1 and BP-3 negatively affected cell growth and pigments production, with higher inhibitions at higher exposure concentrations. The simultaneous reduction in growth rate and pigments contents indicated that BP-1 and BP-3 regulated the growth of the tested alga by affecting the photosynthesis process. Results also showed that second order polynomial regression models fitted well with experimental results for all endpoints. The obtained regression models further indicated that the effects of the combination stemmed significantly from the linear concentration of BP-1 and BP-3. The overall results demonstrated that RSM could be a useful tool in ecotoxicological studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicity of Chemical Mixtures)
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Open AccessArticle Cytotoxic, Apoptotic and Genotoxic Effects of Lipid-Based and Polymeric Nano Micelles, an In Vitro Evaluation
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
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Abstract
Self-assembly systems (SAS) mainly consist of micelles, and liposomes are the classes of Nano Drug Delivery Systems with superior properties compared to traditional therapeutics in targeting cancer tumors. All commercially available nano-formulations of chemotherapeutics currently consist of SAS. According to our knowledge, a
[...] Read more.
Self-assembly systems (SAS) mainly consist of micelles, and liposomes are the classes of Nano Drug Delivery Systems with superior properties compared to traditional therapeutics in targeting cancer tumors. All commercially available nano-formulations of chemotherapeutics currently consist of SAS. According to our knowledge, a specific toxicity comparison based on material differences has not yet been performed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the toxicity of two SAS consisting of Sterically Stabilized Micelles (SSM) made of a lipid-based amphiphilic distearoyl-sn-glycero-phosphatidylethanolamine-polyethylene glycol (PEG)-2000 and a polymeric micelle (PM) consisting of Y-shape amphiphilic block copolymer, synthesized using poly ε-caprolactone and PEG. The mechanism of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of micelles on L-929 healthy mouse fibroblast cells was assessed using Sulforhodamine-B, WST-1, Acridine Orange/Ethidium Bromide and alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis assays. Results showed that SSM in conc. of 40 mg/mL shows very low cytotoxicity at the end of 24, 48 and 72 h. The DNA damage caused by SSM was much lower than PM while the latter one showed significant toxicity by causing apoptosis with the ED50 value of 3 mg/mL. While the DNA damage caused by SSM was ignorable, some DNA chain breaks were detected on cells treated with PM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles Toxicity and Impacts on Biodiversity)
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Open AccessBrief Report Effects of Cadmium Exposure on Age of Menarche and Menopause
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
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Abstract
Cadmium exposure can cause several adverse health effects. Animal studies have also shown that cadmium exposure can affect menarche or menopause. However, data is limited in humans. We conducted a retrospective study to assess whether cadmium exposure was associated with different ages of
[...] Read more.
Cadmium exposure can cause several adverse health effects. Animal studies have also shown that cadmium exposure can affect menarche or menopause. However, data is limited in humans. We conducted a retrospective study to assess whether cadmium exposure was associated with different ages of menarche and menopause in a Chinese population. A total of 429 women living in control (n = 137) and two cadmium-polluted areas (n = 292) were included in this study. A total of 223 and 206 subjects were included in the analysis for menarche and menopause, respectively. The median menarche age of population living in the heavily cadmium-polluted area was significantly younger than those in the control area (14.0 vs. 15.0, p < 0.01). Logistic regression showed that the odds ratio (OR) of early occurrence of menarche (<13 years) in the population living in the heavily polluted area and moderately polluted area was 3.7 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5–9.7) and 1.3 (95% CI: 0.7–2.6) compared with control, respectively. No significant difference was observed in the age of menopause in the population of these three areas. In conclusion, our data indicated that cadmium exposure may cause early menarche. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cadmium Sources and Toxicity)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Multi-Approach Protocol for the Characterization of Occupational Exposure to Organic Dust—Swine Production Case Study
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 25 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
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Abstract
Swine production has been associated with health risks and workers’ symptoms. In Portugal, as in other countries, large-scale swine production involves several activities in the swine environment that require direct intervention, increasing workers’ exposure to organic dust. This study describes an updated protocol
[...] Read more.
Swine production has been associated with health risks and workers’ symptoms. In Portugal, as in other countries, large-scale swine production involves several activities in the swine environment that require direct intervention, increasing workers’ exposure to organic dust. This study describes an updated protocol for the assessment of occupational exposure to organic dust, to unveil an accurate scenario regarding occupational and environmental risks for workers’ health. The particle size distribution was characterized regarding mass concentration in five different size ranges (PM0.5, PM1, PM2.5, PM5, PM10). Bioburden was assessed, by both active and passive sampling methods, in air, on surfaces, floor covering and feed samples, and analyzed through culture based-methods and qPCR. Smaller size range particles exhibited the highest counts, with indoor particles showing higher particle counts and mass concentration than outdoor particles. The limit values suggested for total bacteria load were surpassed in 35.7% (10 out of 28) of samples and for fungi in 65.5% (19 out of 29) of samples. Among Aspergillus genera, section Circumdati was the most prevalent (55%) on malt extract agar (MEA) and Versicolores the most identified (50%) on dichloran glycerol (DG18). The results document a wide characterization of occupational exposure to organic dust on swine farms, being useful for policies and stakeholders to act to improve workers’ safety. The methods of sampling and analysis employed were the most suitable considering the purpose of the study and should be adopted as a protocol to be followed in future exposure assessments in this occupational environment. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Species and Sex Differences in the Morphogenic Response of Primary Rodent Neurons to 3,3′-Dichlorobiphenyl (PCB 11)
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
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Abstract
PCB 11 is an emerging global pollutant that we recently showed promotes axonal and dendritic growth in primary rat neuronal cell cultures. Here, we address the influence of sex and species on neuronal responses to PCB 11. Neuronal morphology was quantified in sex-specific
[...] Read more.
PCB 11 is an emerging global pollutant that we recently showed promotes axonal and dendritic growth in primary rat neuronal cell cultures. Here, we address the influence of sex and species on neuronal responses to PCB 11. Neuronal morphology was quantified in sex-specific primary hippocampal and cortical neuron-glia co-cultures derived from neonatal C57BL/6J mice and Sprague Dawley rats exposed for 48 h to vehicle (0.1% DMSO) or PCB 11 at concentrations ranging from 1 fM to 1 nM. Total axonal length was quantified in tau-1 immunoreactive neurons at day in vitro (DIV) 2; dendritic arborization was assessed by Sholl analysis at DIV 9 in neurons transfected with MAP2B-FusRed. In mouse cultures, PCB 11 enhanced dendritic arborization in female, but not male, hippocampal neurons and male, but not female, cortical neurons. In rat cultures, PCB 11 promoted dendritic arborization in male and female hippocampal and cortical neurons. PCB 11 also increased axonal growth in mouse and rat neurons of both sexes and neuronal cell types. These data demonstrate that PCB 11 exerts sex-specific effects on neuronal morphogenesis that vary depending on species, neurite type, and neuronal cell type. These findings have significant implications for risk assessment of this emerging developmental neurotoxicant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyhalogenated Aromatic Hydrocarbons)
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Open AccessArticle The Fate of Glyphosate and AMPA in a Freshwater Endorheic Basin: An Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
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Abstract
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide worldwide. However, there are some uncertain aspects with respect to its environmental fate. To evaluate the existence and distribution of this pesticide and its metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), their presence in fresh water, sediment, and suspended
[...] Read more.
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide worldwide. However, there are some uncertain aspects with respect to its environmental fate. To evaluate the existence and distribution of this pesticide and its metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), their presence in fresh water, sediment, and suspended particulate matter (SPM) was measured in samples collected in a river running across a large city and through areas with intensive and extensive agriculture. The aquatic risk associated to the occurrence of these compounds was estimated using the hazard quotient (HQ) calculation for water and sediment. From the analyzed samples, overall 35% contained glyphosate, AMPA, or both compounds. Concentrations of the analytes were spread in different percentages depending on the environmental matrices considered, with levels ranging from 12 to 20 times higher for glyphosate and AMPA in sediment and SPM, as compared with the levels found in water. The most polluted area was situated within a green belt zone of the city; while in second place were sites located in areas of extensive agriculture. Aquatic organisms inhabiting areas both inside and outside agricultural areas are threatened by water glyphosate concentrations. Benthic organisms inside the greenbelt zone and inside the lower basin are threatened by the concentrations of glyphosate in sediment. Even when the concentrations measured in water were below the levels of concern for wildlife, results showed the risk of agricultural practices to aquatic biota. An update of the limits established for freshwater biota protection is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Environmental Risk Assessments)
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Open AccessArticle The In Vitro Impact of the Herbicide Roundup on Human Sperm Motility and Sperm Mitochondria
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
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Abstract
Toxicants, such as herbicides, have been hypothesized to affect sperm parameters. The most common method of exposure to herbicides is through spraying or diet. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of direct exposure of sperm to 1 mg/L
[...] Read more.
Toxicants, such as herbicides, have been hypothesized to affect sperm parameters. The most common method of exposure to herbicides is through spraying or diet. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of direct exposure of sperm to 1 mg/L of the herbicide Roundup on sperm motility and mitochondrial integrity. Sperm samples from 66 healthy men who were seeking semen analysis were investigated after written informed consent was taken. Semen analysis was performed according to the World Health Organization guidelines (WHO, 2010). Mitochondrial integrity was assessed through mitochondrial staining using a mitochondria-specific dye, which is exclusively incorporated into functionally active mitochondria. A quantity of 1 mg/L of Roundup was found to exert a deleterious effect on sperm’s progressive motility, after 1 h of incubation (mean difference between treated and control samples = 11.2%) in comparison with the effect after three hours of incubation (mean difference = 6.33%, p < 0.05), while the relative incorporation of the mitochondrial dye in mitochondria of the mid-piece region of Roundup-treated spermatozoa was significantly reduced compared to relative controls at the first hour of incubation, indicating mitochondrial dysfunction by Roundup. Our results indicate that the direct exposure of semen samples to the active constituent of the herbicide Roundup at the relatively low concentration of 1 mg/L has adverse effects on sperm motility, and this may be related to the observed reduction in mitochondrial staining. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Risk Assessment of Pesticide Exposure)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Persistent Threats by Persistent Pollutants: Chemical Nature, Concerns and Future Policy Regarding PCBs—What Are We Heading For?
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
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Abstract
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated sites around the world affect human health for many years, showing long latency periods of health effects. The impact of the different PCB congeners on human health should not be underestimated, as they are ubiquitous, stable molecules and reactive in
[...] Read more.
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated sites around the world affect human health for many years, showing long latency periods of health effects. The impact of the different PCB congeners on human health should not be underestimated, as they are ubiquitous, stable molecules and reactive in biological tissues, leading to neurological, endocrine, genetic, and systemic adverse effects in the human body. Moreover, bioaccumulation of these compounds in fatty tissues of animals (e.g., fish and mammals) and in soils/sediments, results in chronic exposure to these substances. Efficient destruction methods are important to decontaminate polluted sites worldwide. This paper provides an in-depth overview of (i) the history and accidents with PCBs in the 20th century, (ii) the mechanisms that are responsible for the hazardous effects of PCBs, and (iii) the current policy regarding PCB control and decontamination. Contemporary impacts on human health of historical incidents are discussed next to an up to date overview of the health effects caused by PCBs and their mechanisms. Methods to decontaminate sites are reviewed. Steps which lead to a policy of banning the production and distribution of PCBs are overviewed in a context of preventing future accidents and harm to the environment and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyhalogenated Aromatic Hydrocarbons)
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