Abstract: The mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEN) is frequently contaminating animal feeds including feed used in aquaculture. In the present study, the effects of dietary exposure to ZEN on carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) were investigated. ZEN at three different concentrations (low dose: 332 µg kg−1, medium dose: 621 µg kg−1 and high dose: 797 µg kg−1 final feed, respectively) was administered to juvenile carp for four weeks. Additional groups received the mycotoxin for the same time period but were fed with the uncontaminated diet for two more weeks to examine the reversibility of the ZEN effects. No effects on growth were observed during the feeding trial, but effects on haematological parameters occurred. In addition, an influence on white blood cell counts was noted whereby granulocytes and monocytes were affected in fish treated with the medium and high dose ZEN diet. In muscle samples, marginal ZEN and α-zearalenol (α-ZEL) concentrations were detected. Furthermore, the genotoxic potential of ZEN was confirmed by analysing formation of micronuclei in erythrocytes. In contrast to previous reports on other fish species, estrogenic effects measured as vitellogenin concentrations in serum samples were not increased by dietary exposure to ZEN. This is probably due to the fact that ZEN is rapidly metabolized in carp.
Abstract: Research has shown success using clay-based binders to adsorb aflatoxin in animal feeds; however, no adsorbent has been approved for the prevention or treatment of aflatoxicosis. In this study, growth and relative organ weights were evaluated along with a residue analysis for aflatoxin B1 in liver tissue collected from broiler chickens consuming dietary aflatoxin (0, 600, 1200, and 1800 µg/kg) both with and without 0.2% of a calcium bentonite clay additive (TX4). After one week, only the combined measure of a broiler productivity index was significantly affected by 1800 µg/kg aflatoxin. However, once birds had consumed treatment diets for two weeks, body weights and relative kidney weights were affected by the lowest concentration. Then, during the third week, body weights, feed conversion, and the productivity index were affected by the 600 µg/kg level. Results also showed that 0.2% TX4 was effective at reducing the accumulation of aflatoxin B1 residues in the liver and improving livability in birds fed aflatoxin. The time required to clear all residues from the liver was less than one week. With evidence that the liver’s ability to process aflatoxin becomes relatively efficient within three weeks, this would imply that an alternative strategy for handling aflatoxin contamination in feed could be to allow a short, punctuated exposure to a higher level, so long as that exposure is followed by at least a week of a withdrawal period on a clean diet free of aflatoxin.
Abstract: Pufferfish poisoning has not been well documented in the South Pacific, although fish and other seafood are sources of protein in these island nations. In this study, tetrodotoxin (TTX) and its analogues in each organ of the pufferfish Arothron hispidus and A. nigropunctatus collected in the Solomon Islands were investigated using high resolution LC-MS. The toxin profiles of the same two species of pufferfish from Okinawa, Japan were also examined for comparison. TTXs concentrations were higher in the skin of both species from both regions, and relatively lower in the liver, ovary, testis, stomach, intestine, and flesh. Due to higher TTX concentrations (51.0 and 28.7 µg/g at highest) detected in the skin of the two species from the Solomon Islands (saxitoxin was <0.02 µg/g), these species should be banned from consumption. Similar results were obtained from fish collected in Okinawa, Japan: TTX in the skin of A. hispidus and A. nigropunctatus were 12.7 and 255 µg/g, respectively, at highest, and saxitoxin was also detected in the skin (2.80 µg/g at highest) and ovary of A. hispidus. TTX, 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX (with its 4-epi form), and its anhydro forms were the most abundant, and 11-oxoTTX was commonly detected in the skin.
Abstract: Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) often complain of urinary disturbances characterized by overactive bladder syndrome and difficulties in bladder emptying. The aim of the study was to investigate the pathophysiology of bladder dysfunction and the neurophysiological effects of intradetrusorial incobotulinum toxin A (BoNT/A) in patients with MS having both brain and spinal MS-related lesions. Twenty-five MS patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) underwent clinical evaluation and soleus Hoffmann reflex (H reflex) study during urodynamics. Of the 25 patients, 14 underwent a further session one month after intradetrusorial BoNT/A injection. Eighteen healthy subjects acted as the control. In healthy subjects, the H reflex size significantly decreased at maximum cystometric capacity (MCC), whereas in MS patients with NDO, the H reflex remained unchanged. In the patients who received intradetrusorial BoNT/A, clinical and urodynamic investigations showed that NDO improved significantly. Volumes at the first, normal and strong desire to void and MCC increased significantly. Despite its efficacy in improving bladder symptoms and in increasing volumes for first desire, normal and strong desire to void, BoNT/A left the H reflex modulation during bladder filling unchanged. In the MS patients we studied having both brain and spinal MS-related lesions, the H reflex size remained unchanged at maximum bladder filling. Since this neurophysiological pattern has been previously found in patients with spinal cord injury, we suggest that bladder dysfunction arises from the MS-related spinal lesions. BoNT/A improves bladder dysfunction by changing bladder afferent input, as shown by urodynamic findings on bladder filling sensations, but its effects on H reflex modulation remain undetectable.
Abstract: Existing antibodies (Abs) used to treat botulism cannot enter the cytosol of neurons and bind to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) at its site of action, and thus cannot reverse paralysis. However, Abs targeting the proteolytic domain of the toxin could inhibit the proteolytic activity of the toxin intracellularly and potentially reverse intoxication, if they could be delivered intracellularly. As such, antibodies that neutralize toxin activity could serve as potent inhibitory cargos for therapeutic antitoxins against botulism. BoNT serotype B (BoNT/B) contains a zinc endopeptidase light chain (LC) domain that cleaves synaoptobrevin-2, a SNARE protein responsible for vesicle fusion and acetylcholine vesicle release. To generate monoclonal Abs (mAbs) that could reverse paralysis, we targeted the protease domain for Ab generation. Single-chain variable fragment (scFv) libraries from immunized mice or humans were displayed on yeast, and 19 unique BoNT/B LC-specific mAbs isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The equilibrium dissociation constants (KD) of these mAbs for BoNT/B LC ranged from 0.24 nM to 14.3 nM (mean KD 3.27 nM). Eleven mAbs inhibited BoNT/B LC proteolytic activity. The fine epitopes of selected mAbs were identified by alanine-scanning mutagenesis, revealing that inhibitory mAbs bound near the active site, substrate-binding site or the extended substrate-binding site. The results provide mAbs that could prove useful for intracellular reversal of paralysis and identify epitopes that could be targeted by small molecules inhibitors.
Abstract: Anterior knee pain is a highly prevalent condition affecting largely young to middle aged adults. Symptoms can recur in more than two thirds of cases, often resulting in activity limitation and reduced participation in employment and recreational pursuits. Persistent anterior knee pain is difficult to treat and many individuals eventually consider a surgical intervention. Evidence for long term benefit of most conservative treatments or surgical approaches is currently lacking. Injection of Botulinum toxin type A to the distal region of vastus lateralis muscle causes a short term functional “denervation” which moderates the influence of vastus lateralis muscle on the knee extensor mechanism and increases the relative contribution of the vastus medialis muscle. Initial data suggest that, compared with other interventions for anterior knee pain, Botulinum toxin type A injection, in combination with an active exercise programme, can lead to sustained relief of symptoms, reduced health care utilisation and increased activity participation. The procedure is less invasive than surgical intervention, relatively easy to perform, and is time- and cost-effective. Further studies, including larger randomized placebo-controlled trials, are required to confirm the effectiveness of Botulinum toxin type A injection for anterior knee pain and to elaborate the possible mechanisms underpinning pain and symptom relief.