Toxins2015, 7(6), 1979-1988; doi:10.3390/toxins7061979 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The intestinal epithelium is the first barrier against food contaminants. Zearalenone (ZEN) is an estrogenic mycotoxin that was identified as a common contaminant of cereal grains and food and feedstuffs. In the present study, we have investigated the in vitro effects of ZEN and some of its metabolites (α-ZOL, β-ZOL) in concentrations of 10–100 µM on a swine epithelial cell line: Intestinal porcine epithelial cells (IPEC-1). We demonstrated that both ZEN metabolites were more toxic for IPEC cells as resulted from the XTT test, while for doses lower than 10 µM, only β-ZOL showed a more pronounced cytotoxicity versus epithelial cells as resulted from neutral red assay. ZEN has no effect on TER values, while α-ZOL significantly decreased the TER values, starting with day 4 of treatment. β-ZOL had a dual effect, firstly it induced a significant increase of TER, and then, starting on day 6, it induced a dramatic decrease of TER values as compared with on day 0. Concerning the cytokine synthesis, our results showed that ZEN has a tendency to increase the synthesis of IL-8 and IL-10. By contrast, α- and β-ZOL decreased the expression of both IL-8 and IL-10, in a dose dependent manner. In conclusion, our results showed that ZEN and its metabolites differently affected porcine intestinal cell viability, transepithelial resistance and cytokine synthesis with important implication for gut health.
Toxins2015, 7(6), 1962-1978; doi:10.3390/toxins7061962 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is a major pest of cruciferous vegetables worldwide. Cantharidin, a natural toxin isolated from blister beetles, has been reported to be toxic to P. xylostella. However, little is known on the chronic sublethal effects of cantharidin on this species. In this study, we assessed the changes of susceptibility, development, reproduction and other demographic parameters in both the selected P. xylostella strain (Sub, selected by LC25 cantharidin for consecutive 12 generations) and the revertant strain (SubR, derived from the Sub strain without being exposed to cantharidin for 12 generations). Results revealed thatthe two strains maintained a relatively high-level susceptibility to cantharidin. Severe adverse effects on the population dynamics and fitness in Sub strain were observed. In addition, repeated exposure of P. xylostella to sublethal concentration of cantharidin resulted in negative effects on adult performance and deformities in adults. Although morphologically normal for individuals, the SubR strain exhibited a disadvantage in population growth rate. Our results showed that sublethal concentration of cantharidin exhibited severe negative effects on population growth for longtime. These findings would be useful for assessing the potential effects and risk of cantharidin on P. xylostella and for developing effective integrated pest management.
Toxins2015, 7(6), 1945-1961; doi:10.3390/toxins7061945 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV), worldwide cereal contaminants, raise concerns for animal and human gut health, following contaminated food or feed ingestion. The impact of DON and NIV on intestinal mucosa was investigated after acute exposure, in vitro and in vivo. The histological changes induced by DON and NIV were analyzed after four-hour exposure on pig jejunum explants and loops, two alternative models. On explants, dose-dependent increases in the histological changes were induced by DON and NIV, with a two-fold increase in lesion severity at 10 µM NIV. On loops, NIV had a greater impact on the mucosa than DON. The overall proliferative cells showed 30% and 13% decrease after NIV and DON exposure, respectively, and NIV increased the proliferative index of crypt enterocytes. NIV also increased apoptosis at the top of villi and reduced by almost half the proliferative/apoptotic cell ratio. Lamina propria cells (mainly immune cells) were more sensitive than enterocytes (epithelial cells) to apoptosis induced by NIV. Our results demonstrate a greater impact of NIV than DON on the intestinal mucosa, both in vitro and in vivo, and highlight the need of a specific hazard characterization for NIV risk assessment.
Toxins2015, 7(6), 1929-1944; doi:10.3390/toxins7061929 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: An 8-week feeding trial was conducted to examine effects of wheat naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins (deoxynivalenol, DON 41 mg·kg−1) on growth performance and selected health indices of red tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × O. mossambicus; initial weight = 4.3 g/fish). Five experimental diets were formulated by replacement of clean wheat with naturally contaminated wheat resulting in graded levels of DON and zearalenone (ZEN) (Diet 1 0.07/0.01, Diet 2 0.31/0.09, Diet 3 0.50/0.21, Diet 4 0.92/0.37 and Diet 5 1.15/0.98 mg·kg−1). Groups of 50 fish were randomly allocated into each of 20 aquaria and fed to near-satiety for eight weeks. Growth rate, feed intake and feed efficiency of fish fed the experimental diets decreased linearly with increasing levels of Fusarium mycotoxins (p < 0.05). Although growth depression was associated with feeding diets naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins, especially DON, no biochemical and histopathological parameters measured in blood and liver appeared affected by Fusarium mycotoxin concentrations of diets (p > 0.05). Though there was no clear evidence of overt DON toxicity to red tilapia, it is recommended that feed ingredients should be screened for Fusarium mycotoxin contamination to ensure optimal growth performance.
Toxins2015, 7(6), 1917-1928; doi:10.3390/toxins7061917 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Progressive renal fibrosis is the final common pathway for all kidney diseases leading to chronic renal failure. Bee venom (BV) has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases. However, the precise mechanism of BV in ameliorating the renal fibrosis is not fully understood. To investigate the therapeutic effects of BV against unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced renal fibrosis, BV was given intraperitoneally after ureteral ligation. At seven days after UUO surgery, the kidney tissues were collected for protein analysis and histologic examination. Histological observation revealed that UUO induced a considerable increase in the number of infiltrated inflammatory cells. However, BV treatment markedly reduced these reactions compared with untreated UUO mice. The expression levels of TNF-α and IL-1β were significantly reduced in BV treated mice compared with UUO mice. In addition, treatment with BV significantly inhibited TGF-β1 and fibronectin expression in UUO mice. Moreover, the expression of α-SMA was markedly withdrawn after treatment with BV. These findings suggest that BV attenuates renal fibrosis and reduces inflammatory responses by suppression of multiple growth factor-mediated pro-fibrotic genes. In conclusion, BV may be a useful therapeutic agent for the prevention of fibrosis that characterizes progression of chronic kidney disease.
Toxins2015, 7(6), 1882-1916; doi:10.3390/toxins7061882 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Botulinum toxin A inhibits neuromuscular transmission. It has become a drug with many indications. The range of clinical applications has grown to encompass several neurological and non-neurological conditions. One of the most recent achievements in the field is the observation that botulinum toxin A provides benefit in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Although toxin blocks cholinergic nerve endings in the autonomic nervous system, it has also been shown that it does not block non-adrenergic non-cholinergic responses mediated by nitric oxide. This has promoted further interest in using botulinum toxin A as a treatment for overactive smooth muscles and sphincters. The introduction of this therapy has made the treatment of several clinical conditions easier, in the outpatient setting, at a lower cost and without permanent complications. This review presents current data on the use of botulinum toxin A in the treatment of pathological conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.