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J. Xenobiot., Volume 14, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 26 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Spironolactone (SPI) is a diuretic widely used to treat cardiovascular diseases. It was lately identified as an endocrine-disrupting compound (EDC) in female western mosquitofish, but no data evaluated its disruptive actions at the vascular level with possible impairments for human health. We analysed the contractility effects of SPI on rat aorta and its mode of action by Ca2+ channels and endothelial pathways, and performed cytotoxic assays. Data show that SPI-induced vasodilation is partially mediated by endothelium-dependent (involving nitric oxide) and -independent mechanisms (Ca2+ channels blockage). A non-monotonic effect characteristic of EDC was also observed for an SPI-induced decrease in smooth muscle cell viability. In summary, despite our study being performed with animal arteries, our findings suggest that SPI may have implications for human vascular health, possibly… View this paper
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36 pages, 3709 KiB  
Review
Bamboo-Based Biochar: A Still Too Little-Studied Black Gold and Its Current Applications
by Silvana Alfei and Omar Ginoble Pandoli
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 416-451; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010026 - 20 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Biochar (BC), also referred to as “black gold”, is a carbon heterogeneous material rich in aromatic systems and minerals, preparable by the thermal decomposition of vegetable and animal biomasses in controlled conditions and with clean technology. Due to its adsorption ability and presence [...] Read more.
Biochar (BC), also referred to as “black gold”, is a carbon heterogeneous material rich in aromatic systems and minerals, preparable by the thermal decomposition of vegetable and animal biomasses in controlled conditions and with clean technology. Due to its adsorption ability and presence of persistent free radicals (PFRs), BC has demonstrated, among other uses, great potential in the removal of environmental organic and inorganic xenobiotics. Bamboo is an evergreen perennial flowering plant characterized by a short five-year growth period, fast harvesting, and large production in many tropical and subtropical countries worldwide, thus representing an attractive, low-cost, eco-friendly, and renewable bioresource for producing BC. Due to their large surface area and increased porosity, the pyrolyzed derivatives of bamboo, including bamboo biochar (BBC) or activated BBC (ABBC), are considered great bio-adsorbent materials for removing heavy metals, as well as organic and inorganic contaminants from wastewater and soil, thus improving plant growth and production yield. Nowadays, the increasing technological applications of BBC and ABBC also include their employment as energy sources, to catalyze chemical reactions, to develop thermoelectrical devices, as 3D solar vapor-generation devices for water desalination, and as efficient photothermal-conversion devices. Anyway, although it has great potential as an alternative biomass to wood to produce BC, thus paving the way for new bio- and circular economy solutions, the study of bamboo-derived biomasses is still in its infancy. In this context, the main scope of this review was to support an increasing production of BBC and ABBC and to stimulate further studies about their possible applications, thus enlarging the current knowledge about these materials and allowing their more rational, safer, and optimized application. To this end, after having provided background concerning BC, its production methods, and its main applications, we have reviewed and discussed the main studies on BBC and ABBC and their applications reported in recent years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Ecotoxicology)
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12 pages, 668 KiB  
Article
An Exploratory Investigation of Organic Chemicals Detected in Baby Teeth: Differences in Children with and without Autism
by Raymond F. Palmer
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 404-415; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010025 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in language, communication, and social function with an estimated prevalence rate of between 1 in 30 and 44 U.S. births. Gene/environment (G × E) interactions are widely regarded as the [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in language, communication, and social function with an estimated prevalence rate of between 1 in 30 and 44 U.S. births. Gene/environment (G × E) interactions are widely regarded as the most probable explanation for idiopathic ASD, especially because some genes are selectively targeted by various environmental xenobiotics. Because deciduous teeth are a likely biomarker of in utero exposure, the present study investigated if the quantity of chemicals found in deciduous teeth differs between children with and without ASD. Twenty-two deciduous teeth from children with ASD and 20 teeth from typically developed children were prepared and analyzed using THE Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (GC × GC-TOF MS) with ChromaTOF version 23H2 software and Agilent 7890 gas chromatograph. The autism sample had significantly more chemicals in their teeth than the typical developing sample (99.4 vs. 80.7, respectively) (p < 0.0001). The majority of chemicals were identified as phthalates, plasticizers, pesticides, preservatives, or intermediary solvents used in the production of fragranced personal care or cleaning products or flavoring agents in foods. The known toxic analytes reported in this study are likely biomarkers of developmental exposure. Why there were greater concentrations of toxic chemicals in the teeth that came from children with ASD is unclear. A further understanding of the cavalcade of multiple biological system interactions (Interactome) could help with future efforts to reduce risks. Notwithstanding, the avoidance of pesticides, plastics, and scented personal care products may be warranted under the precautionary principle rule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Conditions and Autism Spectrum Disorders)
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24 pages, 1899 KiB  
Review
Modulation of the Mas-Related G Protein-Coupled Receptor X2 (MRGPRX2) by Xenobiotic Compounds and Its Relevance to Human Diseases
by Alicja Dziadowiec, Iwona Popiolek, Mateusz Kwitniewski and Grzegorz Porebski
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 380-403; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010024 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Mast cells (MCs) are immune cells that reside in tissues; particularly in the skin, and in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the Mas-Related G Protein-Coupled Receptor X2 (MRGPRX2), which is present on the surface [...] Read more.
Mast cells (MCs) are immune cells that reside in tissues; particularly in the skin, and in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the Mas-Related G Protein-Coupled Receptor X2 (MRGPRX2), which is present on the surface of MCs and can be targeted by multiple exogenous and endogenous ligands. It is potentially implicated in non-IgE-mediated pseudoallergic reactions and inflammatory conditions such as asthma or atopic dermatitis. In this paper, we review natural products and herbal medicines that may potentially interact with MRGPRX2. They mainly belong to the classes of polyphenols, flavonoids, coumarins, and alkaloids. Representative compounds include rosmarinic acid, liquiritin from licorice extract, osthole, and sinomenine, respectively. While evidence-based medicine studies are still required, these compounds have shown diverse effects, such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, or neuroprotective. However, despite potential beneficial effects, their use is also burdened with risks of fatal reactions such as anaphylaxis. The role of MRGPRX2 in these reactions is a subject of debate. This review explores the literature on xenobiotic compounds from herbal medicines that have been shown to act as MRGPRX2 ligands, and their potential clinical significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products/Herbal Medicines)
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12 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Air Pollution and Primary DNA Damage among Zagreb (Croatia) Residents: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Marko Gerić, Gordana Pehnec, Katarina Matković, Jasmina Rinkovec, Ivana Jakovljević, Ranka Godec, Silva Žužul, Ivan Bešlić, Ante Cvitković, Luka Delić, Pascal Wild, Irina Guseva Canu, Nancy B. Hopf and Goran Gajski
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 368-379; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010023 - 13 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
More than eight million premature deaths annually can be attributed to air pollution, with 99% of the world’s population residing in areas below recommended air quality standards. Hence, the present study aimed to examine the association between primary DNA damage and air pollution [...] Read more.
More than eight million premature deaths annually can be attributed to air pollution, with 99% of the world’s population residing in areas below recommended air quality standards. Hence, the present study aimed to examine the association between primary DNA damage and air pollution data among 123 participants enrolled between 2011 and 2015 in Zagreb, Croatia. While most measured air pollutants adhered to regulatory limits, benzo[a]pyrene concentrations bound to PM10 exceeded them. Factorial analysis narrowed down air pollution data to four exposure factors (particulate matter, two metal factors, and other pollutants). Despite the absence of significant positive associations between modeled air pollution exposure factors and comet assay descriptors (tail length, tail intensity, tail moment, and highly damaged nuclei), the critical health implications of air pollution warrant further investigations, particularly with biomarkers of exposure and different biomarkers of effect in populations facing air pollution exposure. Full article
18 pages, 2303 KiB  
Article
Assessing Chemical Intolerance in Parents Predicts the Risk of Autism and ADHD in Their Children
by Raymond F. Palmer, David Kattari, Rodolfo Rincon and Claudia S. Miller
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 350-367; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010022 - 5 Mar 2024
Viewed by 2869
Abstract
Background: We sought to replicate our 2015 findings linking chemical intolerance in parents with the risk of their children developing autism and/or ADHD. Drawing upon our 2021 discovery of a strong association between chemical intolerance and mast cells, we propose an explanation for [...] Read more.
Background: We sought to replicate our 2015 findings linking chemical intolerance in parents with the risk of their children developing autism and/or ADHD. Drawing upon our 2021 discovery of a strong association between chemical intolerance and mast cells, we propose an explanation for this link. Methods: In a population-based survey of U.S. adults, we used the internationally validated Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) to assess symptom severity and chemical intolerance. Parents were asked how many of their biological children had been diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD. Results: Parents with chemical intolerance scores in the top versus bottom tenth percentile had 5.7 times the risk of reporting a child with autism and 2.1 times for ADHD. Conclusions: High chemical intolerance scores among parents of children with autism, coupled with our 2021 discovery of mast cell activation as a plausible biomechanism for chemical intolerance, suggest that (1) the QEESI can identify individuals at increased risk, (2) environmental counseling may reduce personal exposures and risk, and (3) the global rise in autism and ADHD may be due to fossil-fuel-derived and biogenic toxicants epigenetically “turning on” or “turning off” critical mast cell genes that can be transmitted transgenerationally. It is important to note that this study was observational in nature; as such, further research is needed using controlled trials to confirm causality and explore the proposed mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Conditions and Autism Spectrum Disorders)
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17 pages, 4053 KiB  
Article
Mitigation of Salt Stress in Rice by the Halotolerant Plant Growth-Promoting Bacterium Enterobacter asburiae D2
by Zican Ning, Kexin Lin, Mengya Gao, Xiao Han, Qingjie Guan, Xiang Ji, Shuyu Yu and Lei Lu
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 333-349; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010021 - 1 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 994
Abstract
Salinity is a major abiotic stress that seriously affects crop growth worldwide. In this work, we aimed to isolate potential halotolerant plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to mitigate the adverse impacts of salt stress in rice. An isolate, D2, with multiple plant growth-promoting (PGP) [...] Read more.
Salinity is a major abiotic stress that seriously affects crop growth worldwide. In this work, we aimed to isolate potential halotolerant plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to mitigate the adverse impacts of salt stress in rice. An isolate, D2, with multiple plant growth-promoting (PGP) characteristics was identified as Enterobacter asburiae D2. Strain D2 could produce indole-3-acetic acid and siderophore. It also exhibited phosphate solubilization and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic deaminase activity. Genome analysis further provided insights into the molecular mechanism of its PGP abilities. Strain D2 inoculation efficiently stimulated rice growth under both normal and saline conditions. Compared with the non-inoculated plants, a significant increase in plant height (18.1–34.7%), root length (25.9–57.1%), root dry weight (57.1–150%), and shoot dry weight (17.3–50.4%) was recorded in inoculated rice seedlings. Meanwhile, rice seedlings inoculated with strain D2 showed improvement in chlorophyll and proline content, while the oxidant damage was reduced in these plants in comparison with the control group. Moreover, the K+/Na+ ratio of the inoculated rice seedlings exposed to NaCl and Na2CO3 was higher than that of the uninoculated groups. These results imply that Enterobacter asburiae D2 is a potential PGPR that can be used for alleviation of salt stress in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biostimulants - a Promising Tool in Organic Farming)
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13 pages, 1509 KiB  
Article
Spironolactone Induces Vasodilation by Endothelium-Dependent Mechanisms Involving NO and by Endothelium-Independent Mechanisms Blocking Ca2+ Channels
by Margarida Lorigo, João Amaro and Elisa Cairrao
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 320-332; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010020 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Background: Spironolactone (SPI) is a diuretic widely used to treat cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and is non-specific for mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) and with an affinity for progesterone (PR) and androgen (AR) receptors. Since 2009, it has been suggested that pharmaceuticals are emerging contaminants (called [...] Read more.
Background: Spironolactone (SPI) is a diuretic widely used to treat cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and is non-specific for mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) and with an affinity for progesterone (PR) and androgen (AR) receptors. Since 2009, it has been suggested that pharmaceuticals are emerging contaminants (called EDC), and recently, it was reported that most EDC are AR and MR antagonists and estrogen receptors (ER) agonists. Concerning SPI, endocrine-disrupting effects were observed in female western mosquitofish, but there are still no data regarding the SPI effects as a possible human EDC. Methods: In this work, aortic rings were used to analyze the contractility effects of SPI and the mode of action concerning the involvement of Ca2+ channels and endothelial pathways. Moreover, cytotoxic effects were analyzed by MTT assays. Results: SPI induces vasodilation in the rat aorta by endothelium-dependent mechanisms involving NO and by endothelium-independent mechanisms blocking Ca2+ channels. Moreover, a non-monotonic effect characteristic of EDC was observed for SPI-induced decrease in cell viability. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that SPI may act as an EDC at a human level. However, ex vivo studies with human arteries should be carried out to better understand this drug’s implications for human health and future generations. Full article
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12 pages, 1591 KiB  
Article
Xenobiotics Triggering Acute Intermittent Porphyria and Their Effect on Mouse Brain Respiratory Complexes
by Johanna Romina Zuccoli, María del Carmen Martínez, Pablo Vallecorsa and Ana María Buzaleh
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 308-319; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010019 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 905
Abstract
Heme enzyme dysfunction causes a group of diseases called porphyrias. Particularly, a decrease in porphobilinogen deaminase, involved in the third step of heme biosynthesis, leads to acute intermittent porphyria (AIP). Considering our previous works demonstrating the multiplicity of brain metabolisms affected by porphyrinogenic [...] Read more.
Heme enzyme dysfunction causes a group of diseases called porphyrias. Particularly, a decrease in porphobilinogen deaminase, involved in the third step of heme biosynthesis, leads to acute intermittent porphyria (AIP). Considering our previous works demonstrating the multiplicity of brain metabolisms affected by porphyrinogenic agents, this study aimed to elucidate whether they cause any alteration on the mitochondrial respiratory chain. The activities of respiratory chain complexes (I to IV) were measured in encephalon mitochondria of CF1 male mice receiving volatile anesthetics: isoflurane (2 mL/kg) and sevoflurane (1.5 mL/kg), ethanol (30%), allylisopropylacetamide (AIA) (350 mg/kg), and barbital (167 mg/kg). Moreover, they were compared versus animals with pathological levels of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA, 40 mg/kg). Complex I–III activity was induced by isoflurane and decreased by AIA, ethanol, and ALA. Complex II–III activity was increased by sevoflurane and decreased by isoflurane and AIA. Complex II activity was increased by sevoflurane and barbital and decreased by AIA, ethanol, and ALA. Complex IV activity was increased by barbital and ALA and decreased by sevoflurane. The damage to the respiratory chain by ALA could be reflecting the pathophysiological condition of patients with AIP. Better understanding the broad effect of porphyrinogenic drugs and the mechanisms acting on the onset of AIP is vital in translational medicine. Full article
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13 pages, 2241 KiB  
Article
The Complete Genome Sequence of Bacillus toyonensis Cbmb3 with Polyvinyl Chloride-Degrading Properties
by Dandan Wang, Hong Yu, Xinbei Liu, Li Sun, Xijian Liu, Ruilong Hu, Chao Wang, Yuping Zhuge and Zhihong Xie
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 295-307; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010018 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1109
Abstract
The accumulation of high amounts of plastic waste in the environment has raised ecological and health concerns, particularly in croplands, and biological degradation presents a promising approach for the sustainable treatment of this issue. In this study, a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-degrading bacterium was [...] Read more.
The accumulation of high amounts of plastic waste in the environment has raised ecological and health concerns, particularly in croplands, and biological degradation presents a promising approach for the sustainable treatment of this issue. In this study, a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-degrading bacterium was isolated from farmland soil samples attached to waste plastic, utilizing PVC as the sole carbon source. The circular chromosome of the strain Cbmb3, with a length of 5,768,926 bp, was subsequently sequenced. The average GC content was determined to be 35.45%, and a total of 5835 open reading frames were identified. The strain Cbmb3 was designated as Bacillus toyonensis based on phylogenomic analyses and genomic characteristics. The bioinformatic analysis of the Cbmb3 genome revealed putative genes encoding essential enzymes involved in PVC degradation. Additionally, the potential genomic characteristics associated with phytoprobiotic effects, such as the synthesis of indole acetic acid and secondary metabolite synthesis, were also revealed. Overall, the present study provides the first complete genome of Bacillus toyonensis with PVC-degrading properties, suggesting that Cbmb3 is a potential strain for PVC bioremediation and application. Full article
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10 pages, 906 KiB  
Article
Iron Oxide (Magnetite)-Based Nanobiomaterial with Medical Applications—Environmental Hazard Assessment Using Terrestrial Model Species
by Susana I. L. Gomes, Janeck J. Scott-Fordsmand and Mónica J. B. Amorim
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 285-294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010017 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 771
Abstract
Nanobiomaterials (NBMs) have tremendous potential applications including in cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, the health and environmental effects of NBMs must be thoroughly assessed to ensure safety. Fe3O4 (magnetite) nanoparticles coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) [...] Read more.
Nanobiomaterials (NBMs) have tremendous potential applications including in cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, the health and environmental effects of NBMs must be thoroughly assessed to ensure safety. Fe3O4 (magnetite) nanoparticles coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) were one of the focus NBMs within the EU project BIORIMA. Fe3O4 PEG-PLGA has been proposed to be used as a contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging for the identification of solid tumors and has revealed low cytotoxicity in several cell lines. However, the effects of Fe3O4 PEG-PLGA have not been assessed in terrestrial environments, the eventual final sink of most materials. In the present study, the effects of Fe3O4 PEG-PLGA and its precursor, (un-coated) Fe3O4 NMs, were assessed in soil model invertebrates Enchytraeus crypticus (Oligochaeta) and Folsomia candida (Collembola). The endpoints were survival, reproduction, and size, based on the standard OECD test (28 days) and its extension (56 days). The results showed no toxicity for any of the endpoints evaluated, indicating that the NBM Fe3O4 PEG-PLGA poses no unacceptable risk to the terrestrial environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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18 pages, 2139 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Granulometry of Carbonaceous Materials and Application Rates on the Availability of Soil-Bound Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and Its Metabolites
by Farida Amutova, Ronagul Turganova, Gaukhar Konuspayeva, Sarra Gaspard, Aigerim Mamirova, Florentin Michaux, Pamela Hartmeyer, Claire Soligot, Leyla Djansugurova, Stefan Jurjanz and Matthieu Delannoy
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 267-284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010016 - 11 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Biochars (BCs) and activated carbons (ACs) are well-known carbon-rich materials that are being increasingly studied in environmental sciences for water treatment applications to remediate pollutant sequestration in soil. This study aimed to assess the impact of Sargasso BC particle size and amendment rate [...] Read more.
Biochars (BCs) and activated carbons (ACs) are well-known carbon-rich materials that are being increasingly studied in environmental sciences for water treatment applications to remediate pollutant sequestration in soil. This study aimed to assess the impact of Sargasso BC particle size and amendment rate on the environmental availability of DDT and DDT metabolites in two distinct Kazakh soils. These two soils were collected in the vicinity of storehouse facilities in Kyzylkairat and Beskainar that store banned pesticides. They presented very distinct concentration levels of DDT and DDT metabolites. Three different types of carbonaceous matrices were tested: Sargasso BC and two commercial ACs (ORBOTM and DARCO©). For the granulometry effect, Sargasso BC was ground, and two particle sizes were tested (<150 µm, >150 µm) and compared to an unground material. Four distinct application rates were tested (0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2% (w/w)). After a three-month maturation period, environmental availability was assessed using an ISO/DIS 16751, part B-modified methodology. Interestingly, the best reductions in DDT environmental availability were obtained with the finest particle size (both ACs and Sargasso BC < 150 µm). More specifically, the effectiveness of the strategy seemed to depend on many factors. Firstly, a clear soil effect was demonstrated, suggesting that the more contaminated the soil, the more efficient this strategy may be. Secondly, the results showed that an increase in the amendment rate improves the immobilization of DDT and DDT metabolites. The sequestration material demonstrated different efficiency values (up to 58 ± 4% for Sargasso BC < 150 µm and 85 ± 4% for DARCO at a 2% application rate). Finally, a clear molecule effect was displayed, demonstrating the following immobilization order: p,p’-DDE > p,p’-DDD > p,p’-DDT > o,p’-DDT. Full article
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20 pages, 902 KiB  
Article
Persistent Organic Pollutants in Austrian Human Breast Milk Collected between 2013 and 2016
by Christina Hartmann, Andreas-Marius Kaiser, Wolfgang Moche, Stefan Weiss, Wolfgang Raffesberg, Sigrid Scharf, Klaudia Graf-Rohrmeister, Margarita Thanhaeuser, Nadja Haiden and Maria Uhl
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 247-266; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010015 - 7 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1343
Abstract
Breast milk holds an immense nutritional value as it contains health-promoting substances in a unique, optimal form. Additionally, breast milk’s significance extends to health and environmental protection, as it serves as an indicator of both maternal and infant exposure. In this study, breast [...] Read more.
Breast milk holds an immense nutritional value as it contains health-promoting substances in a unique, optimal form. Additionally, breast milk’s significance extends to health and environmental protection, as it serves as an indicator of both maternal and infant exposure. In this study, breast milk samples collected in 2013 and in 2014–2016 from mothers in Vienna (Austria) were analysed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as well as further substances which have been listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) due to their persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic properties. The total concentration of the PBDE congeners in the samples (n = 18, sampled 2013) ranged from 0.055 to 52 ng/g lipid, and from 0.002 to 2.5 ng/g breast milk. In the pooled sample, the sum of PBDEs was detected at a level of 4.4 ng/g lipid. Based on the 2014–2016 study population, certain PFAS were detected in all samples (n = 40). Exposure to the sum of four specific PFAS including perfluorooctanesulphonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluoro-n-nonanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluoro-1-hexanesulfonate (PFHxS) ranged between 0.014 and 0.12 ng/L breast milk. In the pooled sample, PFOS and PFOA were found in concentrations of 0.025 ng/g and of 0.045 ng/g, respectively. In addition, the first generation of POPs, mainly organochlorine compounds, was measured in a pooled sample of breast milk from participants sampled in 2014–2016 as part of the WHO/UNEP breast milk monitoring program and compared to the POPs measured in pooled samples collected in 1987/1988 and 1992/1993, respectively. Therefore, this paper demonstrates the effectiveness of the Stockholm Convention on POPs by comparing the Austrian results from the WHO/UNEP global breast milk study from 1987 to 2016. However, the data also show that, despite these reductions, health-relevant levels are still being reached, particularly in terms of children’s health when the presence of the new generation of POPs, such as PBDEs and PFAS, in human breast milk is taken into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journal of Xenobiotics: Feature Papers)
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20 pages, 2520 KiB  
Review
Phenolic Compounds of Therapeutic Interest in Neuroprotection
by José Manuel Nájera-Maldonado, Ricardo Salazar, Patricia Alvarez-Fitz, Macdiel Acevedo-Quiroz, Eugenia Flores-Alfaro, Daniel Hernández-Sotelo, Mónica Espinoza-Rojo and Mónica Ramírez
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 227-246; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010014 - 6 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
The number of elderly people is projected to double in the next 50 years worldwide, resulting in an increased prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases. Aging causes changes in brain tissue homeostasis, thus contributing to the development of neurodegenerative disorders. Current treatments are not entirely [...] Read more.
The number of elderly people is projected to double in the next 50 years worldwide, resulting in an increased prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases. Aging causes changes in brain tissue homeostasis, thus contributing to the development of neurodegenerative disorders. Current treatments are not entirely effective, so alternative treatments or adjuvant agents are being actively sought. Antioxidant properties of phenolic compounds are of particular interest for neurodegenerative diseases whose psychopathological mechanisms strongly rely on oxidative stress at the brain level. Moreover, phenolic compounds display other advantages such as the permeability of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and the interesting molecular mechanisms that we reviewed in this work. We began by briefly outlining the physiopathology of neurodegenerative diseases to understand the mechanisms that result in irreversible brain damage, then we provided an overall classification of the phenolic compounds that would be addressed later. We reviewed in vitro and in vivo studies, as well as some clinical trials in which neuroprotective mechanisms were demonstrated in models of different neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), ischemia, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products/Herbal Medicines)
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13 pages, 1983 KiB  
Article
Pyriproxyfen Contamination in Daphnia magna: Identifying Early Warning Biomarkers
by Beatriz Salesa, Javier Torres-Gavilá, María Dolores Ferrando-Rodrigo and Encarnación Sancho
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 214-226; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010013 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 867
Abstract
Pyriproxyfen is an insecticide currently employed in numerous countries for the management of agricultural and indoor pests. Several studies indicate that this insecticide has been detected in multiple rivers, with concentrations reaching as high as 99.59 ng/L in the Júcar River in Spain. [...] Read more.
Pyriproxyfen is an insecticide currently employed in numerous countries for the management of agricultural and indoor pests. Several studies indicate that this insecticide has been detected in multiple rivers, with concentrations reaching as high as 99.59 ng/L in the Júcar River in Spain. Therefore, the determination of some biochemical and genetic effects of this insecticide on aquatic organisms could serve as an early warning mechanism to identify potential disruptions in various biomarkers. Based on this, Daphnia magna organisms were exposed to pyriproxyfen sublethal concentrations for 21 days. Some biochemical parameters, including cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, lactate, and LDH activity, were determined. Additionally, some genetic biomarkers associated with oxidative stress, heat shock proteins, lipid metabolism, hemoglobin, metallothioneins, and vitellogenin synthesis were evaluated in daphnids exposed to the insecticide for 21 days. LDH activity increased significantly in those daphnids exposed to the highest insecticide concentration (14.02 µg/L), while cholesterol levels decreased significantly. In contrast, glucose, total proteins, and triglycerides remained unaffected in D. magna exposed to pyriproxyfen. On the other hand, exposure to the insecticide led to notable alterations in gene expression among individuals. Specifically, genes associated with lipid metabolism and reproduction exhibited a significant reduction in gene expression. Fabd expression was decreased by approximately 20% in exposed daphnids, while vtg expression was suppressed as much as 80% when compared to control values. Furthermore, it was observed that the hgb1 and hgb2 genes, associated with hemoglobin synthesis, exhibited significant overexpression. Notably, the dysfunction observed in both hemoglobin genes was linked to an increase in pigmentation in Daphnia magna during the course of the experiment. These alterations in gene expression could serve as effective indicators of early contamination even at low pesticide concentrations. Full article
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21 pages, 3812 KiB  
Article
Early Developmental Exposure to Triclosan Impacts Fecal Microbial Populations, IgA and Functional Activities of the Rat Microbiome
by Mohamed Lahiani, Kuppan Gokulan, Vicki Sutherland, Helen C. Cunny, Carl E. Cerniglia and Sangeeta Khare
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 193-213; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010012 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1133
Abstract
Triclosan (TCS), a broad-spectrum antibacterial chemical, is detected in human urine, breast milk, amniotic fluid, and feces; however, little is known about its impact on the intestinal microbiome and host mucosal immunity during pregnancy and early development. Pregnant female rats were orally gavaged [...] Read more.
Triclosan (TCS), a broad-spectrum antibacterial chemical, is detected in human urine, breast milk, amniotic fluid, and feces; however, little is known about its impact on the intestinal microbiome and host mucosal immunity during pregnancy and early development. Pregnant female rats were orally gavaged with TCS from gestation day (GD) 6 to postpartum (PP) day 28. Offspring were administered TCS from postnatal day (PND) 12 to 28. Studies were conducted to assess changes in the intestinal microbial population (16S-rRNA sequencing) and functional analysis of microbial genes in animals exposed to TCS during pregnancy (GD18), and at PP7, PP28 and PND28. Microbial abundance was compared with the amounts of TCS excreted in feces and IgA levels in feces. The results reveal that TCS decreases the abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes with a significant increase in Proteobacteria. At PND28, total Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were higher in females and showed correlation with the levels of TCS and unbound IgA in feces. The significant increase in Proteobacteria in all TCS-treated rats along with the increased abundance in OTUs that belong to pathogenic bacterial communities could serve as a signature of TCS-induced dysbiosis. In conclusion, TCS can perturb the microbiome, the functional activities of the microbiome, and activate mucosal immunity during pregnancy and early development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journal of Xenobiotics: Feature Papers)
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17 pages, 1784 KiB  
Article
Exposure and Health Risks Posed by Potentially Toxic Elements in Soils of Metal Fabrication Workshops in Mbarara City, Uganda
by Eunice Nuwamanya, Denis Byamugisha, Caroline K. Nakiguli, Christopher Angiro, Alice V. Khanakwa, Timothy Omara, Simon Ocakacon, Patrick Onen, Daniel Omoding, Boniface Opio, Daniel Nimusiima and Emmanuel Ntambi
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 176-192; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010011 - 30 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Metal fabrication workshops (MFWs) are common businesses in Ugandan cities, and especially those producing metallic security gates, window and door frames (burglar-proof), and balcony and staircase rails. The objective of this study was to comparatively assess the pollution levels and potential health risks [...] Read more.
Metal fabrication workshops (MFWs) are common businesses in Ugandan cities, and especially those producing metallic security gates, window and door frames (burglar-proof), and balcony and staircase rails. The objective of this study was to comparatively assess the pollution levels and potential health risks of manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pd) and nickel (Ni) in pooled surface soil samples from four 5-, 7-, 8-, and 10-year-old MFWs (n = 28) and a control site (n = 8) in Mbarara City, Uganda. The concentration of the potentially toxic elements (PTEs) was determined using inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectrometry. Contamination, ecological, and human health risk assessment indices and models were used to identify any risks that the PTEs could pose to the pristine environment and humans. Our results showed that PTE pollution of soils is occuring in the MFWs than at the control site. The mean concentrations of the PTEs (mg kg−1) in the samples were: Mn (2012.75 ± 0.23–3377.14 ± 0.31), Cr (237.55 ± 0.29–424.93 ± 0.31), Cd (0.73 ± 0.13–1.29 ± 0.02), Pb (107.80 ± 0.23–262.01 ± 0.19), and Ni (74.85 ± 0.25–211.37 ± 0.14). These results indicate that the PTEs could plausibly derive from the fabrication activities in these workshops, which is supported by the high values of contamination factors, index of geoaccumulation, and the overall increase in pollution load indices with the number of years of operation of the MFWs. Human health risk assessment showed that there are non-carcinogenic health risks that could be experienced by children who ingest PTEs in the soils from the 7-, 8- and 10-year-old MFWs. The incremental life cancer risk assessment suggested that there are potential cancerous health effects of Cd and Ni that could be experienced in children (who ingest soils from all the four MFWs) and adults (ingesting soils from the 8- and 10-year-old MFWs). This study underscores the need to implement regulatory guidelines on the operation and location of MFWs in Uganda. Further research should be undertaken to investigate the emission of the PTEs during welding operations in the MFWs. Full article
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10 pages, 1056 KiB  
Article
Early Female Transgender Identity after Prenatal Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol: Report from a French National Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Cohort
by Laura Gaspari, Marie-Odile Soyer-Gobillard, Scott Kerlin, Françoise Paris and Charles Sultan
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 166-175; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010010 - 12 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 6045
Abstract
Diagnostic of transsexualism and gender incongruence are terms to describe individuals whose self-identity does not match their sex assignment at birth. A transgender woman is an individual assigned male at birth (AMAB) on the basis of the external or internal genitalia who identifies [...] Read more.
Diagnostic of transsexualism and gender incongruence are terms to describe individuals whose self-identity does not match their sex assignment at birth. A transgender woman is an individual assigned male at birth (AMAB) on the basis of the external or internal genitalia who identifies and lives as a woman. In recent decades, a significant increase in the number of transgender people has been reported. Although, its etiology is unknown, biological, anatomical, genetic, environmental and cultural factors have been suggested to contribute to gender variation. In XY animals, it has been shown that environmental endocrine disruptors, through their anti-androgenic activity, induce a female identity. In this work, we described four XY individuals who were exposed in utero to the xenoestrogen diethylstilbesterol (DES) and were part of the French HHORAGES cohort. They all reported a female transgender identity starting from childhood and adolescence. This high prevalence of male to female transgenderism (1.58%) in our cohort of 253 DES sons suggests that exposure to chemicals with xenoestrogen activity during fetal life may affect the male sex identity and behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the Human Health)
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12 pages, 733 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Effects in Buccal Mucosal Cells in Non-Smokers and Users of Traditional Combustible Tobacco Products and Non-Combustible Alternatives
by Antonija Tadin, Vinka Stazic, Nada Galic and Davor Zeljezic
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 154-165; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010009 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 988
Abstract
Aims/Objectives: The aim of this cross-sectional observational study was to investigate cytogenetic damage to the buccal mucosa in non-smokers and consumers of traditional combustible tobacco products and non-combustible alternatives. Methods: A total of 160 participants were divided into four groups according to the [...] Read more.
Aims/Objectives: The aim of this cross-sectional observational study was to investigate cytogenetic damage to the buccal mucosa in non-smokers and consumers of traditional combustible tobacco products and non-combustible alternatives. Methods: A total of 160 participants were divided into four groups according to the type of product used, including non-smokers, users of conventional combustible tobacco (cigarettes), heated tobacco, and electronic, tobacco-free vapor products (e-cigarettes). Buccal mucosa samples were analyzed using the micronucleus cytome assay to assess cytotoxic and genotoxic damage. Results: E-cigarette users showed significantly higher values for all tested parameters in the micronucleus test compared to non-smokers (p < 0.05). Similarly, users of tobacco heating products showed an increase in all parameters (p < 0.05), with the exception of the number of cells with micronuclei. Conventional cigarette smokers showed a notable increase in the number of binucleated cells and cells with karyorrhexis and karyolysis (p ≤ 0.05). When assessing the differences between users of traditional combustible tobacco products and non-combustible alternatives, these did not appear to be significant, except for e-cigarette users, who had significantly more cells with condensed chromatin (p ≤ 0.001), while users of tobacco heating products had more pyknotic cells (p ≤ 0.001). Conclusion: The results of this study underscore the heightened occurrence of cytotoxic and genotoxic damage in users of both conventional combustible tobacco products and non-combustible alternatives compared to non-smokers, emphasizing the detrimental impact of these products on the oral mucosa. Full article
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19 pages, 4030 KiB  
Article
Silica Nanoparticles Disclose a Detailed Neurodegeneration Profile throughout the Life Span of a Model Organism
by Annette Limke, Gereon Poschmann, Kai Stühler, Patrick Petzsch, Thorsten Wachtmeister and Anna von Mikecz
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 135-153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010008 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1172
Abstract
The incidence of age-related neurodegenerative diseases is rising globally. However, the temporal sequence of neurodegeneration throughout adult life is poorly understood. To identify the starting points and schedule of neurodegenerative events, serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons were monitored in the model organism C. elegans [...] Read more.
The incidence of age-related neurodegenerative diseases is rising globally. However, the temporal sequence of neurodegeneration throughout adult life is poorly understood. To identify the starting points and schedule of neurodegenerative events, serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons were monitored in the model organism C. elegans, which has a life span of 2–3 weeks. Neural morphology was examined from young to old nematodes that were exposed to silica nanoparticles. Young nematodes showed phenotypes such as dendritic beading of serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons that are normally not seen until late life. During aging, neurodegeneration spreads from specifically susceptible ADF and PDE neurons in young C. elegans to other more resilient neurons, such as dopaminergic CEP in middle-aged worms. Investigation of neurodegenerative hallmarks and animal behavior revealed a temporal correlation with the acceleration of neuromuscular defects, such as internal hatch in 2-day-old C. elegans. Transcriptomics and proteomics of young worms exposed to nano silica showed a change in gene expression concerning the gene ontology groups serotonergic and dopaminergic signaling as well as neuropeptide signaling. Consistent with this, reporter strains for nlp-3, nlp-14 and nlp-21 confirmed premature degeneration of the serotonergic neuron HSN and other neurons in young C. elegans. The results identify young nematodes as a vulnerable age group for nano silica-induced neural defects with a significantly reduced health span. Neurodegeneration of specific neurons impairs signaling by classical neurotransmitters as well as neuropeptides and compromises related neuromuscular behaviors in critical phases of life, such as the reproductive phase. Full article
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25 pages, 914 KiB  
Review
Hazards Associated with the Combined Application of Fungicides and Poultry Litter in Agricultural Areas
by Dario Corrêa-Junior, Cláudio Ernesto Taveira Parente and Susana Frases
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 110-134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010007 - 9 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1056
Abstract
In recent decades, the poultry farming industry has assumed a pivotal role in meeting the global demand for affordable animal proteins. While poultry farming makes a substantial contribution to food security and nutrition, it also presents environmental and public health challenges. The use [...] Read more.
In recent decades, the poultry farming industry has assumed a pivotal role in meeting the global demand for affordable animal proteins. While poultry farming makes a substantial contribution to food security and nutrition, it also presents environmental and public health challenges. The use of poultry litter as fertilizer for agricultural soils raises concerns about the transfer of pathogens and drug-resistant microorganisms from poultry farms to crop production areas. On the other hand, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), fungicides represent the second most used chemical group in agricultural practices. In this context, agricultural soils receive the application of both poultry litter as a fertilizer and fungicides used in agricultural production. This practice can result in fungal contamination of the soil and the development of antifungal resistance. This article explores the necessity of monitoring antifungal resistance, particularly in food production areas with co-application of poultry litter and fungicides. It also highlights the role of fungi in ecosystems, decomposition, and mutualistic plant associations. We call for interdisciplinary research to comprehensively understand fungal resistance to fungicides in the environment. This approach seeks to promote sustainability in the realms of human health, agriculture, and the environment, aligning seamlessly with the One Health concept. Full article
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14 pages, 2559 KiB  
Review
Relevance of Carcinogen-Induced Preclinical Cancer Models
by Raj N. Sewduth and Konstantina Georgelou
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 96-109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010006 - 5 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1680
Abstract
Chemical agents can cause cancer in animals by damaging their DNA, mutating their genes, and modifying their epigenetic signatures. Carcinogen-induced preclinical cancer models are useful for understanding carcinogen-induced human cancers, as they can reproduce the diversity and complexity of tumor types, as well [...] Read more.
Chemical agents can cause cancer in animals by damaging their DNA, mutating their genes, and modifying their epigenetic signatures. Carcinogen-induced preclinical cancer models are useful for understanding carcinogen-induced human cancers, as they can reproduce the diversity and complexity of tumor types, as well as the interactions with the host environment. However, these models also have some drawbacks that limit their applicability and validity. For instance, some chemicals may be more effective or toxic in animals than in humans, and the tumors may differ in their genetics and phenotypes. Some chemicals may also affect normal cells and tissues, such as by causing oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell death, which may alter the tumor behavior and response to therapy. Furthermore, some chemicals may have variable effects depending on the exposure conditions, such as dose, route, and duration, as well as the animal characteristics, such as genetics and hormones. Therefore, these models should be carefully chosen, validated, and standardized, and the results should be cautiously interpreted and compared with other models. This review covers the main features of chemically induced cancer models, such as genetic and epigenetic changes, tumor environment, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis, and immune response. We also address the pros and cons of these models and the current and future challenges for their improvement. This review offers a comprehensive overview of the state of the art of carcinogen-induced cancer models and provides new perspectives for cancer research. Full article
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17 pages, 3554 KiB  
Article
Effect of Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria on Antioxidant Status, Acetolactate Synthase Activity, and Growth of Common Wheat and Canola Exposed to Metsulfuron-Methyl
by Margarita Bakaeva, Sergey Chetverikov, Sergey Starikov, Aliya Kendjieva, Gaisar Khudaygulov and Darya Chetverikova
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 79-95; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010005 - 2 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1543
Abstract
Metsulfuron-methyl, a widely used herbicide, could cause damage to the sensitive plants in crop-rotation systems at extremely low levels in the soil. The potential of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) for enhancing the resistance of plants against herbicide stress has been discovered recently. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Metsulfuron-methyl, a widely used herbicide, could cause damage to the sensitive plants in crop-rotation systems at extremely low levels in the soil. The potential of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) for enhancing the resistance of plants against herbicide stress has been discovered recently. Therefore, it is poorly understood how physiological processes occur in plants, while PGPB reduce the phytotoxicity of herbicides for agricultural crops. In greenhouse studies, the effect of strains Pseudomonas protegens DA1.2 and Pseudomonas chlororaphis 4CH on oxidative damage, acetolactate synthase (ALS), enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in canola (Brassica napus L.), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were investigated under two levels (0.05 and 0.25 mg∙kg−1) of metsulfuron-methyl using spectrophotometric assays. The inoculation of herbicide-exposed wheat with bacteria significantly increased the shoots fresh weight (24–28%), amount of glutathione GSH (60–73%), and flavonoids (5–14%), as well as activity of ascorbate peroxidase (129–140%), superoxide dismutase SOD (35–49%), and ALS (50–57%). Bacterial treatment stimulated the activity of SOD (37–94%), ALS (65–73%), glutathione reductase (19–20%), and the accumulation of GSH (61–261%), flavonoids (17–22%), and shoots weight (27–33%) in herbicide-exposed canola. Simultaneous inoculation prevented lipid peroxidation induced by metsulfuron-methyl in sensitive plants. Based on the findings, it is possible that the protective role of bacterial strains against metsulfuron-metil is linked to antioxidant system activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biostimulants - a Promising Tool in Organic Farming)
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28 pages, 3856 KiB  
Article
Microbial Removal of Heavy Metals from Contaminated Environments Using Metal-Resistant Indigenous Strains
by Cristina Firincă, Lucian-Gabriel Zamfir, Mariana Constantin, Iuliana Răut, Luiza Capră, Diana Popa, Maria-Lorena Jinga, Anda Maria Baroi, Radu Claudiu Fierăscu, Nicoleta Olguța Corneli, Carmen Postolache, Mihaela Doni, Ana-Maria Gurban, Luiza Jecu and Tatiana Eugenia Șesan
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 51-78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010004 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2181
Abstract
Contamination of soil with heavy metals has become a matter of global importance due to its impact on agriculture, environmental integrity, and therefore human health and safety. Several microbial strains isolated from soil contaminated by long-term chemical and petrochemical activities were found to [...] Read more.
Contamination of soil with heavy metals has become a matter of global importance due to its impact on agriculture, environmental integrity, and therefore human health and safety. Several microbial strains isolated from soil contaminated by long-term chemical and petrochemical activities were found to manifest various levels of tolerance to Cr, Pb, and Zn, out of which Bacillus marisflavi and Trichoderma longibrachiatum exhibited above-moderate tolerance. The concentrations of target heavy metals before and after bioremediation were determined using electrochemical screen-printed electrodes (SPE) modified with different nanomaterials. The morpho-structural SEM/EDX analyses confirmed the presence of metal ions on the surface of the cell, with metal uptake being mediated by biosorption with hydroxyl, carboxyl, and amino groups as per FTIR observations. T. longibrachiatum was observed to pose a higher bioremediation potential compared to B. marisflavi, removing 87% of Cr and 67% of Zn, respectively. Conversely, B. marisflavi removed 86% of Pb from the solution, compared to 48% by T. longibrachiatum. Therefore, the fungal strain T. longibrachiatum could represent a viable option for Cr and Zn bioremediation strategies, whereas the bacterial strain B. marisflavi may be used in Pb bioremediation applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journal of Xenobiotics: Feature Papers)
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20 pages, 3013 KiB  
Article
An Initial Survey on Occurrence, Fate, and Environmental Risk Assessment of Organophosphate Flame Retardants in Romanian Waterways
by Iuliana Paun, Florinela Pirvu, Vasile Ion Iancu, Marcela Niculescu, Luoana Florentina Pascu and Florentina Laura Chiriac
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 31-50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010003 - 22 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1133
Abstract
Organophosphate ester flame retardants (OPFRs) are ubiquitous organic pollutants in the environment and present an important preoccupation due to their potential toxicity to humans and biota. They can be found in various sources, including consumer products, building materials, transportation industry, electronic devices, textiles [...] Read more.
Organophosphate ester flame retardants (OPFRs) are ubiquitous organic pollutants in the environment and present an important preoccupation due to their potential toxicity to humans and biota. They can be found in various sources, including consumer products, building materials, transportation industry, electronic devices, textiles and clothing, and recycling and waste management. This paper presents the first survey of its kind in Romania, investigating the composition, distribution, possible sources, and environmental risks of OPFRs in five wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the rivers receiving their effluents. Samples from WWTPs and surface waters were collected and subjected to extraction processes to determine the OPFRs using liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection. All the target OPFRs were found in all the matrices, with the average concentrations ranging from 0.6 to 1422 ng/L in wastewater, 0.88 to 1851 ng/g dry weight (d.w.) in sewage sludge, and 0.73 to 1036 ng/L in surface waters. The dominant compound in all the cases was tri(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCPP). This study observed that the wastewater treatment process was inefficient, with removal efficiencies below 50% for all five WWTPs. The environmental risk assessment indicated that almost all the targeted OPFRs pose a low risk, while TDCPP, TCPP, and TMPP could pose a moderate risk to certain aquatic species. These findings provide valuable information for international pollution research and enable the development of pollution control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emerging Chemicals)
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16 pages, 1334 KiB  
Article
The Potential for Genotoxicity, Mutagenicity and Endocrine Disruption in Triclosan and Triclocarban Assessed through a Combination of In Vitro Methods
by Jan Chrz, Markéta Dvořáková, Kristina Kejlová, Danuše Očadlíková, Lada Svobodová, Lukáš Malina, Barbora Hošíková, Dagmar Jírová, Hana Bendová and Hana Kolářová
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 15-30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010002 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Triclosan and Triclocarban, preservatives widely used in cosmetics and other consumer products, underwent evaluation using a battery of new-approach methodologies in vitro (NAMs). Specifically, the Microplate Ames Test (MPF™ Test, Xenometrix, Allschwil, Switzerland) was employed to assess mutagenicity, the Comet assay in vitro [...] Read more.
Triclosan and Triclocarban, preservatives widely used in cosmetics and other consumer products, underwent evaluation using a battery of new-approach methodologies in vitro (NAMs). Specifically, the Microplate Ames Test (MPF™ Test, Xenometrix, Allschwil, Switzerland) was employed to assess mutagenicity, the Comet assay in vitro on the HaCat cell line and the Mammalian Chromosome Aberration Test were utilized to evaluate genotoxicity, and the XenoScreen® YES/YAS assay was applied to investigate endocrine disruption. The chemicals did not exhibit any positive responses for mutagenicity. However, the mammalian chromosome aberration test identified both chemicals as being positive for genotoxicity at 10 µg/mL. In the Comet assay, the percentage of DNA in the tail significantly increased in a concentration-dependent manner (at 5 and 10 µg/mL for Triclosan, at 2.5, 5, and 10 µg/mL for Triclocarban). The positive response depended on the increasing concentration and the duration of exposure. Triclosan, but not Triclocarban in any of the endocrine assays performed, indicated a potential for endocrine activity in the anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic assays. The positive in vitro results detected were obtained for concentrations relevant to final products. The alarming findings obtained with the use of new-approach methodologies (NAMs) justify the current precautionary regulatory approach, limiting the use of these preservatives. Full article
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14 pages, 1830 KiB  
Article
The Genotoxicity of Organic Extracts from Particulate Emissions Produced by Neat Gasoline (E0) and a Gasoline–Ethanol Blend (E15) in BEAS-2B Cells
by Helena Libalova, Tana Zavodna, Fatima Elzeinova, Hana Barosova, Tereza Cervena, Alena Milcova, Jolana Vankova, Foteini Paradeisi, Michal Vojtisek-Lom, Jitka Sikorova, Jan Topinka and Pavel Rossner
J. Xenobiot. 2024, 14(1), 1-14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jox14010001 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Emissions from modern gasoline engines represent an environmental and health risk. In this study, we aimed to compare the toxicity of organic compound mixtures extracted from particulate matter (PM extracts) produced by neat gasoline (E0) and a blend containing 15% ethanol (E15), which [...] Read more.
Emissions from modern gasoline engines represent an environmental and health risk. In this study, we aimed to compare the toxicity of organic compound mixtures extracted from particulate matter (PM extracts) produced by neat gasoline (E0) and a blend containing 15% ethanol (E15), which is offered as an alternative to non-renewable fossil fuels. Human lung BEAS-2B cells were exposed to PM extracts, and biomarkers of genotoxicity, such as DNA damage evaluated by comet assay, micronuclei formation, levels of phosphorylated histone H2AX, the expression of genes relevant to the DNA damage response, and exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were determined. Results showed that both PM extracts significantly increased the level of oxidized DNA lesions. The E0 extract exhibited a more pronounced effect, possibly due to the higher content of nitrated PAHs. Other endpoints were not substantially affected by any of the PM extracts. Gene expression analysis revealed mild but coordinated induction of genes related to DNA damage response, and a strong induction of PAH-inducible genes, indicating activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Our data suggest that the addition of ethanol into the gasoline diminished the oxidative DNA damage, but no effect on other genotoxicity biomarkers was observed. Activated AhR may play an important role in the toxicity of gasoline PM emissions. Full article
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