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Toxins, Volume 7, Issue 6 (June 2015) – 27 articles , Pages 1854-2335

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Review
Pain Relief in Cervical Dystonia with Botulinum Toxin Treatment
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2321-2335; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062321 - 23 Jun 2015
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3105
Abstract
Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by intermittent or sustained muscle contractions that cause abnormal, usually repetitive, movements and postures. Dystonic movements can be tremulous and twisting and often follow a pattern. They are frequently associated with overflow muscle activation and may be [...] Read more.
Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by intermittent or sustained muscle contractions that cause abnormal, usually repetitive, movements and postures. Dystonic movements can be tremulous and twisting and often follow a pattern. They are frequently associated with overflow muscle activation and may be triggered or worsened by voluntary action. Most voluntary muscles can be affected and, in the case of the neck muscles, the condition is referred to as cervical dystonia (CD), the most common form of dystonia. The high incidence of pain distinguishes CD from other focal dystonias and contributes significantly to patient disability and low quality of life. Different degrees of pain in the cervical region are reported by more than 60% of patients, and pain intensity is directly related to disease severity. Botulinum toxin (BoNT) is currently considered the treatment of choice for CD and can lead to an improvement in pain and dystonic symptoms in up to 90% of patients. The results for BoNT/A and BoNT/B are similar. The complex relationship between pain and dystonia has resulted in a large number of studies and more comprehensive assessments of dystonic patients. When planning the application of BoNT, pain should be a key factor in the choice of muscles and doses. In conclusion, BoNT is highly effective in controlling pain, and its analgesic effect is sustained for a long time in most CD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Botulinum Toxins on Human Pain)
Article
Reduced Toxicity of Shiga Toxin (Stx) Type 2c in Mice Compared to Stx2d Is Associated with Instability of Stx2c Holotoxin
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2306-2320; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062306 - 23 Jun 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2524
Abstract
Shiga toxin (Stx) is an AB5 ribotoxin made by Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). These organisms cause diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis and the hemolytic uremic syndrome. STEC make two types of Stxs, Stx1 and/or Stx2. Stx2 has one prototype (a) and six subtypes (b–g), [...] Read more.
Shiga toxin (Stx) is an AB5 ribotoxin made by Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). These organisms cause diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis and the hemolytic uremic syndrome. STEC make two types of Stxs, Stx1 and/or Stx2. Stx2 has one prototype (a) and six subtypes (b–g), but only STEC that make Stx2a, and/or Stx2c, or Stx2d are associated with severe disease. However, Stx2c is about 10-fold less toxic than Stx2d in vivo despite only two amino acid differences in the A subunit at positions 291 and 297. We made mutations at these two sites to create intermediate toxins between Stx2c and Stx2d, and determined the 50% cytotoxic dose on Vero cells before and after heat treatment, and the 50% lethal dose in mice of the toxins. We found that serine 291 was associated with increased toxicity in vivo and that either amino acid change from that in Stx2c to that in Stx2d increased heat stability. We also assessed the secondary structure of Stx2c and Stx2d by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The CD studies suggest that Stx2c has a less-ordered secondary structure than Stx2d. We conclude that both amino acids at positions 291 and 297 in Stx2c contribute to its decreased stability and in vivo toxicity compared to Stx2d. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Shiga Toxins)
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Review
Fusariotoxins in Avian Species: Toxicokinetics, Metabolism and Persistence in Tissues
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2289-2305; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062289 - 23 Jun 2015
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3385
Abstract
Fusariotoxins are mycotoxins produced by different species of the genus Fusarium whose occurrence and toxicity vary considerably. Despite the fact avian species are highly exposed to fusariotoxins, the avian species are considered as resistant to their toxic effects, partly because of low absorption [...] Read more.
Fusariotoxins are mycotoxins produced by different species of the genus Fusarium whose occurrence and toxicity vary considerably. Despite the fact avian species are highly exposed to fusariotoxins, the avian species are considered as resistant to their toxic effects, partly because of low absorption and rapid elimination, thereby reducing the risk of persistence of residues in tissues destined for human consumption. This review focuses on the main fusariotoxins deoxynivalenol, T-2 and HT-2 toxins, zearalenone and fumonisin B1 and B2. The key parameters used in the toxicokinetic studies are presented along with the factors responsible for their variations. Then, each toxin is analyzed separately. Results of studies conducted with radiolabelled toxins are compared with the more recent data obtained with HPLC/MS-MS detection. The metabolic pathways of deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin, and zearalenone are described, with attention paid to the differences among the avian species. Although no metabolite of fumonisins has been reported in avian species, some differences in toxicokinetics have been observed. All the data reviewed suggest that the toxicokinetics of fusariotoxins in avian species differs from those in mammals, and that variations among the avian species themselves should be assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
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Article
A Severe Accident Caused by an Ocellate River Stingray (Potamotrygon motoro) in Central Brazil: How Well Do We Really Understand Stingray Venom Chemistry, Envenomation, and Therapeutics?
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2272-2288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062272 - 18 Jun 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4032
Abstract
Freshwater stingrays cause many serious human injuries, but identification of the offending species is uncommon. The present case involved a large freshwater stingray, Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae), in the Araguaia River in Tocantins, Brazil. Appropriate first aid was administered within ~15 min, except [...] Read more.
Freshwater stingrays cause many serious human injuries, but identification of the offending species is uncommon. The present case involved a large freshwater stingray, Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae), in the Araguaia River in Tocantins, Brazil. Appropriate first aid was administered within ~15 min, except that an ice pack was applied. Analgesics provided no pain relief, although hot compresses did. Ciprofloxacin therapy commenced after ~18 h and continued seven days. Then antibiotic was suspended; however, after two more days and additional tests, cephalosporin therapy was initiated, and proved successful. Pain worsened despite increasingly powerful analgesics, until debridement of the wound was performed after one month. The wound finally closed ~70 days after the accident, but the patient continued to have problems wearing shoes even eight months later. Chemistry and pharmacology of Potamotrygon venom and mucus, and clinical management of freshwater stingray envenomations are reviewed in light of the present case. Bacterial infections of stingray puncture wounds may account for more long-term morbidity than stingray venom. Simultaneous prophylactic use of multiple antibiotics is recommended for all but the most superficial stingray wounds. Distinguishing relative contributions of venom, mucus, and bacteria will require careful genomic and transcriptomic investigations of stingray tissues and contaminating bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Review
Ancient Venom Systems: A Review on Cnidaria Toxins
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2251-2271; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062251 - 18 Jun 2015
Cited by 86 | Viewed by 7930
Abstract
Cnidarians are the oldest extant lineage of venomous animals. Despite their simple anatomy, they are capable of subduing or repelling prey and predator species that are far more complex and recently evolved. Utilizing specialized penetrating nematocysts, cnidarians inject the nematocyst content or “venom” [...] Read more.
Cnidarians are the oldest extant lineage of venomous animals. Despite their simple anatomy, they are capable of subduing or repelling prey and predator species that are far more complex and recently evolved. Utilizing specialized penetrating nematocysts, cnidarians inject the nematocyst content or “venom” that initiates toxic and immunological reactions in the envenomated organism. These venoms contain enzymes, potent pore forming toxins, and neurotoxins. Enzymes include lipolytic and proteolytic proteins that catabolize prey tissues. Cnidarian pore forming toxins self-assemble to form robust membrane pores that can cause cell death via osmotic lysis. Neurotoxins exhibit rapid ion channel specific activities. In addition, certain cnidarian venoms contain or induce the release of host vasodilatory biogenic amines such as serotonin, histamine, bunodosine and caissarone accelerating the pathogenic effects of other venom enzymes and porins. The cnidarian attacking/defending mechanism is fast and efficient, and massive envenomation of humans may result in death, in some cases within a few minutes to an hour after sting. The complexity of venom components represents a unique therapeutic challenge and probably reflects the ancient evolutionary history of the cnidarian venom system. Thus, they are invaluable as a therapeutic target for sting treatment or as lead compounds for drug design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 5th Venoms to Drugs Meeting)
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Review
Novel Treatment of Chronic Bladder Pain Syndrome and Other Pelvic Pain Disorders by OnabotulinumtoxinA Injection
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2232-2250; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062232 - 18 Jun 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3981
Abstract
Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as pain in the pelvic organs and related structures of at least 6 months’ duration. The pathophysiology of CPP is uncertain, and its treatment presents challenges. Botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A), known for its antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and muscle [...] Read more.
Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as pain in the pelvic organs and related structures of at least 6 months’ duration. The pathophysiology of CPP is uncertain, and its treatment presents challenges. Botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A), known for its antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxant activity, has been used recently to treat refractory CPP with promising results. In patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, most studies suggest intravesical BoNT-A injection reduces bladder pain and increases bladder capacity. Repeated BoNT-A injection is also effective and reduces inflammation in the bladder. Intraprostatic BoNT-A injection could significantly improve prostate pain and urinary frequency in the patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Animal studies also suggest BoNT-A injection in the prostate decreases inflammation in the prostate. Patients with CPP due to pelvic muscle pain and spasm also benefit from localized BoNT-A injections. BoNT-A injection in the pelvic floor muscle improves dyspareunia and decreases pelvic floor pressure. Preliminary studies show intravesical BoNT-A injection is useful in inflammatory bladder diseases such as chemical cystitis, radiation cystitis, and ketamine related cystitis. Dysuria is the most common adverse effect after BoNT-A injection. Very few patients develop acute urinary retention after treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Botulinum Toxins on Human Pain)
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Article
Proteasome as a Molecular Target of Microcystin-LR
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2221-2231; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062221 - 17 Jun 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2424
Abstract
Proteasome degrades proteins in eukaryotic cells. As such, the proteasome is crucial in cell cycle and function. This study proved that microcystin-LR (MC-LR), which is a toxic by-product of algal bloom, can target cellular proteasome and selectively inhibit proteasome trypsin-like (TL) activity. MC-LR [...] Read more.
Proteasome degrades proteins in eukaryotic cells. As such, the proteasome is crucial in cell cycle and function. This study proved that microcystin-LR (MC-LR), which is a toxic by-product of algal bloom, can target cellular proteasome and selectively inhibit proteasome trypsin-like (TL) activity. MC-LR at 1 nM can inhibit up to 54% of the purified 20S proteasome TL activity and 43% of the proteasome TL activity in the liver of the cyprinid rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus). Protein degradation was retarded in GFP-CL1-transfected PC-3 cells because MC-LR inhibited the proteasome TL activity. Docking studies indicated that MC-LR blocked the active site of the proteasome β2 subunit; thus, the proteasome TL activity was inhibited. In conclusion, MC-LR can target proteasome, selectively inhibit proteasome TL activity, and retard protein degradation. This study may be used as a reference of future research on the toxic mechanism of MC-LR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Article
Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins Occurrence and Removal from Five High-Risk Conventional Treatment Drinking Water Plants
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2198-2220; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062198 - 12 Jun 2015
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 4736
Abstract
An environmental protection agency EPA expert workshop prioritized three cyanotoxins, microcystins, anatoxin-a, and cylindrospermopsin (MAC), as being important in freshwaters of the United States. This study evaluated the prevalence of potentially toxin producing cyanobacteria cell numbers relative to the presence and quantity of [...] Read more.
An environmental protection agency EPA expert workshop prioritized three cyanotoxins, microcystins, anatoxin-a, and cylindrospermopsin (MAC), as being important in freshwaters of the United States. This study evaluated the prevalence of potentially toxin producing cyanobacteria cell numbers relative to the presence and quantity of the MAC toxins in the context of this framework. Total and potential toxin producing cyanobacteria cell counts were conducted on weekly raw and finished water samples from utilities located in five US states. An Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA) was used to screen the raw and finished water samples for microcystins. High-pressure liquid chromatography with a photodiode array detector (HPLC/PDA) verified microcystin concentrations and quantified anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin concentrations. Four of the five utilities experienced cyanobacterial blooms in their raw water. Raw water samples from three utilities showed detectable levels of microcystins and a fourth utility had detectable levels of both microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. No utilities had detectable concentrations of anatoxin-a. These conventional plants effectively removed the cyanobacterial cells and all finished water samples showed MAC levels below the detection limit by ELISA and HPLC/PDA. Full article
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Communication
Mycotoxin Cocktail in the Samples of Oilseed Cake from Early Maturing Cotton Varieties Associated with Cattle Feeding Problems
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2188-2197; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062188 - 12 Jun 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2634
Abstract
Cottonseed cake in South East Asia has been associated with health issues in ruminants in the recent years. The present study was carried out to investigate the health issues associated with cottonseed cake feeding in dairy animals in Pakistan. All the cake samples [...] Read more.
Cottonseed cake in South East Asia has been associated with health issues in ruminants in the recent years. The present study was carried out to investigate the health issues associated with cottonseed cake feeding in dairy animals in Pakistan. All the cake samples were confirmed to be from early maturing cotton varieties (maturing prior to or during Monsoon). A survey of the resource persons indicated that the feeding problems with cottonseed cake appeared after 4–5 months of post-production storage. All the cake samples had heavy bacterial counts, and contaminated with over a dozen different fungal genera. Screening for toxins revealed co-contamination with toxic levels of nearly a dozen mycotoxins including aflatoxin B1 + B2 (556 to 5574 ppb), ochratoxin A + B (47 to 2335 ppb), cyclopiazonic acid (1090 to 6706 ppb), equisetin (2226 to 12672 ppb), rubrofusarin (81 to 1125), tenuazonic acid (549 to 9882 ppb), 3-nitropropionic acid (111 to 1032 ppb), and citrinin (29 to 359 ppb). Two buffalo calves in a diagnostic feed trial also showed signs of complex toxicity. These results indicate that inappropriate processing and storage of the cake, in the typical conditions of the subcontinent, could be the main contributory factors regarding the low quality of cottonseed cake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
Review
Bioinformatics-Aided Venomics
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2159-2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7062159 - 11 Jun 2015
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3818
Abstract
Venomics is a modern approach that combines transcriptomics and proteomics to explore the toxin content of venoms. This review will give an overview of computational approaches that have been created to classify and consolidate venomics data, as well as algorithms that have helped [...] Read more.
Venomics is a modern approach that combines transcriptomics and proteomics to explore the toxin content of venoms. This review will give an overview of computational approaches that have been created to classify and consolidate venomics data, as well as algorithms that have helped discovery and analysis of toxin nucleic acid and protein sequences, toxin three-dimensional structures and toxin functions. Bioinformatics is used to tackle specific challenges associated with the identification and annotations of toxins. Recognizing toxin transcript sequences among second generation sequencing data cannot rely only on basic sequence similarity because toxins are highly divergent. Mass spectrometry sequencing of mature toxins is challenging because toxins can display a large number of post-translational modifications. Identifying the mature toxin region in toxin precursor sequences requires the prediction of the cleavage sites of proprotein convertases, most of which are unknown or not well characterized. Tracing the evolutionary relationships between toxins should consider specific mechanisms of rapid evolution as well as interactions between predatory animals and prey. Rapidly determining the activity of toxins is the main bottleneck in venomics discovery, but some recent bioinformatics and molecular modeling approaches give hope that accurate predictions of toxin specificity could be made in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 5th Venoms to Drugs Meeting)
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Article
Prevention of Aflatoxin B1-Induced DNA Breaks by β-D-Glucan
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2145-2158; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062145 - 11 Jun 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Aflatoxins are a group of naturally-occurring carcinogens that are known to contaminate different human and animal foodstuffs. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most genotoxic hepatocarcinogenic compound of all of the aflatoxins. In this report, we explore the capacity of β-D-glucan [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins are a group of naturally-occurring carcinogens that are known to contaminate different human and animal foodstuffs. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most genotoxic hepatocarcinogenic compound of all of the aflatoxins. In this report, we explore the capacity of β-D-glucan (Glu) to reduce the DNA damage induced by AFB1 in mouse hepatocytes. For this purpose, we applied the comet assay to groups of animals that were first administered Glu in three doses (100, 400 and 700 mg/kg bw, respectively) and, 20 min later, 1.0 mg/kg of AFB1. Liver cells were obtained at 4, 10 and 16 h after the chemical administration and examined. The results showed no protection of the damage induced by AFB1 with the low dose of the polysaccharide, but they did reveal antigenotoxic activity exerted by the two high doses. In addition, we induced a co-crystallization between both compounds, determined their fusion points and analyzed the molecules by UV spectroscopy. The data suggested the formation of a supramolecular complex between AFB1 and β-D-glucan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins and Human Diseases 2015)
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Article
Application of Microwave Irradiation and Heat to Improve Gliadin Detection and Ricin ELISA Throughput with Food Samples
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2135-2144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062135 - 11 Jun 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
The utility of microwave irradiation to accelerate the onset of equilibrium and improve ELISA performance was examined using ELISAs for the detection of the plant toxin ricin and gliadin. The ricin ELISA normally requires several one hour incubations at 37 °C, a total [...] Read more.
The utility of microwave irradiation to accelerate the onset of equilibrium and improve ELISA performance was examined using ELISAs for the detection of the plant toxin ricin and gliadin. The ricin ELISA normally requires several one hour incubations at 37 °C, a total assay time of approximately five hours, and employs a complex buffer containing PBS, Tween-20®, and non-fat milk. Different energy levels and pulse designs were compared to the use of abbreviated incubation times at 37 °C for the detection of ricin in food. The use of microwave irradiation had no significant advantage over the application of heat using an oven incubator and performed worse with some foods. In contrast, a gliadin ELISA that relied on 30 min incubation steps at room temperature and a salt-based buffer performed better upon irradiation but also displayed improvement upon incubating the microtiter plate at 37 °C. Whether microwave irradiation was advantageous compared to incubation in an oven was inconclusive. However, by abbreviating the incubation time of the ricin ELISA, it was possible to cut the assay time to less than 2 hours and still display LOD values < 10 ppb and recoveries of 78%–98%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Toxins)
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Addendum
Addendum: Urusov, A.E.; Zherdev, A.V.; Petrakova, A.V.; Sadykhov, E.G.; Koroleva, O.V.; Dzantiev, B.B. Rapid Multiple Immunoenzyme Assay of Mycotoxins. Toxins, 2015, 7, 238-254.
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062134 - 11 Jun 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
The authors would like to replace the Acknowledgements section with the following: [...] Full article
Article
Clinical and Pathological Findings Associated with Aerosol Exposure of Macaques to Ricin Toxin
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2121-2133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062121 - 09 Jun 2015
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3161
Abstract
Ricin is a potential bioweapon that could be used against civilian and military personnel. Aerosol exposure is the most likely route of contact to ricin toxin that will result in the most severe toxicity. Early recognition of ricin exposure is essential if specific [...] Read more.
Ricin is a potential bioweapon that could be used against civilian and military personnel. Aerosol exposure is the most likely route of contact to ricin toxin that will result in the most severe toxicity. Early recognition of ricin exposure is essential if specific antidotes are to be applied. Initial diagnosis will most likely be syndromic, i.e., fitting clinical and laboratory signs into a pattern which then will guide the choice of more specific diagnostic assays and therapeutic interventions. We have studied the pathology of ricin toxin in rhesus macaques exposed to lethal and sublethal ricin aerosols. Animals exposed to lethal ricin aerosols were followed clinically using telemetry, by clinical laboratory analyses and by post-mortem examination. Animals exposed to lethal aerosolized ricin developed fever associated with thermal instability, tachycardia, and dyspnea. In the peripheral blood a marked neutrophilia (without immature bands) developed at 24 h. This was accompanied by an increase in monocytes, but depletion of lymphocytes. Red cell indices indicated hemoconcentration, as did serum chemistries, with modest increases in sodium and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Serum albumin was strikingly decreased. These observations are consistent with the pathological observations of fluid shifts to the lungs, in the form of hemorrhages, inflammatory exudates, and tissue edema. In macaques exposed to sublethal aerosols of ricin, late pathologic consequences included chronic pulmonary fibrosis, likely mediated by M2 macrophages. Early administration of supportive therapy, specific antidotes after exposure or vaccines prior to exposure have the potential to favorably alter this outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Toxins)
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Article
Glutathione Transferases Responses Induced by Microcystin-LR in the Gills and Hepatopancreas of the Clam Venerupis philippinarum
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2096-2120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062096 - 09 Jun 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2704
Abstract
A multi-method approach was employed to compare the responses of Glutatione Transferases (GSTs) in the gills and hepatopancreas of Venerupis philippinarum to microcystins (MCs) toxicity. In this way, using the cytosolic fraction, the enzymatic activity of GSTs, superoxide dismutase (SOD), serine/threonine protein phosphatases [...] Read more.
A multi-method approach was employed to compare the responses of Glutatione Transferases (GSTs) in the gills and hepatopancreas of Venerupis philippinarum to microcystins (MCs) toxicity. In this way, using the cytosolic fraction, the enzymatic activity of GSTs, superoxide dismutase (SOD), serine/threonine protein phosphatases (PPP2) along with the gene expression levels of four GST isoforms (pi, mu, sigma1, sigma2) were investigated in both organs of the clams exposed for 24 h to 10, 50 and 100 μg L1 of MC-LR. Cytosolic GSTs (cGSTs) from both organs of the high dose exposed clams were purified by glutathione-agarose affinity chromatography, characterized kinetically and the changes in the expression of cGSTs of the gills identified using a proteomic approach. MC-LR caused an increase in GST enzyme activity, involved in conjugation reactions, in both gills and hepatopancreas (100 μg L1 exposure). SOD activity, an indicator of oxidative stress, showed significantly elevated levels in the hepatopancreas only (50 and 100 μg L1 exposure). No significant changes were found in PPP2 activity, the main target of MCs, for both organs. Transcription responses revealed an up-regulation of sigma2 in the hepatopancreas at the high dose, but no significant changes were detected in the gills. Kinetic analysis evidenced differences between gills of exposed and non-exposed extracts. Using proteomics, qualitative and quantitative differences were found between the basal and inducible cGSTs. Overall, results suggest a distinct role of GST system in counteracting MCs toxicity between the gills and the hepatopancreas of V. philippinarum, revealing different roles between GST isoforms within and among both organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity and Toxicity in Marine Cyanobacteria)
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Article
Deoxynivalenol Impairs Weight Gain and Affects Markers of Gut Health after Low-Dose, Short-Term Exposure of Growing Pigs
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2071-2095; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062071 - 09 Jun 2015
Cited by 65 | Viewed by 4144
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the major mycotoxins produced by Fusarium fungi, and exposure to this mycotoxin requires an assessment of the potential adverse effects, even at low toxin levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a short-term, [...] Read more.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the major mycotoxins produced by Fusarium fungi, and exposure to this mycotoxin requires an assessment of the potential adverse effects, even at low toxin levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a short-term, low-dose DON exposure on various gut health parameters in pigs. Piglets received a commercial feed or the same feed contaminated with DON (0.9 mg/kg feed) for 10 days, and two hours after a DON bolus (0.28 mg/kg BW), weight gain was determined and samples of different segments of the intestine were collected. Even the selected low dose of DON in the diet negatively affected weight gain and induced histomorphological alterations in the duodenum and jejunum. The mRNA expression of different tight junction (TJ) proteins, especially occludin, of inflammatory markers, like interleukin-1 beta and interleukin-10 and the oxidative stress marker heme-oxigenase1, were affected along the intestine by low levels of DON in the diet. Taken together, our results indicate that even after low-level exposure to DON, which has been generally considered as acceptable in animal feeds, clinically-relevant changes are measurable in markers of gut health and integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Article
Exploring the Potential of Venom from Nasonia vitripennis as Therapeutic Agent with High-Throughput Screening Tools
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2051-2070; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062051 - 03 Jun 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2578
Abstract
The venom from the ectoparasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) contains at least 80 different proteins and possibly even more peptides or other small chemical compounds, demonstrating its appealing therapeutic application. To better understand the dynamics of the venom in mammalian cells, two [...] Read more.
The venom from the ectoparasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) contains at least 80 different proteins and possibly even more peptides or other small chemical compounds, demonstrating its appealing therapeutic application. To better understand the dynamics of the venom in mammalian cells, two high-throughput screening tools were performed. The venom induced pathways related to an early stress response and activated reporters that suggest the involvement of steroids. Whether these steroids reside from the venom itself or show an induced release/production caused by the venom, still remains unsolved. The proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β was found to be down-regulated after venom and LPS co-treatment, confirming the anti-inflammatory action of N. vitripennis venom. When analyzing the expression levels of the NF-κB target genes, potentially not only the canonical but also the alternative NF-κB pathway can be affected, possibly explaining some counterintuitive results. It is proposed that next to an NF-κB binding site, the promoter of the genes tested by the PCR array may also contain binding sites for other transcription factors, resulting in a complex puzzle to connect the induced target gene with its respective transcription factor. Interestingly, Nasonia venom altered the expression of some drug targets, presenting the venom with an exciting therapeutical potential. Full article
Review
Analysis of Ergot Alkaloids
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2024-2050; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062024 - 03 Jun 2015
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 3912
Abstract
The principles and application of established and newer methods for the quantitative and semi-quantitative determination of ergot alkaloids in food, feed, plant materials and animal tissues are reviewed. The techniques of sampling, extraction, clean-up, detection, quantification and validation are described. The major procedures [...] Read more.
The principles and application of established and newer methods for the quantitative and semi-quantitative determination of ergot alkaloids in food, feed, plant materials and animal tissues are reviewed. The techniques of sampling, extraction, clean-up, detection, quantification and validation are described. The major procedures for ergot alkaloid analysis comprise liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (LC-FLD). Other methods based on immunoassays are under development and variations of these and minor techniques are available for specific purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergot Alkaloids: Chemistry, Biology and Toxicology)
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Article
Ergot Alkaloids in Feed for Pekin Ducks: Toxic Effects, Metabolism and Carry Over into Edible Tissues
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2006-2023; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7062006 - 02 Jun 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2628
Abstract
Hardened sclerotia (ergots) of Claviceps purpurea contaminate cereal grains and contain toxic ergot alkaloids (EA). Information on EA toxicity in ducks is scarce. Therefore, the aim of the growth experiment (Day 0–49, n = 54/group) was to titrate the lowest observed adverse effect [...] Read more.
Hardened sclerotia (ergots) of Claviceps purpurea contaminate cereal grains and contain toxic ergot alkaloids (EA). Information on EA toxicity in ducks is scarce. Therefore, the aim of the growth experiment (Day 0–49, n = 54/group) was to titrate the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for total ergot alkaloids (TEA). A control diet was prepared without ergots, and the diets designated Ergot 1 to 4 contained 1, 10, 15 and 20 g ergot per kg diet, respectively, corresponding to TEA contents of 0.0, 0.6, 7.0, 11.4 and 16.4 mg/kg. Sensitivity of ducks to EA was most pronounced at the beginning of the experiment when feed intake decreased significantly by 9%, 28%, 41% and 47% in groups Ergot 1 to 4, respectively, compared to the control group. The experiment was terminated after two weeks for ducks exposed to Ergot 3 and 4 due to significant growth retardation. Ergot alkaloid residues in edible tissues were lower than 5 ng/g. Bile was tested positive for ergonovine (=ergometrine = ergobasine) with a mean concentration of 40 ng/g. Overall, the LOAEL amounted to 0.6 mg TA/kg diet suggesting that ducks are not protected by current European Union legislation (1 g ergot/kg unground cereal grains). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergot Alkaloids: Chemistry, Biology and Toxicology)
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Review
A Novel Peptide-Binding Motifs Inference Approach to Understand Deoxynivalenol Molecular Toxicity
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1989-2005; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061989 - 02 Jun 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3009
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a type B trichothecene mycotoxin that is commonly detected in cereals and grains world-wide. The low-tolerated levels of this mycotoxin, especially in mono-gastric animals, reflect its bio-potency. The toxicity of DON is conventionally attributed to its ability to inhibit ribosomal [...] Read more.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a type B trichothecene mycotoxin that is commonly detected in cereals and grains world-wide. The low-tolerated levels of this mycotoxin, especially in mono-gastric animals, reflect its bio-potency. The toxicity of DON is conventionally attributed to its ability to inhibit ribosomal protein biosynthesis, but recent advances in molecular tools have elucidated novel mechanisms that further explain DON’s toxicological profile, complementing the diverse symptoms associated with its exposure. This article summarizes the recent findings related to novel mechanisms of DON toxicity as well as how structural modifications to DON alter its potency. In addition, it explores feasible ways of expanding our understating of DON-cellular targets and their roles in DON toxicity, clearance, and detoxification through the utilization of computational biology approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins and Human Diseases 2015)
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Article
Food Contaminant Zearalenone and Its Metabolites Affect Cytokine Synthesis and Intestinal Epithelial Integrity of Porcine Cells
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1979-1988; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061979 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 3611
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Article
Chronic Sublethal Effects of Cantharidin on the Diamondback Moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1962-1978; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061962 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2835
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 [...] Read more.
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 that the 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Article
Nivalenol Has a Greater Impact than Deoxynivalenol on Pig Jejunum Mucosa in Vitro on Explants and in Vivo on Intestinal Loops
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1945-1961; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061945 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3712
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Article
Effects of Wheat Naturally Contaminated with Fusarium Mycotoxins on Growth Performance and Selected Health Indices of Red Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × O. mossambicus)
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1929-1944; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061929 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3226
Abstract
An 8-week feeding trial was conducted to examine effects of wheat naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins (deoxynivalenol, DON 41 mg·kg1) on growth performance and selected health indices of red tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × O. mossambicus; initial weight = [...] Read more.
An 8-week feeding trial was conducted to examine effects of wheat naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins (deoxynivalenol, DON 41 mg·kg1) 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·kg1). 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Article
Anti-Fibrotic Effect of Natural Toxin Bee Venom on Animal Model of Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1917-1928; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061917 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3568
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Review
Treatment of Gastrointestinal Sphincters Spasms with Botulinum Toxin A
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1882-1916; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061882 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3448
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Botulinum Toxins on Human Pain)
Review
Monoclonal Antibody Combinations that Present Synergistic Neutralizing Activity: A Platform for Next-Generation Anti-Toxin Drugs
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1854-1881; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins7061854 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3368
Abstract
Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are among the fastest-growing therapeutics and are being developed for a broad range of indications, including the neutralization of toxins, bacteria and viruses. Nevertheless, MAbs potency is still relatively low when compared to conventional polyclonal Ab preparations. Moreover, the efficacy [...] Read more.
Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are among the fastest-growing therapeutics and are being developed for a broad range of indications, including the neutralization of toxins, bacteria and viruses. Nevertheless, MAbs potency is still relatively low when compared to conventional polyclonal Ab preparations. Moreover, the efficacy of an individual neutralizing MAb may significantly be hampered by the potential absence or modification of its target epitope in a mutant or subtype of the infectious agent. These limitations of individual neutralizing MAbs can be overcome by using oligoclonal combinations of several MAbs with different specificities to the target antigen. Studies conducted in our lab and by others show that such combined MAb preparation may present substantial synergy in its potency over the calculated additive potency of its individual MAb components. Moreover, oligoclonal preparation is expected to be better suited to compensating for reduced efficacy due to epitope variation. In this review, the synergistic neutralization properties of combined oligoclonal Ab preparations are described. The effect of Ab affinity, autologous Fc fraction, and targeting a critical number of epitopes, as well as the unexpected contribution of non-neutralizing clones to the synergistic neutralizing effect are presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Toxicity and Therapeutic Interventions in the Immune System)
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