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Toxics, Volume 11, Issue 10 (October 2023) – 76 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Several anticancer drugs used in cancer therapy induce chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), leading to dose reduction or therapy cessation. Consequently, there is a demand for an in vitro assessment method to predict CIPN and mechanisms of action (MoA) in drug candidate compounds. In this study, a method assessing the toxic effects of anticancer drugs on soma and axons using deep learning image analysis is developed, culturing primary rat dorsal root ganglion neurons with a microphysiological system (MPS) that separates soma from neural processes and training two artificial intelligence (AI) models on soma and axonal area images. View this paper
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15 pages, 7145 KiB  
Article
Acetyl Tributyl Citrate Exposure at Seemingly Safe Concentrations Induces Adverse Effects in Different Genders of Type 2 Diabetes Mice, Especially Brain Tissue
by Yuchao Zhang, Zhihuai Zhang, Sijie Zhu, Liangyu Liu, Xudong Liu and Xu Yang
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100877 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC) is a widely used phthalate substitute. Although ATBC is considered to be with a safe dosage of up to 1000 mg/kg/day, studies on its effects in some sensitive populations, such as diabetic patients, are relatively rare. Epidemiological studies have [...] Read more.
Acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC) is a widely used phthalate substitute. Although ATBC is considered to be with a safe dosage of up to 1000 mg/kg/day, studies on its effects in some sensitive populations, such as diabetic patients, are relatively rare. Epidemiological studies have shown that there is a link between diabetes and nervous system diseases. However, toxicological studies have not fully confirmed this yet. In this study, glycolipid metabolism, cognitive deficits, brain tissue damage, levels of neurotransmitters, beta-amyloid plaques (Aβ), hyperphosphorylated tau protein (p-Tau), oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as glial cell homeostatic levels in the brain tissue of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) mice, were determined after ATBC exposure (0, 2, 20, and 200 mg/kg/day) for 90 days. The results confirmed that ATBC exposure aggravated the disorder of glycolipid metabolism and caused cognitive deficits in T2DM mice; induced histopathological alterations and Aβ and p-Tau accumulation, and reduced the levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine and acetylcholine in T2DM mouse brains; oxidative stress and glial cell homeostatic levels in T2DM mouse brains were also changed. Some of the adverse effects were gender-dependent. These findings support the theory that T2DM mice, especially males, are more sensitive to ATBC exposure. Although the safe dose of ATBC is high, prolonged exposure at seemingly safe concentrations has the potential to aggravate diabetes symptoms and cause brain tissue damage in T2DM mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors Exposure, Toxicity and Health Risk Assessment)
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12 pages, 1701 KiB  
Article
New Insights into Nanoplastics Ecotoxicology: Effects of Long-Term Polystyrene Nanoparticles Exposure on Folsomia candida
by Angela Barreto, Joana Santos, Gonçalo Andrade, Matilde Santos and Vera L. Maria
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100876 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Despite the growing concern over nanoplastics’ (NPls) environmental impacts, their long-term effects on terrestrial organisms remain poorly understood. The main aim of this study was to assess how NPls exposure impacts both the parental (F1) and subsequent generations (F2 and F3) of the [...] Read more.
Despite the growing concern over nanoplastics’ (NPls) environmental impacts, their long-term effects on terrestrial organisms remain poorly understood. The main aim of this study was to assess how NPls exposure impacts both the parental (F1) and subsequent generations (F2 and F3) of the soil-dwelling species Folsomia candida. After a standard exposure (28 days), we conducted a multigenerational study along three generations (84 days), applying polystyrene nanoparticles (PS NPs; diameter of 44 nm) as representatives of NPls. Endpoints from biochemical to individual levels were assessed. The standard test: PS NPs (0.015 to 900 mg/kg) had no effect in F. candida survival or reproduction. The multigenerational test: PS NPs (1.5 and 300 mg/kg) induced no effects on F. candida survival and reproduction along the three generations (F1 to F3). PS NPs induced no effects in catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferases, and acetylcholinesterase activities for the juveniles of the F1 to F3. Oxidative damage through lipid peroxidation was detected in the offspring of F1 but not in the juveniles of F2 and F3. Our findings underscore the importance of evaluating multigenerational effects to gain comprehensive insights into the contaminants long-term impact, particularly when organisms are continuously exposed, as is the case with NPls. Full article
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27 pages, 5720 KiB  
Article
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning-Driven Small Molecule Repurposing via Off-Target Prediction and Transcriptomics
by Mohan Rao, Eric McDuffie and Clifford Sachs
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100875 - 22 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2537
Abstract
The process of discovering small molecule drugs involves screening numerous compounds and optimizing the most promising ones, both in vitro and in vivo. However, approximately 90% of these optimized candidates fail during trials due to unexpected toxicity or insufficient efficacy. Current concepts with [...] Read more.
The process of discovering small molecule drugs involves screening numerous compounds and optimizing the most promising ones, both in vitro and in vivo. However, approximately 90% of these optimized candidates fail during trials due to unexpected toxicity or insufficient efficacy. Current concepts with respect to drug–protein interactions suggest that each small molecule interacts with an average of 6–11 targets. This implies that approved drugs and even discontinued compounds could be repurposed by leveraging their interactions with unintended targets. Therefore, we developed a computational repurposing framework for small molecules, which combines artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML)-based and chemical similarity-based target prediction methods with cross-species transcriptomics information. This repurposing methodology incorporates eight distinct target prediction methods, including three machine learning methods. By using multiple orthogonal methods for a “dataset” composed of 2766 FDA-approved drugs targeting multiple therapeutic target classes, we identified 27,371 off-target interactions involving 2013 protein targets (i.e., an average of around 10 interactions per drug). Relative to the drugs in the dataset, we identified 150,620 structurally similar compounds. The highest number of predicted interactions were for drugs targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), enzymes, and kinases with 10,648, 4081, and 3678 interactions, respectively. Notably, 17,283 (63%) of the off-target interactions have been confirmed in vitro. Approximately 4000 interactions had an IC50 of <100 nM for 1105 FDA-approved drugs and 1661 interactions had an IC50 of <10 nM for 696 FDA-approved drugs. Together, the confirmation of numerous predicted interactions and the exploration of tissue-specific expression patterns in human and animal tissues offer insights into potential drug repurposing for new therapeutic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Predictive Toxicology)
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20 pages, 1121 KiB  
Review
The Application of a Physiologically Based Toxicokinetic Model in Health Risk Assessment
by Mengting Chen, Ruihu Du, Tao Zhang, Chutao Li, Wenqiang Bao, Fan Xin, Shaozhang Hou, Qiaomei Yang, Li Chen, Qi Wang and An Zhu
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100874 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1508
Abstract
Toxicokinetics plays a crucial role in the health risk assessments of xenobiotics. Classical compartmental models are limited in their ability to determine chemical concentrations in specific organs or tissues, particularly target organs or tissues, and their limited interspecific and exposure route extrapolation hinders [...] Read more.
Toxicokinetics plays a crucial role in the health risk assessments of xenobiotics. Classical compartmental models are limited in their ability to determine chemical concentrations in specific organs or tissues, particularly target organs or tissues, and their limited interspecific and exposure route extrapolation hinders satisfactory health risk assessment. In contrast, physiologically based toxicokinetic (PBTK) models quantitatively describe the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of chemicals across various exposure routes and doses in organisms, establishing correlations with toxic effects. Consequently, PBTK models serve as potent tools for extrapolation and provide a theoretical foundation for health risk assessment and management. This review outlines the construction and application of PBTK models in health risk assessment while analyzing their limitations and future perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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12 pages, 4807 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Tap Water in Reducing the Generation of Ultrafine Wear Particles from the Wheel-Rail Contact by Eliminating the Water Vapor Effect
by HyunWook Lee
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100873 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 962
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the impact of tap water application on reducing the generation of ultrafine particles from the wheel-rail contact using a twin-disk rig under dry and wet conditions, with train velocities of 45 and 80 km/h. A small amount of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the impact of tap water application on reducing the generation of ultrafine particles from the wheel-rail contact using a twin-disk rig under dry and wet conditions, with train velocities of 45 and 80 km/h. A small amount of 0.3 L/min tap water was applied at the wheel-rail contact, and a diffusion dryer was used to eliminate water vapor. The Fast Mobility Particle Sizer measured the number concentration (NC) of nano-sized wear particles in the range of 6 to 560 nm. The tap water application method effectively reduced the NC of ultrafine and fine particles by 67–72% and 86–88%, respectively. Positive reduction rates were observed for all diameters at 45 km/h and for most diameters, except for approximately 70 nm and 80 nm, at 80 km/h. Even with a small amount of water, this approach successfully decreased nano-sized wear particle generation. However, the potential influence of mineral crystals in tap water on NC requires further investigation. Overall, this method shows promise for enhancing air quality and public health by mitigating nano-sized wear particle generation in subway systems. Full article
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10 pages, 1840 KiB  
Case Report
Severe and Fatal Fentanyl Poisonings from Transdermal Systems after On-Skin and Ingestion Application
by Karina Sommerfeld-Klatta, Wiktoria Jiers, Magdalena Łukasik-Głębocka, Artur Tezyk, Klaudia Dolińska-Kaczmarek, Kamil Walter, Paweł Świderski, Szymon Rzepczyk, Barbara Zielińska-Psuja and Czesław Żaba
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100872 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1489
Abstract
In recent years, the administration of fentanyl (FNTL) implicitly in transdermal drug delivery systems (TDDS) has vastly increased in chronic pain treatment. Non-medical and uncontrolled use of FNTL in TFDS (transdermal fentanyl delivery systems) may reveal toxic effects by the route of exposure, [...] Read more.
In recent years, the administration of fentanyl (FNTL) implicitly in transdermal drug delivery systems (TDDS) has vastly increased in chronic pain treatment. Non-medical and uncontrolled use of FNTL in TFDS (transdermal fentanyl delivery systems) may reveal toxic effects by the route of exposure, dermal or alternative, by ingestion of patches, and drug release in the stomach. The purpose of this study was to present three different cases of FNTL poisonings, two of which resulted in death due to TFDS abuse. The first case is a 66-year-old woman treated for accidental FTNL poisoning resulting in acute respiratory distress syndrome. Two remaining cases are a 31-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man who died as a result of FNTL overdose after on-skin and ingestion application of the drug patches. During the hospitalization of the 66-year-old patient, in blood samples, FNTL was confirmed at a concentration of 10.0 ng/mL. Tests run on blood taken from the corpses of 25- and 31-year-old patients exhibited FNTL presence in concentrations of 29.1 ng/mL and 38.7 ng/mL, respectively. The various routes of administration and ultimately toxic effects are important to present because, in TDDS, fentanyl can be a reason for severe to fatal poisoning, as shown by the three cases above. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Overview of Forensic Toxicology, Yesterday, Today and in the Future)
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16 pages, 4711 KiB  
Article
K252a Prevents Microglial Activation Induced by Anoxic Stimulation of Carotid Bodies in Rats
by Ricardo Cuéllar-Pérez, Fernando Jauregui-Huerta, Yaveth Ruvalcaba-Delgadillo, Sergio Montero, Mónica Lemus, Elena Roces de Álvarez-Buylla, Joaquín García-Estrada and Sonia Luquín
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100871 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Inducing carotid body anoxia through the administration of cyanide can result in oxygen deprivation. The lack of oxygen activates cellular responses in specific regions of the central nervous system, including the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala, which are regulated by afferent [...] Read more.
Inducing carotid body anoxia through the administration of cyanide can result in oxygen deprivation. The lack of oxygen activates cellular responses in specific regions of the central nervous system, including the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala, which are regulated by afferent pathways from chemosensitive receptors. These receptors are modulated by the brain-derived neurotrophic factor receptor TrkB. Oxygen deprivation can cause neuroinflammation in the brain regions that are activated by the afferent pathways from the chemosensitive carotid body. To investigate how microglia, a type of immune cell in the brain, respond to an anoxic environment resulting from the administration of NaCN, we studied the effects of blocking the TrkB receptor on this cell-type response. Male Wistar rats were anesthetized, and a dose of NaCN was injected into their carotid sinus to induce anoxia. Prior to the anoxic stimulus, the rats were given an intracerebroventricular (icv) infusion of either K252a, a TrkB receptor inhibitor, BDNF, or an artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF). After the anoxic stimulus, the rats were perfused with paraformaldehyde, and their brains were processed for microglia immunohistochemistry. The results indicated that the anoxic stimulation caused an increase in the number of reactive microglial cells in the hypothalamic arcuate, basolateral amygdala, and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. However, the infusion of the K252a TrkB receptor inhibitor prevented microglial activation in these regions. Full article
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14 pages, 2466 KiB  
Article
Effects of Chronic Hydrocodone Exposure and Ceftriaxone on the Expression of Astrocytic Glutamate Transporters in Mesocorticolimbic Brain Regions of C57/BL Mice
by Woonyen Wong and Youssef Sari
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100870 - 20 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Exposure to opioids can lead to the alteration of several neurotransmitters. Among these neurotransmitters, glutamate is thought to be involved in opioid dependence. Glutamate neurotransmission is mainly regulated by astrocytic glutamate transporters such as glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and cystine/glutamate antiporter (xCT). Our [...] Read more.
Exposure to opioids can lead to the alteration of several neurotransmitters. Among these neurotransmitters, glutamate is thought to be involved in opioid dependence. Glutamate neurotransmission is mainly regulated by astrocytic glutamate transporters such as glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and cystine/glutamate antiporter (xCT). Our laboratory has shown that exposure to lower doses of hydrocodone reduced the expression of xCT in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the hippocampus. In the present study, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure to hydrocodone, and tested ceftriaxone as a GLT-1 upregulator in mesocorticolimbic brain regions such as the NAc, the amygdala (AMY), and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). Eight-week-old male mice were divided into three groups: (1) the saline vehicle control group; (2) the hydrocodone group; and (3) the hydrocodone + ceftriaxone group. Mice were injected with hydrocodone (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline for 14 days. On day seven, the hydrocodone/ceftriaxone group was injected with ceftriaxone (200 mg/kg, i.p.) for last seven days. Chronic exposure to hydrocodone reduced the expression of GLT-1, xCT, protein kinase B (AKT), extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK), and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) in NAc, AMY, and dmPFC. However, hydrocodone exposure increased the expression of G-protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) in the NAc, AMY, and dmPFC. Importantly, ceftriaxone treatment normalized the expression of mGluR5, GLT-1, and xCT in all these brain regions, except for xCT in the AMY. Importantly, ceftriaxone treatment attenuated hydrocodone-induced downregulation of signaling pathways such as AKT, ERK, and JNK expression in the NAc, AMY, and dmPFC. These findings demonstrate that ceftriaxone has potential therapeutic effects in reversing hydrocodone-induced downregulation of GLT-1 and xCT in selected reward brain regions, and this might be mediated through the downstream kinase signaling pathways such as AKT, ERK, and JNK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Drug Toxicity)
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16 pages, 5712 KiB  
Article
Case Study of Diesters of o-Phthalic Acid in Surface Waters with Background Levels of Pollution
by Alexander Gorshkov, Tatyana Grigoryeva, Yurij Bukin and Anton Kuzmin
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100869 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Lake Baikal was studied as a model for elucidating the general pattern of o-phthalic acid diester (PAE) distributions in surface waters with background pollution levels. The influence of factors including congeners, concentrations, sampling points, seasons, years, and potential sources was considered and [...] Read more.
Lake Baikal was studied as a model for elucidating the general pattern of o-phthalic acid diester (PAE) distributions in surface waters with background pollution levels. The influence of factors including congeners, concentrations, sampling points, seasons, years, and potential sources was considered and the environmental risk for various hydrobionts was established. Priority PAEs in Baikal waters are represented by dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalates (DEP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP). Statistically valuable average concentrations and ranges for DMP, DEP, DnBP, and DEHP were 0.02 (0.01–0.02), 0.07 (0.06–0.09), 0.55 (0.47–0.66), and 0.30 (0.26–0.34) µg/L, respectively. The main factors determining PAE concentrations were the year and season of sampling, whereas sampling points were not among the factors influencing PAE levels. The distribution of PAEs in the water body was characterized by (i) an even distribution of minor hydrophilic DMP and DEP congeners in the whole water body, (ii) a maximum concentration of hydrophobic DnBP and DEHP congeners in the upper and near-bottom layers of the water column, and (iii) a low concentration of hydrophobic congeners in the near-shore area. The main PAE source was found to be the atmospheric transfer of polluted air masses, while the supply of PAEs from coastal sources to the pelagic zone was low. The contribution of biogenic sources to the background level of PAEs in the surface waters of Lake Baikal was established. The ecological risk of the background concentration level of PAEs for Lake Baikal biota was estimated. It was found that (i) DMP and DEP congeners do not represent a risk, or represent a very low risk, (ii) the concentration levels of dominant DnBP and DEHP congeners represent a low risk for crustaceans and fishes but (iii) a rather high risk for algae at a DEHP concentration of 0.30 µg/L. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicity of Contaminants in Water and Sediment)
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22 pages, 22101 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of the Spatial Characteristics and Transport Fluxes of BTEX in Soil and Atmospheric Phases at a Decommissioned Steel Mill Site in China with a Long History
by Xuwei Li, Wenyi Xie, Da Ding, Mengjie Wang, Lingya Kong, Dengdeng Jiang and Shaopo Deng
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100868 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene), as characteristic pollutants in chemical plant sites, are widely present in the environment and pose a serious threat to the health and safety of nearby residents. Studying the spatial distribution characteristics and transport fluxes of BTEX in [...] Read more.
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene), as characteristic pollutants in chemical plant sites, are widely present in the environment and pose a serious threat to the health and safety of nearby residents. Studying the spatial distribution characteristics and transport fluxes of BTEX in soil and air at contaminated sites and the health risks they pose to humans is of great significance for fine pollution control and environmental management. This study took a typical decommissioned steel plant as a case study. A total of 23 soil and air samples were collected from different locations to investigate the spatial distribution characteristics of BTEX in soil and air. The transport and fate of BTEX in soil and air were evaluated using the fugacity model, and finally, a human health risk assessment was conducted. The results indicate a relatively severe level of benzene pollution in both soil and air. The maximum exceedance factor of benzene in soil samples is 31.5, with the concentration exceedance depth at 1.5 m. The maximum concentration of benzene in air samples is 4.98 μg·m−3. Benzene, at 5.9% of the site, shows a low flux with negative values, while other components at various locations all exhibit a trend of transport from the soil phase to the atmospheric phase. Benzene is the pollutant that contributes the most to the transport flux from soil to air within the site. The coking area and sewage treatment area are key areas within the steel mill where BTEX accumulate easily in the soil. The non-carcinogenic risk values of the individual components of BTEX in the soil are below the acceptable risk level. However, the carcinogenic risk value of benzene in the children’s exposure scenario exceeds the carcinogenic risk level of 10−6. The carcinogenic risk range of various components of BTEX in the air is 2.63 × 10−6~3.88 × 10−5, with 28.6% of the locations exceeding the threshold of 10−6. The range of the total HI (hazard index) is 2.08 × 10−4~1.81 × 10−1, all of which is below the safety threshold of 1. The results of this study will provide scientific support for the fine pollution control and environmental management of industrial contaminated sites with BTEX as their typical pollutants. Full article
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16 pages, 2552 KiB  
Article
Silver Nanoparticles Decorated with Curcumin Enhance the Efficacy of Metformin in Diabetic Rats via Suppression of Hepatotoxicity
by Iftekhar Hassan, Jameel Al-Tamimi, Hossam Ebaid, Mohamed A. Habila, Ibrahim M. Alhazza and Ahmed M. Rady
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100867 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Hepatotoxicity is one of the significant side effects of chronic diabetes mellitus (DM) besides nephrotoxicity and pancreatitis. The management of this disease is much dependent on the restoration of the liver to its maximum functionality, as it is the central metabolic organ that [...] Read more.
Hepatotoxicity is one of the significant side effects of chronic diabetes mellitus (DM) besides nephrotoxicity and pancreatitis. The management of this disease is much dependent on the restoration of the liver to its maximum functionality, as it is the central metabolic organ that gets severely affected during chronic diabetes. The present study investigates if the silver nanoparticles decorated with curcumin (AgNP-Cur) can enhance the efficacy of metformin (a conventional antidiabetic drug) by countering the drug-induced hepatoxicity. Swiss albino rats were categorized into six treatment groups (n = 6): control (group I without any treatment), the remaining five groups (group II, IV, V, VI) were DM-induced by streptozocin. Group II was untreated diabetic positive control, whereas groups III was administered with AgNP-cur (5 mg/kg). Diabetic group IV treated with metformin while V and VI were treated with metformin in a combination of the two doses of NPs (5 and 10 mg/kg) according to the treatment schedule. Biochemical and histological analysis of blood and liver samples were conducted after the treatment. The groups V and VI treated with the combination exhibited remarkable improvement in fasting glucose, lipid profile (HDL and cholesterol), liver function tests (AST, ALT), toxicity markers (GGT, GST and LDH), and redox markers (GSH, MDA and CAT) in comparison to group II in most of the parameters. Histological evaluation and comet assay further consolidate these biochemical results, pleading the restoration of the cellular structure of the target tissues and their nuclear DNA. Therefore, the present study shows that the NPs can enhance the anti-diabetic action by suppression of the drug-mediated hepatoxicity via relieving from oxidative stress, toxic burden and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle- and Cell-Specific Toxicological Mechanisms)
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15 pages, 1479 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms of Organophosphate Toxicity and the Role of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition
by Vassiliki Aroniadou-Anderjaska, Taiza H. Figueiredo, Marcio de Araujo Furtado, Volodymyr I. Pidoplichko and Maria F. M. Braga
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100866 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2711
Abstract
Organophosphorus compounds (OPs) have applications in agriculture (e.g., pesticides), industry (e.g., flame retardants), and chemical warfare (nerve agents). In high doses or chronic exposure, they can be toxic or lethal. The primary mechanism, common among all OPs, that initiates their toxic effects is [...] Read more.
Organophosphorus compounds (OPs) have applications in agriculture (e.g., pesticides), industry (e.g., flame retardants), and chemical warfare (nerve agents). In high doses or chronic exposure, they can be toxic or lethal. The primary mechanism, common among all OPs, that initiates their toxic effects is the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. In acute OP exposure, the subsequent surge of acetylcholine in cholinergic synapses causes a peripheral cholinergic crisis and status epilepticus (SE), either of which can lead to death. If death is averted without effective seizure control, long-term brain damage ensues. This review describes the mechanisms by which elevated acetylcholine can cause respiratory failure and trigger SE; the role of the amygdala in seizure initiation; the role of M1 muscarinic receptors in the early stages of SE; the neurotoxic pathways activated by SE (excitotoxicity/Ca++ overload/oxidative stress, neuroinflammation); and neurotoxic mechanisms linked to low-dose, chronic exposure (Ca++ dyshomeostasis/oxidative stress, inflammation), which do not depend on SE and do not necessarily involve acetylcholinesterase inhibition. The evidence so far indicates that brain damage from acute OP exposure is a direct result of SE, while the neurotoxic mechanisms activated by low-dose chronic exposure are independent of SE and may not be associated with acetylcholinesterase inhibition. Full article
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15 pages, 3523 KiB  
Article
Mitigation of Benzene-Induced Haematotoxicity in Sprague Dawley Rats through Plant-Extract-Loaded Silica Nanobeads
by Touseef Rehan, Anum Tahir, Aneesa Sultan, Khulood Fahad Alabbosh, Shahid Waseem, Mazhar Ul-Islam, Khalid Ali Khan, Essam H. Ibrahim, Muhammad Wajid Ullah and Nasrullah Shah
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100865 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Benzene, a potent carcinogen, is known to cause acute myeloid leukaemia. While chemotherapy is commonly used for cancer treatment, its side effects have prompted scientists to explore natural products that can mitigate the haematotoxic effects induced by chemicals. One area of interest is [...] Read more.
Benzene, a potent carcinogen, is known to cause acute myeloid leukaemia. While chemotherapy is commonly used for cancer treatment, its side effects have prompted scientists to explore natural products that can mitigate the haematotoxic effects induced by chemicals. One area of interest is nano-theragnostics, which aims to enhance the therapeutic potential of natural products. This study aimed to enhance the effects of methanolic extracts from Ocimum basilicum, Rosemarinus officinalis, and Thymus vulgaris by loading them onto silica nanobeads (SNBs) for targeted delivery to mitigate the benzene-induced haematotoxic effects. The SNBs, 48 nm in diameter, were prepared using a chemical method and were then loaded with the plant extracts. The plant-extract-loaded SNBs were then coated with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). The modified SNBs were characterized using various techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV–visible spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The developed plant-extract-loaded and CMC-modified SNBs were administered intravenously to benzene-exposed rats, and haematological and histopathological profiling was conducted. Rats exposed to benzene showed increased liver and spleen weight, which was mitigated by the plant-extract-loaded SNBs. The differential white blood cell (WBC) count was higher in rats with benzene-induced haematotoxicity, but this count decreased significantly in rats treated with plant-extract-loaded SNBs. Additionally, blast cells observed in benzene-exposed rats were not found in rats treated with plant-extract-loaded SNBs. The SNBs facilitated targeted drug delivery of the three selected medicinal herbs at low doses. These results suggest that SNBs have promising potential as targeted drug delivery agents to mitigate haematotoxic effects induced by benzene in rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment)
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19 pages, 6148 KiB  
Article
Pseudomonas putida Metallothionein: Structural Analysis and Implications of Sustainable Heavy Metal Detoxification in Madinah
by Munazzah Tasleem, Abdel-Aziz A. A. El-Sayed, Wesam M. Hussein and Abdulwahed Alrehaily
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100864 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
Heavy metals, specifically cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), contaminating water bodies of Madinah (Saudi Arabia), is a significant environmental concern that necessitates prompt action. Madinah is exposed to toxic metals from multiple sources, such as tobacco, fresh and canned foods, and industrial activities. [...] Read more.
Heavy metals, specifically cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), contaminating water bodies of Madinah (Saudi Arabia), is a significant environmental concern that necessitates prompt action. Madinah is exposed to toxic metals from multiple sources, such as tobacco, fresh and canned foods, and industrial activities. This influx of toxic metals presents potential hazards to both human health and the surrounding environment. The aim of this study is to explore the viability of utilizing metallothionein from Pseudomonas putida (P. putida) as a method of bioremediation to mitigate the deleterious effects of pollution attributable to Pb and Cd. The use of various computational approaches, such as physicochemical assessments, structural modeling, molecular docking, and protein–protein interaction investigations, has enabled us to successfully identify the exceptional metal-binding properties that metallothionein displays in P. putida. The identification of specific amino acid residues, namely GLU30 and GLN21, is crucial in understanding their pivotal role in facilitating the coordination of lead and cadmium. In addition, post-translational modifications present opportunities for augmenting the capacity to bind metals, thereby creating possibilities for focused engineering. The intricate web of interactions among proteins serves to emphasize the protein’s participation in essential cellular mechanisms, thereby emphasizing its potential contributions to detoxification pathways. The present study establishes a strong basis for forthcoming experimental inquiries, offering potential novel approaches in bioremediation to tackle the issue of heavy metal contamination. Metallothionein from P. putida presents a highly encouraging potential as a viable remedy for environmental remediation, as it is capable of proficiently alleviating the detrimental consequences related to heavy metal pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technologies to Remove Toxic Compounds in Wastewater II)
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14 pages, 1767 KiB  
Article
Single and Joint Associations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Exposure with Liver Function during Early Pregnancy
by Mi Dai, Lei Luo, Caiyan Xie, Zhongbao Chen, Mingzhe Zhang, Yan Xie, Xuejun Shang, Xubo Shen, Kunming Tian and Yuanzhong Zhou
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100863 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
The individual and combined associations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) metabolites on liver function during pregnancy are still lacking. We aimed to explore the connection between urinary PAH metabolites and liver function in early pregnant women in southwest China based on the Zunyi [...] Read more.
The individual and combined associations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) metabolites on liver function during pregnancy are still lacking. We aimed to explore the connection between urinary PAH metabolites and liver function in early pregnant women in southwest China based on the Zunyi birth cohort. Ten urinary PAH metabolites and five liver function parameters during early pregnancy were measured. The associations of single PAHs with parameters of liver function were assessed using multiple linear regression. A Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR) model was used to evaluate the joint associations of the PAH mixture with outcomes. We found that each 1% increment of urinary 2-hydroxyphenanthrene (2-OH-PHE) was associated with 3.36% (95% CI: 0.40%, 6.40%) higher alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and 2.22% (95% CI: 0.80%, 3.67%) higher aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Each 1% increment in 1-hydroxy-phenanthrene (1-OH-PHE) was significantly associated with 7.04% (95% CI: 1.61%, 12.75%) increased total bile acid (TBA). Additionally, there was a significant positive linear trend between 2-OH-PHE and AST and 1-OH-PHE and TBA. BKMR also showed a significant positive association of PAH mixture with AST. Our results indicate that PAH metabolites were associated with increased parameters of liver function among early pregnant women. Early pregnant women should pay more attention to the adverse relationships between PAHs and liver function parameters to prevent environment-related adverse perinatal outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposure and Reproductive Health)
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12 pages, 574 KiB  
Review
Advancements, Challenges, and Future Directions in Aquatic Life Criteria Research in China
by Chen Liu, Zhaomei Geng, Jiayin Xu, Qingwei Li, Heng Zhang and Jinfen Pan
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100862 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1205
Abstract
Aquatic life criteria (ALC) serve as the scientific foundation for establishing water quality standards, and in China, significant strides have been made in the development of freshwater ALC. This comprehensive review traces the evolution of China’s WQC, focusing on the methodological advancements and [...] Read more.
Aquatic life criteria (ALC) serve as the scientific foundation for establishing water quality standards, and in China, significant strides have been made in the development of freshwater ALC. This comprehensive review traces the evolution of China’s WQC, focusing on the methodological advancements and challenges in priority pollutants selection, test organism screening, and standardized ecotoxicity testing protocols. It also provides a critical evaluation of quality assurance measures, data validation techniques, and minimum data requirements essential for ALC assessments. The paper highlights China’s technical guidelines for deriving ALC, and reviews the published values for typical pollutants, assessing their impact on environmental quality standards. Emerging trends and future research avenues are discussed, including the incorporation of molecular toxicology data and the development of predictive models for pollutant toxicity. The review concludes by advocating for a tiered WQC system that accommodates China’s diverse ecological regions, thereby offering a robust scientific basis for enhanced water quality management. Full article
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15 pages, 9277 KiB  
Article
Environmental Geochemical Analysis in the Yanomami Indigenous Land, Mucajaí River Basin, State of Roraima, Brazil
by Patricia Duringer Jacques, Eduardo Paim Viglio and Daniel de Oliveira d’El Rei Pinto
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100861 - 14 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1255
Abstract
The Yanomami Indigenous Land in the Amazon has a long history of illegal artisanal gold mining, leading to concerns about mercury (Hg) contamination. This study has conducted a geochemical analysis to assess Hg contamination from these mining activities. Geological materials, including river water [...] Read more.
The Yanomami Indigenous Land in the Amazon has a long history of illegal artisanal gold mining, leading to concerns about mercury (Hg) contamination. This study has conducted a geochemical analysis to assess Hg contamination from these mining activities. Geological materials, including river water and stream sediments, were collected from 14 predetermined points based on the Geological Survey of Brazil’s methodology. The results revealed that water samples did not show Hg contamination above the limits set by the National Council of the Environment (Conama) Resolution 357. However, two stream sediment samples, particularly PJS009 and PJS010 collected from the Mucajaí River, exceeded the Conama Resolution 454’s limit of 0.17 mg/kg. A Hg content of 0.344 mg/kg was found in the sediment sample PJS009, the one collected further upstream in the Mucajaí River, and 1.386 mg/kg was found in sample PJS010, also in the Mucajaí River in the region shortly before the Fumaça Waterfall, indicating that the sediments of the Mucajaí River may be contaminated with Hg from the Fumaça Waterfall upstream. Full article
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12 pages, 1931 KiB  
Article
Effects of Transporter Inhibitors and Chemical Analogs on the Uptake of Antimonite and Antimonate by Boehmeria nivea L.
by Yi Lu, Fangyuan Peng, Yingyang Wang, Haipu Li and Zhaoguang Yang
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100860 - 14 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Antimony (Sb) is a non-essential metalloid that can be taken up by plants from contaminated soils and thus enter the food chain and threaten human health. Boehmeria nivea L. (ramie) is a promising phytoremediation plant for Sb-polluted soils. However, the mechanisms of antimonite [...] Read more.
Antimony (Sb) is a non-essential metalloid that can be taken up by plants from contaminated soils and thus enter the food chain and threaten human health. Boehmeria nivea L. (ramie) is a promising phytoremediation plant for Sb-polluted soils. However, the mechanisms of antimonite (SbIII) and antimonate (SbV) uptake by ramie remain unclear. In this study, a hydroponic system was established to investigate how different substances affect the uptake of SbIII or SbV by ramie, including an energy inhibitor (malonic acid), an aquaglyceroporin inhibitor (silver nitrate), an SbV analog (phosphate—PV), and SbIII analogs (arsenite—AsIII, glycerol, silicic acid—Si, and glucose). The results indicated that ramie primarily transported Sb by increasing the Sb concentration in the bleeding sap, rather than increasing the weight of the bleeding sap. After 16 h of Sb exposure, the absolute amount of transported Sb from the roots to the aboveground parts was 1.90 times higher under SbIII than under SbV. The addition of malonic acid significantly inhibited the uptake of SbV but had limited effects on SbIII, indicating that SbV uptake was energy dependent. PV addition significantly reduced SbV uptake, while the addition of AsIII, glycerol, and Si obviously inhibited SbIII uptake. This suggested that the uptake of SbV might be via low-affinity P transporters and SbIII might use aquaglyceroporins. These findings deepen the understanding of Sb uptake pathways in ramie, contribute to a better comprehension of Sb toxicity mechanisms in ramie, and establish a foundation for identifying the most effective Sb uptake pathways, which could further improve the efficiency of phytoremediation of Sb-polluted soils. Full article
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21 pages, 10935 KiB  
Article
Analyzing the Impact of Diesel Exhaust Particles on Lung Fibrosis Using Dual PCR Array and Proteomics: YWHAZ Signaling
by Byeong-Gon Kim, Pureun-Haneul Lee, Jisu Hong and An-Soo Jang
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100859 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Air pollutants are associated with exacerbations of asthma, chronic bronchitis, and airway inflammation. Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) can induce and worsen lung diseases. However, there are insufficient data to guide polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array proteomics studies regarding the impacts of DEPs on [...] Read more.
Air pollutants are associated with exacerbations of asthma, chronic bronchitis, and airway inflammation. Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) can induce and worsen lung diseases. However, there are insufficient data to guide polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array proteomics studies regarding the impacts of DEPs on respiratory diseases. This study was performed to identify genes and proteins expressed in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and proteins expressed in NHBE cells exposed to DEPs at 1 μg/cm2 for 8 h and 24 h were identified using PCR array analysis and 2D PAGE/LC-MS/MS, respectively. YWHAZ gene expression was estimated using PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemical analyses. Genes discovered through an overlap analysis were validated in DEP-exposed mice. Proteomics approaches showed that exposing NHBE cells to DEPs led to changes in 32 protein spots. A transcriptomics PCR array analysis showed that 6 of 84 miRNAs were downregulated in the DEP exposure groups compared to controls. The mRNA and protein expression levels of YWHAZ, β-catenin, vimentin, and TGF-β were increased in DEP-treated NHBE cells and DEP-exposed mice. Lung fibrosis was increased in mice exposed to DEPs. Our combined PCR array–omics analysis demonstrated that DEPs can induce airway inflammation and lead to lung fibrosis through changes in the expression levels of YWHAZ, β-catenin, vimentin, and TGF-β. These findings suggest that dual approaches can help to identify biomarkers and therapeutic targets involved in pollutant-related respiratory diseases. Full article
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31 pages, 2461 KiB  
Review
Airborne Pesticides from Agricultural Practices: A Critical Review of Pathways, Influencing Factors, and Human Health Implications
by Thirasant Boonupara, Patchimaporn Udomkun, Eakalak Khan and Puangrat Kajitvichyanukul
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100858 - 13 Oct 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2202
Abstract
This critical review examines the release of pesticides from agricultural practices into the air, with a focus on volatilization, and the factors influencing their dispersion. The review delves into the effects of airborne pesticides on human health and their contribution to anthropogenic air [...] Read more.
This critical review examines the release of pesticides from agricultural practices into the air, with a focus on volatilization, and the factors influencing their dispersion. The review delves into the effects of airborne pesticides on human health and their contribution to anthropogenic air pollution. It highlights the necessity of interdisciplinary research encompassing science, technology, public policy, and agricultural practices to effectively mitigate the risks associated with pesticide volatilization and spray dispersion. The text acknowledges the need for more research to understand the fate and transport of airborne pesticides, develop innovative application technologies, improve predictive modeling and risk assessment, and adopt sustainable pest management strategies. Robust policies and regulations, supported by education, training, research, and development, are crucial to ensuring the safe and sustainable use of pesticides for human health and the environment. By providing valuable insights, this review aids researchers and practitioners in devising effective and sustainable solutions for safeguarding human health and the environment from the hazards of airborne pesticides. Full article
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22 pages, 3258 KiB  
Article
Exploration of Tilmicosin Cardiotoxicity in Rats and the Protecting Role of the Rhodiola rosea Extract: Potential Roles of Cytokines, Antioxidant, Apoptotic, and Anti-Fibrotic Pathways
by Salwa A. Elgendy, Mohamed Mohamed Soliman, Heba I. Ghamry, Mustafa Shukry, Lina Abdelhady Mohammed, Hend Elsayed Nasr, Badriyah S. Alotaibi, Ibrahim Jafri, Samy Sayed, Amira Osman and Heba A. Elnoury
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100857 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1549
Abstract
Tilmicosin (TIL) is a common macrolide antibiotic in veterinary medicine. High doses of TIL can have adverse cardiovascular effects. This study examined the effects of Rhodiola rosea (RHO) that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-fibrotic effects on tilmicosin (TIL)-induced cardiac injury targeting anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, [...] Read more.
Tilmicosin (TIL) is a common macrolide antibiotic in veterinary medicine. High doses of TIL can have adverse cardiovascular effects. This study examined the effects of Rhodiola rosea (RHO) that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-fibrotic effects on tilmicosin (TIL)-induced cardiac injury targeting anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, apoptotic, and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways with anti-fibrotic outcomes. Thirty-six male Wistar albino rats were randomly divided into groups of six rats each. Rats received saline as a negative control, CARV 1 mL orally (10 mg/kg BW), and RHO 1 mL orally at 400 mg/kg BW daily for 12 consecutive days. The TIL group once received a single subcutaneous injection (SC) dose of TIL (75 mg/kg BW) on the sixth day of the experiment to induce cardiac damage. The standard group (CARV + TIL) received CARV daily for 12 consecutive days with a single TIL SC injection 1 h after CARV administration only on the sixth day of study and continued for another six successive days on CARV. The protective group (RHO + TIL) received RHO daily for the same period as in CARV + TIL-treated rats and with the dosage mentioned before. Serum was extracted at the time of the rat’s scarification at 13 days of study and examined for biochemical assessments in serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), cardiac troponin I (cTI), and creatine phosphokinase (CK-MB). Protein carbonyl (PC) contents, malondialdehyde (MDA), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in cardiac homogenate were used to measure these oxidative stress markers. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to express interferon-gamma (INF-γ), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), OGG1, BAX, caspase-3, B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) genes in cardiac tissues, which are correlated with inflammation, antioxidants, and apoptosis. Alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), calmodulin (CaMKII), and other genes associated with Ca2+ hemostasis and fibrosis were examined using IHC analysis in cardiac cells (myocardium). TIL administration significantly increased the examined cardiac markers, LDH, cTI, and CK-MB. TIL administration also increased ROS, PC, and MDA while decreasing antioxidant activities (TAC and SOD mRNA) in cardiac tissues. Serum inflammatory cytokines and genes of inflammatory markers, DNA damage (INF-γ, COX-2), and apoptotic genes (caspase-3 and BAX) were upregulated with downregulation of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2 as well as the DNA repair OGG1 in cardiac tissues. Furthermore, CaMKII and α-SMA genes were upregulated at cellular levels using cardiac tissue IHC analysis. On the contrary, pretreatment with RHO and CARV alone significantly decreased the cardiac injury markers induced by TIL, inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and tissue oxidative-antioxidant parameters. INF-γ, COX-2, OGG1, BAX, and caspase-3 mRNA were downregulated, as observed by real-time PCR, while SOD and Bcl-2 mRNA were upregulated. Furthermore, the CaMKII and α-SMA genes’ immune reactivities were significantly decreased in the RHO-pretreated rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Drug Toxicity)
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19 pages, 5430 KiB  
Article
In Vivo Investigation of the Effect of Dietary Acrylamide and Evaluation of Its Clinical Relevance in Colon Cancer
by Christiana M. Neophytou, Andromachi Katsonouri, Maria-Ioanna Christodoulou and Panagiotis Papageorgis
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100856 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1592
Abstract
Dietary exposure to acrylamide (AA) has been linked with carcinogenicity in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, epidemiologic data on AA intake in relation to cancer risk are limited and contradictory, while the potential cancer-inducing molecular pathways following AA exposure remain elusive. In this [...] Read more.
Dietary exposure to acrylamide (AA) has been linked with carcinogenicity in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, epidemiologic data on AA intake in relation to cancer risk are limited and contradictory, while the potential cancer-inducing molecular pathways following AA exposure remain elusive. In this study, we collected mechanistic information regarding the induction of carcinogenesis by dietary AA in the colon, using an established animal model. Male Balb/c mice received AA orally (0.1 mg/kg/day) daily for 4 weeks. RNA was extracted from colon tissue samples, followed by RNA sequencing. Comparative transcriptomic analysis between AA and mock-treated groups revealed a set of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were further processed using different databases through the STRING-DB portal, to reveal deregulated protein–protein interaction networks. We found that genes implicated in RNA metabolism, processing and formation of the ribosomal subunits and protein translation and metabolism are upregulated in AA-exposed colon tissue; these genes were also overexpressed in human colon adenocarcinoma samples and were negatively correlated with patient overall survival (OS), based on publicly available datasets. Further investigation of the potential role of these genes during the early stages of colon carcinogenesis may shed light into the underlying mechanisms induced by dietary AA exposure. Full article
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9 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Neonatal AVPR1a Methylation and In-Utero Exposure to Maternal Smoking
by Nichole Nidey, Katherine Bowers, Lili Ding, Hong Ji, Robert T. Ammerman, Kimberly Yolton, E. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens and Alonzo T. Folger
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100855 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1025
Abstract
(1) Introduction: Epigenetic changes have been proposed as a biologic link between in-utero exposure to maternal smoking and health outcomes. Therefore, we examined if in-utero exposure to maternal smoking was associated with infant DNA methylation (DNAm) of cytosine-phosphate-guanine dinucleotides (CpG sites) in the [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: Epigenetic changes have been proposed as a biologic link between in-utero exposure to maternal smoking and health outcomes. Therefore, we examined if in-utero exposure to maternal smoking was associated with infant DNA methylation (DNAm) of cytosine-phosphate-guanine dinucleotides (CpG sites) in the arginine vasopressin receptor 1A AVPR1a gene. The AVPR1a gene encodes a receptor that interacts with the arginine vasopressin hormone and may influence physiological stress regulation, blood pressure, and child development. (2) Methods: Fifty-two infants were included in this cohort study. Multivariable linear models were used to examine the effect of in-utero exposure to maternal smoking on the mean DNAm of CpG sites located at AVPR1a. (3) Results: After adjusting the model for substance use, infants with in-utero exposure to maternal smoking had a reduction in DNAm at AVPR1a CpG sites by −0.02 (95% CI −0.03, −0.01) at one month of age. In conclusion, in-utero exposure to tobacco smoke can lead to differential patterns of DNAm of AVPR1a among infants. Conclusions: Future studies are needed to identify how gene expression in response to early environmental exposures contributes to health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Tobacco Product Use)
19 pages, 2721 KiB  
Article
Technosols Derived from Mining, Urban, and Agro-Industrial Waste for the Remediation of Metal(loid)-Polluted Soils: A Microcosm Assay
by Antonio Aguilar-Garrido, Ana Romero-Freire, Mario Paniagua-López, Francisco Javier Martínez-Garzón, Francisco José Martín-Peinado and Manuel Sierra-Aragón
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100854 - 12 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
This study evaluated the effectiveness of six Technosols designed for the remediation of polluted soils (PS) by metal(loid)s at physicochemical, biological, and ecotoxicological levels and at a microcosm scale. Technosols T1–T6 were prepared by combining PS with a mix of organic and inorganic [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effectiveness of six Technosols designed for the remediation of polluted soils (PS) by metal(loid)s at physicochemical, biological, and ecotoxicological levels and at a microcosm scale. Technosols T1–T6 were prepared by combining PS with a mix of organic and inorganic wastes from mining, urban, and agro-industrial activities. After two months of surface application of Technosols on polluted soils, we analysed the soil properties, metal(loid) concentration in total, soluble and bioavailable fractions, soil enzymatic activities, and the growth responses of Trifolium campestre and Lactuca sativa in both the Technosols and the underlying polluted soils. All Technosols improved the unfavourable conditions of polluted soils by neutralising acidity, increasing the OC, reducing the mobility of most metal(loid)s, and stimulating both the soil enzymatic activities and growths of T. campestre and L. sativa. The origin of organic waste used in the Technosols strongly conditioned the changes induced in the polluted soils; in this sense, the Technosols composed of pruning and gardening vermicompost (T3 and T6) showed greater reductions in toxicity and plant growth than the other Technosols composed with different organic wastes. Thus, these Technosols constitute a potential solution for the remediation of persistent polluted soils that should be applied in large-scale and long-term interventions to reinforce their feasibility as a cost-effective ecotechnology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil and Water Pollution, Remediation and Ecotoxicity Assessment)
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13 pages, 3786 KiB  
Article
Toxic Effects of Koumine on the Early-Life Development Stage of Zebrafish
by Dongjie Wang, Xinyi Leng, Yao Tian, Jiangdong Liu, Jixing Zou and Shaolin Xie
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 853; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100853 - 12 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Koumine is one of the most abundant alkaloids found in Gelsemium elegans, and it has a wide range of pharmacological effects including antitumor, anti-inflammatory, analgesic treatment effects, and antianxiety. However, its high toxicity and unclear mechanism of action have greatly limited the [...] Read more.
Koumine is one of the most abundant alkaloids found in Gelsemium elegans, and it has a wide range of pharmacological effects including antitumor, anti-inflammatory, analgesic treatment effects, and antianxiety. However, its high toxicity and unclear mechanism of action have greatly limited the medicinal development and use of koumine. We investigated the toxic effects of koumine on the developmental toxicity and behavioral neurotoxicity of zebrafish embryos and larvae. Embryos at 6 h postfertilization (hpf) were exposed to 12.5, 25, 50, 75, and 100 mg/L of koumine until 120 hpf. Koumine affected the hatching and heartbeats of the embryos. The morphological analysis also revealed many abnormalities, such as shortened bodies, yolk sac edemas, tail malformations, and pericardial edemas. To identify the neurotoxicity of koumine, the behavior of the larvae was measured. Koumine at 50 and 100 mg/L affect the escape response. The embryos exhibited uncoordinated muscle contractions along the body axis in response to touch at 36 hpf. More importantly, we found that the neurotoxicity of koumine is mainly caused by influencing the ACh content and the activity of AChE without impairing motor neuron development. A comprehensive analysis shows that a high concentration of koumine has obvious toxic effects on zebrafish, and the safe concentration of koumine for zebrafish should be less than 25 mg/L. These results will be valuable for better understanding the toxicity of koumine and provide new insights into the application of koumine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drugs Toxicity)
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15 pages, 2315 KiB  
Article
Elaborating the Occurrence and Distribution of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Rivers and Sediment around a Typical Aging Landfill in China
by Bingxu Quan, Jiawei Tang, Xiameng Niu, Peidong Su, Zhimin Zhang and Yitao Yang
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100852 - 11 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are bioaccumulative and widely distributed persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Understanding the distribution of and ecological risks posed by PFASs is critical, particularly for PFAS emissions and accumulation from a common urban pollution source. The transformation characteristics and ecological [...] Read more.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are bioaccumulative and widely distributed persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Understanding the distribution of and ecological risks posed by PFASs is critical, particularly for PFAS emissions and accumulation from a common urban pollution source. The transformation characteristics and ecological risks of PFASs from a typical aging municipal landfill leachate were systematically monitored and assessed over five years in this study. The results showed that the total PFAS concentrations (ΣPFASs) in the rivers were between 26.4 and 464.3 ng/L, whereas in sediment, ΣPFASs ranged from 9.5 to 58.5 ng/g (w/w). The presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was the most prominent PFAS in both water (39.4–152.3 ng/L) and sediment (1.1–56.1 ng/g). In a five-year monitoring study, the concentration of PFASs in the aging landfill decreased by 23.3%, with higher mean concentrations observed during summer (307.6 ng/L) compared to winter (250.4 ng/L). As for the pollution distribution, the suspended particulate matter–water partition coefficient (log Kd) of carboxylic acid (PFCAs) and perfluoroalkane sulfonic acids (PFSAs) ranged from 1.53 to 2.65, and from 1.77 to 2.82, respectively. PFSAs and long-chain PFCAs exhibited a greater propensity for sediment association compared to short-chain PFCAs. An ecological risk assessment of four typical PFASs, PFOA, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), utilizing the hazard quotient method revealed that the rivers surrounding the typical aging landfill exhibited a low contamination risk for PFOA, while no ecological risks were associated with the other three FPASs. This study contributes to an enhanced comprehension of the occurrence, distribution, and risk of PFASs in the rivers in rivers and sediment surrounding a typical aging landfill site in China, thereby providing crucial reference information for ensuring water quality safety. Full article
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28 pages, 2683 KiB  
Review
Dithiocarbamates: Properties, Methodological Approaches and Challenges to Their Control
by Claudia Campanale, Mariangela Triozzi, Annamaria Ragonese, Daniela Losacco and Carmine Massarelli
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100851 - 11 Oct 2023
Viewed by 3033
Abstract
Dithiocarbamates (DTCs) are a group of chemicals used primarily as fungicides, although they are exploited for various other applications. DTCs represent one of the oldest classes of broad-spectrum fungicides employed worldwide to control fungal diseases on many crops. Due to their ease of [...] Read more.
Dithiocarbamates (DTCs) are a group of chemicals used primarily as fungicides, although they are exploited for various other applications. DTCs represent one of the oldest classes of broad-spectrum fungicides employed worldwide to control fungal diseases on many crops. Due to their ease of synthesis, low production costs (cheap and readily available starting materials) and a fungicidal activity with a multi-site mode of action, they are still among modern agriculture’s most extensively used pesticides. Although the environmental degradation in air, water, and soil is relatively rapid due to photolysis and/or hydrolysis, they are among the most frequently detected pesticides in the European Union (EU), also with a high frequency of maximum residue level (MRL) exceedances. The current review aims to comprehensively survey all aspects of DTCs, including the environmental fate, toxicity and analytical methods for determining parental compounds and degradation products in environmental and food samples. Furthermore, the accumulation of carbamate and dithiocarbamate pesticides in vegetables, fruits, bioindicator organisms and human biological samples, as well as their health effects on humans, are also considered in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 10th Anniversary of Toxics)
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13 pages, 7021 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Density Functional Theory Studies of Aluminosilicate-Based Ceramic Solidified Products for Sr Immobilization
by Yan Wu, Hongji Sang, Jiawei Zheng, Shuyi Yang, Zhengcheng Gu, Hao Wu and Yuezhou Wei
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100850 - 11 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Strontium is a common radionuclide in radioactive waste, and its release into the environment can cause enormous damage to the ecosystem environment. In this study, the natural mineral allophane was selected as the substrate to prepare solidified ceramic products by cold pressing/sintering to [...] Read more.
Strontium is a common radionuclide in radioactive waste, and its release into the environment can cause enormous damage to the ecosystem environment. In this study, the natural mineral allophane was selected as the substrate to prepare solidified ceramic products by cold pressing/sintering to solve the problem of the final disposal of radioactive strontium. Ceramic solidified products with various crystal structures were successfully prepared, and the microscopic morphology and energy-dispersive spectroscopy images of the samples showed a uniform distribution of Sr in the solidified products. Sr2Al2SiO7 and SrAl2Si2O8, which can stably solidify strontium, were formed in the solidified products, and the structural characteristics and stability of the above-mentioned substances were analyzed from the perspective of quantum chemical calculations using density functional theory. The calculation results showed that the overall deformation resistance of Sr2Al2SiO7 was higher than that of SrAl2Si2O8. Considering the isomorphic substitution effect of CaO impurities, we inferred that a mixed-crystalline structure of Ca2−xSrxAl2SiO7 may be present in the solidified products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Adsorbents and Adsorption Methods for Pollutants Removal Ⅱ)
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19 pages, 4228 KiB  
Article
Arsenic Removal Using Unconventional Material with Iron Content: Batch Adsorption and Column Study
by Cosmin Vancea, Georgiana Mladin, Mihaela Ciopec, Adina Negrea, Narcis Duteanu, Petru Negrea, Giannin Mosoarca and Catalin Ianasi
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100849 - 10 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1045
Abstract
The remediation of arsenic contamination in potable water is an important and urgent concern, necessitating immediate attention. With this objective in mind, the present study investigated arsenic removal from water using batch adsorption and fixed-bed column techniques. The material employed in this study [...] Read more.
The remediation of arsenic contamination in potable water is an important and urgent concern, necessitating immediate attention. With this objective in mind, the present study investigated arsenic removal from water using batch adsorption and fixed-bed column techniques. The material employed in this study was a waste product derived from the treatment of groundwater water for potable purposes, having a substantial iron composition. The material’s properties were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The point of zero charge (pHPZC) was measured, and the pore size and specific surface area were determined using the BET method. Under static conditions, kinetic, thermodynamic, and equilibrium studies were carried out to explore the influencing factors on the adsorption process, namely the pH, contact time, temperature, and initial arsenic concentration in the solution. It was found that the adsorption process is spontaneous, endothermic, and of a physical nature. In the batch adsorption studies, the maximum removal percentage was 80.4% after 90 min, and in a dynamic regime in the fixed-bed column, the efficiency was 99.99% at a sludge:sand = 1:1 ratio for 380 min for a volume of water with arsenic of ~3000 mL. The kinetics of the adsorption process conformed to a pseudo-second-order model. In terms of the equilibrium studies, the Sips model yielded the most accurate representation of the data, revealing a maximum equilibrium capacity of 70.1 mg As(V)/g sludge. For the dynamic regime, the experimental data were fitted using the Bohart–Adams, Thomas, and Clark models, in order to establish the mechanism of the process. Additionally, desorption studies were conducted, serving as an essential step in validating the practical applicability of the adsorption process, specifically in relation to the reutilization of the adsorbent material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Adsorbents and Adsorption Methods for Pollutants Removal Ⅱ)
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16 pages, 2388 KiB  
Article
Development of an In Vitro Assessment Method for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) by Integrating a Microphysiological System (MPS) with Morphological Deep Learning of Soma and Axonal Images
by Kazuki Matsuda, Xiaobo Han, Naoki Matsuda, Makoto Yamanaka and Ikuro Suzuki
Toxics 2023, 11(10), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11100848 - 10 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Several anticancer drugs used in cancer therapy induce chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), leading to dose reduction or therapy cessation. Consequently, there is a demand for an in vitro assessment method to predict CIPN and mechanisms of action (MoA) in drug candidate compounds. In [...] Read more.
Several anticancer drugs used in cancer therapy induce chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), leading to dose reduction or therapy cessation. Consequently, there is a demand for an in vitro assessment method to predict CIPN and mechanisms of action (MoA) in drug candidate compounds. In this study, a method assessing the toxic effects of anticancer drugs on soma and axons using deep learning image analysis is developed, culturing primary rat dorsal root ganglion neurons with a microphysiological system (MPS) that separates soma from neural processes and training two artificial intelligence (AI) models on soma and axonal area images. Exposing the control compound DMSO, negative compound sucrose, and known CIPN-causing drugs (paclitaxel, vincristine, oxaliplatin, suramin, bortezomib) for 24 h, results show the somatic area-learning AI detected significant cytotoxicity for paclitaxel (* p < 0.05) and oxaliplatin (* p < 0.05). In addition, axonal area-learning AI detected significant axonopathy with paclitaxel (* p < 0.05) and vincristine (* p < 0.05). Combining these models, we detected significant toxicity in all CIPN-causing drugs (** p < 0.01) and could classify anticancer drugs based on their different MoA on neurons, suggesting that the combination of MPS-based culture segregating soma and axonal areas and AI image analysis of each area provides an effective evaluation method to predict CIPN from low concentrations and infer the MoA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotoxicity)
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