10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 November 2023) | Viewed by 9801

Special Issue Editors

Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, 1089 Veterinary Medicine Drive, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Interests: neurotoxicology; developmental neurotoxicology; neuroprotection; neurodevelopmental disorders; asthma; organophosphorus anticholinesterases; halogenated persistent organic pollutants; neuroimmune interactions; gene X environment interactions; neuronal connectivity; synaptic plasticity; alternative methods
Centre for Kidney Disease Research, Translational Research Institute, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Australia
Interests: epidemiology of cadmium toxicity; genetic and nutritional influence of cadmium toxicity outcomes; cadmium toxicity in at-risk subpopulations; novel methods of measuring cadmium in tissues; reverse dosimetry
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past three decades there has been some progress in women empowerment in the areas of politics and education. There has also been an increase in the enrolment of women in higher education. However, women in science still face barriers to professional advancement.

Therefore, we are delighted to present this special collection of articles highlighting the achievements of women environmental scientists and toxicologists, and furthering our understanding of the exposure, effects, and risks of chemicals and materials in humans and the natural environment as well as approaches to assessing and/or managing the toxicological and ecotoxicological risks of chemicals and materials.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The occurrence, transport, and fate of chemicals and materials in different systems (e.g., food, air, water, soil);
  • Exposure of humans and the environment to toxic chemicals and materials as well as modelling and experimental approaches for characterizing the exposure in, e.g., water, air, soil, food, and consumer products;
  • Uptake, metabolism, and effects of chemicals and materials in a wide range of systems including in-vitro toxicological assays, aquatic and terrestrial organisms and ecosystems, model mammalian systems, and humans;
  • Approaches to assess the risks of chemicals and materials to humans and the environment;
  • Methodologies to eliminate or reduce the exposure of humans and the environment to toxic chemicals and materials.

We invite contributions to the Special Issue whose lead authors identify as women. The submission of articles with all-women authorship is especially encouraged. However, we welcome submissions from all authors, irrespective of gender.

Prof. Dr. Pamela Lein
Prof. Dr. Soisungwan Satarug
Guest Editors

Women’s Special Issue Series

This Special Issue is part of Toxics's Women’s Special Issue Series, hosted by women editors for women researchers. The Series advocates the advancement of women in science. We invite contributions to the Special Issue whose lead authors identify as women. The submission of articles with all-women authorship is especially encouraged. However, we do welcome articles from all authors, irrespective of gender.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 4116 KiB  
Article
Degradation of Benzo[a]pyrene and 2,2′,4,4′-Tebrabrominated Diphenyl Ether in Cultures Originated from an Agricultural Soil
Toxics 2024, 12(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12010033 - 01 Jan 2024
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) are common contaminants in the environment, posing a threat to the ecosystems and human health. Currently, information on the microbial metabolism of BaP and BDE-47 as well as the correlated bacteria is still limited. This research [...] Read more.
Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) are common contaminants in the environment, posing a threat to the ecosystems and human health. Currently, information on the microbial metabolism of BaP and BDE-47 as well as the correlated bacteria is still limited. This research aimed to study the degradation of BaP and BDE-47 by enriched cultures originated from an agricultural soil in Tianjin (North China) and characterize the bacteria involved in the degradation. Two sets of experiments were set up with BaP and BDE-47 (2 mg/L) as the sole carbon source, respectively. The degradation of BaP and BDE-47 occurred at rate constants of 0.030 /d and 0.026 /d, respectively. For BaP, the degradation products included benzo[a]pyrene-9,10-dihydrodiol or its isomers, ben-zo(a)pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide, and cis-4 (8-hydroxypyrenyl-7)-2-oxo-3-butenoic acid. For BDE-47, the degradation products included 2,2′,4-tribrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-17), 2,4-dibrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-7), and hydroxylated dibromodiphenyl ether. The bacterial community structures in the original soil, the BaP culture, and the BDE-47 culture were quite different. The richness and diversity of bacteria in the two cultures were much lower than that in the original soil, and the BaP culture had higher richness and diversity than the BDE-47 culture. In the BaP culture, multiple species such as Niabella (23.4%), Burkholderia-Caballeronia-Paraburkholderia (13.7%), Cupriavidus (8.3%), and Allorhizobi-um-Neorhizobium-Pararhizobium-Rhizobium (8.0%) were dominant. In the BDE-47 culture, an unassigned species in the Rhizobiaceae was dominant (82.3%). The results from this study provide a scientific basis for the risk assessment and bioremediation of BaP and/or BDE-47 in a contaminated environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
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14 pages, 2883 KiB  
Article
Bioaccumulation of Some Metals and Metalloids in Laughing Gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla): Increases in Mercury and Decreases in Selenium from 2019 to 2022/2023
Toxics 2023, 11(12), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11121007 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 866
Abstract
The elements in blood normally reflect the levels in prey, indicating a recent exposure. Laughing gulls (Leucophaes atricilla) eat mainly horseshoe crab eggs (Limulus polyphemus) in the spring in Delaware Bay, New Jersey. The levels of arsenic (As), cadmium [...] Read more.
The elements in blood normally reflect the levels in prey, indicating a recent exposure. Laughing gulls (Leucophaes atricilla) eat mainly horseshoe crab eggs (Limulus polyphemus) in the spring in Delaware Bay, New Jersey. The levels of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) in the blood of laughing gulls foraging on crab eggs were examined in Delaware Bay to provide information on a species that is normally a generalist, and to determine if the levels of these elements were similar in 2019 and 2022/2023, were intercorrelated, and were related to those in crab eggs. Hg increased from 2019 (136 ± 31 ng/g) to 2022/2023 (473 ± 75 ng/g), while Cd and Se decreased. There were some significant correlations among elements and a close relationship between the element levels in blood and those in crab eggs collected in the same month (except for As). The levels differed between laughing gulls and three species of shorebirds for As and Cd. The elements in the blood of gulls and shorebirds should be similar because they eat mainly the same eggs in the same places. A significant proportion of laughing gull blood samples had levels of Hg and Se that were above the levels associated with adverse effects, which requires further examination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
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15 pages, 11445 KiB  
Article
Toxic Kidney Damage in Rats Following Subchronic Intraperitoneal Exposure to Element Oxide Nanoparticles
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090791 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 978
Abstract
Chronic diseases of the urogenital tract, such as bladder cancer, prostate cancer, reproductive disorders, and nephropathies, can develop under the effects of chemical hazards in the working environment. In this respect, nanosized particles generated as by-products in many industrial processes seem to be [...] Read more.
Chronic diseases of the urogenital tract, such as bladder cancer, prostate cancer, reproductive disorders, and nephropathies, can develop under the effects of chemical hazards in the working environment. In this respect, nanosized particles generated as by-products in many industrial processes seem to be particularly dangerous to organs such as the testes and the kidneys. Nephrotoxicity of element oxide particles has been studied in animal experiments with repeated intraperitoneal injections of Al2O3, TiO2, SiO2, PbO, CdO, CuO, and SeO nanoparticles (NPs) in total doses ranging from 4.5 to 45 mg/kg body weight of rats. NPs were synthesized by laser ablation. After cessation of exposure, we measured kidney weight and analyzed selected biochemical parameters in blood and urine, characterizing the state of the excretory system. We also examined histological sections of kidneys and estimated proportions of different cells in imprint smears of this organ. All element oxide NPs under investigation demonstrated a nephrotoxic effect following subchronic exposure. Following the exposure to SeO and SiO2 NPs, we observed a decrease in serum creatinine and urea, respectively. Exposure to Al2O3 NPs caused an increase in urinary creatinine and urea, while changes in total protein were controversial, as it increased under the effect of Al2O3 NPs and was reduced after exposure to CuO NPs. Histomorphological changes in kidneys are associated with desquamation of the epithelium (following the exposure to all NPs except those of Al2O3 and SiO2) and loss of the brush border (following the exposure to all NPs, except those of Al2O3, TiO2, and SiO2). The cytomorphological evaluation showed greater destruction of proximal sections of renal tubules. Compared to the controls, we observed statistically significant alterations in 42.1% (8 of 19) of parameters following the exposure to PbO, CuO, and SeO NPs in 21.1% (4 of 19)—following that, to CdO and Al2O3 NPs—and in 15.8% (3 of 19) and 10.5% (2 of 19) of indicators, following the exposure to TiO2 and SiO2 nanoparticles, respectively. Histomorphological changes in kidneys are associated with desquamation of epithelium and loss of the brush border. The cytomorphological evaluation showed greater destruction of proximal sections of renal tubules. The severity of cyto- and histological structural changes in kidneys depends on the chemical nature of NPs. These alterations are not always consistent with biochemical ones, thus impeding early clinical diagnosis of renal damage. Unambiguous ranking of the NPs examined by the degree of their nephrotoxicity is difficult. Additional studies are necessary to establish key indicators of the nephrotoxic effect, which can facilitate early diagnosis of occupational and nonoccupational nephropathies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
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14 pages, 1726 KiB  
Article
Cadmium-Induced Tubular Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Toxics 2023, 11(4), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11040390 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
The global prevalence of diabetes, and its major complication, diabetic nephropathy, have reached epidemic proportions. The toxic metal cadmium (Cd) also induces nephropathy, indicated by a sustained reduction in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the excretion of β2-microglobulin (β [...] Read more.
The global prevalence of diabetes, and its major complication, diabetic nephropathy, have reached epidemic proportions. The toxic metal cadmium (Cd) also induces nephropathy, indicated by a sustained reduction in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the excretion of β2-microglobulin (β2M) above 300 µg/day, which reflects kidney tubular dysfunction. However, little is known about the nephrotoxicity of Cd in the diabetic population. Here, we compared Cd exposure, eGFR, and tubular dysfunction in both diabetics (n = 81) and non-diabetics (n = 593) who were residents in low- and high-Cd exposure areas of Thailand. We normalized the Cd and β2M excretion rates (ECd and Eβ2M) to creatinine clearance (Ccr) as ECd/Ccr and Eβ2M/Ccr. Tubular dysfunction and a reduced eGFR were, respectively, 8.7-fold (p < 0.001) and 3-fold (p = 0.012) more prevalent in the diabetic than the non-diabetic groups. The doubling of ECd/Ccr increased the prevalence odds ratios for a reduced eGFR and tubular dysfunction by 50% (p < 0.001) and 15% (p = 0.002), respectively. In a regression model analysis of diabetics from the low-exposure locality, Eβ2M/Ccr was associated with ECd/Ccr (β = 0.375, p = 0.001) and obesity (β = 0.273, p = 0.015). In the non-diabetic group, Eβ2M/Ccr was associated with age (β = 0.458, p < 0.001) and ECd/Ccr (β = 0.269, p < 0.001). However, after adjustment for age, and body mass index (BMI), Eβ2M/Ccr was higher in the diabetics than non-diabetics of similar ECd/Ccr ranges. Thus, tubular dysfunction was more severe in diabetics than non-diabetics of similar age, BMI, and Cd body burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
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9 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Differences of Clinical Characteristics and Drug Prescriptions between Men and Women with COPD in China
Toxics 2023, 11(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11020102 - 21 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Background: Sex differences in symptoms exist in patients with COPD. Our aim is to measure the differences between men and women with COPD, focusing on risk factors, symptoms, quality of life and drug prescriptions. Methods: In this cross-sectional observational study, patients with COPD [...] Read more.
Background: Sex differences in symptoms exist in patients with COPD. Our aim is to measure the differences between men and women with COPD, focusing on risk factors, symptoms, quality of life and drug prescriptions. Methods: In this cross-sectional observational study, patients with COPD were collected in China; demographic characteristics, smoking history, occupational exposure, biomass exposure, lung function, dyspnea, quality of life, and prescriptions for inhaled medications were collected. The nearest neighbor algorithm was used to match female and male patients (ratio 2:1) on age, body mass index, and lung function. Results: Compared with 1462 men, the 731 women generally had lower educational levels and were married less (both p < 0.001). A total of 576 (90.0%) women did not smoke cigarettes. More men were exposed to occupational dust (539 (36.9%) vs. 84 (11.5%), p = 0.013), while more women were exposed to biomass smoke (330 (45.1%) vs. 392 (26.8%), p = 0.004). Except for phlegm and chest tightness, women had more complaints than men for cough, breathlessness, activities, confidence, sleep and energy (p < 0.05). In addition, more women were prescribed triple therapy than men (236 (36.3%) vs. 388 (31.0%), p = 0.020). Conclusions: There are obvious discrepancies in the quality of life and use of inhaled medications between male and female patients with COPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)

Review

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16 pages, 2744 KiB  
Review
Effects of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane on the Female Reproductive Tract Leading to Infertility and Cancer: Systematic Search and Review
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090725 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as dichlorodimethyltrichloroethane (DDT) are present and ubiquitous in the environment due to their resilient nature. DDT is a prevalent endocrine disruptor still found in detectable amounts in organisms and the environment even after its use was banned in [...] Read more.
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as dichlorodimethyltrichloroethane (DDT) are present and ubiquitous in the environment due to their resilient nature. DDT is a prevalent endocrine disruptor still found in detectable amounts in organisms and the environment even after its use was banned in the 1970s. Medline and Google Scholar were systematically searched to detect all relevant animal and human studies published in the last 20 years (January 2003 to February 2023) in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. In total, 38 studies were included for qualitative synthesis. This systematic search and review indicated that exposure to DDT is associated with female reproductive health issues, such as reduced fecundability; increased risk of preterm/premature deliveries; increased periods of gestation; alterations in the synthesis of crucial reproductive hormones (Progesterone and Oxytocin) through ion imbalances and changes in prostaglandin synthesis, myometrial and stromal hypertrophy, and edema; and variations in uterine contractions through increased uterine wet weight. There was also limited evidence indicating DDT as a carcinogen sufficient to instigate reproductive cancers. However, this review only takes into account the in vitro studies that have established a possible pathway to understand how DDT impacts female infertility and leads to reproductive cancers. Links between the pathways described in various studies have been developed in this review to produce a summarized picture of how one event might lead to another. Additionally, epidemiological studies that specifically targeted the exposure to DDT of females belonging to various ethnicities have been reviewed to develop an overall picture of prevailing female reproductive health concerns in different nations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
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Other

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9 pages, 289 KiB  
Case Report
Elevated Lead, Nickel, and Bismuth Levels in the Peritoneal Fluid of a Peritoneal Endometriosis Patient without Toxic Habits or Occupational Exposure following a Vegetarian Diet
Toxics 2023, 11(12), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11121009 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 858
Abstract
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs), found as environmental contaminants, have been related to endometriosis disease. In this context, the peritoneal fluid (PF) matrix has been poorly studied despite its importance. PF is the environment in which endometriotic lesions reside and communicate with surrounding tissues [...] Read more.
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs), found as environmental contaminants, have been related to endometriosis disease. In this context, the peritoneal fluid (PF) matrix has been poorly studied despite its importance. PF is the environment in which endometriotic lesions reside and communicate with surrounding tissues including tissues and nerve cells. In this work, our investigation group reports the special case of a peritoneal endometriosis patient presenting elevated lead, nickel, and bismuth levels in PF. This patient reported following a vegetarian diet and no toxic habits or occupational exposure. In conclusion, the elevated levels of PTEs found may result from a vegetarian diet or an unidentified environmental exposure source. This report provides new insights regarding the possible etiology of endometriosis disease and potential biomarkers for its diagnosis in early stages, although additional research is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
8 pages, 1337 KiB  
Brief Report
The Protective Effect of Exogenous 17β-Estradiol against Experimentally Induced Oxidative Damage to Membrane Lipids Is Stronger in Male vs. Female Porcine Thyroids: Preliminary Results
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090746 - 01 Sep 2023
Viewed by 635
Abstract
It is well-known that thyroid diseases are more prevalent in women than in men. The contribution of sex hormones may explain such disparity. The aim of this study was to check if there are any differences between sexes concerning the effects of 17β-estradiol [...] Read more.
It is well-known that thyroid diseases are more prevalent in women than in men. The contribution of sex hormones may explain such disparity. The aim of this study was to check if there are any differences between sexes concerning the effects of 17β-estradiol on oxidative damage to membrane lipids (lipid peroxidation) in porcine thyroid homogenates under basal conditions and in the presence of Fenton reaction (Fe2+ + H2O2→Fe3+ + OH + OH) substrates. We observed that 17β-estradiol did not change the basal level of lipid peroxidation (measured spectrophotometrically as concentrations of malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxyalkenals) in thyroid homogenates, and no differences were found between sexes. The lipid peroxidation level in response to Fe2+ + H2O2 plus 17β-estradiol was lower in male thyroids. In turn, in male thyroids, 17β-estradiol reduced experimentally induced lipid peroxidation in as low of a concentration as 0.1 μM, whereas in female thyroids the lowest effective concentration of 17β-estradiol was 10 μM, i.e., 100 times higher than in males. In conclusion, the protective effects of exogenous 17β-estradiol against experimentally induced oxidative damage to membrane lipids is stronger in male than in female thyroids. Our observation suggests that female tissue is less sensitive to the protective effects of exogenous 17β-estradiol. This sexual dimorphism of oxidative processes in the thyroid may constitute one of the mechanisms of the different prevalence of thyroid diseases in women and in men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Toxics: Women's Special Issue Series)
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