289 research outputs found

    Analysis of MicroRNA Expression in Embryonic Developmental Toxicity Induced by MC-RR

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    As cynobacterial blooms frequently occur in fresh waters throughout the world, microcystins (MCs) have caused serious damage to both wildlife and human health. MCs are known to have developmental toxicity, however, the possible molecular mechanism is largely unknown. This is the first toxicological study to integrate post-transcriptomic, proteomic and bioinformatics analysis to explore molecular mechanisms for developmental toxicity of MCs in zebrafish. After being microinjected directly into embryos, MC-RR dose-dependently decreased survival rates and increased malformation rates of embryos, causing various embryo abnormalities including loss of vascular integrity and hemorrhage. Expressions of 31 microRNAs (miRNAs) and 78 proteins were significantly affected at 72 hours post-fertilisation (hpf). Expressions of miR-430 and miR-125 families were also significantly changed. The altered expressions of miR-31 and miR-126 were likely responsible for the loss of vascular integrity. MC-RR significantly reduced the expressions of a number of proteins involved in energy metabolism, cell division, protein synthesis, cytoskeleton maintenance, response to stress and DNA replication. Bioinformatics analysis shows that several aberrantly expressed miRNAs and proteins (involved in various molecular pathways) were predicted to be potential MC-responsive miRNA-target pairs, and that their aberrant expressions should be the possible molecular mechanisms for the various developmental defects caused by MC-RR

    Recreational and occupational field exposure to freshwater cyanobacteria – a review of anecdotal and case reports, epidemiological studies and the challenges for epidemiologic assessment

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    Cyanobacteria are common inhabitants of freshwater lakes and reservoirs throughout the world. Under favourable conditions, certain cyanobacteria can dominate the phytoplankton within a waterbody and form nuisance blooms. Case reports and anecdotal references dating from 1949 describe a range of illnesses associated with recreational exposure to cyanobacteria: hay fever-like symptoms, pruritic skin rashes and gastro-intestinal symptoms are most frequently reported. Some papers give convincing descriptions of allergic reactions while others describe more serious acute illnesses, with symptoms such as severe headache, pneumonia, fever, myalgia, vertigo and blistering in the mouth. A coroner in the United States found that a teenage boy died as a result of accidentally ingesting a neurotoxic cyanotoxin from a golf course pond. This death is the first recorded human fatality attributed to recreational exposure to cyanobacteria, although uncertainties surround the forensic identification of the suspected cyanotoxin in this case. We systematically reviewed the literature on recreational exposure to freshwater cyanobacteria. Epidemiological data are limited, with six studies conducted since 1990. Statistically significant increases in symptoms were reported in individuals exposed to cyanobacteria compared to unexposed counterparts in two Australian cohort studies, though minor morbidity appeared to be the main finding. The four other small studies (three from the UK, one Australian) did not report any significant association. However, the potential for serious injury or death remains, as freshwater cyanobacteria under bloom conditions are capable of producing potent toxins that cause specific and severe dysfunction to hepatic or central nervous systems. The exposure route for these toxins is oral, from ingestion of recreational water, and possibly by inhalation. A range of freshwater microbial agents may cause acute conditions that present with features that resemble illnesses attributed to contact with cyanobacteria and, conversely, acute illness resulting from exposure to cyanobacteria or cyanotoxins in recreational waters could be misdiagnosed. Accurately assessing exposure to cyanobacteria in recreational waters is difficult and unreliable at present, as specific biomarkers are unavailable. However, diagnosis of cyanobacteria-related illness should be considered for individuals presenting with acute illness following freshwater contact if a description is given of a waterbody visibly affected by planktonic mass development

    The first case of Brucella canis in Sweden: background, case report and recommendations from a northern European perspective

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    Infection with Brucella canis has been diagnosed in Sweden for the first time. It was diagnosed in a three-year-old breeding bitch with reproductive disturbances. Fifteen in-contact dogs were tested repeatedly and all of them were negative for B. canis. The source of infection could not be defined. The present article describes the case and the measures undertaken and gives a short review over B. canis. Recommendations on how to avoid the infection in non-endemic countries are given

    Secondary metabolite gene expression and interplay of bacterial functions in a tropical freshwater cyanobacterial bloom

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    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) appear to be increasing in frequency on a global scale. The Cyanobacteria in blooms can produce toxic secondary metabolites that make freshwater dangerous for drinking and recreation. To characterize microbial activities in a cyanoHAB, transcripts from a eutrophic freshwater reservoir in Singapore were sequenced for six samples collected over one day-night period. Transcripts from the Cyanobacterium Microcystis dominated all samples and were accompanied by at least 533 genera primarily from the Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Within the Microcystis population, abundant transcripts were from genes for buoyancy, photosynthesis and synthesis of the toxin microviridin, suggesting that these are necessary for competitive dominance in the Reservoir. During the day, Microcystis transcripts were enriched in photosynthesis and energy metabolism while at night enriched pathways included DNA replication and repair and toxin biosynthesis. Microcystis was the dominant source of transcripts from polyketide and non-ribosomal peptide synthase (PKS and NRPS, respectively) gene clusters. Unexpectedly, expression of all PKS/NRPS gene clusters, including for the toxins microcystin and aeruginosin, occurred throughout the day-night cycle. The most highly expressed PKS/NRPS gene cluster from Microcystis is not associated with any known product. The four most abundant phyla in the reservoir were enriched in different functions, including photosynthesis (Cyanobacteria), breakdown of complex organic molecules (Proteobacteria), glycan metabolism (Bacteroidetes) and breakdown of plant carbohydrates, such as cellobiose (Actinobacteria). These results provide the first estimate of secondary metabolite gene expression, functional partitioning and functional interplay in a freshwater cyanoHAB.Singapore. National Research Foundation (Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling (CENSAM) research program)National Science Foundation (U.S.) (Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology, Grant No. DBI-1202865)National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS Grant P30-ES002109 to the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences)MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI-Hayashi fund

    The Interactive Effects of Ammonia and Microcystin on Life-History Traits of the Cladoceran Daphnia magna: Synergistic or Antagonistic?

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    The occurrence of Microcystis blooms is a worldwide concern that has caused numerous adverse effects on water quality and lake ecology. Elevated ammonia and microcystin concentrations co-occur during the degradation of Microcystis blooms and are toxic to aquatic organisms; we studied the relative and combined effects of these on the life history of the model organism Daphnia magna. Ammonia and microcystin-LR treatments were: 0, 0.366, 0.581 mg L−1 and 0, 10, 30, 100 µg L−1, respectively. Experiments followed a fully factorial design. Incubations were 14 d and recorded the following life-history traits: number of moults, time to first batch of eggs, time to first clutch, size at first batch of eggs, size at first clutch, number of clutches per female, number of offspring per clutch, and total offspring per female. Both ammonia and microcystin were detrimental to most life-history traits. Interactive effects of the toxins occurred for five traits: the time to first batch of eggs appearing in the brood pouch, time to first clutch, size at first clutch, number of clutches, and total offspring per female. The interactive effects of ammonia and microcystin appeared to be synergistic on some parameters (e.g., time to first eggs) and antagonistic on others (e.g., total offspring per female). In conclusion, the released toxins during the degradation of Microcystis blooms would result, according to our data, in substantially negative effect on D. magna

    Phosphorus removal from eutrophic waters with an aluminium hybrid nanocomposite

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    An excess of phosphorus (P) is the most common cause of eutrophication of freshwater bodies. Thus, it is imperative to reduce the concentration of P to prevent harmful algal blooms. Moreover, recovery of P has been gaining importance because its natural source will be exhausted in the near future. Therefore, the present work investigated the removal and recovery of phosphate from water using a newly developed hybrid nanocomposite containing aluminium nanoparticles (HPN). The HPN-Pr removes 0.80 ± 0.01 mg P/g in a pH interval between 2.0 and 6.5. The adsorption mechanism was described by a Freundlich adsorption model. The material presented good selectivity for phosphate and can be regenerated using an HCl dilute solution. The factors that contribute most to the attractiveness of HPN-Pr as a phosphate sorbent are its moderate removal capacity, feasible production at industrial scale, reuse after regeneration and recovery of phosphate.The authors acknowledge the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) Project SFRH/BD/39085/2007 for the financial support

    Use of a Generalized Additive Model to Investigate Key Abiotic Factors Affecting Microcystin Cellular Quotas in Heavy Bloom Areas of Lake Taihu

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    Lake Taihu is the third largest freshwater lake in China and is suffering from serious cyanobacterial blooms with the associated drinking water contamination by microcystin (MC) for millions of citizens. So far, most studies on MCs have been limited to two small bays, while systematic research on the whole lake is lacking. To explain the variations in MC concentrations during cyanobacterial bloom, a large-scale survey at 30 sites across the lake was conducted monthly in 2008. The health risks of MC exposure were high, especially in the northern area. Both Microcystis abundance and MC cellular quotas presented positive correlations with MC concentration in the bloom seasons, suggesting that the toxic risks during Microcystis proliferations were affected by variations in both Microcystis density and MC production per Microcystis cell. Use of a powerful predictive modeling tool named generalized additive model (GAM) helped visualize significant effects of abiotic factors related to carbon fixation and proliferation of Microcystis (conductivity, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), water temperature and pH) on MC cellular quotas from recruitment period of Microcystis to the bloom seasons, suggesting the possible use of these factors, in addition to Microcystis abundance, as warning signs to predict toxic events in the future. The interesting relationship between macrophytes and MC cellular quotas of Microcystis (i.e., high MC cellular quotas in the presence of macrophytes) needs further investigation

    Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Impair Object-Spatial Integration

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    How and where object and spatial information are perceptually integrated in the brain is a central question in visual cognition. Single-unit physiology, scalp EEG, and fMRI research suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a critical locus for object-spatial integration. To test the causal participation of the PFC in an object-spatial integration network, we studied ten patients with unilateral PFC damage performing a lateralized object-spatial integration task. Consistent with single-unit and neuroimaging studies, we found that PFC lesions result in a significant behavioral impairment in object-spatial integration. Furthermore, by manipulating inter-hemispheric transfer of object-spatial information, we found that masking of visual transfer impairs performance in the contralesional visual field in the PFC patients. Our results provide the first evidence that the PFC plays a key, causal role in an object-spatial integration network. Patient performance is also discussed within the context of compensation by the non-lesioned PFC

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced apoptosis in gastric cancer cells is blocked by protein kinase C activation through inhibition of c-myc

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    Apoptosis plays a major role in gastrointestinal epithelial cell turnover, ulcerogenesis and tumorigenesis. We have examined apoptosis induction by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in human gastric (AGS) cancer cells and the role of protein kinase C (PKC) and apoptosis-related oncogenes. After treatment with aspirin or indomethacin, cell growth was quantified by MTT assay, and apoptosis was determined by acridine orange staining, DNA fragmentation and flow cytometry. The mRNA and protein of p53, p21waf1/cip1 and c-myc was detected by Northern and Western blotting respectively. The influence of PKC on indomethacin-induced apoptosis was determined by co-incubation of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). The role of c-myc was determined using its antisense oligonucleotides. The results showed that both aspirin and indomethacin inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis of AGS cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, without altering the cell cycle. Indomethacin increased c-myc mRNA and protein, whereas p53 and p21waf1/cip1 were unchanged. Down-regulation of c-myc by its antisense oligonucleotides reduced apoptosis induction by indomethacin. TPA could inhibit indomethacin-induced apoptosis and accumulate cells in G2/M. Overexpression of c-myc was inhibited by TPA and p21waf1/cip1 mRNA increased. In conclusion, NSAIDs induce apoptosis in gastric cancer cells which may be mediated by up-regulation of c-myc proto-oncogene. PKC activation can abrogate the effects of NSAIDs by decreasing c-myc expression. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaig
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