- Toxicity screening of biochar-mineral composites using germination tests. [Journal Article]
- CChemosphere 2018 May 08; 207:91-100
- This study assessed the properties and toxicity (water cress germination trials) of 38 waste-derived, novel biochar-mineral composites (BMCs) produced via slow pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonizatio...
This study assessed the properties and toxicity (water cress germination trials) of 38 waste-derived, novel biochar-mineral composites (BMCs) produced via slow pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization (hydrochars). The biochars were produced from sewage sludge and compost-like output (CLO) by varying the type of mineral additive (zeolite, wood ash and lignite fly ash), the mineral-to-feedstock ratio and the carbonization process. While pure hydrochars completely inhibited germination of water cress, this effect was ameliorated by mineral additives. Seedlings grew best in pyrolysis chars and while wood ash addition decreased plant growth in many cases, 1:10 addition to CLO doubled germination rate. The factors responsible for the phytotoxicity can be attributed to pH, salinity and organic contaminants. Importantly, while pure minerals inhibited germination, conversion of minerals into BMCs reduced their inhibitory effects due to buffered release of minerals. Overall, mineral wastes (e.g., combustion ashes) and waste biomass can be used safely as sources of nutrients and stable organic carbon (for soil carbon sequestration) when converted into specific biochar-mineral composites, exploiting synergies between the constituents to deliver superior performance.
- Influence of gastrointestinal tract on metabolism of bisphenol A as determined by in vitro simulated system. [Journal Article]
- JHJ Hazard Mater 2018 May 07; 355:111-118
- Oral exposure is a major route of human bisphenol A (BPA) exposure. However, influence of gastrointestinal tract on BPA metabolism is unavailable. In this study, in vitro simulator of the human intes...
Oral exposure is a major route of human bisphenol A (BPA) exposure. However, influence of gastrointestinal tract on BPA metabolism is unavailable. In this study, in vitro simulator of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem (SHIME) was applied to investigate the changes in bioaccessibility and metabolism of BPA in different parts of gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small intestine and colon). Then the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 was employed to compare toxic effects of BPA itself and effluents of SHIME system on hepatic gene expression profiles. Results showed that level of bioaccessible BPA decreased with the process of gastrointestinal digestion. But the gastrointestinal digestion could not completely degrade BPA. Then, BPA exposure significantly changed microbial community in colons and increased the percentage of microbes shared in ascending, transverse and descending colons. Abundances of BPA-degradable bacteria, such as Microbacterium and Alcaligenes, were up-regulated. Further, SHIME effluents significantly up-regulated expressions of genes related to estrogenic effect and oxidative stress compared to BPA itself, but reduced or had little change on the risk of cell apoptosis and fatty deposits. This study sheds new lights on influence of gastrointestinal digestion on bioaccessibility and toxic effects of BPA.
- Phoenix dactylifera protects against oxidative stress and hepatic injury induced by paracetamol intoxication in rats. [Journal Article]
- BPBiomed Pharmacother 2018 May 16; 104:366-374
- The current studies were sought to determine effects of antioxidant potential of aqueous and methanolic extracts of Phoenix dactylifera leaves (PLAE and PLME) against the widely-used analgesic parace...
The current studies were sought to determine effects of antioxidant potential of aqueous and methanolic extracts of Phoenix dactylifera leaves (PLAE and PLME) against the widely-used analgesic paracetamol (PCM) induced hepatotoxicity. Groups of rats were treated with or without PCM (1500 mg/kg), PLAE and PLME (300 mg/kg) and n-acetylcysteine (NAC, 50 mg/kg) followed by assessments of liver function tests, oxidative stress, antioxidant defenses, and hepatotoxicity. We observed that PCM significantly elevated serum liver markers, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), and bilirubin compared to control (untreated) group. These PCM-induced effects were associated with oxidative stress as demonstrated by increased levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced levels of hepatic antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Pretreatment of PLME decreased ALT and AST by 78.2% and tissue MDA by 54.1%, and increased hepatic GPx (3.5 folds), CAT (7 folds) and SOD (2.5 folds) compared to PCM group. These PLME-mediated effects were comparable to NAC pretreatment. Histological analysis demonstrates that PLME conserved hepatic tissues against lesions such as inflammation, centrilobular necrosis, and hemorrhages induced by PCM. In contrast, PLAE-mediated effects were less effective in reducing levels of liver function enzymes, oxidative stress, and liver histopathological profiles, and restoring antioxidant defenses against PCM-induced intoxication. These findings indicate that PLME exerts protective effects against PCM-induced hepatotoxicity via scavenging free radicals and restoring hepatic antioxidant enzymes. Thus, PLME and its bioactive components could further be evaluated for their pharmacological properties against drug-induced deleterious effects.
- Dietary ALA, EPA and DHA have distinct effects on oxylipin profiles in female and male rat kidney, liver and serum. [Journal Article]
- JNJ Nutr Biochem 2018 Apr 18; 57:228-237
- There is much data on the effects of dietary n-3 fatty acids on tissue fatty acid compositions, but comparable comprehensive data on their oxygenated metabolites (oxylipins) is limited. The effects o...
There is much data on the effects of dietary n-3 fatty acids on tissue fatty acid compositions, but comparable comprehensive data on their oxygenated metabolites (oxylipins) is limited. The effects of providing female and male rats with diets high in α-linolenic acid (ALA), EPA or DHA for 6 weeks on oxylipins and fatty acids in kidney, liver and serum were therefore examined. The oxylipin profile generally reflected fatty acids, but it also revealed unique effects of individual n-3 fatty acids that were not apparent from fatty acid data alone. Dietary ALA increased renal and serum DHA oxylipins even though DHA itself did not increase, while dietary EPA did not increase DHA oxylipins in kidney or liver, suggesting that high EPA may inhibit this conversion. Oxylipin data generally corroborated fatty acid data that indicated that DHA can be retroconverted to EPA and that further retroconversion to ALA is limited. Dietary n-3 fatty acids decreased n-6 fatty acids and their oxylipins (except linoleic acid and its oxylipins), in order of effectiveness of DHA > EPA > ALA, with some exceptions: several arachidonic acid oxylipins modified at carbon 15 were not lower in all three sites, and EPA had a greater effect on 12-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid and its metabolites in the liver. Oxylipins were predominantly higher in males, which was not reflective of fatty acids. Tissue-specific oxylipin profiles, therefore, provide further information on individual dietary n-3 fatty acid and sex effects that may help explain their unique physiological effects and have implications for dietary recommendations.
- Expression of grape ACS1 in tomato decreases ethylene and alters the balance between auxin and ethylene during shoot and root formation. [Journal Article]
- JPJ Plant Physiol 2018 May 04; 226:154-162
- Ethylene plays an important role in the grape rachis, where its production can be 10 times higher than in the berry. VvACS1 is the only rachis-specific ACC synthase (ACS) gene, and its expression is ...
Ethylene plays an important role in the grape rachis, where its production can be 10 times higher than in the berry. VvACS1 is the only rachis-specific ACC synthase (ACS) gene, and its expression is coincident with ethylene production in the rachis of Vitis vinifera 'Thompson seedless'. VvACS1 was cloned and ectopically expressed in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Moneymaker'). Lateral buds were increased in two- or four-week-old 35s∷VvACS1 transgenic tomato plants after transplanting. Compared with wild-type (WT) plants, the transgenic tomato plants showed higher expression of the VvACS1 gene in the flowers, leaves, rachis, and fruits. There was no obvious difference of ACS activity in the fruit of tomato, and only increased ACS activity in the rachis of tomato. Ethylene production was decreased in flowers, leaves, and fruits (seven weeks after full bloom), while the relative expression of endogenous tomato ACS1 and ACS6 genes was not down-regulated by the ectopic expression of VvACS1. These results imply that post-transcriptional or post-translational regulation of ACS may occur, resulting in lower ethylene production in the transgenic tomato plants. Moreover, expression of VvACS1 in tomato resulted in decreased auxin and increased zeatin contents in the lateral buds, as well as reduced or delayed formation of adventitious roots in lateral bud cuttings. RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR analyses of rooted lateral bud cuttings indicated that the relative expression levels of the genes for zeatin O-glucosyltransferase-like, auxin repressed/dormancy-associated protein, and ERF transcription factors were higher in transgenic tomatoes than in WT, suggesting that ethylene may regulate auxin transport and distribution in shoots and that adventitious root formation employs coordination between auxin and ethylene.
- Young infants' discrimination of subtle phonetic contrasts. [Journal Article]
- CCognition 2018 May 16; 178:57-66
- It is generally accepted that infants initially discriminate native and non-native contrasts and that perceptual reorganization within the first year of life results in decreased discrimination of no...
It is generally accepted that infants initially discriminate native and non-native contrasts and that perceptual reorganization within the first year of life results in decreased discrimination of non-native contrasts, and improved discrimination of native contrasts. However, recent findings from Narayan, Werker, and Beddor (2010) surprisingly suggested that some acoustically subtle native-language contrasts might not be discriminated until the end of the first year of life. We first provide countervailing evidence that young English-learning infants can discriminate the Filipino contrast tested by Narayan et al. when tested in a more sensitive paradigm. Next, we show that young infants learning either English or French can also discriminate comparably subtle non-native contrasts from Tamil. These findings show that Narayan et al.'s null findings were due to methodological choices and indicate that young infants are sensitive to even subtle acoustic contrasts that cue phonetic distinctions cross-linguistically. Based on experimental results and acoustic analyses, we argue that instead of specific acoustic metrics, infant discrimination results themselves are the most informative about the salience of phonetic distinctions.
- Curcumin attenuates cerebral ischemia injury in Sprague-Dawley rats and PC12 cells by suppressing overactivated autophagy. [Journal Article]
- JPJ Photochem Photobiol B 2018 May 07; 184:1-6
- The present study assessed whether the protective effects of curcumin against cerebral ischemia injury were due to the suppression of overactivated autophagy. Curcumin is a well-known natural polyphe...
The present study assessed whether the protective effects of curcumin against cerebral ischemia injury were due to the suppression of overactivated autophagy. Curcumin is a well-known natural polyphenolic compound that effectively counteracts oxidation, inflammation, and various types of cancer. Several studies have demonstrated the protective effects of curcumin against ischemia-reperfusion injury in tissues from the lungs, cardiomyocytes, and liver. The present study employed brain injury models induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats and PC12 oxygen-glucose-deprived (OGD) cells. Infarct area, neurological score, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, autophagy expression, cell apoptosis, and mRNA and protein expressions of caspase-3 were determined following curcumin supplementation. Compared to MCAO rats, curcumin-treated MCAO rats exhibited substantial reductions in neurological score, infarct area, and LDH activity. MCAO also increased LC3 II/I protein expression and decreased p62 protein expression, but curcumin supplementation significantly reversed these altered protein expressions. Caspase-3 protein expression increased by 46.2% in the MCAO group, but curcumin supplementation significantly reduced this expression. Similarly, apoptosis increased by 33.1% in OGD cells, but curcumin supplementation significantly reduced apoptosis to 21.6% and 9.3% at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg, respectively. The mRNA and protein expressions of caspase-3 exhibited substantial increases in OGD cells but these expressions were significantly decreased following curcumin supplementation. Taken together, the present results indicate that curcumin represents a natural bioactive substance that can protect against cerebral ischemia via the suppression of overactivated autophagy.
- Variation of genes encoding KAT1, AADAT and IDO1 as a potential risk of depression development. [Journal Article]
- EPEur Psychiatry 2018 May 16; 52:95-103
- Numerous data suggests that the disorders of tryptophan catabolites (TRYCATs) pathway, including a decreased level of tryptophan or evaluated concentration of harmful TRYCATs -kynurenine, quinolinic ...
Numerous data suggests that the disorders of tryptophan catabolites (TRYCATs) pathway, including a decreased level of tryptophan or evaluated concentration of harmful TRYCATs -kynurenine, quinolinic acid, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid, 3-hydroxytryptophan - may cause the occurrence of DD symptoms. In this work, we assessed the relationship between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of KAT1, KAT2 and IDO1 gene encoding, and the risk of depression development. Our study was performed on the DNA isolated from peripheral blood of 281 depressed patients and 236 controls. We genotyped, by using TaqMan probes, four polymorphisms: c.*456G > A of KAT1 (rs10988134), c.975-7T > C of AADAT (rs1480544), c.-1849C > A (rs3824259) and c.-1493G > C(rs10089084)of IDO1. We found that only the A/A genotype of c.*456G > A - KAT1 (rs10988134) increased the risk of depression occurrence. Interestingly, when we stratified the study group according to gender, this relationship was present only in male population. However, a gene-gene analysis revealed a link between the T/T-C/C genotype of c.975-7T > C - AADAT (rs1480544)or c.-1493G > C - IDO1 (rs10089084) and C/C-C/A genotype of c.975-7T > C - AADAT (rs1480544)and c. -1849C > A - IDO1 (rs3824259) and the disease. Moreover, we found, that the c.975-7T > C - AADAT and c. *456G > A KAT1 (rs10988134) polymorphisms may modulate the effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors therapy. Concluding, our results confirm the hypothesis formulated in our recently published article that the SNPs of genes involved in TRYCATs pathway may modulate the risk of depression. This provides some further evidence that the pathway plays the crucial role in development of the disease.
- Austrian firearm legislation and its effects on suicide and homicide mortality: A natural quasi-experiment amidst the global economic crisis. [Journal Article]
- EPEur Psychiatry 2018 May 16; 52:104-112
- CONCLUSIONS: The initially preventative effect of the firearm legislation reform in Austria in 1997 seems to have been counteracted by the global economic downturn of 2008. Increased firearm availability was associated with corresponding increases in both firearm suicide and firearm homicide mortality. Restrictive firearm legislation should be an imperative part of a country's suicide prevention programme. Although firearm legislation reform may have long-lasting effects, societal changes may facilitate compensatory firearm acquisitions and thus counteract preventive efforts, calling in turn again for adapted counter-measures.
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- The full-length microRNA cluster in the intron of large latency transcript is associated with the virulence of pseudorabies virus. [Journal Article]
- VVirology 2018 May 16; 520:59-66
- Pseudorabies virus (PRV), the etiological pathogen of Aujeszky's disease, belongs to the Alphaherpesvirus subfamily. Large latency transcript (LLT), the most abundant PRV transcript, harbors a ~ 4.6 ...
Pseudorabies virus (PRV), the etiological pathogen of Aujeszky's disease, belongs to the Alphaherpesvirus subfamily. Large latency transcript (LLT), the most abundant PRV transcript, harbors a ~ 4.6 kb microRNA (miRNA) cluster-encoding intron. To investigate the function of the LLT miRNA cluster during the life cycle of PRV, we generated a miRNA cluster mutation virus (PRV-∆miR cluster) and revertant virus. Analysis of the growth kinetics of PRV-ΔmiR cluster-infected cells revealed significantly smaller plaques and lower titers than the wild-type and revertant viruses. The mutation virus exhibited increased IE180 and decreased EP0 expression. The clinical symptoms observed in mice infected with PRV-ΔmiR cluster revealed that the miRNA cluster is involved in the pathogenesis of PRV. Physical parameters, virus shedding assays, and the SN50 titers revealed that the miRNA cluster enhances PRV virulence in pigs. Collectively, our findings suggest that the full-length miRNA cluster is involved in PRV replication and virulence.