Publications by authors named "Abdel Halim Harrath"

95 Publications

Personalization of medical treatments in oncology: time for rethinking the disease concept to improve individual outcomes.

EPMA J 2021 Oct 7:1-14. Epub 2021 Oct 7.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451 Saudi Arabia.

The agenda of pharmacology discovery in the field of personalized oncology was dictated by the search of molecular targets assumed to deterministically drive tumor development. In this perspective, genes play a fundamental "causal" role while cells simply act as causal proxies, i.e., an intermediate between the molecular input and the organismal output. However, the ceaseless genomic change occurring across time within the same primary and metastatic tumor has broken the hope of a personalized treatment based only upon genomic fingerprint. Indeed, current models are unable in capturing the unfathomable complexity behind the outbreak of a disease, as they discard the contribution of non-genetic factors, environment constraints, and the interplay among different tiers of organization. Herein, we posit that a comprehensive personalized model should view at the disease as a "historical" process, in which different spatially and timely distributed factors interact with each other across multiple levels of organization, which collectively interact with a dynamic gene-expression pattern. Given that a disease is a dynamic, non-linear process - and not a static-stable condition - treatments should be tailored according to the "timing-frame" of each condition. This approach can help in detecting those critical transitions through which the system can access different attractors leading ultimately to diverse outcomes - from a pre-disease state to an overt illness or, alternatively, to recovery. Identification of such tipping points can substantiate the predictive and the preventive ambition of the Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine (PPPM/3PM). However, an unusual effort is required to conjugate multi-omics approaches, data collection, and network analysis reconstruction (eventually involving innovative Artificial Intelligent tools) to recognize the critical phases and the relevant targets, which could help in patient stratification and therapy personalization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13167-021-00254-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8495186PMC
October 2021

Synthesis and Docking of New Pyrazolo[]pyrido[]pyrimidine-based Cytotoxic Agents.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Sep 23;22(19). Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Laboratory of Heterocyclic Chemistry, Natural Products and Reactivity, Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products (LR11ES39), Faculty of Sciences Monastir, University of Monastir, Monastir 5000, Tunisia.

To explore a new set of anticancer agents, a novel series of pyrazolo[4,3-]pyrido[1,2-]pyrimidine derivativeshave been designed and synthesized viacyclocondensation reactions of pyrazolo-enaminone with a series of arylidenemalononitriles; compound was obtained from 5-amino-4-cyanopyrazole. The structures of the target compounds were investigated by spectral techniques and elemental analysis (IR, UV-Vis, H NMR, C NMR and ESI-MS). All compounds were evaluated for their in vitro cytotoxicity employing a panel of different human tumor cell lines, A375, HT29, MCF7, A2780, FaDu as well as non-malignant NIH 3T3 and HEK293 cells. It has been found that the pyrazolo-pyrido-pyrimidine analog bearing a 4-Br-phenyl moiety was the most active toward many cell lines with EC values ranging between 9.1 and 13.5 µM. Moreover, in silico docking studies of the latter with six anticancer drug targets, i.e., DHFR, VEGFR2, HER-2/neu, hCA-IX, CDK6 and LOX5, were also performed, in order to gain some insights into their putative mode of binding interaction and to estimate the free binding energy of this bioactive molecule.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8508785PMC
September 2021

Analytical Performance of COVID-19 Detection Methods (RT-PCR): Scientific and Societal Concerns.

Life (Basel) 2021 Jul 6;11(7). Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University, 00160 Rome, Italy.

Health and social management of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, responsible for the COVID-19 disease, requires both screening tools and diagnostic procedures. Reliable screening tests aim at identifying (truely) infectious individuals that can spread the viral infection and therefore are essential for tracing and harnessing the epidemic diffusion. Instead, diagnostic tests should supplement clinical and radiological findings, thus helping in establishing the diagnosis. Several analytical assays, mostly using RT-PCR-based technologies, have become commercially available for healthcare workers and clinical laboratories. However, such tests showed some critical limitations, given that a relevant number of both false-positive and false-negative cases have been so far reported. Moreover, those analytical techniques demonstrated to be significantly influenced by pre-analytical biases, while the sensitivity showed a dramatic time dependency. Herein, we critically investigate limits and perspectives of currently available RT-PCR techniques, especially when referring to the required performances in providing reliable epidemiological and clinical information. Current data cast doubt on the use of RT-PCR swabs as a screening procedure for tracing the evolution of the current SARS-COV-2 pandemic. Indeed, the huge number of both false-positive and false-negative results deprives the trustworthiness of decision making based on those data. Therefore, we should refine current available analytical tests to quickly identify individuals able to really transmit the virus, with the aim to control and prevent large outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life11070660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305061PMC
July 2021

High-fat diet-induced aggravation of cardiovascular impairment in permethrin-treated Wistar rats.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Oct 2;222:112461. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:

This study characterized the impact of post-weaning high-fat diet (HFD) and/or permethrin (PER) treatment on heart dysfunction and fibrosis, as well as atherogenic risk, in rats by investigating interactions between HFD and PER. Our results revealed that HFD and/or PER induced remarkable cardiotoxicity by promoting cardiac injury, biomarker leakage into the plasma and altering heart rate and electrocardiogram pattern, as well as plasma ion levels. HFD and/or PER increased plasma total cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels but significantly reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Cardiac content of peroxidation malonaldehyde, protein carbonyls, and reactive oxygen species were remarkably elevated, while glutathione levels and superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities were inhibited in animals receiving a HFD and/or PER. Furthermore, cardiac DNA fragmentation and upregulation of Bax and caspase-3 gene expression supported the ability of HFD and/or PER to induce apoptosis and inflammation in rat hearts. High cardiac TGF-β1 expression explained the profibrotic effects of PER either with the standard diet or HFD. Masson's Trichrome staining clearly demonstrated that HFD and PER could cause cardiac fibrosis. Additionally, increased oxidized LDL and the presence of several lipid droplets in arterial tissues highlighted the atherogenic effects of HFD and/or PER in rats. Such PER-induced cardiac and vascular dysfunctions were aggravated by and associated with a HFD, implying that obese individuals may be more vulnerable to PER exposure. Collectively, post-weaning exposure to HFD and/or PER may promote heart failure and fibrosis, demonstrating the pleiotropic effects of exposure to environmental factors early in life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112461DOI Listing
October 2021

Glioblastoma-specific anticancer activity of newly synthetized 3,5-disubstituted isoxazole and 1,4-disubstituted triazole-linked tyrosol conjugates.

Bioorg Chem 2021 Sep 8;114:105071. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

University of Monastir, Faculty of Science of Monastir, Laboratory of Heterocyclic, Chemistry, Natural Products and Reactivity, TeamMedicinal Chemistry and Natural, Products (LR11ES39), Department of Chemistry, Avenue of Environment, 5019 Monastir, Tunisia. Electronic address:

Two series of 3,5-disubstituted isoxazoles (6a-e) and 1,4-disubstituted triazoles (8a-e) derivatives have been synthesized from tyrosol (1), a natural phenolic compound, detected in several natural sources such as olive oil, and well-known by its wide spectrum of biological activities. Copper-catalyzed microwave-assisted 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions between tyrosol-alkyne derivative 2 and two series of aryl nitrile oxides (5a-e) and azides (7a-e) regiospecifically afforded 3,5-disubstituted isoxazoles (6a-e) and 1,4-triazole derivatives (8a-e), respectively in quantitative yields. Synthesized compounds were purified and characterized by spectroscopic means including 1D and 2D NMR techniques and HRMS analysis. The newly prepared hybrid molecules have been evaluated for their anticancer and hemolytic activities. Results showed that most derivatives displayed significant antiproliferative activity against human glioblastoma cancer cells (U87) in a dose-dependent manner. Compounds 6d (IC = 15.2 ± 1.0 μg/mL) and 8e (IC = 21.0 ± 0.9 μg/mL) exhibited more potent anticancer activity. Moreover, most derivatives displayed low hemolytic activity, even at higher concentrations which suggested that these classes of compounds are suitable candidates for further in vivo investigations. The obtained results allow us to consider the newly synthesized isoxazole- and triazole-linked tyrosol derivatives as promising scaffolds for the development of effective anticancer agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioorg.2021.105071DOI Listing
September 2021

Adverse Effects of Selected Markers on the Metabolic and Endocrine Profiles of Obese Women With and Without PCOS.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2021 26;12:665446. Epub 2021 May 26.

Zoology Department, Science College, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The aim of the present study, is to investigate the influence of obesity, with and without polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), on the levels of kisspeptin, vitamin D (Vit D), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and to explore the relationship between these parameters and endocrine and metabolic variables. The study group included 126 obese Saudi females. Of these 63 were suffering from PCOS while the rest were normo-ovulatory obese women (non-PCOS obese). In the obese PCOS, VEGF was almost four times as high as in the non-PCOS obese, while kisspeptin and Vit D did not differ. A highly significant elevation was recorded in the waist/hip (WHR), cholesterol, LDL-C, fasting glucose, LH, LH/FSH ratio, estradiol (E2), and testosterone, while hip circumference, leptin, progesterone, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) were lower in the obese PCOS subjects. BMI, HDL-C, ghrelin, insulin, and FSH levels did not differ significantly between the two groups. The obese PCOS had the same level of insulin resistance as the non-PCOS group, as judged by QUICK Index. Correlation studies showed a significant negative correlation between kisspeptin and glucose and LH levels, and a positive correlation with LH/FSH ratio in obese PCOS while in the non-PCOS obese, the kisspeptin correlated positively with glucose, and there was no correlation with LH or LH/FSH. VEGF negatively correlated with FSH and positively with LH/FSH ratio in the non-PCOS obese but this was lost in the obese PCOS. PCOS had no effect on the correlation between Vit D and all studied parameters. Multiple regression analysis showed triglyceride as predictor variable for kisspeptin as a dependent variable, while, leptin is a predictor variable for VEGF as a dependent variable. ROC studies showed the highest sensitivity and specificity for VEGF (AOC=1.00), followed by LH/FSH ratio (AOC=0.979). In conclusion, our study shows that PCOS results in significant elevation of VEGF in obese females, while kisspeptin and Vit D levels are not affected. It also leads to elevation in several of the lipid and hormonal abnormalities in the obese females. In addition, PCOS influences relationship between Kisspeptin and VEGF and some parameters such as glucose, LH or FSH and LH/FSH ratio in obese females, but does not affect Vit D relationship with other parameter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.665446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8188979PMC
May 2021

The Influence of Plant Isoflavones Daidzein and Equol on Female Reproductive Processes.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2021 Apr 17;14(4). Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 12372, Saudi Arabia.

In this review, we explore the current literature on the influence of the plant isoflavone daidzein and its metabolite equol on animal and human physiological processes, with an emphasis on female reproduction including ovarian functions (the ovarian cycle; follicullo- and oogenesis), fundamental ovarian-cell functions (viability, proliferation, and apoptosis), the pituitary and ovarian endocrine regulators of these functions, and the possible intracellular mechanisms of daidzein action. Furthermore, we discuss the applicability of daidzein for the control of animal and human female reproductive processes, and how to make this application more efficient. The existing literature demonstrates the influence of daidzein and its metabolite equol on various nonreproductive and reproductive processes and their disorders. Daidzein and equol can both up- and downregulate the ovarian reception of gonadotropins, healthy and cancerous ovarian-cell proliferation, apoptosis, viability, ovarian growth, follicullo- and oogenesis, and follicular atresia. These effects could be mediated by daidzein and equol on hormone production and reception, reactive oxygen species, and intracellular regulators of proliferation and apoptosis. Both the stimulatory and the inhibitory effects of daidzein and equol could be useful for reproductive stimulation, the prevention and mitigation of cancer development, and the adverse effects of environmental stressors in reproductive biology and medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph14040373DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8073550PMC
April 2021

Long-Term but Not Short-Term Maternal Fasting Reduces Nephron Number and Alters the Glomerular Filtration Barrier in Rat Offspring.

Life (Basel) 2021 Apr 6;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Zoology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

The present study examined the effects of maternal Ramadan-type fasting during selected days in the first, second, or third trimester, or during the entire pregnancy, on the kidney structure of male rat offspring. Pregnant rats were provided with food ad libitum during pregnancy (control group, C), or they were exposed to 16 h of fasting/day for three consecutive days in the middle of the first (FT1), second (FT2), or third trimester (FT3), or during whole pregnancy (FWP). Our results showed that dams in the FWP group demonstrated lower food intake and body weight during gestation. Litter size was unaltered by fasting in all groups; however, litter weight was significantly reduced only in the FWP group. Nephron number was decreased in the FWP group, but it remained unchanged in the other fasting groups. The ultrastructure of the glomerular filtration barrier indicated that the kidneys of offspring of the FWP group demonstrated wider diameters of fenestrations and filtration slits and smaller diameters of basement membranes. This was reflected by a significant increase in proteinuria in FWP only. These results suggest that, unlike with short-term fasting, which seems to be safe, maternal long-term fasting induces structural changes that were non-reversible, and that may contribute to impaired renal function, leading to chronic diseases in later life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life11040318DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067523PMC
April 2021

The flavonoid, kaempferol-3-O-apiofuranosyl-7-O-rhamnopyranosyl, as a potential therapeutic agent for breast cancer with a promoting effect on ovarian function.

Phytother Res 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

It is widely known that breast cancer cells eventually develop resistance to hormonal drugs and chemotherapies, which often compromise fertility. This study aimed to investigate the effect of the flavonoid, kaempferol-3-O-apiofuranosyl-7-O-rhamnopyranosyl (KARP), on 1) the viability of MCF-7 breast cancer cells and 2) ovarian function in rats. A dose-dependent decrease in MCF-7 cell survival was observed, and the IC50 value was found to be 48 μg/ml. Cells in the control group or those exposed to increasing concentrations of KARP experienced a similar generation of reactive oxygen species and induction of apoptosis. For the rats, estradiol levels correlated negatively to KARP dosages, although a recovery was obtained at administration of 30 mg/kg per day. Noteworthily, when compared against the control, this dosage led to significant increases in mRNA levels for CYP19, CYP17a, CCND2, GDF9, and INSL3 among the treatment groups, and ER1 and ER2 mRNA levels decreased in a dose-dependent manner. KARP shows great promise as an ideal therapy for breast cancer patients since it induced apoptosis and autophagy in cancerous cells without harming fertility in our animal model. Future investigations on humans are necessary to substantiate these findings and determine its efficacy as a general line of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7067DOI Listing
April 2021

Does the photocatalytic activity of nanoparticles protect the marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon toxicity?

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Aug 13;28(32):44301-44314. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Université de Strasbourg, Université de Haute Alsace, Institut de Science des Matériaux, IS2M-CNRS-UMR 7361, 15 Rue Jean Starcky, 68057, Mulhouse, France.

In the present study, five NPs (containing ZnO, Au-ZnO, Cu-ZnO, TiO, and Au-TiO) were characterized using dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy, in order to observe their behavior under environmental change. The applicability of NPs for degradation of three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), including benzo(a)pyrene, fluoranthene, and benzanthracene, using UV irradiation showed the high photocatalytic efficiency of doped NPs for the removal of the study pollutants. To predict the environmental impact and interaction between NPs and PAHs on marine organisms, Mytilus galloprovincialis mussels were exposed to concentrations of each chemical (50 and 100 μg/L) for 14 days. The mussel's response was determined using the oxidative stress biomarker approach. Measured biomarkers in the mussel's digestive gland showed possible oxidative mechanisms in a concentration-dependent manner occurring after exposure to PAHs and NPs separately. Overall, this finding provides an interesting combination to remove PAHs in water, and the incorporation of chemical element into the crystallographic structure of NPs and the combination of two different NPs to form a binary hybrid NPs are promising materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13908-4DOI Listing
August 2021

Acute toxicity and biomarker responses in Gammarus locusta amphipods exposed to copper, cadmium, and the organochlorine insecticide dieldrin.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 11;28(27):36523-36534. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, Coastal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Unit, University of Carthage, 7021, Zarzouna, Tunisia.

The toxicity of copper, cadmium, and dieldrin in adult Gammarus locusta (a marine amphipod) is currently unclear. Thus, G. locusta from the North Lake of Tunis were subjected to acute toxicity tests to assess LC50s at 48-96 h and to biomarker response tests through the assessment of catalase and acetylcholinesterase activities and malondialdehyde levels. The present study demonstrated the abilities of a chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticide (dieldrin) induce to oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. The comparison of metal toxicity showed that G. locusta was more sensitive to cadmium than copper. The three stressors caused significant inductions of all three biomarkers in a concentration-dependent manner. Catalase induction was dependent on exposure duration for all pollutants, while only copper led to increased malondialdehyde with longer exposure times. Catalase induction and malondialdehyde increase appeared to be sex dependent for all three pollutants. The neurotoxic effects of the pollutants were concentration dependent according to inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity. In conclusion, catalase, malondialdehyde, and acetylcholinesterase are efficient biomarkers of copper, cadmium, and dieldrin in G. locusta.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13158-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Chemical Composition and Cytotoxic Activity of the Fractionated Trunk Bark Essential Oil from (Vahl) Mast. Growing in Tunisia.

Molecules 2021 Feb 19;26(4). Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Laboratory of Heterocyclic Chemistry, Natural Products and Reactivity (LR11ES39), Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Team, Faculty of Science of Monastir, University of Monastir, Avenue of Environment, 5019 Monastir, Tunisia.

The aim of the present research was to determine the chemical composition and the cytotoxic effects of trunk bark essential oil (HEE) obtained by steam distillation and five fractions obtained by normal phase silica chromatographic separation. Chemical analysis allowed the identification of 54 known compounds. Relatively high amounts of oxygenated sesquiterpenes (44.4-70.2%) were detected, mainly consisting of caryophyllene oxide (13.1-26.6%), carotol (9.2-21.2%),14-hydroxy-9--()-caryophyllene (3.2-15.5%) and humulene epoxide II (2.6-7.2%). The cytotoxic activity against human mammary carcinoma cell lines (MDA-MB-231) and colorectal carcinoma cell lines (SW620) of the essential oil and its fractions were assessed. All the samples displayed moderate to weak activity compared to 5-fluorouracil. The colorectal carcinoma cell line was relatively more sensitive to the essential oil and its fractions compared to the breast cancer cell line, showing IC values from 25.7 to 96.5 μg/mL. In addition, the essential oil and its fraction E.2 revealed a cytotoxic activity against colorectal carcinoma cell line, with IC values lower than 30 μg/mL. This is the first report on the chemical composition and cytotoxic activity of the trunk bark essential oil of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26041110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922514PMC
February 2021

Ecotoxicity of polybrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) on a meiobenthic community with special emphasis on nematodes: Taxonomic and trophic diversity assessment.

Environ Pollut 2021 May 18;277:116727. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, University of Carthage, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerta (FSB), 7021, Zarzouna, Bizerta, Tunisia.

The response taxonomic and trophic of meiobenthic organisms, especially marine nematodes to polybrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) was studied using a community from Bizerte lagoon (Nord-East Tunisia). Four concentrations of BDE-47 [D1 (2.5 μg/kg dw), D2 (25 μg/kg dw), D3 (50 μg/kg dw), and D4 (100 μg/kg dw)] were applied, and responses were determined 30 days after exposure. Species abundance and all univariate indices were significantly affected in all treated microcosms compared to the control. The non-parametric cluster based on species abundance separated the nematode population into two groups: control + all treated microcosms. After grouping nematode species according to their trophic diversity, their abundance showed differential responses. The non-metric multi-dimensional scaling analysis and cumulative k-dominance based on the abundance of trophic groups abundances reflected significant separation between the control microcosm and each treatment condition. The correspondence analysis 2D plot generated from nematode species and trophic groups abundance showed the control microcosm was dominated by microvores, represented by two species of Terschellingia. However, when treated with the highest concentration of BDE-47, the community was occupied by the resistant trophic groups of facultative predators and epigrowth feeders represented by Metoncholaimus pristiurus and Paracomesoma dubium, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116727DOI Listing
May 2021

HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS profiling and therapeutic effects of Schinus terebinthifolius and Schinus molle fruits: investigation of their antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties.

Inflammopharmacology 2021 Apr 26;29(2):467-481. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Institut Supérieur des Sciences et Technologies de l'Environnement, Borj Cédria, Université de Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia.

The aim of the current work was to study the phytochemical variability among Schinus terebinthifolius (STE) and Schinus molle (SME) fruit extracts. The in vitro antioxidant, antihemolytic, antidiabetic, and macromolecule damage protective activities, as well as, the in vivo anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive capacities were assessed. Using the HPLC-ESI-QTOF/MS analysis, the chemical profile of fruit extract varied between S. terebinthifolius (30 compounds) and S. molle (16 compounds). The major compound was masazino-flavanone (5774.98 and 1177.65 μg/g sample for STE and SME, respectively). The investigations highlighted significant antioxidant proprieties when using ABTS radical (IC; 0.12 and 0.14 mg/ml for STE and SME, respectively), superoxide (IC; 0.17 and 0.22 mg/ml for STE and SME, respectively) and hydrogen peroxide (IC; 014 and 0.17 mg/ml for STE and SME, respectively). In addition, STE and SME proved preventive effects against HO-induced hemolysis (IC; 0.22 and 0.14 mg/ml for STE and SME, respectively). The in vitro antidiabetic effect revealed that STE and SME exhibited important inhibitory effects against α-amylase (IC; 0.13 and 0.19 mg/ml for STE and SME, respectively) and α-glycosidase (IC; 0.21 and 0.18 mg/ml for STE and SME, respectively) when compared with acarbose. Furthermore, the extracts showed potent inhibitory activity against AAPH-induced plasmid DNA damage, and protein oxidation. In vivo study revealed that STE and SME presented interesting antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory capacities. All observed effects highlighted the potential application of Schinus fruit extract in food and pharmaceutical industries against ROS-induced damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10787-021-00791-1DOI Listing
April 2021

Meiobenthic nematode Oncholaimus campylocercoides as a model in laboratory studies: selection, culture, and fluorescence microscopy after exposure to phenanthrene and chrysene.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jun 9;28(23):29484-29497. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, Coastal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Unit, University of Carthage, 7021, Zarzouna, Tunisia.

Numerous studies have focused on the response of meiofauna after exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but none has been devoted to their uptake into nematode body compartments. The present study monitored PAH uptake by Oncholaimus campylocercoides which was selected after 40 days in the laboratory through original protocols from natural sediments collected in the Old Harbor of Bizerte, Tunisia. To achieve the mono-species level, a grain size magnification was applied by gradually adding a biosubstrate made from either the crushed shells of Mytilus galloprovincialis or minced leaves of Posidonia oceanica. After selection, O. campylocercoides was cultured and fed with earthworm powder (560 mg.l). Thereafter, it was exposed for 3 weeks to phenanthrene and chrysene (38, 116, and 348 ppb). Fluorescence microscopy revealed higher intensities of PAHs at the spicules, mouths, and pharynges compared with the other organs considered. Moreover, the buccal fluorescence showed a significant correlation with that measured in the biosubstrate made with shells of M. galloprovincialis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12688-1DOI Listing
June 2021

Ethinylestradiol (EE2) residues from birth control pills impair nervous system development and swimming behavior of zebrafish larvae.

Sci Total Environ 2021 May 21;770:145272. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

U1198 MMDN (Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases), Inserm (National Institute for Health and Medical Research), MGX (Montpellier GenomiX), BioCampus, University of Montpellier, 34095, Montpellier, France.

The ubiquitous use of ethinylestradiol (EE2), an active constituent of birth control preparations, results in continuous release of this synthetic estrogen to surface waters. Many studies document the untoward effects of EE2 on the endocrine system of aquatic organisms. Effects of environmental EE2 on the nervous system are still poorly documented. We studied effects of pico- to nanomolar concentrations of EE2 on early nervous system development of zebrafish larvae. EE2 disrupted axonal nerve regeneration and hair cell regeneration up to 50%. Gene expression in larval brain tissues showed significantly upregulated expression of target genes, such as estrogen and progesterone receptors, and aromatase B. In contrast, downregulation of the tyrosine hydroxylase, involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, occurred concomitant with diminution of proliferating cells. Overall, the size of exposed fish larvae decreased by 25% and their swimming behavior was modified compared to non-treated larvae. EE2 interferes with nervous system development, both centrally and peripherally, with negative effects on regeneration and swimming behavior. Survival of fish and other aquatic species may be at risk in chronically EE2-contaminated environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145272DOI Listing
May 2021

Survival Pathways Are Differently Affected by Microgravity in Normal and Cancerous Breast Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jan 16;22(2). Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Metazoan living cells exposed to microgravity undergo dramatic changes in morphological and biological properties, which ultimately lead to apoptosis and phenotype reprogramming. However, apoptosis can occur at very different rates depending on the experimental model, and in some cases, cells seem to be paradoxically protected from programmed cell death during weightlessness. These controversial results can be explained by considering the notion that the behavior of adherent cells dramatically diverges in respect to that of detached cells, organized into organoids-like, floating structures. We investigated both normal (MCF10A) and cancerous (MCF-7) breast cells and found that appreciable apoptosis occurs only after 72 h in MCF-7 cells growing in organoid-like structures, in which major modifications of cytoskeleton components were observed. Indeed, preserving cell attachment to the substrate allows cells to upregulate distinct Akt- and ERK-dependent pathways in MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells, respectively. These findings show that survival strategies may differ between cell types but cannot provide sufficient protection against weightlessness-induced apoptosis alone if adhesion to the substrate is perturbed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7829699PMC
January 2021

Do presence of gray shrimp Crangon crangon larvae influence meiobenthic features? Assessment with a focus on traits of nematodes.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 May 7;28(17):21303-21313. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, Coastal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Unit, University of Carthage, 7021, Zarzouna, Tunisia.

In this study, a microcosm experiment was conducted for 30 days to assess the impact of the presence of juvenile gray shrimp Crangon crangon on meiofauna. The results suggested that juvenile shrimp had a significant negative impact on the abundance of nematodes and copepods, but no effect on polychaetes. Moreover, nematodes showed a significant decline in individual weight. The collected nematodes were taxonomically identified and assigned to five functional traits: shapes of the tail and amphid, life history, feeding types, and adult length. The nematode traits were affected by the number of shrimp introduced, and descriptors followed normal or inversed bell-shaped curves. When no shrimp were present, the nematofauna had a higher species richness compared with treatments of 4, 8, and 12 shrimp. Bell-shaped curve patterns were common in relation to the two phases of feeding for C. crangon. During the first phase, C. crangon consumed the nematode species Oncholaimus campylocercoides; thereafter, shrimp fed mostly on the nematode Anticoma eberthi and copepods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12069-0DOI Listing
May 2021

Effects of Au/TiO metallic nanoparticles on Unio ravoisieri: assessment through an oxidative stress and toxicity biomarkers.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Apr 6;28(14):18176-18185. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, Coastal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Unit, University of Carthage, 7021, Zarzouna, Tunisia.

Several studies have been performed on the effects of nanoparticles on aquatic life. However, most of them investigated marine organisms, not freshwater organisms. This study investigated biomarker responses after exposure for 48 h and 7 days to newly made gold and titanium dioxide (Au/TiO) metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) (100 and 200 μg·L) using the freshwater bivalve mussel Unio ravoisieri. Biochemical analysis of the gills and digestive glands showed induction of oxidative stress following exposure of the bivalve to Au/TiO MNPs. After 2 or 7 days of exposure to Au/TiO MNPs, both utilized concentrations of Au/TiO MNPs induce an overproduction of HO. Catalase and glutathione S-transferase activities and the malonedialdehyde content significantly increased in the presence of Au/TiO MNPs, depending on the concentration and target organ. In contrast, acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly inhibited, indicating a discernible disturbance of the cholinergic system in the presence of Au/TiO MNPs. The behavior of the freshwater mussel was altered by reducing the clearance rate. Therefore, U. ravoisieri can be used as a model species in laboratory studies to mirror the presence of MNPs, and the biomarker approach is important for detecting the effects of Au/TiO MNPs. In addition, digestive gland is the target organ of Au/TiONPs contamination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12305-7DOI Listing
April 2021

Schinus terebinthifolius fruits intake ameliorates metabolic disorders, inflammation, oxidative stress, and related vascular dysfunction, in atherogenic diet-induced obese rats. Insight of their chemical characterization using HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS.

J Ethnopharmacol 2021 Apr 17;269:113701. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Institut Supérieur des Sciences et Technologies de l'Environnement, Université de Carthage, Tunisia. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacology Relevance: Schinus terebinthifolius is traditionally used for its anti inflammatory capacity, and indicated as a cardioprotective agent, whereas, its preventive effect against atherogenic diet fed (AD) induced metabolic disorders and the underlying mechanisms has not yet been explored.

Aim Of The Study: This study was undertaken to investigate the ameliorative role of Schinus terebinthifolius fruits extract (STFE) against cardiovascular problem, oxidative and inflammatory status related to obesity in rats fed an atherogenic diet.

Materials And Methods: The metabolites profile in STFE was evaluated using HPLC-DAD-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS analysis. In Wistar rats, atherogenic diet was added for 9 weeks to induce lipid accumulation simultaneously with STFE (50 mg/kg b. w) or saline treatment. Biochemical, oxidant, and inflammatory criteria together with hepatic and arterial integrity examination were assessed.

Results: A total of thirty three metabolites were identified using HPLC-DAD-ESI-QTOF-MS, among them masazino-flavanone was the major compound (2645.50 μg/g DW). The results indicated that STFE supplementation during 9 weeks (50 mg/kg b. w.) significantly attenuated the altered lipid profile by decreasing the levels of TC, TG, LDL-C and increasing the HDL-C content both in plasma and liver, when compared with the AD-group. The histological analysis using ORO staining revealed a decrease in the lipid droplet deposit in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes of STFE + AD group. The addition of STFE could improve the glycemic status of AD-treated rats by decreasing the glucose and insulin secretion, and ameliorating the hepatic glycogen synthesis. The harmful effects of atherogenic diet on hepatic oxidative stress indicators (MDA, PC, GSH, SOD, CAT, and GPx), biochemical markers (AST, ALT, LDH and ALP), and liver function, were found to be decreased by the addition of STFE. Moreover, the reduction of inflammatory markers (CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α), associated to alleviating of aortic oxidative stress and integrity, highlighted the positive anti-atherogenic effect of STFE.

Conclusion: Overall, the pleiotropic protective effect observed with S. terebinthifolius fruits might be related to the presence of various bioactive compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113701DOI Listing
April 2021

Bee pollens originating from different species have unique effects on ovarian cell functions.

Pharm Biol 2020 Dec;58(1):1092-1097

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

Context: The species-specific differences and mechanisms of action of bee pollen on reproduction have not been well studied.

Objective: We compared the effects of bee pollen extracts from different plants on ovarian cell functions.

Materials And Methods: We compared the effects of pollens from black alder, dandelion, maize, rapeseed, and willow at 0, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 µg/mL on cultured porcine ovarian granulosa cells. Cell viability was assessed with a Trypan blue test, the cell proliferation marker (PCNA), and an apoptosis marker (BAX) were assessed by immunocytochemistry. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) release was measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Addition of any bee pollen reduced cell viability, promoted accumulation of both proliferation and apoptosis markers, and promoted IGF-I release. The ability of various pollens to suppress cell viability ranked as follows: rapeseed > dandelion > alder > maize > willow. The biological activity of bee pollens regarding their stimulatory action on ovarian cell proliferation ranked as follows: dandelion > willow > maize > alder > rapeseed. Cell apoptosis was promoted by pollens as follows: range > dandelion > alder > rapeseed > willow > maize. The ability of the pollens to stimulate IGF-I output are as follows: willow > dandelion > rapeseed > maize > alder.

Discussion: Bee pollen can promote ovarian cell proliferation by promoting IGF-I release, but it induces the dominance of apoptosis over proliferation and the reduction in ovarian cell viability in a species-specific manner.

Conclusions: This is the first demonstration of adverse effects of bee pollen on ovarian cell viability and of its direct stimulatory influence on proliferation, apoptosis, and IGF-I release. The biological potency of bee pollen is dependent on the plant species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2020.1839514DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7646543PMC
December 2020

Multidirectional insights on polysaccharides from Schinus terebinthifolius and Schinus molle fruits: Physicochemical and functional profiles, in vitro antioxidant, anti-genotoxicity, antidiabetic, and antihemolytic capacities, and in vivo anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Dec 21;165(Pt B):2576-2587. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Institut Supérieur des Sciences et Technologies de l'Environnement, Université de Carthage, Tunisia; Institut National de Recherches en Génie Rural, Eaux et Forêts, Université de Carthage, BP 10, Ariana 2080, Tunisia; Faculté des Sciences de Tunis (UR13/ES25), Université Tunis El - Manar, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia. Electronic address:

The aim of the current study was to compare crude polysaccharides extracted from Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (PSTF) and S. molle L. (PSMF) fruits based on their structures, physicochemical characteristics, monosaccharide composition, as well as in vitro and in vivo assays. The extraction yield of PSTF (4.26%) was higher than that of PSMF (3.56%). Remarkable variability was detected in the content of carbohydrates (80.64 ± 0.98%), protein (1.80 ± 0.28%), fat (0.04 ± 0.005%) and ash (6.32 ± 0.26%). FT-IR assay and H and C NMR spectroscopy revealed that fruits extract showed similar structural characteristics. Thin layer chromatography together with HPLC-RID analysis showed that the monosaccharide composition varied significantly between species. Both contained arabinose (40.55-42.03%) galacturonic acid (31.21-41.15%), and fucose (10.90-17.63%), but PSTF had glucose (9.13%) whereas PSMF had galactose (7.40%). Functional analyses demonstrated that samples exhibited favorable water- and oil-retention capacity, emulsifying properties, and foaming qualities. PSTF exhibited the highest antioxidant effects. Both of them showed a remarkable in vitro antidiabetic effect. PSMF highly mitigated HO-induced hemolysis and exhibited ~80% antihemolytic activity. The extracted polysaccharides showed potent inhibitory activity against AAPH-induced plasmid DNA damage. PSTF and PSMF revealed interesting in vivo antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory capacities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.10.123DOI Listing
December 2020

Plant polyphenols can directly affect ovarian cell functions and modify toluene effects.

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 2021 Jan 14;105(1):80-89. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Zoology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The influence of toluene alone and in combination with plant polyphenols apigenin, daidzein or rutin on viability, proliferation (proliferating cell nuclear antigen accumulation), apoptosis (Bax accumulation) and release of progesterone (P), testosterone (T) and estradiol (E) in cultured porcine ovarian granulosa cells was evaluated. Toluene reduced ovarian cell viability, proliferation and E release; it promoted P release, demonstrating no effect on apoptosis or T output. Apigenin alone failed to affect cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis and P and T release, but stimulated E release, promoting the inhibitory action of toluene on proliferation, preventing and even reversing the stimulatory effect of toluene on apoptosis and P. Daidzein alone reduced cell viability and promoted T release, preventing and reversing the stimulatory effect of toluene on cell proliferation. Rutin administration reduced cell viability and E output, promoting the inhibitory action of toluene on cell viability and stimulatory effect on P release, and preventing the inhibitory action of toluene on E release. Toluene reduced apigenin- and rutin-induced E release, promoting action of daidzein on cell viability. These observations suggest the action of toluene and plant polyphenols on ovarian cell functions and the functional interrelationships between these molecules in the ovary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpn.13461DOI Listing
January 2021

Buckwheat, rooibos, and vitex extracts can mitigate adverse effects of xylene on ovarian cells in vitro.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 8;28(6):7431-7439. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.

This study examines whether selected functional food and medicinal plants can mitigate the adverse effects of xylene on ovarian cells. The influences of xylene (0, 10, 100, or 1000 ng/mL), buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), vitex (Vitex agnus-castus), extracts (10 μg/mL each), and a combination of xylene with these plant additives on cultured porcine ovarian granulosa cells are compared. Cell viability, proliferation (PCNA accumulation), apoptosis (accumulation of bax), and release of progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) were analyzed by the trypan blue tests, quantitative immunocytochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, respectively. Xylene suppressed all measures of ovarian cell function. Rooibos prevented all of xylene's effects, whereas buckwheat and vitex prevented four of five of the analyzed effects (buckwheat prevented xylene influence on viability, PCNA, bax, and E2; vitex prevented xylene action on viability, PCNA, and P4 and E2). These observations show that xylene has the potential to suppress ovarian cell functions, and that buckwheat, rooibos, and vitex can mitigate those effects, making them natural protectors against the adverse effects of xylene on ovarian cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11082-7DOI Listing
February 2021

Experimental selection of Marylynnia puncticaudata (Cyatholaimidae, Nematoda) and effects of organic enrichment.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 3;28(6):6866-6876. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, Coastal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Unit, University of Carthage, 7021, Zarzouna, Tunisia.

Meiobenthic nematodes are well-known bioindicators in aquatic ecosystem health programs. However, the explored taxa are still limited and practically devoted to the community level. The present study provided a new method of experimental isolation of a species from a pristine nematofauna. In our method, the nematofauna faced two types of sediment, namely, the leaves of Posidonia oceanica and shells of Mytilus galloprovincialis, under controlled laboratory conditions, and several changes in species composition occurred through gradual selection of the most adaptable nematode taxa to the new environments, which were previously defaunated. We used the selected nematode taxon, Marylynnia puncticaudata (Cyatholaimidae), to examine the possible effects of organic enrichment, and the results clearly showed that the body size of the nematodes significantly increased and they became fat when after enrichment using a powder made of marine agar (1200 mg l) and cuticles of Crangon crangon (900 mg l), but their relative body growth showed no discernible changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11050-1DOI Listing
February 2021

Effects of benzene on gilts ovarian cell functions alone and in combination with buckwheat, rooibos, and vitex.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jan 11;28(3):3434-3444. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.

We aimed to examine the influence of benzene and of three dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) plant extracts-buckwheat (Fagopyrum Esculentum), rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), and vitex, (Vitex Agnus-Castus), and the combination of benzene with these three plant extracts on basic ovarian cell functions. Specifically, the study investigated the influence of benzene (0, 10, 100, or 1000 ng/mL) with and without these three plant additives on porcine ovarian granulosa cells cultured during 2 days with and without these additives. Cell viability, proliferation (accumulation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, PCNA), apoptosis (accumulation of Bcl-2-associated X protein , bax), and the release of progesterone (P) and estradiol (E) were analyzed by the Trypan blue test, quantitative immunocytochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Benzene reduced cell viability, as well as P and E release. Plant extracts, given alone, were able directly promote or suppress ovarian cell functions. Furthermore, buckwheat and rooibos, but not vitex prevented the inhibitory action of benzene on cell viability. Buckwheat induced the stimulatory action of benzene on proliferation. Rooibos and vitex promoted benzene effect on cell apoptosis. All these plant additives were able to promote suppressive action of benzene on ovarian steroidogenesis.These observations show that benzene may directly suppress ovarian cell viability, P, and E release and that buckwheat, rooibos, and vitex can directly influence ovarian cell functions and modify the effects of benzene-prevent toxic influence of benzene on cell viability and induce stimulatory action of benzene on ovarian cell proliferation, apoptosis, and steroidogenesis. The observed direct effects of benzene and these plants on ovarian cells functions, as well as the functional interrelationships of benzene and these plants, should be taken into account in their future applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10739-7DOI Listing
January 2021

Permethrin induced arterial retention of native and oxidized LDL in rats by promoting inflammation, oxidative stress and affecting LDL receptors, and collagen genes.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jan 8;207:111269. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

King Saud University, Department of Zoology, College of Science, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia; University of Tunis El Manar, Higher Institute of Applied Biological Sciences of Tunis, 2092, Tunis, Tunisia. Electronic address:

This study is the first to examine the possible mechanism by which long-term exposure to permethrin (PER) can promote arterial retention of proatherogenic lipid and lipoproteins and related vascular dysfunction in rats. Experimental animals were administered two doses of oral PER, PER-1 (2.5 mg/kg/bw) and PER-2 (5 mg/kg/bw), for 90 consecutive days. The results indicated that both PER-1 and PER-2 increased plasmatic and aortic total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), apo B-100, and oxidized LDL together with arterial scavenger LDL receptors (CD36) but markedly reduced plasmatic and hepatic high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and native LDL receptors in aortic and hepatic tissue. The levels of malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl, and reactive oxygen species were significantly higher, and glutathione content as well as catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase activities were suppressed in the aorta of the PER-1 and PER-2 groups. The arterial oxidative damage possibly caused by PER was clearly demonstrated by hematoxylin and eosin histological analysis. Moreover, PER treatment aggravated the inflammatory responses through enhancement of the production of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-2, and interleukin-6) in both plasma and aorta. Furthermore, PER-1 and PER-2 potentiated the dysregulation of the aortic extracellular matrix (ECM) content by increasing mRNA activation of collagens I and III. The abundant histological collagen deposition observed in the media and adventitia of intoxicated rats using Masson's trichrome staining corroborates the observed change in ECM. These data showed that oxidative stress related to PER exposure increases the arterial accumulation of lipoprotein biomarkers, likely by actions on both LDL and CD36 receptors, together with the disruption of the aortic ECM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111269DOI Listing
January 2021

Restructuring of a meiobenthic assemblage after sediment contamination with an antibacterial compound: Case study of ciprofloxacin.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2020 Dec 15;205:111084. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Laboratory of Biomonitoring of the Environment, University of Carthage, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Zarzouna, 7021, Bizerte, Tunisia.

A microcosm experiment was conducted to evaluate the impacts of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin on meiobenthic taxa abundance, nematode genus structure, and functional trait parameters. Sediment samples were experimentally enriched with four different doses of ciprofloxacin [D1 (50 ppm Dry weight 'DW'), D2 (100 ppm DW), D3 (200 ppm DW), and D4 (500 ppm DW)] and were then compared with non-enriched sediments (controls). After one month of exposure, the data showed that ciprofloxacin had altered the meiofaunal taxa abundance. A change in the structure of nematofaunal genera was observed, particularly with the highest dose (D4), which was characterized by the lowest taxonomic diversity. The SIMPER analysis revealed that the average dissimilarity between nematode communities increased with increasing doses of ciprofloxacin. Two dimensional (2D) non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) plots and relative abundances of functional groups of nematode genus assemblages revealed that all functional trait abundances were affected, particularly with the highest dose. However, only the amphid shape and feeding group functions showed a clear distribution separation between the control and ciprofloxacin treatments. The nMDS second-stage ordination of inter-matrix rank correlations for matrices including genus and functional traits showed that the tail shape was the closest functional trait to the generic distribution. Thus, only the curves of cumulative dominance related to the tail shape mirrored discernibly the sedimentary concentrations in ciprofloxacin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111084DOI Listing
December 2020

The individual and combined effects of cadmium, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) microplastics and their polyalkylamines modified forms on meiobenthic features in a microcosm.

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 21;266(Pt 1):115263. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

University of Carthage, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Laboratory of Environment Biomonitoring, Coastal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Unit, 7021, Zarzouna, Tunisia. Electronic address:

A microcosm experiment was carried out to study the ecotoxicity and interactions between heavy metals and polyvinyl chloride microplastics. Fifteen treatments were tested and results were examined after one month. In details, this work aims to study the ecotoxicological effects of cadmium (10 and 20 mg kg Dry Weight DW), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and its modified forms; PVC-DETA (PD) and PVC-TETA (PT) (20 and 40 mg kg DW), separately and in mixtures, on meiofauna from Bizerte lagoon (NE Tunisia) with focus on nematode features. The results obtained showed that individual treatments were toxic for meiofauna and particularly for free-living nematodes. No clear trends characterized the numerical responses but significant reductions were observed for diversity indices. Moreover, the binary combinations of contaminants have a lesser toxic effect compared to their individual effects. This effect could be related to the high-capacity chelating ability of PVC and its polymers against cadmium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115263DOI Listing
November 2020
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