Publications by authors named "Alena Milcová"

46 Publications

Environmental six-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are potent inducers of the AhR-dependent signaling in human cells.

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 3;266(Pt 2):115125. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Department of Chemistry and Toxicology, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, 62100 Brno, Czech Republic.

The toxicities of many environmental polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), in particular those of high-molecular-weight PAHs (with MW higher than 300), remain poorly characterized. The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of selected environmentally relevant PAHs with MW 302 (MW302 PAHs) to activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), since this represents a major toxic mode of action of PAHs. A large number of the evaluated compounds exhibited strong AhR-mediated activities, in particular in human models. The studied MW302 PAHs also significantly contributed to the overall calculated AhR activities of complex environmental mixtures, including both defined standard reference materials and collected diesel exhaust particles. The high AhR-mediated activities of representative MW302 PAHs, e.g. naphtho[1,2-k]fluoranthene, corresponded with the modulation of expression of relevant AhR target genes in a human lung cell model, or with the AhR-dependent suppression of cell cycle progression/proliferation in estrogen-sensitive cells. This was in a marked contrast with the limited genotoxicity of the same compound(s). Given the substantial levels of the AhR-activating MW302 PAHs in combustion particles, it seems important to continue to investigate the toxic modes of action of this large group of PAHs associated with airborne particulate matter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115125DOI Listing
November 2020

Genotoxicant exposure, activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and lipid peroxidation in cultured human alveolar type II A549 cells.

Mutat Res 2020 05 6;853:503173. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Nanotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the CAS, Videnska 1083, 142 20, Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) transcription factor is activated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and other ligands. Activated AhR binds to dioxin responsive elements (DRE) and initiates transcription of target genes, including the gene encoding prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS-2), which is also activated by the transcription factor NF-ĸB. PTGS-2 catalyzes the conversion of arachidonic acid (AA) into prostaglandins, thromboxanes or isoprostanes. 15-F2t-Isoprostane (IsoP), regarded as a universal marker of lipid peroxidation, is also induced by PAH exposure. We investigated the processes associated with lipid peroxidation in human alveolar basal epithelial cells (A549) exposed for 4 h or 24 h to model PAH (benzo[a]pyrene, BaP; 3-nitrobenzanthrone, 3-NBA) and organic extracts from ambient air particulate matter (EOM), collected in two seasons in a polluted locality. Both EOM induced the expression of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1; 24 h treatment significantly reduced PTGS-2 expression. IsoP levels decreased after both exposure periods, while the concentration of AA was not affected. The effects induced by BaP were similar to EOM except for increased IsoP levels after 4 h exposure and elevated AA concentration after 24 h treatment. In contrast, 3-NBA treatment did not induce CYP expression, had a weak effect on PTGS-2 expression, and, similar to BaP, induced IsoP levels after 4 h exposure and AA levels after 24 h treatment. All tested compounds induced the activity of NF-ĸB after the longer exposure period. In summary, our data suggest that EOM, and partly BaP, reduce lipid peroxidation by a mechanism that involves AhR-dependent inhibition of PTGS-2 expression. The effect of 3-NBA on IsoP levels is probably mediated by a different mechanism independent of AhR activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2020.503173DOI Listing
May 2020

Gene Expression and Epigenetic Changes in Mice Following Inhalation of Copper(II) Oxide Nanoparticles.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2020 Mar 18;10(3). Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Epigenetics, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic.

We investigated the transcriptomic response and epigenetic changes in the lungs of mice exposed to inhalation of copper(II) oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) (8 × 10 NPs/m) for periods of 3 days, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months. A whole genome transcriptome and miRNA analysis was performed using next generation sequencing. Global DNA methylation was assessed by ELISA. The inhalation resulted in the deregulation of mRNA transcripts: we detected 170, 590, 534, and 1551 differentially expressed transcripts after 3 days, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months of inhalation, respectively. Biological processes and pathways affected by inhalation, differed between 3 days exposure (collagen formation) and longer treatments (immune response). Periods of two weeks exposure further induced apoptotic processes, 6 weeks of inhalation affected the cell cycle, and 3 months of treatment impacted the processes related to cell adhesion. The expression of miRNA was not affected by 3 days of inhalation. Prolonged exposure periods modified miRNA levels, although the numbers were relatively low (17, 18, and 38 miRNAs, for periods of 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months, respectively). Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways analysis based on miRNA-mRNA interactions, revealed the deregulation of processes implicated in the immune response and carcinogenesis. Global DNA methylation was not significantly affected in any of the exposure periods. In summary, the inhalation of CuO NPs impacted on both mRNA and miRNA expression. A significant transcriptomic response was already observed after 3 days of exposure. The affected biological processes and pathways indicated the negative impacts on the immune system and potential role in carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano10030550DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7153614PMC
March 2020

The genotoxicity of organic extracts from particulate truck emissions produced at various engine operating modes using diesel or biodiesel (B100) fuel: A pilot study.

Mutat Res 2019 09 17;845:403034. Epub 2019 Mar 17.

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Nanotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

An analysis of the toxic effects of emissions should reflect real traffic conditions. The exhaust emissions of particulate matter from diesel engines strongly depend on their operating conditions, with low-speed, low-load "urban creep" conditions, common for truck traffic in heavily congested urban areas, being one of the worst. We aimed to detect the genotoxicity of organic extracts from particulate matter in the exhaust of the diesel engine Zetor 1505 running on diesel and biodiesel (B100) fuels at characteristic modes of extended "urban creep", typical for transit truck traffic in Prague, comparing the first 5 min of idling with extended (20-80 min) idling, full load after idle, "stabilized" full load, and 30% load. The diluted exhaust was sampled with high volume samplers on glass fiber fluorocarbon coated filters. The filters were extracted with dichloromethane and DNA damage was analyzed in A549 cells using comet assay, with the inclusion of formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG) and endonuclease III (ENDOIII) to recognize oxidized DNA bases. The cells were exposed to extractable organic matter (EOM) for 4 and 24 h at non-cytotoxic dose corresponding to 0.001 m of undiluted exhaust gas per ml cell media. At the 4 h exposure interval, all samples from B100 and diesel emissions induced DNA damage. EOM from the extended idle engine mode exerted the strongest genotoxic effect for both fuels. Twenty hours later, the cells exposed to diesel EOM exhibited a further increase of DNA strand breaks compared to the preceding interval. In contrast, DNA damage seemed to be fully repaired in cells treated with EOM derived from biodiesel B100. The preliminary results suggest that (i) diesel emissions are more genotoxic than the emissions from B100, (ii) biodiesel induced DNA lesions are repaired within 24 h.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2019.03.007DOI Listing
September 2019

The processes associated with lipid peroxidation in human embryonic lung fibroblasts, treated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organic extract from particulate matter.

Mutagenesis 2019 05;34(2):153-164

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Nanotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may cause lipid peroxidation via reactive oxygen species generation. 15-F2t-isoprostane (IsoP), an oxidative stress marker, is formed from arachidonic acid (AA) by a free-radical induced oxidation. AA may also be converted to prostaglandins (PG) by prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (PTGS) induced by NF-κB. We treated human embryonic lung fibroblasts (HEL12469) with benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), 3-nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA) and extractable organic matter (EOM) from ambient air particulate matter <2.5 µm for 4 and 24 h. B[a]P and 3-NBA induced expression of PAH metabolising, but not antioxidant enzymes. The concentrations of IsoP decreased, whereas the levels of AA tended to increase. Although the activity of NF-κB was not detected, the tested compounds affected the expression of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2). The levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) decreased following exposure to B[a]P, whereas 3-NBA exposure tended to increase PGE2 concentration. A distinct response was observed after EOM exposure: expression of PAH-metabolising enzymes was induced, IsoP levels increased after 24-h treatment but AA concentration was not affected. The activity of NF-κB increased after both exposure periods, and a significant induction of PTGS2 expression was found following 4-h treatment. Similarly to PAHs, the EOM exposure was associated with a decrease of PGE2 levels. In summary, exposure to PAHs with low pro-oxidant potential results in a decrease of IsoP levels implying 'antioxidant' properties. For such compounds, IsoP may not be a suitable marker of lipid peroxidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gez004DOI Listing
May 2019

n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids alter benzo[a]pyrene metabolism and genotoxicity in human colon epithelial cell models.

Food Chem Toxicol 2019 Feb 17;124:374-384. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Department of Cytokinetics, Institute of Biophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Dietary carcinogens, such as benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), are suspected to contribute to colorectal cancer development. n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) decrease colorectal cancer risk in individuals consuming diets rich in PUFAs. Here, we investigated the impact of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acid on metabolism and genotoxicity of BaP in human cell models derived from the colon: HT-29 and HCT-116 cell lines. Both PUFAs reduced levels of excreted BaP metabolites, in particular BaP-tetrols and hydroxylated BaP metabolites, as well as formation of DNA adducts in HT-29 and HCT-116 cells. However, EPA appeared to be a more potent inhibitor of formation of some intracellular BaP metabolites, including BaP-7,8-dihydrodiol. EPA also reduced phosphorylation of histone H2AX (Ser139) in HT-29 cells, which indicated that it may reduce further forms of DNA damage, including DNA double strand breaks. Both PUFAs inhibited induction of CYP1 activity in colon cells determined as 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD); this was at least partly linked with inhibition of induction of CYP1A1, 1A2 and 1B1 mRNAs. The downregulation and/or inhibition of CYP1 enzymes by PUFAs could thus alter metabolism and reduce genotoxicity of BaP in human colon cells, which might contribute to known chemopreventive effects of PUFAs in colon epithelium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2018.12.021DOI Listing
February 2019

Gene expression profiling in healthy newborns from diverse localities of the Czech Republic.

Environ Mol Mutagen 2018 06 30;59(5):401-415. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

Prenatal exposure to air pollution is associated with intrauterine growth restriction and low birth weight. Gene expression changes in newborns in relation to air pollution have not been sufficiently studied. We analyzed whole genome expression in cord blood leukocytes of 202 newborns from diverse localities of the Czech Republic, differing among other factors in levels of air pollution: the district of Karvina (characterized by higher concentration of air pollutants) and Ceske Budejovice (lower air pollution levels). We aimed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and pathways in relation to locality and concentration of air pollutants. We applied the linear model to identify the specific DEGs and the correlation analysis, to investigate the relationship between the concentrations of air pollutants and gene expression data. An analysis of biochemical pathways and gene set enrichment was also performed. In general, we observed modest changes of gene expression, mostly attributed to the effect of the locality. The highest number of DEGs was found in samples from the district of Karvina. A pathway analysis revealed a deregulation of processes associated with cell growth, apoptosis or cellular homeostasis, immune response-related processes or oxidative stress response. The association between concentrations of air pollutants and gene expression changes was weak, particularly for samples collected in Karvina. In summary, as we did not find a direct effect of exposure to air pollutants, we assume that the general differences in the environment, rather than actual concentrations of individual pollutants, represent a key factor affecting gene expression changes at delivery. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 59:401-415, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/em.22184DOI Listing
June 2018

Kinetics of ROS generation induced by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organic extracts from ambient air particulate matter in model human lung cell lines.

Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 2018 Mar 31;827:50-58. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Nanotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine CAS, Prague, 14220, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with particulate matter (PM) may induce oxidative damage via reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. However, the kinetics of ROS production and the link with antioxidant response induction has not been well studied. To elucidate the differences in oxidative potential of individual PAH compounds and extractable organic matter (EOM) from PM containing various PAH mixtures, we studied ROS formation and antioxidant response [total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and expression of HMOX1 and TXNRD1] in human alveolar basal epithelial cells (A549 cells) and human embryonic lung fibroblasts (HEL12469 cells). We treated the cells with three concentrations of model PAHs (benzo[a]pyrene, B[a]P; 3-nitrobenzanthrone, 3-NBA) and EOM from PM <2.5 μm (PM2.5). ROS levels were evaluated at 8 time intervals (30 min-24 h). In both cell lines, B[a]P treatment was associated with a time-dependent decrease of ROS levels. This trend was more pronounced in HEL12469 cells and was accompanied by increased TAC. A similar response was observed upon 3-NBA treatment in HEL12469 cells. In A549 cells, however, this compound significantly increased superoxide levels. This response was accompanied by the decrease of TAC as well as HMOX1 and TXNRD1 expression. In both cell lines, a short-time exposure to EOMs tended to increase ROS levels, while a marked decrease was observed after longer treatment periods. This was accompanied by the induction of HMOX1 and TXNRD1 expression in HEL12469 cells and increased TAC in A549 cells. In summary, our data indicate that in the studied cell lines B[a]P and EOMs caused a time-dependent decrease of intracellular ROS levels, probably due to the activation of the antioxidant response. This response was not detected in A549 cells following 3-NBA treatment, which acted as a strong superoxide inducer. Pro-oxidant properties of EOMs are limited to short-time exposure periods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2018.01.006DOI Listing
March 2018

Oxidative stress in newborns by different modes of delivery.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2016 Nov;37(6):445-451

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: The aim of our study is to investigate the impact of the type of delivery - vaginal vs. cesarean section on oxidative damage determined as the lipid peroxidation (15-F2t-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP) in the cord blood of newborns and venous blood from mothers in two localities with different levels of air pollution: Ceske Budejovice (CB), a locality with a clean air, and Karvina, a locality with high air pollution.

Resutls: In Karvina, the concentration of PM2.5 was higher than in CB in the summer 2013 (mean±SD: 20.41±6.28 vs. 9.45±3.62 µg/m3, p<0.001) and in the winter 2014 (mean±SD: 53.67±19.76 vs. 27.96±12.34 µg/m3, p<0.001). Similarly, the concentration of B[a]P was higher in Karvina than in CB in the summer 2013 (mean±SD: 1.16±0.91 vs. 0.16±0.26 ng/m3, p<0.001) and in the winter 2014 (5.36±3.64 vs. 1.45±1.19 ng/m3, p<0.001). Delivery procedures differed by the type of anesthesia; at the Cesarean section in CB was used general anesthesia in 73.8% vs. 20.8% in Karvina (p<0.001), epidural anesthesia in CB in 26.2% vs. 77.1% in Karvina (p<0.001), at vaginal delivery was local anesthesia used in CB in 58.9% vs. 14.1% in Karvina (p<0.001). In CB was oxidative stress higher after vaginal delivery (101.7±31.0 pg 15-F2t-isoP/ml plasma) vs. Cesarean section (83.9±26.9 pg 15-F2t-isoP/ml plasma, p<0.001), no difference between the type of delivery was observed in Karvina.

Conclusion: No difference between the types of delivery was observed in mothers in CB as well as in Karvina. Oxidative stress in newborns in Karvina was significantly affected by the concentrations of PM2.5 and B[a]P in the polluted air.
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November 2016

Impact of Air Pollution to Genome of Newborns.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2016 Dec;24 Suppl:S40-S44

University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

The Northern Moravia Region is the most polluted region in the Czech Republic by particulate matter (PM) and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs) as benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) by heavy industry and local heating. This specific situation was used to study the impact of air pollution on newborns in the exposed Karviná district and control district of České Budějovice. Biological material from newborns and mothers was collected in summer and winter seasons. This project is highly detailed, analyzing the concentrations of PAHs in ambient air and diet, in human breast milk, in the urine of mothers and newborns, using biomarkers of genetic damage as DNA adducts and gene expression analysis, biomarkers of oxidative stress as 8-oxodG adducts and lipid peroxidation (15-F2t-isoprostane immunoassay). All 400 children, for whom the biomarker data at delivery were obtained, will be followed for morbidity up to 2 years of age. The Northern Moravia Region seems to be to be a model area for studying the long-term impact of human health exposure to c-PAHs. Our observations will indicate possible genetic and oxidative damage in newborns, which may significantly affect their morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a4536DOI Listing
December 2016

Butyrate alters expression of cytochrome P450 1A1 and metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene via its histone deacetylase activity in colon epithelial cell models.

Arch Toxicol 2017 May 9;91(5):2135-2150. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Department of Cytokinetics, Institute of Biophysics, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Královopolská 135, 61265, Brno, Czech Republic.

Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid produced by fermentation of dietary fiber, is an important regulator of colonic epithelium homeostasis. In this study, we investigated the impact of this histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor on expression/activity of cytochrome P450 family 1 (CYP1) and on metabolism of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), in colon epithelial cells. Sodium butyrate (NaBt) strongly potentiated the BaP-induced expression of CYP1A1 in human colon carcinoma HCT116 cells. It also co-stimulated the 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity induced by the 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, a prototypical ligand of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Up-regulation of CYP1A1 expression/activity corresponded with an enhanced metabolism of BaP and formation of covalent DNA adducts. NaBt significantly potentiated CYP1A1 induction and/or metabolic activation of BaP also in other human colon cell models, colon adenoma AA/C1 cells, colon carcinoma HT-29 cells, or in NCM460D cell line derived from normal colon mucosa. Our results suggest that the effects of NaBt were due to its impact on histone acetylation, because additional HDAC inhibitors (trichostatin A and suberanilohydroxamic acid) likewise increased both the induction of EROD activity and formation of covalent DNA adducts. NaBt-induced acetylation of histone H3 (at Lys14) and histone H4 (at Lys16), two histone modifications modulated during activation of CYP1A1 transcription, and it reduced binding of HDAC1 to the enhancer region of CYP1A1 gene. This in vitro study suggests that butyrate, through modulation of histone acetylation, may potentiate induction of CYP1A1 expression, which might in turn alter the metabolism of BaP within colon epithelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00204-016-1887-4DOI Listing
May 2017

Toxic Effects of the Major Components of Diesel Exhaust in Human Alveolar Basal Epithelial Cells (A549).

Int J Mol Sci 2016 Aug 26;17(9). Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic.

We investigated the toxicity of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), 1-nitropyrene (1-NP) and 3-nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA) in A549 cells. Cells were treated for 4 h and 24 h with: B[a]P (0.1 and 1 μM), 1-NP (1 and 10 μM) and 3-NBA (0.5 and 5 μM). Bulky DNA adducts, lipid peroxidation, DNA and protein oxidation and mRNA expression of CYP1A1, CYP1B1, NQO1, POR, AKR1C2 and COX2 were analyzed. Bulky DNA adducts were induced after both treatment periods; the effect of 1-NP was weak. 3-NBA induced high levels of bulky DNA adducts even after 4-h treatment, suggesting rapid metabolic activation. Oxidative DNA damage was not affected. 1-NP caused protein oxidation and weak induction of lipid peroxidation after 4-h incubation. 3-NBA induced lipid peroxidation after 24-h treatment. Unlike B[a]P, induction of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, measured as mRNA expression levels of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1, was low after treatment with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) nitro-derivatives. All test compounds induced mRNA expression of NQO1, POR, and AKR1C2 after 24-h treatment. AKR1C2 expression indicates involvement of processes associated with reactive oxygen species generation. This was supported further by COX2 expression induced by 24-h treatment with 1-NP. In summary, 3-NBA was the most potent genotoxicant, whereas 1-NP exhibited the strongest oxidative properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091393DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037673PMC
August 2016

Impact of air pollution on oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation in mothers and their newborns.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2016 08 31;219(6):545-56. Epub 2016 May 31.

Department of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Ambient air particulate matter (PM) represents a class of heterogeneous substances that form one component of air pollution. Oxidative stress has been implicated as an important action mechanism for PM on the human organism. Oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) may affect any cellular macromolecule. The aim of our study was to investigate the impact of air pollution on oxidative DNA damage [8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG)] and lipid peroxidation [15-F2t-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP)] in the urine and blood from mothers and newborns from two localities with different levels of air pollution: Ceske Budejovice (CB), a locality with a clean air, and Karvina, a locality with high air pollution. The samples from normal deliveries (38-41 week+) of nonsmoking mothers and their newborns were collected in the summer and winter seasons. Higher PM2.5 concentrations were found in Karvina than in CB in the summer 2013 (mean±SD: 20.41±6.28 vs. 9.45±3.62μg/m(3), P<0.001), and in the winter 2014 (mean±SD: 53.67±19.76 vs. 27.96±12.34μg/m(3), P<0.001). We observed significant differences in 15-F2t-IsoP levels between the summer and winter seasons in Karvina for newborns (mean±SD: 64.24±26.75 vs. 104.26±38.18pg/ml plasma, respectively) (P<0.001). Levels of 8-oxodG differed only in the winter season between localities, they were significantly higher (P<0.001) in newborns from Karvina in comparison with CB (mean±SD: 5.70±2.94 vs. 4.23±1.51 nmol/mmol creatinine, respectively). The results of multivariate regression analysis in newborns from Karvina showed PM2.5 concentrations to be a significant predictor for 8-oxodG excretion, PM2.5 and B[a]P (benzo[a]pyrene) concentrations to be a significant predictor for 15-F2t-IsoP levels. The results of multivariate regression analysis in mothers showed PM2.5 concentrations to be a significant predictor of 8-oxodG levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.05.010DOI Listing
August 2016

Day-to-day variability of toxic events induced by organic compounds bound to size segregated atmospheric aerosol.

Environ Pollut 2015 Jul 26;202:135-45. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Department of Chemistry and Toxicology, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, 62100 Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

This study quantified the temporal variability of concentration of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs), genotoxicity, oxidative DNA damage and dioxin-like activity of the extractable organic matter (EOM) of atmospheric aerosol particles of aerodynamic diameter (dae, μm) coarse (1 < dae < 10), upper- (0.5 < dae < 1) and lower-accumulation (0.17 < dae < 0.5) and ultrafine (<0.17) fractions. The upper accumulation fraction formed most of the aerosol mass for 22 of the 26 study days and contained ∼44% of total c-PAHs, while the ultrafine fraction contained only ∼11%. DNA adduct levels suggested a crucial contribution of c-PAHs bound to the upper accumulation fraction. The dioxin-like activity was also driven primarily by c-PAH concentrations. In contrast, oxidative DNA damage was not related to c-PAHs, as a negative correlation with c-PAHs was observed. These results suggest that genotoxicity and dioxin-like activity are the major toxic effects of organic compounds bound to size segregated aerosol, while oxidative DNA damage is not induced by EOM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.03.024DOI Listing
July 2015

Inhibition of β-catenin signalling promotes DNA damage elicited by benzo[a]pyrene in a model of human colon cancer cells via CYP1 deregulation.

Mutagenesis 2015 Jul 24;30(4):565-76. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Department of Cytokinetics, Institute of Biophysics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Kralovopolska 135, Brno 61265, Czech Republic,

Deregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling plays an important role in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer. Interestingly, this pathway has been recently implicated in transcriptional control of cytochrome P450 (CYP) family 1 enzymes, which are responsible for bioactivation of a number of dietary carcinogens. In the present study, we investigated the impact of inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin pathway on metabolism and genotoxicity of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a highly mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and an efficient ligand of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which is known as a primary regulator of CYP1 expression, in cellular models derived from colorectal tumours. We observed that a synthetic inhibitor of β-catenin, JW74, significantly increased formation of BaP-induced DNA adducts in both colorectal adenoma and carcinoma-derived cell lines. Using the short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting β-catenin, we then found that β-catenin knockdown in HCT116 colon carcinoma cells significantly enhanced formation of covalent DNA adducts by BaP and histone H2AX phosphorylation, as detected by (32)P-postlabelling technique and immunocytochemistry, respectively, and it also induced expression of DNA damage response genes, such as CDKN1A or DDB2. The increased formation of DNA adducts formed by BaP upon β-catenin knockdown corresponded with enhanced production of major BaP metabolites, as well as with an increased expression/activity of CYP1 enzymes. Finally, using siRNA-mediated knockdown of CYP1A1, we confirmed that this enzyme plays a major role in formation of BaP-induced DNA adducts in HCT116 cells. Taken together, the present results indicated that the siRNA-mediated inhibition of β-catenin signalling, which is aberrantly activated in a majority of colorectal cancers, modulated genotoxicity of dietary carcinogen BaP in colon cell model in vitro, via a mechanism involving up-regulation of CYP1 expression and activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gev019DOI Listing
July 2015

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated and genotoxic effects of fractionated extract of standard reference diesel exhaust particle material in pulmonary, liver and prostate cells.

Toxicol In Vitro 2015 Apr 10;29(3):438-48. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Department of Chemistry and Toxicology, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, 62100 Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Diesel exhaust particles (DEP) and the associated complex mixtures of organic pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), or their derivatives, have been suggested to exert deleterious effects on human health. We used a set of defined cellular models representing liver, lung and prostate tissues, in order to compare non-genotoxic and genotoxic effects of crude and fractionated extract of a standard reference DEP material - SRM 1650b. We focused on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-mediated activity, modulation of cell proliferation, formation of DNA adducts, oxidative DNA damage, and induction of DNA damage responses, including evaluation of apoptosis, and phosphorylation of p53 tumor suppressor and checkpoint kinases (Chk). Both PAHs and the polar aromatic compounds contributed to the AhR-mediated activity of DEP-associated organic pollutants. The principal identified AhR agonists included benzo[k]fluoranthene, indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene, chrysene and several non-priority PAHs, including benzochrysenes and methylated PAHs. In contrast to PAHs, polar compounds contributed more significantly to overall formation of DNA adducts associated with phosphorylation of p53, Chk1 or Chk2, and partly with apoptosis. Therefore, more attention should be paid to identification of DEP-associated polar organic compounds, contributing to the AhR activation and cytotoxic/genotoxic effects of complex airborne mixtures of organic contaminants produced by diesel engines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2014.12.002DOI Listing
April 2015

Genotoxicity but not the AhR-mediated activity of PAHs is inhibited by other components of complex mixtures of ambient air pollutants.

Toxicol Lett 2014 Mar 26;225(3):350-7. Epub 2014 Jan 26.

Department of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

In this study, we compared the genotoxicity and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent transcriptional changes of selected target genes in human lung epithelial A549 cells incubated for 24 h, either with extractable organic matter (EOMs) from airborne particles <2.5 μm (PM2.5) collected at four localities from heavily polluted areas of the Czech Republic or two representative toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in EOMs, benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and benzo[k]fluoranthene (B[k]F). Genotoxic effects were determined using DNA adduct analysis or analysis of expression of selected AhR-related genes involved in bioactivation of PAHs (CYP1A1, CYP1B1) and transcriptional repression (TIPARP). Sampled localities differing in the extent and source of air pollution did not exhibit substantially different genotoxicity. DNA adduct levels induced by three subtoxic EOM concentrations were relatively low (1-5 adducts/10(8) nucleotides), compared to levels induced by similar concentrations of B[a]P, while B[k]F gave very low DNA adduct levels. Here, we compared genotoxicity and gene deregulation induced by complex mixtures containing PAHs with the effects of the comparable concentrations of individual PAHs. Our results suggested inhibition of formation of B[a]P-induced DNA adducts compared to individual B[a]P, probably attributable to competitive inhibition by other non-genotoxic EOM components. In contrast, induction of AhR target genes appeared not to be antagonized by the components of complex mixtures, as induction of CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and TIPARP transcripts reached maximum levels induced by PAHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.01.028DOI Listing
March 2014

Nucleotide excision repair is not induced in human embryonic lung fibroblasts treated with environmental pollutants.

PLoS One 2013 19;8(7):e69197. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Department of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic.

The cellular response to genotoxic treatment depends on the cell line used. Although tumor cell lines are widely used for genotoxicity tests, the interpretation of the results may be potentially hampered by changes in cellular processes caused by malignant transformation. In our study we used normal human embryonic lung fibroblasts (HEL12469 cells) and tested their response to treatment with benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and extractable organic matter (EOM) from ambient air particles <2.5 µm (PM2.5) collected in two Czech cities differing in levels and sources of air pollution. We analyzed multiple endpoints associated with exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) including the levels of bulky DNA adducts and the nucleotide excision repair (NER) response [expression of XPE, XPC and XPA genes on the level of mRNA and proteins, unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS)]. EOMs were collected in the winter and summer of 2011 in two Czech cities with different levels and sources of air pollution. The effects of the studied compounds were analyzed in the presence (+S9) and absence (-S9) of the rat liver microsomal S9 fraction. The levels of bulky DNA adducts were highest after treatment with B[a]P, followed by winter EOMs; their induction by summer EOMs was weak. The induction of both mRNA and protein expression was observed, with the most pronounced effects after treatment with B[a]P (-S9); the response induced by EOMs from both cities and seasons was substantially weaker. The expression of DNA repair genes was not accompanied by the induction of UDS activity. In summary, our results indicate that the tested compounds induced low levels of DNA damage and affected the expression of NER genes; however, nucleotide excision repair was not induced.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069197PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3716811PMC
March 2014

Ultrafine particles are not major carriers of carcinogenic PAHs and their genotoxicity in size-segregated aerosols.

Mutat Res 2013 Jun 1;754(1-2):1-6. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic.

Some studies suggest that genotoxic effects of combustion-related aerosols are induced by carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs) and their derivatives, which are part of the organic fraction of the particulate matter (PM) in ambient air. The proportion of the organic fraction in PM is known to vary with particle size. The ultrafine fraction is hypothesized to be the most important carrier of c-PAHs, since it possesses the highest specific surface area of PM. To test this hypothesis, the distribution of c-PAHs in organic extracts (EOMs) was compared for four size fractions of ambient-air aerosols: coarse (1
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2012.12.016DOI Listing
June 2013

Health impact of air pollution to children.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2013 Aug 10;216(5):533-40. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic.

Health impact of air pollution to children was studied over the last twenty years in heavily polluted parts of the Czech Republic during. The research program (Teplice Program) analyzed these effects in the polluted district Teplice (North Bohemia) and control district Prachatice (Southern Bohemia). Study of pregnancy outcomes for newborns delivered between 1994 and 1998 demonstrated that increase in intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) was associated with PM10 and c-PAHs exposure (carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in the first month of gestation. Morbidity was followed in the cohort of newborns (N=1492) up to the age of 10years. Coal combustion in homes was associated with increased incidence of lower respiratory track illness and impaired early childhood skeletal growth up to the age of 3years. In preschool children, we observed the effect of increased concentrations of PM2.5 and PAHs on development of bronchitis. The Northern Moravia Region (Silesia) is characterized by high concentrations of c-PAHs due to industrial air pollution. Exposure to B[a]P (benzo[a]pyrene) in Ostrava-Radvanice is the highest in the EU. Children from this part of the city of Ostrava suffered higher incidence of acute respiratory diseases in the first year of life. Gene expression profiles in leukocytes of asthmatic children compared to children without asthma were evaluated in groups from Ostrava-Radvanice and Prachatice. The results suggest the distinct molecular phenotype of asthma bronchiale in children living in polluted Ostrava region compared to children living in Prachatice. The effect of exposure to air pollution to biomarkers in newborns was analyzed in Prague vs. Ceske Budejovice, two locations with different levels of pollution in winter season. B[a]P concentrations were higher in Ceske Budejovice. DNA adducts and micronuclei were also elevated in cord blood in Ceske Budejovice in comparison to Prague. Study of gene expression profiles in the cord blood showed differential expression of 104 genes. Specifically, biological processes related to immune and defense response were down-regulated in Ceske Budejovice. Our studies demonstrate that air pollution significantly affect child health. Especially noticeable is the increase of respiratory morbidity. With the development of molecular epidemiology, we can further evaluate the health risk of air pollution using biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2012.12.001DOI Listing
August 2013

Analysis of biomarkers in a Czech population exposed to heavy air pollution. Part I: bulky DNA adducts.

Mutagenesis 2013 Jan 9;28(1):89-95. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

The health of human populations living in industrial regions is negatively affected by exposure to environmental air pollutants. In this study, we investigated the impact of air pollution on a cohort of subjects living in Ostrava, a heavily polluted industrial region and compared it with a cohort of individuals from the relatively clean capital city of Prague. This study consisted of three sampling periods differing in the concentrations of major air pollutants (winter 2009, summer 2009 and winter 2010). During all sampling periods, the study subjects from Ostrava region were exposed to significantly higher concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and benzene than the subjects in Prague as measured by personal monitors. Pollution by B[a]P, particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm (PM2.5) and benzene in the Ostrava region measured by stationary monitors was also higher than in Prague, with the exception of PM2.5 in summer 2009 when concentration of the pollutant was significantly elevated in Prague. To evaluate DNA damage in subjects from both locations we determined the levels of bulky DNA adducts in peripheral blood lymphocytes using the (32)P-postlabeling method. Despite higher B[a]P air pollution in the Ostrava region during all sampling periods, the levels of B[a]P-like DNA adducts per 10(8) nucleotides were significantly higher in the Ostrava subjects only in winter 2009 (mean ± SD: 0.21 ± 0.06 versus 0.28 ± 0.08 adducts/10(8) nucleotides, P < 0.001 for Prague and Ostrava subjects, respectively; P < 0.001). During the other two sampling periods, the levels of B[a]P-like DNA adducts were significantly higher in the Prague subjects (P < 0.001). Multivariate analyses conducted among subjects from Ostrava and Prague separately during all sampling periods revealed that exposure to B[a]P and PM2.5 significantly increased levels of B[a]P-like DNA adducts in the Ostrava subjects, but not in subjects from Prague.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/ges057DOI Listing
January 2013

Genotoxic potential of organic extracts from particle emissions of diesel and rapeseed oil powered engines.

Toxicol Lett 2012 Jul 26;212(1):11-7. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Vídeňská 1083, 14220 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

The present study was performed to identify possible genotoxicity induced by organic extracts from particulate matter in the exhaust of two typical diesel engines run on diesel fuel and neat heated fuel-grade rapeseed oil: a Cummins ISBe4 engine tested using the World Harmonized Steady State Test Cycle (WHSC) and modified Engine Steady Cycle (ESC) and a Zetor 1505 engine tested using the Non-Road Steady State Cycle (NRSC). In addition, biodiesel B-100 (neat methylester of rapeseed oil) was tested in the Cummins engine run on the modified ESC. Diluted exhaust was sampled with high-volume samplers on Teflon coated filters. Filters were extracted with dichlormethane (DCM) and DNA adduct levels induced by extractable organic matter (EOM) in an acellular assay of calf thymus DNA coupled with (32)P-postlabeling in the presence and absence of rat liver microsomal S9 fraction were employed. Simultaneously, the chemical analysis of 12 priority PAHs in EOM, including 7 carcinogenic PAHs (c-PAHs) was performed. The results suggest that diesel emissions contain substantially more total PAHs than rapeseed oil emissions (for the ESC) or that these concentrations were comparable (for the WHSC and NRSC), while c-PAHs levels were comparable (for the ESC) or significantly higher (for the WHSC and NRSC) for rapeseed oil emissions. DNA adduct levels induced by diesel and rapeseed oil derived EOM were comparable, but consistently slightly higher for diesel than for rapeseed oil. Highly significant correlations were found between 12 priority PAHs concentrations and DNA adduct levels (0.980; p<0.001) and these correlations were even stronger for c-PAHs (0.990; p<0.001). Metabolic activation by the microsomal S9 fraction resulted in several fold higher genotoxicity, suggesting a major contribution of PAHs to genotoxicity. Directly acting compounds, other than c-PAHs, and not requiring S9 to exhibit DNA reactivity were also significant. Generally, DNA adduct levels were more dependent on the type of engine and the test cycle than on the fuel. Our findings suggest that the genotoxicity of particulate emissions from the combustion of rapeseed oil is significant and is comparable to that from the combustion of diesel fuel. A more detailed study is ongoing to verify and extent these preliminary findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.04.017DOI Listing
July 2012

Genotoxicity of 7H-dibenzo[c,g]carbazole and its methyl derivatives in human keratinocytes.

Mutat Res 2012 Mar 28;743(1-2):91-8. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

Laboratory of Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis, Cancer Research Institute, SAS, 833 91 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Differences between tissues in the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes may substantially contribute to tissue-specificity of chemical carcinogens. To verify this hypothesis, the spontaneously immortalized human keratinocytes HaCaT were used, in order to evaluate the genotoxic potential of 7H-dibenzo[c,g]carbazole (DBC), a known hepatocarcinogen and sarcomagen, and its synthetic tissue-specific derivatives, 5,9-dimethyl-DBC (DiMeDBC) and N-methyl-DBC (N-MeDBC), which manifest specific tropism to the liver and skin, respectively. HaCaT cells mainly express cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1), which is involved in metabolism of DBC and N-MeDBC, but not DiMeDBC [10]. Both DBC and the sarcomagen N-MeDBC induced significant levels of DNA strand-breaks, micronuclei, and DNA adducts followed by the phosphorylation of the p53 protein and histone H2AX in HaCaT cells. In contrast, the specific hepatocarcinogen DiMeDBC was devoid of any significant genotoxic activity in this cell line. Our study demonstrates that the absence of drug-metabolizing enzyme(s) involved in DiMeDBC metabolism may contribute substantially to the tissue-specific genotoxicity of this hepatocarcinogen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2011.12.030DOI Listing
March 2012

Influence of immunization with non-genotoxic PAH-KLH conjugates on the resistance of organisms exposed to benzo(a)pyrene.

Mutat Res 2012 Feb 25;742(1-2):2-10. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Research and Development Department, Vidia Ltd., Jesenice, Czech Republic.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are recognized as common environmental pollutants released into the environment from many natural as well as man-made sources, and some have been classified as potent carcinogens. The main representative of the carcinogenic PAH is benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) which is known to induce genotoxic effects in vitro and in vivo, detected as PAH-DNA adducts. Long-term PAH exposure may be accompanied by an immunological response with the formation of antibodies against PAH as well as against PAH-DNA adducts. This paper describes the use of four PAH-keyhole-limpet haemocyanin (KLH) conjugates for the induction of specific and cross-reactive anti-PAH antibodies and focuses on the potential protective effects of anti-PAH antibodies produced after immunization of mice. In the in vitro experiments with HepG-2 cells, the genotoxicity of the PAH-KLH conjugates and the neutralizing effect of induced anti-PAH antibodies were evaluated. The titer of specific anti-PAH antibodies in sera and the amounts of DNA adducts in liver homogenates from immunized mice were investigated in vivo. The results show that anti-PAH antibodies of class IgG were induced during immunization. All the PAH-KLH conjugates tested were non-genotoxic and did not induce detectable DNA adducts in HepG2 cells or in the liver of immunized mice. The results show that only B(a)P-specific and B(a)P cross-reactive antibodies are able to neutralize B(a)P or its activated metabolites, which was revealed by a sudden decrease in the titer of anti-B(a)P antibodies in mouse sera after exposure to B(a)P. Furthermore, the anti-B(a)P antibodies produced by immunization were effective in reducing the amount of DNA adducts in mouse livers after intraperitoneal (i.p.) exposure to B(a)P. The results suggest that immunization with PAH-KLH conjugates can protect organisms against the adverse effects of carcinogenic PAH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2011.10.016DOI Listing
February 2012

Biomarkers of exposure and effect-interpretation in human risk assessment.

Air Qual Atmos Health 2011 Dec 29;4(3-4):161-167. Epub 2011 Jan 29.

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR), 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic.

The effect of exposure to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons adsorbed onto respirable air particles (PM2.5, diameter < 2.5 μm) on DNA adducts and chromosomal aberrations was repeatedly studied in Prague, Czech Republic, in groups of policemen working in the downtown area and in bus drivers. Personal exposure was evaluated using personal samplers during working shifts. DNA adducts were analyzed in lymphocytes by the (32)P-postlabeling assay and chromosomal aberrations were analyzed by conventional cytogenetic analysis and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). The impact of environmental pollution on DNA adducts and chromosomal aberrations was studied in a total of 950 subjects. Our results suggest that the environmental exposure of nonsmokers to concentrations higher than 1 ng benzo[a]pyrene/m(3) represents a risk of DNA damage, as indicated by an increase in DNA adducts and the genomic frequency of translocations determined by FISH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11869-011-0133-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156305PMC
December 2011

Genotoxicity of 7H-dibenzo[c,g]carbazole and its tissue-specific derivatives in human hepatoma HepG2 cells is related to CYP1A1/1A2 expression.

Environ Mol Mutagen 2011 Oct 1;52(8):636-45. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Laboratory of Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis, Cancer Research Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia.

The goal of this study was to investigate the genotoxicity of 7H-dibenzo[c,g]carbazole (DBC), a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, and its methyl derivatives, 5,9-dimethylDBC (DiMeDBC), a strict hepatocarcinogen, and N-methylDBC (N-MeDBC), a specific sarcomagen in human hepatoma HepG2 cells, and to infer potential mechanisms underlying the biological activity of particular carcinogen. All dibenzocarbazoles, regardless the tissue specificity, induced significant DNA strand break levels and micronuclei in HepG2 cells; though a mitotic spindle dysfunction rather than a chromosome breakage was implicated in N-MeDBC-mediated micronucleus formation. While DBC and N-MeDBC produced stable DNA adducts followed with p53 protein phosphorylation at Ser-15, DiMeDBC failed. A significant increase in DNA strand breaks following incubation of exposed cells with a repair-specific endonuclease (Fpg protein) suggested that either oxidative DNA damage or unstable DNA-adducts might underlie DiMeDBC genotoxicity in human hepatoma cells. DiMeDBC and N-MeDBC increased substantially also the amount of CYP1A1/2 expression in HepG2 cells. Pretreatment of cells with substances affecting AhR-mediated CYP1A family of enzymes expression; however, diminished DiMeDBC and N-MeDBC genotoxicity. Our data clearly demonstrated differences in the mechanisms involved in the biological activity of DiMeDBC and N-MeDBC in human hepatoma cells; the genotoxicity of these DBC derivatives is closely related to CYP1A1/2 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/em.20664DOI Listing
October 2011

The role of human cytochrome P4503A4 in biotransformation of tissue-specific derivatives of 7H-dibenzo[c,g]carbazole.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2011 Sep 21;255(3):307-15. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Cancer Research Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Vlárska 7, 833 91 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

The environmental pollutant 7H-dibenzo[c,g]carbazole (DBC) and its derivative, 5,9-dimethylDBC (DiMeDBC), produced significant and dose-dependent levels of micronuclei followed by a substantial increase in the frequency of apoptotic cells in the V79MZh3A4 cell line stably expressing the human cytochrome P450 (hCYP) 3A4. In contrast, neither micronuclei nor apoptosis were found in cells exposed to the sarcomagenic carcinogen, N-methylDBC (N-MeDBC). A slight but significant level of gene mutations and DNA adducts detected in V79MZh3A4 cells treated with N-MeDBC, only at the highest concentration (30μM), revealed that this sarcomagenic carcinogen was also metabolized by hCYP3A4. Surprisingly, DBC increased the frequency of 6-thioguanine resistant (6-TG(r)) mutations only at the highest concentration (30μM), while DiMeDBC failed to increase the frequency of these mutations. The resistance to 6-thioguanine is caused by the mutations in the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (Hprt) gene. The molecular analysis of the coding region of Hprt gene showed a deletion of the entire exon 8 in DiMeDBC-induced 6-TG(r) mutants, while no changes in the nucleotide sequences were identified in 6-TG(r) mutants produced by DBC and N-MeDBC. Based on our results, we suggest that hCYP3A4 is involved in the metabolism of DBC and its tissue-specific derivatives. While hCYP3A4 probably plays an important role in biotransformation of the liver carcinogens, DBC and DiMeDBC, it might only have a marginal function in N-MeDBC metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2011.06.027DOI Listing
September 2011

Toxic effects of methylated benzo[a]pyrenes in rat liver stem-like cells.

Chem Res Toxicol 2011 Jun 3;24(6):866-76. Epub 2011 Jun 3.

Department of Chemistry and Toxicology, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, 62100 Brno, Czech Republic.

The methylated benzo[a]pyrenes (MeBaPs) are present at significant levels in the environment, especially in the sediments contaminated by petrogenic PAHs. However, the existing data on their toxic effects in vitro and/or in vivo are still largely incomplete. Transcription factor AhR plays a key role in the metabolic activation of PAHs to genotoxic metabolites, but the AhR activation may also contribute to the tumor promoting effects of PAHs. In this study, the AhR-mediated activity of five selected MeBaP isomers was estimated in the DR-CALUX reporter gene assay performed in rat hepatoma cells. Detection of other effects, including induction of CYP1A1, CYP1B1, and AKR1C9 mRNAs, DNA adduct formation, production of reactive oxygen species, oxidation of deoxyguanosine, and cell cycle modulation and apoptosis, was performed in the rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cell line, a model of liver progenitor cells. We identified 1-MeBaP as the most potent inducer of AhR activation, stable DNA adduct formation, checkpoint kinase 1 and p53 phosphorylation, and apoptosis. These effects suggest that 1-MeBaP is a potent genotoxin eliciting a typical sequence of events ascribed to carcinogenic PAHs: induction of CYP1 enzymes, formation of high levels of DNA adducts, activation of DNA damage responses (including p53 phosphorylation), and cell death. In contrast, 10-MeBaP, representing BaP isomers substituted with the methyl group in the angular ring, elicited only low levels DNA adduct formation and apoptosis. Other MeBaPs under study also elicited strong apoptotic responses associated with DNA adduct formation as the prevalent mode of toxic action of these compounds in liver cells. MeBaPs induced a weak production of ROS, which did not lead to significant oxidative DNA damage. Importantly, 1-MeBaP and 3-MeBaP were found to be potent AhR agonists, one order of magnitude more potent than BaP, thus suggesting that the AhR-dependent modulations of gene expression, deregulation of cell survival mechanisms, and further nongenotoxic effects associated with AhR activation may further contribute to their tumor promotion and carcinogenicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/tx200049xDOI Listing
June 2011

DNA adducts and oxidative DNA damage induced by organic extracts from PM2.5 in an acellular assay.

Toxicol Lett 2011 May 15;202(3):186-92. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, 14220 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

The genotoxic activities of complex mixtures of organic extracts from the urban air particles collected in various localities of the Czech Republic, which differed in the extent and sources of air pollution, were compared. For this purpose, PM2.5 particles were collected by high volume samplers in the most polluted area of the Czech Republic--Ostrava region (localities Bartovice, Poruba and Karvina) and in the locality exhibiting a low level of air pollution--Trebon--a small town in the non-industrial region of Southern Bohemia. To prepare extractable organic matter (EOM), PM2.5 particles were extracted by dichloromethane and c-PAHs contents in the EOMs were determined. As markers of genotoxic potential, DNA adduct levels and oxidative DNA damage (8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine, 8-oxodG, levels) induced by EOMs in an acellular assay of calf thymus DNA coupled with ³²P-postlabeling (DNA adducts) and ELISA (8-oxodG) in the presence and absence of microsomal S9 fraction were employed. Twofold higher DNA adduct levels (17.20 adducts/10⁸ nucleotides/m³ vs. 8.49 adducts/10⁸ nucleotides/m³) were induced by EOM from Ostrava-Bartovice (immediate proximity of heavy industry) compared with that from Ostrava-Poruba (mostly traffic emissions). Oxidative DNA damage induced by EOM from Ostrava-Bartovice was more than fourfold higher than damage induced by EOM from Trebon (8-oxodG/10⁸ dG/m³: 0.131 vs. 0.030 for Ostrava-Bartovice vs. Trebon, respectively). Since PM2.5 particles collected in various localities differ with respect to their c-PAHs content, and c-PAHs significantly contribute to genotoxicity (DNA adduct levels), we suggest that monitoring of PM2.5 levels is not a sufficient basis to assess genotoxicity of respirable aerosols. It seems likely that the industrial emissions prevailing in Ostrava-Bartovice represent a substantially higher genotoxic risk than mostly traffic-related emissions in Ostrava-Poruba. B[a]P and c-PAH contents in EOMs are the most important factors relating to their genotoxic potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2011.02.005DOI Listing
May 2011

Oxidative damage to biological macromolecules in Prague bus drivers and garagemen: impact of air pollution and genetic polymorphisms.

Toxicol Lett 2010 Nov 17;199(1):60-8. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine v.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Praha 4, Czech Republic.

DNA integrity was investigated in the lymphocytes of 50 bus drivers, 20 garagemen and 50 controls using the comet assay with excision repair enzymes. In parallel, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine and 15-F(2t)-isoprostane levels in the urine and protein carbonyl levels in the plasma were assessed as markers of oxidative damage to DNA, lipids and proteins. Exposure to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs) and volatile compounds was measured by personal samplers for 48 and 24h, respectively, before the collection of biological specimens. Both exposed groups exhibited a higher levels of DNA instability and oxidative damage to biological macromolecules than the controls. The incidence of oxidized lesions in lymphocyte DNA, but not the urinary levels of 8-oxodG, correlated with exposure to benzene and triglycerides increased this damage. Oxidative damage to lipids and proteins was associated with exposure to cPAHs and the lipid peroxidation levels positively correlated with age and LDL cholesterol, and negatively with vitamin C. The carriers of at least one variant hOGG1 (Cys) allele tended to higher oxidative damage to lymphocyte DNA than those with the wild genotype, while XPD23 (Gln/Gln) homozygotes were more susceptible to the induction of DNA strand breaks. In contrast, GSTM1 null variant seemed to protect DNA integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.08.007DOI Listing
November 2010