Publications by authors named "Pavel Coufalik"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Clearance Period after Soluble Lead Nanoparticle Inhalation Did Not Ameliorate the Negative Effects on Target Tissues Due to Decreased Immune Response.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Nov 19;21(22). Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Laboratory of Molecular Morphogenesis, Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics, v.v.i., Czech Academy of Sciences, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

The inhalation of metal (including lead) nanoparticles poses a real health issue to people and animals living in polluted and/or industrial areas. In this study, we exposed mice to lead(II) nitrate nanoparticles [Pb(NO) NPs], which represent a highly soluble form of lead, by inhalation. We aimed to uncover the effects of their exposure on individual target organs and to reveal potential variability in the lead clearance. We examined (i) lead biodistribution in target organs using laser ablation and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS), (ii) lead effect on histopathological changes and immune cells response in secondary target organs and (iii) the clearance ability of target organs. In the lungs and liver, Pb(NO) NP inhalation induced serious structural changes and their damage was present even after a 5-week clearance period despite the lead having been almost completely eliminated from the tissues. The numbers of macrophages significantly decreased after 11-week Pb(NO) NP inhalation; conversely, abundance of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive cells, which are responsible for augmented collagen production, increased in both tissues. Moreover, the expression of nuclear factor κB () and selected cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (), transforming growth factor beta 1 (), interleukin 6(), and , displayed a tissue-specific response to lead exposure. In summary, diminished inflammatory response in tissues after Pb(NO) NPs inhalation was associated with prolonged negative effect of lead on tissues, as demonstrated by sustained pathological changes in target organs, even after long clearance period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7699374PMC
November 2020

Inorganic pollutants in the indoor environment of the Moravian Library: assessment of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn in total suspended particles and dust using HR-CS GF-AAS.

Environ Monit Assess 2020 Nov 19;192(12):771. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Moravian Library in Brno, Kounicova 65a, 601 87, Brno, Czech Republic.

In this study, the occurrence of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in the environment of the Moravian Library in Brno, the second largest library in Czechia, was in focus. The materials of interest were airborne particles, dust originating from books, and also book pages. Total suspended particles (TSP) were sampled in different areas of the library, including the reading room, the book depository, and an external book warehouse. Samples of dusts were obtained from the book-cleaning system, and, moreover, some pages taken from old books were also analyzed. Samples were microwave-digested and analyzed using graphite furnace high-resolution continuum source AAS (HR-CS GF-AAS). During the analysis, possibilities of the signal intensity modulation of the HR-CS technique were demonstrated and employed in order to determine Zn, an element which is rarely determined by GF-AAS. The median TSP concentrations (in ng/m) were as follows: Pb, 4.4; Cd, 0.07; Cu, 2.6; and Zn, 20.9. Such concentrations are safely below allowed limits. Contents of Pb determined in dust samples and book pages were slightly higher (up to 707 and 38 mg/kg, respectively) than the usually reported values. However, none of these results indicate a potential risk to library staff or readers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-020-08748-7DOI Listing
November 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

Determination of cadmium in lichens by solid sampling graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (SS-GF-AAS).

Environ Monit Assess 2020 Mar 7;192(4):222. Epub 2020 Mar 7.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137, Brno, Czech Republic.

The determination of trace metal contents directly from a solid sample is a trend in modern atomic spectrometry. The aim of this study was to develop an analytical method for the routine determination of Cd in lichens using solid sampling graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (SS-GF-AAS). For the determination of Cd, the temperature program of the graphite furnace was optimized using a mixed matrix modifier (Pd + Mg (NO) + Triton X-100). The limit of detection and the limit of quantification were 0.9 μg/kg and 3 μg/kg, respectively. The analytical method for Cd determination in the plant matrix was verified by the analysis of certified reference materials of lichens, seaweed, and rye grass. The developed procedure was applied to the study of Cd distribution in thalli of Usnea antarctica lichen from James Ross Island, Antarctica. The SS-GF-AAS analytical method is particularly suited for use in environmental studies and plant physiology (the microanalysis of anatomical structures).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-020-8186-5DOI Listing
March 2020

Variability in the Clearance of Lead Oxide Nanoparticles Is Associated with Alteration of Specific Membrane Transporters.

ACS Nano 2020 03 4;14(3):3096-3120. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Laboratory of Molecular Morphogenesis, Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics, v.v.i., Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno 602 00, Czech Republic.

Lead oxide nanoparticles (PbONPs), upon their entry into the lungs inhalation, induce structural changes in primary and secondary target organs. The fate and ultrastructural localization of PbONPs in organs is known to be dependent on the specific organ. Here, we focused on the differences in the ability to clear the inhaled PbONPs from secondary target organs and on molecular and cellular mechanisms contributing to nanoparticle removal. Mice were exposed to PbONPs in whole-body inhalation chambers. Clearance of ionic lead and PbONPs (Pb/PbONPs) from the lungs and liver was very effective, with the lead being almost completely eliminated from the lungs and the physiological state of the lung tissue conspicuously restored. Kidneys exposed to nanoparticles did not exhibit serious signs of damage; however, LA-ICP-MS uncovered a certain amount of lead located preferentially in the kidney cortex even after a clearance period. The concentration of lead in femurs, as representatives of the axial skeleton, was the highest among studied organs at all designated time points after PbONP exposure, and the clearance ability of lead from the femurs was very low in contrast to other organs. The organ-specific increase of ABC transporters expression (ABCG2 in lungs and ABCC3 in the liver) was observed in exposed animals, suggesting their involvement in removing Pb/PbONPs from tissues. Moreover, the expression of and displayed a tissue-specific response to lead exposure. Our results uncovered high variability among the organs in their ability to clear Pb/PbONPs and in the transporters involved in this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.9b08143DOI Listing
March 2020

Estimation of cadmium load from soybeans and soy-based foods for vegetarians.

Environ Monit Assess 2020 Jan 4;192(2):89. Epub 2020 Jan 4.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Soybeans, as legumes, belong among food items that contribute most to the dietary intake of the heavy metal cadmium (Cd). The consumption of soy-based foods may contribute significantly to Cd intake in vegetarians as probably the most frequent consumers of these foods. In this research, the weekly dietary intake of Cd from soy-based foods was investigated in 119 participants (including vegetarians, vegans, and non-vegetarians) in the Czech Republic by means of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (SFFQ) with personal assistance and the measurement of body weight. Cd content in soy-based foods available on the market was determined by means of atomic absorption spectrometry after microwave digestion. Tofu, as the most frequently consumed food item in the vegetarian/vegan group, contributed most to the total dietary Cd intake. It contained 7.6 ± 0.1 μg Cd/kg, while the highest Cd content was observed in tempeh (18.1 ± 0.4 μg/kg). The highest mean dietary Cd intake per week from soy-based foods was 0.4 μg/kg b.w. and was found in the vegan group. The consumption of soy-based foods was the lowest in the non-vegetarian group as was the dietary intake of Cd, which was 0.04 μg/kg b.w. per week.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-019-8034-7DOI Listing
January 2020

Six-week inhalation of CdO nanoparticles in mice: The effects on immune response, oxidative stress, antioxidative defense, fibrotic response, and bones.

Food Chem Toxicol 2020 Feb 9;136:110954. Epub 2019 Nov 9.

Institute of Analytical Chemistry of Czech Academy of Sciences, Veveri 97, 60200, Brno, Czech Republic.

Due to the growing number of applications of cadmium oxide nanoparticles (CdO NPs), there is a concern about their potential deleterious effects. The objective of our study was to investigate the effect of CdO NPs on the immune response, renal and intestine oxidative stress, blood antioxidant defence, renal fibrotic response, bone density and mineral content. Six-week-old female ICR mice were exposed to CdO NPs for 6 weeks by inhalation (particle size: 9.82 nm, mass concentration: 31.7 μg CdO/m, total deposited dose: 0.195 μg CdO/g body weight). CdO NPs increased percentage of thymus CD3eCD8a cells and moderately enhanced splenocyte proliferation and production of cytokines and chemokines. CdO NPs elevated pro-fibrotic factors (TGF-β2, α-SMA and collagen I) in the kidney, and concentrations of AGEs in the intestine. The ratio of GSH and GSSG in blood was slightly reduced. Exposure to CdO NPs resulted in 10-fold higher Cd concentration in tibia bones. No differences were found in bone mass density, mineral content, bone area values, bone concentrations of Ca, P, Mg and Ca/P ratio. Our findings indicate stimulation of immune/inflammatory response, oxidative stress in the intestine, starting fibrotic response in kidneys and accumulation of CdO NPs in bones of mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2019.110954DOI Listing
February 2020

Content of metals in emissions from gasoline, diesel, and alternative mixed biofuels.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Oct 6;26(28):29012-29019. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Veveří 97, 602 00, Brno, Czech Republic.

The use of alternative fuels or biofuel blends could be a way to reduce the environmental burden of increasing traffic. The aim of this study was to compare emissions from conventional fuels and alternative biofuels for diesel and spark-ignition engines under comparable conditions, i.e., using the World Harmonized Transient Cycle for a heavy-duty diesel engine and the Artemis CADC driving cycle for automobiles powered by gasoline and alternative fuels. Total contents of Ba, Ce, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn were determined in emissions, fuels, and lubricating oils. In addition, the bioaccessibility of metals in emissions was also assessed by extraction in water and in simulated lung fluid (Gamble's solution). Total particulate mass emissions, expressed per kilogram of fuel, and total contents of metals were higher for the diesel engine than for spark-ignition engines. The highest metal contents in emissions from diesel and gasoline fuels were found for Fe, Zn, and Cu. Fe and Cu in emissions from diesel and spark-ignition engines declined with the addition of bio-components in fuels. However, there was no significant decrease in the contents of other metals in emissions from biofuels. The highest degrees of bioaccessibility were observed for Ba, Zn, Cd, and V in emissions from diesel and biodiesel (according to their solubility in water). On the basis of this study, the use of biodiesel (especially methylesters of rapeseed oil) can be recommended to reduce the total mass of particulate and metal emissions from diesel engines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-06144-4DOI Listing
October 2019

Temperature alters susceptibility of Picea abies seedlings to airborne pollutants: The case of CdO nanoparticles.

Environ Pollut 2019 Oct 13;253:646-654. Epub 2019 Jul 13.

Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Bělidla 986/4a, CZ-603 00, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Although plants are often exposed to atmospheric nanoparticles (NPs), the mechanism of NP deposition and their effects on physiology and metabolism, and particularly in combination with other stressors, are not yet understood. Exploring interactions between stressors is particularly important for understanding plant responses in urban environments where elevated temperatures can be associated with air pollution. Accordingly, 3-year-old spruce seedlings were exposed for 2 weeks to aerial cadmium oxide (CdO) NPs of environmentally relevant size (8-62 nm) and concentration (2 × 10 cm). While half the seedlings were initially acclimated to high temperature (35 °C) and vapour pressure deficit (VPD; 2.81 kPa), the second half of the plants were left under non-stressed conditions (20 °C, 0.58 kPa). Atomic absorption spectrometry was used to determine Cd content in needles, while gas and liquid chromatography was used to determine changes in primary and secondary metabolites. Photosynthesis-related processes were explored with gas-exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence systems. Our work supports the hypothesis that atmospheric CdO NPs penetrate into leaves but high temperature and VPD reduce such penetration due to stomatal closure. The hypothesis that atmospheric CdO NPs influences physiological and metabolic processes in plants was also confirmed. This impact strengthens with increasing time of exposure. Finally, we found evidence that plants acclimated to stress conditions have different sensitivity to CdO NPs compared to plants not so acclimated. These findings have important consequences for understanding impacts of global warming on plants and indicates that although the effects of elevated temperatures can be deleterious, this may limit other forms of plant stress associated with air pollution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.07.061DOI Listing
October 2019

Simultaneous determination of cadmium and iron in different kinds of cereal flakes using high-resolution continuum source atomic absorption spectrometry.

Food Chem 2019 Nov 26;298:125084. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic.

A method for simultaneous determination of cadmium and iron in cereal flakes using high-resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry is presented. Sample digest is introduced into the graphite furnace together with Pd/Mg(NO) modifier. The primary absorption line of cadmium and adjacent secondary line of iron are used for the determination. Atomization is performed as a two-step process in order to meet ideal conditions for both elements. Interference produced by molecular absorption of PO molecular bands is suppressed by correction model using least squares background correction. Using the proposed method, levels of cadmium and iron were determined in different kinds of cereal flakes, where both elements are of great interest. Working range (0.01-2 μg L for Cd and 10-500 μg L for Fe) was suitable for the determination of analytes in samples. The method is fast, robust, and may be routinely used routinely in the analysis of foodstuffs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.125084DOI Listing
November 2019

A murine model of the effects of inhaled CuO nanoparticles on cells of innate and adaptive immunity - a kinetic study of a continuous three-month exposure.

Nanotoxicology 2019 09 23;13(7):952-963. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

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

The inhalation or application of nanoparticles (NPs) has serious impacts on immunological reactivity. However, the effects of NPs on the immune system are influenced by numerous factors, which cause a high variability in the results. Here, mice were exposed to a three month continuous inhalation of copper oxide (CuO) NPs, and at different time intervals (3, 14, 42 and 93 days), the composition of cell populations of innate and adaptive immunity was evaluated in the spleen by flow cytometry. The ability of spleen cells from exposed and control mice to respond to stimulation with T- or B-cell mitogens by proliferation and by production of cytokines IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17 and IFN-γ was characterized. The results showed that the inhalation of CuO NPs predominantly affects the cells of innate immunity (changes in the proportion of eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages and antigen-presenting cells) with a minimal effect on the percentage of T and B lymphocytes. However, the proliferative and secretory activity of T cells was already significantly enhanced after 3 days from the start of inhalation, decreased on day 14 and normalized at the later time intervals. There was no correlation between the impacts of NPs on the cells of innate and adaptive immunity. The results have shown that the inhalation of CuO NPs significantly alters the composition of cell populations of innate immunity and modulates the proliferation and production of cytokines by cells of the adaptive immune system. However, the immunomodulatory effects of inhaled NPs strongly depend on the time of inhalation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2019.1602679DOI Listing
September 2019

Leukocyte telomere length is not affected by long-term occupational exposure to nano metal oxides.

Ind Health 2019 Nov 28;57(6):741-744. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals CAS, Czech Republic.

The aim of this study was to ascertain whether long-term occupational exposure to nanoparticles would affect relative leukocyte telomere length (LrTL). We analysed occupational exposure to size-resolved aerosol particles, with special emphasis on nanoparticles at two workshops: i/ the production of nanocomposites containing metal oxides; ii/ laboratory to test experimental exposure of nano-CuO to rodents. Thirty five exposed researchers (age 39.5 ± 12.6 yr; exposure duration 6.0 ± 3.7 yr) and 43 controls (40.4 ± 10.5 yr) were examined. LrTL did not significantly (p=0.14) differ between the exposed researchers (0.92 ± 0.13) and controls (0.86 ± 0.15). In addition, no significant correlation (r=-0.22, p=0.22) was detected between the duration of occupational exposure and LrTL. The results remained non-significant after multiple adjustments for age, sex and smoking status. Our pilot results suggest that relative leukocyte telomere length is not affected by occupational exposure to nanoparticles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2486/indhealth.2018-0146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6885603PMC
November 2019

Variability of trace element distribution in Noccaea spp., Arabidopsis spp., and Thlaspi arvense leaves: the role of plant species and element accumulation ability.

Environ Monit Assess 2019 Feb 23;191(3):181. Epub 2019 Feb 23.

Department of Agro-Environmental Chemistry and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Science Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21, Prague-Suchdol, Czech Republic.

Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was applied for the determination of Cd and Zn distributions within the leaves of Cd- and Zn-hyperaccumulating plants, Noccaea caerulescens, N. praecox, and Arabidopsis halleri, in contrast to nonaccumulator species, Thlaspi arvense and A. thaliana. The elemental mapping of the selected leaf area was accomplished via line scans with a 110-μm-diameter laser beam at a 37-μm s scan speed and repetition rate of 10 Hz. The lines were spaced 180 μm apart and ablated at an energy density of 2 J cm. The elemental imaging clearly confirmed that Cd was predominantly distributed within the parenchyma of the T. arvense, whereas in the Noccaea spp. and A. halleri, the highest intensity Cd signal was observed in the veins of the leaves. For Zn, higher intensities were observed in the veins for all the plant species except for A. thaliana. Close relationships between Zn and Ca were identified for the Noccaea spp. leaves. These relationships were not confirmed for A. halleri. Significant correlations were also proved between the Cd and Zn distribution in A. halleri, but not for the Noccaea spp. For both T. arvense and A. thaliana, no relevant significant relationship for the interpretation of the results was observed. Thus, the LA-ICP-MS imaging is proved as a relevant technique for the description and understanding of the elements in hyperaccumulating or highly accumulating plant species, although its sensitivity for the natural element contents in nonaccumulator plant species is still insufficient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-019-7331-5DOI Listing
February 2019

Inhalation of ZnO Nanoparticles: Splice Junction Expression and Alternative Splicing in Mice.

Toxicol Sci 2019 03;168(1):190-200

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

Despite the wide application of nanomaterials, toxicity studies of nanoparticles (NP) are often limited to in vitro cell models, and the biological impact of NP exposure in mammals has not been thoroughly investigated. Zinc oxide (ZnO) NPs are commonly used in various consumer products. To evaluate the effects of the inhalation of ZnO NP in mice, we studied splice junction expression in the lungs as a proxy to gene expression changes analysis. Female ICR mice were treated with 6.46 × 104 and 1.93 × 106 NP/cm3 for 3 days and 3 months, respectively. An analysis of differential expression and alternative splicing events in 298 targets (splice junctions) of 68 genes involved in the processes relevant to the biological effects of ZnO NP was conducted using next-generation sequencing. Three days of exposure resulted in the upregulation of IL-6 and downregulation of BID, GSR, NF-kB2, PTGS2, SLC11A2, and TXNRD1 splice junction expression; 3 months of exposure increased the expression of splice junctions in ALDH3A1, APAF1, BID, CASP3, DHCR7, GCLC, GCLM, GSR, GSS, EHHADH, FAS, HMOX-1, IFNγ, NF-kB1, NQO-1, PTGS1, PTGS2, RAD51, RIPK2, SRXN1, TRAF6, and TXNRD1. Alternative splicing of TRAF6 and TXNRD1 was induced after 3 days of exposure to 1.93 × 106 NP/cm3. In summary, we observed changes of splice junction expression in genes involved in oxidative stress, apoptosis, immune response, inflammation, and DNA repair, as well as the induction of alternative splicing in genes associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Our data indicate the potential negative biological effects of ZnO NP inhalation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfy288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390655PMC
March 2019

Correction to: Model of Mercury Flux Associated with Volcanic Activity.

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2018 11;101(5):554-555

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137, Brno, Czech Republic.

The original version of this article contained a mistake in Fig. 2. The country names have been missed in the figure legend along with the X-axis. The corrected figure is given below.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-018-2457-7DOI Listing
November 2018

Model of Mercury Flux Associated with Volcanic Activity.

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2018 Nov 30;101(5):549-553. Epub 2018 Aug 30.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137, Brno, Czech Republic.

Volcanic activity is one of the primary sources of mercury in the earth's ecosystem. In this work, volcanic rocks from four geotectonically distinct localities (the Czech Republic - intraplate, rift-related alkaline basaltic rocks; Iceland - hotspot/rift-related tholeiitic basaltic rocks; Japan - island arc calc-alkaline andesites; and Alaska - continental arc calc-alkaline dacites) were studied. Ultra-trace Hg contents in all samples ranged from 0.3 up to 6 µg/kg. The highest Hg content was determined for volcanic ash from Mount Redoubt (Alaska, USA). In the case of basaltic volcanic rocks, the obtained results are about two orders of magnitude smaller than values formerly assumed for primary mercury contents in basaltic lavas. They are close to predicted Hg contents in the mantle source, i.e. below 0.5 µg/kg. Hg degassing is probably a key process for the resulting Hg contents in material ejected during volcanic eruption, which is previously enriched by Hg in the shallow-crust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-018-2430-5DOI Listing
November 2018

Determination of short-term changes in levoglucosan and dehydroabietic acid in aerosols with Condensation Growth Unit - Aerosol Counterflow Two-Jets Unit - LC-MS.

Chemosphere 2018 Nov 4;210:279-286. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, v. v. i., Veveří 97, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic.

Residential areas in urban agglomerations and also in the countryside are often burdened with high concentrations of aerosol in winter, this originating from local combustion sources. Aerosol sources can be identified by a monitoring of organic markers of biomass burning. Abundant markers of biomass and softwood burning are levoglucosan and dehydroabietic acid, respectively. The aim of this research was to develop an analytical method for the determination of levoglucosan and dehydroabietic acid in aerosol over short time periods involving aerosol sampling into liquid samples, quantitative pre-concentration of analytes, and their determination by liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry. A Condensation Growth Unit - Aerosol Counterflow Two-Jets Unit (CGU-ACTJU) sampler was used for the quantitative collection of aerosol directly into water. Dehydroabietic acid was pre-concentrated from the aqueous phase by solid phase extraction (C-18). Afterwards, levoglucosan in water samples was concentrated on a vacuum evaporator. The detection limits of levoglucosan and dehydroabietic acid were 28 ng m and 5.5 ng m, respectively. The results obtained by the developed method were compared with an independent determination of both markers in aerosol by means of the sampling of aerosols on a filter and subsequent analysis by GC-MS. The developed method demonstrated sufficient agreement with the independent determination for generated standard aerosol as well as for urban aerosol over an eight-day winter campaign. The presented method allows the monitoring of concentration changes in biomass burning markers in 2-h intervals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.07.015DOI Listing
November 2018

The contents and distributions of cadmium, mercury, and lead in Usnea antarctica lichens from Solorina Valley, James Ross Island (Antarctica).

Environ Monit Assess 2017 Dec 11;190(1):13. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137, Brno, Czech Republic.

Lichens are efficient and cost-effective biomonitors of the environment. Their geographic distribution together with their slow growth rate enable investigation of the deposition patterns of various elements and substances. In this research, levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury in Usnea antarctica lichens in the area of James Ross Island, Antarctica, were investigated. The lichens were microwave-digested, and the metals were determined by means of atomic absorption spectrometry with graphite furnace and a direct mercury analyzer. Median total contents of Cd, Hg, and Pb were 0.04, 0.47, and 1.6 mg/kg in whole lichens, respectively. The bottom-up distributions of these metals in the fruticose lichen thalli were investigated, and it was revealed that the accumulation patterns for mercury and lead were opposite to that for cadmium. The probable reason for this phenomenon may lie in the inner structure of thalli. The total contents of metals were comparable with those published for other unpolluted areas of maritime Antarctica. However, this finding was not expected for mercury, since the sampling locality was close to an area with some of the highest mercury contents published for Antarctic lichens. In short, lichens proved their usability as biological monitors, even in harsh conditions. However, the findings emphasize the need to take into account the distributions of elements both in the environment and in the lichen itself.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-017-6397-1DOI Listing
December 2017

Leaching of mercury from seal carcasses into Antarctic soils.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2017 Jan 25;24(2):1424-1431. Epub 2016 Oct 25.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37, Brno, Czech Republic.

More than 400 seal mummies and skeletons are now mapped in the northern part of James Ross Island, Antarctica. Decomposing carcasses represent a rare source of both organic matter and associated elements for the soil. Owing to their high trophic position, seals are known to carry a significant mercury body burden. This work focuses on the extent of the mercury input from seal carcasses and shows that such carcasses represent locally significant sources of mercury and methylmercury for the environment. Mercury contents in soil samples from the surrounding areas were determined using a single-purpose AAS mercury analyzer. For the determination of methylmercury, an ultra-sensitive isotopic dilution HPLC-ICP-MS technique was used. In the soils lying directly under seal carcasses, mercury contents were higher, with levels reaching almost 40 μg/kg dry weight of which methylmercury formed up to 2.8 % of the total. The spatial distribution implies rather slow vertical transport to the lower soil layers instead of a horizontal spread. For comparison, the background level of mercury in soils of the investigated area was found to be 8 μg/kg dry weight, with methylmercury accounting for less than 0.1 %. Apart from the direct mercury input, an enhanced level of nutrients in the vicinity of carcasses enables the growth of lichens and mosses with accumulative ability with respect to metals. The enhanced capacity of soil to retain mercury is also anticipated due to the high content of total organic carbon (from 1.6 to 7.5 %). According to the results, seal remains represent a clear source of mercury in the observed area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7879-3DOI Listing
January 2017

Effects of the soil microbial community on mobile proportions and speciation of mercury (Hg) in contaminated soil.

J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng 2016 13;51(4):364-70. Epub 2016 Jan 13.

a Department of Agroenvironmental Chemistry and Plant Nutrition , Czech University of Life Sciences Prague , Prague , Czech Republic.

The precise characterization of the behavior of individual microorganisms in the presence of increased mercury contents in soil is necessary for better elucidation of the fate of mercury in the soil environment. In our investigation, resistant bacterial strains isolated from two mercury contaminated soils, represented by Paenibacillus alginolyticus, Burkholderia glathei, Burkholderia sp., and Pseudomonas sp., were used. Two differently contaminated soils (0.5 and 7 mg kg(-1) total mercury) were chosen. Preliminary soil analysis showed the presence of methylmercury and phenylmercury with the higher soil mercury level. Modified rhizobox experiments were performed to assess the ability of mercury accumulating strains to deplete the mobile and mobilizable mercury portions in the soil by modification; microbial agar cultures were used rather than the plant root zone. A sequential extraction procedure was performed to release the following mercury fractions: water soluble, extracted in acidic conditions, bound to humic substances, elemental, and bound to complexes, HgS and residual. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and a single-purpose atomic absorption spectrometer (AMA-254) were applied for mercury determination in the samples and extracts. Gas chromatography coupled to atomic fluorescence spectrometry (GC-AFS) was used for the determination of organomercury compounds. The analysis of the microbial community at the end of the experiment showed a 42% abundance of Paenibacillus sp. followed by Acetivibrio sp., Brevibacillus sp., Cohnella sp., Lysinibacillus sp., and Clostridium sp. not exceeding 2% abundance. The results suggest importance of Paenibacillus sp. in Hg transformation processes. This genus should be tested for potential bioremediation use in further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10934529.2015.1109413DOI Listing
October 2016

Analysis of mercury and other heavy metals accumulated in lichen Usnea antarctica from James Ross Island, Antarctica.

Environ Monit Assess 2014 Dec 28;186(12):9089-100. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137, Brno, Czech Republic.

The study was designed to investigate the content and distribution of selected heavy metals (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Fe, Pb and Zn) in samples of fruticose macrolichen Usnea antarctica from James Ross Island. A special emphasis was devoted to mercury and its species (elemental mercury and methylmercury). It was found that mercury contents were relatively high (up to 2.73 mg kg(-1) dry weight) compared to other parts of the Antarctic Peninsula region, while the concentrations of most other elements were within reported ranges. Mercury contents in lichens originating from the interior were higher than those from the coast, which is probably the result of local microclimate conditions. Similar trends were observed for Hg(0) and MeHg(+), whose contents were up to 0.14 and 0.098 mg kg(-1) dry weight, respectively. While mercury did not show a significant correlation with any other element, the mutual correlation of some litophile elements probably refers to the influence on thalli of resuspended weathered material. The influence of habitat and environmental conditions could play an essential role in the bioaccumulation of contaminants rather than just the simple presence of sources. Thus, the study of the thalli of this species can bring a new perspective on the interpretation of contaminant accumulation in lichens of the polar region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-4068-zDOI Listing
December 2014

Seasonal variability of mercury contents in street dust in Brno, Czech Republic.

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2014 Oct 10;93(4):503-8. Epub 2014 May 10.

Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37, Brno, Czech Republic,

Environmental contamination by mercury carries serious risks to the biosphere. Urban agglomerations burdened with traffic are characterized by substantial dust levels, including high concentrations of pollutants bound to particulate matter. In this research, the content of particulate mercury in street dust was investigated in relation to the season and traffic intensity. In total, 80 street dust samples were collected in the centre of Brno (Czech Republic) in which total and bioaccessible mercury contents were determined. Total mercury content in the samples ranged from 0.03 to 2.67 mg/kg. The content of bioaccessible mercury was below the limit of quantification in all samples. Thus, street dust did not increase the daily mercury intake by the population in studied area. A clear trend of mercury accumulation in street dust depending on traffic intensity in the investigated streets was not observed over the whole year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-014-1289-3DOI Listing
October 2014