Ecological Engineering Institute

Maribor, Slovenia

Ecological Engineering Institute

Maribor, Slovenia
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Kovacs R.,Szent Istvan University | Csenki Z.,Szent Istvan University | Bakos K.,Szent Istvan University | Urbanyi B.,Szent Istvan University | And 19 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2015

Residues of anti-neoplastic drugs represent new and emerging pollutants in aquatic environments. Many of these drugs are genotoxic, and it has been postulated that they can cause adverse effects in aquatic ecosystems. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is one of the most extensively used anti-neoplastic drugs in cancer therapy, and this article describes the results of the first investigation using a two-generation toxicity study design with zebrafish (Danio rerio). Exposure of zebrafish to 5-FU (0.01, 1.0 and 100μg/L) was initiated with adult zebrafish (F0 generation) and continued through the hatchings and adults of the F1 generation, and the hatchings of the F2 generation, to day 33 post-fertilisation. The exposure did not affect survival, growth and reproduction of the zebrafish; however, histopathological changes were observed in the liver and kidney, along with genotoxic effects, at all 5-FU concentrations. Increases in DNA damage determined using the comet assay were significant in the liver and blood cells, but not in the gills and gonads. In erythrocytes, a significant, dose-dependent increase in frequency of micronuclei was observed at all 5-FU concentrations. Whole genome transcriptomic analysis of liver samples of F1 generation zebrafish exposed to 0.01μg/L and 1μg/L 5-FU revealed dose-dependent increases in the number of differentially expressed genes, including up-regulation of several DNA-damage-responsive genes and oncogenes (i.e., jun, myca). Although this chronic exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of 5-FU did not affect the reproduction of the exposed zebrafish, it cannot be excluded that 5-FU can lead to degenerative changes, including cancers, which over long-term exposure of several generations might affect fish populations. The data from this study contribute to a better understanding of the potential consequences of chronic exposure of fish to low concentrations of anti-neoplastic drugs, and they demonstrate that further studies into multi-generation toxicity are needed. © 2015 .


Elersek T.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Milavec S.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Korosec M.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Brezovsek P.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2016

The residues of antineoplastic drugs are considered as new and emerging pollutants in aquatic environments. Recent experiments showed relatively high toxicity of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), imatinib mesylate (IM), etoposide (ET) and cisplatin (CP) that are currently among most widely used antineoplastic drugs, against phytoplankton species. In this study, we investigated the toxic potential of the mixture of 5-FU + IM + ET against green alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and cyanobacterium Synechococcus leopoliensis, and the stability and sorption of these drugs to algal cells. Toxic potential of the mixture was predicted by the concepts of ‘concentration addition’ and ‘independent action’ and compared to the experimentally determined toxicity. In both test species, the measured toxicity of the mixture was at effects concentrations EC10–EC50 higher than the predicted, whereas at higher effect concentration (EC90), it was lower. In general, P. subcapitata was more sensitive than S. leopoliensis. The stability studies of the tested drugs during the experiment showed that 5-FU, IM and CP are relatively stable, whereas in the cultures exposed to ET, two transformation products with the same mass as ET but different retention time were detected. The measurements of the cell-linked concentrations of the tested compounds after 72 h exposure indicated that except for CP (1.9 % of the initial concentration), these drugs are not adsorbed or absorbed by algal cells. The results of this study showed that in alga and cyanobacteria exposure to the mixture of 5-FU + ET + IM, in particular at low effect concentration range, caused additive or synergistic effect on growth inhibition, and they suggest that single compound toxicity data are not sufficient for the proper toxicity prediction for aquatic primary producers. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Gajski G.,Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health | Geric M.,Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health | Zegura B.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Novak M.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Due to their increasing use, the residues of anti-neoplastic drugs have become emerging pollutants in aquatic environments. Most of them directly or indirectly interfere with the cell’s genome, which classifies them into a group of particularly dangerous compounds. The aim of the present study was to conduct a comparative in vitro toxicological characterisation of three commonly used cytostatics with different mechanisms of action (5-fluorouracil [5-FU], cisplatin [CDDP] and etoposide [ET]) towards zebrafish liver (ZFL) cell line, human hepatoma (HepG2) cells and human peripheral blood lymphocytes (HPBLs). Cytotoxicity was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining. All three drugs induced time- and dose-dependent decreases in cell viability. The sensitivity of ZFL and HepG2 cells towards the cytotoxicity of 5-FU was comparable (half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) 5.3 to 10.4 μg/mL). ZFL cells were more sensitive towards ET- (IC50 0.4 μg/mL) and HepG2 towards CDDP- (IC50 1.4 μg/mL) induced cytotoxicity. Genotoxicity was determined by comet assay and cytokinesis block micronucleus (CBMN) assay. ZFL cells were the most sensitive, and HPBLs were the least sensitive. In ZFL cells, induction of DNA strand breaks was a more sensitive genotoxicity endpoint than micronuclei (MNi) induction; the lowest effective concentration (LOEC) for DNA strand break induction was 0.001 μg/mL for ET, 0.01 μg/mL for 5-FU and 0.1 μg/mL for CDDP. In HepG2 cells, MNi induction was a more sensitive genotoxicity endpoint. The LOEC values were 0.01 μg/mL for ET, 0.1 μg/mL for 5-FU and 1 μg/mL for CDDP. The higher sensitivity of ZFL cells to cytostatic drugs raises the question of the impact of such compounds in aquatic ecosystem. Since little is known on the effect of such drugs on aquatic organisms, our results demonstrate that ZFL cells provide a relevant and sensitive tool to screen genotoxic potential of environmental pollutant in the frame of hazard assessment. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Novak M.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Novak M.,Ecological Engineering Institute | Novak M.,Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School | Zegura B.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

In chemotherapy, various anti-cancer drugs with different mechanisms of action are used and may represent different risk of undesirable delayed side effects in treated patients as well as in occupationally exposed populations. The aim of the present study was to evaluate genotoxic potential of four widely used anti-cancer drugs with different mechanisms of action: 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), cisplatin (CDDP) and etoposide (ET) that cause cell death by targeting DNA function and imatinib mesylate (IM) that inhibits targeted protein kinases in cancer cells in an experimental model with human hepatoma HepG2 cells. After 24 h of exposure all four anti-cancer drugs at non-cytotoxic concentrations induced significant increase in formation of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), with IM being the least effective. The analysis of the changes in the expression of genes involved in the response to DNA damage (CDKN1A, GADD45A, MDM2), apoptosis (BAX, BCL2) and oncogenesis (MYC, JUN) showed that 5-FU, CDDP and ET upregulated the genes involved in DNA damage response, while the anti-apoptotic gene BCL2 and oncogene MYC were downregulated. On the contrary, IM did not change the mRNA level of the studied genes, showing different mechanism of action that probably does not involve direct interaction with DNA processing. Genotoxic effects of the tested anti-cancer drugs were observed at their therapeutic concentrations that may consequently lead to increased risk for development of delayed adverse effects in patients. In addition, considering the genotoxic mechanism of action of 5-FU, CDDP and ET an increased risk can also not be excluded in occupationally exposed populations. The results also indicate that exposure to 5-FU, CDDP and ET represent a higher risk for delayed effects such as cancer, reproductive effects and heritable disease than exposure to IM. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Brezovsek P.,Ecological Engineering Institute | Elersek T.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Filipic M.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology
Water Research | Year: 2014

The residues of anti-neoplastic drugs are new and emerging pollutants in aquatic environments. This is not only because of their increasing use, but also because due to their mechanisms of action, they belong to a group of particularly dangerous compounds. However, information on their ecotoxicological properties is very limited. We tested the toxicities of four anti-neoplastic drugs with different mechanisms of action (5-fluorouracil [5-FU], cisplatin [CDDP], etoposide [ET], and imatinib mesylate [IM]), and some of their binary mixtures, against two phytoplankton species: the alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, and the cyanobacterium Synechococcus leopoliensis. These four drugs showed different toxic potential, and the two species examined also showed differences in their susceptibilities towards the tested drugs and their mixtures. With P. subcapitata, the most toxic of these drugs was 5-FU (EC50, 0.13mg/L), followed by CDDP (EC50, 1.52mg/L), IM (EC50, 2.29mg/L), and the least toxic, ET (EC50, 30.43mg/L). With S. leopoliensis, the most toxic was CDDP (EC50, 0.67mg/L), followed by 5-FU (EC50, 1.20mg/L) and IM (EC50, 5.36mg/L), while ET was not toxic up to 351mg/L. The toxicities of the binary mixtures tested (5-FU+CDDP, 5-FU+IM, CDDP+ET) were predicted by the concepts of 'concentration addition' and 'independent action', and are compared to the experimentally determined toxicities. The measured toxicity of 5-FU+CDDP with P. subcapitata and S. leopoliensis was higher than that predicted, while the measured toxicity of CDDP+ET with both species was lower than that predicted. The measured toxicity of 5-FU+IM with P. subcapitata was higher, and with S. leopoliensis was lower, than that predicted. These data show that these mixtures can have compound-specific and species-specific synergistic or antagonistic effects, and they suggest that single compound toxicity data are not sufficient for the prediction of the aquatic toxicities of such anticancer drug mixtures. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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