Portuguese National Institute of Health

Porto, Portugal

Portuguese National Institute of Health

Porto, Portugal
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Valdiglesias V.,University of La Coruña | Valdiglesias V.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico San Raffaele Pisana | Costa C.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Sharma V.,Indian Institute of Toxicology Research | And 6 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2013

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) are among most frequently used nanoparticles (NPs). They are present in a variety of consumer products, including food industry in which they are employed as an additive. The potential toxic effects of these NPs on mammal cells have been extensively studied. However, studies regarding neurotoxicity and specific effects on neuronal systems are very scarce and, to our knowledge, no studies on human neuronal cells have been reported so far. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to investigate the effects of two types of TiO2 NPs, with different crystalline structure, on human SHSY5Y neuronal cells. After NPs characterization, a battery of assays was performed to evaluate the viability, cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and oxidative damage in TiO2 NP-exposed SHSY5Y cells. Results obtained showed that the behaviour of both types of NPs resulted quite comparable. They did not reduce the viability of neuronal cells but were effectively internalized by the cells and induced dose-dependent cell cycle alterations, apoptosis by intrinsic pathway, and genotoxicity not related with double strand break production. Furthermore, all these effects were not associated with oxidative damage production and, consequently, further investigations on the specific mechanisms underlying the effects observed in this study are required. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Coelho P.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Costa S.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Silva S.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Walter A.,University of Surrey | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues | Year: 2012

Mining activities may affect the health of miners and communities living near mining sites, and these health effects may persist even when the mine is abandoned. During mining processes various toxic wastes are produced and released into the surrounding environment, resulting in contamination of air, drinking water, rivers, plants, and soils. In a geochemical sampling campaign undertaken in the Panasqueira Mine area of central Portugal, an anomalous distribution of several metals and arsenic (As) was identified in various environmental media. Several potentially harmful elements, including As, cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se), were quantified in blood, urine, hair, and nails (toe and finger) from a group of individuals living near the Panasqueira Mine who were environmentally and occupationally exposed. A group with similar demographic characteristics without known exposure to mining activities was also compared. Genotoxicity was evaluated by means of T-cell receptor (TCR) mutation assay, and percentages of different lymphocyte subsets were selected as immunotoxicity biomarkers. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) analysis showed elevated levels of As, Cd, Cr, Mn, and Pb in all biological samples taken from populations living close to the mine compared to controls. Genotoxic and immunotoxic differences were also observed. The results provide evidence of an elevated potential risk to the health of populations, with environmental and occupational exposures resulting from mining activities. Further, the results emphasize the need to implement preventive measures, remediation, and rehabilitation plans for the region. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Costa C.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Garci a-Lesto n J.,University of run&tild | Costa S.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Coelho P.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | And 8 more authors.
Toxicology Letters | Year: 2014

Exposure to pesticides is a major public health concern, because of the widespread distribution of these compounds and their possible long term effects. Recently, organic farming has been introduced as a consumer and environmental friendly agricultural system, although little is known about the effects on workers' health. The aim of this work was to evaluate genetic damage and immunological alterations in workers of both traditional and organic farming. Eighty-five farmers exposed to several pesticides, thirty-six organic farmers and sixty-one controls took part in the study. Biomarkers of exposure (pyrethroids, organophosphates, carbamates, and thioethers in urine and butyrylcholinesterase activity in plasma), early effect (micronuclei in lymphocytes and reticulocytes, T-cell receptor mutation assay, chromosomal aberrations, comet assay and lymphocytes subpopulations) and susceptibility (genetic polymorphisms related to metabolism - EPHX1, GSTM1, GSTT1 and GSTP1 - and DNA repair- XRCC1 and XRCC2) were evaluated. When compared to controls and organic farmers, pesticide farmers presented a significant increase of micronuclei in lymphocytes (frequency ratio, FR = 2.80) and reticulocytes (FR = 1.89), chromosomal aberrations (FR = 2.19), DNA damage assessed by comet assay (mean ratio, MR = 1.71), and a significant decrease in the proportion of B lymphocytes (MR = 0.88). Results were not consistent for organic farmers when compared to controls, with a 48% increase of micronuclei in lumphocytes frequency (p = 0.016) contrasted by the significant decreases of TCR-Mf (p = 0.001) and % T (p = 0.001). Our data confirm the increased presence of DNA damage in farmers exposed to pesticides, and show as exposure conditions may influence observed effects. These results must be interpreted with caution due to the small size of the sample and the unbalanced distribution of individuals in the three study groups. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


PubMed | University of La Coruña, Unit of Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology, Portuguese National Institute of Health and U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Toxicology letters | Year: 2014

Exposure to pesticides is a major public health concern, because of the widespread distribution of these compounds and their possible long term effects. Recently, organic farming has been introduced as a consumer and environmental friendly agricultural system, although little is known about the effects on workers health. The aim of this work was to evaluate genetic damage and immunological alterations in workers of both traditional and organic farming. Eighty-five farmers exposed to several pesticides, thirty-six organic farmers and sixty-one controls took part in the study. Biomarkers of exposure (pyrethroids, organophosphates, carbamates, and thioethers in urine and butyrylcholinesterase activity in plasma), early effect (micronuclei in lymphocytes and reticulocytes, T-cell receptor mutation assay, chromosomal aberrations, comet assay and lymphocytes subpopulations) and susceptibility (genetic polymorphisms related to metabolism - EPHX1, GSTM1, GSTT1 and GSTP1 - and DNA repair-XRCC1 and XRCC2) were evaluated. When compared to controls and organic farmers, pesticide farmers presented a significant increase of micronuclei in lymphocytes (frequency ratio, FR=2.80) and reticulocytes (FR=1.89), chromosomal aberrations (FR=2.19), DNA damage assessed by comet assay (mean ratio, MR=1.71), and a significant decrease in the proportion of B lymphocytes (MR=0.88). Results were not consistent for organic farmers when compared to controls, with a 48% increase of micronuclei in lumphocytes frequency (p=0.016) contrasted by the significant decreases of TCR-Mf (p=0.001) and %T (p=0.001). Our data confirm the increased presence of DNA damage in farmers exposed to pesticides, and show as exposure conditions may influence observed effects. These results must be interpreted with caution due to the small size of the sample and the unbalanced distribution of individuals in the three study groups.


PubMed | University of Porto, CSIC - Institute of Ceramics and Glass, Portuguese National Institute of Health and CSIC - Institute of Catalysis
Type: | Journal: Toxicology and applied pharmacology | Year: 2016

Immobilization of nanoparticles on inorganic supports has been recently developed, resulting in the creation of nanocomposites. Concerning titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO


Carvalho V.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Castanheira P.,Molecular Biotechnology Unit | Madureira P.,Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute | Madureira P.,Institute Biologia Molecular e Celular | And 8 more authors.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering | Year: 2011

Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is an anti-inflammatory cytokine, which active form is a non-covalent homodimer. Given the potential of IL-10 for application in various medical conditions, it is essential to develop systems for its effective delivery. In previous work, it has been shown that a dextrin nanogel effectively incorporated and stabilized rIL-10, enabling its release over time. In this work, the delivery system based on dextrin nanogels was further analyzed. The biocompatibility of the nanogel was comprehensively analyzed, through cytotoxicity (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, MTS, Live, and Dead) and genotoxicity (comet) assays. The release profile of rIL-10 and its biological activity were evaluated in vivo, using C57BL/6 mice. Although able to maintain a stable concentration of IL-10 for at least 4h in mice serum, the amount of protein released was rather low. Despite this, the amount of rIL-10 released from the complex was biologically active inhibiting TNF-α production, in vivo, by LPS-challenged mice. In spite of the significant stabilization achieved using the nanogel, rIL-10 still denatures rather quickly. An additional effort is thus necessary to develop an effective delivery system for this cytokine, able to release active protein over longer periods of time. Nevertheless, the good biocompatibility, the protein stabilization effect and the ability to perform as a carrier with controlled release suggest that self-assembled dextrin nanogels may be useful protein delivery systems. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | Portuguese National Institute of Health and Royal University
Type: Clinical Trial | Journal: Cell biochemistry and function | Year: 2016

The main purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the possible influence of genetic polymorphisms of the hOGG1 (Ser326Cys) gene in DNA damage and repair activity by 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (OGG1 enzyme) in response to 16 weeks of combined physical exercise training. Thirty-two healthy Caucasian men (40-74 years old) were enrolled in this study. All the subjects were submitted to a training of 16 weeks of combined physical exercise. The subjects with Ser/Ser genotype were considered as wild-type group (WTG), and Ser/Cys and Cys/Cys genotype were analysed together as mutant group (MG). We used comet assay in conjunction with formamidopyrimidine DNA glycoslyase (FPG) to analyse both strand breaks and FPG-sensitive sites. DNA repair activity were also analysed with the comet assay technique. Our results showed no differences between DNA damage (both strand breaks and FPG-sensitive sites) and repair activity (OGG1) between genotype groups (in the pre-training condition). Regarding the possible influence of genotype in the response to 16 weeks of physical exercise training, the results revealed a decrease in DNA strand breaks in both groups, a decrease in FPG-sensitive sites and an increase in total antioxidant capacity in the WTG, but no changes were found in MG. No significant changes in DNA repair activity was observed in both genotype groups with physical exercise training. This preliminary study suggests the possibility of different responses in DNA damage to the physical exercise training, considering the hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism.


Valdiglesias V.,University of La Coruña | Kilic G.,University of La Coruña | Costa C.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Costa C.,University of Porto | And 5 more authors.
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis | Year: 2015

Iron oxide nanoparticles (ION) with superparamagnetic properties hold great promise for use in various biomedical applications; specific examples include use as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging, in targeted drug delivery, and for induced hyperthermia cancer treatments. Increasing potential applications raise concerns over their potential effects on human health. Nevertheless, very little is currently known about the toxicity associated with exposure to these nanoparticles at different levels of biological organization. This article provides an overview of recent studies evaluating ION cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, developmental toxicity and neurotoxicity. Although the results of these studies are sometimes controversial, they generally indicate that surface coatings and particle size seem to be crucial for the observed ION-induced effects, as they are critical determinants of cellular responses and intensity of effects, and influence potential mechanisms of toxicity. The studies also suggest that some ION are safe for certain biomedical applications, while other uses need to be considered more carefully. Overall, the available studies provide insufficient evidence to fully assess the potential risks for human health related to ION exposure. Additional research in this area is required including studies on potential long-term effects. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Valdiglesias V.,University of La Coruña | Costa C.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | Kilic G.,University of La Coruña | Costa S.,Portuguese National Institute of Health | And 3 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2013

Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are one of the most abundantly used nanomaterials in consumer products and biomedical applications. As a result, human exposure to these NPs is highly frequent and they have become an issue of concern to public health. Although toxicity of ZnO NPs has been extensively studied and they have been shown to affect many different cell types and animal systems, there is a significant lack of toxicological data for ZnO NPs on the nervous system, especially for human neuronal cells and tissues. In this study, the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of ZnO NPs on human SHSY5Y neuronal cells were investigated under different exposure conditions. Results obtained by flow cytometry showed that ZnO NPs do not enter the neuronal cells, but their presence in the medium induced cytotoxicity, including viability decrease, apoptosis and cell cycle alterations, and genotoxicity, including micronuclei production, H2AX phosphorylation and DNA damage, both primary and oxidative, on human neuronal cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Free Zn2+ ions released from the ZnO NPs were not responsible for the viability decrease, but their role on other types of cell damage cannot be ruled out. The results obtained in this work contribute to increase the knowledge on the genotoxic and cytotoxic potential of ZnO NPs in general, and specifically on human neuronal cells, but further investigations are required to understand the action mechanism underlying the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects observed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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