Regulatory Toxicology Research Division

Ottawa, Canada

Regulatory Toxicology Research Division

Ottawa, Canada

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Bellmann S.,TNO | Carlander D.,Nanotechnology Industries Association | Fasano A.,Harvard University | Momcilovic D.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration | And 7 more authors.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology | Year: 2015

Many natural chemicals in food are in the nanometer size range, and the selective uptake of nutrients with nanoscale dimensions by the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a normal physiological process. Novel engineered nanomaterials (NMs) can bring various benefits to food, e.g., enhancing nutrition. Assessing potential risks requires an understanding of the stability of these entities in the GI lumen, and an understanding of whether or not they can be absorbed and thus become systemically available. Data are emerging on the mammalian in vivo absorption of engineered NMs composed of chemicals with a range of properties, including metal, mineral, biochemical macromolecules, and lipid-based entities. In vitro and in silico fluid incubation data has also provided some evidence of changes in particle stability, aggregation, and surface properties following interaction with luminal factors present in the GI tract. The variables include physical forces, osmotic concentration, pH, digestive enzymes, other food, and endogenous biochemicals, and commensal microbes. Further research is required to fill remaining data gaps on the effects of these parameters on NM integrity, physicochemical properties, and GI absorption. Knowledge of the most influential luminal parameters will be essential when developing models of the GI tract to quantify the percent absorption of food-relevant engineered NMs for risk assessment. © 2015 The Authors.


Zhang Y.,Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau | Nguyen K.C.,Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau | Lefebvre D.E.,Regulatory Toxicology Research Division | Shwed P.S.,Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research | Year: 2014

The increasing use of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) has raised concerns about their potential hazards to human and environmental health. In this study, the characterization and cytotoxicity of two ZnO-NPs products (Z-COTE and Z-COTE HP1) were investigated. The zinc content of Z-COTE and Z-COTE HP1 was 82.5 ± 7.3 and 80.1 ± 3.5%, respectively. Both ZnO-NP samples contained subcytotoxic levels of iron and copper, and silicon was detected from the surface coating of Z-COTE HP1. All samples were highly agglomerated, and the primary particles appeared as variable polyhedral structures. There was no significant difference in size distribution or average diameter of Z-COTE (53 ± 23 nm) and Z-COTE HP1 (54 ± 26 nm). A dose-dependent cytotoxicity was observed 24 h after exposure to ZnO-NPs, and monocytes were more sensitive than lung epithelial cells or lymphoblasts in both human and mouse cells. There was a significant difference in cytotoxicity between nano- and fine-forms, but only at the threshold cytotoxic dose with cellular metabolism assays. Compared to uncoated ZnO-NPs, the surface coating with triethoxycaprylylsilane marginally attenuated cellular oxidative stress and protected cellular metabolic activity. These results demonstrate the importance of model cell type, dose selection, and cytotoxicity assessment methodology to accurately evaluate the potential toxicity of various nanoparticles in vitro. © The Author(s) 2014.


PubMed | Regulatory Toxicology Research Division, Ontario Food Laboratory, Bureau of Chemical Safety and Food Research Division
Type: | Journal: Toxicology | Year: 2016

The brominated flame retardant TBECH is used as an additive to delay ignition and inhibit fires in construction materials and consumer goods. Trends in human exposure are not clear, although humans may be exposed to TBECH via indoor dust and air. In birds and fish there is some evidence of disruption in endocrine and reproductive parameters due to TBECH. In vitro studies indicate that TBECH is an androgen receptor agonist. In this study rats were exposed to 0, 10, 50, 250, 1250 or 5000mg/kg technical TBECH for 28days in diet, corresponding to 0, 0.9, 4.2, 21.3, 98.0 or 328.9mg TBECH/kg bw/d in males and 0, 0.8, 3.9, 19.4, 91.7 or 321.4mg TBECH/kg bw/d in females. Dose-dependent increases in - and - TBECH were detected in serum, liver and adipose. Rats in the 5000mg/kg group lost weight rapidly and were euthanized after 15-18days. At study termination rats displayed dose-dependent clinical and histopathological changes consistent with mild hepatic and renal inflammation. In male rats, evidence of gender-specific alpha


PubMed | Carleton University, Regulatory Toxicology Research Division, Nutrition Research Division and Food Research Division
Type: | Journal: Journal of environmental sciences (China) | Year: 2016

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to exert biological effects through estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent and ER-independent mechanisms. Recent studies suggest that prenatal exposure to BPA may increase the risk of childhood asthma. To investigate the underlying mechanisms in the actions of BPA, human fetal lung fibroblasts (hFLFs) were exposed to varying doses of BPA in culture for 24hr. Effects of BPA on localization and uptake of BPA, cell viability, release of immune and developmental modulators, cellular localization and expression of ER, ER and G-protein coupled estrogen receptor 30 (GPR30), and effects of ERs antagonists on BPA-induced changes in endothelin-1 (ET-1) release were examined. BPA at 0.01-100mol/L caused no changes in cell viability after 24hr of exposure. hFLFs expresses all three ERs. BPA had no effects on either cellular distribution or protein expression of ER, however, at 100mol/L (or 23mol/L intracellular BPA) increased ER protein levels in the cytoplasmic fractions and GPR30 protein levels in the nuclear fractions. These paralleled with increased release of growth differentiation factor-15, decreased phosphorylation of nuclear factor kappa B p65 at serine 536, and decreased release of ET-1, interleukin-6, and interferon gamma-induced protein 10. ERs antagonists had no effects on BPA-induced decrease in ET-1 release. These data suggest that BPA at 100mol/L altered the release of immune and developmental modulators in hFLFs, which may negatively influence fetal lung development, maturation, and susceptibility to environmental stressors, although the role of BPA in childhood asthma remains to be confirmed in in vivo studies.


PubMed | Carleton University, Regulatory Toxicology Research Division and Bureau of Chemical Safety
Type: | Journal: Toxicology | Year: 2015

Rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus of Arctic populations are increasing due to multiple reasons including a departure from traditional lifestyles and alcohol consumption patterns. These populations are also exposed to a variety of anthropogenic contaminants through consumption of contaminated country foods. We have previously shown that a Northern contaminant mixture (NCM), containing 22 organic and inorganic contaminants found in the blood of Canadian Arctic populations, induces endothelial cell dysfunction and exacerbates development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in experimental models. In order to determine if these contaminants affect pancreas function and physiology and if obesity and alcohol can influence contaminant toxicity and the development of diabetes, lean and obese JCR rats were orally treated with NCM at 0 (vehicle), 1.6 or 16mg/kg BW for four weeks in the presence or absence of 10% (v/v) alcohol. NCM treatment altered islet morphology, increased iron deposit in pancreas, and reduced circulating and pancreatic insulin levels and circulating glucagon levels as a result of direct islet injury with and cell loss with or without exposure to alcohol. Studies conducted with cultured mouse insulin-secreting (MIN6) cells further demonstrated that NCM inhibited insulin release and induced cell death through oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. 2,3,4,6-Tetrabromophenol, a minor component of the NCM, alone also inhibited insulin release from MIN6 cells after 10min of exposure. These results suggest that Northern contaminants may contribute to pancreatic dysfunction, and possibly development of diabetes, in some of the highly exposed Arctic populations. The implications and relevance of these findings to Northern populations remains to be confirmed through epidemiological studies.


PubMed | New York University, University Putra Malaysia, Regulatory Toxicology Research Division, National Research Council Italy and 21 more.
Type: | Journal: Carcinogenesis | Year: 2015

Potentially carcinogenic compounds may cause cancer through direct DNA damage or through indirect cellular or physiological effects. To study possible carcinogens, the fields of endocrinology, genetics, epigenetics, medicine, environmental health, toxicology, pharmacology and oncology must be considered. Disruptive chemicals may also contribute to multiple stages of tumor development through effects on the tumor microenvironment. In turn, the tumor microenvironment consists of a complex interaction among blood vessels that feed the tumor, the extracellular matrix that provides structural and biochemical support, signaling molecules that send messages and soluble factors such as cytokines. The tumor microenvironment also consists of many host cellular effectors including multipotent stromal cells/mesenchymal stem cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cell precursors, antigen-presenting cells, lymphocytes and innate immune cells. Carcinogens can influence the tumor microenvironment through effects on epithelial cells, the most common origin of cancer, as well as on stromal cells, extracellular matrix components and immune cells. Here, we review how environmental exposures can perturb the tumor microenvironment. We suggest a role for disrupting chemicals such as nickel chloride, Bisphenol A, butyltins, methylmercury and paraquat as well as more traditional carcinogens, such as radiation, and pharmaceuticals, such as diabetes medications, in the disruption of the tumor microenvironment. Further studies interrogating the role of chemicals and their mixtures in dose-dependent effects on the tumor microenvironment could have important general mechanistic implications for the etiology and prevention of tumorigenesis.


PubMed | University Putra Malaysia, Regulatory Toxicology Research Division, University of Strasbourg, Getting to Know Cancer and 18 more.
Type: | Journal: Carcinogenesis | Year: 2015

One of the important hallmarks of cancer is angiogenesis, which is the process of formation of new blood vessels that are necessary for tumor expansion, invasion and metastasis. Under normal physiological conditions, angiogenesis is well balanced and controlled by endogenous proangiogenic factors and antiangiogenic factors. However, factors produced by cancer cells, cancer stem cells and other cell types in the tumor stroma can disrupt the balance so that the tumor microenvironment favors tumor angiogenesis. These factors include vascular endothelial growth factor, endothelial tissue factor and other membrane bound receptors that mediate multiple intracellular signaling pathways that contribute to tumor angiogenesis. Though environmental exposures to certain chemicals have been found to initiate and promote tumor development, the role of these exposures (particularly to low doses of multiple substances), is largely unknown in relation to tumor angiogenesis. This review summarizes the evidence of the role of environmental chemical bioactivity and exposure in tumor angiogenesis and carcinogenesis. We identify a number of ubiquitous (prototypical) chemicals with disruptive potential that may warrant further investigation given their selectivity for high-throughput screening assay targets associated with proangiogenic pathways. We also consider the cross-hallmark relationships of a number of important angiogenic pathway targets with other cancer hallmarks and we make recommendations for future research. Understanding of the role of low-dose exposure of chemicals with disruptive potential could help us refine our approach to cancer risk assessment, and may ultimately aid in preventing cancer by reducing or eliminating exposures to synergistic mixtures of chemicals with carcinogenic potential.

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