Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag
Online ISSN: 1613-4133
Publications
Article
Inflammation may increase cancer risk, therefore, we studied whether polyphenol-rich Marie Ménard (MM) apples with reported anti-inflammatory activity prevent 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced colon carcinogenesis in rats and, likewise whether high-fat (HF) diet promoting carcinogenesis, may affect inflammation. DMH-induced rats were fed for 15 weeks with: an HF diet (23% corn oil w/w); an HF diet containing 7.6% w/w lyophilized MM (apple diet (AD)); a low-fat (LF) diet and an HF diet containing piroxicam (PXC) (0.01% w/w) as control. Mucin depleted foci (MDF), precancerous lesions in the colon, were dramatically reduced in the AD, LF, and PXC groups compared with the HF. Peritoneal macrophage activation, an index of systemic inflammation, was significantly decreased in the AD, LF, and PXC groups. TNF-α, iNOS, IL-1β, IL-6 m-RNA expression in the colon, as well as CD68 cells and plasmatic PGE2 were lower in the AD, but not in the LF group. Apoptosis in the MDF of both the AD and LF-fed rats was significantly higher than in HF rats. In conclusion, AD has a strong chemopreventive effect, reducing inflammation, and increasing apoptosis, while the chemopreventive effect of the LF diet seems mediated mainly by increased apoptosis in MDF.
 
Article
Fatty acid esters of 3-chloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) and glycidol are a newly identified class of food process contaminants. They are widespread in refined vegetable oils and fats and have been detected in vegetable fat-containing products, including infant formulas. There are no toxicological data available yet on the 3-MCPD and glycidol esters, and the primary toxicological concern is based on the potential release of 3-MCPD or glycidol from the parent esters by lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal tract. Although 3-MCPD is assessed as a nongenotoxic carcinogen with a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 2 μg/kg body weight (bw), glycidol is a known genotoxic carcinogen, which induces tumors in numerous organs of rodents. The initial exposure estimates, conducted by Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) under the assumption that 100% of the 3-MPCD and glycidol are released from their esters, revealed especially that infants being fed commercial infant formula could ingest harmful amounts of 3-MCPD and glycidol. However, the real oral bioavailability may be lower. As this gives rise for toxicological concern, the currently available toxicological data of 3-MCPD and glycidol and their esters are summarized in this review and discussed with regard to data gaps and further research needs.
 
Article
In recent years, there has been a growing body of evidence pointing to an effect of vitamin D on muscle mass and function. Our aim was to investigate the combined effect of 1,25(OH)2 -vitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2 D3 ) with anabolic factors insulin and leucine on protein fractional synthesis rate (FSR) and regulation in the mouse C2C12 myotube. After differentiation, myotubes were cultured in 1,25(OH)2 D3 solutions at 0, 1, or 10 nM for 72 h. Cells were treated by l-[1-(13) C]valine and puromycin in presence or not of leucine and insulin, and protein FSR was determined by measuring tracer enrichments and puromycin incorporation in proteins, respectively. Protein expression and phosphorylation state of insulin receptor (IR), Akt, GSK3, mTOR, p70 S6 kinase, rpS6, and 4EBP1 were measured by Western blot. Transcript levels of IR and 1,25(OH)2 D3 receptor (VDR) were determined by qPCR. 1,25(OH)2 D3 (10 nM) with leucine and insulin increased protein FSR in C2C12 myotubes (14-16%). IR and VDR mRNA expression was increased with 1,25(OH)2 D3 treatment. The Akt/mTOR-dependent pathway was activated by insulin and leucine and further enhanced by 1,25(OH)2 D3 . 1,25(OH)2 D3 sensitizes the Akt/mTOR-dependant pathway to the stimulating effect of leucine and insulin, resulting in a further activation of protein synthesis in murine C2C12 skeletal myotubes.
 
Article
1,6-O,O-diacetylbritannilactone (OODBL) isolated from Inula britannica, exhibits potent antitumor activity against several human cancer cell lines. However, the molecular mechanism of OODBL in the induction of anticancer activity is still unclear. In the present study, we demonstrated that OODBL induced the occurrence of apoptosis in human leukemic (HL-60) cells and cell arrest at the S phase. On the other hand, activation of caspase-8, -9, and -3, phosphorylation of Bcl-2 and Bid, and increased release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into cytosolic fraction were detected in OODBL-treated HL-60 cells. We further demonstrated that production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathways may play an important role in OODBL-induced apoptosis. The results from the present study highlight the molecular mechanisms underlying OODBL-induced anticancer activity.
 
Article
The metabolism of 1,8-cineole after ingestion of sage tea was studied. After application of the tea, the metabolites 2-hydroxy-1,8-cineole, 3-hydroxy-1,8-cineole, 9-hydroxy-1,8-cineole and, for the first time in humans, 7-hydroxy-1,8-cineole were identified in plasma and urine of one volunteer. For quantitation of these metabolites and the parent compound, stable isotope dilution assays were developed after synthesis of [(2)H(3)]-1,8-cineole, [9/10-(2)H(3)]-2-hydroxy-1,8-cineole and [(13)C,(2)H(2)]-9-hydroxy-1,8-cineole as internal standards. Using these standards, we quantified 1,8-cineole by solid phase microextraction GC-MS and the hydroxyl-1,8-cineoles by LC-MS/MS after deconjugation in blood and urine of the volunteer. After consumption of 1.02 mg 1,8-cineole (19 μg/kg bw), the hydroxycineoles along with their parent compound were detectable in the blood plasma of the volunteer under study after liberation from their glucuronides with 2-hydroxycineole being the predominant metabolite at a maximum plasma concentration of 86 nmol/L followed by the 9-hydroxy isomer at a maximum plasma concentration of 33 nmol/L. The parent compound 1,8-cineole showed a low maximum plasma concentration of 19 nmol/L. In urine, 2-hydroxycineole also showed highest contents followed by its 9-isomer. Summing up the urinary excretion over 10 h, 2-hydroxycineole, the 9-isomer, the 3-isomer and the 7-isomer accounted for 20.9, 17.2, 10.6 and 3.8% of the cineole dose, respectively.
 
Article
DNA methylation patterns are tissue specific and may influence tissue-specific gene regulation. Human studies investigating DNA methylation in relation to environmental factors primarily use blood-derived DNA as a surrogate for DNA from target tissues. It is therefore important to know if DNA methylation changes in blood in response to environmental changes reflect those in target tissues. Folate intake can influence DNA methylation, via altered methyl donor supply. Previously, manipulations of maternal folate intake during pregnancy altered the patterns of DNA methylation in offspring but, to our knowledge, the consequences for maternal DNA methylation are unknown. Given the increased requirement for folate during pregnancy, mothers may be susceptible to aberrant DNA methylation due to folate depletion. Female mice were fed folate-adequate (2 mg folic acid/kg diet) or folate-deplete (0.4 mg folic acid/kg diet) diets prior to mating and during pregnancy and lactation. Following weaning, dams were killed and DNA methylation was assessed by pyrosequencing® in blood, liver, and kidney at the Esr1, Igf2 differentially methylated region (DMR)1, Igf2 DMR2, Slc39a4CGI1, and Slc39a4CGI2 loci. We observed tissue-specific differences in methylation at all loci. Folate depletion reduced Igf2 DMR1 and Slc39a4CGI1 methylation across all tissues and altered Igf2 DMR2 methylation in a tissue-specific manner (p<0.05). Blood-derived DNA methylation measurements may not always reflect methylation within other tissues. Further measurements of blood-derived and tissue-specific methylation patterns are warranted to understand the complexity of tissue-specific responses to altered nutritional exposure.
 
Article
With the aim to expand the Italian total antioxidant capacity (TAC) database, the TAC values of 11 spices, 5 dried fruits, 7 sweets, 18 cereal products, 5 pulses, and 6 nuts were determined using three different assays and considering the contribution of bound antioxidant compounds in fiber-rich foods (i. e. cereals, legumes, and nuts). Among spices, saffron displayed the highest antioxidant capacity, whereas among dried fruits, prune exhibited the highest value. The TAC values of all the chocolates analyzed were far higher than the other sweet extracts measured. Among cereal products, whole meal buckwheat and wheat bran had the greatest TAC. Among pulses and nuts, broad bean, lentil and walnuts had the highest antioxidant capacity, whereas chickpeas, pine nuts and peanuts were less effective. The contribution of bound phytochemicals to the overall TAC was relevant in cereals as well as in nuts and pulses. The complete TAC database could be utilized to properly investigate the role of dietary antioxidants in disease prevention.
 
Article
Thermal processing of food results in the formation of various novel compounds, among others advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). AGEs result from nonenzymatic glycation reactions between reducing sugars and free amino groups of proteins, peptides, or amino acids. Due to their potential noxious effects, alimentary AGEs are also called glycotoxins. This review provides a summary of the available evidence on the health effects of exaggerated intake of thermally treated food. Data from experimental studies in rodents and from clinical studies in healthy volunteers and in patients suffering from selected diseases in which AGEs are of pathogenetic importance (diabetes, chronic renal failure) are summarized. It is concluded that, an exaggerated intake of thermally processed foods may exert in vivo diabetogenic and nephrotoxic effects, induce low-grade inflammation, enhance oxidative stress, and promote atherosclerosis.
 
Article
The dietary fatty acid cis9,trans11 conjugated linoleic acid (cis9,trans11 CLA) has been shown to modify the function of endothelial cells, monocytes, and platelets, all of which are involved in the development of atherosclerosis. Potential mechanisms for the platelet effects have not been assessed previously. In this study, we assessed how supplementation of the diet with an 80:20 cis9,trans11 CLA blend affects the platelet proteome. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial, 40 overweight but apparently healthy adults received either 4 g per day of cis9,trans11 CLA-enriched oil or placebo oil, consisting of palm oil and soybean oil, for 3 months. Total platelet proteins were extracted from washed platelets, separated using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and differentially regulated protein spots were identified by LC-ESI-MS/MS. Supplementation with the CLA blend, compared with placebo, resulted in significant alterations in levels of 46 spots (p < 0.05), of which 40 were identified. Network analysis revealed that the majority of these proteins participate in regulation of the cytoskeleton and platelet structure, as well as receptor action, signaling, and focal adhesion. The platelet proteomics approach revealed novel insights into regulation of cellular biomarkers of atherogenic and thrombotic pathways by an 80:20 cis9,trans11 CLA blend.
 
Article
The 9cis,11trans-conjugated linoleic acid (9c,11t-CLA) is reported to have anti-atherogenic properties in animal models and to modulate protein expression in unstimulated human platelets in vivo. Platelet function was therefore investigated after dietary supplementation with 9c,11t-CLA enriched oil (CLA80:20) in a randomized, baseline-controlled cross-over trial. Forty-three healthy adults at low to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease received 4 g/d of CLA80:20 or placebo for two weeks each. Platelet function, inflammation and endothelial activation were assessed before and after each phase. Compared with placebo, supplementation had no significant effects on platelet function measured by Platelet Function Analyzer-100. Inhibitory effects on collagen-induced aggregation were sex-dependent (P = 0.005) which reached significance only in women (P = 0.045). Thrombin receptor-activating peptide (TRAP)-induced P-selectin expression was higher after supplementation in all subjects (P = 0.017). TRAP-induced platelet fibrinogen binding was also dependent on sex (P = 0.015), with fibrinogen binding after CLA80:20 being higher in males (P = 0.035). Plasma monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 was higher (P = 0.041) after CLA80:20. No clear evidence was found for inhibition or activation of platelet function as well as inflammation by CLA80:20 in a low to moderate cardiovascular risk group. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
 
Article
One major health problem in westernized countries is dysregulated fatty acid and cholesterol metabolism that causes pathologies such as metabolic syndrome. Previous studies from our group have shown that proanthocyanidins, which are the most abundant polyphenols in the human diet, regulate lipid metabolism and are potent hypolipidemic agents. The noncoding RNAs, miR-33 and miR-122, regulate genes that are involved in lipid metabolism. Here, we show that grape seed proanthocyanidins rapidly and transiently repressed the expression of miR-33 and miR-122 in rat hepatocytes in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, the miR-33 target gene ATP-binding cassette A1 and the miR-122 target gene fatty acid synthase were also modulated by proanthocyanidins. Specifically, ATP-binding cassette A1 mRNA and protein levels were increased, and fatty acid synthase mRNA and protein levels were reduced after the miRNA levels were altered. These results suggest that proanthocyanidin treatment increased hepatic cholesterol efflux to produce new HDL particles by repressing miR-33, and it reduced lipogenesis by repressing miR-122. These results highlight a new mechanism by which grape seed proanthocyanidins produce hypolipidemia through their effects on miRNA modulators of lipid metabolism.
 
Article
Tea has been shown to possess several health beneficial properties primarily due to its polyphenolic content. The major polyphenolic compounds in black tea leaves are theaflavins (TFs) formed by oxidative coupling of catechins in tea leaves during its processing. In this paper, we report the characterization of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced mouse ear inflammatory model and the inhibitory effects of major black tea TFs derivatives on this inflammation. In addition, the effect on inflammatory biomarkers, such as proinflammatory cytokines and arachidonic acid metabolites, are reported as well. A single topical application of TPA to ears of CD-1 mice induced a time- and dose-dependent increase in edema as well as formation of proinflammatory cytokine proteins interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in mouse ears. A single topical application of equimolar of black tea constituents (TF, theaflavin-3-gallate, theaflavin-3'-gallate, and theaflavin-3,3'-digallate) strongly inhibited TPA-induced edema of mouse ears. Application of TFs mixture to mouse ears 20 min prior to each TPA application once a day for 4 days inhibited TPA-induced persistent inflammation, as well as TPA-induced increase in IL-1beta and IL-6 protein levels. TFs also inhibited arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism via both cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase pathways. This observation was substantiated by decreased amounts of AA metabolites prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) levels. Combined application of TF and sulindac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug resulted a significant synergetic anti-inflammatory effect. Oral administration of TFs or the hot water extract of black tea leaves also significantly inhibited TPA-induced edema in mouse ears. In conclusion, proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1beta and IL-6, as well as the intermediated metabolites of AA, PGE2, and LTB4 are good biomarkers for inflammation. Black tea constituents, TF and its derivatives, had strongly anti-inflammatory activity in vivo which may be due to their ability to inhibit AA metabolism via lipoxygenase and COX pathways.
 
Article
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) plays an important role in the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. The inhibitory effects of bergamottin, a cytochrome P450 inhibitor from Citrus paradis (grapefruit), on tumor invasion and migration and the possible mechanisms involved in this inhibition were investigated in human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 cells. Bergamottin reduced phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)-induced activation of MMP-9 and MMP-2 and further inhibited cell invasion and migration. Bergamottin suppressed PMA-enhanced expression of MMP-9 protein, mRNA and transcription activity levels through suppression of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation without changing the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 level. Bergamottin also reduced PMA-enhanced MMP-2 expression through suppression of membrane-type 1 MMP, but did not alter tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 levels. Bergamottin inhibited PMA-induced NF-kappaB nuclear translocation and IkappaBalpha degradation, which are upstream of PMA-induced MMP-9 expression and invasion. Furthermore, bergamottin strongly repressed the PMA-induced phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), which are dependent on the protein kinase C-delta pathway. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the anti-invasive effects of bergamottin might occur through inhibition of protein kinase C-delta, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and JNK phosphorylation and reduction of NF-kappaB activation, leading to downregulation of MMP-9 expression. These results suggest that the suppression of MMP expression contributes, at least in part, to the antitumor activity of bergamottin.
 
Article
Resveratrol, a phytoalexin present in grapes, has been reported to inhibit multistage mouse skin carcinogenesis. Recent studies showed that topically applied resveratrol significantly inhibited cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) induced by tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in mouse epidermis. The aim of the present study was to further explore the effect of resveratrol on TPA-induced signaling pathways in mouse epidermis and to compare with its dimethylether, pterostilbene. Resveratrol and pterostilbene significantly reduced activator protein 1 (AP-1) and NF-kappaB activation. In the case of AP-1, the binding of c-Jun subunit was particularly affected, while only slight effect on c-Fos binding to TPA-responsive element (AP-1 binding consensus sequence) (TRE) site was observed. Both stilbenes inhibited the activation of NF-kappaB by blocking the translocation of p65 to the nucleus and increasing the retention of IkappaBa in the cytosol. The latter might be related to decreased activity of IkappaB kinase and/or proteasome 20S. Reduced activation of transcription factors decreased the expression and activity of COX-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). In most assays, pterostilbene was either equally or significantly more potent than resveratrol. Pterostilbene might show higher biological activity due to its possible better bioavailability, since substitution of hydroxy with methoxy group increases lipophilicity.
 
Article
We previously reported that 6-shogaol strongly suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced overexpression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in murine macrophages. In this study, we further compared curcumin, 6-gingerol, and 6-shogaol's molecular mechanism of action and their anti-tumor properties. We demonstrate that topical application of 6-shogaol more effectively inhibited 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA)-stimulated transcription of iNOS and COX-2 mRNA expression in mouse skin than curcumin and 6-gingerol. Pretreatment with 6-shogaol has resulted in the reduction of TPA-induced nuclear translocation of the nuclear factor-kappaB subunits. 6-Shogaol also reduced TPA-induced phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha and p65, and caused subsequent degradation of IkappaBalpha. Moreover, 6-shogaol markedly suppressed TPA-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulate kinase1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, JNK1/2, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt, which are upstream of nuclear factor-kappaB and AP-1. Furthermore, 6-shogaol significantly inhibited 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene/TPA-induced skin tumor formation measured by the tumor multiplicity of papillomas at 20 wk. Presented data reveal for the first time that 6-shogaol is an effective anti-tumor agent that functions by down-regulating inflammatory iNOS and COX-2 gene expression in mouse skin. It is suggested that 6-shogaol is a novel functional agent capable of preventing inflammation-associated tumorigenesis.
 
Article
Cell cycle regulation is a critical issue in cancer treatment. Previously, gallic acid (GA) has been reported to possess anticancer ability. Here, we have evaluated the molecular mechanism of GA on cell cycle modulation in a human bladder transitional carcinoma cell line (TSGH-8301 cell). Using flow cytometer analysis, exposure of the cells to 40 μM GA resulted in a statistically significant increase in G2/M phase cells, which was accompanied by a decrease in G0/G1 phase cells. GA-treated cells resulted in significant growth inhibition in a dose-dependent manner accompanied by a decrease in cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdk1), Cyclin B1, and Cdc25C, but significant increases in p-cdc2 (Tyr-15) and Cip1/p21 by western blotting. Additional mechanistic studies showed that GA induces phosphorylation of Cdc25C at Ser-216. This mechanism leads to its translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm resulting in an increased binding with 14-3-3β. When treated with GA, phosphorylated Cdc25C can be activated by ataxia telangiectasia-mutated checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2). This might be a DNA damage response as indicated by Ser-139 phosphorylation of histine H2A.X. Furthermore, treatment of the cells with a Chk2 inhibitor significantly attenuated GA-induced G2/M phase arrest. These results indicate that GA can induce cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase via Chk2-mediated phosphorylation of Cdc25C in a bladder transitional carcinoma cell line.
 
Article
IL-6 is well recognized to be a potent bone resorptive agent and thus in the development of periodontal disease. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG), the major catechins in green tea, and theaflavin-3,3'-digallate (TFDG), polyphenol in black tea, have multiple beneficial effects, but the effects of catechins and theaflavins on IL-6 production in human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) are not known. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms by which EGCG, ECG, and TFDG inhibit tumor necrosis factor superfamily 14 (TNFSF14)-induced IL-6 production in HGFs. We detected TNFSF14 mRNA expression in human diseased periodontal tissues. TNFSF14 increased IL-6 production in HGFs in a concentration-dependent manner. EGCG, ECG, and TFDG prevented TNFSF14-mediated IL-6 production in HGFs. EGCG, ECG, and TFDG prevented TNFSF14-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and nuclear factor-kappaB activation in HGFs. Inhibitors of ERK, JNK, and nuclear factor-kappaB decreased TNFSF14-induced IL-6 production. In addition, EGCG, ECG, and TFDG attenuated TNFSF14 receptor expression on HGFs. These data provide a novel mechanism through which the green tea and black tea polyphenols could be used to provide direct benefits in periodontal disease.
 
Article
Studies on the effect of the artichoke extract (AE) on oxidation of palmitic-1-14C acid administered intravenously to rats at a dose 25 and 50 mg/kg bw demonstrated marked enhancement of both 14CO2 expiration rate and 14CO2 recovery in the expired air. The extract suppressed accumulation of palmitic-1-14C acid in serum lipids and epididymal fat pad tissue as well. The effects of the extract on 14CO2 expiration rate, 14CO2 recovery, as well as accumulation of palmitic-1-14C acid were dose dependent. Total14CO2 recovery in expired air during 60 min was elevated by 17.3% (p < 0.05) and 52.1% (p < 0.001) in rats administered the extract at a dose of 25 and 50 mg/kg, respectively. The rats supplemented with the AE at a dose of 25 and 50 mg/kg bw were characterized by 10.0% (not significant) and 19% (p < 0.05) decrease in( 14)C radioactivity of serum lipids as well as reduction of epididymal fat tissue 14C radioactivity by 8.7 and 17.5% (p < 0.05), respectively, in comparison with the control rats. Thus, the results demonstrate that the AE possess stimulatory properties with respect to oxidation of palmitic acid administered to rats, and provide new information on the mechanism of antilipemic activity of the extract associated with activation of lipid oxidation in the organism.
 
Article
Acrylamide (AA) is formed during heating of carbohydrate rich foods in the course of the Maillard reaction. AA has been classified as probably carcinogenic to humans. Storage experiments with roasted coffee have shown that AA levels decrease depending on storage time and temperature. In the present study the fate of AA lost during storage of roasted and ground (R&G) coffee was studied, using 14C-labeled AA as radiotracer. Radiolabel was measured in coffee brew, filter residue, and volatiles. In the brew, total (14)C-label decreased during storage of R&G coffee, while activity in the filter residue built up concomitantly. [2,3-14C]-AA (14C-AA) was the only 14C-related water extractable low molecular compound in the brew detected by radio-HPLC. No formation of volatile 14C-AA-related compounds was detected during storage and coffee brewing. Close to 90% of the radiolabel in the filter residue (spent R&G coffee, spent grounds) remained firmly bound to the matrix, largely resisting extraction by aqueous ammonia, ethyl acetate, chloroform, hexane, and sequential polyenzymatic digest. Furanthiols, which are abundant as aroma components in roasted coffee, have not been found to be involved in the formation of covalent AA adducts and thus do not contribute substantially to the decrease of AA during storage.
 
Article
In humans, varying amounts of absorbed β-carotene are oxidatively cleaved by the enzyme β,β-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase 1 (BCMO1) into two molecules of all-trans-retinal. The other carotenoid cleavage enzyme β,β-carotene 9',10'-dioxygenase (BCDO2) cleaves β-carotene at the 9',10' double bond forming β-apo-10'-carotenal and β-ionone. Although the contribution of BCDO2 to vitamin A formation has long been debated, BCMO1 is currently considered the key enzyme for retinoid metabolism. Furthermore, BCMO1 has limited enzyme activity towards carotenoids other than provitamin A carotenoids, whereas BCDO2 exhibits a broader specificity. Both enzymes are located at different sites within the cell, with BCMO1 being a cytosolic protein and BCDO2 being located in the mitochondria. Expression of BCMO1 in tissues other than the intestine has recently revealed its function for tissue-specific retinoid metabolism with importance in embryogenesis and lipid metabolism. On the other hand, biological activity of BCDO2 metabolites has been shown to be important in protecting against carotenoid-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) such as R267S and A379V in BCMO1 can partly explain inter-individual variations observed in carotenoid metabolism. Advancing knowledge about the physiological role of these two enzymes will contribute to understanding the importance of carotenoids in health and disease.
 
Article
Ginger, the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, is a traditional medicine with anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. This study examined the growth inhibitory effects of the structurally related compounds 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol on human cancer cells. 6-Shogaol [1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-4-decen-3-one] inhibits the growth of human cancer cells and induces apoptosis in COLO 205 cells through modulation of mitochondrial functions regulated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS generation occurs in the early stages of 6-shogaol-induced apoptosis, preceding cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and DNA fragmentation. Up-regulation of Bax, Fas, and FasL, as well as down-regulation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L )were observed in 6-shogaol-treated COLO 205 cells. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), but not by other antioxidants, suppress 6-shogaol-induced apoptosis. The growth arrest and DNA damage (GADD)-inducible transcription factor 153 (GADD153) mRNA and protein is markedly induced in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in response to 6-shogaol.
 
Article
The effectiveness of low gamma-irradiation doses in the destruction of Escherichia coli O 157 : H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in raw beef sausages was investigated. Raw samples of fresh manufactured beef sausage were subjected to gamma-irradiation at doses of 0, 1, 2, and 3 kGy. Then samples were cold-stored (4 +/- 1 degrees C) for 12 days and the effects of irradiation and storage on the counts of these harmful bacteria were studied. Moreover, the effects of irradiation and storage on the percentages of free fatty acids (FFAs) in lipids, on the p-anisidine values of lipids, solubility of sarcoplasmic and myofibrilar proteins, and water-holding capacity (WHC) were also determined. The results showed that gamma-irradiation at 1 and 2 kGy significantly reduced the counts of E. coli O 157 : H7 and L. monocytogenes, while 3 kGy dose effectively eliminated these bacteria by more than 4 log and 3 log units, respectively, and could keep their counts below the detection level during storage. Gamma-irradiation had no significant effects on the percentages of FFAs in lipids, solubility of sarcoplasmic and myofibrilar proteins, and WHC of samples, while it significantly increased the p-anisidine value of lipids. During storage, significant increases in the percentages of FFAs and p-anisidine values were observed for lipids of irradiated and nonirradiated sausages, while the solubility of sarcoplasmic and myofibrilar proteins showed no significant changes. Moreover, samples of irradiated and nonirradiated sausages showed significant decreases in their WHC during the first 6 days of storage at 4 +/- 1 degrees C, then showed no significant changes. Finally, gamma-irradiation at a dose of 3 kGy appeared to be sufficient to improve the microbiological safety of raw beef sausages without adverse effects on their chemical properties.
 
Article
Selenium is an essential micronutrient. In the present study, trace amount of selenite (0.01 μM) was evaluated for oxidative stress resistance and potential associated factors in Caenorhabditis elegans. Selenite-treated C. elegans showed an increased survival under oxidative stress and thermal stress compared to untreated controls. Further studies demonstrated that the significant stress resistance of selenite on C. elegans could be attributed to its in vivo free radical-scavenging ability. We also found that the oxidative and thermal stress resistance phenotypes by selenite were absent from the forkhead transcription factor daf-16 mutant worms. Moreover, selenite influenced the subcellular distribution of DAF-16 in C. elegans. Furthermore, selenite increased mRNA levels of stress-resistance-related proteins, including superoxide dismutase-3 and heat shock protein-16.2. Additionally, selenite (0.01 μM) upregulated expressions of transgenic C. elegans carrying sod-3::green fluorescent protein (GFP) and hsp-16.2::GFP, whereas this effect was abolished by feeding daf-16 RNA interference in C. elegans. Finally, unlike the wild-type N2 worms, the oxidative stress resistance phenotypes by selenite were both absent from the C. elegans selenoprotein trxr-1 mutant worms and trxr-1 mutants feeding with daf-16 RNA interference. These findings suggest that the antioxidant effects of selenite in C. elegans are mediated via DAF-16 and TRXR-1.
 
Article
Xanthohumol (XN) is one of the major prenylflavonoids found in hop cones (Humulus lupulus L.). In this study, we investigated the cell growth inhibitory potential of XN on cultured human colon cancer cells. Cell proliferation was measured by sulforhodamine B staining. Poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) cleavage, activation of caspases-3, -7, -8, and -9, and Bcl-2 family protein expression were detected by Western blot analyses. XN significantly reduced proliferation of the HCT 116-derived colon cancer cell line 40--16. Half-maximal inhibitory concentrations decreased from 4.1 microM after 24 h treatment to 3.6 and 2.6 microM after 48 and 72 h incubation, respectively. Treatment with 15 microM XN for 48 h and with 5 microM for 72 h led to the detection of the cleaved 89 kDa fragment of 116 kDa PARP as an indication of apoptosis induction. Concomitantly, we observed activation and cleavage of the effector caspases-3 and -7, induced by activation of the initiator caspases -8 and -9. Expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 was down regulated when the cells were treated with XN for 48--72 h. We conclude that induction of apoptosis by downregulation of Bcl-2 and activation of the caspase cascade may contribute to the chemopreventive or therapeutic potential of XN.
 
Article
Phytochemicals have been proposed to offer protection against a variety of chronic ailments including cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. As for cancer protection, it has been estimated that diets rich in phytochemicals can significantly reduce cancer risk by as much as 20%. Phytosterols are specific phytochemicals that resemble cholesterol in structure but are found exclusively in plants. Phytosterols are absorbed from the diet in small but significant amounts. Epidemiological data suggest that the phytosterol content of the diet is associated with a reduction in common cancers including cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate. The means by which dietary phytosterols may be achieving these effects is becoming clearer from molecular studies with tumorigenic research models. Phytosterols affect host systems potentially enabling more robust antitumor responses, including the boosting of immune recognition of cancer, influencing hormonal dependent growth of endocrine tumors, and altering sterol biosynthesis. In addition, phytosterols have effects that directly inhibit tumor growth, including the slowing of cell cycle progression, the induction of apoptosis, and the inhibition of tumor metastasis. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding the anticancer effects of phytosterols.
 
Article
Mass developments of cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae") in lakes and brackish waters have repeatedly led to serious concerns due to their frequent association with toxins. Among these are the widespread hepatotoxins microcystin (MC) and nodularin (NOD). Here, we give an overview about the ecostrategies of the diverse toxin-producing species and about the genes and enzymes that are involved in the biosynthesis of the cyclic peptides. We further summarize current knowledge about toxicological mechanisms of MC and NOD, including protein phosphatase inhibition, oxidative stress and their tumor-promoting capabilities. One biotransformation pathway for MC is described. Mechanisms of cyanobacterial neurotoxins (anatoxin-a, homanatoxin-a, and anatoxin-a(s)) are briefly explained. We highlight selected cases of human fatalities related to the toxins. A special focus is given to evident cases of contamination of food supplements with cyanobacterial toxins, and to the necessary precautions.
 
Article
Although the bioavailability of large peptides with biological activity is of great interest, the intestinal transport has been described for peptides up to only nine residues. β-casein (β-CN, 193-209) is a long and hydrophobic peptide composed of 17 amino acid residues (molecular mass 1881 Da) with immunomodulatory activity. The present work examined the transport of the β-CN (193-209) peptide across Caco-2 cell monolayer. In addition, we evaluated the possible routes of the β-CN (193-209) peptide transport, using selective inhibitors of the different routes for peptide transfer through the intestinal barrier. The results showed that the β-CN (193-209) peptide resisted the action of brush-border membrane peptidases, and that it was transported through the Caco-2 cell monolayer. The main route involved in transepithelial transport of the β-CN (193-209) peptide was transcytosis via internalized vesicles, although the paracellular transport via tight-junctions could not be excluded. Our results demonstrated the transport of an intact long-chain bioactive peptide in an in vitro model of intestinal epithelium, as an important step to prove the evidence for bioavailability of this peptide.
 
Article
This review outlines current international patterns in prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates and survival, including recent trends and a discussion of the possible impact of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing on the observed data. Internationally, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed among men (behind lung cancer), and is the sixth most common cause of cancer death among men. Prostate cancer is particularly prevalent in developed countries such as the United States and the Scandinavian countries, with about a six-fold difference between high-incidence and low-incidence countries. Interpretation of trends in incidence and survival are complicated by the increasing impact of PSA testing, particularly in more developed countries. As Western influences become more pronounced in less developed countries, prostate cancer incidence rates in those countries are tending to increase, even though the prevalence of PSA testing is relatively low. Larger proportions of younger men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer and living longer following diagnosis of prostate cancer, which has many implications for health systems. Decreasing mortality rates are becoming widespread among more developed countries, although it is not clear whether this is due to earlier diagnosis (PSA testing), improved treatment, or some combination of these or other factors.
 
Article
Only a few studies have analyzed the effects of the potential interaction between the -174G/C polymorphism of IL6 gene and the adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) on adiposity indexes. Our aim was to investigate the interplay between the -174G/C polymorphism of the IL6 gene and a Mediterranean-style diet on body weight changes after 3 years of nutritional intervention in a high cardiovascular risk population. A total of 737 participants, aged 55-80 years were assigned to a low-fat diet or to a Mediterranean-style diet group with high intake of virgin olive oil (VOO) or nuts. Anthropometric measurements were taken at baseline and after 3-year follow-up. The -174G/C polymorphism of the IL6 gene was genotyped. Minor allele frequency (C) was 0.39. At baseline, the CC genotype was associated with higher measures of adiposity. After 3 years, a significant interaction (p=0.028) was found between the polymorphism (GG+GC versus CC) and the nutritional intervention: CC subjects following the MD+VOO had the lowest body weight gain. In conclusion, at baseline, CC subjects for the -174G/C polymorphism of IL6 had the highest body weight and BMI. However, after 3 years of nutritional intervention with MD+VOO, these subjects were predicted to have the greatest reduction in body weight.
 
Article
Phytosterols are constituents of plant membranes and are thus contained in low concentrations in vegetable products as well as at high concentrations in functional food designed to reduce serum cholesterol levels. Similar to ChOL, phytosterols are oxidized chemically in food and by biotransformation in vivo. Although oxyphytosterols have been detected in the serum of healthy human subjects, little is known of their biological activity. Therefore, the estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities of a mixture of six oxidation products of stigmasterol (oxy-StOL) were determined at the following endpoints: (i) the affinity to isolated human estrogen receptors (ER), (ii) the basal and 17beta-estradiol (E2)-induced expression of the alkaline phosphatase (AlP) in human endometrial adenocarcinoma (Ishikawa) cells, and (iii) the basal and E2-induced proliferation of human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) cells. Oxy-StOL was able to replace E2 from human ERalpha and ERbeta and induced a weak estrogenic response in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, the E2-induced activity of the AlP in Ishikawa cells as well as the E2-induced proliferation of MCF-7 cells were decreased at noncytotoxic concentrations (up to 10 microM), indicating that at least one component of oxy-StOL represents an estrogen-active compound which might interfere with endogenous estrogens.
 
Article
Birth cohorts typically measure plasma folate in midgestation, but effects of folic acid supplementation are sometimes specific to the periconceptional period. The relationship between midgestation plasma folate and periconceptional supplementation is not known. We compared plasma folate at week 18 of gestation with self-report use of supplements comtaining folic acid from before pregnancy to week 17 of gestation. The sample comprised 2911 women from The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. For women reporting continuous supplementation from gestational week −4 to 17 (N = 238), median plasma folate was 15.72 at week 18 (in nmol/L). This was about threefold higher than the median plasma folate of 5.67 for women reporting no supplementation from week −4 to 17 (N = 844), but only slightly higher than the median plasma folate of 13.34 for all women reporting supplementation in weeks 13–17 (N = 1158). Reported supplementation before week 8 was not associated with plasma folate at week 18, in an analysis that adjusted for continued supplementation after week 8. Overall we found a strong and coherent relationship between self-reported folic acid use and plasma folate at week 18. We also found that plasma folate at week 18 did not reflect self-reported supplementation before week 8. For periconceptional supplementation per se, self-report data may offer a better measure.
 
Article
Deep-water fish are becoming an interesting object of studies and research due to the development of deep fishery activities. This paper analyses the chemical composition and nutritional value of the fish species Mora moro (Risso, 1810) inhabiting deep Mediterranean waters. The fatty acid profile and the principal water-soluble proteins present in the white muscle of this fish species have also been determined. The major fatty acids were 22 : 6n-3, 16 : 0, 18 : 1n-9, 20 : 4n-6 and 20 : 5n-3. The polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content was higher than that of saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids, but the ratio PUFA/SFA was lower than the value reported in other studies. Both the atherogenic index and thrombogenic index were very low. Water-soluble proteins were characterised by monodimensional native PAGE and 2-D SDS-gel electrophoresis. Protein patterns showed the presence of parvalbumins and of the principal myofibrillar proteins. Therefore, the deep-water fish M. moro could represent an interesting target for deep-sea fishery and commercial exploitation.
 
Article
Intake of the essential micronutrient selenium (Se) has health implications. This work addressed whether some effects of Se on gene expression are exerted through microRNAs (miRNA). Human colon adenocarcinoma cells (Caco-2) were grown in Se-deficient or Se-adequate medium for 72 h. RNA was extracted and subjected to analysis of 737 miRNA using microarray technology. One hundred and forty-five miRNA were found to be expressed in Caco-2 cells. Twelve miRNA showed altered expression after Se depletion: miR-625, miR-492, miR-373*, miR-22, miR-532-5p, miR-106b, miR-30b, miR-185, miR-203, miR1308, miR-28-5p, miR-10b. These changes were validated by quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). Transcriptomic analysis showed that Se depletion altered expression of 50 genes including selenoproteins GPX1, SELW, GPX3, SEPN1, SELK, SEPSH2 and GPX4. Pathway analysis identified arachidonic acid metabolism, glutathione metabolism, oxidative stress, positive acute phase response proteins and respiration of mitochondria as Se-sensitive pathways. Bioinformatic analysis identified 13 transcripts as targets for the Se-sensitive miRNA; three were predicted to be recognised by miR-185. Silencing of miR-185 increased GPX2 and SEPSH2 expression. We propose that miR-185 plays a role in up-regulation of GPX2 and SEPHS2 expression. In the case of SEPHS2 this may contribute to maintaining selenoprotein synthesis. The data indicate that micronutrient supply can regulate the cell miRNA expression profile.
 
Article
Environmental and human exposures to brominated flame retardants (BFR) have been of emerging concern since some BFR are persistent and bioaccumulative compounds. Among those, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) have frequently been reported in low to high ng/g concentrations in human blood around the world while hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) only occasionally has been reported and then in the low ppb concentrations in human blood. The present study concerns PBDE congener and HBCDD concentrations in human milk from Stockholm from 1980 to 2004. HBCDD concentrations has increased four to five times since 1980 until 2002 but seems to have stabilized at this concentration in the last years (2003/04). Similarly, BDE-153 has continued to increase at least to 2001, after which it has stabilized in the mother's milk. Other PBDE congeners with four to five bromine substituents peaked 5 years earlier (1995) and are all decreasing. DecaBDE (BDE-209) is not a suitable biomarker for time trend studies according to the present results, showing no changes over time. This is likely due to its short apparent half-life in humans and poor transfer from blood to milk.
 
Article
It was reported that the Maillard product 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) initiates and promotes aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in rat colon. We studied whether 5-sulfooxymethylfurfural (SMF), an electrophilic and mutagenic metabolite of HMF, is able to induce ACF in two murine models. In the first model, FVB/N mice received four intraperitoneal administrations of SMF (62.5 or 125 mg/kg) or azoxymethane (10 mg/kg). Animals were killed 4-40 weeks after the last treatment. A total of 1064 ACF and five adenocarcinomas were detected in the azoxymethane-treated groups (20 animals), but none in the negative control and SMF-treated groups (35 and 50 animals, respectively). In the second model, HMF was administered via drinking water to wild-type FVB/N mice and transgenic mice carrying several copies of human sulfotransferase (SULT) 1A1 and 1A2 genes. HMF SULT activity was clearly elevated in cytosolic fractions of colon mucosa, liver and kidney of transgenic animals compared to wild-type mice and humans. The animals (six per group) received 134 and 536 mg HMF/kg/day for 12 weeks. HMF did not induce any ACF either in wild-type or transgenic animals. We found no evidence for an induction of ACF by HMF or its metabolite SMF in extensive studies in mice.
 
Article
Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) negatively regulates insulin signaling by tyrosine dephosphorylation of insulin receptor, and its increased activity and expression is implicated in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Hence, PTP1B inhibition is anticipated to improve insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic subjects. The aim of this study was to find a novel PTP1B inhibitor from medicinal food and to evaluate its antidiabetic effects. We found that saffron (Crocus sativus L.), which is used both as a spice and as a traditional medicine, potently inhibits PTP1B activity. Analyses of saffron extracts demonstrated that safranal, the saffron's aroma compound, is a principal PTP1B inhibitor, and induces a ligand-independent activation of insulin signaling in cultured myotubes. Our data implied that the molecular mechanism underlying the inactivation of PTP1B could be attributed to the covalent modification of the catalytic cysteinyl thiol by safranal through a Michael addition. Furthermore, safranal significantly enhanced glucose uptake through the translocation of glucose transporter 4. We also demonstrated that 2-wk oral administration of 20 mg/kg/day safranal improved impaired glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetic KK-A(y) mice. Our results strongly suggest the usefulness of safranal in antidiabetic treatment for type 2 diabetic subjects.
 
Article
This study examined the effects of dietary phenolic acids on individual stages of protein glycation and utilized monocyte cultures to assess whether these phytochemicals modulate the activation of proinflammatory cytokine under high glucose (HG, 15 mmol/L) conditions mimicking diabetes. In vitro glycation assays showed that a number of phenolic acids exerted inhibitory effects on the glycation reaction and its subsequent crosslinking. Phenolic acids, especially methoxyphenolic acids, prevented increase in both levels of the interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and oxidative stress caused by HG. The effect appeared to be mediated by modulation of the protein kinase C/nuclear factor-kappaB axis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated for the first time that HG increased the recruitment of nuclear factor-kappaB p65 and CREB-binding protein to the IL-1beta promoter. Interestingly, HG also increased histone acetylation and methylation within the IL-1beta promoter and decreased histone deacetylase activities in monocytes, thus facilitating chromatin remodeling and transcription. Such inappropriate inflammatory responses were found to be controlled effectively by treatment with methoxyphenolic compounds. In conclusion, this study suggests that phenolic acids could exert their anti-inflammatory activities as antiglycation agents and as modifiers of signaling pathways. It provides evidence for a novel mechanism by which phenolics supplementation might have additional protective effects against diabetic complications.
 
Article
In this study, the endocrine-disrupting (ED) potency of metabolites from brominated flame retardants (BFRs) was determined. Metabolites were obtained by incubating single-parent compound BFRs with phenobarbital-induced rat liver microsomes. Incubation extracts were tested in seven in vitro bioassays for their potency to compete with thyroxine for binding to transthyretin (TTR), to inhibit estradiol-sulfotransferase (E2SULT), to interact with thyroid hormone-mediated cell proliferation, and to (in-)activate the androgen, progesterone, estrogen, or aryl hydrocarbon receptor. For most BFRs, TTR-binding potencies, and to a lesser extent E2SULT-inhibiting potencies, significantly increased after biotransformation. Microsomal incubation had less pronounced effects on other ED modes of action, due to low biotransformation efficiency and background activities determined in control incubations without BFRs. Moreover, cell-based bioassays suffered from cytotoxicity from metabolites of lower-brominated polybrominated diphenyl ethers. For the environmentally relevant 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), six hydroxylated metabolites were identified. Individual metabolites had TTR-binding and E2SULT-inhibiting potencies 160-1600 and 2.2-220 times higher than BDE-47 itself, whereas their combined potencies in a realistic mixture were well predicted via concentration addition. In combination with other environmentally relevant hydroxylated organohalogens acting on TTR-binding and E2SULT inhibition, internal exposure to BFR metabolites may significantly contribute to the overall risk of endocrine disruption.
 
Article
A comparison was made on the use of two spectrophotometric methods, the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) method and the 2,2'-azinobis-3-ethylbenzotiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) method, for the measurement of the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of plant foods. The correlations of TAC measured by the two methods were highly significant in both water-soluble (r2= 0.90) and water-insoluble extracts (r2= 0.98) from 13 strawberry samples. Also a corresponding comparison of TAC in extracts from 14 plant species showed high correlation coefficients, r2= 0.98 for water-soluble extracts and r2= 0.88 for water-insoluble extracts. The ratio of TAC values obtained with the two methods (ABTS/FRAP) varied between 0.7 and 3.3 for different plant extracts indicating that they contained antioxidants with varying reactivity in the two methods. TACs in six pure antioxidant substances were ranked in the following order by both methods: quercetin > ferulic acid > catechin > rutin > caffeic acid > Trolox = chlorogenic acid. The two methods showed similar TAC values for quercetin, rutin, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid while ferulic acid and catechin gave higher results with the ABTS method than with the FRAP method, and such differences probably explain the varying ratios of ABTS/FRAP obtained in foods. Regarding storage TAC in water-soluble strawberry extracts stored at -20 or -80 degrees C was stable for at least five months while storage at 4 degrees C decreased the TAC value with 40% during five weeks of storage. The study showed that both the ABTS and FRAP methods can be used for convenient monitoring of the antioxidant capacities in fruit and vegetables, and that different antioxidants had varying reactivity in the two methods.
 
Article
The contaminant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a prototype compound of a whole class of halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons termed 'dioxinlike' contaminants present in food, human tissue, mothers milk, and environmental samples. Among the various adverse effects caused by TCDD in animal experiments, its carcinogenic effects caused particular concern. In rodents, long-term TCDD treatment leads to the development of tumors of the liver, thyroid, lung, skin, oral cavity and other sites. The occurrence of liver tumors mainly observed in female rats has been used as a basis for quantitative cancer risk assessment for TCDD. TCDD does not behave like a 'complete carcinogen', i. e. no DNA binding of the parent compound or metabolites thereof could be detected. However, enhanced oxidative damage of hepatic DNA was observed, probably resulting from a dramatic induction of cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are under the regulatory, transcriptional control of the TCDD-activated aryl hydrocarbon receptor. The marked enhancement of TCDD-related oxidative liver DNA damage in rats by estrogens warrants further mechanistic investigation. Furthermore, TCDD acts as a tumor promoter, i. e. it facilitates the growth of putative preneoplastic hepatic lesions after initiation with a complete carcinogen. The mechanisms underlying this effect may be related to altered intracellular signaling involving pronounced changes in the phosphorylation pattern of proteins regulating growth and apoptosis. These effects are thought to result in an enhanced survival of preneoplastic cells, some of which can undergo further steps on the way to malignancy. In summary, a better understanding of the mechanisms of the carcinogenicity of TCDD is mandatory to provide a rational basis for a better inter-species extrapolation. The final aim of these efforts is a more reliable risk assessment for the carcinogenic potency of the class of dioxinlike contaminants in humans.
 
Article
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) was classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a carcinogen in humans. It acts through an aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated mechanism, inducing the transcription of numerous genes, including various cytochrome P450s (CYPs - CYP1A1, 1A2, 1B1). Induction of CYPs may lead to genotoxicity by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can damage DNA directly and/or via the generation of reactive metabolites. We determined ROS formation with the 2',7'-dihydrodichlorofluorescein diacetate fluorescence assay after incubation of HepG2 hepatoma cells or primary rat hepatocytes with TCDD. The amount of 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG) in DNA was measured using HPLC-MS/MS, the amount of CYP1A1 protein by Western blotting. The catalytic activity of CYP1A enzymes was determined as 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity. Incubation of cells with TCDD for 48 h caused increased levels of ROS in primary rat hepatocytes as well as increased levels of 8-oxo-dG in DNA compared to untreated cells. In the HepG2 cell line no significant effects were observed for both ROS formation and 8-oxo-dG levels. Both effects were in good agreement with the extent of induction of CYP1A1 protein and EROD activity, suggesting that CYP1 induction is a major source of ROS formation in TCDD-treated hepatocytes.
 
Article
The "fetal basis of adult disease" hypothesis proposes that prenatal exposure to environmental stress can lead to increased susceptibility to clinical disorders later in life. In utero exposure of fetus to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) leads to alterations in T-cell differentiation in the thymus and increased susceptibility to autoimmune disease later in life. TCDD triggers toxicity through activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor and severely affects maternal and fetal immune system during pregnancy. In this study, using a mouse model, we investigated if administration of resveratrol (RES; 3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) would inhibit immunotoxicity induced by TCDD during pregnancy in the mother and fetus. We observed that RES protected not only normal nonpregnant mice but also pregnant mothers and their fetuses from TCDD-induced thymic atrophy, apoptosis, and alterations in the expression of T-cell receptor and costimulatory molecules as well as T-cell differentiation. In addition, there was significantly reduced expression of CYP1A1 in thymi of both the mother and the fetus when RES was used in vivo post-TCDD exposure. In conclusion, these studies demonstrate that consumption of RES, a natural plant product, during pregnancy, may afford protection to the mother and the fetus from the toxicity induced by environmental pollutants that mediate their effects through activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor.
 
Article
The cancer bioassay for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) conducted by the Dow Chemical company in the mid 70s has been used extensively for conducting quantitative cancer risk assessments for human exposure to TCDD. More recently the National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted a cancer bioassay of similar design as part of its evaluation of the dioxin toxic equivalency factor methodology. This report compares the design and the results of these two cancer bioassays. This comparison confirms, in most cases, previously published and widely used carcinogenic response characteristics with respect to dose, time course, organ selectivity, tumor type and maximum intensity of TCDD-induced carcinogenicity and toxicity in the Sprague-Dawley rat. Specifically, increases in the incidences of neoplasms were seen in both studies in the liver, lung and oral mucosa. The most notable difference was the significant increase in the incidence of cholangiocarcinoma of the liver seen in the NTP study but not in the Dow study. The experimental designs for the two studies are similar but some protocol parameters differed, such as vehicle, dosing schedule, diet and rat sub-strain utilized. Differences in the shapes of the dose response curves for several neoplasms were noted between the studies, with the NTP study showing non-linearity for all neoplasms. This may result from differences in the experimental protocols as well as divergence in the biological behavior of the different stocks of Sprague-Dawley rat strains used.
 
Article
Hyperglycemia is a hallmark of diabetes mellitus but slighter increases of blood glucose levels are observed also during ageing. Using the Caenorhabditis elegans mev-1 mutant, we identified molecular mechanisms underlying the protection from glucose toxicity by the polyphenol quercetin. We fed C. elegans mev-1 mutants on a liquid medium supplemented with 10 mM glucose, which resulted in a reduced survival at 37°C. The polyphenol quercetin (1 μM) was able to prevent glucose-induced lifespan reduction completely. RNA interference revealed that the sirtuin SIR-2.1, the nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12, and its putative co-activator MDT-15 were critical for the quercetin effects. Moreover, RNA interference for key factors of proteostasis reduced survival, which was not further affected by glucose or quercetin, suggesting that those proteins are a target for both substances. Besides unfolded protein response, proper functionality of the proteasome was shown to be crucial for the survival enhancing effects of quercetin and the polyphenol was finally demonstrated to activate proteasomal degradation. Our studies demonstrate that lowest concentrations of quercetin prevent a glucose-induced reduction of survival. SIR-2.1, DAF-12, and MDT-15 were identified as targets that activate unfolded protein response and proteasomal degradation to limit the accumulation of functionally restricted proteins.
 
Article
All novel proteins must be assessed for their potential allergenicity before they are introduced into the food market. One method to achieve this is the 2001 FAO/WHO Decision Tree recommended for evaluation of proteins from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It was the aim of this study to investigate the allergenicity of microbial transglutaminase (m-TG) from Streptoverticillium mobaraense. Amino acid sequence similarity to known allergens, pepsin resistance, and detection of protein binding to specific serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) (RAST) have been evaluated as recommended by the decision tree. Allergenicity in the source material was thought unlikely, since no IgE-mediated allergy to any bacteria has been reported. m-TG is fully degraded after 5 min of pepsin treatment. A database search showed that the enzyme has no homology with known allergens, down to a match of six contiguous amino acids, which meets the requirements of the decision tree. However, there is a match at the five contiguous amino acid level to the major codfish allergen Gad c1. The potential cross reactivity between m-TG and Gad c1 was investigated in RAST using sera from 25 documented cod-allergic patients and an extract of raw codfish. No binding between patient IgE and m-TG was observed. It can be concluded that no safety concerns with regard to the allergenic potential of m-TG were identified.
 
Article
The DFG Senate Commission on Food Safety (SKLM) has discussed the toxicological assessment of furanocoumarins in foodstuffs and adopted an opinion on 23/24 September 2004 [SKLM, English version: Toxicological assessment of furanocumarins in foodstuffs, 2006; Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2007, 51, 367-373]. At that time, no analytical data were available on the occurrence and content of furanocoumarins in citrus oils, especially in lime oil and the foodstuffs produced from it. According to the SKLM, the highest levels were likely to be found in products containing lime or bergamot oil. Distilled and cold pressed oils differ in their levels of furanocoumarins; in distilled oils, no furanocoumarins were found. The original estimate of the average daily intake of furanocoumarins in Germany made by the SKLM is based on the assumption that flavoured foods contain cold-pressed citrus oils exclusively (worst case scenario). Recent data, however, indicate that distilled citrus oils are mainly used in flavoured soft drinks. The SKLM has therefore decided to update the assessment of the average intake of furanocoumarins from flavoured food. The following opinion was released in German on 25 January 2010, the English version was agreed on 27/28 September 2010.
 
Article
Results from the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority on contamination of cereals and cereal products from the Bavarian market with the mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), and ochratoxin A (OTA) and of maize meal and semolina with fumonisins (FUM) in the year 2004 are presented. Contamination rates and levels of DON, ZEA, and OTA were low and did not exceed the maximum levels. However, a 92% contamination rate and high levels of FUM in maize meal and semolina were measured. Contamination levels of mycotoxins are discussed and evaluated with respect to possible health implications for consumers.
 
Article
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a ubiquitous mycotoxin produced by fungi of improperly stored food products. OTA is nephrotoxic and is suspected of being the main etiological agent responsible for human Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) and associated urinary tract tumours. Striking similarities between OTA-induced porcine nephropathy in pigs and BEN in humans are observed. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified OTA as a possible human carcinogen (group 2B). Currently, the mode of carcinogenic action by OTA is unknown. OTA is genotoxic following oxidative metabolism. This activity is thought to play a central role in OTA-mediated carcinogenesis and may be divided into direct (covalent DNA adduction) and indirect (oxidative DNA damage) mechanisms of action. Evidence for a direct mode of genotoxicity has been derived from the sensitive 32P-postlabelling assay. OTA facilitates guanine-specific DNA adducts in vitro and in rat and pig kidney orally dosed, one adduct comigrates with a synthetic carbon (C)-bonded C8-dG OTA adduct standard. In this paper, our current understanding of OTA toxicity and carcinogenicity are reviewed. The available evidence suggests that OTA is a genotoxic carcinogen by induction of oxidative DNA lesions coupled with direct DNA adducts via quinone formation. This mechanism of action should be used to establish acceptable intake levels of OTA from human food sources.
 
Top-cited authors
Chi-Tang Ho
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Francisco A Tomás-Barberán
  • Spanish National Research Council
Juan Carlos Espín
  • Spanish National Research Council
Gary Williamson
  • Monash University (Australia)
Min-Hsiung Pan
  • National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST)