José Alberto Castro

National University of General San Martín, San Martín, San Juan, Argentina

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Publications (13)11.34 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy of Chagas disease is currently performed by the use of only two drugs: Nifurtimox and Benznidazole. Nifurtimox is a nitrofurane and Benznidazole is a nitroimidazole compound. The use of these drugs to treat the acute phase of the disease is now widely accepted. However, their use in the treatment of the chronic phase is not without serious consequences. The side effects of both drugs are a major drawback in their use and often force physicians to stop treatment. In the case of Nifurtimox, experimental toxicity studies showed neurotoxicity, testicular damage, ovarian toxicity and deleterious effects in heart, breast tissue, adrenals, colon and esophagus. Benznidazole deleterious effects were observed in adrenals, colon and esophagus. It also inhibits the metabolism of various xenobiotics transformed by cytochrome P450 and its metabolites react with fetal components in vivo. Both drugs exhibited significant mutagenic effects and in some studies, they demonstrated to be carcinogenic or tumorigenic. Toxic effects of both drugs are dependent on the enzymatic reduction of the nitro group. This paper summarizes this laboratory's activity in an effort to understand the mechanisms of these drugs' toxic action.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, increasing linearly even with a moderate consumption and irrespective of the type of alcoholic beverage. The precise mechanism is still far from being established. Studies by this laboratory suggest that acetaldehyde produced in situ and accumulated in mammary tissue because of poor detoxicating mechanisms might play a role in mutational and promotional events. Additional studies indicated the production of reactive oxygen species accompanied by decreases in vitamin E and glutathione contents and of glutathione transferase activity. The resulting oxidative stress might also play a relevant role in several stages of the carcinogenic process. Studies reported in the literature show that plasmatic levels of estrogens significantly increased after alcohol drinking and that breast cancer risk by alcohol is more related to ER-positive tumors than to ER-negative tumors. Estrogens are known to likely produce breast cancer by actions on ER and also act as chemical carcinogens as a result of their oxidation leading to reactive metabolites. In this review, a working hypothesis is introduced, integrating the effects of acetaldehyde and oxidative stress with those involving increased estrogen levels. Potential preventive actions are also analysed.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana
  • María Isabel Díaz Gómez · José Alberto Castro

    No preview · Article · Dec 2013
  • M.I.D. Gómez · Jose Alberto Castro
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    ABSTRACT: Gentian violet (GV) is being used as blood additive to eliminate Trypanosoma cruzi in the chemoprophylaxis of Chagas disease infection via blood transfusion when prior laboratory control is not possible or under emergency circumstances in endemic areas. In these studies genotoxic effects of GV were found employing the Comet assay when GV was added to rat blood under the cisconditions employed to sterilize it for transfusion. The genotoxic effect was even more intense if blood was kept with GV for 48 hours. The positive results obtained in the Comet assay suggest the formation of DNA hydroxylated bases as result of a reactive oxygen species (ROS) attack and further confirm GV genotoxicity and its potential carcinogenic effects previously reported. Genotoxicity effects observed in the Comet assay were partially but significantly prevented by prior administration of antioxidants having safe clinical use such as a-tocopherol; lipoic acid or N-Acetylcysteine. Lipoic acid was also able to chemically react in vitro with GV (eg. the one remaining in the transfusion mixture after it had enough time to eliminate the parasite from blood). Results would suggest the potential use of these antioxidants to prevent unwanted side effects of GV for the blood recipient.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2013
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    ABSTRACT: After alcohol exposure through a standard Lieber and De Carli diet for 28 days, a severe atrophy in the rat uteirne horn was observed, accompanied by significant alterations in its epithelial cells. Microsomal pathway of acetaldehyde production was slightly increased. Hydroxyl radicals were detected in the cytosolic fraction, and this was attributed to participation of xanthine oxidoreductase. They were also observed in the microsomal fraction in the presence of NADPH generating system. No generation of 1-hydroxyethyl was evidenced. The t -butylhydroperoxide-induced chemiluminescence analysis of uterine horn homogenates revealed a significant increase in the chemiluminiscence emission due to ethanol exposure. In the animals repeatedly exposed to alcohol, sulfhydryl content from uterine horn proteins was decreased, but no significant changes were observed in the protein carbonyl content from the same samples. Minor but significant decreasing changes were observed in the GSH content accompanied by a tendency to decrease in the GSH/GSSG ratio. A highly significant finding was the diminished activity content of glutathione peroxidase. Results suggest that acetaldehyde accumulation plus the oxidative stress may play an additional effect to the alcohol-promoted hormonal changes in the uterus reported by others after chronic exposure to alcohol.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Toxicology
  • Romina Fernanda Bulffer · José Alberto Castro · Silvia Laura Fanelli
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    ABSTRACT: El Mal de Chagas es una enfermedad parasitaria endémica en América del Sur y Central. Existen dos fármacos disponibles para el tratamiento médico de la enfermedad, el Nifurtimox (Nfx) y el Benznidazol (Bz). No existen protocolos estandarizados, validados y accesibles en laboratorios regionales para determinar niveles de los antichagásicos en sangre. En este trabajo se presenta un método espectrofotométrico para la determinación de Nfx y Bz en sangre. Los metabolitos en sangre se extraen con columnas Extrelut®. Los extractos se evaporan, se redisuelven en mezclas de metanol/agua y se analizan espectrofotométricamente a 400 nm y a 320 nm para Nfx y Bz, respectivamente. Se cuantifica comparando con soluciones estándar de Nfx o Bz en el solvente. La metodología utilizada fue validada entre 0,5 y 50 ug/mL de sangre para Nfx y entre 0,5 y 100 ug/mL de sangre para Bz. La exactitud, precisión, linealidad y robustez del método fueron satisfactorias. Se aplicó el procedimiento determinando concentraciones sanguíneas post administración de ambos fármacos a ratas.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana
  • Romina Fernanda Bulffer · Jose Alberto Castro · Silvia Laura Fanelli
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    ABSTRACT: Chagas' Disease is an endemic parasitic disease in South and Central America. There are two drugs available for medical treatment of the disease, Nifurtimox (Nfx) and Benznidazol (Bz). There are no standardized or accessible protocols in regional laboratorios to determine the levels of antichagasic drugs in blood. A spectrophotometric method for Nfx and Bz determination in blood is presented in the present work. Blood metabolites are extracted through Extrelut® columns. Extracts are evaporated, redissolved in metanol/water mixanalysed by spectrophotometry at 400 nm and 320 nm for Nfx and Bz, respectively. They are quantified comparing with standard Nfx or Bz solutions in the solvent. The methodology used was validated between 0.5 and 50 μg/mL of blood for Nfx, and between 0.5 and 100 μg/mL of blood for Bz. The accuracy, precision, lineality and robustness of the method were satisfactory. The procedure was applied determining blood concentrations after administration of both drugs to rats.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana
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    Romina Fernanda Bulffer · José Alberto Castro · Silvia Laura Fanelli
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    ABSTRACT: Benznidazole (Bz) exhibits toxic side effects in animal studies and clinical use. Reductive metabolism of Bz in liver microsomes modulates the duration of its chemotherapeutic effect and its toxicity. The rate of this metabolism depends on age and is less intense in newborns and youngsters than in adults. In the present study, we determined Bz blood levels in rats of different ages that received Bz intragastrically (100 mg/kg). We developed and validated a high-pressure liquid chromatography with UV detector method for determination of Bz levels in whole blood. Bz levels were significantly higher and persisted for longer periods of time in the blood of young rats when compared to that of adult animals.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
  • María Eugenia Maciel · José Alberto Castro · Gerardo Daniel Castro
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that the microsomal fraction from rat mammary tissue is able to oxidize ethanol to acetaldehyde, a mutagenic-carcinogenic metabolite, depending on the presence of NADPH and oxygen but not inhibited by carbon monoxide or other cytochrome P450 inhibitors. The process was strongly inhibited by diphenyleneiodonium, a known inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, and by nordihydroguaiaretic acid, an inhibitor of lipoxygenases. This led us to suggest that both enzymes could be involved. With the purpose of identifying natural compounds present in food with the ability to decrease the production of acetaldehyde in mammary tissue, in the present studies, several plant polyphenols having inhibitory effects on lipoxygenases and of antioxidant nature were tested as potential inhibitors of the rat mammary tissue microsomal pathway of ethanol oxidation. We included in the present screening study 32 polyphenols having ready availability and that were also tested against the rat mammary tissue cytosolic metabolism of ethanol to acetaldehyde. Several polyphenols were also able to inhibit the microsomal ethanol oxidation at concentrations as low was 10-50 μM. The results of these screening experiments suggest the potential of several plant polyphenols to prevent in vivo production and accumulation of acetaldehyde in mammary tissue.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Human & Experimental Toxicology
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    ABSTRACT: Two nitroheterocyclic drugs, nifurtimox (NFX) and benznidazole (BZ), used in the treatment of Chagas' disease have serious side effects attributed to their nitroreduction to reactive metabolites. Here, we report that these drugs reach the mammary tissue and there they could undergo in situ bioactivation. Both were detected in mammary tissue from female Sprague-Dawley rats after their intragastric administration. Only NFX was biotransformed by pure xanthine-oxidoreductase and from tissue cytosol. These activities were purine dependent and were inhibited by allopurinol. Also, only NFX was biotransformed by microsomes in the presence of β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, reduced form (NADPH), and was inhibited by carbon monoxide and partially by diphenyleneiodonium. NFX treatment produced significant decrease in protein sulfhydryl content after 1, 3 and 6 hours; no increases in protein carbonyl content at any time tested and significantly higher levels of lipid hydroperoxides at 3 and 6 hours; besides, ultrastructural observations after 24 hours showed significant differences in epithelial cells compared to control. These findings indicate that NFX might be more deleterious to mammary tissue than BZ and could correlate with early reports on its ability to promote rat mammary tissue toxicity.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Human & Experimental Toxicology

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2006 · Toxicology Letters
  • Maria Eugenia Maciel · Gerardo Daniel Castro · José Alberto Castro
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    ABSTRACT: There is a well-established association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. About 4% of the breast cancers in developed countries are estimated to be attributable to drinking alcohol. The mechanism of tumor promotion by alcohol remains unknown. Recent studies from our laboratory and others showed the ability of mammary tissue to bioactivate ethanol to mutagenic/carcinogenic acetaldehyde and free radicals. Xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) is an enzyme involved in those biotransformation processes. In the present study, we provide evidence of the ability of different natural polyphenols and of folic acid derivatives to inhibit the biotransformation of alcohol to acetaldehyde by rat breast cytosolic XOR. Folic acid and dihydrofolic acid, at concentrations of 10 microM, inhibited 100% and 84%, respectively, of the cytosolic acetaldehyde formation. Thirty-five polyphenols were tested in these initial experiments: ellagic acid, myricetin, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin inhibited 79-95% at 10 microM concentrations. The remaining polyphenols were either less potent or noninhibitory of acetaldehyde formation at similar concentrations in these screening tests. Results are relevant to the known preventive effects of folic acid against alcohol-induced breast cancer and to their potential preventive actions if added to foods or alcoholic beverages.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Nutrition and Cancer

Publication Stats

31 Citations
11.34 Total Impact Points


  • 2013-2015
    • National University of General San Martín
      • Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental (3iA)
      San Martín, San Juan, Argentina
  • 2011
    • Buenos Aires Institute of Technology
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina