A survey was made of the literature concerning the occurrence and incidence of mycotoxic nephropathy in pigs and chicks in different countries. Various etiological factors contributing to the development of the disease were considered. The main nephrotoxic fungi as well as the specific conditions for their growth and toxins production were briefly described. A survey was made about the most frequent nephrotoxic fungal contaminants in various feedstuffs from plant origin. In addition, their natural quantities and importance for development of mycotoxic porcine/chick nephropathy (MPN/MCN) are also explored. In addition, a survey was made of the feedstuffs representing the most favorable environment for nephrotoxic fungal growth as well as the most favorable storehouse conditions for this fungal growth were shortly described. The significance of some underestimated fungal species, which can provoke kidney damage, was studied. The importance of joint mycotoxin interaction and newly identified fungal metabolites in the complex etiology of mycotoxic nephropathy ranged in some countries is deeply investigated. The toxicity of the low contamination levels of some combinations of mycotoxins often administered by pigs and chicks in the practice was carefully studied.
mycotoxic porcine nephropathy; mycotoxic chick nephropathy; Balkan endemic nephropathy; joint mycotoxin effect; mycotoxin interaction; ochratoxin A; penicillic acid; fumonisin B1; citrinin; unknown metabolite
Every adaptive immune response requires costimulation through the B7/CD28 axis, with CD28 on T-cells functioning as principal costimulatory receptor. Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigen toxins hyperstimulate the T-cell-mediated immune response by orders of magnitude, inducing a lethal cytokine storm. We show that to elicit an inflammatory cytokine storm and lethality, superantigens must bind directly to CD28. Blocking access of the superantigen to its CD28 receptor with peptides mimicking the contact domains in either toxin or CD28 suffices to protect mice effectively from lethal shock. Our finding that CD28 is a direct receptor of superantigen toxins broadens the scope of microbial pathogen recognition mechanisms.
superantigen toxins; inflammatory cytokine storm; lethal toxic shock; biodefense; CD28 receptor; CD28 dimer interface
The selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor celecoxib triggers apoptosis of tumor cells and is thus effective against malignancy. The substance is at least partially effective through mitochondrial depolarization. Even though lacking mitochondria, erythrocytes may enter apoptosis-like suicidal death or eryptosis, which is characterized by cell shrinkage and by phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Eryptosis may be triggered by increase of cytosolic Ca2+-activity ([Ca2+]i). The present study explored whether celecoxib stimulates eryptosis. Forward scatter was determined to estimate cell volume, annexin V binding to identify phosphatidylserine-exposing erythrocytes, hemoglobin release to depict hemolysis, and Fluo3-fluorescence to quantify [Ca2+]i. A 48 h exposure of human erythrocytes to celecoxib was followed by significant increase of [Ca2+]i (15 µM), significant decrease of forward scatter (15 µM) and significant increase of annexin-V-binding (10 µM). Celecoxib (15 µM) induced annexin-V-binding was blunted but not abrogated by removal of extracellular Ca2+. In conclusion, celecoxib stimulates suicidal erythrocyte death or eryptosis, an effect partially due to stimulation of Ca2+ entry.
cell membrane scrambling; phosphatidylserine; calcium; cell volume; eryptosis
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a potent carcinogen that causes growth stunting, immunosuppression and liver cancer in multiple species. The recent trend of replacing fishmeal with plant-based proteins in fish feed has amplified the AFB1 exposure risk in farm-raised fish. NovaSil (NS), a calcium montmorillonite clay, has previously been shown to reduce AFB1 bioavailability safely and efficaciously in several mammalian species. This study was designed to: (1) evaluate AFB1 impact on cultured red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, over the course of seven weeks; and (2) assess NS supplementation as a strategy to prevent aflatoxicosis. Fish were fed diets containing 0, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, or 5 ppm AFB1. Two additional treatment groups were fed either 5 ppm AFB1 + 1% NS or 5 ppm AFB1 + 2% NS. Aflatoxin B1 negatively impacted red drum weight gain, survival, feed efficiency, serum lysozyme concentration, hepatosomatic index (HSI), whole-body lipid levels, liver histopathological scoring, as well as trypsin inhibition. NovaSil inclusion in AFB1-contaminated diets improved weight gain, feed efficiency, serum lysozyme concentration, muscle somatic index, and intraperitoneal fat ratios compared to AFB1-treated fish. Although not significant, NS reduced AFB1-induced histopathological changes in the liver and decreased Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) staining. Importantly, NS supplementation improved overall health of AFB1-exposed red drum.
red drum; aflatoxin; calcium montmorillonite; NovaSil; histopathology; immune
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a very important mycotoxin, and its research is focused right now on the new findings of OTA, like being a complete carcinogen, information about OTA producers and new exposure sources of OTA. Citrinin (CIT) is another important mycotoxin, too, and its research turns towards nephrotoxicity. Both additive and synergistic effects have been described in combination with OTA. OTA is produced in foodstuffs by Aspergillus Section Circumdati (Aspergillus ochraceus, A. westerdijkiae, A. steynii) and Aspergillus Section Nigri (Aspergillus carbonarius, A. foetidus, A. lacticoffeatus, A. niger, A. sclerotioniger, A. tubingensis), mostly in subtropical and tropical areas. OTA is produced in foodstuffs by Penicillium verrucosum and P. nordicum, notably in temperate and colder zones. CIT is produced in foodstuffs by Monascus species (Monascus purpureus, M. ruber) and Penicillium species (Penicillium citrinum, P. expansum, P. radicicola, P. verrucosum). OTA was frequently found in foodstuffs of both plant origin (e.g., cereal products, coffee, vegetable, liquorice, raisins, wine) and animal origin (e.g., pork/poultry). CIT was also found in foodstuffs of vegetable origin (e.g., cereals, pomaceous fruits, black olive, roasted nuts, spices), food supplements based on rice fermented with red microfungi Monascus purpureus and in foodstuffs of animal origin (e.g., cheese).
ochratoxin A; citrinin; producers; microfungi; dietary sources; foods
Euglenophycin is a recently discovered toxin produced by at least one species of euglenoid algae. The toxin has been responsible for several fish mortality events. To facilitate the identification and monitoring of euglenophycin in freshwater ponds, we have developed a specific mass spectrometric method for the identification and quantitation of euglenophycin. The post-extraction stability of the toxin was assessed under various conditions. Euglenophycin was most stable at room temperature. At 8 °C there was a small, but statistically significant, loss in toxin after one day. These methods and knowledge of the toxin’s stability will facilitate identification of the toxin as a causative agent in fish kills and determination of the toxin’s distribution in the organs of exposed fish.
euglena; euglenophycin; stability; toxin
Cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae) are ubiquitous in aquatic environments. Some species produce potent toxins that can sicken or kill people, domestic animals, and wildlife. Dogs are particularly vulnerable to cyanotoxin poisoning because of their tendency to swim in and drink contaminated water during algal blooms or to ingestalgal mats.. Here, we summarize reports of suspected or confirmed canine cyanotoxin poisonings in the U.S. from three sources: (1) The Harmful Algal Bloom-related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS) of the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); (2) Retrospective case files from a large, regional veterinary hospital in California; and (3) Publicly available scientific and medical manuscripts; written media; and web-based reports from pet owners, veterinarians, and other individuals. We identified 231 discreet cyanobacteria harmful algal bloom (cyanoHAB) events and 368 cases of cyanotoxinpoisoning associated with dogs throughout the U.S. between the late 1920s and 2012. The canine cyanotoxin poisoning events reviewed here likely represent a small fraction of cases that occur throughout the U.S. each year.
anatoxin; dog; canine; cyanotoxin; hepatotoxin; microcystin; neurotoxin poisoning; cyanobacteria; blue-green algae
Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and related bacterial toxins cause diseases in humans and laboratory animals ranging from food poisoning, acute lung injury to toxic shock. These superantigens bind directly to the major histocompatibility complex class II molecules on antigen-presenting cells and specific Vβ regions of T-cell receptors (TCR), resulting in rapid hyper-activation of the host immune system. In addition to TCR and co-stimulatory signals, proinflammatory mediators activate signaling pathways culminating in cell-stress response, activation of NFκB and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This article presents a concise review of superantigen-activated signaling pathways and focuses on the therapeutic challenges against bacterial superantigens.
staphylococcal superantigens; SEB; cytokine signaling; PI3K/mTOR; NFκB; FDA-approved drugs
Fusarium avenaceum is a widespread pathogen of important crops in the temperate climate zones that can produce many bioactive secondary metabolites, including moniliformin, fusarin C, antibiotic Y, 2-amino-14,16-dimethyloctadecan-3-ol (2-AOD-3-ol), chlamydosporol, aurofusarin and enniatins. Here, we examine the production of these secondary metabolites in response to cultivation on different carbon sources in order to gain insight into the regulation and production of secondary metabolites in F. avenaceum. Seven monosaccharides (arabinose, xylose, fructose, sorbose, galactose, mannose, glucose), five disaccharides (cellobiose, lactose, maltose, sucrose and trehalose) and three polysaccharides (dextrin, inulin and xylan) were used as substrates. Three F. avenaceum strains were used in the experiments. These were all able to grow and produce aurofusarin on the tested carbon sources. Moniliformin and enniatins were produced on all carbon types, except on lactose, which suggest a common conserved regulation mechanism. Differences in the strains was observed for production of fusarin C, 2-AOD-3-ol, chlamydosporol and antibiotic Y, which suggests that carbon source plays a role in the regulation of their biosynthesis.
secondary metabolites; moniliformin; enniatin; carbon; regulation; activation; creA
Pasteurella multocida toxin (PMT) is a protein toxin found in toxigenic strains of Pasteurella multocida. PMT is the causative agent for atrophic rhinitis in pigs, a disease characterized by loss of nasal turbinate bones due to an inhibition of osteoblast function and an increase in osteoclast activity and numbers. Apart from this, PMT acts as a strong mitogen, protects from apoptosis and has an impact on the differentiation and function of immune cells. Many signaling pathways have been elucidated, however, the effect of these signaling cascades as a means to subvert the host’s immune system are just beginning to unravel.
bacterial toxin; Pasteurella multocida; immune evasion; signal transduction; osteoclast; osteoimmunology; carcinogenesis
The effect of the venom of the Chactoid family of scorpions on blood pressure was scantly investigated and was addressed in the present study using the venom of the Israeli scorpion, Scorpio maurus palmatus. Blood pressure in rats was monitored via cannulated femoral artery, while venom and toxins were introduced into femoral vein. Venom injection elicited a biphasic effect, expressed first by a fast and transient hypotensive response, which lasted up to 10 min, followed by a hypertensive response, which lasted up to one hour. It was found that these effects resulted from different venom components. Phospholipase A2 produced the hypotensive effect, while a non-enzymatic neurotoxic polypeptide fraction produced the hypertensive effect. Surprisingly, the main neurotoxic polypeptide to mice had no effect on blood pressure. In vitro experiments indicated that the hypertensive factors caused histamine release from the peritoneal mast cells, but this effect is assumed to be not relevant to their in vivo effect. In spite of the cytotoxic activity of phospholipase A2, it did not release histamine. These findings suggest that the effects of venom and isolated fractions on blood pressure parameters are mediated by different mechanisms, which deserve further pharmacological investigation.
chactoid scorpion; Scorpio maurus palmatus; venom; phospholipase A2; neurotoxin; blood pressure; histamine release
Clinical marine toxicology is a rapidly changing area. Many of the new discoveries reported every year in Europe involve ecological disturbances—including global warming—that have induced modifications in the chorology, behavior, and toxicity of many species of venomous or poisonous aquatic life including algae, ascidians, fish and shellfish. These changes have raised a number of public issues associated, e.g., poisoning after ingestion of contaminated seafood, envenomation by fish stings, and exposure to harmful microorganism blooms. The purpose of this review of medical and scientific literature in marine toxicology is to highlight the growing challenges induced by ecological disturbances that confront clinical toxicologists during the everyday job in the European Poison Centers.
jellyfish; Physalia; Ostreopsis; shellfish poisoning; lessepsian fish
In this study, a total of 299 grain samples of wheat were collected from four production regions: the maize, sugar beet, potato and feed sectors of Slovakia. The samples were analyzed for deoxynivalenol (DON) content by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay Ridascreen® Fast DON. Analysis of variance revealed a significant difference between years in DON contents (p < 0.027). The occurrence of samples with DON was 82.2% in 2010, with maximum DON content of 7.88 mg kg−1, and 70.7% in 2011, with maximum DON content of 2.12 mg·kg−1. The total mean DON content was 0.62 mg·kg−1; in the feed region 0.22 mg·kg−1; 0.63 mg·kg−1 in the maize region; 0.78 mg·kg−1 in the sugar beet region; 0.45 mg·kg−1 the potato region. The limit of 1.25 mg·kg−1 imposed by the European Union (EU) for DON content was exceeded in 13.7% of the studied samples. The average monthly rainfall for May to June played a critical role in DON content of wheat grains for maize and sugar beet producing regions. The present results indicate that DON content was at a high level in grains from wheat grown during 2010.
Fusarium toxin; Triticum aestivum L.; produced regions
The translocation (T)-domain plays a key role in the action of diphtheria toxin and is responsible for transferring the catalytic domain across the endosomal membrane into the cytosol in response to acidification. Deciphering the molecular mechanism of pH-dependent refolding and membrane insertion of the T-domain, which is considered to be a paradigm for cell entry of other bacterial toxins, reveals general physicochemical principles underlying membrane protein assembly and signaling on membrane interfaces. Structure-function studies along the T-domain insertion pathway have been affected by the presence of multiple conformations at the same time, which hinders the application of high-resolution structural techniques. Here, we review recent progress in structural, functional and thermodynamic studies of the T-domain archived using a combination of site-selective fluorescence labeling with an array of spectroscopic techniques and computer simulations. We also discuss the principles of conformational switching along the insertion pathway revealed by studies of a series of T-domain mutants with substitutions of histidine residues.
acid-induced conformational change; membrane protein insertion; histidine protonation; fluorescence; molecular dynamics; conformational switch
Botulinum neurotoxins are one of the most potent toxins known to man. Current methods of detection involve the quantification of the toxin but do not take into account the percentage of the toxin that is active. At present the assay used for monitoring the activity of the toxin is the mouse bioassay, which is lengthy and has ethical issues due to the use of live animals. This report demonstrates a novel assay that utilises the endopeptidase activity of the toxin to detect Botulinum neurotoxin in a pharmaceutical sample. The cleaving of SNAP-25 is monitored via UV-Visible spectroscopy with a limit of detection of 373 fg/mL and has been further developed into a high throughput method using a microplate reader detecting down to 600 fg/mL of active toxin. The results show clear differences between the toxin product and the placebo, which contains the pharmaceutical excipients human serum albumin and lactose, showing that the assay detects the active form of the toxin.
botulinum neurotoxin; SNAP-25; localised surface plasmon resonance; colloidal gold
Lysenin is a pore-forming toxin from the coelomic fluid of earthworm Eisenia foetida. This protein specifically binds to sphingomyelin and induces erythrocyte lysis. Lysenin consists of 297 amino acids with a molecular weight of 41 kDa. We screened for cellular signal transduction inhibitors of low molecular weight from microorganisms and plants. The purpose of the screening was to study the mechanism of diseases using the obtained inhibitors and to develop new chemotherapeutic agents acting in the new mechanism. Therefore, our aim was to screen for inhibitors of Lysenin-induced hemolysis from plant extracts and microbial culture filtrates. As a result, we isolated all-E-lutein from an extract of Dalbergia latifolia leaves. All-E-lutein is likely to inhibit the process of Lysenin-membrane binding and/or oligomer formation rather than pore formation. Additionally, we isolated tyrosylproline anhydride from the culture filtrate of Streptomyces as an inhibitor of Lysenin-induced hemolysis.
Lysenin; Eisenia foetida; hemolysis; pore formation; sphingomyelin binding; Dalbergia latifolia; all-E-lutein; tyrosylproline anhydride
In patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) bacterial infections constitute a major clinical problem caused by compromised skin barrier and a progressive immunodeficiency. Indeed, the majority of patients with advanced disease die from infections with bacteria, e.g., Staphylococcus aureus. Bacterial toxins such as staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE) have long been suspected to be involved in the pathogenesis in CTCL. Here, we review links between bacterial infections and CTCL with focus on earlier studies addressing a direct role of SE on malignant T cells and recent data indicating novel indirect mechanisms involving SE- and cytokine-driven cross-talk between malignant- and non-malignant T cells.
cutaneous T-cell lymphoma; infections; Staphylococcus aureus; enterotoxins; superantigens
The indole-diterpene paxilline is an abundant secondary metabolite synthesized by Penicillium paxilli. In total, 21 genes have been identified at the PAX locus of which six have been previously confirmed to have a functional role in paxilline biosynthesis. A combination of bioinformatics, gene expression and targeted gene replacement analyses were used to define the boundaries of the PAX gene cluster. Targeted gene replacement identified seven genes, paxG, paxA, paxM, paxB, paxC, paxP and paxQ that were all required for paxilline production, with one additional gene, paxD, required for regular prenylation of the indole ring post paxilline synthesis. The two putative transcription factors, PP104 and PP105, were not co-regulated with the pax genes and based on targeted gene replacement, including the double knockout, did not have a role in paxilline production. The relationship of indole dimethylallyl transferases involved in prenylation of indole-diterpenes such as paxilline or lolitrem B, can be found as two disparate clades, not supported by prenylation type (e.g., regular or reverse). This paper provides insight into the P. paxilli indole-diterpene locus and reviews the recent advances identified in paxilline biosynthesis.
indole-diterpene; paxilline; prenylation
Aflatoxin-producing fungi contaminate food and feed during pre-harvest, storage and processing periods. Once consumed, aflatoxins (AFs) accumulate in tissues, causing illnesses in animals and humans. Most human exposure to AF seems to be a result of consumption of contaminated plant and animal products. The policy of blending and dilution of grain containing higher levels of aflatoxins with uncontaminated grains for use in animal feed implicitly assumes that the deleterious effects of low levels of the toxins are linearly correlated to concentration. This assumption may not be justified, since it involves extrapolation of these nontoxic levels in feed, which are not of further concern. To develop a better understanding of the significance of low dose effects, in the present study, we developed quantitative methods for the detection of biologically active aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in Vero cells by two independent assays: the green fluorescent protein (GFP) assay, as a measure of protein synthesis by the cells, and the microculture tetrazolium (MTT) assay, as a measure of cell viability. The results demonstrate a non-linear dose-response relationship at the cellular level. AFB1 at low concentrations has an opposite biological effect to higher doses that inhibit protein synthesis. Additional studies showed that heat does not affect the stability of AFB1 in milk and that the Vero cell model can be used to determine the presence of bioactive AFB1 in spiked beef, lamb and turkey meat. The implication of the results for the cumulative effects of low amounts of AFB1 in numerous foods is discussed.
aflatoxin B1; Vero cells; bioactivity; toxicity; non-linear dose effect; milk; meat; MTT assay; GFP assay; food safety
Certain strains of Escherichia coli have been indicated as a risk factor for colon cancer. E. coli is a normal inhabitant of the human intestine that becomes pathogenic, especially in extraintestinal sites, following the acquisition of virulence factors, including the protein toxin CNF1. This Rho GTPases-activating toxin induces dysfunctions in transformed epithelial cells, such as apoptosis counteraction, pro-inflammatory cytokines’ release, COX2 expression, NF-kB activation and boosted cellular motility. As cancer may arise when the same regulatory pathways are affected, it is conceivable to hypothesize that CNF1-producing E. coli infections can contribute to cancer development. This review focuses on those aspects of CNF1 related to transformation, with the aim of contributing to the identification of a new possible carcinogenic agent from the microbial world.
CNF1; cancer; inflammation; Rho GTPases
In patients with end-stage renal disease, not only renal clearance but also hepatic clearance is known to be impaired. For instance, the concentration of erythromycin, a substrate of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), has been reported to be elevated in patients with end-stage renal disease. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the reason for the decrease in hepatic clearance in patients with end-stage renal disease. Deproteinized pooled sera were used to assess the effects of low-molecular-weight uremic toxins on CYP3A4 activity in human liver microsomes and human LS180 cells. Four uremic toxins (3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoic acid, hippuric acid, indole-3-acetic acid, and 3-indoxyl sulfate) present at high concentrations in uremic serum were also studied. Simultaneous treatment of uremic serum (less than 10%) or uremic toxins did not affect testosterone 6β-hydroxylation in human liver microsomes. On the other hand, pretreatment of each serum activates CYP3A4 in LS180 cells, and the increased CYP3A4 activity in uremic serum-treated cells was smaller than normal serum-treated cells. In addition, CYP3A4 and CYP24A1 mRNA levels also increased in LS180 cells exposed to normal serum, and this effect was reduced in uremic serum-treated cells and in cells exposed to uremic serum added to normal serum. Furthermore, addition of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D to uremic serum partially restored the serum effect on CYP3A4 expression. The present study suggests that the decrease of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and the accumulation of uremic toxins contributed to the decreased hepatic clearance of CYP3A4 substrates in patients with end-stage renal disease.
CYP3A4; 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D; uremic toxins; end-stage renal disease; vitamin D receptor (VDR)
Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin bifunctional molecules that rely on intracellular toxin action to kill target cells. Target specificity is determined via the binding attributes of the chosen antibody. Mostly, but not exclusively, immunotoxins are purpose-built to kill cancer cells as part of novel treatment approaches. Other applications for immunotoxins include immune regulation and the treatment of viral or parasitic diseases. Here we discuss the utility of protein toxins, of both bacterial and plant origin, joined to antibodies for targeting cancer cells. Finally, while clinical goals are focused on the development of novel cancer treatments, much has been learned about toxin action and intracellular pathways. Thus toxins are considered both medicines for treating human disease and probes of cellular function.
immunotoxin; antibody; toxin; cancer; immunotherapy; apoptosis; translocation; ricin; diphtheria; Pseudomonas
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a contaminant of grain and fruit and has one of the highest levels of carcinogenicity of any natural toxin. AFB1 and the fungi that produce it can also contaminate the raw materials used for beer and wine manufacture, such as corn and grapes. Therefore, brewers must ensure strict monitoring to reduce the risk of contamination. In this study, the fate of AFB1 during the fermentation process was investigated using laboratory-scale bottom and top beer fermentation and wine fermentation. During fermentation, cool wort beer samples and wine must samples were artificially spiked with AFB1 and the levels of AFB1 remaining after fermentation were analyzed. AFB1 levels were unchanged during both types of fermentation used for beer but were reduced to 30% of their initial concentration in wine. Differential analysis of the spiked and unspiked wine samples showed that the degradation compound was AFB2a, a hydrated derivative of AFB1. Thus, the results showed that the risk of AFB1 carryover was still present for both types of beer fermentation but was reduced in the case of wine fermentation because of hydration.
aflatoxin B1; beer; wine; fermentation; high pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
The antidepressant fluoxetine inhibits ceramide producing acid sphingomyelinase. Ceramide is in turn known to trigger eryptosis the suicidal death of erythrocytes characterized by cell shrinkage and exposure of phosphatidylserine at the erythrocyte surface. Ceramide is effective through sensitizing the erythrocytes to the pro-eryptotic effect of increased cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i). In nucleated cells, fluoxetine could either inhibit or stimulate suicidal death or apoptosis. The present study tested whether fluoxetine influences eryptosis. To this end cell volume was estimated from forward scatter, phosphatidylserine exposure from annexin V binding, hemolysis from hemoglobin release and [Ca2+]i from Fluo-3 fluorescence intensity. As a result, a 48 h exposure of erythrocytes to fluoxetine (≥25 µM) significantly decreased forward scatter, increased annexin V binding and enhanced [Ca2+]i. The effect on annexin V binding was significantly blunted, but not abolished, in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. In conclusion, fluoxetine stimulates eryptosis, an effect at least in part due to increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity.
phosphatidylserine; fluoxetine; calcium; cell volume; eryptosis
Severe pneumonia is the main single cause of death worldwide in children under five years of age. The main etiological agent of pneumonia is the G+ bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, which accounts for up to 45% of all cases. Intriguingly, patients can still die days after commencing antibiotic treatment due to the development of permeability edema, although the pathogen was successfully cleared from their lungs. This condition is characterized by a dramatically impaired alveolar epithelial-capillary barrier function and a dysfunction of the sodium transporters required for edema reabsorption, including the apically expressed epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and the basolaterally expressed sodium potassium pump (Na+-K+-ATPase). The main agent inducing this edema formation is the virulence factor pneumolysin, a cholesterol-binding pore-forming toxin, released in the alveolar compartment of the lungs when pneumococci are being lysed by antibiotic treatment or upon autolysis. Sub-lytic concentrations of pneumolysin can cause endothelial barrier dysfunction and can impair ENaC-mediated sodium uptake in type II alveolar epithelial cells. These events significantly contribute to the formation of permeability edema, for which currently no standard therapy is available. This review focuses on discussing some recent developments in the search for the novel therapeutic agents able to improve lung function despite the presence of pore-forming toxins. Such treatments could reduce the potentially lethal complications occurring after antibiotic treatment of patients with severe pneumonia.
pneumolysin; permeability edema; TNF; Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone