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See detailMajor changes of cell function and toxicant sensitivity in cultured cells undergoing mild, quasi-natural genetic drift
Gutbier, Simon; May, Patrick UL; Berthelot, Sylvie et al

in Archives of Toxicology (2018)

Genomic drift affects the functional properties of cell lines, and the reproducibility of data from in vitro studies. While chromosomal aberrations and mutations in single pivotal genes are well explored ... [more ▼]

Genomic drift affects the functional properties of cell lines, and the reproducibility of data from in vitro studies. While chromosomal aberrations and mutations in single pivotal genes are well explored, little is known about effects of minor, possibly pleiotropic, genome changes. We addressed this question for the human dopaminergic neuronal precursor cell line LUHMES by comparing two subpopulations (SP) maintained either at the American-Type-Culture-Collection (ATCC) or by the original provider (UKN). Drastic differences in susceptibility towards the specific dopaminergic toxicant 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) were observed. Whole-genome sequencing was performed to identify underlying genetic differences. While both SP had normal chromosome structures, they displayed about 70 differences on the level of amino acid changing events. Some of these differences were confirmed biochemically, but none offered a direct explanation for the altered toxicant sensitivity pattern. As second approach, markers known to be relevant for the intended use of the cells were specifically tested. The “ATCC” cells rapidly down-regulated the dopamine-transporter and tyrosine-hydroxylase after differentiation, while “UKN” cells maintained functional levels. As the respective genes were not altered themselves, we conclude that polygenic complex upstream changes can have drastic effects on biochemical features and toxicological responses of relatively similar SP of cells. [less ▲]

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See detailA structure-activity relationship linking non-planar PCBs to functional deficits of neural crest cells: new roles for connexins
Nyffeler, Johanna; Chovancova, Petra; Dolde, Xenia et al

in Archives of Toxicology (2018), 92(3), 12251247

Migration of neural crest cells (NCC) is a fundamental developmental process, and test methods to identify interfering toxicants have been developed. By examining cell function endpoints, as in the ... [more ▼]

Migration of neural crest cells (NCC) is a fundamental developmental process, and test methods to identify interfering toxicants have been developed. By examining cell function endpoints, as in the ‘migration-inhibition of NCC (cMINC)’ assay, a large number of toxicity mechanisms and protein targets can be covered. However, the key events that lead to the adverse effects of a given chemical or group of related compounds are hard to elucidate. To address this issue, we explored here, whether the establishment of two overlapping structure–activity relationships (SAR)—linking chemical structure on the one hand to a phenotypic test outcome, and on the other hand to a mechanistic endpoint—was useful as strategy to identify relevant toxicity mechanisms. For this purpose, we chose polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) as a large group of related, but still toxicologically and physicochemically diverse structures. We obtained concentration-dependent data for 26 PCBs in the cMINC assay. Moreover, the test chemicals were evaluated by a new high-content imaging method for their effect on cellular re-distribution of connexin43 and for their capacity to inhibit gap junctions. Non-planar PCBs inhibited NCC migration. The potency (1–10 μM) correlated with the number of ortho-chlorine substituents; non-ortho-chloro (planar) PCBs were non-toxic. The toxicity to NCC partially correlated with gap junction inhibition, while it fully correlated (p < 0.0004) with connexin43 cellular re-distribution. Thus, our double-SAR strategy revealed a mechanistic step tightly linked to NCC toxicity of PCBs. Connexin43 patterns in NCC may be explored as a new endpoint relevant to developmental toxicity screening. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of metabolites and metabolomics in clinically applicable biomarkers of disease.
Mamas, Mamas; Dunn, Warwick B.; Neyses, Ludwig UL et al

in Archives of toxicology (2011), 85(1), 5-17

Metabolomics allows the simultaneous and relative quantification of thousands of different metabolites within a given sample using sensitive and specific methodologies such as gas or liquid chromatography ... [more ▼]

Metabolomics allows the simultaneous and relative quantification of thousands of different metabolites within a given sample using sensitive and specific methodologies such as gas or liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, typically in discovery phases of studies. Biomarkers are biological characteristics that are objectively measured and evaluated as indicators of normal biological processes, pathological processes or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention. Biomarkers are widely used in clinical practice for the diagnosis, assessment of severity and response to therapy in a number of clinical disease states. In human studies, metabolomics has been applied to define biomarkers related to prognosis or diagnosis of a disease or drug toxicity/efficacy and in doing so hopes to provide greater pathophysiological understanding of disease or therapeutic toxicity/efficacy. This review discusses the application of metabolomics in the discovery and subsequent application of biomarkers in the diagnosis and management of inborn errors of metabolism, cardiovascular disease and cancer. We critically appraise how novel biomarkers discovered through metabolomic analysis may be utilized in future clinical practice by addressing the following three fundamental questions: (1) Can the clinician measure them? (2) Do they add new information? (3) Do they help the clinician to manage patients? Although a number of novel biomarkers have been discovered through metabolomic studies of human diseases in the last decade, none have currently made the transition to routine use in clinical practice. Metabolites identified from these early studies will need to form the basis of larger, prospective, externally validated studies in clinical cohorts for their future use as biomarkers. At this stage, the absolute quantification of these biomarkers will need to be assessed epidemiologically, as will the ultimate deployment in the clinic via routine biochemistry, dip stick or similar rapid at- or near-patient care technologies. [less ▲]

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