ATLA 33, 2005

/ATLA 33, 2005

Cytotoxic and Apoptotic Effects on Hepatocytes of Secondary Metabolites Obtained from Lichens

Estela Raquel Correché, Ricardo Daniel Enriz, Marisa Piovano, Juan Garbarino and María José Gómez-Lechón

There are a large number of species of Antarctic lichens, and several studies describing the secondary metabolites present in these lichens, as well as the advances in understanding the chemistry of these metabolites, have been reported. In addition, some derivatives displaying interesting antibacterial effects have been described. The cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of 15 secondary metabolites (depsides, depsidones and usnic acid) obtained from Continental (Chilean) and Antarctic lichens were evaluated in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. Intracellular lactate dehydrogenase release, caspase 3 activation and DNA fragmentation were measured. In this study, we have evaluated a set of markers associated with pivotal steps in the execution phase of apoptosis, in order to detect compounds with apoptotic effects on hepatocytes before significant necrosis takes place. Flow cytometric analysis of DNA fragmentation revealed an increase in apoptotic nuclei with sub-diploid DNA content after the exposure of hepatocytes to sub-cytotoxic concentrations of the compounds. Among these, salazinic acid, stictic acid and psoromic acid displayed significant apoptotic activities. Divaricatic acid showed only moderate apoptotic effects at sub-cytotoxic concentrations.
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The Fourth EC Report on Laboratory Animal Use — Is it Sufficiently Revealing?

Christina Grindon

The European Commission (EC) has recently published its report on the numbers of animals used in 20021 in the 15 Member States then in the European Union. Previous reports were published for the years 1991, 1996 and 1999. For the first time, all 15 countries agreed to use the same reporting format, but it is still debatable whether this enables the information to be comprehensively analysed.
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2017-01-09T06:34:09+00:00 Tags: |

News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

Cord Blood Donation in the UK
Enriched Cages Improve Quality of Life and Scientific Outcomes
New Evidence Casts Doubt Over Therapeutic Use of Existing Embryonic Stem Cell Stocks
The US Stem Cell Rebellion
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2017-01-09T06:34:10+00:00 Tags: |

ECVAM News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

ECVAM Task Forces and Other Meetings
ECVAM Workshops
FP6 Project ACuteTox
22nd Meeting of the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC)
Prevalidation of the BALB/c 3T3 Cell Transformation Assay
ECVAM Publications
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2017-01-09T06:34:11+00:00 Tags: |

Lack of Predictivity of the Rat Lethality (LD50) Test for Ecological and Human Health Effects

Herbert S. Rosenkranz and Albert R. Cunningham

The relationship between acute toxicity in rats (LD50 values) and indicators of potential health hazards in humans was investigated, based on a chemical population-based paradigm (i.e. the “chemical diversity approach”). These structure–activity relationship-based analyses indicate that high toxicity in rats (i.e. a low LD50 value) is not a good predictor of health effects in humans. In fact, it was found that high acute toxicity to minnows, as well as toxicity to cultured cells, showed significantly greater associations with the potential for health effects than rat LD50 values.
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2017-01-09T06:34:11+00:00 Tags: , , , |

Ecotoxicological Evaluation of Municipal Sludge

Richa Srivastava, Anamika Tewari, Lalit K.S. Chauhan, Dinesh Kumar and Shrawan K. Gupta

Municipal wastes originating from urban and industrial areas have become a major source of soil, ground and surface water pollution. These undesirable agents in our environment significantly interact with our flora and fauna. The aim of this study was to test samples of municipal sludge (MS) for their ecotoxicological potential by using sensitive bioassays involving a plant, Vicia faba, and the earthworm, Eisenia foetida. A 10% leachate of MS was prepared for the experiments, and V. faba seedlings were exposed to three leachate concentrations (2.5%, 5% and 10%) for 5 days. The findings revealed chromosome aberrations during the metaphase as well as the anaphase of cell division, and inhibition of the mitotic index, which reflects that MS originating from domestic and other human activities may be genotoxic to the living organisms of the ecosystem. Abnormalities in chlorophyll content, plant growth, root length, shoot length and root/shoot length ratio in V. faba clearly indicated the toxicity of the sludge. Behavioural and reproduction studies with E. foetida also provided evidence for the toxic nature of the MS.
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Human Research Tissue Banks: The ATRA Project for Establishing a Human Research Tissue Bank in Switzerland

Massimo Tettamanti, Sara Tralamazza, Marina Berati, Max Molteni and Natascia Gamba

A large number of experiments in biomedical research are carried out on tissues, but, even though the results should be applicable to humans, these tissues are mainly of animal origin. The difficulty encountered in obtaining human organs and tissues is an acknowledged problem: not enough human tissues are available to meet research needs. We are introducing the ATRA Project, with the purpose of supporting progress in biomedical research in Switzerland through the establishment of one or more human tissue banks, which will be able to find, treat, preserve and supply human material. Where similar projects have already been launched, concerns have been expressed that donation for research purposes might compete with donation for transplantation, but most organs and tissues are in any case non-transplantable. Surplus surgical tissue is considered “sanitary waste”, and must be treated according to specific regulations for collection, packaging, transport, treatment and disposal. A human tissue bank would not only abate the costs of treating sanitary waste, but would actually turn what is now considered waste into a resource which could be used to save human and animal lives.
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A Human Corneal Equivalent Constructed from SV40- immortalised Corneal Cell Lines

Michaela Zorn-Kruppa, Svitlana Tykhonova, Gazanfer Belge, Jürgen Bednarz, Horst A. Diehl and Maria Engelke

Within the last decade, extensive research in the field of tissue and organ engineering has focused on the development of in vitro models of the cornea. The use of organotypic, three-dimensional corneal equivalents has several advantages over simple monolayer cultures. The aim of this study was to develop a corneal equivalent model composed of the same cell types as in the natural human tissue, but by using immortalised cell lines to ensure reproducibility and to minimise product variation. We report our success in the establishment of an SV40-immortalised human corneal keratocyte cell line (designated HCK). A collagen matrix, built up with these cells, displayed the morphological characteristics of the human stromal tissue and served as a biomatrix for the immortalised human corneal epithelial and endothelial cells. Histological cross-sections of the whole-cornea equivalents resemble human corneas in tissue structure.
This organotypic in vitro model may serve as a research tool for the ophthalmic science community, as well as a model system for testing for eye irritancy and drug efficacy.
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Dendritic Cells as a Tool for the Predictive Identification of Skin Sensitisation Hazard

Silvia Casati, Pierre Aeby, David A. Basketter, Andrea Cavani, Alessandra Gennari, G. Frank Gerberick, Peter Griem, Thomas Hartung, Ian Kimber, Jean-Pierre Lepoittevin, B. Jean Meade, Marc Pallardy, Nathalie Rougier, Francoise Rousset, Gilles Rubinstenn, Federica Sallusto, Geert R. Verheyen and Valérie Zuang

This is the report of the fifty-first of a series of workshops organised by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM). The main objective of ECVAM, as defined in 1993 by its Scientific Advisory Committee, is to promote the scientific and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods which are of importance to the biosciences, and which reduce, refine or replace the use of laboratory animals. One of the first priorities set by ECVAM was the implementation of procedures that would enable it to become well informed about the state of the art of non-animal test development and validation, and of opportunities for the possible incorporation of alternative methods into regulatory procedures. It was decided that this would be best achieved through a programme of ECVAM workshops, each addressing a specific topic, and at which selected groups of independent international experts would review the current status of various types of in vitro tests and their potential uses, and make recommendations about the best ways forward.
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2017-01-09T06:34:18+00:00 Tags: , |

The Second Caribbean and Latin American Workshop on Alternative Methods (ALTERNATIVAS 2004)

ATLA Staff Writer

The Second Caribbean and Latin American Workshop on Alternative Methods (ALTERNATIVAS 2004) took place in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on 16–17 November 2004. The first workshop was held in December 2001, and the main organisers of both workshops were Ulpiano Perez Marqués and Gisela Antonia Murillo, both of whom work at the Center for Toxicology and Biomedicine (TOXIMED), a toxicology research centre in Santiago.
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2017-01-09T06:34:19+00:00 Tags: |