Over the years, due to rapid technological progress, radiation from man-made sources exceeded that of natural origin. There is a general concern regarding a growing number of appliances that use radiofrequency/ microwave (RF/MW) radiation with particular emphasis on mobile communication systems. Since nonthermal biological effects and mechanisms of RF/MW radiation are still uncertain, laboratory studies on animal models, tissues, cells, and cell free system are of extraordinary importance in bioelectromagnetic research. We believe that such investigations play a supporting role in public risk assessment. Cellular systems with the potential for a clear response to RF/MW exposures should be used in those studies. It is known that organism is a complex electrochemical system where processes of oxidation and reduction regularly occur. One of the plausible mechanisms is connected with generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Depending on concentration, ROS can have both benefi cial and deleterious effects. Positive effects are connected with cell signalling, defence against infectious agents, and proliferative cell ability. On the other hand, excessive production, which overloads antioxidant defence mechanism, leads to cellular damage with serious potential for disease development. ROS concentration increase within the cell caused by RF/MW radiation seems to be a biologically relevant hypothesis to give clear insight into the RF/MW action at non-thermal level of radiation. In order to better understand the exact mechanism of action and its consequences, further research is needed in the fi eld. We would like to present current knowledge on possible biological mechanisms of RF/MW actions.
Non-Thermal Biomarkers of Exposure to Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation
This article gives a review or several hypotheses on the biological effects of non-thermal radiofrequency/microwave (RF/MW) radiation and discusses our own findings from animal and in vitro studies performed over the last decade. We have found that RF/MW radiation disturbs cell proliferation and leads to cell differentiation in the bone marrow, which is reflected in the peripheral blood of rats. Repeated RF/MW radiation can also temporarily disrupt melatonin turnover. The observed changes seem to be a sign of adaptation to stress caused by irradiation rather than of malfunction. The article looks further into the basic mechanisms of RF/MW biological action, including cell growth parameters, colony-forming ability, viability, and the polar and apolar protein cytoskeleton structures. The observed reversible cell changes significantly obstructed cell growth. In contrast to the apolar intermediate proteins, the intracellular polar microtubule and actin fibres were damaged by radiation in a time-dependent manner. These significantly altered parameters can be considered as the biomarkers of exposure. Future research should combine dosimetry, experimental studies, and epidemiological data.
Pesticides are a highly diverse group of compounds and the most important chemical stressors in the environment. Mechanisms that could explain pesticide toxicity are constantly being studied and their interactions at the cellular level are often observed in well-controlled in vitro studies. Several pesticide groups have been found to impair the redox balance in the cell, but the mechanisms leading to oxidative stress for certain pesticides are only partly understood. As our scientific project “Organic pollutants in environment – markers and biomarkers of toxicity (OPENTOX)” is dedicated to studying toxic effects of selected insecticides and herbicides, this review is focused on reporting the knowledge regarding oxidative stress-related phenomena at the cellular level. We wanted to single out the most important facts relevant to the evaluation of our own findings from studies conducted on in vitro cell models.
The unfavourable outcomes of mobile phone use on male fertility have still not been fully elaborated. To establish the potentially adverse effects of everyday exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RF) on humans, we performed a controlled animal study that aimed to investigate the influence of RF radiation on rat testis histology as well as the amount, mobility, and structure of epididymal free sperm cell population. Eighteen adult male rats were divided into two groups of nine. One group comprised sham-exposed control animals, while the other group endured total body irradiation for an hour daily during two weeks. A 915 MHz RF field, power density of 2.4 W m-2 and strength of 30 V m-1 was generated in a Gigahertz Transversal Electromagnetic chamber. The specific absorption rate (SAR) was 0.6 W kg-1. Body mass and temperature were measured before and after each exposure treatment. Immediately after the last exposure, the animals were sacrificed and testes removed and prepared for histological analysis. The free sperm cells were collected from the cauda epididymis and their quantity, quality, and morphology were microscopically determined using a haemocytometer. No statistically significant alteration in any of the endpoints was observed. This study found no evidence of an unfavourable effect of the applied RF radiation on testicular function or structure. Based on these results, we can conclude that short-time intermittent exposure to RF radiation does not represent a significant risk factor for rat reproductive functions.
A useful approach for improving seed germination and seedling growth is a seed priming technique. Application of the priming technique enhances water absorption, causing activation of metabolic activities in the seed. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of seed priming on germination parameters of safflower and to compare different priming techniques: priming by soaking and priming on filter paper. The priming treatments included hydropriming (distilled water) and osmopriming with 0.1% and 0.5% solutions of KNO3 for 8 and 16 hours. The experiment revealed significant difference between the priming treatments and the control. The highest germination (89.50%) was recorded within the priming treatments by soaking in the solution of 0.1% KNO3 and priming on filter paper moistened with 0.5% KNO3 for 8 hours. Considering germination index, mean germination time and time to 50% germination, the best results were obtained within hydropriming on filter paper for 16 hours. This study has shown that the priming techniques significantly improved germination parameters of safflower. Although priming on filter paper showed better results, the soaking technique – due to its simplicity, low cost and easiness of application – can be successfully used to improve germination parameters of safflower and increase the number of plants per unit of area and thus increase the seed yield per acreage.
Background: Gestational hypertension (GH) and pre eclampsia (PE) are the most common gestational complications. Several placental biochemical markers are used to predict GH/PE, but with conflicting results.
Methods: The study aim was to estimate the biochemical markers’ ability to predict hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. On the first ultrasonographic examination, 104 healthy pregnant women were recruited. At the regular pregnancy check-ups, BMI, blood pressure, occurrence of gestational hypertension (early or late onset), preeclampsia, eclampsia and other complications were recorded. Serum concentrations (in multiples of median – MoM) of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and pregnancyassociated plasma protein A (PAPPA) were measured from the 11th to 14th gestational week, while HCG, alpha feto protein (AFP), estriol and inhibin were determined between the 16th and 19th gestational week.
Results: Hypertensive disorders throughout pregnancy were diagnosed in 20.2% women. Early-onset GH was registered in 7 and PE in 6 patients, while 14 had late-onset GH and 10 additional women PE. There were no significant differences (p≥0.05) in biochemical markers concentrations between women with and without GH/PE. PAPPA levels in the first and HCG in the second trimester correlated with early and late GH/PE. Moreover, higher AFP concentrations were registered in women with preeclampsia signs/symptoms. According to ROC analysis, AFP>1.05 MoM properly identified 80% of GH/PE cases. Obtained models imply that HCG, PAPPA and AFP should be used for GH/PE prediction.
Conclusions: Biochemical markers HCG, PAPPA and AFP could be useful in predicting gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. However, different markers should be used for early and late onset GH/PE.
Mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1 and IDH2) genes are frequent molecular lesions in acute myeloid leukaemia with normal karyotype (AML-NK). The effects of IDH mutations on clinical features and treatment outcome in AML-NK have been widely investigated, but only a few studies monitored these mutations during follow-up.
Patients and methods
In our study samples from 110 adult de novo AML-NK were studied for the presence of IDH1 and IDH2 mutations, their associations with other prognostic markers and disease outcome. We also analyzed the stability of these mutations during the course of the disease in complete remission (CR) and relapse.
IDH mutations were found in 25 (23%) patients. IDH+ patients tend to have lower CR rate compared to IDH-patients (44% vs 62.2%, p = 0.152), and had slightly lower disease free survival (12 months vs 17 months; p = 0.091). On the other hand, the presence of IDH mutations had significant impact on overall survival (2 vs 7 months; p = 0.039). The stability of IDH mutations were studied sequentially in 19 IDH+ patients. All of them lost the mutation in CR, and the same IDH mutations were detected in relapsed samples.
Our study shows that the presence of IDH mutations confer an adverse effect in AML-NK patients, which in combination with other molecular markers can lead to an improved risk stratification and better treatment. Also, IDH mutations are very stable during the course of the disease and can be potentially used as markers for minimal residual disease detection.
In this 28 day-study, we evaluated the effects of herbicide glyphosate administered by gavage to Wistar rats at daily doses equivalent to 0.1 of the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL), 0.5 of the consumer acceptable daily intake (ADI), 1.75 (corresponding to the chronic population-adjusted dose, cPAD), and 10 mg kg−1 body weight (bw) (corresponding to 100 times the AOEL). At the end of each treatment, the body and liver weights were measured and compared with their baseline values. DNA damage in leukocytes and liver tissue was estimated with the alkaline comet assay. Oxidative stress was evaluated using a battery of endpoints to establish lipid peroxidation via thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS) level, level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), glutathione (GSH) level, and the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). Total cholinesterase activity and the activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) were also measured. The exposed animals gained less weight than control. Treatment resulted in significantly higher primary DNA damage in the liver cells and leukocytes. Glyphosate exposure significantly lowered TBARS in the liver of the AOEL, ADI, and cPAD groups, and in plasma in the AOEL and cPAD group. AChE was inhibited with all treatments, but the AOEL and ADI groups significantly differed from control. Total ChE and plasma/liver ROS/GSH levels did not significantly differ from control, except for the 35 % decrease in ChE in the AOEL and ADI groups and a significant drop in liver GSH in the cPAD and 100xAOEL groups. AOEL and ADI blood GSH-Px activity dropped significantly, but in the liver it significantly increased in the ADI, cPAD, and 100xAOEL groups vs. control. All these findings show that even exposure to low glyphosate levels can have serious adverse effects and points to a need to change the approach to risk assessment of low-level chronic/sub-chronic glyphosate exposure, where oxidative stress is not necessarily related to the genetic damage and AChE inhibition.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer in children, whereas it is less common in adults. Identification of cytogenetic aberrations and a small number of molecular abnormalities are still the most important risk and therapy stratification methods in clinical practice today. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology provides a large amount of data contributing to elucidation of mutational landscape of childhood (cALL) and adult ALL (aALL).
We analyzed DNA samples from 34 cALL and aALL patients, using NGS targeted sequencing TruSeq Amplicon – Cancer Panel (TSACP) which targets mutational hotspots in 48 cancer related genes.
We identified a total of 330 variants in the coding regions, out of which only 95 were potentially protein-changing. Observed in individual patients, detected mutations predominantly disrupted Ras/RTK pathway (STK11, KIT, MET, NRAS, KRAS, PTEN). Additionally, we identified 5 patients with the same mutation in HNF1A gene, disrupting both Wnt and Notch signaling pathway. In two patients we detected variants in NOTCH1 gene. HNF1A and NOTCH1 variants were mutually exclusive, while genes involved in Ras/RTK pathway exhibit a tendency of mutation accumulation.
Our results showed that ALL contains low number of mutations, without significant differences between cALL and aALL (median per patient 2 and 3, respectively). Detected mutations affect few key signaling pathways, primarily Ras/RTK cascade. This study contributes to knowledge of ALL mutational landscape, leading to better understanding of molecular basis of this disease.