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Cytotoxicity evaluation of large cyanobacterial strain set using selected human and murine in vitro cell models

Hrouzek, Pavel, Kapuścik, Aleksandra, Vacek, Jan, Voráčová, Kateřina, Paichlová, Jindřiška, Kosina, Pavel, Voloshko, Ludmila, Ventura, Stefano, Kopecký, Jiří
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2016 v.124 pp. 177-185
Nostoc, Tolypothrix, chemical elements, correlation, cytotoxicity, fibroblasts, fractionation, hepatocytes, hepatotoxicity, high performance liquid chromatography, human cell lines, humans, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, in vitro studies, liver neoplasms, mice, models, monitoring, soil habitats, viability
The production of cytotoxic molecules interfering with mammalian cells is extensively reported in cyanobacteria. These compounds may have a use in pharmacological applications; however, their potential toxicity needs to be considered. We performed cytotoxicity tests of crude cyanobacterial extracts in six cell models in order to address the frequency of cyanobacterial cytotoxicity to human cells and the level of specificity to a particular cell line. A set of more than 100 cyanobacterial crude extracts isolated from soil habitats (mainly genera Nostoc and Tolypothrix) was tested by MTT test for in vitro toxicity on the hepatic and non-hepatic human cell lines HepG2 and HeLa, and three cell systems of rodent origin: Yac-1, Sp-2 and Balb/c 3T3 fibroblasts. Furthermore, a subset of the extracts was assessed for cytotoxicity against primary cultures of human hepatocytes as a model for evaluating potential hepatotoxicity. Roughly one third of cyanobacterial extracts caused cytotoxic effects (i.e. viability<75%) on human cell lines. Despite the sensitivity differences, high correlation coefficients among the inhibition values were obtained for particular cell systems. This suggests a prevailing general cytotoxic effect of extracts and their constituents. The non-transformed immortalized fibroblasts (Balb/c 3T3) and hepatic cancer line HepG2 exhibited good correlations with primary cultures of human hepatocytes. The presence of cytotoxic fractions in strongly cytotoxic extracts was confirmed by an activity-guided HPLC fractionation, and it was demonstrated that cyanobacterial cytotoxicity is caused by a mixture of components with similar hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties. The data presented here could be used in further research into in vitro testing based on human models for the toxicological monitoring of complex cyanobacterial samples.