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Issue 5, 2014
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In vitro toxicological characterisation of three arsenic-containing hydrocarbons

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Abstract

Arsenic-containing hydrocarbons are one group of fat-soluble organic arsenic compounds (arsenolipids) found in marine fish and other seafood. A risk assessment of arsenolipids is urgently needed, but has not been possible because of the total lack of toxicological data. In this study the cellular toxicity of three arsenic-containing hydrocarbons was investigated in cultured human bladder (UROtsa) and liver (HepG2) cells. Cytotoxicity of the arsenic-containing hydrocarbons was comparable to that of arsenite, which was applied as the toxic reference arsenical. A large cellular accumulation of arsenic, as measured by ICP-MS/MS, was observed after incubation of both cell lines with the arsenolipids. Moreover, the toxic mode of action shown by the three arsenic-containing hydrocarbons seemed to differ from that observed for arsenite. Evidence suggests that the high cytotoxic potential of the lipophilic arsenicals results from a decrease in the cellular energy level. This first in vitro based risk assessment cannot exclude a risk to human health related to the presence of arsenolipids in seafood, and indicates the urgent need for further toxicity studies in experimental animals to fully assess this possible risk.

Graphical abstract: In vitro toxicological characterisation of three arsenic-containing hydrocarbons

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Feb 2014, accepted on 20 Mar 2014, published on 20 Mar 2014 and first published online on 20 Mar 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4MT00061G
Citation: Metallomics, 2014,6, 1023-1033
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    In vitro toxicological characterisation of three arsenic-containing hydrocarbons

    S. Meyer, M. Matissek, S. M. Müller, M. S. Taleshi, F. Ebert, K. A. Francesconi and T. Schwerdtle, Metallomics, 2014, 6, 1023
    DOI: 10.1039/C4MT00061G

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