5 January 2018

When lakes are blooming - are our lungs at risk?


My first months as a PhD student at RECETOX, investigating the toxic potential of cyanobacterial toxins on airway tissue.
By ESR 14 Barbara Kubíčková

The Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX) at the Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, has a long tradition in cyanobacterial research. Here I started my work in May 2017, investigating health risks of natural toxins in surface waters. As this covers a large area, I will mainly focus on three organs or tissues during my PhD studies: The lung, the nerves and the humoral immune system.

Lysosomal Neutral red uptake into human bronchial epithelial cells treated with a cyanobacterial toxin

During my first months, I investigated toxic effects of cyanobacterial toxins on airway tissue in order to determine if and to which extent these toxins, known to seriously harm the liver, affect lung tissue. Using immortalized cell culture models (see video below, allow some time for the video to download), I measured changes in general appearance, metabolic activity and shape and cell-fate governing pathway activation - a first view is shown in the pictures below. Currently, I am putting the results together to be published in a scientific journal soon.