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Toxicol Lett. 2019 Apr 27;312:72-97. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2019.04.014. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of single and combined toxic exposures on the gut microbiome: Current knowledge and future directions.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Anatomy-Histology-Embryology, Medical School, University of Crete, 71110 Heraklion, Greece.
2
Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King's College London, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, 8th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.
3
Laboratory of Toxicology, Medical School, University of Crete, Voutes, 71409 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
4
Department of Analytical, Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Sechenov University, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
5
Department of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Medical School, University of Crete, 71110 Heraklion, Greece.
6
Laboratory of Toxicology, Medical School, University of Crete, Voutes, 71409 Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Department of Analytical, Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Sechenov University, 119991 Moscow, Russia. Electronic address: tsatsaka@uoc.gr.

Abstract

Human populations are chronically exposed to mixtures of toxic chemicals. Predicting the health effects of these mixtures require a large amount of information on the mode of action of their components. Xenobiotic metabolism by bacteria inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract has a major influence on human health. Our review aims to explore the literature for studies looking to characterize the different modes of action and outcomes of major chemical pollutants, and some components of cosmetics and food additives, on gut microbial communities in order to facilitate an estimation of their potential mixture effects. We identified good evidence that exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, nanoparticles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls, and non-caloric artificial sweeteners affect the gut microbiome and which is associated with the development of metabolic, malignant, inflammatory, or immune diseases. Answering the question 'Who is there?' is not sufficient to define the mode of action of a toxicant in predictive modeling of mixture effects. Therefore, we recommend that new studies focus to simulate real-life exposure to diverse chemicals (toxicants, cosmetic/food additives), including as mixtures, and which combine metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metabolomic analytical methods achieving in that way a comprehensive evaluation of effects on human health.

KEYWORDS:

Chemical mixtures; Environmental pollutants; Gut microbiota; Host health; Toxicity

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