An Introduction to Toxicology by Philip C. Burcham

By Philip C. Burcham

This e-book presents a readable creation to trendy toxicology with a specific concentrate on the mechanisms underlying the induction of toxicity via international components. due to the fact bioactivation is crucial to many poisonous syndromes, precise curiosity is dedicated to chemical substances that endure conversion to poisonous metabolites that result in poisonous results as assorted as melanoma, start defects and organ damage. The molecular effects accompanying harm to mobile DNA and proteins is explored including the relevance of toxicological paradigms to human ailments as a result of alcohol and tobacco. The self-discipline of toxicology has built swiftly because the thalidomide catastrophe within the 1960’s as scientists around the world search to appreciate the antagonistic health and wellbeing results of human medicinal drugs, environmental toxins, shopper chemical substances and commercial reagents. An advent to Toxicology is meant to complement the instructed examining checklist of undergraduate and graduate courses in toxicology and pharmacology as an relaxing, available primer with illustrations that “unpack” the strategies being mentioned within the textual content. ​

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In humans, correlations between blood concentrations of a toxic substance and the severity of pathological outcomes are invaluable if dose–response relationships for causality are to be established. Analytical toxicologists specialise in the use of sensitive detection instrumentation to screen body samples collected from exposed individuals – most commonly blood or urine samples – to confirm the presence of suspected poisons. Nowadays, these methods are also used in industrial settings to detect use of banned substances by workers.

For example, these tissues typically accumulate heavy metals prior to their permanent removal from the body, ensuring hepatic and renal levels of lead, cadmium and mercury are hundreds of times higher than tissue concentrations in other organs. This ability to sequester such substances comes at a cost; liver damage (‘hepatotoxicity’) and renal injury (‘nephrotoxicity’) are classic signs of intoxication with many heavy metals. Very frequently, the toxicity of specific chemicals localises to a particular organ because that tissue expresses high levels of enzymes that convert the compound to toxic, cell-damaging metabolites.

McBride promptly notified the Distillers Company of his concerns, and while they took little interest, he persuaded the chief of his hospital pharmacy to remove thalidomide from its shelves. Eager to confirm his suspicions experimentally, Dr McBride initiated a round of animal studies in which thalidomide was administered to pregnant mice and rats. By a strange quirk of nature, the offspring of these two rodent species are resistant to thalidomide abnormalities, ensuring the winter of 1961 was frustrating for Dr McBride and his small team.

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