Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology

Research conducted at the Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology focuses mainly on determining the mechanisms and regulatory influence of various factors (xenobiotics, diet, diseases, stress, age, gender) on biochemical processes, hormone synthesis, hematological changes, and on immune and redox reactions occurring in the cells. The biological material used for research (blood and other body fluids, organs: digestive, respiratory, sexual and lymphatic systems, bone tissue, skin tissue, horny products) comes from laboratory animals (mainly Wistar rats) as well as from livestock animals.

For several years, nanobiotechnology and its application in biology, medicine and animal husbandry have been a new, particularly developing research field at the Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology. So far, many studies have been carried out in the Department, both in vivo (on livestock and laboratory animals) and in vitro (intestinal absorption – an intestinal bag technique in the modification of the employees of the Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology) concerning the interaction of metal nanoparticles (silver, gold, copper, zinc, manganese, chromium) with the structures of a living organism. One of the most recent research problems undertaken at the Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology is to determine whether and what role copper nanoparticles play in neurodegenerative processes. In order to carry out the undertaken research task, the advanced indicators of oxidative stress in DNA (8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine, 8-nitroguanine, number of apurine/apyrimidine sites), level of DNA methylation, activity of DNA repair enzymes (poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, APE1 endonuclease, thymine glycosylase) and the level of neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin) in the brain are evaluated.

Recently, the modern techniques of molecular biology have been used and improved in the research activities of the Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology. These methods are used, among others in studies involving the assessment of the effect of copper nanoparticles on bone formation and metabolism of bone tissue, enabling the assessment of the expression of the LOX1 gene involved in collagen synthesis or the assessment of the expression of genes involved in the mechanisms underlying the integrity of the intestinal barrier in turkeys infected with C. perfringens and supplemented with different ratios of arginine, lysine and methionine in the diet.

As part of toxicological studies, a new (modified) method of determining sobriety is being developed based on retrospective calculations. Metabolic interactions of compounds that may affect the rate of alcohol elimination in the human body are also investigated.
Currently, the Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology has started research on the potential cytotoxicity of metal nanoparticles, anticancer drugs and other xenobiotics using cell culture techniques (in vitro studies).

The research carried out in this Unit also focuses on the assessment of the effect of various factors (habitat, environmental pollution, storage, species) on the content of biologically active (desirable) and toxic substances in material of plant and animal origin and in the fungi. The Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology also conducts toxicological tests aimed at determining the residues of organochlorine pesticides in waters (lakes, rivers, ponds).

Academic teachers of the Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology conduct classes in biochemistry, toxicology, forensic toxicology, chemistry, forensic chemistry, immunology, endocrinology, bioanalytics, analysis and risk assessment in the following fields of study: Behaviorism, Zootechny, Hippology and Equestrianism, Care and Animal Therapy, Safety and occupational Hygiene, Food Safety and Certification, Environmental Protection, Biology, Forensic Biology, Biocosmetology and Dietetics. Teachers who educating students have many additional qualifications, such as the qualifications of a medical diagnostician, laboratory diagnostician, forensic expert and completed training under the “Masters of Didactics” project.

Laboratory of Analytical Biochemistry is a sub-unit of the Department.

In the Laboratory of Analytical Biochemistry functioning within the structure of the Department, a new research trend is to determine the mechanism of interaction of copper, zinc, manganese and chromium nanoparticles and newly synthesized potentially anti-cancer compounds (e.g. 4-oxo-8- (3-chlorophenyl) -4 acetate, 6,7,8-tetrahydroimidazo [2,1-c] [1,2,4] triazine-3-yl; 5-oxo-1,2,4-triazine or 1,2,4-triazole) on the level of thyroid gland hormones (T3, T4), acting as neurotransmitters (serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine), regulating carbohydrate metabolism (insulin, glucagon, leptin, ghrelin) in the body. As part of the research, new methods are developed (chromatographic, enzyme immunoassay and strip voltammetry) for the determination of biogenic amines and residues of anti-cancer drugs in biological material. Methods for the determination of anti-nutritive compounds (glucosinolates), bioactive compounds (polyphenols, flavonoids) and drugs (doxorubicin, paclitaxel) have been developed and implemented with the use of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry methods. This type of research is pioneering research in this area.