Scientific school

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The main scientific subject of research is concluded in investigation of survival potential in organisms subjected to different stress factors and finding the ways to enhance adaptive capacities of the organism. The department has created and effectively develop the biochemical research school “Free radical processes in live organisms”. The founder of the School is professor, doctor of biological sciences Volodymyr Lushchak.



Scientific school is conducting a study of toxic effects of many external factors that are associated with the development of oxidative stress, i.e. with increased production of free radicals in the cells of living organisms. The main scientific idea of the school is based on a comprehensive assessment of the intensity of free-radical processes to clarify the mechanisms of adaptation of living organisms to unfavorable factors and develop ways to improve the protective potential of the body by using a mild stress and natural substances that stimulate functioning of protection systems. Together with the assessment of the ability of free radicals oxidize components of cells we studying their potentially beneficial effects.



Objects of research - mechanisms of negative impact of adverse environmental factors on living organisms; physiological and biochemical mechanisms of adaptation to the action of various external and internal stressors. As model organisms we used bacteria, baker's yeast, plants, Drosophila fruit flies, fish and Daphnia. The organisms are exposed to oxidants, heavy metals, pesticides, changes in temperature, nature and mode of food supply and so on.



Subject of study: indicators of organismal functional status (behavior, growth, vitality, reproductive capacity, metabolic activity, etc.), indicators of intensity of free-radical reactions (level of damaged cellular components and content of low molecular weight antioxidants, activity of antioxidant enzymes,), non-enzymatic indicators of glycosylation intensity and development of carbonyl stress (glycosylation and carbonylation end products, activity of protective enzymes); carbohydrate and lipid metabolism (content of glucose, glycogen, triacylglycerols, activity of enzymes involved in amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism), indicators of immune status of the fish.



Scientific achievements of the school. We improved knowledge about physiological and biochemical mechanisms of adaptation of living organisms (common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.), silver carp (Carassius auratus L.) and Rotan (Perccottus glenii Dubowski); fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster; baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Bacillus bacteria sp. and Escherichia coli, plant Arabidopsis thaliana and maize seedlings) to the action of a number of adverse environmental factors, pesticides, heavy metals and other xenobiotics, temperature, salt stress, unbalanced diet, high concentrations of carbohydrates. It is shown that the effect of adverse factors (hyperoxia, hypoxia, high temperature, iron ions (II), nitrosative stress, treatment with weak organic acids and hydrogen peroxide) is associated with the development of oxidative stress, which results in an increased markers of free radical processes and adaptive potential of antioxidant system. For the first time shown that fructose compared to glucose, leads to faster aging of cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and higher intensity of oxidation and non-enzymatic glycosylation of yeast proteins in vivo and in vitro.


It is shown that Rhodiola rosea extracts in a concentration-dependent manner increase stress resistance and life expectancy in yeast. Calorie restriction and its excess in the diet, achieved by changes in glucose, fructose, sucrose and equimolar mixture of glucose and fructose in D. melanogaster medium, similarly to mammalian organism, influence basic metabolism and food intake in flies. For the first time we evaluated the impact of different carbohydrates on the course of free-radical processes and antioxidant system functioning in D. melanogaster. Also, proven prospects of using the fruit fly as a model object for studying metabolic disorders. It was shown that sodium nitroprusside in high concentrations causes a delay of larvae and adult flies emergence.



We established that A. thaliana, defective for individual links of tocopherols synthesis, are more sensitive to stress, induced by sodium chloride salt, xenobiotics (sodium nitroprusside, S-nitrosoglutathione) and growing in open ground. Positive effect of preadaptation to low concentrations of sodium nitroprusside on plant response to salt stress investigated too.

We show that chromium ions of different valence (Cr3+ and Cr6+), cobalt and nickel, herbicides such as raudap and aminotryazol cause development of oxidative stress in silver carp, showing the concentrational and tissue-specific action. It has been suggested, that possibility of using cytological and biochemical blood parameters (hemoglobin content, level of carbonyl groups in proteins, activity of enzymes - catalase and lactate dehydrogenase, red blood cells cytological damage) in vivo research methods, which can provide information about polluters of the environment and their toxicity for fish, without causing damage to animals body. Summarizing the results, we can conclude that the effects of many chemical factors, the nature of food consumption, conditions of growing lead to development of oxidative stress in the cells of living organisms. Thus the effect of stressors in sublethal doses induces mild oxidative stress, which favorably affects overall health, increases resistance to these stressors and promote functional and chronological longevity.
The research results were published in 7 english-speaking books, 150 best domestic professional journals («Ukrainian Biochemical Journal», «Microbiological Journal» and others) and in international journals that are actively quoted (with impact factor) and which are in scientometric databases («Biochemistry» (Moscow) «Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology», «Aquatic Toxicology», «Redox Report», «Chemosphere», «Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety», «Pesticide Physiology and Biochemistry» and others).
Ukrainian (CIS)English (United Kingdom)

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