MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Chemical and Food Toxicology


Ecotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. dr. Metka Filipič
doc. dr. Bojana Žegura


To introduce the students with the basics of toxicology focused on the needs of different chemical industries and the fields of food production and processing. The students will gain basic knowledge on toxicological principles; they will be introduced to basic toxicity test systems and new molecular biological approaches. They will be familiarized with the sources and use of toxicological data for hazard and risk assessment for humans and environment.
The students will acquire necessary understanding of toxicology for the purposes of chemical safety in industry and food production and processing, and for the implementation of the legislation concerning chemical safety.


1. Introduction: basic concepts of hazard and toxicity, dose-response relationships – drugs, poisons and nutrients, natural and synthetic chemicals, homeostasis, avoiding poisoning.
2. Factors affecting risk of poisoning: how substances move through environment, how effective exposure depends on the route of exposure, how toxic effects depend upon how the body reacts with chemicals (toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics), effects on organs, specific toxic effects (carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, reproductive toxicity, immunnotoxicity) and their molecular mechanisms, effects of combined exposures, differences between acute and chronic exposure.
3. Sources and use of toxicological data: Toxicological testing (in vivo, in vitro, toxicogenomics), interpretation of data, hazard assessment, exposure monitoring.
4. Common types of chemicals and food contaminants that cause health threats: solvents, metals, acids and bases, pesticides, nanoparticles, natural toxins, food additives, side products of food processing.

Course literature:

C.D. Klaasen editor. Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology: 6th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2001 (izbrana poglavja/selected chapters.
J. Timbrell. Principles of Biochemical Toxicology: 3rd edition, CRC Press, 2000.
Introduction to Food Toxicology T. Shibamato and L. Bjeldanes (2nd Ed 2009) Academic Press, Inc. San Diego, CA (ISBN 0-12640025-3)
Food and Nutritional Toxicology: S.T. Omaye 2004 CRC Press LLC (ISBN 1-58716-071-4)

review articles from the field, periodicals, EU website, other educational readings...

Significant publications and references:

Prof. dr. Metka Filipič:

Gajski, G., Geric, M., Žegura, B., Novak, M., Nunić, J., Bajrektarević, D., Garaj-Vrhovac, V., and Filipič, M. (2015). Genotoxic potential of selected cytostatic drugs in human and zebrafish cells. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 1-12.
Kovacs, R., Csenki, Z., Bakos, K., Urbanyi, B., Horvath, A., Garaj-Vrhovac, V., Gajski, G., Geric, M., Negreira, N., Lopez de Alda, M., Barcelo, D., Heath, E., Kosjek, T., Žegura, B., Novak, M., Zajc, I., Baebler, Š., Rotter, A., Ramšak, Ž., Filipič, M. (2015). Assessment of toxicity and genotoxicity of low doses of 5-fluorouracil in zebrafish (Danio rerio) two-generation study. Water Research 77, 201-212.
Stupar, P., Pavlovic, V., Nunic, J., Cundric, S., Filipic, M., and Stevanovic, M. (2014). Development of lyophilized spherical particles of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) and examination of their morphology, cytocompatibility and influence on the formation of reactive oxygen species. J. Drug Deliv. Sci. Technol. 24, 191-197.
Pezdirc, M., Zegura, B., and Filipic, M. (2013). Genotoxicity and induction of DNA damage responsive genes by food-borne heterocyclic aromatic amines in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Food and Chemical Toxicology 59, 386-394.
Viegas, O., Zegura, B., Pezdric, M., Novak, M., Ferreira, I.M.P.L.V.O., Pinho, O., and Filipic, M. (2013). Protective effects of xanthohumol against the genotoxicity of heterocyclic aromatic amines MeIQx and PhIP in bacteria and in human hepatoma (HepG2) cells. Food and Chemical Toxicology 50, 949-955.
Filipic, M. (2012). Mechanisms of cadmium induced genomic instability. Mutation Research-Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 733, 69-77.

Doc. dr. Bojana Žegura:

Maisanaba Hernández, G., Hercog, K., Filipič, M., Jos, A., Žegura, B. (2016) Genotoxic potential of Montmorillonite clay mineral and alteration in the expression of genes involved in toxicity mechanisms in the human hepatoma cell line HepG2. Journal of hazardous materials,. 304, 425-433.
Novotnik, B., Ščančar, J., Milačič, R., Filipič, M., Žegura, B. Cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of Cr(VI), Cr(III)-nitrate and Cr(III)-EDTA complex in human hepatoma (HepG2) cells. (2016) Chemosphere, 154, 124-131.
Novak, M., Hercog, K., Žegura, B. (2016) Assessment of the mutagenic and genotoxic activity of cyanobacterial toxin beta-N-methyl-amino-L-alanine in Salmonella typhimurium. Toxicon, 118, 134-140.
Štern, A., Filipič, M., Gorenc, I., Žegura, B. (2013) The influence of cylindrospermopsin on oxidative DNA damage and apoptosis induction in HepG2 cells. Chemosphere, 92, 24-30.
Vogrinčič, M., Kreft, I., Filipič, M., Žegura, B. (2013) Antigenotoxic effect of tartary (Fagopyrum tataricum) and common (Fagopyrum esculentum) buckwheat flour. Journal of medicinal food, 16, 944-952
Fic, A., Žegura, B., Gramec, D., Peterlin-Mašič, L. (2014) Estrogenic and androgenic activities of TBBA and TBMEPH, metabolites of novel brominated flame retardants, and selected bisphenols, using the XenoScreen XL YES/YAS assay. Chemosphere, 112, 362-369.


Seminar (50%)
Oral defence of seminar work (50%)

Students obligations:

Seminar and oral defence of seminar work.