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Professor Richard Jenkins

Job: Research Professor

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116-2577942




Personal profile

Professor Jenkins holds a first class degree in microbiology with biochemistry and a PhD in yeast physiology. His postdoctoral research was with Professor Sir Howard Dalton at the University of Warwick, investigating microbial biotransformations of aromatic hydrocarbons. Since joining De Montfort University, he has pursued various research interests involving the interaction of microbiological systems with chemicals (including antimony and arsenic compounds, chlorinated ethylenes) and various man-made environments (infant mattresses, water courses, landfills). His other research interests are the mechanistic action of certain metabolic poisons (fluoroacetate, organophosphates), human exposure to toxic metals and metalloids, and spectroscopic characterisation of cells (human and microbial). 

Research group affiliations

Institute of Allied Health Sciences 

Publications and outputs

  • Organosulfur compounds as nutraceuticals
    Organosulfur compounds as nutraceuticals Goncharov, N. V.; BELINSKAIA, D.A.; UKOLOV, A.I.; Jenkins, R. O.; Avdonin, P. V. Organosulfur compounds (OSC) are widely present in our bodies and the natural environment. There are two principal groups of vegetables that contain OSC with special properties. Garlic, onion, shallot, leek, and chives are well-known representatives of the Allium genus (family Amaryllidaceae), that contain S-alk(en)yl-L-cysteine sulfoxides. Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale etc. are representatives of the Brassica genus, and rucola (rocket salad) of the Eruca genus of the mustard or cruciferous family (Brassicaceae), which contain S-methyl cysteine-L-sulfoxide. OSC as nutraceutical agents can serve not only as direct antioxidants trapping electrons, but also have non-antioxidant effects such as antiplatelet, fibrinolytic, antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, antiageing actions etc. These properties of OSC are useful in the prophylaxis and treatment of various pathological states, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and diabetes; they have antibacterial, antiviral and some other activities. Theories have emerged that explain these properties of OSC by their correction of redox-sensing and redox-signaling properties.
  • Flow cytometry and light scattering technique in evaluation of nutraceuticals
    Flow cytometry and light scattering technique in evaluation of nutraceuticals MINDUKSHEV, I.V.; KUDRYAVTSEV, I.V.; SEREBRIAKOVA, M.K.; TRULIOFF, A.S.; GAMBARYAN, S.P.; SUDNITSYNA, J.S.; Avdonin, P. V.; Jenkins, R. O.; Goncharov, N. V. Toxic and mechanistic properties of nutraceuticals are not as extensively studied as those of pharmaceuticals. Flow cytometry is among the most popular techniques to investigate the modes and mechanisms of cytotoxic action of chemical compounds, though flow cytometry methods are not suitable for online registration of fast changes of cell volumes. Such registration is especially important for some types of cells, such as human erythrocytes having no nuclei and mitochondria. In this chapter, we describe a new device (LaSca, Biomedsystems Ltd, Russia) for the registration of kinetic changes in cell volume, morphology and aggregation. In addition, flow cytometry methods of cell viability assessment are overviewed paying attention to mechanisms of cell death and survival, and some cellular studies of nutraceuticals employing light scattering and flow cytometry techniques are given in short.
  • Nutraceuticals in sports activities and fatigue
    Nutraceuticals in sports activities and fatigue Goncharov, N. V.; KORF, E.A.; NOVOZHILOV, A.V.; Jenkins, R. O.; Avdonin, P. V. Fatigue during exercise is defined as the inability to maintain the required level of strength and performance. Doping agents and manipulation of any kind are undesirable companions of professional and amateur sports. Nutraceuticals have advantage over medicines because they avoid side effects and naturally supplement the diet. In this chapter, experimental investigations and practical applications of some nutraceuticals are analyzed, firstly with regards to their capacity to enhance physical performance and reduce fatigue, but also their mechanistic properties that are important for physiological and biochemical adaptation.
  • The universal soldier: enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant functions of serum albumin.
    The universal soldier: enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant functions of serum albumin. Belinskaia, D. A.; Voronina, P.A.; Shmurak, V. I.; Vovk, M. A.; Batalova, A.A.; Jenkins, R. O.; Goncharov, N. V. As a carrier of many biologically active compounds, blood is exposed to oxidants to a greater extent than the intracellular environment. Serum albumin plays a key role in antioxidant defence under both normal and oxidative stress conditions. This review evaluates data published in the literature and from our own research on the mechanisms of the enzymatic and non‐enzymatic activities of albumin that determine its participation in redox modulation of plasma and intercellular fluid. For the first time, the results of numerous clinical, biochemical, spectroscopic and computational experiments devoted to the study of allosteric modulation of the functional properties of the protein associated with its participation in antioxidant defence are analysed. It has been concluded that it is fundamentally possible to regulate the antioxidant properties of albumin with various ligands, and the binding and/or enzymatic features of the protein by changing its redox status. The perspectives for using the antioxidant properties of albumin in practice are discussed. open access article
  • Russian VX
    Russian VX Rembovskiy, V.; Savelieva, A.; Radilov, A.; Samchenko, N.; Karakashev, G.; Leninskiy, M.; Koryagina, N.; Kuznetsov, S.; Mindukshev, I.; Khlebnikova, N.; Jenkins, R. O.; Goncharov, N. V.
  • Experimental modeling for delayed effects of organophosphates
    Experimental modeling for delayed effects of organophosphates Goncharov, N. V.; Belinskaia, D.; Shmurak, V.; Korf, E.; Jenkins, R. O.; Avdonin, P.
  • Fluoroacetate
    Fluoroacetate Goncharov, N. V.; Savelieva, E.; Koryagina, N.; Zinchenko, V.; Kuznetsov, V.; Mindukshev, I.; Avdonin, P.; Ukolov, A.; Jenkins, R. O.
  • Occurrence of ESBL-Producing Escherichia coli ST131, Including the H30-Rx and C1-M27 Subclones, Among Urban Seagulls from the United Kingdom
    Occurrence of ESBL-Producing Escherichia coli ST131, Including the H30-Rx and C1-M27 Subclones, Among Urban Seagulls from the United Kingdom Zendri, Flavia; Maciuca, Iuliana E.; Moon, Simon; Jones, Phillip H.; Wattret, Andy; Jenkins, R. O.; Baxter, Andy; Timofte, Dorina Antimicrobial resistance is a public health concern. Understanding any role that urban seagulls may have as a reservoir of resistant bacteria could be important for reducing transmission. This study investigated fecal Escherichia coli isolates from seagulls (herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls) to determine the prevalence of extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant (ESC-R) and fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli among gull species from two cities (Taunton and Birmingham) in the United Kingdom (UK). We characterized the genetic background and carriage of plasmid-mediated resistance genes in extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli obtained from these birds. Sixty ESC-R E. coli isolates were obtained from 39 seagulls (39/78, 50%), of which 28 (28/60, 46.7%) were positive for plasmid-mediated CTX-M and/or AmpC β-lactamase resistance genes. Among these, blaCTX-M-15, blaCTX-M-14, and blaCMY-2 predominated. Three isolates belonging to the B2-ST131 clone were detected, of which two harbored blaCTX-M-15 (typed to C2/H30Rx) and one harbored blaCTX-M-27 and was typed to C1/H30-R (recently described as the C1-M27 sublineage). The plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) gene carriage prevalence (11.7%) consisted of aac(6′)-Ib-cr and qnrB genes. No carbapenem or colistin resistance genes were detected. Urban seagulls in the UK are colonized and can spread major antimicrobial-resistant E. coli isolates harboring ESBL and PMQR determinants, including clinically important strains such as the pandemic clone B2-ST131 and the C1-M27 subclade. This is the first report of ST131-C1-M27 subclade in wildlife in the UK and in seagulls worldwide. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • The role of two-pore channels in norepinephrine-induced [Ca2+]i rise in rat aortic smooth muscle cells and aorta contraction.
    The role of two-pore channels in norepinephrine-induced [Ca2+]i rise in rat aortic smooth muscle cells and aorta contraction. Trufanov, S. K.; Rybakova, E. Y.; Avdonin, P. P.; TSITRINA, A. A.; Goncharov, N. V.; Jenkins, R. O.; Avdonin, P. V. Second messenger nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) triggers Ca2+ release via two-pore channels (TPCs) localized in endolysosomal vesicles. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the role of TPCs in the action of norepinephrine (NE), angiotensin II (AngII), vasopressin (AVP), and 5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT) on free cytoplasmic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) isolated from rat aorta and on aorta contraction. To address this issue, the NAADP structural analogue and inhibitor of TPCs, NED 19, was applied. We have demonstrated a high degree of colocalization of the fluorescent signals of cis-NED 19 and endolysosmal probe LysoTracker in SMCs. Both cis- or trans-NED 19 inhibited the rise of [Ca2+]i in SMCs induced by 100 M NE by 50–60%. IC50 for cis- and trans-NED 19 were 2.7 and 8.9 M, respectively. The inhibition by NED 19 stereoisomers of the e ects of AngII, AVP, and 5-HT was much weaker. Both forms of NED 19 caused relaxation of aortic rings preconstricted by NE, with relative potency of cis-NED 19 several times higher than that of trans-NED 19. Inhibition by cis-NED 19 of NE-induced contraction was maintained after intensive washing and slowly reversed within an hour of incubation. Cis- and trans-NED 19 did not cause decrease in the force of aorta contraction in response to Ang II and AVP, and only slightly relaxed aorta preconstricted by 5-HT and by KCl. Suppression of TPC1 in SMCs with siRNA caused a 40% decrease in [Ca2+]i in response to NE, whereas siRNA against TPC2 did not change NE calcium signaling. These data suggest that TPC1 is involved in the NE-stimulated [Ca2+]i rise in SMCs. Inhibition of TPC1 activity by NED 19 could be the reason for partial inhibition of aortic rings contraction in response to NE. open access journal
  • Safety and toxicity evaluation of nutraceuticals in animal models.
    Safety and toxicity evaluation of nutraceuticals in animal models. Goncharov, Nikolay V.; Sobolev, V. E.; Terpilowski, M.A.; Korf, E.A.; Jenkins, R. O. Nutraceuticals are derived from various natural sources such as medicinal plants, marine organisms, vegetables, and fruits. Most of them possess antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties and are claimed to provide protection against many diseases if taken regularly. At the same time, toxicological studies of nutraceuticals have been limited, so the safety of many of them cannot be guaranteed. Animals share many genetic, anatomical, and physiological similarities with humans, and they continue to be widely used in preclinical studies of drugs, in spite of a lack of their validity which is due to the great phenotypic differences. The absence of toxicity in animals provides little probability that adverse reactions will also be absent in humans. There are currently thousands of researchers involved in the development of alternatives to animal use in the life sciences. Statistical machine-learning tools, once developed, might become a powerful means to explain the complex physiological effects of nutraceuticals. The use of different models and algorithms can provide a more scientific basis for risk assessment of nutraceuticals for humans.

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Richard Jenkins