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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

  • Nephrotoxic effects of paraoxon in three rat models of acute intoxication
    Nephrotoxic effects of paraoxon in three rat models of acute intoxication SOBOLEV, V.E.; SOKOLOVA, M.O.; Jenkins, R. O.; GONCHAROV, N.V. The delayed effects of acute intoxication by organophosphates (OPs) are poorly understood, and the various experimental animal models often do not take into account species characteristics. The principal biochemical feature of rodents is the presence of carboxylesterase in blood plasma, which is a target for OPs and can greatly distort their specific effects. The present study was designed to investigate the nephrotoxic effects of paraoxon (O,O-diethyl O-(4-nitrophenyl) phosphate, POX) using three models of acute poisoning in outbred Wistar rats. In the first model (M1, POX2x group), POX was administered twice at doses 110 µg/kg and 130 µg/kg subcutaneously, with an interval of 1 h. In the second model (M2, CBPOX group), 1 h prior to POX poisoning at a dose of 130 µg/kg subcutaneously, carboxylesterase activity was pre-inhibited by administration of specific inhibitor cresylbenzodioxaphosphorin oxide (CBDP, 3.3 mg/kg intraperitoneally). In the third model (M3), POX was administered subcutaneously just once at doses of LD16 (241 µg/kg), LD50 (250 µg/kg), and LD84 (259 µg/kg). Animal observation and sampling were performed 1, 3, and 7 days after the exposure. Endogenous creatinine clearance (ECC) decreased in 24 h in the POX2x group (p = 0.011). Glucosuria was observed in rats 24 h after exposure to POX in both M1 and M2 models. After 3 days, an increase in urinary excretion of chondroitin sulfate (CS, p = 0.024) and calbindin (p = 0.006) was observed in rats of the CBPOX group. Morphometric analysis revealed a number of differences most significant for rats in the CBPOX group. Furthermore, there was an increase in the area of the renal corpuscles (p = 0.0006), an increase in the diameter of the lumen of the proximal convoluted tubules (PCT, p = 0.0006), and narrowing of the diameter of the distal tubules (p = 0.001). After 7 days, the diameter of the PCT lumen was still increased in the nephrons of the CBPOX group (p = 0.0009). In the M3 model, histopathological and ultrastructural changes in the kidneys were revealed after the exposure to POX at doses of LD50 and LD84. Over a period from 24 h to 3 days, a significant (p = 0.018) expansion of Bowman’s capsule was observed in the kidneys of rats of both the LD50 and LD84 groups. In the epithelium of the proximal tubules, stretching of the basal labyrinth, pycnotic nuclei, and desquamation of microvilli on the apical surface were revealed. In the epithelium of the distal tubules, partial swelling and destruction of mitochondria and pycnotic nuclei was observed, and nuclei were displaced towards the apical surface of cells. After 7 days of the exposure to POX, an increase in the thickness of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) was observed in the LD50 and LD84 groups (p = 0.019 and 0.026, respectively). Moreover, signs of damage to tubular epithelial cells persisted with blockage of the tubule lumen by cellular detritus and local destruction of the surface of apical cells. Comparison of results from the three models demonstrates that the nephrotoxic effects of POX, evaluated at 1 and 3 days, appear regardless of prior inhibition of carboxylesterase activity. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Open access article.
  • Esterase activity of serum albumin studied by 1H NMR spectroscopy and molecular modelling
    Esterase activity of serum albumin studied by 1H NMR spectroscopy and molecular modelling BELINSKAIA, D.A.; VORONINA, P.A.; VOVK, M.A.; SHMURAK, V.I.; BATALOVA, A.A.; Jenkins, R. O.; GONCHAROV, N.V. Serum albumin possesses esterase and pseudo-esterase activities towards a number of endogenous and exogenous substrates, but the mechanism of interaction of various esters and other compounds with albumin is still unclear. In the present study, proton nuclear magnetic resonance ( 1H NMR) has been applied to the study of true esterase activity of albumin, using the example of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and p-nitrophenyl acetate (NPA). The site of BSA esterase activity was then determined using molecular modelling methods. According to the data obtained, the accumulation of acetate in the presence of BSA in the reaction mixture is much more intense as compared with the spontaneous hydrolysis of NPA, which indicates true esterase activity of albumin towards NPA. Similar results were obtained for p-nitophenyl propionate (NPP) as substrate. The rate of acetate and propionate release confirms the assumption that there is a site of true esterase activity in the albumin molecule, which is different from the site of the pseudo-esterase activity Sudlow II. The results of molecular modelling of BSA and NPA interaction make it possible to postulate that Sudlow site I is the site of true esterase activity of albumin. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Open access article.
  • Serum albumin in health and disease: esterase, antioxidant, transporting and signaling properties
    Serum albumin in health and disease: esterase, antioxidant, transporting and signaling properties BELINSKAIA, D.A.; VORONINA, P.A.; SHMURAK, V.I.; Jenkins, R. O.; GONCHAROV, N.V. Being one of the main proteins in the human body and many animal species, albumin plays a decisive role in the transport of various ions—electrically neutral and charged molecules—and in maintaining the colloidal osmotic pressure of the blood. Albumin is able to bind to almost all known drugs, as well as many nutraceuticals and toxic substances, largely determining their pharmaco and toxicokinetics. Albumin of humans and respective representatives in cattle and rodents have their own structural features that determine species differences in functional properties. However, albumin is not only passive, but also an active participant of pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic processes, possessing a number of enzymatic activities. Numerous experiments have shown esterase or pseudoesterase activity of albumin towards a number of endogeneous and exogeneous esters. Due to the free thiol group of Cys34, albumin can serve as a trap for reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, thus participating in redox processes. Glycated albumin makes a significant contribution to the pathogenesis of diabetes and other diseases. The interaction of albumin with blood cells, blood vessels and tissue cells outside the vascular bed is of great importance. Interactions with endothelial glycocalyx and vascular endothelial cells largely determine the integrative role of albumin. This review considers the esterase, antioxidant, transporting and signaling properties of albumin, as well as its structural and functional modifications and their significance in the pathogenesis of certain diseases. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Open access article.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Richard Jenkins