BioISI Research Seminar

Tackling the NPS Threats

Identification, Synthesis, Metabolic Profile and Toxicity of Emerging Cathinones

Anfiteatro da FCiências.ID, Ciências ULisboa

Por Helena Gaspar (BioISI/FCUL).

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are a range of substances, mostly synthetic, that have emerged in the recreational drugs market with the purpose of mimicking the effects of classic drugs and circumvent legislation restrictions against illicit substances. The term NPS designates substances of abuse, that are not controlled by the United Nations Drug Conventions, but which may pose a public health threat comparable to substances present in these conventions. However, the health risks associated with the consumption of NPS led to the publication of new legislation in different countries, aiming to overcome the concerns related to these risks. One of the main challenges in the early control of NPS, either in seized material or biological matrices, is related to their correct identification using reliable and rapid analytical methods, even in the absence of standards.

To tackle the problem of accurate and unambiguous identification of NPS in Portugal, a collaboration was established between the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Laboratório de Polícia Científica da Polícia Judiciária (LPC/PJ) and Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal e Ciências Forenses, I.P. (INMLCF). Between 2014 and 2022, working on 103 selected cases chosen by the LPC/PJ, a methodology was developed using complementary information gathered from different analytical techniques, allowing not only an unequivocal identification (without standards) of 122 NPS in seized products, but also the use of some samples as qualitative standards in routine analyses. Twenty-six NPS were detected for the first time in Portugal (4F-PBP for the first time in Europe), being synthetic cathinones the major class of the NPS detected. These NPS, are β-keto phenethylamines, structural analogues of cathinone, the major psychoactive alkaloid present in the leaves of Catha edulis. Notably 65% of the material seized (3.3 tonnes) during 2020 in Europe was cathinone powders, and until December of 2021, 162 cathinones were reported as NPS. The increase of acute intoxication and deaths associated with the consumption of cathinones (and other NPS) has resulted in their continuous inclusion in the International Drug Control Convention. Since 2015, 12 synthetic cathinones were included in the Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.

In this context, a series of cathinones already in the market, or with foreseeable structural modifications to render them NPS, were synthesized and fully characterized. The obtention of these cathinones standards allowed: i) to create a GC–MS and NMR library that has facilitated the rapid and straightforward identification of cathinones in seized products in Portugal; ii) to develop analytical methodologies for the differentiation of regioisomeric cathinones (e.g. by FT-ICR) iii) to develop and validate methods for a rapid and unambiguous monitoring of cathinones in blood by SPE/GC-MS; iv) to evaluate the cytotoxicity of cathinones in human cell lines (SH-SY5Y and HepG2); v) to discover the selective biomarkers for detection of cathinones in biological matrices through the study of their metabolic profile by LC-HRMS/MS generated by incubation in human liver microsomes. Subsequently, the metabolites considered to be used as biomarkers were synthesized and their cytotoxicity evaluated.

These findings represent an important contribute not only for the unequivocal identifications of these emerging cathinones in seized product and biological matrices but also to understand their potential adverse effects and link causative agents to toxicities.

11h00
BioISI - Instituto de Biossistemas e Ciências Integrativas
Composição com os nomes das Universidades participantes

Candidaturas até 25 de maio (mobilidades no 1.º semestre).

Título/data/local do evento, sobre representação de luzes

Quase um ano após o telescópio Euclid ter sido colocado no espaço, vamos ver e compreender as novas imagens de entre as maiores alguma vez feitas do Universo, e aprofundar as primeiras descobertas a serem divulgados pela Agência Espacial Europeia (ESA) a 23 de maio.

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The 2024 Conjugate Margins Conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, following the successful event in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2022, and is espected to attract participants from a variety of countries, public and private institutions, students, researchers and professionals.

Seminário de Formação Avançada em Jardins, Paisagens e Ambiente, por André Murgia (Università degli Studi di Cagliari).

Seminário do Centro de Física Teórica e Computacional, por João Carvalho (Soft and Biological Matter - CFisUC, Department of Physics, University of Coimbra, Portugal).

Seminário por Pavel Dvořák (TIFR / Charles University).

Título/data/local do evento e pintura de casa na planta de um pé

Sessão inaugural do Ciclo de Debates "Pensar a Dois Tempos".

Seminário Helena Avelar de Astronomia e Astrologia Antiga, por Francisco Malta Romeiras (Universidade de Lisboa).

Título do prémio

As candidaturas decorrem até ao dia 31 de maio.

O objetivo deste workshop é juntar especialistas portugueses e espanhóis em história política, cultural, científica e marítima do século XVI que, num ambiente informal, irão debater a importância deste intercâmbio.

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Candidaturas até 03 de junho.

Inscrições até 24 de maio.

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A conferência é dedicada ao tema "Desafios em Saúde Planetária: Capacitar Comunidades para a Mudança".

Pormenor de linguagem corporal (braços e mãos) de pessoa a dialogar

Ação de formação para docentes e investigadores de Ciências.

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Quatro dos doze finalistas da competição são de Ciências ULisboa.

Seminário do Centro de Estatística e Aplicações da Universidade de Lisboa e do Centro de Matemática Computacional e Estocástica, por Fernando Moura (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil).

Título/data/local do evento, logótipos da Rede MAR/ULisboa e fotografia de zona costeira

Candidaturas até 31 de maio.

Pormenor de duas pessoas a trabalharem em frente a um ecrã de computador

Inscrições de docentes e investigadores de Ciências até 02 de junho.

Feixes luminosos

Envio de propostas até 20 de junho.

An opportunity to get acquainted with some of the most promising contemporary topics in the exciting interdisciplinary area of scientific culture: the interactions of mathematics and music.

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As Jornadas Científicas 2024 da Universidade de Lisboa são dedicadas ao tema “Impacto Atual e Futuro da Inteligência Artificial no Trabalho”.

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This year's program will cover two plenary sessions hosted by Susete Pinteus and Hugo Miranda, complemented by oral presentations, flash talks, and poster communications. Finally, a round table discussion will take place at the end of our meeting.

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As candidaturas à 11.ª edição decorrem até 28 de junho.

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