Furfuryl alcohol (FA) and 2-furyl methyl ketone (2FMK) are two dietary furans with wide industrial applications and also found in a variety of food items. In a mouse test system, the mutagenicity of these two compounds after five days of exposure has been reported. In the present study histopathological changes and biochemical alterations after a period of 5-90 days of exposure have been evaluated in target organs like liver and kidney. Hepatotoxicity in the form of pycnosis, vacuolation and focal necrosis was observed after 60 and 90 days of treatment with 2000 and 4000 ppm of FA. Kidney showed damage to tubular epithelium only after treatment with 4000 ppm of FA. 2-FMK did not show any noticeable damage to liver or kidney. Significant variations in total protein content and activity of aspartate and alanine aminotransferase (ASAT and ALAT) were observed in both liver and kidney after longer exposure to both the furans. There was an increased expression of two proteins of 92 and 94 KD in the liver of treated animals irrespective of the concentration or duration. It is apparent from the present study that dietary contamination with furans has definite hepatic and renal toxicity potentials in man.
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