Cell biology and toxicology

Effects of four trichothecene mycotoxins on activation marker expression and cell proliferation of human lymphocytes in culture.

PMID 10696820


Four trichothecene mycotoxins--the type A trichothecenes T2-toxin and diacetoxyscirpenol and the type B trichothecenes nivalenol and deoxynivalenol--were studied. The effects of these mycotoxins on the expression of the sequentially expressed activation markers CD69, CD25, and CD71 and on proliferation of human lymphocytes were studied in culture with a duration of up to 72 h. All the examined toxins affected activation marker expression in a similar way. After 6 h, the CD69 expression was lower in exposed cultures compared to controls. After 24 and 48 h of exposure, an increased frequency of cells expressing CD69 was found in exposed cultures, indicating a delay in downregulation of CD69 expression. Stimulation of CD25 expression was observed for doses below the IC50 value, while suppression was found for higher doses. The pattern was different from that detected for CD69 expression, in that an increased expression of CD25 never occurred after exposure to the highest concentration of the toxin, and in that no stimulatory effects were found after 48 h of exposure, indicating that the response was inhibited and not delayed. The effects of toxin exposure on CD71 expression were in many respects similar to the effects on CD25 expression. We conclude that the trichothecene mycotoxins investigated in this study inhibited the cell cycle in a similar way and exert their main antiproliferative action rather early in the cell cycle, before or in conjunction with CD25 expression.