Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology

Comparison of emetic potencies of the 8-ketotrichothecenes deoxynivalenol, 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol, 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol, fusarenon X, and nivalenol.

PMID 22997060


Although the acute toxic effects of trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON or vomitoxin), a known cause of human food poisoning, have been well characterized in several animal species, much less is known about closely related 8-ketotrichothecenes that similarly occur in cereal grains colonized by toxigenic fusaria. To address this, we compared potencies of DON, 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), fusarenon X (FX), and nivalenol (NIV) in the mink emesis model following intraperitoneal (ip) and oral administration. All five congeners dose-dependently induced emesis by both administration methods. With increasing doses, there were marked decreases in latency to emesis with corresponding increases in emesis duration and number of emetic events. The effective doses resulting in emetic events in 50% of the animals for ip exposure to DON, 15-ADON, 3-ADON, FX, and NIV were 80, 170, 180, 70, and 60 µg/kg bw, respectively, and for oral exposure, they were 30, 40, 290, 30, and 250 µg/kg bw, respectively. The emetic potency of DON determined here was comparable to that reported in analogous studies conducted in pigs and dogs, suggesting that the mink is a suitable small animal model for investigating acute trichothecene toxicity. The use of a mouse pica model, based on the consumption of kaolin, was also evaluated as a possible surrogate for studying emesis but was found unsuitable. From a public health perspective, comparative emetic potency data derived from small animal models such as the mink should be useful for establishing toxic equivalency factors for DON and other trichothecenes.