Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

Hepatotoxic effects of mycotoxin combinations in mice.

PMID 25445755


This study was performed to assess the individual and combined toxic effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), zearalenone (ZEA) and deoxynivalenol (DON) within the liver of mice. A total of 56 4-week-old weanling female mice were divided into seven groups (n = 8). For 2 weeks, each group received an oral administration of either solvent (control), AFB1, ZEA, DON, AFB1 + ZEA, AFB1 + DON or ZEA + DON per day. The results showed that AFB1, ZEA and DON induced liver injury, indicated by elevated relative liver weight, activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and/or aspartate aminotransferase (AST), as well as decreased albumin (ALB) and/or total protein (TP) concentration in the serum. These mycotoxins also decreased hepatic total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), and/or increased the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA). Moreover, AFB1 + DON displayed synergistic effects, while AFB1 + ZEA displayed antagonistic effects on those parameters previously described. Furthermore, the apoptotic potential was demonstrated associated with an upregulation of the apoptotic genes Caspase-3 and Bax, along with a downregulation of the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-2 in liver. In conclusion, this study provides a better understanding of the toxic effects of AFB1, ZEA, DON, alone or in combinations on the liver of mice, which could contribute to the risk assessment of these mycotoxins in food and feed.

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Aflatoxin B1 from Aspergillus flavus, from Aspergillus flavus