Toxicology and applied pharmacology

Characterization of an ochratoxin-A-dedifferentiated and cloned renal epithelial cell line.

PMID 9772224


Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a ubiquitous fungal metabolite with predominant nephrotoxic action. OTA impairs postproximal renal electrolyte handling and increases the incidence of renal adenoma and carcinoma. Furthermore, it is supposed to be involved in the pathogenesis of different forms of human renal diseases. Previously we have shown that OTA activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and ERK2 in the C7 clone but not in the C11 clone of renal epithelial MDCK cells. Here we show that nanomolar concentrations of OTA lead to stable and irreversible phenotypical and genotypical alterations, resulting in sustained dedifferentiation of MDCK-C7 cells but not of MDCK-C11 cells. Dedifferentiated MDCK-C7 cells (OTA-C7 cells) display a distinct morphology from the parent cell line (spindle-shape, pleiomorphic, narrow intercellular spaces, increased cell size) and show a reduced proliferation rate and numerical chromosomal aberrations. Functionally, OTA-C7 cells are characterized by a dramatic reduction of transepithelial electrolyte transport and the complete loss of responsiveness to the mineralocorticoid hormone aldosterone. Our data provide further evidence that OTA can lead to cell dedifferentiation and eventually to transformation of cloned quiescent cells. The changes in phenotype due to this dedifferentiation could explain some of the OTA-induced changes in renal function.

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Ochratoxin A, from Petromyces albertensis, ≥98% (HPLC)