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Title: An in vitro investigation of endocrine disrupting effects of the mycotoxin alternariol

Alternariol (AOH) is a mycotoxin commonly produced by Alternaria alternata on a wide range of foods. Few studies to date have been performed to evaluate the effects of AOH on endocrine activity. The present study makes use of in vitro mammalian cellular based assays and gene expression to investigate the ability of AOH to act as an endocrine disruptor by various modes of action. Reporter gene assays (RGAs), incorporating natural steroid hormone receptors for oestrogens, androgens, progestagens and glucocorticoids were used to identify endocrine disruption at the level of nuclear receptor transcriptional activity, and the H295R steroidogenesis assay was used to assess endocrine disruption at the level of gene expression and steroid hormone production. AOH exhibited a weak oestrogenic response when tested in the oestrogen responsive RGA and binding of progesterone to the progestagen receptor was shown to be synergistically increased in the presence of AOH. H295R cells when exposed to 0.1–1000 ng/ml AOH, did not cause a significant change in testosterone and cortisol hormones but exposure to 1000 ng/ml (3.87 μM) AOH resulted in a significant increase in estradiol and progesterone production. In the gene expression study following exposure to 1000 ng/ml (3.87 μM) AOH, only one gene NR0B1more » was down-regulated, whereas expression of mRNA for CYP1A1, MC2R, HSD3B2, CYP17, CYP21, CYP11B2 and CYP19 was up-regulated. Expression of the other genes investigated did not change significantly. In conclusion AOH is a weak oestrogenic mycotoxin that also has the ability to interfere with the steroidogenesis pathway. - Highlights: • Alternariol was investigated for endocrine disrupting activity. • Reporter gene assays and the H295R steroidogenesis assay have been used. • An oestrogenic effect of alternariol was observed. • This can lead to an increase in expression of the progesterone receptor. • Alternariol is capable of modulating hormone production and gene expression.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [2] ;  [6] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)
  2. Section of Experimental Biomedicine, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo (Norway)
  3. (Tanzania, United Republic of)
  4. (Ethiopia)
  5. Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo (Norway)
  6. Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås (Norway)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; Journal Volume: 271; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States