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Title: New insights into mycotoxin mixtures: The toxicity of low doses of Type B trichothecenes on intestinal epithelial cells is synergistic

Deoxynivalenol (DON) is the most prevalent trichothecene mycotoxin in crops in Europe and North America. DON is often present with other type B trichothecenes such as 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV) and fusarenon-X (FX). Although the cytotoxicity of individual mycotoxins has been widely studied, data on the toxicity of mycotoxin mixtures are limited. The aim of this study was to assess interactions caused by co-exposure to Type B trichothecenes on intestinal epithelial cells. Proliferating Caco-2 cells were exposed to increasing doses of Type B trichothecenes, alone or in binary or ternary mixtures. The MTT test and neutral red uptake, respectively linked to mitochondrial and lysosomal functions, were used to measure intestinal epithelial cytotoxicity. The five tested mycotoxins had a dose-dependent effect on proliferating enterocytes and could be classified in increasing order of toxicity: 3-ADON < 15-ADON ≈ DON < NIV ≪ FX. Binary or ternary mixtures also showed a dose-dependent effect. At low concentrations (cytotoxic effect between 10 and 30–40%), mycotoxin combinations were synergistic; however DON–NIV–FX mixture showed antagonism. At higher concentrations (cytotoxic effect around 50%), the combinations had an additive or nearly additive effect. These results indicate that the simultaneous presence of low doses of mycotoxins in foodmore » commodities and diet may be more toxic than predicted from the mycotoxins alone. Considering the frequent co-occurrence of trichothecenes in the diet and the concentrations of toxins to which consumers are exposed, this synergy should be taken into account. - Highlights: • We assessed the individual and combined cytotoxicity of five trichothecenes. • The tested concentrations correspond to the French consumer exposure levels. • The type of interaction in combined cytotoxicity varied with the effect level. • Low doses of Type B trichothecenes induced synergistic cytotoxicity. • Ternary combination DON–NIV–FX showed antagonism.« less
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  1. INRA, UMR 1331 Toxalim, Research Center in Food Toxicology, F-31027 Toulouse (France)
  2. (France)
  3. (Benin)
  4. Institut des Sciences Biomédicales Appliquées, Cotonou, Bénin (Benin)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; Journal Volume: 272; 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