Mycotoxin Research

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 176–181 | Cite as

Combinatory effects of citrinin and ochratoxin A in immortalized human proximal tubule cells



Ochratoxin A (OTA) and citrinin (CIT) are two mycotoxins often occurring together in grains and cereals. Although both are nephrotoxic and can induce apoptosis, combination effects have not been examined up to now. Therefore, the aim of this study was to take a close look at the interactions of citrinin and OTA in cultured human proximal tubule-derived cells (IHKE cells). The cytotoxicity of both mycotoxins was studied, measuring the metabolic activity and the cell number. Furthermore, caspase 3-activation as a marker for apoptosis was examined for both mycotoxin alone and in combination. The results show that citrinin had an antagonistic effect on ochratoxin A induced caspase 3-activation in concentrations of 2.5 and 5 μmol/l. Higher concentrations (7.5 and 15 μmol/l) lead to additive effects, lower citrinin concentrations (0.25 and 1 μmol/l) did not show any effect at all. The observed decrease in caspase 3-activity was specific for the combination with OTA, since the combination of citrinin with cisplatin did not show any effect. Citrinin did not influence of the OTA-induced apoptosis when added two hours after applying ochratoxin A. Also the combination of both toxins decreased the uptake of OTA into the cells which might be an explanation for the antagonistic effect of citrinin in certain concentrations. However, the transport into cells can not be the only explanation. so further examinations are necessary.


citrinin ochratoxin A apoptosis cytotoxicity cell culture 


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© Society of Mycotoxin Research and Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Food ChemistryUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Institut of PhysiologyUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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