Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 88, Issue 5, pp 1097–1107 | Cite as

Toxicity of the mycotoxin citrinin and its metabolite dihydrocitrinone and of mixtures of citrinin and ochratoxin A in vitro

  • Wolfram Föllmann
  • Claudia Behm
  • Gisela H. Degen
In vitro systems

Abstract

Citrinin (CIT) and ochratoxin A (OTA) are mycotoxins produced by several species of the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium and Monascus. Both can be present as contaminants in various food commodities and in animal feed. The occurrence and toxicity of OTA and human exposure have been intensively studied, but for CIT such data are scarce by comparison. Recently, dihydrocitrinone (DH-CIT) was detected as main metabolite of CIT in human urine, and co-occurrence of CIT and OTA was shown in human blood plasma (Blaszkewicz et al. in Arch Toxicol 87:1087–1094, 2013). In light of these new findings, we have now investigated the toxicity of the metabolite DH-CIT in comparison with CIT and analysed the effects of mixtures of CIT and OTA in vitro. The cytotoxic potency of DH-CIT (IC50 of 320/200 μM) was distinctly lower compared with CIT (IC50 of 70/62 μM) after treatment of V79 cells for 24 and 48 h. Whereas CIT induced a concentration-dependent increase in micronucleus frequencies at concentrations ≥30 μM, DH-CIT showed no genotoxic effect up to 300 μM. Thus, conversion of CIT to DH-CIT in humans can be regarded as a detoxification step. Mixtures of CIT and OTA exerted additive effects in cytotoxicity assays. The effect of CIT and OTA mixtures on induction of micronuclei varied dependent on the used concentrations between additive for low μM concentrations and more-than-additive for high μM concentrations. Effects on cell cycle were mostly triggered by OTA when both mycotoxins were used in combination. The implications of our and related in vitro studies are discussed with respect to in vivo concentrations of CIT and OTA, which are found in animals and in humans.

Keywords

Cytotoxicity Genotoxicity Metabolite Mixtures 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfram Föllmann
    • 1
  • Claudia Behm
    • 1
  • Gisela H. Degen
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo)DortmundGermany

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