Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 6285–6295 | Cite as

The potential effect of patulin on mice bearing melanoma cells: an anti-tumour or carcinogenic effect?

  • Manel Boussabbeh
  • Intidhar Ben Salem
  • Karima Rjiba-Touati
  • Chedy Bouyahya
  • Fadwa Neffati
  • Mohamed Fadhel Najjar
  • Hassen Bacha
  • Salwa Abid-Essefi
Original Article


Mycotoxins are bioactive compounds that are noxious to human. Their effects on oncogenesis have been satisfactorily elucidated, and some of mycotoxins have been classified as carcinogenic to humans. Nevertheless, patulin (PAT) is considered by the International Agency of Research on Cancer as ‘not carcinogenic to humans’. The present study was designed to understand the effect of this mycotoxin on melanoma cells (B16F10) by measuring cell proliferation and assessing the anti-tumour effect in vivo in Balb/c mice. Our results revealed that intraperitoneally administration of PAT for 20 days significantly induces tumour regression in B16F10 cell-implanted mice. This effect was evidenced by the activation of apoptosis which is supported by the increase in p53 and Bax expressions, the downregulation of the protein levels of Bcl2, and the increase in caspase-3 activity. Moreover, systemic toxicity analysis demonstrated that there is no potential toxicity following PAT treatment unlike untreated melanoma mice which suffer from anaemia, inflammation and liver dysfunction. Remarkably, this is the first published report demonstrating the therapeutic efficacy of PAT in vivo models.


Mycotoxin Anti-tumour Melanoma Apoptosis Patulin B16F10 





Red blood cells








Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration


Mean corpuscular haemoglobin


Mean corpuscular volume


Mean platelet volume


White blood cells


Aspartate transaminase


Alanine aminotransferase


Gamma glutamyltransférase


Total bilirubin T




Total cholesterol


Alkaline phosphatase






Lactate dehydrogenase



This research was supported by the Ministère Tunisien de l’Enseignement Superieur et de la Recherche Scientifique et de la Technologie (Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Substances Biologiquement Compatibles, LRSBC). The authors are thankful to Mr. Mohamed Fadhel Najjar for its laboratory support during the course of study.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manel Boussabbeh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Intidhar Ben Salem
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karima Rjiba-Touati
    • 1
    • 4
  • Chedy Bouyahya
    • 1
  • Fadwa Neffati
    • 3
  • Mohamed Fadhel Najjar
    • 3
  • Hassen Bacha
    • 1
  • Salwa Abid-Essefi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Research on Biologically Compatible Compounds, Faculty of Dental MedicineMonastirTunisia
  2. 2.Faculty of Sciences of BizerteUniversity of CarthageTunisTunisia
  3. 3.Laboratory of Biochemistry-ToxicologyMonastir University HospitalMonastirTunisia
  4. 4.Faculty of Sciences of GafsaGafsaTunisia

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