Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 9333

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Interests: mycotoxin bio-degradation; mycotoxin detoxification; feed-food safety; molecular toxicology of dietary mycotoxins
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Life Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China
Interests: mycotoxins; degradation of mycotoxins; detection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mycotoxins, toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi, naturally contaminate the food chain through plant-based or animal-based foods. They are related to many health problems such as carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity, hepatotoxicity, immunosuppression and reproductive disorders. Recently, high proportions of masked mycotoxins co-occurring with their parent forms in various cereal-based feedstuffs and food could clearly increase the number of total exposures and pose additional health risks to humans and animals. In contrast to parent mycotoxins, data on the metabolic transformation mechanisms and toxicity of masked mycotoxins are still scarce.

In this Special Issue, we welcome all submissions related to (1) metabolic transformation mechanisms of mycotoxins, especially masked mycotoxins, and especially studies that implement an omics approach to understanding the mechanism; (2) in vitro and in vivo studies of toxicology and metabolism of emerging or masked mycotoxins; and (3) accurate evaluation of the interactive toxic effects of mycotoxins and/or their masked forms on humans or animals.

We look forward to reviewing original research and review articles which shed light on the metabolism and toxicology of mycotoxins and their masked forms around the world.

Prof. Dr. Qiugang Ma
Dr. Ru Jia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • masked mycotoxins
  • metabolic transformation mechanism
  • toxicology
  • interactive effects
  • oxidative stress
  • DNA damage
  • cell apoptosis

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 2787 KiB  
Article
The Toxicokinetics, Excretion Patterns, and Milk Transmission of Ochratoxin A in Lactating Sows
by Qiufeng Zhu, Honglei Qu, Ruifen Kang, Yunduo Zheng, Qiuying Guo, Shimeng Huang, Lihong Zhao and Qiugang Ma
Toxins 2024, 16(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16030128 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA), a mycotoxin commonly found in feedstuffs, is known for its detrimental effects on the kidneys and liver, posing significant health risks to animals and humans. This study investigated the toxicokinetics, excretion patterns, and milk transmission of Ochratoxin A (OTA) in [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA), a mycotoxin commonly found in feedstuffs, is known for its detrimental effects on the kidneys and liver, posing significant health risks to animals and humans. This study investigated the toxicokinetics, excretion patterns, and milk transmission of Ochratoxin A (OTA) in lactating sows. The sows were administered a single oral dose of 500 μg/kg BW (body weight), followed by the systematic sampling of plasma, feces, urine, and milk. Plasma samples were collected at 0, 5, 15, and 30 min, and 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, 48, 72, 88, 96, and 120 h post administration. Feces samples were collected at 6 h intervals for the first 12 h, then at 12 h intervals until 120 h, while urine samples were collected at 6 h intervals up to 120 h. Milk samples were collected at 0, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h. The concentration of OTA and its primary metabolite OTα were quantitatively analyzed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). The results revealed that the peak plasma concentrations of OTA (920.25 ± 88.46 μg/L) were observed at 9 h following administration. The terminal elimination half-life was recorded at 78.47 ± 7.68 h, with a volume of distribution of 0.16 ± 0.003 L/kg. Moreover, this study documented the excretion of OTA and OTα across a span of 120 h, revealing that feces and urine accounted for 18.70 ± 0.04% and 8.40 ± 0.002% of the total intake amounts, respectively (calculated based on substance amounts). Furthermore, this experiment detected OTA residues in the milk of lactating sows, with the milk-to-plasma (M/P) ratio initially increasing from 0.06 to 0.46 within the first 24 h following OTA ingestion. These findings offer an exhaustive temporal analysis of OTA’s toxicokinetics in lactating sows, emphasizing its pervasive distribution and elimination through various bodily excreta. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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14 pages, 1379 KiB  
Article
Fusarium sporotrichioides Produces Two HT-2-α-Glucosides on Rice
by Thomas Svoboda, Roman Labuda, Michael Sulyok, Rudolf Krska, Markus Bacher, Franz Berthiller and Gerhard Adam
Toxins 2024, 16(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16020099 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Fusarium is a genus that mostly consists of plant pathogenic fungi which are able to produce a broad range of toxic secondary metabolites. In this study, we focus on a type A trichothecene-producing isolate (15-39) of Fusarium sporotrichioides from Lower Austria. We assessed [...] Read more.
Fusarium is a genus that mostly consists of plant pathogenic fungi which are able to produce a broad range of toxic secondary metabolites. In this study, we focus on a type A trichothecene-producing isolate (15-39) of Fusarium sporotrichioides from Lower Austria. We assessed the secondary metabolite profile and optimized the toxin production conditions on autoclaved rice and found that in addition to large amounts of T-2 and HT-2 toxins, this strain was able to produce HT-2-glucoside. The optimal conditions for the production of T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, and HT-2-glucoside on autoclaved rice were incubation at 12 °C under constant light for four weeks, darkness at 30 °C for two weeks, and constant light for three weeks at 20 °C, respectively. The HT-2-glucoside was purified, and the structure elucidation by NMR revealed a mixture of two alpha-glucosides, presumably HT-2-3-O-alpha-glucoside and HT-2-4-O-alpha-glucoside. The efforts to separate the two compounds by HPLC were unsuccessful. No hydrolysis was observed with two the alpha-glucosidases or with human salivary amylase and Saccharomyces cerevisiae maltase. We propose that the two HT-2-alpha-glucosides are not formed by a glucosyltransferase as they are in plants, but by a trans-glycosylating alpha-glucosidase expressed by the fungus on the starch-containing rice medium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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18 pages, 7453 KiB  
Article
Zearalenone Promotes Uterine Hypertrophy through AMPK/mTOR Mediated Autophagy
by Lijie Yang, Wenshuang Liao, Jiuyuan Dong, Xiangjin Chen, Libo Huang, Weiren Yang and Shuzhen Jiang
Toxins 2024, 16(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16020073 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEN), a non-steroidal Fusarium graminearum with an estrogen effect, can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, immune organs, liver, and reproductive system. Further analysis of the mechanism of ZEN has become an important scientific issue. We have established in vivo and in [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEN), a non-steroidal Fusarium graminearum with an estrogen effect, can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, immune organs, liver, and reproductive system. Further analysis of the mechanism of ZEN has become an important scientific issue. We have established in vivo and in vitro models of ZEN intervention, used AMPK/mTOR as a targeted pathway for ZEN reproductive toxicity, and explored the molecular mechanism by which ZEN may induce uterine hypertrophy in weaned piglets. Our study strongly suggested that ZEN can activate the phosphorylation of AMPK in uterine endometrial epithelium cells, affect the phosphorylation level of mTOR through TSC2 and Rheb, induce autophagy, upregulate the expression of proliferative genes PCNA and BCL2, downregulate the expression of apoptotic gene BAX, promote uterine endometrial epithelium cells proliferation, and ultimately lead to thickening of the endometrial and myometrium, increased density of uterine glands, and induce uterine hypertrophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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12 pages, 4511 KiB  
Article
Toxicokinetics of Zearalenone following Oral Administration in Female Dezhou Donkeys
by Honglei Qu, Yunduo Zheng, Ruifen Kang, Yulong Feng, Pengshuai Li, Yantao Wang, Jie Cheng, Cheng Ji, Wenqiong Chai and Qiugang Ma
Toxins 2024, 16(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16010051 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1053
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEN) is a mycotoxin produced by various Fusarium strains, that is present in food and feed raw materials worldwide, causing toxicity effects in animals and humans. This research aimed to explore the toxicokinetics of ZEN on female Dezhou donkeys following a single [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEN) is a mycotoxin produced by various Fusarium strains, that is present in food and feed raw materials worldwide, causing toxicity effects in animals and humans. This research aimed to explore the toxicokinetics of ZEN on female Dezhou donkeys following a single oral exposure dosage of 2 mg/kg BW (body weight). The sample collection of donkeys plasma was carried out at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90 min, 2 h, 2.5 h, 3 h, 3.5 h, 4 h, 4.5 h, 6 h, 9 h, 12 h, 24 h, 48 h, 72 h, 96 h and 120 h via intravenous catheter, and fecal and urinary samples were severally collected at 0 h and every 6 h until 120 h. The concentrations of ZEN, α-zearalenol (α-ZOL), β-zearalenol (β-ZOL), α-zearalanol (α-ZAL), β-zearalanol (β-ZAL), zearalanone (ZAN) in plasma, urine, and feces were detected by UPLC-MS/MS. Only ZEN was detected in plasma, and the maximum was 15.34 ± 5.12 µg/L occurred at 0.48 h after gavage. The total plasma clearance (Cl) of ZEN was 95.20 ± 8.01 L·kg·BW−1·h−1. In addition, the volume of distribution (Vd) was up to 216.17 ± 58.71 L/kg. The percentage of total ZEN (ZEN plus the main metabolites) excretion in feces and urine was 2.49% and 2.10%, respectively. In summary, ZEN was fast absorbed and relatively slowly excreted in female donkeys during 120 h after a single gavage, indicating a trend of wider tissue distribution and longer tissue persistence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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21 pages, 6949 KiB  
Article
Bacillus velezensis A2 Can Protect against Damage to IPEC-J2 Cells Induced by Zearalenone via the Wnt/FRZB/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway
by Jing Cai, Xuanshuai Yuan, Yuhang Sun, Jia Chen, Peng Li, Shuhua Yang and Miao Long
Toxins 2024, 16(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16010044 - 13 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEA) has adverse effects on human and animal health, and finding effective strategies to combat its toxicity is essential. The probiotic Bacillus velezensis A2 shows various beneficial physiological functions, including the potential to combat fungal toxins. However, the detailed mechanism by which [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEA) has adverse effects on human and animal health, and finding effective strategies to combat its toxicity is essential. The probiotic Bacillus velezensis A2 shows various beneficial physiological functions, including the potential to combat fungal toxins. However, the detailed mechanism by which the Bacillus velezensis A2 strain achieves this protective effect is not yet fully revealed. This experiment was based on transcriptome data to study the protective mechanism of Bacillus velezensis A2 against ZEA-induced damage to IPEC-J2 cells. The experiment was divided into CON, A2, ZEA, and A2+ZEA groups. This research used an oxidation kit to measure oxidative damage indicators, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling (TUNEL) method to detect cell apoptosis, flow cytometry to determine the cell cycle, and transcriptome sequencing to screen and identify differentially expressed genes. In addition, gene ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) were adopted to screen out relevant signaling pathways. Finally, to determine whether A2 can alleviate the damage caused by ZEA to cells, the genes and proteins involved in inflammation, cell apoptosis, cell cycles, and related pathways were validated using a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot methods. Compared with the CON group, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in the ZEA group increased significantly (p < 0.01), while the levels of antioxidant enzyme activity, total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX), total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), and catalase (CAT) decreased significantly (p < 0.01). Compared with the ZEA group, the A2+ZEA group showed a significant decrease in ROS and MDA levels (p < 0.01), while the levels of T-SOD, GSH-PX, T-AOC, and CAT increased significantly (p < 0.01). TUNEL and cell cycle results indicated that compared with the ZEA group, the A2+ZEA group demonstrated a significant decrease in the cell apoptosis rate (p < 0.01), and the cell cycle was restored. Combining transcriptome data, qRT-PCR, and Western blot, the results showed that compared with the CON group, the mRNA and protein expression levels of Wnt10 and β-catenin increased significantly (p < 0.01), while the expression level of FRZB decreased significantly (p < 0.01); compared with the ZEA group, the expression levels of these mRNA and proteins were reversed. Bacillus velezensis A2 can increase the antioxidant level, reduce inflammatory damage, decrease cell apoptosis, and correct the cell cycle when that damage is being caused by ZEA. The protective mechanism may be related to the regulation of the Wnt/FRZB cell/β-catenin signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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10 pages, 1141 KiB  
Communication
Comparison Study of Two Fumonisin-Degrading Enzymes for Detoxification in Piglets
by Zhenlong Wang, Zonghao Lv, Tibor Czabany, Veronika Nagl, Rudolf Krska, Xiumin Wang, Bing Han, Hui Tao, Jie Liu and Jinquan Wang
Toxins 2024, 16(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16010003 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1320
Abstract
Fumonisins (FBs), particularly fumonisin B1 (FB1) and fumonisin B2 (FB2) produced mainly by Fusarium verticillioide and Fusarium proliferatum, are common contaminants in animal feed and pose a serious threat to both animal and human health. The use of microbial enzymes to efficiently and [...] Read more.
Fumonisins (FBs), particularly fumonisin B1 (FB1) and fumonisin B2 (FB2) produced mainly by Fusarium verticillioide and Fusarium proliferatum, are common contaminants in animal feed and pose a serious threat to both animal and human health. The use of microbial enzymes to efficiently and specifically convert fumonisins into non-toxic or low-toxic metabolites has emerged as the most promising approach. However, most of the available enzymes have only been evaluated in vitro and lack systematic evaluation in vivo. In this study, the detoxification efficacy of two carboxylesterases, FumD (FUMzyme®) and FumDSB, was evaluated comparatively in piglets. The results show that feeding piglets 4.4 mg/kg FBs-contaminated diets for 32 days did not significantly affect the average daily gain, organ indices, and immunoglobulins of the piglets. However, a significant reduction (21.2%) in anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-4 was observed in the FBs group, and supplementation with FUMzyme® and FumDSB significantly increased interleukin-4 by 62.1% and 28.0%, respectively. In addition, FBs-contaminated diets resulted in a 3-fold increase in the serum sphinganine/sphingosine (Sa/So) ratio, which is a specific biomarker that has been used to accurately reflect fumonisin levels. The serum Sa/So ratio was significantly reduced by 48.8% after the addition of FUMzyme®, and was insignificantly reduced by 8.2% in the FumDSB group. These results suggested that FUMzyme was more effective than FumDSB in mitigating FBs toxicity in piglets by down-regulating the Sa/So ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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15 pages, 3050 KiB  
Article
Quercetin Attenuates the Combined Effects of Zearalenone and Lipopolysaccharide on IPEC-J2 Cell Injury through Activating the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway
by Chuanqi Wang, Yurong Fu, Ruqi Wang, Qiyuan Wang, Hao Yu and Jing Zhang
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120679 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin with an estrogen-like effect that is widely found in feed. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) derived from Gram-negative bacteria are a common endotoxin, and both toxins have effects on human and livestock health. During animal feeding, ZEA as an exotoxin and [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin with an estrogen-like effect that is widely found in feed. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) derived from Gram-negative bacteria are a common endotoxin, and both toxins have effects on human and livestock health. During animal feeding, ZEA as an exotoxin and LPS as an endotoxin have the potential to co-exist in organisms. At present, other studies have only focused on the hazards of single toxins, but there are fewer studies on the coexistence and interaction between ZEA and LPS. Therefore, a further study to investigate the combined toxic effects of different concentrations of ZEA and LPS is warranted. Quercetin (QUE) is a natural flavonoid compound with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is unclear whether QUE can mitigate the combined effects of ZEA and LPS. IPEC-J2, isolated from the jejunum of non-breastfed neonatal piglets, is an ideal model for the study of epithelial cell transport, intestinal bacterial interactions, and the nutrient modulation of intestinal function. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to demonstrate the effect of QUE in alleviating the combined toxic effect of ZEA and LPS on IPEC-J2 cell damage. Cell viability was measured after treating IPEC-J2 cells sequentially with 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 100 μM ZEA, 1, 10, 50, and 100 μg/mL LPS, and 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, and 200 μM QUE for 24 h. Based on the cell viability results, 20 μM ZEA and 1 μg/mL LPS were selected as the most suitable concentrations for further analysis. For QUE, 20 μM increased the cell viability, while 40–200 μM QUE decreased the cell viability. Therefore, for the subsequent study, 20 μM QUE was selected in combination with 20 μM ZEA and 1 μg/mL LPS. The results showed that QUE increased the cellular viability and decreased the LDH content more compared to the effects of the ZEA+LPS group. At the gene level, QUE addition up-regulated the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, SOD2, and NQO1 at the gene or protein level compared to those of the ZEA+LPS group. The measurement of tight junction-related genes and proteins showed QUE up-regulated the expression of Claudin, ZO-1, and Occludin genes and proteins more than in the ZEA+LPS group. QUE addition reduced the rate of apoptosis more than that in the ZEA+LPS group. The expressions of Bcl-2 and Bax were examined at the gene level, and QUE addition significantly reduced the Bax gene expression level compared to that of the ZEA+LPS group, but there was no apparent variation in the expression level of Bcl-2. In summary, QUE can alleviate the combined toxic effects of ZEA and LPS on IPEC-J2 cells via modulating the Nrf2 signaling pathway, up-regulating the expression of antioxidative genes, and enhancing the intestinal barrier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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Review

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31 pages, 678 KiB  
Review
Hidden Hazards Revealed: Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms in Poultry
by Hamada Okasha, Bochen Song and Zhigang Song
Toxins 2024, 16(3), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16030137 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1077
Abstract
The presence of mycotoxins and their masked forms in chicken feed poses a significant threat to both productivity and health. This review examines the multifaceted impacts of mycotoxins on various aspects of chicken well-being, encompassing feed efficiency, growth, immunity, antioxidants, blood biochemistry, and [...] Read more.
The presence of mycotoxins and their masked forms in chicken feed poses a significant threat to both productivity and health. This review examines the multifaceted impacts of mycotoxins on various aspects of chicken well-being, encompassing feed efficiency, growth, immunity, antioxidants, blood biochemistry, and internal organs. Mycotoxins, toxic substances produced by fungi, can exert detrimental effects even at low levels of contamination. The hidden or masked forms of mycotoxins further complicate the situation, as they are not easily detected by conventional methods but can be converted into their toxic forms during digestion. Consequently, chickens are exposed to mycotoxin-related risks despite apparently low mycotoxin levels. The consequences of mycotoxin exposure in chickens include reduced feed efficiency, compromised growth rates, impaired immune function, altered antioxidant levels, disturbances in blood biochemical parameters, and adverse effects on internal organs. To mitigate these impacts, effective management strategies are essential, such as routine monitoring of feed ingredients and finished feeds, adherence to proper storage practices, and the implementation of feed detoxification methods and mycotoxin binders. Raising awareness of these hidden hazards is crucial for safeguarding chicken productivity and health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Toxicology of Mycotoxins and Their Masked Forms)
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