Patulin, Deoxynivalenol, Zearalenone and T-2 Toxin Affect Viability and Modulate Cytokine Secretion in J774A.1 Murine Macrophages

  •  Jonathan Loftus    
  •  Gregor Kijanka    
  •  Richard O’Kennedy    
  •  Christine Loscher    


Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites, which occur in food and feed. They have detrimental effects on the health of humans and animals, and they are known to cause immunosuppression. In this study the effect of patulin, deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN) and T-2 toxin exposure on the viability and the secretion of key pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines from the murine macrophage cell line, J774A.1, was investigated.  Exposure of macrophages to high doses of ZEN (100,000 pg/mL) and T-2 toxin (10,000 and 100,000 pg/mL) resulted in a significant decrease (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01) in cell viability. Exposure of macrophages to these mycotoxins resulted in a dose-dependent modulation of cytokine secretion. Specifically, exposure to low doses of patulin (0.001, 0.1 and 1 pg/mL) resulted in a statistically significant decrease in the secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL) 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), following stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a component of Gram-negative bacterial cell walls. Treatment with low doses of DON (0.001 pg/mL) and ZEN (0.001 and 0.01 pg/mL) significantly decreased (P < 0.01) the secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12p40, while several doses of T-2 toxin (0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1 and 100 pg/mL) caused a significant decrease the expression of IL-6. Each of the mycotoxins also significantly increased the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, both before and after LPS stimulation. This data provides further insight into the mechanisms by which mycotoxins modulate the host immune response to exert their immunosuppressive activity.

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  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9698
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9701
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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