The individual and combined effects of ochratoxin A with citrinin and their metabolites (ochratoxin B, ochratoxin C, and dihydrocitrinone) on 2D/3D cell cultures, and zebrafish embryo models
Food Chem Toxicol. 2021 Nov 17:112674. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2021.112674. Online ahead of print.
Ochratoxin A and citrinin are nephrotoxic mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus, Penicillium, and/or Monascus species. The combined effects of ochratoxin A and citrinin have been examined in more studies; however, only limited data are available regarding the co-exposure to their metabolites. In this investigation, the individual toxic effects of ochratoxin A, ochratoxin B, ochratoxin C, citrinin, and dihydrocitrinone were tested as well as the combinations of ochratoxin A with the latter mycotoxins were examined on 2D and 3D cell cultures, and on zebrafish embryos. Our results demonstrate that even subtoxic concentrations of certain mycotoxins can increase the toxic impact of ochratoxin A. In addition, typically additive effects or synergism were observed as the combined effects of mycotoxins tested. These observations highlight that different cell lines (e.g. MDBK vs. MDCK), cell cultures (e.g. 2D vs. 3D), and models (e.g. in vitro vs. in vivo) can show different (sometimes opposite) impacts. Mycotoxin combinations considerably increased miR-731 levels in zebrafish embryos, which is an early marker of the toxicity on kidney development. These results underline that the co-exposure to mycotoxins (and/or mycotoxin metabolites) should be seriously considered, since even the barely toxic mycotoxins (or metabolites) in combinations can cause significant toxicity.