Toxins (Basel). 2022 Mar 30;14(4):244. doi: 10.3390/toxins14040244.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of molds and mainly produced by species of the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium. They can be synthesized on the field, during harvest as well as during storage. They are fairly stable compounds and difficult to remove. Among several hundreds of mycotoxins, according to the WHO, ochratoxin A, aflatoxins, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, patulin, fumonisins as well as T-2 and HT-2 toxins deserve special attention. Cytotoxicity is one of the most important adverse properties of mycotoxins and is generally assessed via the MTT assay, the neutral red assay, the LDH assay, the CCK-8 assay and the ATP test in different cell lines. The apoptotic cell ratio is mainly assessed via flow cytometry. Aside from the assessment of the toxicity of individual mycotoxins, it is important to determine the cytotoxicity of mycotoxin combinations. Such combinations often exhibit stronger cytotoxicity than individual mycotoxins. The cytotoxicity of different mycotoxins often depends on the cell line used in the experiment and is frequently time- and dose-dependent. A major drawback of assessing mycotoxin cytotoxicity in cell lines is the lack of interaction typical for complex organisms (for example, immune responses).