Submitted to: Food and Chemical Toxicology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 3, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fumonisins and fusaric acid (FA) are produced by Fusarium molds. Both are commonly found in corn and can occur together in corn and corn-based feeds. Fumonisins cause fatal animal diseases and are suspected causes of cancer in humans. FA increased the toxicity of fumonisins to chicken embryos and it has been suggested that FA may enhance fumonisin toxicity in nmammals. To test this, we fed rats diets containing various combinations of FA (0 to 400 parts per million (ppm)) and fumonisins (3.4, 18.4, or 437 ppm, provided by F. moniliforme culture material (CM)) for 4 weeks. One control group was given 400 ppm FA alone and another received neither FA or CM. When given alone, 400 ppm FA caused no adverse kidney or liver effects. Fumonisin caused kidney lesions at 3.4 ppm and above and liver toxicity at 437 ppm. The addition of up to 400 ppm FA to the fumonisin containing diets did not modify these effects. Demonstrating that FA did not enhance fumonisin toxicity in a mammalian species is important for ongoing fumonisin risk assessment and development of mycotoxin control strategies.
Technical Abstract: Fumonisins and fusaric acid (FA) are produced by Fusarium moniliforme and other Fusarium which grow on corn. Fumonisins cause animal toxicities induced by F. moniliforme and are suspected human carcinogens. Toxic synergism was obtained by simultaneous administration of FA and fumonisin B1 to chicks in ovo. To study the effect of FA on fumonisin toxicity, male rats (12 groups, n=5/group) were fed low, mid, or high levels of F. moniliforme culture material (CM) to provide 3.4, 18.4, or 437 ppm fumonisins, respectively, and, at each CM level, 0, 20, 100, or 400 ppm FA. The FA control group was fed 400 ppm FA only and untreated controls were fed neither FA nor CM. After four weeks, no adverse effects were found in the FA controls. Low, mid, and high CM diets were nephrotoxic and the high CM diet was hepatotoxic. These effects were consistent with fumonisin toxicity. FA was without effect as no differences among the four groups (0-400 ppm FA) given the low, the four groups given the mid, or the four groups given the high CM diets were found. Thus, FA had no synergistic effect on subchronic kidney and liver toxicity of fumonisin-producing F. moniliforme.