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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Dombrink Kurtzman, Mary Ann

Submitted to: Mycopathologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/26/2003
Publication Date: 5/31/2003
Citation: Dombrink Kurtzman, M. 2003. Fumonisin and beauvercin induce apoptosis in turkey peripheral blood lymphocytes. Mycopathologia. 156:357-364.

Interpretive Summary: Fumonisins, moniliformin and beauvericin are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium proliferatum, a fungus found frequently in corn. In prior studies, broiler chicks were given feed containing culture material of this fungus. To study the effects of the individual toxins, white blood cells were isolated from turkeys and exposed in vitro to fumonisins, hydrolyzed fumonisin B1, moniliformin or beauvericin. Fumonisin and beauvericin caused apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. Studies such as these may provide the means for a better understanding of the sequence of events that occurs following exposure to fungi capable of producing fumonisin and beauvericin.

Technical Abstract: Fumonisins, a family of mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides (synonym Fusarium moniliforme Sheldon) and F. proliferatum, have been associated with various deleterious effects in different animal species. Serological, hematological and pathological effects and mortality have previously been observed in broiler chicks fed F. proliferatum culture material containing known concentrations of fumonisin, moniliformin and beauvericin. Turkey peripheral blood lymphocytes were exposed in vitro for 72 hours to fumonisin B1 (FB1), fumonisin B2 (FB2), hydrolyzed fumonisin B1 (HFB1), moniliformin and tricarballylic acid (0.01-25 ug/ml). A decrease in cell proliferation, as determined by the MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] bioassay, occurred in the order: FB2 > FB1 > HFB1, with IC50 = 0.6 uM, 1 uM and 10 uM, respectively. Internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and morphological features characteristic of apoptosis were observed; cytoplasmic condensation and membrane blebbing were seen by light microscopy. Tricarballylic acid and moniliformin did not interfere with cell proliferation. DNA fragmentation was observed with beauvericin and fumonisin B1. Results suggested that fumonisins and beauvericin may have an effect on immune functions by suppressing proliferation and inducing apoptosis of lymphocytes.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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