Submitted to: Natural Toxins
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fumonisins are toxins produced by Fusarium moniliforme, a common mold of corn. They cause various diseases in farm and laboratory animals. To study the reproductive effects of fumonisins, which are now unknown, we fed diets containing 0, 1, 10, or 55 ppm fumonisins B1 to male and female rats and then allowed them to mate. Although kidney toxicity was found in groups fed 10 ppm (males) or 55 ppm (both sexes) fumonisin B1, fertility and reproduction were unaffected and no significant developmental effects were noted in fetuses examined on gestation day 15, in offspring at birth, or in litters during the three week neonatal period. Altered sphingolipid profiles indicative of fumonisin exposure were found in high-dose females, but not their litters, on gestation day 15. This suggests that the fetuses were not exposed to significant amounts of fumonisin B1 before birth. This observation was independently substantiated in a second experiment in which only negligible amounts of labelled fumonisin was found in the fetuses of two females following its administration on gestation day 15. Together, our results indicate that FB1 did not have adverse reproductive effects at doses which are minimally toxic and further suggest that fetal exposure to FB1 was low because the compound did not readily cross the placenta
Technical Abstract: Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium moniliforme and other Fusaria. They are common on corn and in corn-based foods and cause species-specific diseases. Their reproductive effects are largely unknown. Diets containing F. moniliforme culture material providing 0, 1, 10, or 55 ppm fumonisin B1 (FB1) were fed to rats before and continuing after mating. Although nephropathy, typical of FB1 toxicity, was found in males fed >10 and females fed 55 ppm FB1, no significant reproductive effects were found in males (n=12/group), dams and fetuses examined on gestation day 15 (G15) (n>8/group). Altered hepatic sphingolipid (SL) ratios indicative of fumonisin exposure, were found in the 55 ppm dams on G15. However, SL ratios of their fetuses did not differ significantly from control values. In a second experiment, two dams were injected intravenously on G15 with [14C]FB1. After one hour, which allowed ca. 98% of the dose to be cleared from maternal blood, only negligible amounts of radiolabel were found in their fetuses, thus corroborating the SL findings. Together, these results indicate that FB1 did not have significant reproductive effects at doses which are minimally toxic to parental animals and further suggest that FB1 may not readily cross the placenta.