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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Lactational Passage of Fusaric Acid from the Feed of Nursing Dams to the Neonate Rat and Effects on Pineal Neurochemistry in the F1 and F2 Generations at Weaning

item Porter, James
item Wray, Emma
item Rimando, Agnes
item Stancel, Philip
item Bacon, Charles
item Voss, Kenneth

Submitted to: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 14, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Fusaric acid is a toxin produced by several molds and is found in corn, corn based foods and feeds and cereal grains. Research suggests fusaric acid, in conjunction with other Fusarium toxins, may be especially toxic to young animals. To define the effects of fusaric acid on young animals, the toxin was mixed with rodent chow and fed to pregnant rats. Maternal feed consumption and milk production along with weight gains and neurochemistry in the offspring were studied. Pups from dams fed fusaric acid gained less weight than controls. Fusaric acid was found in the stomach milk taken from 4 day old neonates. The quantity of the toxin in milk was related to the amount consumed by the dams. The toxin decreased serotonin and tyrosine in the pineal gland of the offspring. The study shows fusaric acid passes from the food eaten by nursing dams into maternal milk and then to the offspring. The toxin decreased weight in nursing neonates and affected neurochemical parameters responsible for growth and behavior in the offspring. Since fusaric acid lactationally passes from the feed of nursing dams to the offspring, the toxin may act in combination with other mold toxins found in corn, wheat, and other cereal grains.

Technical Abstract: Fusaric acid (FA) is produced by Fusarium and found in corn, corn based feeds, and cereal grains. FA in a rodent chow diet at 10, 75 & 200 ppm was fed ab libitum to pregnant rats (FO-dams) from the 3rd wk of gestation, through parturition (F1-gen.), and pup weaning (d 21 post partum, PP). F1-pups were culled d 4 PP to 9-10 pups/litter, stomach colostrum (cls) collected and analysed for FA. FA in cls was proportional to FA consumed by nursing dams (ng FA/100 mg cls; 200ppm/pups=3547; 75ppm=1449; 10ppm=80; controls=18). FA pups gained less than controls (weight:200ppm<75pm<10ppm<controls). Day 21 F1-pups were divided: group-F1A for reproduction and FA effects on F2-gen.; group-F1B for neurochemical analyses. At age 13-14 wks on the each group diets, F1A-control males were bred to control females, 10ppm to 10ppm, etc., and F1A-dams and F2-pups monitored as above. Milk production, d 5-8 PP, was measured in F1A-dams by weigh-suckle-weigh (F2-control vs F2-200ppm pups). Similar results were observed with F2-pups as F1-pups for weights and FA quantity in stomach cls. Milk production in F1A-dams as weight gains in F2-200ppm pups on days 5-8 PP decreased 30%. No difference was observed in pineal neurochemicals for F1-pups but serotonin and tyrosine were decreased in F2-200ppm males and females. FA in diet of nursing dams at 0.3ppm, lactationally passes to neonates; at 200ppm, FA decreases pineal serotonin and tyrosine in offspring. Limited neonate weight gains may be related to decreased milk production in dams or FA effects on the neonate.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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