Comparative acute and combinative toxicity of aflatoxin B1 and fumonisin B1 in animals and human cells

C. McKean, L. Tang, M. Tang, M. Billam, Z. Wang, C. W. Theodorakis, R. J. Kendall, J. S. Wang

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107 Scopus citations


Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and fumonisin B1 (FB1) are important food-borne mycotoxins. The co-contamination of food stuffs with these two mycotoxins is well known and has been possibly implicated in the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma in high risk regions around the world. In this study the acute and combinative toxicity of AFB1 and FB1 were tested in F-344 rats, mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), immortalized human hepatoma cells (HepG2) and human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B). Preliminary experiments were conducted in order to assess the acute toxicity and obtain LD50, LC50 and IC50 values for individual toxins in each model, respectively. This was followed by testing combinations of AFB1 and FB1 to obtain LD50, LC50 and IC50 values for the combination in each model. All models demonstrated a significant dose response in relation to toxin treatment. The potency of the mixture was gauged through the determination of the interaction index metric. Results of this study demonstrate that these two toxins interacted to produce alterations in the toxic responses with a strong additive interaction noted in the cases of F344 rats and mosquitofish. It can be gathered that this combination may pose a significant threat to public health and further research needs to be completed addressing alterations in metabolism and detoxification that may influence the toxic manifestations in combination. These results will provide foundational knowledge for future studies on long-term combinative toxic and health effects of these mycotoxins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-876
Number of pages9
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Acute
  • Aflatoxin B
  • BEAS-2B
  • Combinative
  • Fumonisin B
  • HepG2
  • Mosquitofish
  • Rats
  • Toxicity


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