Comparative acute and combinative toxicity of aflatoxin B1 and T-2 toxin in animals and immortalized human cell lines

Christopher McKean, Lili Tang, Madhavi Billam, Meng Tang, Christopher W. Theodorakis, Ronald J. Kendall, Jia Sheng Wang

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52 Scopus citations


Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and T-2 toxin (T-2) are important food-borne mycotoxins that have been implicated in human health and as potential biochemical weapons threats. In this study the acute and combinative toxicity of AFB1 and T-2 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 to obtain LD50, LC 50 and IC50 values for individual toxins in each model, respectively. This was followed by testing combinations of AFB1 and T-2 to obtain LD50, LC50 and IC50 values for the combination in each model. All models demonstrated a significant dose response in the observed parameters to treatment. The potency of the mixture was gauged through the determination of the interaction index metric. The results of this study demonstrate that these two toxins interacted to produce alterations in the toxic responses generally classifiable as additive; however, a synergistic interaction was noted in the case of BEAS-2B. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Aflatoxin
  • Biotoxin
  • Combinative toxicity
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Mycotoxin
  • T-2 toxin


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