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Effects of High Levels of Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone on Growth Performance, and Hematological and Immunological Parameters in Pigs

Animal Nutritional & Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, (55365)#1500 Kongjwipatjwi-ro, Iseo-myeon, Wanju 55365, Korea
College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Ilsan 54596, Korea
Swine Science Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA, Chungnam 31000, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2018, 10(3), 114;
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Background: Deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) are common food contaminants produced by Fusarium sp. Mycotoxins are a potential health hazard because of their toxicological effects on both humans and farmed animals. Methods: We analyzed three groups of pigs: a control group (fed a standard diet), and the DON and ZEN groups, fed a diet containing 8 mg/kg DON and 0.8 mg/kg ZEN respectively, for four weeks. Results: DON and ZEN exposure decreased body weight (BW), average daily feed intake (ADFI), food conversion rate (FCR), and the serum levels of immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgM. The total antioxidant levels significantly decreased in serum and increased in urine samples of both treatment groups. Additionally, DON and ZEN exposure increased serotonin levels in urine. Hematological parameters were not affected by the investigated toxins. Microscopic lesions were evident in sections of kidneys from either treatment group: we found sporadic interstitial nephritis in the DON group and renal glomerulus atrophy in the ZEN group. The expression levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokine marker genes were reduced in tissues from DON- and ZEN-exposed pigs. Conclusions: chronic ingestion of high doses of DON and ZEN alters the immune response and causes organs damage, and might be associated with various diseases in pigs. View Full-Text
Keywords: deoxynivalenol; zearalenone; pig; toxin; antioxidant; serum; immune; diseases deoxynivalenol; zearalenone; pig; toxin; antioxidant; serum; immune; diseases

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Reddy, K.E.; Song, J.; Lee, H.-J.; Kim, M.; Kim, D.-W.; Jung, H.J.; Kim, B.; Lee, Y.; Yu, D.; Kim, D.-W.; Oh, Y.K.; Lee, S.D. Effects of High Levels of Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone on Growth Performance, and Hematological and Immunological Parameters in Pigs. Toxins 2018, 10, 114.

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