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Toxins 2019, 11(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11010045

Autophagy and Apoptosis Interact to Modulate T-2 Toxin-Induced Toxicity in Liver Cells

1,2,3
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1
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1,2,3
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1
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4
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1,* and 1,4,*
1
College of Veterinary Medicine, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
2
Hunan Collaborative Innovation for Utilization of Botanical Function Ingredients, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
3
Hunan Engineering Research Center of Veterinary Drug, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
4
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Mycotoxin Exposure: Emerging Risks to Human Health)
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Abstract

T-2 toxin is a mycotoxin generated by Fusarium species which has been shown to be highly toxic to human and animals. T-2 toxin induces apoptosis in various tissues/organs. Apoptosis and autophagy are two closely interconnected processes, which are important for maintaining physiological homeostasis as well as pathogenesis. Here, for the first time, we demonstrated that T-2 toxins induce autophagy in human liver cells (L02). We demonstrated that T-2 toxin induce acidic vesicular organelles formation, concomitant with the alterations in p62/SQSTM1 and LC3-phosphatidylethanolamine conjugate (LC3-II) and the enhancement of the autophagic flux. Using mRFP-GFP-LC3 by lentiviral transduction, we showed T-2 toxin-mediated lysosomal fusion and the formation of autophagosomes in L02 cells. The formation of autophagosomes was further confirmed by transmission electron microcopy. While T-2 toxin induced both autophagy and apoptosis, autophagy appears to be a leading event in the response to T-2 toxin treatment, reflecting its protective role in cells against cellular damage. Activating autophagy by rapamycin (RAPA) inhibited apoptosis, while suppressing autophagy by chloroquine greatly enhanced the T-2 toxin-induced apoptosis, suggesting the crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that autophagy plays a role in protecting cells from T-2 toxin-induced apoptosis suggesting that autophagy may be manipulated for the alleviation of toxic responses induced by T-2 toxin. View Full-Text
Keywords: T-2 toxin; toxicity; autophagy; apoptosis T-2 toxin; toxicity; autophagy; apoptosis
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Wu, J.; Zhou, Y.; Yuan, Z.; Yi, J.; Chen, J.; Wang, N.; Tian, Y. Autophagy and Apoptosis Interact to Modulate T-2 Toxin-Induced Toxicity in Liver Cells. Toxins 2019, 11, 45.

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