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Effects of Dietary Zearalenone on Oxidative Stress, Cell Apoptosis, and Tight Junction in the Intestine of Juvenile Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

1,†, 1,2,3,†, 1,2,4, 1,2,4, 1,2,5, 1, 6, 7, 7 and 1,2,3,*
Animal Nutrition Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
Fish Nutrition and safety Production University Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition, Chengdu 611130, China
Key Laboratory of Animal Disease-Resistant Nutrition, Ministry of Education, Chengdu 611130, China
Key Laboratory of Animal Disease-Resistant Nutrition and Feed, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Chengdu 611130, China
Tongwei Research Institute, Tongwei Co., Ltd., Chengdu 600438, China
Animal Nutrition Institute, Sichuan Academy of Animal Science, Sichuan Animtech Feed. Co., Ltd., Chengdu 610066, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These two authors contributed to this work equally.
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 333;
Received: 20 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
PDF [4870 KB, uploaded 12 June 2019]


Zearalenone (ZEA) is a prevalent mycotoxin with high toxicity in animals. In order to study its effect on juvenile grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), six diets supplemented with different levels of ZEA (0, 535, 1041, 1548, 2002, and 2507 μg/kg diet) for 10 weeks were studied to assess its toxicity on intestinal structural integrity and potential mechanisms of action. Our report firstly proved that ZEA led to growth retardation and body deformity, and impaired the intestinal structural integrity of juvenile grass carp, as revealed by the following findings: (1) ZEA accumulated in the intestine and caused histopathological lesions; (2) ZEA resulted in oxidative injury, apoptosis, and breached tight junctions in the fish intestine, which were probably associated with Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), p38 mitogen activated protein kinases (p38MAPK), and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) signaling pathways, respectively. ZEA had no influence on the antioxidant gene levels of Kelch-like ECH associating protein 1 (Keap1)b (rather than Keap1a), glutathione-S-transferase (GST)P1, GSTP2 (not in the distal intestine (DI)), tight junctions occludin, claudin-c (not in the proximal intestine (PI)), or claudin-3c (not in the mid intestine (MI) or DI). View Full-Text
Keywords: zearalenone; intestine; oxidative injury; apoptosis; tight junctions zearalenone; intestine; oxidative injury; apoptosis; tight junctions

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Wang, Y.-L.; Zhou, X.-Q.; Jiang, W.-D.; Wu, P.; Liu, Y.; Jiang, J.; Wang, S.-W.; Kuang, S.-Y.; Tang, L.; Feng, L. Effects of Dietary Zearalenone on Oxidative Stress, Cell Apoptosis, and Tight Junction in the Intestine of Juvenile Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Toxins 2019, 11, 333.

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