The human, animal and plant pathogen Fusarium
, which contaminates agricultural commodities worldwide, produces numerous secondary metabolites. An example is the thoroughly-investigated deoxynivalenol (DON), which severely impairs gastrointestinal barrier integrity. However, to date, the toxicological profile of other Fusarium
-derived metabolites, such as enniatins, beauvericin, moniliformin, apicidin, aurofusarin, rubrofusarin, equisetin and bikaverin, are poorly characterized. Thus we examined their effects—as metabolites alone and as metabolites in combination with DON—on the intestinal barrier function of differentiated intestinal porcine epithelial cells (IPEC-J2) over 72 h. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was measured at 24-h intervals, followed by evaluation of cell viability using neutral red (NR) assay. Enniatins A, A1, B and B1, apicidin, aurofusarin and beauvericin significantly reduced TEER. Moniliformin, equisetin, bikaverin and rubrofusarin had no effect on TEER. In the case of apicidin, aurofusarin and beauvericin, TEER reductions were further substantiated by the addition of otherwise no-effect DON concentrations. In all cases, viability was unaffected, confirming that TEER reductions were not due to compromised viability. Considering the prevalence of mycotoxin contamination and the diseases associated with intestinal barrier disruption, consumption of contaminated food or feed may have substantial health implications.
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