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Metabolism and toxicity of aflatoxins M1 and B1 in human-derived in vitro systems

Metabolism and toxicity of aflatoxins M1 and B1 in human-derived in vitro systems

Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 151(1): 152-158

Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is the principal hydroxylated aflatoxin metabolite present in the milk of dairy cows fed a diet contaminated with aflatoxin B1, (AFB1) and the metabolite is also present in the milk of human nursing mothers consuming foodstuffs containing the toxin. AFM1 is usually considered to be a detoxification product of AFB1 and this appears warranted if the biological endpoints involved are carcinogenicity and mutagenicity. However, it may not be a valid conclusion in the case of cytotoxicity. The metabolism of AFM1 and AFB, have been studied in vitro using human liver microsomes. Formation of primary metabolites associated with metabolic activation to the respective epoxides reflected the differences between the carcinogenic potentials of the two toxins and, similar to AFB1, the conjugation of AFM1 epoxide with reduced GSH was catalyzed by mouse, but not human liver cytosol. Although the majority of the binding of (3H)AFB1 to microsomal protein was dependent on metabolic activation, a high level of retention of (3H)AFM1 by microsomes, nonextractable in methanol and unrelated to metabolic activation, was observed. It appears possible that this property is related to the high cytotoxicity of AFM1. Experiments using human cell line cells either expressing or not expressing human cytochrome P450 enzymes in assays of acute toxicity (MTT assays) have demonstrated a directly toxic potential of AFM1 in the absence of metabolic activation, in contrast to AFB1. Caution therefore needs to be exercised in designating the formation of AFM1 as essentially detoxification when considering a biological response in which cytotoxicity may play a significant role, e.g., immunotoxicity.

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Accession: 003199461

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9705898

DOI: 10.1006/taap.1998.8440

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