Combinatory effects of cereulide and deoxynivalenol on in vitro cell viability and inflammation of human Caco-2 cells.


Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, University of Vienna, Währinger Straße 38, 1090, Vienna, Austria. [Email]


Deoxynivalenol (DON), one of the most abundant mycotoxins in cereal products, was recently detected with other mycotoxins and the emetic bacterial toxin cereulide (CER) in maize porridge. Within a cereal-based diet, co-exposure to these toxins is likely, hence raising the question of combinatory toxicological effects. While the toxicological evaluation of DON has quite progressed, consequences of chronic, low-dose CER exposure are still insufficiently explored. Information about the combinatory toxicological effects of these toxins is lacking. In the present study, we investigated how CER (0.1-100 ng/mL) and DON (0.01-10 µg/mL) alone and in a constant ratio of 1:100 (CER:DON) affect the cytotoxicity and immune response of differentiated human intestinal Caco-2 cells. While DON alone reduced cell viability only in the highest concentration (10 µg/mL), CER caused severe cytotoxicity upon prolonged incubation (starting from 10 ng/mL after 24 h and 48 h, 2.5 ng/mL and higher after 72 h). After 72 h, synergistic effects were observed at 2.5 ng/mL CER and 0.25 µg/mL DON. Different endpoints of inflammation were investigated in interleukin-1β-stimulated Caco-2 cells. Notably, DON-induced interleukin-8 transcription and secretion were diminished by the presence of 10 and 25 ng/mL CER after short-term (5 h) incubation, indicating immunosuppressive properties. We hypothesise that habitual consumption of cereal-based foods co-contaminated with CER and DON may cause synergistic cytotoxic effects and an altered immune response in the human intestine. Therefore, further research concerning effects of co-occurring bacterial toxins and mycotoxins on the impairment of intestinal barrier integrity, intestinal inflammation and the promotion of malnutrition is needed.


Bacillus cereus,Bacterial toxin,Child health,Food contaminant,Immunomodulation,Mycotoxin,

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