Daniela E. Marin

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STUDIES CONCERNING THE NEPHROTOXIC EFFECTS OF OCHRATOXIN A USING PIG AS A MODEL

Daniela E. Marin, Gina C. Pistol, M.A. Gras, Monica Motiu, Ionelia Taranu

Abstract
   The Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) is a chronic nephropathy described in some regions from the Balkan Peninsula and in Romania. Ochratoxin A is considered to be one of the factors involved in BEN triggering. Ochratoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungus and it was shown that OTA is principally nephrotoxic but also genotoxic or immunotoxic. The aim of the present paper was to investigate the nephrotoxic effect of a low dose of OTA (50ppb) administrated to weanling pig.
   Twelve weanling piglets were fed a corn-soybean meal basal diet for 33 days and randomly assigned to either a control or OTA group. The following biochemical markers were assessed in plasma of weanling piglets: urea, creatinine, phosphorus, calcium, protein and albumin. The expression of genes involved in inflammation: genes for cytokines (IL-1 beta, TNF alpha, IL-8, IL-4) or for other markers (p38, Nf-KB, iNOS, Cox2) were assessed in kidney by real time PCR. The expression of cytokines: IFN gamma, IL-4, IL-6, TNF alpha, IL-1, IL-10 were assessed by ELISA. Administration of 50µg/kg OTA to the weanling piglets has no effect on urea, creatinine, phosphorus or calcium concentration, but induced a significant decrease (P<0.05) of total protein and albumin. OTA doesn't affect the expression of the investigated cytokines or the other inflammatory molecules. In conclusion, 50mg/kg OTA, as the recommended guidance values by EU for OTA in pigs, administered to weanling piglets for 33 days induced some alterations of the serum biochemical parameters, with little or no effect on inflammation.

Key words: Ochratoxin A, weanling piglets, inflammation