Biological Action of Mycotoxins

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J Dairy Sci 1993;   76 (3) Mar:   880–891

Coulombe RA Jr

Department of Animal,
Dairy and Veterinary Sciences,
Utah State University, Logan 84322-4620

Mycotoxins are ubiquitous, mold–produced toxins that contaminate a wide variety of foods and feeds. Ingestion of mycotoxins cause a range of toxic responses, from acute toxicity to long–term or chronic health disorders. Some mycotoxins have caused outbreaks of human toxicoses, and at least one mycotoxin, aflatoxin B1, is a presumed human hepatocarcinogen.

As part of a comprehensive effort to curtail the adverse health effects posed by mycotoxins, substantial research has been conducted to determine the mechanism of action of mycotoxins in animals. This review presents some of the current knowledge on the biological action of four diverse classes of mycotoxins––aflatoxin B1, tricothecenes, zearalenone, and fumonisin B1––with particular emphasis on mechanisms of action.

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