Antigenotoxic Studies of Different Substances to Reduce the DNA Damage Induced by Aflatoxin B1 and Ochratoxin A
Madrigal Santillán, Eduardo Osiris
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Mycotoxins are produced mainly by the mycelial structure of filamentous fungi,or more specifically, molds. These secondary metabolites are synthesized during the end ofthe exponential growth phase and appear to have no biochemical significance in fungalgrowth and development. The contamination of foods and feeds with mycotoxins is asignificant problem for the adverse effects on humans, animals, and crops that result inillnesses and economic losses. The toxic effect of the ingestion of mycotoxins in humansand animals depends on a number of factors including intake levels, duration of exposure,toxin species, mechanisms of action, metabolism, and defense mechanisms. In general, theconsumption of contaminated food and feed with mycotoxin induces to neurotoxic,immunosuppressive, teratogenic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic effect in humans and/oranimals. The most significant mycotoxins in terms of public health and agronomicperspective include the aflatoxins, ochratoxin A (OTA), trichothecenes, fumonisins,OPEN ACCESSToxins 2010, 2739patulin, and the ergot alkaloids. Due to the detrimental effects of these mycotoxins, severalstrategies have been developed in order to reduce the risk of exposure. These include thedegradation, destruction, inactivation or removal of mycotoxins through chemical, physicaland biological methods. However, the results obtained with these methods have not beenoptimal, because they may change the organoleptic characteristics and nutritional values offood. Another alternative strategy to prevent or reduce the toxic effects of mycotoxins is byapplying antimutagenic agents. These substances act according to several extra- orintracellular mechanisms, their main goal being to avoid the interaction of mycotoxins withDNA; as a consequence of their action, these agents would inhibit mutagenesis andcarcinogenesis. This article reviews the main strategies used to control AFB1 andochratoxin A and contains an analysis of some antigenotoxic substances that reduce theDNA damage caused by these mycotoxins.