Effect of simultaneous prenatal exposure to ochratoxin a and citr1nin in the rat Academic Article uri icon


  • Ochratoxin A (OA) and citrinin (CT) are food-borne mycotoxins produced by several fungal species of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium. Both are teratogenic in the rat. To determine the prenatal effects of simultaneous exposure to these toxins, pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were injected either with a single individual subthreshold teratogenic dose of OA (1 mg/kg) or CT (30 mg/kg) or with both toxins. Toxins were dissolved in 5% sodium bicarbonate and administered subcutaneously on one of gestation d 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, or 14. Maternal body weight gain of animals in the combination group was similar to other treatment groups and the control. Approximately 22-40% mortality in dams occurred on gestation d 5, 6, 7, and 14. Other than d 7, there was no significant effect on the number of implants. Treatment on d 5 or 7 resulted in increased fetal resorptions. Fetal body weights were not decreased significantly. OA and CT in combination resulted in a significant increase in gross malformations on d 6 and 7, visceral anomalies on d 5, 7, 8, and 10, and skeletal defects on d 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 14. When administered individually, OA and CT resulted in very few fetal resorptions. Fetal body weights were not significantly different except on d 8 of gestation following CT treatment. Individual toxin treatment resulted in minimal malformations on all gestation days. These results suggest that OA and CT, when administered concurrently, may interact to enhance prenatal toxicity and teratogenicity, and these results have focussed attention on the public health hazards of contamination of food with these mycotoxins.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Mayura, K., Parker, R., Berndt, W. O., & Phillips, T. D.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Mayura, K||Parker, R||Berndt, WO||Phillips, TD

publication date

  • January 1984