Assessment of the estrogenic effects of zearalenone after treatment with ozone utilizing the mouse uterine weight bioassay. Academic Article uri icon


  • The ability of ozone gas (O3) to detoxify zearalenone (ZEN), a commonly occurring estrogenic mycotoxin, was assessed utilizing the mouse uterine weight bioassay. Solutions containing 12 ppm ZEN in water were ozonated for varying time periods (0, 0.5, and 5 min), then extracted with chloroform and evaporated to dryness. The residue was redissolved in acetonitrile and analyzed for ZEN. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of aliquots indicated a rapid degradation and decline in parent ZEN level with increasing time of ozone treatment. The acetonitrile solution containing the degraded ZEN residue was added to a known volume of corn oil and evaporated under nitrogen to eliminate the acetonitrile in the oil. Eighteen-day-old prepubertal female mice (B6C3F1 strain) were gavaged daily with the test chemicals in 50 microl of corn oil between d 18 and 23. Initial dose-response studies showed that a concentration of 60 microg ZEN/mouse/d produced uterine weights that were significantly higher than the uterine weights of control animals (2.7 times higher than that of the solvent control). Treatment groups for the ozonation study included: DES, 0.1 microg (positive control), untreated ZEN (60 microg), extraction control for ZEN (60 microg), 0.5 min ozone-treated ZEN (60 microg), 5 min ozone-treated ZEN (60 microg), solvent control (50 microl), and absolute control. Results showed the uterine weights of animals receiving the ozone-treated ZEN were not significantly affected. These findings were in agreement with HPLC analyses and suggested that ozone can prevent the estrogenic effects of this important mycotoxin in mice. Importantly, ozone treatment of contaminated whole grains may enable the practical detoxification and control of ZEN. Also, the mouse uterine weight bioassay may be useful in assessing the efficacy of other detoxification strategies for estrogenic chemicals.

published proceedings

  • J Toxicol Environ Health A

author list (cited authors)

  • Lemke, S. L., Mayura, K., Ottinger, S. E., McKenzie, K. S., Wang, N., Fickey, C., Kubena, L. F., & Phillips, T. D.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Lemke, SL||Mayura, K||Ottinger, SE||McKenzie, KS||Wang, N||Fickey, C||Kubena, LF||Phillips, TD

publication date

  • February 1999