Prevention of zearalenone-induced hyperestrogenism in prepubertal mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous methods for the control of zearalenone (ZEN)-induced hyperestrogenism in animals have proven largely ineffective. The main objective in this study was to identify an enterosorbent that decreases the dietary bioavailability, and subsequent estrogenic effects, of ZEN. Initial in vitro screenings in aqueous solution (4 microg ZEN/ml) indicated that an activated carbon (AC) was the most efficient sorbent (99%), followed by a combination of 2 parts AC plus 3 parts HEC (hectorite) (69%), cetylpyridinium-exchanged low-pH montmorillonite (CP-LPHM) clay (58%), hexadecyltrimethylammonium-exchanged low-pH montmorillonite (HDTMA-LPHM) clay (54%), and HEC alone (28%). Results from the adult hydra bioassay suggested that the addition of either AC or HEC effectively decreased the effects of ZEN on Hydra attenuata without toxicity, as was observed with the use of either CP-LPHM or HDTMA-LPHM. Based on these results, AC, HEC, and 2AC:3HEC were evaluated in prepubertal mice. At a dietary inclusion level of 0.8% (w/w), AC alone significantly protected mice against the estrogenic effects induced by 35 mg ZEN/kg feed. Inclusion of 1.2% HEC with the 0.8% AC showed no additional protection; whereas 1.2% HEC alone failed to decrease the estrogenic effects. Ground flaxseed (25% w/w) in the diet also elicited protection, but to a lesser extent. Preliminary studies suggested that three similar carbons failed to decrease ZEN bioavailability. These findings suggest that the AC used in this study may be efficacious as an enterosorbent in animals consuming ZEN-contaminated diets. However, further studies are needed to evaluate the binding specificity, as well as the safety of chronic exposure.

published proceedings

  • J Toxicol Environ Health A

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Afriyie-Gyawu, E., Wiles, M. C., Huebner, H. J., Richardson, M. B., Fickey, C., & Phillips, T. D.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Afriyie-Gyawu, Evans||Wiles, Melinda C||Huebner, Henry J||Richardson, Molly B||Fickey, Christie||Phillips, Timothy D

publication date

  • March 2005