Mycotoxin Res. 2022 Aug 1. doi: 10.1007/s12550-022-00466-y. Online ahead of print.
Alternariol (AOH) is one of the toxins of Alternaria, and it has been widely detected in a variety of foods. It has been reported to be cytotoxic, dermally toxic, genotoxic, and potentially carcinogenic in vitro. However, in vivo toxicity data are lacking. This study used a novel in vivo 28-day multi-endpoint (Pig-a assay + micronucleus test + comet assay) genotoxicity evaluation system to evaluate the general toxicity and genotoxicity of AOH. A total of 42 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly distributed into three AOH-treated groups (5.51, 10.03, and 22.05 µg/kg bw), one AOH high-dose recovery group (AOH-HR, 22.05 µg/kg bw), one positive control group (N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea, 40 mg/kg bw), and two vehicle control groups (corn oil and PBS). Treatments were administered by oral gavage for 28 consecutive days. Histopathological lesions were observed in the liver, kidney, and spleen in all AOH-treated groups. No statistical difference was found in each genotoxicity index within 28 days in the AOH-treated groups compared with those in the corn oil group. On day 42, in the AOH-HR group, the rate of Pig-a mutant phenotype reticulocytes (RETCD59-) significantly increased. On day 56, both RETCD59- and the rate of Pig-a mutant phenotype erythrocytes (RBCCD59-) were significantly reduced. These findings indicated that AOH might cumulatively induce genetic mutations.