Effects of ochratoxin A on micronucleus frequency in human lymphocytes

Nahrung. 2003 Feb;47(1):33-5. doi: 10.1002/food.200390005.


Ochratoxin A (OTA), a nephrotoxic and carcinogenic mycotoxin, was investigated to examine its potency to induce micronuclei (MN) in cultured human lymphocytes. Lymphocyte cultures were treated for the last 48 h with OTA at concentrations of 25 microM, 10 microM, 1 microM, 100 nM, 10 nM, 1 nM, and 100 microM and absolute ethanol. At the highest concentration, OTA was found to induce MN in cytokinesis-blocked lymphocytes (p < 0.05). The 25 microM OTA concentration also led to a clear decrease in the percentage of binucleated cells, probably due to cytotoxicity. OTA at the other concentrations tested did not induce MN frequency. These results indicate that a high concentration of OTA is genotoxic in cultured human lymphocytes.

MeSH terms

  • DNA Damage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / drug effects*
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Ochratoxins / pharmacology*
  • Ochratoxins / toxicity


  • Ochratoxins
  • ochratoxin A