Deoxynivanelol and fumonisin, alone or in combination, induce changes on intestinal junction complexes and in E-cadherin expression

Toxins (Basel). 2013 Nov 28;5(12):2341-52. doi: 10.3390/toxins5122341.


Fusariotoxins such as fumonisin B1 (FB1) and deoxynivalenol (DON) cause deleterious effects on the intestine of pigs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of these mycotoxins, alone and in combination, on jejunal explants from piglets, using histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural assays. Five 24-day old pigs were used for sampling the explants. Forty-eight explants were sampled from each animal. Explants were incubated for 4 hours in culture medium and medium containing FB1 (100 µM), DON (10 µM) and both mycotoxins (100 µM FB1 plus 10 µM DON). Exposure to all treatments induced a significant decrease in the normal intestinal morphology and in the number of goblet cells, which were more severe in explants exposed to DON and both mycotoxins. A significant reduction in villus height occurred in groups treated with DON and with co-contamination. Expression of E-cadherin was significantly reduced in explants exposed to FB1 (40%), DON (93%) and FB1 plus DON (100%). The ultrastructural assay showed increased intercellular spaces and no junction complexes on enterocytes exposed to mycotoxins. The present data indicate that FB1 and DON induce changes in cell junction complexes that could contribute to increase paracellular permeability. The ex vivo model was adequate for assessing intestinal toxicity induced by exposure of isolated or associated concentrations of 100 µM of FB1 and 10 µM of DON.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Fumonisins / toxicity*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Jejunum / drug effects*
  • Jejunum / metabolism
  • Jejunum / pathology
  • Jejunum / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Swine
  • Trichothecenes / toxicity*


  • Cadherins
  • Fumonisins
  • Trichothecenes
  • fumonisin B1
  • deoxynivalenol