Safety evaluation of Ochratoxin A and Citrinin after 28 days repeated dose oral exposure to Wistar rats

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2020 Aug;115:104700. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2020.104700. Epub 2020 Jun 7.


Mycotoxins, ochratoxin A (OTA), and citrinin (CTN) are toxic metabolites of filamentous fungi. The most common fungal species that produce OTA and CTN belong to genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, and Monascus, and these fungal species are found to be contaminant a wide range of grains, food, and food product. The aim of our study was to evaluate the sub-acute repeated dose oral toxicity of OTA and CTN in experimental rodents by following OECD test guidelines for testing chemicals no. 407 with minor modifications. Twenty-five rats of each sex were divided equally into five groups; vehicle control, OTA 25 μg/kg b. wt., OTA 100 μg/kg b. wt., CTN 25 μg/kg b.wt. and CTN 100 μg/kg b. wt. The results of this study showed no abnormal clinical signs during 28 days of the experimental period. We did not found any significant changes in body weight gain, food consumption pattern, organ weight, hematology except few parameters, and biochemical values in any of the treatment and control groups. However, histopathological observations revealed severe nephrotoxicity and mild follicular depletion in the spleen of 100 μg/kg b. wt. treated groups of both OTA and CTN mycotoxins. The findings of our study are of its first kind that reports the systemic toxicity of OTA and CTN oral exposure to laboratory rodents.

Keywords: Citrinin; Clinico-pathology; Histopathology; OECD 407; Ochratoxin A; Oral toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Citrinin / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Food Contamination
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Ochratoxins / toxicity*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Toxicity Tests, Subacute


  • Ochratoxins
  • ochratoxin A
  • Citrinin