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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Age-related differences in the toxicity of ochratoxin A in female rats.

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin found in food and feedstuffs of plant and animal origin. OTA exposure is related to nephropathy in humans. Age-related differences, especially in nephro- and immunotoxicity of OTA, were investigated in young adult (aged 12 weeks) and old (aged 27-30 months) female SPF Wag rats, treated by gavage with 0, 0.07, 0.34 or 1.68 mg OTA/kg body weight for 4 weeks. In both age groups, survival was significantly decreased in the highest dose group. Clinical condition, body weight, clinical chemistry parameters (ALAT, ASAT, creatinin and urea) and target organs (as identified by weight and pathology - kidney, liver, adrenals, forestomach and brain) were affected by age and dose, but often more severely in old than in young rats. OTA induced primarily nephropathy. Old rats were more sensitive to induction of tubular karyomegaly and vacuolation/necrosis. In young rats, OTA induced a dose-related thickening of the basement membrane and reduction in splenic T-cell fraction. Decreased IgG levels were seen at 0.34 mg/kg OTA (young and old rats) and 1.68 mg/kg OTA (young rats). Vacuolation of the white brain matter (cerebellar medulla and ventral parts of the brain stem) was significantly increased in young rats at 0.34 and 1.68 mg/kg OTA and in old rats at 0.07 and 0.34 mg/kg OTA. It was concluded that: (1) the profiles of OTA toxicity for both age groups are similar, with the kidney and possibly the brain being primary target organs; (2) based on clinical and pathological data old rats are more sensitive to OTA than young rats; and (3) the immune system is probably not the primary target of OTA toxicity.[1]


  1. Age-related differences in the toxicity of ochratoxin A in female rats. Dortant, P.M., Peters-Volleberg, G.W., Van Loveren, H., Marquardt, R.R., Speijers, G.J. Food Chem. Toxicol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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