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Mycotoxin Res. 2013 Nov;29(4):229-34. doi: 10.1007/s12550-013-0175-x. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

Inhibitory effect of citrinin on lipopolisaccharide-induced nitric oxide production by mouse macrophage cells.

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  • 1Division of Genetics and Mutagenesis, National Institute of Health Sciences, 1-18-1 Kamiyoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 158-8501, Japan,


The present study evaluated the immunotoxicity of citrinin (CIT), a mycotoxin produced by several Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Monascus species. Because nitric oxide (NO), a pro-inflammatory mediator, plays an important role in the protection from pathogens, we addressed the effect of CIT on NO production by a mouse macrophage-like cell line RAW264 activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS-induced NO release from RAW264 cells was inhibited by CIT. Moreover, the transcription and expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) by LPS was suppressed by CIT. These results show that CIT suppressed the LPS-induced NO production and iNOS expression, which contribute to the host protection against invading pathogens. This suggests that CIT on LPS-induced NO release may exert adverse effects in macrophages, indicating immunotoxic effects of this toxin. .

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