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Toxicol Res. 2018 Jul;34(3):211-220. doi: 10.5487/TR.2018.34.3.211. Epub 2018 Jul 15.

Oxidative Stress in Extrahepatic Tissues of Rats Co-Exposed to Aflatoxin B1 and Low Protein Diet.

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Department of Biochemistry, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.
Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.


Early life exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and low protein diet through complementary foods during weaning is common in parts of Africa and Asia. This study evaluated the effect of co-exposure to AFB1 and low protein diet on the extrahepatic tissues of rats. Twenty-four three-week old weanling male albino rats were used for this study and were randomly assigned into four groups: group 1 served as control and was fed normal protein diet (20% protein), group 2 was fed low protein diet (5% protein), group 3 was fed normal protein diet + 40 ppb AFB1 while group 4 received low protein diet + 40 ppb AFB1, all for eight weeks. Afterward, biomarkers of anemia (packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin) and kidney function (urea, uric acid, and creatinine) were determined in the blood while biomarkers of oxidative stress were determined in the tissues spectrophotometrically. Co-exposure to AFB1 and low protein diet significantly (p < 0.05) decreased body weight gain and PCV, increased biomarkers of kidney functions and induced oxidative stress in the tissues studied. There was significant (p < 0.05) reduction in glutathione concentration while TBARS was significantly increased in the tissues. Co-exposure to AFB1 and low protein diet had additive effects on decreasing the weight gain and potentiation effect of kidney dysfunction in the rats. The co-exposure also decreased antioxidant enzymes and increased oxidant status in the tissues. Our results demonstrate that this co-exposure has deleterious health effects on extrahepatic tissues and should be a public health concern especially in developing countries where AFB1 contamination is common.


Aflatoxin B1; Extrahepatic tissues; Low protein; Oxidative stress

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