Fumonisin B1 induced antioxidant response in C57BL/6 male mice brain.
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Background: Fumonisin B1 (FB1), a mycotoxin produced by the Fusarium species, contaminates maize. In South Africa maize is a dietary staple and FB1 endangers human and animal health. FB1 is known to have neurodegenerative effects; inhibits mitochondrial respiration, causes mitochondrial membrane depolarization and excessive ROS production. This study investigated the antioxidant response in mice brain after acute (24 hrs) and prolonged (10 days) exposure to FB1. Methods: Four groups (Control acute, FB1 acute, Control prolonged, FB1 prolonged) of C57BL/6 male mice (n=5 per group) were used. All controls were orally administered 0.1M PBS and FB1 groups were administered 5mg/kg of FB1. Following acute and prolonged exposure, the mice were euthanised by halothane anaesthesia. Brain tissues were harvested and stored in Qiazol and Cytobuster for RNA and protein isolation, respectively. Protein expression of CAT, pNrf2 and Nrf2 were determined using western blots. The mRNA expression of Nrf2, miR-141, SOD2, GPx, Tfam, LON, SIRT3 and Tau wwere determined using qPCR. Results: Protein expression of Nrf2 (Acute: *p=0,0144; prolonged: **p=0,0094) and pNrf2 (acute: *p=0,0132; prolonged: *p=0,0462) was significantly increased upon 24 hrs and significantly decreased upon 10 days in tissue exposed to FB1, while mRNA levels of Nrf2 were significantly reduced upon acute (***p=0,0001) and prolonged (**p=0,0013) exposure. FB1 induced a significant decrease in miR-141 levels in tissue following acute (**p=0,0019) and prolonged (***p=0,0004) exposure. FB1 increased the protein expression of CAT in tissue following acute (p=0,1206) and significantly increased expression upon prolonged (**p=0,0010) exposure. FB1 also significantly increased the mRNA expression of GPx in acute (***p=0,0001) and prolonged (**p=0,0024) exposure. FB1 significantly decreased the expression of SOD2 in mice brain following acute (**p=0,0070) and non-significantly decrease upon prolonged (p=0,2725) exposure. Tfam and LONP1 levels were significantly decreased upon acute (***p=0,0003, ***p=0,0005) and prolonged (*p=0,0196, *p=0,0117) exposure to FB1 respectively. However, SIRT3 expression was decreased upon acute (p=0,0594) and significantly increased upon prolonged (*p=0,0283) exposure to FB1.The mRNA expression of tau was significantly reduced upon acute (**p=0,0054) and prolonged (*p=0,0273) exposure to FB1. Conclusion: FB1 compromises antioxidant and mitochondrial survival responses in mice brain. This may have implications in FB1-induced neurodegeneration.