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Title: Fumonisin B1-induced neural tube defects were not increased in LM/Bc mice fed folate deficient diets
Authors: Voss KA, Riley RT, Gelineau-Van Waes J
Journal: Mol Nutr Food Res
Accepted date: 2014 Jan 13
Interpretive summary: Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin found in corn and foods. There is evidence that FB1 increases the risk of birth defects known as neural tube defects, including within populations that consume large amounts of alkaline cooked corn as a diet staple. Dietary folate protects against neural tube defects but its amounts are reduced in alkaline cooked corn. It is not known how folate deficiency influences the induction of neural tube defects by FB1 in the LM/Bc mouse, a strain that is sensitive to the effects of FB1. Female LM/Bc mice were fed control or folate deficient diets beginning five weeks before they were paired with males. Groups of pregnant mice were then given graded doses (0, 2.5 or 10 mg/kg body weight) of FB1 at the critical time during gestation for correct neural tube development. The folate deficient diet reduced blood folate levels in the pregnant mice by 80 percent whereas FB1 had no effect on blood folate. At the same time, decreased numbers of litters having one or more neural tube defect-affected fetuses and decreased numbers of affected fetuses per litter were found in groups fed the deficient diet. Fetal death rates, while slightly higher in the litters of females fed deficient diet, did not account entirely for the reduced rates of neural tube defects, indicating that other mechanisms are likely involved. Genetic, environmental and nutritional factors contributing to neural tube defects are complex and further studies are needed to determine how FB1 and folate interact to affect fetal development in this mouse model and the suitability of this model for human risk assessment of FB1.
Publication date: 2014 Feb 28