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Neurotoxicity of ochratoxin A: Molecular mechanisms and neurotherapeutic strategies.

Toxicology 2023 September 13
Data from epidemiological and experimental studies evidenced that some chemical contaminants in food elicit their harmful effects by targeting the central nervous system. Ochratoxin A is a foodborne mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium species. Research on neurotoxicity associated with ochratoxin A exposure has increased greatly in recent years. The present review accrued substantial evidence on the neurotoxicity associated with ochratoxin A exposure as well as discusses notable susceptible targets of noxious ochratoxin A at molecular, cellular and genetic levels. Specifically, the neurotoxic mechanisms associated with ochratoxin A exposure were unequivocally unraveled in vitro using human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, mouse hippocampal HT22 cells, human astrocyte (NHA-SV40LT) cells and microglia cells as well as in vivo using mammalian and non-mammalian models. Data from human biomonitoring studies on plasma ochratoxin A levels in patients with neurodegenerative diseases with some age- and sex-related responses were also highlighted. Moreover, the neurotherapeutic mechanisms of some naturally occurring bioactive compounds against ochratoxin A neurotoxicity are reviewed. Collectively, accumulated data from literature demonstrate that ochratoxin A is a neurotoxin with potential pathological involvement in neurological disorders. Cutting edge original translational research on the development of neurotherapeutics for neurotoxicity associated with foodborne toxicants including ochratoxin A is indispensable.

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