|dc.description.abstract||Fumonisin B1 (FB1) and ochratoxin A (OTA) represent examples of mycotoxins of greatest public health and agro-economic significance. They ex¬ert adverse effects on humans, animals and crops that result in illnesses and economic losses. Fumonisin B1 are cancer-promoting metabo¬lites of Fusarium proliferatum and F verticillioides, (formerly moniliforme), and are implicated in oesophageal cancer. Ochratoxins are metabolites of both Aspergillus and Penicillium species. These compounds are known for their nephrotoxic effects in all animal species and may promote tumours in humans. In man OTA exhibits unusual toxicokinetics, with a half-life in blood of 840 h (35 days) after oral ingestion. Although much is known regarding the toxicology of these toxins, little is known of the effects of these toxins on the immune system.
The aim of this study was to determine and compare the immunomodulating effects of FB1 and OTA in human carcinoma. Initial experiments involved isolating lymphocytes and neutrophils from healthy volunteers. The isolated cells were exposed to either FB1 or OTA on a dose and time dependent level and LD50 of the toxins was determined. Thereafter, challenge tests were performed, whereby lymphocytes and neutrophils isolated from volunteers, oesophageal cancer patients and breast cancer patients were exposed to the LD50 dose of either FB1 or OTA for the appropriate time. The effect of the toxins was demonstrated by viability studies, light microscopy and electron microscopy. Cytokine receptors (CK, TNF and CSF) were evaluated by immuno-cytochemical methods and the levels of circulating cytokines (IL –1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and TNF-) were determined using ELISA kits.||en