The toxic interactions of patulin and rubratoxin B were studied in terms of either antagonistic or synergistic effects. A range of sublethal doses of test substance(s) (patulin, rubratoxin B or their combination) was administered to mature male rats. Mortality elicited by 0.25 mg of rubratoxin B/kg was prevented by the simultaneous administration of 1 mg of patulin/kg. Dose-related reductions in body weight by rubratoxin B were couteracted by patulin when it was added to the treatment. Toxic doses of patulin caused an increase in EPN-dealkylase and aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase and these effects were prevented when rubratoxin B was administered simultaneously. Antagonistic interactions between patulin and rubratoxin B were shown on mortality rate, body weight and levels of mixed function oxidase enzymes. Mutagenicity with the Ames test could not be obtained by pure mycotoxins or in combination, suggesting that this test could not be used for this purpose, perhaps because of the antibiotic property of the mycotoxins.

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Author notes

1Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.

2Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences.