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«Suspects» in Etiology of Endemic Nephropathy: Aristolochic Acid versus Mycotoxins

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Author(s): Stjepan Pepeljnjak | Maja Šegvić Klarić

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 1414;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: endemic nephropathy | aristolochic acid | ochratoxin A | citrinin | DNA-adducts

ABSTRACT
Despite many hypotheses that have been challenged, the etiology of endemic nephropathy (EN) is still unknown. At present, the implications of aristolochic acid (AA) and mycotoxins (ochratoxin A—OTA and citrinin—CIT) are under debate. AA-theory is based on renal pathohistological similarities between Chinese herbs nephropathy (CHN) and EN, findings of AA-DNA adducts in EN and in patients with urinary tract tumors (UTT), as well as the domination of A:T→T:A transversions in the p53 mutational spectrum of UTT patients, which corresponds with findings of such mutations in AA-treated rats. However, exposure pathways of EN residents to AA are unclear. Experimental studies attempting to deduce whether nephrotoxins OTA and CIT appear at higher frequencies or levels (or both) in the food and blood or urine of EN residents support the mycotoxin theory. Also, some molecular studies revealed the presence of OTA-DNA adducts in the renal tissue of EN and UTT patients. In this review, data supporting or arguing against AA and mycotoxin theory are presented and discussed.