Toxicological properties of citrinin.
Citrinin (CTN) is a nephrotoxic mycotoxin produced by several fungal strains belonging to the genera Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Monascus. It contaminates various commodities of plant origin, cereals in particular, and is usually found together with another nephrotoxic mycotoxin, ochratoxin A (OTA). These two mycotoxins are believed to be involved in the aetiology of endemic nephropathy. In addition to nephrotoxicity, CTN is also embryocidal and fetotoxic. The genotoxic properties of CTN have been demonstrated with the micronuleus test (MN), but not with single-cell gel electrophoresis. The mechanism of CTN toxicity is not fully understood, especially not whether CTN toxicity and genotoxicity are the consequence of oxidative stress or of increased permeability of mitochondrial membranes. CTN requires complex cellular biotransformation to exert mutagenicity.Compared with other mycotoxins, CTN contamination of food and feed is rather scarce. However, it is reasonable to believe that humans are much more frequently exposed to CTN than generally accepted, because it is produced by the same moulds as OTA, which is a common contaminant of human food all over the world.At present, there are no specific regulations either in Croatia or in the European Union concerning CTN in any kind of commodity.