Chemopreventive effect of lycopene on cytotoxicity of T-2 toxin in vivo

M. Leal a, E. González de Mejíaa , V. Tsutsumib, A. Shimadac and F. Ruizc

aDepartamento de Investigación y Posgrado en Alimentos, Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. Centro Universitario, Cerro de las Campanas, 76049 Querétaro, Qro. México. bCentro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional. Departamento de Patología Experimental. Av. IPN No. 2508 Col. San Pedro Zacatenco, 01000 México, D.F. cCentro Nacional de Investigación en Fisiología y Mejoramiento Animal. Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales y Agropecuarias, México

Lycopene obtained from fresh tomatoes was incorporated into the chicks diet in order to evaluate its chemoprotective effect against cytotoxicity of T-2 toxin. One hundred twenty four, one day old broiler chicks, Arbor Acres X Indiana River, were assigned to a split plot design where treatments were: T-2 toxin (1.5 mg/Kg/day), lycopene (25 mg/Kg/day), chemoprotector treatment (T-2 toxin plus lycopene), and control treatment. After 7, 14 and 21 days, thirty animals from each group were individually weighed and sacrificed. The liver was removed for histological and biochemical assays. Serum immunoglobulins were also quantified. T-2 toxin treatment caused a severe inflammatory response in the oral cavity, necrotic lesions and hemorrhages in liver, intestine, kidney and gizzard. Electron microscopy studies of hepatocytes showed damage of cellular membranes, presence of erythrocytes and smaller mitochondrias with dense matrix in comparison with the control treatment. Furthermore, the endogenous antioxidant glutathione was significantly reduced (P<0.01). T-2 toxin also increased (P<0.01) malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration and the enzymatic activities of glutathione-dependent enzymes: glutathione-S-transferase (GST), gamma-glutamil transferase (gamma-GT), and glutathione peroxidase (GP). The level of serum immunoglobulins IgA and IgG were similarly reduced (P<0.01). Lycopene treatment diminished mucosal lesions and cellular membranes damages; maintained cellular GSH level and kept the activity of some GSH enzymes involved in detoxification mechanism of T-2 toxin. Lycopene showed its protective effect on immune animal response. The results obtained suggest that lycopene reduced the cytotoxicity induced by T-2 toxin mainly by reducing lipid peroxidation in cellular membranes.

KEY WORDS: chemoprevention, lycopene, T-2 toxin.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Dietary Influences.