T-2 toxin induces apoptosis in differentiated murine embryonic stem cells through reactive oxygen species-mediated mitochondrial pathway.
ABSTRACT T-2 toxin, a member of the trichothecene mycotoxin family produced by the Fusarium fungi, has been shown to exert a variety of toxic effects on multiple targets in vivo. However, the embryonic toxicity of T-2 toxin in vitro remains unclear. In the present study, two permanent cell lines, embryonic stem cells (ES cells D3) and fibroblast 3T3 cells, were used to evaluate T-2 toxin toxicity. Differentiated mouse ES cells were cultivated as embryoid bodies along with T-2 toxin at different concentrations (0.5, 1, and 2 ng/ml) for 24 h. The increases in cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid and DNA oxidative damage, and loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential were observed at 1 and 2 ng/ml concentrations. Flow cytometry showed that T-2 toxin induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Furthermore, T-2 toxin opened the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, caused the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and induced the upregulation of p53, caspase-9, caspase-3 expression and increased the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2. However, T-2 toxin-induced oxidative damage and apoptosis in differentiated ES cells decreased significantly in the presence of the antioxidant Trolox. Taken together, these results demonstrate that T-2 toxin induces oxidative stress and apoptosis in differentiated murine ES cells, and ROS-mediated mitochondrial pathway plays an important role in T-2 toxin induced apoptosis.