Zearalenone induces apoptosis in bovine mammary epithelial cells by activating endoplasmic reticulum stress.
Published on Sep 5, 2019in Journal of Dairy Science3.333
· DOI :10.3168/JDS.2018-16216
ABSTRACT Zearalenone (ZEA) is a common mycotoxin produced by fungi within the genus Fusarium. However, few studies have examined the direct effects of the toxin on the mammary glands. In the present study, the effects of ZEA treatment on bovine mammary epithelial cells (MAC-T) from dairy cows were investigated. The cells were treated with different concentrations of ZEA to evaluate the effect of the toxin on cell viability, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentrations, mitochondrial membrane potential, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and the expression of apoptosis-related genes. The results indicated that different concentrations (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, 60, or 100 μM) of ZEA were able to inhibit growth of MAC-T cells. After exposing the MAC-T cells to 30 μM ZEA, compared with the control group, ROS levels increased, mitochondrial membrane potential decreased, and mRNA expression of the ER-specific stress-related genes GRP78, HSP70, ATF6, EIF2A, ASK1, and CHOP was upregulated in the ZEA-treated group. Further, we analyzed the increase in apoptotic rate by flow cytometry. At the mRNA level, compared with the control group, the expression of the apoptosis-promoting gene BAX was increased in the ZEA-treated group, the expression of the inhibitory gene BCL2 decreased, and the expression of the gene CASP3 increased. We observed a significant increase in caspase-3 activity in ZEA-treated MAC-T cells. Furthermore, the apoptotic rate of the cells in the ZEA group treated with 4-phenylbutyric acid (ER stress inhibitor) decreased and the mRNA expression levels of ER stress markers GRP78 and CHOP decreased. Compared with the ZEA treatment group, the mRNA expression level of the apoptosis-related gene BAX was decreased and the expression level of BCL2 was increased in the ZEA + 4-phenylbutyric acid cotreatment group. These findings indicate that ZEA-induced ER stress increases apoptosis in MAC-T cells. The treatment of MAC-T cells with ZEA reduced cell viability, increased ROS content, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, increased ER stress marker expression, and induced apoptosis.