Sera obtained from a group of pigs (n = 5) fed a diet amended with fumonisin containing Fusarium moniliforme culture material was used to determine the levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF) activity by a functional bioassay utilizing the TNF sensitive WEHI 140 mouse fibrosaroma cell line. Two pigs developed signs consistent with pulmonary edema which was confirmed by pathologic examination in only one pig. Significant, time dependent increases in TNF-like activity were observed in all pigs during the five days of the trial. Another group of pigs (n = 5) was given a defined daily dose of the same culture material by gastric intubation. Two pigs developed fulminant pulmonary edema and sharp increases in TNF activity were observed during the 3 days of the trial in all pigs. In both cases the activity was not abrogated by addition of a neutralizing anti-human TNF monoclonal antibody suggesting that other factors may have been responsible for these effects, possibly the increased levels of sphingoid bases in the serum. Since the pig has become an important model in the study of TNF mediated endotoxic shock, these studies illustrate the relevance of certifying the absence of this important mycotoxin from corn based animal diets, specially if functional assays are used to monitor the activity of TNF in serum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy