OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to determine level of metallothioneins (MTs) in brain tissues of rats administered by feed mixtures with different content of mouldy wheat or fungi.
DESIGN: Selected male laboratory rats of Wistar albino at age of 28 days were used in our experiments. The rats were administered by feed mixtures with different content of vitamins, naturally mouldy wheat or fungi for 28 days. At the very end of the experiment, the animals were put to death and brains were sampled. MT level was determined by differential pulse voltammetry Brdicka reaction.
RESULTS: We found that MTs' level in brain tissues from rats administered by standard feed mixtures was significantly higher compared to the level of MTs in rats supplemented by vitamins. Further we studied the effect of supplementation of naturally mouldy wheat on MTs level in rats. In mouldy wheat we detected the presence of following fungi species: Mucor spp., Absidia spp., Penicillium spp., Aspergillus spp. and Fusarium spp. Moreover we also identified and quantified following mycotoxins - deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T2-toxin and aflatoxins. Level of MTs determined in rats treated with 33 or 66% of mouldy wheat was significantly lower compared to control ones. On the other hand rats treated with 100% of mouldy wheat had less MTs but not significantly. Supplementation of vitamins to rats fed by mouldy wheat had adverse effect on MTs level compared to rats with no other supplementation by vitamins. Moreover vitamins supplementation has no effect on MTs level in brain tissues of rats treated or non-treated with Ganoderma lucidum L.
CONCLUSION: Both mycotoxins and vitamins have considerable effect on level of MTs in brain tissues. It can be assumed that the administered substances markedly influence redox metabolism, which could negatively influence numerous biochemical pathways including those closely related with MTs.