Combinatory Exposure to Urolithin A, Alternariol, and Deoxynivalenol Affects Colon Cancer Metabolism and Epithelial Barrier Integrity in vitro

Julia Groestlinger, Carina Seidl, Elisabeth Varga, Giorgia Del Favero (Korresp. Autor*in), Doris Marko (Korresp. Autor*in)

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


The human gastrointestinal tract is an important site of nutrient absorption and a crucial barrier against xenobiotics. It regularly faces "chemical cocktails " composed of food constituents, their human and microbial metabolites, and foodborne contaminants, such as mycotoxins. Hence, the colonic epithelium adapts to dietary molecules tuning its immune response, structural integrity, and metabolism to maintain intestinal homeostasis. While gut microbiota metabolites of berry ellagitannins, such as urolithin A (Uro A) might contribute to physiological epithelial barrier integrity, foodborne co-contaminating mycotoxins like alternariol (AOH) and deoxynivalenol (DON) could hamper epithelial function. Hence, we investigated the response of differentiated Caco-2 cells (clone C2BBe1) in vitro to the three compounds alone or in binary mixtures. In virtue of the possible interactions of Uro A, AOH, and DON with the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway, potential effects on phase-I-metabolism enzymes and epithelial structural integrity were taken as endpoints for the evaluation. Finally, Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry measurements elucidated the absorption, secretion, and metabolic capacity of the cells under single and combinatory exposure scenarios. Uro A and AOH as single compounds, and as a binary mixture, were capable to induce CYP1A1/1A2/1B1 enzymes triggered by the AhR pathway. In light of its ribosome inhibiting capacity, the trichothecene suppressed the effects of both dibenzo-alpha-pyrones. In turn, cellular responsiveness to Uro A and AOH could be sustained when co-exposed to DON-3-sulfate, instead of DON. Colonic epithelial structural integrity was rather maintained after incubation with Uro A and AOH: this was reinforced in the combinatory exposure scenario and disrupted by DON, an effect, opposed in combination. Passage through the cells as well as the metabolism of Uro A and AOH were rather influenced by co-exposure to DON, than by interaction with each other. Therefore, we conclude that although single foodborne bioactive substances individually could either support or disrupt the epithelial structure and metabolic capacity of colon cancer, exposure to chemical mixtures changes the experimental outcome and calls for the need of combinatory investigations for proper risk assessment.
FachzeitschriftFrontiers in Nutrition
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 24 Juni 2022

ÖFOS 2012

  • 301904 Krebsforschung
  • 303009 Ernährungswissenschaften