Mycotoxins, Endemic Nephropathy and Urinary Tract Tumours

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Marcel Castegnaro, International Agency for Research on Cancer
International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1991 - Medical - 340 pages
This volume contains the proceedings of an international meeting on mycotoxins, endemic nephropathy and urinary tract tumors held at IARC, Lyon. The 49 articles reflect current interest in the role of mycotoxins (known to be nephrotoxic to several animal species) in human diseases such as endemic nephropathy and urinary tract tumors prevalent in the Balkans and other countries. The etiology of these diseases has long been obscure, but nephrotoxic mycotoxins, such as ochratoxin A, (OA) have recently emerged as key factors. Ochratoxins are produced by several Aspergillus and Penicillium species, OA being the most potent known animal nephrotoxin, producing kidney and liver tumors in two rodent species. Regulatory limits for the levels of OA in selected foods and feed have been set by several countries. New data on environmental occurrence and human biomonitoring using new analytical methods are reviewed in this volume, following an alarming report that low OA levels were found in 50-68% of blood samples from healthy humans in Germany. Although the role of OA in human pathogenesis is still unknown, an increasing body of data suggests that mycotoxin exposure is associated with nephropathy of people in the Balkan region where exposure may be endemic. The mechanisms of which OA induces renal tumors are not known, but many toxic effects have been described, including suppression of natural killer cells, inhibition of specific enzymes and induction of lipid peroxidation, adverse effects that are dealt with in detail in this volume. Other contributions deal with the roles of genetics and drug metabolism in the nephrotixic and carcinogenic effects. The volume concludes with a section on risk assessment of OA, based on food residues as related to human health hazards. The volume also gives some guidance for future work in the identification of etioligical agents responsible for urinary tract cancer and nephropathy in the Balkans.

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Balkan endemic nephropathy and the associated tumours of
Epidemiological characteristics of Balkan endemic nephropathy
The first clinical description of Balkan endemic nephropathy 1956

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About the author (1991)

M. Castegnaro is at IARC, Lyon. R. Plestina is at University of Zagreb.