Glucuronidation of deoxynivalenol (DON) by different animal species: identification of iso-DON glucuronides and iso-deepoxy-DON glucuronides as novel DON metabolites in pigs, rats, mice, and cows
The Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is a frequent contaminant of cereal-based food and feed. Mammals metabolize DON by conjugation to glucuronic acid (GlcAc), the extent and regioselectivity of which is species-dependent. So far, only DON-3-glucuronide (DON-3-GlcAc) and DON-15-GlcAc have been unequivocally identified as mammalian DON glucuronides, and DON-7-GlcAc has been proposed as further DON metabolite. In the present work, qualitative HPLC–MS/MS analysis of urine samples of animals treated with DON (rats: 2 mg/kg bw, single bolus, gavage; mice: 1 mg/kg bw, single i.p. injection; pigs: 74 µg/kg bw, single bolus, gavage; cows: 5.2 mg DON/kg dry mass, oral for 13 weeks) revealed additional DON and deepoxy-DON (DOM) glucuronides. To elucidate their structures, DON and DOM were incubated with human (HLM) and rat liver microsomes (RLM). Besides the expected DON/DOM-3- and 15-GlcAc, minor amounts of four DON- and four DOM glucuronides were formed. Isolation and enzymatic hydrolysis of four of these compounds yielded iso-DON and iso-DOM, the identities of which were eventually confirmed by NMR. Incubation of iso-DON and iso-DOM with RLM and HLM yielded two main glucuronides for each parent compound, which were isolated and identified as iso-DON/DOM-3-GlcAc and iso-DON/DOM-8-GlcAc by NMR. Iso-DON-3-GlcAc, most likely misidentified as DON-7-GlcAc in the literature, proved to be a major DON metabolite in rats and a minor metabolite in pigs. In addition, iso-DON-8-GlcAc turned out to be one of the major DON metabolites in mice. DOM-3-GlcAc was the dominant DON metabolite in urine of cows and an important DON metabolite in rat urine. Iso-DOM-3-GlcAc was detected in urine of DON-treated rats and cows. Finally, DON-8,15-hemiketal-8-glucuronide, a previously described by-product of DON-3-GlcAc production by RLM, was identified in urine of DON-exposed mice and rats. The discovery of several novel DON-derived glucuronides in animal urine requires adaptation of the currently used methods for DON-biomarker analysis.