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Determination of sphinganine, sphingosine and Sa/So ratio in urine of humans exposed to dietary fumonisin B1

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Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is an inhibitor of sphinganine N-acyltransferase and the increase in the sphinganine/sphingosine (Sa/So) ratio in urine or serum has been proposed as a biomarker to evaluate exposure to fumonisins. The objectives of this study were to (1) develop a liquid chromatographic method sufficiently sensitive to determine the low concentration of free Sa in male human urine, and (2) analyse So and Sa in human urine and monitor the Sa/So ratio in urine of humans exposed to FB1 in corn diets over 1 month. The liquid chromatographic method involved isolation from human urine of exfoliated cells followed by an extraction of free sphingoid bases and their separation and quantification by high performance liquid chromatography. The detection limits for So and Sa were 0.15ng/ml in female urine (2ml used) and 0.005ng/ml in male urine (60ml used). Twenty-eight healthy adult volunteers consumed for 1 month a normal diet containing their homegrown corn potentially contaminated with FB1. Immediately preceding the start of the test, morning urine samples for the determination of So and Sa were collected from each person, and the corn samples used in cooking were obtained from each family for the determination of FB1. At the end of the test period, morning-urine samples were collected from each person and analysed again. The daily FB1 intakes were estimated and used to assess the relationship between them and the urinary Sa/So ratios in humans exposed to dietary FB1 over 1 month. All the home grown corn samples contained FB1 ranging from 0.08 to 41.1mg/kg, and the estimated daily FB1 intakes ranged from 0.4 to 740 g/kg b.w./day. The 1-month monitoring results suggest that sphingolipid metabolism of humans could be affected by FB1 intake, the urinary Sa/So ratio may be useful for evaluating FB1 exposure when the contamination of FB1 is high, and that males are more sensitive to FB1 disruption of sphingolipid metabolism than females.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Public Health, West China University of Medical Sciences, 3-17 Ren Min Nan Lu, Cheng du 610044, PR China 2: Institute of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, 29 Nan Wei Road, Beijing 100050, PR China

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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