• Microcystins;
  • Caco-2;
  • Oxidative Stress;
  • Proinflammatory response


While MC-LR and MC-RR share significant structural similarity, MC-RR is less cytotoxic than MC-LR. In the current study, we have compared the effects of MC-LR and MC-RR in Caco-2 cells by evaluating cytotoxicity, oxidative stress (reactive oxygen species production), and the cellular proinflammatory response (IL-6 and IL-8 production). Following treatment with 100 µM microcystins (MC), cytotoxicity was two-fold greater with MC-LR as compared to MC-RR after 24 h exposure. Whereas the reactive oxygen species production and IL-6 secretion were similar following a 24-h treatment with either MC, 100 µM MC-LR induced a five-fold greater IL-8 secretion when compared to MC-RR. Our study has demonstrated that, although both MC-LR and MC-RR induced some cytotoxicity in human intestinal cells, a major difference in IL-8 production was observed between the two variants. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J BiochemMol Toxicol 27:253-258, 2013; View this article online at DOI 10.1002/jbt.21482