Fumonisins (FBs) are mycotoxins that are found worldwide in maize and maize products. Their main toxic effects have been well characterized in poultry, but differences between species have been demonstrated. Ducks appeared very sensitive to toxicity, whereas turkeys are more resistant. At the same time, alterations of sphingolipid metabolism, with an increase of the concentration of the free sphinganine (Sa) in serum and liver, have been demonstrated in the two species, but the link between the toxicity of FBs and Sa accumulation remains difficult to interpret. The aim of the present work was to compare the effects of FBs (10 mg FB1 FB2/kg body weight) on sphingolipid metabolism in ducks and turkeys. Growth, feed consumption, and serum biochemistry were also investigated to evaluate toxicity. The main results showed that FBs increased Sa concentrations in liver and serum in ducks and turkeys, but these accumulations were not directly correlated with toxicity. Sa accumulation was higher in the livers of turkeys than in ducks, whereas Sa levels were higher in the sera of ducks than in turkeys. Hepatic toxicity was more pronounced in ducks than in turkeys and accompanied a decrease of body weight and an increase of serum biochemistry in ducks but not in turkeys. So, although FBs increase Sa concentration in the livers of both species, this effect is not directly proportional to toxicity. The mechanisms of FB toxicity and/or the mechanisms of protection of ducks and turkeys to the Sa accumulation within the liver remain to be established.
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