Biochemistry and Toxicological Aspects of Etiology of Balkan Endemic Nephropathy
aDepartment of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, bDepartment of Toxicology, Faculty of Military Health Service, University of Defence, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, cDivision of Molecular Toxicology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
Balkan endemic nephropathy is a unique renal fibrosis leading to progressive and gradually developing renal failure, followed by development of tumors of the urinary tract. Several hypotheses concerning the etiology of this disease have been investigated, including environmental factors (heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aromatic amines, fungal and plant toxins) and/or genetic factors. The article reviews the different hypotheses and pays particular attention to the biochemical role of the mycotoxin ochratoxin A and the plant product aristolochic acid.
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