Citrinin is a mycotoxin originally isolated in 1931 by Hetherington and Raistrick from a culture of Penicillium citrinum. It has since been found to be produced by a variety of other fungi that are found or used in the production of human foods, such as grain, cheese, sake, and red pigments. Citrinin has also been found in commercial red yeast rice supplements.
Citrinin acts as a nephrotoxin in all species in which it has been tested, but its acute toxicity varies. It causes mycotoxic nephropathy in livestock and has been implicated as a cause of Balkan nephropathy and yellow rice fever in humans.
Citrinin can permeate through the human skin. Although no significant health risk is expected after dermal contact in agricultural or residential environments, dermal exposure should nevertheless be limited.
Citrinin is produced by a variety of fungi, including:
^Hetherington, A. C.; Raistrick, H. (1931). "On the Production and Chemical Constitution of a New Yellow Colouring Matter, Citrinin, Produced from Glucose by Penicillium citrinum Thom". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences220 (468-473): 269–295. doi:10.1098/rstb.1931.0025. ISSN0962-8436.
^Gordon, R. Y.; Cooperman, T.; Obermeyer, W.; Becker, D. J. (2010). "Marked Variability of Monacolin Levels in Commercial Red Yeast Rice Products: Buyer Beware!". Archives of Internal Medicine170 (19): 1722–1727. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.382. PMID20975018.