Citrinin is a mycotoxin originally isolated from Penicillium citrinum. It has since been found to be produced by a variety of other fungi which are used in the production of human foods such as grain, cheese, sake and red pigments.
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 is used as a reagent in biological research. It induces mitochondrial permeability pore opening and inhibits respiration by interfering with complex I of the respiratory chain.