Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(8), 2751-2768; doi:10.3390/md11082751

Hepatotoxic Seafood Poisoning (HSP) Due to Microcystins: A Threat from the Ocean?

1 Department of Biological Applications and Technologies, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece 2 Interscience Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Human Cancer Biobank Center, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece 3 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics, University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria 4 Laboratory of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 May 2013; in revised form: 15 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
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Abstract: Cyanobacterial blooms are a major and growing problem for freshwater ecosystems worldwide that increasingly concerns public health, with an average of 60% of blooms known to be toxic. The most studied cyanobacterial toxins belong to a family of cyclic heptapeptide hepatotoxins, called microcystins. The microcystins are stable hydrophilic cyclic heptapeptides with a potential to cause cell damage following cellular uptake via organic anion-transporting proteins (OATP). Their intracellular biologic effects presumably involve inhibition of catalytic subunits of protein phosphatases (PP1 and PP2A) and glutathione depletion. The microcystins produced by cyanobacteria pose a serious problem to human health, if they contaminate drinking water or food. These toxins are collectively responsible for human fatalities, as well as continued and widespread poisoning of wild and domestic animals. Although intoxications of aquatic organisms by microcystins have been widely documented for freshwater ecosystems, such poisonings in marine environments have only occasionally been reported. Moreover, these poisonings have been attributed to freshwater cyanobacterial species invading seas of lower salinity (e.g., the Baltic) or to the discharge of freshwater microcystins into the ocean. However, recent data suggest that microcystins are also being produced in the oceans by a number of cosmopolitan marine species, so that Hepatotoxic Seafood Poisoning (HSP) is increasingly recognized as a major health risk that follows consumption of contaminated seafood.
Keywords: microcystin; Hepatotoxic Seafood Poisoning (HSP); cyanobacteria; Synechococcus sp.; Synechocystis sp.; marine environments; microcystin synthetase genes (mcyS)

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vareli, K.; Jaeger, W.; Touka, A.; Frillingos, S.; Briasoulis, E.; Sainis, I. Hepatotoxic Seafood Poisoning (HSP) Due to Microcystins: A Threat from the Ocean? Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 2751-2768.

AMA Style

Vareli K, Jaeger W, Touka A, Frillingos S, Briasoulis E, Sainis I. Hepatotoxic Seafood Poisoning (HSP) Due to Microcystins: A Threat from the Ocean? Marine Drugs. 2013; 11(8):2751-2768.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vareli, Katerina; Jaeger, Walter; Touka, Anastasia; Frillingos, Stathis; Briasoulis, Evangelos; Sainis, Ioannis. 2013. "Hepatotoxic Seafood Poisoning (HSP) Due to Microcystins: A Threat from the Ocean?" Mar. Drugs 11, no. 8: 2751-2768.

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