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Mar. Drugs, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2008), Pages 39-406

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Characterization of Intracellular and Extracellular Saxitoxin Levels in Both Field and Cultured Alexandrium spp. Samples from Sequim Bay, Washington
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 103-116; doi:10.3390/md6020103
Received: 6 February 2008 / Revised: 16 April 2008 / Accepted: 18 April 2008 / Published: 14 May 2008
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (1088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditionally, harmful algal bloom studies have primarily focused on quantifying toxin levels contained within the phytoplankton cells of interest. In the case of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PSTs), intracellular toxin levels and the effects of dietary consumption of toxic cells by planktivores have
[...] Read more.
Traditionally, harmful algal bloom studies have primarily focused on quantifying toxin levels contained within the phytoplankton cells of interest. In the case of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PSTs), intracellular toxin levels and the effects of dietary consumption of toxic cells by planktivores have been well documented. However, little information is available regarding the levels of extracellular PSTs that may leak or be released into seawater from toxic cells during blooms. In order to fully evaluate the risks of harmful algal bloom toxins in the marine food web, it is necessary to understand all potential routes of exposure. In the present study, extracellular and intracellular PST levels were measured in field seawater samples (collected weekly from June to October 2004- 2007) and in Alexandrium spp. culture samples isolated from Sequim Bay, Washington. Measurable levels of intra- and extra-cellular toxins were detected in both field and culture samples via receptor binding assay (RBA) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Characterization of the PST toxin profile in the Sequim Bay isolates by preMar. column oxidation and HPLC-fluorescence detection revealed that gonyautoxin 1 and 4 made up 65 ± 9.7 % of the total PSTs present. Collectively, these data confirm that extracellular PSTs are present during blooms of Alexandrium spp. in the Sequim Bay region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessArticle Diverse Bacterial PKS Sequences Derived From Okadaic Acid-Producing Dinoflagellates
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 164-179; doi:10.3390/md6020164
Received: 29 February 2008 / Revised: 9 May 2008 / Accepted: 13 May 2008 / Published: 22 May 2008
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Okadaic acid (OA) and the related dinophysistoxins are isolated from dinoflagellates of the genus Prorocentrum and Dinophysis. Bacteria of the Roseobacter group have been associated with okadaic acid producing dinoflagellates and have been previously implicated in OA production. Analysis of 16S rRNA
[...] Read more.
Okadaic acid (OA) and the related dinophysistoxins are isolated from dinoflagellates of the genus Prorocentrum and Dinophysis. Bacteria of the Roseobacter group have been associated with okadaic acid producing dinoflagellates and have been previously implicated in OA production. Analysis of 16S rRNA libraries reveals that Roseobacter are the most abundant bacteria associated with OA producing dinoflagellates of the genus Prorocentrum and are not found in association with non-toxic dinoflagellates. While some polyketide synthase (PKS) genes form a highly supported Prorocentrum clade, most appear to be bacterial, but unrelated to Roseobacter or Alpha-Proteobacterial PKSs or those derived from other Alveolates Karenia brevis or Crytosporidium parvum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessArticle The Occurrence of Bioactive Micromonosporae in Aquatic Habitats of the Sunshine Coast in Australia
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 243-261; doi:10.3390/md6020243
Received: 31 March 2008 / Revised: 19 May 2008 / Accepted: 23 May 2008 / Published: 5 June 2008
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1119 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Screening strategies based on the ecological knowledge of antibiotic producing microorganisms and their roles in the natural environment are being increasingly employed in the search for novel antibiotic agents. Micromonosporae are common inhabitants of aquatic habitats and have proved to be a continuing
[...] Read more.
Screening strategies based on the ecological knowledge of antibiotic producing microorganisms and their roles in the natural environment are being increasingly employed in the search for novel antibiotic agents. Micromonosporae are common inhabitants of aquatic habitats and have proved to be a continuing source of novel bioactive compounds including antibacterial and antitumor agents. The ecological distribution and frequency of bioactive micromonosporae in Sunshine Coast region aquatic habitats were studied through a range of selective isolation procedures designed to negatively select against the isolation of unwanted microbial taxa commonly associated with marine environments. It was revealed that bioactive compound producing species of micromonosporae were present in the aquatic habitats of the Sunshine Coast region in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds from Marine Microorganisms)
Open AccessArticle Effects of in vitro Brevetoxin Exposure on Apoptosis and Cellular Metabolism in a Leukemic T Cell Line (Jurkat)
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 291-307; doi:10.3390/md6020291
Received: 3 January 2008 / Revised: 7 May 2008 / Accepted: 4 June 2008 / Published: 10 June 2008
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, produce red tide toxins, or brevetoxins. Significant health effects associated with red tide toxin exposure have been reported in sea life and in humans, with brevetoxins documented within immune cells from many species.
[...] Read more.
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, produce red tide toxins, or brevetoxins. Significant health effects associated with red tide toxin exposure have been reported in sea life and in humans, with brevetoxins documented within immune cells from many species. The objective of this research was to investigate potential immunotoxic effects of brevetoxins using a leukemic T cell line (Jurkat) as an in vitro model system. Viability, cell proliferation, and apoptosis assays were conducted using brevetoxin congeners PbTx-2, PbTx-3, and PbTx-6. The effects of in vitro brevetoxin exposure on cell viability and cellular metabolism or proliferation were determined using trypan blue and MTT (1-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-3,5- diphenylformazan), respectively. Using MTT, cellular metabolic activity was decreased in Jurkat cells exposed to 5 - 10 μg/ml PbTx-2 or PbTx-6. After 3 h, no significant effects on cell viability were observed with any toxin congener in concentrations up to 10 μg/ml. Viability decreased dramatically after 24 h in cells treated with PbTx-2 or -6. Apoptosis, as measured by caspase-3 activity, was significantly increased in cells exposed to PbTx-2 or PbTx-6. In summary, brevetoxin congeners varied in effects on Jurkat cells, with PbTx-2 and PbTx-6 eliciting greater cellular effects compared to PbTx-3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessArticle A Structural Modelling Study on Marine Sediments Toxicity
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 372-388; doi:10.3390/md6020372
Received: 22 March 2008 / Revised: 15 May 2008 / Accepted: 13 June 2008 / Published: 26 June 2008
PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quantitative structure-activity relationship models were obtained by applying the Molecular Descriptor Family approach to eight ordnance compounds with different toxicity on five marine species (arbacia punctulata, dinophilus gyrociliatus, sciaenops ocellatus, opossum shrimp, and ulva fasciata). The selection of the best
[...] Read more.
Quantitative structure-activity relationship models were obtained by applying the Molecular Descriptor Family approach to eight ordnance compounds with different toxicity on five marine species (arbacia punctulata, dinophilus gyrociliatus, sciaenops ocellatus, opossum shrimp, and ulva fasciata). The selection of the best among molecular descriptors generated and calculated from the ordnance compounds structures lead to accurate monovariate models. The resulting models obtained for six endpoints proved to be accurate in estimation (the squared correlation coefficient varied from 0.8186 to 0.9997) and prediction (the correlation coefficient obtained in leave-one-out analysis varied from 0.7263 to 0.9984). Full article
Open AccessArticle Recreational Exposure to Low Concentrations of Microcystins During an Algal Bloom in a Small Lake
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 389-406; doi:10.3390/md6020389
Received: 6 February 2008 / Revised: 5 June 2008 / Accepted: 19 June 2008 / Published: 26 June 2008
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We measured microcystins in blood from people at risk for swallowing water or inhaling spray while swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, or boating during an algal bloom. We monitored water samples from a small lake as a Microcystis aeruginosa bloom developed. We recruited
[...] Read more.
We measured microcystins in blood from people at risk for swallowing water or inhaling spray while swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, or boating during an algal bloom. We monitored water samples from a small lake as a Microcystis aeruginosa bloom developed. We recruited 97 people planning recreational activities in that lake and seven others who volunteered to recreate in a nearby bloom-free lake. We conducted our field study within a week of finding a 10-μg/L microcystin concentration. We analyzed water, air, and human blood samples for water quality, potential human pathogens, algal taxonomy, and microcystin concentrations. We interviewed study participants for demographic and current health symptom information. Water samples were assayed for potential respiratory viruses (adenoviruses and enteroviruses), but none were detected. We did find low concentrations of Escherichia coli, indicating fecal contamination. We found low levels of microcystins (2 μg/L to 5 μg/L) in the water and (<0.1 ng/m3) in the aerosol samples. Blood levels of microcystins for all participants were below the limit of detection (0.147μg/L). Given this low exposure level, study participants reported no symptom increases following recreational exposure to microcystins. This is the first study to report that water-based recreational activities can expose people to very low concentrations of aerosol-borne microcystins; we recently conducted another field study to assess exposures to higher concentrations of these algal toxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)

Review

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Open AccessReview Azaspiracid Shellfish Poisoning: A Review on the Chemistry, Ecology, and Toxicology with an Emphasis on Human Health Impacts
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 39-72; doi:10.3390/md6020039
Received: 30 November 2007 / Revised: 21 February 2008 / Accepted: 18 March 2008 / Published: 7 May 2008
Cited by 89 | PDF Full-text (566 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Azaspiracids (AZA) are polyether marine toxins that accumulate in various shellfish species and have been associated with severe gastrointestinal human intoxications since 1995. This toxin class has since been reported from several countries, including Morocco and much of western Europe. A regulatory limit
[...] Read more.
Azaspiracids (AZA) are polyether marine toxins that accumulate in various shellfish species and have been associated with severe gastrointestinal human intoxications since 1995. This toxin class has since been reported from several countries, including Morocco and much of western Europe. A regulatory limit of 160 μg AZA/kg whole shellfish flesh was established by the EU in order to protect human health; however, in some cases, AZA concentrations far exceed the action level. Herein we discuss recent advances on the chemistry of various AZA analogs, review the ecology of AZAs, including the putative progenitor algal species, collectively interpret the in vitro and in vivo data on the toxicology of AZAs relating to human health issues, and outline the European legislature associated with AZAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview Yessotoxins, a Group of Marine Polyether Toxins: an Overview
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 73-102; doi:10.3390/md6020073
Received: 5 December 2007 / Revised: 27 February 2008 / Accepted: 5 March 2008 / Published: 7 May 2008
Cited by 61 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Yessotoxin (YTX) is a marine polyether toxin that was first isolated in 1986 from the scallop Patinopecten yessoensis. Subsequently, it was reported that YTX is produced by the dinoflagellates Protoceratium reticulatum, Lingulodinium polyedrum and Gonyaulax spinifera. YTXs have been associated with diarrhetic shellfish
[...] Read more.
Yessotoxin (YTX) is a marine polyether toxin that was first isolated in 1986 from the scallop Patinopecten yessoensis. Subsequently, it was reported that YTX is produced by the dinoflagellates Protoceratium reticulatum, Lingulodinium polyedrum and Gonyaulax spinifera. YTXs have been associated with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) because they are often simultaneously extracted with DSP toxins, and give positive results when tested in the conventional mouse bioassay for DSP toxins. However, recent evidence suggests that YTXs should be excluded from the DSP toxins group, because unlike okadaic acid (OA) and dinophyisistoxin-1 (DTX-1), YTXs do not cause either diarrhea or inhibition of protein phosphatases . In spite of the increasing number of molecular studies focused on the toxicity of YTX, the precise mechanism of action is currently unknown. Since the discovery of YTX, almost forty new analogues isolated from both mussels and dinoflagellates have been characterized by NMR or LC-MS/MS techniques. These studies indicate a wide variability in the profile and the relative abundance of YTXs in both, bivalves and dinoflagellates. This review covers current knowledge on the origin, producer organisms and vectors, chemical structures, metabolism, biosynthetic origin, toxicological properties, potential risks to human health and advances in detection methods of YTXs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview Cyanobacterial Toxins as Allelochemicals with Potential Applications as Algaecides, Herbicides and Insecticides
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 117-146; doi:10.3390/md6020117
Received: 27 February 2008 / Revised: 1 May 2008 / Accepted: 12 May 2008 / Published: 15 May 2008
Cited by 64 | PDF Full-text (344 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cyanobacteria (“blue-green algae”) from marine and freshwater habitats are known to produce a diverse array of toxic or otherwise bioactive metabolites. However, the functional role of the vast majority of these compounds, particularly in terms of the physiology and ecology of the cyanobacteria
[...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria (“blue-green algae”) from marine and freshwater habitats are known to produce a diverse array of toxic or otherwise bioactive metabolites. However, the functional role of the vast majority of these compounds, particularly in terms of the physiology and ecology of the cyanobacteria that produce them, remains largely unknown. A limited number of studies have suggested that some of the compounds may have ecological roles as allelochemicals, specifically including compounds that may inhibit competing sympatric macrophytes, algae and microbes. These allelochemicals may also play a role in defense against potential predators and grazers, particularly aquatic invertebrates and their larvae. This review will discuss the existing evidence for the allelochemical roles of cyanobacterial toxins, as well as the potential for development and application of these compounds as algaecides, herbicides and insecticides, and specifically present relevant results from investigations into toxins of cyanobacteria from the Florida Everglades and associated waterways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids and Marine Toxins - The Common and the Different
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 147-163; doi:10.3390/md6020147
Received: 7 March 2008 / Revised: 9 May 2008 / Accepted: 13 May 2008 / Published: 22 May 2008
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Marine microorganisms harbor a multitude of secondary metabolites. Among these are toxins of different chemical classes as well as the UV-protective mycosporinelike amino acids (MAAs). The latter form a group of water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally
[...] Read more.
Marine microorganisms harbor a multitude of secondary metabolites. Among these are toxins of different chemical classes as well as the UV-protective mycosporinelike amino acids (MAAs). The latter form a group of water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally < 400) compounds composed of either an aminocyclohexenone or an aminocyclohexenimine ring, carrying amino acid or amino alcohol substituents. So far there has been no report of toxicity in MAAs but nevertheless there are some features they have in common with marine toxins. Among the organisms producing MAAs are cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and diatoms that also synthesize toxins. As in cyclic peptide toxins found in cyanobacteria, amino acids are the main building blocks of MAAs. Both, MAAs and some marine toxins are transferred to other organisms e.g. via the food chains, and chemical modifications can take place in secondary consumers. In contrast to algal toxins, the physiological role of MAAs is clearly the protection from harmful UV radiation by physical screening. However, other roles, e.g. as osmolytes and antioxidants, are also considered. In this paper the common characteristics of MAAs and marine toxins are discussed as well as the differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview Domoic Acid Toxicologic Pathology: A Review
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 180-219; doi:10.3390/md6020180
Received: 4 December 2007 / Revised: 16 May 2008 / Accepted: 16 May 2008 / Published: 28 May 2008
Cited by 74 | PDF Full-text (2664 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Domoic acid was identified as the toxin responsible for an outbreak of human poisoning that occurred in Canada in 1987 following consumption of contaminated blue mussels [Mytilus edulis]. The poisoning was characterized by a constellation of clinical symptoms and signs. Among
[...] Read more.
Domoic acid was identified as the toxin responsible for an outbreak of human poisoning that occurred in Canada in 1987 following consumption of contaminated blue mussels [Mytilus edulis]. The poisoning was characterized by a constellation of clinical symptoms and signs. Among the most prominent features described was memory impairment which led to the name Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning [ASP]. Domoic acid is produced by certain marine organisms, such as the red alga Chondria armata and planktonic diatom of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia. Since 1987, monitoring programs have been successful in preventing other human incidents of ASP. However, there are documented cases of domoic acid intoxication in wild animals and outbreaks of coastal water contamination in many regions world-wide. Hence domoic acid continues to pose a global risk to the health and safety of humans and wildlife. Several mechanisms have been implicated as mediators for the effects of domoic acid. Of particular importance is the role played by glutamate receptors as mediators of excitatory neurotransmission and the demonstration of a wide distribution of these receptors outside the central nervous system, prompting the attention to other tissues as potential target sites. The aim of this document is to provide a comprehensive review of ASP, DOM induced pathology including ultrastructural changes associated to subchronic oral exposure, and discussion of key proposed mechanisms of cell/tissue injury involved in DOM induced brain pathology and considerations relevant to food safety and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview Tetrodotoxin – Distribution and Accumulation in Aquatic Organisms, and Cases of Human Intoxication
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 220-242; doi:10.3390/md6020220
Received: 23 December 2007 / Revised: 24 March 2008 / Accepted: 8 April 2008 / Published: 28 May 2008
Cited by 123 | PDF Full-text (423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many pufferfish of the family Tetraodontidae possess a potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX). In marine pufferfish species, toxicity is generally high in the liver and ovary, whereas in brackish water and freshwater species, toxicity is higher in the skin. In 1964, the toxin of
[...] Read more.
Many pufferfish of the family Tetraodontidae possess a potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX). In marine pufferfish species, toxicity is generally high in the liver and ovary, whereas in brackish water and freshwater species, toxicity is higher in the skin. In 1964, the toxin of the California newt was identified as TTX as well, and since then TTX has been detected in a variety of other organisms. TTX is produced primarily by marine bacteria, and pufferfish accumulate TTX via the food chain that begins with these bacteria. Consequently, pufferfish become non-toxic when they are fed TTX-free diets in an environment in which the invasion of TTX-bearing organisms is completely shut off. Although some researchers claim that the TTX of amphibians is endogenous, we believe that it also has an exogenous origin, i.e., from organisms consumed as food. TTX-bearing animals are equipped with a high tolerance to TTX, and thus retain or accumulate TTX possibly as a biologic defense substance. There have been many cases of human intoxication due to the ingestion of TTX-bearing pufferfish, mainly in Japan, China, and Taiwan, and several victims have died. Several cases of TTX intoxication due to the ingestion of small gastropods, including some lethal cases, were recently reported in China and Taiwan, revealing a serious public health issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview In Utero Domoic Acid Toxicity: A Fetal Basis to Adult Disease in the California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 262-290; doi:10.3390/md6020262
Received: 28 February 2008 / Revised: 26 May 2008 / Accepted: 29 May 2008 / Published: 6 June 2008
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (7656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
California sea lions have been a repeated subject of investigation for early life toxicity, which has been documented to occur with increasing frequency from late February through mid-May in association with organochlorine (PCB and DDT) poisoning and infectious disease in the 1970's and
[...] Read more.
California sea lions have been a repeated subject of investigation for early life toxicity, which has been documented to occur with increasing frequency from late February through mid-May in association with organochlorine (PCB and DDT) poisoning and infectious disease in the 1970's and domoic acid poisoning in the last decade. The mass early life mortality events result from the concentrated breeding grounds and synchronization of reproduction over a 28 day post partum estrus cycle and 11 month in utero phase. This physiological synchronization is triggered by a decreasing photoperiod of 11.48 h/day that occurs approximately 90 days after conception at the major California breeding grounds. The photoperiod trigger activates implantation of embryos to proceed with development for the next 242 days until birth. Embryonic diapause is a selectable trait thought to optimize timing for food utilization and male migratory patterns; yet from the toxicological perspective presented here also serves to synchronize developmental toxicity of pulsed environmental events such as domoic acid poisoning. Research studies in laboratory animals have defined age-dependent neurotoxic effects during development and windows of susceptibility to domoic acid exposure. This review will evaluate experimental domoic acid neurotoxicity in developing rodents and, aided by comparative allometric projections, will analyze potential prenatal toxicity and exposure susceptibility in the California sea lion. This analysis should provide a useful tool to forecast fetal toxicity and understand the impact of fetal toxicity on adult disease of the California sea lion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview Non-Traditional Vectors for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 308-348; doi:10.3390/md6020308
Received: 14 March 2008 / Revised: 3 June 2008 / Accepted: 3 June 2008 / Published: 10 June 2008
Cited by 76 | PDF Full-text (984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), due to saxitoxin and related compounds, typically results from the consumption of filter-feeding molluscan shellfish that concentrate toxins from marine dinoflagellates. In addition to these microalgal sources, saxitoxin and related compounds, referred to in this review as STXs, are
[...] Read more.
Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), due to saxitoxin and related compounds, typically results from the consumption of filter-feeding molluscan shellfish that concentrate toxins from marine dinoflagellates. In addition to these microalgal sources, saxitoxin and related compounds, referred to in this review as STXs, are also produced in freshwater cyanobacteria and have been associated with calcareous red macroalgae. STXs are transferred and bioaccumulate throughout aquatic food webs, and can be vectored to terrestrial biota, including humans. Fisheries closures and human intoxications due to STXs have been documented in several non-traditional (i.e. non-filter-feeding) vectors. These include, but are not limited to, marine gastropods, both carnivorous and grazing, crustacea, and fish that acquire STXs through toxin transfer. Often due to spatial, temporal, or a species disconnection from the primary source of STXs (bloom forming dinoflagellates), monitoring and management of such non-traditional PSP vectors has been challenging. A brief literature review is provided for filter feeding (traditional) and nonfilter feeding (non-traditional) vectors of STXs with specific reference to human effects. We include several case studies pertaining to management actions to prevent PSP, as well as food poisoning incidents from STX(s) accumulation in non-traditional PSP vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
Open AccessReview Neurotoxins from Marine Dinoflagellates: A Brief Review
Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 349-371; doi:10.3390/md6020349
Received: 9 March 2008 / Revised: 14 May 2008 / Accepted: 14 May 2008 / Published: 11 June 2008
Cited by 111 | PDF Full-text (521 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dinoflagellates are not only important marine primary producers and grazers, but also the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. It has been reported that many dinoflagellate species can produce various natural toxins. These toxins can be extremely toxic and many of them
[...] Read more.
Dinoflagellates are not only important marine primary producers and grazers, but also the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. It has been reported that many dinoflagellate species can produce various natural toxins. These toxins can be extremely toxic and many of them are effective at far lower dosages than conventional chemical agents. Consumption of seafood contaminated by algal toxins results in various seafood poisoning syndromes: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP), ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and azaspiracid shellfish poisoning (ASP). Most of these poisonings are caused by neurotoxins which present themselves with highly specific effects on the nervous system of animals, including humans, by interfering with nerve impulse transmission. Neurotoxins are a varied group of compounds, both chemically and pharmacologically. They vary in both chemical structure and mechanism of action, and produce very distinct biological effects, which provides a potential application of these toxins in pharmacology and toxicology. This review summarizes the origin, structure and clinical symptoms of PSP, NSP, CFP, AZP, yessotoxin and palytoxin produced by marine dinoflagellates, as well as their molecular mechanisms of action on voltage-gated ion channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)

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