Abstract: In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs) and anatoxin-a (ANA). ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide) were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation) and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception) functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis). These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples.
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Ju, J.; Saul, N.; Kochan, C.; Putschew, A.; Pu, Y.; Yin, L.; Steinberg, C.E.W. Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 4589-4606.
Ju J, Saul N, Kochan C, Putschew A, Pu Y, Yin L, Steinberg CEW. Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(5):4589-4606.
Ju, Jingjuan; Saul, Nadine; Kochan, Cindy; Putschew, Anke; Pu, Yuepu; Yin, Lihong; Steinberg, Christian E.W. 2014. "Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 5: 4589-4606.