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Toxins 2018, 10(7), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10070282

Distribution of Tetrodotoxin in the New Zealand Clam, Paphies australis, Established Using Immunohistochemistry and Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry

1
Cawthron Institute, Private Bag 2, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
2
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tetrodotoxins)
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Abstract

Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is one of the most potent neurotoxins known. It was originally thought to only occur in puffer fish but has now been identified in twelve different classes of freshwater and marine organisms, including bivalves. Despite being one of the world’s most studied biotoxins, its origin remains uncertain. There is contradictory evidence regarding the source of TTX and its pathway through food webs. To date, the distribution of TTX has not been examined in bivalves. In the present study, 48 Paphies australis, a TTX-containing clam species endemic to New Zealand, were collected. Thirty clams were dissected, and organs and tissues pooled into five categories (siphons, digestive gland, adductor muscles, and the ‘rest’) and analyzed for TTX using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The micro-distribution of TTX was visualized in the remaining 18 individuals using an immunohistological technique incorporating a TTX-specific monoclonal antibody. The LC-MS analysis revealed that siphons contained the highest concentrations of TTX (mean 403.8 µg/kg). Immunohistochemistry analysis showed TTX in the outer cells of the siphons, but also in the digestive system, foot, and gill tissue. Observing TTX in organs involved in feeding provides initial evidence to support the hypothesis of an exogenous source in P. australis. View Full-Text
Keywords: biotoxin; localization; marine bivalves; monoclonal antibody; neurotoxin biotoxin; localization; marine bivalves; monoclonal antibody; neurotoxin
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Biessy, L.; Smith, K.F.; Boundy, M.J.; Webb, S.C.; Hawes, I.; Wood, S.A. Distribution of Tetrodotoxin in the New Zealand Clam, Paphies australis, Established Using Immunohistochemistry and Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry. Toxins 2018, 10, 282.

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