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Toxins 2014, 6(6), 1813-1836; doi:10.3390/toxins6061813
Article

Microcystins Alter Chemotactic Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans by Selectively Targeting the AWA Sensory Neuron

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Received: 28 January 2014; in revised form: 17 May 2014 / Accepted: 28 May 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotoxins: Health Threats and Biological Tools)
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Abstract: Harmful algal blooms expose humans and animals to microcystins (MCs) through contaminated drinking water. While hepatotoxicity following acute exposure to MCs is well documented, neurotoxicity after sub-lethal exposure is poorly understood. We developed a novel statistical approach using a generalized linear model and the quasibinomial family to analyze neurotoxic effects in adult Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to MC-LR or MC-LF for 24 h. Selective effects of toxin exposure on AWA versus AWC sensory neuron function were determined using a chemotaxis assay. With a non-monotonic response MCs altered AWA but not AWC function, and MC-LF was more potent than MC-LR. To probe a potential role for protein phosphatases (PPs) in MC neurotoxicity, we evaluated the chemotactic response in worms exposed to the PP1 inhibitor tautomycin or the PP2A inhibitor okadaic acid for 24 h. Okadaic acid impaired both AWA and AWC function, while tautomycin had no effect on function of either neuronal cell type at the concentrations tested. These findings suggest that MCs alter the AWA neuron at concentrations that do not cause AWC toxicity via mechanisms other than PP inhibition.
Keywords: Caenorhabidititis elegans; chemotaxis; generalized linear model; microcystins; neurotoxicity; protein phosphatase; sensory neurons Caenorhabidititis elegans; chemotaxis; generalized linear model; microcystins; neurotoxicity; protein phosphatase; sensory neurons
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moore, C.E.; Lein, P.J.; Puschner, B. Microcystins Alter Chemotactic Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans by Selectively Targeting the AWA Sensory Neuron. Toxins 2014, 6, 1813-1836.

AMA Style

Moore CE, Lein PJ, Puschner B. Microcystins Alter Chemotactic Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans by Selectively Targeting the AWA Sensory Neuron. Toxins. 2014; 6(6):1813-1836.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moore, Caroline E.; Lein, Pamela J.; Puschner, Birgit. 2014. "Microcystins Alter Chemotactic Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans by Selectively Targeting the AWA Sensory Neuron." Toxins 6, no. 6: 1813-1836.


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