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Open AccessArticle

Intracellular Immunohistochemical Detection of Tetrodotoxin in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda) and Stylochoplana sp. (Turbellaria)

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
2
Cawthron Institute, Nelson 7042, New Zealand
3
College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric Blomme
Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(2), 756-769; https://doi.org/10.3390/md13020756
Received: 12 December 2014 / Revised: 6 January 2015 / Accepted: 23 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Marine Toxins)
Tetrodotoxin (TTX), is a potent neurotoxin targeting sodium channels that has been identified in multiple marine and terrestrial organisms. It was recently detected in the Opisthobranch Pleurobranchaea maculata and a Platyhelminthes Stylochoplana sp. from New Zealand. Knowledge on the distribution of TTX within these organisms is important to assist in elucidating the origin and ecological role of this toxin. Intracellular micro-distribution of TTX was investigated using a monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic technique. Tetrodotoxin was strongly localized in neutral mucin cells and the basement membrane of the mantle, the oocytes and follicles of the gonad tissue, and in the digestive tissue of P. maculata. The ova and pharynx were the only two structures to contain TTX in Stylochoplana sp. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, TTX was identified in the larvae and eggs, but not the gelatinous egg cases of P. maculata. Tetrodotoxin was present in egg masses of Stylochoplana sp. These data suggest that TTX has a defensive function in adult P. maculata, who then invest this in their progeny for protection. Localization in the digestive tissue of P. maculata potentially indicates a dietary source of TTX. Stylochoplana sp. may use TTX in prey capture and for the protection of offspring. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pleurobranchaea maculata; Stylochoplana sp.; tetrodotoxin; immunohistochemistry; monoclonal antibody Pleurobranchaea maculata; Stylochoplana sp.; tetrodotoxin; immunohistochemistry; monoclonal antibody
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Salvitti, L.R.; Wood, S.A.; Winsor, L.; Cary, S.C. Intracellular Immunohistochemical Detection of Tetrodotoxin in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda) and Stylochoplana sp. (Turbellaria). Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 756-769.

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