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Open AccessArticle

Seasonal Changes in the Tetrodotoxin Content of the Flatworm Planocera multitentaculata

Department of Marine Science and Resources, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
The Graduate School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Minato, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lucio G. Costa
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(3), 56;
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Neurotoxins)
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin that acts specifically on voltage-gated sodium channels on excitable membranes of muscle and nerve tissues. The biosynthetic process for TTX is unclear, although marine bacteria are generally thought to be the primary producers. The marine flatworm Planocera multitentaculata is a known TTX-bearing organism, and is suspected to be a TTX supplier to pufferfish. In this study, flatworm specimens were collected from an intertidal zone in Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan, the TTX content of the flatworm was measured using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), and seasonal changes in TTX content were investigated. No significant difference in TTX concentration of the flatworm body was found between the spawning period and other periods. However, the TTX content in individual flatworms was significantly higher in the spawning period than at other times. The TTX content rose in association with an increase in the body weight of the flatworm. View Full-Text
Keywords: flatworm; planocerid; Planocera multitentaculata; pufferfish; tetrodotoxin (TTX) flatworm; planocerid; Planocera multitentaculata; pufferfish; tetrodotoxin (TTX)
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Yamada, R.; Tsunashima, T.; Takei, M.; Sato, T.; Wajima, Y.; Kawase, M.; Oshikiri, S.; Kajitani, Y.; Kosoba, K.; Ueda, H.; Abe, K.; Itoi, S.; Sugita, H. Seasonal Changes in the Tetrodotoxin Content of the Flatworm Planocera multitentaculata. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 56.

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