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Open AccessArticle

Acute Toxicity Assessment: Macroscopic and Ultrastructural Effects in Mice Treated with Oral Tetrodotoxin

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Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain
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Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11060305
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 25 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tetrodotoxins)
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is an extremely toxic marine compound produced by different genera of bacteria that can reach humans through ingestion mainly of pufferfish but also of other contaminated fish species, marine gastropods or bivalves. TTX blocks voltage-gated sodium channels inhibiting neurotransmission, which in severe cases triggers cardiorespiratory failure. Although TTX has been responsible for many human intoxications limited toxicological data are available. The recent expansion of TTX from Asian to European waters and diversification of TTX-bearing organisms entail an emerging risk of food poisoning. This study is focused on the acute toxicity assessment of TTX administered to mice by oral gavage following macroscopic and microscopic studies. Necropsy revealed that TTX induced stomach swelling 2 h after administration, even though no ultrastructural alterations were further detected. However, transmission electron microscopy images showed an increase of lipid droplets in hepatocytes, swollen mitochondria in spleens, and alterations of rough endoplasmic reticulum in intestines as hallmarks of the cellular damage. These findings suggested that gastrointestinal effects should be considered when evaluating human TTX poisoning. View Full-Text
Keywords: tetrodotoxin; macroscopic alterations; ultrastructural changes; gastrointestinal effect; mitochondria swelling; rough endoplasmic reticulum swelling tetrodotoxin; macroscopic alterations; ultrastructural changes; gastrointestinal effect; mitochondria swelling; rough endoplasmic reticulum swelling
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Abal, P.; Louzao, M.C.; Vilariño, N.; Vieytes, M.R.; Botana, L.M. Acute Toxicity Assessment: Macroscopic and Ultrastructural Effects in Mice Treated with Oral Tetrodotoxin. Toxins 2019, 11, 305.

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