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Special Issue "Marine Toxins Affecting Neuronal Function"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine and Freshwater Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Carmen Vale

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Santiago of Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Ion Channels
Guest Editor
Dr. Paz Otero

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Santiago of Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain
E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine neurotoxins, such as domoic acid and analogs, ciguatoxins, tetrodotoxins, saxitoxins, brevetoxins, palytoxins and azaspiracids, among others, are natural products produced by phytoplankton and some species of invertebrates, fish and bacteria. These compounds have many different mechanisms of action, but most of them can interact either with the main voltage-gated channels and thus modulate the flux of ions into various cell types. Other marine toxins, such as domoic acid or BMMA, may interact with the main neurotransmitter receptors affecting normal brain functioning and inducing health risks or even death. This Special Issue will cover all marine neurotoxins that might affect neurological function. Several aspects related to these toxins, including analytical methods for detection and quantification, rapid tests for screening, in vivo and in vitro toxicology, mode of action, occurrence, epidemiology, and effects on neuronal function and brain development, as well as their relevance for the development of age-related brain diseases are considered as the main areas of interest. Moreover, the chronic effects of low doses of neurotoxins on animal and human health are also of interest. In addition the role of compounds of marine origin to develop therapeutic tools against brain-related diseases is also a captivating aspect that fits on the scope of this Special Issue.

Dr. Carmen Vale
Dr. Paz Otero
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Developmental Neurotoxicity
  • voltage gated channels
  • neurotransmitter receptors
  • detection methods
  • amnesic toxins
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Palytoxin
  • Saxitoxins
  • Conotoxins
  • BMMA
  • Brevetoxins
  • Ciguatoxins

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Chronic In Vivo Effects of Repeated Exposure to Low Oral Doses of Tetrodotoxin: Preliminary Evidence of Nephrotoxicity and Cardiotoxicity
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5071 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is one of the most potent naturally occurring neurotoxins. Initially TTX was associated with human food intoxications in Japan, but nowadays, concerns about the human health risks posed by TTX have increased in Europe after the identification of the toxin in [...] Read more.
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is one of the most potent naturally occurring neurotoxins. Initially TTX was associated with human food intoxications in Japan, but nowadays, concerns about the human health risks posed by TTX have increased in Europe after the identification of the toxin in fish, marine gastropods, and bivalves captured in European waters. Even when TTX monitoring is not currently performed in Europe, an acute oral no observable effect level (NOAEL) of 75 μg/kg has been recently established but, to date, no studies evaluating the chronic oral toxicity of TTX have been released, even when EFSA has highlighted the need for them. Thus, in this work, the chronic effects of low oral TTX doses (below the acute lethal dose 50) were evaluated following internationally adopted guidelines. The results presented here demonstrate that low oral doses of TTX have deleterious effects on renal and cardiac tissues. Moreover, alterations in blood biochemistry parameters, urine production, and urinalysis data were already detected at the oral dose of 75 µg/kg after the 28 days exposure. Thus, the data presented here constitute an initial approach for the chronic evaluation of the in vivo toxicity of tetrodotoxin after its ingestion through contaminated fishery products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins Affecting Neuronal Function)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Mutagenesis of α-Conotoxins for Enhancing Activity and Selectivity for Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
PDF Full-text (2493 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are found throughout the mammalian body and have been studied extensively because of their implication in a myriad of diseases. α-Conotoxins (α-CTxs) are peptide neurotoxins found in the venom of marine snails of genus Conus. α-CTxs are potent [...] Read more.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are found throughout the mammalian body and have been studied extensively because of their implication in a myriad of diseases. α-Conotoxins (α-CTxs) are peptide neurotoxins found in the venom of marine snails of genus Conus. α-CTxs are potent and selective antagonists for a variety of nAChR isoforms. Over the past 40 years, α-CTxs have proven to be valuable molecular probes capable of differentiating between closely related nAChR subtypes and have contributed greatly to understanding the physiological role of nAChRs in the mammalian nervous system. Here, we review the amino acid composition and structure of several α-CTxs that selectively target nAChR isoforms and explore strategies and outcomes for introducing mutations in native α-CTxs to direct selectivity and enhance binding affinity for specific nAChRs. This review will focus on structure-activity relationship studies involving native α-CTxs that have been rationally mutated and molecular interactions that underlie binding between ligand and nAChR isoform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins Affecting Neuronal Function)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: MARINE TOXINS AND NOCICEPTION: POTENTIAL THERAPEUTIC USE IN THE TREATMENT OF VISCERAL PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS

Authors: Andreina Baja, Bistoletti Michelaa, Elisabetta Morob, Giaroni Cristinaa, Francesca Cremab

aDepartment of Medicine and Surgery, University of Insubria, via H. Dunant 5, I-21100 Varese, Italy

bDepartment of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Section of Pharmacology via Ferrata 9, I-27100 Pavia, Italy

Abstract:

Visceral pain is a hallmark symptom of both organic gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and functional disorders with an unknown etiology and /or pathogenesis, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Pain perception is accomplished by activation of central, spinal and local mechanisms. Intrinsic sensory neurons in the enteric nervous system and afferent sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia, connecting with the central nervous system, represent the primary afferents underlaying gastrointestinal visceral pain perception. Numerous cellular targets, such as voltage-gated ion channels and receptors for different neurotransmitters/neuromodulators, such as vanilloids, glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, tachykinins, purines are present on these neuronal pathways. Recently a conspicuous number of studies have demonstrated that marine toxins, such as tetrodotoxin and conotoxins, by interacting with some of these targets, may represent a possible tool to modulate visceral pain perception. In this review we consider the physiological basis of marine toxin action on gastrointestinal visceral pain and the possible clinical implications in the treatment of chronic pain associated with gut diseases.

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