Brevetoxicosis: red tides and marine mammal mortalities. (49/156)

Potent marine neurotoxins known as brevetoxins are produced by the 'red tide' dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. They kill large numbers of fish and cause illness in humans who ingest toxic filter-feeding shellfish or inhale toxic aerosols. The toxins are also suspected of having been involved in events in which many manatees and dolphins died, but this has usually not been verified owing to limited confirmation of toxin exposure, unexplained intoxication mechanisms and complicating pathologies. Here we show that fish and seagrass can accumulate high concentrations of brevetoxins and that these have acted as toxin vectors during recent deaths of dolphins and manatees, respectively. Our results challenge claims that the deleterious effects of a brevetoxin on fish (ichthyotoxicity) preclude its accumulation in live fish, and they reveal a new vector mechanism for brevetoxin spread through food webs that poses a threat to upper trophic levels.  (+info)

Concentration and particle size of airborne toxic algae (brevetoxin) derived from ocean red tide events. (50/156)

Red tides in the Gulf of Mexico are formed by blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, which produces brevetoxins (PbTx). Brevetoxins can be transferred from water to air in the wind-powered whitecapped waves during red tide episodes. Inhalation exposure to marine aerosol containing PbTx causes respiratory problems. A liquid chromatograph/ tandem mass spectrometric method was developed for the detection and quantitation of several PbTxs in ambient samples collected during red tide events. This method was complemented by a previously developed antibody assay that analyzes the entire class of PbTx compounds. The method showed good linearity, accuracy, and reproducibility, allowing quantitation of PbTx compounds in the 10 pg/m3 range. Air concentrations of PbTxs and brevenal for individual samples ranged from 0.01 to 80 ng/m3. The particle size showed a single mode with a mass median diameter between 6 and 10 microm, which was consistent for all of the PbTx species that were measured. Our results imply that individual PbTxs were from the same marine aerosol or from marine aerosol that was produced from the same process. The particle size indicated the likelihood of high deposition efficiency in the respiratory tract with the majority of aerosol deposited in the upper airways and small but not insignificant deposition in the lower airways.  (+info)

The effect of brevenal on brevetoxin-induced DNA damage in human lymphocytes. (51/156)

Brevenal is a nontoxic short-chain trans-syn polyether that competes with brevetoxin (PbTx) for the active site on voltage-sensitive sodium channels. The PbTxs are highly potent polyether toxins produced during blooms of several species of marine dinoflagellates, most notably Karenia brevis. Blooms of K. brevis have been associated with massive fish kills, marine mammal poisoning, and are potentially responsible for adverse human health effects such as respiratory irritation and airway constriction in beach-goers. Additionally, the consumption of shellfish contaminated with PbTxs results in neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). The purpose of the present study was to determine whether PbTx could induce DNA damage in a human cell type, the lymphocyte, and if so, whether the damage could be antagonized or ameliorated by brevenal, a brevetoxin antagonist. The DNA damage may occur through both endogenous and exogenous physiological and pathophysiological processes. Unrepaired or erroneously repaired DNA damage may result in gene mutation, chromosome aberration, and modulation of gene regulation, which have been associated with immunotoxicity and carcinogenesis. A single-cell gel electrophoresis assay, or comet assay, was used to determine and compare DNA damage following various treatments. The data were expressed as tail moments, which is the percentage of DNA in the tail multiplied by the length between the center of the head and center of the tail (in arbitrary units). The negative control tail moment was 29.2 (SE=+/-0.9), whereas the positive control (hydrogen peroxide) was 72.1 (1.5) and solvent (ethanol) was 24.2 (2.1). The PbTx-2 (from Sigma, St. Louis, MO, USA), 10(-8) M was 41.3 (3.6), PbTx-9 (Sigma), 10(-8) M was 57.0 (5.3), PbTx-2 (from University of North Carolina at Wilmington, UNCW), 10(-8) M was 49.4 (9.9), and PbTx-3 (UNCW), 10(-8) M was 64.0 (6.4). 1.0 microg/ml brevenal applied 1 h before the PbTxs protected the lymphocytes from DNA damage; PbTx-2 (Sigma), 31.3 (2.1); PbTx-9 (Sigma), 35.5 (2.9); PbTx-2 (UNCW), 33.9 (1.4); PbTx-3 (UNCW), 34.9 (1.25). The tail moment for 1.0 mug/ml brevenal alone was 30.8 (2.6). The results indicate that extensive genotoxic damage is induced by PbTx-2 and 9 (Sigma), and PbTx-2 and 3 (UNCW) in normal human lymphocytes, which is fully antagonized by brevenal. This suggests that the immune systems of individuals exposed to PbTx during harmful algal bloom (HAB) events may be at risk.  (+info)

Characterization of in vitro oxidative and conjugative metabolic pathways for brevetoxin (PbTx-2). (52/156)

Brevetoxins are potent marine toxins produced by the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, the causative organism of Florida red tides. An in vitro metabolism of PbTx-2 was performed using purified cDNA-expressed rat liver cytochrome P-450 (CYP) enzymes and freshly isolated rat hepatocytes. The metabolic activities of six CYP enzymes, CYP1A2, CYP2A2, CYP2C11, CYP2D1, CYP2E1, and CYP3A1, were examined by incubation with PbTx-2 for up to 4 h in the presence of a NADPH-generating system. Further identification of the metabolites produced by CYP1A2 and CYP3A1 was preformed using high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Both CYP1A2 and CYP3A1 metabolized PbTx-2 to PbTx-3 (MH+: m/z 897), PbTx-9 (MH+: m/z 899), and a newly recorded diol brevetoxin-2 metabolite (MH+: m/z 929). CYP3A1 also produced a considerably higher amount of BTX-B5 (MH+: m/z 911). Subsequent incubation of PbTx-2 with rat hepatocytes produced additional phase 1 metabolites of MH+: m/z 911, 913, 915, 917, and 931, indicating a CYP-catalyzed epoxidation at H-ring (C27,C28-double bond) and a subsequent A-ring hydrolysis of PbTx-2 metabolic products. A conjugation metabolism was identified by the production of a glutathione-brevetoxin conjugate (MH+: m/z 1222) and a cysteine-brevetoxin conjugate (MH+: m/z 1018). Structures of the new metabolites are postulated, and a likely CYP-catalyzed metabolism pathway of PbTx-2 metabolism are discussed.  (+info)

Distribution of brevetoxin (PbTx-3) in mouse plasma: association with high-density lipoproteins. (53/156)

We investigated the brevetoxin congener PbTx-3 to determine its distribution among carrier proteins, including albumin and blood lipoproteins. Using a radiolabeled brevetoxin tracer (PbTx-3), we found that 39% of the radiolabel remained associated with components in mouse plasma after > 15 kDa cutoff dialysis. Of this portion, only 6.8% was bound to serum albumin. We also examined the binding of brevetoxin to various lipoprotein fractions. Plasma, either spiked with PbTx-3 or from mice treated for 30 min with PbTx-3, was fractionated into different-sized lipoproteins by iodixanol gradient ultracentrifugation. Each fraction was then characterized and quantified by agarose gel electrophoresis and brevetoxin radioimmunoassay, respectively. In both the in vitro and in vivo experiments, the majority of brevetoxin immunoreactivity was restricted to only those gradient fractions that contained high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). Independent confirmation of brevetoxin binding to HDLs was provided by high molecular weight (100 kDa cutoff) dialysis of [3H]PbTx-3 from lipoprotein fractions as well as a scintillation proximity assay using [3H]PbTx-3 and purified human HDLs. This information on the association of brevetoxins with HDLs provides a new foundation for understanding the process by which the toxin is delivered to and removed from tissues and may permit more effective therapeutic measures to treat intoxication from brevetoxins and the related ciguatoxins.  (+info)

Actin cytoskeleton of rabbit intestinal cells is a target for potent marine phycotoxins. (54/156)

Biotoxins produced by harmful marine microalgae (phycotoxins) can be accumulated into seafood, representing a great risk for public health. Some of these phycotoxins are responsible for a variety of gastrointestinal disturbances; however, the relationship between their mechanism of action and toxicity in intestinal cells is still unknown. The actin cytoskeleton is an important and highly complicated structure in intestinal cells, and on that basis our aim has been to investigate the effect of representative phycotoxins on the enterocyte cytoskeleton. We have quantified for the first time the loss of enterocyte microfilament network induced by each toxin and recorded fluorescence images using a laser-scanning cytometer and confocal microscopy. Our data show that pectenotoxin-6, maitotoxin, palytoxin and ostreocin-D cause a significant reduction in the actin cytoskeleton. In addition, we found that the potency of maitotoxin, palytoxin and ostreocin-D to damage filamentous actin is related to Ca(2+) influx in enterocytes. Those results identify the cytoskeleton as an early target for the toxic effect of those toxins.  (+info)

Potent neurotoxic action of the shellfish biotoxin yessotoxin on cultured cerebellar neurons. (55/156)

Yessotoxin (YTX) and its analogues are disulphated polyether compounds of increasing occurrence in seafood. The biological effects of these algal toxins on mammals and the risk associated to their ingestion have not been clearly established. We have used primary cultures of rat cerebellar neurons to investigate whether YTX affected survival and functioning of central nervous system neurons. Exposure to YTX (> or =25 nM) caused first (approximately 8 h) weakening, granulation, and fragmentation of neuronal network, and later (approximately 48 h) complete disintegration of neurites and extensive neuronal death, with a significant decrease in the amount of filamentous actin. The concentration of YTX that reduced by 50% the maximum neuronal survival (EC50(48)) was approximately 20 nM. Lower toxin concentrations (approximately 15 nM) also caused visible signs of toxicity affecting neuronal network primarily. Removal of YTX after 5 h exposure delayed the onset of neurotoxicity but did not prevent neuronal degeneration and death. YTX induced a two-fold increase in cytosolic calcium that was prevented by the voltage-sensitive calcium channel antagonists nifedipine and verapamil. These antagonists were, however, completely ineffective in reducing neurotoxicity. Voltage-sensitive sodium channel antagonists saxitoxin and nefopam, and the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 also failed to prevent YTX neurotoxicity. Neuronal death by YTX involved typical hallmarks of apoptosis and required the synthesis of new proteins. Our data suggest neuronal tissue to be a vulnerable biological target for YTX. The potent neurotoxicity of YTX we report raises reasonable concern about the potential risk that exposure to YTX may represent for neuronal survival in vivo.  (+info)

The inhibition of CHO-K1-BH4 cell proliferation and induction of chromosomal aberrations by brevetoxins in vitro. (56/156)

Brevetoxins (PbTxs) are highly potent trans-syn polyether neurotoxins produced during blooms of several species of marine dinoflagellates, most notably Karenia brevis. These neurotoxins act on voltage-sensitive sodium channels prolonging the active state. During red tides, the commercial fishing and tourism industries experience millions of dollars of lost revenue. Human consumption of shellfish contaminated with PbTxs results in neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). Additionally, blooms of K. brevis are potentially responsible for adverse human health effects such as respiratory irritation and airway constriction in coastal residents. There is little information regarding the full range of potential toxic effects caused by PbTxs. Recent evidence suggests that PbTxs are genotoxic substances. The purpose of this study was to determine if PbTxs could induce chromosomal aberrations and inhibit cellular proliferation in CHO-K1-BH4 cells, and if so, could the damage be negated or reduced by the PbTx antagonist brevenal. Results from the chromosomal aberrations assay demonstrated that PbTxs are potent inducers of CHO-K1-BH4 chromosome damage. Results from the inhibition of cellular proliferation assays demonstrated that PbTxs inhibit the ability of CHO-K1-BH4 cells to proliferate, an effect which can be reduced with brevenal.  (+info)