Toxicity screening of 13 Gambierdiscus strains using neuro-2a and erythrocyte lysis bioassays

Type Article
Date 2017-03
Language English
Author(s) Pisapia Francesco1, Holland William C.2, Hardison D. Ransom2, Litaker R. Wayne2, Fraga Santiago3, Nishimura Tomohiro4, Adachi Masao4, Nguyen-Ngoc Lam5, Sechet VeroniqueORCID1, Amzil ZouherORCID1, Herrenknecht Christine6, Hess PhilippORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Phycotoxins Lab, Rue Ile Yeu,BP 21105, F-44311 Nantes, France.
2 : NOAA, Natl Ocean Serv, Natl Ctr Coastal Ocean Sci, CCFHR, 101 Pivers Isl Rd, Beaufort, NC 28516 USA.
3 : Ctr Oceanog Vigo, IEO, Subida Radio Faro 50, Vigo 36390, Spain.
4 : Kochi Univ, Fac Agr, LAQUES Lab Aquat Environm Sci, 200 Otsu, Nankoku, Kochi 7838502, Japan.
5 : VAST, Inst Oceanog, Cauda 01, Vinh Nguyen, Nha Trang, Vietnam.
6 : Univ Nantes, MMS EA2160, Fac Pharm, LUNAM, 9 Rue Bias, F-44035 Nantes, France.
Source Harmful Algae (1568-9883) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2017-03 , Vol. 63 , P. 173-183
DOI 10.1016/j.hal.2017.02.005
WOS© Times Cited 84
Keyword(s) Ciguatera fish poisoning, Gambierdiscus, Ciguatoxins, Maitotoxins, Neuro-2a assay, Erythrocyte lysis assay
Abstract Species in the epi-benthic dinoflagellate genus Gambierdiscus produce ciguatoxins (CTXs) and maitotoxins (MTXs), which are among the most potent marine toxins known. Consumption of fish contaminated with sufficient quantities of CTXs causes Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP), the largest cause of non-bacterial food poisoning worldwide. Maitotoxins, which can be found in the digestive system of fish, could also contribute to CFP if such tissues are consumed. Recently, an increasing number of Gambierdiscus species have been identified; yet, little is known about the variation in toxicity among Gambierdiscus strains or species.

This study is the first assessment of relative CTX- and MTX-toxicity of Gambierdiscus species from areas as widespread as the North-Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. A total of 13 strains were screened: (i) seven Pacific strains of G. australes, G. balechii, G. caribaeus, G. carpenteri, G. pacificus, G. scabrosus and one strain of an undetermined species (Gambierdiscus sp. Viet Nam), (ii) five strains from the North-Eastern Atlantic Ocean (two G. australes, a single G. excentricus and two G. silvae strains), and (iii) one G. carolinianus strain from the Mediterranean Sea. Cell pellets of Gambierdiscus were extracted with methanol and the crude extracts partitioned into a CTX-containing dichloromethane fraction and a MTX-containing aqueous methanol fraction. CTX-toxicity was estimated using the neuro-2a cytoxicity assay, and MTX-toxicity via a human erythrocyte lysis assay.

Different species were grouped into different ratios of CTX- and MTX-toxicity, however, the ratio was not related to the geographical origin of species (Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific). All strains showed MTX-toxicity, ranging from 1.5 to 86 pg MTX equivalents (eq) cell−1. All but one of the strains showed relatively low CTX-toxicity ranging from 0.6 to 50 fg CTX3C eq cell−1. The exception was the highly toxic G. excentricus strain from the Canary Islands, which produced 1426 fg CTX3C eq cell−1. As was true for CTX, the highest MTX-toxicity was also found in G. excentricus. Thus, the present study confirmed that at least one species from the Atlantic Ocean demonstrates similar toxicity as the most toxic strains from the Pacific, even if the metabolites in fish have so far been shown to be more toxic in the Pacific Ocean.
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Pisapia Francesco, Holland William C., Hardison D. Ransom, Litaker R. Wayne, Fraga Santiago, Nishimura Tomohiro, Adachi Masao, Nguyen-Ngoc Lam, Sechet Veronique, Amzil Zouher, Herrenknecht Christine, Hess Philipp (2017). Toxicity screening of 13 Gambierdiscus strains using neuro-2a and erythrocyte lysis bioassays. Harmful Algae, 63, 173-183. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :