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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2007 Oct;70(19):1679-86.

Studies of the comparative in vitro toxicology of the cyanobacterial metabolite deoxycylindrospermopsin.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy II, Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany.


Cyanobacteria are capable of producing metabolites that are in some cases toxic to humans and other animals. Of these metabolites, the toxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is produced by a number of species of cyanobacteria including Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, and its toxicity has been documented. The CYN analog deoxycylindrospermopsin (deoxyCYN) is commonly produced in varying proportions by the cyanobacteria that produce CYN. The toxicological profile of CYN suggests that it is primarily a hepatotoxin, but with the capacity to damage other organs and tissues. Limited in vivo information is available on the toxicity of deoxyCYN and suggests it to be of low potency. The aim of this research was to determine the comparative toxicology of deoxyCYN using in vitro systems. Using cell viability assays, it was shown that deoxyCYN had inhibitory effects on cell viability and proliferation of a similar magnitude to that of CYN. Morphological changes in deoxyCYN-treated cells were similar to those of CYN. Investigation of protein synthesis inhibition demonstrated that deoxyCYN was of similar potency to CYN. Inhibition of protein synthesis is an acknowledged mechanism of toxicity for CYN, and the results produced here suggest that deoxyCYN operates by similar toxicological mechanisms to CYN and that in vivo animal testing should be undertaken to clarify the potential for risk to humans from this toxin.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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