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Toxicon. 2011 May;57(6):831-40. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Screening the toxic potential of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii strains isolated from Lake Balaton, Hungary.

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  • 1Balaton Limnological Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Klebelsberg K. u. 3, PO Box 35, H-8237 Tihany, Hungary.


Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii is becoming a major concern among cyanobacteria, due to its potential ability to produce toxic metabolites. We assessed the cytotoxic potential of four C. raciborskii strains (ACT 9502, ACT 9503, ACT 9504 and ACT 9505) isolated from Lake Balaton (Hungary), by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage measurements and by detecting morphological alterations in CHO-K1 (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cells. The Australian AQS (cylindrospermopsin producer) strain of C. raciborskii and purified cylindrospermopsin (CYN) were used as positive references in both the biochemical and morphological studies. Chemical analysis for known cyanotoxins was performed on aqueous extracts of ACT and AQS strains by the HPLC-MS technique. Comparing threshold values of LDH leakage data, different toxic potentials of cyanobacterial extracts are suggested in short term (3 h) and long (24 h) exposure regimes. In the acute (3 h) experiments the aqueous extract of the ACT 9505 strain proved to be most toxic (EC(50) = 7.4 mg mL(-1)), while after 24 h the ACT 9504 extract was the most effective (EC(50) = 0.65 mg mL(-1)). The extract of the AQS strain and the purified CYN exerted most of their toxic effects after 3 h exposure (EC(50) = 0.74 mg mL(-1), and 0.9 μg mL(-1) respectively). The morphological changes of CHO-K1 cells induced by the crude extracts of the ACT strains included fragmentation of the actin filaments then relocation of the depolymerized actin to the perinuclear region, resulting cell rounding and loss of adhesion. Exposure of CHO-K1 cells to the crude extract of the AQS strain, moreover, resulted cell shrinking and formation of filopodia, i.e. distinctly different cytological alterations from that induced by the ACT extracts and the purified CYN. Chemical analysis of the cyanobacterial crude extracts confirmed the presence of cylindrospermopsin in the extract of the AQS strain (8.5 mg CYN g(-1) dry weight), and none of the presently known cyanotoxins have been analytically confirmed in the extracts of the ACT strains isolated from the Lake Balaton. Although a significant toxicity of all four ACT C. raciborskii strains is confirmed by both biochemical and morphological studies, our results also pointed out the necessity of further studies to identify the toxic, but still unknown metabolic components produced by these cyanobacterial members of the phytoplankton communities.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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