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Environ Toxicol. 2008 Feb;23(1):1-8. doi: 10.1002/tox.20304.

Combined cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of a marine toxin and seafood contaminant metal ions (chromium and cadmium).

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University Victor Segalen Bordeaux, Faculty of Pharmacy, Laboratory of Toxicology and Applied Hygiene, 146 rue Léo-Saignat, 33076, Bordeaux, France.


Algal bloom with consequent production of marine toxins contaminating bivalves is increasing in costal regions worldwide because of sea water quality worsening. Contamination of seafood by diarrheic shellfish poisoning toxins (DSP) together with metals is frequently reported, a phenomenon not fully explained yet. In this context, metal ions were assayed in clams collected from the banned area of Boughrara, Tunisia, contaminated by Gymnodinium and other algae such as Dinophysis sp, accumulated by these bivalves. The presence of toxic metals ions such as Chromium (Cr) and Cadmium (Cd) in meat, shells, and water released by the clams prompted us to experiment in Caco-2 intestinal cell line toxic effects of these heavy metals ions in combination with okadaic acid, one DSP present in clams to assess the potential global toxicity. Cr and Cd produce additive effects in (i) reactive oxygen species production, (ii) cytotoxicity as assessed by the mitochondrial activity testing method (MTT test), and (iii) DNA lesions evaluated by agarose gel electrophoresis and acridine orange staining. Exaggerated DNA fragmentation is observed, suggesting an overloading of repair capacity of Caco-2 cells. The apoptosis suggested by a DNA fragment sizing (180-200 bp) in agarose gel and mechanisms underlying these additive effects in Caco-2 cells still need to be more comprehensively explained.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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