Toxicity and differential oxidative stress effects on zebrafish larvae following exposure to toxins from the okadaic acid group

Diego Figueroa, Ailen Signore, Oscar Araneda, Héctor R. Contreras, Miguel Concha, Carlos García*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Okadaic acid-group (OA-group) is a set of lipophilic toxins produced only in seawater by species of the Dinophysis and Prorocentrum genera, and characterized globally by being associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs). The diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins okadaic acid (OA) and dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1) are the most prevalent toxic analogues making up the OA-group, which jeopardize environmental safety and human health through consumption of hydrobiological organisms contaminated with these toxins that produce diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) syndrome in humans. Consequently, a regulatory limit of 160 μg of OA-group/kg was established for marine resources (bivalves). The aim of this study was to investigate effects varying concentrations of 1–15 μg/ml OA or DTX-1 on toxicity, development, and oxidative damage in zebrafish larvae (Danio rerio). After determining the lethal concentration 50 (LC50) in zebrafish larvae of 10 and 7 μg/ml (24 h) and effective concentration 50 (EC50) of 8 and 6 μg/ml (24 h), different concentrations (5, 6.5, or 8 μg/ml of OA and 4, 4.5, or 6 μg/ml of DTX-1) were used to examine the effects of these toxins on oxidative damage to larvae at different time points between 24 and 120 hpf. Macroscopic evaluation during the exposure period showed alterations in zebrafish including pericardial edema, cyclopia, shortening in the anteroposterior axis, and developmental delay. The activity levels of biochemical biomarkers superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) demonstrated a concentration-dependent decrease while glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) were markedly elevated. In addition, increased levels of oxidative damage (malondialdehyde and carbonyl content) were detected following toxin exposure. Data demonstrate that high concentrations of OA and DTX-1produced pathological damage in the early stages of development <48 h post-fertilization (hpf) associated with oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-588
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Cient?fico y Tecnol?gico [1160168]. This study was funded by CONICYT/FONDECYT-REGULAR N? 1160168 (granted to C. Garc?a).

Funding Information:
This study was funded by CONICYT/FONDECYT-REGULAR N° 1160168 (granted to C. García).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis.


  • Dinophysistoxin-1
  • Zebrafish
  • development
  • okadaic acid
  • oxidative stress


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