Toxins of the OA-group (okadaic acid, OA; dinophysistoxin-1, DTX-1) are the most prevalent in the fjords of southern Chile, and are characterized by their potential harmful effects on aquatic organisms. The present study was carried out to determine the acute toxicity of OA/DTX-1 on oxidative stress parameters in medaka (Oryzias latipes) larvae. Medaka larvae were exposed to different concentrations (1.0–30 μg/mL) of OA/DTX-1 for 96 h to determine the median lethal concentration. The LC50 value after 96 h was 23.5 μg/mL for OA and 16.3 μg/mL for DTX-1 (95% confidence interval, CI was 22.56, 24.43 for OA and 15.42, 17.17 for DTX-1). Subsequently, larvae at 121 hpf were exposed to acute doses (10, 15 and 20 μg/mL OA and 5.0, 7.5 and 11.0 μg/mL DTX-1) for 96 h and every 6 h the corresponding group of larvae was euthanized in order to measure the activity levels of biochemical biomarkers (superoxide dismutase, SOD; catalase, CAT; glutathione peroxidase, GPx; and glutathione reductase, GR) as well as the levels of oxidative damage (malondialdehyde, MDA; and carbonyl content). Our results showed that acute doses caused a decrease in SOD (≈25%), CAT (≈55%), and GPx and GR (≈35%) activities, while MDA levels and carbonyl content increased significantly at the same OA/DTX-1 concentrations. This study shows that acute exposure to OA-group toxins tends to simultaneously alter the oxidative parameters that induce sustained morphological damage in medaka larvae. DTX-1 stands out as producing greater inhibition of the antioxidant system, leading to increased oxidative damage in medaka larvae. Considering that DTX-1 is the most prevalent HAB toxin in southern Chile, these findings raise the possibility of an important environmental impact on the larval stages of different fish species present in the southern fjords of the South Pacific.
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