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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(5), 4589-4606; doi:10.3390/ijerph110504589

Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test

Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine Engineering, Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China
Department of Biology, Freshwater and Stress Ecology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Späthstr. 80/81, Berlin 12437, Germany
Chair of Water Quality Control, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, Berlin 10623, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
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In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs) and anatoxin-a (ANA). ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide) were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation) and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception) functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis). These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples. View Full-Text
Keywords: C. elegans; neurotoxicity; automatic function; sensory function; anatoxin-a; microcystin-LR C. elegans; neurotoxicity; automatic function; sensory function; anatoxin-a; microcystin-LR

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Ju, J.; Saul, N.; Kochan, C.; Putschew, A.; Pu, Y.; Yin, L.; Steinberg, C.E.W. Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 4589-4606.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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