Dietrich Mebs

Dietrich Mebs
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main · Institut für Rechtsmedizin

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204
Publications
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Publications

Publications (204)
Article
Rough-skinned newts, Taricha granulosa, which contain tetrodotoxin (TTX), a potent neurotoxin, are widely distributed along the west-coast of North America up to British Columbia (BC), Canada, and Southeast Alaska. Their genetic population structure using DNA-microsatellites and the TTX-content of specimens from British Columbia (Prince Rupert area...
Article
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) contents of wild-caught Chinese red-bellied newts, Cynops orientalis, and their offspring captive-reared from eggs to metamorphosed juveniles, were analysed using post-column LC-fluorescent detection (LC-FLD) and high resolution hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (HR-HILIC-LC/MS). TTX was detected in...
Article
Based on its mandibular gland secretion, the earless monitor lizard, Lanthanotus borneensis, has been considered a venomous animal like other members of the Toxicofera group, including Heloderma. In the present study, the gland structure and teeth of L. borneensis were examined by micro-tomography (μCT) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respe...
Article
Red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens, contain tetrodotoxin (TTX) and its analogue 6-epiTTX in variable concentrations. In a follow-up study, newts were sampled from a pond in Pennsylvania, USA, in 2010, 2014, and 2018. Their toxin levels were assayed by liquid-chromatography-fluorescence detection (LC-FLD), and assessment of their infection...
Article
Full-text available
Atelopus is a species-rich group of Neotropical bufonids. Present knowledge on bioacoustics in this genus is relatively poor, as vocalisations have been described in only about one fifth of the ca. 100 species known. All studied members of the genus produce vocalisations although, with a few exceptions, most species lack a middle ear. Nonetheless,...
Article
Because of its bitter taste, quinine elicits strong antifeedant and toxic effects in animals including arthropods. In the present study, two mantis, Sphodromantis viridis, Hierodula membranacea, and two spider species, Nephila edulis, Selenocosmia javanensis, were offered a quinine solution or prey (crickets) contaminated or injected with quinine,...
Article
Frogs of the family Dendrobatidae are known to contain toxic alkaloids in their skin secretion, but Allobates species of the closely related Aromobatidae family are considered to lack toxic secretions. However, contradictory results have been reported. Analyses of alcohol extracts from three different Allobates species from South-America (Guiana Sh...
Article
Toads of the genus Melanophryniscus contain toxic alkaloids sequestered from a diet of mainly ants and mites. Wild-caught specimens of M. klappenbachi were fed an alkaloid-free diet and their alkaloid profile was analyzed during 38 months in captivity. Individual alkaloid patterns varied considerably. Over time, the concentration of two alkaloids,...
Article
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) and its analogues occur in a wide range of marine animals but also in terrestrial vertebrates such as frogs, toads and newts. Despite numerous studies on TTX in New World newts (Notophthalmus viridescens, Taricha spp.), few data only exist for Asian newts. Methanolic extracts of newts from China (Cynops orientalis, Pachytriton la...
Article
Butterflies of the genus Danaus are known to sequester toxic cardenolides from milkweed host plants (Apocynaceae). In particular, Danaus plexippus efficiently sequesters and stores these compounds, whereas D. chrysippus, is considered to poorly sequester cardenolides. To estimate its sequestration capability compared with that of D. plexippus, larv...
Article
Caterpillars of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, feed on milkweed plants, Asclepias spp. (Apocynaceae), and sequester their toxic cardenolides aimed at deterring predators. Nevertheless, Chinese praying mantids, Tenodera sinensis, consume these caterpillars after removing the midgut (“gutting”) including its plant content. In the present st...
Article
Tetrodotoxin (TTX), which is one of the most potent neurotoxins blocking voltage-gated sodium channels of excitable membranes, is present in newts of the genus Taricha in varying concentrations. Whether there is a genetic basis of that variability was tested by maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis of T. granulosa specimens from the most norther...
Article
Full-text available
A Chinese praying mantis, Tenodera sinensis, was observed feeding on a living red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens. Specimens of that newt’s population are known to contain high concentrations of tetrodotoxin (TTX), a specific blocker of voltage-gated sodium channels. After experimental oral administration of a TTX-solution (1 mg/ml) to adul...
Article
The biosynthesis of tetrodotoxin (TTX), a potent neurotoxin consisting of a 2,4-dioxaadamantane skeleton and a guanidine moiety, is an unsolved problem in natural product chemistry. Recently, the first C5–C10 directly bonded TTX analogue, 4,9-anhydro-10-hemiketal-5-deoxyTTX, was obtained from toxic newts and its carbon skeleton suggested a possible...
Article
The biosynthesis of tetrodotoxin (TTX), a potent neurotoxin consisting of a 2,4-dioxaadamantane skeleton and a guanidine moiety, is an unsolved problem in natural product chemistry. Recently, the first C5-C10 directly bonded TTX analogue, 4,9-anhydro-10-hemiketal-5-deoxyTTX, was obtained from toxic newts and its carbon skeleton suggested a possible...
Article
Animals in zoological gardens are at risk of severe and even lethal poisoning when they accidentally ingest toads. Here we report the case of an eleven month old male South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) which was found dead in its outdoor enclosure in the zoo of Dortmund, Germany. Autopsy revealed the presence of two adult, partly dig...
Article
The blowfly Lucilia bufonivora shows high host specificity for toads despite the host's toxic skin secretion, which consists mainly of bufadienolides. These toxins are effective blockers of the Na+, K+-ATPase, an enzyme that is essential for many physiological processes in animals. Whereas common toad (Bufo bufo) toxins were identified in the larva...
Article
Frogs of the genus Phyllobates from Colombia are known to contain the highly toxic alkaloid batrachotoxin, but species from Central America exhibit only very low levels or are entirely free of this toxin. In the present study alcohol extracts from 101 specimens of Phyllobates lugubris and P. vittatus and 21 of three sympatric species (Dendrobates p...
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Full-text available
Whereas interspecific associations receive considerable attention in evolutionary, behavioural and ecological literature, the proximate bases for these associations are usually unknown. This in particular applies to associations between vertebrates with invertebrates. The West-African savanna frog Phrynomantis microps lives in the underground nest...
Article
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Venoms from cone snails (Conidae) have been extensively studied during the last decades, but those from other members of the suborder Toxoglossa, such as of Terebridae and Turridae superfamilies attracted less interest so far. Here, we report the effects of venom and gland extracts from three species of the superfamily Terebridae. By 2-electrode vo...
Data
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Supplementary Information (PDF, 56 KB)
Article
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We report on the screening of ethanolic extracts from 33 deep-sea Antarctic marine sponges for different biological activities. We monitored hemolysis, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, cytotoxicity towards normal and transformed cells and growth inhibition of laboratory, commensal and clinically and ecologically relevant bacteria. The most promi...
Article
History: A 59-year-old woman went into coma after she had taken a phytopharmacon from Vietnamese generally used as an antidiabetic drug to treat her skin disease. Investigations: CT-scans revealed signs of pneumonia and cerebral edema. Severe brain damage was diagnosed by MRI-investigation. By chemical-toxicological analysis of the drug glibencl...
Article
The International Society on Toxinology (IST) was founded in 1962 with its main purpose to advance knowledge on venoms, poisons and toxins of animal, plant and microbial origin. World Congresses of the Society and Symposia of the IST-Sections (European, Pan-American, Asia-Pacific) are regularly organized to promote communication and exchange of res...
Article
Full-text available
Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-huntin...
Data
Full-text available
mfold predicted secondary structure for the whole CR of Conus consors. IR2 could potentially form a large stem-loop-like structure. (PDF)
Data
Isolation of mitochondrial DNA. (PDF)
Data
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Accession numbers of Neogastropoda mitochondrial genomes. (PDF)
Data
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Preparation of mitochondria from fresh or frozen Conus consors tissue samples. (PDF)
Article
Several species of milkweed butterflies (Danaini) are known to sequester cardenolides from their milkweed host plants. In adults of Danaus plexippus and D. gilippus, jointly raised on Asclepias curassavica (Asclepiadaceae), two host-plant cardenolides (calotropin and calactin) were found in significantly different ratios: in D. plexippus and the pl...
Article
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) and its analogue 6-epiTTX had been detected in the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens. Thirty specimens of a population from Pennsylvania, USA were histologically examined for the presence of intestinal parasites. More than 50% were found to be infected with nematodes (Trichocephalidae), trematodes or cestodes (Pseudophy...
Chapter
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Beobachtungen der vergangenen 100 Jahre zeigen deutlich, dass sich das Klima weltweit erwärmt hat. Doch welche Auswirkungen hat dieser Klimawandel auf die lebendige Umwelt und die unterschiedlichen Ökosysteme? Und wie sehen diese Folgen speziell für Deutschland aus? Auf dem aktuellen Stand der Forschung gibt der vorliegende Band einen umfassenden Ü...
Article
Efts and adult specimens (n = 142) of the red-spotted newt Notophthalmus viridescens from various locations in Canada and USA were analyzed for the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and of its analogues 6-epitetrodotoxin and 11-oxotetrodotoxin. Considerable individual variations in toxin levels were found within and among populations from New Hampshir...
Article
Full-text available
Venoms of the marine cone snails (Conus spp.) consist of numerous proteins and peptides showing a wide variety of biological activities such as on ion-channels and receptors. Peptides acting on neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors belong to several peptide superfamilies including the recently described αD-conopeptides which are homodimers of...
Article
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Poisoning after eating puffer fish containing highly lethal tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widespread in Asia. In 2008, naïve inland populations in Bangladesh were exposed to cheap puffer fish sold on markets. In three outbreaks, 141 patients with history of puffer fish consumption were hospitalized. Symptoms of poisoning included perioral paraesthesia, tin...
Article
From six Conus species (Conus coronatus, Conus lividus, Conus mozambicus f. lautus, Conus pictus, Conus sazanka, Conus tinianus) collected off the eastern coast of South Africa the venoms were analyzed using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Between 56 and 151 molecular masses most in a range of 1000 to 2500 Da, were identified. Among the six venoms, be...
Article
Full-text available
We report on screening tests of 66 extracts obtained from 35 marine sponge species from the Caribbean Sea (Curaçao) and from eight species from the Great Barrier Reef (Lizard Island). Extracts were prepared in aqueous and organic solvents and were tested for hemolytic, hemagglutinating, antibacterial and anti-acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities,...
Article
Full-text available
Frogs of the family Dendrobatidae and Microhylidae are myrmecophagous, i.e., they feed on ants. It is well accept-ed that toxic alkaloids in the skin secretion of dendrobatid frogs are of dietary origin and may derive from ants. Alcohol ex-tracts from specimens of Ameerega picta (Dendrobatidae) and of Elachistocleis sp. (Microhylidae) from two loca...
Article
High levels of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and of its analogue 6-epi-tetrodotoxin have been detected in skin and liver extracts of the red-spotted newt Notophthalmus viridescens assayed by a post-column fluorescent-HPLC system. Using a monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic technique, TTX was localized in the granular glands of the epidermis as well as i...
Article
The venom from the solitary bee Osmia rufa (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) was analyzed using mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques. Sensitive proteomic methods such as on-line LC–ESI-MS and nanoESI-MS analyses revealed more than 50 different compounds with molecular masses ranging from 400 to 4000 Da. The major component has a monoisotopic molecular...
Chapter
Full-text available
CONCO is a post-genomic project using applied venomics of cone snails for accelerated, cheaper, safer and more ethical production of innovative biomedical drugs. The project aims at characterising from the genomic up to potential therapeutic properties all the putative bioactive compounds that can be synthesised by a cone snail species, the Conus c...
Article
Das Venom, die Gesamtheit aller Inhaltsstoffe von Giften eines Gifttieres, ist äußerst komplex. Es zeichnet sich durch eine enorme Vielfalt an biologisch aktiven Peptiden und Proteinen aus, die vorwiegend zum Beuteerwerb und zur Verteidigung eingesetzt werden. Die Frage, wie es zur Giftigkeit bei Tieren kommt, welche genetischen Mechanismen dem zug...
Article
Palytoxin (PTX), one of the most potent and chemically complex marine toxins, is predominantly found in zoanthid corals and sporadically in dinoflagellates. Its biosynthesis and metabolic pathways are largely unknown. However, the widespread occurrence of the toxin in phylogenetically distinct marine organisms is consistent with its production by m...
Article
The venom of cone snails (Conus spp.) is a rich source of peptides exhibiting a wide variety of biological activities. Several of these conopeptides are neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonists and belong to the A-, M-, S-, C and the recently described D-superfamily (alphaD-conopeptides). Here we describe the discovery and char...
Article
Fish species of the genera Amphiprion and Premnas (Perciformes: Pomacentridae) as well as various crustaceans seek protection from predators among the tentacles of sea anemones, where they live essentially unharmed from stinging by the host's nematocysts. The mucous coats of anemonefish and crustaceans have been suggested as mechanisms that prevent...
Article
In two species of meloid beetles, Hycleus oculatus and Hycleus tinctus, from southern Africa, cantharidin and demethylcantharidin (palasonin) were assayed quantitatively. For cantharidin the mean value per specimen was about 1 mg for H. oculatus and 0.2 mg for H. tinctus, the mean palasonin concentration was 20 (H. oculatus) and 12 times (H. tinctu...
Article
Ethanol extracts from Oophaga pumilio specimens collected in western Panama (14 populations) and southern Nicaragua (two populations) were analyzed for their alkaloid composition by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. High variability in the alkaloid profiles among the various populations as well as among individual specimens from Panama and Nica...
Article
A case of human poisoning by palytoxin after contact with zoanthid corals (Parazoanthus sp.) in an aquarium through skin injuries on fingers is reported. The clinical symptoms include swelling, paraesthesia and numbness around the site of the injury spreading over the arm, but also signs of systemic poisoning such as dizziness, general weakness and...
Article
The venom of Zhaoermia mangshanensis, encountered solely in Mt Mang in China's Hunan Province, exhibits coagulant, phosphodiesterase, l-amino acid oxidase, kallikrein, phospholipase A2 and myotoxic activities. The catalytically inactive PLA2 homolog referred to as zhaoermiatoxin is highly myotoxic and displays high myonecrotic and edema activities....
Article
Certain amphibians provide themselves with a chemical defense by accumulating lipophilic alkaloids into skin glands from dietary arthropods. Examples of such alkaloids are pumiliotoxins (PTXs). In general, PTXs are known as positive modulators of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). Unlike other PTXs, PTX 251D does not share this characteristic....