Toxicity assessment of the puffer fish Lagocephalus lagocephalus from the Tunisian coast

Animal Ecophysiology Laboratory, Sciences Faculty of Sfax, Department of Life Sciences, Sfax, Tunisia.
Comptes Rendus Biologies (Impact Factor: 0.98). 09/2008; 331(8):611-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2008.05.005
Source: PubMed


This study was undertaken to assess the risk of poisoning due to consumption of the puffer fish Lagocephalus lagocephalus collected along the Tunisian coast. Wistar rats were daily intraperitoneally injected, for 10 days, with acidic extracts of liver or flesh (muscles + skin) of L. lagocephalus. Control rats received injections of NaCl (0.9%). No mortality and no evident signs of neurotoxicity were recorded in treated rats. Conversely, treatment led to: (1) diarrhoea and body and organ (liver, kidney) weights loss; (2) oxidative stress evidenced by an increase in lipid peroxidation (TBARS) and conversely a decrease in antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, catalase, GSH-Px) in tissues (blood cells, liver, kidneys); (3) a decrease in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities in blood plasma.

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    • "To evaluate the toxicity of the treatment, clinical symptoms and mortality was recorded. Since some marine toxins had been found to induce an oxidative stress (Davies et al., 1987; Saoudi et al., 2008), we also investigated lipid peroxidation and changes in the activity of antioxidant enzymes in rat liver. "
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    ABSTRACT: The puffer fish Lagocephalus lagocephalus represents serious public health problems in the world. The relative toxicity of each organ (liver and flesh) was determined by the relation dose-death time "mouse bioassay." The average liver toxicity of the puffer fish was the highest when compared with flesh giving 14.32 and 10.88 MU/g, respectively. A mouse unit is the amount of toxin (extract of fish organ) that kills a 20 g male mouse in 30 min after intraperitoneal injection. One mouse unit is equivalent to 0.22 microg of TTX. For the rat bioassay tests, Wistar rats were daily i.p. injected, for 10 d, with extracts of liver (LT) or flesh (FT) (muscles + skin) of L. lagocephalus. Control rats received injection of NaCl (0.9%). During the experiment, a significant reduction in red blood cell number (RBC), hemoglobin (HGB) concentration, and hematocrit (HCT) was observed essentially after 10 d of treatment in the FT and LT-exposed groups. Consequently, treatment led to severe anemia and hemolytic action as indicated by a significant reduction in the total number of erythrocytes. In fact, our study revealed a significant increase in erythrocyte lipid peroxidation (LPO) in FT and LT groups compared with controls after experimental exposure. The flesh and liver tissue extracts also altered antioxidative enzymes activities: catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). Histopathological alterations in the spleen occurred exclusively at the end of treatment. We marked also an increase in reticulo-endothelial cells, which led to remove damaged erythrocytes.
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