DOI: 10.3390/md21120644 ISSN: 1660-3397

Acute Effects of Brevetoxin-3 Administered via Oral Gavage to Mice

Peggy Barbe, Jordi Molgó, Robert Thai, Apolline Urman, Denis Servent, Nathalie Arnich, Mathilde Keck
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Brevetoxins (BTXs) constitute a family of lipid-soluble toxic cyclic polyethers mainly produced by Karenia brevis, which is the main vector for a foodborne syndrome known as neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP) in humans. To prevent health risks associated with the consumption of contaminated shellfish in France, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) recommended assessing the effects of BTXs via an acute oral toxicity study in rodents. Here, we investigated the effect of a single oral administration in both male and female mice with several doses of BTX-3 (100 to 1,500 µg kg−1 bw) during a 48 h observation period in order to provide toxicity data to be used as a starting point for establishing an acute oral reference dose (ARfD). We monitored biological parameters and observed symptomatology, revealing different effects of this toxin depending on the sex. Females were more sensitive than males to the impact of BTX-3 at the lowest doses on weight loss. For both males and females, BTX-3 induced a rapid, transient and dose-dependent decrease in body temperature, and a transient dose-dependent reduced muscle activity. Males were more sensitive to BTX-3 than females with more frequent observations of failures in the grip test, convulsive jaw movements, and tremors. BTX-3’s impacts on symptomatology were rapid, appearing during the 2 h after administration, and were transient, disappearing 24 h after administration. The highest dose of BTX-3 administered in this study, 1,500 µg kg−1 bw, was more toxic to males, leading to the euthanasia of three out of five males only 4 h after administration. BTX-3 had no effect on water intake, and affected neither the plasma chemistry parameters nor the organs’ weight. We identified potential points of departure that could be used to establish an ARfD (decrease in body weight, body temperature, and muscle activity).

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