Although brevetoxins (PbTxs) produced by the marine dinoflagellate Karenia brevis are known to be absorbed across gill membranes and exert their acute toxic effects through an ion-channel mediated pathway in neural tissue, the exact biochemical mechanism concerning PbTxs neurotoxicity in neural tissue and gas-exchange organs has not been well elucidated. In this study, we calculated the LC(50) value of PbTx-1 using the medaka fish model, and presented the molecular responses of sub-acute exposure to PbTx-1 with proteomic method. By adopting two-dimensional electrophoresis, the abundances of 14 and 24 proteins were found to be remarkably altered in the gills and brains, respectively, in response to toxin exposure. Thirteen gill and twenty brain proteins were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis. These proteins could be categorized into diverse functional classes such as cell structure, macromolecule metabolism, signal transduction and neurotransmitter release. These findings can help to elucidate the possible pathways by which aquatic toxins affect marine organisms within target organs.
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