Accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology and paralysis in the Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus by the paralyzing toxins of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum

Mar Drugs. 2012 May;10(5):1044-65. doi: 10.3390/md10051044. Epub 2012 May 9.


The dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum produces paralyzing shellfish poisons that are consumed and accumulated by bivalves. We performed short-term feeding experiments to examine ingestion, accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology, and paralysis in the juvenile Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus that consume this dinoflagellate. Depletion of algal cells was measured in closed systems. Histopathological preparations were microscopically analyzed. Paralysis was observed and the time of recovery recorded. Accumulation and possible biotransformation of toxins were measured by HPLC analysis. Feeding activity in treated scallops showed that scallops produced pseudofeces, ingestion rates decreased at 8 h; approximately 60% of the scallops were paralyzed and melanin production and hemocyte aggregation were observed in several tissues at 15 h. HPLC analysis showed that the only toxins present in the dinoflagellates and scallops were the N-sulfo-carbamoyl toxins (C1, C2); after hydrolysis, the carbamate toxins (epimers GTX2/3) were present. C1 and C2 toxins were most common in the mantle, followed by the digestive gland and stomach-complex, adductor muscle, kidney and rectum group, and finally, gills. Toxin profiles in scallop tissue were similar to the dinoflagellate; biotransformations were not present in the scallops in this short-term feeding experiment.

Keywords: Argopecten ventricosus; Gymnodinium catenatum; histopathology; paralysis; paralyzing shellfish poison.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Dinoflagellida / metabolism*
  • Feeding Methods
  • Gills / drug effects
  • Gills / metabolism
  • Gills / pathology
  • Hemocytes / metabolism
  • Hemocytes / pathology
  • Hydrolysis
  • Kinetics
  • Marine Toxins / metabolism
  • Marine Toxins / toxicity*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Paralysis / chemically induced*
  • Paralysis / metabolism
  • Pectinidae / drug effects*
  • Pectinidae / metabolism*
  • Shellfish


  • Marine Toxins