Toxic effects, pharmacokinetics and clearance of saxitoxin, a component of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP), in cats

Andrinolo, D; Lagos, N.; Michea L.F.

Keywords: model, sensitivity, heart, fluorescence, marine, distribution, animals, intravenous, blood, pressure, liquid, specificity, electrocardiogram, male, anesthesia, hemodynamics, cat, tissue, shellfish, saxitoxin, toxins, dose, interactions, intoxication, drug, article, clearance, barrier, inulin, cats, arrest, electrocardiography, dobutamine, blood-brain, controlled, animal, study, response, priority, nonhuman, journal, and, High, Injections,, Chromatography,


Saxitoxin (STX) was the first known and most studied toxic component of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). This toxin blocks neuronal transmission by binding to the voltage-gated Na+ channel. Although the toxin's mechanism of action is well known at the molecular level, there are still many unresolved questions about its pharmacokinetics and the PSP intoxication syndrome in mammals. Some of these questions are addressed in the present paper, which describes an experimental design which allowed us to follow the dynamics of STX poisoning in vivo. Adult cats were anaesthetized and permanently coupled to artificial ventilation, they were then intravenously injected with Low (2.7?g of STX/kg) and high doses (10?g of STX/kg) of toxin. Cardiovascular parameters such as blood pressure and electrocardiograms were recorded, urine and blood samples were collected during the four hours of experimental time. In order to quantify mass amount of STX, we used the post-column derivatization HPLC method. Urine and blood samples were cleansed using a C-18 Sep-Pack cartridge and ultrafree microcentrifuge filters. At the end of each experiment, the animals were killed and tissue samples from brain, liver, spleen and medulla oblongata were extracted to measure the amount of STX. As compared to control period, Low doses of STX made no difference in hemodynamics parameters. In contrast, high doses drastically reduced blood pressure, produced myocardial failure and finally cardiac arrest. Administration of 2.5?g/kgxmin of dobutamine restored hemodynamics parameters and allowed the animal to overcome the shock. With high doses, the calculated STX renal clearance in cats is 0.81ml/minxkg-1. This valued corresponds to 20.25% of the reported inulin renal clearance. Nevertheless with Low doses the STX renal clearance is 3.99ml/minxkg-1. This data suggest that in cats with normal cardiovascular parameters and diuresis, the STX excretion mainly involves glomerular filtration. During experimental time, no PSP toxins other than STX was detected in the body fluids and tissue samples analyzed, indicating that the mammals can not metabolize this molecule. STX was found in intensely irrigated organs such as the liver and spleen but also in the central nervous system (brain and medulla oblongata), showing that STX was capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Título de la Revista: TOXICON
Volumen: 37
Número: 3
Fecha de publicación: 1999
Página de inicio: 447
Página final: 464