Oxidative stress generation by microcystins in aquatic animals: Why and how

Amado, Lílian Lund; Monserrat, José María


Microcystins (MICs) are potent toxins produced worldwide by cyanobacteria during bloom events.Phosphatases inhibition is a well recognized effect of this kind of toxins as well as oxidative stress. However, it is not fully understood why and how MICs exposure can lead to an excessive formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that culminate in oxidative damage. Some evidences suggest a close connection between cellular hyperphosphorylation state and oxidative stress generation induced by MICs exposure. It is shown,based on literature data,that MICs incorporation per se can be the first event that triggers glutathione depletion and the consequent increase in ROS concentration. Also, literature data suggest that hyperphosphorylated cellular environment induced by MICs exposure can modulate antioxidant enzymes,contributing to the generation of oxidative damage. This review summarizes information on MICs toxicity in aquatic animals, focusing on mechanistic aspects, and rise questions that in our opinion needs to be further investigated.

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