Authors: Jha, Prabhat N.
Kumar, Anil
Kumar, Ashok
Singh, Dhananjay P.
Sinha, Rajeshwar P.
Tyagi, Madhu B.
Title: Hepatotoxicity of Microcystis aeruginosa Strains Growing as Blooms in Certain Eutrophic Ponds
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Critical assessment of five eutrophicated ponds of Varanasi city (India) revealed the presence of heavy blooms of cyanobacteria consisting mainly of Microcystis aeruginosa. Crude aqueous extracts of blooms as well as laboratory grown M. aeruginosa isolated from three ponds, namely Lakshmikund, Durgakund and Adityanagar showed toxicity in mouse bioassay test. Crude aqueous extracts from these samples caused death of test mice within 1h of administration (i.p.) with a LD50 of 60 mg/kg body weight and the treated animals showed clinical signs of hepatotoxicity. However such an effect was not associated with the blooms from Laatbhairov and Surajkund ponds suggesting that not all strains of M. aeruginosa are toxic. Based on spectral properties (?max 230 nm), and comparison with standard microcystin-LR, the toxin is tentatively identified as microcystin-LR. The purified toxin caused death of test mice within 40 min of its administration with a LD50 of 100 µg/ kg body weight and induced gross morphological and functional changes in liver. A 1.55 fold increase in liver weight accompanied by deep red coloration most probably due to hemorrhage and blood pooling suggested the hepatotoxic properties of the toxin. Hepatotoxicity was also evident from the drastic increase (up to 2.5 fold) in activity of serum enzymes such as glutamate pyruvate transaminase/alanine aminotransferase (GPT/ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and alkaline phosphatase (APase) following toxin treatment. ^14C-labelling experiments demonstrated maximum accumulation (~15%) of ^14C- toxin after 20 min. of toxin administration. Appreciable level of toxin was also detected in water of four ponds. In conclusion these results clearly demonstrate that microcystin-producing blooms of M. aeruginosa are common in eutrophicated ponds of Varanasi city but not all ponds harbour toxic blooms.
Subject Headings: eutrophic ponds
Microcystis aeruginosa
serum enzymes
Issue Date: 2006-07-03
Appears in Collections:Original Articles

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