Environmental health and toxicology

Using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model animal for assessing thetoxicity induced by microcystin-LR

LI Yunhui , WANG Yang , YIN Lihong , PU Yuepu , WANG Dayong


Received April 15, 2008,Revised May 30, 2008, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 395-401

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Among more than 75 variants of microcystin (MC), microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is one of the most common toxins. In this study, the feasibility of using Caenorhabditis elegans to evaluate MC-LR toxicity was studied. C. elegans was treated with MC-LR at di erent concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 80 g/L. The results showed that MC-LR could reduce lifespan, delay development, lengthen generation time, decrease brood size, suppress locomotion behavior, and decreases hsp-16-2-gfp expression. The endpoints of generation time, brood size, and percentage of the population expressing hsp-16-2-gfp were very sensitive to 1.0 g/L of MC-LR, and would be more useful for the evaluation of MC-LR toxicity. Furthermore, the tissue-specific hsp-16-2-gfp expressions were investigated in MC-LR-exposed animals, and the nervous system and intestine were primarily a ected by MC-LR. Therefore, the generation time, brood size, and hsp-16-2-gfp expression in C. elegans can be explored to serve as valuable endpoints for evaluating the potential toxicity from MC-LR exposure.

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