Induction to oxidative stress by saxitoxin investigated through lipid peroxidation in Neuro 2A cells and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii alga

Silvia P. Melegari, François Perreault, Serge Moukha, Radovan Popovic, Edmond E. Creppy, William G. Matias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Saxitoxin (STX) is a cyanotoxin, which can cause neurotoxic effects and induce ecological changes in aquatic environments, a potential risk to public and environmental health. Many studies of cytotoxicity on animal cells and algae have been performed, although few compare the toxic effects between the two models. In this sense, we investigated the oxidative stress induced by STX (0.4-3.0. nM) in two different cellular models: Neuro-2A (N2A) cells and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii alga by quantification of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels as indicative of lipid peroxidation (LPO). Also was evaluated the antioxidant defense of these cells systems after exposure to STX by the addition of antioxidants in N2A cells culture, and by the measure of antioxidants enzymes activity in C. reinhardtii cells. The MDA levels of N2A cells increased from 15% to 113% for 0.4 and 3.0. nM of STX, respectively, as compared to control. Superoxide-dismutase and catalase did not appear to protect the cell from STX effect while, in cells treated with vitamin E, the rates of MDA production decreased significantly, except for higher concentrations of STX. No MDA productions were observed in algal cells however some effects on antioxidant enzymes activity were observed when algae were exposed to 3.0. nM STX. Our results indicate that the concentrations of STX that may induce oxidative stress through LPO are different in animal and phytoplankton communities. A combination of algal and animal bioassays should be conducted for reliable assessment of oxidative stress induced by STX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii green alga
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Neuro-2A cells
  • Oxidative stress
  • Saxitoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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