Early developmental toxicity of saxitoxin on medaka (Oryzias melastigma) embryos

Li TIAN, Jinping CHENG, Xueping CHEN, Shuk Han CHENG, Yim Ling MAK, Paul Kwan Sing LAM, Leo Lai CHAN, Mingfu WANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Saxitoxin (STX) is the most potent paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin in crustaceans and molluscs, and is known to cause intoxication to humans and marine animals due to its neurotoxicity. However, the extent of its early developmental toxicity to marine species remains unknown. In this study, we examined the early developmental toxicity of STX using marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma) embryos as model. The medaka embryos were exposed to STX for four days, from the early blastula stage onwards, and this exposure period covered the main developmental stage of the central nervous system and somites. After exposure, the treated medaka eleutheroembryos at 15 day post fertilization exhibited abnormal growth with longer body length and relatively smaller yolk sac size. High cell proliferation, neuron development, and metabolism were confirmed using whole-mount immunostaining and two-dimensional electrophoresis. In summary, STX disturbed the normal growth of medaka embryos probably by affecting the metabolic rate in the exposed medaka embryos. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Early online date30 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


Tian, L., Cheng, J., Chen, X., Cheng, S. H., Mak, Y. L., Lam, P. K. S., . . . Wang, M. (2014). Early developmental toxicity of saxitoxin on medaka (Oryzias melastigma) embryos. Toxicon, 77, 16-25. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2013.10.022


  • Paralytic shellfish poisoning
  • Saxitoxin
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Endocrine disruptor
  • Proteomics


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