Salvitti, L. R., Wood, S. A., Winsor, L., & Cary, S. C. (2015). Intracellular immunohistochemical detection of tetrodotoxin in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda) and Stylochoplana sp. (Turbellaria). Marine Drugs, 13(2), 756–769. http://doi.org/10.3390/md13020756
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9273
Tetrodotoxin (TTX), is a potent neurotoxin targeting sodium channels that has been identified in multiple marine and terrestrial organisms. It was recently detected in the Opisthobranch Pleurobranchaea maculata and a Platyhelminthes Stylochoplana sp. from New Zealand. Knowledge on the distribution of TTX within these organisms is important to assist in elucidating the origin and ecological role of this toxin. Intracellular micro-distribution of TTX was investigated using a monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic technique. Tetrodotoxin was strongly localized in neutral mucin cells and the basement membrane of the mantle, the oocytes and follicles of the gonad tissue, and in the digestive tissue of P. maculata. The ova and pharynx were the only two structures to contain TTX in Stylochoplana sp. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, TTX was identified in the larvae and eggs, but not the gelatinous egg cases of P. maculata. Tetrodotoxin was present in egg masses of Stylochoplana sp. These data suggest that TTX has a defensive function in adult P. maculata, who then invest this in their progeny for protection. Localization in the digestive tissue of P. maculata potentially indicates a dietary source of TTX. Stylochoplana sp. may use TTX in prey capture and for the protection of offspring.
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