Toxic Effects of Domoic Acid on Caenorhabditis elegans and the Underlying Mechanism

  •  Dongmei Tian    
  •  Ganlan Zhang    


Domoic acid (DA) is a well-known marine bio-toxin and has been investigated extensively through many in vitro and in vivo studies. However, the mechanism for DA-induced toxicity is still not fully understood. In the present study, we performed toxicity assessment of DA in Caenorhabditis elegans system and investigated the underlying mechanism for DA-induced toxicity. Our data show that DA exposure has toxic effects on locomotion behavior, lifespan and intestine of nematodes. Moreover, we observed the increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in DA exposed nematodes, implying the involvement of oxidative stress in DA-induced toxicity. In addition, our data demonstrates that p38 signaling pathway is required for the DA-induced ROS formation and toxicity. Therefore, our study proves the effectiveness of C. elegans system in toxicity assessment of DA, and DA may induce toxicity through p38 pathway dependent oxidative stress.

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