Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA

Acute and subacute toxic effects produced by microcystin-YR on the fish cell lines RTG-2 and PLHC-1.

PMID 17706912


Approximately 80 microcystins (MCs) variants have been isolated in surface water worldwide. The toxicity of the most frequently MCs are encountered, MC-LR and MC-RR, has been extensively studied in humans and animals. However, studies dealing with MC-YR toxicity are still scarce. In this work, the toxic effects of MC-YR were investigated in the fish cell line PLHC-1, derived from a hepatocellular carcinoma of the topminnow Poeciliopsis lucida, and RTG-2 fibroblast-like cells derived from the gonads of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. After 48 h, morphological and biochemical changes (total protein content, neutral red uptake and methylthiazol tetrazolium salt metabolization) were determined. The most sensitive endpoint for both cell lines was the reduction of total protein content, with EC(50) values of 35 microM for PLHC-1 cells and 67 microM for the RTG-2 cell line. Lysosomal function and methylthiazol tetrazolium salt metabolization were stimulated at low concentrations, while they decreased at high doses. Increase of piknotic cells, rounding effects, reduction in cell number and cell size, hydropic degeneration, and death mainly by necrosis but also by apoptosis were observed in the morphological study. Furthermore, PLHC-1 cells are more sensitive than RTG-2 cells to MC-YR exposure. These results were similar to those obtained when both cell lines were exposed for 24h to a Microcystis aeruginosa isolated strain extract containing MC-LR.