Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology

Time-dependence of lung injury in mice acutely exposed to cylindrospermopsin.

PMID 22750219


Cylindrospermopsin is a cyanobacterial toxin of increasing environmental importance, as it can lead to disease if orally or intravenously absorbed. However, its in vivo lung impairment has not been documented. Thus, we aimed at verifying whether cylindrospermopsin can induce lung injury and establish its putative dependence on the time elapsed since exposure. BALB/c mice were intratracheally injected with either saline (NaCl 0.9%, 50 μL, SAL group, n = 12) or a sublethal dose (70 μg/kg) of semi-purified extract of cylindrospermopsin (CYN groups, n = 52). Lung mechanics, histological and biochemical analyses, and cylindrospermopsin presence in lungs and liver were determined in independent groups at 2, 8, 24, 48, and 96 h after cylindrospermopsin instillation. There was a significant increase in static elastance at 24 and 48 h after exposure to cylindrospermopsin, while viscoelastic component of elastance and viscoelastic pressure rose at 48 h. Alveolar collapse augmented in CYN groups at 8 h. A significant increase in polymorphonuclear influx into lung parenchyma, as well as a higher myeloperoxidase activity started off at 24 h. Exposure to cylindrospermopsin increased lipid peroxidation and superoxide dismutase activity and reduced catalase activity in CYN groups. The toxin was detected in lungs and liver of all CYN mice. In conclusion, cylindrospermopsin exposure impaired lung mechanics, which was preceded by lung parenchyma inflammation and oxidative stress.