Document Detail

Transfer of a cyanobacterial neurotoxin within a temperate aquatic ecosystem suggests pathways for human exposure.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20439734     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid produced by most cyanobacteria, has been proposed to be the causative agent of devastating neurodegenerative diseases on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Because cyanobacteria are widespread globally, we hypothesized that BMAA might occur and bioaccumulate in other ecosystems. Here we demonstrate, based on a recently developed extraction and HPLC-MS/MS method and long-term monitoring of BMAA in cyanobacterial populations of a temperate aquatic ecosystem (Baltic Sea, 2007-2008), that BMAA is biosynthesized by cyanobacterial genera dominating the massive surface blooms of this water body. BMAA also was found at higher concentrations in organisms of higher trophic levels that directly or indirectly feed on cyanobacteria, such as zooplankton and various vertebrates (fish) and invertebrates (mussels, oysters). Pelagic and benthic fish species used for human consumption were included. The highest BMAA levels were detected in the muscle and brain of bottom-dwelling fishes. The discovery of regular biosynthesis of the neurotoxin BMAA in a large temperate aquatic ecosystem combined with its possible transfer and bioaccumulation within major food webs, some ending in human consumption, is alarming and requires attention.
Sara Jonasson; Johan Eriksson; Lotta Berntzon; Zdenek Spácil; Leopold L Ilag; Lars-Olof Ronnevi; Ulla Rasmussen; Birgitta Bergman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-05-03
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  107     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-20     Completed Date:  2010-07-22     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  9252-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Departments of Botany and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Amino Acids, Diamino / biosynthesis,  metabolism,  pharmacokinetics*
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Cyanobacteria / chemistry*
Environmental Exposure*
Fishes / metabolism
Food Chain*
Invertebrates / chemistry
Marine Toxins / biosynthesis,  metabolism,  pharmacokinetics*
Neurotoxins / biosynthesis,  metabolism,  pharmacokinetics*
North Sea
Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Zooplankton / chemistry
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Amino Acids, Diamino; 0/Marine Toxins; 0/Neurotoxins; 108SA6URTV/beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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