Cyanobacterial Toxins of the Laurentian Great Lakes, Their Toxicological Effects, and Numerical Limits in Drinking Water
Microcystin-LR (MCLR) is a commonly encountered blue-green algal hepatotoxin and a known inhibitor of cellular protein phosphatase. However, little is known about its neurotoxicity. By using Morris water maze, histopathological and biochemical analysis, we investigated MCLR-induced neurotoxicity on the hippocampus of rat brain. After rats were intrahippocampally injected with MCLR (1 and 10 μg/L), their learning and memory function was greatly impaired, suggesting the neurotoxic potential of MCLR. Meanwhile, obvious histological and ultrastructural injuries and serious oxidative damage were also observed in the hippocampus. These results suggested that oxidative stress might be involved in the MCLR-induced pathological damage in hippocampus, subsequently leading to the spatial learning and memory deficit of rat. Taken together, our results highlighted the MCLR-induced neurotoxicity in the rat, as well as the importance of oxidative stress and pathological impairment in this procedure.