Tetrodotoxin: From Poison to Powerful Tool

@article{Blankenship2015TetrodotoxinFP,
  title={Tetrodotoxin: From Poison to Powerful Tool},
  author={James E. Blankenship},
  journal={Perspectives in Biology and Medicine},
  year={2015},
  volume={19},
  pages={509 - 526}
}
  • J. Blankenship
  • Published 7 January 2015
  • Biology
  • Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
The history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a revealing lesson in the means by which modern biomedical researchers bring their skills to bear on the solution of a serious health hazard. More than this, an account of the study of tetrodotoxin illustrates how application of the scientific method transformed this compound from a menacing poison to a very powerful analytical tool, providing unique insights into biophysical and neurophysiological phenomena. Kao [1] earlier provided a detailed review of the… 

Figures from this paper

Neurotoxins as tools in neurobiology.

Tetrodotoxin: anesthetic activity in the de-epithelialized cornea

In a rabbit model, TTX is a long-acting topical anesthetic that retains its effectiveness when administered repeatedly over 24 h and does not inhibit epithelial healing, which may have application in management of pain after photorefractive keratectomy.

The binding of labelled saxitoxin to the sodium channels in normal and denervated mammalian muscle, and in amphibian muscle.

The binding of saxitoxin to innervated and denervated rat diaphragm muscle, and to normal frog muscle, has been measured and it is suggested that the decrease in density per unit weight does not reflect any change in the density of sodium channels per unit area of membrane.

The Toxins of Nemertean Worms

This review provides a complete account of the current status of research into nemertean toxins and identifies several compounds of potential medicinal use or for application in biotechnology.

Extracellular activation and membrane conductances of neurones in the guinea‐pig deep cerebellar nuclei in vitro.

The responses of cerebellar nuclear cells to extracellular stimulation in a slice preparation were studied and the ionic basis of their electroresponsiveness was investigated with blockers of

The intracellular sodium activity of sheep heart Purkinje fibres: effects of local anaesthetics and tetrodotoxin

The intracellular Na activity (aNai) of quiescent sheep heart Purkinje fibres has been measured using Na+‐sensitive glass micro‐electrodes and the effects of local anaesthetics and tetrodotoxin have been investigated.

The blue-ringed octopus bite and envenomation syndrome.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 69 REFERENCES

STRUCTURE AND ACTIVITY IN TETRODOTOXIN DERIVATIVES

Observations upon some of the pharmacological properties of nine related compounds and discussions on the structure-activity relationship in tetrodotoxin are presented.

TETRODOTOXIN SENSITIVITY OF CULTURED EMBRYONIC HEART CELLS DEPENDS ON CELL INTERACTIONS

It is demonstrated that aggregates formed from isolated cells are TTX-sensitive, whereas single cells derived by trypsin-dissociaUon of such aggregates areTTX-insensitive, and exposure to dilutetrypsin renders intact aggregates TTXinsensitive.

Tetrodotoxin binding to normal depolarized frog muscle and the conductance of a single sodium channel.

It is calculated that the conductance of a single sodium channel is of the order of 10(−12) reciprocal ohms less than previous estimates, which suggests that there is little molecular interaction between the “gating” portion of the sodium channel molecule, and that which binds tetrodotoxin.

Pharmacological studies on tarichatoxin, a potent neurotoxin.

Almost all the systemic effects produced by tarichatoxin can be ascribed to a block of the preganglionic cholinergic and the somatic motor nerves.

Basis of Tetrodotoxin's Selectivity in Blockage of Squid Axons

It is concluded that the selectivity of tetrodotoxin is based on some difference in the early transient and late steady conductance pathways, and not on the identification of ions or the direction of cation flow.

Appearance of binding sites for radioactive tetrodotoxin during the development of mouse and chick brain

It is thought reasonable, therefore, to determine whether a correlation exists between the concentrations of tetrodotoxin binding sites and the extent of brain development in these two species.

Measurement of current‐voltage relations in the membrane of the giant axon of Loligo

The importance of ionic movements in excitable tissues has been emphasized by a number of recent experiments which are consistent with the theory that nervous conduction depends on a specific increase in permeability which allows sodium ions to move from the more concentrated solution outside a nerve fibre to the more dilute solution inside it.

Letter: On the interaction of tetrodoxin with cholesterol monolayers

These results allow excluding as cause of the expansions a surfactant contaminant suggested to be present in the phosphate salts used in previous works, and a cholesterol modification at the interface, since the maximum time-dependent expansion observed on a pure water subphase (free of T T X ) is less than 0.3 A2/molecule after 40 rain.
...