A strategy to study genotoxicity: application to aquatic toxins, limits and solutions

Fessard, Valérie; Hégarat, Ludovic Le
July 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jul2010, Vol. 397 Issue 5, p1715
Academic Journal
Humans can be exposed to aquatic toxins mainly through contamination of food and water (drinking and recreational). Among these toxins, contamination by both phycotoxins occurring in shellfish and cyanotoxins mostly involved in freshwater bodies are of concern for public health. Whereas regulations exist to evaluate the genotoxicity of most compounds to which humans are exposed, including drugs and chemicals, no regulations have been established for these compounds. In this paper, we show that the same strategy including both in vitro and in vivo tests can be followed to evaluate the genotoxicity of aquatic toxins (phycotoxins and cyanotoxins). However, this strategy encountered different limits which arise when completing an overview of the genotoxic potential of toxins. The most restrictive one is undoubtedly the low amount (even the lack sometimes) of purified toxins available. Solutions and recommendations for testing the genotoxicity of aquatic toxins are suggested to overcome the specific problems encountered with these compounds. It must be kept in mind that recent developments in drug toxicology should be considered and that experiments must be conducted in respect of the 3Rs principle of refinement, reduction and replacement for animal experimentation.


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