2010 Volume 35 Issue 4 Pages 591-599
The biological toxic potentials of aqueous extracts from the dinophycean flagellates Gymnodinium impudicum and Alexandrium affine and the raphidophycean flagellate Chattonella ovata were examined in both in vitro and in vivo systems. Interestingly, the extract from A. affine was the only one that showed potent cytotoxicities towards HeLa, Vero, and Neuro-2a cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Mice given intraperitoneal injections of the extracts revealed that none of the extracts exhibited serious toxicities in mice. However, temporal body weight loss was observed in the mice injected with the extract from A. affine during the early stage, and the dramatic enlargement of spleens was also observed in the mice on the 7th day after injection. Since A. affine extract showed potent hemolytic activity in vitro towards mouse erythrocytes, hemolytic anemia may be a possible mechanism responsible for the splenomegaly in the mice injected with A. affine extract. Similar marginal effects were observed in the mice injected with the extract from C. ovata; however, no significant toxic or detrimental effects were detected in the mice injected with the extract from G. impudicum. These results suggest that the extract from G. impudicum may not be contaminated with detectable levels of biologically hazardous compounds and may be relatively safe compared with the other two extracts.