What is TTX
Tetrodotoxin is a neurotoxin and zootoxin from the group of quinazoline alkaloids (anthranilic acid derivatives).
The toxin is found primarily in the liver, skin, and gonads of some puffer fish and other fish. Furthermore, tetrodotoxin is also found in some amphibians (Taricha torosa, some species of the genus Atelopus), some starfish and blue-ringed octopus.
It can be assumed that the animals do not produce the tetrodotoxin themselves. The biosynthesis takes place at least partially demonstrably through microorganisms (e.g. Pseudomonas spp., Vibrio alginolyticus) within poison glands (blue ringed octopus) or skin and organs (puffer fish).
Tetrodotoxin is one of the most powerful non-proteinaceous poisons. It can be absorbed orally, inhalatively and possibly also transdermally through the skin. The lethal dose is about 8-10 µg / kg body weight when ingested orally.
Tetrodotoxin is highly hydrophilic and selectively blocks the voltage-gated sodium channels in nerve cells. This means that action potentials can no longer be triggered and the transmission of nerve impulses is prevented.
The first symptoms of poisoning appear after about 10-45 minutes, e.g. when consuming incorrectly prepared, toxic fugu. First there is paresthesia, then paralysis and finally lethal respiratory paralysis.
see also:Fugu poisoning
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