chapter  28
Azaspiracids: Toxicology, Pharmacology, and Risk Assessment
WithMichael J. Twiner, Philipp Hess, Gregory J. Doucette
Pages 34

Azaspiracids (AZAs) are a group of marine algal toxins produced by the small Dinoflagellate Azadinium spinosum that is closely related to Amphidoma. The toxin was renamed to AZA to more appropriately reflect its chemical structure: a cyclic amine, or aza group, with a tri-spiro assembly and carboxylic acid group. Similar to diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins, human consumption of AZA-contaminated Shellfish can result in severe acute symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Body and organ weight changes appear to be common in mice exposed to AZA1. In terms of bioavailability, the evidence presented for murine and minipig models confirms that purified AZAs presented orally by either gavage or contaminated feed, respectively, are indeed absorbed into the bloodstream for distribution to various tissues and organs. The most common pathological effect of AZA1 oral exposure is degradation of the lining surrounding the upper small intestine.