Toxicity of intraperitoneal doses of microcystin-LR in two strains of male mice

R. A. Lovell, D. J. Schaeffer, S. B. Hooser, W. M. Haschek, A. M. Dahlem, W. W. Carmichael, V. R. Beasley

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32 Scopus citations


Male Balb/C and Swiss Webster (SW) mice were administered various i.p. doses of microcystin-LR (MCLR) to establish dose-response curves and to determine if a sublethal dose of MCLR would protect against an approximate LD100 min given 2 or 3 days later. Microcystin-LR has an extremely steep dose-lethal response curve in BC mice - LD50 = 32.5 micrograms (μg)/kg, approximate LD0 max = 25 μg/kg and approximate LD100 min = 40 μg/kg. Liver weights increased 64% (BC) and 51% (SW) and kidney weights increased 32% (BC) and 20% (SW) within 200 minutes following administration of an approximate LD100 min of MCLR in naive mice. Grossly and histologically the marked increase in liver weight appeared to be caused primarily from intrahepatic hemorrhage and death is probably a result of hemorrhagic shock. Twenty-four hours following administration of a sublethal dose of MCLR to naive BC mice, liver weights were increased significantly (8.7%), but no clinical signs or histologic lesions were observed. In SW mice, administration of a LD23 of MCLR resulted in significantly increased survivability and survival times when an approximate LD100 min of MCLR was given 3 days later. Survivors of the LD23/LD100 min regimen had 96 hour postdosing liver weights not significantly different from those of mice which died acutely after the same hepatotoxin treatments. These survivors showed weakness, recumbency, anorexia, and icterus, and had marked gross liver lesions. Histologically these lesions were undergoing rapid reparative processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-238
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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