Paralytic shellfish poisons (PSP) are the toxins responsible for acute and often fatal poisonings caused by the consumption of certain shellfish. The phenomenon has been known since prehistoric times. A thorough docuinen tation of the incidents can be found in HALSTEAD’S treatise on poisonousmarine organisms (7). Saxitoxin (1) was the first toxin reeognized in toxic shellfish, but reeently a series of new toxins has been discovered in various specimens. The toxins have particular importance as pharmacological tools because of their unique action against sodium Channels in the excitable membrane. Earlier accounts of toxin research were reviewed by Schantz (2) and Shimizu (3).


Paralytic Shellfish Poison Guanidinium Group Sulfate Conjugation Keto Form Toxic Dinoflagellate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Shimizu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaeognosy and Environmental Health SciencesCollege of Pharmacy, University of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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