Definition of tetrodotoxin in English:



mass noun
  • A poisonous compound present in the ovaries of certain pufferfishes. It is a powerful neurotoxin.

    • ‘Since failures were not observed when selecting fluorescent spots lying in a row on top of a neuronal process, in later experiments 0.5 M tetrodotoxin was applied to prevent rundown, and the destaining step was omitted.’
    • ‘Calcium currents were isolated by replacing extracellular sodium with TEA and adding tetrodotoxin and other K + channel blockers.’
    • ‘The highly selective sodium channel blocker, tetrodotoxin has been instrumental in characterization of voltage-gated sodium channels.’
    • ‘Newts of the genus Taricha possess large quantities of tetrodotoxin in their skin and other tissues.’
    • ‘Research is now being conducted into the properties of the fugu's lethal poison, tetrodotoxin at six centres across Canada, much of it in Montreal.’
    • ‘External solution included 0.6 M tetrodotoxin to block any small endogenous sodium current.’
    • ‘The poison in fugu is neurotoxin tetrodotoxin and although it is not always fatal, it can cause an unpleasant death.’
    • ‘The approach is illustrated with data from a predator-prey arms race between garter snakes and newts that operates through the interface of tetrodotoxin and resistance to it.’
    • ‘The liver and reproductive organs of the puffer fish contain tetrodotoxin, an extremely powerful nerve poison.’
    • ‘Furthermore, application of tetrodotoxin, which blocks impulse generation in the cardiac ganglion, had no effect on the larval heart but stopped the heart of older juveniles from beating.’
    • ‘My doctoral research focuses on those two genera; the birds carry batrachotoxin, not tetrodotoxin, a very different chemical.’
    • ‘The effects of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor on the response to histamine were mimicked by vagotomy or selective nerve blockade with tetrodotoxin.’
    • ‘If neural activity is blocked during development by the injection of tetrodotoxin, ocular dominance columns do not develop, and the inputs from the two eyes into the visual cortex remain mixed.’
    • ‘Brachycephalus ephippium is bright orange, and some of its skin glands secrete tetrodotoxin.’
    • ‘Similarly, tetrodotoxin is another blocker of certain voltage-gated Na+ channels that occurs in numerous species of animals, including the puffer fish, Tetraodontidae spp., and newts, Taricha spp. and Cynops spp.’
    • ‘That's enough to thwart the tetrodotoxin and keep the muscles going - until either prey or predator evolves a new weapon.’
    • ‘After tetrodotoxin was identified in puffers, it started turning up in a variety of places around the globe.’
    • ‘However, only trace amounts of tetrodotoxin have been found in balloonfish, mainly concentrated in the ovaries.’
    • ‘Drugs presently available act on sodium channels sensitive to tetrodotoxin and thus have widespread side effects in the heart and central nervous system.’
    • ‘Some gobies even rely on chemical protection, producing a poison called tetrodotoxin, which also occurs in pufferfishes and species of salamander.’


Early 20th century: from modern Latin Tetrodon (former genus name, from Greek tetra- ‘fourfold’ + odous, odont- ‘tooth’) + toxin.