, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 199-202

External secretion of tetrodotoxin from puffer fishes stimulated by electric shock

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Four toxic species of puffers (Takifugu pardalis, T. poecilonotus, T. vermicularis and T. niphobles) secreted large amounts of tetrodotoxin into the surrounding water immediately after being stimulated by electric shock. The total amount of toxin secreted ranged from 2 000 to 50 000 MU depending upon the specimen. The amount of toxin secreted seemed to be related to the toxicity of individuals. Non-toxic specimens of T. rubripes did not secrete any toxin. The stimulation always caused inflation of puffers, and this is generally accepted as a repelling behavior of these species. The secreted tetrodotoxin may act as a repellent to predators.