Delfina M. Romero; Bruno G. Berardino; Marcelo J. Wolansky; Mónica L. Kotler.
A primary mode-of-action of all pyrethroid insecticides (PYRs) is the disruption of the voltage-gated sodium channel electrophysiology in neurons of target pests and nontarget species. The neurological actions of PYRs on non-neuronal cells of the nervous system remain poorly investigated. In the present work, we used C6 astrocytoma cells to study PYR actions (0.1–50 μM) under the hypothesis that glial cells may be targeted by and vulnerable to PYRs. To this end, we characterized the effects of bifenthrin (BF), tefluthrin (TF), α-cypermethrin (α-CYP), and deltamethrin (DM) on the integrity of nuclear, mitochondrial, and lysosomal compartments. In general, 24- to 48-h exposures produced concentration-related impairment of cell viability. In single-compound, 24-h exposure experiments, effective concentration (EC)15s 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT assay) were computed as follows (in μM): BF, 16.1; TF, 37.3; α-CYP, 7.8; DM, 5.0. We found concentration-related damage in several C6-cell subcellular compartments (mitochondria, nuclei, and lysosomes) at ≥ 10−1 μM levels. Last, we examined a mixture of all PYRs (ie, Σ individual EC15) using MTT assays and subcellular analyses. Our findings indicate that C6 cells are responsive to nM levels of PYRs, suggesting that astroglial susceptibility may contribute to the low-dose neurological effects caused by these insecticides. This research further suggests that C6 cells may provide relevant information as a screening platform for pesticide mixtures targeting nervous system cells by expected and unexpected toxicogenic pathways potentially contributing to clinical neurotoxicity.