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(1/3500) An overview of the evolution of overproduced esterases in the mosquito Culex pipiens.

Insecticide resistance genes have developed in a wide variety of insects in response to heavy chemical application. Few of these examples of adaptation in response to rapid environmental change have been studied both at the population level and at the gene level. One of these is the evolution of the overproduced esterases that are involved in resistance to organophosphate insecticides in the mosquito Culex pipiens. At the gene level, two genetic mechanisms are involved in esterase overproduction, namely gene amplification and gene regulation. At the population level, the co-occurrence of the same amplified allele in distinct geographic areas is best explained by the importance of passive transportation at the worldwide scale. The long-term monitoring of a population of mosquitoes in southern France has enabled a detailed study to be made of the evolution of resistance genes on a local scale, and has shown that a resistance gene with a lower cost has replaced a former resistance allele with a higher cost.  (+info)

(2/3500) The bystander effect in the HSVtk/ganciclovir system and its relationship to gap junctional communication.

The bystander effect (BSE) is an interesting and important property of the herpes thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (hTK/GCV) system of gene therapy for cancer. With the BSE, not only are the hTK expressing cells killed upon ganciclovir (GCV) exposure but also neighboring wild-type tumor cells. On testing a large number of tumor cell lines in vitro, a wide range of sensitivity to bystander killing was found. Since transfer of toxic GCV metabolites from hTK-modified to wild-type tumor cells via gap junctions (GJ) seemed to be a likely mechanism of the BSE, we tested GJ function in these various tumors with a dye transfer technique and pharmacological agents known to affect GJ communication. We confirmed that mixtures of tumor cell resistant to the BSE did not show dye transfer from cell to cell while bystander-sensitive tumor cells did. Dieldrin, a drug known to decrease GJ communication, diminished dye transfer and also inhibited the BSE. Forskolin, an upregulator of cAMP did increase GJ, but directly inhibited hTK and therefore its effect on BSE could not be determined. We conclude that these observations further support port the concept that functional GJ play an important role in the BSE and further suggest that pharmacological manipulation of GJ may influence the outcome of cancer therapy with hTK/GCV.  (+info)

(3/3500) A toxicokinetic model to assess the risk of azinphosmethyl exposure in humans through measures of urinary elimination of alkylphosphates.

Azinphosmethyl (APM) is one of the most common insecticides used in fruit farming. The object of this paper is to develop a quick and practical test for assessing the risk for humans coming into contact with APM. It has been shown that the principal component of occupational and/or accidental exposure is through the skin (C. A. Franklin et al., 1981, J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 7, 715-731), but our approach is applicable to exposures via any route or a combination of routes. The method proposed in the present paper can accommodate a single-event exposure or repeated exposures over long periods. Urinary alkylphosphate (AP) metabolites are reliable bioindicators of the presence of APM in the body; they are easily accessible and can be used to estimate APM body burden. We developed a simple toxicokinetic model to link the time varying APM body burden to absorbed doses and to rates of elimination in the form of AP urinary metabolites. Using this model and data available in the literature, we are able to propose a "no observed adverse effect level" (NOAEL) for APM body levels and for corresponding absorbed doses. We have established that after a single exposure, the safe limit corresponding to the NOAEL is reached at a cumulative 0.215 mumoles AP/kg bw eliminated in urine in the first 24 hours following the beginning of exposure. For repeated daily exposures at steady state, the corresponding urinary AP metabolite level is equal to a cumulative 0.266 mumoles AP/kg bw eliminated per 24 hours.  (+info)

(4/3500) Involvement of two plasmids in the degradation of carbaryl by Arthrobacter sp. strain RC100.

A bacterium capable of utilizing carbaryl (1-naphthyl N-methylcarbamate) as the sole carbon source was isolated from carbaryl-treated soil. This bacterium was characterized taxonomically as Arthrobacter and was designated strain RC100. RC100 hydrolyzes the N-methylcarbamate linkage to 1-naphthol, which was further metabolized via salicylate and gentisate. Strain RC100 harbored three plasmids (designated pRC1, pRC2, and pRC3). Mutants unable to degrade carbaryl arose at a high frequency after treating the culture with mitomycin C. All carbaryl-hydrolysis-deficient mutants (Cah-) lacked pRC1, and all 1-naphthol-utilization-deficient mutants (Nat-) lacked pRC2. The plasmid-free strain RC107 grew on gentisate as a carbon source. These two plasmids could be transferred to Cah- mutants or Nat- mutants by conjugation, resulting in the restoration of the Cah and Nah phenotypes.  (+info)

(5/3500) Altered properties of neuronal sodium channels associated with genetic resistance to pyrethroids.

Genetic resistance to pyrethroid insecticides involves nervous system insensitivity linked to regulatory and structural genes of voltage-sensitive sodium channels. We examined the properties and relative density of sodium channels in central neurons of susceptible and pyrethroid-resistant (Pyr-R) insects that were homozygous for the amino acid substitution V421M in the I-S6 transmembrane segment. Pyr-R sodium channels show approximately 21-fold lower sensitivity to the synthetic pyrethroid permethrin and a approximately 2-fold increased sensitivity to the alpha-scorpion toxin LqhalphaIT. Pyr-R channels also exhibit altered gating properties, including a approximately 13 mV positive shift in voltage-dependent activation and approximately 7 mV positive shift in steady-state inactivation. Consistent with these changes in gating behavior, Pyr-R central neurons are less excitable, as evidenced by an approximately 11 mV elevation of action potential threshold. No differences in sodium channel density are evident. The altered properties of Pyr-R sodium channels provide a plausible molecular basis for nervous system insensitivity associated with pyrethroid resistance.  (+info)

(6/3500) Estrogenic potential of certain pyrethroid compounds in the MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cell line.

Estrogens, whether natural or synthetic, clearly influence reproductive development, senescence, and carcinogenesis. Pyrethroid insecticides are now the most widely used agents for indoor pest control, providing potential for human exposure. Using the MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cell line, we studied the estrogenic potential of several synthetic pyrethroid compounds in vitro using pS2 mRNA levels as the end point. We tested sumithrin, fenvalerate, d-trans allethrin, and permethrin. Nanomolar concentrations of either sumithrin or fenvalerate were sufficient to increase pS2 expression slightly above basal levels. At micromolar concentrations, these two pyrethroid compounds induced pS2 expression to levels comparable to those elicited by 10 nM 17ss-estradiol (fivefold). The estrogenic activity of sumithrin was abolished with co-treatment with an antiestrogen (ICI 164,384), whereas estrogenic activity of fenvalerate was not significantly diminished with antiestrogen co-treatment. In addition, both sumithrin and fenvalerate were able to induce cell proliferation of MCF-7 cells in a dose-response fashion. Neither permethrin nor d-trans allethrin affected pS2 expression. Permethrin had a noticeable effect on cell proliferation at 100 microM, whereas d-trans allethrin slightly induced MCF-7 cell proliferation at 10 microM, but was toxic at higher concentrations. Overall, our studies imply that each pyrethroid compound is unique in its ability to influence several cellular pathways. These findings suggest that pyrethroids should be considered to be hormone disruptors, and their potential to affect endocrine function in humans and wildlife should be investigated.  (+info)

(7/3500) Relationships between environmental organochlorine contaminant residues, plasma corticosterone concentrations, and intermediary metabolic enzyme activities in Great Lakes herring gull embryos.

Experiments were conducted to survey and detect differences in plasma corticosterone concentrations and intermediary metabolic enzyme activities in herring gull (Larus argentatus) embryos environmentally exposed to organochlorine contaminants in ovo. Unincubated fertile herring gull eggs were collected from an Atlantic coast control site and various Great Lakes sites in 1997 and artificially incubated in the laboratory. Liver and/or kidney tissues from approximately half of the late-stage embryos were analyzed for the activities of various intermediary metabolic enzymes known to be regulated, at least in part, by corticosteroids. Basal plasma corticosterone concentrations were determined for the remaining embryos. Yolk sacs were collected from each embryo and a subset was analyzed for organochlorine contaminants. Regression analysis of individual yolk sac organochlorine residue concentrations, or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQs), with individual basal plasma corticosterone concentrations indicated statistically significant inverse relationships for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), non-ortho PCBs, and TEQs. Similarly, inverse relationships were observed for the activities of two intermediary metabolic enzymes (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and malic enzyme) when regressed against PCDDs/PCDFs. Overall, these data suggest that current levels of organochlorine contamination may be affecting the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and associated intermediary metabolic pathways in environmentally exposed herring gull embryos in the Great Lakes.  (+info)

(8/3500) Environmental contaminants and body fat distribution.

The effect of body mass index (BMI) and waist:hip ratio (WHR) on plasma levels of organochlorines [i.e., 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE)] was investigated in a sample of black and white women drawn from a population-based study in North Carolina. Organochlorine levels were determined in plasma samples from 99 women selected on the basis of race (black versus white) and quartile of the WHR (1st versus 4th). Of a panel of 20 organochlorine compounds tested, only DDE was detectable in most study subjects. Measurements of height, weight, and waist and hip circumferences were taken during an in-person interview. Information was elicited regarding dietary, residential, and breast-feeding histories. Results of multiple regression analyses indicate that black women had significantly higher plasma levels of DDE than white women. These levels were independent of BMI and WHR. BMI but not WHR was also found to be an independent predictor of DDE plasma level. These results suggest that black/white differences should be considered in studies that explore the relationship between environmental contaminants and various disease outcomes, such as breast cancer risk. In addition, BMI may affect circulating levels of contaminants and should also be considered a potentially important modifying factor for exposure to lipophilic substances.  (+info)