Apoptotic cell death in the central nervous system of Bufo arenarum tadpoles induced by cypermethrin

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Abstract

Tadpoles of the toad Bufo arenarum treated with cypermethrin (CY) at concentrations above 39 μg CY/L showed dose-dependent apoptotic cell death in immature cells of the central nervous system as demonstrated by morphometric analysis, the TUNEL method, and DNA fragmentation assay. Light-and electron-microscopic studies showed structural alterations in the intermediate and marginal layers of the brain. Immature cerebral tissue showed cellular shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation and increase of intercellular spaces. In this study we demonstrated high toxicity of CY to larval stages of Bufo arenarum. Our results show that doses lower than those used in routine insecticide applications can cause massive apoptosis in the immature cells of the central nervous system. These results coincide with our previous studies in Physalaemus biligonigerus, confirming the severe toxic effects of CY to the central nervous system of anuran species from Argentina. This may increase the mortality index in wild animals and contribute to the loss of biodiversity in our agroecosystems. We postulate that CY induces apoptosis in central nervous system cells of Bufo arenarum tadpoles by specific neurotoxic mechanisms.

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