Effects of monocrotophos pesticide on cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems during early development in the sea urchinHemicentrotus pulcherrimus

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Abstract

During early development in sea urchins, classical neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine (ACh), dopamine (DA), and serotonin (5-HT), play important roles in the regulation of morphogenesis and swimming behavior. However, the underlying mechanisms of how organophosphate pesticides cause developmental neurotoxicity by interfering with different neurotransmitter systems are unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of 0.01, 0.10, and 1.00 mg/L monocrotophos (MCP) pesticide on the activity of acetyltransferase (ChAT), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), monoamine oxidase, the concentration of DA, dopamine transporter, and the transcription activity of DA receptor D1 and tyrosine hydroxylase, during critical periods in cholinergic and dopaminergic nervous system development in sea urchin (Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus) embryos and larvae. At the blastula stages, MCP disrupted DA metabolism but not 5-HT metabolism, resulting in abnormal development. High ChAT and AChE activity were observed at the gastrulation-completed stage and the two-armed pluteus stage, respectively, MCP inhibited ChAT activity and AChE activity/distribution and resulted in developmental defects of the plutei. From the gastrula stage to the two-armed pluteus stage, we found ubiquitous disrupting effects of MCP on ACh, DA, and 5-HT metabolism, particularly at critical periods during the development of these neurotransmitter systems. Therefore, we propose that this disruption is one of the main mechanisms of MCP-related developmental neurotoxicity, which would contribute better understanding insight into the mechanism of MCP pesticide's toxic effects.

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