Carbofuran Alters Centrosome and Spindle Organization, and Delays Cell Division in Oocytes and Mitotic Cells

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Abstract

Although many countries banned of its usage, carbofuran (CF) is still one of the most commonly used carbamate derivative insecticides against insects and nematodes in agriculture and household, threatening the human and animal health by contaminating air, water, and food. Our goal was to evaluate the potential toxic effects of CF on mammalian oocytes besides mitotic cells. Caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway was assessed by immunofluorescence and western blot techniques. Alterations in the meiotic spindle formation after CF exposure throughout the in vitro maturation of mice oocyte-cumulus complexes (COCs) were analyzed by using a 3D confocal laser microscope. Maturation efficiency and kinetics were assessed by direct observation of the COCs. Results indicated that the number of TUNEL-positive cells increased in CF-exposed groups, particularly higher doses (>250 µM) in a dose-dependent fashion. The ratio of anticleaved caspase-3 labeled cells in those groups positively correlated with TUNEL-positivity. Western blot analysis confirmed a significant increase in active caspase-3 activity. CF caused a dose-dependent accumulation of oocytes at prometaphase-I (PM-I) of meiosis. Partial loss of spindle microtubules (MTs) was noted, which consequently gave rise to a diamond shape spindle. Aberrant pericentrin foci were noted particularly in PM-I and metaphase-I (M-I) stages. Conclusively, CF (1) induces programmed cell death in a dose-dependent manner, and (2) alters spindle morphology most likely through a mechanism that interacts with MT assembly and/or disorientation of pericentriolar proteins. Overall, data suggest that CF could give rise to aneuploidy or cell death in higher doses, therefore reduce fertilization and implantation rates.

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