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Acta toxicológica argentina

versión On-line ISSN 1851-3743


LASCANO, Cecilia Inés; SOTOMAYOR, Verónica; FERRARI, Ana  y  VENTURINO, Andrés. Alterations in embryonic development, polyamines and oxidative stress induced by organophosphates in Rhinella arenarum. Acta toxicol. argent. [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.1, pp. 8-19. ISSN 1851-3743.

Organophosphate (OP) pesticides are widely applied in the region of Alto Valle de Río Negro y Neuquén, affecting the ecosystem. We use an amphibian embryonic model (Rhinella arenarum) in order to assess the mechanisms by which the OP pesticides azinphos methyl (AM) and chlorpyrifos (CP) could cause teratogenesis. The embryos were developed in different concentrations of AM or CP until they reached the stage of complete operculum (CO). We analyzed malformations, histology, reduced gluthatione content (GSH) and activity of antioxidant enzymes, polyamine content, ornithine decarboxilase (ODC) and protein kinase C (PKC) activities. Both OP pesticides caused a time- and dose-dependent increase in the number of malformations, reaching 100% teratogenesis in late embryonic development at the highest OP concentrations used. Malformations assessed include exogastrulation, caudal fin curvature, axial shortening, edema, and gill atrophy. Increasing evidence of oxidative stress was observed: GSH dependent enzymes (S- transferase, GST; peroxidase and reductase) were early induced in embryos exposed to low concentrations of the OP pesticides, but their activities were inhibited in the stage of CO at high concentrations of OP. These changes were accompanied by a significant decrease in GSH content (62%) in embryos exposed to AM. Besides, AM significantly increased (18X) ODC activity in the stage of CO, along with putrescine levels (60% of increase) but spermidine and spermine levels were significantly decreased (56% and 100%, respectively). The OP pesticide CP caused and early decrease in ODC activity and polyamine levels. The decrease in polyamine levels could be due to an increase in their degradation by polyamine oxidase, contributing to the oxidative stress induced by OP. This, in turn, would cause the decline in GSH levels and the activation of PKC in the embryonic stage of CO (55%), which is involved in the positive feedback of GST and ODC. Finally, the oxidative stress and the decrease in PA levels could be the cause of the observed embryonic alterations.

Palabras clave : Teratogenesis; Amphibians; Pesticides; Biomarkers.

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