Comparative teratogenicity of chlorpyrifos and malathion on Xenopus laevis development

Bonfanti, P., Colombo, A., Orsi, F., Nizzetto, I., Andrioletti, M., Bacchetta, R., Mantecca, P., Fascio, U., Vailati, G., Vismara, C. (2004)

Aquatic Toxicology, 70(3), 189-200

The embryotoxic potential of chlorpyrifos (CPF) and malathion (MTN), two organophosphorus insecticides (OPs), was evaluated by modified Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX). CPF and MTN were not embryolethal even at the highest concentration tested (6000 microg/l), but both exhibited a powerful teratogenicity. The probit analysis of malformed larva percentages showed a TC(50) of 161.54mug/l for CPF, and a TC(50) of 2394.01 microg/l for MTN. Therefore, CPF teratogenicity was about 15 times higher than MTN. Larvae of both exposed groups were mainly affected by ventral and/or lateral tail flexure coupled with abnormal gut coiling. Histopathological diagnosis displayed abnormal myotomes and myocytes with marked hypertrophies localized at the cell extremity, probably due to a break away of myofibril extremities at the intersomitic junction level. We speculate that this muscular damage was related to inhibition of acetylcholinesterase that showed a clear concentration-response in CPF and MTN exposed larvae. The teratogenic effects of these anti-cholinesterase compounds on Xenopus laevis myogenesis suggest a possible role played by OPs on induction of congenital muscular dystrophy.

Subject headings: Abnormalities, Drug-Induced/pathology; Animals; Biological Assay; Chlorpyrifos/toxicity; Cholinesterase Inhibitors/toxicity; Histological Techniques; Malathion/toxicity; Muscles/abnormalities; Tail/abnormalities; Xenopus laevis/abnormalities/embryology

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2911