An Experimental Approach to Study the Effects of Realistic Environmental Mixture of Linuron and Propamocarb on Zebrafish Synaptogenesis


The reasons behind the extensive use of pesticides include the need to destroy vector organisms and promote agricultural production in order to sustain population growth. Exposure to pesticides is principally occupational, even if their persistence in soil, surface water and food brings the risk closer to the general population, hence the demand for risk assessment, since these compounds exist not only as individual chemicals but also in form of mixtures. In light of this, zebrafish represents a suitable model for the evaluation of toxicological effects. Here, zebrafish embryos were exposed for 96 h post fertilization (hpf) to sublethal concentrations (350 µg/L) of linuron and propamocarb, used separately and then combined in a single solution. We investigated the effects on morphological traits and the expression of genes known to be implicated in synaptogenesis (neurexin1a and neuroligin3b). We observed alterations in some phenotypic parameters, such as head width and interocular distance, that showed a significant reduction (p < 0.05) for the mixture treatment. After individual exposure, the analysis of gene expression showed an imbalance at the synaptic level, which was partially recovered by the simultaneous administration of linuron and propamocarb. This preliminary study demonstrates that the combined substances were responsible for some unpredictable effects, diverging from the effect observed after single exposure. Thus, it is clear that risk assessment should be performed not only on single pesticides but also on their mixtures, the toxicological dynamics of which can be totally unpredictable.

Authors: Giulia Caioni, Carmine Merola, Monia Perugini, Michele d’Angelo, Anna Maria Cimini, Michele Amorena, Elisabetta Benedetti
; Full Source: International journal of environmental research and public health 2021 Apr 27;18(9):4664. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094664.