More than 30% of the registered pesticides are chiral with one or more chiral centres and exist as two or more enantiomers. The frequency of chiral chemicals and their environmental safety has been considered in their risk assessment in recent decades. Despite the fact that metabolic disturbance is an important sensitive molecular initiating event of toxicology effects, the potential mechanisms of how chiral compounds affect metabolism phenotypes in organisms remain unclear. As a typical chiral pesticide, metalaxyl is an acylalanine fungicide with systemic function. Although the fungicidal activity almost comes from the R-enantiomer, the toxicity of both enantiomers in animals and human beings is not yet clear. In this study, a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics approach was adopted to evaluate the enantioselectivity in metabolic perturbations in adolescent rats. On the basis of multivariate statistical results, stable and evident metabolic profiles of the enantiomers were obtained. When rats were exposed to R-metalaxyl, the significantly perturbed metabolic pathways were biosynthesis of valine, leucine, and isoleucine, synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies, and metabolism of glycerolipid. In contrast, more significantly perturbed metabolic pathways were obtained when the rats were exposed to S-metalaxyl, including glycolysis, biosynthesis of valine, leucine, and isoleucine, metabolism of glycine, serine, and threonine, synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies, metabolism of glycerophospholipid and glycerolipid. These abnormal metabolic pathways were closely related to liver metabolism. These results offer more detailed information about the enantioselective metabolic effects of metalaxyl in adolescent development and provide data for the health risk assessment of metalaxyl at molecular level.
Authors: Gu J, Ji C, Yue S, Shu D, Su F, Zhang Y, Xie Y, Zhang Y, Liu W, Zhao M. ; Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology. 2018 May 1;52(9):5438-5447. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06540. Epub 2018 Apr 23.