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The Biological Effects of Bifenthrin on T-cells and Neurons: A Comparison of Activity

By webmaster on April 08,2008

Avishek Nandi1, Daljit Chandi1, Caitlin Thurber1, Laura DeLuca1, Stephen C. Pryor2, Ashlea McLaughlin2, Lydia Gibson2, Josephine A. Bonventre1, Katherine Flynn1, and Benjamin S. Weeks1*



Pyrethroids are considered a less toxic class of pesticide, and are therefore increasingly formulated for household use. Here we compare the toxicity of the pyrethroid (bifenthrin) with the organochlorine (lindane) and the mitochondrial poison (rotenone) to mammalian T-cells and neurons. Cells were treated for twenty-four hours with various concentrations of pesticide and then assessed for morphology and measured for viability using trypan blue exclusion. Lindane and rotenone produced an LD50 of 500 mM and 500 nM respectively in T-cells and 5 mM and 250 nM respectively in neurons. Lindane and rotenone had a lowest observable effect level (LOEL) of 100 mM and 50 nM respectively in T-cells and 100 nM and 1 nM respectively in neurons. While significant toxicity was observed with lindane and rotenone, bifenthrin did not reduce the viability of either cell type at concentrations as high as 1 mM. However, bifenthrin stimulated T-cell homotypic aggregation which is associated with cell activation. Further, bifenthrin inhibited the neurons from forming neurites. While these results support the claim that pyrethroids are less toxic than many other pesticides, they raise concerns that chronic exposure to pyrethroids could contribute to inflammation and hypersensitivity and also to developmental neurotoxicity and neurodegenerative diseases.

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