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Toxicol Sci. 2001 Jun;61(2):304-13.

Increasing uptake and bioactivation with development positively modulate diazinon toxicity in early life stage medaka (Oryzias latipes).

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  • 1School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology, and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California at Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.


Diazinon, an organophosphate pesticide, becomes biotransformed to a more potent oxon metabolite that inhibits acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Early life stages (els) of medaka, Oryzias latipes, were used to determine how development of this teleost affects sensitivity to diazinon. With developmental progression, from day of fertilization to 7-day-old larvae, we found that the 96-h LC50 and AChE IC50 values decreased, indicating greater host sensitivity to diazinon upon continued development. We then examined changes in AChE activity, its inhibition by the active metabolite diazoxon, and uptake and bioactivation of the compound. AChE activity remained low during much of development but increased rapidly just prior to hatch. In addition, in vitro incubation of tissue homogenates from embryos or larvae showed no differences in the sensitivity of AChE to diazoxon. Uptake studies with 14C-diazinon revealed greater body burdens of 14C as medaka developed. In addition, AChE IC50 values determined by in vivo exposure to diazoxon were greater in larvae than in embryos. Because diazinon is bioactivated by the P450 enzyme system, two P450 inhibitors were used in vivo to explore the role of metabolism in sensitivity. When exposure to diazinon occurred in the presence of increasing amounts of piperonyl butoxide (PBO), AChE inhibition decreased in a dose-response fashion and 2.0 x 10(-5) M PBO alleviated any difference in inhibition between larvae and embryos. However, PBO did not alter total 14C uptake when exposed simultaneously with 14C-diazinon, nor did it affect AChE inhibition using diazoxon. Controls ruled out differential effects of PBO on uptake and inhibition. In addition, a second general P450 inhibitor, 1-aminobenzotriazole, also decreased AChE inhibition. Finally, using exogenous acetylcholinesterase as a trap for the oxon metabolite, larval microsomes displayed greater bioactivation of diazinon than did a microsomal preparation from embryos. Taken together, results suggest that uptake and bioactivation are working to enhance diazinon sensitivity in this developmental model of a teleost fish.

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