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Pest Manag Sci. 2005 Aug;61(8):742-8.

In vivo metabolic fate of [14C]-acetamiprid in six biological compartments of the honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

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INRA, Laboratoire de Toxicologie Environnementale, UMR 406 INRA-UAPV Ecologie des invertébrés, Site Agroparc, 84914 Avignon Cedex 9, France.


The in vivo metabolism of acetamiprid was studied in the honeybee, Apis mellifera L. The distribution of acetamiprid and its metabolites was monitored over a 72-h period in six biological compartments: head, thorax, abdomen, haemolymph, midgut and rectum. Honeybees were treated orally with 100 microg [14C]-acetamiprid kg(-1) bee, a dose which is about 1500 times lower than the median lethal dose. After 72 h, only 40% of the total radioactivity was eliminated, suggesting that acetamiprid and its metabolites tended to persist in the honeybee. Acetamiprid was rapidly distributed in all compartments and metabolized. Just after administration, radioactivity was mainly localized in the abdomen and subsequently in the rectum. After 72 h, the maximum amount of radioactivity (about 20% of the ingested dose) was detected again in the abdomen, whereas the lowest level of total radioactivity was detected in the haemolymph. Radioactivity in the head did not exceed 7.6% of total ingested radioactivity. More than 50% of acetamiprid was metabolised in less than 30 min, indicating a very short half-life for the compound. During the first hours, acetamiprid was mainly detected in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-rich tissues: abdomen, thorax and head. Of the seven metabolites detected, the major ones were 6-choronicotinic acid and an unknown metabolite called U1, which was present mainly in the rectum, the thorax and the head. Our results indicate that the low toxicity of acetamiprid may reflect its rapid metabolism.

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