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Neurotoxicology. 2009 Nov;30(6):1045-52. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2009.06.013. Epub 2009 Jul 5.

Agonist actions of clothianidin on synaptic and extrasynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed on cockroach sixth abdominal ganglion.

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Laboratoire Récepteurs et Canaux Ioniques Membranaires, UPRES EA 2647/USC INRA 2023, IFR 149 QUASAV, UFR Sciences, Université d'Angers, 49045 Angers, France.


Clothianidin is new neonicotinoid insecticide acting selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Its effects on nAChRs expressed on cercal afferent/giant interneuron synapses and DUM neurons have been studied using mannitol-gap and whole-cell patch-clamp techniques, respectively. Bath-application of clothianidin-induced dose-dependent depolarizations of cockroach cercal afferent/giant interneuron synapses which were not reversed after wash-out suggesting a strong desensitization of postsynaptic interneurons at the 6th abdominal ganglion (A6). Clothinidin activity on the nerve preparation was characterized by an increased firing rate of action potentials which then ceased when the depolarization reached a peak. Clothianidin responses were insensitive to all muscarinic antagonists tested but were blocked by co-application of specific nicotinic antagonists methyllicaconitine, alpha-bungarotoxin and d-tubocurarine. In a second round of experiment, clothianidin actions were tested on DUM neurons isolated from the A6. There was a strong desensitization of nAChRs which was not affected by muscarinic antagonists, pirenzepine and atropine, but was reduced with nicotinic antagonist alpha-bungarotoxin. In addition, clothianidin-induced currents were completely blocked by methyllicaconitine suggesting that (1) clothianidin acted as a specific agonist of nAChR subtypes and (2) a small proportion of receptors blocked by MLA was insensitive to alpha-bungarotoxin. Moreover, because clothianidin currents were blocked by d-tubocurarine and mecamylamine, we provided that clothianidin was an agonist of both nAChRs: imidacloprid-sensitive nAChR1 and -insensitive nAChR2 subtypes.

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