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ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 Feb 21;9(2):369-380. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.7b00364. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Endosulfan and Cypermethrin Pesticide Mixture Induces Synergistic or Antagonistic Effects on Developmental Exposed Rats Depending on the Analyzed Behavioral or Neurochemical End Points.

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Laboratorio de Neurobiología, Centro Investigación Príncipe Felipe , Valencia 46012, Spain.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cardenal Herrera University-CEU, CEU Universities , Avda del Pozo s/n, Alfara del Patriarca 46115, Spain.


Exposure to pesticides has been associated with neurodevelopmental toxicity. Usually people are exposed to mixtures of pesticides. However, most studies analyze the effects of individual pesticides. Developmental exposure to mixtures of pesticides may result in additive effects or in antagonistic or synergistic effects. The aim of this work was to compare the effects of developmental exposure of rats to cypermethrin or endosulfan with the effects of its mixture on cognitive and motor function and on some underlying mechanisms. Exposure to individual pesticides or the mixture was from gestational day 7 to postnatal day 21. We analyzed the effects, in males and females, on spatial learning and memory, associative learning, anxiety, motor coordination, and spontaneous motor activity. We also analyzed neuroinflammation and NMDA receptor subunits in hippocampus and extracellular GABA in cerebellum. Exposure to the mixture, but not to individual pesticides, impaired spatial memory in males, associative learning in females, and increased motor activity in males and females. This indicates a synergistic effect of cypermethrin and endolsufan exposure on these end points. In contrast, motor coordination was impaired by individual exposure to endosulfan or cypermethrin, associated with increased extracellular GABA in cerebellum, but these effects were prevented in rats exposed to the mixture, indicating an antagonistic effect of cypermethrin and endolsufan exposure on these end points. The results show different interaction modes (synergism or antagonism) of the pesticides, depending on the end point analyzed and the sex of the rats.


Pesticide mixture; cytokines; learning; memory; motor function; neurotransmission

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