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Cyclodiene resistance at the insect GABA receptor/chloride channel complex confers broad cross resistance to convulsants and experimental phenylpyrazole insecticides.

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Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg.


This study investigated the pharmacological profile of cyclodiene resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and the mode of action of a phenylpyrazole insecticide, JKU 0422. Toxicological studies were performed with a sucrose bait assay containing the synergist piperonyl butoxide. The Maryland strain of D. melanogaster was resistant to dieldrin, lindane, picrotoxinin, TBPS, p-CN-TBOB, and JKU 0422. In contrast, this strain was susceptible to cypermethrin and the avermectins MK-243, abamectin, and abamectin 8,9-oxide. Neurophysiological studies showed that both TBPS and JKU 0422 reversed the inhibitory action of GABA in central nerve preparations from susceptible D. melanogaster. However, the response to these compounds was attenuated in nerve preparations from the resistant Maryland strain, which indicated that the resistance was expressed at the level of the nerve. Topical toxicity bioassays with JKU 0422 on susceptible (CSMA) and cyclodiene-resistant (LPP) strains of German cockroach revealed a resistance ratio of 553-fold for this compound. These studies demonstrate that cyclodiene resistance in D. melanogaster confers broad cross resistance toward compounds thought to block the GABA-gated chloride channel in a manner similar to the cyclodienes. Moreover, the cross resistance extends to JKU 0422, and resistance to this compound is also present in a strain of cyclodiene-resistant German cockroach. These toxicological results, along with the neurophysiological studies, confirm that JKU 0422 has a mode of action that is similar to the cyclodienes and TBPS. These findings suggest that the introduction and use of new chloride channel antagonists as insecticides should be managed carefully in order to prevent the rapid development of resistance in the field.

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