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CYP6D1 protects thoracic ganglia of houseflies from the neurotoxic insecticide cypermethrin.

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Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-0901, USA.


CYP6D1 is a housefly cytochrome P450 known to metabolize neurotoxic pyrethroid insecticides. To determine if the nervous system was capable of metabolizing pyrethroids, we examined CYP6D1-mediated in vitro metabolism in thoracic ganglia from pyrethroid-resistant (LPR) and -susceptible (CS) strains of housefly. SDS-PAGE/immunoblotting revealed that CYP6D1 was expressed in all tagmata and in thoracic ganglia of both strains, but in all cases the levels of CYP6D1 were higher in the LPR strain. Using a CYP6D1-specific antiserum, we found CYP6D1 to be the major, and possibly the only, P450 isozyme involved in cypermethrin metabolism in thoracic ganglia homogenates. Additionally, thoracic ganglia homogenates from LPR houseflies metabolize more cypermethrin than preparations from susceptible flies. This metabolism was inhibited by piperonyl butoxide and a CYP6D1-specific antibody. Our results indicate that thoracic ganglia of LPR houseflies are protected from the neurotoxin cypermethrin by virtue of the higher levels of CYP6D1 compared to the susceptible houseflies. This P450-mediated detoxification of an insecticide at the level of the target tissue helps to explain the high levels of resistance to pyrethroids in the LPR strain.

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