Effects of acute insecticide exposure on neuronal activity in vitro in rat cortical cultures

In our recent article, we present sex-specific in vitro data on the acute neurotoxicity of different classes of insecticides. Specifically, we studied the sex-specific effects of different carbamates, organophosphates, organochlorines, and pyrethroids on neuronal network function in sex-separated rat primary cortical cultures using micro-electrode array (MEA) recordings. Our findings indicate that exposure to the organophosphates chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon differentially impairs neuronal activity. Notably, (network) burst patterns differed between CPF and CPO, with CPO inducing fewer, but more intense (network) bursts. The organochlorines endosulfan, dieldrin, and lindane induced hyperactivity at low micromolar levels. Interestingly, females were more sensitive to endosulfan than males. Exposure to type I (permethrin) and type II (alpha-cypermethrin) pyrethroids exerts opposing effects on neuronal activity, with permethrin increasing neuronal activity, while alpha-cypermethrin strongly decreases neuronal activity. The increase seen after permethrin exposure was more pronounced in males than in females. Together, these results show that acute exposure to different classes of pesticides exerts differential effects on neuronal activity. Our study shows that MEA recordings are suited to detect sex-specific neurotoxic effects in vitro. To our knowledge, this is the first time in vitro sex-specific acute effects have been found after insecticide exposure, highlighting the novelty of our approach.

For more details, see the full article (open access) here: “Effects of acute insecticide exposure on neuronal activity in vitro in rat cortical cultures”