Maturation-dependent effects of chlorpyrifos and parathion and their oxygen analogs on acetylcholinesterase and neuronal and glial markers in aggregating brain cell cultures.Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2000 Jun 15; 165(3):175-83.TA
An in vitro model, the aggregating brain cell culture of fetal rat telencephalon, has been used to study the maturation-dependent sensitivity of brain cells to two organophosphorus pesticides (OPs), chlorpyrifos and parathion, and to their oxon derivatives. Immature (DIV 5-15) or differentiated (DIV 25-35) brain cells were treated continuously for 10 days. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory potency for the OPs was compared to that of eserine (physostigmine), a reversible AChE inhibitor. Oxon derivatives were more potent AChE inhibitors than the parent compounds, and parathion was more potent than chlorpyrifos. No maturation-dependent differences for AChE inhibition were found for chlorpyrifos and eserine, whereas for parathion and paraoxon there was a tendency to be more effective in immature cultures, while the opposite was true for chlorpyrifos-oxon. Toxic effects, assessed by measuring protein content as an index of general cytotoxicity, and various enzyme activities as cell-type-specific neuronal and glial markers (ChAT and GAD, for cholinergic and GABAergic neurons, respectively, and GS and CNP, for astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, respectively) were only found at more than 70% of AChE inhibition. Immature compared to differentiated cholinergic neurons appeared to be more sensitive to OP treatments. The oxon derivates were found to be more toxic on neurons than the parent compounds, and chlorpyrifos was more toxic than parathion. Eserine was not neurotoxic. These results indicate that inhibition of AChE remains the most sensitive macromolecular target of OP exposure, since toxic effects were found at concentrations in which AChE was inhibited. Furthermore, the compound-specific reactions, the differential pattern of toxicity of OPs compared to eserine, and the higher sensitivity of immature brain cells suggest that the toxic effects and inhibition of AChE are unrelated.