Neurobehavioral problems following low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides: A systematic and meta-analytic review

Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London , Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT , UK.
Critical Reviews in Toxicology (Impact Factor: 5.1). 11/2012; 43(1). DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2012.738645
Source: PubMed


Meta-analysis was carried out to determine the neurotoxic effects of long-term exposure to low levels of organophosphates (OPs) in occupational settings. Concern about the effects of OPs on human health has been growing as they are increasingly used throughout the world for a variety of agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes. The neurotoxic effects of acute poisoning are well established but the possibility that low-level exposure causes ill health is controversial. It is important to get a clear answer to this question as more individuals are at risk of low-level exposure than acute poisoning. Although a number of reviews on this topic have been published in the past, authors have come to conflicting conclusions. To date, none of these reviews have attempted quantitative evaluation of study findings using meta-analysis. This paper reviews the available evidence concerning the neurotoxicity of low-level occupational exposure to OPs and goes on to report the results of a meta-analysis of 14 studies which fulfilled criteria for this type of statistical analysis (means and standard deviations of dependant variables reported). Data were assimilated from more than 1600 participants. The majority of well designed studies found a significant association between low-level exposure to OPs and impaired neurobehavioral function which is consistent, small to moderate in magnitude and concerned primarily with cognitive functions such as psychomotor speed, executive function, visuospatial ability, working and visual memory. Unresolved issues in the literature which should become the focus of further studies are highlighted and discussed.

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    • "Pesticides are widely used in almost every nation in the world. The indiscriminate use of pesticides in agriculture and for public health purposes has caused serious environmental and health problems [1]. Organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are one of the most commonly used pesticides, and their toxicity to humans and other nontarget species has caused increasing concern. "
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    ABSTRACT: Organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are among the most widely used synthetic chemicals for the control of a wide variety of pests, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by OPs may be involved in the toxicity of various pesticides. Previous studies have demonstrated that a reactivation of latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) could be induced by oxidative stress. In this study, we investigated whether OPs could reactivate EBV through ROS accumulation. The Raji cells were treated with chlorpyrifos (CPF), one of the most commonly used OPs. Oxidative stress indicators and the expression of the EBV immediate-early gene BZLF-1 were determined after CPF treatment. Our results show that CPF induces oxidative stress as evidenced by decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) level, accompanied by an increase in ROS production, DNA damage, glutathione (GSH) level, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity. Moreover, CPF treatment significantly enhances the expression of BZLF-1, and the increased BZLF-1 expression was ameliorated by N-acetylcysteine (NAC) incubation. These results suggest that OPs could contribute to the reactivation of the EBV lytic cycle through ROS induction, a process that may play an important role in the development of EBV-associated diseases.
    Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 08/2015; 2015(5):309125. DOI:10.1155/2015/309125 · 3.36 Impact Factor
    • "The widespread use of insecticides may therefore be of concern for (developmental) neurotoxicity in mammals, including humans (e.g. Mackenzie Ross et al., 2013). Insecticides are commonly classified according to their structure and bestknown neurotoxic mode of action. "
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    ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated that acute inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) is a common mode of action for (sub)micromolar concentrations of chemicals, including insecticides. However, because human exposure to chemicals is usually chronic and repeated, we investigated if selected insecticides from different chemical classes (organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethroids, carbamates, and neonicotinoids) also disturb calcium homeostasis after subchronic (24 h) exposure and after a subsequent (repeated) acute exposure. Effects on calcium homeostasis were investigated with single-cell fluorescence (Fura-2) imaging of PC12 cells. Cells were depolarized with high-K(+) saline to study effects of subchronic or repeated exposure on VGCC-mediated Ca(2+) influx. The results demonstrate that except for carbaryl and imidacloprid, all selected insecticides inhibited depolarization (K(+))-evoked Ca(2+) influx after subchronic exposure (IC50's: approximately 1-10 µM) in PC12 cells. These inhibitory effects were not or only slowly reversible. Moreover, repeated exposure augmented the inhibition of the K(+)-evoked increase in intracellular calcium concentration induced by subchronic exposure to cypermethrin, chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-oxon, and endosulfan (IC50's: approximately 0.1-4 µM). In rat primary cortical cultures, acute and repeated chlorpyrifos exposure also augmented inhibition of VGCCs compared with subchronic exposure. In conclusion, compared with subchronic exposure, repeated exposure increases the potency of insecticides to inhibit VGCCs. However, the potency of insecticides to inhibit VGCCs upon repeated exposure was comparable with the inhibition previously observed following acute exposure, with the exception of chlorpyrifos. The data suggest that an acute exposure paradigm is sufficient for screening chemicals for effects on VGCCs and that PC12 cells are a sensitive model for detection of effects on VGCCs.
    Toxicological Sciences 07/2015; DOI:10.1093/toxsci/kfv154 · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit impulses from one nerve to another or from nerves to effector organs. Numerous neurotransmitters have been described in mammals, amongst them acetylcholine, amino acids, amines, peptides and gases. Toxicants may interact with various parts of neurotransmission systems, including synthetic and degradative enzymes, presynaptic vesicles and the specialized receptors that characterize neurotransmission systems. Important toxicants acting on the cholinergic system include the anticholinesterases (organophosphates and carbamates) and substances that act on receptors such as nicotine and the neonicotinoid insecticides, including imidacloprid. An important substance acting on the glutamatergic system is domoic acid, responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning. 4-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine are inhibitory neurotransmitters and their antagonists, fipronil (an insecticide) and strychnine respectively, are excitatory. Abnormalities of dopamine neurotransmission occur in Parkinson's disease, and a number of substances that interfere with this system produce Parkinsonian symptoms and clinical signs, including notably 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, which is the precursor of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium. Fewer substances are known that interfere with adrenergic, histaminergic or seroninergic neurotransmission, but there are some examples. Among peptide neurotransmission systems, agonists of opioids are the only well-known toxic compounds.
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