Developmental neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos in vivo and in vitro: effects on nuclear transcription factors involved in cell replication and differentiation.
Chlorpyrifos is a widely used organophosphate insecticide that is a suspected developmental neurotoxin. Although chlorpyrifos exerts some effects through cholinesterase inhibition, recent studies suggest additional, direct actions on developing cells. We assessed the effects of chlorpyrifos on nuclear transcription factors involved in cell replication and differentiation using in vitro and in vivo models. HeLa nuclear protein extracts were incubated with the labeled consensus oligonucleotides for AP-1 and Sp1 transcription factors in the presence and absence of chlorpyrifos. In concentrations previously shown to affect cell development, chlorpyrifos reduced AP-1, but not Sp1 DNA-binding activity. Next, chlorpyrifos was incubated with PC12 cells either during cell replication or after initiation of differentiation with NGF. Chlorpyrifos evoked stage-specific interference with the expression of the transcription factors: Sp1 was reduced in replicating and differentiating cells, whereas AP-1 was affected only during differentiation. Finally, neonatal rats were given apparently subtoxic doses of chlorpyrifos either on postnatal days 1-4 or 11-14 and the effects were evaluated in the forebrain (an early-developing, cholinergic target region) and cerebellum (late-developing region, poor in cholinergic innervation). Again, chlorpyrifos evoked stage-specific changes in transcription factor expression and binding activity, with greater effects on Sp1 during active neurogenesis, and effects on AP-1 during differentiation. The changes were present in both forebrain and cerebellum and were gender-specific. These results indicate that chlorpyrifos interferes with brain development, in part by multiple alterations in the activity of transcription factors involved in the basic machinery of cell replication and differentiation. Noncholinergic actions of chlorpyrifos that are unique to brain development reinforce the need to examine endpoints other than cholinesterase inhibition.
Crumpton, TL; Seidler, FJ; Slotkin, TA
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