Screening for developmental neurotoxicity using PC12 cells: comparisons of organophosphates with a carbamate, an organochlorine, and divalent nickel.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: In light of the large number of chemicals that are potential developmental neurotoxicants, there is a need to develop rapid screening techniques. OBJECTIVES: We exposed undifferentiated and differentiating neuronotypic PC12 cells to different organophosphates (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, parathion), a carbamate (physostigmine), an organochlorine (dieldrin), and a metal (divalent nickel; Ni2+) and examined indices of cell replication and differentiation for both short- and long-term exposures. RESULTS: In undifferentiated cells, all the agents inhibited DNA synthesis, with the greatest effect for diazinon, but physostigmine eventually produced the largest deficits in the total number of cells after prolonged exposure. The onset of differentiation intensified the adverse effects on DNA synthesis and changed the rank order in keeping with a shift away from noncholinergic mechanisms and toward cholinergic mechanisms. Differentiation also worsened the effects of each agent on cell number after prolonged exposure, whereas cell growth was not suppressed, nor were there any effects on viability as assessed with trypan blue. Nevertheless, differentiating cells displayed signs of oxidative stress from all of the test compounds except Ni2+, as evidenced by measurements of lipid peroxidation. Finally, all of the toxicants shifted the transmitter fate of the cells away from the cholinergic phenotype and toward the catecholaminergic phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: These studies point out the feasibility of developing cell-based screening methods that enable the detection of multiple end points that may relate to mechanisms associated with developmental neurotoxicity, revealing some common targets for disparate agents.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Slotkin, TA; MacKillop, EA; Ryde, IT; Tate, CA; Seidler, FJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 115 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 93 - 101

PubMed ID

  • 17366826

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1797840

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-6765

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1289/ehp.9527


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States