Ultraviolet photolysis of chlorpyrifos: developmental neurotoxicity modeled in PC12 cells.
BACKGROUND: Ultraviolet photodegradation products from pesticides form both in the field and during water treatment. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the photolytic breakdown of the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) in terms of both the chemical entities generated by low-pressure ultraviolet C irradiation and their potential as developmental neurotoxicants. METHODS: We separated by-products using high-performance liquid chromatography and characterized them by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. We assessed neurotoxicity in neuronotypic PC12 cells, both in the undifferentiated state and during differentiation. RESULTS: Photodegradation of CPF in methanol solution generated CPF oxon and trichloropyridinol, products known to retain developmental neurotoxicant actions, as well as a series of related organophosphate and phosphorothionate derivatives. Exposure conditions that led to 50% degradation of CPF thus did not reduce developmental neurotoxicity. The degradation mixture inhibited DNA synthesis in undifferentiated cells to the same extent as native CPF. In differentiating cells, the products likewise retained the full ability to elicit shortfalls in cell number and corresponding effects on cell growth and neurite formation. When the exposure was prolonged to the point where 70% of the CPF was degraded, the adverse effects on PC12 cells were no longer evident; however, these conditions were sufficiently severe to generate toxic products from the methanol vehicle. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that field conditions or remediation treatments that degrade a significant proportion of the CPF do not necessarily produce inactive products and, indeed, may elicit formation of even more toxic chemicals that are more water soluble and thus have greater field mobility than CPF itself.
Slotkin, TA; Seidler, FJ; Wu, C; MacKillop, EA; Linden, KG
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