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Insect nicotinic receptor interactions in vivo with neonicotinoid, organophosphorus, and methylcarbamate insecticides and a synergist

Xusheng Shao, Shanshan Xia, Kathleen A. Durkin and John E. Casida
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 110, No. 43 (October 22, 2013), pp. 17273-17277
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23753208
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

The nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR) is the principal insecticide target. Nearly half of the insecticides by number and world market value are neonicotinoids acting as nAChR agonists or organophosphorus (OP) and methylcarbamate (MC) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors. There was no previous evidence for in vivo interactions of the nAChR agonists and AChE inhibitors. The nitromethyleneimidazole (NMI) analog of imidacloprid, a highly potent neonicotinoid, was used here as a radioligand, uniquely allowing for direct measurements of house fly (Musca domestica) head nAChR in vivo interactions with various nicotinic agents. Nine neonicotinoids inhibited house fly brain nAChR [ 3 H]NMI binding in vivo, corresponding to their in vitro potency and the poisoning signs or toxicity they produced in intrathoracically treated house flies. Interestingly, nine topically applied OP or MC insecticides or analogs also gave similar results relative to in vivo nAChR binding inhibition and toxicity, but now also correlating with in vivo brain AChE inhibition, indicating that ACh is the ultimate OP- or MC-induced nAChR active agent. These findings on [ 3 H]NMI binding in house fly brain membranes validate the nAChR in vivo target for the neonicotinoids, OPs and MCs. As an exception, the remarkably potent OP neonicotinoid synergist, O-propyl O-(2-propynyl) phenylphosphonate, inhibited nAChR in vivo without the corresponding AChE inhibition, possibly via a reactive ketene metabolite reacting with a critical nucleophile in the cytochrome P450 active site and the nAChR NMI binding site.

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