Organophosphate pesticides induce morphological abnormalities and decreased locomotor activity and heart rate in Danio rerio and Xenopus laevis
Organophosphate pesticides (OPs), a class of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, are widely used in agriculture to reduce insect populations. Due to the conservation of acetylcholinesterase between invertebrates and vertebrates, OPs can also adversely affect non‐target species, such as aquatic and terrestrial animals. This study used uniform conditions to analyze the morphological and physiological effects caused by developmental exposure to three commonly used OPs, chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, and diazinon on two aquatic vertebrate species, Danio rerio and Xenopus laevis. Survival, locomotor activity, heart rate, and gross anatomical abnormalities including kyphosis and edema, were observed over a five‐day period in response to OP concentrations ranging from 0–1000 µM. Both zebrafish and Xenopus showed decreased survival for all three OPs at higher concentrations. However, Xenopus showed higher mortality than zebrafish at lower chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos concentrations. Both models showed a dose‐dependent decrease in heart rate and free‐swimming larval activity in response to chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos. Additionally, kyphosis and decreased spine length were prominent in Xenopus in response to 10 µM of chlorpyrifos and 0.1 µM dichlorvos. While diazinon induced no effects on skeletal and cardiac motor activity in either species, it did induce cardiac edemas in zebrafish. Differences in the biological actions of OPs and their differential effects in these two vertebrate models demonstrate the importance of using common protocols and multiple models to evaluate the ecotoxicology of OPs. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC
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