Does malaoxon play a role in the geno- and cytotoxic effects of malathion on human choriocarcinoma cells?

Rita Galántai, Blanka Emody-Kiss, Zoltán Somosy, Gabriella Bognár, Gyozo Horváth, Zsolt Forgács, András Gachályi, Mária Szilasi

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This investigation was undertaken to elucidate whether the active metabolite of malathion, malaoxon, has any role in exerting cyto- and genotoxic effects for human choriocarcinoma (JAR) cell line which is an acceptable model for human placental cells. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis were separately performed on the cell compartment and supernatant cell culture medium after subjecting the cell line to different malathion concentrations (10-400 μg/mL) and for various incubation periods (0.5 to 24 hours). GC-MS analysis showed that the sonication performed for the disruption of the cells did not cause the chemical change of malathion. The uptake of malathion by the cells was relatively fast. However, the presence of malaoxon, even in trace amounts, could not be confirmed either in samples originating from disrupted cells or in the cell culture medium. Although the hydrolysis of malaoxon occurred in the culture medium, this degradation process could not be counted as a reason for the absence of malaoxon. Since both malathion and malaoxon standard compounds could be accurately detected and distinguished by the applied liquid-liquid extraction and GC-MS methods, one can conclude that, in the case of JAR cells, the parent compound, (i.e. malathion itself) is responsible for the observed in vitro cyto- and genotoxic effects. Our results indicate that the direct toxicity of malathion contributes to the complications of pregnancy observed for environmental malathion exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-779
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of environmental science and health. Part. B, Pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - nov. 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pollution

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