Neonicotinoid insecticides are potential substrates of the multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) mechanism in the non-target invertebrate, Dreissena sp.

A. Vehovszky, A. Farkas, Vivien Csikós, A. Székács, Mária Mörtl, János Győri

Research output: Article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mussels are among the most frequently used invertebrate animals in aquatic toxicology to detect toxic exposure in the environment. The presence and activity of a cellular defence system, the multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) mechanism, was also established in these organisms. In isolated gill tissues of dreissenid mussels (D. bugensis) the MXR activity was assayed after treatment by commercially available insecticides (formulated products) which contain neonicotinoids as their active ingredients: Actara (thiamethoxam), Apacs (clothianidin), Calypso (thiacloprid) and Kohinor (imidacloprid), respectively. While applying the accumulation assay method, 0.5 μM rhodamine B was used as model substrate and 20 μM verapamil as model inhibitor of the MXR mechanism. In acute (in vitro) experiments when isolated gills were co-incubated in graded concentrations of insecticides and rhodamine B simultaneously, Calypso and Kohinor treatment resulted increasing rhodamine accumulation. Chemical analysis of gills in vitro incubated in insecticides demonstrated higher tissue concentrations of thiamethoxam, clothianidin and thiacloprid in the presence of verapamil suggesting that the active ingredients of Actara, Apacs and Calypso are potential substrates of the MXR mediated cellular efflux. In contrast, verapamil did significantly alter the accumulated imidacloprid concentrations in gills, suggesting that the active component of Kohinor is not transported by the MXR mechanism. Chronic (in vivo) exposures of the intact animals in lower, 1, 10 mg/L concentration of neonicotinoid products, resulted in a decreased level of both rhodamine accumulation and verapamil inhibition by the 12th–14th days of treatment. These results suggest an enhancement of MXR activity (chemostimulation), building up gradually in the animals exposed to Actara, Apacs and Kohinor, respectively. Neonicotinoid-type insecticides are generally considered as selective neurotoxins for insects, targeting the nicotinic type acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in their central nervous system. Our present results provide the first evidences that neonicotinoid insecticides are also able to alter the transmembrane transport mechanisms related to the MXR system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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