The ciliotoxic potential of the organophosphorous insecticides Dursban and Lorsban, their active ingredient, chlorpyrifos, and their carrier ingredients (Blanks) were assessed. Since chlorpyrifos inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the acetylcholine-innervated ciliated epithelial cultures of frog palate were used as the model. All compounds caused a decrease in frequency of ciliary beat overtime. EC50 values followed the same order as the time to inhibition. The orders were Lorsban > Dursban > chlorpyrifos, and Lorsban > Dursban approximately Lorsban Blank > Dursban Blank. Stimulation of ciliary beating occurred immediately after exposure to all compounds, followed by inhibition. Dursban, Lorsban, and both Blanks elicited stimulatory effects in the presence of atropine. Atropine only blocked the initial stimulatory response with chlorpyrifos. In addition to chlorpyrifos, some component(s) of the inert ingredients were initially stimulatory but ultimately inhibitory to ciliary beating in the frog palate model. All compounds caused mitochondrial damage, including swelling, disruption of cristae, and loss of matrix.
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