Environmentally relevant mixing ratios in cumulative assessments: A study of the kinetics of pyrethroids and their ester cleavage metabolites in blood and brain; and the effect of a pyrethroid mixture on the motor activity of rats

  • James M. Starr, Stephen E. Graham, David G. Ross, Rogelio Tornero-Velez, Edward J. Scollon, Michael J. DeVito, Kevin M. Crofton, Marcelo J. Wolansky, Michael F. Hughes
  • Toxicology, June 2014, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.tox.2014.02.016

Pyrethroid Mixture Kinetics

What is it about?

National surveys of United States households and child care centers have demonstrated that pyrethroids are widely distributed in indoor habited dwellings and this suggests that co-exposure to multiple pyrethroids occurs in nonoccupational settings. The purpose of this research was to use an environmentally relevant mixture of pyrethroids to assess their cumulative effect on motor activity and develop kinetic profiles for these pyrethroids and their hydrolytic metabolites in brain and blood of rats. Rats were dosed orally at one of two levels (1.5× or 5.0× the calculated dose that decreases rat motor activity by 30%) with a mixture of cypermethrin, deltamethrin, esfenvalerate, cis-/trans-permethrin, and β-cyfluthrin in corn oil. At 1, 2, 4, 8, or 24 h after dosing, the motor activity of each animal was assessed and the animals sacrificed. Concentrations of pyrethroids in brain and blood, and the following metabolites: cis-/trans-dichlorovinyl-dimethylcyclopropane-carboxylic acid, 3-phenoxybenzoic acid, 3-phenoxybenzyl alcohol, 4-fluoro-3-phenoxybenzoic acid, and cis-dibromovinyl-dimethylcyclopropane-carboxylic acid were determined using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). Using this pyrethroid mixture in rats, the results suggest there is greater metabolism of trans-permethrin prior to entering the systemic circulatory system. All pyrethroids had tissue half-lives (t1/2) of less than 5 h, excepting esfenvalerate in brain. At early time points, relative pyrethroid brain concentrations approximated their dose mixture proportions and a sigmoidal Emax model described the relationship between motor activity decrease and total pyrethroid brain concentration. In blood, the t1/2's of the cyclopropane metabolites were longer than the phenoxybenzoic metabolites. However, relative to their respective precursors, concentrations of the phenoxybenzoic acids were much higher than concentrations of the cyclopropane metabolites. Brain concentrations of all metabolites were low relative to blood concentrations.

Why is it important?

This implies limited metabolite penetration of the blood-brain barrier and little metabolite formation within the brain. In conclusion: toxicokinetic differences between the pyrethroids did not appear to be important determinants of their relative potency and their effect on motor activity was consistent with a pyrethroid dose additive model.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Kevin M Crofton

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