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Bixafen, a succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor fungicide, causes microcephaly and motor neuron axon defects during development

Abstract : Succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHIs), the most widely used fungicides in agriculture today, act by blocking succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), an essential and evolutionarily conserved component of mitochondrial respiratory chain. Recent results showed that several SDHIs used as fungicides not only inhibit the SDH activity of target fungi but also block this activity in human cells in in vitro models, revealing a lack of specificity and thus a possible health risk for exposed organisms, including humans. Despite the frequent detection of SDHIs in the environment and on harvested products and their increasing use in modern agriculture, their potential toxic effects in vivo, especially on neurodevelopment, are still under-evaluated. Here we assessed the neurotoxicity of bixafen, one of the latest-generation SDHIs, which had never been tested during neurodevelopment. For this purpose, we used a well-known vertebrate model for toxicity testing, namely zebrafish transparent embryos, and live imaging using transgenic lines labelling the brain and spinal cord. Here we show that bixafen causes microcephaly and defects on motor neuron axon outgrowth and their branching during development. Our findings show that the central nervous system is highly sensitive to bixafen, thus demonstrating in vivo that bixafen is neurotoxic in vertebrates and causes neurodevelopmental defects. This work adds to our knowledge of the toxic effect of SDHIs on neurodevelopment and may help us take appropriate precautions to ensure protection against the neurotoxicity of these substances.
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Contributor : Nadia Nadia Soussi-Yanicostas Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, December 11, 2020 - 6:41:42 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 4:27:37 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, March 12, 2021 - 8:22:17 PM


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Alexandre Brenet, Rahma Hassan-Abdi, Nadia Soussi-Yanicostas. Bixafen, a succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor fungicide, causes microcephaly and motor neuron axon defects during development. Chemosphere, Elsevier, 2020, pp.128781. ⟨10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128781⟩. ⟨inserm-03058531⟩



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