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Recent studies on the effects of DDT and pyrethroid insecticides on nervous activity in cockroaches

, : Recent studies on the effects of DDT and pyrethroid insecticides on nervous activity in cockroaches. Pesticide Science 16(6): 627-640

A summary is given of the results of three sets of electrophysiological experiments on the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). The effects of DDT and S-bioallethrin [bioallethrin (S)-cyclopentenyl isomer] on single giant axons were studied using the voltage-clamp technique. Whereas both molecules induced long tails of inward (sodium ion) current, the voltage and time-dependency of these tails differed. With DDT, the tail was proportional to the activation of the peak current and decreased with the duration of the pulse, suggesting that the molecules were bound to open sodium channels and delayed their closing. With S-bioallethrin, the voltage dependency of the tail was different from that of the peak current, and the tail current increased exponentially with the duration of the depolarisation, suggesting that the pyrethroid insecticide modified resting (or silent) sodium channels into slowly activating channels. Modified action potentials, mimicking those produced by the two molecules, were computed on the basis of these results. Deltamethrin, one of the most potent pyrethroid insecticides, was applied topically on a leg mechanoreceptor and was found to have little effect on the local 'receptor potential' but to inhibit action potential production. The effects of topical applications of deltamethrin on the dorsal part of the abdomen, on nervous activity in the abdominal connectives, were studied under different experimental conditions. The results suggest that the insecticide molecules diffused rapidly through the cuticle, were concentrated in the haemolymph, and eventually reached the central nervous system, where they inhibited nerve activity.

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Accession: 001444263

DOI: 10.1002/ps.2780160609

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