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The Role of Pyrethroids on Cell Cycle Regulation and Craniofacial Development in Xenopus laevis
Kylee Hockaday, Depts. of Biology and Chemistry, with Dr. Amanda Dickinson, Dept. of Biology
Pyrethroids are synthetic insecticides that are found in many household items such as pet flea medication. Pyrethroids are used more so than organophosphate pesticides due to increasing concerns about non-target effects. However, there is some concern with pyrethroid exposure resulting in teratogenic effects including craniofacial defects. Using a Xenopus model, three pesticides (AMDRO Quick Kill, Pyrethrum, and Cypermethrin) were tested for their effect on craniofacial development. Following AMDRO treatment, embryos developed edemas, abnormal gut development, and shorter distances between eyes. Cypermethrin exposure caused a decrease in face width of embryos. Immunohistochemistry colorimetric staining in AMDRO treated embryos resulted in a significant decrease (p-value = 3.644 x 10-6) in mitotic cells of the face. Preliminary data from acridine orange treatment of embryos exposed to pesticide suggests a link to cell death programs. Delta-delta Ct analysis of p53 expression in embryos treated with AMDRO yielded values of 0.371130893, 0.143587294, and 12.46663327. Expression fold analysis of p53 expression in pyrethrum treated embryos yielded values of 1.310393, 1.347234, 8.282119, and 1.681793. Expression fold analysis of p53 expression in Cypermethrin treated embryos yielded a value of 1.26575659. All treatments yielded an average increase in p53 expression compared to expression levels in control embryos. This indicates that the mechanism through which pyrethroid insecticides work may involve apoptosis and the transcription of the p53 gene.
Amanda Dickinson, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
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