Inhibitory Effects of Four Neonicotinoid Active Ingredients on Acetylcholine Esterase Activity

Abstract

There is a great concern about the decline of pollinators, and neonicotinoids emerging bee disorders are assumed to play a significant role. Since changes in learning ability has been observed in honey bees exposed to some acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibitors, we therefore, tested in vitro the effect of four neonicotinoids on purified eel AChE. AChE activity was inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner, and calculated IC50 values for thiamethoxam (IC50 = 414 μM) and clothianidin (IC50 = 160 μM) were found to be much higher compared to acetamiprid (IC50 = 75.2 μM) and thiacloprid (IC50 = 87.8 μM). The Lineweaver–Burk reciprocal plots for acetamiprid shows unchanged Vmax and increased Km values with inhibitor concentrations, while analysis of Michaelis–Menten plots shows predominantly competitive mechanism. The inhibition constant value (Ki = 24.3 μM) indicates strong binding of the acetamiprid complex to AChE. Finally, the four tested neonicotinoids are not a uniform group regarding their blocking ability. Our results suggest a previously not established, direct AChE blocking mechanism of neonicotinoids tested, thus the neuronal AChE enzyme is likely among the direct targets of the neonicotinoid insecticides. We conclude, that these AChE inhibitory effects may also contribute to toxic effects on the whole exposed animal.

Abbreviations

ACh:

acetylcholine

AChE:

acetylcholine esterase

ACT:

acetamiprid

ATChI:

acetylthiocholine iodide

CCD:

Colony Collapse Disorder

CLO:

clothianidin

DTNB:

5,5′-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid)

nAChRs:

nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

TIA:

thiacloprid

TMX:

thiamethoxam

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Correspondence to Ágnes Vehovszky.

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Győri, J., Farkas, A., Stolyar, O. et al. Inhibitory Effects of Four Neonicotinoid Active Ingredients on Acetylcholine Esterase Activity. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 68, 345–357 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1556/018.68.2017.4.1

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Keywords

  • Neonicotinoids
  • acetamiprid
  • clothianidin
  • thiamethoxam
  • in vitro acetylcholinesterase assay