Memory impairment due to fipronil pesticide exposure occurs at the GABAA receptor level, in rats
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Fipronil (F) a pesticide considered of second generation cause various toxic effects in target and non-target organisms including humans in which provoke neurotoxicity, having the antagonism of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) as their main mechanism for toxic action. GABAergic system has been involved in processes related to the memory formation and consolidation. The present work studied the importance of GABA to the mechanisms involved in the very early development of fipronil-induced memory impairment in rats. Memory behavior was assessed using new object recognition task (ORT) and eight radial arm maze task (8-RAM) to study effects on cognitive and spatial memory. Locomotor behavior was assessed using open field task (OF). The dose of fipronil utilized was studied through a pilot experiment. The GABA antagonist picrotoxin (P) was used to enhance fipronil effects on GABAergic system. Fipronil or picrotoxin decrease memory studied in ORT and 8-RAM tasks. Additionally, F and P co-exposure enhanced effects on memory compared to controls, F, and P, suggesting strongly a GABAergic effect. Weight gain modulation and fipronil in blood were utilized as animal's intoxication indicators. In conclusion, here we report that second-generation pesticides, such as fipronil, can have toxic interactions with the CNS of mammals and lead to memory impairment by modulating the GABAergic system.
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