Oral administration of low doses of cypermethrin to pregnant Wistar rats led to a dose-dependent differences in the induction of xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochrome P450s (CYPs) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein in brain regions isolated from the offsprings postnatally at 3 weeks that persisted up to adulthood. Similar alterations were observed in the expression of rate-limiting enzymes of neurotransmitter synthesis in brain regions of rat offsprings. These persistent changes were associated with alterations in circulating levels of growth hormone (GH), cognitive functions, and accumulation of cypermethrin and its metabolites in brain regions of exposed offsprings. Though molecular docking studies failed to identify similarities between the docked conformations of cypermethrin with CYPs and neurotransmitter receptors, in silico analysis identified regulatory sequences of CYPs in the promoter region of rate-limiting enzymes of neurotransmitter synthesis. Further, rechallenge of the prenatally exposed offsprings at adulthood with cypermethrin (p.o. 10 mg/kg × 6 days) led to a greater magnitude of alterations in the expression of CYPs and rate-limiting enzymes of neurotransmitter synthesis in different brain regions. These alterations were associated with a greater magnitude of decrease in the circulating levels of GH and cognitive functions in rechallenged offsprings. Our data has led us to suggest that due to the immaturity of CYPs in fetus or during early development, even the low-level exposure of cypermethrin may be sufficient to interact with the CYPs, which in turn affect the neurotransmission processes and may help in explaining the developmental neurotoxicity of cypermethrin.
Keywords: Cypermethrin; Cytochrome P450s; Development; In silico; Neurotransmitter synthesis; Prenatal exposure; Rechallenge.