Cypermethrin, a class II pyrethroid pesticide, is used to control insects in the household and agricultural fields. Despite beneficial roles, its uncontrolled and repetitive applications lead to unintended effects in non-target organisms. Cypermethrin crosses the blood-brain barrier and induces neurotoxicity and motor deficits. Cypermethrin prolongs the opening of sodium channel, a major site of its action, leading to hyper-excitation of the central nervous system. In addition to sodium channel, cypermethrin modulates chloride, voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels, alters the activity of glutamate and acetylcholine receptors and adenosine triphosphatases and induces DNA damage and oxidative stress in the neuronal cells. Cypermethrin also modulates the level of neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid and dopamine. It is one of the most commonly used pesticides in neurotoxicology research not only because of its variable responses depending upon the doses, time and routes of exposure and strain, age, gender and species of animals used across multiple studies but also owing to its ability to induce the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration. This article describes the effect of acute, chronic, developmental and adulthood exposures to cypermethrin in experimental animals. The article sheds light on cypermethrin-induced changes in the central nervous system, including its contribution in the onset of specific features, which are associated with the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Resemblances and dissimilarities of cypermethrin-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration with sporadic and chemicals-induced disease models along with its advantages and pitfalls are also discussed.
Keywords: Cypermethrin, model systems, neurotoxicity, neurodegeneration, Parkinson's disease, pesticides, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopaminergic neurotoxicity
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