Prenatal exposure to low doses of fungicides corrupts neurogenesis in neonates - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Environmental Research Year : 2021

Prenatal exposure to low doses of fungicides corrupts neurogenesis in neonates


Neurogenesis plays a crucial role during neurodevelopment and its dysfunction can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders. A recent hypothesis stipulates that exogenous factors could corrupt this process and predispose to neurodegenerative disorders later in life. The presence of pesticide residues in the diet represents a threat of which we have recently become aware of. Indeed, they could corrupt neurogenesis, especially during gestation, potentially leading to impaired neuronal and synaptic functions. Since the effects of this low-noise contamination have not yet been evaluated on the neurodevelopment, we investigated the impact of fungicide residues on WT mice exposed throughout gestation. Thus, mice were exposed to fungicides, cyprodinil, mepanipyrim and pyrimethanil, alone at 0.1 μg/L during gestation until P3. Besides, another group was exposed to a cocktail of these three fungicides (0.1 μg/L each) for the same time. Exposure was performed through drinking water at the regulatory limit dose of the European countries (0.1 μg/L). No general toxicity was observed in neonates on body and brain weight upon fungicide exposure. However, results showed that gestational exposure to fungicide residues substantially promoted an increase of neural precursor cells at P3. This corrupted neurogenesis was linked to increased levels of β-catenin, likely through the crosstalk of the PI3K/Akt and Wnt/β-catenin pathways, both involved in cell proliferation. Fungicide exposure also altered protein expression of PSD95 and NMDA receptors in P3 neonates, two targets of the β-catenin signaling pathway. Adult neural stem cell extractions from mice treated with the fungicide cocktail, showed an increase proliferation and differentiation combined with a reduction of their migration properties. In addition, in vitro studies on hippocampal primary cell cultures treated with various concentrations of fungicides showed neurotoxic effects. To conclude, corruption of neurogenesis by this chemical assault could be a fertile ground for the development of neurological diseases later in life.
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Dates and versions

inserm-03334138 , version 1 (03-09-2021)



Yunyun Wang, Pierre-André Lafon, Lucie Salvador-Prince, Aroa Relano Gines, Françoise Trousse, et al.. Prenatal exposure to low doses of fungicides corrupts neurogenesis in neonates. Environmental Research, 2021, 195, pp.110829. ⟨10.1016/j.envres.2021.110829⟩. ⟨inserm-03334138⟩
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