The internal concentration of chemicals in exposed organisms changes over time due to absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion processes since chemicals are taken up from the environment. Internal concentration and time are very important modifiers of toxicity when biomarkers are used to evaluate the potential hazards and risks of environmental pollutants. In this study, the responses of molecular biomarkers, and the fate of chemicals in the body, were comprehensively investigated to determine cause-and-effect relationships over time. Chlorpyrifos (CP) was selected as a model chemical, and Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed to CP for 4 h using the passive dosing method. Worms were then monitored in fresh medium during a 48-h recovery regime. The mRNA expression of genes related to CYP metabolism (cyp35a2 and cyp35a3) increased during the constant exposure phase. The body residue of CP decreased once it reached a peak level during the early stage of exposure, indicating that the initial uptake of CP rapidly induced biotransformation with the synthesis of new CYP metabolic proteins. The residual chlorpyrifos-oxon concentration, an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, continuously increased even after the recovery regime started. These delayed toxicokinetics seem to be important for the extension of AChE inhibition for up to 9 h after the start of the recovery regime. Comprehensive investigation into the molecular initiation events and changes in the internal concentrations of chemical species provide insight into response causality within the framework of an adverse outcome pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry