Impact of chronic exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos on respiratory parameters and sleep apnea in juvenile and adult rats.
PLoS One. 2018 ;13(1):e0191237. Epub 2018 Jan 22. PMID: 29357379
The widely used organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) is often detected in food. CPF inhibits acetylcholinesterase and can modify muscle contractility and respiratory patterns. We studied the effects of chronic exposure to CPF on respiratory parameters and diaphragm contractility in 21- and 60-days old rats. Pregnant rats were exposed to oral CPF (1 or 5 mg/ kg /day: CPF-1 or CPF-5 groups vs vehicle: controls) from gestation onset up to weaning of the pups that were individually gavaged (CPF or vehicle) thereafter. Two developmental time points were studied: weaning (day 21) and adulthood (day 60). Whole-body plethysmography was used to score breathing patterns and apnea index during sleep. Then, diaphragm strips were dissected for the assessment of contractility and acetylcholinesterase activity. Results showed that the sleep apnea index was higher in CPF-exposed rats than in controls. In adult rats, the expiratory time and tidal volume werehigher in CPF-exposed animals than in controls. At both ages, the diaphragm's amplitude of contraction and fatigability index were higher in the CPF-5 group, due to lower acetylcholinesterase activity. We conclude that chronic exposure to CPF is associated with higher sleep apnea index and diaphragm contractility, and modifies respiratory patterns in sleeping juvenile and adult rats.