Environmental levels of carbaryl impair zebrafish larvae behaviour: The potential role of ADRA2B and HTR2B
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The insecticide carbaryl is commonly found in indirectly exposed freshwater ecosystems at low concentrations considered safe for fish communities. In this study, we showed that after only 24 h of exposure to environmental concentrations of carbaryl (0.066–660 ng/L), zebrafish larvae exhibit impairments in essential behaviours. Interestingly, the observed behavioural effects induced by carbaryl were acetylcholinesterase-independent. To elucidate the molecular initiating event that resulted in the observed behavioural effects, in silico predictions were followed by in vitro validation. We identified two target proteins that potentially interacted with carbaryl, the α2B adrenoceptor (ADRA2B) and the serotonin 2B receptor (HTR2B). Using a pharmacological approach, we then tested the hypothesis that carbaryl had antagonistic interactions with both receptors. Similar to yohimbine and SB204741, which are prototypic antagonists of ADRA2B and HTR2B, respectively, carbaryl increased the heart rate of zebrafish larvae. When we compared the behavioural effects of a 24-h exposure to these pharmacological antagonists with those of carbaryl, a high degree of similarity was found. These results strongly suggest that antagonism of both ADRA2B and HTR2B is the molecular initiating event that leads to adverse outcomes in zebrafish larvae that have undergone 24 h of exposure to environmentally relevant levels of carbaryl.