Mixture effects of co-formulants and two plant protection products in a liver cell line





mixture effects, plant protection product, liver toxicity, co-formulants, Cytochrome P450 enzymes


Plant protection products (PPPs) consist of one or more active substances and several co-formulants. Active substances provide the functionality of the PPP and are consequently evaluated according to standard test methods set by legal data requirements before approval, whereas co-formulants’ toxicity is not as comprehensively assessed. However, in some cases mixture effects of active substances and co-formulants might result in increased or different forms of toxicity. In a proof-of-concept study we hence built on previously published results of Zahn et al. (2018) on the mixture toxicity of Priori Xtra® and Adexar® to specifically investigate the influence of co-formulants on the toxicity of these commonly used fungicides. Products, their respective active substances in combination as well as some co-formulants were applied to human hepatoma cell line (HepaRG) in several dilutions. Cell viability analysis, mRNA expression, abundance of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and intracellular concentrations of active substances determined by LC-MS/MS analyses demonstrated that the toxicity of the PPPs is influenced by the presence of co-formulants in vitro. PPPs were more cytotoxic than the mix of their active substances. Gene expression profiles of cells treated with the PPPs were similar to those treated with their respective mixture combinations with marked differences. Co-formulants can cause gene expression changes on their own. LC-MS/MS analyses revealed higher intracellular concentrations of active substances in cells treated with PPPs compared to those treated with the respective active substances’ mix. Proteomic data showed co-formulants can induce ABC transporters and CYP enzymes. Co-formulants can contribute to the observed increased toxicity of PPPs compared to their active substances in combination due to kinetic interactions, necessitating a more comprehensive evaluation approach.



How to Cite

Feiertag, K., Karaca, M., Fischer, B., Heise, T., Bloch, D., Opialla, T., … Marx-Stoelting, P. (2023). Mixture effects of co-formulants and two plant protection products in a liver cell line. EXCLI Journal, 22, 221–236. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2022-5648



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