Evaluation of oxidative damage and renal distal tubule cell stress response following exposure to lindane

Amanda L Piskac, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Lindane, or γ-hexachlorocyclohexane, is a chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticide that was banned from U.S. production in 1976, but until recently continued to be imported and applied for occupational and domestic purposes. Lindane is known to cause central nervous system (CNS), immune, cardiovascular, reproductive, liver, and kidney toxicity. The mechanism for which lindane interacts with the CNS has been elucidated, and involves antagonism of the γ-aminobutyric acid/benzodiazepine (GABAA/BZD) receptor. Antagonism of this receptor results in the inhibition of Cl- channel flux, with subsequent convulsions, seizures, and paralysis. This response makes lindane a desirable defense against arthropod pests in agriculture and the home. However, formulation and application of this compound can contribute to human toxicity. In conjunction with this exposure scenario, workers may be subject to both heat and physical stress that may increase their susceptibility to pesticide toxicity by altering their cellular stress response. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining osmotic homeostasis, and are exposed to agents that undergo urinary excretion. The mechanistic action of lindane on the kidneys is not well understood. Lindane, in other organ systems, has been shown to cause cellular damage by generation of free radicals and oxidative stress. Previous research in our laboratory has shown that lindane causes apoptosis in distal tubule cells, and delays renal stress response under hypertonic stress. Characterizing the mechanism of action of lindane under conditions of physiologic stress is necessary to understand the potential hazard cyclodiene pesticides and other organochlorine compounds pose to exposed individuals under baseline conditions, as well as under conditions of physiologic stress. We demonstrated that exposure to lindane results in oxidative damage and dysregulation of glutathione response in renal distal tubule (MDCK) cells. We showed that under conditions of hypertonic stress, lindane-induced oxidative stress resulted in early onset apoptosis and corresponding down-regulated expression of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-xL. Thus, the interaction of lindane with renal peripheral benzodiazepine receptors (PBR) is associated with attenuation of cellular protective proteins, making the cell more susceptible to injury or death.

Subject Area

Occupational health|Toxicology

Recommended Citation

Piskac, Amanda L, "Evaluation of oxidative damage and renal distal tubule cell stress response following exposure to lindane" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3295611.