Lindane induced cellular dysfunction in MDCK cells: The role of the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor

Allison Lynn Stock, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The central nervous system GABAA/Benzodiazepine (GABAA/BZD) receptors are targets for many pharmaceutical agents and several classes of pesticides. Lindane is an organochlorine pesticide, although banned from production in the U.S. since 1977, still imported for use as an insecticide and pharmaceutically to control ectoparasites (ATSDR, 1994). Lindane functions as a GABA/BZD receptor antagonist within the central nervous system (CNS). Outside of the CNS, peripheral BZD receptors have been localized to the distal tubule of the kidney. Previous research in our laboratory has shown that incubation of renal cortical slices with lindane can produce an increase in kallikrein leakage, suggesting a distal tubular effect. In this study, Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells were used as an in vitro system to assess the toxicity of lindane. This purpose of this study was to determine if interactions between a renal distal tubular BZD-like receptor and lindane could lead to perturbations in renal distal cellular chloride (Cl−) transport and mitochondrial dysfunction and ultimately, cellular death. Pertubations in renal chloride transport were measured indirectly by determining if lindane altered cell function responsiveness following osmotic stress. MDCK cells pre-treated with lindane and then subjected to osmotic stress remained swollen for up to 12 hours post-stress. Lindane-induced dysfunction was assessed through stress protein induction measured by Western Blot analysis. Lindane pretreatment delayed Heat Shock Protein 72 (HSP72) induction by 36 hours in osmotically stressed cells. Pretreatment with 1 × 10 −5 M LIN followed by osmotic stress elevated p38 and Stress Activated Protein Kinase (SAPK/JNK) at 15 minutes which declined at 30 minutes. Lindane appeared to have no effect on Endoplasmic Reticulum Related Kinase (ERK) induction. Lindane did not effect osmotically stressed LLC-PKI cells, a control cell line. Lindane-treated MDCK cells did not exhibit necrosis. Instead, apoptosis was observed in lindane-treated MDCK cells in both time- and dose-dependent manners. LLC-PKI cells were not affected by LIN treatment. To better understand the mechanism of lindane-induced apoptosis, mitochondrial function was measured. No changes in cytochrome c release or mitochondrial membrane potential were observed suggesting the mitochondrial pathway was not involved in lindane-induced apoptosis. Further research will need to be conducted to determine the mechanism of lindane-induced adverse cellular effects.

Subject Area

Toxicology|Public health|Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Stock, Allison Lynn, "Lindane induced cellular dysfunction in MDCK cells: The role of the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9981143.