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Evaluation of the effects of imidacloprid, on the nervous system of africanized Apis mellifera, through the expression of Fos protein

Grant number: 08/03929-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2008
Effective date (End): July 31, 2009
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Histology
Principal Investigator:Osmar Malaspina
Grantee:Hellen Maria Soares Lima
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:06/57122-7 - Searching for lead compounds for rational development of new drugs and pesticides through bioprospecting in Brazilian arthropods, AP.BTA.TEM


The insecticides act in living organisms altering physiological and/or biochemical processes. Among several pesticides mechanisms of action, as the inhibition of insect's growth or the blockade of cellular respiration, the neurotoxicity is one of the most studied ones due to its high efficiency. Imidacloprid acts as a neurotoxin which interferes in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of insects. In honeybees Apis mellifera it was verified, through the proboscis extension reflex (PER) method, that sublethal doses of imidacloprid cause deficiency in olfactory learning and impair memory. The Fos protein, expressed in neurons, has been used to evaluate alterations caused for chemical substances in central nervous system. Its transcription may be altered by several stimuli as stress, lesions, toxin or predator exposition and cellular differentiation. So, it is believed that brains of bees treated with imidacloprid exhibit an increase in expression of Fos protein. This work aims to get information about changes of neuronal activity in africanized bees Apis mellifera caused by neurotoxin imidacloprid.Keywords: Apis mellifera, imidacloprid, nervous system, Fos protein

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