Acute thiamethoxam exposure induces hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity in juvenile Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

Yiwen Yang, Qiuran Yu, Cong Zhang, Xiaodan Wang, Long He, Yuxing Huang, Erchao Li, Jianguang Qin, Liqiao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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The similar nervous system structure between crustaceans and insects and the high-water solubility of thiamethoxam can lead to the more severe toxicity of thiamethoxam to crustaceans. However, the effects of thiamethoxam on crustaceans are unclear. Therefore, a 96-h acute toxicity test was performed to explore the hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity effects of thiamethoxam on Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) at concentrations 0 µg/L, 150 µg/L and 300 µg/L. The antioxidant and detoxification systems (including phases I and II) were significantly activated after exposure of juvenile crabs to thiamethoxam for 24 h in 300 µg/L group, whereas the toxic activation effect in 150 μg/L group was delayed. Moreover, a similar pattern was observed for the transcription levels of immune-related genes. Further analysis of inflammatory signaling pathway-related genes showed that thiamethoxam exposure with 300 µg/L for 24 h may induce a pro-inflammatory response through the NF-κB pathway. In contrast, the gene expression levels in 150 µg/L group were significantly upregulated compared with 0 µg/L group after 96 h. In addition, although the acute exposure of 150 μg/L thiamethoxam did not seem to induce significant neurotoxicity, the acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly decreased in 300 μg/L group after thiamethoxam exposure for 96 h. Correspondingly, thiamethoxam exposure with 300 µg/L for 24 h resulted in significantly downregulated transcriptional levels of synaptic transmission-related genes (e.g. dopamine-, gamma-aminobutyric acid- and serotonin-related receptors). Therefore, thiamethoxam may be harmful and cause potential toxic threats such as neurotoxicity and metabolic damage to crustaceans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114399
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Crustacean
  • Detoxification
  • Neonicotinoid pesticides
  • Oxidative stress
  • Synaptic transmission
  • Toxicity


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