Pyrethroids, including allethrin, have largely been used as commercial insecticides. The toxicity of allethrin is little known, but it is assumed that, as occurs with other pyrethroids, it could cause alterations of the nervous system and pose both occupational and non-occupational health hazards. To evaluate the neurotoxicity of allethrin we used the MTT assay of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells to determine cell viability. Dose-dependent reductions of cell viability served to compare the vehicle-group and the IC50 for allethrin, which was 49.19 μM. ROS production increased significantly at concentrations of 10–200 μM of allethrin, and NO levels were significantly increased by the effect of allethrin at a minimum concentration of 50 μM. Lipid peroxidation increased by the effect of allethrin at concentrations of 25, 50, 100, and 200 μM. Caspase 3/7 activity was induced by allethrin concentrations of 50, 100, and 200 μM. Here, we suggest that allethrin might affect the inflammasome complex (Caspase-1, NLRP3, and PYDC1) and apoptosis (Bax and Bcl-2) gene expression by mRNA fold change expression levels shown in Caspase-1 (2.46-fold), NLRP3 (1.57-fold), PYDC1 (1.48-fold), and Bax (2.1-fold). These results demonstrated that allethrin induced neurotoxicity effects on SH-SY5Y cells through activation of inflammasome pathways, cell death, and oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-788
Number of pages12
JournalToxicology and Industrial Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the Project “Fisiopatología neurodegenerativa in vitro por efecto de plaguicidas de uso veterinario”, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Grant Contract No: PCONFIGI A19080231). Project of Collaboration N° 02-2021-Biennial-Programme 2021-2022 Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Genetica Molecolare \x{201c}Luca Cavalli-Sforza\x{201d}, Pavia (CNR-Pavia, Italy) and National Council for Science-Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC-Peru) (02-2021-FONDECYT).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • SH-SY5Y cells
  • allethrin
  • inflammasome
  • neurotoxicity
  • oxidative stress


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