In vitro toxicological assessment of flumethrin's effects on MCF-7 breast cancer cells

Kara-Ertekin S., Yazar S., Erkan M.

HUMAN & EXPERIMENTAL TOXICOLOGY, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/09603271211022789


Pyrethroid pesticides are frequently used for household insect control of insects and in agriculture and livestock. Flumethrin is a pyrethroid that is used against ectoparasites in many animals. The goal of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxic, apoptotic, genotoxic, and estrogenic effects of flumethrin on the mammalian breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). Compared with control groups, a dose-dependent decrease was observed in cell viability at concentrations of 100 mu M and higher. The cytotoxic and apoptotic effects detected by LDH assay and AO/EtBr staining increased significantly at a concentration of 1000 mu M. The expression of BCL2, which is an anti-apoptotic gene, significantly decreased, whereas BAX, TP53, and P21 expression significantly increased. The results of a comet assay indicated that flumethrin significantly changed tail length, tail % DNA, tail moment, and Olive tail moment in concentrations above 1 and 10 mu M. In addition, a 0.1 mu M concentration of flumethrin affected ER alpha receptor mediated cell proliferation and increased transcription of estrogen-responsive pS2 (TFF1) and progesterone receptor (PGR) genes. As a result, flumethrin-induced apoptosis and cytotoxicity at a high concentration, while induced genotoxicity even at lower concentrations. Flumethrin is an endocrine disrupting insecticide with estrogenic effects at very low concentrations.