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Commercial malathion is a raceme mixture that contains two enantiomers, and malathion has adverse effects on mammals. However, whether the two enantiomers have different effects on animals remains unclear. In this study, we tested the effect of raceme, enantiomers and metabolite of malathion on the metabolomics profile of HepG2 cells. HepG2 cells showed distinct metabolic profiles when treated with rac-malathion, malaoxon, R-(+)-malathion and S-(-)-malathion, and these differences were attributed to pathways in amino acid metabolism, oxidative stress and inflammatory response. In addition, malathion treatment caused changes in amino acid levels, antioxidants activity and expression of inflammatory genes in HepG2 cells. S-(-)-malathion exhibited stronger metabolic perturbation than its enantiomer and raceme, consistent with S-(-)malathion's high level of cytotoxicity. R-(+)-malathion treatment caused significant oxidative stress in HepG2 cells, but induced a weaker disturbance in amino acid metabolism and pro-inflammatory response compared with S-(-)-malathion and rac-malathion. Malaoxon caused more significant perturbation on antioxidase and a stronger anti-apoptosis effect than its parent malathion. Our results provide insights into the risk assessment of malathion enantiomers and metabolites. We also demonstrate that a metabolomics approach can identify the discrepancy of the toxic effects and underlying mechanisms for enantiomers and metabolites of chiral pesticides.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of agricultural and food chemistry
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