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Your Environment. Your Health.

Diazinon Alters Gut Microbiome in Sex-specific Manner

Kun Lu, Ph.D.
University of Georgia

In a new study, NIEHS grantees reported that exposure to the organophosphate insecticide diazinon altered the gut microbiome of mice. The changes to the microbiome were more pronounced in male mice than in female mice.

To investigate the impact of diazinon exposure on gut microbiome composition and its metabolic functions in mice, the researchers combined sequencing and mass spectrometry−based approaches. They found that exposure to diazinon altered the microbial community structure and metabolic profile in the gut of both male and female mice after a 13-week exposure, but male mice showed relatively stronger responses.

Because previous studies demonstrated a connection between changes in the gut microbiome and neurotoxicity, the authors suggested that this sex-dependent sensitivity might be associated with differences in the neurotoxicity of diazinon in male and female animals, which was also reported in other studies.

According to the researchers, these findings could provide novel insights into the specific changes to the microbial community and metabolic profile of the gut microbiome after exposure to diazinon, as well as the function of the microbiome as a potential mechanism that contributes to diazinon neurotoxicity.

Citation: Gao B, Bian X, Mahbub R, Lu K. 2017. Sex-specific effects of organophosphate diazinon on the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions. Environ Health Perspect 125:198-206.