The effect and fate of deltamethrin, a potent pyrethroid insecticide, was investigated on embryonic Drosophila melanogaster cells cultured in vitro. The cellular proliferation begins to be significantly affected at 1 μM after 48 hr treatment and the IC50was 16 μM, a value different from that obtained with intact organisms. [3H]Deltamethrin was quickly accumulated in cells and had a concentration factor of approximately 4000. The pool of insecticide taken up by cells was greater in cells treated by 20-hydroxyecdysone and a part was bound to macromolecules. This binding was strongly reduced after treatment with organic solvents, and electrophoretic studies suggested a noncovalent binding between deltamethrin and proteins. Deltamethrin was partially metabolized in the same way in cells, treated or not by the 20-hydroxyecdysone, by hydrolysis of the ester linkage and conjugation likely preceded by hydroxylation. Hydrolysis products and polar conjugated products were also found in the culture medium. © 1989.
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