Toxicity of allyl esters in insect cell lines and in Spodoptera littoralis larvae
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We investigated the effects of ﬁve allyl esters, two aromatic (allyl cinnamate and allyl 2-furoate) and three aliphatic (allyl hexanoate, allyl heptanoate, and allyl octanoate) in established insect cell lines derived from different species and tissues. We studied embryonic cells of the fruit ﬂy Drosophila melanogaster (S2) (Diptera) and the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua (Se4) (Lepidoptera), fat body cells of the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata (CPB) (Coleoptera), ovarian cells of the silkmoth Bombyx mori (Bm5), and midgut cells of the spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana (CF203) (Lepidoptera). Cytotoxicity was determined with use of MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] and trypan blue. In addition, we tested the entomotoxic action of allyl cinnamate against the cotton leafworm Spodoptera littoralis .The median (50%) cytotoxic concentrations (EC50s) of the ﬁve allyl esters in the MTT bioassays ranged between 0.25 and 27 mM with signiﬁcant differences among allyl esters (P = 0.0012), cell lines (P < 0.0001), and the allyl ester<br>cell line interaction (P < 0.0001). Allyl cinnamate was the most active product, and CF203 the most sensitive cell line. In the trypan blue bioassays, cytotoxicity was produced rapidly and followed the same trend observed in the MTT bioassay. In ﬁrst instars of S. littoralis, allyl cinnamate killed all larvae at 0.25% in the diet after 1 day, while this happened in third instars after 5 days. The LC50 in ﬁrst instars was 0.08%. In addition, larval weight gain was reduced (P < 0.05) after 1 day of feeding on diet with 0.05%. In conclusion, the data provide evidence of the signiﬁcant but differential cytotoxicity among allyl esters in insect cells of different species and tissues. Midgut cells show high sensitivity, indicating the insect midgut as a primary target tissue. Allyl cinnamate caused rapid toxic effects in S. littoralis larvae at low concentrations, suggesting further potential for use in pest control.