N,N’ bis-(2-mercaptoethyl) isophthalamide (NBMI) is a lipophilic thiol-containing agent that has high affinity for toxic metal ions, such as Hg2+, Pb2+, and Cd2+. Studies have shown that NBMI is a potent chelator of heavy metals, yet its potential toxicity in animals has yet to be determined. Using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), we show no significant change in worms’ death rate or lifespan following NBMI treatment (10−1000 μM). However, NBMI treatment was associated with a significant developmental delay. To determine if the daf-2/age-1/daf-16 pathway is involved in NBMI toxicity, mRNA levels of these genes were assessed in worms treated with NBMI. Here, we found that while NBMI failed to significantly alter the expression of daf-16 or daf-2; age-1 was significantly downregulated by NBMI. Furthermore, NBMI significantly increased DAF-16 nuclear localization. Consistent with a role for this pathway in NBMI toxicity, the developmental arrest by NBMI was more prominent in the DAF-16 transgenic strain than in the wild type N2 strain. Moreover, in the mutant strains harboring null alleles of daf-16, NBMI had no effect on development. In addition, NBMI repressed the expression of detoxifying genes (skn-1, gst-4 and gcs-1). In summary, NBMI has a low developmental toxicity in the C. elegans model, and the nuclear translocation of DAF-16 is involved in the developmental effect of NBMI.
- C. elegans
- Developmental delay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis