Chemico-biological interactions

Dithiocarbamate fungicides increase intracellular Zn(2+) levels by increasing influx of Zn(2+) in rat thymic lymphocytes.

PMID 26026913


Dithiocarbamate fungicides are used as alternative antifouling agents to highly toxic organotin antifouling agents, such as tri-n-butyltin and triphenyltin. There are some concerns regarding their environmental and health risks. It has been shown that tri-n-butyltin increases intracellular Zn(2+) levels of mammalian lymphocytes. Therefore, we examined the effects of dithiocarbamate fungicides (Ziram, Thiram, and Zineb) on rat thymic lymphocytes using a flow-cytometric technique to elucidate how these fungicides affect intracellular Zn(2+) levels. We further determined whether the agents increase intracellular Zn(2+) and/or Ca(2+), because both Zn(2+) and Ca(2+) are intracellular signals in lymphocytes, and excessive increases in their intracellular concentrations can have adverse effects. Dithiocarbamate fungicides increased intracellular Zn(2+) levels, without affecting intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Ziram was the most potent compound, increasing intracellular Zn(2+) levels via Zn(2+) influx. Ziram (1μM) greatly decreased the cellular nonprotein thiol content, and Zn(2+) chelators attenuated the Ziram-induced decrease. Ziram increased the population of annexin V-positive cells in a Zn(2+)-dependent manner. Therefore, we propose that dithiocarbamate fungicides induce Zn(2+) influx, resulting in an excessive elevation of intracellular Zn(2+) levels, leading to the induction of apoptosis. This study gives a basic insight into the mechanisms of dithiocarbamate fungicide-induced adverse events.

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Zinc dimethyldithiocarbamate, 97%