Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular defense against xenobiotic compounds is a main research issue in medical and veterinaryentomology, as insecticide/acaricide resistance is a major threat in the control of arthropods. ABC transporters are recognized as a component of the detoxifying mechanism in arthropods.
We investigated the possible involvement of ABC transporters in defense to the organophosphate insecticide temephos in the malarial vector Anopheles stephensi. We performed bioassays on larvae of An. stephensi, using insecticide alone and in combination with ABC-transporter inhibitors, to assess synergism between these compounds.
Next, we investigated the expression profiles of six ABC transporter genes in larvae exposed to temephos. Surprisingly, neither bioassays nor gene expression analyses provided any evidence for a major role of ABC transporters in defense against temephos in An. stephensi.
We thus decided to review existing literature to generate a record of other studies that failed to reveal a role for ABC transporters against particular insecticides/acaricides. A review of the scientific literature led to the recovery of 569 papers about ABC transporters; among these, 50 involved arthropods, and 10 reported negative results.
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Our study on An. stephensi and accompanying literature review highlight the heterogeneity that exists in ABC transporter involvement in defense/resistance mechanisms in arthropods.