[Cardiotoxicity of lindane, a gamma isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane].

Article Details


Sauviat MP, Pages N

[Cardiotoxicity of lindane, a gamma isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane].

J Soc Biol. 2002;196(4):339-48.

PubMed ID
12645305 [ View in PubMed

The goal of the present review is to collect information concerning membrane effects induced by lindane intoxication, a y isomer of hexachiorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH) that has been largely used as an insecticide and disinfectant in agriculture and entered also in the composition of some lotions, creams and shampoos used against parasites (lice and scabies). Absorbed through respiratory, digestive or transcutaneous pathways, lindane accumulates within lipid rich tissues. Lindane accumulation depends on the duration of the exposure and affects tissues in the following order: adipose tissues > brain > kidney > muscle > lungs > heart > liver > blood. Whatever the mode of lindane absorption, it accumulates in blood and is distributed throughout the body. It may affect human health by exerting systemic, immunologic, teratogenic, and/or cancerogenic effects. The symptoms of lindane intoxication are different according to the mode of intoxication, acute or chronic. The absorption of high doses of gamma-HCH is particularly toxic for the central nervous system and for the female and male reproduction apparatus in mammals where lindane is considered as an endocrine disruptor. Lindane is highly lipophilic and incorporates into biological membranes according to the following sequence: mitochondria > sarcoplasmic reticulum > myelin > brain microsomes > erythrocytes. Lindane exerts a stimulating action on synaptic transmission and inhibits the chloride current activated by gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) of many muscular and nervous preparations by interacting with the receptors GABA-chloride channel complex. It seems to affect calcium homeostasis of many tissues. The similarity between lindane and inositol (1, 4, 5) phosphate (IP3) suggested that lindane releases Ca2+ from IP3-sensitive intracellular stores in macrophages and myometrial cells. Ca2+ release from reticulum endoplasmic, mitochondria and other Ca2+ stores has been reported in cat kidney cells. Lindane altered energetic metabolism of hepatic mitochondria and the inositol-phosphate synthesis in neuronal cells. However, lindane does not compete with the IP3 receptor. Lindane produces a Ca2+ influx in mice peritoneal macrophage cells responsible for the Ca2+ induced Ca2+ release produced by phospholipase C via IP3 pathway and resulting in a maintained increase of the free cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. Lindane decreased the membrane erythrocyte and cerebral cell concentration of phosphatidyl inositol PI, PIP and PIP2 in rats repetitively exposed to lindane for 3 or 6 months. Lindane induces oxidative stress; it modifies the activity of the scavenger enzymes. This effect is involved in the inhibition of intercellular gap junctions. Modifications of the electrocardiogram (ECG), sinusal rhythm alteration and negative and dysphasic variations of T wave, similar to those produced by hyperkaliemia, have been reported after lindane absorption. During acute lindane poisoning, the activities of serum transaminases (SGOT, SGTP), and lactate deshydrogenase (LDH) increase. Lindane produces histological alterations of cardiac tissues and a cardio-vascular dystrophy (contracture, degenerescence and necrosis) mainly in the left ventricular wall and a hypertrophy of the left ventricle. Chronic application of residual doses of lindane shortened the action potential duration in rat papillary muscle. These effects were similar to those induced by hyperthyroidism. Lindane increases the triiodothyronine (T3) serum level in hyperthyroid rats. T3 plays an important role in the postnatal development of the rat ventricle by increasing the density of potassium channels which contribute to action potential shortening during the development. Thyroid hormones influence the regulation and the expression of messengers ARN which encode different potassium channels involved in action potential repolarization (Kvl.2; Kvl.4; Kvl.5; Kv2.1; Kv4; HCN2). The thyrotropine-releasing hormone (TRH) modulates the HERG-type rapid delayed potassium channel (IKr) encoded by the human gene ether-a-go-go in rat anterior pituitary cells GH3/B6. This channel is involved in the cardiac long QT syndrome. TRH modifies the current kinetics of human HERG potassium channel co-expressed in Xenopus oocytes with the TRH receptor, whose activity is modulated via the protein kinase C pathway linked to a G protein-coupled receptor and is regulated by changes in the PIP2 concentration in the membrane. IKr channels regulation is also dependent on sexual hormones. In conclusion, lindane affects the excitable membranes and the cardio circulatory system. These alterations (may) represent a potential risk for human health.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

Drug Targets
DrugTargetKindOrganismPharmacological ActionActions
LindaneGamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit beta-1ProteinHumans