Invertebrate Neuroscience

, Volume 5, Issue 3–4, pp 119–133 | Cite as

Ion channels: molecular targets of neuroactive insecticides

  • Valérie Raymond-Delpech
  • Kazuhiko Matsuda
  • Benedict M. Sattelle
  • James J. Rauh
  • David B. SattelleEmail author


Many of the insecticides in current use act on molecular targets in the insect nervous system. Recently, our understanding of these targets has improved as a result of the complete sequencing of an insect genome, i.e., Drosophila melanogaster. Here we examine the recent work, drawing on genetics, genomics and physiology, which has provided evidence that specific receptors and ion channels are targeted by distinct chemical classes of insect control agents. The examples discussed include, sodium channels (pyrethroids, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), dihydropyrazoles and oxadiazines); nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (cartap, spinosad, imidacloprid and related nitromethylenes/nitroguanidines); γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (cyclodienes, γ-BHC and fipronil) and L-glutamate receptors (avermectins). Finally, we have examined the molecular basis of resistance to these molecules, which in some cases involves mutations in the molecular target, and we also consider the future impact of molecular genetic technologies in our understanding of the actions of neuroactive insecticides.


Molecular targets of insecticides Sodium channels Ionotropic receptors Resistance genes 



The authors thank Jeff Bloomquist, Daniel Cordova and Steven Buckingham for helpful discussions and comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valérie Raymond-Delpech
    • 1
    • 4
  • Kazuhiko Matsuda
    • 2
  • Benedict M. Sattelle
    • 1
  • James J. Rauh
    • 3
  • David B. Sattelle
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.MRC Functional Genetics Unit, Department of Human Anatomy and GeneticsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, School of AgricultureKinki UniversityNakamachi, Nara 631Japan
  3. 3.Stine Haskell LaboratoryDupont Agricultural ProductsNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale, CNRS UMR 5169Université Paul SabatierToulouse, CedexFrance

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