Aberrant neurotransmissional mRNAs in cerebral ganglions of rotenone-exposed Lumbricus terrestris exhibiting motor dysfunction and altered cognitive behavior

  • Mamangam Subaraja
  • Arambakkam Janardhanam VanisreeEmail author
Research Article


Rotenone (ROT) was shown to affect cerebral ganglions (CGs) of Lumbricus terrestris as a pioneering observation in our earlier investigation. Though ROT is a well-known neurotoxin causing neurodegeneration (ND), the precipitation of movement dysfunction remains largely unknown. We have designed the current study to analyze motor abnormalities in worms by exposing them to different concentrations (0.0–0.4 ppm) of ROT for 7 days. GABA, cholinergic receptor, serotonin transporter (SERT), acetylcholine esterase (AchE), and dopamine–β-hydroxylase that are well known for their involvement in neuromuscular junctions were investigated by qRT-PCR. Further, neuronal mitochondrial genes (cytochrome C oxidase-2, NADH deydrogenase-1, cytochrome-b) and actin-1 that are essential for regeneration and calreticulin (phagocytosis) were investigated. The levels of neurotransmitters, lipids, ATPase, neuronal behavior analyses, and fluorescence analysis (lipid droplets) were performed in CGs which showed significant variations at 0.3 ppm. Ultrastructural changes in lipid droplet and neuromelatonin were prominent in 0.3 ppm. Dose-dependent effect of ROT on behavior alteration and expression of m-RNAs studied suggested that at 0.3 ppm, it could deteriorate motor and cognitive functions. We predict that perhaps, by virtue of its effect on cerebral ganglionic genes and their neurotransmitting potential, ROT may cause morbidities that resemble features characteristic of hemiparkinsonic degeneration.


Rotenone Lumbricus terrestris Neurotransmitters Degeneration Motor and cognitive dysfunction 



We have thanks to All Indian Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi for TEM analysis.

Funding information

The financial assistances were provided by University Grants Commission-Basic Scientific Research (UGC-BSR), Senior Research Fellow (SRF), and New Delhi-110 002.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4740_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1009 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1008 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mamangam Subaraja
    • 1
  • Arambakkam Janardhanam Vanisree
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Madras, Guindy CampusChennaiIndia

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