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Analysis of the acute response of Galleria mellonella larvae to potassium nitrate Toxicology & pharmacology
- Maguire, Ronan, Kunc, Martin, Hyrsl, Pavel, Kavanagh, Kevin
- Comparative biochemistry and physiology 2017 v.195 pp. 44-51
- Galleria mellonella, acute effects, aldehyde dehydrogenase, chronic toxicity, food preservatives, glutathione transferase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, hemocytes, hypertension, insects, larvae, manganese, metabolism, mitochondria, nitrilase, potassium nitrate, proteins, rats, superoxide dismutase, triose-phosphate isomerase, xenobiotics
- Potassium nitrate (E252) is widely used as a food preservative and has applications in the treatment of high blood pressure however high doses are carcinogenic. Larvae of Galleria mellonella were administered potassium nitrate to establish whether the acute effects in larvae correlated with those evident in mammals. Intra-haemocoel injection of potassium nitrate resulted in a significant increase in the density of circulating haemocytes and a small change in the relative proportions of haemocytes but haemocytes showed a reduced fungicidal ability. Potassium nitrate administration resulted in increased superoxide dismutase activity and in the abundance of a range of proteins associated with mitochondrial function (e.g. mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase, putative mitochondrial Mn superoxide dismutase), metabolism (e.g. triosephosphate isomerase, glyceraldehyde 3 phosphate dehydrogenase) and nitrate metabolism (e.g. aliphatic nitrilase, glutathione S-transferase). A strong correlation exists between the toxicity of a range of food preservatives when tested in G. mellonella larvae and rats. In this work a correlation between the effect of potassium nitrate in larvae and mammals is shown and opens the way to the utilization of insects for studying the in vivo acute and chronic toxicity of xenobiotics.