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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 381264, 9 pages
Research Article

Study of Cytotoxic Effects of Benzonitrile Pesticides

1Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Technicka 3, 166 28 Prague 6, Czech Republic
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Udayana University, Jimbaran, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Received 28 November 2014; Revised 1 June 2015; Accepted 10 June 2015

Academic Editor: Petros Gikas

Copyright © 2015 Petra Lovecka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The benzonitrile herbicides bromoxynil, chloroxynil, dichlobenil, and ioxynil have been used actively worldwide to control weeds in agriculture since 1970s. Even though dichlobenil is prohibited in EU since 2008, studies addressing the fate of benzonitrile herbicides in the environment show that some metabolites of these herbicides are very persistent. We tested the cytotoxic effects of benzonitrile herbicides and their microbial metabolites using two human cell lines, Hep G2 and HEK293T, representing liver and kidneys as potential target organs in humans. The cell viability and proliferation were determined by MTT test and RTCA DP Analyzer system, respectively. The latter allows real-time monitoring of the effect of added substances. As the cytotoxic compounds could compromise cell membrane integrity, the lactate dehydrogenase test was performed as well. We observed high toxic effects of bromoxynil, chloroxynil, and ioxynil on both tested cell lines. In contrast, we determined only low inhibition of cell growth in presence of dichlobenil and microbial metabolites originating from the tested herbicides.