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Hum Exp Toxicol. 1999 Jan;18(1):33-7.

Hepatic injury and disturbed amino acid metabolism in mice following prolonged exposure to organophosphorus pesticides.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates.


Chronic occupational exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate-type pesticides significantly inhibits acetylcholinesterase activity and causes morbidity. This study on mice was designed to evaluate their amino profile and to identify signs of hepatic dysfunction following their chronic exposure to mixtures of organophosphorus pesticides. Laboratory mice were exposed to a formulated mixture of the six organophosphorus pesticides (Dimethoate, Chlorpyrifos, Profenofos, Pirimiphos methyl, Triazophos and Dimethoate) most commonly used in agriculture in this region of the Middle East. Doses (10% of LD50 of the mixture) were given once a week by gavage in corn oil for 7 weeks; the control group was given only corn oil. At the end of the exposure period, mice were culled and blood samples were collected to determine erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase activity, biochemical markers of liver function and concentrations of serum amino acids. Erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase activity and total serum proteins decreased significantly in the exposed group. Serum concentrations of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, alanine, glutamic acid, glycine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, ornithine, proline, serine, threonine and valine were significantly increased in the exposed mice, while serum levels of cystine were decreased significantly. There were also non-significant increases in serum alkaline phosphatase, gama-glutamyl transpeptidase and some of the other amino acids. Chronic exposure to mixtures of organophosphorus pesticides is associated with decreased acetylcholinesterase activity, hepatic dysfunction and disturbance of amino acids profile. Biochemical indices of hepatocellular injury and disturbed amino acid metabolism may be of value as markers of chronic exposure to such pesticides.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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