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Toxicol Lett. 1999 Apr 12;105(3):197-205.

Lipid peroxidative damage on pyrethroid exposure and alterations in antioxidant status in rat erythrocytes: a possible involvement of reactive oxygen species.

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  • 1School of Biochemistry, D.A. University, Indore, India.


Pyrethroid pesticides are used preferably over organochlorines and organophosphates due to their high effectiveness, low toxicity to non-target organisms and easy biodegradibility. However, it is possible that during the pyrethroid metabolism, there is generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and pyrethroids may produce oxidative stress in intoxicated rats. The present study was therefore, undertaken to determine pyrethroid-induced lipid peroxidation (LPO) and to show whether pyrethroid intoxication alters the antioxidant system in erythrocytes. A single dose of cypermethrin and/or fenvalerate (0.001% LD50) was administered orally to rats and the animals were sacrificed at 0, 1, 3, 7 and 14 days of treatment. The results showed that lipid peroxidation (LPO) in erythrocytes increased within 3 days of pyrethroid treatment. The increased oxidative stress resulted in an increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). The increase in reduced glutathione (GSH) content in erythrocytes may probably be an initial adaptive response to increased oxidative stress in pyrethroid intoxicated rats. Erythrocytes and serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was measured in pyrethroid-induced oxidative stress as it may mimic inhibition in target tissues such as muscle and brain. The inhibition in erythrocytes and serum AChE activity was partially relieved over a period of time indicating recovery from pyrethroid intoxication. The increase in erythrocyte LPO correlated with the inhibition in erythrocyte AChE activity and so erythrocyte AChE can be a marker enzyme in pyrethroid toxicity. The results show oxidative stress and alteration in antioxidant enzymes in erythrocytes of pyrethroid intoxicated rats.

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