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Toxicol In Vitro. 2005 Jun;19(4):449-56.

Morphological and biochemical perturbations in rat erythrocytes following in vitro exposure to Fenvalerate and its metabolite.

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  • 1Food Protectants and Infestation Control Department, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India.


Erythrocytes are a convenient model to understand the membrane oxidative damage induced by various xenobiotic-prooxidants. In this investigation, we have examined the potency of Fenvalerate (FEN) and its metabolite, p-chlorophenyl isovaleric acid (p-CPIA) to induce oxidative stress response in rat erythrocytes in vitro in terms of lipid peroxidation and effects on selected antioxidant enzymes. Susceptibility of erythrocytes to FEN exposure was further investigated in terms of morphological alterations by scanning electron microscopy and protein damage by gel electrophoresis of erythrocyte ghosts. Following in vitro exposure, FEN caused a significant induction of oxidative damage in erythrocytes at concentrations beyond 0.1 mM as evidenced by increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels. The response was both concentration and time dependent. At higher concentrations, significant decreases in the activities of vital antioxidant enzymes viz., catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione transferase and glutathione reductase were also discernible clearly suggesting the potency of both, parent compound and its metabolite to induce oxidative stress in erythrocytes. Scanning electron micrographs of erythrocytes following FEN exposure at higher concentrations revealed various degrees of distortion in shape and ruptured membranes. Furthermore, gel electrophoresis studies revealed consistent and significant aggregation of only band 3 protein in erythrocyte membranes exposed to either FEN or p-CPIA at higher concentrations. These in vitro findings show that FEN and its metabolite have the propensity to cause significant oxidative damage in rat erythrocytes, which is associated with marked damage to membrane proteins. These data suggest that both structural and functional perturbations may ensue in erythrocytes following exposure to FEN at higher concentrations under in vivo situations.

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