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C R Biol. 2007 Feb;330(2):143-7. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Effect of subchronic exposure to malathion on metabolic parameters in the rat.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie des Agressions, Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Campus Universitaire, 2092 Manar II, Tunis, Tunisie.


This study investigates the effects of subchronic exposure to organophosphate insecticide Malathion (Fyfanon 50 EC 500 g/l) of commercial grade. It was administered intragastrically by stomach tube in the amount of 1 ml of corn oil containing 100 mg/kg body weight (BW) daily for 32 days. At the end of the experiment, acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE), haematocrit value, haemoglobin content, and blood glucose concentration were estimated. The liver and the skeletal muscle were removed to determine hepatic and muscular glycogen, hepatic proteins and lipids contents. No sign of toxicity was observed until the end of experiment. No significant change in the haematocrit value was observed, in spite of the significant increase in haemoglobin content, which can be considered as an adaptive situation in order to guarantee a good oxygenation in response to pulmonary damage induced following subchronic exposure to organophosphorus compound. Malathion intoxication decreased significantly hepatic proteins and lipid contents that could be associated to liver gluconeogenesis. This result was coupled with a significant decrease in muscular glycogen rate, which indicates a stimulated glycogenolysis in favour of glucose release into the blood until reaching hyperglycaemia. Several studies indicate that hyperglycaemia is temporary, which is probably due to a stimulated glycogenesis that increases hepatic glycogen deposition and return of glucose to control levels, as demonstrated in our study. One possible explanation for these results could be the turnover of glucose by a succession between its release via glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, which involves abnormal hyperglycaemia, and its storage via glycogenesis in subchronic exposure to malation.

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