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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Jan;31(1):92-100. doi: 10.1177/0960327111424303. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Caffeic acid and quercetin protect erythrocytes against the oxidative stress and the genotoxic effects of lambda-cyhalothrin in vitro.

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Laboratory of Histology Embryology and Reproductive Biology, University of Sfax, Tunisia.


Lambda-cyhalothrin (LTC) is a synthetic pyrethroid with a broad spectrum of insecticidal and acaricidal activities used to control wide range of insect pests in a variety of applications. The aim of this study was to examine (i) the potency of LTC to induce oxidative stress response in rat erythrocytes in vitro and (ii) the role of caffeic acid (20 μM) and/or quercetin (10 μM) in preventing the cytotoxic effects. Erythrocytes were divided into four portions. The erythrocytes of the first portion were incubated for 4 h at 37°C with different concentrations (0, 50 and 100 μM) of LTC. The others portions were pretreated with caffeic acid and/or quercetin for 30 min prior to LTC incubation. Lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, antioxidant enzyme activities and DNA damage were examined. LTC at different concentrations causes increased levels of lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, DNA damage and decreased antioxidant enzyme activities. Combined caffeic acid and quercetin pretreatments significantly reduced the levels of lipid peroxidation markers, that is thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), protein carbonyls (PCO) and decreased DNA damage in LTC portion. Further, combined caffeic acid and quercetin pretreatment maintain antioxidant enzyme activities and glutathione content near to normal values. These results suggest that LTC exerts its toxic effect by increasing lipid peroxidation, altering the antioxidant enzyme activities and DNA damage. Caffeic acid and quercetin pretreatments prevent the toxic effects of LTC, suggesting their role as a potential antioxidant.

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