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Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012 May;110(5):433-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00831.x. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Carbendazim impends hepatic necrosis when combined with imazalil or cypermethrin.

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Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.


Imazalil, cypermethrin and carbendazim are detected in plants for human nutrition. To explore whether their combinations, applied orally in low doses, would induce changes in metabolic patterns and hepatotoxicity, a subchronic in vivo experiment was conducted. Doses of 10mg/kg of imazalil (im) and cypermethrin (cy) and 20 mg/kg of carbendazim (car) and their combinations (im, 10 mg/kg+cy, 10mg/kg; im, 10mg/kg+car, 20mg/kg; car, 20 mg/kg + im, 10 mg/kg) were given to Swiss mice daily over 28 days. After 24 hr from the last dose, the relationships of cytotoxicity biomarkers were analysed: serum lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate transaminase, alanine transferase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, creatinine and total proteins. Individual pesticides showed different toxic potential (cy>im car) generally characterized by increase in enzyme activities. Histological analysis showed that cypermethrin, but not imazalil or carbendazim, alone can cause mild necrosis. Combinations generally caused decrease in the activity of enzymes, indicating liver damage. Low doses of carbendazim in combination with low doses of imazalil or cypermethrin caused very pronounced hepatic necrosis, more than any of the three individually applied pesticides or combination of imazalil and cypermethrin. In fruits and vegetables for human consumption, residues of these three pesticides and prolonged combined intake of low doses, which by themselves acutely would not cause any effect, may have similar hepatotoxic effects.

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