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Ecotoxicology. 2013 Oct;22(8):1241-54. doi: 10.1007/s10646-013-1112-7. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Antioxidant response and histopathological changes in brain tissue of pigeon exposed to avermectin.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, 150030, People's Republic of China.


Avermectins (AVMs) are the active components of some insecticidal and nematicidal products used in agriculture and veterinary medicine for the prevention of parasitic diseases. Residues of AVM drugs or their metabolites in livestock feces have toxic effects on non-target aquatic and terrestrial organisms. In this study, oxidative stress responses and pathological changes on pigeon brain tissues and serum after subchronic exposure to AVM for 30, 60 and 90 days were investigated. The decrease in antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase, SOD and glutathione peroxidase, GSH-Px) activities and increase in methane dicarboxylic aldehyde content in a dose-time-dependent manner in the brain and serum of pigeon were observed. The protein carbonyl content, an indicator of protein oxidation, and DNA-protein crosslink coefficient were significantly augmented with dose-time-dependent properties. The microscopic structures of the cerebrum, cerebellum and optic lobe altered obviously, the severity of which increased with the concentration of AVM and exposure time. The results imply that AVM could induce oxidative damage to the brain tissue and serum of pigeon. The information presented in this study is helpful to understand the mechanism of AVM-induced oxidative stress in birds.

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