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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2017 May;36(5):508-519. doi: 10.1177/0960327116655388. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Fipronil-induced genotoxicity and DNA damage in vivo: Protective effect of vitamin E.

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1 Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI), Izatnagar, India.
2 Department of Food Science and Technology, Food Toxicology Section, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, Kundli, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
3 National Centre for Preclinical Reproductive and Genetic Toxicology, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR-NIRRH), Mumbai, India.
4 Division of Pathology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI), Izatnagar, India.
5 Toxicology Laboratory, Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI), Izatnagar, India.


Fipronil, an insecticide of the phenylpyrazole class has been classified as a carcinogen by United States Environmental Protection Agency, yet very limited information is available about its genotoxic effects. Adult male and female animals were gavaged with various doses of fipronil (2.5, 12.5, and 25 mg/kg body weight (bw)) to evaluate micronucleus test (mice), chromosome aberration (CA), and comet assay (rats), respectively. Cyclophosphamide (40 mg/kg bw; intraperitoneal) was used as positive control. Another group of animals were pretreated with vitamin E orally (400 mg/kg bw) for 5 days prior to administration of fipronil (12.5 mg/kg). Fipronil exposure in both male and female mice caused significant increase in the frequency of micronuclei (MN) in polychromatic erythrocytes. Similarly, structural CAs in bone marrow cells and DNA damage in the lymphocytes was found to be significantly higher in the male and female rats exposed to fipronil as compared to their respective controls. The average degree of protection (male and female animals combined together) shown by pretreatment of vitamin E against fipronil-induced genotoxicity was 63.28%: CAs; 47.91%: MN formation; and 74.70%: DNA damage. Findings of this study demonstrate genotoxic nature of fipronil regardless of gender effect and documents protective role of vitamin E.


chromosome aberrations; comet assay; fipronil; micronucleus test; rats and mice; vitamin E

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