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Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A

Effects of the pesticides carbofuran, chlorpyrifos, dimethoate, lindane, triallate, trifluralin, 2,4-D, and pentachlorophenol on the metabolic endocrine and reproductive endocrine system in ewes.


PMID 9588346

Abstract

Many pesticides are used in the agricultural environment, and some may have the potential to disrupt reproductive or endocrine function. Ewes, in separate groups of 6, received orally into their rumen either empty gelatin capsules or capsules containing chlorpyrifos (12.5 mg/kg), trifluralin (17.5 mg/kg), lindane (2.5 mg/kg), or pentachlorophenol (2 mg/kg) 2 times per week for 43 d. Dimethoate (0.2 mg/kg), carbofuran (0.30 mg/kg), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (10 mg/kg), or triallate (5 mg/kg) was given 3 times per week. After 36 d of treatment, blood samples were taken every 12 min for 6 h for hormone analysis. Ewes were euthanized at the end of the study for necropsy and histopathology. No overt signs of toxicity were seen, and body weight was not affected by treatment. Carbofuran caused a significant increase in serum concentrations of thyroxine compared to control ewes, but all other pesticides, except trifluralin, resulted in a marked decrease in thyroxine concentrations. Serum concentrations of cortisol were significantly increased by trifluralin and chlorpyrifos. Concentrations of insulin in serum were markedly increased in ewes given dimethoate, lindane, trifluralin, triallate, and pentachlorophenol, and concentrations of estradiol were also significantly increased in ewes given lindane and trifluralin. Mean serum concentrations of LH were markedly decreased by trifluralin, and basal LH concentrations were significantly decreased by lindane, dimethoate, and trifluralin but increased by triallate. Both pentachlorophenol and triallate caused a significant increase in severity of oviductal intraepithelial cysts in ewes. Data suggest that several currently used pesticides could influence serum concentrations of reproductive and metabolic hormones, particularly thyroxine, the major secretory product of the thyroid and a principal regulator of metabolism.

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