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Keywords:

  • bifenthrin;
  • immunotoxicity;
  • oxidative stress;
  • gene expression;
  • mice

Bifenthrin (BF) is one of the most commonly used pesticides among the synthetic pyrethroids. The effects of BF exposure on the induction of immunotoxicity and oxidative stress were studied both in adolescent and adult male ICR mice. Both the weights of the spleen and thymus decreased significantly in the adolescent mice when they were treated with 20 mg/kg BF for 3 weeks. We found that the 3-week oral administration of BF during puberty increased the transcriptional levels of the genes TNF and IL2 in the spleen and IL2 as well as IL4 in the thymus. The effect of BF exposure on the induction of oxidative stress was also studied in serum and liver samples. The total antioxidant capacity and activity of superoxide dismutase were altered significantly in the serum of the 20 mg/kg BF-treated adolescent mice, and the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPX) decreased significantly in the serum of adolescent and adult mice after 3 weeks of oral administration of 20 mg/kg BF. Compared to serum, hepatic GSH content increased significantly in both the adolescent and adult mice exposed to 20 mg/kg BF; hepatic CAT and GPX activities were altered significantly, even in adolescent mice, after treatment with 10 mg/kg BF. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that exposure to BF, especially during puberty, has the potential to induce immunotoxicity accompanied by oxidative stress in male mice. These findings will help in elucidating the mechanism of toxicity induced by BF in mice. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 29: 991–999, 2014.