Journal Article

Developmental Exposure to Chlorpyrifos Induces Alterations in Thyroid and Thyroid Hormone Levels Without Other Toxicity Signs in Cd1 Mice

Simona De Angelis, Roberta Tassinari, Francesca Maranghi, Agostino Eusepi, Antonio Di Virgilio, Flavia Chiarotti, Laura Ricceri, Aldina Venerosi Pesciolini, Enzo Gilardi, Gabriele Moracci, Gemma Calamandrei, Antonella Olivieri and Alberto Mantovani

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 108, issue 2, pages 311-319
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfp017
Developmental Exposure to Chlorpyrifos Induces Alterations in Thyroid and Thyroid Hormone Levels Without Other Toxicity Signs in Cd1 Mice

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Organophosphorus insecticides, as Chlorpyrifos (CPF), are widely used in agriculture and against household pests; these compounds receive an increasing consideration as potential endocrine disrupters. The aim of the present study was to examine the potential short- and long-term effects of CPF on thyroid and adrenal glands in CD1 mice following exposure at dose levels not inducing brain acetyl cholinesterase (AchE) inhibition, during gestational and/or postnatal vulnerable phases. Pregnant dams were treated with 0, 3, 6 mg/kg bw/day of CPF on gestational days 15–18. After delivery, pups were treated subcutaneously on postnatal days (PND) 11–14 with: 0, 1, 3 mg/kg bw/day of CPF. Serum thyroxin (T4), thyroid and adrenals histology and histomorphometry were evaluated in dams and in F1 mice. In dams at 6 mg/kg, decreased T4 levels and increased cell height in thyroid were observed, and adrenal histology showed a slightly increased vacuolization in the X-zone. In the F1, short-term morphological modifications (reduced follicular size at PND 2) and long-term morphological (increased necrotic follicular cells) and biochemical alterations (reduced serum T4 levels) were found at PND 150 with an apparent higher vulnerability of males. For the first time these results indicate that CPF exposure at dose levels not inducing brain AchE inhibition causes thyroid alterations in dams and in F1 CD1 mice. Thyroid may be a sensitive target to CPF developmental exposure possibly leading to long-term effects on thyroid function. Because thyroid plays a pivotal role in mammalian development, these findings can be relevant to humans.

Keywords: thyroid; adrenals; chlorpyrifos; endocrine disrupters; development; mice

Journal Article.  5223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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