Changes in Plasma Corticosterone and Catecholamine Contents Induced by Low Doses of Deltamethrin in Rats

Sietse F. de Boer, Jan van der Gugten, Jef. L. Slangen, Theo H. Hijzen

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The effects of low doses of (S)-α-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl (1R)-cis-3-(2,2-dibromovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate (Roussel UCLAF, Paris, France), (deltamethrin) upon sympathetic-adrenomedullary and pituitary-adrenocortical activity were investigated in rats by measuring plasma noradrenaline (NA), adrenaline (A) and corticosterone (CS) concentrations. Blood was sampled from freely-moving animals provided with heart catheters at short intervals up to 60 min after intravenous administration of deltamethrin (0.05, 0.15 and 0.45 mg/kg) or vehicle. Behavioral activity was recorded shortly after the sampling times. Time course and magnitude of the biochemical changes were compared with the effects of exposure to uncontrollable white noise in a similar sampling and recording procedure. Dose-dependent increases were observed for NA and A as well as for CS contents. The dose-response relations however, were different among the neuro-endocrine respondents. Discrete step-wise increases were observed for plasma CS only, indicating greater sensitivity for neurotoxical actions. Already at a dose of 0.15 mg/kg of deltamethrin, CS contents rose to values that were considerably higher than those found during noise exposure. In contrast, plasma CA concentrations increased to noise stress values only after the 0.45 mg/kg dose. The behavioral activity pattern appeared to resemble both CA patterns. The results suggest that rather low doses of deltamethrin elicit vigorous autonomic and neuro-endocrine responses that indicate high levels of stress, presumably caused by the neurotoxic effect of the insecticide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988


  • Rats
  • Insecticides
  • Plasma Corticosterone
  • Plasma Catecholamines
  • Deltamethrin

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