Impact of Acute Deltamethrin Poisoning on Rat Adrenal Glands: Biochemical and Pathomorphological Study

Eugene A. Chigrinski, PhD¹; Taras V. Gerunov, PhD²; Liudmila K. Gerunova, PhD, ScD²; Petr P. Zolin, PhD¹

¹Omsk State Medical University; ²Omsk State Agrarian University named after P.A. Stolypin; Omsk, the Russian Federation

*Corresponding author: Eugene A. Chigrinski, PhD. Department of Biochemistry, Omsk State Medical University. Omsk, Russia. E-mail:

Published: September 16, 2017.  doi: 10.21103/Article7(3)_OA12


Background: Deltamethrin is known all over the world as an effective preparation for the control of insects. In connection with this, its role as a chemical stressor increases. The aim of the study was to determine the features of the functioning and structure of AG after a single administration of synthetic pyrethroid deltamethrin in experimental animals at a dose of 17.4 mg/kg (1/5 LD50).
Material and Methods: For the experiment, 88 male Wistar rats with a body weight of 240±10 g were divided into 8 groups of 10–12 animals each. Groups 1, 3, 5, and 7 were control groups, which were administered physiological solution intragastrically. The animals in Groups 2, 4, 6, and 8 received a single dose (17.4mg/kg) of deltamethrin, which corresponds to 1/5 LD50. In the serum of rats, the content of ACTH, progesterone, DHEA-sulfate, corticosterone and aldosterone was determined by EIA. Histological preparations of adrenal glands were stained with H&E, picrofuxin according to Van Gieson, and with Bismarck brown according to Shubich. On frozen sections, lipids were detected by Sudan Black B.   
Results: One day after intoxication, we identified an increase in adrenal mass, edema of the parenchyma and blood capillary overflow, and a large number of lipids in corticocytes. In the blood serum, the concentration of ACTH and corticosteroids increased, but their level decreased in the adrenal cortex. After 3 days, the concentration of corticosterone in the blood serum of the experimental animals remained above the control value, but the content of other hormones decreased. At the border of the cortex and the medulla of the adrenal glands, there were mast cells in a state of degranulation; the amount of lipids decreased with time. In the subsequent terms of the study, a decrease in the weight of AG with a decrease in the concentration of hormones in the blood serum and adrenal tissue was detected.
Conclusion: The intoxication of rats with deltamethrin causes morphofunctional changes in AG that characterize the development of the stress response. The hormonal background is not restored within a month, which indicates the possibility of developing post-toxic complications.

pesticides ● pyrethroids ● deltamethrin ● adrenal glands ● steroid hormones

1. Soderlund DM. Molecular Mechanisms of Pyrethroid Insecticide Neurotoxicity: Recent Advances. Arch Toxicol. 2012;86(2):165-81. doi: 10.1007/s00204-011-0726-x.
2. Tyler CR, Beresford N, van der Woning M, Sumpter JP, Tchorpe K. Metabolism and environmental degradation of pyrethroid insecticides produce compounds with endocrine activities. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2000;19(4):801-9. doi: 10.1002/etc.5620190404.
3. Ji G, Xia Y, Gu A, Shi X, Long Y, Song L, et al. Effects of non-occupational environmental exposure to pyrethroids on semen quality and sperm DNA integrity in Chinese men. Reprod Toxicol. 2011;31(2):171-6. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2010.10.005.
4. Kumar A, Bhaskar A, Chandra S, Sasmal D, Mukhopadhyay K, Sharma N. Mechanism of deltamethrin induced immunotoxicity: Current and future perspectives. Receptors Clin Investig. 2015;2(2):e578. doi: 10.14800/rci.578.
5. Skolarczyk J, Pekar J, Nieradko-Iwanicka B. Immune disorders induced by exposure to pyrethroid insecticides. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2017;71(0):446-53.
6. Spencer CI, Kathryn HY, Borg JJ, Hancox JC, Kozlowski RZ. Actions of pyrethroid insecticides on sodium currents, action potentials, and contractile rhythm in isolated mammalian ventricular myocytes and perfused hearts. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001; 298(3):1067-82.
7. Bhaskar EM, Moorthy S, Ganeshwala G, Abraham G. Cardiac conduction disturbance due to prallethrin (pyrethroid) poisoning. J Med Toxicol. 2010;6(1):27-30. doi: 10.1007/s13181-010-0032-7.
8. Ye M, Beach J, Martin JW, Senthilselvan A. Pesticide exposures and respiratory health in general populations. J Environ Sci (China). 2017;51:361-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2016.11.012.
9. Spencer J, O'Malley M. Pyrethroid Illnesses in California, 1996-2002. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 2006;186:57-72.
10. Ding G, Bao Y. Revisiting pesticide exposure and children's health: focus on China. Sci Total Environ. 2014;472:289-95. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.067.
11. Vazquez PP, Mughari AR, Galera MM. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) for the determination of pyrethroids in cucumber and watermelon using liquid chromatography combined with post-column photochemically induced fluorimetry derivatization and fluorescence detection. Anal Chim Acta. 2008;607(1):74-82. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2007.11.027.
12. Reuters: Pyrethroids – Global Market Outlook (2017-2023). Available from:
13. PubChem: Deltamethrin. Available from:
14. Chargui I, Grissa I, Bensassi F, Hrira MY, Haouem S, Haouas Z, et al. Oxidative stress, biochemical and histopathological alterations in the liver and kidney of female rats exposed to low doses of deltamethrin (DM): a molecular assessment. Biomed Environ Sci. 2012;25(6):672-83. doi: 10.3967/0895-3988.2012.06.009.
15. Sharma P, Singh R, Jan M. Dose-dependent effect of deltamethrin in testis, liver, and kidney of Wistar rats. Toxicol. Int. 2014;21(2):131-9. doi: 10.4103/0971-6580.139789.
16. Chigrinski EA, Conway VD, Gerunova LK, Gerunov TV. Glutathione-related enzyme activity in rats’ testes and epididymis at an acute intoxication with a synthetic pyrethroid deltamethrin. Int J Pharma Bio Sci. 2015;6(4):B340-4.
17. Issam C, Samir H, Zohra H, Monia Z, Hassen BC. Toxic responses to deltamethrin (DM) low doses on gonads, sex hormones and lipoperoxidation in male rats following subcutaneous treatments. J Toxicol Sci. 2009;34(6):663-70.
18. Tsigos C, Chrousos GP. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, neuroendocrine factors and stress. J Psychosom Res. 2002;53(4):865-71.
19. Charmandari E, Tsigos C, Chrousos G. Endocrinology of the stress response. Annu Rev Physiol. 2005;67:259-84. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.67.040403.120816.
20. Nicolaides NC, Kyratzi E, Lamprokostopoulou A, Chrousos GP, Charmandari E. Stress, the stress system and the role of glucocorticoids. Neuroimmunomodulation. 2015;22(1-2):6-19. doi: 10.1159/000362736.
21. Nussey S, Whitehead S. Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. Oxford: BIOS Scientific Publishers; 2001.
22. Sharawy M, Dirksen T, Chaffin J. Increase in free cholesterol content of the adrenal cortex after stress: radioautographic and biochemical study. Am J Anat. 1979;156(4):567-75. doi: 10.1002/aja.1001560409.
23. Pudney J, Sweet PR, Vinson GP, Whitehouse BJ. Morphological correlates of hormone secretion in the rat adrenal cortex and the role of filopodia. Anat Rec. 1981;201(3):537-51. doi: 10.1002/ar.1092010310.
24. Nieradko-Iwanicka B, Borzecki A. How Deltamethrin Produces Oxidative Stress in Liver and Kidney. Pol J Environ Stud. 2016;25(3):1367-71. doi: 10.15244/pjoes/61818.
25. Prasad R, Kowalczyk JC, Meimaridou E, Storr HL, Metherell LA. Oxidative stress and adrenocortical insufficiency. J Endocrinol. 2014;221(3):R63–R73. doi: 10.1530/JOE-13-0346.

The fully formatted PDF version is available.
Download Article
International Journal of Biomedicine. 2017;7(3):221-225. ©2017 International Medical Research and Development Corporation. All rights reserved.