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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Behavioral effects of type II pyrethroid cyhalothrin in rats.

Synthetic pyrethroids such as cyhalothrin are extensively used in agriculture for the control of a broad range of ectoparasites in farm animals. It has been suggested that type II pyrethroids might induce anxiogenic-like effects in laboratory animals. The present study was undertaken to investigate a possible anxiogenic-like outcome of cyhalothrin in rats. Adult male rats were orally dosed for 7 days with 1.0, 3.0, or 7.0 mg/kg/day of cyhalothrin, present in a commercial formulation (Grenade Coopers do Brazil S.A.). The neurobehavioral changes induced by cyhalothrin as well as those produced on corticosterone serum levels were measured 24 h after the last treatment. Picrotoxin (1.0 mg/kg) was also acutely used as a positive control for anxiety. Results showed that cyhalothrin: (1) induced some signs and symptoms of intoxication that included salivation, tremors, and liquid feces; (2) reduced total locomotor activity in the open-field; (3) reduced the percentage of time spent in open-field central zones; (4) increased immobility time in the open-field; (5) reduced the percentage of time spent in plus-maze open arms exploration; (6) reduced the time spent in social interactions, and (7) increased the levels of serum corticosterone. The behavioral changes reported for cyhalothrin (3.0 mg/kg/day) were similar of those induced by picrotoxin. The no effect level dose obtained for cyhalothrin in this study was 1.0 mg/kg/day. These results provide experimental evidence that cyhalothrin induces anxiety-like symptoms, with this effect being dose-related. Thus, anxiety must be included among the several signs and symptoms of pesticide intoxication.[1]


  1. Behavioral effects of type II pyrethroid cyhalothrin in rats. Righi, D.A., Palermo-Neto, J. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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