Downregulation of male-specific cytochrome P450 by profenofos


The health hazards of individual organophosphorus insecticides have been characterized by their acute toxicity, mainly by investigating their cholinesterase inhibition. However, the chronic effects of most of these toxicants on the drug-metabolizing enzymes have not been investigated. Profenofos (O-4-bromo-2-chlorophenyl O-ethyl S-propyl phosphorothioate) is an organophosphorus pesticide widely used in cotton cultivation. In the present study, we investigated the effect of profenofos on male-specific cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in adult Wistar rats. We orally administered 17.8 mg/kg body weight, twice weekly for 65 days. Profenofos downregulated levels of hepatic and testicular CYP2C11 and CYP3A2 mRNA and protein expression. Testicular aromatase (CYP19A) mRNA was decreased in the profenofos-treated rats compared to controls. Overall, the present study suggests that profenofos acts as an endocrine disruptor of male-specific CYP enzymes and affects testosterone concentration, which implicates its deleterious effects on animal or human males chronically exposed to organophosphorus pesticide.