Age-Dependent Differences in the Susceptibility of Rats to Deltamethrin

  • L Sheets
  • Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, May 1994, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1006/taap.1994.1106

Age Dependent Toxicity of Pyrethroid Insecticides

What is it about?

Separate groups of weanling and adult rats were exposed to both behaviorally active and lethal doses of deltamethrin to examine age-dependent toxicity of a pyrethroid over a wide dose range. The acoustic startle response (ASR) was selected for comparison at low doses since it is a sensitive, quantifiable biological indicator of pyrethroid effects in rats. Acute mortality was included for comparison at the upper limit of the dose-response. Deltamethrin was administered by gavage as a single dose in corn oil for all tests. Effects on the ASR were comparable in 21- and 72-day-old rats, with a 4-mg/kg dose decreasing ASR amplitude by approximately 50% (ED50) at both ages. By comparison LD50 values in 11-, 21- and 72-day old male rats were 5.1, 11, and 81 mg/kg, respectively. Thus, 11- and 21-day-old male rats were 16 and 7 times, respectively, more sensitive than adults to acute lethality. The concentration of deltamethrin was measured in whole-brain tissue from weanling and adult males treated with ED50 and LD50 doses. The brain concentration of deltamethrin at the ED50 dose of 4 mg/kg was higher in weanling rats than adults. This suggests a possible functional difference, with weanling rats being less susceptible than adults to a low dose. By comparison, there was an equivalent concentration of deltamethrin in brain tissue following an LD50 dose of 12 mg/kg in weanling rats and 80 mg/kg in adults.

Why is it important?

These results support age-related differences in pharmacokinetics as the basis for the markedly greater sensitivity of young rats to a lethal dose of deltamethrin.

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