Organophosphorus insecticide, monocrotophos, possesses the propensity to induce insulin resistance in rats on chronic exposure

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Our earlier studies had shown that monocrotophos (MCP), an organophosphorus insecticide (OPI), has the propensity to augment the secondary complications associated with type-1 diabetes. The present study investigates whether rats exposed for prolonged periods to monocrotophos would develop insulin resistance mediated by alteration in glucose homeostasis.


Male rats were administered sublethal doses of monocrotophos daily for 180 days. Interim blood samples were collected to measure alteration in blood glucose and lipid profile. Rats were also subjected to glucose and insulin tolerance test and fasting blood glucose and insulin levels were measured to calculate insulin resistance by HOMA-IR method. After 180 days, the rats were also evaluated for pancreatic histology and activities of hepatic gluconeogenetic enzymes.


Monocrotophos elicited a gradual and sustained increase in blood glucose and insulin resistance in rats with concomitant glucose intolerance and reduced insulin sensitivity. MCP exposure was also associated with increase in weights of key white adipose pads, activities of gluconeogenesis enzymes and increase in pancreatic islet diameter, all of which led to hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and dyslipidaemia.


Long-term exposure of rats to MCP resulted in glucose intolerance with hyperinsulinemia, a hallmark of insulin resistance. Our data suggest that chronic exposure to low doses of monocrotophos, might lead to development of insulin resistance by altering lipid profile and glucose homeostasis.

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