Insecticide chlorpyrifos and fungicide carbendazim, common food contaminants mixture, induce hepatic, renal, and splenic oxidative damage in female rats
The fungicide carbendazim (CBZ) and insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) are currently applied together by farmers for the control of pests. Here, we investigated the impacts of 7 days oral co-exposure to 10 mg/kg body weight of CPF and 50 mg/kg body weight of CBZ on selected oxidative stress and antioxidant biomarkers in the liver, kidney, and spleen of female rats. The results showed that while the body weight gain and relative organ weights were not significantly affected after separate exposure to CPF and CBZ, there was a significant decrease in the body weight gain with concomitant increases in the relative kidney and spleen weights of rats treated with the mixture. Also, CPF and CBZ co-exposure significantly increased the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), urea, and creatinine (p < 0.05) when compared with the groups treated with CBZ or CPF alone and the control. The significant decreases in both antioxidant enzymes activities and nonenzymatic antioxidant level following individual administration of CPF and CBZ to rats were intensified in the co-exposure group (p < 0.05). Additionally, the marked increases in the levels of oxidative stress indices in liver, kidney, and spleen of rats treated with CPF or CBZ alone were intensified in the co-exposure group (p < 0.05). Histopathologically, co-exposure to CPF and CBZ exacerbates their individual effects on the liver, kidney, and spleen. These findings showed that co-exposure to CPF and CBZ in rats elicited more severe oxidative damage on the liver, kidney, and spleen of the rats, indicative of an additive effect compared to CPF or CBZ alone and as such, may pose a greater environmental risk to humans.