Introduction: Malathion is one of organophosphate poisons (OPPs) that inhibit cholinesterase activity and induce oxidative stress in target organs, such as the reproductive system. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of Malathion on serum and erythrocyte cholinesterase activity in male rats and also to assess the protective effects of vitamin C in this regard.

Methods: This experimental study was performed in the Pharmacology Laboratory of the Pharmacy Faculty and in the Advanced Histology Techniques Laboratory of the Medical Faculty of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS) in January 2014. Thirty male wistar rats, weighting 200-250 g, were divided into five groups of six. The different groups were exposed as follows:  group 1: Malathion 50 mg/kg; group 2: Vitamin C; group 3: Malathion plus Vitamin C with the specified doses; sham group: normal saline; and control group: no exposure. After six weeks, 3 ml blood samples were taken from the rats, and titrimetric and Ellman methods were used to assess serum and erythrocyte cholinesterase activity, respectively. The data was analyzed by SPSS 16, and p < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: The activities of serum and erythrocyte cholinesterase were inhibited significantly in the Malathion exposed group compared to the control group (p < 0.001). The administration of Vitamin C alone significantly increased the activities of serum and erythrocyte cholinesterase. The serum and erythrocyte cholinesterase inhibition showed improvement in the group that received both Malathion and Vitamin C.

Conclusion: Malathion reduced the activities of serum and erythrocyte cholinesterase in exposed animals. It probably has the same intoxication effects on people who are exposed. Improvement of cholinesterase activity by antioxidant effects of Vitamin C suggests that Vitamin C supplementation can be used to decrease side effects of OPP exposure.


Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase, Malathion, Rat, Vitamin C
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