, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 483–492

Role of zinc in mitigating the toxic effects of chlorpyrifos on hematological alterations and electron microscopic observations in rat blood


DOI: 10.1007/s10534-005-5148-x

Cite this article as:
Goel, A., Dani, V. & Dhawan, D.K. Biometals (2006) 19: 483. doi:10.1007/s10534-005-5148-x


The present study determined the protective potential of zinc in attenuating the toxicity induced by chlorpyrifos in rat blood. Male Sparque Dawley (SD) rats received either oral chlorpyrifos (13.5 mg/kg body weight) treatment every alternate day, zinc alone (227 mg/l in drinking water) or combined chlorpyrifos plus zinc treatment for a total duration of 8 weeks. The effects of different treatments were studied on various parameters in rat blood including haemoglobin (Hb) levels, total leukocyte count (TLC), differential leukocyte count (DLC), zinc protoporphyrins (ZPP), serum trace elemental concentrations and Scanning Electron Microscopic (SEM) observation of the blood cells. Chlorpyrifos treatment to normal control animals resulted in a significant decrease in TLC and ZPP concentration after 4 and 8 weeks. Chlorpyrifos treated animals also showed significant neutrophilia and lymphopenia after 8 weeks of toxicity. In addition, a significant decrease in serum zinc and iron concentrations were observed following chlorpyrifos intoxication, however, these animals responded with increased serum copper levels following the toxic treatment with this organophosphate. SEM studies of the red blood cells from chlorpyrifos treated animals indicated marked alterations in the topographical morphology of the various cell types, with the prominent feature being common aniscocytosis of the erythrocytes. Oral zinc treatment to the chlorpyrifos treated animals significantly improved the total leukocyte, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, as well as the otherwise reduced concentrations of ZPP and the levels of various serum trace elements. Protective effects of zinc were also evident in the electron microscopic observations where most blood cell types depicted reverted to a close to the normal appearance. Based upon these data, the present study is first of its kind and suggests that zinc treatment considerably attenuates chlorpyrifos induced toxicity induced in restoring the altered hematological indices and morphological changes.


blood cellschlorpyrifoselectron microscopyorganophosphatetoxicitytrace elementsZinc

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsPunjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.GI Cancer Research Lab, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal MedicineBaylor University Medical CenterDallasUSA