Toxic Nuclear Effects of the Organophosphorus Insecticide Dichlorvos (DDVP) in Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes


Organophosphorus insecticides are used worldwide in the control of agricultural, household and veterinary pests. Dichlorvos (2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate) is a commonly used organophosphorus insecticide. In this study, in order to elucidate the toxic nuclear effects of dichlorvos, freshly isolated human peripheral blood lymphocytes were incubated with 5, 10, 20, 40, 80 and 100 μg/mL of dichlorvos. According to the results, dichlorvos induced micronuclei, decreased the mitotic and replication indexes. It is a genotoxic product causing chromosomal damage (an increase in micronucleus) and cell death (decrease in mitotic and replication indexes).


  1. 1.

    Booth, E. D. (2007) Review of the in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity of dichlorvos. Regul. Toxicol. Pharm. 49, 316–326.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Busby, Jr., W. F., Wogan, G. N. (1984) Aflatoxins. In: Searle, C. E. (ed.) Chemical carcinogens. Vol. 2, American Chemical Society Series, Washington, D. C. pp. 945–1136.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Dean, B. J. (1972) The effect of dichlorvos on cultured human lymphocytes. Arch. Toxicol. 30, 75–85.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Doherty, A. T. (1996) Induction of micronuclei and non-disjunction in binucleate human lymphoblastoid cells by trichlorphon and dichlorvos. Mutat. Res. 360, 250.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    El-Behissy, E. Y. (2001) Fate of postharvest-applied dichlorvos in stored and processed dates. J. Agr. Food Chem. 49, 1239–1245.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    EPA, 1988.5-11 (1988) US Environmental Protection Agency, Dichlorvos: Initiation of special review. Federal Register 53, 5542–5549.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    EPA, 1991.5-12 (1991) US Environmental Protection Agency, Dichlorvos: Revocation of tolerance and food additive regulation. Federal Register 56, 5788–5789.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Ferguson, L. (1995) Anticancer drugs: an underestimated risk or an underutilized resource in mutagenesis. Mutat. Res. 331, 1–26.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Gallo, M. A., Lawryk, N. J. (1991) Organic phosphorus pesticides. In: Hayes, Jr., W. J., Laws, Jr., E. R. (eds) Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology 2. Academic Press, New York, pp. 917–1123.

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Garrett, N. E. (1990) Genotoxic and carcinogenic potential of anticholinesterase. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 15, 20–21.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Kidd, H., James, D. R. (1991) In: Kidd, H., James, D. R. (eds) The Agrochemicals Handbook. Royal Society of Chemistry Information Services, Cambridge, pp. 5–14.

  12. 12.

    Kobayashi, H. (2007) Brain regional acetylcholinesterase activity and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in rats after repeated administration of cholinesterase inhibitors and its withdrawal. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 219, 151–161.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Kuroda, K. (1992) Mitotic toxicity, sister chromatid exchange, and rec assay of pesticides. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 23, 13–18.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Li, O., Kobayashi, M., Kawada, T. (2007) Organophosphorus pesticides induce apoptosis in human NK cells. Toxicology 239, 89–95.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Li, O., Nakadai, A., Ishizaki, M., Morimoto, K., Ueda, A., Krensky, A. M., Kawada, T. (2005) Dimethyl 2,2-dichlorovinyl phosphate (DDVP) markedly decreases the expression of perforin, granzyme A and granulysin in human NK-92CI cell line. Toxicology 213, 107–116.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Mattiuzzo, M. (2006) Aneuploidy inducing capacity of two widely used pesticides. Carcinogenesis 27, 2511–2518.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Oshiro, Y. (1991) Chinese hamster ovary cell assays for mutation and chromosome damage: data from noncarcinogens. J. Appl. Toxicol. 11, 167–177.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Perry, A. S., Yamamoto, I., Ishaaya, I., Perry, R. Y. (1998) Insecticides in Agriculture and Environment: Retrospects and Prospects. Springer, Berlin, pp. 261.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Ramalho, A. (1988) Use of the frequencies of micronuclei as quantitative indicators of X ray-induced chromosomal aberrations in human peripheral blood lymphocytes: comparison of two methods. Mutat. Res. 207, 141–146.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Remington, S. E., Jowsey, P. A., Williams, F. M., Blain, P. G. (2008) Investigations into the genotoxic potential of dichlorvos. Toxicology 253, 13–14.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Rojas, E. (1993) Mitotic index and cell proliferation kinetics for the identification of antineoplastic activity. Anti-Cancer Drug 4, 637–640.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Sachanaa, M. (2003) Inhibition of neurite outgrowth in N2a cells by leptophos and carbaryl: effects on neurofilament heavy chain, GAP-43 and HSP-70. Toxicol. In Vitro 17, 115–120.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Santos-Mello, R. (1974) Chromosome aberrations and T-cell survival in human lymphocytes. Radiat. Res. 60, 482–488.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Scarpato, R. (1996) Comparison of spontaneous structural chromosome aberration frequency in 48 h-cultured human lymphocytes mitotically arrested by different colchemid treatments. Mutat. Res. 361, 35–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Seitz, H. K. (1998) Alcohol and cancer. Recent Dev. Alcohol. 14, 67–95.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Valkova, V. (1993) Mutagenic activity of phosmet, the active compound of the organophosphorus insecticide Decemtione EK 20 in Salmonella and Sacchoromyces assays. Mutat. Res. 302, 153–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Vijayaraghavan, M. (1994) Mutagenic potential of acute exposure to organophosphorus and organochlorine compounds. Mutat. Res. 321, 103–111.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Wauchope, R. D. (1992) The SCS/ARS/CES pesticide properties database for environmental decision-making. Rev. Environ. Contam. T. 123, 1–155.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Yımaz, S. (2008) Clastogenic effects of food additive citric acid in human peripheral lymphocytes. Cytotechnology 56, 137–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Zuyao, N. (1993) Induction of micronucleus by organophosphorus pesticides in vitro and in vivo. J. West. China Univ. Med. Sci. 24, 82–86.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


The author wishes to thank Miss. Emine Ölmez for sending blood samples used in this study.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to H. E. Eroğlu.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Eroğlu, H.E. Toxic Nuclear Effects of the Organophosphorus Insecticide Dichlorvos (DDVP) in Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 60, 409–416 (2009).

Download citation


  • Dichlorvos
  • toxicity
  • micronucleus
  • mitotic index
  • replication index