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Developmental immunotoxicity of atrazine in rodents.
Rowe AM; Brundage KM; Barnett JB
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2008 Feb; 102(2):139-145
There is a substantial literature reporting that the developing immune system is more sensitive to toxic insult and that the measurable phenotype resulting from prenatal/neonatal exposure often differs from that seen in adult exposure models (reviewed in Holladay and Steven, and Smialowicz et al.). Atrazine is a common herbicidal contaminant of groundwater in agricultural areas in the USA. The potential immunotoxicity of atrazine has been extensively studied using adult-exposure models; however, few studies have explored its immunotoxicity in a prenatal and/or lactational exposure model. Prenatal/lactational atrazine exposure affects the function of young adult rodent immune systems in both sex- and age-dependant manners. In our studies, the humoural and cell-mediated immune responses of offspring from atrazine-exposed dams were assessed at two ages, 3 and 6 months of age to test the hypothesis that prenatal/lactational atrazine exposure would cause greater health complications as the mice aged. Male offspring showed a significant immunopotentiation at three moa that was not apparent at 6 months. Three-month-old female offspring showed no significant difference in immune response from controls. However, at 6 months, female litter mates showed a significant depression in their immune function. These results indicate a decreasing trend in immune capacity. Rooney et al. showed a significant depression of the immune function of young male rat exposure prenatally and lactationally to atrazine. These results demonstrate a sex- and age-dependant effect of prenatal exposure to atrazine on the immune system of the adult offspring using two rodent strains.
Laboratory-animals; Animals; Animal-studies; Herbicides; Agriculture; Agricultural-chemicals; Exposure-levels; Immunotoxins; Cell-cultures; Immunology; Prenatal-exposure; Age-factors; Sex-factors
John B. Barnett, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506-9177
Issue of Publication
Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
West Virginia University
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division