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Quercetin Attenuates the Oxidative Injury–Mediated Upregulation of Apoptotic Gene Expression and Catecholaminergic Neurotransmitters of the Fetal Rats’ Brain Following Prenatal Exposure to Fenitrothion Insecticide

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The association between gestational exposure to organophosphate and neurodevelopmental deficits is an area of particular interest, since the developing brain is sensitively susceptible to this neurotoxic pesticide. Instead, the neuroprotective role of quercetin has been suggested, but its exact protective mechanism against the developmental neurotoxicity of organophosphate did not previously notify. In this study, we have evaluated the anti-apoptotic role of quercetin against the developmental neurotoxicity of fenitrothion. Forty timed pregnant rats (from the 5th to the 19th day) were divided into four groups: control, quercetin (100 mg/kg/day), fenitrothion (2.31 mg/kg/day), and quercetin-fenitrothion co-treated groups where all animals received the corresponding doses by gavage. The embryotoxicity and many symptoms of the fetal growth retardation were recorded in the fenitrothion-intoxicated group. As compared with the control, fenitrothion brought significant (p < 0.05) elevation in the fetal brain dopamine, serotonin, and malondialdehyde levels as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase. However, fenitrothion decreased the glutathione concentration together with the activities of acetylcholinesterase, glutathione-S-transferase, and glutathione reductase. Moreover, fenitrothion induced some of the histopathological alterations in fetal brain and remarkably (p < 0.05) upregulated the mRNA gene expression of Bax and caspase-3 plus their protein immunoreactivity. It is worth mentioning that quercetin co-treatment alleviated (p ˂ 0.05) the fetal growth shortfalls, neurotransmission disturbances, lipid peroxidation, antioxidant disorders, and apoptosis evoked by fenitrothion with frequent repair to the control range. These results revealed that the downregulation of apoptosis-related genes and catecholamines is an acceptable indicator for the neuroprotective efficiency of quercetin especially during gestational exposure to organophosphate.

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Correspondence to Khairy A. Ibrahim.

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Ibrahim, K.A., Eleyan, M., Abd El-Rahman, H.A. et al. Quercetin Attenuates the Oxidative Injury–Mediated Upregulation of Apoptotic Gene Expression and Catecholaminergic Neurotransmitters of the Fetal Rats’ Brain Following Prenatal Exposure to Fenitrothion Insecticide. Neurotox Res (2020).

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  • Fenitrothion
  • Gestational exposure
  • Rat
  • Brain
  • Apoptosis
  • Quercetin