The Liver of Young and Old Female Rats Exhibits Heightened Susceptibility to Dichlorvos Exposure

Serah Funke Ige

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Bolade S. Olateju *

Department of Physiology, University of Lagos, Nigeria and Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, United States.

Salami Kauthar

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Andrew Sharon Julius

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Amusan Joshua Tolulope

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Exposure to industrial and agricultural environmental contaminants has been shown to produce deleterious effects on different organs of the human body. Dichlorvos [O, O-dimethyl O-(2,2-dichlorovinyl) phosphate, DDVP] is a major organophosphate pesticide used mostly in developing countries for domestic and agricultural insect control. The toxic effects of DDVP have been reported on many organs. However, its gender and age-dependent effects on the liver are yet to be documented. This study investigated the influence of gender and age on liver damage in male and female rats exposed to DDVP. Animals were divided into control and experimental groups with age and gender classification. Using age, rats were classified into young, middle-aged, and old age groups. Rats in the experimental groups were exposed to DDVP from 8 am to 12 noon for five weeks. Rats were subsequently euthanized and liver tissues were harvested for biochemical assay. Glutamyl transferase (GGT), Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), Albumin, and conjugated bilirubin were assayed using ELISA kits. Statistical analysis was done using two-way ANOVA, followed by Tukey post-Hoc test at significance level of p<0.05. Our study found that DDVP exposure caused liver damage in female rats only with significant elevation in liver enzymes such as ALP, ALT, AST, and LDH. However, the male rats showed more resistance to DDVP exposure. The liver damage observed in female rats was age-dependent, with young and old rats showing higher susceptibility compared to middle-aged female rats. Nutritional and pharmacological strategies are recommended to mitigate the effect of DDVP exposure, particularly in populations at higher risk of exposure. 

Keywords: DDVP, dichlorvos, liver enzymes, age, gender differences

How to Cite

Ige, Serah Funke, Bolade S. Olateju, Salami Kauthar, Andrew Sharon Julius, and Amusan Joshua Tolulope. 2024. “The Liver of Young and Old Female Rats Exhibits Heightened Susceptibility to Dichlorvos Exposure”. Asian Journal of Medicine and Health 22 (8):32-44.


Download data is not yet available.


Shetty SS, DD, SH, Sonkusare S, Naik PB, Kumari NS, Madhyastha H. Environmental pollutants and their effects on human health. Heliyon. 2023;9(9): e19496. Available:

Manisalidis I, Stavropoulou E, Stavropoulos A, Bezirtzoglou E. Environmental and health impacts of air pollution: A review. Frontiers in Public Health. 2020;8.

Quintino-Ottonicar GG, da Silva LR. Maria VLRD.S, Pizzo EM, de Santana ACP, Lenharo N. R., Pinho CF, Pereira S. Exposure to Dichlorvos pesticide alters the morphology of and lipid metabolism in the ventral prostate of rats. Frontiers in Toxicology. 2023;5: 1207612. Available:

Ezeji EU, Ogueri OD, Udebuani AC, Okereke JN, Obasi KO. Effects of Dichlorvos on the fertility of adult male albino rats. Nat. Sci. 2015;13(12):1–5. DOI: 10.7537/marsnsj131215.01

Mishani HS, Jalalizand A, Modaresi M. The effect of increasing the dose of acetamiprid and dichlorvos pesticides on the reproductive performance of laboratory mice. Adv. Biomed. Res. 2022;11: 114. DOI: 10.4103/abr.abr_199_22

Ige S, Aremu W, Olateju B, Adekola A. Effects of Age and Sex on the Healing of Acetic-Acid Induced Ulcerative Colitis in Adult Wistar Rats. Asian Journal of Medicine and Health; 2021. DOI: 10.9734/AJMAH/2021/v19i930367

Okoroiwu HU, Iwara IA. Dichlorvos toxicity: A public health perspective. Interdisciplinary Toxicology. 2018;11(2): 129–137.


Zhao SX, Zhang QS, Kong L, Zhang YG, Wang RQ, Nan YM, Kong LB. Dichlorvos induced autoimmune hepatitis: A case report and review of literature. Hepatitis Monthly. 2015;15(4): e25469. Available:

Owoeye O, Edem FV, Akinyoola BS, Rahaman S, Akang EE, Arinola GO. Toxicological changes in liver and lungs of rats exposed to dichlorvos before and after vitamin supplementation. Eur. J Anat. 2012;16(3):190–8.

Ben Salem I, Boussabbeh M, Graiet I, Rhouma A, Bacha H, Abid Essefi S. Quercetin protects HCT116 cells from Dichlorvos-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis. Cell Stress & Chaperones. 2016;21(1):179–186. Available:

Abad-Díez JM, Calderón-Larrañaga A, Poncel-Falcó A, Poblador-Plou B, Calderón-Meza JM, Sicras-Mainar A, Clerencia-Sierra M, Prados-Torres A. Age and gender differences in the prevalence and patterns of multimorbidity in the older population. BMC geriatrics. 2014;14:75. Available:

Johnstone S, Dela Cruz GA, Kalb N, Tyagi SV, Potenza MN, George TP, Castle DJ. A systematic review of gender-responsive and integrated substance use disorder treatment programs for women with co-occurring disorders. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 2023; 49(1):21–42. Available:

Mortuza T, Chen C, White C, Cummings B, Bruckner J. Toxicokinetics of Deltamethrin; Dosage Dependency. Vehicle Effects, and Low-Dose Age-Equivalent Dosimetry in Rats. Toxicol Sci. 2018;162(1):327 – 336

Lala V, Zubair M, Minter DA. Liver function tests. [Updated 2023 Jul 30]. In: StatPearls Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024. Available:

Ellman GL. Tissue sulphydryl groups. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1959; 82:70- 77.

Gerussi A. Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase in Patients With Primary Biliary Cholangitis. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2022;18(12):706–708.

Ramakrishnan N, Bittar K, Jialal I. Impaired Bilirubin Conjugation. [Updated 2022 Sep 12]. In: StatPearls Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024. Available:

Spruss A, Henkel J, Kanuri G, Blank D, Püschel GP, Bischoff SC, Bergheim I. Female mice are more susceptible to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Sex-specific regulation of the hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase-plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 cascade, but not the hepatic endotoxin response. Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.). 2012;18(1): 1346–1355. Available:

Du K, Williams CD, McGill MR, Jaeschke H. Lower susceptibility of female mice to acetaminophen hepatotoxicity: Role of mitochondrial glutathione, oxidant stress and c-jun N-terminal kinase. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 2014; 281(1):58–66.


Mohar I, Stamper BD, Rademacher PM, White CC, Nelson SD, Kavanagh TJ. Acetaminophen-induced liver damage in mice is associated with gender-specific adduction of peroxiredoxin-6. Redox Biology. 2014;2:377–387. Available:

Lekei E, Ngowi AV, Kapeleka J, London L. Acute pesticide poisoning amongst adolescent girls and women in northern Tanzania. BMC Public Health. 2020;20 (1):303. Available:

Ige SF, Akhigbe RE, Edeogho O, Ajayi AF. Hepatoprotective Activities Of Allium Cepa In Cadmium-Treated Rats. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2011; 3(5).

Georgieva M, Xenodochidis C, Krasteva N. Old age as a risk factor for liver diseases: Modern therapeutic approaches. Experimental Gerontology. 2023;184:112334. Available:

Cogger VC, Hilmer SN, Svistounov D. Mechanisms and Implications of Age-Related Changes in the Liver. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research. 2011;1–2. DOI: 10.1155/2011/150364

Meng Q, Li N, Yuan L, Gao X. Analysis of common causes of liver damage among children 12 years and younger in Weifang. The Journal of International Medical Research. 2021;49(4):300060 5211006661. Available:

Veltkamp DMJ, Wang Y, Meuleman Y, Dekker FW, Michels WM, van der Boog PJM, de Vries A. PJ. Age and gender differences in symptom experience and health-related quality of life in kidney transplant recipients: A cross-sectional study. Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : Official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association. 2023;38(7):1707– 1718. Available:

Ige S, Seriki MA, Olateju B. Evaluation of age related changes associated with exposure of wistar rats to dichlorvor on some haematological parameters. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management. 2021b ;25:487-491. DOI: 10.4314/jasem.v25i3.27

Xu MY, Wang P, Sun YJ, Wang HP, Liang YJ, Zhu L, Wu YJ. Redox status in liver of rats following subchronic exposure to the combination of low dose dichlorvos and deltamethrin. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 2015;124: 60-5.

Bui-Nguyen TM, Baer CE, Lewis JA, Yang D, Lein PJ, Jackson DA. Dichlorvos exposure results in large scale disruption of energy metabolism in the liver of the zebrafish, Danio rerio. BMC Genomics. 2015;16:1-8.