The primary role of glutathione against nuclear DNA damage of striatum induced by permethrin in rats

Neuroscience. 2010 Jun 16;168(1):2-10. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.03.053. Epub 2010 Mar 29.


Pyrethroids are one of the most widely used class of insecticides and their toxicity is dominated by pharmacological actions upon the CNS. This study reports as the subchronic treatment (60 days) with permethrin (PERM) (1/10 of LD(50)) induced nuclear DNA damage in rat striatum cells. Comet assay outcomes showed that PERM produced single- and double-strand breaks in striatum cells, the DNA damage was not related to oxidation at pyrimidine and purine bases. Vitamin E (280 mg/kg body weight/day) and vitamin E+coenzyme Q(10) (10 mg/kg/3 ml) supplementation could protect PERM treated rats against nuclear DNA damage. With the aim to evaluate the cause of nuclear DNA damage observed in striatum of rat treated with PERM, in vitro studies on striatum submitochondrial particles (SMPs) and on striatum cells treated with 10 muM PERM alone or plus 16 or 32 nM GSH were performed. SMPs incubated with PERM showed a decrease in superoxide anion release from the electron transport chain by inhibition of mitochondrial complex I. The effect could be related to the decrease of membrane fluidity measured in the hydrophilic-hydrophobic region of the mitochondrial membrane. This result discarded the involvement of the mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in the nuclear DNA damage. On the contrary, GSH played a crucial role on striatum since it was able to protect the cells against nuclear DNA damage induced by PERM. In conclusion our outcomes suggested that nuclear DNA damage of striatum cells was directly related to GSH depletion due to PERM insecticide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects*
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Electron Transport Complex I / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Glutathione / physiology*
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Membrane Fluidity / drug effects
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / drug effects
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / metabolism
  • Permethrin / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Submitochondrial Particles / drug effects
  • Submitochondrial Particles / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Insecticides
  • Superoxides
  • Permethrin
  • Electron Transport Complex I
  • Glutathione