Imidacloprid insecticide exposure induces stress and disrupts glucose homeostasis in male rats

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Oct;55:165-174. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2017.08.017. Epub 2017 Aug 24.


In the present study, we evaluated the stress response in adult rats who were administered imidacloprid (IMI) orally in two doses (0.5 and 1.0mg/kg bw for 60days). It led to an alteration in the levels of cortisone and catecholamines and induced behavioral deficits, particularly in the animals exposed to the dose of 1.0mg/kg. IMI was further analyzed for the effect on glucose homeostasis in developing and adult rats at a dose of 1.0mg/kg bw where it elicited a hyperglycemic effect. Moreover, we observed an alteration in the mRNA levels of glucose transporters. Histopathological and immunohistochemical data displayed structural perturbations in pancreatic tissue with a decline in the expression of insulin and GLUT4, particularly in the developing rats. Collectively, IMI treatment resulted in stress represented by behavioral and biochemical changes, particularly at a dose of 1.0mg/kg bw. Moreover, IMI perturbed the glucose regulation through hyperglycemic activity in both developing and adult rats, an observation clearly evident in the developing rats.

Keywords: Forced swim test; Glucose transporter; Imidacloprid; Neonicotinoid; Open field test.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catecholamines / metabolism
  • Cortisone / metabolism
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / genetics
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Insecticides / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Neonicotinoids / adverse effects*
  • Nitro Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Stress, Physiological*


  • Catecholamines
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • Insecticides
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Nitro Compounds
  • imidacloprid
  • Glucose
  • Cortisone