Exposure to mixtures of toxicants (e.g., pesticides) is common in real life and a subject of current concern. The present investigation was undertaken to assess some toxicological effects in male rats following exposure to methomyl (MET), abamectin (ABM), and their combination (MET+ABM), and to evaluate the ameliorative effect of zinc co-administration. Three groups of rats were designated for MET, ABM, and the mixture treatments. Three other groups were designated for zinc in conjunction with the pesticides. Additionally, one group received water only (control), and the other represented a positive zinc treatment. The obtained results revealed that MET was acutely more toxic than ABM. The tested pesticides induced significant elevation in lipid peroxidation and catalase levels, while declined the levels of the other tested parameters e.g., Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Glutathione-S-transferase (GST), Glutathione peroxidase (GPx), Glutathione reductase (GR), Cytochrome P450 (CYP450), testosterone, and thyroxine). Biochemical alterations induced by the mixture were greater than those recorded for each of the individual insecticides. The joint action analysis, based on the obtained biochemical data, revealed the dominance of antagonistic action among MET and ABM. Zinc supplementation achieved noticeable ameliorative effects. It was concluded that zinc may act as a powerful antioxidant, especially in individuals who are occupationally exposed daily to low doses of such pesticides.
Keywords: abamectin; amelioration index; joint action; methomyl; methomyl+abamectinmixture; zinc.