Reference values for acetyl and butyrylcholinesterases in cattle under actual management conditions, hepatic and renal function by application of chlorpyrifos

J Environ Sci Health B. 2018 Mar 4;53(3):191-198. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2017.1405622. Epub 2018 Jan 2.


Chlorpyrifos is an anticholinesterase organophosphate insecticide widely used in Argentina in the production of food derived from animal, fruit and horticultural origin and is reported as a residue within these products. Local reference values for acetyl and butyrylcholinesterase were determined in Aberdeen Angus bovine and cross bred cattle (n = 25), a requirement to be able to evaluate toxicity of commercial organophosphate and carbamate formulations. The activity of cholinesterase enzymes presented an overall mean of 2,183.00 ± 485.6 IU L-1 for erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase and 203.1 ± 42.06 IU L-1 for plasma butyrylcholinesterase, which are used as reference values for meat steers within a system of intensive production in a semi-arid region. The toxic potential of chlorpyrifos in steers of the same breeds (n = 12) was assessed applying chlorpyrifos 15.00% Tipertox® in a single therapeutic dose of 7.50 mg kg-1 by topical route. Prior to application and then on day 1 and day 21 post-application, both blood cholinesterases, serum chlorpyrifos concentration by ultra-high resolution liquid chromatography with mass detector, analysis of blood counts, total proteins, liver enzymes, urea and creatinine were evaluated. The mean plasma concentration of chlorpyrifos was 27.90 ug L-1 at 24 h. The findings indicate that the therapeutic treatment of castrated male bovines treated with chlorpyrifos, applied by pour-on according to the manufacturer's instructions, does not cause changes in the variables evaluated.

Keywords: Chlorpyrifos; UHPLC; cattle; chlolinesterases; hematology; renal and liver function.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / blood*
  • Animals
  • Argentina
  • Butyrylcholinesterase / blood*
  • Cattle
  • Chlorpyrifos / toxicity*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / toxicity*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Food Contamination
  • Insecticides / toxicity
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Pesticide Residues / toxicity
  • Reference Values


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticide Residues
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Chlorpyrifos