Imidacloprid as reproductive toxicant and endocrine disruptor: investigations in laboratory animals

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Imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, has been used worldwide due to its selective toxicity for insects. Its residues may enter the food chain, which is why it is important to investigate the potential adverse effects of imidacloprid exposure. This review summarises current knowledge of the reproductive toxicity and disruptive endocrine effects of imidacloprid in laboratory animals. Investigations, conducted mostly on laboratory rats, have shown adverse effects of imidacloprid on the reproductive ability in both parental and offspring generation as well as on the development of the offspring. Like many pesticides, imidacloprid may also act as endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC). It may disrupt the metabolic homeostasis, contribute to obesity, and disrupt steroidogenesis by inhibiting cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme activities. All these adverse effects of imidacloprid may pose a serious risk for reproduction and development with long-term consequences in adulthood.

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