Antioxidant Effects of Selenium on Rats Exposed to Diazinon

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(Last Updated On: April 2, 2020)
Black selenium
Black selenium. Image: Hi-Res via Common Wikimedia

Organophosphate compounds are frequently used to control flies, lice, and insects of ornamental plants as well as food crops and soil insects. It has anticholinesterase activity, thus, its accumulation in the soil and then in the food crops may cause organophosphate toxicity most commonly through the production of reactive oxygen species and causes severe physiological changes. One of the most important insecticides of organophosphate is the diazinon. It is widely used in agriculture and in industries.


The present study carried out by Fatma M. El-Demerdash from Alexandrin University, Egypt and Hoda M. Nasr from Damanhour University, Egypt reveals that selenium can alleviate the negative effect of the diazinon in the rats that caused different physiological changes.

For this study, researchers took four groups of seven rats in each. The first group (group 1) was designated as control while groups 2, 3, and 4 were treated with selenium, diazinon, and diazinon in combination with selenium respectively. After 30 days of an experiment, during which these rats were administered the respective doses continuously, they found the following results.

In the group, treated with diazinon, the activity of Catalase, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Glutathione Peroxidase (GP), Glutathione-S-Transferase (GST), and Glutathione Reductase (GR) was decreased. While the serum level of the enzymes likes Aminotransferases (ALAT, and ASAT), Phosphatases and Lactase Dehydrogenase (LD) were found to be decreased.

However, in the group of rats treated with selenium, it was found that the level of Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances was low. The serum level of total lipids, cholesterol, urea, and creatinine was also decreased while the activities of the antioxidant enzymes, as well as the content of the glutathione, were found to be increased. The group of rats treated with selenium plus diazinon, there was partial or complete alleviation of the toxic effect of the diazinon.

Selenium is an essential trace of a dietary element having the ability to scavenge free radicals and protects the cellular environment from the oxidative damage. It protects the structure and function of the proteins, DNA, and chromosomes from oxidative injury. However, it also causes or stimulates the expression of other biologically active compounds like Glutathione Peroxidase (GP) and Glutathione-S-Transferase (GST), etc.

In conclusion, selenium has many beneficial effects. It is an antioxidant and can alleviate the toxicity of the organophosphates like diazinon by itself as well as by expressing some of the most common antioxidant enzymes.

Reference: Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

Article doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2013.10.001

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