Oxidative Mechanisms Contributing to the Developmental Neurotoxicity of Nicotine and Chlorpyrifos
A 2005 study by Qiao D, et al., published in the journal of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology demonstrates the potential benefits of Vitamin E in preventing the adverse effects of pesticides. Nicotine and chlorpyrifos, (a common pesticide), are known to harm the developing brain. Both promote the formation of oxidative radicals. Interestingly, nicotine is found to be both a neuroprotectant and a neurotoxin. The neurotoxic component may be enhanced if combined with other neurotoxins such as pesticides. The results of this study indicate that nicotine and chlorpyrifos elicit oxidative damage to developing neural cells both in experimental petri dishes and in live animal models. These results demonstrate that the damaging effects of oxidative radicals can be prevented by the antioxidant, Vitamin E. This implies that the avoidance of chemicals promoting the formation of oxidative radicals, such as pesticides, and that antioxidants like Vitamin E, can reduce the risk of neural damage in the developing brain.