Behavioral effects of acute exposure to the insecticide fipronil
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The effects of fipronil (Frontline (R) Top Spot) were investigated in 40 days old rats utilizing open field (OF), hole-board (HB) and elevated plus-maze (EPM) apparatus. Rats (N=15) received topical application of fipronil (70, 140 and 280 mg/kg) in the neck region and behavior was tested 3 h after administration. Animals treated with corn oil (vehicle) were used as controls. In the of test animals treated with fipronil at 140 mg/kg showed increased rearing, whereas animals exposed to 280 mg/kg showed increased freezing, grooming, and rearing. In the HB test fipronil at 280 mg/kg increased head-dip and head-dipping behaviors. In the EPM test the only observed effect was increased number of entries in both open and closed EPM arms in animals treated with 280 mg/kg. In conclusion, dermal exposure to fipronil causes effects related to emotionality, fear, and exploratory activity; results add strength to the growing concern that pirazole insecticides can be neurotoxic to humans. Published by Elsevier B.V.