Pesticides are important chemicals or biological agents that deter or kill pests. The use of pesticides has continued to increase as it is still considered the most effective method to reduce pests and increase crop growth. However, pesticides have other consequences, including potential toxicity to humans and wildlife. Pesticides have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and birth defects. Labels on pesticides also suggest limiting exposure to these hazardous chemicals. Based on experimental evidence, various types of pesticides all seem to have a common effect, the induction of oxidative stress in different cell types and animal models. Pesticide-induced oxidative stress is caused by both reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), which are associated with several diseases including cancer, inflammation, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. ROS and RNS can activate at least five independent signaling pathways including mitochondrial-induced apoptosis. Limited in vitro studies also suggest that exogenous antioxidants can reduce or prevent the deleterious effects of pesticides.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology