EXPERIMENTAL EVALUATION OF THE ACTION OF ETHEPHON AND SODIUM SELENITE ON SOME HEMATOLOGICAL PARAMETERS IN RATS
Ethephon (2-chloroethylphosphonic acid) is one of the most intensely used plant growth regulators. Aim: Assessment of hematological parameters during subacute intoxication with ethephon (200 mg/kg bw/day) in rats and evaluation of the potential protective effect of selenium (1 mg/kg bw/day) (administered as sodium selenite) in rats during the experimental intoxication by oral route with high doses of ethephon (200 mg/kg bw/day). Material and methods: Male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups: Control group, Ethephon group (200 mg ethephon/kg bw/day, 14 days), Selenium group (1 mg Se/kg bw/day, 14 days), Selenium+ethephon group (200 mg ethephon/kg bw/day and 1 mg Se/kg bw/day). Blood samples were collected on the 15th day and a complete blood count was conducted by using an automated hematology analyzer. Results: Mean red blood cell count was 7.06x106/µl in the Ethephon group and 7.18x106/µl in the Selenium group, as compared to 7.16x106/µl in the Control group. Platelet count decreased from 1028.66x103/µl in the Control group to 999.66x103/µl in the Ethephon group. Total leukocyte count was 7.82x103/µl in the Ethephon group and 8.40x103/µl in the Selenium+ethephon group, as compared to a mean of 8.07x103/µl in the Control group. Conclusions: The modification of some of the hematological parameters in the groups to which ethephon was administered can be suggestive of the harmful effect of this substance (which is present as a residue in food products) on consumer health. Orally administered selenium (as sodium selenite) at a dose of 1 mg Se/kg bw, seems to have acted as a toxic and not as a protective agent during the intoxication with ethephon.
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