Percutaneous toxicity of anticoagulant warfarin in rats
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Percutaneous toxicity of anticoagulant rodenticides is usually manifested by coagulopathy and/or fatal outcome. There are, however, virtually no data on other biological effects of this class of pesticides that gain access into the organism via skin. In this study, percutaneous toxicity of epicutaneously applied warfarin was evaluated by measuring changes in peripheral blood granulocytes in rats. Application of 10 mu g (0.05 mg/kg) or 100 mu g (0.5mg/kg) of warfarin (WF) for 3 consecutive days resulted in an increase in prothrombin time, documenting the access of warfarin to systemic circulation. Application of warfarin led to an increase in relative numbers of granulocytes at higher dose, whereas both doses resulted in increased metabolical viability, evaluated by 3-(4, 5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2, 5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazofium bromide (MTT) reduction assay. Higher warfarin dose resulted in both granulocyte activation and priming (evaluated by cytochemical nitroblue tetrazolium, NBT, reduction assay of respiratory burst), whereas only a tendency toward activation was noted at lower WF dose. Soluble mediators from the circulation seem responsible for the observed effects, as exogenous plasma from WF-treated animals stimulated NBT reduction by isologous or naive granulocytes. Data presented in this study are relevant for the recognition of biological effects, other than those affecting hemostasis, of anticoagulant rodenticides that gain access to systemic circulation through the skin.