Objective: Biomarkers of pesticide toxicity and paraoxonase 1 (PON1) phenotype and genotypes were evaluated in indigenous Mexican farmworkers exposed mainly to organophosphate (OP) pesticides.
Methods: Acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, and PON1 activities—arylesterase and CMPAase activities—were evaluated spectrophotometrically. PON1 55 and 192 polymorphisms were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Hematological parameters were evaluated using a cytometer.
Results: Butyrylcholinesterase and arylesterase activities were lower in farmworkers, who also showed lower levels of leukocytes but higher percentages of lymphocytes when compared with the nonexposed group. Our results showed a high frequency of OP, high hydrolysis-related PON1 alleles (LL/QR and LL/RR) in the study population. An association was observed between CMPAase activity and PON1Q192R polymorphism.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that pesticide exposure modifies biochemical and hematological biomarkers in the study population, and that the phenotype of PON1 (CMPAase) is a sensible susceptibility biomarker of OP pesticide toxicity.