Pesticides are chemical substances used to kill unwanted fungi, weeds and insects. In many countries, there is currently concern regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on health. It has been reported that pesticides may cause cancer, respiratory diseases, organ diseases, system failures, nervous system disorders and asthma, which are closely connected with immune disorders. Therefore, this study reviewed the immunotoxicity of pesticides that are currently used or prohibited from being used, especially their effects on leukocytes such as T cells, B cells, NK cells and macrophages. These immune cells play crucial roles in innate and adaptive immune systems to protect hosts. Pesticides are known to have possible toxicological modes of action to induce oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in living organisms. According to previous studies, pesticides such as atrazine (ATR), organophophorus (OP) compounds, carbamates, and pyrethroids were shown to inhibit the survival and growth of leukocytes by inducing apoptosis or cell cycle arrest and interfering with the specific immunological functions of each type of immune cells. These results suggest the immunotoxicity of pesticides toward specific immune cells. To substantiate the overall immunocompromised effects of pesticides, there is a need to collect and thoroughly analyze additional information regarding other immunological toxicities.
Immunotherapy: Open Access