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Organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) are widely used volatile pesticides that have harmful effects on the liver in acute and chronic exposures. This review article summarises and discusses a wide collection of studies published over the last 40 years reporting on the effects of OPs on the liver, in an attempt to propose general mechanisms of OP hepatotoxicity and possible treatment. Several key biological processes have been reported as involved in OP-induced hepatotoxicity such as disturbances in the antioxidant defence system, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and mitochondrial and microsomal metabolism. Most studies show that antioxidants can attenuate oxidative stress and the consequent changes in liver function. However, few studies have examined the relationship between OP structures and the severity and mechanism of their action. We hope that future in vitro, in vivo, and clinical trials will answer the remaining questions about the mechanisms of OP hepatotoxicity and its management.
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