Influence of pesticide physicochemical properties on the association between plasma and hair concentration

Caroline Chata, Emilie M. Hardy, Nathalie Grova, Brice M.R. Appenzeller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Although the relationship between chemical intake and resulting concentration in hair remains incompletely elucidated, the transfer from blood to hair bulb living cells is generally considered the main route of incorporation. The present work investigated the correlation between blood and hair concentration of 23 pesticides/metabolites from different chemical classes in rats submitted to chronic controlled exposure. Long-Evans rats were administered pesticides by gavage three times per week over a 90-day period. After hair sample decontamination, pulverization, and extraction, compounds were analyzed by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). Blood was collected at sacrifice, immediately turned into plasma, and analyzed after extraction for the same compounds by GC-MS/MS. The data obtained for all the investigated compounds demonstrated significant association between plasma and hair concentrations (P value of 2.97E−45 and RPearson of 0.875), with the exception of three outliers. For all the target compounds, water solubility, lipophilicity, molecular weight, and charge were therefore investigated in order to understand the role of these parameters in outliers’ specific behavior. Although a possible change in the charge through the transfer from blood to hair might be suspected for two outliers, on the whole the physicochemical parameters investigated here did not seem to influence incorporation of chemicals into hair. Our results support that the concentration of chemicals in hair mainly depends on the respective concentration in plasma and suggest that for most compounds, the transfer from blood to hair would not represent a limiting step in the incorporation. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3601-3612
Number of pages12
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Hair
  • Pesticides
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Plasma


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