Despite its intended use, imidacloprid causes genotoxic and cytotoxic effects in mammals, especially in the presence of metabolic activation systems. The aim of this study was to determine to which extent these effects are sex related and how its metabolism modulators piperonyl butoxide and menadione affect its toxicity. Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with the intraperitoneal LD50 dose of imidacloprid alone (170mg/kg) or pretreated with piperonyl butoxide (100mg/kg) and menadione (25mg/kg) for 12 and 24h. Structural chromosome aberrations, abnormal cells and mitotic index were determined microscopically in bone marrow cells. Male rats showed susceptibility to the genotoxic effects of imidacloprid. Piperonyl butoxide was effective in countering this effect only at 24h, whereas menadione exacerbated imidacloprid-induced genotoxicity. Piperonyl butoxide and menadione pretreatments increased the percentage of structural chromosome aberrations and abnormal cells in females. Imidacloprid decreased the mitotic index, whereas pretreatment with piperonyl butoxide and menadione showed improvement in both sexes. We believe that CYP450-mediated metabolism of imidacloprid is under the hormonal control and therefore that its genotoxicity is sex related. Piperonyl butoxide pretreatment also showed sex-related modulation. The hormonal effects on imidacloprid biotransformation require further investigation.