A Panel of Autoantibodies Against Neural Proteins as Peripheral Biomarker for Pesticide-Induced Neurotoxicity.


Journal Article

In the present study, we screened the sera of subjects chronically exposed to mixtures of pesticides (composed mainly of organophosphorus compounds (OPs) and others) and developed neurological symptoms for the presence of autoantibodies against cytoskeletal neural proteins. OPs have a well-characterized clinical profile resulting from acute cholinergic crisis. However, some of these compounds cause neuronal degeneration and demyelination known as organophosphorus compound-induced delayed neurotoxicity (OPIDN) and/or organophosphorus compound-induced chronic neurotoxicity (OPICN). Studies from our group have demonstrated the presence of autoantibodies to essential neuronal and glial proteins against cytoskeletal neural proteins in patients with chemical-induced brain injury. In this study, we screened the serum of 50 pesticide-exposed subjects and 25 non-exposed controls, using Western blot analysis against the following proteins: neurofilament triplet proteins (NFPs), tubulin, microtubule-associated tau proteins (Tau), microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2), myelin basic protein (MBP), myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), calcium-calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII), glial S100-B protein, and alpha-synuclein (SNCA). Serum reactivity was measured as arbitrary chemiluminescence units. As a group, exposed subjects had significantly higher levels of autoantibody reactivity in all cases examined. The folds of increase in of autoantibodies against neural proteins of the subjects compared to healthy humans in descending order were as follows: MBP, 7.67, MAG 5.89, CaMKII 5.50, GFAP 5.1, TAU 4.96, MAP2 4.83, SNCA 4.55, NFP 4.55, S-100B 2.43, and tubulin 1.78. This study has demonstrated the presence of serum autoantibodies to central nervous system-specific proteins in a group of farmers chronically exposed to pesticides who developed neurological signs and symptoms of neural injury. These autoantibodies can be used as future diagnostic/therapeutic target for OP-induced neurotoxicity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • El Rahman, HAA; Salama, M; Gad El-Hak, SA; El-Harouny, MA; ElKafrawy, P; Abou-Donia, MB

Published Date

  • February 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 316 - 336

PubMed ID

  • 28875469

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28875469

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-3524

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12640-017-9793-y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States