Acute sarin exposure causes differential regulation of choline acetyltransferase, acetylcholinesterase, and acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system of the rat.
Acute neurotoxic effects of sarin (O:-isopropylmethylphosphonoflouridate) in male Sprague-Dawley rats were studied. The animals were treated with intramuscular (im) injections of either 1 x LD(50) (100 microg/kg), and sacrificed at 0. 5, 1, 3, 6, 15, or 20 h after treatment, or with im injections of either 0.01, 0.1, 0.5, or 1 x LD(50) and sacrificed 15 h after treatment. Plasma butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and brain regional acetylcholinesterase (AChE) were inhibited (45-55%) by 30 min after the LD(50) dose. BChE in the plasma and AChE in cortex, brainstem, midbrain, and cerebellum remained inhibited for up to 20 h following a single LD(50) treatment. No inhibition in plasma BChE activity was observed 20 h after treatment with doses lower than the LD(50) dose. Midbrain and brainstem seem to be most responsive to sarin treatment at lower doses, as these regions exhibited inhibition (approximately 49% and 10%, respectively) in AChE activity following 0.1 x LD(50) treatment, after 20 h. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity was increased in cortex, brainstem, and midbrain 6 h after LD(50) treatment, and the elevated enzyme activity persisted up to 20 h after treatment. Cortex ChAT activity was significantly increased following a 0.1 x LD(50) dose, whereas brainstem and midbrain did not show any effect at lower doses. Treatment with an LD(50) dose caused a biphasic response in cortical nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (m2-mAChR) ligand binding, using [(3)H]cytisine and [(3)H]AFDX-384 as ligands for nAChR and mAChR, respectively. Decreases at 1 and 3 h and consistent increases at 6, 15, and 20 h in nAChR and m2-mAChR were observed following a single LD(50) dose. The increase in nAChR ligand binding densities was much more pronounced than in mAChR. These results suggest that a single exposure of sarin, ranging from 0.1 to 1 x LD(50), modulates the cholinergic pathways differently and thereby causes dysregulation in excitatory neurotransmission.
Khan, WA; Dechkovskaia, AM; Herrick, EA; Jones, KH; Abou-Donia, MB
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