Triphenyl phosphite-induced ultrastructural changes in bovine adrenomedullary chromaffin cells.


Journal Article

Primary cultures of bovine adrenomedullary chromaffin cells were treated with the phosphorus acid ester triphenyl phosphite (TPP), a chemical capable of producing Type II organophosphorus compound-induced delayed neurotoxicity (OPIDN), and the morphological changes were assessed by transmission electron and scanning microscopy. Following a 24-hr incubation with 100 microM TPP nearly all mitochondria were either disrupted or swollen and glycogen buildup within the cytoplasm was evident. The viability of cells treated with TPP and cultured on coverslips for scanning electron microscopy was very low. By scanning electron microscopy, the filopodia of these cells appeared contracted. The surface texture was very irregular and giant globular bodies were evident. Parallel studies were carried out with the cholinergic compound O,O-diethyl 4-nitrophenyl phosphate (paraoxon) and the Type I delayed neurotoxicant O,O-diisopropylphosphorofluoridate (DFP). Transmission and scanning electron microscopy revealed that treatment with these organophosphorus compounds did not produce the ultrastructural effects that were seen with TPP. The morphological data were confirmed biochemically by assessing the viability of the mitochondria via measurement of [3H]adenosine incorporation into ATP. Treatment with 100 microM TPP for 4 or 24 hr caused a marked inhibition (90% relative to controls) of adenosine incorporation. Neither 100 microM paraoxon nor 100 microM DFP had an inhibitory effect on incorporation. The effect of TPP was time-dependent with significant biochemical effects as early as 60 min. In contrast, ultrastructural changes were not seen until 24 hr. Morphologically, the 60-min incubations showed no perturbation in mitochondrial integrity. Our results support a specific effect of the triphenylphosphite, TPP, a Type II OPIDN compound, not a general toxic effect of organophosphorus compounds since the cholinergic agent paraoxon and the Type I delayed neurotoxic compound DFP did nto alter the cells ultrastructurally or compromise the mitochondria biochemically. The apparent target for TPP toxicity is the mitochondria.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Knoth-Anderson, J; Veronesi, B; Jones, K; Lapadula, DM; Abou-Donia, MB

Published Date

  • January 1, 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 112 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 110 - 119

PubMed ID

  • 1733042

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1733042

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0041-008X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0041-008x(92)90286-2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States