Oxotremorine-induced hypothermia as a method for evaluating long-term neuronal changes following poisoning by cholinesterase inhibitors in rats.

Toxicology

PubMedID: 17931764

Grauer E, Levy A. Oxotremorine-induced hypothermia as a method for evaluating long-term neuronal changes following poisoning by cholinesterase inhibitors in rats. Toxicology. 2007;242(1-3):1-6.
Severe poisoning by inhibitors of cholinesterase (ChE) enzymes is often associated with prolonged central or peripheral neuronal damage. Oxotremorine is a cholinergic agonist known to induce acute hypothermia. Central and peripheral cholinergic signaling is involved in the induction of hypothermia as well as in its recovery. These processes were used in the present study to reveal prolonged neuronal abnormalities in poisoned rats, using oxotremorine with and without concomitant administration of the peripheral muscarinic antagonist methyl scopolamine. In non-poisoned naïve rats, the hypothermic effect of oxotremorine appeared faster while its recovery was delayed following co-administration of methyl scopolamine, suggesting predominantly peripheral processes in counteracting the hypothermia. One month after exposure to approximately 1LD(50) of the carbamates aldicarb and oxamyl, the hypothermic effect of oxotremorine was similar to that found in saline-treated control group. However, the effect of methyl scopolamine on the recovery process was significantly diminished, indicating that the impaired cholinergic mechanisms were predominantly peripheral. In contrast, 1 month following organophosphate (OP) poisoning by the nerve agents sarin and VX, oxotremorine-induced hypothermia was reduced, indicating mainly impaired central cholinergic mechanisms. The development of severe convulsions during nerve agent poisoning may explain the central neuronal damage in OP-poisoned rats, displayed as reduced hypothermia. As convulsions were not part of the poisoning symptoms with the carbamates tested, their long-term damage was displayed at the recovery stage. This method might be used as a relatively simple means for detecting differential long-term central and peripheral cholinergic injuries, long after toxicity signs have receded.