Efficacy and physiological effects of human butyrylcholinesterase as a post-exposure therapy against percutaneous poisoning by VX in the guinea-pig

Helen Mumford, Matthew E Price, Douglas M Cerasoli, Wolfgang Teschner, Hartmut Ehrlich, Hans Peter Schwarz, David E Lenz
Chemico-biological Interactions 2010 September 6, 187 (1-3): 304-8
The physiological effects of human plasma-derived butyrylcholinesterase (huBuChE) administration and its modulation of the effects of percutaneous VX challenge are poorly understood. Percutaneously administered nerve agents are more slowly absorbed than inhaled agents; consequently, signs of poisoning occur later, with a longer duration. Telemetry was used to monitor heart rate, EEG, temperature and activity in guinea-pigs. Treatment with huBuChE at 30 or 120 min following percutaneous VX challenge ( approximately 2.5 x LD(50)) provided 100% protection from lethality. When huBuChE administration was delayed until the onset of observable signs of poisoning only 1 out of 6 animals survived to the end of the experiment at 7 days. This study adds to the body of evidence demonstrating the efficacy of huBuChE in animals by describing the successful therapeutic use of a protein bioscavenger as a post-exposure treatment against dermal exposure to VX up to 2h post-exposure. This study simultaneously used telemetric methods to show that the efficacy of huBuChE is linked to the prevention of detrimental physiological changes observed in control VX-treated animals. Post-exposure therapy is a promising additional indication for the concept of use of this material, and one that has particular relevance in a civilian exposure scenario.

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