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Organophosphorus poisoning in animals and enzymatic antidotes

Laetitia Poirier, Pauline Jacquet, Laure Plener, Patrick Masson, David Daudé, Eric Chabrière
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2018 June 29
Organophosphorus compounds (OPs) are neurotoxic molecules developed as pesticides and chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNAs). Most of them are covalent inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a key enzyme in nervous systems, and are therefore responsible for numerous poisonings around the world. Many animal models have been studied over the years in order to decipher the toxicity of OPs and to provide insights for therapeutic and decontamination purposes. Environmental impact on wild animal species has been analyzed to understand the consequences of OP uses in agriculture. In complement, various laboratory models, from invertebrates to aquatic organisms, rodents and primates, have been chosen to study chronic and acute toxicity as well as neurobehavioral impact, immune response, developmental disruption, and other pathological signs. Several decontamination approaches were developed to counteract the poisoning effects of OPs. Among these, enzyme-based strategies are particularly attractive as they allow efficient external decontamination without toxicity or environmental impact and may be of interest for treatment. Approaches using bioscavengers for prophylaxis, treatment, and external decontamination are emphasized and their potential is discussed in the light of toxicological observations from various animal models. The relevance of animal models, regarding their cholinergic system and the abundance of naturally protecting enzymes, is also discussed for better extrapolation of results to human.


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