A comparison of the effects of single and repeated exposure to an organophosphate insecticide on acetylcholinesterase activity in mammals

Long, Sara M.; Dawson, Alistair; Shore, Richard F.. 2006 A comparison of the effects of single and repeated exposure to an organophosphate insecticide on acetylcholinesterase activity in mammals. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 25 (7). 1857-1863.

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Exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides can occur in free-living mammals in treated areas. Risk to nontarget animals from OPs usually is assessed with acute exposure data, but exposure of wild animals is likely to be intermittent and chronic. We compared the effects of single or repeated (hourly and daily) exposure to dimethoate on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in laboratory mice to assess the suitability of standard laboratory tests for assessing risk. Mice were exposed either to a single dose (10 or 30 mg/kg) or to short-term repeated (three hourly doses of 10 mg/kg) intraperitoneal doses of dimethoate, and brain and serum AChE activity were measured. No significant difference was found in the degree of inhibition of AChE activity following acute and short-term repeated exposure. In a second experiment, mice were given three daily doses of 10 or 20 mg/kg of dimethoate, and both AChE activity and hepatic cytochrome P450 enzyme activity were measured. Daily exposure resulted in a dose-dependent decline in brain and serum AChE activity, and inhibition increased progressively with successively repeated exposures. However, this effect was relatively small compared to the effect of dose. Cytochrome P450 enzyme activity (CYP2B) was inhibited in the dimethoate-dosed mice. Our results indicate that acute dose–response toxicity studies are suitable models for predicting the likely occurrence of adverse effects from either short- or longer-term exposure of wild mammals to anticholinesterase compounds. Likely differences in exposure pattern between the laboratory and the natural environment are unlikely to bias the predictive power of these studies significantly.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Ecological Risk
ISSN: 0730-7268
Format Availability: Electronic, Print
Additional Keywords: Organophosphate pesticides, Repeated exposure, Acetylcholinesterase inhibition, Wild mammals, Cytochrome P450
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Date made live: 12 Jun 2007 15:04 +0 (UTC)

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