A review of experimental evidence linking neurotoxic organophosphorus compounds and inflammation

Christopher N. Banks, Pamela J Lein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents and pesticides inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and this is thought to be a primary mechanism mediating the neurotoxicity of these compounds. However, a number of observations suggest that mechanisms other than or in addition to AChE inhibition contribute to OP neurotoxicity. There is significant experimental evidence that acute OP intoxication elicits a robust inflammatory response, and emerging evidence suggests that chronic repeated low-level OP exposure also upregulates inflammatory mediators. A critical question that is just beginning to be addressed experimentally is the pathophysiologic relevance of inflammation in either acute or chronic OP intoxication. The goal of this article is to provide a brief review of the current status of our knowledge linking inflammation to OP intoxication, and to discuss the implications of these findings in the context of therapeutic and diagnostic approaches to OP neurotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Acute toxicity
  • Biomarkers
  • Chronic toxicity
  • Cytokines
  • Microglia
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Occupational exposure
  • Organophosphorus pesticides
  • Reactive astrocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


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