Pretreatment with pyridostigmine bromide has no effect on seizure behavior or 24 hour survival in the rat model of acute diisopropylfluorophosphate intoxication

Donald A. Bruun, Michelle Guignet, Danielle J Harvey, Pamela J Lein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Acute intoxication with organophosphate cholinesterase inhibitors (OPs) is a significant human health threat, and current medical countermeasures for OP poisoning are of limited therapeutic efficacy. The rat model of acute intoxication with diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) is increasingly being used to test candidate compounds for efficacy in protecting against the immediate and long-term consequences of acute OP toxicity. In this model, rats are typically pretreated with pyridostigmine bromide (PB), a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor, to enhance survival. However, PB pretreatment is not likely in most scenarios of civilian exposure to acutely neurotoxic levels of OPs. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine whether PB pretreatment significantly increases survival in DFP-intoxicated rats. Adult male Sprague Dawley rats were injected with DFP (4 mg/kg, s.c.) or vehicle (VEH) followed 1 min later by combined i.m. injection of atropine sulfate (2 mg/kg) and 2-pralidoxime (25 mg/kg). Animals were pretreated 30 min prior to these injections with PB (0.1 mg/kg, i.m.) or an equal volume of saline. DFP triggered rapid and sustained seizure behavior irrespective of PB pretreatment, and there was no significant difference in average seizure behavior score during the first 4 h following injection between DFP animals pretreated with PB or not. PB pretreatment also had no significant effect on survival or brain AChE activity at 24 h post-DFP exposure. In summary, PB pretreatment is not necessary to ensure survival of rats acutely intoxicated with DFP, and eliminating PB pretreatment in the rat model of acute DFP intoxication would increase its relevance to acute OP intoxication in civilians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-84
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019



  • Carbamate
  • Cholinesterase
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Organophosphates
  • Preclinical model
  • Prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology

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