The role of blood acetylcholinesterase in moderating the effects of organophosphate challenge in rats was tested. Adult male rats (n = 42) were injected (iv) either with monoclonal antibodies (MAb) to rat acetylcholinesterase (EC 188.8.131.52; AChE) or normal mouse IgG (controls). Two days later, the rats were injected (sc) with either a mild (0.17 mg/kg) or moderate dosage (0.34 mg/kg) of paraoxon or with vehicle. Neurological integrity was assessed by a functional observational battery followed by motor activity, 3 to 4 hr after dosing. Blood, brain, and diaphragm tissues were then collected for determination of AChE activity. MAb treatment reduced whole blood and plasma AChE activity by 32 and 90%, respectively, but did not affect neurobehavioral parameters or the AChE activity of brain or diaphragm. The paraoxon challenge produced dose-related neurobehavioral changes and inhibition of brain and diaphragm AChE activity to the same extent in IgG- and MAb-treated rats. Thus, significant loss in blood AChE alone produced no detectable neurobehavioral deficits and did not alter the subsequent responses to paraoxon challenge.
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