A rodent model of human organophosphate exposure producing status epilepticus and neuropathology

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Exposure to organophosphates (OPs) often results in seizures and/or status epilepticus (SE) that produce neural damage within the central nervous system (CNS). Early control of SE is imperative for minimizing seizure-related CNS neuropathology. Although standard therapies exist, more effective agents are needed to reduce OP-induced SE and neuronal loss, particularly therapies with efficacy when administered 10's of minutes after the onset of SE. To evaluate novel antiseizure compounds, animal models should simulate the CNS effects of OP exposure observed in humans. We characterized in rats the effects of the OP, diisopropyl flourophosphate (DFP) as a function of dose and route of administration of supporting agents (pyridostigmine, 2-PAM, atropine); outcome measures were mortality, electrographic seizure activity during SE, and subsequent CNS neuropathology. Doses of DFP between 3 and 7 mg/kg consistently caused SE, and the latency to behavioral tremors and to subsequent initiation of SE were dose related. In distinction, all doses of DFP that resulted in electrographic SE (3–7 mg/kg) produced seizures of similar intensity and duration, and similar CNS neuropathology (i.e., the effects were all-or-none). Although SE was similar across doses, mortality progressively increased with higher doses of DFP. Mortality was significantly lower when the route of administration of therapeutic agents was intramuscular compared to intraperitoneal. This rodent model of OP poisoning demonstrates pathological characteristics similar to those observed in humans, and thus begins to validate this model for investigating potential new therapeutic approaches.

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