Cholinesterase inhibition and acetylcholine accumulation following intracerebral administration of paraoxon in rats

A. Ray, J. Liu, S. Karanth, Y. Gao, S. Brimijoin, C. Pope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We evaluated the inhibition of striatal cholinesterase activity following intracerebral administration of paraoxon assaying activity either in tissue homogenates ex vivo or by substrate hydrolysis in situ. Artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) or paraoxon in aCSF was infused unilaterally (0.5 μl/min for 2 h) and ipsilateral and contralateral striata were harvested for ChE assay ex vivo. High paraoxon concentrations were needed to inhibit ipsilateral striatal cholinesterase activity (no inhibition at < 0.1 mM; 27% at 0.1 mM; 79% at 1 mM paraoxon). With 3 mM paraoxon infusion, substantial ChE inhibition was also noted in contralateral striatum. ChE histochemistry generally confirmed these concentration- and side-dependent effects. Microdialysates collected for up to 4 h after paraoxon infusion inhibited ChE activity when added to striatal homogenate, suggesting prolonged efflux of paraoxon. Since paraoxon efflux could complicate acetylcholine analysis, we evaluated the effects of paraoxon (0, 0.03, 0.1, 1, 10 or 100 μM, 1.5 μl/min for 45 min) administered by reverse dialysis through a microdialysis probe. ChE activity was then monitored in situ by perfusing the colorimetric substrate acetylthiocholine through the same probe and measuring product (thiocholine) in dialysates. Concentration-dependent inhibition was noted but reached a plateau of about 70% at 1 μM and higher concentrations. Striatal acetylcholine was below the detection limit at all times with 0.1 μM paraoxon but was transiently elevated (0.5-1.5 h) with 10 μM paraoxon. In vivo paraoxon (0.4 mg/kg, sc) in adult rats elicited about 90% striatal ChE inhibition measured ex vivo, but only about 10% inhibition measured in situ. Histochemical analyses revealed intense AChE and glial fibrillary acidic protein staining near the cannula track, suggesting proliferation of inflammatory cells/glia. The findings suggest that ex vivo and in situ cholinesterase assays can provide very different views into enzyme-inhibitor interactions. Furthermore, the proliferation/migration of cells containing high amounts of cholinesterase just adjacent to a dialysis probe could affect the recovery and thus detection of extracellular acetylcholine in microdialysis studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2009


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Histochemical
  • Infusion
  • Microdialysis
  • Organophosphates
  • Reverse dialysis
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cholinesterase inhibition and acetylcholine accumulation following intracerebral administration of paraoxon in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this