Rats were repeatedly administered with a low dose of diisopropylfluorosphosphate (DFP; 0.2 mg/kg/day, SC, for 9 or 21 days), an irreversible cholinesterase (ChE) inhibitor. Control rats received a daily injection of oil vehicle. Neurochemical changes occurring in the pontomesencephalic tegmentum (PMT), a brain stem region critically involved in behavioral state control, were evaluated at various times of treatment and after DFP withdrawal. First, enzyme assay revealed a profile of ChE inhibition in the whole PMT which looked like that observed in the striatum; both the inhibition and recovery proceeded more slowly than they did in the plasma. Second, quantitative histochemistry indicated that ChE activity in the mesopontine cholinergic nuclei and the pontine reticular formation progressively decreased across the first days of DFP exposure, to reach an asymptotic level of inhibition after 6 days (74-82% inhibition). The inhibition was less pronounced in the locus coeruleus (49%). Third, [3H]QNB autoradiography showed that muscarinic receptor density was unchanged in any of the PMT areas selected. These results are discussed regarding the question of regional variation in susceptibility to anti-ChE agents. To what extent behavioral state alterations occur concomitantly with ChE activity changes is assessed in the companion article. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
Deurveilher, S., Delamanche, I. S., Hars, B., Breton, P., & Hennevin, E. (1999). Chronic, low-level exposure to the cholinesterase inhibitor DFP. I. Time course of neurochemical changes in the rat pontomesencephalic tegmentum. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 64(1), 95–103. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0091-3057(99)00069-6