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Life Sci. 2011 Jan 3;88(1-2):89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2010.10.031. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

Low concentrations of methamidophos do not alter AChE activity but modulate neurotransmitters uptake in hippocampus and striatum in vitro.

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  • 1Departamento de Química, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Exatas, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Campus UFSM, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil.



Methamidophos (Meth) is a toxic organophosphorus compound (OP) that inhibits acetylcholinesterase enzyme (AChE) and induces neurotoxicity. As the mechanism of its neurotoxic effects is not well understood, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of Meth on glutamate and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) uptake and correlate with cell viability and AChE and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase enzyme activities in striatum and hippocampus slices exposed to low concentrations (0.05 to 1.0 μM) of Meth.


Hippocampal and striatal slices of rat brain were exposed to Meth for 5 min ([(3)H]Glutamate uptake) or 15 min ([(3)H]GABA uptake) for assays. The enzyme activities and cell viability were also accessed at both times in hippocampal and striatal slices and homogenates.


At concentrations that did not inhibit AChE, Meth caused changes in glutamate uptake in striatal (0.05 and 1.0 μM Meth) and hippocampal (1.0 μM Meth) slices. GABA uptake was increased by the pesticide in striatum at 0.5 and 1.0 μM and in hippocampus at 0.05 μM. After 3.5h of Meth exposure, striatal and hippocampal cells showed no changes in viability as well as no inhibition of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase were observed after 5 or 15 min exposure to Meth in the same brain structures.


Results suggest that Meth, even without changing the AChE activity can modify somehow the neurotransmitters uptake. However, further studies are necessary to clarify if this modulation in glutamate or GABA uptake may be responsible to cause some disturbance in behavior or in other neurochemical parameters following low Meth exposure in vivo.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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