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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2003 Apr 11;66(7):599-610.

Biosensor detection of neuropathy target esterase in whole blood as a biomarker of exposure to neuropathic organophosphorus compounds.

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Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Chernogolovka, Moscow Region, Russia.


Neuropathy target esterase (NTE) is the target protein for neuropathic organophosphorus (OP) compounds that produce OP compound-induced delayed neurotoxicity (OPIDN). Inhibition/aging of brain NTE within hours of exposure predicts the potential for development of OPIDN in susceptible animal models. Lymphocyte NTE has also found limited use as a biomarker of human exposure to neuropathic OP compounds. Recently, a highly sensitive biosensor was developed for NTE activity using a tyrosinase carbon-paste electrode for amperometric detection of phenol produced by hydrolysis of the substrate, phenyl valerate. The I50 (20 min at 37 degrees C) for N,N'-di-2-propylphosphorodiamidofluoridate (mipafox) against hen lymphocyte NTE was 6.94 +/- 0.28 microM amperometrically and 6.02 +/- 0.71 microM colorimetrically. For O,O-di1-propyl O-2,2-dichlorvinyl phosphate (PrDChVP), the I50 against hen brain NTE was 39 +/- 8 nM amperometrically and 42 +/- 2 nM colorimetrically. The biosensor enables NTE to be assayed in whole blood, whereas this cannot be done with the usual colorimetric method. Amperometrically, I50 values for PrDChVP against hen and human blood NTE were 66 +/- 3 and 70 +/- 14 nM, respectively. To study the possibility of using blood NTE inhibition as a biochemical marker of neuropathic OP compound exposure, NTE activities in brain and lymphocytes as well in brain and blood were measured 24 h after dosing hens with PrDChVP. Brain, lymphocyte, and blood NTE were inhibited in a dose-responsive manner, and NTE inhibition was highly correlated between brain and lymphocyte (r = .994) and between brain and blood (r = .997). The results suggest that the biosensor NTE assay for whole blood could serve as a biomarker of exposure to neuropathic OP compounds as well as a predictor of OPIDN and an adjunct to its early diagnosis.

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