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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Circadian rhythms of heart rate and locomotion after treatment with low-dose acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.

This study tested the hypothesis that repeated exposure to low levels of sarin, pyridostigmine bromide (PB) or their combination, at doses equivalent to those possibly experienced by veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, could lead to persistent or delayed autonomic effects and thus help to explain the cause of clinical findings in this population. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated for 3 weeks with: saline injection (0.5 ml kg(-1), s.c., 3 times weekly) with tap drinking water (control); saline injection with PB (80 mg l(-1) in drinking water); sarin injection (62.5 microg kg(-1), s.c., 0.5 x LD(50), 3 times weekly) with tap drinking water (sarin); or sarin injection with PB in drinking water (sarin + PB). At 2, 4 or 16 weeks post-treatment, heart rate (HR) and locomotor activity (LA) were studied by radiotelemetry. Two weeks posttreatment, HR in drug-treated animals was significantly lower than in controls. A decrease in low-frequency HR power spectrum (PS) was found at 00:00 h and 08:00 h with sarin + PB and at 00:00 h with sarin, while total power was enhanced with sarin + PB at 22:00 h. Minimal effects of drug treatments on HR and HR PS were detected at 4 and 16 weeks post-treatment. No significant differences in LA between control and other groups were found. Since no consistent long-term effects were found in any of the variables studied, these experiments do not support the hypothesis that repeated administration of low doses of PB and the nerve agent sarin can induce persistent or delayed alterations in autonomic function. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.[1]


  1. Circadian rhythms of heart rate and locomotion after treatment with low-dose acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Scremin, O.U., Shih, T.M., Huynh, L., Roch, M., Sun, W., Chialvo, D.R., Jenden, D.J. Journal of applied toxicology : JAT. (2006) [Pubmed]
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