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

The influence of chirality on the delayed neuropathic potential of some organophosphorus esters: neuropathic and prophylactic effects of stereoisomeric esters of ethyl phenylphosphonic acid (EPN oxon and EPN) correlate with quantities of aged and unaged neuropathy target esterase in vivo.

Organophosphate-induced delayed polyneuropathy (OPIDP) is thought to result from organophosphorylation of neuropathy target esterase ( NTE), followed by an "aging" of the phosphorylated NTE. Prophylactic against OPIDP should thus be achieved by production of an inhibited but "nonaging" NTE. Resolved stereoisomers of ethyl phenylphosphonic acid esters produce two forms of inhibited NTE; in vitro one form ages rapidly and the other only negligibly. The present study examined the in vivo effects of two preparations of incompletely resolved isomers of EPN oxon (ethyl 4-nitrophenyl phenylphosphonate) and its thionate on adult hen brain and spinal cord NTE and the relationship of inhibition and aging to the development of OPIDP. Single doses of the L-(-)-isomers (Preparation A, 7:3 proportion of isomers, or Preparation B, 9:1) caused severe neuropathy after doses which produced 70% aged inhibited NTE and mild effects after 50-60%. Single doses of the D-(+)-isomers produced either equal amounts of aged and unaged inhibited NTE (Preparation A) or predominantly unaged (Preparation B): the amount of aged was never more than 50% and no clinical OPIDP occurred. Doses of D-(+) which produced 50% unaged inhibited NTE were protective: challenge with the highly neuropathic phenyl saligenin cyclic phosphate did not cause OPIDP. All effects are consistent with the two-stage initiation process which requires both inhibition of NTE and subsequent modification of the protein by an "aging" process. Previously reported neuropathic effects of D-(+)-EPN probably reflect a substantial proportion of L-(-)-isomer present in the test material. Neuropathic studies with chiral OP esters should consider the possibility of production of protective unaged inhibited NTE in test animals.[1]


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