Quantitative azure B cytophotometry was used to monitor ribonucleic acid (RNA) responses of individual neurons within the nucleus cuneiformis (NC) and ventrotegmental nucleus (VTN) of the rat mesencephalic reticular formation following single subcutaneous soman (pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate) injections (0.5, 0.9 or 1.5 LD50). The sub-lethal (0.5 LD50) dosage of soman produced RNA accumulation in NC neurons, but VTN-RNA levels were not significantly altered. In contrast, both reticular nuclei exhibited prominent RNA depletion with higher soman dosages, the severity of which was greater with lethal (1.5 LD50) than near-lethal (0.9 LD50) dosages. These data indicate that metabolic correlates of enhanced activation of cholinergic reticular nuclei are present only with sub-lethal dosages, and that higher dosages produce characteristics of impaired activation of ascending cholinergic pathways. At present, mechanisms underlying soman-induced metabolic and neurologic deficits remain speculative.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience