Effects of prior hypoxia acclimation (14-day at 380 mm Hg) on soman (pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate) induced brain neuronal RNA and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) depletion and lethality were monitored in rats following their return to ambient oxygenation. Quantitative cytochemical techniques were used to measure RNA and AChE changes in individual cerebrocortical (Layer III) and striatal (caudate plus putamen) neurons. In ambient PO2 controls, soman eventuated in a moderate diminution of neuronal RNA in both brain regions and severe, dosedependent suppression of AChE activity. Hypoxia acclimation per se induced RNA alterations as manifested in cortical RNA depletion and increased variability of striatal neuron RNA contents. In hypoxia acclimated rats, the extent of neuronal RNA depletion following soman injection was attenuated in both brain regions, yet there were no discernible differences in saline control AChE levels or in the extent of soman-induced AChE inhibition in ambient control versus hypoxia acclimated treatment groups. Hypoxia acclimated rats, however, were found to be even more susceptible to lethal actions of soman as assessed using 24- and 48-hour survival following a three-point treatment regimen. These data indicate that while compensatory systemic and central metabolic adjustments associated with 14d acclimation to reduced oxygen availability may retard soman-induced neuronal RNA depletion, resistance to lethal or near-lethal soman exposure is not enhanced. It is postulated that hypoxia acclimation is associated with complex adaptive and maladaptive neurophysiological alterations influencing CNS responsiveness to soman toxication, and that detrimental consequences exceed protection afforded by metabolic adaptation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience