Protective effect of physostigmine and neostigmine against acute toxicity of parathion in rats

  • Jung Won Jun
  • Young Chul Kim
Original Articles


The effects of physostigmine and neostigmine on the parathin induced toxicity were examined in adult female rats. Physostigmine (100 μg/kg, ip) or neostigmine (200 μg/kg, ip) inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and cholinesterase (ChE) activities in blood, brain and lung when the enzyme activity was measured 30 min after the treatment. At the doses of two carbamates equipotent on brain AChE, neostigmine showed greater inhibition on peripheral AChE/ChE. The enzyme activity returned to normal in 120 min following the carbamates except in the lung of rats treated with neostigmine. Carbamates administered 30 min prior to parathion (2 mg/kg) antagonized the inhibition of AChE/ChE by parathion when the enzyme activity was measured 2 hr following parathion. Neostigmine showed greater protective effect on peripheral AChE/ChE. The effect of either carbamate on AChE/ChE was not significant 2 hr beyond the parathion treatment. Carbamates decreased the mortality of rats challenged with a lethal dose of parathion (4 mg/kg, ip) either when treated alone or in combination with atropine (10 mg/kg, ip). Lethal action of paraoxon (1.5 mg/kg, ip), the active metabolite of parathion, was also decreased by the carbamate treatment indicating that the protection was not mediated by competitive inhibition of metabolic conversion of parathion to paraoxon. The results suggest that carbamylation of the active sites may not be the sole underlying mechanism of protection provided by the carbamates.


Parathion physostigmine neostigmine protective effect inhibition of AChE/ChE 

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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jung Won Jun
    • 1
  • Young Chul Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PharmacySeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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