Objectives The Q192R polymorphism of paraoxonase (PON1) has been shown to affect hydrolysis of organophosphorus compounds. The Q192 and R192 alloforms exhibit equivalent catalytic efficiencies of hydrolysis for diazoxon, the oxon form of the pesticide (DZ). However, the R192 alloform has a higher catalytic efficiency of hydrolysis than does the Q192 alloform for chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO), the oxon form of the pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPS). The current study examined the relevance of these observations for in-vivo exposures to chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos oxon. Methods Using a transgenic mouse model we examined the relevance of the Q192R polymorphism for exposure to CPS and CPO in vivo. Transgenic mice were generated that expressed either human PON1(Q192) or PON1(R192) at equivalent levels, in the absence of endogenous mouse PON1. Dose-response and time course experiments were performed on adult mice exposed dermally to CPS or CPO. Morbidity and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the brain and diaphragm were determined in the first 24 h following exposure. Results Mice expressing PON1(Q192) were significantly more sensitive to CPO, and to a lesser extent CPS, than were mice expressing PON1(R192). The time course of inhibition following exposure to 1.2 mg/kg CPO revealed maximum inhibition of brain AChE at 6-12 h, with PON1(R192), PON1(Q192), and PON1(-/-) mice exhibiting 40, 70 and 85% inhibition, respectively, relative to control mice. The effect of PON1 removal on the dose-response curve for CPS exposure was remarkably consistent with a PBPK/PD model of CPS exposure. Conclusion These results indicate that individuals expressing only the PON1(Q192) allele would be more sensitive to the adverse effects of CPO or CPS exposure, especially if they are expressing a low level of plasma PON1(Q192).
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