Intranasal delivery of obidoxime to the brain prevents mortality and CNS damage from organophosphate poisoning

Jishnu K.S. Krishnan, Peethambaran Arun, Abhilash P. Appu, Nivetha Vijayakumar, Taíza H. Figueiredo, Maria F.M. Braga, Sudikshya Baskota, Cara H. Olsen, Natalia Farkas, John Dagata, Frey William H., John R. Moffett, Aryan M.A. Namboodiri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Intranasal delivery is an emerging method for bypassing the blood brain barrier (BBB) and targeting therapeutics to the CNS. Oximes are used to counteract the effects of organophosphate poisoning, but they do not readily cross the BBB. Therefore, they cannot effectively counteract the central neuropathologies caused by cholinergic over-activation when administered peripherally. For these reasons we examined intranasal administration of oximes in an animal model of severe organophosphate poisoning to determine their effectiveness in reducing mortality and seizure-induced neuronal degeneration. Using the paraoxon model of organophosphate poisoning, we administered the standard treatment (intramuscular pralidoxime plus atropine sulphate) to all animals and then compared the effectiveness of intranasal application of obidoxime (OBD) to saline in the control groups. Intranasally administered OBD was effective in partially reducing paraoxon-induced acetylcholinesterase inhibition in the brain and substantially reduced seizure severity and duration. Further, intranasal OBD completely prevented mortality, which was 41% in the animals given standard treatment plus intranasal saline. Fluoro-Jade-B staining revealed extensive neuronal degeneration in the surviving saline-treated animals 24 h after paraoxon administration, whereas no detectable degenerating neurons were observed in any of the animals given intranasal OBD 30 min before or 5 min after paraoxon administration. These findings demonstrate that intranasally administered oximes bypass the BBB more effectively than those administered peripherally and provide an effective method for protecting the brain from organophosphates. The addition of intranasally administered oximes to the current treatment regimen for organophosphate poisoning would improve efficacy, reducing both brain damage and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Fluoro-jade
  • Neuropathology
  • Racine scale
  • Status Epilepticus


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