Soman poisoning increases neural progenitor proliferation and induces long-term glial activation in mouse brain

Toxicology. 2005 Mar 30;208(3):319-34. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2004.11.036.


To date, only short-term glial reaction has been extensively studied following soman or other warfare neurotoxicant poisoning. In a context of cell therapy by neural progenitor engraftment to repair brain damage, the long-term effect of soman on glial reaction and neural progenitor division was analyzed in the present study. The effect of soman poisoning was estimated in mouse brains at various times ranging from 1 to 90 days post-poisoning. Using immunochemistry and dye staining techniques (hemalun-eosin staining), the number of degenerating neurons, the number of dividing neural progenitors, and microglial, astroglial or oligodendroglial cell activation were studied. Soman poisoning led to rapid and massive (post-soman day 1) death of mature neurons as assessed by hemalun-eosin staining. Following this acute poisoning phase, a weak toxicity effect on mature neurons was still observed for a period of 1 month after poisoning. A massive short-termed microgliosis peaked on day 3 post-poisoning. Delayed astrogliosis was observed from 3 to 90 days after soman poisoning, contributing to glial scar formation. On the other hand, oligodendroglial cells or their precursors were practically unaffected by soman poisoning. Interestingly, neural progenitors located in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus (SGZ) or in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain survived soman poisoning. Furthermore, soman poisoning significantly increased neural progenitor proliferation in both SGZ and SVZ brain areas on post-soman day 3 or day 8, respectively. This increased proliferation rate was detected up to 1 month after poisoning.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / poisoning*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Microglia / pathology
  • Neuroglia / drug effects*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / pathology
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Oligodendroglia / drug effects
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Oligodendroglia / pathology
  • Soman / poisoning*
  • Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Soman