Reactivating potency of obidoxime, pralidoxime, HI 6 and HLö 7 in human erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase inhibited by highly toxic organophosphorus compounds

Arch Toxicol. 1998 Mar;72(4):237-43. doi: 10.1007/s002040050495.


The treatment of poisoning by highly toxic organophosphorus compounds (nerve agents) is unsatisfactory. Until now, the efficacy of new potential antidotes has primarily been evaluated in animals. However, the extrapolation of these results to humans is hampered by species differences. Since oximes are believed to act primarily through reactivation of inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and erythrocyte AChE is regarded to be a good marker for the synaptic enzyme, the reactivating potency can be investigated with human erythrocyte AChE in vitro. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the ability of various oximes at concentrations therapeutically relevant in humans to reactivate human erythrocyte AChE inhibited by different nerve agents. Isolated human erythrocyte AChE was inhibited with soman, sarin, cyclosarin, tabun or VX for 30 min and reactivated in the absence of inhibitory activity over 5-60 min by obidoxime, pralidoxime, HI 6 or HLö 7 (10 and 30 microM). The AChE activity was determined photometrically. The reactivation of human AChE by oximes was dependent on the organophosphate used. After soman, sarin, cyclosarin, or VX the reactivating potency decreased in the order HLö 7 > HI 6 > obidoxime > pralidoxime. Obidoxime and pralidoxime were weak reactivators of cyclosarin-inhibited AChE. Only obidoxime and HLö 7 reactivated tabun-inhibited AChE partially (20%), while pralidoxime and HI 6 were almost ineffective (5%). Therefore, HLö 7 may serve as a broad-spectrum reactivator in nerve agent poisoning at doses therapeutically relevant in humans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Antidotes / metabolism*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • Cholinesterase Reactivators / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Obidoxime Chloride / metabolism*
  • Organophosphates / metabolism
  • Oximes
  • Pralidoxime Compounds / metabolism*
  • Pyridines / metabolism*
  • Pyridinium Compounds / metabolism*
  • Soman / metabolism


  • Antidotes
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Cholinesterase Reactivators
  • Organophosphates
  • Oximes
  • Pralidoxime Compounds
  • Pyridines
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • HLo 7
  • Obidoxime Chloride
  • Soman
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • asoxime chloride
  • pralidoxime
  • tabun