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Development and Structural Modifications of Cholinesterase Reactivators against Chemical Warfare Agents in Last Decade: A Review

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 1 ]


Rahul Sharma, Bhanushree Gupta, Namrata Singh, J.R. Acharya, Kamil Musilek, Kamil Kuca and Kallol Kumar Ghosh   Pages 58 - 72 ( 15 )


Organophosphate (OP) pesticides and nerve agents are responsible for suicidal and accidental poisonings. The acute toxicity of nerve agents leads to progressive inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by phosphylation of serine residue at the active site of gorge. The recent massive destruction of Syrian civilians by nerve gas sarin, has again renewed the research attention of global science fraternity towards nerve agents, their mode of action and most prominently their therapeutic treatment. This review is principally focused on nerve agent intoxication. The common approach to deal with OP-intoxication is, application of antimuscarinic drug (atropine), anticonvulsant drug (diazepam) and clinically used oximes (pralidoxime, trimedoxime, obidoxime and asoxime). However, the existing therapeutic approach is arguable and has several failings to cure all kinds of nerve agent poisonings. Considering this issue, numerous oximes have been synthesized and screened through various in-vitro and in-vivo studies in last decade to overcome the downsides. At present, only a few oximes (bis pyridinum-oximes) exhibit sound efficacy against selective OPs. In spite of extensive efforts, till date no oxime is available as a universal antidote against all the classes of OPs. This review is centered on the recent developments and structural modification of AChE reactivators against nerve agent toxicity. In particular, a deeper look has been taken into chemical modifications of the reactivators by incorporation of different structural moieties targeted towards the increased reactivation affinity and improved blood brain barrier (BBB) penetration.


AChE, BBB, chemical warfare agents, organophosphates, oxime, reactivator.


School of Studies in Chemistry, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (C.G), 492010, India.

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