Publications by authors named "Marianne Koller"

29 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Release of protein-bound nerve agents by excess fluoride from whole blood: GC-MS/MS method development, validation, and application to a real-life denatured blood sample.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2021 Aug 15;1179:122693. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstraße 11, D-80937 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

In analogy to the fluoride-induced regeneration of butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibited by nerve agents a method was developed and optimized for whole blood samples. Compared to the plasma method, regeneration grade was found to be higher for cyclosarin (GF), i-butylsarin from VR, and n-butylsarin from CVX, but lower for sarin (GB), fluorotabun from tabun (GA), and ethylsarin from VX. Regeneration grade of soman (GD) is the same for both matrices because it is released from serum albumin and not from cholinesterases. The method was fully validated for GB and GF to prove selectivity, linearity (n = 6), limit of determination (LOD1), reproducibility (within day (n = 8) and from day to day (n = 8)), effectiveness of extraction, matrix effect, and sample stability (after sample preparation and during three freeze/thaw cycles). The other agents were tested for selectivity, linearity (n = 2), limit of determination, and stability after sample preparation. The method showed high selectivity, good linearity up to the protein's saturation concentration (GB: R = 0.9995, GF: 0.9968), and high reproducibility (GB: C.V. 5.9-13.7%, GF: 4.9-10.3%). The limits of determination (calculated from the spiked amount of the original agent) were found with 0.3 ng/mL VX, 0.5 ng/mL GB, 1 ng/mL VR, 0.5 ng/mL GA, 1 ng/mL CVX, and 8 ng/mL GD. In the case of GF, it was found with 4 ng/mL using Isolute ENV + SPE cartridges as for the other analytes and with 2.5 ng/mL using Isolute C8 EC SPE cartridges instead. This method was then applied to a denatured whole blood sample obtained from an individual exposed to GB. While previously only the GB metabolite isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA) could be detected in this blood sample it was now possible to successfully release GB from the blood proteins by excess fluoride.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2021.122693DOI Listing
August 2021

Catalytic activity and stereoselectivity of engineered phosphotriesterases towards structurally different nerve agents in vitro.

Arch Toxicol 2021 08 23;95(8):2815-2823. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie der Bundeswehr, 80937, Munich, Germany.

Highly toxic organophosphorus nerve agents, especially the extremely stable and persistent V-type agents such as VX, still pose a threat to the human population and require effective medical countermeasures. Engineered mutants of the Brevundimonas diminuta phosphotriesterase (BdPTE) exhibit enhanced catalytic activities and have demonstrated detoxification in animal models, however, substrate specificity and fast plasma clearance limit their medical applicability. To allow better assessment of their substrate profiles, we have thoroughly investigated the catalytic efficacies of five BdPTE mutants with 17 different nerve agents using an AChE inhibition assay. In addition, we studied one BdPTE version that was fused with structurally disordered PAS polypeptides to enable delayed plasma clearance and one bispecific BdPTE with broadened substrate spectrum composed of two functionally distinct subunits connected by a PAS linker. Measured k/K values were as high as 6.5 and 1.5 × 10 M min with G- and V-agents, respectively. Furthermore, the stereoselective degradation of VX enantiomers by the PASylated BdPTE-4 and the bispecific BdPTE-7 were investigated by chiral LC-MS/MS, resulting in a several fold faster hydrolysis of the more toxic P(-) VX stereoisomer compared to P(+) VX. In conclusion, the newly developed enzymes BdPTE-4 and BdPTE-7 have shown high catalytic efficacy towards structurally different nerve agents and stereoselectivity towards the toxic P(-) VX enantiomer in vitro and offer promise for use as bioscavengers in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00204-021-03094-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8298220PMC
August 2021

In Vitro Interaction of Organophosphono- and Organophosphorothioates with Human Acetylcholinesterase.

Molecules 2020 Jul 2;25(13). Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, D-80937 Munich, Germany.

The implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1997 was a milestone in the prohibition of chemical warfare agents (CWA). Yet, the repeated use of CWA underlines the ongoing threat to the population. Organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents still represent the most toxic CWA subgroup. Defensive research on nerve agents is mainly focused on the "classical five", namely tabun, sarin, soman, cyclosarin and VX, although Schedule 1 of the CWC covers an unforeseeable number of homologues. Likewise, an uncounted number of OP pesticides have been produced in previous decades. Our aim was to determine the in vitro inhibition kinetics of selected organophosphono- and organophosphorothioates with human AChE, as well as hydrolysis of the agents in human plasma and reactivation of inhibited AChE, in order to derive potential structure-activity relationships. The investigation of the interactions of selected OP compounds belonging to schedule 1 (V-agents) and schedule 2 (amiton) of the CWC with human AChE revealed distinct structural effects of the -alkyl, --alkyl and ,-dialkyl residues on the inhibitory potency of the agents. Irrespective of structural modifications, all tested V-agents presented as highly potent AChE inhibitors. The high stability of the tested agents in human plasma will most likely result in long-lasting poisoning in vivo, having relevant consequences for the treatment regimen. In conclusion, the results of this study emphasize the need to investigate the biological effects of nerve agent analogues in order to assess the efficacy of available medical countermeasures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25133029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7412149PMC
July 2020

Influence of cyclic and acyclic cucurbiturils on the degradation pathways of the chemical warfare agent VX.

Org Biomol Chem 2020 07;18(27):5218-5227

Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Fachbereich Chemie - Organische Chemie, Erwin-Schrödinger-Straße, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany.

The highly toxic nerve agent VX is a methylphosphonothioate that degrades via three pathways in aqueous solution, namely through the hydrolysis of the P-O or P-S bonds, or the cleavage of the C-S bond at the 2-aminoethyl residue. In the latter case, an aziridinium ion and a phosphonothioate is formed. Here it is shown that acyclic or cyclic cucurbiturils inhibit these reactions in phosphate buffer at physiological pH and thus stabilise the nerve agent. When using unbuffered basic solutions as the reaction medium, however, in which the P-S or P-O bonds are normally hydrolysed preferentially, cucurbiturils turned out to strongly shift VX degradation towards the cleavage of the C-S bond. Cucurbit[7]uril, in particular, has a so pronounced effect under suitable conditions that it almost completely suppresses the formation of products resulting from the other degradation pathways. Investigations involving VX analogues in combination with computational methods suggest that one reason for the reaction control exerted by the cucurbiturils is the preorganisation of VX for aziridinium ion formation. In addition, cucurbit[7]uril also lowers the transition state of the reaction by stabilising the positive charge developing on the way to the product. Cucurbiturils thus have a marked effect on the reactivity of a highly toxic nerve agent, which potentially allows using them for decontamination purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ob01167cDOI Listing
July 2020

Screening of chiral shift reagents suitable to generically separate the enantiomers of V-agents by P-NMR spectroscopy.

Toxicol Lett 2020 Mar 2;320:28-36. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937, Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Fourteen amino acids protected at the N-terminal and at their side chains were screened for resolving the enantiomers of V-agents by NMR. While none of the shift reagents tested showed really effective separation in proton NMR, two of them (BOC-Gln(Xan)-OH, 16, and Z-Arg(Z)-OH), 21, with 16 superior to 21) were found suitable to separate the enantiomers of all V-agent homologues involved in the test by P-NMR. Molar ratios investigated were 1:0.5, 1:1, 1:1.5, 1:2, and 1:3 with the V-agent set to 1 throughout the experiments. All these ratios were more or less effective, but 1:3 was found to separate the V-agents the most reliable way. It is postulated that three chiral solvating molecules are then coordinated around the organophosphate: ion pair formation with the amino nitrogen of the V agent side chain, hydrogen bonding provided by the PO unit, and extension of coordination at the phosphorus atom itself. After chiral separation of VX by semi-preparative LC-MS the enantiomers were examined with both configurations of 16 releasing four different P NMR peaks which correspond to four different complexes: R-S, R-R, S-R, and S-S. Comparing these results with literature data it is assumed that (+)-VX corresponds to the R configuration and (-)-VX to the S-configuration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2019.12.004DOI Listing
March 2020

Forensic evidence of sulfur mustard exposure in real cases of human poisoning by detection of diverse albumin-derived protein adducts.

Arch Toxicol 2019 07 8;93(7):1881-1891. Epub 2019 May 8.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology (InstPharmToxBw), Neuherbergstr. 11, 80937, Munich, Germany.

We present the forensic analyses of plasma samples of human victims exposed to sulfur mustard (SM) in a crisis region in the Middle East in 2015. A few hours after exposure, poisoned persons showed typical signs and symptoms of percutaneous SM exposure including erythema and later on blisters and hardly healing skin wounds. Blood samples were collected 15 days after poisoning to be analyzed for the presence of long-lived protein-adduct biomarkers to verify SM poisoning. We applied a novel bioanalytical toolbox targeting four human serum albumin-derived biomarkers that were made accessible after plasma proteolysis. These adducts contained the SM-specific hydroxyethylthioethyl moiety either bound to the thiol group of a cysteine residue (C*) or to the side-chain carboxylic group of a glutamic acid residue (E*). Peptide biomarkers were produced from plasma of the victims using proteinase K (C*PF), pronase (C*P) and pepsin (AE*VSKL and LQQC*PFEDHVKL) for enzymatic protein cleavage. Separation and detection were carried out by selective micro-liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (µLC-ESI MS/HR MS). In addition to this site-specific adduct detection, a general approach after alkaline hydrolysis of the plasma protein fraction was applied. Liberated thiodiglycol (TDG) was derivatized with heptafluorobutyric anhydride and detected by gas chromatography-electron ionization mass spectrometry (GC-EI MS). The different bioanalytical methods yielded congruent results confirming SM poisoning for all patients who showed clinical signs and symptoms. This is the first time that real cases of SM poisoning were confirmed and presented by such a broad compilation of protein-derived biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00204-019-02461-2DOI Listing
July 2019

Fatal sarin poisoning in Syria 2013: forensic verification within an international laboratory network.

Forensic Toxicol 2018 21;36(1):61-71. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

2Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO, 2280 AA Rijswijk, The Netherlands.

During the United Nations fact-finding mission to investigate the alleged use of chemical warfare agents in the Syrian Arab Republic in 2013, numerous tissues from a deceased female victim, who had displayed symptoms of cholinergic crisis, were collected. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) authorized two specialized laboratories in the Netherlands and Germany for forensic analysis of these samples. Diverse modern mass spectrometry (MS)-based procedures in combination with either liquid chromatography (LC) or gas chromatography (GC) separation were applied. A variety of biotransformation products of the nerve agent sarin was detected, including the hydrolysis product -isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA) as well as covalent protein adducts with e.g., albumin and human butyrylcholinesterase (hBChE). IMPA was extracted after sample acidification by solid-phase extraction and directly analyzed by LC-tandem-MS with negative electrospray ionization (ESI). Protein adducts were found, either by fluoride-induced reactivation applying GC-MS techniques or by LC-MS-based detection after positive ESI for proteolyzed proteins yielding phosphonylated tyrosine residues or a specific phosphonylated hBChE-derived nonapeptide. These experimental results provided unambiguous evidence for a systemic intoxication and were the first proving the use of sarin in the ongoing bellicose conflict. This scenario underlines the requirement for qualified and specialized analytical laboratories to face repeated violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11419-017-0376-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5754388PMC
July 2017

Detoxification of VX and Other V-Type Nerve Agents in Water at 37 °C and pH 7.4 by Substituted Sulfonatocalix[4]arenes.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2016 10 15;55(41):12668-72. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

Fachbereich Chemie-Organische Chemie, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Erwin-Schrödinger-Strasse, 67663, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Sulfonatocalix[4]arenes with an appended hydroxamic acid residue can detoxify VX and related V-type neurotoxic organophosphonates with half-lives down to 3 min in aqueous buffer at 37 °C and pH 7.4. The detoxification activity is attributed to the millimolar affinity of the calixarene moiety for the positively charged organophosphonates in combination with the correct arrangement of the hydroxamic acid group. The reaction involves phosphonylation of the hydroxamic acid followed by a Lossen rearrangement, thus rendering the mode of action stoichiometric rather than catalytic. Nevertheless, these calixarenes are currently the most efficient low-molecular-weight compounds for detoxifying persistent V-type nerve agents under mild conditions. They thus represent lead structures for novel antidotes that allow treatment of poisonings by these highly toxic chemicals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201606881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5113771PMC
October 2016

Single treatment of VX poisoned guinea pigs with the phosphotriesterase mutant C23AL: Intraosseous versus intravenous injection.

Toxicol Lett 2016 Sep 7;258:198-206. Epub 2016 Jul 7.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich, Germany.

The recent attacks with the nerve agent sarin in Syria reveal the necessity of effective countermeasures against highly toxic organophosphorus compounds. Multiple studies provide evidence that a rapid onset of antidotal therapy might be life-saving but current standard antidotal protocols comprising reactivators and competitive muscarinic antagonists show a limited efficacy for several nerve agents. We here set out to test the newly developed phosphotriesterase (PTE) mutant C23AL by intravenous (i.v.), intramuscular (i.m.; model for autoinjector) and intraosseous (i.o.; model for intraosseous insertion device) application in an in vivo guinea pig model after VX challenge (∼2LD50). C23AL showed a Cmax of 0.63μmolL(-1) after i.o. and i.v. administration of 2mgkg(-1) providing a stable plasma profile up to 180min experimental duration with 0.41 and 0.37μmolL(-1) respectively. The i.m. application of C23AL did not result in detectable plasma levels. All animals challenged with VX and subsequent i.o. or i.v. C23AL therapy survived although an in part substantial inhibition of erythrocyte, brain and diaphragm AChE was detected. Theoretical calculation of the time required to hydrolyze in vivo 96.75% of the toxic VX enantiomer is consistent with previous studies wherein similar activity of plasma containing catalytic scavengers of OPs resulted in non-lethal protection although accompanied with a variable severity of cholinergic symptoms. The relatively low C23AL plasma level observed immediately after its i.v. or i.o load, point at a possible volume of distribution greater than the guinea pig plasma content, and thus underlines the necessity of in vivo experiments in antidote research. In conclusion the i.o. application of PTE is efficient and resulted in comparable plasma levels to the i.v. application at a given time. Thus, i.o. vascular access systems could improve the post-exposure PTE therapy of nerve agent poisoning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2016.07.004DOI Listing
September 2016

Toxicology of organophosphorus compounds in view of an increasing terrorist threat.

Arch Toxicol 2016 Sep 27;90(9):2131-2145. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937, Munich, Germany.

The implementation of the Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC), prohibiting the development, production, storage and use of chemical weapons by 192 nations and the ban of highly toxic OP pesticides, especially class I pesticides according to the WHO classification, by many countries constitutes a great success of the international community. However, the increased interest of terrorist groups in toxic chemicals and chemical warfare agents presents new challenges to our societies. Almost seven decades of research on organophosphorus compound (OP) toxicology was mainly focused on a small number of OP nerve agents despite the fact that a huge number of OP analogues, many of these agents having comparable toxicity to classical nerve agents, were synthesized and published. Only limited physicochemical, toxicological and medical information on nerve agent analogues is available in the open literature. This implies potential gaps of our capabilities to detect, to decontaminate and to treat patients if nerve agent analogues are disseminated and may result in inadequate effectiveness of newly developed countermeasures. In summary, our societies may face new, up to now disregarded, threats by toxic OP which calls for increased awareness and appropriate preparedness of military and civilian CBRN defense, a broader approach for new physical and medical countermeasures and an integrated system of effective detection, decontamination, physical protection and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00204-016-1772-1DOI Listing
September 2016

Reactivation of nerve agent-inhibited human acetylcholinesterase by obidoxime, HI-6 and obidoxime+HI-6: Kinetic in vitro study with simulated nerve agent toxicokinetics and oxime pharmacokinetics.

Toxicology 2016 03 3;350-352:25-30. Epub 2016 May 3.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich, Germany.

Despite extensive research for decades no effective broad-spectrum oxime for the treatment of poisoning by a broad range of nerve agents is available. Previous in vitro and in vivo data indicate that the combination of in service oximes could be beneficial. To investigate the ability of obidoxime, HI-6 and the combination of both oximes to reactivate inhibited human AChE in the presence of sarin, cyclosarin or tabun we adopted a dynamic in vitro model with real-time and continuous determination of AChE activity to simulate inhalation nerve agent exposure and intramuscular oxime administration. The major findings of this kinetic study are that the extent and velocity of reactivation is dependent on the nerve agent and the oxime-specific reactivating potency. The oxime-induced reactivation of inhibited human AChE in the presence of nerve agents is markedly impaired and the combination of obidoxime and HI-6 had no additive effect but could broaden the spectrum. In conclusion, these data indicate that a combination of obidoxime and HI-6 would be beneficial for the treatment of poisoning by a broad spectrum of nerve agents and could present an interim solution until more effective and broad-spectrum reactivators are available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2016.05.001DOI Listing
March 2016

Application of a dynamic in vitro model with real-time determination of acetylcholinesterase activity for the investigation of tabun analogues and oximes.

Toxicol In Vitro 2015 Dec 11;30(1 Pt B):514-20. Epub 2015 Sep 11.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich, Germany.

Tabun-inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is rather resistant towards reactivation by oximes in vitro while in vivo experiments showed some protection of animals poisoned by this chemical warfare nerve agent after treatment with an oxime and atropine. In addition, AChE inhibited by close tabun analogues, N,N-diethyltabun and N,N-di-n-propyltabun was completely resistant towards reactivation by oximes. In order to get more insight into potential mechanisms of this oxime resistance experiments with these toxic agents and the oximes obidoxime, 2-PAM, MMB-4 and HI-6 were performed utilizing a dynamic model with real-time determination of AChE activity. This experimental setup allowed the investigation of reactivation with minimized side reactions. The determined reactivation constants with tabun-inhibited human AChE were in good agreement with previously reported constants determined with a static model. N,N-diethyl- and N,N-di-n-propyltabun-inhibited human AChE could not be reactivated by oximes which indicates that the inadequate oxime effect was not due to re-inhibition by phosphonyloximes. Additional experiments with tabun-inhibited human and Rhesus monkey AChE revealed that no reactivation occurred with HI-6. These data give further support to the assumption that an interaction of tabun with residues in the active site gorge of AChE prevents effective reactivation by oximes, a mechanism which may also be the reason for the total oxime resistance of N,N-diethyl- and N,N-di-n-propyltabun-inhibited human AChE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2015.09.010DOI Listing
December 2015

Medical documentation, bioanalytical evidence of an accidental human exposure to sulfur mustard and general therapy recommendations.

Toxicol Lett 2016 Feb 28;244:112-120. Epub 2015 Aug 28.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 80937 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Sulfur mustard (SM) is a chemical warfare agent (CWA) that was first used in World War I and in several military conflicts afterwards. The threat by SM is still present even today due to remaining stockpiles, old and abandoned remainders all over the world as well as to its ease of synthesis. CWA are banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) interdicting their development, production, transport, stockpiling and use and are subjected to controlled destruction. The present case report describes an accidental exposure of three workers that occurred during the destruction of SM. All exposed workers presented a characteristic SM-related clinical picture that started about 4h after exposure with erythema and feeling of tension of the skin at the upper part of the body. Later on, superficial blister and a burning phenomenon of the affected skin areas developed. Similar symptoms occurred in all three patients differing severity. One patient presented sustained skin affections at the gluteal region while another patient came up with affections of the axilla and genital region. Fortunately, full recovery was observed on day 56 after exposure except some little pigmentation changes that were evident even on day 154 in two of the patients. SM-exposure was verified for all three patients using bioanalytical GC MS and LC MS/MS based methods applied to urine and plasma. Urinary biotransformation products of the β-lyase pathway were detected until 5 days after poisoning whereas albumin-SM adducts could be found until day 29 underlining the beneficial role of adduct detection for post-exposure verification. In addition, we provide general recommendations for management and therapy in case of SM poisoning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2015.08.1105DOI Listing
February 2016

Detoxification of organophosphorus pesticides and nerve agents through RSDL: efficacy evaluation by (31)P NMR spectroscopy.

Toxicol Lett 2015 Mar 14;233(2):207-13. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstraße 11, 80937 München, Germany.

Intoxication by organophosphorus compounds, especially by pesticides, poses a considerable risk to the affected individual. Countermeasures involve both medical intervention by means of antidotes as well as external decontamination to reduce the risk of dermal absorption. One of the few decontamination options available is Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL), which was originally developed for military use. Here, we present a (31)P NMR spectroscopy based methodology to evaluate the detoxification efficacy of RSDL with respect to a series of organophosphorus pesticides and nerve agents. Kinetic analysis of the obtained NMR data provided degradation half-lives proving that RSDL is also reasonably effective against organophosphorus pesticides. Unexpected observations of different RSDL degradation patterns are presented in view of its reported oximate-catalyzed mechanism of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.12.004DOI Listing
March 2015

Reactions of methylphosphonic difluoride with human acetylcholinesterase and oximes--Possible therapeutic implications.

Toxicol Lett 2014 Nov 18;231(1):92-8. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich, Germany.

Highly toxic organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents are well characterized regarding chemical, biological and toxicological properties and the effectiveness of standard atropine and oxime therapy. Open literature data on the key nerve agent precursor methylphosphonic difluoride (DF) are scarce. To fill this gap the reactions of DF and its main degradation product methylphosphonofluoridic acid (MF) with human acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the oximes obidoxime, HI-6 and 2-PAM were investigated in vitro. DF and MF were found to be weak inhibitors of human AChE being at least five orders less potent compared to the nerve agent sarin. Incubation of human AChE with millimolar DF and MF and subsequent addition of obidoxime and HI-6 resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease of AChE activity. This effect was not observed when incubating highly diluted AChE with oximes. The most likely explanation for this phenomenon is an inhibitory effect of phosphonyloximes formed by direct reaction of DF or MF with obidoxime and HI-6. These data indicate that high DF doses, resulting in millimolar blood and tissue DF/MF concentrations, are necessary to induce cholinergic signs and that under these conditions treatment with obidoxime and HI-6 may even worsen the poisoning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.09.012DOI Listing
November 2014

In vitro toxicokinetic studies of cyclosarin: molecular mechanisms of elimination.

Toxicol Lett 2014 May 16;227(1):1-11. Epub 2014 Mar 16.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.

The toxicokinetics of in vitro elimination of highly toxic cyclosarin (GF) in biological systems revealed striking stereoselective differences in the range of 0.01μM to 1mM GF. While weak concentration dependency was detected for elimination of the toxic (-)-enantiomer indicating catalytic processes, elimination of less toxic (+)-GF followed unusual kinetics with relatively high concentration dependency. Fast initial GF binding in human heparinised plasma increased only at lower initial GF concentrations while (+)-GF binding strongly increased with decreasing GF concentration. In displacement experiments it was shown for the first time that GF binding on plasma components in rats and mice plasma was reversible. Investigations with human plasma require further methodical improvement. GF elimination by diisopropylfluorophosphatase (DFPase) wildtype as phosphotriesterase (PTE) model showed some similarities compared to human heparinised plasma. Impact of human serum albumin is negligible. When comparing kinetics of GF elimination with metabolite formation (fluoride and cyclohexyl methyl phosphonic acid, CHMPA), marked differences were detected. From the results a model was postulated illustrating possible steps of molecular mechanisms of GF interaction with plasma proteins including high affine fast initial binding followed by formation of metastable phosphonylated plasma proteins with subsequent hydrolysis and release of metabolites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.03.003DOI Listing
May 2014

Tabun scavengers based on hydroxamic acid containing cyclodextrins.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2013 Apr;49(33):3425-7

Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie der Bundeswehr, Neuherbergstraße 11, D-80937 München, Germany.

Arrangement of several hydroxamic acid-derived substituents along the cavity of a cyclodextrin ring leads to compounds that detoxify tabun in TRIS-HCl buffer at physiological pH and 37.0 °C with half-times as low as 3 min.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c3cc41290cDOI Listing
April 2013

Structural requirements for effective oximes--evaluation of kinetic in vitro data with phosphylated human AChE and structurally different oximes.

Chem Biol Interact 2013 Mar 22;203(1):125-8. Epub 2012 Jul 22.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich, Germany.

Treatment of poisoning by various organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents with established acetylcholinesterase (AChE) reactivators (oximes) is insufficient. In consequence, extensive research programs have been undertaken in various countries in the past decades to identify more effective oximes. The efficacy of new compounds has been investigated with different in vitro and in vivo models which hamper the comparison of results from different laboratories. The crucial mechanism of action of oximes is the reactivation of phosphylated AChE. The kinetic properties of these compounds can be quantified in vitro with isolated AChE from different origin. It was tempting to evaluate the reactivation kinetics of a series of oximes with various OP inhibitors performed under identical experimental conditions in order to get insight into structural requirements for adequate affinity and reactivity towards inhibited AChE. The determination of reactivation rate constants with bispyridinium oximes having different linkers, bearing oxime group(s) at different positions and having in part additional substituents revealed that (a) the reactivating potency was dependent on the position of the oxime groups and of additional substituents, (b) small modifications of the oxime structure had an in part marked effect on the kinetic properties and (c) no single oxime had an adequate reactivating potency with AChE inhibited by structurally different OP. These and previous studies underline the necessity to investigate in detail the kinetic properties of novel oximes and that the identification of a single oxime being effective against a broad range of structurally different OP will remain a major challenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbi.2012.07.003DOI Listing
March 2013

Reactivation kinetics of a series of related bispyridinium oximes with organophosphate-inhibited human acetylcholinesterase--Structure-activity relationships.

Biochem Pharmacol 2012 Jun;83(12):1700-6

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.

Despite extensive research in the last six decades, oximes are the only available drugs which enable a causal treatment of poisoning by organophosphorus compounds (OP). However, numerous in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated a limited ability of these oximes to reactivate acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibited by different OP pesticides and nerve agents. New oximes were mostly tested for their therapeutic efficacy by using different animal models and for their reactivating potency with AChE from different species. Due to the use of different experimental protocols a comparison of data from the various studies is hardly possible. Now, we found it tempting to determine the reactivation kinetics of a series of bispyridinium oximes bearing one or two oxime groups at different positions and having an oxybismethylene or a trimethylene linker under identical conditions with human AChE inhibited by structurally different OP. The data indicate that the position of the oxime group(s) is decisive for the reactivating potency and that different positions of the oxime groups are important for different OP inhibitors while the nature of the linker, oxybismethylene or trimethylene, is obviously of minor importance. Hence, these and previous data emphasize the necessity for thorough kinetic investigations of OP-oxime-AChE interactions and underline the difficulty to develop a broad spectrum oxime reactivator which is efficient against structurally different OP inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2012.03.002DOI Listing
June 2012

Kinetic interactions of a homologous series of bispyridinium monooximes (HGG oximes) with native and phosphonylated human acetylcholinesterase.

Toxicol Lett 2012 Jul 4;212(1):29-32. Epub 2012 May 4.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.

Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is the main toxic mechanism of organophosphorus compounds (OP) and reactivation of OP-inhibited AChE by oximes is a mainstay of antidotal treatment. The inadequate efficacy of clinically used oximes led to the synthesis of numerous new compounds in the past decades to identify more effective reactivators. Despite of extensive in vitro reactivation studies the structural features for the development of effective oximes are not well understood. In the present study we investigated the kinetic interactions of a homologous series of bispyridinium monoximes bearing C1 to C12 alkylketone groups on the second pyridinium ring with native and cyclosarin-inhibited human AChE. We observed a correlation of the length of the alkyl side chain with an up to 20-fold increased affinity towards native AChE. The effect of the alkyl side chain on the affinity and reactivity towards phosphonylated AChE was moderate, except of a markedly reduced reactivity of C10 and C12 oximes. In comparison to the reference oxime HI-6 all HGG oximes had a lower reactivating potency and these oximes are not considered as promising compounds for the reactivation of cyclosarin-inhibited AChE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.04.018DOI Listing
July 2012

Purity of antidotal oxime HI-6 DMS as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for auto-injectors and infusions.

Drug Test Anal 2012 Mar-Apr;4(3-4):199-207. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

Central Institute of the Bundeswehr Medical Service Munich, Ingolstädter Landstraße 102, Garching Hochbrück, Germany.

As reactivators of inhibited acetylcholinesterase, oximes are essential antidotes in poisoning by organophosphorus compounds. Due to its superior efficacy in cases of soman, cyclosarin, and sarin poisoning, the oxime HI-6 represents a promising option for an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in the further development of antidote therapy for nerve agent poisoning. Developmental lots of HI-6 DMS (dimethanesulfonate) provided by different manufacturers were examined with respect to their content and purity with a view to their future use as an API. There are distinct differences in the HI-6 content from three manufacturers. With respect to purity, gradual differences arise with the known synthetic by-products as well as with unknown accompanying compounds. It became apparent that in the case of a modified synthesis using protective groups, the proportion of some synthesis by-products decreases considerably. With one exception, they are thus below the reporting threshold for API in accordance with pertinent regulatory guidelines. In HI-6, an unknown impurity always occurs, whose percentage necessitates identification due to regulations. This unknown impurity, which has not been described so far, could be identified as an isomer. These findings supply data required for the description of pharmaceutical quality in accordance with module 3 of a Common Technical Document (CTD). They thus contribute to the marketing authorization of this substance as an API for auto-injectors and infusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.357DOI Listing
July 2012

Photostability of antidotal oxime HI-6, impact on drug development.

Drug Test Anal 2012 Mar-Apr;4(3-4):208-14. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Central Institute of the Bundeswehr Medical Service Munich, Garching Hochbrück, Germany.

HI-6 exhibits superior efficacy in the therapy of intoxication by different highly toxic organophosphorus nerve agents. Therefore HI-6 is a promising candidate for the development of new antidotes against nerve agents. For ethical and safety reasons antidotes containing HI-6 should get marketing authorization. Active pharmaceutical ingredients of medicinal products have to fulfil regulatory conditions in terms of purity and stability. Photostability is an essential parameter in this testing strategy. HI-6 was tested under conditions of ICH Q1B 'Photostability testing of new drug substances and products'. The data showed a marked degradation of HI-6 after exposure to daylight. The mechanism of degradation could be detected as photoisomerism. The light burden dependent rate of photoisomerism was followed quantitatively. Based on these quantitative results on the amount of light induced isomeric product a pharmacological qualification was made. A standardized in vitro test showed a decreased ability of light exposed HI-6 to reactivate sarin- and paraoxon-inhibited human acetylcholinesterase. These results have an impact on the further development of antidotes containing HI-6, as light protection will probably be necessary during handling, packaging, storage and application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.376DOI Listing
July 2012

In vitro detoxification of cyclosarin (GF) by modified cyclodextrins.

Toxicol Lett 2011 Jan 28;200(1-2):53-8. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.

Developing potent detoxification strategies for prophylaxis and therapy against organophosphate (OP) intoxication still represents a challenging task. Clinical application of numerous investigated substances including enzymes and low molecular scavengers like metal ions or nucleophiles could not yet be realised due to profound disadvantages. Presenting a promising attempt, cyclodextrins (CDs) efficiently enhance the degradation of some organophosphorus compounds. The present study examined the in vitro GF degradation mediated by three CDs and a nucleophilic precursor performed by mass spectrometric detection with ammonia chemical ionisation. All four compounds caused a notable enhancement of GF detoxification that was synergistically accelerated in the case of 2-O-(3-carboxy-4-iodosobenzyl)-β-cyclodextrin (IBA-β-CD) with the alpha-nucleophile 2-iodosobenzoic acid (IBA) grafted on the secondary face of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD). In vitro toxicokinetic investigations of CD derivatives are needed to evaluate the effect of slow terminal elimination phase of the more toxic (-)-GF shown for two CD-derivatives underlining the necessity of detecting the complete kinetic course of inactivation. The observed effect of fast high affinity binding (20-30%) represents an additional therapeutic option of an extremely rapid reduction of GF concentration in vivo. Distinctive differences in the course of reaction are detected depending on β-CD-derivatives, allowing a first inference of possible mechanisms and relevance of attached substituents. However, further profound investigation needs to be done to evaluate the basis of a clinical application of substituted CDs as potential detoxification agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.10.014DOI Listing
January 2011

Kinetic analysis of interactions of different sarin and tabun analogues with human acetylcholinesterase and oximes: is there a structure-activity relationship?

Chem Biol Interact 2010 Sep 25;187(1-3):215-9. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich, Germany.

The repeated misuse of highly toxic organophosphorus compound (OP) based chemical warfare agents in military conflicts and terrorist attacks poses a continuous threat to the military and civilian sector. The toxic symptomatology of OP poisoning is mainly caused by inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE, E.C. 3.1.1.7) resulting in generalized cholinergic crisis due to accumulation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) in synaptic clefts. Beside atropine as competitive antagonist of ACh at muscarinic ACh receptors oximes as reactivators of OP-inhibited AChE are a mainstay of standard antidotal treatment. However, human AChE inhibited by certain OP is rather resistant to oxime-induced reactivation. The development of more effective oxime-based reactivators may fill the gaps. To get more insight into a potential structure-activity relationship between human AChE, OPs and oximes in vitro studies were conducted to investigate interactions of different tabun and sarin analogues with human AChE and the oximes obidoxime and HI 6 by determination of various kinetic constants. Rate constants for the inhibition of human AChE by OPs, spontaneous dealkylation and reactivation as well as reactivation by obidoxime and HI 6 of OP-inhibited human AChE were determined. The recorded kinetic data did not allow a general statement concerning a structure-activity relationship between human AChE, OP and oximes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbi.2010.01.035DOI Listing
September 2010

GC-MS and LC-MS analysis of nerve agents in body fluids: intra-laboratory verification test using spiked plasma and urine samples.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2010 May 24;878(17-18):1226-33. Epub 2009 Dec 24.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, D-80937 München, Germany.

The purpose of this study was to check the applicability of different analytical methods for the identification of unknown nerve agents in human body fluids. Plasma and urine samples were spiked with nerve agents (plasma) or with their metabolites (urine) or were left blank. Seven random samples (35% of all samples) were selected for the verification test. Plasma was worked up for unchanged nerve agents and for regenerated nerve agents after fluoride-induced reactivation of nerve agent-inhibited butyrylcholinesterase. Both extracts were analysed by GC-MS. Metabolites were extracted from plasma and urine, respectively, and were analysed by LC-MS. The urinary metabolites and two blank samples could be identified without further measurements, plasma metabolites and blanks were identified in six of seven samples. The analysis of unchanged nerve agent provided five agents/blanks and the sixth agent after further investigation. The determination of the regenerated agents also provided only five clear findings during the first screening because of a rather noisy baseline. Therefore, the sample preparation was extended by a size exclusion step performed before addition of fluoride which visibly reduced baseline noise and thus improved identification of the two missing agents. The test clearly showed that verification should be performed by analysing more than one biomarker to ensure identification of the agent(s).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2009.12.023DOI Listing
May 2010

Reversed enantioselectivity of diisopropyl fluorophosphatase against organophosphorus nerve agents by rational design.

J Am Chem Soc 2009 Dec;131(47):17226-32

Blum-Scientific Services, Ledererstrasse 23, 80331 Munich, Germany.

Diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from Loligo vulgaris is an efficient and robust biocatalyst for the hydrolysis of a range of highly toxic organophosphorus compounds including the nerve agents sarin, soman, and cyclosarin. In contrast to the substrate diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) the nerve agents possess an asymmetric phosphorus atom, which leads to pairs of enantiomers that display markedly different toxicities. Wild-type DFPase prefers the less toxic stereoisomers of the substrates which leads to slower detoxification despite rapid hydrolysis. Enzyme engineering efforts based on rational design yielded two quadruple enzyme mutants with reversed enantioselectivity and overall enhanced activity against tested nerve agents. The reversed stereochemical preference is explained through modeling studies and the crystal structures of the two mutants. Using the engineered mutants in combination with wild-type DFPase leads to significantly enhanced activity and detoxification, which is especially important for personal decontamination. Our findings may also be of relevance for the structurally related enzyme human paraoxonase (PON), which is of considerable interest as a potential catalytic in vivo scavenger in case of organophosphorus poisoning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja905444gDOI Listing
December 2009

Development and application of procedures for the highly sensitive quantification of cyclosarin enantiomers in hemolysed swine blood samples.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2007 Nov 6;859(1):9-15. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.

The present study was initiated to develop a sensitive method for the analysis of cyclosarin (O-cyclohexyl methylphosphonofluoridate, GF) enantiomers in biological samples utilizing classical configurations of GC-MS and automated solid phase extraction. To achieve this goal, a specific procedure had to be developed to extract cyclosarin from swine blood samples thereby stabilising and minimising the racemisation/deracemisation of its enantiomers. The chiral stationary phase was GAMMA DEX (gamma cyclodextrin), on which GF and deuterated GF enantiomers were baseline-resolved. The limit of detection was 1 pg for (-)-GF with GC-EI-MS and 5 pg for (+)-GF with GC-NCI-MS. The absolute recovery of the overall procedure for sample preparation was 85%. After an intravenous infusion of a supralethal dose of GF in anaesthetised swine only (-)-GF could be quantified, (+)-GF was not detected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.08.040DOI Listing
November 2007

Kinetic analysis of reactivation and aging of human acetylcholinesterase inhibited by different phosphoramidates.

Biochem Pharmacol 2007 Jun 16;73(11):1807-17. Epub 2007 Feb 16.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.

The high number of fatalities due to poisoning by organophosphorus compound-based (OP) pesticides and the availability of highly toxic OP-type chemical warfare agents (nerve agents) emphasize the necessity for an effective medical treatment. Acute OP toxicity is mainly caused by inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE, EC 3.1.1.7). Reactivators (oximes) of inhibited AChE are a mainstay of treatment. However, human AChE inhibited by certain OP, e.g. the phosphoramidates tabun and fenamiphos, is rather resistant towards reactivation by oximes while AChE inhibited by others, e.g. the phosphoramidate methamidophos is easily reactivated by oximes. To get more insight into a potential structure-activity relationship human AChE was inhibited by 16 different tabun analogues and the time-dependent reactivation by 1mM obidoxime, TMB-4, MMB-4, HI 6 or HLö 7, the reactivation kinetics of obidoxime and the kinetics of aging and spontaneous reactivation were investigated. A clear structure-activity relationship of aging, spontaneous and oxime-induced reactivation kinetics could be determined with AChE inhibited by N-monoalkyl tabun analogues depending on the chain length of the N-alkyl residue. N,N-dialkyl analogues bearing ethyl and n-propyl residues were completely resistant towards reactivation while N,N-di-i-propyl tabun was highly susceptible towards reactivation by oximes. AChE inhibited by phosphonoamidate analogues of tabun, bearing a N,N-dimethyl and N,N-diethyl group, could be reactivated and had comparable reactivation kinetics with obidoxime. These results in conjunction with previous data with organophosphates and organophosphonates emphasizes the necessity for kinetic studies as basis for future work on structural analysis with human AChE and for the development of effective broad-spectrum oximes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2007.02.008DOI Listing
June 2007

Diagnostic aspects of organophosphate poisoning.

Toxicology 2005 Oct 26;214(3):182-9. Epub 2005 Jul 26.

Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.

Organophosphate (OP)-type chemical warfare agents (nerve agents) present a constant threat to the population. Sensitive and specific methods for the detection and verification of exposure to nerve agents are required for diagnosis, therapeutic monitoring, health surveillance and forensic purposes. Determination of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity in blood remains a mainstay for the fast initial screening but lacks sensitivity and specificity. Quantitative analysis of nerve agents and their degradation products in plasma and urine by mass spectrometric methods may prove exposure but is limited to hours or days after the incident due to the short residence time of the analytes. Investigation of protein adducts extends the time interval between exposure and sampling and may be suitable to detect low-level exposure. Definitive prove of exposure requires a spectrum of different methods, expensive and sophisticated equipment and will be limited to specialized laboratories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2005.06.012DOI Listing
October 2005
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