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Study Of Muscular Effects Of Short-term Pyridostigmine Treatment In Resting And Exercising Rats

Michel Hubert, Dominique Lison

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1. Pyridostigmine (PYR) pretreatment is used by the mili tary to obtain 20—30% whole blood acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition in order to enhance the effectiveness of the standard therapeutic regimen for poisoning by an organophosphate anticholinesterase agent. The present study was undertaken to investigate in a rat model the potential muscle damage produced by this pretreatment when given alone or combined with physical exercise. 2. Grip strength and biochemical measurements, i.e. serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) activity and creatine urinary excretion rate, together with histological studies, were performed in resting animals during a period of 14 days of PYR administration in a dose producing 20-30% whole blood acetylcholinesterase inhibition. No evidence was found of a deleterious effect of this treatment on the skeletal muscle. 3. In contrast, following physical exercise, the same treat ment significantly exacerbated the biochemical changes reflecting a loss of integrity in skeletal muscles, namely, increased CPK and urinary creatine excretion rate. The significance of this observation remains to be clarified.