Metoclopramide is a benzamide dopamine receptor antagonist and serotonine receptor agonist widely used as an antiemetic and gastric prokinetic drug. In addition, metoclopramide is a weak and reversible inhibitor of cholinesterases. The authors have previously shown that metoclopramide has a cholinesterase protective effect against inhibition by organophosphates (OPs). The putative mode of protective action of metoclopramide is, when administered in excess, competion for the active site of the enzyme with the more potent OP. In the present paper the authors present their results using another benzamide with weak cholinesterase inhibitory properties, tiapride (TIA). The purpose of the study was to quantify in vitro the extent of TIA-conferred protection, using dichlorvos (dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate; DDVP) as an inhibitor. DDVP is a moderately toxic (LD50 in rats in the milligram range), non-neuropathic OP. The substance is responsible for a large number of accidental or suicidal exposures. Red blood cell (RBC) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities in whole blood and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activities in human plasma were measured photometrically in the presence of different DDVP and TIA concentrations and IC50 was calculated. Determinations were repeated in the presence of increasing TIA concentrations. The IC50 of DDVP increases with the TIA concentration in a linear manner. The protective effect of TIA on cholinesterase could be of practical relevance in the treatment of OP poisoning. The authors conclude that in vivo testing of TIA as an OP protective agent is warranted.
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