Transient and reversible nephrotoxicity of sarin in rats

Eugenia Bloch-Shilderman, Aharon Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organophosphate (OP) poisoning, which inhibits cholinesterase activity, leads to severe cholinergic symptoms. Effective and quick management of these symptoms is considered critical to the clinical outcome. Acute renal damage following exposure to OP insecticides has been reported. Similar complications might occur following exposure to OP nerve agents, however, this subject has been studied only sporadically. In the present study, the effect of the nerve agent sarin on renal function was examined in rats. A single dose of sarin (∼0.9 LD50) led to a significant reduction (of 45%) in renal function during the first 2 days post exposure, as exhibited by evaluation of the glomerular filtration rate, through measuring the clearance of 99mTc-DTPA. The urine volume was reduced by 50%, the urine specific gravity increased to 104% of the control value and massive hematuria and glucosuria were recorded 24-48 h post exposure. In addition, around 60% decrease in urine electrolytes was monitored during the first 2 days following exposure, with a recovery after 8 days. Post mortem gross inspection of the bladder, 24 h post exposure, revealed severe edema and hemorrhage. Treatment with the muscarinic antagonist atropine and the oxime TMB-4, at excessive doses administered 1 min post exposure, did not prevent most renal impairments. It has been concluded that sarin caused an acute renal dysfunction, possibly accompanied by bladder damage. These impairments were reversible, recovered spontaneously within 3-8 days, and were probably related to the state of shock and hypovolemia caused by the poisoning. However, if renal impairments are left unattended, they might contribute to the overall toxic manifestation and as a result aggravate the clinical state of intoxicated casualties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Atropine and oxime therapy
  • Cholinesterase inhibition
  • GFR
  • Insecticides
  • Organophosphates
  • Renal failure
  • Sarin


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