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Female Rats are Less Susceptible during Puberty to Lethal Effects of Percutaneous Exposure to VX

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Journal Article

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U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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Nerve agents with low volatility such as VX are primarily absorbed through the skin when released during combat or a terrorist attack. The barrier function of the stratum corneum may be compromised during certain stages of development, allowing VX to more easily penetrate through the skin. However, age-related differences in the lethal potency of VX have yet to be evaluated using the percutaneous pc route of exposure. Thus, we estimated the 24 and 48 h median lethal dose for pc exposure to VX in male and female rats during puberty and early adulthood. Pubescent, female rats were less susceptible than both their male and adult counterparts to the lethal effects associated with pc exposure to VX possibly because of hormonal changes during that stage of development. This study emphasizes the need to control for both age and sex when evaluating the toxicological effects associated with nerve agent exposure in the rat model

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

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