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Median Lethal Doses Associated with Intravenous Exposure to the Optically Pure Enantiomers of VX in Guinea Pigs

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Technical Report,01 Jan 2016,01 Jul 2016

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Director, ECBC APG United States

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Stereoisomers are molecules with the same sequence of bonded atoms but a different orientation of these atoms in space, and enantiomers are non-superimposable stereoisomers. Enantiomers have the same chemical and physical properties except for their ability to rotate linearly polarized light in opposite directions. Nearly all previous research with chemical warfare nerve agents has been conducted using a mixture containing equal amounts of each stereoisomer or enantiomer, but it has been hypothesized that the stereoisomers themselves may yield different toxic responses. Thus, we estimated the 24 h median lethal doses for intravenous exposure of adult, male guinea pigs to the individual VX enantiomers, and we compared those potencies to that for a racemic mixture. The P -isomer of VX was 60 less toxic than the P-isomer and 50 less toxic than the racemic mixture. However, the P -isomer would still be considered highly toxic based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Acute Toxicity Categories for Pesticide Products.

Subject Categories:

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

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