Peaceful use of disastrous neurotoxicants

Yoram Finkelstein, Dejan Milatovic, Philip Lazarovici, Amit Ophir, Elihu D. Richter, Michael Aschner, Shimon Lecht, Cezary Marcinkiewicz, Peter I. Lelkes, Snjezana Zaja-Milatovic, Ramesh C. Gupta, Berta Brodsky, Avigail Rosengarten, Elena Proscura, Elena Shapira, Uri Wormser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The increasing exposure to environmental neurotoxicants in the last decades caused serious health problems in the world population. Some of the neurotoxic agents are being used in agriculture and household such as insecticides and rodenticides and others are of natural origin like snake and scorpion venoms. Additional group of harmful substances is the chemical warfare agents including nerve and blistering agents that are known for their disastrous effects on neuronal tissues. The present paper presents a combination of epidemiological/clinical and molecular approaches for investigating the effect of certain groups of neurotoxicants on a variety of pathologies. The work of Finkelstein and coworkers describes epidemiological and clinical studies on acute and chronic organophosphate (OP)-induced neurotoxicity in certain populations in Israel. They mainly investigated the neurotoxic effects of low-level long-term exposure to OP in agricultural areas but also dealt with acute exposures as well. A molecular approach to OP mechanism of neuronal injury was described by Milatovic and coworkers. They demonstrated OP-induced oxidative injury in pyramidal neurons in the CA1 hippocampal area and its suppression by antioxidants. Lecht and coworkers described the novel snake venom angioneurins as important mediators of the physiological cross-talk between the cardiovascular and nervous systems. They also showed that under certain conditions these angioneurins may induce pathologies such as tumor development or disruption of the vascular barrier function during envenomation. Additional mechanistic/therapeutic approach was presented by Brodsky, Rosengarten, Proscura, Shapira and Wormser. They developed a novel anti-inflammatory peptide that reduced skin irritation induced by heat and sulfur mustard (SM) stimuli. Since SM causes neuropsychiatric symptoms and alterations in neurological functions this peptide may serve as a potential treatment of neuronal injuries caused by environmental neurotoxicants. These reviews highlight different aspects of neurotoxicity, addressing epidemiology and mechanisms of toxicity; and identifying novel potential therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-620
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Angioneurins
  • Anti-inflammatory peptide III
  • Anti-inflammatory peptide IIIM1
  • Anti-inflammatory peptides
  • Children
  • Diisopropylphosphorofluoridate
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalitis
  • Exposure
  • NGF
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Organophosphates
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pesticides
  • Povidone-iodine
  • Skin irritants
  • Snake venom
  • VEGF
  • Vipera palestinae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


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