Journal of wildlife diseases

Sex and storage affect cholinesterase activity in blood plasma of Japanese quail.

PMID 2810558


Blood plasma cholinesterase (ChE) activity is a sensitive indicator of exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides. Effects of sex and storage of samples were studied as sources of variability by treating breeding Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) with 3 mg of dicrotophos or carbofuran per kg of body weight and comparing blood plasma ChE activities for samples collected at 1 hr postdosage and assayed fresh, after 1 and 2 days of refrigeration (4 C), and after 1, 7 and 28 days of freezing (-25 C). ChE activity of fresh control plasma was 34% (P less than 0.01) higher in males than females. Male ChE activity remained essentially unchanged during storage while female ChE activity increased (P less than 0.05) gradually over time under both storage conditions. In contrast, when plasma ChE activity was inhibited by either antiChE, male plasma ChE activity was depressed further than female ChE (P less than 0.01) and remained constant during storage while female ChE activity continued to decrease (P less than 0.05). These divergent effects of exposure to antiChE compounds and sample storage indicate extreme care should be exercised in use of blood plasma for evaluation of antiChE exposure in wild birds.

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Dicrotophos, PESTANAL®, analytical standard