Acetylcholinesterase/paraoxonase interactions increase the risk of insecticide-induced Parkinson's disease

Date Published:

2005 Mar


Exposure to agricultural insecticides, together with yet incompletely understood predisposing genotype/phenotype elements, notably increase the risk of Parkinson's disease. Here, we report findings attributing the increased risk in an insecticide-exposed rural area in Israel to interacting debilitating polymorphisms in the ACHE/PON1 locus and corresponding expression variations. Polymorphisms that debilitate PON1 activity and cause impaired AChE overproduction under anticholinesterase exposure were strongly overrepresented in patients from agriculturally exposed areas, indicating that they confer risk of Parkinson's disease. Supporting this notion, serum AChE and PON1 activities were both selectively and significantly lower in patients than in healthy individuals and in carriers of the risky polymorphisms as compared with other Parkinsonian patients. Our findings suggest that inherited interactive weakness of AChE and PON1 expression increases the insecticide-induced occurrence of Parkinson's disease.