Time- and temperature-dependent postmortem changes in inhibited brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity may confound diagnosis of field poisoning of wildlife by anticholinesterase pesticide. Carbamate-inhibited ChE activity may return to normal within 1 to 2 days of exposure of intact carcass to moderate ambient temperature (18-32C). Organophosphorus-inhibited ChE activity becomes more depressed over the same time. Uninhibited ChE activity was resilient to above freezing temperature to 32C for 1 day and 25C for 3 days. Carbamate- and organophosphorus-inhibited ChE can be separated by incubation of homogenate for 1 hour at physiological temperatures; carbamylated ChE can be readily reactivated while phosphorylated ChE cannot.
Additional publication details
Divergent effects of postmortem ambient temperature on organophosphorus- and carbamate-inhibited brain cholinesterase activity in birds