Serum cholinesterases are differentially regulated in normal and dystrophin-deficient mutant mice

Andrea R. Durrant, Liliya Tamayev, Lili Anglister*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The cholinesterases, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) (pseudocholinesterase), are abundant in the nervous system and in other tissues. The role of AChE in terminating transmitter action in the peripheral and central nervous system is well understood. However, both knowledge of the function(s) of the cholinesterases in serum, and of their metabolic and endocrine regulation under normal and pathological conditions, is limited. This study investigates AChE and BChE in sera of dystrophin-deficient mdx mutant mice, an animal model for the human Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and in control healthy mice. The data show systematic and differential variations in the concentrations of both enzymes in the sera, and specific changes dictated by alteration of hormonal balance in both healthy and dystrophic mice. While AChE in mdx-sera is elevated, BChE is markedly diminished, resulting in an overall cholinesterase decrease compared to sera of healthy controls. The androgen testosterone (T) is a negative modulator of BChE, but not of AChE, in male mouse sera. T-removal elevated both BChE activity and the BChE/AChE ratio in mdx male sera to values resembling those in healthy control male mice. Mechanisms of regulation of the circulating cholinesterases and their impairment in the dystrophic mice are suggested, and clinical implications for diagnosis and treatment are considered.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Issue numberJUNE 2012
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2012


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • H-P-G axis
  • Mdx
  • Mouse serum
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Orchidectomy
  • Testosterone


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