Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996)

Effect of hypoxanthine, antioxidants and allopurinol on cholinesterase activities in rats.

PMID 23400363


In the present study, we investigate the in vitro effect of hypoxanthine on acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase activities in the hippocampus, striatum, cerebral cortex and serum of 15-, 30- and 60-day-old rats. Furthermore, we also evaluated the influence of antioxidants, namely α-tocopherol (trolox) and ascorbic acid, and allopurinol to investigate the possible participation of free radicals and uric acid in the effects elicited by hypoxanthine on these parameters. Acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase activities were determined according to Ellman et al. (Biochem Pharmacol 7:88-95, 1961), with some modifications. Hypoxanthine (10.0 μM), when added to the incubation medium, enhanced acetylcholinesterase activity in the hippocampus and striatum of 15- and 30-day-old rats and reduced butyrylcholinesterase activity in the serum of 60-day-old rats. The administration of allopurinol and/or antioxidants partially prevented the alterations caused by hypoxanthine in acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase activities in the cerebrum and serum of rats. Data indicate that hypoxanthine alters cholinesterase activities, probably through free radicals and uric acid production since the alterations were prevented by the administration of allopurinol and antioxidants. It is presumed that the cholinesterase system may be associated, at least in part, with the neuronal dysfunction observed in patients affected by Lesch-Nyhan disease. In addition, although extrapolation of findings from animal experiments to humans is difficult, it is conceivable that these vitamins and allopurinol might serve as an adjuvant therapy to avoid progression of brain damage in patients affected by this disease.