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February 1962

Cholinesterase Activity of Cerebral Tumors and Tumorous Cysts

Author Affiliations


Arch Neurol. 1962;6(2):161-167. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.00450200075007

Since the 1930's, the metabolism of acetylcholine has stood in the foreground of researches into the chemistry of the nervous system.1 It has been demonstrated by several authors2-4 that the metabolism of acetylcholine has a different rate in different parts of the central system. The cortex, the ganglia of the brain stem, and the gray matter of the cerebellum hydrolyze acetylcholine and acetylbetamethylcholine at a rapid rate and do not, or hardly, affect butyrylcholine, so that, in this respect, they behave like cholinesterase, contained in the erythrocytes and the muscles. White matter, on the other hand, splits butyrylcholine at a rapid and acetylcholine at a slower rate, while it produces no, or hardly any, effect on actylbetamethylcholine, being in this respect similar to blood serum. The function of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) in the white matter until now is not known. Our opinion is that the physiological role of BuChE