Author(s): George L Ellman, KDiane Courtney, Valentino Andres jr, Robert M Featherstone
A photometric method for determining acetylcholinesterase activity of tissue extracts, homogenates, cell suspensions, etc., has been described. The enzyme activity is measured by following the increase of yellow color produced from thiocholine when it reacts with dithiobisnitrobenzoate ion. It is based on coupling of these reactions: The latter reaction is rapid and the assay is sensitive (i.e. a 10 μ1 sample of blood is adequate). The use of a recorder has been most helpful, but is not essential. The method has been used to study the enzyme in human erythrocytes and homogenates of rat brain, kidney, lungs, liver and muscle tissue. Kinetic constants determined by this system for erythrocyte eholinesterase are presented. The data obtained with acetylthiocholine as substrate are similar to those with acetylcholine.