An immunological study of rat acetylcholinesterase: comparison with acetylcholinesterases from other vertebrates

J Neurochem. 1984 Jul;43(1):204-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1984.tb06698.x.


We have examined the immunoreactivity of acetylcholinesterase from different vertebrate species with a rabbit antiserum raised against the purified rat brain hydrophobic enzyme (G4 form). We found no significant interaction with enzymes from Electrophorus, Torpedo, chicken, and rabbit. The antiserum reacted with acetylcholinesterases from the brains of the other mammalian species studied, with titers decreasing in the following order: rat = mouse greater than human greater than bovine. The serum was inhibitory with murine and human acetylcholinesterases, but not with the bovine enzyme. The inhibition was partially depressed in the presence of salt (e.g., 1 M NaCl). In those species whose acetylcholinesterase was recognized by the antiserum, both soluble and detergent-soluble fractions behaved in essentially the same manner, interacting with the same antibodies. The apparent immunoprecipitation titer was decreased in the presence of salt, and it did not make any difference whether NaCl was included in the solubilization procedure or added to the extracts. Both G1 and G4 forms of acetylcholinesterase in the soluble and detergent-soluble fractions were recognized by the antiserum, and in the case of the human enzyme, by monoclonal antibodies produced against human erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase. However, the monomer G1 showed a clear tendency to form smaller complexes and precipitate less readily than the tetramer G4. Although we cannot exclude the existence of significant differences between the various molecular forms of acetylcholinesterase, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that they all derive from the same gene or set of genes by posttranslational modifications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Cattle
  • Chickens
  • Cross Reactions
  • Electrophorus
  • Humans
  • Immunosorbent Techniques
  • Isoenzymes / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity
  • Torpedo
  • Vertebrates / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Isoenzymes
  • Acetylcholinesterase