Recovery of acetylcholinesterase in the diaphragm, brain, and plasma of the rat after irreversible inhibition by soman: a study of cytochemical localization and molecular forms of the enzyme in the motor end plate

J Neurochem. 1981 Oct;37(4):909-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1981.tb04478.x.


Recovery of AChE activity in the motor end plate region and end plate free region of the rat diaphragm was studied after irreversible inhibition by soman. Recovery was slow during the first 2 days and only 4 S and 10 S molecular forms of AChE were present in the end plate region. However, cytochemical evidence indicates that synaptic AChE has already started to accumulate and that the synthesis of AChE in muscle and Schwann cell might even be enhanced. Tubular structures, observed underneath the motor end plate, may serve to transport the enzyme from its sites of synthesis in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Asymmetric molecular forms of AChE in he end plate region appeared later during recovery and, one week after poisoning, their activity was only about 50% of normal value. The limited ability of newly synthesized AChE to attach to the subcellular structures and, therefore, be retained in the muscle, may explain the phase of slow recovery. In accordance with this view, AChE activity in brain recovered in a similar way as in muscle, whereas soluble plasma cholinesterases recovered faster, apparently without a slow initial phase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / biosynthesis*
  • Acetylcholinesterase / blood
  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Motor Endplate / enzymology*
  • Muscle, Smooth / enzymology*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / enzymology*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Soman / pharmacology*


  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Soman
  • Acetylcholinesterase