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Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1389-5575
ISSN (Online): 1875-5607

Review Article

A Review on the In Vitro Evaluation of the Anticholinesterase Activity Based on Ellman’s Method

Author(s): Raquel Bianca Marchesine de Almeida, Rebecca Lustosa Silva de Almeida Luz, Franco Henrique Andrade Leite and Mariana Borges Botura*

Volume 22, Issue 13, 2022

Published on: 07 January, 2022

Page: [1803 - 1813] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1389557521666211027104638


Inhibition of cholinesterases is a common strategy for the treatment of several disorders, especially Alzheimer´s disease. In vitro assays represent a critical step towards identifying molecules with potential anticholinesterase effect. This study aimed at providing a comprehensive review of the methodologies used in vitro for the anticholinesterase activity based on the spectrophotometry of Ellman’s method. This work used two databases (PubMed and ScienceDirect) to search for original articles and selected publications between 1961 and 2019, which reported in vitro spectrophotometry assays for anticholinesterase activity. After the search process and the selection of publications, the final sample consisted of 146 articles published in several journals submitted by researchers from different countries. Although the studies analyzed in this work are all within the same conception of in vitro tests based on Ellman’s method, one can observe a wide divergence in the origin and concentration of enzyme, the choice and pH of the buffer, the concentration of the substrate, the sample diluent, incubation time, temperature, and time of the spectrophotometric reading interval. There is no consensus in the methodology of studies with in vitro tests for anticholinesterase assessment. The methodological variations related to kinetic parameters may interfere in the characterization of cholinesterase inhibitors.

Keywords: Anticholinesterase activity, Ellman’s method, In vitro assays, spectrophotometry assays, acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase.

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