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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 9809-9825; doi:10.3390/ijms15069809
Review

Inhibitors of Acetylcholinesterase and Butyrylcholinesterase Meet Immunity

1,2
1 Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defence, Trebesska 1575, Hradec Kralove CZ-50001, Czech Republic 2 Karel English College in Brno, Sujanovo namesti 356/1, Brno 60200, Czech Republic 
Received: 5 February 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 2 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors are widely used for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. More recent use is for myasthenia gravis. Many of these inhibitors interact with the second known cholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase (BChE). Further, evidence shows that acetylcholine plays a role in suppression of cytokine release through a “cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway” which raises questions about the role of these inhibitors in the immune system. This review covers research and discussion of the role of the inhibitors in modulating the immune response using as examples the commonly available drugs, donepezil, galantamine, huperzine, neostigmine and pyridostigmine. Major attention is given to the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, a well-described link between the central nervous system and terminal effector cells in the immune system.
Keywords: cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway; acetylcholinesterase; butyrylcholinesterase; Alzheimer disease; neuroimmunity; neuromodulation cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway; acetylcholinesterase; butyrylcholinesterase; Alzheimer disease; neuroimmunity; neuromodulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Pohanka, M. Inhibitors of Acetylcholinesterase and Butyrylcholinesterase Meet Immunity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 9809-9825.

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