Characterization of butyrylcholinesterase antagonism of cocaine-induced hyperactivity

Lee Koetzner, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although there are several published demonstrations that exogenous butyrylcholinesterase (EC works to antagonize cocaine in vivo, a systematic characterization of the enzyme-drug interaction is lacking as is confirmation of the mechanism of effect. This has been addressed using cocaine-induced locomotor activity in mice as a behavioral endpoint. The enzyme was effective, but the enzyme dose-antagonist effect relationship revealed an asymptotic partial maximum effect. This effect was not due to dose-dependent enzyme pharmacokinetics or to a stimulant effect of the cocaine metabolites but rather to partial metabolism of cocaine. Since neither metabolite of cocaine inhibited enzyme activity as potently as cocaine, partial metabolism is not likely due to end-product inhibition. The enzyme reduced the maximum effect of cocaine on locomotor activity. The mechanistic data are generally consistent: the enzyme was inactive against the nonester dopamine/norepinephrine uptake inhibitor, nomifensine, and a paraoxon-inactivated sample of enzyme was ineffective. However, the enzyme was effective against bupropion, a nonester dopamine uptake inhibitor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-723
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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