The interactions of azure B, a metabolite of methylene blue, with 2 acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase
Harvey, Brian H.
Petzer, Jacobus P.
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Methylene blue(MB) is reported to possess diverse pharmacological actions and is attracting increasing attention for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Among the pharmacological actions of MB, is the significant inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). These activities may, at least in part, underlie MB's beneficial effects in Alzheimer's disease. MB is metabolized to yield N-demethylated products of which azure B, the monodemethyl metabolite, is the predominant species. Azure B has been shown to be pharmacologically active and also possesses a variety of biological actions. Azure B therefore may contribute to the pharmacological profile of MB. Based on these considerations, the present study investigates the possibility that azure B may, similar to MB, act as an inhibitor of human AChE and BuChE. The results document that azure B inhibits AChE and BuChE with IC50 values of 0.486 μM and 1.99 μM, respectively. The results further show that azure B inhibits AChE and BuChE reversibly, and that the modes of inhibition are most likely competitive. Although the AChE and BuChE inhibitory activities of azure B are twofold and fivefold, respectively, less potent than those recorded for MB [IC50(AChE)=0.214 μM; IC50(BuChE)=0.389 μM] under identical conditions, azure B may be a contributor to MB's in vivo activation of the cholinergic system and beneficial effects in Alzheimer's disease.
- Faculty of Health Sciences