Acta Pharm. 55 (2005) 177-185

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Original research paper  

Butyrylcholinesterase activity and plasma lipids in dexamethasone treated rats


1Unit of Toxicology, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
3Deparment of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Center Rebro, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Received January 31, 2005      Accepted May 26, 2005

The paper describes the effect of glucocorticoide dexamethasone (DM) given intraperitoneally on the catalytic activity of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) measured in plasma, liver and white adipose tissue of rats of both sexes. Effects of DM on the concentration of plasma lipids and lipoproteins were also tested. Rats were given multiple (2 and 4) pharmacological doses (0.4 and 3.0 mg kg-1 body mass) of DM. All animals were sacrificed 48 h after the last dose. Administration of DM significantly decreased the catalytic activity of BuChE in plasma and liver of all treated groups regardless of sex. BuChE catalytic activity in white adipose tissue differed depending on the dose and frequency of administration. In contrast to liver where both doses caused significant BuChE inhibition, the lower DM dose did not inhibit BuChE activity in adipose tissue, and the inhibition achieved by the higher dose was not as strong as in liver. This result corroborates an earlier hypothesis that BuChE is also synthesized in the adipose tissue. DM significantly increased plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and decreased the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration. Neither positive correlation between BuChE and triglycerides nor negative correlation between BuChE and HDL was found. Changes in lipid profile during DM treatment were not sex- and time-dependent.

Keywords: dexamethasone, butyrylcholinesterase, liver, white adipose tissue, protein synthesis, lipids, lipoproteins