UNIT 12.13 Determination of Cholinesterase in Blood and Tissue

  1. Barry W. Wilson,
  2. John D. Henderson

Published Online: 1 NOV 2007

DOI: 10.1002/0471140856.tx1213s34

Current Protocols in Toxicology

Current Protocols in Toxicology

How to Cite

Wilson, B. W. and Henderson, J. D. 2007. Determination of Cholinesterase in Blood and Tissue. Current Protocols in Toxicology. 34:12.13:12.13.1–12.13.16.

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2007
  2. Published Print: NOV 2007


The widespread use of organophosphate and organocarbamate pesticides and the dangers of related chemical warfare agents dramatize the importance of rapid, accurate, and sensitive assays for blood and tissue cholinesterases (ChEs), important targets for neurotoxic chemicals. Two ChE enzymes used as biomarkers of exposure are the specific acetylcholinesterases (AChE, EC and the nonspecific plasma cholinesterases (BChE, EC This unit contains two protocols for measuring ChE activity: (1) a colorimetric kinetic method and (2) a radiometric endpoint assay and selective inhibitors that are used to distinguish between the two classes of enzymes. Curr. Protoc. Toxicol. 34:12.13.1-12.13.16. © 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • cholinesterases;
  • colorimetric assay;
  • radiometric assay;
  • delta pH assay