Regulation of acetylcholine esterase

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The alkaloids which influence acetylcholine esterase activity are eserine, galan-thamine, nicotine, lobeline and tubocurarine. All of these alkaloids are very active.

Eserine blocks acetylcholine esterase. This alkaloid may be used to decrease possible negative side effects connected to the use of other drugs, for example that of atropine.

Galanthamine also blocks acetylcholine esterase activity. One of the new applications of galanthamine is in a treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, this alkaloid can be used in decreasing negative side effects caused by applications of non-depolarizing alkaloids, for example those of tubocurarine.

Nicotine is an alkaloid that can be applied in clinical practice as a factor which agonistically activates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This means that in very low doses it is a stimulant and in high doses it is a depressant. The use of this alkaloid is prevalent in treating smoking dependence. Lobeline has both similar activity and application potential as nicotine. It can also be used in treating vascular disorders.

Tubocurarine acts as a competitive inhibitor in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, meaning that the nerve impulse is blocked by this alkaloid. Tubocurarine is used in surgical practice as a muscle relaxant. These alkaloids have an observably large spectrum of activity and possible applications. Their utilization in the development of new applications is therefore relatively active in modern medicine.

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