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Clin Sci (Lond). 1993 Jul;85(1):77-81.

Relationship between serum butyrylcholinesterase activity, hypertriglyceridaemia and insulin sensitivity in diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1University Department of Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, U.K.


1. The activity of serum butyrylcholinesterase ('pseudocholinesterase', EC3.1.1.8) was investigated in 56 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, 51 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 101 healthy control subjects. 2. Butyrylcholinesterase activity was significantly elevated in both type 1 (8.10 +/- 3.35 units/ml) and type 2 (7.22 +/- 1.95 units/ml) diabetes compared with the control subjects (4.23 +/- 1.89 units/ml) (P < 0.001). 3. In the patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, serum butyrylcholinesterase activity was correlated with log serum fasting triacylglycerol concentration (r = 0.41 and r = 0.43, respectively, P < 0.001). In the type 2 population serum butyrylcholinesterase activity was also correlated with insulin sensitivity (r = -0.51, P < 0.001). 4. Serum butyrylcholinesterase activity was unrelated to age, gender, serum gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase activity, body mass index, or treatment for diabetes in both the diabetic populations. 5. In 37 non-diabetic patients with butyrylcholinesterase deficiency serum triacylglycerol levels were in the normal range. 6. These results are consistent with the view that butyrylcholinesterase may have a role in the altered lipoprotein metabolism in hypertriglyceridaemia associated with insulin insensitivity or insulin deficiency in diabetes mellitus.

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