N-Diethylaminoethylphenothiazine : a Specific Inhibitor of Pseudocholinesterase

Article metrics


Mendel and Rudney1 demonstrated that mammalian tissues may contain two distinct esterases, both capable of hydrolysing acetylcholine in vitro : a specific enzyme (‘true' cholinesterase) and a nonspecific enzyme (‘pseudo' cholinesterase). The chemically dissimilar natures of the two enzymes were indicated by their selective behaviour towards particular choline esters2 and by the selective toxic effects, on the pseudo esterase, of the dimethylcarbamate of (2-hydroxy : 5-phenylbenzyl)-trimethylammonium bromide3 and of diisopropylfluorophosphate4. Both these substances exert powerful effects on pseudocholinesterase at concentrations which are relatively ineffective against true cholinesterase.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Mendel and Rudney, Biochem. J., 37, 59 (1943).

  2. 2

    Mendel, Mundell and Rudney, Biochem. J., 38, 473 (1944).

  3. 3

    Hawkins and Gunter, Biochem. J., 40, 192 (1946).

  4. 4

    Mendel and Hawkins, Biochem. J., 41, xxii (1947).

  5. 5

    Gilman and Shirley, J. Amer. Chem. Soc, 66, 888 (1944).

  6. 6

    Bovet, Fournel and Charpentier, Thérapie, 2, 115 (1947).

  7. 7

    Ammon, Arch. ges. Physiol., 233, 486 (1933).

  8. 8

    Mendel and Rudney, Science, 98, 201 (1943).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

GORDON, J. N-Diethylaminoethylphenothiazine : a Specific Inhibitor of Pseudocholinesterase. Nature 162, 146 (1948) doi:10.1038/162146a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.