2017 Volume 40 Issue 6 Pages 807-814
Distigmine is a cholinesterase (ChE) inhibitor used for the treatment of detrusor underactivity in Japan. Distigmine’s pharmacological effects are known to be long-lasting, but the duration of its effect on urinary bladder contractile function has not been fully elucidated. The present study aimed to determine these effects in relation to the plasma concentrations of distigmine and its inhibition of ChE activities in blood, plasma, and bladder tissue. Intravesical pressures were recorded in anesthetized guinea-pigs for 12 h after the intravenous administration of saline or distigmine (0.01–0.1 mg/kg). Plasma distigmine concentrations were measured by liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), while ChE activities were assayed using 5,5′-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid). Distigmine (0.1 mg/kg) significantly increased the maximum intravesical pressure at micturition reflex for 12 h post-administration. In contrast, plasma distigmine was only detectable for 6 h post-administration in these animals and a one-compartment model calculated an elimination half-life of 0.7 h. However, bladder and blood acetylcholinesterase activities were significantly inhibited for 12 h after distigmine administration, although plasma ChE activities were not affected. The pharmacodynamic effects of distigmine thus persisted after its elimination from the circulation, indicating that it may bind to bladder acetylcholinesterase, producing sustained enzyme inhibition and enhancement of bladder contractility.