Butyrylcholinesterase—a potential plasma biomarker in manganese-induced neurobehavioral changes

  • Adiba Anjum
  • Sheta Biswas
  • Mizanur Rahman
  • Atiqur Rahman
  • Abu Eabrahim Siddique
  • Yeasir Karim
  • Sharmin Aktar
  • Farjana Nikkon
  • Azizul Haque
  • Seiichiro Himeno
  • Khaled Hossain
  • Zahangir Alam SaudEmail author
Research Article


Groundwater particularly drinking water contamination with metals has created an environmental disaster in Bangladesh. Manganese (Mn), an essential trace element, plays a key role in the development and function of the brain. Excess Mn exposure is reported to be associated with complex neurological disorders. Here, we have found a notably large extent of Mn above the permissive limit in the tube-well water of Rajshahi and Naogaon districts in Bangladesh. Higher levels of Mn in hair and nail samples, and a decreasing level of butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity were detected in plasma samples of the human subjects recruited from Naogaon district. Mn concentrations in water, hair, and nails were negatively correlated with the plasma BChE levels in Mn-exposed populations. To compare and validate these human studies, an animal model was used to determine the in vivo effects of Mn on neurobehavioral changes and blood BChE levels. In elevated plus maze, the time spent was significantly reduced in open arms and increased in closed arms of Mn-exposed mice compared to control group. The mean latency time to find the platform was declined significantly in control mice compared to Mn-treated group during 7 days in Morris water maze test, and Mn-exposed group also spent significantly less time in the desired quadrant as compared to the control group in probe trial. BChE activity was significantly reduced in Mn-exposed mice compared to control mice. Taken together, these results suggest that plasma BChE levels may serve as reliable biomarker of Mn-induced neurotoxicity related to behavioral changes.


Groundwater Manganese Butyrylcholinesterase Anxiety Learning and memory impairment 


Funding information

This work was supported by grants from the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh (57-5/52/RABI/BINGAN-3/17-18) and we also thank MUSC Center for Global Health for their support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval (No: 661/320/IAMEBBC/IBSc and 67/320/IAMEBBC/IBSc) for both human and animal studies was taken from the Institutional Animal, Medical Ethics, Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee (IAMEBBC), Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_4066_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adiba Anjum
    • 1
  • Sheta Biswas
    • 1
  • Mizanur Rahman
    • 1
  • Atiqur Rahman
    • 1
  • Abu Eabrahim Siddique
    • 1
  • Yeasir Karim
    • 1
  • Sharmin Aktar
    • 1
  • Farjana Nikkon
    • 1
  • Azizul Haque
    • 2
  • Seiichiro Himeno
    • 3
  • Khaled Hossain
    • 1
  • Zahangir Alam Saud
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of RajshahiRajshahiBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Laboratory of Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesTokushima Bunri UniversityTokushimaJapan

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