Published avian reference ranges for plasma cholinesterase (ChE) and brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) are numerous. However, a consistently reported recommendation is the need for species- and laboratory-specific reference ranges because of variables, including assay methods, sample storage conditions, season, and bird sex, age, and physiologic status. We developed normal reference ranges for brain AChE and plasma total ChE (tChE) activity for Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) using a standardized protocol (substrate acetylthiocholine at 25 C). We report reference ranges for brain AChE (19–41 μmol/min per g, mean 21±6.38) and plasma tChE (0.41–0.53 μmol/min per mL, mean 0.47±0.11) (n=15). This information will be of use in the ongoing field investigation of a paresis-paralysis syndrome in the endangered Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos, suspected to be associated with exposure to anticholinesterase compounds and add to the paucity of reference ranges for plasma tChE and brain AChE in Australian psittacine birds.
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Vol. 52 • No. 3