In the present study we have determinated the acetylcholinesterase molecular forms present in rat liver hepatocytes; we have also studied the association of acetylcholinesterase with the cell surface of the hepatocytes. Subcellular fractionation indicated that rough endoplasmic reticulum and plasma-membrane-enriched fractions contains G4 and G2 acetylcholinesterase forms bound to membranes. Hepatocytes incubated with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C released about 70% of the surface acetylcholinesterase. Sedimentation analysis showed that all the solubilized acetylcholinesterase activity comes exclusively from a G2 dimer. The G4 hydrophobic form of acetylcholinesterase accounts for the additional cell-surface activity. The existence of these two forms of acetylcholinesterase on the surface of hepatocytes was further established by analyzing the phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C sensitivity-of the acetylcholinesterase molecular forms present in isolated rat liver plasma membranes.