• Acetylcholine;
  • Choline;
  • Brain microdialysis;
  • Biosynthesis;
  • Striatum


The purpose of the present study is to clarify the effects of the administration of choline on the in vivo release and biosynthesis of acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain. For this purpose, the changes in the extracellular concentration of choline and ACh in the rat striatum following intracerebroventricular administration of choline were determined using brain microdialysis. We also determined changes in the tissue content of choline and ACh. When the striatum was dialyzed with Ringer solution containing 10 μM physostigmine, ACh levels in dialysates rapidly and dose dependently increased following administration of various doses of choline and reached a maximum within 20 min. In contrast, choline levels in dialysates increased after a lag period of 20 min following the administration. When the striatum was dialyzed with physostigmine-free Ringer solution, ACh could not be detected in dialysates both before and even after choline administration. After addition of hemicholinium-3 to the perfusion fluid, the choline-induced increase in ACh levels in dialysates was abolished. Following administration of choline, the tissue content of choline and ACh increased within 20 min. These results suggest that administered choline is rapidly taken up into the intracellular compartment of the cholinergic neurons, where it enhances both the release and the biosynthesis of ACh.