Abstract: The present study was initiated to examine the effects of ATP on acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis. The exposure of superior cervical ganglia to ATP increased ACh stores by 25%, but this effect was also evident with ADP, AMP, and adenosine, but not with βγ-methylene ATP, a nonhydrolyzable analogue of ATP, or with inosine, the deaminated product of adenosine. Thus, we attribute the enhanced ACh content caused by ATP to the presence of adenosine derived from its hydrolysis by 5′-nucleotidase. The adenosine-induced increase of tissue ACh was not the consequence of an adenosine-induced decrease of ACh release. The extra ACh remained in the tissue for more than 15 min after the removal of adenosine, but it was not apparent when ganglia were exposed to adenosine in a Ca2+-free medium. Incorporation of radiolabelled choline into [3H]ACh was also enhanced in the presence of adenosine, suggesting an extracellular source of precursor. Moreover, the synthesis of radiolabelled forms of phosphorylcholine and phospholipid was not reduced in adenosine's presence, suggesting that the extra ACh was not likely derived from choline destined for phospholipid synthesis. Aminophylline did not prevent the adenosine effect to increase ACh content; this effect was blocked by dipyridamole, but not by nitrobenzylthioinosine (NBTI). In addition, two benzodiazepine stereoisomers known to inhibit stereoselectively the NBTI-resistant nucleoside transporter displayed a similar stereoselective ability to block the effect of adenosine. Together, these results argue that adenosine is transported through an NBTI-resistant nucleoside transporter to exert an effect on ACh synthesis. The extra ACh accumulated as a result of adenosine's action was releasable during subsequent preganglionic nerve stimulation, but not in the presence of vesamicol, a vesicular ACh transporter inhibitor. We conclude that the mobilization of ACh is enhanced as a result of adenosine pretreatment.