, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 857-867

Synaptic Function of Cholinergic-Specific Chol-1α Ganglioside

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The function of a cholinergic-specific ganglioside, Chol-1α, was investigated. The release of acetylcholine from synaptosomes was inhibited by anti-Chol-1α monoclonal antibody but not by monoclonal antibodies against other brain gangliosides tested. Chol-1α ganglioside stimulated the high-affinity choline uptake by synaptosomes and consequently enhanced acetylcholine synthesis, resulting in an increased release of acetylcholine from synaptosomes. The memory and learning abilities of rats given anti-Chol-1α antibody were remarkably suppressed. These in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that Chol-1α ganglioside plays a pivotal role in cholinergic synaptic transmission and participates in cognitive function.