Neurochemical Research

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 597–601 | Cite as

Acetyl-l-carnitine as a precursor of acetylcholine

  • Helen L. White
  • Philip W. Scates
Original Articles

Abstract

Synthesis of [3H]acetylcholine from [3H]acetyl-l-carnitine was demonstrated in vitro by coupling the enzyme systems choline acetyltransferase and carnitine acetyltransferase. Likewise, both [3H] and [14C] labeled acetylcholine were produced when [3H]acetyl-l-carnitine andd-[U-14C] glucose were incubated with synaptosomal membrane preparations from rat brain. Transfer of the acetyl moiety from acetyl-l-carnitine to acetylcholine was dependent on concentration of acetyl-l-carnitine and required the presence of coenzyme A, which is normally produced as an inhibitory product of choline acetyltransferase. These results provide further evidence for a role of mitochondrial carnitine acetyltransferase in facilitating transfer of acetyl groups across mitochondrial membranes, thus regulating the availability in the cytoplasm of acetyl-CoA, a substrate of choline acetyltransferase. They are also consistent with a possible utility of acetyl-l-carnitine in the treatment of age-related cholinergic deficits.

Key Words

Choline acetyltransferase carnitine acetyltransferase acetylcholine synthesis synaptosomes 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen L. White
    • 1
  • Philip W. Scates
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of PharmacologyThe Wellcome Research LaboratoriesResearch Triangle Park

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