Cholinergic Systems in the Central Nervous System: Retrospection, Anatomic Distribution, and Functions

  • L. L. Butcher
  • N. J. Woolf
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 30)


In 1906, Reid Hunt (Fig. 1), in a paper with Taveau (23), made the commentary, remarkable for its prescience, that:

“I frequently obtained extracts of the suprarenal (and also of the brain) which caused a fall of blood pressure...and which were also more powerful than cholin...I also got results...which led me to think that at least some of these results were to be attributed to a precursor of cholin or to some compound of cholin...From these observations it seemed not impossible that...cholin compounds...might arise in the body; and, further, that such compounds may have some importance in certain pathological conditions...Acetylcholin, the first of this series, is a substance of extraordinary physiological activity. In fact, I think it safe to state that, as regards its effect upon the circulation, it is the most powerful substance known...We have not determined the cause of the fall of blood pressure from acetyl-cholin, but from the fact that it can be prevented entirely by atropine, I am inclined to think that it is due to an effect upon the terminations of the vagus in the heart.” (p. 1789)


Cholinergic Neuron Cholinergic System Retrograde Amnesia Cholinergic Mechanism Cholinergic Proj Ection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. L. Butcher
    • 1
  • N. J. Woolf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrain Research InstituteLos AngelesUSA

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