Choline excites cortical neurons

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Science  14 Dec 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4424, pp. 1321-1323
DOI: 10.1126/science.515735


In cats under halothane or methoxyflurane, iontophoretic applications of choline are only eight times weaker than applications of acetylcholine in evoking firing of neurons in the sensorimotor region of the cerebral cortex. The action of choline is suppressed by atropine but not by two agents that block choline uptake (hemicholinium-3 and triethylcholine), and is not potentiated by an anticholinesterase (physostigmine). Choline therefore appears to excite cortical neurons by a direct action, which may be a significant component of its beneficial therapeutic effects.