Brain acetylcholine synthesis declines with senescence

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Science  07 Aug 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4508, pp. 674-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.7256270


The synthesis of whole brain acetylcholine is reduced in two strains (C57BL and BALB/c) of senescent mice. The incorporation of [U-14C]glucose into acetylcholine decreased in both strains by 40 +/- 4 per cent in 10-month-old mice and by 58 +/- 9 percent in 30-month-old mice compared with mice 3 months old. The incorporation of [2H4]choline into acetylcholine declined 60 and 73 percent in 10- and 30-month-old mice, respectively. Deficits in the cholinergic system may contribute to brain dysfunctions that complicate senescence.