Decreased synthesis of acetylcholine accompanying impaired oxidation of pyruvic acid in rat brain minces

G. E. Gibson, R. Jope, J. P. Blass

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The relation between pyruvate utilization and acetylcholine synthesis was investigated in minces of adult rat brain. The flux of pyruvate to acetylcholine was less than 1% of that to CO2; nevertheless, a number of agents which inhibited conversion of [1 14C]pyruvate or [2 14C]pyruvate into 14CO2 were associated with corresponding decreases in the conversion of [2 14C]pyruvate into acetylcholine. The amount of acetylcholine produced by minces of whole rat brain, measured by gas liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, decreased similarly. Among the inhibitory compounds tested were 3 bromopyruvate, an irreversible inhibitor of pyruvate dehydrogenase; 2 oxobutyrate, a competitive inhibitor of pyruvate dehydrogenase; other 2 oxo acids; and amobarbital and pentobarbital. Linear regression equations relating CO2 production to acetylcholine synthesis gave correlation coefficients of 0.89 to 0.93 for the combined observations. The inhibition of acetylcholine synthesis could not be attributed to inhibition of choline acetyltransferase. Incorporation of [2 14C]pyruvate into lipids, proteins and nucleic acids was effected less than that into acetylcholine. Under these experimental conditions, it was shown that pyruvate utilization can limit acetylcholine synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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